Celebration of Ram Navami Festival in Shirdi
Om Sai Ram devotees. In this blog we are going to see how Urus festival turned in to Ram Navami in Shirdi and the renovations of the Masjid. This festival celebrated with lot of enthusiasm in Shirdi. With the blessings of Sai Baba,Ram Navami festival commenced in Shirdi.
Commencement of Ram Navami:
A great devotee of Baba,Goaplrao was a circle inspector of Kopargaon village. He had three wives but no son. With blessings of Sai ,a son was born. In order to express his obligation he brought fordward the idea of celebrating a fair i.e Urus.
The villagers agree over the idea and Gopalroa also got permission with Baba’s blessings. Application for permission was made to the Collector ,but as the village head was against it ,the application got rejected. The villagers tried again and this time succeeded in getting approval from the collector. The fair was fixed on Ram Navami day.
As Shirdi was a village there was scarcity of water. There were two wells. One dried soon and well was not suitable for drinking. Baba turned the water sweet by throwing flowers in it. During this festival two rituals performed. The new sack replaces the old one.
Gopalrao persuaded his friend Damu Anna of Ahmednagar to supply flags for the procession. Nanasahed Nimbolkar arranges the other flag. Both this flags are taken through the village and fixed at two ends of Dwarkamai. In the evening another procession begins “Sandal Procession” by the Muslims.
In this procession chandan paste is put in a thali. Carried out in the village and while returning to Masjid, the paste is applied to nimbar and the walls of the Masjid. The devotees participated on this occasion and took leading part in the festival.
Transformation into Ram Navami Festival:
As years passed by this fair in Shirdi eyed attention. In the tear 1912 Mr. Krishnarao Bhisma came to visit the fair in Shirdi. While he was sitting in Wada. A thought raised in his mind about celebrating Ram Navami Festival on the day of Urus.
Kaka Mahajani liked the idea and thought of taking Baba’s approval. The problem was to get a Haridas on this day to sing glories of Shri Ram. Mr. Krishnarao said he would do the Kirtan hismself and Kaka Mahajani would play the harmonium. They moved to Masjid to take Baba’s permission.
Baba knew all the discussion going in the wada and he happily granted permissions for the same.On the day of the festival, devotees decorate Masjid . People rejoiced. The festival has begin.
Bhisma started the Kirtan .When the Kirtan was about to end, Gulal was thrown all around. The Gulal went into Baba eyes . He got wild and scolded. People were afraid. The devotees thought when Ram was born it was proper to get wild to kill Ravan.
After few moment, Baba became calm. An aarti concludes that day. Next day other Kirtan and Gopal-kala was performed. The ceremony concluded with the procession of flags and the Sandal procession. Thus this way Urus transforms into RamNavmi Festival.
Since 1912, The festival found importance. No of people visiting Shirdi increases. Horses,Elephants a chariot included in the procession . As years passed the items in the schedule began to increase. Radha Krishna Mai – a staunch devotee of Sai Baba started “Nam-Sapath”. Every year the difficulty of finding haridas occured. Baba solved the problem by appointing Das Ganu Maharaj as haridas.
Renovations of the Masjid Mai:
Gopalrao Gund bought up the idea of renovations of the Masjid. Baba was unwilling to do so but by interference of the Mhalsapati , Baba agreed . Pavement completes in one night in the Masjid . In 1911 Saba Mandap was also setup by devotees.