Important Weekday : Thursday (Palki Procession)

In the days when Shri Sai Baba was physically living in Dwarkamai Masjid, he used to sleep in Chawri on every alternate night, between the year 1910 to 1918. This  sojourn at Chawri on every alternate night was preceded by a ‘palki’ procession with all regal paraphernalia accompanying Baba from Dwarkamai to Chawri.

This tradition of ‘palki’ procession continues with the same fervour and devotion. Today it starts from Samadhi Mandir, which is the eternal abode of Shri Sai in ‘Samadhi’. From Samadhi temple it goes to Dwarkamai Masjid, from Dwarkamai to Chawri and returns to Samadhi Mandir, after which the ‘Shej Aarti’ is offered to Him.

Schedule of Palki procession 

At 8.15 PM:
Shri Sai Baba’s old portrait draped in a crimson red colour Royal robe, his Sacred staff (Satka) and Sacred Slippers (Paduka) kept in a silver platter are placed on the dais of ‘Samadhi’ for the darshan by the devotees, for about an hour.

9.00 – 9.15 PM:
The devotees and the attendants of ‘palki’ procession gather in the Main hall of Samadhi Mandir and sing devotional songs, bhajans, abhangs etc. in front of Shri Sai Baba.

9.15 PM:
The ‘palki’ procession begins from Samadhi temple carrying Baba’s portrait under state umbrella, Sacred staff (Satka) and Sacred slippers (paduka) with all regal splendor. A priest walks ahead with incense smoke of ‘loban’. Traditionally the portrait of Baba is carried by the members of the present generation of Tatya Kote Patil’s family (in old days Baba was escorted by Tatya Kote Patil).

9.20 PM:
The procession enters Dwarkamai Masjid where the decked up palanquin (palki) is kept ready in the foreyard of the Masjid (This ‘palki’ was presented in the old days by Shri Sadu Bhai Nayik, an ardent devotee of Shri Sai.)

In Dwarkamai, Baba’s portrait and the Sacred articles like staff (satka) and slippers (paduka) are placed on the blessed stone in the foreground of Masjid, and a brief programme of Bhajan and Aarti by the devotees and the attendants of ‘palki’ follows for about fifteen minutes. The programme goes as per the fixed schedule as,“Jai Jai Ramkrishna Hari”,“Sai naam Sukhdai” and ending with ‘Shirdi maze Pandharpur’.

After this Baba’s portrait and other sacred objects are placed in the decked up ‘palki’ with due sanctity and honour.

9.40 PM:
The procession carrying Baba’s ‘Palki’ on shoulders by the attendants reaches Chawri where the worship is offered to Baba, adorning silver throne at Chawri. Other Sacred objects are also placed here on a small table ‘chaurang’and the ‘Shodashopachaar puja’ (full ceremonial worship as prescribed in scriptures) is offered to Shri Sai.The aartis, which are offered here are Gheuni panchaarti / Aarti Saibaba / Shirdi Maze Pandharpur and Ghaleen lotangan.

After aartis are performed Baba is offered ‘Chilum’. Then the portrait and other sacred objects are placed again in the ‘palki’.

9.50 PM:
‘Palki’ procession returns to Samadhi Temple.

Baba’s portrait and the sacred objects are placed on the dais of the Samadhi once again.

10.00 PM:
Shej aarti’(Night Aarti) begins. (As per schedule)

On other important occasions the ‘palki’ procession goes around the Shirdi village from Chawri, instead of directly returning to Samadhi Temple. ‘Shej aarti’ is performed only after ‘palki’ returns to the Samadhi Temple.