“Om Sai Ram”
There are virtuous and kind people who did exceptional work for humanity and then there are people with exceptional degree of holiness whose life, philosophy had touched human lives in a new way, who had successfully lead us to the righteous path of dharma and moksha.
Sai Baba of Shirdi was one of them, the holy saint who championed the idea of One God – Sabka Maalik Ek (There is only one GOD who governs all)” and I personally believe in this saying. There is hardly any documents available on his life, but it was believed he lived during this period 1835-1918, had performed miracles, bilocation, materialization, body transcending, levitation and so on, and revered by people from all religions and from all walks of life.
He had openly defied the religious orthodoxy and his teachings and spiritual practices combined elements from both Hinduism and Islam. He had advocated this three laws of Nishta ( Perseverance) Shraddha (Devotion) and Saburi (Patience) and asked his disciples and devotees to keep performing their worldly duties, regardless of the hardships in their life.
Though I do not have religious bent of mind, but whenever opportunity arises to visit this little town of Shirdi, we went there. The road trip from Mumbai to Shirdi (approximately 5 hr distance)also gives an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful landscape of Sahyadri, streams, rivers, hills, ghats… glimpses of lives in the hinterlands of Maharashtra, neem dotted country roads and so on.
Most of the temple town in India are characteristically marked by the unorganized cacophony, but Shirdi is different. Very well organized and peaceful. Even everyday this little town in Ahmednagar, experience millions of footfalls, but I never had any bad experiences, unlike in other places, there are no chaos, everything is streamlined, for the benefit of lakhs of devotees who came here from afar.
I always find myself in a peaceful abode, surround by calm and tranquility whenever I visit Shirdi. The melodious chanting of hymns and mantras, the heady smell of incense, the divine taste of prasadam all contributes to a truly divine experience.
Photography is not allowed inside the temple and its premises, so I took some photographs of the town itself and this was also my first time to try my hand at street photography.
Street photography has something enticing and magnetic element about it. Apart from landscape, this genre of photography has allured me ever since I developed a keen interest in photography, but being a shy person, I never felt comfortable in bringing out my camera in busy streets. But this time, I just took some random shots in and around the Sai Baba temple without giving it another thought.
Shirdi, Kopergaon and nearby villages on Ahmednagar – Manmad road are known for pomegrantae farming too. So finding lots and lots of fruit carts laden with this red and delicious fruit is a common sight there.
In India, brass ware are commonly used in bells, temple rituals and for homes. Any temple towns are hence typically marked by the numerous stalls selling these beautiful brass wares. So, as a food blogger and photographer, this was also my golden chance to bring home some props for my blog, and they are quite cheaper than the prices in metropolis.