A visit to the Temple

Shirdi Sai Temple is located in Northwest suburbs of Chicago about thirty miles west of Schumburg closer to I-90. Along Highway 47, surrounded by farms, the drive to temple through the country side brings back memories to those who have visited Shirdi or other pilgrim places in rural India. The drive in winter with snow covered lawns and ice covered trees has a mesmerizing effect. During summer, the drive through lush green lawns and fields of corn and soyabean, uplifts the mood bringing joy and happiness.

A visit to the temple will take one away from the buzz of mundane routine of life into a serene and peaceful environment where one can forget everything, focus on divinity to experience the wonderful calmn and soothing effect it provides. Aarathis are times when we all gather to sing in chorus to the sound of soul uplifting music and bathe in its mystical effect.

Abhishek is the time when the Lord is given a holy bath amidst chant of vedic hymns. Those who get mentally involved during the ceremony experience something that only they can describe. With each pass of ceremony, it feels like one is in the live presence of Master himself throwing glances, showering his grace and blessings, on those present. It is time for Baba to get ready for his daily court, where we all gather with our prayers.

The pictorial gallery and symbolic representations in Temple, of places of significance in Shirdi, provide one to relive their memories if they have alreay visited the holy shrine or provide information to those who plan to visit Shirdi in future. Prasadalaya is the place where naivedya offered to Baba is served. The ever buring fire in temple reminds one of Baba's dhuni.

The quiet room provides an opportuntiy to those who wish to spend time during their visit in silent meditation or prayer, quietly do parayan or scriptural reading and offer Pradaskhina (circum-ambulations).

From taking part in the various activities listed elsewhere on the temple site to silent individual prayer, one can enjoy the bliss and solitude that comes with a vist to the temple.

by Sai Bhakt Mukesh