As per the account given in the 40th Chapter of Shree Sai-Satcharita, Sai Baba came to Sai Nivas in the form of an idol on the Holi Pournima day to partake meal. The incident took place on the Holi Pournima day of 1917, i.e. thursday 8th March 1917. Since then, to commemorate the arrival of Sai Baba in Sai Nivas, in the form of the idol, Holi Pournima is celebrated in Sai Nivas every year in the most auspicious and holy atmosphere.
Holi Pournima at Sai Nivas –
Initially, this idol used to be kept for darshan on Holi Pournima day only. But thanks to the kind wishes of Meena vahini, it was permanently made available for darshan on all days. To enable the shraddhavans to meditate, perform Jap etc. sitting in front of the idol, Sadguru Shree Aniruddha Bapu got a larger version of the idol made by the Dabholkar family.
Shri. Appasaheb Dabholkar (Grandson of Hemadpant) and Sou. Meena vahini Dabholkar were blessed with a Darshan (vision) of Shree Sainath on 28th May 1996.
Shree Aniruddha Bapu has initiated many a devotional activities as a part of this utsav.
- The utsav commences with the parayan of Shree Sai-Satcharita, two days prior to Holi Pournima every year.
- After the completion of the parayan, a Dindi procession is organised in the compound of Sai Nivas, during which following gajar is sung –
“Dikshit, Shama, Hemad, Bayjabai, Nana, Ganu, Megha, Shyam
Hyanchi vaat pusta pusta, milel amha SaiRam.”
- A dhvaj (flag) with ‘Om Sairam’ inscripted on it, is adorned atop Sai Nivas. Every Holi Pournima, old dhvaj is replaced with a new one and its pujan is performed. A pujan of this original image of Sai Baba is carried out with sacred vidhi’s.
- Poojan of Holika Mata also takes place. After the Holi (bonfire) is ignited, the recitation of the jap ‘Om Krupasindhu Shree Sainathay Namah’ (‘ॐ कृपासिंधू श्रीसाईनाथाय नम: ‘) takes place. Five types of grains are offered to Holika Mata, which is followed by Aarti.
- This is followed by a beautiful devotional activity – applying Bukka (Abir). It commences with Bapu applying Bukka, followed by Dabholkar family applying Bukka. Afterwards all the devotees coming for darshan apply Bukka to one another. During the process, the Jap – ‘Om Sai Shivay, Sai Ramay, Sai Krishnay Namah’ is continuously chanted and the chanting is carried out throughout the day. A lamp is kept burning throughout the day.
- A Tulsi vrindavaan on a raised platform have been constructed in the backyard of Sai Nivas. All shraddhavans light Sudeep (candles) here.
Shraddhavans visiting Sai Nivas on this day, offer Puran Poli (sweet stuffed Indian flat bread) as Naivedya (offering to God). These Puran Poli’s are distributed among the poor and needy.
Holi Pournima 2017 Centenary Celebrations –
During the centenary celebrations of the Holi Pournima utsav here, a beautiful programme had been organized in Sai Nivas on March 11, 2017. Highlights of the event are as follows –
- Under the guidance of Sadguru Bapu, the recitation of the jap ‘Om Krupasindhu Shree Sainathay Namah’ (‘ॐ कृपासिंधू श्री साईनाथाय नम: ‘) was carried out from 8 am to 10 pm, one lakh eight times (1,00,008).
- Throughout the recitation, Shri. Appasaheb Dabholkar (Hemadpant’s descendent) and family offered Tulsipatra and Bilvapatra on the original sacred image of Saibaba. All the shraddhavans could get the opportunity to participate in the recitation.
- During the utsav, the parayan (the reading of the complete set of writings) of Sai Satcharitra began on March 9, 2017. Shraddhavans completed the reading of the first 26 chapters on this day. On the following day, March 10, 2017, shraddhavans completed the reading of the next 26 chapters i.e Chapter 27 to chapter 52. On March 11, 2017, the last Chapter, i.e. chapter 53 of the Sai-Satchcharita was read, thus completing the parayan of the Sai Satcharitra.
- On the occasion of the centenary celebrations, the recitation of the Shree Panchmukh Hanumatkavacham (“श्रीपंचमुख हनुमानकवच”) for 108 times, had been arranged on February 12, 2017. This was followed by the recitation of Shree Shivpanchakshar Stotra (“श्री शिवपंचाक्षर”) for 108 times on February 19, 2017 and the parayan of the Shree Sai-Satcharitra on February 25, 2017.
Such is the day of Holi Pournima, the sacred day on which Sainath arrived at Sai Nivas in the form of an image and remained there forever.