Sai Nivas- Historical Legacy-
Sai Nivas, situated at Bandra, was the residence of Shri Hemadpant also known as Late Govindrao (Annasaheb) Raghunath Dabholkar, who penned Shri Sai-Satcharita. Shri Hemadpant visited Shri Kshetra Shirdi in 1909, seeking the darshan of Shri Sadguru Sai Baba. In his first meeting, Hemadpant sought a Dhool Bhet(to roll completely in the dust at your sadguru’s feet) of Shree Sainath and belonged to him forever. He named his house at Bandra, “Sai Nivas”(abode). A place where Sai dwells at all times. This edifice is more than 100 years old now and even today “Sai Nivas” stands proudly bearing testimony to the tradition of Sai-bhakti for all the Sai devotees. This structure is not only mentioned in Shri Sai Satcharitra but Sai Nivas is the very place where this divine treatise became manifested.
Sai Nivas: A bridge between Sai and Bapu –
Dr. Aniruddha used to regularly visit Sai Nivas. Hemandpant’s third and fourth generation were bearing the responsibilities of Sai Nivas. Hemadpant’s grandson, Sadyapipa Appasaheb Dabholkar and his wife Meena Vahini’s affection for Dr. Joshi had grown over time. On 28th May, 1996 he casually asked for the three things (Rosary, Trishul and Shaligram) given to Hemadpant by Sai Baba while chatting with them. This secret was known only to the Dabholkar couple and was guarded by three generations. Sainath had instructed Hemadpant, “I, myself will ask for these three things.” Accordingly, when Dr. Joshi asked for them, Appasaheb handed over these three things that no one else knew about without any hesitation. Meanwhile, the Dabholkar couple performed a Udand namaskar(devotional salutation performed by a prostrate in surrender). When they looked up while doing the namaskar, they saw an 80 year old Sainath in place of Shree Aniruddha dressed in Kafni upto knee level and black trousers below the knees. This day is considered as the day of Bapu’s revelation and it took place at Sai Nivas, where Hemadpant had breathed his last in 1929, after having written the last line of Sai Satcharitra saying “तयाच्याचरणीअमितपूर्वक । लेखणीमस्तकअर्पितो |”, “Tayachyacharaniamitapoorvak | Lekhanimastakarpito”(At his feet I surrender my writings and myself), and thus a new chapter began at the very same Sai Nivas from 1996.
What to see at Sai Nivas –
In 1997, Shri Aniruddha got an exact replica made of Baba’s image that had arrived at Sai Nivas on Holi Pournima. This Dhyan Moorti is very endearing and anyone can sit before the idol to meditate. Likewise, you may also seek the darshan of the original image. Here, you may chant the jap, “Om Krupasindhu Shree Sainaathaaya Namaha |”. The desk on which Hemadpant wrote the Shree Sai Satcharitra,is also on display. Sai’s presence can be felt everywhere at Sai Nivas.
A Tulsi Vrindavan has been constructed in memory of late Meena vahini, in the vacant space behind the Sai Nivas building. Devotees visiting Sai Nivas can take advantage of seeking the darshan of the life size image and Padukas of Shri Aniruddha Bapu and performing a pradakshina(circumambulation) around the Tulsi Vrindavan. One may also light a Sudeep here.
Festivals at Sai Nivas –
- Holi Pournima –As described in the 40th chapter of the Shri SaiSatcharitra, Sai Baba arrived at the Sai Nivas in the form of an image on this very day. Thus, Holi Pournima is the main festival celebrated at the Sai Nivas. In 2017, this event completed 100 years and therefore, a spiritual program was held here to commemorate it.
- In the month of Shravan, a Parayan(complete reading) of Shri Sai-Satcharitra is performed for 24 hours.
- During the Ashwin Navratri , Sadguru Navratri is celebrated where devotees chant the jap, ‘Sai Samarth” while sitting before Baba’s original image.
- On Ashadhi Ekadashi a program is held at the Tulsi Vrindavan.
- Arti is performed everyday at 7 p.m which is followed either by Hari Path or Shiv Path alternately. Aniruddha Upasana is conducted every Saturday, followed by Aniruddha Path.
Sai Nivas address and timings –
Sai Nivas is located in Mumbai at a distance of 10 minutes from Bandra station.
Address- Sai Nivas, Saint Martin Road, Bandra (West) Mumbai – 400050.
Morning 8 am to afternoon 1 pm and
Evening 4 pm to 8 pm
On Thursdays, Morning 8am to evening 4:30pm.