People who are regular listeners to Radio must be aware of the program Bhakti Sangeet. It use to air in the morning and afternoons during 1980's. A very usual bhajan on the afternoons was… ram kaho rehman kaho ,mera sai sab mein samaya har taraf hai use ke chaaya ,ram kaho rehman kaho
राम कहो रहमान कहो ,
मेरे साईं सब में समाया है ,
हर तरफ़ उसी की छाया ,
राम कहो रहमान कहो ~~~~ This was another medium how people became aware of Shirdi Sai Baba. During those times, there was a simple postman, Shri I.P. Mehta ji who use to serve in Chandigarh area. His only means of livelihood was this job. He used to stay in Sector 30 in Chandigarh. It might have been that perhaps one of these army people had sent Sai Leela Magazine by mail to an address in Chandigarh.
Mehta ji saw the magazine in the mail and a thought spur in him to read the magazine. He opened the magazine, read it, and then again folded it back as it was originally and delivered it to the address on the magazine. He read that issue of Sai Leela magazine and found it interesting and eagerly waited to come across another edition of the magazine. See the leela of Baba, how he pulls his devotees to him… Sai leela magazine subscription was regular and it became Mehta ji's habit to wait for the newspaper read it as a devout person and delivered it the next day after reading it fully.
His devotion and love for Baba increased and his curiosity to visit Shirdi increased.
How just by reading a newspaper, Mehta ji was pulled to Shirdi and when Sadguru Sainath became his guru he didn't even realize. All this dates back to about 30-35 years. This is all Baba's leelas and so much beyond comprehension of his devotees. That's how another sparrow was called to Shirdi. Mehta ji surrendered to Baba and one day he got a vision that he has to perform Sai Baba's Satsangs. of Sai Bhakti One fine day he got the dream that he has to perform Sai Baba Sathsangs in different houses.
He shared the idea with some people around but none really showed interest. And as he thought that may be no one will come to my house if I do a Sai Satsangh, he decided to do a satsangh in a temple in Sector 21.That was probably one of the first satsangh on Sai Baba in Chandigarh. To attract people to the satsangh, he hung a small board outside. Apart from some near and dear ones, some people came to venue reading the board. Meanwhile, some people who came on the Satsangh came closer and slowly formed a group. Their motive became to spread the name of Baba. Initially as the time permitted, these people started going to each other's houses to organize Sai Satsangh.
There were 4-5 families who periodically organized the satsangh in their homes. During those days, Mehta ji had a bicyle and he used to carry a dholak on the back of his cycle and go from door to door asking people if they would like to have a Sai Satsangh in their house. Not only he used to carry the Dholak with him, he also carried Prasad with him to offer to Baba after the Satsangh.
Baba only knows his ways and how he arranges for his Bhaktas. Slowly more and more people started taking interest and joined hands together and then the very first "Shirdi Sai Samaj" of Chandigarh was formed. The organization was then registered with the government. The devotee members of the Samaj now discussed how they would go about spreading the word and leelas of Sai Baba and there was a mutual agreement on having a Mandir of Baba.
The next step was to have a land for building the Mandir. AS such there was a problem with the funds and it felt just impossible to have this dream become a reality. But when Sai Baba had decided to have a home here in Chandigarh what could come to stop. Like there is a saying.. log milte gaye aur kaarvaan banta gaya… Those days government had a scheme for religious organizations on land purchasing. A 10% of the land value was supposed to be submitted to the government in order to claim the land.
The problem was of funds again, but there was some ardent devotees who gave every single penny of their earnings and through their devotion, Baba made this possible. The land was allocated to the samaj in Sector 29 in Chandigarh. Sharma ji recalls that there were some people in administration department who willingly came forward and provided selfless service to make this land allocating project a success.
Who else other than Baba would make this possible..?? After the land was allocated, the next big step was to start the construction but as funds were already a problem, there was not much they could think of. Samaj people contributed what all was within their reach and whatever money was collected as donation in the Sai Satsanghs was also contributed towards the construction fund. The donation wasn't much and construction of the Mandir was a humungous task.
Mehta ji sold his wife's jewellery and they managed to order the bricks and other construction material. In order to save the cost of the labor, Sai Samaj members decided to start the construction by themselves. They started digging the soil and Sharma ji recalls that we use to form chain of people passing on the bricks and cement trays. This is how the foundation of Sai Mandir in Chandigarh was done through the blessings of Baba and hard work of the Sai Samaj members. The neev (foundation) of the Mandir as we call here in north has been put by Sai devotees themselves…………wow what a devotion they had… really hats off to all those Baba's devotees who made this beautiful Sai Mandir with their hands .
Different families who joined hands in this project used to bring food for each other for lunch and share it with each other after offering to Baba.
What a blessed time it would have been…. Sometimes, these people worked till late night helping each other in making a home for their guru.. our guru… our Sai.. . As we all know that no Sai temple can be made without the approval of Sai himself and it is also believed that Baba comes himself whenever there is a construction of Sai Mandir. This happened in Sai Mandir Chandigarh also.
Devotees many a times, saw Baba at night. Sometimes he would come as a security guard, sometimes as an old fakir and check upon the construction. He would disappear after speaking to a devotee. Sharma ji fondly remembers an incident when a lady devotee on the site met with Baba and asked him promptly Baba ji kahan se aaye ho.. the reply was Shirdi… the next question was Baba ji kahan jaana hai.. the reply was Shirdi… just as she turned again Baba ji had disappeared… then the lady devotee realized that she had met none other than the Shirdi Sai himself…
Oh my deva.. how do I write about your leelas… words fail me and I am not that proficient… you are the doer yourself.. Well, that's how Baba guarded his own Mandir while it was under construction. The contractor who supplied bricks also at one point mentioned that he needed money to continue sending the bricks. Sai Samaj people promised him that they would give the money slowly and that he should not stop the construction material.
He was adamant at first but as Baba had wished, and as Baba supervised the construction of his own abode, the contractor willing agreed to supply all the material in any quantity required and this is how with the blessings of Baba a beautiful Sai Mandir came into picture on the land of Chandigarh. The murti of Baba was proposed to be bought from Jaipur and one of the devotees willingly offered first share of his business every month in order to help with the finances of the Mandir.
With the help of this devotee and all other Sai samaj devotees a very beautiful Shirdi Sai Murti was placed in the Mandir. Here I am attaching the photos of Sai murti in Chandighar Mandir . During the construction, and since the Mandir was formed, many devotees have seen and experienced Leelas of Baba. For all of you I would pen down one of the leelas that happened few years back in the man dir… Here it is: There is a photographer's shop very near to this Mandir, the shopkeeper wanted to click the photo of Sai Statue and wanted to develop it in a big poster. He went inside the Mandir and clicked some 10 photos of Baba from different angles. He came back to his shop and started developing it but he was surprised to see that the whole reel was empty and there was not even a single photo that he could develop. He thought may be he did some mistake while clicking the photographs and went again to the Mandir and again clicked various pictures of the murti of Baba from different angles. After coming back to his shop, when he went on to develop the pictures, again the whole reel was empty. Now he was very much surprised because all the other photos were very clearly seen but only Baba's photos were missing ??
He went back to Mandir and spoke to a devotee of Baba who asked him to take approval from Baba before taking a picture. He apologized to Baba for not taking the approval for the photographs earlier and asked for permission from Baba before clicking the pictures this time.
This time he could develop all the photographs he clicked and has the same picture framed in his shop now. … What a beautiful leela of Baba and I have no words but I bow my head to the feet of my deva and request him to let his feet be my sole refuge… Today Sai Mandir Chandigarh is so beautiful and by the grace of Baba almost 1000 people come everyday and over 2500-3000 devotees visit the temple on Thursdays. Dear readers this was all about Sai Mandir Chandigarh.
Before I end my this post I would like to thanks my Geetanjali sister who made this post possible for me without her help I would have failed in publishing such a detailed post on Sai Mandir Chandigarh. I promise to provide more and more information about the history of Sai temples world wide .
Sai Baba Mandir Chandigarh is Celebrating its 13th birthday on 6th december 2008 .
On this Auspicious Occasion famouse singer Manhar Udhas ji is coming in this mandir and will be singing Sai bhajans .
Please do tell your friends and relative who are staying at Chandigarh about this upcoming big event .
Address of sai baba mandir chandigarh
Shirdi Sai Mandir ,
sector 29 A,