West Mambalam Shirdi Sai Baba Temple Chennai:
Happy Baba's day .
Today I am sharing another blessed Temple of Baba in Chennai in West Mambalam. These details are shared by Sai devotee Shridhar ji and Sai sister ShivaSankari ji.I thank them to bring these precious details of Temple,photos and history associated with temple.It is Baba's grace that we all are able to read and view these picture of Baba and divine details related to Temple.Jai Sai Ram .
Kumbabishekam Date : 31/8/2007
5 A.M to 12.30P.M and
4.30 P.M to 9.45 P.M
Kakad Haarthi-5:15 A.M
Ganapathy Homam-6:30 A.M
Mangal Snan-7:30 A.M
Annadhanam -11:30 A.M
Madhyana Aarthi-12:00 Noon
Dhoop Aarthi-6:00 P.M
Vishnu Sahasranamam-6:30 P.M
Veda parayanam-7:00 P.M
Shej Aarthi-9:15 P.M
This temple is around 25 years old.
Moola Vigraha Pratishta (5 1/2' tall White Marble idol) was done on 2007. Piror to that it was Samadhi mandhir.
Founder of the temple is Smt. Visalakshi Amma (Called as Saimatha or Sai Amma).
Temple history and experience as explained by kavitaparna (devotee):
Source : http://forum.spiritualindia.org
It was in 1991 Oct during Dussera, I went to this temple referred by one of my friends when I was facing a very serious problem. My friend told me that an old lady would be there who used to answer the questions of devotees earlier and has stopped to answer since long and that it is better to seek her blessings and try whether she would answer my problem.
I went there to see a Sai Baba temple in the ground floor – cemented flooring, with a thatched roof in the front for the devotees to sit and pray.
There were few devotees doing Bhajan while in an easy chair towards one side was sitting an old lady of above 80 yrs age. I went to her and sought her blessings and explained my problem. She at once told me that there was some problem but everything would be alright within a week. And told me not to worry and leave it to Baba.
She must have prayed for me a lot that my problem was solved as she told me. Meanwhile, I came to know that she had since long stopped answering to questions from devotees and fortunately she answered me. I felt bad having given trouble to such an old lady. I went to apolgise as well as thank her and convey how my problem ended etc. This time the temple was empty and I was directed by someone to the first floor in the back yard. I found her there and released what all I wanted to.
She said she did as per Baba’s orders and did nothing special. She told me to participate in the daily Aartis and weekly Bhajans over there. I expressed my difficulty that I return from office very late and promised to participate as and when possible.
She (a widow, no kids) a staunch devotee of Baba has dedicated her life totally to Baba and was in the process of making this temple a bigger one – at that age of 8 decades and plus. While, the land prices in a hot place like West Mambalam are roaring up, this true devotee of Baba has donated her entire land to construct Baba’s temple, herself staying in a corner of the temple and though she was unable to comfortably manage her own bread and butter.
Few other true devotees of Baba were in support of her and started to pool the collections if somebody offered, so that it can be used for the temple. One of them would come to stay with her during the night since she was too old. People called her mother, grany etc. I took my mother to this place and to my mother she was ‘Sai Amma’. (I will be referring to her as Sai Amma in my all further posts). There was a lot of change in my life after I started visiting this temple.
But, till 1996, there was not much change in the temple physically. There were not many devotees too. But those few devotees were very true in their services that they celebrated all the festivals and especially, for Sri Rama Navami there used to be ‘Annadanam’ on a grand scale.
Once, Sai Amma hesitantly asked me “Baba is asking for a bag of Rice for this year’s Annadanam from you. Can U arrange?’. That means though Baba wanted her to ask me, she was not comfortable to ask me since I, as a new comer to the temple, might feel bad. Soon after, I arranged for it, there was a lot of improvement in my husband’s business which was a pleasant surprise for me, though I never expected anything in return.
By 1996, the regular devotees of this temple have collected some good amount and got the pillars and roof constructed. Brick walls were yet to be erected for which the money was already pooled by them.
My mother too liked this temple a lot and once she suffered some financial problems. She had decided to give a sizeable amount to this temple if her problems ended. Naturally, by Baba's grace, she was out of all her financial problems. We went and told Sai Amma about the donation my mum wanted to give and expressed that it would be better to construct a marble platform in the center if it was not a problem for them.
Sai Amma said that a North Indian devotee who was also a regular visitor here had expressed to donate for the same purpose since long and that she might give the amount shortly. After saying this, Sai Amma added that she would utilise my mother’s donation for the main door – the ‘Simha Dwaram’.
My mother happily handed over the amount the same day itself (I and my sister too added little amounts as our share just to round off mum’s donation figure).
In our next visit, we found a very grand ‘Simha Dwaram’ with lot of carvings, intricate rajasthani designs etc., kept in a corner of the temple. Sai amma was very happy to receive my mother that day and expressed that there was a heavy down pour of donations right from the moment the donation was received from my mother. None of them thought that such huge amounts would be pouring in that too in such a short span of time.
So, they planned for completing the temple in all respects. The stones and some idols were also ordered from Jaipur. Within a couple of years, the shape of the temple has totally changed. The number of devotees had multiplied. Bhajans, Daily Aartis etc. were very devotionally being conducted. Sometimes, they used to hire a choultry for special programmes on Sri Rama Navami and Vijaya Dasami.
During this time, once Baba has again ordered for a ceiling fan from me to be fitted in the temple.
The exact words of Baba were "Ask that Kavita to get a ceiling fan for my temple. I want her air to revolve in this temple". As anyone can guess rightly, Baba has automatically made my financial postiiton comfortable that I ordered for a Ceiling fan and arranged for its delivery directly to the temple.
But, My visits were never regular to the temple due to heavy work in the office, my frequent health problems and lot of other disturbances. Even those irregular visits of mine would be during odd hours such as 2.00 pm on a Sunday or Saturday etc.
But Sai Amma would be very happy whenever I would go to her. She would say in an affectionate tone “make it a habit to come regularly, atleast come once a month”. I would nod my head and would even decide strongly that I should be regular. But, could never put it in action.
One surprising thing is that, whenever, I go to her, she would say “just today / yesterday only I thought of you”. Other devotees too would confirm and say “oh! You are Kavita..! Paati (grany) was talking about you only just now…”.
There is a big Baba photo (frame) in Sai Amma’s room and a small Mandap of 4ft high (very traditional one) in which a big Idol of Baba is seated with all decorations. Many photos of Baba are seen hung in her room. A gas stove on a corner table, one cot and one easy chair and one almirah.
Some would be talking to her; some of them narrating their problems to her; some of them busy doing parayana of Sri Sai SatCharitra or Gurucharitra; some in meditation and some would be catering to the needs of Sai Amma. The picture that I formed about Baba in Dwarka Mai with all his devotees exactly would match with this.
I used to sit in front of the Mandap looking at Baba, pray and return taking Sai Amma’s blessings. To my surprise, without me telling anything to her, she would predict if I suffered from any problems. Similarly, whenever I went to her in a happy mood or only for a darshan, she never asked me whether I had any problem.
While taking leave, Sai Amma would bless us with Udi and sometimes would give Tirtham also.
I did understand that Sai Amma loved me a lot as I could guess rightly from her actions and talk. As such her nature it self was loving, caring and being very affectionate to every body. I have never seen in her the usual psychological pattern change that usually takes place in aged people. As I decided, I never asked her for anything (but for on two occasions – one in 1999 and secondly in 2001) and would not reveal anything about me or my problems unless she asked me in particular.
I always longed to live like her in my old age. Always happy, in a state of bliss consoling whoever comes to her. In many ways she looked like Baba in her lifestyle. That is why Baba called her on the very Sri Rama Navami day in 2002 (when she was 93 +). But, till the last day, she was never bedridden. She was taken to the hospital for a small complaint and her mortal remains were back the next day –Sri Rama Navami.
Gurupoornima celebrations used to be very interesting in the temple. Mostly this used to be organized in a choultry in the same location. In Chennai, it is almost mandatory for all children to learn karnatic music right from tender age. So many kids used to give performances singing bhajans, Classical Kritis and many such programmes used to be conducted.
Of all the items, the most important one for all the devotees is, receiving money from Sai Amma. This she used to do as per the instructions of Baba totally. The devotees used to tie a cloth around her head so that she is blind folded. A Sieve containing coins of various denominations would be placed in the Sieve. Sai Amma would take them out at random and give out as prasad to all the devotees. Sometimes, we used to get 2 or 3 coins.
I marked on all such coins received by me with a nail polish soon after I return home and keep them in my pooja. Still I have all those coins in my pooa room. For any reason, if I missed the offerings of Sai Amma on the Gurupoornima day, she would give separately for me if I had gone within that week of Gurupoornima.
On One Gurupoornima, lunar eclipse took place (may be it was 2001 , think). I couldn’t go to the temple for some reason. The next day, when I went and requested for the prasad of coins, Sai Amma told me that Baba has restrained her from giving away of coins that year due to eclipse. I returned disappointed.
In 2002. on the Rama Navami Day, Sai Amma joined Baba. That was the last Gurupoornima I went to the temple and returned empty handed. Lo! that was the starting point for our financial problems which made the family touch the rock bottom. We are still in the process of recovering from the losses. This can only be a coincidence OR, I didn’t go to that temple on any other Gurupoornima day later.
Even after we shifted to our own house in 1997, which is very far from this temple, I continued to visit this temple and Sai Amma. In 1998, I was transferred out side Chennai and came back after an year. In between, once or twice I visited Sai Amma.
My questions to her would always be mostly on the matters of spirituality and philosophy. She was always very straight and precise in her answers. She never had to think / ask Baba etc. whatever difficult question / doubt I asked her. I used to doubt whether Baba himself was speaking thru her. I used to seek clarifications about other Babas also
Temple Details as shared by Sivasankari Thiyagarajan Sister :
The Founder of the temple is Smt Visalakshi amma. She was a stong devotee of Shirdi sai baba. She had the power of speaking with Sai. One day Sai had instructed her to build a temple. So she constructed a temple at West Mambalam in 1983. Initially Small Sai pratima was placed and worshipped under a roof. Later lot of devotees started visiting temple. Many devotees approached Smt Visalakshi amma seeking her guidance for their problems. In those times, amma speaks with Sai and passes Sai advices to them. Also Smt Visalakshi amma had prayed for so many lady devotees to become pregnant. Now Visalakshi amma is no more. She had reached our Father Sai.
Around two years back, the small Pratima was replaced by a big Sai Baba's pratima as in the photo. Now small pratima is treated as Utsava moorthy.
The structure of the temple is, the gurusthan of the temple is adjacent to main gate of the temple.On entering in the main gate, there is a small Tulasi Madam. Then comes a big hall with Our Main Sai Pratima. Pratima of Smt Visalakshi amma is also placed in the rightside. There are ways out in both left side and right side of the hall.If you go out in the left side and move little forward you can see the Dhuni. If you go out in the right side and move forward, there is upstairs taking to utsava moorthy. But if you come backward in the rightside there is one more upstairs where you can find small inayak & Hanumar Statues. From this floor we can have a nice down view of Main Sai Pratima.
Here the pictures of Sai Mandir as shared by Shridhar ji and Siva Sankari sister :
West Mambalam Shirdi Sai Baba Temple .
Shri Shirdi Sai Seva Samaj
No 21, Jaishankar Street,
Chennai – 600 033.
Land mark : Ayodhya Mandapam.
Contributed by:Sridhar ji and Siva Shankari sister .