Information for Shri Sai Palkhi hosts


This information is for participants who are receiving the Shri Sai Palkhi at their homes. Please go through these instructions carefully.

1. WHAT IS SAI PALKHI?

Sai Palkhi is a devotional and volunteer based event organized by Dwarkamai in which devotee goes to each other's homes carrying the Lord's Paduka and singing his glories. Families who register for Palkhi take the Sai Palkhi to other devotee homes and also recieve it at their home in turn. We call it a Spiritual Walk in which devotees visit other's home and bless each other with Sai Nama on their lips.

2. WHAT IS MY EXPECTED INVOLVEMENT IN THE SAI PALKHI PROCESSION?

Since it is a volunteer based devotional event we expect that you will visit at least 9 other devotee homes in the Sai Palkhi procession. Exceptions are allowed in the case of sick family members or other unforeseen emergencies. You need to keep aside an entire day for traveling with the Palkhi as it takes that long to visit 9 homes typically.

3. WHAT TO DO AT MY HOME BEFORE SHRI SAI PALKHI VISITS MY HOME?
Provide a fresh new cloth on the floor for the Palkhi to be placed on. The cloth can be of any color other than black. The size of the cloth needs to be just sufficient to accommodate the palki on the top of the cloth. The total length of the Palki is 9 ft with the main portion being 3 ft long by 2 ft in width. After laying the cloth on the floor, the lady will draw a swastika using raw rice on the cloth on which the palki will be placed on arrival. Place a small wooden plank or table with a small cloth on top and draw a swastika made of rice.This will serve as the place of keeping Sai kalash. The lady or little girl carrying the kalash will sit next to the kalash and receive things on behalf of SaiKalash. Anything she receives in the house is her own as Prasad for her. The place can be any room in the home. Select the place in your house that is convenient for palki to come in and go out. They (means house members) will have two plates prepared. One plate will be for Laxmi/Durga/Goddess and another plate will be for Sai/Vishnu/Shiva/God Palki. In the plate for Laxmi you will keep following: a small cloth like towel/shawl/just plain cloth (but not black), a coconut, one pound rice, fragrance flower preferably a rose, Haldi(turmeric) and KumKum. In God’s plate you will keep following: 2 beetle leaves with one bettle nut, Chandan for tilak, sweets as prasad, fragrance flowers or home made garland of flowers and dakshina. Any dakshina will have at least one coin and rest amount can be cash. Since this is not a commercial organization it is self driven by the Sai Devotees the dakshina coming in the Palki is partly forwarded to Shirdi Sai Sansthan in Shirdi for Annadhan and various activities, remaining part is used for next year’s Palki expenses and some part is given as charity to the homeless and in various ways to accumulate the blessings from Shri Hari for Sai devotees from the available Hundi. After having the cloth and swastika on floor the house members will do naam japa at home of their own kuladevata or any God they like or Sai’s naam japa. They will light one ghee based lamp and agarbathi in the home.


4. HOW MANY PEOPLE WITH SAI PALKHI WILL COME TO MY HOME?
At least 9 members from 9 different families will be present while visiting any house. Normally there will be a crowd of people from different families but at least 9 people with one lady/girl carrying Sai kalasha.

5. WHAT TO DO WHEN SAI PALKHI IS AT MY HOME ENTRANCE?
Palki will step out of the mini-van with loud Hail by devotees “Sainath Maharaj ki jai.” and singing songs with drums, bells and dance by people. It will come at the entrance of the home and stand there waiting for the lady of the house to come out. A male member of the household will be one of the person to hold the palki on the front side of palki and welcome Sai in palki and the lady/ little girl carrying Sai Kalash to the home. Normally, the Sai Kalash will enter first in the home.

6. WHAT TO DO WHEN SAI PALKHI IS IN MY HOME?
First the host will welcome the lady or little girl carrying Sai Kalash in the form of Goddess and she will enter the house followed by the palki. The lady carrying Sai kalash can be any girl or married woman. The lady carrying Sai kalash will keep the kalash at the place of small swastika. Then the palki will be kept on the bigger swastika. Preferably place the palki in such a way that the photo in the palki faces in east or west position.
Two boys will be holding Rajdand (royal staff) during the Palkhi procession. They will be offered two chairs to sit when the Palkhi is visiting the home; Rajdand will be placed vertically on small cloth (like a napkin, preferably, red color); Palkhi family may apply little quantity of chandan to the top portion of Rajdand; Palkhi family may give some sweets/fruits/dakshina as the family wishes to the boys holding Rajdhand in their home; Rajdand will then be put in special cover before placing it in Palkhi van for next house.
Prepare the arati plate with ghee lamp and camphor or dhoop. Do the arati of God and Goddess by waving lamp 5 times for God and Goddess. Devotee need not sing any arati. Offer Prasad and dakshina. Here Goddess means the Sai Kalash.
Then the head of the household will carefully receive the Paduka from the palki and place it over the head and go in all the rooms of his home. One should not place the paduka anywhere other than the head and then back in the palki. While the Paduka on the head you will either say “Om Namo Bagawate Vasudevaya” or just say Baba’s name. On lifting paduka all the other palki members will say “Sai Maharaj ki Jai”. After placing the paduka back in the palki, the homeowner along with family members will stand and pray to the lord and will request (only in mind) Baba Sai to resolve family problems if any or any hurdles faced by them.
Then Palki administration will give shirdi Udi from the palki to the family member in a small quantity of water with a flower in it i.e. a small tumbler with water will be handed over to palki people and palki people will take little bit of udi from the palki and put it in the water. The udi is then mixed in the water and then the family will sprinkle that water in the whole house using the flower or basil leaf in the water. While stepping out of the house, first palki people will come out and then the lady with kalash.
Palki members before going out will give couple of flowers from the palki and two coins of same value to the homeowner. The homeowner will either deposit the coins in bank or keep it in his pothi or in the place of worship or in the place of work or business.
The homeowner then will give the dakshina and invite the palki in the next coming year. Homeowner needs to speak out the invitation of palki for next year so as to avoid any hurdles in the next year for palki coming to his/her place. Homeowner will invite all the Sai Devotees and Shri Sai along with Procession carrying the devotees to come to his home every year in the beginning of the year to bless the home. While going out palki people will say “Sai Maharaj ki jai”.
One may have to take care that there is not too much of noise made so that it does not become a major disturbance to neighbors especially if the home is in an apartment complex.


7. HOW LONG SAI PALKHI WILL STAY IN MY HOME?
Palkhi normally stays for 15 mins in each home. The Palki will move to the next house only if the member of the next scheduled home is present to take Baba to his/her home. Palki need not wait for the person as there will be many houses to visit and hence palki will move to next available person on the schedule who is present to take Baba to his home.

8. HOW MANY PARKING I MAY NEED NEAR MY HOME?
There will be one van with Shri Sai’s Palkhi which need closer parking to your home. On an average we see procession may have 10 to 15 cars parked nearby your home. Keep you driverway and nearby spots clear. The host family should let devotees coming to their home know that they should park their cars away from the home, so that cars coming with the Palkhi can have parking close to the Palkhi home which will speed entry and exit of Palkhi in each home. You may water your driveway during hot weather conditions for the comfort of the visiting devotees who travel without any footwear.

9. WHAT DO I DO AFTER SAI PAKHI GOES FROM MY HOME?
The home members can mix the swastika rice into their storage of rice as Prasad.

10. WHAT TO DO WHILE IN SAI PALKHI PROCESSION IN OTHER HOMES?
Sing, play musical instruments, dance at the song describing glory of our Lord.

11. WHAT DAKSHINA SHOULD I OFFER FOR SHRI SAI PALKHI?
You may offer any desired amount as Dakshina for Sai Palkhi.

12. IS PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED DURING PALKHI

YES, HOWEVER FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT ALLOWED. Please disable the flash to take pictures of the Sai Palkhi.

13. CAN I REQUEST PALKHI TO BE SCHEDULED ON A SPECIFIC DATE AND TIME?

Palkhi Scheduling is done for a group of homes to avoid round trips and reduce the travel time for all devotees who accompany the Palkhi. We try our best to work with certain family constraints but we cannot guarantee a specific date request for a Palkhi visit to a devotee's home. Please keep your personal schedule open to recieve the Palkhi on the day it is scheduled. Also keep aside a weekend to visit other Palkhi homes.

Thanks for your cooperation

Dwarkamai Team