Sai Palkhi Yatra


Significance of Palanquin [Pallakki / Palkhi] Procession

The traditions of our holy land Bharatvarsha has an in-depth meaning and always revolves around the “Paramatatva”. Lucky are the ones who recognise and understand the inner significance of the same. One such traditional practice is the “Palkhi Utsav” [Palanquin Procession]. It is a traditional vehicle which is usually made out of wood into a rectangular or a oval shaped box with the openings from the side [ along the length of the box] and fitted with long sticks along the closed sides [i.e. the breath of the box] which will be carried by four or more [minimum 4 persons]. Now, this Palanquin is usually used to carry Gods or a Person of a very high honour like a king, a Guru etc;

Externally, it may look like a laborious task of four people carrying the Palanquin or Palkhi on their shoulders whilst  the person in it sits comfortably. For a moment we may think like this:- “Why such a mode of transportation for a GOD or a GURU at the expense of the energies of 4 persons?”. In reality the Palanquin Procession represents our journey along the path of Spirituality. The box of the Palanquin represents our  self with thoughts [our mind or manas which is source of ego] , the two openings on the either side of the box represents Patience [Shraddha] and Faith [Vishwaasa] , the four Palanquin bearers are none but the four Purusharthaas- Dharma [righteousness], Artha [wealth], Kaama [desire] and Moksha [liberation]. So, if our life has to progress steadily towards our goal {goal ultimatum} steadily, then this self of the Palanquin should be carefully, judiciously and assiduously shouldered by all the Purushaarthas in an equilibrium manner, none trying to overtake each other for even a slightest of the miscalculation would lead to a derail of the journey. Further, the purushaarthas would properly function only if we allow the SUPREME ONE [our beloved LORD] to lovingly enter the box and make him comfortably seated in the Palanquin with all the faith and devotion. So, when HE sits within such a Palanquin [I.e our minds], automatically the “seat of ego” will get transformed into “seat of the Self” and will automatically guide all the purushaarthas. In a gist, our mind identical to the Palanquin having the 4 Purusharthaas as the bearers should install the SUPREME ONE in it so that our journey to the GOAL ULTMATE becomes smooth.

The Palkhi Procession of Lord Sai Baba of Shirdi happens on these lines. It was first started as a part of the Chavadi Celebrations [which take place on Thursdays] even before Sai Baba’s Mahasamadhi. The greatness of Lord Sai [the Ultimate Brahman himself] was that He never sat in the Palanquin during the procession; rather it followed our beloved Maharaj to the Chavadi. This tradition of Palkhi Utsav is still continuing in Shirdi on every Thursday evening where Lord Sai Maharaj’s photo along with His Sreepadukas and satka are carried amidst a gala and celebration from Dwarakamai to Chavadi where a traditional worship and Vesper services are offered to Lord Sai amidst the cries of his victory.

Let us all remember and contemplate on this inner meaning of the Palanquin procession and request our beloved Guru Sai to be seated in the Palanquin of our minds and guide us in sanmaarga (Source:Dr.P.V.Shivacharan).

    Jai Sree Sai Samartha 


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