The Impotance of Dhuni and the greatness of Udi
Dhuni is ‘light of God’ or a holy fire created by Baba in Dwaraka Mai when Baba decided to stay in the abandoned old masjid in Shirdi. Fire is one of the five elements of nature (panchbutas). They are Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Akash. Fire is one of the eight guardians that guard the universe. Some believe Dhuni is similar to Agnihotri worship mentioned in Vedas- Worshiping by offering to fire. Agni means fire and Hotra means healing. Like an Agnihotri, Baba want to keep the sacred fire alive , throughout His life. Baba kept His Dhuni ever burning, all day and night.
Baba burn devotees sin in Dhuni. Burning our sins & karma in Dhuni. All our sins of present & past birth will be offered in the holy fire created by Baba. Baba took Dakshina from all and out of the amount thus collected, He spent on charity and purchased fuel. This fuel He put in the Dhuni, which He kept ever burning.
It is believed that our pains, desires, pleasures ,needs, sorrows, possessions, wealth, fame, caste, creed, religion, bonds of the world is offered in this divine fire.
The ash from this fire was called Udi (Chapter 33). Udi was distributed freely to the devotees, at the time of their departure from Shirdi. What did Baba teach by this Udi? Baba taught us that all the visible phenomena in the universe are as transient (not permanent) as the ash. Our bodies composed of matter of the five elements , will fall down, after all their enjoyments are over and be reduced to ashes. Baba distribute Udi to devotees to remind the fact that, their bodies will be reduced to ashes (Unreal) .Brahma is the only Reality (Real) and the universe is ephemeral. We come here alone (in this world) and we have to go from here alone. Baba wanted to teach His devotees the principles of difference between the Unreal and the Real. The Udi taught us discrimination and Dakshina taught us non –attachment. Unless we have these two things it is not possible for us to cross over the sea of the mundane existence. Baba used to sing a song about Udi. The meaning of this song was: “Oh, playful Ram, come, come and bring with you sacks of Udi”.
It has been found that the Udi cured many physical and mental maladies. So, the Udi has helped us to gain both our ends- materials well as spiritual.
Baba emphasized the worship of Dhuni. It was reported once Baba asked Guptre, a son in law of Pradhan,His devotee who built a Sai temple in Bhirpuri, ‘Where is my Dhuni?
Hence, We must set Dhuni in our heart to burn our unwanted desires, like ego, lust, jealousy, anger fear and all bad qualities to make us pure.
The explanation about Dhuni and Udi is found in Shri Sai Satcharita particularly in the following chaters:
Baba ask the cart-man to supply fuel for His Dhuni when restriction was imposed for a fuel-cart not to enter Shirdi during the out break of cholera epidermic.
Sacred rivers such as the Ganges, Godavari, Krishna and kaveri etc.,which wash away the sins of the world, desire that the saints should come to them, for a bath and purify them. Baba standing on the edge of the Masjid and distribute Udi to each and every Bhakta with a view of their welfare.
Dhuni is a sacred fire. Baba had his ‘Asan’ near the Dhuni and always rested there. He sat there in meditation sometimes without a bath. In the year 1910, Baba sitting near the Dhuni on Diwali day. Baba pushed His arm into the Dhuni to save a child who slipped into the furnace elsewhere. When Nansaheb Chandorkar was tranfered to Pandarpur, Baba gave him Udi and blessing.
Before the Chavadi procession, Baba put a few fuel sticks into the Dhuni to keep it alive. Once Baba offered boiled rice with Ghee made for Him to Dhuni.
Baba has control over the five elements. Once Baba quell the storm. He addressed the storm in a loud and thunderous voice , “Stop ,stop your fury and be calm”. In a few minutes the storm came to a stop. Once the flame from Dhuni reached the rafters above. Baba took up His Satka and dashed it against a pillar in front, saying, “Get down, Be calm”. The flame came down and the Dhuni became calm and normal.
After the afternoon Arati, Baba distribute Udi, and ask the devotees to have food. Baba used to say “go and have your lunch now”.
Russian scientist had done an experiment on the smoke released from Dhuni and found that it contain less carbon-dioxide and Sulphur -dioxide.
Dhuni Pooja conducted at 11.30 -12.00 noon every day in Dwaraka Mai , Shirdi. Five types of wood used in Dhuni Pooja. 11 coconuts offered to Dhuni Mayi. The Dhuni pooja Will destroy mountains of sins and do away with all the blemishes of our character.