New Delhi, Jul 15: The three-day Shri Gurupurnima Festival will be observed from July 17 to July 19 this year.
Organised by the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, this festival is one among three observed and celebrated in any given year, the other two being the Shriramnavami Festival and the Shri Saibaba Punyatithi (birth anniversary) Festival. The Shri Gurupurnima Festival is observed to make the general public aware of the ancient teaching tradition and relationship between the Guru (the teacher) and the Shishya (student). It is also known as the "Vyas Pooja" after the learned sage of ancient times Vyasa.
On July 17, the festival will begin with the "Kakad Arati" procession of Sai baba's portrait and holy book. It will be taken around the town and will be followed by the "Akhand Parayan" or the continuous reading of the holy book, which is also known as the "Shri Saisatcharitra".
Devotees will then be allowed to pay homage to Sai baba, and thereafter, several religious ceremonies will be observed throughout the remainder of the day.
July 18 will be the main day of the festival, and will pretty much follow the routine set out on the previous day. Devotional songs and obeisance will be paid to the Sai baba by hundreds of thousands of devotees.
On the last day (July 19), the festival will be gin with devotees taking a ritual bath. This will be followed by the "Rudra Abhishek" ceremony at the "Gurusthan". There will be a mid-day arati and traditional programs like the "Gopal Kala and the Dahihandi" will be performed.
In the evening between 7.30 p.m. and 9 p.m., Shailaja Acharya of Ambarnath will perform the Shri Santwani program in the central hall of the shrine.
Jayant Sasane, chairman of the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shankarrao Kolhe, the vice-chairman of the trust, and other officials will participate in the festival.