Sai Vrat for Nine Thursdays is becoming popular day by day. Many devotees have been benefited by it and the list goes on increasing day by day. But there are many doubts regarding this vrat. I am receiving mails regarding such doubts from Sai brothers and sisters, so i decided to post them on blog instead of answering to all questions individually. I have tried to club as many questions as i could. Still if any of your questions are unanswered or not covered in this post, you can ask by commenting under the post. Please be noted that i am answering to questions/doubts to the best of my knowledge and experience but leave it to Baba to decide whether they right or wrong. Also please pardon me if any of the answers are wrong. Suggestions and corrections are readily welcomed. I request devotees to post their queries/suggestions/corrections as comments to this post only.
1. Where do I get Sai Vrat Katha book?
Many devotees have got desired fruits from this Vrat. By word of mouth it is becoming very popular and it has won trust of many devotees. Every devotee desiring to do the vrat has this foremost question in his/her mind. Well now a days Sai Vrat Katha book is easily available in shops nearby Sai Baba temples in India. Please be noted that Sai Vrat Katha books are not published by Shirdi Sai Baba Sanshtan. For devotees residing abroad i am uploading scanned copy of Sai Vrat Katha book in English, Hindi and Marathi language. With Baba’s grace and blessings Sai sister Charu and her husband have contributed this treasure. My hearty thanks to them.
It will be a valuable service if anybody who is reading this post can contribute scanned copy of Sai Vrat book in other language too. Please comment for the same below.
2. Why should I observe fast if not recommended by Baba?
This question will certainly arise in a devotee’s mind who has read Sai Satcharitra. I too agree with the same. But also on the other hand i have experienced miracles by doing this vrat. More than materialistic things for which i started the vrat, i got to see spiritual aspects. It seemed as a chance to me get more close to Baba. It is not unknown that Baba pulls His devotees by fulfilling all their wishes and then make them His forever. I request devotees not to do this Vrat just to test Baba. Only thing needed is full faith on Baba and He is sure to sail us across. In the end i leave it to reader’s discretion to observe this fast or not.
3. Who can do this Vrat?
Anyone whether male, female and even children can do this Vrat. Old and Sick persons can avoid it. Still if its devotee’s wish to do Vrat, Baba will take fullest care! Devotees of any caste/religion/creed can do Vrat only full faith on Baba is required.
4. Should i start this Vrat from any special day?
There is no such rule. It can be started from any Thursday by taking Baba’s name and seeking His help and grace for desire for which the Vrat is taken up.
5. What is the procedure of Vrat?
Sai Baba must be worshipped in morning or in evening. Sai Baba’s photograph must be placed on a yellow cloth. Clean the photograph with clear water. Tilak of Chandan (sandalwood) and Kumkum must be applied to the photograph of Sai Baba. Yellow coloured flowers or garland must be offered to Sai Baba, incense sticks and lamp must be lighted and then the main story of the vrat must be read. Sai Baba’s name must be remembered and then prasad must be distributed.
6. What else should be read/chanted apart from Vrat story and Sai Baba Arti?
Again there are no hard and fast rules in this. Sai Baba Arti is sufficient, still if you wish you can chant Sai Chalisa and Sai Bavani given in Vrat book.
7. What can be given as Prasad?
Prasad may consist of some sweet, dry fruit or fruits.
8. What can be eaten in this Vrat?
Vrat can be done only by eating fruits, sweets or drinking milk, tea or coffee. It can also be done by taking one time meal in evening. It should not be done by not eating anything. A devotee had asked me whether she can eat potatoes, cucumber and tomatoes during this vrat. The answer is yes.
9. Is it compulsory to visit Sai Baba Temple?
No it is not. But it is preferred. If any unavoidable circumstances exist then Baba can be worshipped at home only. Only thing required is full faith!!!
10. Can i do Vrat if i am not at home or when I am travelling?
Yes you can. Baba has not laid any compulsions for worshipping Him. This applies in this Vrat also. Again only thing required is full faith!!!
11. What if i miss any Thursday(s) due to unavoidable circumstances?
That Thursday(s) should be skipped and following Thursday(s) can be considered in counting Nine Thursdays. The same applies for women if they are going through menses.
12. Is it compulsory to conclude Vrat on nineth Thursday?
Yes it is.
13. How Vrat is concluded?
Vrat is concluded by visiting Sai Baba temple on nineth Thursday, feeding five poor people and distributing 5,11 or 21 Sai Vrat Katha books to your friends and relatives to increase Sai Mahima.
14. What if Sai Vrat Katha books are not available for distribution?
As said earlier they are easily available in India. For devotees residing abroad they can mail scanned copies of books. Before giving/sending Sai Vrat Katha books please make sure from the recipient that he/she will do Vrat.
15. What if I cannot feed poor people?
Devotees residing abroad generally face this question. In such cases devotees can request their relatives to feed poor people in India on their behalf. If they wish to do the same themselves then they can keep food articles in any nearby Sai temple and request temple authorities to offer these food articles as prasad. They can also give food donation to any Sai temple or directly to Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan Easy Donation Facility.
16. What if I reside abroad and cannot do Vrat on Thursday being a working day?
I got a mail asking this question from a lady Sai devotee. Let me first her question with you. She asked, “Dear Hetal, Om Sai Ram. I have done this vrat a year back and had amazing results. Can I ask you a question? We reside in Dubai and for us to do the vrat on Thursdays becomes a bit difficult as our weekends are on Friday/Saturday. Can this vrat be done on any other days, e.g. every Wednesday or Sunday?? Kindly advise. In Baba’s yaad.”
This is Nine Thursday’s Baba’s Vrat, so it cannot be done on any other day. The reason is quite logical and i dont think i need to explain. Well, in this case, it can be advised that if the lady cannot do Vrat on Thursdays, being a working day, she do vrat by eating recommended food in point 8 above and take one time meal in evening, thus not being hungry whole day!!! If this also does not work, she can avoid doing Vrat. Baba has never advised fasting in adverse circumstances, she can pray Him whole heartedly to fulfill her wish. It is not true that Baba fulfills wishes and desires of only those who do Vrat.
17. What if there is some tragedy in my family and if i need to do the Vrat?
I received this mail from devotee of Nasik – India
Om Sai Ram Hetal Ji, I want to be a true Sai Devotee and at the holy feet of Baba all the times. I will be very grateful to you if you solve my one query. Unfortunately I have lost my mother in last month on 6th July, 2009. Now from next Thursday (13.08.09) I want to start Sai Vrat of 9 Thursdays. Is it correct to start to the Vrat. My friends are saying to wait for 1 year. But I want to do something for Sai as early as possible. Please tell me a way out. !! Om Sai Ram
After consulting my mother in this regard, i answered as thus:
Since it has been more than one month for the tragedy, the devotee was allowed to do the Vrat and there was no need to wait for one full year. Only the time period to wait is about 13-16 days as per Hindu tradition. For other castes, it depends on their traditions and practices.
18. What can be used if you do not get Kumkum or Sandalpaste?
I received one mail asking the above question. There are no hard and fast rules for Vrat so it is fine if these things are not used.