Lendi is significant as the place which Baba used to visit every day. It contains
some tombs, a shrine, and most importantly, the perpetually burning lamp lit by
Baba and placed between the two trees he planted. A few months before Baba's mahasamadhi
the land was bought by a Bombay devotee, M. W. Pradhan, and later presented to the
Sansthan. At the end of 1999, Lendi Gardens was radically re-landscaped, and the
previously paved and tree-lined area turned into lawns with a waterfall and flower
In Baba's time, Lendi was an area of wasteland between two small streams, the Lendi
and the Sira (now dried up). Baba used this area for toilet purposes. He would leave
the mosque for Lendi around nine o'clock in the morning accompanied by some devotees.
However, none was allowed inside with him except Abdul Baba.
Apart from answering the calls of nature here, Baba seemed to enjoy going to Lendi
and sometimes went several times a day. This was the place where he spent time in
solitude.It was a particular characteristic of Baba's that once he had started something,
it became a strict and lifelong routine. For example, though initially devotees
forced him out of the mosque into the Chavadi because of heavy rain, he continued
his routine of sleeping there every other night as long as he was alive. Similarly,
after his arm was burnt in the dhuni, it was dressed and tended by Bhagoji Shinde;
the wound healed and Baba lived for a further eight years, but the practice of Bhagoji
changing the bandage every day continued until the end.
Showing a similar regard for routine, Baba always took the same route whenever he
went to Lendi from Dwarkamai. A fakir will sometimes take up strict adherence to
a routine as a practice, as it is supposed to reduce the opportunity for personal
preference, and hence development of the ego. Baba had no need for any practice,
but he seemed to maintain the routine anyway. His route to Lendi was not the most
direct or obvious, yet he stuck to it unswervingly. Perhaps we will never know what
his reasons were, but just as Baba used to go along with a few devotees, let us
also walk with him and take a short stroll to Lendi.
We begin by turning right out of Dwarkamai, then left down a narrow lane opposite
the entrance to Gurusthan. Halfway along this path, the route kinks right and then
immediately left. Baba would often pause at this corner, which was where his devotee
Balaji Pilaji Gurav lived. A small shrine enclosing a pair of padukas now marks
the spot where he would stand. Baba would sometimes also stop further down the lane
and stand in a similar posture to the god, Vittal. There is now a Vittal Temple
in that same place.
At the bottom of the lane we turn right, and within a few metres, come to a small
temple on the left opposite the post office. This is one of the oldest temples in
Shirdi. It is dedicated to Sri Kanifnath, one of the nine leaders of the Nath cult.
A distinguishing feature of the Naths is the maintenance of a dhuni. Baba used to
pass the temple every day, giving rise to conjecture that he had some connection
with the place and therefore incorporated it into his routine. From the Kanifnath
Temple we turn right along the main road and make our way to Lendi, again on the
right. Now the area is peppered with small stalls selling trinkets and snacks, but
in Baba's time it would have been virtually empty.