Down the lane that runs between Dwarkamai and the Chavadi is the Hanuman Mandir,
one of the oldest temples in Shirdi. Marked by a pair of trees enclosed by a circular
railing, it is also known as the Maruti Mandir. Unusually, the temple faces south
and there are two Hanuman images here, side by side. You may also notice a few weights
and dumbbells in the corner. Because Hanuman is considered strong and vigorous and
is the patron deity of wrestlers, young men find this an auspicious place in which
Baba seems to have had some connection with this temple; sometimes he would stand
in front of it and remain there for a while, occasionally slowly moving his arm
up and down. Once during the procession to the Chavadi, when he came to the lane
facing the mandir, he was suddenly seized as if by a spirit (avesam) and some devotees
had to hold him until he reached the Chavadi, where the avesam left him. Shama asked
him about the incident: "Baba, this Maruti is our Swami. Why do you worship and
adore our Swami?" Baba replied, "Arre, Shama, in my childhood my parents dedicated
me to Maruti, and so I make signs at him to remind him I am his brother."
The mandir was a place where sadhus used to stay, including the ascetic Devidas,
whom Baba would occasionally visit during his earlier years in Shirdi. When Baba
went to Rahata (a village about five kilometres from Shirdi) with the fakir Javhar
Ali in the early 1890s, his devotees were deeply unhappy at his absence from them.
After about eight weeks they succeeded in persuading Javhar Ali to let Baba return
to Shirdi, though he insisted on coming too. A few days later, a debate was held
in this mandir between Javhar Ali and Devidas. The fakir was roundly defeated, causing
him to flee the area, after which Baba remained among his devotees in Shirdi until
the end of his days.At night, especially on Thursdays, the temple is sometimes filled
with music when locals gather to sing bhajan.