Dwarkamai, or the Masjidmayi as Sai Baba called it, is indeed a mosque. It is an embodiment of the spirit of tolerance and acceptance. Sai Baba once told a visitor, “Dwarkamai is this very mosque. She makes those who ascend her steps fearless. This masjidmayi is very kind. Those who come here reach their goal!” Baba’s settling in the mosque at Shirdi was a turning point in his life, or rather, in that of the village itself, as it brought him closer to the local people.
The name “Dwarkamai” became popular only after Baba had taken Samadhi. It was first coined when a devotee once expressed a wish to make a pilgrimage to Dwarka, a town in Gujarat sacred to Lord Krishna. Sai Baba replied that there was no need to do that, as that very mosque was Dwarka. “Dwarka” also means “many-gated”, and “mai” means mother. Hence, it signifies, “the many-gated mother.”
The Dhuni – a sacrificial rite (Yagnya) on a pyre – is the most significant part of Dwarkamai and is kept ‘alive’ at Shirgaon. It is the sacred, perpetually burning fire that Baba built and which has been maintained ever since.