Shri Shirdi Sai Baba
Since ages India has been a land of mystics who have guided and moulded the socio -cultural religious topography of India. Perhaps no other saint other than Shirdi Sai Baba— a mystic faquir– who first made his appearance in a small village “Shirdi” in Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra can claim to have made an astounding impact on the spiritual landscape growth of the country , nay the world.
Not much is known about the family background and past of the mystic saint Shirdi Sai Baba ; though at times “baba” ( meaning father as he is fondly called by all) , did refer in parables as regards his connection with a village called “pathari” ( near Selu). At times, Shirdi Sai referred to His connection with Saint Kabir and was often found speaking in a dialect similar to Persian, Arabic thus drawing similarity with other Sufi Saints. He at times advised devotees to read Srimad Bhagwat Gita, Eknathi Bhagwat , Shri Vishnu Sahasranam and other scriptures as per the(ir ) requirement for spiritual evolution and to solve their queries , yet the masses from other religious folds who often visited the mystic Saint received guidance as per their faith thus depicting the unity of Godhead that Shirdi Sai stands for. Is it then not amazing that the philosophy and teachings of Shirdi Sai which essentially entail love for humanism, faith, tolerance , purity and patience are spreading through out the world with multitude of people visiting the shrine of Shirdi Sai daily from across the globe . Scores of Shirdi Sai Temple are coming up which are centers of Sai teachings.
Shirdi Sai is a contemporary of other mystic Saints like Hazrat Tajjudin Baba( of Nagpur), Hazrat Babajan ( of Pune), Samarth Sadguru Akkalkaot Maharaj, Sadguru Gajanan Maharaj( of Sheogaon, Akola ) and like these Saints is considered as a Dattatreya incarnate .
During his stay at Shirdi for around 60-70 years , Shirdi Sai did not travel outside the confines of Shirdi apart to another village Neemgaon and Rahata. Yet , the saint knew of happenings all across the globe and often leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak etc who were involved in India`s Independence struggle visited the Saint , inviting the British Government to set detectives to gather details of such movements and other activities . Though nothing came out of this adventure of British Government, yet it reflected the role played by the Saint in the India`s freedom struggle and the vast influence that Shirdi Sai had in those days over general affairs of the state. The saint had masses thronging to Him for spiritual growth as also others who came to Him for material wealth. “Allah malik” was the blessing that the Master gave to the people who sought refuge in Him. The Saint often fed the people by cooking food with His own hands and partook food only after feeding the visitors irrespective of caste, creed, religion and even fed the animals from his Kitchen. The charity of the Shirdi Sai extended to all and often people of the then small village “Shirdi” would find the Saint watering the tender plants of chameli, juhi etc that he had planted. Every aspect of cosmos received blissful care and affection from the Master.
Baba often told the visitors to have “Shradda” ( faith) and “saburi”( patience), the two hallmarks in the path of spiritual evolution like Sufi Saints. These two aspects together make a human being a fine vessel of the divine grace ; He taught no elaborate rituals apart from humanism.
Shirdi Sai baba performed various miracles during His lifetime like lighting lamps with water ( like other Sufi Saints), helping sick by his amazing healing powers etc. Today lakhs of devotees report the miracles being performed by Shirdi Sai, exactly as the Saint had stated during His lifetime that “I shall be ever active and vigorous even after leaving this earthly body ” and that “My tomb shall bless and speak to the needs of my devotees”.
Shirdi Sai Baba during His stay at Shirdi resided in a dilapidated mosque that Baba referred to as “ Dwarakamai masjid” – a confluence of all religions where every being could find solace and refuge. Shirdi Sai dressed in simple robe ie a kafni ( like muslim faquirs), wore a cap and yet had his ears pierced in true tradition of Nath Yogis . He listened to qawallis like Sufi Saints and He sat by the sacred fire “ dhuni” remembering God “Allah malik” . He distributed “Udhi” ( sacred ash from the dhuni fire) to the devotees as His blessings and as a simple cure for most complex problems . This then is a small sketch of the Shri Shirdi Sai, the Perfect Master – a Sadguru– considered as Dattatreya incarnate by nath yogis, as Shiva incarnate by Shaivaities, a Narayan by Vaishanavs and a Sufi Saint – who helped the masses in their spiritual evolution and brought unification in the fragmented society . His teachings continue to unite people all across the globe cutting across all divisions of mind. . Indeed , Shri Shirdi Sai is the perfect master who continues to perform miracles for all those seek refuge in Him .
Though Baba attained Samadhi in the year 1918 (15th October), His majestic presence, teachings and miracles continues to guide and provide succour to the ever increasing number of His devotees .
To His devotees, Baba is the absolute GOD. This has been the experience of His devotees and not imagination .
—–BOW TO SHREE SAI-PEACE BE TO ALL——-