Shirdi Sai Baba, also called Sai Baba of Shirdi (born 1838—died October 15, 1918) spiritual leader dear to Hindu and Muslim devotees throughout India and in diaspora communities as far flung as the United States and the Caribbean. The name Sai Baba comes from sai, a Persian word used by Muslims to denote a holy person, and baba, Hindi for father.
Sai Baba’s early years are a mystery. Most accounts mention his birth as a Hindu Brahman and his subsequent adoption by a Sufi fakir, or mendicant. Later in life he claimed to have had a Hindu guru. Sai Baba arrived in Shirdi, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, about 1858 and remained there until his death in 1918.
Sai Baba of Shirdi was a crown jewel among Saints. He lived his entire life out in a small and obscure village in India. The villagers of Shirdi each claimed him as a member of their own religion, Muslim or Hindu, but really he came to make peace between them and he always encouraged each to stick to his own religious path. He drew devotees from all over the country though he never traveled and never cared for fame. Over and over his devotees found he knew their innermost thoughts and details of their lives. He effected cures, conferred health, happiness, and prosperity, and made childless couples conceive. His real purpose though was to awaken in them a longing for the spiritual life. Thousands thought of him as a wonderful saint with miraculous powers but his innermost circle knew him to be in incarnation of God himself. Some said of Datta, others of Shiva, still others saw ecstatic visions of their own beloved Guru or chosen Ishta (personalized icon of God) while gazing at Him. He himself said only that he was the humble servant of God and pleased and furthered all who came in contact with him. Many books have been written about Shirdi Sai Baba but the Shri Sai Satcharita, the story of Sai Baba's life and actions was written in his own lifetime and is best known among Sai devotees. Almost everyone like to visit Shirdi Sai Temple . Chennai to Shirdi Flight package is organized by Sri Sairam Subhayatra provide a safe, secure journey. Just before leaving his body he told a disciple he would be reborn in a certain village 8 years hence and so it came to pass.
At first denounced by the villagers of Shirdi as a madman, by the turn of the century Sai Baba had a considerable following of Hindus and Muslims, attracted by his compelling teachings and his performance of apparent miracles, which often involved the granting of wishes and the healing of the sick. He wore a Muslim cap and for the better part of his life lived in an abandoned mosque in Shirdi, where he daily kept a fire burning, a practice reminiscent of some Sufi orders. Yet he named that mosque Dvarakamai, a decidedly Hindu name, and is said to have had substantial knowledge of the Puranas, the Bhagavadgita, and various branches of Hindu thought. Sai Baba’s teachings often took the form of paradoxical parables and displayed both his disdain for the rigid formalism that Hinduism and Islam could fall prey to and his empathy for the poor and diseased.
Shirdi is a major pilgrimage site, and other spiritual figures like Upasani Baba and Meher Baba credited the teachings of Sai Baba.
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