The Sai Baba of Shirdi
The Sai Baba of Shirdi, also commonly referred to as Shirdi Sai Baba, was an Indian spiritual Guru, Yogi and Fakir (mendicant), who was regarded by both Hindus and Muslims as a saint-seer. Many of his devotees consider him an incarnation of the Supreme. Some Hindu devotees revere him as an avatara of Lord Krishna, while to others, he is the incarnation of the divine Dattatreya. Though there are no recorded origins of the birth of Shirdi Sai Baba, all devotees unanimously agree that he was a Satguru, a Qutub or Sufi Pir beyond compare.
Origins of Shirdi Sai Baba
Though Sai Baba is one of the major saints in India, his true origin and his real name remains unknown. He was given the name “Sai” when he first arrived at Shirdi, a small, charming, town in Maharashtra, in the Western part of India. Best chennai to shirdi flight package is organized by Sri Sairam Subhayatra. Mhalsapati, who was a local temple priest, initially thought of him as a Muslim saint and greeted him with the words “Ya Sai!”, which means, “Welcome Sai” in Marathi.
The term Sai or Sayi, which literally means, “the Poor One”, is a Persian title that is commonly given to Sufi saints. In Sanskrit, however, Sai could also refer to “Sakshat Eshwar”, or the Essence of the Divine. The term Baba denotes a father or a saintly man. Hence, the name, Sai Baba.
Sai Baba was and remains one of the most popular saints in India and all over the world as well. Since his actual lineage was not known, he was revered by people from all religions and all walks of life. He was a sanyasi and had no love for worldly, material things – his only goal was that of self-realization.
Sai Baba preached a moral code of love and forgiveness; contentment and inner peace; teaching others the true value of helping others; and devotion to God and guru. His teachings combined many elements of Hinduism and Islam. He lived in a mosque, which he named as Dwarakamayi, which is essentially a Hindu name. He dressed up as a Sufi, with a long gown and head wrapped up in a loose bandana of sorts, made of the same cloth.
Baba practiced both Hindu and Muslim rituals, celebrated the major festivals of both the religions and used words and figures from both traditions. When he attained Samadhi, his mortal remains were buried like the Muslims do.
One of Sai Baba’s most famous epithets was, “Sabka Malik Ek” (everyone is ruled by One God). This, incidentally, is one major tenet associated with Sufism and Islam. Our shirdi tour package from chennai gives comfort feel, safe and happy journey. He always used the phrase, “Allah Malik” (God is King).
Shirdi Sai Baba was a truly special Guru, because he also gave rise to a lineage of great gurus. Many of his disciples went on to become well-known spiritual figures. This list includes Mhalsapati, who was the priest of the Khandoba temple at Shirdi; and Upasni Maharaj, who was much revered for his teachings.
Sai Baba Returns to Shirdi
Sai Baba returned to Shirdi in the year 1858, after having been away for about a year. This time, he had adopted his easily recognizable style of dressing, which consisting of a Kafni or one-piece, knee-length robe and a cloth cap.
Ramgir Bua, one of the Sai’s staunch devotees, has stated that Sai Baba was dressed like an athlete and sported long hair, flowing down to the end of his spine, when he arrived in Shirdi. He also said that he never had his hair cut, trimmed or shaved. It was only after Baba forfeited a wrestling match with one Mohdin Tamboli that he took to wear his kafni and cloth cap. In fact, according to certain sources, some of his devotees actually initially adopted this kind of dressing for a few years. Of course, there is no evidence to substantiate this fact, historical or otherwise.
For the next four to five years of his return to the village, Sai Baba lived under a neem tree, oft wandering into the jungle for long periods of time. He was withdrawn and uncommunicative and undertook long periods of rigorous meditation. His devotees eventually persuaded him to take up residence in an old and dilapidated mosque. He agreed to do so and then lived a solitary life there, surviving by begging for alms, also receiving his Hindu and Muslim devotees and other visitors.
Inside the mosque, Sai maintained a sacred fire, which is referred to as the dhuni. He collected the ash formed in this dhuni and distributed it to his visitors as the sacred Udi. Almost everyone like to visit Shirdi Sai Temple, chennai to shirdi tour package is organized by Sri Sairam Subhayatra provide a safe, secure journey. This ash was believed to have strong healing powers.
Sai Baba also performed the function of a local hakim or doctor and often treated the sick by applying the Udhi on them. additionally, he would deliver spiritual teachings to his visitors, recommending that they read the sacred Hindu and Muslim texts, thereby experiencing the best of both worlds. He insisted on the incessant chanting of God’s name – dhikra japa – often using cryptic phrases and parables to describe himself and his philosophy.
During important religious festivals, Sai would go from home to home, begging for alms, gather all the rice and vegetables that people offered him, and singlehandedly cook a feast for all the residents of the village. He served the food as prasad. After consuming the prasad, he would later dance and sing God’s praises, along with other devotees.
By and by, Sai Baba’s started spreading to areas around Shirdi. Soon, devotees from Mumbai and other adjoining places started pouring in. Many of the Sai’s followers, especially the ones that experienced his miracles, considered him to be an avatara of the Supreme. Shirdi Sai Baba’s very first temple was constructed at Bhivpuri, Karjat.
Noteworthy Disciples of Shirdi Sai Baba
Sai Baba did not officially announce any spiritual heir who would take over after his time. Sai also never gave any formal diksha or initiation into the movement. Nevertheless, many of his disciples went on to become great spiritual leaders themselves. Upasni Maharaj of Sakori was one of the forefront disciples who became a spiritual leader. After Sai Baba’s Samadhi, his devotees would offer daily aarati to Upasni Maharaj whenever he visited Shirdi.
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