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Home ›   Astrology Blogs ›   Shirdi Sai Baba Temple- Know about Baba's life, divinity and holiness

Shirdi Sai Baba Temple- Know about Baba's life, divinity and holiness

My Jyotish Expert Updated 08 Jan 2022 10:01 AM IST
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple - Photo : google
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple- Know about Baba's life, divinity and holiness

Full name: Sai Baba of Shirdi
 
Born: Shirdi, India
 
Died: October 15, 1918
 
Era: 20th century

 Sai Baba of Shirdi (1835 – October 15, 1918), also known as Shirdi Sai Baba, is commonly said to be a Fakir by the Muslim followers, and a divine incarnation by the Hindu followers. Some of his Hindu devotees believe that he was an incarnation of Shiva and Sri Dattaguru. Many devotees believe that he was a guru. There are many stories and eyewitness accounts of miracles he performed. He is a well-known figure in many parts of the world, but especially in India, where he is much revered.

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Little is known of the early years of Sai Baba of Shirdi. Even his name is unknown as Sai Baba is not an appellation in the usual sense. Sai is a term of Persian origin, usually attributed to Muslim ascetics, meaning holy one or saint. Baba, on the other hand, is a Hindi term attributed to respected seniors and holy men, and literally means "father". It is generally concluded that the etymology of Sai Baba means "holy father", "saintly father".

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 The Sri Sai Satcharitra refers to the occasion in which this "name" was supposedly attached to him. Mhalsapati, the pujari of the small Khandoba temple situated on the outskirts of the village, seeing the young man come to Shirdi with a wedding party, addressed him with the words, Ya Sai, meaning, Welcome, Saint. Following Mhalsapati's example, others also addressed him so, to the extent that he generally became known as Sai. The term Baba was probably added later on as he grew older.
 
Little is known of Sai Baba's origins. He variously said he met his guru in a forest, or that he did seva to his guru for twelve years. He did not disclose to anyone where he was born nor where he grew up.
 
Various sources agree that Sai Baba first arrived at Shirdi between 1835-1838, and stayed for some time, (some say for two months, some say for 5 years), perpetually seated in an asana (yogic) position under the neem tree. All sources agree that Sai Baba remained seated at the Neem tree. Thereafter, Sai Baba left and wandered for many years. He met with Chand Patil in a village named Dhukpeda, and Patil's son was being married; Sai Baba agreed to accompany the wedding party to Shirdi, where he arrived circa 1858, and was to remain there for another 60 years; Sai Baba never left Shirdi village.
 
It is agreed by various sources that when he first arrived in Shirdi, Sai Baba roamed the village and sought to stay at the Khandoba temple; Mhalsapathi (who was later to become an ardent devotee) thought he was a fakir and denied him permission. It is possibly the same Mhalsapathi who later invited Sai Baba to take up residence in the masjid, thought to be the most fitting place for a fakir.
 
The wife of the village 'manager' (called a patil) was very taken by Sai Baba and brought him food daily. She often had to roam around the forest to find him. Sai Baba himself continued to roam and later roamed the byways of Shirdi, often muttering to himself. Villagers took no notice of him and thought him a holy mad-man, a pagal. Soon, Sai Baba got in the habit of visiting four or five houses daily, begging his food there. He would gather solid foods in his begging bag, and reportedly had the habit of sharing his food with the poor, along with birds, dogs, insects and so forth. Often, he would only eat after leaving his dish outside the masjid at the disposal of anyone who wanted food.
 
Sai Baba, at the masjid, seems to have led a solitary life. He was frugal in his speech, and usually only spoke if he was questioned. One Madhavroa Desphande, a teacher in a primary school of the village, recalled how he could hear Sai speaking at night inside the masjid in many languages: Hindi, English, and others unknown to him.

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