Shirdi Sai Baba
Shirdi Sai Baba is revered even today in India as a saint who embodied perfection and self-realization. His message of righteousness and love still awakens mankind from the darkness of hatred and ignorance.
His Early Life
Details about Sai Baba’s early life are scant and unreliable. He is believed to have been born in central India around 1842 AD. Sai Baba came to the village Shirdi when he was young. He stayed in the outskirts, meditating for prolonged hours under a tree. Impressed by his austerity and penance, villagers used to give him alms.
Life in Shirdi
After a while, young Sai Baba, moved to an unused mosque, which remained his home till the last day. He begged for alms in the morning and shared the collection with his followers. Sai Baba was comfortable with both Muslim and Hindu texts. He sang Kabir’s songs and danced with ‘fakirs’. His simple life awakened the spirituality of his followers.
Worship of Sai Baba
Sai Baba’s compassion and spiritual powers awed the villagers. But, he dissuaded them from worshipping him. After a while, news of Sai Baba’s divinity spread far and wide and devotees congregated from all corners. In 1911, a temple was constructed to honor him, where devotees performed night worship. The saint attained ‘mahasamadhi’ in 1918. To this day, thousands of followers flock to Shirdi annually, reinforcing the popularity of this humble saint.
Shirdi Sai Baba’s message
Sai Baba taught inner peace, contentment, charity, forgiveness, love and devotion to guru and god. His teachings combined messages from Islam and Hinduism, as he strove to harmonize relations between these two religions.