Name: Sai Baba
Year of Birth: 1835
Birthday: 28 September
Place of Birth: Pathri
Entry in to Shirdi: 1851
2nd Entry in to Shirdi: 1858
Expired in: 1918
Location of Shirdi: Maharastra, India
About Shirdi Sai Baba:
Sai Baba of Shirdi occupies a unique place in the rich tradition of saints in India. Many things are unknown about his origins and his life, but he is venerated by Hindu devotees and mulsim as an embodiment of self-realization and perfection. Although in his personal practice Sai Baba observed Muslim prayer and practices, he was openly disregarding the strictly orthodox practice of any religion. Instead, he believed in the awakening of humanity through messages of love and rectitude, wherever they come from.
Shirdi Sai Baba Early Life:
The early life of Sai Baba is still shrouded in mystery because there is no reliable record of Baba’s birth and descent. It is believed that Baba was born somewhere between 1838 and 1842 AD in a place called Pathri in Marathwada in central India. Some believers celebrate September 28, 1835 as the official birth date. Little is known about his family or his early years, because Sai Baba rarely spoke of himself.
At about 16, Sai Baba came to Shirdi, where he practiced a lifestyle characterized by discipline, penance and austerity. In Shirdi, Baba stayed on the outskirts of the village in the Babul Forest and meditated long hours under a neem tree. Some villagers considered him crazy, but others venerated the sacred person and gave him food. The story seems to indicate that he left Pathri for a year, then came back, where he again took his life to walk and meditate.
After a long wander through thorny forests, Baba moved into a dilapidated mosque, which he called “Dwarkarmai” (named for Krishna’s home, Dwarka). This mosque became the home of Sai Baba until his last day. Here he received pilgrims of Hindu and Islamic persuasion. Sai Baba went out every morning to ask for alms and shared what he had with his devotees who sought his help. The home of Sai Baba, Dwarkamai, was open to all, regardless of religion, caste, and creed.
Shirdi Sai Baba’s Spirituality:
Sai Baba was comfortable with Hindu scriptures and Muslim texts. He sang Kabir songs and danced with fakirs. Baba was the lord of the common man and, through his simple life, he worked on spiritual metamorphosis and the liberation of all human beings.
Sai Baba’s spiritual powers, simplicity and compassion have created an aura of reverence among the villagers around him. He preached justice by living in simple terms: “Even the wise are confused, Then what of us? Listen and become silent.”
In the early years, while developing followers, Baba discouraged people from worshiping him, but little by little, Baba’s divine energy touched the chord of ordinary people everywhere. The cult of the Sai Baba congregation began in 1909 and in 1910 the number of worshipers increased. The “shej arati” (night worship) of Sai Baba began in February 1910 and the following year the construction of the Dikshitwada Temple was completed.
Festivals Celebrated in Shirdi:
Shri Ram Navami (march /april)
Guru Purnima (July)
Shirdi Vijayadasami (September/october)