Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi

The Guru of All!

“If you look to me, I look to you.”

“Give me strength to serve you with sacrifice.”

Shirdi Sai Baba or Sai Baba is ‘Para Brahma Swarupa’, an incarnation of God, who temporarily took a human body to change the lives of millions on this earth. Baba showers his divine grace on his followers in multiple ways – by appearing in dreams, in person or in his Godly form.

Today, Sai Baba has innumerable Hindu and Muslim followers and there are many temples built in India and abroad to revere this great fakir who changed the lives of many during his lifetime. Even today he continues to stay amongst his devotees through his unlimited blessings and compassion he showers on those who visit his shrine or simply pray to him with their heart and soul.

Birth and Early Life  

Shirdi Sai Baba, also known as Sai Baba of Shirdi, was a revered 20th Century Indian fakir and guru whose birth name is still unknown and who lived amid September 27, 1838 – October 15, 1918 in Shirdi, Maharashtra, India.

Nothing specific is known about the birth, caste and religion of Sai Baba. It so happened that once Baba visited Shirdi along with a group of people. A local priest of Shirdi’s Khandoba temple, Sri Mahalsapathi, welcomed him saying ‘Ayeeye Sai’, by calling him ‘Sai’ he referred to him as ‘Swamy’. From that day onward, Sai Baba began to be known as ‘Sai’, Swamy of the whole world.

His Teachings

“Allah Malik”- Famous words of Sai Baba. He often used this phrase to let the message flow in his surroundings that God is the only guardian-owner of the whole world.

Sai Baba was a great lover of mankind. Through his teachings he propagated universal brotherhood. He lived a simple life in a mosque and was buried in a Hindu shrine. His teachings embraced both Hindu and Muslim traditions. His unique style of preaching included figures and words derived from both Hindu and Muslim customs.

The teachings of Sai Baba include the following points –

Karma – Karma formed the basis of Baba’s teachings. He said that Karma is the cumulative effect of one’s past and present deeds. Praying and meditating on God leads one to the spiritual path where setting off the karmas becomes easier. Hence, it is important to keep an unconditional faith in God in order to eliminate karma.

Baba’s Dhuni at Dwarakamai – Dhuni is an integral part of the shrine of Shirdi, also known as Dwarakamai. This sacred ritual of the eternal fire was initiated by Sai Baba himself to distribute its udhi (holy ash) amongst his disciples. In Hinduism, ash is considered extremely sacred and Baba integrated this Hindu practice for the spiritual emancipation of thousands of his followers.

Self-Sacrificing and Non-Greediness – Sai Baba taught his followers methods to free oneself from self-indulgence and material attachment.
As part of his teaching, he often asked for dakshina (monetary alms) from his followers which he passed on to the needy and poor.

Secularism – Sai Baba’s shrine was earlier a mosque named Dwarakamai. Sai Baba planted a Tulsi plant inside the mosque, though Tulsi is a sacred plant for Hindus. Dhuni (holy fire) tradition which Baba brought to this place is also originally a part of Hindu tradition.

Nishta and Saboori – Nishta i.e. faith and Saboori i.e. patience are the two main traits every human being should adopt in order to progress towards spiritual path. Sai Baba’s teachings are special and subliminal as through his teachings he asks his disciples to accept all religions as true. His teachings were also based on all religious scriptures. Baba’s ‘Shri Sai Satcharitra’ is a scripture which has been recommended to all for gaining freedom from mental worries and karmic desires.

Namasmarana of Baba

It is a kind of Sadhana that washes away one’s Karma. Namasmarana helps a person to completely annihilate his karmic action. This Sadhana helps one to attain liberation from all sort of karmas, and from the gruelling cycle of life and death, to merge with almighty.

Namasmarana is actually a process through which one’s soul gets spiritually uplifted and purified by chanting and meditating on Shri Sai Baba. Many have benefitted from the Namasmarana practice and the practice has been proven extremely fruitful to gain mind and body equilibrium in this fast paced and competitive life.

The Mantra – `Om Sai Ram’

Or

`Om Sai Sri Sai Jaya Jaya Sai’

Both the above mantras have tremendous spiritual potential and it is said that chanting either one with pure heart leads a ‘Sadhaka’ towards God realization and soul elevation.

Miracles and Special Powers

Following instances show that Baba was not an ordinary man but indeed a Supreme Soul who took a human form to change the lives of many on this earth.

  • Once when Baba was denied ghee for lighting diyas (lamps) by a shopkeeper he lighted the wicks with his own powers which burnt the whole night.
  • Baba miraculously saved the life of his ardent devotee, Madhav Rao, who was bitten by a poisonous snake.
  • After undergoing severe gynaecological problem, Chandabai Borkar, one of Baba’s ardent devotees gave birth to a child at the age of 51. This happened three years after Baba went into Mahasamadhi.
  • V.N.Murthy Rao from Bangalore, Karnataka, got eventually cured of chronic fits. It happened in 1943 after his friend gave him Baba’s Udi and asked him to stop the medication and start praying to Baba wholeheartedly.
  • Baba saved Shri Shantavanji, a follower of Ramsharmji, from committing suicide. The latter was attempting suicide owing to his disappointments in chanting the Gayatri Mantra properly. At the same time, Baba appeared in the scene saved him from plunging into the river. 30 years after when he was invited to the Sai Baba temple in Surat for performing Gayatri yagya, he realised Baba in his subliminal vision.
  • It was in the year 1972, Dr. C.C. Chang, a Math professor from California, U.S.A. got in touch with the teachings and Udi of Sai Baba and miraculously his chronic Asthma got cured.

Besides, there are so many other instances where Baba, through his miraculous abilities, changed the lives of his disciples and saved them from life threatening incidences.

Quotes of Baba

“Divinity within has to be awakened,

For this, sacrifice from human being is needed in many ways,

Elevated soul through sacrifice finds a place with the Lord,

This is the ultimate goal of life — this life or repetition of lives.”