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Shirdi Sai Baba


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Shirdi Sai Baba is a unique saint who taught faith and compassion and assured his devotees peace and happiness.

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Shirdi Sai Baba

  1. 1. A unique Saint
  2. 2. His Temple, located at Shirdi, Maharashtra, India attracts millions of devotees of all religions, castes and creed who come to pay homage to Shri Sai Baba. The temple is a beautiful shrine that was built over the Samadhi of Shri Sai Baba.
  3. 3. Rising above religion, Shirdi Sai Baba, the Indian sage preached simple moral and spiritual laws. While his message appeals to many in this age of complexity, others take refuge in him because of his promise to help devotees in times of crisis A fakir in a tattered kafni who begged for alms till his last day. Who founded no religion or sect, started no movement, initiated not a single disciple, left behind no apostles. Who breathed his last eight long decades ago and about whom very few had heard till the 1960s. [By Parveen Chopra]
  4. 4. The Sai Baba of Shirdi  Today, he has millions of devotees in India and other parts of the world. Shirdi, the obscure village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, in India, has become a pilgrimage destination much as Bethlehem, Jerusalem or Varanasi. The number of pilgrims go there average 25,000 a day and can climb to over a hundred thousand on holidays and festival days. They belong to every strata of society and all religions, and include politicians, film stars and rich businessmen.
  5. 5. Sri Sai Baba 
  6. 6. His philosophy ingrained 'Shraddha' meaning faith and 'Saburi' meaning compassion. According to him Shraddha and Saburi were the supreme attributes to reach the state of godliness. He regularly recited Hindu and Muslim prayers. His Hindu followers considered him to be an avatar or reincarnation of Shiva and Dattatreya. Sai Baba did not leave any written works. All his teachings were oral and catchy. His sayings were short, crisp and in layman language with which the common mass could easily associate.
  7. 7. EVER-LIVING PRESENCE Sai Baba had the reputation of being clairvoyant, healing the sick, restoring eyesight, affecting events at a distance, appearing in devotees' dreams, and exercising control over the elements. Biographies of Baba are replete with stories of how he helped his devotees out of problems and crisis. He continues to do so.
  8. 8. Never ask a saint his caste or creed, said Kabir. Nonetheless the question is discussed threadbare in Sai literature and is surrounded by controversy. However, even a casual study of Sai Baba's life shows that he offered an eclectic Hindu-Muslim synthesis, perhaps to promote amity between the two dominant and mutually distrustful communities in India. Sai Baba is not a name; the word Sai comes from the Persian expression saih, which means an itinerant Sufi fakir. He came to be called Sai Baba after coming to Shirdi
  9. 9. By appearance, he was a Muslim fakir, but, his ears were pierced—a Hindu sign—and he was not circumcised. He lived in a mosque but curiously christened it Dwarkamai and kept a sacred fire going there. He had intimate knowledge of the Hindu holy books and the Koran and was well versed in the Indian Sufi lineage. He promoted Hindu and Muslim festivals and sent money and materials for the renovation of temples. When Muslims asked him why he allowed Hindus to do puja to him, he remarked: "Do in Rome as the Romans do", indicating that he was ministering to a Hindu following.
  10. 10. In her thesis, Marianne Warren, however, makes a strong case that Shirdi Sai Baba was a Sufi divine who has been progressively Hinduised in his biographies written by Hindus. Her main source of evidence is the note left by Abdul, Baba's servant and Sufi pupil for many years. The unpublished manuscript in Deccani Urdu, contains Baba's instructions and teachings based on the Koran. She also refers to the Baba doing dhikr (constant repetition of Allah's name) even during sleep. Then, Allah Malik (Allah alone is the Lord and master) was Baba's pet expression. Warren also interprets Baba's own spiritual growth, his life and sayings in the light of Maqamat and Ahwal (the stations and states of the Sufi way).
  11. 11. Sai Baba encouraged his devotees to pray, chant God's name and read holy scriptures - he told Muslims to study the Qur'an and Hindus texts like the Ramayana, Vishnu Sahasranam, Bhagavad Gita (and commentaries to it), Yoga Vasistha. He advised his devotees and followers to lead a moral life, help others, treat them with love and develop two important features of character: faith (Shraddha) and patience (Saburi). He also criticized atheism. In his teachings Sai Baba emphasised the importance of performing one's duties and being content.
  12. 12. compassion  Sai baba encouraged charity and said, "Unless there is some relationship or connection, nobody goes anywhere. If any men or creatures come to you, do not discourteously drive them away, but receive them well and treat them with due respect."
  13. 13. Human being is subjected to `Karma' for his actions in the past lives as well as the present one. It is cumulative in effect. Redemption from `Karma' in its duration, magnitude and intensity is in the hands of God. As such, faith in God and prayer to Him are essential to eliminate `Karma'.
  14. 14. Whosoever puts their feet on Shirdi soil, their sufferings will come to an end. The wretched and miserable will rise to joy and happiness as soon as they climb the steps of my Samadhi. I shall be ever active and vigorous even after leaving this earthly body. My tomb shall bless and speak to the needs of my devotees. I shall be active and vigorous even from my tomb. My mortal remains will speak from my tomb. I am ever living to help and guide all who come to me, who surrender to me and who seek refuge in me. If you look to me, I look to you. If you cast your burden on me, I shall surely bear it. If you seek my advice and help, it shall be given to you at once. There shall be no want in the house of my devotee.