Sai Baba of Shirdi will be remembered for his opposition to all persecution based on religion or caste by Bishwa Nath Singh.
(.by Bishwa Nath Singh on Friday, May 13, 2011at 6:56am)
His Holiness Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Shirdi who is revered by over billions spread round the world is a very popular name in every house hold where He is worshipped like God holds a unique place in the rich tradition of saints in India. Baba, an embodiment of self-realization and perfection, did not come solely to preach but to awaken mankind through his messages of love and righteousness. Sai Baba of Shirdi was an Indian guru, yogi, and fakir who is regarded by his Hindu and Muslim devotees as a saint. Hindu devotees consider him an incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. Many devotees believe that he was a Satguru, an enlightened Sufi Pir or a Qutub. He is a very well-known figure in many parts of the world, but especially in India, where he is much revered. Some literature about him speaks that he was born on September 28 1838. Some claim Baba was born on September 29, 1835, but there is no apparent reason on how the dates were arrived at. In either of the case .Sai Baba's real name is unknown. The name "Sai" was given to him upon his arrival at Shirdi. No information is available regarding his birth and place of birth. Sai baba never spoke about his past life. Sāī is of Sanskrit origin, meaning "Sakshat Eshwar" or the divine. The honorific "Baba" means "father; grandfather; old man; sir" in Indo-Aryan languages. Thus Sai Baba denotes "holy father" or "saintly father".He was born in a Hindu family and was adopted by a Muslim family who raised him until he was sixteen. After that he went as a sannyasi ( hermit) to Shridi and made it his permanent home .Sai Baba had no love for perishable things and his sole concern was self-realization. He remained a very popular saint and is worshipped by people around the world. He taught a moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace, and devotion to God and guru. Sai Baba's teaching combined elements of Hinduism and Islam: he gave the Hindu name Dwarakamayi to the mosque he lived in, practiced Hindu and Muslim rituals, taught using words and figures that drew from both traditions, and was buried in a Hindu temple in Shirdi. One of his well known epigrams, "Sabka Malik Ek " ("One God governs all"), is associated with Islam and Sufism. He always uttered "Allah Malik" ("God is King").The many of his practices point more to him believing in the unity of God, reciting Al-Fatiha and other Qur'anic readings at Muslim festival times, listening to hamds and qawwali twice daily, practicing Namaz, wearing clothing reminiscent of a Sufi fakir, omnivore and abstaining from alcohol. A mosque still stands in Shirdi, a place in which he once lived and continued to visit regularly The early life of Sai Baba is still cloaked in mystery as there isn't any reliable record of the Baba's birth and parentage. It is believed that Baba was born somewhere between 1838 and 1842 AD in a place called Pathri in Marathwada in Central India. Sai Baba arrived at Shirdi as a nameless entity at a young age tempered by the discipline of penance and austerity. At Shirdi, Baba stayed on the outskirts of the village in Babul forest and used to mediate under a neem tree for long hours. Some villagers revered the saintly figure and gave him the food for sustenance. After wandering in the thorny woods for a long time, Baba moved to a dilapidated mosque, which he referred to as "Dwarkarmai" (named after the abode of Krishna, Dwarka).This mosque became the abode of Sai Baba till his last days Baba would go out for alms every morning and shared what he got from his devotees who sought his help. The abode of Sai Baba, Dwarkamai, was open to all, irrespective of religion, caste and creed. Sai Baba was at ease with both Hindu and Muslim scriptures. He used to sing the songs of Kabir and dance with ‘fakirs’. Baba was the lord of the common man and through his simple life, he worked for the spiritual metamorphosis and liberation of human beings. Sai Baba is rememembered to have opposed all persecution based on religion or caste. He was an opponent of religious orthodoxy – Christian, Hindu and Muslim. Although Sai Baba himself led the life of an ascetic, he advised his followers to lead an ordinary family life. 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 to study texts such as the Ramayana, Vishnu Sahasranam, Bhagavad Gita, and Yoga Vasistha. He advised his devotees and followers to lead a moral life, help others, love every living being without any discrimination, and develop two important features of character: faith and patience .He always use to criticize atheism. In his teachings, Sai Baba emphasized the importance of performing one's duties without attachment to earthly matters, and of being content regardless of the situation.Sai Baba interpreted the religious texts of both Islam and Hinduism. He explained the meaning of the Hindu scriptures in the spirit of Advaita Vedanta. His philosophy also had numerous elements of bhakti. The three main Hindu spiritual paths – Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Karma Yoga – influenced his teachings Sai Baba taught a moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace,and devotion to God and guru. His teachings combined elements of Hinduism and Islam.Sai Baba remains a very popular saint and is worshipped by people around the world. Though the debate over his Hindu or Muslim origins continues to take place, his personal religious practices such as belief in the unity of God, reciting Al-Fatiha among other Quranic verses, liking Namaz as a way of prayer, and other individual preferences such as the attire of a Muslim saint with head covered, consumption of meat and abstinence from alcohol point more to him being a Muslim. There is still mosque in Shirdi where he regularly used to visit and live. According to Purdom, when Kulkarni Maharaj strongly requested Upasni Maharaj to pay a visit to Sai Baba, Upasni replied 'Why should I go to a Muslim?' He is also revered by several notable Hindu and Sufi religious leaders. Some of his disciples received fame as spiritual figures and saints such as Upasni Maharaj Sai Baba said that God penetrates everything and lives in every being, and as well that God is the essence of each of them. He emphasized the complete oneness of God which was very close to the Islamic He had a deep study of Srimad Bhagwat Gita .He considered Gita a very holy book.Sai Baba said that the world and all that the human may give is transient and only God and his gifts are eternal. Sai Baba also emphasized the importance of devotion to God - bhakti - and surrender to his will. He also talked about the need of faith and devotion to one's spiritual preceptor (guru). He said that everyone was the soul and not the body. He advised his disciples and followers to overcome the negative features of character and develop the good ones. He taught them that all fate was determined by karma Sai encouraged charity and the importance of sharing with others. He 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. Shri Hari (God) will be certainly pleased if you give water to the thirsty, bread to the hungry, clothes to the naked and your verandah to strangers for sitting and resting. If anybody wants any money from you and you are not inclined to give, do not give, but do not bark at him like a dog." Other favorite sayings of his were: "Why do you fear when I am here", "He has no beginning... He has no end." Sai Baba made eleven assurances to his devotees: :1.Whosoever puts their feet on Shirdi soil, their sufferings will come to an end. 2.The wretched and miserable will rise to joy and happiness as soon as they climb the steps of Dwarakamai (Mosque).3.I shall be ever active and vigorous even after leaving this earthly body.4.My tomb shall bless and speak to the needs of my devotees.5.I shall be active and vigorous even from my tomb.6.My mortal remains will speak from My tomb.7.I am ever living to help and guide all who come to Me, who surrender to Me and who seek refuge in Me. 8.If you look at Me, I look at you.9.If you cast your burden on Me, I shall surely bear it.10.If you seek My advice and help, it shall be given to you at once. and 11.There shall be no want in the house of My devotee. .Sai Baba's spiritual powers, simplicity and compassion created an aura of reverence in the villagers around him. He preached righteousness living in simple terms: "Even the learned are confused. Then what of us? Listen and be silent."Initially, Baba dissuaded people to worship him, but gradually Baba’s divine energy touched the chord of common people far and wide. The congregational worship of Sai Baba began in 1909, and by 1910 the number of devotees grew manifold. The ‘shej arati’ (night worship) of Sai Baba began in February, 1910 and the following year the construction of Dikshitwada temple was completed. Sai Baba is revered by several notable Hindu religious leaders. Some of his disciples became famous as spiritual figures and saints, such as Mhalsapati,a priest of Kandoba temple in Shridi, Upasni Maharaj, Saint Bidkar Maharaj, Saint Gangagir, Saint Jankidas Maharaj, and Sati Godavari Mataji. Sai Baba said that God penetrates every thing and every being. He emphasized the complete oneness of God which was very close to the Islamic tawhid and the Hindu doctrine of the Upanishads. Sai Baba said that the world is transient, and that only God and his gifts are eternal. He emphasized the importance of devotion to God – bhakti – and surrender to his will. He also talked about the need of faith and devotion to one's spiritual guru. He said that everyone was the soul and not the body. He advised his followers to develop a virtuous character, and taught them that all fate was determined by karma. ( action).Sai Baba had left no written works. His teachings were typically short, pithy sayings rather than elaborate discourses. Sai Baba would ask his followers for money (dakshina), some of which he would give to the poor and other devotees the same day, and the rest was used to buy wood to maintain Dhuni ( fire place). According to his followers, this was done to rid them of greed and material attachment. Sai Baba encouraged charity, and stressed the importance of sharing. He was an institution in himself known for his passion and wisdom. He always lead an austere life. Sai Baba had attained ‘Mahasamadhi’ on October 15, 1918 at the age of eighty one. Before his death, he said, "Do not think I am dead and gone. You will hear me from my Samadhi and I shall guide you." The millions of devotees who keep his image in their homes, and the thousands who throng to Shridi every year, is a testimony to the greatness and continuing popularity of Sai Baba of Shirdi.Let us join to pay our humble obeisance to His lotus feet and seek His bliss for well-being of all living-being of this universe!
Photos- Three. (1)Sai Baba of Shirdi was seen in 1918.(2)Picture of Sai Baba of Shirdi. and (3)Photo of Shirdi Sai Baba, leaning against the wall of his masjid, with devotees.
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Bishwa Nath Singh :
His Holiness Sri Sathya Sai Ram of Shrdi used to participate in almost all religious festivals and was in habit of preparing food for his visitors, which he distributed to them as Prasad. He had an unique entertainment habit as he was ... very fond of dancing and singing religious songs. After 1910 Sai Baba's fame began to spread in Mumbai. Numerous people started visiting him, because they regarded him as a saint with the power of performing miracles, or even as an incarnation of God who had built Sai Baba’s first temple at Bhivpuri, Karjat. Let us join to pay our humble obeisance to His lotus feet and seek His bliss for well-being of all living-being of this universe!
.Radha Singh :
Beautiful soul he is!
Jai Sai Ram, Bishwanath ji thank you for sharing the beautiful real pics of Baba