I would like to write few words about how Shirdi saibaba lived during his life time. It was approx the year 1854 when Baba first manifested himself in shirdi village – maharastra , india. As me and many true shirdi sai devotees say let us always see Baba’s life time from this stage. Theres no clear correct story of how sai was born etc. Even if 1000 research with proof is made , many agree that “A saint must be seen for the teachings and life he has lead’ .As the rivers origin is hard to find ,so is that of the saint.So its my humble feeling to always start baba’s life time from the time he appeared as a 16 year old lad in shirdi. The age is also not the concern .What really matters is how Baba led a simple , pure life which we must take as inspiration and appreciate it. When Sai was doing penance sitting under the neem tree, he has no name , no body knew how he came there . The people of shirdi used to wonder who is boy is …how come he is able to meditate day and night not minding the cold and hot climate. For the first 3 years this is how baba lived in shirdi…wearing Torn clothes , used to roam here n there, never bothered to have food …. He used to carry two pots in his hands from the well and water the neem trees and many tulsi plants which he kept in the present samadhi mandhir area. Many sadhus ( saints ) used to come to shirdi as it was on the way to pandharpur and many other pilgrimage places. Saint Devidas already was in shirdi before Baba came and there was another saint called jankidas.
Gem of Saints : There was a famous saint called “Gangagir baba”. He came to shirdi and watched our sai from distance . This young lad with great hardships in the hot sun, took water from the well, carried two pots in his hands and walked towards the present samadhi mandhir surface where there was a Neem tree to water it. Gangagir Baba never even spoke to our young sai …He just noticed this work of sai for welfare of the shirdi people and asked the village folks “When did this person come here ? He is a pure gem. He has great worthiness . It is the great good fortune of the village that you have acquired this gem” . Then Gangagir baba met our sai and they both talked for a while with love. It was around 1857 ( approx ) Sai baba ( the young lad ) disappeared from shirdi. No body knew where he went.Please friends avoid to trust stories speaking about where sai baba would have gone. Always take sai satcharita written by hamadpant alone as the main source of shirdi saibaba’s life. Sai himself never wanted us to know about his birth and what he did before he appeared in shirdi. Few say hes born as Brahmin and few that he’s Muslim and few say he would have born by Gods grace and not in the womb. Personally i feel Sai baba of shirdi as a Messenger of God and God himself but Sai never never never even once mentioned or accepted him as God. This shows how humble is our sai contradictory to the present day Gurus coming up in india and abroad like mushrooms. Sai has said he is “a servant of God ” and when asked how devotees are benefited through him he humbly said ”
I have abundant blessings of my Guru and by his Grace the difficulties of the devotees are removed and they are benefitted” …. Later in 1858 the same young boy came again to shirdi with Chandpatils marriage procession. When he got down from the cart infront of the Kandoba temple ( the village diety ) the priest of the temple Mahalsapathi welcomed the fakir saying “Aao Sai” welcome sai. This is how the young boy got the name Sai Baba – meaning Saintly father….sai meaning “saint of saints” and Baba meaning father. Now Sai baba started doing few works for welfare of shirdi village and the people .Sai led a very simple life. Sai used to stay most of his time in the dilapilated Masjid ….roam all over the village but never went beyond neamgoan.During his life time in Shirdi Sai never wanted or wished to leave the village. Now a days people call themselves as SadGuru/saint but roaming around the globe to gather crowd but look at how simple our sai has been.
Sai kept quiet in shirdi leading a simple life like a poor fakir in the masjid which he called as “Dwarakamai” .
Sai has assured “Go where ever you wanted to go but you will be drawn to shirdi like a sparrow tied to thread”
What Sai means to say is “A good hearted soul where ever they are will be given some kind of guidance to start praying Shirdi saibaba and gain his blessings for a good life” During sai baba’s life time itself many sai did many leela to appear in dream of a devotee and make them come to shirdi. In some cases people came to have darshan of our saibaba by knowing about baba through their friends and relatives.
How Sai Baba appeared and what people thought about him :
Saibaba of Shirdi always wore torn and tattered clothes, sits where ever he pleases, appearing as a crazy mad poor fakir. Am extremely sorry to use the word “mad” but what will you think about a person who is living in a old masjid, roams here and there, sits even on a dirt. Naturally people did thought that this is some ordinary poor fakir and many even thought that hes a mad person.
Lets remember one nature of sai as its of all good saints of india. Sai was always absorbed in Brahman – self realized state of mind. Sai always remembered God and was chanting Hari’s ( lords ) name in his mind. But only his appearance was that of a Poor fakir. Sometimes , Sai baba would go and sit at a stream, sometimes under the margosa – neem tree and sometimes in somebody’s farm ..The clothes he wore were tattered and he always had Ferocious appearance. Friends, Now a days i come across shirdi saibaba devotees who goes to baba temple and feel “Sai baba is happy, only am suffering…sai is sitting in a golden thrown with beautiful dresses , millions comes to him with offerings – dakshina and sai has millions to care, thats why saibaba dint bothered my prayers” Remember this always friends… In shirdi or any shirdi saibaba temple , See only the Soul of sai . The atman of Sai.
The soul of sai is always unattached. It never enjoys any conforts for sai avatar itself is for the comfort and welfare of devotees.
Sai seems to accept offerings but he is detached from it. Sai only looks at your devotion and love with pure heart. When Sai baba seems to be happy , it shows sai is happy to have a devotee like you who has pure love on him. So please leave all the frustration and doubts that Sai baba of shirdi is not bothering your prayers and not helping you. What can sai do when your past bad karma is so high that sai himself has to let the nature work untill all your sins are washed away going through sufferings and if you continue to show your faith and love on sai…surely someday you will have all peace in your life by the grace of saibaba
Who could have imagined that this poor fakir watering plants with mud pot in the hot sun will one day be so famous due to his spiritual powers that thousands of people will come to have his darshan in his later years and after his samadhi in 1918 millions will come to this village to get his blessings from his samadhi and the place he lived – Dwarakamai ?
There’s another beautiful incident which will help you understand how gradually the people of shirdi learnt that Sai baba is not a poor ordinary person but a saint with powers beyond imagination. Anandnath Maharaj was a disciple of the great Saint Akkalkot maharaj. He himself led life like a saint and many used to come to Svargoan village near Yeola to have darshan and get his blessings. Once few people from shirdi like Madhavrao Balwant deshpande, Dagadu bhau, Bhau Gayake, Nandram Shivram Marwadi, Bhagchand marwadi wentto Savargaon village to have his darshan and blessings. They had good time there and when they were about to leave in their cart, Anandnath Maharaj suddenly came running and sat in their card saying “I will come with you”. The people from Nevargaon and Yeola along with shirdi people who went to meet him tried to convince him that theres nothing for him to do in shirdi and saibaba is only a poor fakir but they din’t listen to them and started to shirdi in cart. Anandnath saw saibaba in his Dwarakamai and with pure respect on him said ” This is a diamond, You do not know its worth. Even if it is on a dunghill , it is a diamond” .At that time sai baba has not attained fame and the village folk believed him to be an ordinary person. A diamond is living in your own mind : Friends , did you see how our sai baba has led a life of simplicity and purity. Sai baba never expected any honor or respect for him. Sai only looks at how much love you have on him. Sai always lived detached from earthly comforts. Saibaba says “i am your Antaryami and Antarvasini” meaning “the one who lives inside your mind” so if saibaba is a diamond then imagine we as shirdi sai baba devotees must be like a diamond.Our character must shine . But why we are not realizing the diamond in us. Its because theres so much of dirt in us . The dirt in us are our ego, unwanted desires, jealously, anger,lust and greediness. This moment pray to shirdi saibaba that you will offer all these bad qualities in you in his holy feets which sai will throw in the fire of his dhuni.
Let us all show pure devotion on God, always chant sai sai sai and develop good habits and thoughts in us so that our mind gets purified. Surely you will realize shirdi saibaba living in your heart and guiding you holding your hands internally in every aspect of your life. Always do good deeds, think good, act good and chant in your mind “SAI SAI SAI….” remembering shirdi saibaba . This alone is enough to realize that theres a diamond in your heart which will make your life shine forever and ever…
written with facts from the book “sai samartha satcharita”
“A diamond called
sai sai sai
always in the holy feets of shirdi saibaba