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Tips for Sai Devotees

Tips for Sai Devotees

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Published by Supriya Nayak

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Published by: Supriya Nayak on Jul 24, 2012
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Introduction
 Shri Sai Baba is revered as one of the greatest saints ever seen in India, endowed withunprecedented powers, and is worshipped as a God incarnate. (SAI meaning Sakshaat Ishwar) -GOD THE ABSOLUTE.This mysterious Fakir first made his appearance in Shirdi as a youth and remained therethroughout his long life. He transformed the lives of those who met him and continuously isdoing so even after his Samadhi in 1918 for those whose hearts are touched by his love and whopray and call him at any emergency in life for his blessings.
Baba stated that his mission is to “Give Blessings” without discrimination to all, and he proves it
in myriad ways by healing the sick, saving lives, protecting the vulnerable, averting accidents,granting offspring, facilitating financial gain, bringing people into harmony within themselvesand with each other and, above all, in effecting the spiritual evolution and transformation of those who came to him as the last resort.Baba is, as one of his contemporary de
votees put it, “The embodiment of the supreme spiritlighting the sadhakas (seekers') path by his every word and action”.
 To his devotees, Baba is nothing less than a God. This has been a matter of experience and notimaginary.
“I look at all with an equal
 
eye”
 An outstanding aspect of Sai Baba is that he is beyond distinctions of religion, caste or creed. Heembodied all religions and preached the universal religion of love.Devotees of all faiths find their meeting point in Sai and people from all communities and allwalks of life are united by the great love and reverence Baba inspires in them. Baba had greatregard for his Hindu devotees and their Gurus and he responded to their needs and permittedworship according to the Hindu and other religious rituals. At the same time his dwelling placewas a Masjid (Mosque) and the name of Allah was ever on his lips. He described himself as inService to GOD (ALLAH) and as a soul ever remembering ALLAH -(YAD - A - HAKKA)People today flock Shirdi in ever-increasing numbers to pay homage to the divine and to
experience the truth of Baba‟s promise that he would be active in answering devotee's prayers
even from his tomb. Like ten commandments Baba has given eleven assurances to humanity forwelfare.Baba said that he was a slave in the service of those who loved him. He was ever living to helpthose who turn to him and that he has to take care of his children day and night. He then taughtvalues of total surrender to the Almighty Master (ALLAH MALIK HAI- The only ONE) andexperience his grace.
 
In coming to Baba‟s Shirdi his children experience the truth how Baba unfailingly fulfils his
commitments to his devotees by coming to their rescue in times of crisis.Temple Complex :The temple premises of Shri Saibaba is spread in approximately 200 sq. mtrs. It is situated in theheart of Shirdi village and is a major center of pilgrims from all over the world.On an average, daily 25,000 devotees visit Shirdi village, to have the Darshan of Shri Saibaba. Inthe festival season, more than 1,00,000 devotees visit the Temple everyday. The Templepremises is renovated in the year 1998-99 and now is equipped with all necessary facilities likeDarshan Lane, Prasadalay (Lunch and Dinner), Donation Counters, Prasad Counters, Canteen,Railway Reservation Counter, Book Stall etc. The accommodation facilities are also provided bythe Sansthan.+ 
 Khandoba templeIn the sequence of events that were destined to become famous as part of the early life of a mostbeloved and very great saint, this small temple is of two-fold importance: first as the spot whereShri Sai Baba halted on his entry into Shirdi with the wedding party of Chand Bhai Patil, andsecondly as a place where he acquired his name.It is said that a young man, dressed in the Muslim fashion in a Kafni (Robe) arrived in a bullock cart as the guest of the wedding party. As the party approached the temple, the temple priest,Mhalsapati,
on seeing the fakir, called out, “Ya, Sai!” (“Welcome, Sai!”) and the name remained
 
ever after (Sai is a Persian word meaning “saint” or „holy‟, and Baba means “father”). In thisway, it was Mhalsapati who was responsible for Baba‟s name, which has become
the sacredmantra of thousands of his devotees.In those days, the temple was on the periphery of the village in the midst of a burial ground. Thestructure was very basic and did not even have a door. However, it seems to have appealed to
Baba‟s tempera
ment as he commented to the incumbent priest, Mhalsapati. That being so quietand solitary, it would make a good spot for an ascetic like him to stay.
Khandoba was the tutelary deity of the Mhalsapati family, and Mhalsapati was the temple‟s
hereditary priest. Khandoba, originally a pastoral deity, is popular in Maharashtra and is nowworshipped as a form of Shiva. The temple here was a simple, rural temple; today, it is a small,well-maintained and neatly kept building.The idol of Khandoba
 – 
a colourful image
 – 
is flanked on either side by one of his two wives. Onthe right sits Mhalsa, and on the left is Baanai, who represents the business community. Mhalsais worshipped as a form of Parvati and Baanyani is venerated as a form of Goddess Ganga.At the entr
ance to the temple is a large banyan tree which is mentioned in the „Shri SaiSatcharitra‟ as the place where the bullock cart halted. It is now commemorated with a smallshrine and „padukas‟ at its base.
 Baba would sometimes stop at Khandoba Temple on his way back from Rahata (which was thena village, five kilometers away from Shirdi).Upasani Maharaj, a prominent devotee of Shri Sai Baba, spent about two years here, oninstruction from Baba to stay in Shirdi for four years. Baba told Shri Upasani that he would win
the grace of Khandoba on completion of the four years‟ tenure. Later, in the 1920s, Upasani
Maharaj sponsored the renovation of the temple as a gesture of gratitude for the benefit he hadderived there.+ 

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