Shirdi Sai baba's Background
Despite the fact that SaiBaba's origins are unknown, a few signs exist suggest that he was born not far from Shirdi.
The Historical Researches into genealogies in Shirdi give support to the theory that Baba could have been born with the name Haribhau Bhusari
. SaiBaba was infamous for giving vague, misleading and opposing replies to questions concerning his parentage and origins, tersely expressing the information was unimportant.
He had allegedly stated to a close follower, Mhalsapati, that he has been born of Brahmin parents in the village of Pathri and had been endowed into the care of a fakir in his earliest stages. On another event, Baba reportedly said that the fakir's wife had left him in the care of a Hindu guru, Venkusa of Selu, and that he had stayed with Venkusa for twelve years as his disciple. This dichotomy has given rise to two major theories regarding SaiBaba's background, with the majority of writers supporting the Hindu background over the Islamic, while others join both the hypotheses (that Sai Baba was first raised by a fakir and afterward by a master).
SaiBaba reportedly arrived at the village of Shirdi in the Ahmednagar region of Maharashtra India, when he was around sixteen years of age.
In spite of the fact that there is no agreement among biographers about the date of this event, it is for the most part acknowledged that SaiBaba stayed in Shirdi for three years, disappeared for a year and returned for all time(permanently) around 1858, which posits a possible birth year of 1838.] He led an ascetic life, sitting still (motionless) under a neem tree and meditating while sitting in an asana.
The Sai Satcharita
describes the response of the villager: "The people of the village were wonder-struck to see such a young lad practicing hard penance, not minding heat or cold. By day he associated with no one, by night he was afraid of nobody
His presence attracted the curiosity of the villagers and the religiously-inclined such as Mhalsapati, Appa Jogle and Kashinatha regularly visited him, while others such as the village children considered him mad and threw stones at him. After some time he left the village, and it is unknown where he stayed at that time or what happened to him.
However, there are some indications that he met with many saints and fakirs, and worked as a weaver; he claimed to have fought with the army of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Shirdi Saibaba Settled in Shirdi
In 1858 SaiBaba came back to Shirdi with Chand Patil's wedding parade. In the wake of landing close to the Khandoba sanctuary he was welcomed with the words "Ya Sai" (welcome saint) by the sanctuary cleric Mhalsapati. The name Sai adhered to him and some time later he began being known as SaiBaba. It was around this time Baba received his acclaimed style of dress, comprising of a knee-length one-piece robe (kafni) and a fabric top. Ramgir Bua, an aficionado, affirmed that SaiBaba was dressed like a competitor and donned 'long hair streaming down to his bum's the point at which he touched base in Shirdi, and that he never had his head shaved. It was simply after SaiBaba relinquished a wrestling match with one Mohdin Tamboli did he take the kafni and material top, articles of commonly Sufi garments.
This attire contributed to SaiBaba's identification as a Muslim fakir, and was a reason for initial indifference
and hostility against him in a predominantly Hindu village.As indicated by B.V. Narasimhaswami, an after death adherent who was broadly commended as Sai Baba's "witness", recorded that this mentality was common even among some of his enthusiasts in Shirdi even up to 1954.
For four to five years SaiBaba lived under a neem tree, and regularly meandered for long stretches in the wilderness in and around Shirdi. His way was said to be pulled back and uncommunicative as he attempted long stretches of reflection.
He was in the long run influenced to relocate to an old and haggard masjid and carried on with a singular life there, getting by asking for charity and accepting vagrant Hindu or Muslim guests. In the mosque he kept up a holy fire which is alluded to as a dhuni, from which he had the custom of giving hallowed slag ('Udhi') to his visitors previously they cleared out and which was accepted to have recuperating forces and security from perilous circumstances.
At first he played out the capacity of a nearby hakim and treated the tired by use of Udhi. SaiBaba additionally conveyed profound lessons to his guests, suggesting the perusing of hallowed Hindu messages alongside the Qur'an, particularly demanding the imperativeness of the unbroken recognition of God's name (dhikr, japa). He regularly conveyed what needs be in an enigmatic way with the utilization of illustrations, images and purposeful anecdotes. He took an interest in religious celebrations and was likewise in the propensity for planning nourishment for his guests, which he dispersed to them as prasad.SaiBaba's stimulation was moving and singing religious tunes
(he delighted in the melodies of Kabir most).
His Behaviour was some of the time tactless and savage.
After 1910 SaiBaba's acclaim started to spread in Mumbai. Various individuals began going to him, since they viewed him as a saint (or even a symbol) with the energy of performing supernatural occurrences.
Sai Baba took Mahasamadhi on October 15, 1918 at 2.30pm. He passed on the lap of one of his lovers with scarcely any things, and was covered in the "Buty Wada" as per his desire.
Later a Mandir was Built there and known as the "Samadhi Mandir".
Teachings and practices of Shirdi Saibaba
In his personal practice, SaiBaba observed worship procedures belonging to Hinduism and Islam; he shunned any kind of regular rituals but allowed the practice of namaz, chanting of Al-Fatiha, and Qur'an readings at Muslim festival times. Occasionally reciting the Al-Fatiha himself, SaiBaba also enjoyed listening to moulu and qawwali accompanied with the tabla and sarangi twice daily. He also wore clothing reminiscent of a Sufi fakir. SaiBaba also opposed all sorts of persecutions on religious or caste background. (In India at the times when he lived religious intolerance and conflicts were common).
SaiBaba of Shirdi
was also an opponent of religious orthodoxy - both Hindu and Muslim. Although SaiBaba himself led the life of an ascetic, he advised his followers to lead an ordinary family life.
SaiBaba 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 SaiBaba emphasised the importance of performing one's duties without attachment to earthly matters and being ever content regardless of the situation.
SaiBaba also interpreted the religious texts of both faiths. According to what the people who stayed with him said and wrote he had a profound knowledge of them. He explained the meaning of the Hindu scriptures in the spirit of Advaita Vedanta
. This was the character of his philosophy. It also had numerous elements of bhakti. The three main Hindu spiritual paths - Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Karma Yoga
- were visible in the teachings of SaiBaba.
Another example of the way he combined both faiths is the Hindu name he gave to his mosque, Dwarakamai.
SaiBaba said that God penetrates everything and lives in every being, and as well that God is the essence of each of them. He emphasised the complete oneness of God which was very close to the Islamic tawhid and the Hindu doctrine, e.g. of the Upanishads. SaiBaba said that the world and all that the human may give is transient and only God and his gifts are eternal. SaiBaba also emphasised 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
SaiBaba left no written works. His teachings were oral, typically short, pithy sayings rather than elaborate discourses. SaiBaba would ask his followers for money (dakshina), which he would give away to the poor and other devotees the same day and spend the rest on matches. According to his followers he did it in order to rid them of greed and material attachment.
SaiBaba 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 favourite sayings of his were:
"Why do you fear when I am here
"He has no beginning... He has no end