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Temples in West India >> Maharashtra >> Shirdi

Sai Baba, one of the foremost saints of modern India, lived in the small village of Shirdi in the state of Maharashtra for sixty years. Due to his presence there even after his Samadhi, today the small village has transformed itself as a great spiritual center to people from all religions. Shri Sai Baba, inspite of his great spiritual stature, never publicized himself through discoursing, touring and preaching---unlike today's many 'so-called' saints. Rather, he discouraged unnecessary publicity. But still, his spiritual perfection is still drawing innumerable devotees to him from all over the world.

Sai Baba did never reveal his original name, time and place of birth, especially his religion and caste, and even the names of his parents. Through this, he has emerged as a solution to all the religious and communal differences that are destroying the world today. He preaches that God is Almighty and he has given all the souls on earth equal opportunity to reach him, whichever is the religion they belong to. 'Sai Baba' is the name given to him by his first devotee, Mahalsapathi - 'Sai' means 'Saint' and 'Baba' means 'Father'. The name is just an expression of love, reverence and devotion.

Sai Baba never discriminated between the rich and the poor. He was equally indifferent to honour or dishonour shown to him by the people. He used to utter the name of 'Allah' frequently. All religious scriptures spell that any spiritual quest does not fulfill without a proper guide or Sadguru. Shri Sai Baba has led many seekers as a Sadguru towards spiritual progress. These seekers are either drawn to him by himself or by other saints and deities.

Shirdi town is situated in Rahata Tahasil in Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra State (India). It is located at 19o45' North Latitude and 74o25' East Longitude. It falls on Ahmednagar-Manmad State Highway No.10 at 83 Km. from Ahmednagar, and 15 Km. from Kopargaon. It (the Ahmednagar -Manmad road) was a very busy route in the old times. It is located at 185 Km. to the East from Western Seashore line.

Teachings of Sai Baba
All religions preach that God is Almighty and He is omnipresent. The omnipresence of God is clearly manifested in the various experiences that Sai Baba has given to his devotees--- anywhere, anytime. He once said, "He who thinks that I am only at Shirdi has never known me. I am omnipresent----anywhere, everywhere, all the time and in all creation. I am at Shirdi and everywhere. I am formless and everywhere! I am everything and beyond. All the Universe is in Me. Wherever you see, whatever you see, I am there." He not only preached this, but he demonstrated the truth through his deeds (Leelas).

The omnipresence of Shri Sai Baba demonstrated that he knows everything that has happened, happening and will happen in the lives of all creatures in the world. In addition to this, he also demonstrated that omnipresence of God is also manifested in the non-living things. This provides an effective check on the evil propensities of devotees. But still, he always said, "I am the slave of God"; "Allah Malik".

Sai Baba promises that he will lead his devotees both materially and spiritually if they simply remember his omnipresence always----in everything they do and in everybody. Study of religious and spiritual scriptures, life histories of saints, remembering the his holy deeds (leelas), coupled with meditation and prayer helps the devotees to do so. All the mystics of the world and all saints have declared that the immediate presence of a realized sage is one of the most potent forces in the spiritual advancement of Sadhak or the seeker. Contact with them induces in us inner peace and purity, restores our sense of values, wipes out illusory allurements of the senses and turns us towards spirit with renewed vigour. Besides, when approached in a proper manner, they can enable us to realize that all the saints are One in essence.