A Sketch Of The Life And Teaching Of Shri Sai Baba Of Shirdi
On the 24th of September 1931, when a leaderette appeared in the Times of India on ‘Baba Jan’ the then departed lady saint of Poona, a reference had been made in that lucid and learned leaderette to the late well-known Saint Sai Baba of Shirdi. On reading the same, most of Shri Sai Baba’s devotees, with a very close contact with the Saint for over a decade, were sorely disappointed to find that most of the significant facts of Sai Baba’s life, long career and teachings had remained unknown to, (and inspired and propagandist publications had impressed) some of the responsible leaders of public opinion in India. Such devotees therefore, considered it their sacred duty to suggest, that, the true history of Sai Baba as had been observed by eye-witnesses in continuous touch with Sai Baba, and as jotted down by them, especially by the late Hari Sitaram Dikshit (of revered memory as one of the well-known devotees of Sai Baba), should be translated into English for the benefit of the vast mass of English knowing people in the world.
Messrs. R. A. Tarkhad and B. V. Deo (well-known devotees of Shri Sai Baba), desired me to undertake this job which appeared to me to be very onerous. I had, therefore, to pluck up courage and I have tried to discharge this pleasant duty to the best of my humble abilities.
Of course, instances of spiritual and physical miracles performed by Shri Sai Baba are too numerous to mention. A few of them have been sung by the late Mr. G. R. alias Annasaheb Dabholkar, First Class Resident Magistrate of Bandra, in his learned ‘Sai Sat Charita” which is a fitting supplement to Das Ganu Maharaja‘s narration of Sai Baba’s earlier miracles through some of his famous publications e. g. Bhaktalilamrut and Santakathamrut, etc.
I have, therefore, tried to confine myself scrupulously to those instances jotted down by the late Hari Sitaram Dikshit, in his short sketch (in Marathi) of Shri Sai Baba (vide Shri Sai Leela, Vol. I). Just as the taste of the pudding is in the eating of it, so whether Shirdi (containing as it does the very sanctified and sacred remains of Sai Baba, with its inexhaustible supply of ‘Udi’ i.e. ashes from the sacred fire of ‘Dhuni’ which is ever kept burning in the Dwarkamai, and which ‘Udi’ has unchangingly continued to work the same miracles as it used to do in the life time of Sai Baba, is one of the important: places of pilgrimage can only be realised by a personal visit to the Shrine of Sai Baba in the humble yet sacred village of Shirdi, on the Manmad – Ahmednagar Trunk Road, about eleven miles away from the Kopargaon Railway Station and eight miles from the town of Kopargaon on the bank of the sacred river Godavari.