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The relevance of Sai Baba today

The divine role of Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi in the present embodiment covered a period of about 64 years between 1854, when He made his first appearance in Shirdi, and 1918 when he left His body. However, his sixty years of stay at Shirdi on his second appearance between 1858 and 1918 manifested the depth and expansiveness of his unique role.India was in a cross - road of cultural and religious mix. The Mughal empire was vanishing and the British empire was establishing itself. Western culture and Christianity were slowly entering into the mainstream of Indian life.

Religious and cultural intolerance were raising their ugly heads in the Post Sepoy-Mutiny Scenario of India. It could not have been possible for any leader or statesman to bring about harrnony among the divergent religious, cultural groups in such a situation. It was only a God in human form who could dare and accomplish the task of bringing unity between the different religious and social groups.Shri Sai baba had large number of Hindu, Parsee and Muslim devotees. Christians and Sikhs also used to visit Him.

All were treated by him alike. Under his umbrella, both the Hindus and Muslims happily took part in each others religious festivals. The caste scheme of the Hindus had no relevance with Shri Sai. He had introduced the tradition of group worship, group prayer and group dinning for all and would share his 'Chilum' (Tobacco pipe) with all. He even showed highest compassion for animals and birds and encouraged his devotees to feed and take care of them. He recognised no difference in temporal status of human beings. He refused to accept food brought in silver and gold utensils from a queen but relished a single ROTI (hand-made bread) of a beggar woman and showered all His blessings.

- He practiced and preached humanism and universal brotherhood - prophet like. - He established the superiority of love and compassion above egoism - Christ-like. - He taught simplicity of livelihood and excellence of human virtue reflected in day to day conduct, Buddha-like.

 

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