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May 18, 2006 01:45 PM 2810 Views
(Updated May 18, 2006 01:45 PM)


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The construction of the temple was started in 1985 by ten ardent devotees of Baba who later became Trustees of the temple. The idol of Sri Sai Baba was consecrated in 1987. The first and second floor of the temple were completed in 1990 and 1996 respectively. The number of the Trustees has increased to 45 who are running the temple on efficient lines providing lot of facilities to the devotees. Special poojas are performed on every Thursday when not less 80,000 devotees visit the temple and offer prayers.

Lord Sri Krishna said ''whenever and wherever there is a decline in Dharma (Righteouness) and unrighteousness becomes rampant I descend on the universe''. Sri Sai Baba of Shiridi is one such personality who made his appeareance in 1838 A.D. at Shiridi, a small village situated eight miles from Kapargoan Taluk in the District of Ahmednagar. Under a ''Neem'' tree he did penance without even caring for hunger, thirst, heat and cold. The villagers who saw the boy practising such rigorous penance were struck with wonder. Some of them construed him as a Divine boy, and others as a mad fakir and threw stones at him. None knew who he was.

One day, a devotee possessed by God Khandoba revealed the place where the lad practised severe penance for 12 years. When the villagers asked about the underground room the boy (Baba) said it was his guru's place and guard it well.

Baba did many miracles. With the touch of his divine palm a blind man got back his vision. On another occasion a disfigured leper regained his normal form after Baba cleaned the leper's body from head down to the feet. He cured Govind Ram of the nearby village of Shiridi from tuberculosis. He also saved his devotee child falling into the fire at a distant place and sustaind severe burn injuries on his body. In this way, Baba cured many disabled and diseased and blessed them with good health. His fame spread like a wild fire and lakhs of people visited to see Baba and worship him. The village priest recognised the Fakir as Baba and addressed him as ''Yaa Sai'' and since then he came to be known as Sai Baba.

Sai Baba used to reside in a Masjid (A prayer hall of Musims) and strangely worshipping ''Tulasi'' plant at the entrance of the Masjid and chanting the name of ''Rama'' perplexed the devotees whether he was a Hindu or Muslim. He used to bless the Hindus by saying ''Allah Malik'' and Muslims by saying ''Bhagawan Raksha Karega''. He practised and preached that all living beings are one with him and whoever hurts his devotees hurts Him. Baba collected alms in a tumrel in his hand and used to put in an earthern pot and ate it alone with the animals. Since boyhood Baba was practising Khanda Yoga. Sai Baba manifested as Rama to the devotees of Rama, as Krishna to the devotees of Krishna as Christ to the devotees of Jesus Christ, as prophet to the devotees of Allah.

At last, the day has come when Sri Sai Baba had to leave His mortal body. On Tuesday the 15th October, 1918, Dassera day, Baba asked his devotees to have lunch. All have gone to take lunch except one. After finishing the lunch when the devotees returned about 2:30 pm, Baba plunged into the Infinite and was no more. Devotees from all the places rushed to Shiridi in tears with a cry ''Baba'' ''Baba'' ringing high in the sky. The body was kept in Samadhi and there a temple has been constructed where thousands of people visit. Every day thousands of devotees offer prayers for good health, wealth and prosperity.

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