Shirdi Sai Baba Punyatithi 2021 date

Who was Shirdi Sai Baba?

There have been many holy men in India, but Shirdi Sai Baba is like none other. Years after he left his earthly abode, he continues to work miracles in people’s lives like he used to when he was alive. As his Punyathithi nears, let us revisit the life of the great man who brought solace and joy to countless people who had the good fortune to cross his path.

Shirdi Sai Baba was born in 1835 to a Brahmin couple of Patri, a place in the Nizam state of British India. The story goes that for some reason, his parents gave him to a fakir when he was 5 years old. This is supposedly Baba’s own admission as he neared the end of his life. No one knows his correct date of birth. Hindus claim that he belongs to their community, while Muslims claim that he belongs to theirs. But such claims are yet to be proved.

Story of Sai Baba

Baba arrived in the village of Shirdi in Maharashtra when he was 16 years old. Soon after he arrived, he took to sitting in asana under a neem tree and would be lost in deep meditation for many days. During this time, he took no food or water. The people of the village were filled with wonder. Who was this young boy who had appeared in their midst? Their curiosity knew no bounds, and they wanted to know more about him. The wife of the village chief, Bayajabai, used to enquire about his welfare occasionally. Slowly, she began to offer him food. As the days passed, Baba began to regard her as his mother. Once, when Mhalspati, the village chief who was also a priest, was possessed by Lord Khandoba, he pronounced that there was a holy spirit here and gestured towards Sai Baba.

Baba pointed towards the neem tree which he used to meditate under and asked the local people to dig beneath its roots. The villagers began to dig it. Deep under the layers of earth, they found a stone slab and oil lamps burning without any oil and air. They were completely mystified by what they found. Also, they found a vessel shaped like a cow’s mouth on a wooden table. Baba then declared that this was the sacred spot where his guru had done penance long ago. He also told them to do no harm to the tree and worship it instead of worshipping him. The awed villagers did as he said, and even today, one can see the tree in the same spot. It is the place where pilgrims to Shirdi make their first stop.

The Making of a Saint

Baba was a unique personality. During the day, he did not mingle with anyone. He was also not afraid of anyone. Some people assumed that there was something wrong with him and that he was mad. They even tried to hurt him by throwing stones at him. Baba spent 3 years at Shirdi and then left the place for one year. Nobody knew what he did or where he went during this time. But it is said that he met many fakirs, saints and even worked as a weaver.

In 1858, Baba came back to Shirdi and would stay put in the village for the rest of his life. For five years, Baba lived under the neem tree. Sometimes he would wander in the jungle near Shirdi. He didn’t communicate much as he spent most of his time in meditation. After a while, he moved to a nearby mosque.

Soon, many people – Hindus and Muslims – began to visit the mosque to see Baba. Inside the mosque, Baba used to maintain a sacred fire, dhuni. Baba would offer sacred ash to all visitors. The ash was believed to have the power to heal all diseases.

Baba was seen as a God, and he used to take part in all religious festivals. He would cook food and distribute it as Prasad among those who visited him. Devotees of Baba have complete faith that he will understand their desires and aspirations. His love and blessings reach one directly and not through an intermediary. He would ask visitors for Dakshina (money). This would later be distributed to others to improve the karma of the people who gave the money.

Baba loved to sing and dance. The songs were religious songs. As the days passed, more people came to see him, as his name and fame spread.

Baba’s Religious Views

Shirdi Sai Baba was totally opposed to all kinds of orthodoxy, be it Hindu, Christian, or Muslim. He would advise his devotees to pursue an ordinary life. He told them to chant holy words, including God’s name, and encouraged them to read holy books like the Gita, Bible, and Quran. He observed Hindu rituals and allowed Muslims to follow Namaz and read the Quran on festive occasions.

Baba’s Laws

Do charity and share what you have with others.

If anyone approaches you for help, treat them with respect and try to help.

Give water to the thirsty, food to the hungry, and accommodate strangers in your verandah.

If someone demands money, but you don’t wish to give, it’s okay but don’t bark at them unnecessarily.

Love every living being without discrimination

Have faith in the power and blessings of the Almighty and patience for the results of your karma.

Baba’s Punyathithi

Shirdi Sai Baba Punyatithi 2021 falls on Vijayadasami, or Dasara. It is Shirdi Sai Baba Mahasamadhi day of Shirdi Sai Baba. October 15 is the date of Shirdi Sai Baba Punyatithi 2021. This festival lasts for 3 days and is of great importance at the Shirdi Temple.

It is said that Shirdi Sai Baba took his Mahasamadhi on October 15, 1918, on a Vijayadasami day. But the truth is that even though he is not physically present in the world, his devotees feel his presence in their lives. They are always inspired and guided by his teachings.

Kakad Aarti of Shri Sai Baba, Procession of Portrait of Sai Baba and Pothi, Akhand Parayan of Shri Sai Satcharitra in Dwarkamai, and Chariot Procession are the major events held during the Punyathithi period.

The Samadhi Mandir will be open for Parayan all through the night on Shirdi Sai Baba Punyatithi day.