Ram Navmi 2011

One day, while sitting in his dilapidated durbar named “Dwarkamai” at Shirdi, the aging Fakir in His typical mood of divine ecstasy blurted out before His devotees, “Main guli guli mein rahene wala hun” which means “I am the one who will be seen in every lane everywhere”.   This He said in 1911 and when I am writing this article it is 2011, a century later.  Since the last two decades, I had the opportunity and privilege of working for the cause of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba in its varied aspects in India and abroad.   Even being a small part of the mighty and global Sai Movement, I am surprised at the exponential  growth of this movement the world over.  Leave aside the metropolises and major cities of India, Shri Shirdi Sai Baba’s temples have come up in small towns, semi-urban, rural areas and even in far off places of India like Assam, Sikkim, etc.   Not only have Shri Shirdi Sai Baba’s temples come up but in some states for example in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha such temples have come up in remote areas as well.  In many places in India and abroad, in the existing Hindu temples, they are installing the statues of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba as well.   This is a clear indicator of future of things to come.

The total volume of literature pertaining to Shri Shirdi Sai Baba in terms of books, magazines, journals, periodicals and other publications is beyond all calculations.  The spread of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba’s life history, philosophy and teachings propagated through internet, movies, television and radio channels, print, audio and video media in English and most of the languages of India is phenomenal.  The charitable work like hospitals, schools, poor feeding, financial aid to the weaker and disabled sections of the society carried out in His name is immense.

More than this is the fact that Shri Shirdi Sai Baba has penetrated into the lives of millions of His devotees. The more surprising thing is that Shri Shirdi Sai Baba never created any organizational structure for propagation of His own philosophy or name.  The Shree Sai Baba Sansthan at Shirdi is doing its best to cope with the ever growing number of visitors to Shirdi, which touches about sixty thousand persons on an average per day.  This Sai miracle or phenomenon is transparently perceptible from the fact that most of the devotees are self motivated and carry out Baba’s work with missionary zeal.

Not only in India, but in other countries like United States, United Kingdom,  Europe,  Australia,  Africa and even in places like New Zealand, Singapore, etc. a number of temples have come up and more are in the process of coming up.  When I inaugurated a temple in a remote village of Odisha called Tigiria, or a big temple at Dehradun, the state capital of Uttaranchal or at Delhi, the capital of India or at Sydney in Australia or at Chicago or Houston in United States, the involvement of such devotees was basically the same with slight difference because of  local conditions.    All the devotes of Baba feel closeness with Him in some form or the other.  Some of them are emotionally driven to do more and more work in His cause.  Thus the Sai Movement goes on with a poetic spontaneity and lucidity.

When I got drawn into this movement, two decades back in 1990, I had a strange feeling that in the future course of History, the Sai Movement will engulf the whole globe.  I had also foreseen  a new spiritual approach of the confused humanity which can be termed as “SAIISM”.  Today when I look back I find that what Baba said “Main Guli Guli mein rahene wala hun”, is coming true.  Let us, then welcome the Sai Age and be a part of SAIISM, as He is the Master of the Age.  May Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi lead us all towards light.

C. B. Satpathy

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