Sai Baba, the saint of Shirdi, rules the hearts of his devotees and it can't be denied that even those who aren't a devotee, are still in awe of Sai Baba's life and personality. Some worship him as a God and the others consider him a great saint who was sent to the earth by the Gods to relieve humanity of its miseries.
Everything about Sai Baba is mysterious- be it his life or the many miracles he performed, he never ceases to amaze people who believe in him. The story of his birth is greatly debated. Some say that he was born to Hindu parents and others say that he was a Muslim citing the fact that Sai Baba did not have his ears pierced. But Sai Baba always said ' sabka malik ek'. It is said that in his youth, he would praise Allah in the Hindu temples and sing bhajans dedicated to Rama and Shiva in the mosques. Even though nothing much is known about this ascetic's birth, 28th of September is widely celebrated as Sai Baba's birth anniversary.
It is popularly believed that Sai Baba was born to Brahmin parents who had long craved for a child. But after they had Sai Baba, they got detached from the world and left for Sanyas leaving their young child behind. It is said that he grew in the company of a fakir. After the death of the fakir, Sai Baba went into the care of Gopal Rao Deshmukh (often called Gurudeva) who was a great devotee of Tirupati Balaji.
The correct year of Baba's birth is not known but some say that he briefly served as a solider for Rani of Jhansi in 1857, which would put his year of birth some where between 1835 to 1840.
To commemorate Baba's birthday, let us read about some of the many miracles Sai Baba performed for the good of mankind.
Baba Cures The Blindness Of A Lady
A lady who was a devotee of Sai Baba, lost her vision. The doctors all were helpless and said that even taking her abroad in search of a treatment would be in vain. The lady's husband took her to Shirdi and would help her visit Baba's samadhi everyday. The lady made a vow that she would offer a embroidered shawl to Baba if she was cured. It is said that the lady regained her vision within an year and she thankfully fulfilled her vow.
Yashwant Deshpande Regains His Sight
Yashwant Deshpande, an ardent devotee of Sai Baba had lost his eye sight due to the afflictions of old age. He had a burning desire to visit Sai Baba. As his son was busy, he went to Shirdi with his grandson.
At the temple, the grandson remembered that they had left behind something and ran back to retrieve it. Yashwant Deshpande prostrated in front of Baba and apologised for not being able to see him. To which Baba replied, "of course, you will be able to see me". When the boy returned he couldn't find Yashwant Deshpande. After a little search, he found that his grandfather had safely walked back to the place they were staying as he had regained his vision.
The Invisible Baba Photo
Dr. KB Gavankar was a great devotee of Sai Baba since his childhood. In his books, he mentions an incident where the devotees requested Baba for a photograph. After much persuasion, Baba agreed for only his feet to be photographed. But taking advantage of the permission, a photographer clicked a full picture. But when the film was developed, the picture had the image of the photographer's own Guru instead of Sai Baba's image.
Baba Loves All
All the creation are the same in Sai Baba's eyes. He does not discriminate among people based on caste, creed or religion. To him, even the animals had the same worth as humans. He would often visit devotees n the form of animals to receive the prasad.
Damia once invited Sai Baba for meals to his lodgings. But Baba replied that he himself could not go but he would send Bala Patel in his stead. Bala Patel was of low caste and Baba warned him to not insult or humiliate the guest. He clearly said, " Don't cry dhut dhut at him or humiliate him by giving him a place far away from you."
Damia prepared the meals and set plates for Baba. He called out, " Sai, Come." Soon a black dog came from nowhere and ate from the plate. After which, Damia and Bala sat together and had their meals.
Sai Baba wasn't interested in rituals. He can be won over by pure devotion and faith. If you know of more miracles or have experienced Sai Baba's miracles personally, please do not hesitate to share them with us.