Shirdi Sai Baba

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Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Sai Baba, Baba, Sai Baba of Shirdi, Haribhau Bhusari, Sadguru Sainath
Hinduism, Sufism, Islam
Main Countries of Activity: 
Date of Birth: 
September 28, 1835
Place of Birth: 
Pathri, Maharashtra, India
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Date Left His/Her Body: 
October 15, 1918
Descendant Gurus: 
Other Related Gurus: 
Sufi master Roshan Shah Miyah, Upasani Maharaj


Sai Baba of Shirdi was an Indian guru and fakir, who is regarded by his Hindu and Muslim followers as a saint. In his life and teachings he tried to embrace and reconcile both faiths: Sai Baba lived in a mosque, was buried in a Hindu temple, embraced Hindu and Muslim practices, and taught using words and figures that drew from both traditions.

Sai Baba was worshipped as a living God by His Hindu devotees and was praised as Sadguru, ParaBrahma and Yogiraj. He was considered as One with all Gods and Gurus (devotees of Sri Rama, for example, saw Sri Rama in Him).

Early years

Although Sai Baba's origins are unknown, some indications exist that suggest that he was born not far from Shirdi in a village called Pathri with the name Haribhau Bhusari.

Sai Baba was notorious for giving vague, misleading and contradictory replies to questions concerning his parentage and origins, brusquely stating the information was unimportant. He had reportedly stated to a close follower, Mhalsapati, that he has been born of Brahmin parents in the village of Pathri and had been entrusted into the care of a fakir in his infancy. On another occasion, Sai Baba reportedly said that the fakir's wife had left him in the care of a Hindu guru, Venkusa of Selu, and that he had stayed with Venkusa for twelve years as his disciple. This dichotomy has given rise to two major theories regarding Sai Baba's background, with the majority of writers supporting the Hindu background over the Islamic, while others combine both the theories (that Sai Baba was first brought up by a fakir and then by a guru).

First Period in Shirdi and Disappearance

Sai Baba reportedly arrived at the village of Shirdi in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, India, when he was about sixteen years old. Although there is no agreement among biographers about the date of this event, it is generally accepted that he stayed in Shirdi for three years, disappeared for a year and returned permanently around 1858. He led an ascetic life, sitting motionless under a neem tree and meditating. The people of the village were wonder-struck to see such a young lad practicing hard penance, not minding heat or cold. By day he associated with no one, by night he was afraid of nobody. His presence attracted the curiosity of the villagers and the religiously-inclined such as Mhalsapati, Appa Jogle and Kashinatha regularly visited him, while others such as the village children considered him mad and threw stones at him. After some time he left the village, and it is unknown where he stayed at that time or what happened to him. However, there are some indications that he met with many saints and fakirs, and worked as a weaver; he claimed to have fought with the army of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

The Return to Shirdi

In 1858 Sai Baba returned to Shirdi with Chand Patil's wedding procession. After alighting near the Khandoba temple he was greeted with the words "Ya Sai" (welcome saint) by the temple priest Mhalsapati. The name Sai stuck to him and some time later he started being known as Sai Baba. It was around this time that Sai Baba adopted his famous style of dress, consisting of a knee-length one-piece robe (kafni) and a cloth cap. Ramgir Bua, a devotee, testified that Baba was dressed like an athlete and sported 'long hair flowing down to his buttocks' when he arrived in Shirdi, and that he never had his head shaved. It was only after Baba forfeited a wrestling match with one Mohdin Tamboli that he took up the kafni and cloth cap, articles of typically Sufi clothing. This attire contributed to Baba's identification as a Muslim fakir, and was a reason for initial indifference and hostility against him in a predominantly Hindu village. According to B V Narasimhaswami, a posthumous follower who was widely praised as Sai Baba's "apostle", this attitude was prevalent even among some of his devotees in Shirdi, even up to 1954.

For four to five years Baba lived under a neem tree, and often wandered for long periods in the jungle in and around Shirdi. His manner was said to be withdrawn and uncommunicative as he undertook long periods of meditation.

Moving to a Mosque and Receiving Visitors

He was eventually persuaded to take up residence in an old and dilapidated mosque and lived a solitary life there, surviving by begging for alms and receiving itinerant Hindu or Muslim visitors. In the mosque he maintained a sacred fire which is referred to as a dhuni, from which he had the custom of giving sacred ash ('Udhi') to his guests before they left and which was believed to have healing powers and protection from dangerous situations. At first he performed the function of a local hakim and treated the sick by application of Udhi. Baba also delivered spiritual teachings to his visitors, recommending the reading of sacred Hindu texts along with the Qur'an, especially insisting on the indispensability of the unbroken remembrance of God's name (dhikr, japa). He often expressed himself in a cryptic manner with the use of parables, symbols and allegories. He participated in religious festivals and was also in the habit of preparing food for his visitors, which he distributed to them as prasad. Sai Baba's entertainment was dancing and singing religious songs (he enjoyed the songs of Kabir most). His behaviour was sometimes uncouth and violent.

After 1910 Sai Baba's fame began to spread in Mumbai. Numerous people started visiting him, because they regarded him as a saint (or even an avatar) with the power of performing miracles. His followers built then his first ever temple at Bhivpuri, Karjat.


Sai Baba took Mahasamadhi on October 15, 1918 at 2.30pm. He died on the lap of one of his devotees with hardly any belongings, and was buried in the "Buty Wada" according to his wish. Later a mandir was built in this site known as the "Samadhi Mandir".

Notable disciples

Sai Baba left behind no spiritual heirs and appointed no disciples. In fact, he did not even provide formal initiation. Some disciples of Sai Baba achieved fame as spiritual figures like Upasni Maharaj of Sakori and Meher Baba of Ahmednagar. After Sai Baba passed away, his devotees offered the daily Aarti to Upasani Maharaj when he paid a visit to Shirdi, two times with an interval of 10 years.

Reported Miracles

Shirdi Sai Baba performed many supernatural acts, including bilocation, exorcisms, curing the incurably sick, and reading the minds of others.

Numerous inhabitants of Shirdi talked and wrote books about witnessing Sai Baba in unusual yogic power acts: levitation, entering a state of Samādhi at wish, removing his limbs and putting them back to his body (Khanda Yoga) and doing the same with his intestines.

According to his followers he appeared to them after his death, in dreams, visions and in bodily form, often gaving them advice.



Sai Baba left no written works. His teachings were oral, typically short, pithy sayings rather than elaborate discourses. Sai Baba often seemed to lose his temper with those around him. His followers believe that he only pretended to get angry, in order to teach humility and foster right spiritual action.

One of his well known epigrams says of God: "Allah Malik" ("God is Master") and "Sabka Malik Ek" ("GOD is the Owner of us All.")

He teached that God penetrates everything and lives in every being, and is the essence of each of them. He emphasised the complete oneness of God which was very close to the Islamic tawhid and the Hindu doctrine in the Upanishads.

Sai Baba said that the world and all that the human may give is transient and only God and his gifts are eternal.

He emphasized the importance of devotion to God - bhakti - and surrender to his will. He also talked about the need of faith and devotion to one's spiritual guru. He said that one is the soul and not the body.

He advised his disciples and followers to overcome the negative features of character and develop the good onesthat all fate was determined by karma.

Sai Baba was an opponent of religious orthodoxy - including Hindu and Muslim. Although Sai Baba himself led the life of an ascetic, he advised his followers to lead an ordinary family life.



Shirdi Saibaba Temple & Samadhi

The Shirdi Saibaba Temple, located at Shirdi, Maharashtra, India attracts millions of devotees of all religions, castes and creed who come to pay homage to Shri Sai Baba. The temple is a beautiful shrine that was built over the Samadhi of Shri Sai Baba.

In the temple notable areas are the Samadhi Mandir where Sai baba's body is buried and the Dwarkamai on the right of the entrance to Samadhi Mandir where Sai Baba used to solve problems of the people, cure their sickness and worries.

Shri Saibaba Sansthan
Shirdi, Maharashtra India,
02423-258500 ext. 258717/8
Contact Persons: 
Shri Khot P R

From Hyderabad you can go to Shirdi by a direct bus. It is a 15 Hrs. journey. R T.C. runs 3 buses between 2 P.M. and 5 P.M.

From Bangalore the K K. express runs through Dharmavaram, Ananthapuram and Dond junction to Kopargam and Manmad. You can get down in either of the stations and catch a bus to Shirdi from there.

From Madras the Navajeevan express goes upto Ahmedabad. It passes through Pushaval. Get down there and catch another train to Manmad. You can catch a bus there to Shirdi.

You can reach Shirdi from Mumbai in 6 hours by R.T.C Buses, Private Buses, and Taxis.

Railway stations

Sainagar Shirdi - 0.5 kms far from the temple.

Manmad Junction - 58 km.

Kopergaon ( Daund- Manmad Line ) - 16 km.

TRAIN FROM MUMBAI The train —no 0117 — would depart CST at 10.20 pm and would reach Shirdi at around 5 am. The same train (0118) would leave Shirdi for Mumbai at around 7.30 am.

Train No-1333 - CST Mumbai to Sai Nagar Shirdi-Mumbai - Sainagar Shirdi Fast (passenger -via - Pune - daund) Arrival -10.30 AM Daily.

Train No1334 -Sai Nagar Shirdi to CST Mumbai -Sainagar Shirdi Fast -Mumbai (passenger -via - daund - pune Dept -16.40 Trains Daily


Aurangabad, Maharashtra State, India - 150 km

Pune, Maharashtra State, India - 215 km.

Mumbai, Maharashtra State, India - 282 km

Nasik, Maharashtra State, India - 90km.

Daily Schedule & Opening Hours: 

The Temple opens for devotees at 5.15 a.m. (05:15 hrs) with Kakad Aarti and remains open till the end of Shejarti.

Temple open -4:00 am

Bhupali -4.15 am

Kakad Aarti (morning)-4:30 am

Bhajan in Saibaba Mandir-5:00 am

Holy Bath of Shri Sai Baba (Mangal Snaan) in Samadhi Mandir-5.05 am

Aarti " Shirdi Majhe Pandharpur" -5:35 am .

Darshan begins in Samadhi Mandir-5:40 am

Abhishek Pooja-9:00 am

Satyanarayana Pooja-8:00,10:30

Dhuni Pooja with rice and ghee in Dwarkamai 11:30 am

Mid day Aarti-12:00

Pothi (Devotional reading/Study) in Samadhi Mandir -4:00 PM

Dhoop Aarti -At Sunset

Devotional Songs in Samadhi Mandir and other Cultural Programmes (if any)-8:30 - 10:00 PM

Chavadi and Gurusthan closes-9:00 PM

In Dwarkamai water is given to Baba, a mosquito net is hung and the hanging lamp is li-9:30 PM.

Dwarkamai (the upper part) closes-9:45 PM.

Shej (night) Aarti, after this , a shawl is wrapped around the statue in the Samadhi Mandir, a Rudraksha mala is put around baba's neck, Mosquito net is hung, and a glass of water kept there-10:30 PM.

Samadhi Mandir closes after night Arati-11:15 PM.

The changes in Abhishek Pooja the timing is as below:

1 St Batch - 7.00 am to 8.00am

2 nd Batch - to 10.00 am .

3 rd Batch- 12.30pm to 1.30 pm


There are many accommodation options in Shirdi of all levels and prices.

Prices and Fees: 
Free of charge
Maps and Pictures of Location: 

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Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

Sai Baba of Shirdi: A Unique Saint

by M.V. Kamath & V.B.Kher


Sai Baba of Shirdi is a phenomenon.In all of India\'s history,there has never been another like him.He is not a conventional saint.He wrote no critique of Bhagavadgita or the Upanishads or any other holy work.He made no pretensions to scholarship yet he had a profound insight into both Hinduism and Islamic scriptures.He founded no ashram or peetham,wrote no tome,initiated no disciple to take over from him.He performed \'miracles\' but in no manner of means to impress anyone,devotee or otherwise.Sai Baba in every way remains unique. Born about twenty years before the \'Sepoys\' mutiny in the 19th century in Marathwada,the home of medieval saints of Maharashtra,he came in his late twentis to Shirdi,an insignificant hamlet in Ahmednagar District and spent fifty years of his remaining life there until his mahasamadhi.Shirdi is no longer an obscure village.Today it is a centre of pilgrimage for lakhs of Sai Baba\'s devotees. This book is a complete account of his life and mission and it\'s popularity can be judged from the fact that it has run into nineteen impressions.

Cover image

The Life and Teachings of Sai Baba of Shirdi (Suny Series in Religious Studies)

by Antonio Rigopoulos


A vast and diversified religious movement originating from Sai Baba of Shirdi, is often referred to as \"the Sai Baba movement.\" Through the chronological presentation of Sai Baba\'s life, light is shed on the various ways in which the important guru figures in this movement came to be linked to the saint of Shirdi.

Recommended Audio: 

Pro Opinions

A real nondual master

santthosh kumaar's picture

Dear sister Sangeeta,

Reincarnation of Baba

thanes's picture

Om Dram Dattatreya Siva Baba

Baba have re-incarnated as Dattareya Siva Baba

please refer to the writing of the Nadi leave of @


mystic_saurabh's picture

He would have told us if that was the case!

Jai Shri Guru!

Without any disrespect to your Guru, please do not propagate that Siva Baba is Sai Baba's reincarnation....Devotees of Satya Sai Baba also do this....It is very ridiculous!! You can believe what you want to believe but please don't convert others like this.

Don't meant to hurt you or cause any offence...

God bless,

mystic_saurabh | Sun, 06/14/2009 - 06:21
sowgand's picture

nothing to say.....i totally

nothing to say.....i totally agree with jaishree guru's comment.....

sowgand | Fri, 01/28/2011 - 20:40

Shirdi Saibaba

csaibaba's picture

Saibaba was and is protecting His disciples when He was alive and even now.

Sai Baba is alway with us

archana.anchal's picture

Sai baba has promised his disciples and everyone, that who so ever will remember him with a pure heart he will find baba's answers in his heart......Baba may not be with us in his physical form, but r

saint the


Time to time as per the need many saints took births on this earth and among them many becomes the guide of multitudes and Baba was such kind of.

Sai baba God on earth

parul srivastava's picture

Sai baba is a God on earth.He protects his children and take care of them.Ihave deep faith in Sai baba.

Shirdi Sai- the living master

G.Srinivas's picture

Though Shirdi Sai is not in physical body he permeates the whole universe and listens to the prayer of each devotee and to this day he performs miracles.

Shiridi Saibaba

umachraju.'s picture

Saibaba is the Jagadguru and a great saint.