Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi is verily called as Sadguru, Fakir, Awalia,
Maha Yogi and most importantly “the Incarnation of the Age”. When
Baba was in Shirdi some spiritual personalities used to visit that
On seeing Baba as a young person at Shirdi one such personality Shri Gangagir commented that the young Sai was like a jewel under a heap of cow-dung and also that one day His divine shine will bring glory to Shirdi.
Meher Baba, (a disciple of Upasani Maharaj who was the Prime disciple of Baba) has commented that he knew that Shri Sai is like the beginning and end of creation. Upasani Maharaj has spoken a lot on Shri Sai, saying that Shri Sai is everything.
Thus, a lot has been spoken and written on Shri Sai. Hundreds of epithets have been used in His name. The “Sai Nam Astottarasata Namahvalih” glorifying the names and divine qualifies of Shri Sai are recited in most of the temples of Baba. People during His time and as also today have exhaustively written on this majestic and unfathomable divine personality on the past and present miraculous deeds related to Him and on emotional attachment of the devotees with Him. Crores of people are being drawn towards Him and thousands of temples have been built all over India and some in other countries. His photographs can be seen everywhere. The process of such expansion continues. Today He is the Sai ‐ the Master and father to so many. The number of devotees is ever on the increase and this “Sai Wave” is slowly but surely engulfing humanity.
Speculations apart, fact remains that the divine status of Shri Sai has not been exactly defined The Hindus use all terminologies and epithets quoting from their scriptures to explain the divine attributes and Leelas of Shri Sai. Shri Sai is worshipped as Sai Maharai, Sai Bhagwan, Sai
-Ram, Sai Krishna, Sai Vithala, Sai-Mouli (means mother), Sai Param Brahma, Sai Shiva, Sai Dattatreya, Sai Vishnoo, Sai Shankara, Sai Avatara
and Sai Ishwara, etc. Would one analyse these divine epithets He would be drawn to the conclusion that although Shri Sai Baba played the role of a Sadguru i.e. a Perfect Master while at Shirdi, He is much beyond that. Shri Sai left His human embodiment long ago, without institutionalizing his movement and without leaving an heir-apparent as most of the Gurus do. He came to serve His devotees for their spiritual evolution, although he rendered temporal benefit to all of them more by His kind acts than through speech. An analysis of the visible personality of Shri Sai would indicate that he was totally detached from all material needs, was sometimes in a Jalali (spiritually intoxicated) state, used his spiritual powers for the benefit of his devotees in abundance, treated all equally not-withstanding the barriers of caste, religion, creed, language, temporal status, etc.; was divinely compassionate to all, including animals, was in a state of God-intoxication and beyond all behaved like an ordinary man in a village without any assertion of His divine hierarchy (as many Gurus do). He lived in one place and left His body having served who-so-ever came to Him for 60 years without seeking any returns.
Today Shri Sai is a name known to most of the people of India. Shirdi has become a ‘Tirath’ with devotees from all over the world making a bee-line there. The “Saism” as many call it, is expanding very fast. Such expansion by sheer self‐ motivation of His devotees indicates the power that “Shri Sai” is even eighty six years after His Samadhi. This is what happened to all the incarnations in the past.
Let us pray to Shri Sai, “the Incarnation of the Age” on the New Yearsʹ day
to guide and bless us.