Shirdi Sai Baba of the past has become
a phenomena of today.
This can safely be stated on the basis of the unexpected and amazing number of activities happening around in India and the world towards the propagation of the path He had shown. It is seen that in the last few years the Shirdi Sai Sansthan at Shirdi has expanded its activities multifold. This is somewhat expected given the fact that an average of about 40 to 50 thousand devotees visit Shirdi everyday. On important days it is a few lakhs. What is amazing is the construction and opening of hundreds and hundreds of Shirdi Sai Baba temples and other related institutions in India and abroad through the self‐motivation of the devotees. Would one historically examine the way in which temples have been created by devotees following other paths, it would became clear that usually the main trust (like the Shirdi Sai Sansthan at Shirdi) opens its branches at other places as the first step. Then the main trust and the branches take up temple construction projects which includes planning, financing, constructing and supervising etc. But in name of Shri Sainath Maharaj, self‐motivated devotees and groups are themselves creating resources, constructing temples and carrying out a number of other religious and charitable activities. No doubt such self‐motivation is a result of the existing spirit of Shri Sai.
Most of Baba’ s devotees are emotively linked with Him and are
prepared to undergo any amount of hardship and sacrifice to do a
task in His name. The rate at which the number of His devotees and
institutions are multiplying is simply astounding. There are a large
number of publications about Baba in various languages in the form
of books, journals, magazines, book-lets and the number runs to
thousands. Devotees are ever avid to know more and more details
about the past of Baba as also the happenings of today relating to
Him. There are a large number of web-sites on Baba in the internet.
Notwithstanding these multi faced activities, one important aspect
which is necessary to spread the name of Shri Sai Baba is
prominently lacking. That is, serious research on Baba, using the
modem research methodology is much below the desired standards. Some
scholars from India and abroad, independently or through research
institutions, have made substantial contribution in research and
some books and research findings in the form of articles have been
published. However, a study of these volumes would indicate that the
researchers/authors have not had access to many of the important
documents published during Baba’s time and there-after. This is
because initially most of the books and articles written on Baba
were in Marathi language and later English versions or original
writings in English came to market. There is hardly any library that
has a comprehensive collections of literature on Baba.
undertake serious research, a good library maintaining the required
documents like books, journals, newspaper items, manuscripts
hand-written notings, photographs, paintings, sketches, maps,
research papers and well maintained bibliography is a must.
Unfortunately no such library is in existence, to enable the
researches on Baba to undertake serious study. Some devotees,
particularly the writers, are in possession of some of the important
documents but what is needed is to create a single forum/ body that
possesses and maintains this for posterity. It should be the
endeavor of each devotee to collect all such records of the past and
maintain them properly for use by future researchers. That would be
a great contribution for Baba's cause. Let us resolve to work
towards this end in the New Year to come.