Our next topic in the Truth About series focuses on Shirdi Sai Baba, a famous saint who lived and meditated in the holy city of Shirdi, India. Although he passed away in 1918, Sai Baba still has many followers around the world and his legacy continues to live on today. As you’ll see below, however, there’s more to his story than most people realize.
Sai Baba’s birth
There are two main versions of who Sai Baba’s father was. The first is that his father was a Muslim man named Sayyed Tajuddin who worked as a Patwari (accountant) in Parbhani, Maharashtra. According to legend, he came to Shirdi while on business. There he met a Hindu woman called M Halsapati Mali, with whom he fell in love and made her pregnant. When she learned of his feelings for her, she persuaded him to marry her and convert to Hinduism so that they could marry.
His early life
The word Sai is a title for a revered saint in Indian culture that means holy one. Sri (or Shri) means supreme, so Sai is also known as Sri Sathya Sai or Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai. He was born in Maharashtra on November 23, 1926. His real name was Sathyanarayana Raju; he took his spiritual name at age 13 after allegedly having an epiphany while praying in front of an image of a Hindu deity
Sai Baba’s Miracles
Although devotees are quick to ascribe miracles to Sai Baba, there are a few hard facts about his life that can be verified. There is no record of his birth or death in British India’s civil records. If a man never took credit for any miracles but still somehow attracted people who were convinced he could perform them regularly for nearly 70 years, how do we begin to understand him? Perhaps we should focus less on whether he performed miracles—and more on what it means when millions of people believe he did.
Shirdi Sai Baba was a Muslim or a Hindu. Many authors said sai baba’s real name was Suleman alias Sudhababa. The cause of death still remains unknown. There are many facts in his life that say that he is a Muslim. He has three wives with whom he has six children but those kids didn’t become his disciple like his other followers did they found their own path after their father died.
God Incarnate or just a Man
There is no doubt that Shirdi Sai Baba was considered a great man. Some people believe he was an incarnation of God while others believe he was just a man with magical powers. To understand who he really was, we need to explore all possibilities. The most controversial claim about him is that he did not die in 1918 as reported by The Hindu (incidentally it was also published in other English newspapers like The Indian Express). But according to his devotees who saw him after his death, there are no records of any pilgrim ever visiting his grave which makes things quite confusing. For now, let’s just say that we don’t know much about him except for what witnesses have reported about him over time and what many people have experienced for themselves through prayer.
Although he’d lived in Shirdi for decades, Sai Baba’s last years were spent living in a temporary hut with his favorite disciple. In 1919, he became ill and stopped taking food. When devotees begged him to eat something—anything—Sai Baba did so by consuming only water; his final words to followers were mama (meaning I am He) and marsala janab (meaning I will take birth again at Merayla village). His samadhi is a site of pilgrimage that thousands of people visit every year. Devotees claim that their wishes come true when they offer prayers there.
There are a lot of controversies that surround the life of Sai Baba. It is said that he was a Muslim, Hindu, or even an incarnation of Lord Vishnu himself. But, who was Sai Baba really? He has been in history for centuries now but some facts about him still remain a mystery for people to decipher. Why did he not choose to reveal his true identity during his lifetime? And what caused him to disappear from his abode on 23rd October 1918? There are so many questions regarding Sai Baba’s life that will always remain unanswered till date.
The life of Shirdi Sai Baba has a very controversial history. The various myths about him can be attributed to his prophet-like status amongst millions of followers across different faiths. From being a Muslim to an avatar of Hindu God Vishnu, there is no dearth of rumors associated with Sai Baba’s origins. While most claim that he was neither Muslim nor Hindu but an incarnation of God himself, there are many who believe otherwise.