Biography of Sai Baba
The birth and parentage of Sai Baba are wrapped in mystery. Many authors and scholars conclude from various proofs that Baba was born at Pathri village in Parabhani District, Maharashtra State, India. Baba himself gave some hints about his life, which have been verified. He seems to have been born some time between 1820 and 1850 A.D. His parents were Brahmins. They handed him over to the care of a fakir, who in turn passed on the young child to a saintly person named Gopal Rao Deshmukh, an ardent worshipper of Lord Venkateswara of Tirupati. After ten years, his Guru directed him to move westward and after some wanderings, Sai Baba settled and spent the rest of his life at Shirdi. It is believed that Baba first came to Shirdi in 1854 and lived there for three years. He disappeared from there for sometime and returned to Shirdi with a marriage party in 1858 and lived there for sixty years till his Mahasamadhi in 1918 (Vijaya Dasami Day). He lived a simple life in a mosque. He never accumulated wealth. He advocated faith in God and tolerance towards all as the basic tenets for religious life.
The early decades spent by Baba at Shirdi are not well documented. He was first living under a margosa tree, leading a simple life. Next, he moved to a mosque in the village, and resided there until the end of his life. Impact of the immortal teachings, Leelas (Divine experiences) and miracles of Sai Baba were greatly felt by numerous devotees who visited the place. Thus, Shirdi has become the prime place of pilgrimage. To his devotees, Baba has come to stay as the embodiment of supreme spirit, primary cause of the Universe, pure consciousness and God incarnate. Few years before his Mahasamadhi, Baba said that even after his passing away, he would speak from the Samadhi (tomb). This assurance came out absolutely true, Baba seems to be more active now than when he was living.
Amongst his qualities, the most notable was love - uniform, all embracing, intense love, showered on all and at all times, without any limit of sacrifice involved or any expectation - truly unconditional love at its highest. Baba was nothing but the embodiment of love.