Sai Baba Legal Dispute - more reportage
Thursday, January 12, 2006 11:25:50 IST
Good Lord, pray tell us what the truth is!
Satya Sai Baba’s devotees believe he is a reincarnation; the others beg to differ..
At his age of 80, Shree Satya Sai Baba is thus far to be identified. He is now being pulled into a controversy with his followers claiming that he is a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba.
Shirdi Sai Baba’s followers have filed a case against Satya Sai Baba’s followers in court at Rahata in Ahmednagar district to desist them from calling Satya Sai as a rebirth of Shirdi Sai Baba. Followers of Shirdi Sai Baba and Shree Satya Sai Baba have different versions of the records about Shirdi Sai Baba. And it is this difference in records that has resulted in this controversy.
Shirdi Sai Baba’s Organisation in the city has the following version about Shirdi Sai Baba. The records with this group has no clue about his birth. Long time ago, at the beginning of the eighteenth century a young bearded man with sparkling eyes took shelter in a mosque in Shirdi village. Nobody knew from where this stranger had come who hardly spoke a word and stayed there. He led his life by helping the helpless and he strongly believed in uniformity of religion. He never discriminated against anyone on the basis of caste, creed or religion.
As all good things have to end, ultimately Baba also left his body on his own will on October 15, 1918. His body was laid in the Samadhi Mandir called “Booty”, which he had asked his disciple to build before his death.
Dada Krishnan, a staff from Shirdi Sai Baba Trust in Dadar said, “Putaparthi Sai Baba is not a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba. We have the records saying that Shirdi Sai Baba specifically mentioned that what remains in his tomb is the last. He will not take rebirth. There is no relation at all between Satya Sai and Shirdi Sai Baba.”
Meanwhile, Shree Satya Sai Baba’s oragnisation about Shirdi Sai Baba is different. It believes that Sai Baba of Shirdi was born in a remote village called Pathri in Maharashtra on September 28, 1835 to the couple, Gangabhavadiya and Devagiriamma. Gangabhavadiya, overcome with a feeling of intense renunciation immediately after the child’s birth, decided to retire into a forest. With Devagiriamma religiously following her husband, the newborn was left to nature’s care.
A religious Muslim and his wife took care of the abandoned child till he was four years of age. Then they handed him over to a spiritual master by name Gopalrao Deshmukh (also known as Venkusa). For 12 years, till 1851, Baba stayed in Sri Venkusa’s ashram. One night in 1851, for the first time, Baba came to Shirdi. However, he left after a two-month stay.
He returned to Shirdi again in 1858 and stayed there for 60 long years.
Just prior to his shedding the mortal coil in 1918, Shirdi Baba told some of his devotees that he would reappear in the Madras Presidency in eight years’ time. Sri Sathya Sai Baba, born in 1926, declared that he was Shirdi Baba come again. So Satya Sai Baba’s followers believe that he has come back.
When asked about the case filed against Satya Sai’s followers to refrain them from calling him a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba, an office barer, from Shree Satya Sai Baba’s Trust at Vashi said, “It is all rubbish. There are lakhs and lakhs of devotees from all over the world. Everybody has witnessed the miracles happening. All of us believe that Shree Satya Sai Baba is a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba and definitely he is.”
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