Life of Shri Sai Baba At Shirdi
Baba came to village Shirdi in Maharastra at age of 16 for the first time. People wondered looking at him that a boy at a very tender age doing deep meditation sitting in Astana under a Neem tree, without food and even water for several days.
This made to grew lots of curiosity on young baba. Bayajabai, wife of village chief occasionally inquired about the welfare of the sai Baba in his childhood. Gradually she started bringing food to Baba. As the days passed baba started treating her as his mother. Mhalspati, the village chief and a priest, once possessed by lord khandoba, uttered that there is a holy spirit here pointing towards the Sai Baba.
Baba pointed towards the neem tree and asked to dig it to roots. The villagers followed the words of Baba and started digging it. As the layers of earth passed on, they found a slab made of stone, oil lamps glowing without any oil and air too, Which was completely opposite to science. In the same place they found a vessel which is in the shape of cow mouth on a wooden table. Baba clarified that this is the holy place where his guru had done penance. He also suggested that instead of worshiping me (sai baba), worship the tree and leave it untouched. Till today no one touched it. This tree is the first stop of a pilgrim in shirdi
Baba was an unique personality who earned a huge attention towards him, in the day time he was not associated with any one and not afraid of any one. Some people thought that he was mad and even hurt him physically by throwing stones at him. Initially Baba spent about 3 years at Shirdi. After this, for a period of one year Baba left Shirdi and very little was known about sai baba during that period. He met many saints, fakirs and even worked as weaver as history says.
In the year of 1858, Sai Baba returned to Shirdi permanently. For about five years of time Sai Baba took his accommodation under the neem tree and very often Baba used to wander in the jungle near Shirdi was very uncommunicative as Baba spent lot of his time in meditation. Gradually Baba shifted his accommodation to a nearby mosque. Many Hindus and Muslims were visiting Sai Baba. In the mosque Baba maintained sacred fire which was called dhuni. Sai Baba gave sacred ash to the entire visitor. People believe that ash is the best medicine to heal for all health issues.
Sai Baba was god for all and used to participate in all religious festival. Baba had a habit of cooking and the same was distributed among all devotees as “Prasad” at the time of their visit. Sai Baba best pass time was singing (religious) and dancing. Many believed that Sai baba was a saint and even as god. As the time passed on the volume of visitors to Shirdi gradually increased.