Monday, September 22, 2008

Shirdi Pilgrimage - Sai Darshan

Om Sai Ram
Shirdi is a town and falls under the jurisdiction of municipal council located in Rahata Tahasil in Ahmednagar District in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is located at 19.77° N 74.48° E. Shirdi is accessible via the Ahmednagar - Manmad State Highway No.10, approximately 83 km from Ahmednagar and 15 km from Kopargaon. It is located 185 km east of the Western Seashore line (the Ahmednagar - Manmad road), which was at one time a very busy route. Shirdi is best known as the late 19th century home of the popular guru Shirdi Sai Baba.

Sai Baba of Shirdi (d. October 15, 1918), also known as Shirdi Sai Baba, was an Indian guru, yogi and fakir who is regarded by his Hindu and Muslim followers as a saint. Some of his Hindu devotees believe that he was an incarnation of Shiva or Dattatreya, and he was regarded as a satguru and an incarnation of Kabir.

The name 'Sai Baba' is a combination of Persian and Indian origin; Sāī (Sa'ih) is the Persian term for "holy one" or "saint", usually attributed to Islamic ascetics, whereas Bābā is a word meaning "father" used in Indian languages. The appellative thus refers to Sai Baba as being a "holy father" or "saintly father". His parentage, birth details, and life before the age of sixteen are obscure, which has led to a variety of speculations and theories attempting to explain Sai Baba's origins. In his life and teachings he tried to reconcile Hinduism and Islam: Sai Baba lived in a mosque, was buried in a Hindu temple, practised Hindu and Muslim rituals, and taught using words and figures that drew from both traditions. One of his well known epigrams says of God: "Allah Malik" ("God is Master").

Sai Baba taught a moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace, devotion to God and guru. His philosophy was Advaita Vedanta and his teachings consisted of elements both of this school as well as of bhakti and Islam.

Sai Baba remains a popular saint and is worshipped mainly in Maharashtra, southern Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Debate on his Hindu or Muslim origins continues to take place. He is also revered by several notable Hindu and Sufi religious leaders. Some of his disciples received fame as spiritual figures and saints.

Transportation
Shirdi is located approximately 296 km from Mumbai in India. Private Airlines are available from Mumbai to Shirdi. Although Shirdi is not served directly by rail, trains run from Manmad station which is 83 km from the heart of Shirdi, alternatively from Kopargaon station which is 18 km from Shirdi, or Nashik city which is 119 km from Shirdi or Nagarsol. Daund railway station is 200 km from Shirdi.Buses and taxis ply from these railway stations and locations to and from Shirdi. Shirdi can be reached by bus from any of the following cities in Maharashtra State (India): Mumbai, Pune, Thane,Nashik, Akaluj, Dhule, Nagpur and Aurangabad. Air-Conditioned Car Rentals are provided by many private companies.

To book luxury bus tickets, please visit Sonal Travels or call Mr. Vijay Mane on 022-2340 9745 / 9869554222.
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