The Shirdi Sai Baba movement
is the religious movement
of the followers and devotees of the 19th- and early 20th-century Indian
saint Sai Baba of Shirdi
(or Shirdi Sai Baba).
The Shirdi Sai Baba
movement began in the 19th century, during Sai Baba's life, while he was staying in Shirdi
. A local Khandoba priest named Mahalsapathy is believed to have been his first devotee. However, in the nineteenth century Sai Baba's followers were only a small group of Shirdi inhabitants and a few people from other parts of India. It started developing in the 20th century and even faster in 1910 with the Sankirtans
of Das Ganu (one of Sai's devotees) who spread Sai Baba's fame to the whole of India. Since 1910 numerous Hindus
from all parts of India started coming to Shirdi. During Sai's life Hindus worshipped him with Hindu rituals and Muslims revered him greatly, considering him to be a saint. Later (in the last years of Sai Baba's life) Christians
started joining the Shirdi Sai movement.
Chandra Bhanu Satpathy, a devotee of Sai Baba, has been instrumental in creating more than one hundred and fifty temples of Shirdi Sai Baba in India and abroad. He has also had an important role in the development and propagation of the Shirdi Sai Baba movement.
The devotees of Shirdi Sai Baba have spread all over India. According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Religion
there is at least one Sai Baba mandir in nearly every Indian city. His image is quite popular in... Read More