Sai Baba of Shirdi (c. 1838? – died 15 October 1918), also known as Shirdi Sai Baba, was an Indian spiritual master and fakir, considered to be a saint revered by both Hindu and Muslim devotees during and after his lifetime.
According to accounts from his life, Sai Baba preached the importance of “realization of the self” and criticized “love towards perishable things”. His teachings concentrate on a moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace, and devotion to God and Guru. He stressed the importance of surrender to the true Satguru, who, having trodden the path to divine consciousness, can lead the disciple through the jungle of spiritual growth.
Sai Baba condemned discrimination based on religion or caste. Whether he was a Muslim or a Hindu remains unclear, but the distinction was of no consequence to the man himself. His teachings combined elements of Hinduism and Islam: he gave the Hindu name Dwarakamayi to the mosque in which he lived, practised both Hindu and Muslim rituals, and taught using words and figures that drew from both traditions.
Among his favourite sayings to devotees were “Look to me, and I shall look to you” and “Allah tera bhala karega” (translation: God will bless you). He is thought by devotees to be an avtar of the Hindu God Dattatreya.
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