SHRI SHIRDI SAI

What are Shri, Shirdi and Sai words mean to anyone?

Shri

Sri also transcribed as Sree, Shri, Shree, Si or Seri is a word of Sanskrit origin, used in the Indian subcontinent as a polite form of address equivalent to the English “Mr.” or “Ms.” in written and spoken language, but also as a title of Honor for deities.

 

Shirdi

Shirdi is a town and falls under the jurisdiction of municipal council popularly known as Shirdi Nagar Panchayat, located in Rahata Taluka (Sub-division) in Ahmednagar District in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is accessible via the Ahmednagar – Manmad State Highway No.10, approximately 52 miles from Ahmednagar and 9.5 miles from Kopargaon. It is located 115 miles east of the Western Seashore line (the Ahmednagar – Manmad road), which is a very busy route. Shirdi is best known as the late 19th century home of the popular Guru Shirdi Sai Baba. It is one of the richest temple organizations.

 

His Holy Name “Sai”

Sai Baba’s real name, his birthplace and date of birth are unknown. When asked about his past, he often gave elusive responses. The name “Sai” was given to him upon his arrival at Shirdi.  Mahalsapati, a local temple priest, recognized him as a Muslim saint and greeted him with the words ‘Ya Sai!’, meaning ‘Welcome Sai!’.

Sai or Sayi is a Persian title given to Sufi saints, meaning ‘poor one’ and in Banjara language, “Sayi” means good one.

The honorific “Baba” means “father; grandfather; old man; Sir” in most Indian and Middle Eastern languages. Thus Sai Baba denotes “holy father”, “saintly father” or “poor old man”.

The Sindhi and Urdu word “Sāī.n”, an honorific title for a brilliant or wizard, a saint, or a feudal lord (i.e. a patron), is derived from the Persian word “Sāyeh”, which literally means “shadow” but figuratively refers to patronage or protection.

The Hindi-Urdu word “Sāyā” could also mean “Master Father.”

Sāī may also be an acronym of the Sanskrit term “Sakshat Eshwar”, a reference to God.  Sakshat means “incarnate” and Eshwar means “God”.

 

Background of Shri Shirdi Sai

Sai Baba of Shirdi (“Shirdi Sai Baba” “Sai Baba”), was an Indian spiritual master who was regarded by his devotees as a Saint, Fakir, and Satguru, according to their individual proclivities and beliefs.

Shri Shirdi Sai was admired and respected by both his Hindu and Muslim devotees, and during, as well as after, his life it remained uncertain if he was a Hindu or a Muslim.

Sai Baba stressed the importance of surrender to the true Satguru or Murshid (Arabic word for “guide” or “teacher”, with the basic meaning of having integrity, being sensible and mature.), who, having gone the path to divine consciousness, will lead the disciple through the jungle of spiritual training.

Sai Baba is worshipped by people around the world. He had no love for perishable things and his sole concern was self-realization. He taught a moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace, and devotion to God and Guru.

He gave no distinction based on religion or caste. Sai Baba’s teaching combined elements of Hinduism and Islam: he gave the Hindu name Dwarakamayi to the mosque in which he lived, practiced Muslim rituals, taught using words and figures that drew from both traditions, and was buried in Shirdi.

One of his well-known sayings, “Sabka Malik Ek” (“One God governs all”), is associated with Hinduism, Islam and Sufism. He also said, Trust in me and your prayer shall be answered”. He always uttered Allah Malik (“God is King”)