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Mysterious Secrets of the Statue of Sai Baba at Shirdi

Lakhs of people across the country worship Sai Baba and have strong belief in his teachings. There are several mysterious stories and legends associated with him. Sai Baba took samadhi on October 15, 1918, 36 years after his heavenly abode in Shirdi and hence the temple came in existence at the very place where Baba took his Samadhi. A 4.5 ft idol was placed near his samadhi. Before the idol, a picture of Sai Baba was placed in the temple for the devotees. Beneath the statue is a charan paduka, which has high religious and emotional value.

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Baba is seen as a guru, saint, fakir or even satguru by followers. People believe that problems and sufferings vanish if you pray to him with utmost devotion and faith. Sai Baba is also renowned as the living god! It is believed that he is immortal and always comes forward to help the people. There are several stories of his miracles.

One of the stories reveals that while the idol was decided to be structured, three best sculptors were called for making the idol. The Shirdi Sai Sansthan wanted to choose the best amongst them and so the three sculptures were given the task of making clay idols first. The best one would be selected for making the rock idol. For reference there was only one black and white picture of Sai Baba and this was a big challenge while making the rock idol.  

The first clay model was absolutely magnificent and had beautiful details to it. It was selected and several devotees who had seen Sai Baba were invited to see the clay model.  Rani Laxmibai, Balaji Vasantrao Talim helped in creating the idol and the first idol is still preserved at Mumbai art studio of Talim family. It is said that Sai Baba came in the dreams of the sculptor and thus helped him create it.  

After the clay idol, now the rock idol was to be created and for it the finest stones were to be searched. It is believed that a devotee from a Port Trust official in Mumbai became aware of a ship that had brought marble stones but no one claimed for it for over one and half years.  It was the best quality marble from Italy. But no one knew about the whereabouts of this marble consignment. Balaji Talim was called to see the stone and he was amazed to find that the stone was of exactly the same size as they wanted for Baba's idol.

In a period of 4 months the idol was created. Balaji Taleem, his son and other workers were working very hard to make the idol perfect. Just then a worker saw a big crack near Baba's feet, which could be an air pocket. The major concern was that the removal of air pocket could destroy the leg by going straight ahead of the crack and the entire idol could be damaged. This made everyone very tensed and so in search of a way out they prayed together to Sai Baba. Baba conveyed them the message to 'go ahead and do nothing'. Believing in the words of their lord Balaji Taleem hit with his hammer to take out the air pocket. And to their surprise the extra stone was destroyed without causing any damage to Baba's idol.

There were no more obstacles after that and finally the magnificent and glorious Sai Baba idol was established on October 7, 1954, on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami with Pran Pratishtha at Shirdi's Samadhi Even after 64 years, even today the idol looks exactly the same as ever. The glorifying beauty of the statue has never gone dull. Baba's idol is bathed in hot water every morning.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered to Sai Baba in the form of naivaidya. Abhishekham is done with water, milk, curd and ghee, after the first aarti if the day. The idol is also covered with mosquito nets during the night. It is removed at 4 o'clock in the early hours of the morning and a glass of water is also kept for the lord.

Devotees believe that Shirdi is the most auspicious place to seek the blessings of Sai Baba.

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