Saibaba's marble statue in Shirdi!
Saibaba's first visit to Shirdi!
In India, there is no paucity for holy man! Every where and in every state of India, some saint or sage has taken birth to guide the people around, the real aim of life on earth. It was during 1835, in the erstwhile Nizam state(at present it is Andhra Pradesh), there lived a holy couple named Ganga Bhava and Devagiriamma. They were the parents of Shirdi Saibaba. But immediately after delivery, the boy was covered with cloth and leaves and left under a huge tree for nature to take care. There came a sufi Muslim who had no issues. He heard the cry of the infant baby and found none near the vicinity. He took the baby and handed over to his wife for taking care. They were happy since they had no child so far and they thought it is a god sent gift to them.
The boy was with them for four years. One day, the sufi has passed away and the lady could not bring up the child due to poverty. Other reason is that the boy was full of pranks and uncontrollable. She thought of handing over the boy to the custody of one "Venkusa" who was a holy man. It seems that the holy man was expecting the arrival of the boy. He evinced special interest in teaching the boy good things and about God related things. Other students who are taught by the holy man grew jealous of the boy. They thought of a way to get rid of the boy. When the holy man and the boy were alone in a place, one wicked student among them hurled a brick bat aiming the boy's head. The holy man noticed it and he took the hit on his head and blood started pouring out from the head!. The boy immediately tore his cloth and made a bandage around the head of the holy man.
The holy man bade him to go away in the western direction. Taking leave, this boy started his west ward journey and he reached one small hamlet known as Shirdi. He was around 16 years and he stayed with the holy man for twelve long years. He was keeping the brick as a memory of the holy man. He sat under a margosa tree. He was not bothered about heat or cold. He was indifferent to hunger and thirst. The people of the village were wonder struck. They could not get any details of the newcomer. He never conversed with any. One day, the deity of the village Kandoba caught a man and he was in a trance. The people were inquiring the possessed man about the new comer. The deity which possessed the man asked them to bring a shovel and spade. It showed a place and asked them to dig! There, they found a stone slab and their were steps going underground. Underneath they found many cow like forms and beads for meditation. The deity told them that this boy has practiced here. When the villagers inquired the boy, he said, This is my Guru's place and close it as before. Hence the villagers closed the slab as before and preserved the place as a holy one! Rest in Part II.