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The Sai Baba of Shirdi - A Saint-Seer Beyond Compare

To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Download Free PDF. The Journal of Asian Studies, Anne Hardgrove. Download PDF. A short summary of this paper. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.

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China's lack of interestin the area and inabilityto effectivelyadministerit, coupledwiththe internalpoliticalturmoil that accompaniedthe decline and collapse of Manchu rule, preventedthem from takingthe Britishbait. An "Agreed"Frontier is an unromanticworkof diplomatichistory,freeof the anecdotesthat cloud most accountsof the eventssurveyed.

In identifying British aims and relatedactions, Mehra exhibitsstudied objectivitywith regardto the historicalrecord,his analysisextendingonly so far as is born out explicitlyby relevanttreaties,maps, and diplomaticcorrespondence. He takesno libertiesin this regard, offeringa wealth of historicaland geographicaldetail with minimal interpretation. This Spartantreatment is thework'sgreateststrength and distinguishes ofBritishstrategic it as thebestavailabledistillation thinkingaboutLadakh,Kashmir, and Hunza.

The onlynotablegap in theanalysisis thatdifferences in theperspectives ofBritishauthoritiesin Londonand thosein India arean underdeveloped subtheme. However,Mehra's work is deceptivelydispassionate. In exploringthe tactical shiftsin Britain'spursuitof its strategicaims, he commentson Russianand Chinese activitiesand motivationsonly so far as is necessaryto make British responses comprehensible.

Importantaspects of China's interestsare raised, inadequately developed,and ultimatelydismissed. While describingthe region'ssparse,unruly population,inhospitable geography, and marginaleconomicworthwithgreataccuracy, Mehra overstatesChina's inabilityand unwillingnessto extend effectivecontrol, therebydiminishingany ultimateChinese claims there.

This slant is made less understandable by the author'sclearknowledgeofChina'spreference foradministering distantdomains less rigorouslythan the British.

Though it may reflecta lack of accessto relevantChinesesources,this bias is rootedin the author'sunquestioning acceptanceof Britishassumptions about Chineseintentand capability.

This uncritical approachto Britishdiplomacyof the period is consistentwith the author'snarrow interestin the originsand instruments of Britishpolicy. Unfortunately, the poorly qualifieddismissalof Chineseinterests oversimplifiesthe historicalrecordof territory that remainscontestedand neatlyservesthe interestof independentIndia in the dispute.

The glossingoverof the statusof Aksai Chin is notable. Thoughthebook'snarrowfocusand presentation makeit unsuitedforclassroom use, a close readingis indispensableforthoseseekingto understand Britishintentions and methodsin playingthe Great Game.

Of particularnote in this regardare the sevenmaps, fifteen appendicescontainingrelevanttreatiesand excerptsfrompivotal diplomaticexchanges,and extensivebibliographicnotes. Beyond the solid factual core of Mehra's work, the extensiveinclusion of supportingmaterialsgives it tremendousreference value. An "Agreed" Frontiershouldbe in all majorSouthAsian collectionsand on the shelvesof Raj historianseverywhere.

Maharashtrahas long been hometo syncretic saintfiguresand scholarlyresearch on popularreligion. While international attentionhas been given to Puttaparthi-based SatyaSai Baba, who claims to be an avatarof ShirdiSai Baba, much less is known aboutthisoriginalSai Baba who spentmostofhis life as a mysterious begging fakirin the Maharashtrianvillage of Shirdi, AhmednagarDistrict.

In accordancewiththetraditionofambiguitythatsurroundsShirdiSai Baba's religious identity as neitherclearlyHindu norMuslim,Rigopoulossituatesthelifeand teachings of ShirdiSai Baba withinbothHindu Vedantaand IslamicSufitraditions of tasawwuf mysticism. PartI of the book focuseson the lifeof ShirdiSai Baba and Rigopoulos creatively synthesizes scholarlyaccounts,oral history,and hagiographicmaterialsin constructinghis historicalaccount.

Part II addressesthe teachingsof Shirdi Sai Baba, and the authordemonstrateshis rich knowledgeof Hindu philosophyby locatingthe theologicalreflections and sayingsof Sai Baba withintextualand popular traditionsof bhaktiand sufism. Like the medievalsaint Kabir, to whom Sai Baba is oftenfrequently compared,Sai Baba producedno writtenwork,yet Rigopoulos has engaged seriouslywith these oral sayingsto place Sai Baba's teachingsin a philosophicalcontext.

Historiansand anthropologists will, no doubt, find fault with Rigopoulos's claimthat"Temporality is a mereaccidentwithinthefluxofsamsaraand is absolutely irrelevant. Thus, the Indian mind tends to devalue history" p. Rigopoulos's book tends to depoliticizereligionby echoingthe old tropeof Indians having no history,and thereis greatpotentialforhis studyof the lifeand teachingsof Shirdi Sai Baba to be understood in a broadersocialhistory context. Even thoughRigopoulos doesnotexplicitly addresstheinfluence ofcolonialismon popularreligiousmovements, forexample, we can use his materialto see tracesof colonial presencein several places.

At one point Sai Baba is heardspeakingin English p. Anothereventconcernsa Britishwoman,wifeof the DistrictRevenueCommissioner,who traveledto Shirdi in to seek Sai Baba's help in conceivinga child with her husband. She is made to wait forseveralhours,and in the end Sai Baba refusesto help herand the womanis simplyturnedaway. The storyconcludesthatshe remainedchildless p. Historiansstudyingthe relationshipbetweencolonial practicesand popular religionwill findtheseand otheranecdotesin thisaccountuseful.

Examplesof Sai Baba's medical cures createan interestingjuxtapositionof questionsof medicine and healingin lightof recenthistoricalresearchon medicineand the colonialstate. Rigopoulos'sdescriptions of Sai Baba's healingpractices,especiallyin the construction ofcirclesofgrainaroundthevillageas protection againstcholera p.

Sai Baba's famecame primarily fromperforming miracles,and themiraclestoriesoftenincludeSai Baba's interventions into job prospects,education,rents,and property.

These miracleaccountscan be readas statements ofhow Indiandevoteescame to termswithlifestyles ofmodernity and thedemandsofbusinessand professional life,showingtheimportance ofhistorical contextand temporality withinpopular religiousmovements. But how do we explain how Sai Baba of Shirdi has become predominantly identifiedwithHindu tradition?

One criticalepisodein thedevelopment ofdevotional movementsto ShirdiSai Baba concernsthe conflictthat occurredoverwhat to do with Sai Baba's body afterhis death in While both Muslims and Hindus agreedthat his body should be buried, as is customarywith Muslims and Hindu ascetics,therewas vehementdisagreement about the detailsof the burial.

This episode was clearlyinstrumental in the resultant"Hinduization" of Shirdi Sai Baba. Future studies of Shirdi Sai Baba mighttackleotherhistoricaleventsthathelp accountforthe developmentof Hindu tradition an almostexclusively movement. Berkeley: University of California Press, Religiousnationalism is a conglomeration ofcomplicatedphenomena. Controversy and lethal violencecharacterizeits recentmanifestations in India, specificallythe anti-Muslimcampaignsof the Hindu nationalistmovementand the complicityin themof the Indian state.

Petervan der Veer methodicallyand conciselyexamines the emergenceof religiousnationalismfromthe perspectiveof religiousmovements and ritualaction.

He focuseson Hindu and Muslim nationalism,and at various pointsrefersto aspectsofSikh nationalism. His purposeis not to presenta narrative historyof religiousnationalismin India. Instead, he developsa thematicanalysis of the transformation of what Eric Hobsbawm calls " 'protonationalist feelingsof collectivebelonging'" into religiousnationalism. Two sets of themesare interwoven in thisanalysisand structurethe argument.

The firstset relatesto debatesconcerningorientalism,nationalismand colonialism, modernismand secularism,toleranceand syncretism;these recurthroughoutthe book and framethe ethnographic and historicalmaterials. The secondset of themes shapesthebook'schapters:organizations of religiouscommunities chap. The chapterscumulativelyargue that religiousidentityis constructedthrough ritualdiscourseand practice,and demonstrate how theseidentities arespecificproducts ofreligiousorganization and communication.

Examplessuchas theHindu nationalists' campaignsforCow Protection,forthe restoration of the Somnathtemple,and for thedemolitionoftheBabri mosqueand construction oftheRam templein Ayodhya illustrateways that religiousnationalismsimultaneouslyarticulatesdiscourseon religiouscommunity and discourseon the nation. Throughout thebook thediscussion is attentiveto the historicalnexusof colonial rule, orientalism,and the emergence of Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh nationalismin India, a nexusthatled thesereligious nationalismsto developalong similaryetantagonisticlines.

However,van der Veer explicitlyargues against the hegemonicstatus that many influentialstudies of nationalismconferon the role of orientalismand on the role of the state. The argumentalso intends"to demonstrate thatcontemporary Indian nationalist degree'indigenous'" p. This bracketing politicsis to a significant of indigenous. Related Papers. By kiran shinde. By Andrea Marion Pinkney.

By Karline McLain. Placing communitas: Spatiality and ritual performances in Indian religious tourism. By Kiran Shinde. By Eleanor Nesbitt. Download pdf. Remember me on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link. Need an account? Click here to sign up.

Shirdi Sai Baba

To remember Him only is to solve the riddle of life and death. This is the best and easiest of Sadhanas, as it involves no expenditure. A little exertion here brings great rewards. So as long as our senses are sound, we should, minute my minute, practice this Sadhana. All other Gods are illusory ; Guru is the only God. If we believe in Sad-guru's holy feet, he can change our fortune for the better. If we serve Him nicely, we get rid of our Samsar.

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Sai Baba of Shirdi

The name Sai Baba comes from sai , a Persian word used by Muslims to denote a holy person, and baba , Hindi for father. Most accounts mention his birth as a Hindu Brahman and his subsequent adoption by a Sufi fakir , or mendicant. Later in life he claimed to have had a Hindu guru.

Sai Baba of Shirdi

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Sai Baba of Shirdi died 15 October , also known as Shirdi Sai Baba , was an Indian spiritual master who is regarded by his devotees to be a manifestation of Sri Dattaguru [2] and identified as a saint and a fakir. He was revered by both his Hindu and Muslim devotees during, as well as after his lifetime. According to accounts from his life, he 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 the God and guru. He stressed the importance of surrender to the true Satguru , who, having trod the path to divine consciousness, will lead the disciple through the jungle of spiritual training.

The Sai Baba of Shirdi - A Saint-Seer Beyond Compare

What is old in the world? Everything has always been and will always be. Sai Baba of Shirdi, also known as Shirdi 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. He was revered by both his Hindu and Muslim devotees, and it was uncertain if he was a Hindu or a Muslim.

The Life and Teachings of Sai Baba of Shirdi.

2 Comments

  1. Dirk K. 28.05.2021 at 13:49

    Please check if all fields are filled in correctly!

  2. Alcira S. 03.06.2021 at 15:57

    "This book makes available for the first time to readers in North America and much of the English-speaking world an account of one of the most important Indian.