Global SAI Movement
During the last two decades, Global SAI Movement as they call it and which pertains to Shirdi SAI Baba has spread all over the globe. I had the unique opportunity of joining this global SAI movement from the year 2000 A.D. It all started with Indians settling abroad during the last fifty years or so. The shift of Indian IT workers and experts from various technical groups, doctors and academicians to different countries for medium or long periods of time, has slowly introduced Baba to the western world.
Starting from the early nineties of the last century, a few lakhs Indian citizens went or migrated to the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. It is in some of these countries that a maximum number of temples and organizations of Shirdi SAI have come up.
A very large number of such Indians visiting USA on various types of Visa like Business, Visitors, students or temporary work permit, had been devotees of Shri Shirdi SAI Baba when they were in India. Some of them had been devotees of Baba for generations and have been worshipping Baba as their family deity. They used to read SAI SATCHARITA and visit Shirdi along with their families. When these devotees started staying in USA for long periods of time say three years or more, their need to worship Baba in a temple could not be satisfied. Even their parents and relatives, who used to visit them for months, started searching for Baba’s temple.
In the early nineties of the last century there were few Shirdi Sai temples in USA, although it is reported that the first Shirdi Sai Baba temple in the USA started in Monroeville, Pennsylvania in the 1980’s. However the number of temples, organizations and related activities pertaining to Baba had an exponential growth during the last fifteen years or so. Today a large number of Shirdi SAI Baba temples have come up in different states of USA. Further Baba’s statutes have been installed in some of the already existing temples. As informed, scores of such temples are in the making. Some states have a large number of temples in different places in the same city. Such activities are going on in states like Georgia, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, California, Minnesota, Texas, Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Washington and Massachusetts to name a few.
Shirdi Sai devotees regularly visit these temples particularly on Thursdays and weekends in large num
bers. They celebrate Shri Ramanavami, Dusshera and other festivals and functions following the tradition of Shirdi temple. Most of them undertake social and philanthropic activities to help the society in which they live. Similar such activities are in progress in countries l
In the year 1990 “SAI UTSAV” was celebrated at Chicago temple which was attended by about 2500 devotees. From that time, I got associated with this global moment of Shri SAI and activities such as installations and Pran Pratista of statues of Baba and addressing the devotees at places like Sydney Australia, Kent UK, and Houston Texas USA and many other cities.ike Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Fiji etc. In certain places in Africa like Nairobi, South Africa- Johannesburg and elsewhere SAI groups are quite active. A new temple is going to be inaugurated shortly at Auckland New Zealand. There is a temple in Fiji Islands where a large number of Indians are settled. Temples are coming up in Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Nepal as well. Some devotees are conglomerating privately and carrying on with SAI worship even in the Middle Eastern countries like Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. Similar activities are going in European countries like UK, France and Holland.
MAY SHRI SAI BLESS US ALL
C B Satpathy.