Sai Vichaar
 Thursday , January 04, 2007 :: Volume 9, Issue 34
 
 (In its nineth year of publication.)
 

Sai Vichaar is a Weekly newsletter distributed every Thursday and is devoted to the life, philosophy and teachings of Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi. Feel free to forward this newsletter to your interested associates in its original form.

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    IN THIS ISSUE:

  • FEATURE OF THE WEEK
  • CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE
  • DEVOTEES SAY
  • PRAYER CLUB
  • EXPERIENCE OF DEVOTEES
  • QUOTATION OF THE WEEK
  • QUESTION OF THE WEEK
  • SAI ACTIVITIES
  • FROM THE EDITORS KEYBOARD

 

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: New Year Message

Most of the devotees of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba are reported to have spiritual experiences, many of which are in the form of miracles, which not only enhances their faith in Baba but also spiritually uplifts them. If one goes through such experiences of devotees as depicted in Shri Sai Satcharitra and other literature on Sai Baba and compares them with the experiences of the present day devotees one would find a close similarity pertaining to many of them. Shri Khaparde, a prominent advocate of Amravati near Nagpur, who used to visit Shirdi frequently, and Kakasaheb Dixit who devoted the later part of his life in the services of Baba at Shirdi have recorded details of such experiences in their diaries. When one hears about some of the common experiences reported by devotees, one's mind is transported to Baba's time at Shirdi. Imaginations become vivid, all worries cease to exist and time seems to stand still. Most devotees have reported that they used to get spiritually charged at the very sight of Baba; disturbing and uncontrollable thoughts of their mind used to vanish, a feeling of purity and love would engulf them. Baba had a unique way of communicating with his devotees through language, look and touch besides the extremely strong and vibrant spiritual thought waves. He used to relate his thought waves even from afar. These powerful thought waves used to appear in the form of vivid dreams and ideas in the minds of his devotees to convey certain impulses, directions, forewarnings, future happenings and Baba's love. Those who followed these directions with an open mind benefited amply. While such directions were related by Baba in dreams, the results were seen taking shape suddenly or in due course of time in the actual realities of their worldly life. For example, one devotee saw Baba giving him yellow rice in his dream. When he got up he found yellow rice sprinkled all over his bed. Similarly another devotee found a coconut in his bed when awakened from sleep.

Another direct experience as depicted in the Shri Sai Satcharitra was in 1917, when Hemadpant had a dream wherein he saw Baba in the form of a Sanyasi promising to come to Hemadpant's house for meals that day. At lunchtime, just as the family was about to begin eating, two men, Ali Mahomed and Moulana Ismu Mujavar, appeared at the door and handed over a picture of Sai Baba to Hemadpant. Hemadpant was much moved at the thought that Baba had indeed blessed him by gracing his house for lunch.

There are numerous experiences about Baba appearing physically in different and distant places, while he was in his human embodiment at Shirdi. Devotees have reported that Baba, while sitting in front of the Dhuni in the morning at the mosque, would often refer to distant places and other worlds he had visited overnight despite being physically present at Shirdi. A famous incident is narrated in Shri Sai Satcharitra in 1910, when Baba, sitting near the Dhuni, pushing firewood into it, suddenly pushed his arm into the Dhuni thereby burning his hand. On enquiry by the devotees, he replied that at some distant place, the wife of a blacksmith was working at the furnace with her child tied to her waist. When her husband called her, she suddenly got up and the child slipped into the furnace. Baba thrust his hand into the Dhuni to save the child from the furnace. Another devotee, B.V Deo had sent a letter to Bapu Saheb Jog in Shirdi requesting Baba's presence in a group lunch he had arranged. Baba promised to attend the lunch with two other persons and did so by appearing in the form of a Sanyasi with two followers.

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: continued....

The greater miracles of Baba are instances of control of natural forces like fire, air and water (rain). The Satcharitra narrates of an evening when torrential rain accompanied by lightning and thunderstorm hit Shirdi flooding it entirely. This terrified all the disciples, animals and birds who took refuge at Dwarakamai Masjid and prayed for help. At their request Baba commanded the cloud in a thunderous voice to stop its fury and to allow his children to go their houses. Within minutes the rain stopped and the storm settled down. Another instance documented was on an afternoon when flames from Baba's dhuni rose up to the roof of Dwarakamai Masjid threatening to burn it. Baba took his satka (stick) and hit a pillar commanding the fire to calm down. At each stroke of the satka the flames gradually settled to normalcy. Baba gave numerous other types of experiences to his devotees but it would not be possible to codify or cite such examples due to lack of space.

The more surprising and interesting fact to note is that even after departure from his bodily abode in 1918 and till the present day, devotees continue to report similar experiences. Truly speaking, even on the day Baba left his body and thereafter, devotees have been experiencing such unexplainable events. Such experiences of Baba are not limited to the gullible and uneducated rural youth as is commonly believed to be, but cuts across the 'intelligentsia' of the society including lawyers, professors, officials, doctors, scientists and others. It is interesting to observe that even in this era of esoteric, atomic individualism, with population (the number of devotees) having increased manifold, where rationality and objectivity rules the minds of the people, such spiritual experiences continue to affect millions.

Cutting across the man made differentiations of caste, races, religions, socio-economic diversities, all are making a beeline to Baba's Samadhi at Shirdi as Baba had once uttered in a state of spiritual ecstasy. Despite the modern day youth's affinity to western culture, Baba's message remains ever relevant and appealing. That is why so many temples have come up across the globe. Sai Baba not only crossed the boundaries of humanism but gave shelter to all living creatures. The Sai Satcharitra narrates numerous instances of his compassion towards dogs, snakes, horses, tigers and even birds.

Today on an average 35,000 people visit Shirdi every day and on weekends the numbers go upto a lakh or more. There has been a phenomenal growth in the Sai faith as can be seen in the astronomical growth in the number of temples, literary publications, devotional music etc. The number of devotees dedicated to spread the name and message of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba is mind-boggling. Today the Sai movement is not limited only to Maharashtra as was during the time of Baba, but within decades of his departure has crossed the national boundaries to become a global movement. This new era of 'Saiism' does not touch the religious aspect of the devotee's life only but affects and permeates all aspects of an individual's life (family, culture, social behavior etc). For the devotees Shri Sai Baba is not a part of their life but their life itself in all its aspects.

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: continued....

The spirit of Sai is more active and alive today than perhaps it ever was. This raises in our mind a fundamental question - 'Who is Sai Baba?' Some address him as a Sadguru, some as a fakir, some as a Yogiraj, some as a saint and to most of the devotees he is 'God the Almighty' Himself. He has been accepted as an incarnation (Saguna Sakara avatara), which means, God who in human form walked on earth. History has shown that the expansion of religions and/or faiths started by the incarnations expanded phenomenally after they left their human embodiment. This was the case with Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mohammed and Shri Krishna. The Sai movement is ever on the increase in a similar manner, which goes to reinforce the faith that Sai Baba was an incarnation of God (Paramatma). This goes to prove Baba's promise that after leaving his body he will be ever active from his tomb to protect and guide his devotees. As Baba had once promised, He continues to exist in a subtle form (Mahakarana sheath) as a unifying force, to spread and re-establish compassion, love, truth and tolerance amongst human beings and among all living entities on earth.

Let us welcome and embrace this age of Sai, who is the panacea for all the evils of the present world, torn asunder by forces of regionalism, racialism, economic and social differences, religious bigotry, fanaticism and lack of faith in 'God'. Let us look forward to a happier tomorrow; let the name of Shri Sai resonate in all corners of the globe.

Message by Shri C B Satpathy.


 

CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE: Sri Saibaba's role in India's Independence movement.

Those of us viewing from a narrow religious angle would perceive a small part of the incarnational role of Paramaguru Sai Baba. No doubt, He watched His devotees at their personal and individual levels, putting them on right path and also resolving their problems. However, a deeper analysis and understanding of many happenings around Him would reveal how wide and crucially important were His interventions in shaping the political destiny of not only our country; but the world as well.

When Sai Baba arrived at Shirdi for the second time along with the marriage party of Chand Patil in 1856, the Indian struggle for independence was taking an initial shape in the form of "Sipoy Mutiny" in 1857. According to M.V.Kamath and B.V. Kher the authors of the well known book entitled "Sai Baba of Shirdi - a Unique Saint", Baba was aware of the developments of the India's First Struggle for Independence. One of the prominent players in "Sipoy Mutiny" of 1857 was Vasudev Balwant Phadke, a staunch devotee of Shri Dattatreya Swami. He approached Swami Samartha of Akkalkot (another form of Parma-guru Sai Baba) for His blessings and placed his sword at Swami's feet. Swami Samarth asked one of His devotees present there to guard the sword keeping it in the dense canopy of a tree nearby. Swami told Phadke, "My child, Don't be in a hurry! Time is not yet ripe for that!" Phadke, however, was determined to fight and hence took the sword back. He prostrated to Swami and went to fight the British. He was caught by British and jailed in Eden, where Phadke died on February 17, 1883.

It was due to Sai Baba's spiritual power and ingenuity that certain developments took place at social and political levels of the country. He foresaw the need for unity between Hindus and Muslims and Baba is unique in fostering the amity between these two communities. Some of the major players in the political scenario of India during the 19th and 20th centuries came under the influence of Sai Baba. Baba indicated that He was at the task of reforming them spiritually over their past lives too, so as to mould them to take the right direction in their lives at the crucial phase of the country. In the era of Indian Freedom Struggle, Baba attracted some of the important leaders, took them under His fold and protected them from the machinations of British and instilled in them the needed spiritual and political maturity. This enabled the leaders to take the right direction in their struggle for the country's freedom. There were cases of some Punjabi freedom fighters seeking Baba's blessings in their struggle for freedom. Baba not only blessed them, but also extended His protective shield, thereby saving them from the onslaught of British Raj.

The two Congress leaders attracted by Baba were Kakasaheb Dikshit (alias Harisitaram Dikshit) and Dadasaheb Khaparde alias Ganesh Shrikrishna Khaparde. Another devotee of Baba viz., Krishna Shastry Jageshwar Bhishma too participated in freedom movements directed by BalGangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi.

(Contributed by Ramaa Manohar Prasad Maddipatla)

CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE: continued...

Kakasaheb Dikshit was a prominent leader of the Indian National Congress, which he served as a Member of the Working Committee. He was a close associate of Phiroj Shah Mehta, known for his moderate views. Dadasaheb Khaparde was another important leader of the Indian National Congress. He was considered to be the "right hand" of Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, well known for his extreme political views with in the Congress party. When these two important functionaries of Congress Party came under the influence of Sai Baba, their divergent views got mellowed down and gradually they came to appreciate the need for a common unified approach for getting Independence from British. It was due to the efforts of both these leaders who came to an understanding under the influence of Sai Baba that Indian National Congress finally chalked out the strategy to fight for the total independence of the country.

When the British Regime arrested Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak and jailed him at Mandaly in Burma, Khaparde struggled hard for almost two years to get Tilak released. He even went to the extent of representing the case to the Privy Council in London, but in vain. After his return from England Khaparde came under the influence of Sai Baba and stayed at Shirdi for long intervals. By then the British Raj identified Khaparde as one of the Indian Politicians considered to be dangerous. Plans were afoot to get Khaparde arrested. Khaparde, however, escaped the arrest entirely by Baba's grace, as has been pointed out by Baba Himself. According to what Khaparde recorded in his "Shirdi Diary", Baba said on December 29, 1911 that the Governor was about to hit Khaparde with a spear, but Baba intervened, struggled with him and changed his mindset, thereby saving Khaparde.

British Authorities had also appointed a special secret agent by name Natekar (alias "Hansa") to spy on Khaparde. Natekar reached Shirdi in the guise of a spiritual seeker and gained popularity among people of Shirdi by his sweet talk. He used the opportunity to steal the dairies and other records maintained by Khaparde at his residence. It is said that Baba knew the machinations of Natekar. Nevertheless, Natekar could not succeed in getting any tangible clues warranting the arrest of Khaparde, entirely due to the protection that Baba gave to Khaparde. While protecting him from the British Authorities, Baba gradually brought about a qualitative spiritual change in Khaparde too, who gradually turned into a "karma-yogi", moving away from his craving for fame, social status and recognition.

Khaparde was instrumental in bringing Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak to Sai Baba on May 19, 1917 after his release from imprisonment. Then Lokamanya Tilak asked Baba, "Baba, can we succeed in our struggle to gain independence for our country?" Baba said that it would happen in good time by God's grace. It was almost similar to the reply given by Swami Samartha of Akkalkot to Vasudev Balwant Phadke. He also said to Tilak, "People are bad. You have done enough for them. Keep yourself to yourself"

(Contributed by Ramaa Manohar Prasad Maddipatla)

CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE: continued....

Khaparde was also instrumental in communicating Baba's blessings to the then Congress Leader Shankar Nayyar, who repeatedly sought Sai Baba's blessings to succeed in their tasks. According to B.V. Narasimha Swamy the founder-President of All India Sai Samaj, Baba foretold that India would gain Independence from the British during the tenure of their 9th Emperor. When India became independent in August 1947, in fact Great Briton was under the rule of the 9th Emperor.

(Contributed by Ramaa Manohar Prasad Maddipatla)


 

DEVOTEES SAY:

Sham
Deva, early Thursday morning I saw You in my dream. You were sitting like holding Mahalsapathi's son in your lap and I put my head on Your holy feet and asked You to heal me, completely cure my skin problem on the face and I heard You say, "Within 10 days you will be cured." I have faith in you fully my dear Sai baba please cure me and heal me and give me confidence. Only you can cure me of this skin problem, there is no medicine in this world for me other than Your udi. So grace me and cure me please!

Rahul
Shraddha and Saburi (faith and patience), One without the other cannot stand. I have been Sai devotee for over few years now. But not until recently, I have really been able to keep both my faith and patience together. I have always had faith but patience was something I really needed to work on. Recently, there was a major leak at my store which caused store just right below mine to leak as well. We placed a call to emergency plumber, who upon inspecting mentioned that he would have to take the entire wall down to replace Water Tank. I was quoted over $ 2500 to replace faulty water tank plus 8 hours of labor charge. Christmas being the busiest season for us, we had this dilemma of losing sales and were being harassed by the store below to fix the problem as soon as possible. I kept my faith and patience together with Sai?s name. Miracles were bound to happen. The very next day we had hired a private plumber who upon inspecting mentioned that there was only minor clogged and was able to fix all the problems within half an hour without tearing down any walls. I strongly believe that it was Sai who has come to rescue for His devotee yet one more time. Only this time, this entire incident has uplifted my faith to sky high which was achieved by keeping my patience. It is so true that one without the other cannot stand. Thanks Sai.

Srilakshmi
I always felt Your presence in our life like a father and we are blessed to be at Your lotus feet. I successfully completed my CPA exam with Your blessings, thank you Sai. Please be with us and guide us in every step of our life. God bless us all.

Sai devotee
Dear Sai devotees if you really pray to Baba from the bottom of your heart to fix things and then leave it to Him, I promise you He will take it from there, but only if you stop doubting and worrying about it. Once you give things in His charge just feel like now it is His problem and not yours and then you will see His leelas. But once again if you want Baba to take over then you have to do it with the utmost faith and be patient, He will take care of you and your problems. This has been my experience and I am sure many of you also feel the same way. Thank you Baba. I love You.

Kalpana
I wish to share with the devotees a miracle that took place on November 5th. My son is just over a year old and for the last 4-5 months has been holding his hands in prayer everytime I show him the altar with Baba's picture and idol. On that Sunday morning, I bathed him and put him down on the floor in our bedroom which is in the 1st floor, asking my husband to take care of him. My husband did'nt hear it and my son went crawling towards the stair case. Within a split second I realized that my son had crawled away and by the time I could run for him, it was too late. I stood at the top of the stair in horror watching him roll the entire flight of stairs. My husband ran to get him and when he picked him up at the bottom of the stairs, my son was crying uncontrollably. My mother immediately gave him Baba's udi. He stopped crying in less than 3 minutes. There was not even a scratch on his body. It is by Sai's grace that nothing happened to my son. I could just see how Baba had worked miracles on my son who has been praying to Him.

Priya
I had written in Sai Vichaar about my inflammation problem in my left eye and also about the high sugar problem. With all your grace, the eye doctor told me that there is no more inflammation and have asked me to reduce the dosage now. Also, there is no high sugar level when I did the second test. Thank you very much Baba for all your blessings and taking care of me. Please help me deliver Your blessed babies in an easy way and please take care of all of us. Thank you again.


 

PRAYER CLUB:

Vandana
Baba as You know I am going to Bangalore on 4th of January. Baba I am leaving my 8 month old baby who is a gift from You. Baba please take care of her as You always do.

Anand
Lately I have been having some concerns regarding what my company should be doing as far as getting the right things done. Whenever I make a suggestion the boss says I don't have to teach him, but what I am asking him to do is for the growth of his company and ultimately the growth of the employees. I really don't know if am doing something wrong, please Baba help me do this right so that all can benefit.

Nupur
Baba, I have been having contractions again, pl.ease make sure I reach my full term Baba, have mercy Baba.

Madhu
With Your grace I found the job I wanted. It took a while to get the job but with Your blessings everything fell in place. Please help me do a good job and get all the rewards that I couldn't get in my previous job.

Sonia
Help me in going through the tough time, help me in getting a job which I have been tying for so long and make my father healthy again as soon as possible.

Nirmala
Om Sai Ram.Sai by Your grace I have conceived twins and also into my 7th month of pregnancy. Please bless us Sai. Please continue to shower Your blessings on us and help me have safe pregnancy and healthy babies.

Chitra
Baba, with Your blessings my mom got her visa. I know You always listen to our prayers and this time I want to pray for Kittu and his wife.They have been trying for a baby and they have gone through alot mentally and physically. Please bless them with a child and please don't delay any further. I think they have waited long enough and so please let it happen soon and please give a healthy child for kittu and his wife. I should hear the good news from him within the next two months and please bless them.

Srini
Sai Baba, You know how much pain I am going through for the past two years. If I have done any mistakes unknowingly or knowingly, please pardon me and give peace to me and to my family.

Sai devotee
Om Sai Ram. Baba, please bless my mother to recover from her illness. She has been suffering for the past three years.

Sai devotee
Please Sai give me mental peace and help me control my anger. Help me find happiness in my present life. Please continue to bless my family.

Jyotsna
Baba, please help me ! I am unable to bear the pain, please give me relief. With lots of hope I am writing this prayer.


 

EXPERIENCE OF DEVOTEES:

Manish
Shri Sachchidanand Sadguru Sainath Maharaj Ki Jai. Saibaba blessed me by introducing me to doing the saptah of Gurucharitra. During a saptah a thought arose as to whether the situation I was in at work i.e. I was being blamed for things not committed by me would get over. The very next day after the thought arose, the situation changed from bad to worse. I was asked to leave the project. The strength and force of Gurucharitra ensured that I did not get depressed. But soon I found that that it was because of the nakshatras configuration that was causing problems for me. My thoughts went to the past to the very beginning preschool, school, college etc. I felt that all the while Saibaba was ensuring that I was moving on. This made me further realize that the current situation would also be changed by Saibaba. It has been illustrated with various examples in Satcharita that one has to atone for ones past deeds whatever they are. Saibaba was literally watching every move, every action, every thought of mine. It was only due to His blessings that people know that I am not at fault somehow the past deeds have been creating undesirable situations for me Saibaba was literally holding my hands and walking with me all along. The realization set in that "I was doing things" was completely wrong. I am just a means, an instrument in the hands of God Saibaba. I am sure that Saibaba will see to it that I will start performing outstandingly well.

Payal
Koti Namaskar Baba, Pranam to all devotees, and thanks to the members of the organization to make this useful and path showing site. As I said this site is really path showing, I have experienced many times whenever I have any queries in mind, the answer of the same is posted in the site itself in any topic. This is all Sai leelas. This is one of the recent I want to share with You all. On December 25th, 2006 "Christmas Day" I visited my catholic friend (She is studying to be a Nun), via her Jesus conveyed message for me and she wanted me to stay at her house and pray with her to overcome my all problems. I asked my Saibaba, if what she is telling is the truth and really Christ i.e. Baba wants me to stay at her house, then please make my mother to permit me (as I thought my mother will not allow). And amazing my mother allowed me. When we sat to pray, I was remembering Baba and many times I told my friend that Baba and Christ are same. Then when I concentrated on my prayers Lord Jesus Christ appeared in front of me but I cannot see him, but I can also feel the presence of my Saibaba and I was really happy as I felt secure that I am not alone from now onwards and Jesus Christ, my Baba accepted my prayer. My prayer to Baba is that, whatever happens but please don't leave me alone anywhere. I want Your presence always with me. From the time (4 months) I have surrendered my life to Baba and He called me, I am always happy and no evil can cause me harm.


 

QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:

"The world is all-dependent on God; and no one is independent".-Shri Sai Baba


 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK:

Q. What is Baba's role in India's struggle for its independence?

A. by Ramana Murthy, Dubai

Sai Ram to all my humble pranams to Baba's charan. It's a very good question for this week. Baba's role in India's struggle for its independence - This is my opinion and feelings and understanding about Baba - Baba's role is not just confined to a country. Baba's message is for the entire earth for every human being. His massages are very clear to all to become independent from the evils in the mind. If that happens there is no struggle for the independence for the land on the earth. This is struggle for every body for the independence for the evil thoughts or destructive thoughts in the minds of human beings to achieve "mosksha" a self realization. He has born for all on the earth. Once again my humble pranams to Baba and to every body. Sai Ram.


 

SAI ACTIVITIES:

Shirdi Sai Temple of Chicago and Suburbs, Illinois, USA
Shirdi Sai temple is open daily from 8:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m (Winter hours). Daily program includes Kakad Arathi at 8 a.m. followed by Abhisek. Madhayana Arathi at 12 noon, Dhoop Arathi at 6 p.m. and Shej Arathi at 9 p.m. Archana, Homams, Sahasranama and sponsored poojas continue in between the Arathis. To request a pooja for yourselves, your friends and family, please call. Devotees can request water (Abhishek Jal) from the Holy bathing of Baba by sending us an email or by phone. Temple is located 25 minutes drive west of Schaumburg on intersection of IL Route 47 and Plank Road in Hampshire, IL. For more information please call 847-931-4058 or send email to maildrop@saibaba.org.

Shri Saibaba Mandir, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saibaba activities in Minneapolis were conducted at Shirdi Saibaba Prayer center since the year 2002. Now, with the grace and blessings of Baba and the support of devotees, a new Saibaba Mandir has begun to function at 1835 Polk St NE, Minneapolis from July 11th 2006. Please visit www.hamaresai.org for all details.

Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple of Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple of DFW Metroplex is located at 2109 West Parker (Parker Plaza), Suite 212, Plano, TX 75023. For temple hours and activities please call the temple office at 469-467-3388 or visit the website www.shirdisaidallas.org.

Shirdi Sai Center in Bay Area, CA
By Baba's grace, Shirdi Sai Parivaar is pleased to announce the grand opening of Shirdi Sai Center in Bay Area. The center is located at 897-B East Kifer Road, Sunnyvale, CA 94086. For more information please call 408-564-6704 or 408-705-7904.

Shirdi Saibaba temple, Los Angeles, CA
Devotees in Los Angeles area are informed about Sri Shirdi Saibaba temple in Los Angeles area. Please visit www.shirdisaila.org for more details.


 

FROM THE EDITORS KEYBOARD:

Sai Vichaar wishes readers a Happy, Prosperous and Peaceful 2007. Sai Vichaar thanks you for your support for the Question of the Week feature. This feature is intended to initiate useful discussion on topics related to Sai philosophy, His message, and Sai devotion. Please participate by sending your contributions as well as suggested topics for the same.

Sai devotee Sasi wrote, "I would like to know any information during India's Independency and Baba's life. I know Baba has left us on October 15th 1918". The "Question of the week for this week is,

Q. What is Baba's role in India's struggle for its independence?

Humbly Yours,
The Editor


 

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From and Editor: Shirdi Sai Baba Web Site
  Shirdi Sai Baba Sanstha
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Mail: 12N950 State Route 47
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