~ Final Update ~
Monday, 23rd Aug`2010
Owing to the objections raised by the Shirdi Gram Villagers & Many Sai Devotees,
the Shirdi Sai Sansthan has finally CANCELLED the plan of taking the Holy Padukas of Baba to London.
According to Shri.Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil, the Padukas of Sai Baba are very Sacred
and in any circumstance they should be not taken out of Shirdi, not even to the other regions of Maharashtra.
He said that there are Sai Baba Temples worldwide, all of which have their own set of padukas,
so there is no need of taking Baba's Padukas anywhere, from Shirdi.
Source - Sahara Samay (Mumbai)
SAI BABA'S PADUKAS WILL NOT BE TAKEN TO LONDON
Monday, 23rd Aug`2010
Shirdi (Maharashtra): Following strong criticism by locals, the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust (SSST) of Shirdi Monday
cancelled plans to take Sai Baba's Padukas to Britain next month, an official said here Monday.
'People from various quarters, including the villagers from Shirdi,
have expressed their disapproval to take Sai Baba's Holy Padukas to London.
So, respecting their sentiments, we have cancelled the proposal,' SSST chairman Jayant M. Sasane told IANS.
The Padukas were to be carried by flight in a special box with appropriate security measures,
and were expected to be kept for public viewing at the Royal Albert Hall in London for two days Sep 19-20.
Over 25,000 Sai Baba devotees from Britain and other parts of Europe were expected to congregate
there for 'Darshan' of the Padukas, and take part in several prayer meetings scheduled for 2 days.
Now, there is no plan to take these Padukas abroad at any later date, Sasane said, sounding a note of disappointment
for Sai Baba devotees in Britain and Europe. 'If the plan had materialised, it would have been the first time that
any personal article of Sai Baba, who passed away in 1918, would have ever been taken overseas,' he said.
Sasane said that periodically, Sai Baba's Padukas are taken to different parts of India as & when devotees
from various parts of the country request. In the present case, there has been a long standing request
of more than 2 years from devotees in Britain and Europe, especially from those who cannot undertake
the pilgrimage to Shirdi, around 300 km from Mumbai.
Sasane clarified that the Padukas were not being taken abroad with the intention of garnering donations for the Trust.
Presently, the SSST is among the top 5 richest Temple Trusts in the country,
with an annual collection in excess of Rs.3 billion.
However, he said that most of the money goes in various welfare and charitable activities of the SSST
and part of it goes towards the salaries of 3,500 staff members.
Devotees of Sai Baba have not lagged behind in their generosity towards their favourite, revered Saint.
Two years ago, a devotee from Andhra Pradesh donated a pure gold throne weighing 18 kg, worth over Rs.15 million for Baba.
Last month, an anonymous devotee donated a precious jewels studded gold chain, also worth over Rs.15 million.
Source - http://sify.com/news/saibaba-s-sandals-will-not-be-taken-to-britain-news-national-kixqEdbdicj.html
SHIRDI SAI BABA'S CHARAN PADUKAS GOING TO LONDON`UK
Fri 20th Aug`2010
Shirdi (Maharashtra): The Sacred Sandals (Padukas) of Shirdi Sai Baba at Shirdi, will be taken to London,
by the Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, as hundreds of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) devotees wish to seek
Sai Baba's blessings by viewing the Saint’s relics.
Shri Ashok Khandekar, a Trustee of Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust said that,
“London has a huge number of Sai Baba devotees and they wished to seek blessings of Sai Baba's Sacred Sandals (Padukas).
So, they requested the Shirdi Sai Trust, who agreed and got everything arranged.
Sai devotee, Arvinde Tiku, along with other devotees from London, have organized the whole tour".
It has to be noted that in August`2009 when Baba's Padukas were planned to be taken to Texas`USA for Darshan
as part of the Centenary celebrations of Baba's Chavadi Procession in Shirdi, there was a huge opposition by the
Shirdi Gram Udyog / Sai devotees who feared security issues and didn't want Baba's Paduka's to be insulted in any manner
through out the trip especially at the security checks at airports, and so the Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan had to cancel the program.
So, this time the Shirdi Sai Trust has guaranteed the safety & security of the Padukas sanctity during the whole Trip
and also said that the cost of the entire trip will NOT be borne by the Shirdi Sai Trust, but by
the Pujaris / Personnel travelling themselves and so if any devotee from the Sansthan or the Shirdi Gram
would like to join them on this trip, they could do so.
SUBMITTED TO SBOI GROUP BY ROHIT BHEL