Sai Baba of Shirdi – Birth and Early Life

There are many stories of the childhood of Sai Baba of Shirdi; he is in a league with the childhood of Jesus, for there is a palpable lack of written records. What is given here is sources from ‘sruti, that which is heard, a form of divine revelation given to seekers of the Divine those who seek the divine and nothing else in their lives. It is meet and fitting to consider that Sai Baba of Shirdi remained in one location for sixty years, and called devotees to him, those who were his bhaktas in ages past. Time is a plaything for the One who is master of time and space, the kalapurusha. Read on and consider the ‘sruti appended.

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Sai Baba of Shirdi


You look to Me, I look to you!

Little is known of the early years of Sai Baba of Shirdi. Even his name is unknown as Sai Baba is not an appellation in the usual sense. Sai is a term of Persian origin, usually attributed to Muslim ascetics, meaning holy one or saint. Baba, on the other hand, is a Hindi term attributed to respected seniors and holy men, and literally means “father”. So the etymology of Sai Baba means “holy father”, “saintly father”.

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The September 2014 Equinox

The Full Moon of September 9 has passed; the Earth moves on towards the next new moon, which will be a time of changes in our skies, our seasons and the planets. Depending on where you are on this planet, the Fall equinox arrives on September 23 – or it may be the Vernal Equinox, which hails Spring in the other hemisphere. In this post, we look to changes and consider the 4th Dimension.

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Dorothy Day


Dorothy Day (1897-1980) began her adult life as a socialist seeking religious truth and ended it as a Catholic influenced by socialist ideals. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Chicago, her early adulthood included work as a progressive journalist reporting on social issues of the day. In November 1917 Day went to prison for being one of forty women in front of the White House protesting women’s exclusion from the electorate.

In 1927, following the birth and baptism of her daughter, Day was received into the Catholic Church and became committed to using Catholic teachings to fight poverty and social injustice. In 1933 in New York City, she co-founded (with Peter Maurin) the Catholic Worker newspaper that advocated pacifism and positive social action. Day opened homeless shelters across the country and later led movements protesting nuclear war, militarism, and racial bigotry.

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Loving Divinity – Conversations with the Master

On this day, we start a new series of posts on this website, excerpts from the Conversations with the Master series by a Polish ascetic. We choose to post these excepts for we find the unique inner signature of the Divine in these conversations.

As you read on, you will discover that the author has a very humble relationship with the Divine, whom he calls “Master”. The author is also very, very human, and has his ups and downs in life. Sometimes he is reluctant, sometimes other pressures upon him cause him to put his pen down, and at other times, what comes out of the pen excites his enthusiasm and takes him to new vistas of experience of the Divine.

The Master: How can we describe The Master in these conversations? The Master answers questions. The Master can leave you dangling in the air gasping for breath and understanding. The Master is a loving parent, caring, guiding, protecting and drawing the reader (whom He and She addresses often) along the many paths to Loving Divinity. We leave it to you to have your own experience of the Master in these guided selections.

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Love without Limits

Love without Limits
Conversations with a Spiritual Master

(The Master speaks in blue.)

Master, what is then the spiritual path, learning of discipline, of meditation, bows, studying of books, life choices and their consequences?

This is the path leading to recollecting everything of who you are and at the same time creating a strong channel for a fuller, external expression of the Truth.

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First Steps to Love

First Steps to Love
Conversations with a Spiritual Master

Daniel Ostoja shares the narrative of his life journey, in particular, his spiritual experiences from the days of his youth. As a young man, Daniel read
of meditation and practised it himself, right from reading about it in a book.

My meditation did not have any religious character at that time. I used to merely sit with my legs crossed, focusing my mind on a place inside of my stomach and controlled my breath, waiting until my thoughts became quiet. It was very difficult at the beginning, but at the beginning everything is difficult and I was aware of this. I used to sit in zazen three times a day, for half an hour each time, and sometimes also for thirty minutes before going to bed.

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Reflections: The Moon, the Mind and the 4th Dimension

Astrology and the Vedas teach that the Moon is the presiding deity of the Mind. The 4th Dimension is known through the mind. It is the mind that perceives this world, and it is the mind that cloaks the world with illusion. Many live in their own self-created world views. The recent series of Super Moons raises questions about the Moon and its energies, aspects and functions as shown in Astrology. How does the Moon provide a pathway to the 4th Dimension in astrology?

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Super Moon August 2014

This coming Full Moon on 10 August – called a ‘super moon’ on account of perigree (closest to Earth) which will occur on 10 August. As the Hierarchy – in the messages of Cosmic Sai Baba, Jalarm and Alcheringa – recommends meditation on full moon days, we offer a reflection on this coming “super moon” and the astrological significance surrounding this.

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Swedenborg


Swedenborg was a respected academic who methodically described the spiritual world, and left a strange collection of works which captivated the most eminent thinkers. Swedenborg derived inspiration from dreams and visions, and claimed to be able to visit heaven and hell at will. His works were widely read after his death and highly regarded by poets, writers and mystics such as Blake, Baudelaire, Strindberg, Balzac, Yeats, Jung, and William James.

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Saints for a New Era

The question, “What is a Saint?” arose recently, for a description of a saintly person was encountered. That description was really a listing of what discouraged happiness in a saintly person. It went something like this: “discourage happiness due to wealth and family, possessions, marriage and sexuality, or material longevity“. That gave me pause. I had to stop and think, What is a saint? And so this website has come about.

I suppose there are many things you can say about saints. I’d like to open a window not just to the plaster saints, halos and statues, but also to the saints and saintly people from other religions. Why shouldn’t great saints, (or the sant tradition in Northern India), mystics and muslim pirs be excluded from consideration as saints? Don’t they inspire people too?

So there is my first conclusion about saints. They inspire.


Saints come from all traditions. Most of the well known saints come from the Christian faith. Hinduism has saints also: think of the guru’s who are entombed alive, and continue to guide their devotees when the body no longer exists. In the north of India, there is the Sant tradition, which includes men and women, poets and philosophers. We might also consider gurus from the Sikh tradition. Would you call them saintly people, the ten gurus of Sikhism? Then we might look to those who died for their faith, martyrs. Pope John Paul II made hundreds of saints; he simply proclaimed them martrys for the faith, and that was it!

Martyrdom was a little more serious than a simple proclamation: St Thomas More, Henry VII’s Chancellor, was executed for refusing to take the oath of supremacy of the Crown in the relationship between the kingdom and the church in England. Martin Luther is another well known dissenter, as was the more modern Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was shot at the altar while celebrating the rites of the Christian Church.

There are others we might consider saints: the great artists Michaelangelo and Rembrandt. Others might include Fra Angelico, and the great composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Poets and pilgrims are also mentioned as saintly persons. What is the character of a saintly person, a spiritual beacon? What attracts us to them?

We might say they are role models of duty, devotion and discipline. Many people are termed saintly for they bear their lot in life without complaining; said to be long-suffering. Some are said to be exemplars: they set an example to follow in adherence to faith and practice of devotion. Some might aver that saintly persons are people who found that self-effulgent light, within, without, and shared the pathway to the light for others to follow. Thomas à Kempis and his work, Imitation of Christ is one such example followed through the ages. The Sufi mystic Kabir and his poems are honoured by Sikhs and Hindus.

Pilgrimages to Shrines of Saints are common in many religions. Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, and people of the Jewish faith all go on pilgrimages. Pilgrimages are an exercise of faith; people go to the shrine or temple, in order to obtain spiritual benefits. One ancient pilgrimage has recently been promoted as a film, starring Martin Sheen. This is called The Way. Thomas Avery is an American ophthalmologist who goes to France following the death of his adult son, Daniel, killed in the Pyrenees during a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James), a Catholic pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. Tom’s purpose is initially to retrieve his son’s body. However, in a combination of grief and homage to his son, Tom decides to walk the ancient spiritual trail where his son died, taking Daniel’s ashes with him.

Pilgrimages and yatras aside, we might say that saints are departed individuals of recognised sanctity who are venerated in a religious environment. Death of the saint is no barrier to communion with or veneration of the saint. The saint may be said to have restored the image and likeness of God, and to be in the company of the Divine (or closely united) and whose intercession or benefices or teachings has efficacious results. This might relate to one or another aspect of any saint in any religious tradition. Saints inspire. You might say that they give us a “hand up” on the ladder of divine ascent, as do saintly persons.

Some of the material herein has had a previous incarnation: Spiritual Stars of the Golden Age. The Spiritual Stars have moved home six times since their inception in 2001. And more saints, pirs and heroes of humanity have been added since then. Let’s hope that this website inspires you to look deeply into the lives of saints and saintly persons, for your inspiration!

You may browse the articles in the Saint’s category here, or choose from below:

List of Saints for a New Era

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When Love calls

Sai Baba materialises Buddha from mud of LumbiniIn the morning, I pass a lot of coconut sellers. And garland sellers on the roadside. Many people were going in with coconuts; a crowd in front of the Ganesh temple. Look inside the temple, yes, there is Vighneshwara with his three broad lines across the forehead. Turn and look at the shrine for the Nagas and the Navagrahas, the planets. It’s a huge tree rising from that shrine.

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Reality and Shiva – Shakti

Love permeates. I wanted to say “Love permeates every corner of this universe” but there are no corners in this universe. “Corners” in the universe are simply my imagination and application of limits to what I can perceive and not perceive. I know there are parallel universes, multiple universes, multiple times, multiple time-lines and no-time. Love is. Love is in all that we can perceive, and in all that we cannot know or perceive in this our limited individuality.

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Consolations

Consolations? I am borrowing from the Old Testament Prophets in the Hebrew Bible. (Hebrew Bible, I hear you ask? The book itself is composite and the larger part of it (in fact, nearly all of it) comes from the Hebrews, the forerunners of modern day Judaism. It is proper and correct to call it the Hebrew Bible. It never was the Christian Bible, and biblical scholars along with Wikipedia are now getting us all to refer to the book by its proper name. I have to say, I concur. ) Here, we look to Consolations in two remarkably different sacred sources.

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Janani, Janani


It behooves all who come to take care of the belly or delhi belly will ensue. During a short bout of “delhi belly” we are taken via the gamut of Sai’s teachings on what it means to be a devotee, and what it means to love, and to be taken up into the Ocean of Love, the Ocean of Sai. Coconut water and Curd rice are the recommended dietary course during a bout of “delhi belly”.

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