Sai Baba of Shirdi was a venerated Indian sage and spiritual leader who is widely believed to have existed during the final years of the 19th and the initial years of the 20th century. He is renowned for his teachings on love, empathy, and serving humanity, and his devotees hold that he possessed supernatural abilities.
The sudden vanishing of Sai Baba in 1857 remains one of the most enigmatic events of his life. According to popular folklore, Sai Baba reached Shirdi, a diminutive village in Maharashtra, India, during the early 1850s and took up residence in a run-down mosque. In due course, he amassed a small group of followers who were magnetized to his principles and his proficiency in performing miracles.
Notwithstanding, in 1857, Sai Baba abruptly vanished from Shirdi. A section of people contend that he retreated to a nearby forest to meditate and perform penance, while others speculate that he embarked on a pilgrimage to sacred sites like Mecca and Medina. However, there are still others who claim that he vanished into thin air.
The disappearance of Sai Baba left his devotees confounded and despondent. Despite combing through every nook and corner, they failed to locate him. Some even surmised that he had breathed his last. However, after several years, Sai Baba made a mysterious comeback to Shirdi, much like how he had left. He reappeared in the mosque he used to live in, and his adherents were ecstatic to see him again.
Sai Baba never confided the reason behind his disappearance to anyone, and it continues to be one of the most puzzling mysteries of his life. Some speculate that he chose to seclude himself to intensify his spiritual practices and achieve a higher state of enlightenment, while others opine that he went on a covert mission to promulgate his message to a wider audience.
Despite the obscurity surrounding his disappearance, Sai Baba’s doctrines continue to kindle the spirits of millions of people across the globe. He is deemed one of the most exceptional spiritual leaders in Indian history, and his existence and teachings are extolled through festivities and occasions in Shirdi and other regions of India.