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Shri Sai Satcharitra: The Wonderful Life and Teachings of Shirdi Sai Baba

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Who was Shirdi Sai Baba? Baba lived all his adult life in Shirdi, a small village in India. To the unknowing, He seemed a simple beggar, dressed in torn clothes, having no need for any material item. Claiming neither the Hindu nor Muslim religion, nor any religion, he lived in an abandoned Mosque with no roof and every day took his food from a few people, making his rounds with his begging bowl, door to door.

What really was happening; He was burning the karmas of everyone who came to Him, in the dhuni (Divine Fire) Baba kept burning at all times. Healing and giving guidance on every level. Hundreds of thousands of miracles are attributed to Him in His life and they have multiplied now after His Mahasamadhi. Baba left His physical form in 1918, but his Divine Energy and Intention and Power is always available and at work in the world.

The Shri Sai Satcharitra is a discourse based on experiences Baba’s devotees had with Him during His life on earth and is today, almost one hundred years after He left His mortal coil, treated as a religious text by His devotees throughout the world.

We have attempted to remain true to the original English translation, by N.V. Gunaji. While some of the structure and references may be slightly obscure for the Western reader, what is clear is that the original English translation by N.V. Gunaji has been a core component of the spread of knowledge and devotion to Shirdi Sai Baba in the English-speaking world. To help the reader with some of the obscure words and references, an extensive glossary is included.

332 pages, Paperback

First published November 26, 1930

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About the author

Govind Raghunath Dabholkar

3 books1 follower
Govind R. Dhabolkar, aka Annasaheb Dhabolkar or Hemadpant (Sai Baba named him so after the 13th century poet) is most notably known for being the author of the beloved work, the Sai Satcharita.

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5 stars
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30 (3%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews
Profile Image for dely.
433 reviews225 followers
August 4, 2018
Non do il massimo dei voti perché nonostante sia un libro molto interessante, non mi ha coinvolto o emozionato.
L'insegnamento di Sai Baba di Shirdi (che non è lo stesso Sai Baba capellone che fu oggetto di svariate controversie) è molto semplice e universalmente accettabile: amore e compassione, fede e pazienza. Ovvio, nel suo insegnamento c'è anche il totale abbandono al guru perché senza di lui non si può raggiungere moksha, ma tranne questo i valori di cui parla Sai Baba sono universali.

Una piccola nota a proposito dei libri della Lakshmi Edizioni: sono fatti veramente bene. Belle illustrazioni, pagine spesse di carta riciclata, carattere a una grandezza giusta per non accecarsi mentre si legge.
Profile Image for Manoj Deshpande.
6 reviews3 followers
October 9, 2012
Sai baba did not use the terms of New age like Oneness, Love, Universalism and Light. But he taught all that and practiced.
Its a wonderful book. It connects reader to Sai Baba.
Om sai ram.
Profile Image for Kavya Janani U..
Author 10 books40 followers
March 14, 2018
This is my Gita, Bible and Quran. Finished my second Saptah today. Will do more Saptahs in the future. I recommend this book to all the devotees of Sai Baba. You need not do Saptahs. Read at least one chapter daily. You will surely reap the benefits. Jai Sai Ram!
Profile Image for Anusha Reddy.
21 reviews1 follower
January 26, 2014
Must read. This book made my life, its like a beaming ray of light in dark caves.
Profile Image for Raunak K.
10 reviews2 followers
October 12, 2022
Wonderful. I think 5 ⭐️ are also not enough
Highly recommended!!!
Profile Image for Dharmabum.
109 reviews10 followers
December 16, 2016
This book is strictly for people of faith :) There is something about The Sai of Shirdi that has attracted me. I find Him bringing me to Him, time and again, in the most unlikely and unexpected ways. Aside - that reminds me that I should write about my first trip to Shirdi. Or, have I done that already?
Coming back to the book, I feel unworthy of reviewing it because of my very finite existence in the quest for the infinite. Purely as literature, one may find it repetitive and written in a funny sort of a language. I wonder if that's partly also because it is translated to English. It took me a while to figure that the author at times is describing himself in third person! I suppose that comes with the Vedantic idea of not assuming 'doership'.
As to the contents of the book, it is a delightful collection of His ways (Leela, as they call it). Delightful, I repeat, to a person of faith. I couldn't help but smile, and at times shed tears too, all in awe at such a soul who may have walked this earth. And I couldn't help but woefully regret not having been blessed to to during His times. Then again, would that be an assumption? :)
18 reviews
December 27, 2020
I had not read much on the life of Shirdi Sai Baba, the Indian saint - there isn't a word that comes close to describing what and who Shirdi Sai Baba was - the Sanskrit word Sadguru is the closest, but his devotees believe he was even more than that. To explore that you have to read this book.

This book was written contemporaneously in the early 1900s and then translated from Marathi to English and finally, now in 2016, it has a completely new preface and editorial commentary. To me, this commentary was confusing. I wish I could have read the early English translation.

The Kindle version had a number of errors. I am not sure how Kindle books are created. I suppose there is an automated process and then a review is needed. Especially for such a book full of Indian words and spellings.

Regardless, it truly is a unique book, explaining in quite some detail about Shirdi Sai Baba and the devotees he affected. Will give you a true insight into a tremendously spiritual being.
26 reviews41 followers
March 12, 2019
Sri Sai Satcharitra is my first exposure to the life and work of Sai Baba of Shirdi. Originally written in Marathi in 1930s, this is a loose English translation of the same. Narrated through 51 chapters and small fables, this text gives close insight into the life of a Saint revered equally by Hindus and Muslims.

His birth details remain enigmatic to the extent that he is believed to have been conceived immaculately. His first documented appearance was as a 16 year old lad meditating under a Neem tree. Considered an incarnation of Lord Dattatreya, he is believed to be Sagun Brahma. The book through various fables tells us that he insisted on three main messages: the importance of seeking and surrendering to a true Sadguru, that God was one for all (Sabka Malik Ek) and the significance of Shraddha-Saburi (faith and patience) for God realisation.
Profile Image for Robert Geer.
27 reviews11 followers
November 13, 2010
Om Sai Ram...

Om Sai Shri Sai Jai Jai Sai...

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Profile Image for Rohidas Waghmare.
12 reviews25 followers
August 27, 2014
सुखाचे सोलिव सुख महंजे साईं-चे सुहासय़ पुण्र मुख
Profile Image for Nandhu.
3 reviews27 followers
October 8, 2022
This is a wonderful book which narrates the life and teachings of saint Sai Baba who lived in Shirdi.
Sai Baba was an Indian spiritual master and fakir, considered to be a saint, revered by both Hindu and Muslim devotees during and after his lifetime.

This book is for readers who are into spirituality.

"There is only one caste the caste of Humanity. There is only one religion the religion of Love.There is only one language the language of Heart.There is only one god and he is Omnipresent." (Sabka Malik Ek Hai-All God is One)
 -Shirdi Sai 

His teachings mainly focuses on Faith and Patience. Just like the story of Jonah and the fish in Bible, even in the worst situations of our life we can come out of any problem if we have strong belief.

This book got published in Marathi in 26th November 1930 initially and later got translated in various languages.
No. of Pages- 265(English Version)

This book is just like bhagavadgeeta. I encourage all readers to read this book.

Shri Sai Satcharitra: The Wonderful Life and Teachings of Shirdi Sai BabaGovind Raghunath DabholkarHemadpant Dabolkhar
Profile Image for Nugroho Angkasa.
27 reviews2 followers
June 30, 2011
30/06/2011 10:51 WIB | Indeks

Hati Seribu Pintu

Kamis, 3 Mar 2011 05:59 WIB

Ada dua cara untuk mengatasi kesedihan akibat kehilangan orang tercinta. Pertama, dengan melihat sosoknya dalam diri sesama yang kita jumpai. Kedua, dengan memperjuangkan apa yang mereka cita-citakan selama masih
hidup namun belum sempat terwujud.

Begitulah petuah bijak Baba. Shirdi Sai Baba merupakan salah satu tokoh hebat yang pernah memberkahi bumi biru ini. Beliau dilahirkan pada 28 September 1838. Wafat pada 15 Oktober 1918. Bagi penganut agama Hindu, Baba ialah seorang Maha Yogi. Sedangkan umat Muslim menyebut beliau Mistik Sufi/Fakir Suci.

Baba berjuang untuk mendamaikan kedua kelompok yang acapkali bersitegang di India. Beliau tinggal di sebuah masjid bernama Dwarakamayi. Artinya, rumah dengan seribu pintu. Sebagai simbolisasi bahwa bangunan tersebut diperuntukkan bagi semua orang. Siapa saja boleh singgah dan melepas lelah. Terlepas dari perbedaan suku, agama, rasa, dan antar golongan (SARA).

Salah seorang bhakta (baca: murid) bernama Hemadpant mendokumentasikan pengalaman hidupnya bersama Baba dalam sebuah buku. Lantas, diberi judul Shri Sai Satcharita. Sat berarti kebenaran, Charita sinonim dengan cerita. Namun bukan sekedar kisah fiktif, melainkan kisah nyata. Kehidupan sehari-hari Baba dari desa Shirdi, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India-lah yang menjadi sumber inspirasi buku ini.

Relatif tebal memang, terdiri atas 50 bab. Aslinya berbahasa Marathi, sebuah ragam bahasa lokal setempat. Versi bahasa Inggrisnya dapat diunduh di http://www.saibaba.org/saisatc.html. Sai Das menterjemahkannya ke dalam bahasa Indonesia. Ia menuliskan pula apresiasi pada setiap babnya.

Menurut Baba, ada 14 kelemahan dalam diri kita. Inilah yang menyebabkan kemerosotan kesadaran dan devolusi peradaban manusia. Antara lain tidak percaya diri, tidak jujur, mudah marah, tidak peduli, kebiasaan menunda, sembarangan bergaul, bersikap malas, mudah terbawa nafsu, kurang pertimbangan akal sehat, meminta nasehat dari orang yang tidak kompeten, tidak menindaklanjuti perencanaan yang telah dibuat, tidak bisa menyimpan rahasia alias ember, dan senang mencari goro-goro (membuat masalah).

Secara lebih mendalam, kehadiran para bijak pada satu masa krisis peradaban sekedar untuk mengingatkan umat manusia kepada panggilan sejarah kelahirannya. Yakni untuk menemukan jati diri, mengasihi segenap titah
ciptaan, dan menjadikan bumi ini sebagai tempat singgah yang lebih indah.

Shirdi Sai Baba memberkahi siapa dan apa saja dengan kasih tanpa syarat. Bahkan terhadap pihak-pihak yang memusuhinya sekalipun. Sebab air kotor tak bisa membersihkan lantai yang kotor. Hanya air bersih yang bisa
menghilangkan titik noda.


Baba mengajarkan untuk berterimakasih kepada orang yang menjelek-jelekkan kita. Analogi yang dipakai sungguh menarik. Lazimnya untuk membersihkan lantai yang kotor kita menggunakan sapu atau kain pel, tapi orang tersebut justru menggunakan lidahya sendiri. Orang yang berbicara ihwal keburukan orang lain malah membersihkan kekotoran diri subjek yang digosipkan tersebut.

Dalam tradisi Kejawen, fitnah dan berita bohong ibarat rabuk atau pupuk organik. Kita justru harus berterimakasih terhadap orang tersebut karena kian menyuburkan lahan batin kita. Tentu dengan catatan bila kita tak membalas kejahatan tersebut dengan kejahatan pula. Kita sudi memberikan maaf tulus dari hati terdalam. Biarlah hukum alam bekerja, barang siapa menebar angin pasti menuai badai.

Ada juga analogi menarik tentang hubungan Guru dan Murid. Ibarat seekor burung merpati yang terbang bebas kemanapun ia hendak pergi. Kendati demikian, suatu ketika pasti kembali ke kediaman tuannya. Seluruh dunia
boleh menolak kita, tetapi seorang Guru Sejati tetap menerima diri kita apa-adanya. Inilah keyakinan seorang murid.

Misalnya bila mau mahir menulis. Timbalah ilmu dari para jurnalis “senior”. Yakni mereka yang terlebih dahulu malang-melintang di jagat udar gagasan lewat ke-26 aksara Latin ini. Niat untuk belajar tersebut tak menunjukkan kelemahan diri seorang penulis “pemula”, tapi justru menyiratkan jiwa ksatria. Berani mengakui keterbatasan
diri sekaligus bertekad bulat untuk terus maju. Dengan menggali pengalaman dari mereka yang memiliki lebih banyak “jam terbang”.

Kalau dalam bidang yang bersifat profan saja kita musti belajar dari mereka yang lebih dulu menguasai keahlian (skill) tertentu, apalagi dalam ranah spiritual. Sebab dalam praksis olah batin jebakannya lebih halus dan
tersamar. Lebih baik belajarlah dari para bijak. Bukan berarti sekedar minta digendong. Tapi setidaknya kita tahu tikungan curam mana yang berbahaya sehingga bisa mengantisipasi sebelum berbelok. Tentunya dengan
kaki sendiri kita musti melangkah.

Lantas Baba memaparkan 10 kualifikasi seorang pencari Kebenaran. Antara lain, Mumuksha atau keinginan yang sangat kuat untuk meraih kebebasan dari segala macam keterikatan. Tanpa keinginan yang kuat, seorang pencari tidak akan menemukan apa-apa. Taubah atau bertobat. Tidak hanya menyesali perbuatannya yang salah tapi memastikan bahwa dirinya tidak melakukan lagi kekhilafan serupa. Hanya keledai yang 2 kali jatuh ke lubang yang sama.

Akhir kata, kehadiran seorang Guru dalam hidup memudahkan perjalanan batin manusia. Dari setetes "aku" menuju samudera "Sang Aku". Dari kesadaran debu menjadi kesadaran kosmos. Sang Guru ibarat pemandu (guide) turis. Ia paham seluk-beluk kota, sehingga bisa menunjukkan tempat persinggahan yang mengasyikkan. Buku ini merupakan karya tulis yang layak direnungkan, diapresiasi dan dilakoni oleh para pecinta kehidupan.


Judul buku: Shri Sai Satcharita, Kisah Keajaiban dan Wejangan Shirdi Sai Baba
Penulis: Govind Raghunath Dabholkhar “Hemadpant”
Penerjemah: Sai Das

Peresensi: T. Nugroho Angkasa S.Pd, (Guru Bahasa Inggris di SMP Fransiskus Bandar Lampung)
Penerbit: Koperasi Global Anand Krishna
Cetakan: I, 2011
Tebal: xv + 577 halaman
47 reviews
May 6, 2020
As someone outside of the culture, reading this to get an idea of who Sai Baba was I find this incredibly dry and boring. To the point that I've had to put the book down. It is not engaging, pedantic in its descriptions of things that don't seem important. Really badly written. I wanted a description of his daily life and the wisdom and help he gave out, (it is also because of the times in which it was written) but there's descriptions of characters and who they worked for or who they're related to that do not carry well through time. And then he glosses over interesting occurrences like the wrestling match, which would have been a good tale.
Doesn't cross cultures well.
5 reviews
October 7, 2017
A must read for all sai devotees...

Several true accounts of Baba's life from people who witnessed his leelas in person... great read!! Thanks to authors and translators from the original texts!
October 24, 2019
A must read for all Sai Devotees

A must read for all who wishes to follow the path of spirituality. Code of conduct to pursue in the spiritual path are described in lucid language through short stories of Sai Leelas.
3 reviews1 follower
February 20, 2022
Read the Odia translated version of the original copy. It was a great enlightening experience and was able to know a lot of unknown things about Baba's life. One star less for the poor editing. Om Sri Sai Ram.
November 27, 2017
Om Sai Ram.

I am overwhelmed.Sai is great.I am not competent to comment on the SAI CHARIT.Every Sai devotee must read it regularly.
Profile Image for Mitul Desai.
27 reviews
May 30, 2020
Very Beautiful & Devine ... Everybody should read 1 Chapter everyday 🙏
Om Sai Ram 🙏
1 review
March 28, 2021
Good read on the life of Sai Baba

The content of the book is good and engrossing. There are some spelling mistakes, otherwise, it would have been very good.
40 reviews3 followers
March 29, 2022
Wonderful book.. simple and short stories experienced by real life persons. So I give 5 stars and go for the same. Easy to read too
Profile Image for Aparna.
15 reviews3 followers
October 31, 2022
Interesting insights into the life of Shri Sai Baba _/\_
So much to learn from the 'bhakthi' of all the devotees!
15 reviews
July 14, 2020
Hemadpant dives into life and teachings of Sai baba in most effective and concise way. This book is lifeline and I read it at least once a year.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Matthew Adrian.
61 reviews
March 5, 2023
One of my new favorite saints. The guy just showed up in Shirdi one day an lived all homeless and all and would beg for food but in the process was helping people wipe out bad karma. Lot of great pictures of him. I hope he can help me.
January 14, 2019

Sai Baba of Shirdi is regarded as the incarnation of Lord Dattareya by His votaries. The book commences with the narrative, which served as an inspiration for the author, Hemadpant, to undertake the task of compiling the biographical account of the famed saint of Shirdi. An account of the votaries' lives and experiences, in the guise of miracles performed by Say Baba, has been described. These incidents, interspersed with the dicta of Baba, serve to explain the fact that philosophical teachings are best doled out through narratives. One entire chapter has been earmarked for the famous 'Chavadi' procession. The efficacy of 'Udi' has been given adequate treatment. The departure of Sai Baba from this mortal world, after having lent sanctity to the soil of Shirdi, has been described toward the latter part of the work. The work concludes with an epilogue comprising an enumeration of virtues of--and a prayer addressed to--Sai Baba, reward of study of this work, etc.


'Sri Sai Satcharita' is unarguably the most authoritative book on Sai Baba of Shirdi. Govind Raghunath Dabholkar, better known by the appellation of Hemadpant, composed this work in Marathi. It has been rendered into English by Nagesh Vasudev Gunaji. Chapter two of this work enumerates the devotional works, already extant, on Sai Baba and questions the need for another. The biographer simply answers this objection by saying that he is but engaging in this activity to benefit aspiring people and that this can be attempted by anybody. In fact, Sai Baba gives His assent to the work undertaken by Hemadpant, as delineated in the subsequent chapter. Each chapter is primarily divided into two segments, viz., preliminary and the central narrative. The former, on a general note, is intended to be a prelude to the latter, which is attributed to the uniqueness of a chapter. Hemadpant chronicles the important events that occurred in the lifetime of the revered saint in as many as fifty chapters. Parables uttered by Baba, viz., the tale of nine balls of stool, the tale of quest for the Guru, the tale of Baba's Sarkar, etc., appended at suitable places, serve to embellish the biography, replete with the teachings of the holy saint.
Profile Image for evananda.
10 reviews2 followers
January 26, 2017
I am reviewing the Shri Sai Satcharitra, the English translation by N.V. Gunaji, first published in 1939. It was that amazing translation, from the original Marathi composition by Hemadpant, that has so captured the hearts of people around the world, bringing them to the feet of Sai Baba.

Gunaji took his work very seriously with the Satcharitra, as it had by the 1930s been recognized as a Holy book, and that it was known that lives were changed and restored to purity and happiness, just from reading the book. The original Marathi book is a masterpiece of Devotional Literature, that has a line by line poetic nuance, that is virtually impossible to capture in a line by line translation. N.V. Gunaji has managed to recreate the early 20th-century world of India, and we see and feel the individual devotees of Baba, as they come to realize over, time that they are indeed in the presence of God on earth.

Originally, N.V. Gunaji saw his translation as being a "bridge" to many non-Marathi speaking devotees of Shirdi Sai Baba in India. There are hundreds of words in the original, that make sense only to older people from the Sub-Continent of India. This edition has added helpful explanations and a detailed glossary, that helps to grasp the meaning of some of the obscure words and customs of South India.

This is a valuable addition to any spiritual library.

Profile Image for Arvind Srinivasan.
287 reviews14 followers
February 2, 2021
For thoughts in tamil please visit link -

The book talks on the life history of sai baba what inspires me in the book is the amount of information in this short book of 51 chapters, where we could attain self satisfaction of having read about sai baba. This is not something that is easy to achieve. If you are not believer of saints then you can ignore the book, but in case you believe or you are a devotee please read the book. I would also recommend people to read it slow and completely understand it to get the true context and teachings of his holiness.
14 reviews
May 10, 2020
This book does not give due justice to giving a factual account of this great guru. Sai Baba is pivotal in Indian religious history for bringing together harmony of Hindus and Muslims in matters of religion.
But many of the items mentioned in the book are admitted even by the author to be hearsay. The serious reader feels really underwhelmed upon learning so many things that are clearly not factual or even show Baba in poor light.
Also nothing's in chronological order leaving the reader confused.
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