Auckland, August 18, 2019
Devotees of Shirdi Saibaba will be happy to know that their favourite Temple in Auckland will reopen for Dharshan, Prayers and other activities on Thursday, August 22, 2019.
A notification issued a short while ago said that the Temple, located at 12 Princes Street, Onehunga, was closed from Monday, April 29, 2019 for major maintenance works.
“The Temple will be open all day on the reopening day and thereafter follow the usual times,” the notification said.
With an estimated $6 million investment on a variety of facilities and amenities, the Temple complex, which was opened on February 6, 2014, is arguably the largest Shirdi Saibaba Temple outside India. With the Main Prayer Hall, Community Centre and the Dining Hall with a well-equipped commercial kitchen accounting for about 3500 Sq metres of built-in area, this Complex has been attracting communities to organise not only their religious festivals and Poojas but also conduct marriages, cultural and entertainment programmes and other events.
What makes Shirdi Saibaba a distinct figure? Why do millions of people of various religious extractions follow His teachings? He may appear enigmatic to many but a majority of His followers believe that He is a Godly figure, readily answering their prayers, and coming to their rescue when in need.
Hindus like to decorate His Deity with garments made of silk and other materials, jewellery and flowers, as they do with most other Hindu Gods.
‘Baba’ as he is reverently addressed, may not have approved the ostentation with which He is worshipped but as He may have admitted, “It is the love and adoration of people that matter, and not the way in which they perform their obeisance.”
His real name, date and place of birth are unknown but Baba is believed to have ‘returned to his original form’ or attained ‘Samadhi’ in 1918. He is perhaps the only ‘God’ or ‘Spiritual Master’ worshipped by Hindus and respected by Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and people of other faiths.
According to records, He lived in a Mosque and after death, He was cremated in a Temple. Depending on the intensity of their attachment, people consider Him as a Guru, Spiritual Leader, Religious Head, a Saint, An Avatar, Sadguru (True Master) and Murshad (Master).
Baba remains a very popular Saint to people of Indian origin, and increasingly to Europeans, Americans and others.
An outstanding feature of His preaching was to avoid rituals, shun perishable commodities and strive towards self-realisation.
He taught a moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace, and devotion to God and Guru. He gave no distinction based on religion or caste.