Monday, August 6, 2012

Making Of Sai Baba's Original Idol At Shirdi

Making Of Sai Baba's Original Idol At Shirdi
Most of you must have visited Shirdi at least once and must have had the darshan of Sri Saibaba. 
The lively marble statue of BABA must have captured your heart and mind. 
You will be thrilled to know, how the statue was made and when it was installed at Shirdi.
For those, who don't know the real facts, please go through the appended note. 
Incidentally, i have received this note from the Grand-son of the sculpture, who gave life to the marble stone, which is what we all are worshipping today and he happens to be my neighbour in Dubai. 
He is a pious and highly successful professional but has all along maintained a low profile.
He is a personification of humility and simplicity.
He shared this info with me, after reading one of the inspirational messages of BABA that was read by him yesterday. 
Thought of sharing this original piece of information with you.
Sai Baba's Statue in Shirdi, which has become the most mesmerizing divine image of Baba,
was installed on 7th October`1954, Vijayadashami Day - 36 years after Baba's Mahasamadhi.

In 1952, a piece of a White Italian Marble had arrived from Italy at the Bombay Docks
but for whom or why, nobody seemed to know anything about it.
Thus, in the absence of a claimant, the dockyard authorities auctioned it off
and the purchaser later offered it to the Shirdi Sai Sansthan.

Impressed by the quality of the Italian Marble, the Shirdi Sansthan planned to use it for an Idol of Sai Baba.
So they gave Shri.Balaji Vasantrao Talim - a sculptor from Bombay, the humungous task of sculpting Baba's Idol.
Meticulously, Shri.Balaji Talim got his tools 'made to order' from iron-smiths and carpenters.
and started off by first making a Model of Baba using Mud Clay.

But it was difficult for Shri.Balaji Talim to make the statue in its exact likeness
without the intricate details of the physical characteristic's of Baba's face,
to profile which he only had Baba's one black & white photograph.
Therefore, he prayed saying "If Sri Sai Baba gives me darshan while making His Statue,
the Statue will be worthy & the devotees also will have feelings of devotion".

And sure enough one early morning, around 07:00 am when Shri.Balaji entered his Studio, 
he saw a bright light even before he could switch on the Lights. 
Baba had appeared in the Light and given Darshan to him in the studio itself.
Baba remarked on Talim's difficulties and showed him his Face from various angles,
encouraging Talim to study it thoroughly and remember it well.

This gave Talim the fillip he needed and after that the work just flowed easily and the result exceeded all expectations.
Shri.Balaji Talim testified about this to Sri Sai Narayan Baba, as to how Baba himself had directed the Sculpting of the Statue
and how at every stage, he could very clearly hear the divine voice of Baba guiding him.

The Shirdi Sai Sansthan immediately approved this Mud Statue of Baba, on the basis of which the present
Italian Marble Statue of Sai Baba was carved and installed in the Samadhi Shrine.



In 1954, while working with his workers at the finishing stages of Sculpting the almost ready Marble Statue of Sai Baba,
Shri.Balaji Talim found an Air Pocket in a small additional portion below the Left Knee of Baba's Statue, 
which had to be removed. It seemed dangerous, as in removing an Air Pocket from a Finished Statue, 
there was every risk of the entire portion coming down,
thus leaving the Statue Khandit (Broken), which therefore could not be worshiped at all.

So the work stopped and Shri.Balaji Talim hesitated to strike and chisel out the additional portion.
He feared that the entire Statue might get destroyed and all his labour & time would go waste.
He became nervous and prayed to Baba, "Baba have mercy on me. Your Murti is ready. Please Baba have mercy on me."
Just then he then heard a voice within saying "Balaji, Carry on".

So Balaji instructed his workers to carry on and chisel out the additional portion,
but the workers refused to do so fearing that the entire knee portion would just drop out.

Eventually & quite nervously, 
Shri.Balaji Talim took the chisel & hammer himself and while praying "Baba, help me" gave a small stroke,
touching the additional portion of the marble below the Left Knee.
And to his great surprise, only the additional portion of the marble came down leaving the rest of Baba's Statue intact.
Seeing this, tears rolled down his eyes and he prostrated before Baba, started dancing and distributing sweets to all..
As, he experienced such a wonderful miracle of Sai Baba.

The 5' 5" finished Idol of Sai Baba was taken throughout the village with pomp & ceremony.
Baba's Idol was so Life like that devotees like Swami Sri Sai Saranananda & Laxmibai, 
who had personally been with Baba, felt as if Baba had come back alive in the form of his Idol.
- Laxmibai Shinde -

- Swami Sri Sai Saranananda -

On 7th October`1954, Vijayadasami Day, this lifelike Marble Statue of Sai Baba was installed on the platform of
the Samadhi Shrine's western side behind Baba's Samadhi and the due formalities of Prana Pratistha were done
by Swami Sri Sai Saranananda who had met Baba before His Mahasamadhi.

At the time of preparation of Baba's Statue, one day Baba gave Darshan to Shri.Balaji Talim and said,
"Finish the work and you will not do any other Idol in future."
So Talim did not prepare any other Idol since then 
and finally at the age of 82 on 25th December`1970 he breathed his last. 


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rethink Your Drink

This picture compares the sugar contents of different drinks. The best and healthiest drink among all drinks is water. If you like to have some taste, why not add a tiny slice of lemon or other fruits to that?

How about this refreshing drink? It’s so easy-to-prepare and you only need fresh fruits, like peach, kiwi,lime and raspberries, and water. When you prepare it at home, you have always the option to skip the sugar.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Perceptions; everyone forms one on anyone they meet. Such is part of life. There are initial perceptions, otherwise known as first impressions, when you first meet someone. Often, it is these first impressions that form our beliefs about others, then, we begin to look for things, which will reinforce the initial impression.
Over time this can create a F.E.A.R.(False Evidence Appearing Real) picture of the other person. What's worse is that it is very difficult to overcome this picture if it has been built up over time This F.E.A.R. picture often comes from lack of information, and sometimes from lack of education.
For Habitat homeowners, the perception is that these families do not have a job and that our homes are given away. Nothing could be further from the truth. But people often look for things, which might reinforce their limiting beliefs. I've had people contact me after reading an article on public housing, asking me why we continually "give away" homes to "these" families, not knowing we're not public housing. This becomes an AHA! Moment, as it affords me the opportunity to educate them on what Habitat IS.
Sometimes these perceptions carryover to our worksites, as our families are required to put in "sweat" equity hours, working on the homes of others, as well as, their own. The expectation is that the homeowner will be there each day, on the worksite.
Ideally, that's what we like to see, but for some, in reality, it is more difficult. The reason could be their job will not let them off during the build days of their home. This doesn't happen often, but we must be cognizant of the current economy, how important it is to stay employed. Sometimes it is due to health issues, as some families cannot actually do the physical work on the home. This is why we offer a variety of ways for our families to earn their 400 "sweat" equity hours.
We have been working on our communications with our volunteers to keep them informed on the progress of our families, AND the limitations that prohibit their being on the worksite. This communication has helped a lot in changing perceptions.
These F.E.A.R pictures are formed sometimes when we work on houses in Guatemala, as well. I've been 15 times, and on one of those trips the family for our house was seen the first day for a few minutes, a few minutes the 3rd day, and at the end of our last day just before climbing on the truck to return to our hotel.
This homeowner's name was Mercedes, 26 years old with one child. By the third day on site without seeing her, I was looking forward to telling a Habitat Guatemala representative that she had not been there with us much. But then, as we were about to leave the site that last day, two things happened: She asked us to wait while she ran into her mother's house and came back with a Bible, her mother, daughter and her sister.
She prayed for each of us, placing her hands on our arms, for what seemed like 5 minutes each. By the time she finished praying with us, we were ALL in tears. The second thing was we found out why we hadn't seen her much. Every morning she arose at 5 am, and visited each home on the mountain where she lived. She collected the dirty clothing from each family, carried it down to the bottom of the mountain to a large stream, washed each stack of clothes, then, dried them on bushes. When all the stacks of clothes were ready, she would carry each stack back, one at a time, to the respective family. This was how she earned the money to pay for her house.
Our perception was a MISPERCEPTION. This F.E.A.R. perception happens in everyday life, both at home, and at work, whether it is for profit or nonprofit, and all caused by lack of information or lack of education. The hard part for us as human beings, is taking time to gather the information and education, as well as, imparting the information and education.It is a two way street when it comes to communication.
If you treat an individual ... as if he were what he ought to be, and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.
~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Friday, July 20, 2012


This image shows the sugar content of different foods. Although it doesn’t differentiate the type of sugar (i.e. refined vs. natural), it is useful to have a general picture on the sugar contents of these foods.
You should note that even some fruits have moderate sugar content, but this sugar is less harmful than the white “refined” sugar in pastries and sweetened drinks.