Shirdi Saibaba temple to take action against 'duplicates'

Shirdi (Maharashtra): The Shri Saibaba Sansthan here, which attracts lakh of devotees from around the world, plans to initiate legal action against Sai temples who fail to remove the 'samadhi' of Saibaba from their premises.

"There is only one samadhi of Saibaba and that is at Shirdi. Temples who have built samadhis should remove them or face legal action," Sansthan trustee Ashok Khambekar said here.

Some people are misleading devotees by displaying duplicate items like 'paduka' (footwear) used by Saibaba, he said.

"Saibaba did not appoint any one as his inheritor. But some sadhus are misleading devotees by wearing clothes like Saibaba and people blindly trust them," Khambekar said.

Saibaba came to Shirdi in 1858 and was here till 1918. Two pairs of his 'paduka' are at the Sansthan and are on display for devotees every Thursday, he said.

The Sansthan organised 'paduka darshan' in various parts of the country last year, including Lucknow, Raipur, Panaji, Kolkata, Guwahati and Kalimpong.

"Shirdi has become a symbol of secularism and people from all religions throng here," Khambekar said. The Sansthan has no branch, he added. "There are around 4,000 Sai temples in India and abroad," he added.