'Guru Purnima' celebrated all over India

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Allahabad/Shirdi/ Chandigarh, July 7 (ANI): Hundreds of devotees converged on the banks of River Ganges in Allahabad to take a dip at Sangam and offer prayers on the occasion of 'Guru Purnima'.

"After bathing in the river, we will offer prayers to our guru. Taking a dip at Sangam on this day holds great significance," said Jagannath Singh, a devotee.

The day of full moon, Purnima, in the month of Ashadh of the Hindu calendar is traditionally celebrated as Guru Purnima. On this day, devotees offer worship to their guru.

While the entire country celebrates Guru Purnima on the full moon day, the festivities related to this occasion commenced earlier at Shirdi in Maharashtra.evotees from across the country and even abroad thronged the shrine of Sai Baba, the revered saint and sought his blessings on the auspicious occasion.

"Many Sai Baba devotees come to Shirdi to observe Guru Purnima," said Balkrishna Joshi, a temple priest.

According to a legend, Sai Baba was a nameless pauper who took shelter in a mosque in Shirdi but never asked for food or water or sought alms. He rarely spoke.

Curious villagers took pity on this feeble and sparsely clothed man and donated fruits and clothing. And it is said that to their surprise the Fakir (mendicant) shared whatever he got with the destitute and even animals.

Soon the ascetic was named Sai Baba by his admirers. The poor, needy and the destitute from far off began pouring in to seek and share his divine wisdom.

It is also said that during his last days, Sai Baba gave nine coins as blessings, to one of his ardent devotees named Lakshmi Bai, who had served him unfailingly for 45 years.

Lakshmi Bai used to cook meals for Sai Baba and feed him with her hands and the ritual continued till he departed from this world.

The coins are still preserved with reverence by the descendants of Lakshmi Bai. Indeed, these coins are protected with utmost care by the members of the family. (ANI)

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