Shirdi Sai Baba’s Antim Yatra, Final Procession after Death
1. Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Original Funeral Ceremony Photos in 1918
2. Sai Baba ki Antim Yatra
సాయి బాబా అంతిమయాత్ర
Few photographs circulating widely online purport to show Indian Saint Shirdi Sai Baba’s Antim Yatra back on 16th October 1918. Sai Baba is popularly worshipped across the world, so the alleged photographs from his final Samadhi procession held significance. Despite the claims, the old black and white photographs do not show Shirdi Sai Baba’s antim yatra.
About Sai Baba’s Death
The Indian spiritual master, Shirdi Sai Baba became famous for his teachings which concentrated on a moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace, and devotion to the God and Guru. Couple of his well-known epigrams are ‘Allah Malik‘ (God is King) and ‘Sabka Malik Ek‘ (Everyone’s Master is One). In August 1918, Baba told some of his devotees that he would be leaving his mortal body soon. Towards the end of September, he had high fever and stopped eating. He breathed his last on 15th October 1918 during Hindu festival Vijayadashami (Dussehra). Some believers say Sai Baba took Mahasamadhi and is not dead as such.
After his death, devotees took Sai Baba on a procession from Dwarkamai Masjid (where he lived) and placed his mortal remains in a Samadhi in Butty Wada’s central portion. The shrine housing Baba’s tomb was originally built as a Wada (large private house) by a wealthy devotee from Nagpur, Gopalrao Butty. Now called the Shree Samadhi Mandir in Shirdi, it also houses Sai Baba’s well-known statue installed in 1954; 36 years after his Mahasamadhi.
Do the Pictures Show Shirdi Sai Baba’s Antim Yatra?
These pictures and stories about Sai Baba’s antim yatra are circulating online since at least 2014. If they were real, there would be at least one close shot of Sai Baba himself. On the other hand, the staunch devotees of Sai Baba were devasted by the loss of their guru. So, it’s unlikely they would stand and give such photographs in times of grief. Also, the plastic/metal roofing sheets seen in couple of pictures were not available at the time (1918) – they came in much later years. Moreover, photography was not well established at the time in India. Capturing a procession from such angle would be cumbersome then. It is not clear where the photographs are from, but they are certainly from a period much later after 1918.
Therefore, all this concludes to saying the pictures and stories showing Shirdi Sai Baba’s antim yatra are just hoaxes. In fact, the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust never announced or published any news or pictures of Sai Baba’s final procession. No such photographs are available in Baba’s museum.
Hoax or Fact: