Modi attends closing function of Saibaba samadhi centenary

Ahmednagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday attended the closing function of the Saibaba samadhi centenary and performed the ground-breaking ceremony to launch various developmental works.

Arriving at the new Shirdi Airport in the morning, Modi flew down to the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust (SSST) and performed a special pooja in the temple, unfurled a special flag in Lendibaug and released a silver coin to commemorate the year-long celebrations which were attended by over 10 million pilgrims from India and abroad.

Revered across communities, Sai baba passed away in Shirdi village in Ahmednagar district on Dussehra Day in 1918.

As part of the samadhi centennial, the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust (SSST) will construct a new building complex for pilgrims — a mega-education cluster comprising schools and colleges costing around Rs 159 crore; a planetariuim, a wax museum, a Sai Garden and a theme park, totally costing Rs 166 crore; a laser sound-and-light-show and a 10-MW solar power plant costing Rs 39 crore, said SSST Chairman Suresh Haware.

Recalling the contributions of Saibaba, Modi said “his teachings give us the mantra to build a strong unified society and serve humanity with love and compassion”.

“I am happy that the SSST is following the path laid down by Saibaba and empowering society through education and transformation by his thoughts and spiritual teachings,” said Modi.

“I experienced immense peace and tranquility after taking darshan of Shri Saibaba… His message of ‘shraddha and saburi’ are an inspiration to entire mankind… We can see a unique blend of all religions in Shirdi, with people from all faiths praying at the feet of Shri Saibaba.

“His mahamantra ‘Sabka Malik Ek’ is an important message for global peace… I bow at his feet,” reads Modi’s entry in the visitors’ diary.

Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Speaker Haribhau Bagade, SSST trustees and other dignitaries were in attendance.