Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Mylapore
Shirdi Sai Baba temple in Chennai is among the most visited and respected places of worship In Tamil Nadu as well as India. The resident deity of the temple, Sai Baba of Shirdi, was an esteemed saint of the 18th century and the stories of his origin and teachings are mostly born out of folklore. However, Sai Baba later became the center of a cult called All India Sai Samaj, and the temple acts as the headquarters for the community.
The Samaj was found in the 1940s by Narasimha Swamiji, and the same person founded the temple as well in 1952. The temple now has followers and devotees in hundreds of thousands. Every year, a large number of people pay their tributes to the mysterious saint – even celebrities and public figures are a part of his following.
Sai Baba is recognized as one of those spiritual reformers who does not have ties to any particular god of any religion but is a figure of worship himself. So, there are no religious restrictions imposed upon those who visit the temple. In fact, this temple has fixed days and hours for reading Islamic text Quran and the book of Christianity, the Holy Bible – something that you will not find in any other spiritual establishment. Another unique feature of the Sai Baba Temple is that it still has a part of the flame that was lit by Sai Baba in Shirdi to mark his contribution to society.
Every Sunday, devotees pay tribute to Sai Baba and his work by worshipping the flame with Agni Puja. The temple offers a peaceful retreat for anyone, whether or not they are followers of the saint. The premises welcome people of any faith with open arms. Anyone who takes an interest in listening to holy texts or spiritual songs can spend some time here in the calm and serene environment.