Dear ‘Shri Sai Leela’ Magazine Editor & Board of Trustees,

I have been Baba’s devotee since my childhood. By Baba’s grace I am what I am today and will be in future. As a devotee it is always my curiosity to know more and more about Baba. There have been quite a bit of literature that has been published recently. Most of it is however based on already known facts about Baba or based on other already published literature (with some variation) about Baba.

I read ‘Shri Sai Leela’ bi-monthly magazine on web frequently and really enjoy the original quthentic reports about Baba reported by some of the people who actually were alive during Baba’s time and have witnessed many of His Leelas. ‘Shri Sai Leela’ magazine to me is a real great source for knowing numerous Leelas of Baba which are not published elsewhere otherwise.

As I read on the web the magazine was first published in 1923. In these earlier issues tremendous amount of reports about Baba and many other things related to people who were with Him, happenings in Shirdi and viscinity (immediately after Baba’s Samadhi), etc., were published. These are unfortunately not available to people of my generation born much later.

As such I have a humble request to you to republish these older issues starting from the first issue of 1923 and make them available to all the devotees (for a price of course). That way a wealth of literature about Baba will be available to millions of devotees all over the world. I understand this may be project that will need some planning and proper thinking. I certainly hope the board of trustees and the editor of this magazine will give a serious consideration to this idea and have the wealth of literature available to the devotees soon.

I am located in Atlanta, Georgia, USA and if I can be of any help in distributing the magazines when they are available I will be more than happy to do that. If there is anything otherwise that I can be of help pl. let me know. With lots of respect for the work you folks are doing I remain hopeful that the abovementioned idea will be a reality soon.

Let me know your thoughts.

Let Sai bless us all !

Warm regards,

Shekhar Pendalwar

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The Aim Behind

The Launch of the Magazine ‘Shri Sai Leela’  

The aim behind the launching of ‘Shri Sai Leela’ is clear from its very title. Innumerable devotees of Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi are spread all over the world. Baba has given different experiences to different people in different times and continues to do so even after leaving the mortal coil. Even people who have not seen Baba in  person, experience His blessings. In short, Shri Sai Baba’s experiences by His devotees are innumerable and defy reason.

It is not possible to make a collection of all of Sai’s Leelas in one

     place; but the aim of this magazine is to  collect as many as possible through the continuous contribution of Sai’s devotees. His invaluable sayings and thoughts should act as a beacon of light for Baba’s devotees at all times.

Just as Shri Ram says in the ‘Bhavarth Ramayan’ in response to Parvati’s query, as to why He treats grass and stone with the same magnanimity, Shri Ram says His life is to redeem His devotees, Sai Baba too lived for the welfare of His devotees, not a step was unwarranted. This collection of His words and thoughts  will benefit not only His devotees but the common folk as well.

A small effort has been made to make such a collection under the title ‘Experiences of Maharaj’ and ‘Shri Sai Satcharit’. Of these, ‘Shri Sai Satcharit’ was begun with Sai’s blessings when He was alive.

Under ‘Experiences of Maharaj’, it is envisaged that Sai’s devotees will share their experiences with the readers of ‘Shri Sai Leela’. Discrepancies, if any will be duly corrected, if brought to our notice.

There is a wide and growing number of Sai devotees all over the world. Some have been listed with us; but there are many who are unknown and we would be happy to add the names of those who inform us of their names and addresses to our ever growing list.

To sum up, ‘Shri Sai Leela’ is an offering to Goddess Saraswati and it is materialising with the will and blessings of Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi, to keep reminding all that His benign presence is the essence of this offering.

 – Jyoti Ranjan Raut

8/A Kakad Estate,

106 Sea Face Road,

Worli, Mumbai - 400 018.

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II Shri Kshetra Kunakeshwar II

Famed to be the ‘Kashi of Konkan’, Shri Kshetra Kunakeshwar, a very ancient temple is located 15.3 kms. to the West of Devgad in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra state, which is 489.8 kms. from Mumbai. A vast coastline, wide land, green forests, pure white sand spread around - nestled in such scenic surroundings and airy pristine environs, this most sacred region (Kshetra) appears to be striving for the unity of the blue, clear, unlimited sky and the massive ocean.

Lord Shankara self-manifested here. Kanaka trees were found in abundance here in earlier days for which the place came to be known as ‘Kunakeshwar’. The strong foundation of the temple sculpted in Hemadpanthi style and built in the Dravidian method has enabled it to counter the strong waves of the sea year after year. The artistic carvings in the temple are eye-catching. Several shapes of nature (creations) are depicted here. The delicate carvings on wood indicate the craftsmanship and skill in the construction. The oval shaped top of the sanctum sanctorium of the temple is very high, giving a feeling of the temple reaching out to communicate with the sky. The compound (Chouthara) of the temple is 15 to 20 ft. in height.

This region started gaining popularity before the 11th century. Information on this Shri Kshetra is available in the Mumbai Government’s Gazzette (of 1880) in the Ratnagiri-Sawantwadi volume’s 14th episode, pages 342/880.

The then political superintendent of Mumbai Province, Major Lee Grant Jacob in July 1850, after a great deal of effort, discovered a Tamrapat (a metallic foil with writing on it). This Tamrapat is known as Nagdev’s Tamrapat. This Tamrapat of 1436 was written in Sanskrit. According to details mentioned on the Tamrapat, Deva Sharma, a Brahmin came to Indul (presently Hindale village). The king received him with due honours. Later he got a bride and a son with the blessings of Shri Kunakeshwara resident Lord Shankara.

To the South of the temple is the Samadhi of Naro Neelkantha, the trusted and valorous chief in Shri Chchatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s army. He served the Maratha kingdom for 62-63 long years from 1672 to 1735. He was an ardent devotee of Shri Samartha.

The temple area comprises 3/4th of an acre. The temple’s sanctum sanctorium, Mugsal resting place and meeting hall are the four main different sections.

Temples of Shri Dev Bhairav, Shri Dev Mandalik, Shri Dev Narayan, Shri Dev Ganapati, Shri Devi Jogeshwari and others are located here.

In the temple complex, the two doorkeepers Chanda and Munda stand in attention in the North and South. In spite of being located on the sea coast, the well in the temple premises has sweet water which is quite strange.

The two organizations ‘Shri Dev Kunakeshwar Seva Mandal (Mumbai)’ and ‘Shri Dev Kunakeshwar Mandir Devasthan Trust (Kunakeshwar)’, are constantly striving with the co-operation of the villagers, devotees and well-wishers for the development of Shri Kshetra.

The festivals of Holi, Rangapanchami, Gokulashtami, Dahikala, Navratrotsav, Dassera, Deepavali, Tulasivivah and Tripurari Pournima are celebrated with a great pomp. A grand fair is held here on Mahashivratri, on the Magh Vadya Chaturthi day.This fair goes on till Amavasya. Devotees from far and wide make it a point to participate in the fair. Alongwith the Godesses-Gods of the villages come to meet Kunakoba with their mantle.

The shrines of Brahman Dev, Udyan Ganapati in Devgad, Dirbadevi of Jamsande village, Ganapati of Pokharbanva, Shri Devi Bhagavati of Kotkamate village and Shri Rameshwar of Achara village near Devgad, are ancient and enchanting to the mind. Also the ancient, beautiful shrines in Salshi, Kinjawade, Hindale, Talebazar, Naringre, Munage and others are worth seeing.
These shrines of Devgad are renowned for fulfilling the desires of the
faithful devotees, who have good thoughts and behaviour. Being declared a tourist centre, Shri Kshetra Kunakeshwar has gained significant importance.

Information collection courtesy :  Shri Kunkeshwara Mandir Devasthan

Managing Committee and

Dr. B. V. Athavale

Penned by Vishwarath Nair