Worship, Mindful Prayer and Devotees:
The Shirdi Sai Baba movement began in the 19th century,while he was living in Shirdi. A local Khandoba priest, MhalsapatiNagre, is believed to have been his first devotee. In the 19th century, Sai Baba's followers were only a small group of inhabitants of Shirdi and a few people from other parts of India.
Because of Sai Baba, Shirdi has become a place of importance and is counted among the major Hindu places of pilgrimage. The first Sai Baba temple is situated at Kudal, Sindhudurg. This temple was built in 1922. It is believed that Sai Baba gave one rupee to Dada Madye ji with which he built the temple in Kudal
Today, the Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi is visited by an average of 25,000 pilgrims a day and during religious festivals, this number can reach up to 100,000. The Sai Baba temple in Shirdi is managed by the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust. Inside the temple, the statue of Sai Baba and the Samadhi are carved out of Italian marble and is seen draped with royal cloth, wearing a gold crown and adorned with fresh flower garlands. The interior is made of old stone bricks. The interior, as well as the exterior (cone) of the temple, is covered with gold. As per rituals and traditions dating back to when Baba was still alive, four Aarti's are held daily (corresponding to the time of the day) inside the Samadhi Mandir.
Kakad Aarti (The Morning Aarti) at 4:30 (am)
Madhyan Aarti (The Afternoon Aarti) at 12:00 (pm)
Dhup Aarti (The Evening Aarti) 6:30 (pm)
Shej Aarti (The Night Aarti) at 10:30 (pm)
The Palanquin procession of Sai Baba takes place every Thursday from the Samadhi Mandir to Dwarkamayi, onward to Chavdi and back to the Sai Baba Mandir. Devotees belonging to all faiths are welcome to take Darshan in the Samadhi Mandir and have free meals in the Prasadalaya, irrespective of caste, creed, and religion as these were one of the ideal principles of Sai Baba.
Sai Baba of Shirdi is especially revered and worshiped in the states of Maharashtra, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. In August 2012, an unidentified devotee, for the first time, donated two expensive diamonds valuing 11.8 million at the Shirdi temple, as revealed by Saibaba trust officials.
In recent years, the Shirdi Sai movement has spread to the Caribbean and to countries such as the Nepal, Canada, United States, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, United Kingdom,Germany, France and Singapore.