4 out of 4 stars
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Sai Baba of Shirdi was a spiritual master from India and was identified as a saint by his devotees. He lived in Shirdi in the late 18th to early 19th century, and countless miracles were experienced by his followers. Shirdi is a city in the Indian state of Maharashtra. He was revered by both his Hindu and Muslim disciples during, as well as after his lifetime. To this day, many of his devotees claim to still experience miracles just by mentally praying to Sai Baba.
The goal of life, according to Hinduism, is to know God. This is at the core of Sai Baba’s teachings. He was fond of saying “Allah Maalik” (God is Lord), and he encouraged his followers to never cease in the remembrance of their creator. Ultimately, Sai Baba strove, with his teachings, to guide and help everyone on the path towards spiritual enlightenment.
Sri Sai Sat Charitra for Kids was written by Ishwar Joshi Awalgaonkar and is a compilation of stories about Sai Baba’s miracles and teachings. The original text was written, from 1922 to 1929, by Raghunath Govind Dabholkar (also known as Hemadpant) after he received permission from Sai Baba. It was translated into English in 1944 by Nagesh Vasudev Gunaji. This kids’ edition is meant to be a guidebook to help children start an uplifting spiritual journey of self-discovery with Sai Baba.
I was impressed with how the author effectively simplified Sri Sai Sat Charitra for Kids. Not only is it an easy read that kids will have no problem getting into, but the author also painstakingly explains every Hindu concept in the book to ensure ease of reading for anyone new to Hinduism. The chapters are short and engaging, there are colorful illustrations in every chapter, and the language is simple and easy to follow. Another high point is the multiple-choice questions at the end of each chapter. This helps to gauge how well the reader understands the chapter. I found these quite useful and enjoyed answering the questions. They usually reference the vital lessons in each chapter. The combined questions and answers are listed at the end of the book.
I could not find anything to dislike about this book. For someone new to Hinduism in general, and Sai Baba in particular, this was an enlightening introduction. It was fascinating to learn that there is an intersection of shared beliefs between Hinduism and Islam, some of which were reflected in Sai Baba’s teachings, which combined elements of the two religions. For instance, he preached about forgiveness, contentment, helping others, charity, self-realization, and devotion to God and to the guru. Take out devotion to the guru, and you may as well be talking about Islam. (A guru is a spiritual teacher or guide and is a reverential figure to his disciples or students.)
The book appeared professionally edited, with minimal typographical errors for such a lengthy and translated text. The priceless content, and the author’s outstanding job of delivering an impeccable kids’ edition of the Sri Sai Sat Charitra, has earned the book a 4 out of 4 stars rating. This book is a fantastic introductory text for anyone looking to learn more about Hinduism and Sai Baba of Shirdi. It is also a valuable resource for kids, something to help start them on the journey of self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment.
Sri Sai Sat Charitra for Kids
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