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This book is based on in-depth research that triangulates information from several primary sources, to provide hitherto unknown facts about Sai Baba, village Shirdi and some of the people who visited it during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It not only adds to the repository of knowledge about this great saint of India and the role that he played in the context of protecting his devotees during India's struggle for freedom, but additionally provides new insights by raising questions and seeking answers through analysis of rare documents drawn from the National Archives, police records and diaries pertaining to that time as well as reviewing personal documents and literature in different languages. Written in Chicago-style Citation, it contains nine chapters dealing with different aspects of Sai Baba's life in Shirdi.
The book has several rare documents and photographs of Shirdi Sai Baba and his devotees as well as compositions of Shirdi of that time. A glossary is provided at the end of the book for ease of reference.
The book will be a valuable asset not just for all those who are devotees of Sai Baba and other Sadgurus, but also for students and academicians who have an interest in India's culture and history and in the means used by the British to understand and control developments in different parts of the country.
Dr. Chandrabhanu Satpathy is a noted scholar, author and spiritual thinker. An officer of the Indian Police Service (I.P.S.), he served the Government of India and his allotted cadre (U.P.) with distinction. He superannuated as Director General of Police in the year 2008.
He was awarded an Honoris Causa (D.Litt.–Vachaspati) by Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth University, Tirupati (2012); Doctorate in Law (LL.D.) by Berhampur University, Berhampur, Odisha, (2012); Honoris Causa (D.Litt.) by Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, Odisha (2012); Honoris Causa (Doctor of Science–D.Sc.) by Shiksha O' Anusandhan University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha (2014); and Honoris Causa (D.Litt.) by North Odisha University, Baripada, Odisha (2017).
He has written around fifty-two books which include Shirdi Sai Baba and Other Perfect Masters, Baba - May I Answer, Sai Sharan Mein, Bhakti Naivedya and The Age of Shirdi Sai. He has also written Gopyaru Agopya, on Hindu cosmology, cosmogeny and Hindu spiritual science, in Odia. This book has been translated into Sanskrit as Shrishtitattwanuchintanam and into Hindi as Avyakt se Vyakt. His six-volume epic in Odia, Shri Guru Bhagabata, comprises more than 24,000 lines, depicting various aspects pertaining to the Spiritual Masters. It has been translated as Shri Guru Bhagawat in several languages such as Hindi, English, Marathi, Kashmiri, Gujarati, Bhojpuri, Assamese and Bengali. Some of his books have been translated into more than nine Indian and foreign languages.
He has worked with the underprivileged in many ways, including in leper colonies. The temples and trusts inspired by him are engaged in feeding the poor, providing access to medical care through dispensaries and in supporting access to value-based education. They also provide free healthcare to animals in distress.
Dr. Satpathy was invited by the U.S. House of Representatives, through the House Chaplain, to open the U.S. House of Representatives Session on 24th June 2015, as the Guest Chaplain, with a prayer.