94-kg Gold Throne For Sai Baba
Shirdi (Maharashtra) : Sri Sai Baba Sansthan at Shirdi – the town famous for Sai Baba’s temple – received an early morning bounty Thursday from two devotees.
Two brothers, Mahesh and Girish Reddy of Hyderabad, gifted the Sansthan a 94-kg gold throne costing a whopping Rs. 100 million.
It has been made by artisans in Bangalore for a five-and-half feet idol of Sai Baba, installed at the Sai Temple in Shirdi.
It was a challenge for the Reddys and the transporters to ferry the throne safely to Shirdi, located nearly 200 km from Pune.
The Reddys packed it in a bus, which was escorted by a fleet of 15 cars carrying gun-toting security personnel.
Jayant Sasane, director of Sri Sai Baba Sansthan, said the siblings, builders by profession, are Sai Baba devotees and have been visiting the temple town for the past 20 years.
During one such trip, they had sought Sai Baba’s blessings for a big contract which could bring them prosperity. They promised to install a special gold throne for the Sai Baba if they bagged the contract.
Apparently, Sai Baba fulfilled their wish and the Reddys called the Sansthan to tell them that they would keep their promise made to the Baba, Sasane told IANS.
“Incidentally, one-and-a-half years ago we had announced our plan for a gold throne for Sai Baba. Devotees had been donating for the cause and so far we have collected around Rs. 10 million,” Sasane said.
Some political parties suggested that the money meant for the throne should be used for victims of natural calamities.
“Last September, the Reddys called with their private offer to install the gold throne,” he said.
It will be installed Sunday (December 23), the day of Dutta Jayanti. The date is significant for millions of Sai Baba devotees around the world as he is considered an incarnation of Dutta Guru.
The throne is the second most generous donation that the Sansthan received in 2007. In June, one V.K. Ramani of Chennai donated Rs. 750 million, Sasane said.
Ramani, an IT professional, donated it for the construction of the sprawling Dutta Niwas. “It will cost almost Rs 10 billion. The money donated by Ramani will be used and the Sansthan will spend the rest,” Sasane added.
When completed, the Dutta Niwas will accommodate 15,000 devotees at a time, making it one of the largest congregation halls in the country.
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