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‘Can call Sai Baba a fakir, but not a God’- statement by Bageshwar Dham’s Dhirendra Shastri sparks controversy

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The statement by Dhirendra Shastri


The recent statement by the Hindu scholar Dhirendra Shastri advising devotees not to refer to Sai Baba as a ‘God’ has sparked a heated debate among followers. Shastri emphasized that while Sai Baba is revered by millions of devotees globally, he was a fakir who preached the values of love, compassion, and service to humanity and should not be worshipped as a god.

The controversy started when a video surfaced on social media showing a man referring to Sai Baba as a god. Shastri’s statement has received significant attention on social media, with many expressing their support for his position. However, some have criticized him for trying to impose his views on devotees, arguing that Sai Baba’s status as a God is a matter of personal belief.

Support and Criticism for Shastri’s Statement

The debate over the status of Sai Baba is not a new one, with many devotees divided over whether he should be worshipped as a god or respected as a fakir. The controversy has also highlighted the role of religion in modern society, with some arguing that religion should play a greater role in shaping social values and practices, while others maintain that it should be kept separate from politics and public life.

Despite the controversy, Sai Baba remains a revered figure among millions of devotees around the world, with many continuing to worship him as a god. The debate over his status is likely to continue, with both sides arguing passionately for their position.

Dhirendra Shastri’s Controversial Past

Shastri, who is the Mahant of Bageshwar Dham, made the statement at a religious event in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. According to him, Sai Baba was a fakir who lived a simple life and preached the values of love, compassion, and service to humanity. Shastri has urged devotees to respect Sai Baba’s teachings and refrain from engaging in any activities that go against his principles.

Sai Baba not a God says Dhirendra Shastri

The controversy has led to protests in some parts of the country, with some devotees demanding an apology from Shastri. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also waded into the controversy, with some members demanding action against Shastri for his statement. However, others have defended Shastri, arguing that he has the right to express his opinion.

This is not the first time that Dhirendra Shastri has made controversial statements. In January 2023, he sparked controversy by announcing that he planned to marry a man, saying that “nowadays only boys are marrying boys and the extent is that the boys are also becoming girls.” The statement was widely criticized, with many accusing Shastri of promoting homophobia.

In March 2023, Dhirendra Shastri made another controversial statement, this time about the status of Sai Baba. He stated that while devotees can refer to Sai Baba as a fakir, they should not refer to him as a god. The statement sparked a heated debate among devotees, with some demanding an apology from Shastri.

Shastri has also been accused of conning people using mentalism, a form of entertainment that involves using psychological techniques to create the illusion of mind-reading or other supernatural abilities. However, he has denied the allegations, saying that he uses his skills to help people and spread the message of love and compassion.

Despite the controversies, Shastri remains a popular figure among many devotees, who see him as a spiritual leader and guide. The controversy over Sai Baba’s status as a god or fakir is likely to continue, with both sides arguing passionately for their position.

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