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The Mendicant Of Shirdi

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Chapter Summary

The charisma of Shirdi Sai Baba was transmitted to several gurus and leaders in the decades after his passing away in 1918. This chapter relies mainly on textual materials, hagiographies, devotional accounts, and reminiscences to locate Shirdi Sai Baba in his colonial milieu and also to trace the transformation of this mendicant into an icon of the middle classes through the efforts of contemporary devotees and inheritors of his charisma. It begins with two images of Shirdi Sai Baba. The chapter encounters a number of images - religious images meant for worship in stone or marble, calendar art, posters, photographs - but also music, orality, sound, festivals, smells, written accounts, markets, pilgrimage sites, tombs, temples, or publishing houses, all of which produce spaces for a body of devotion.

Keywords: Global Religious Movement; mendicant; Sai Baba; Shirdi



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