The year 1995, the person Shri R.V. Kumar of Ashok Nagar, Chennai , a Music Director by profession happened to visit the Sai Baba Temple at Injambakkam, Chennai, because of his friends. While in the Mandir he placed his head on the Divine Padukas, and instantly heard a voice saying ‘I desire to unite all the people and uplift them spiritually. I need to use you as a tool to accomplish this.
When will you come within my fold?’
It was Shirdi Baba himslef talking to him. However Shri R.V. Kumar did not take this too seriously and thought probably it was his imagination.A few months later he made another visit to the same temple. And lo and behold he heard the same voice this time loudly and quite distinctly. He could not possibly ignore the voice.
But there was a hitch. He was basically a devotee of Goddess Meenakshi of Madurai. And he also possessed the divine power of talking to her intimately. He pondered over this voice calling him to Baba’s fold. He decided to seek an answer to this at Madurai, at the holy shrine of Goddess Meenakshi.
When he sat meditating before the Sanctum Sanctorum, a six foot tall figure of Shirdi Baba walked out of the sanctum, and he visualised this in his deep meditation. He also heard the Mother’s divine voice telling him that Shirdi Baba was a Great Mahan who lived even after his Mahasamidhi. She further said that following Baba’s footsteps was the best path for him.
He was thus convinced, but he was perplexed and confused. but how was he to proceed?
Sri Kumar Baba was chosen by Shri Sai Baba himself to serve His true , loyal and faithful devotees to whom He had promised to take care of - birth after birth. He was born on 27-3-1947 to Sri Vedantam and Smt Kalyani at Madurai. Due to our merits in our previous birth , we are all lucky to be in the association of this divine personality, who has sacrificed his life for uplifting His devotees. He uses his powers for the benefit of mankind conferring both temporal benefits and spiritual benefits. He started the Baba Prayer centre in 1996 and even today conducts mass prayer for His devotees on Thursdays. Needless to say that the devotees request is fulfilled with the blessings of Shirdi Sai Baba. He says that he is an emissary of Shridi Sai Baba and acts according to His instructions only. The Anna Baba Mandir was constructed in a record time of ten months without any propaganda or publicity and with the contributions from 108 devotees called Sai Souls( a name given by Shirdi Sai) mostly belonging to the middle income group. Sri Kumar Baba does not prescribe any Homam or costly Parikaram for people who approach him with their problems. His method of advising the devotee is very unique –prayer and repetition of the Lords name with total surrender to Sai. In the last six years, 24 couples who had been childless for more than 15 years have been blessed with children. Shirdi Sai Baba has asked Sri Kumar Baba to give the towel he uses to wipe the Shridi Sai Moorthy on Thursdays to cancer patients, who have to place this towel under their pillow. Likewise fifteen cancer patients have been cured. Moreover every Thursdays Shri Kumar Baba conducts Mass Prayer. Sai fulfills the sincere request of the devotees who participate in this prayer for six weeks personally.
Birth of BABA PRAYER CENTRE, Ashok Nagar, Chennai 83
As per Sri Sai Baba's advice, a Prayer center was commenced at Ashok Nagar which was called as Baba prayer Centre. Devotees started attending the Thursday meditation. Devotees who attended the prayer and meditation for six consecutive weeks had all their problems solved. Apart from this, Sri Kumar Baba also prayed for devotees who contacted him by phone, letters or email.
Baba then told him, ‘now that you have come within my fold, there is no action that you will perform independently. You will now be my tool and perform all that I wish and desire to do. You are at my behest and I will control all your deeds. I am Anna Baba and you shall henceforth be called Kumar Baba’.
Without any propaganda, the number of devotees increased from hundred to thousand. The Baba Prayer Centre needed a more spacious place to accommodate the devotees. With the blessings of Baba, and, due to the efforts of Guruji Sri Kumar Baba, this Anna Baba Mandir was born.
A unique Mandir for the Guru by His Disciple
In the year 2000, when Sri Kumar Baba went to Tirumala to have the darshan of Lord Venkateswara (Balaji), He heard the divine voice of the Lord saying “Shirdi Sai Baba and I are one and the same. Baba’s erstwhile Guru Venkusa was my manifestation”. When Venkusa died, he entreated his disciples not to bury his body, but to burn it and then dig the area. He foretold that they would find the statue of Lord Venkateswara, which the devotees did find and later built a temple for Him. The temple can still be seen at Selu, near Manmad. Thus Baba proved to Sri Kumar Baba that he was the manifestation of Lord Venkateswara.
We have heard of disciples building temples for the Guru, but here we come across the reverse. Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi was an ardent devotee of His Guru Venkusa and Venkusa is an incarnation of Lord Venkateswara of Tirumala. When Sri Kumar Baba started the Baba Prayer Centre in July 1996 at Ashok Nagar, it never struck him that he would build a Mandir for Baba , for he not only lacked the inclination but also the resources. On one Thursday, in the year 2000, when Sri Kumar Baba was in deep meditation he had a vision of Lord Venkateswara besieging him to build a Mandir for Baba and He assured Sri Kumar Baba that He would provide the necessary resources as and when he required. He further said that He (Lord Venkateswara) would also find a place in the Mandir. Thus the Guru was instrumental in providing a mandir for His most ardent devotee. This Mandir has also found space for not only Lord Venkateswara but also Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Krishna, Lord Rama ,Lord Shiva and Lord Maruthi as, Sri Sai Baba is the manifestation of all the Gods. Are there not instances in Sai Satcharita to vouch for these? Thus The Anna Baba Mandir has united the Saivaite and Vaishnavite sects in Hinduism.
Nine fold path of Guruji Sri Kumar Baba
Guruji Sri Kumar Baba also mentioned that Sri Shirdi Sai Baba has given him certain rules and regulations to observe and follow meticulously.
- Not to participate in any auspicious or inauspicious event like marriage or death in any household.
- To Listen to the devotees pleas and petitions and pray for them.
- Not to perform any pooja or ritual at the mandir except Anna Dhan and meditation which is an answer to all ills.
- Not to borrow or lend money.
- Where there is excess wealth, there is sin. So Shirdi Sai Baba besieged Sri Kumar Baba to construct this Anna Baba Mandir by accepting money only from the poor and middle class people This money could be donated only by 108 donors and they would be called as ‘Sai Souls’.
- Sri Sai Baba instructed Sri Kumar Baba to be patient, calm and loving to His devotees. He promised that He is the manifestation of all Gods and all Gurus, Lord Venkateswara and Goddess Meenakshi would answer their prayers.
- Shirdi Baba emphasised to Sri Kumar Baba that he was only a class monitor, taking care of the class (the world at large) and that Baba was the real Guru or Teacher.
- Shirdi Baba has said that in the 60th year of Sri Kumar Baba He would proclaim to the world that both are one and the same.
- Love Peace and Annadanam should be his life’s goal.