Shirdi Sai Florida Center Inverness
The Florida Shirdi Sai center was inspired by Late Dr. K.V. Raghava Rao guru, also known as Raoji. The center was established in 1997 under the sponsorship of Raoji’s disciples, Drs. Ratna Devi and Purnachandra Yerneni of Louisiana. The original Temple was set in a rented barn in Inverness, Florida. Inverness is a small town in central Florida, with a very few families of Indian decent. This location was chosen due to the premonition of Dr. Ratna Devi Yerneni as she was guided to Inverness by Sai Baba.
The members of the local community began to participate in the Temple activities and management in early 2000. The Yernenis, together with a team of community devotees, began planning the permanent facilities for the Temple. The Yernenis donated land just South of where the original temple was located. The Temple was moved to this property in 2002. It was temporarily established in a double wide mobile home. The center began to attract devotees from all parts of Florida as it was the only Shirdi Sai Temple in the state. With constant involvement and management from several local devotees, the plans to construct a large center began to take shape.
The construction of the new center started in 2004. On march25, 2005, Shirdi Sai Florida Center commenced pooja in the new Temple with Murthi Prathishthapna and three days of celebrations. Over 2000 devotees from all parts of Florida and other states participated in the opening celebrations. The temple has now become a prime place of pilgrimage for Shirdi Sai Baba devotees and attracts many visitors throughout the year. Expansion plans are in place to develop facilities to provide the devotees the devotional experience similar to the one they would have during their visit to Shirdi, India.
To educate and promote understanding of the Shirdi Sai Baba’s doctrines, beliefs, and teachingsTo provide Hindu religious, educational, cultural, and intellectual interchange within the SSFC devotees community
To teach, commemorate, and celebrate various Hindu religious festivals, rituals, and events
To preserve and promote religious, educational, cultural, community service and such other SSFC programs and activities as shall from time to time meet the needs of the SSFC community
The birth and parentage of Sai Baba are wrapped in mystery. Many authors and scholars conclude from various proofs that Baba was born at Pathri village in Parabhani District, Maharashtra State, India. Baba himself gave some hints about his life, which have been verified. He seems to have been born some time between 1820 and 1850 A.D. His parents were Brahmins. They handed him over to the care of a fakir, who in turn passed on the young child to a saintly person named Gopal Rao Deshmukh, an ardent worshipper of Lord Venkateswara of Tirupati. After ten years, his Guru directed him to move westward and after some wanderings, Sai Baba settled and spent the rest of his life at Shirdi. It is believed that Baba first came to Shirdi in 1854 and lived there for three years.