The offering of one’s own blood is one of the greatest ways to show devotion, and the famous Sai Baba temple at Shirdi is providing facilities for devotees to do just that.
Devotees offer their hair at Sri Venkateswara Swamy (Balaji) Temple, atop seven hills at Tirupati, but blood donation is by far a more lasting and meaningful commitment.
The Blood donors will be felicitated on behalf of the Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan; darshan of Saibaba Samadhi will be arranged for them, Chairman of the Sansthan, Dr. Suresh Haware, said in a statement.
Facilities are provided for donating blood at two places – opposite the Museum and near Donation Offices both within the Shri Saibaba Samadhi Temple premises.
Balaji devotees offer their hair to the deity at Tirupati as an expression of their faith, and also as a way of their thanks giving after a wish is fulfilled. Daily large number of men, and women of all ages and children offer their hair at a specially marked place before going in for the Darshan of Balaji.
Now, emulating the Tirupati example, Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan (Trust) has come up with the blood donation concept. The trust has been running a blood bank for several years by now.
Dr. Suresh Haware pointed out that while the need for blood and blood components has been increasing day- by- day, the number of blood donors is quite less. “Our effort is to reduce the gap between demand and supply” since lakhs of devotees are arriving in Shirdi every day from far and near, and many of them may like to offer blood to the needy as an expression of their devotion to and faith in Sai Baba.
He hoped that the Blood Donation (offering) concept would take roots in Shirdi just as the hair donation concept has taken roots in Tirupati.
Dr. Haware added that the Sansthan provides free blood to needy patients through various blood banks.