Shirdi Sai Baba, also called Sai Baba of Shirdi, (born 1838?—died October 15, 1918), spiritual leader dear to Hindu and Muslim devotees throughout India and in diaspora communities as far flung as the United States and the Caribbean. The name Sai Baba comes from sai, a Persian word used by Muslims to denote a holy person, and baba, Hindi for father. Sai Baba’s early years are a mystery. Most accounts mention his birth as a Hindu Brahman and his subsequent adoption by a Sufi fakir, or mendicant. Later in life he claimed to have had a Hindu guru. Sai Baba arrived in Shirdi, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, about 1858 and remained there until his death in 1918.