No words can describe Baba and no writing is adequate to express what He was. However, as per His own description (because the Satcharita was approved by Him when He was in His physical body whilst it was being written by Shri Hemadpant) Shirdi Sainath Maharaj was a poorna Avataar of Adiguru Dattatreya. This is our firm belief and spiritual understanding of Him.
He was a firm believer of the Guru Shishya parampara and strongly advocated the same. He used to always praise His Guru. He was drawn to Shirdi because his Gurusthan was in Shirdi, which was the place where His Guru had practised penance for twelve years. It was the karma bhoomi of His Guru.
He led an extremely simple life in a dilapidated masjid. He lived on alms received from begging at five houses in the village of Shirdi. Being a Poorna Vairagi (Complete ascetic) He had no vasanas (attachments to worldly things) and was completely dispassionate. He gave away the money that He received as dakshina in the course of the day to people that He chose and was left with nothing at the end of the day.
He was a complete yogi with mastery over every kind of yogic practises. He was a master of ashthanga yoga and all the Kriyas. The yogic path of Baba is something that has not been delved into by very many. He was a Supreme yogi, like Adi yogi, who was Lord Shiva Himself. This is one thread from Shirdi which no one has really attempted to understand. Saipanth is a path within His fold where the yogic path is most important and is blended very well with His teachings. In Saipanth we take from His yogic path and practise it in the form of kundalini yoga. This is one aspect of the Master which has not been discussed before. In His overall plan and the larger picture of things, nothing happens ahead of time and nothing gets delayed. It happens only when it has to. So timing is something which He decides and we are just His instruments. For Saipanth, our Master has decided to combine yoga with a way of life in accordance with His teachings and thus continue to work for His cause. That is the work our Master has chosen for us. That is our understanding of our Master and this is how we serve His cause by being His instruments.