Sri Prabhudananda Saraswati Maharaj (Sri Sai Gopala Krishna, Sri Gopal Baba) was born to Sri. Venkatramanaiah and Smt. Yamunamma, in the auspicious Hindu month of Kartik, on 6 November 1951. He was very different from other children of his age and showed great interest in spirituality. Seldom was he interested in worldly games and worldly education. He used to make little statues of various gods and goddesses out of clay, decorated them and conducted prayers, whilst the other children were busy playing games. He was always spoke softly and kind. He could not see the misery of human beings and animals and took care of them lovingly. Love had been the corner-stone of his life from a very tender age. His father used to take him to Prashanthi Nilayam (Puttaparthi) and Brindavan (Whitefield, Bangalore) for the divine darshan of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Young Prabhudananda Saraswati Maharaj used to yearn for this trip very fervently. Whenever he went to Prashanthi Nilayam, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba invariably called him for an interview. On one such occasion in 1966, Baba held Sri Prabhudananda Saraswati Maharaj’s hands in His own and urged him to ask for whatever he wanted. Gopal did not reply because he was now beyond any desires and he was detached from all worldly objects. Sri Prabhudananda Saraswati Maharaj had resolved to devote his life at the Lotus Feet of the Divine Avatar and towards the living and teaching of the Divine Word of Sai.
The Sri Sai Mandiram in Girinagar – Bangalore, is a temple where Shirdi Sai and Sathya Sai both are worshipped. This is a unique Mandir where the two manifestations of Sai are worshipped in one place. In this temple people of all faiths come and offer worship. There is no discrimination between sexes and Sri Prabhudananda Saraswati Maharaj extends his unbounded love to both human beings and animals alike. The Sai Mandiram is situated in the peaceful and well-developed district of Girinagar. All are welcome in the Sai Mandiram and Sri Prabhudananda Saraswati Maharaj helps all devotees who come with sufferings, to achieve mental peace. People who suffer from wants, mental illnesses, physical ailments and financial difficulties come here and derive satisfaction. Sri Prabhudananda Saraswati Maharaj attributes this to the divine Love of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
The very existence of this temple is a unique expression and establishment of the omnipresence of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
In 1990, Sri Prabhudananda Saraswati Maharaj visited Prashanti Nilayam for the 65th birthday celebrations of Bhagawan Baba. Millions had gathered to have a glimpse of Baba and Sri Prabhudananda Saraswati Maharaj could not have a darshan of the Lord which was satisfactorily. This incident diminished the craving of being physically in the presence of the Lord. Sri Prabhudananda Saraswati Maharaj made a Divine wish to experience merely the ever present aspect of Sai Baba as Love and Light, which is much more lasting and satisfying. Even today, Sri Prabhudananda Saraswati Maharaj urges all, to develop the Inner Sai rather than crave for the physical presence of Sathya Sai Baba. This intense inner craving resulted in the physical appearance of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in the Sai Mandiram.
In the midst of a very intense and devoted bhajan session, Bhagawan Baba manifested Himself physically before Sri Prabhudananda Saraswati Maharaj on 23 November 1991 and materialised His Atma Lingam (Chandra Moulishwara Lingam) and gave it to Sri Prabhudananda Saraswati Maharaj. He also instructed Sri Prabhudananda Saraswati Maharaj to perform every Monday Rudra Abishekam to the sacred lingam and to distribute the consecrated water (Tirtham) among the people. This is being done continuously from 1991 onwards without a break until November 23th 2015. Swami now carries this lingam with him and he holds Abishek on special occasions.
There are countless examples of people who have been cured of mental and physical ailments by partaking of the consecrated water. The lingam is elliptical in shape.