Raghu Sharma Sankaramanchi
Born in the family of Sankaramanchi who has been serving as priests for generations, Sri Raghu Sharma (popularly known as Raghu Ji) has been inclined to Devotion towards Shirdi Sai from his Childhood. Learning Brahmin Rituals under his father initially, later he finished Vedic courses such as Prevasa, Vara and Pravara at Bapatla Sankara Vidyalam Veda Pathasala (Certified by Department of AP state) from 1983 to 1987. Being interested in further education in General stream, Raghu Ji also obtained a Bachelors degree in Arts from Andhra University in Sociology and Public Administration.
He started his career as priest and head priest at Sri Sai Baba Temple (near Mary Stella college) Vijayawada from 1987 to1994. This is one the oldest temples in Andhra Pradesh which led to spread Sai Baba’s Tatwam in Vijayawada and surrounding towns.
Later on he moved to Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Samsthan Trust at Dilsukhnagar, Hyderabad as a head priest at where he his career flourished with Both Deivinity and Seva. In his career of 8 years there (1994 to 2002), he led many wonderful projects in this temple, which are mentioned below but not limited to. This temple now serves as gateway to many Shirdi Pilgrims from Hyderabad arranging transport and accommodations at Shirdi.
- Construction of IInd Floor consisting of A/c. Meditation Hall, Library, Committee Hall
- Kitchen, Store Room, VIP Lunch Room
- Re-construction of Goupuram
- Construction of Sai Prasad Building (1998)
- Construction of Sri Sai Prasad Building(2000)
With many difficulties but much more devotion, He had performed Vishwa Kalyana Maha Yagnam with his peers at Hyderabad, India in the year 1999.
He is also famous to perform priest services for Ground Breaking and Inauguration ceremonies for Most of the Flyovers that we see in Hyderabad Today.
To spread the Sai Tatwam to the NRI’s, he had moved to USA to serve as Head Priest in Sai Mandir at Baldwin, New York and served there till 2010 summer. He bought many wonderful families together to spread Sai’s Mahimalu across the Long Island and surrounding areas.
With his abilities to promote a Temple successsfully, he took up responsibility of the newly developed Sai Center, Iselin, New Jersey in 2010. He was supervising both Mandirs simultaneously as head priest until recent past.
Sri Raghu JI, who is serving Baba for the past 25 years, has started “Sri Sai Datta Peetham” with noble intentions. The aim relates back to Baba’s Thoughts on Satsung, Paduka Seva and Charity.
Sri Raghu Ji performs all priest (archaka) services below but not limited to.
Namakaranam, Annaprasana, Aksharabhyasam, Sri Sai Vratam, Satyanarayana Vratam, all kinds of Homas (Havans) Thread ceremony (Upanayanam), Marriage, (Kalyanam) House warming ceremony (Vasthu Puja) etc.
He can perform pujas and rituals in three languages: Telugu, English and Hindi.