People belonging to the higher castes in India have gothra and suthra. They trace their spiritual ancestry to a sage. Baba has declared that He is Siva-Shakti, which condescended to bless the spiritual lineage of the sage Bhaaradwaaja. Baba has also declared that He has condescended to bless the sage Aapasthamba who wrote a Suthra (School of Interpretation) of Rituals and Dharmic Practices. In His fourteenth year, Baba declared, "I am Sai Baba of Shirdi, of the Bhaaradwaaja Gothra and Aapasthamba suthra". Aapasthamba according to the Brahmapurana underwent ascetic practices for many years and at last realized His life's ambition visualizing Siva and receiving His blessings. Sai Baba at Shirdi used to say that He was a brahmin of the Bhaaradwaaja gothra and of the Aapasthamba school of vedic rituals. So, this declaration by Baba in His fourteenth year is further proof of the identity of the two Sais.