N E W S L E T T E R
VOL118, FEBRUARY 2011
 

 

 

FROM SHRI C.B. SATPATHY'S MESSAGE

Scientific research tells us that during the last many thousands of years many species have been extinguished on this earth. Some of these species like the Dinosaurs were much more powerful physically than most of the other species of that time. It is because they could not adjust with the onslaughts of the changing environmental conditions of the time that they became extinct.

Various theories have been propounded for cause of such environmental changes. This is so because these physically gigantic and powerful species did not have the required level of intelligence to fight against such natural catastrophes as their cerebral capacity had not been developed.

On the other hand the human race survived such dire situations due to its superior intelligence. From the stages of the Cave Man, the Iron Man to the stage of the modern man the human race, at every stage of evolution, proved the Darwinian principle of the 'survival of the fittest'.

At the early stages of evolution the human race did not have the concept of God as we understand today. It was afraid of natural forces like fire, thunder, rains and even dangerous animals like the snakes, tigers and others. In order to escape from onslaught of these forces of nature the early man started a process of their appeasement.

The process of appeasement was based on fear and not love. Later, the human mind imagined and created concepts like the Gods of war, of good crop, of health cure etc with the hope to make life more comfortable with their help. As the intelligence and consciousness of human beings started evolving their concepts about God also started evolving. They started having the idea of a mighty divine power and gave it different names as God, nature, spirit etc.

Through the experience of ages human beings experienced the existence of their own consciousness. Through the search of their own consciousness they conceived the idea of an all pervading Super Conscious entity which they termed as God. Gradually they linked their own origin from this Super Conscious Being.

Further they realised that every thing on this earth and the universe emanated from this Super Conscious Being. Having realised this they started worshipping this all pervading and creative consciousness of nature. The initial systems of worship were thus based on the human ideas to get maximum help and least trouble from the various forces of nature and the highest Supreme Conscious Being called God.

Some human beings carried out experiments on their own consciousness through the process of concentration and meditation. Some of them experienced the intrinsic link between their consciousness and the Super Consciousness. They realised that their consciousness is a part of this Supreme Consciousness and that after living in the human body their consciousness would merge with it.

It is because of such superior intelligence that the human race became superior to all other species on this earth. Some of the most advanced researchers besides realising the existence of God in them also learnt the process of drawing extra powers and capabilities from the Master-source of all living and non-living powers.

Through the use of such powers they started helping other human beings and species. They are called as Saints or the Masters whom the human apotheosises and worships. Let us pray to them.

May Shri Sai bless us all. ".......


Q & A

What is the actual meaning of the word ‘Samarpan’?

‘Samarpan’ means to offer in equal form. Whatever we will offer to God, He gives us in accordance with the same. This means, to offer our self to the God and Guru in the same way, and this offering is at the level of thoughts.

‘Bhavatmak Samarpan’ means – when the Guru offers pure thoughts even when trying to remove our sufferings, do we offer pure thoughts to Him while doing the work assigned by the Guru. God gives pure thoughts ‘Shudha Bhava’ and wants pure thoughts. If this is not there then it is only a prayer – for fulfilment of certain needs.

In Baba’s aarti there is a line : ‘Jaya mana jaisa bhav taya taisa anubhav’ - the way a person thinks he feels the same way. With whatever feeling we offer we should receive with the same purity. Some people think that offering coconut and clothes etc. is also a ‘Bhavarpan’.

But it is not like this, because the Guru doesn’t accept these physical offerings but He accepts the ‘Bhava’ or intention with which it is offered. While trying to offer, if the intention goes wrong then it becomes unacceptable.

 

BABA MAY I ANSWER book by Shri C. B. Satpathy released on Ram Navami For details see www.heritageofshirdisai.org

If you want to ask any spiritual questions from Shri C. B. Satpathyji, please mail at mayianswer@gmail.com


FROM "LIFE OF SAI BABA" BY NARASIMHA SWAMI

……“His first impression of Baba was fairly good. He had his own ways of viewing spiritual matters and he was a good student of sacred literature especially in Marathi. He was studying Eknath’s and Jnaneswar’s books, making fairly good progress in spirituality, as ordinarily understood. But there was something very peculiar in his case. Jnaneswari is used as pothi, a daily parayana book by most people and they succeeded in effecting one complete parayanam within a specified period, the reading going on from day to day.

In Sri B.V.Dev’s case, however, on the first occasion, on the second and also on the third, whenever he began the parayana of Jnaneswari, obstacles of various sortss sprang up, and he could not finish the reading in a continuous fashion. He was very puzzled and also disgusted.

There must be some unseen reason behind the obstacle. What it could be, he could not guess. This was one of the things which brought him nearer to Baba. When he went to Shirdi with Jnaneswari, he was anxious to get Baba’s aid for overcoming the unseen obstacle. He gave Baba the Jnaneswari with one rupee so that the book might be returned to him for study.

Baba: Why one rupee? Bring Rs.20

Dev brought and gave Rs. 20, but still Baba said nothing about Pothi. That night Dev was trying to talk to Balakram Manker, who had derived much spiritual benefit from Baba and asked him to narrate his experiences with Baba, showing how he got into His grace. Balakram Manker put off the narration till the next evening. Next day Baba asked Dev, ‘Give me Rs.20’, Dev paid it and went back and was talking to Balakram. Balakram was just beginning his narration. Just then Baba sent for Dev. and Dev went.

Baba: What were you talking? With whom and where?

B.V.Dev: At Dixit wada I was talking with Balakram about your greatness and fame.

Baba: Fetch Rs. 25

Dev fetched and paid Rs. 25 to Baba.

Baba: Sit here in the mosque.

Baba then suddenly grew angry and said, ‘Why are you stealing my rag? Is it your way to steal and that despite your grey hairs? I will kill you with a hatchet’. Baba’s asking for dakshinas and his sudden anger might ordinarily be supposed to act as shocks to his mind, but in whatever way they were intended to operate, Baba did not make it clear at once.

Dev was benefited and did not know what the rag was and what the anger would lead to. After ten minutes of such fiery anger, Dev was sent back. Half an hour later, Baba sent for Dev and all the others to come to the Masjid. Then Baba addressing Dev, said, 'Tambye Bhav, have I wounded you by talking of the rag? If there is theft, it has to be mentioned. There is no other go. Be it so. God will look to everything'. Then he asked Dev for Rs. 12 dakshina which Dev procured and paid.

Baba to Dev: What are you doing'?

Dev: Nothing.

Baba: Go on reading Pothi daily in the morning at the wada. When I wished to give you a nice lace shawl in its entirety, why do you go and steal a tatter?
Dev then began reading lnaneswari as Pothi and thereafter there were no more obstacles. This was a sure proof to him of Baba's controlling powers and there was no necessity for him thereafter to enquire about the experience of others. Dev realised that such personal experiences formed a full lace shawl given by Baba and picking up secondhand information from others of their experiences of Baba amounted to stealing rags of Baba.

Though Dev succeeded in reading Jnaneswari without obstacle, he had made no progress in understanding its meaning. Baba then appeared in his dream and asked, ‘Do you understand the meaning of what you read?’

Dev with tears: ‘No. How can I understand unless you grant it by your grace?’
Baba: ‘You are reading too hastily. Sit by my side and read.’

Dev: ‘What shall I read?’

Baba: ‘Adhyatma’

Dev went in and brought Adhyatma Ramayana. Then the dream ended and Dev woke up.

When Dev found that his completion of Jnaneswari was evidently a chamatkar of Baba, by which he overcame the unseen obstacles to the completion of his parayanam of Jnaneswari, he understood that this chamatkar of Baba was a full lace shawl while the stories about Baba’s lilas which he would glean from Manker would be second-hand stories of other people’s experiences.

Baba occasionally gave him hints for his spiritual progress. But it was not always that Dev could understand them correctly. Baba asked Dev once, ‘Bhav, give me dakshina’. B. V. Dev gave one guinea.

Baba: ‘Give more’

Baba, after getting four guiness said, ‘Though four were given by you, Baba has got only one’.

Dev: ‘Baba I have given four’.

Baba: 'Yes, but I have only one. You will know’.

The obvious interpretation is, though the devotee surrenders his fourfold Antahkarana Manas, Buddhi, Ahamkara and Chitta, Baba receives only the Jiva and all multiplicity when it reached God-Baba, becomes one. So the mind must surrender multiplicity unto the Guru God to attain unity.”......

 


 

ARTICLE

The disciple was the Master – the Sadguru of Bengal and Guru a wandering monk

Most of us have heard of Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa – Guru of Swami Vivekananda, the famous spiritual leader who delivered an unforgettable eloquent lecture on Hinduism and Indian Vedanta philosophy in the celebrated Parliament of Religions of 1893 in Chicago. He subsequently established - ‘Ramakrishna Mission’ which is now engaged in the service of humanity and is spread widely in almost every part of the world. However, very few amongst us are aware about the spiritual master of Sadguru Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa.

Totapuriji was one the spiritual teachers whom Shri Ramkrishna Himself proclaimed as His Guru. Apart from Totapuriji, Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa had two other spiritual teachers, one taught Him the ultimate divinity through tantra-sadhana whereas the other gave Him an initiation to realize Allah (God) through Islam. Thus Shri Ramkrishna realized the ultimate truth through different ways showing mankind that various religions are nothing but different ways to reach unto God. He said – “As many faiths, so many paths”. This article will focus on Totapuriji.

Totapuriji was born in Ludhiana of Punjab state in 1780 and left his mortal coil in 1866. He was very strongly built and very rarely fell ill in life. Totapuriji was head of a monastery at Ladhana located in the Ludhiana district of Punjab. The monastery was once very affluent, but at the time when Totapuriji was its head, it had almost 700 Sanyasins. Totapuriji followed the path of Advaita Vedanta and was a wandering monk of Dasnami order of Adi Shankara. He used to see the world as an illusion and used to denounce the worshipping of gods and goddesses as a mere play of mind. Prayers, religious ceremonies rites and rituals had no meaning for him.

Totapuriji had an indomitable will power and unflinching desire to seek the truth. He practiced austere discipline on the bank of the sacred Narmada for around forty years and after that he finally realized the absolute truth. Totapuriji was of the view that realizing truth takes a long time; however he was utterly astonished when Shri Ramakrishna realized the truth in a single day with his able and competent guidance.

Totapuriji had arrived at the Dakshineswar temple garden toward the end of 1864. He used to roam from one place to another and never stayed in one place for more than 3 days strictly following the discipline of a sanyasin of Dasnami order. The only exception to this rule was his stay for eleven months at Dakshineshwar with Shri Ramakrishna.

When Totapuriji saw Shri Ramkrishna for the first time at Dakshineshwar while taking a bath in the Ganges, he recognized His true potential as a disciple to be initiated into Advait Vedanta. He immediately asked if He would wish to be initiated into Advait Vedanta.

Shri Ramkrishna replied that He would be able to consent to his proposal only if His mother permitted Him to do so. Totapuriji thought that his disciple has to take consent of his mother (biological) however Shri Ramkrishna had referred to Adyakatyani Ma Bhawtarini – Kali, the only deity He worshipped and was in constant communion with. Shri Ramkrishna finally got a go ahead from divine mother for initiation into monastic order.

Prior to entering into the realm of Vendanta, Ma Kali was the only God for Shri Ramkrishna to worship and meditate upon. He used to see and talk to Ma Kali, as though He talked to a human being standing next to Him.

On the appointed day, in the early hours of the morning, a fire was lighted in the Panchavati. Totapuri and Sri Ramakrishna sat before it. Facing Shri Ramkrishna was Totapuriji, a very tall and robust sturdy man with masculine strength and gnarled mien. His voice was very virile. His constitution and mind were of iron. He was the strong leader of men. Shri Ramkrishna used to address him affectionately as ‘Nagta’ – the naked one, who as a renunciate he did not wear any clothing.

In the burning flame before him Shri Ramakrishna performed the rituals of destroying His attachment to relatives, friends, body, mind, sense-organs, ego, and the world. The leaping flame swallowed it all, making the initiate free and pure. The sacred thread and the tuft of hairs were also consigned to the fire, completing his severance from caste, sex, and society.

Last of all he burnt in that fire, with all that is holy as his witness, his desire for enjoyment. He uttered the sacred mantras giving assurance of safety and fearlessness to all beings, who were only manifestations of his own Self. The rites completed, the disciple received from the Guru the loin-cloth and ochre robe, the emblems of his new life. Totapuriji taught the sole reality of the impersonal absolute which could be realized in the state of consciousness devoid of all conceptual forms. Totapuri imparted to Sri Ramakrishna the great truths of Vedanta.

"Brahman", he said, "is the only Reality, ever pure, ever illumined, ever free, beyond the limits of time, space, and causation. Though apparently divided by names and forms through the inscrutable power of maya, that enchantress who makes the impossible possible, Brahman is really One and undivided. When a seeker merges in the beatitude of samadhi, he does not perceive time and space or name and form, the offspring of maya.

Whatever is within the domain of maya is unreal. Give it up. Destroy the prison-house of name and form and rush out of it with the strength of a lion. Dive deep in search of the Self and realize it through samadhi. You will find the world of name and form vanishing into void, and the ego dissolving in Brahman-Consciousness.

You will realize your identity with Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute." Quoting the Upanishad, Totapuri said: "That knowledge is shallow by which one sees or hears or knows another. What is shallow is worthless and can never give real felicity. But the Knowledge by which one does not see another or hear another or know another, which is beyond duality, is great, and through such Knowledge one attains the Infinite Bliss. How can the mind and senses grasp That which shines in the heart of all as the Eternal?

While meditating on the absolute self, Shri Ramkrishna came across the image of divine mother as a hurdle in reaching out to merge into Nirvikalp Samadhi. Totapuriji immediately took a piece of glass lying there and pressed hard on His Bhikuti (the point of confluence of all three nadis – Ida, Pingla and Sushumna) and instructed Him to cut off the image of divine mother with imaginary sword of discrimination. He very soon delved deep into meditation losing out His external consciousness and merged totally into Nirvikalp Samadhi to the utter wonderment of Totapuriji and remained in that blissful state for three days continuously.

"After the initiation", Shri Ramakrishna once said, describing the event, "Nagta began to teach me the various conclusions of the Advaita Vedanta and asked me to withdraw the mind completely from all objects and dive deep into the Atman. But in spite of all my attempts I could not altogether cross the realm of name and form and bring my mind to the unconditioned state.

I had no difficulty in taking the mind from all the objects of the world. But the radiant figure of the Blissful Mother, the Embodiment of Pure Consciousness, appeared before me as a living reality. Her bewitching smile prevented me from passing into the Great Beyond. Again and again I tried, but She stood in my way every time. In despair I said to Nagta: 'It is hopeless. I cannot raise my mind to the unconditioned state and come face to face with Atman.'

He grew excited and sharply said: 'What? You can't do it? But you have to.' He cast his eyes around. Finding a piece of glass he took it up and stuck it between my eyebrows. 'Concentrate the mind on this point!' he thundered. Then with stern determination I again sat to meditate. As soon as the gracious form of the Divine Mother appeared before me, I used my discrimination as a sword and with it clove Her in two. The last barrier fell. My spirit at once soared beyond the relative plane and I lost myself in samadhi."

"Is it really true?" Totapuri cried out in astonishment. "Is it possible that He has attained in a single day what it took me forty years of strenuous practice to achieve? Great God! It is nothing short of a miracle!" With the help of Totapuri, Sri Ramakrishna's finally came down to the normal plane of consciousness.

Totapuri had no idea of the struggles of ordinary men in the toils of passion and desire. Having maintained all through life the guilelessness of a child, he laughed at the idea of a man's being led astray by the senses. He was convinced that the world was maya and had only to be denounced to vanish forever. A born non-dualist, he had no faith in a Personal God. He did not believe in the terrible aspect of Kali. Music and the chanting of God's holy name were to him only so much nonsense. He ridiculed the spending of emotion on the worship of a Personal God.

From Sri Ramakrishna Totapuriji had to learn the significance of Kali, the Great Fact of the relative world, and of maya, Her indescribable Power.

One day, when guru and disciple were engaged in an animated discussion about Vedanta, a servant of the temple garden came there and took a coal from the sacred fire that had been lighted by the great ascetic. He wanted it to light his tobacco. Totapuri flew into a rage and was about to beat the man. Sri Ramakrishna rocked with laughter. "What a shame!" he cried. "You are explaining to me the reality of Brahman and the illusoriness of the world; yet now you have so far forgotten yourself and you are about to beat a man in a fit of passion. The power of maya is indeed inscrutable!" Totapuriji was embarrassed.

Around this time Totapuri was suddenly laid up with a severe attack of dysentery. Due to this miserable illness he found it impossible to meditate. One night the pain became excruciating. He could no longer concentrate on Brahman. The body stood in the way. A free soul, he did not at all care for the body. So he determined to drown it in the Ganges and he walked into the river. But, lo and behold!

He walks to the other bank." Is there not enough water in the Ganges? Standing dumbfounded on the other bank he looks back across the water. The trees, the temples, the houses, are silhouetted against the sky. Suddenly, in one dazzling moment, he sees on all sides the presence of the Divine Mother.

She is in everything; She is everything. She is in the water; She is on land. She is the body; She is the mind. She is pain; She is comfort. She is knowledge; She is ignorance. She is life; She is death. She is everything that one sees, hears, or imagines. Without Her grace no embodied being can go beyond Her realm. Man has no free will. He is not even free to die. Yet, again, beyond the body and mind She resides in Her Transcendental, Absolute aspect. She is the Brahman that Totapuri had been worshipping all his life.

Totapuri returned to Dakshineswar and spent the remaining hours of the night meditating on the Divine Mother. In the morning he went to the Kali temple with Shri Ramakrishna and prostrated before the statue of the divine Mother. He now realized why he had spent eleven months at Dakshineswar. Bidding farewell to the disciple, he continued on his way, enlightened.

It definitely was a divine leela of a Sadguru that all His teachers came to Him as He never ever went out in search of God or Guru. Sadgurus are perfect and need no teachings. They display divine plays (leelas) by accepting one teacher or the other within the limitations of human embodiment.

Sanjay Kumar Singh, Noida

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DEVOTEE EXPERIENCE

In 2006-07 an elder Malayalee Christian family were my neighbours and they had a dog called Smokie. He was cute and obedient from the time he was a small puppy to the time he was fully grown. He seemed fierce like an Alsatian but this was not so in reality.

After some time the family moved to new rented house just another 4 houses away. Now Smokie made it habit to be in both the new house as well as the old. A year or so later the family left for Kerala, leaving Smokie in Bangalore. Now Smokie survived through getting leftover food offered by families in the neighborhood and used to sleep in same house as the new resident (owner) also welcomed him for security. Most of the food he needed was provided by them. Smokie was a big eater.

I also used to offer food to Smokie primarily at night. I was newly married and there was always something left for the dog at night. One day at noon Smokie came home with great difficulty. He was wounded and seemed sick, with saliva dripping from his mouth.

He sat in the portico on doormat in front of door. He was struggling to breathe but his eyes were fixed on rather big photo of Sai Baba hanging on the wall right opposite the door. Since he smelled bad and seemed near death, I was afraid and tried to shoo him away in vain. Smokie seemed to be looking at Baba and I continued my weekend cleaning of house. Later I saw Smokie had left and after this was never seen in our neighborhood. Perhaps he died. Later I came to know that Smokie had been bitten by a rabid dog some weeks back.

While reading about Baba granting salvation to a Tiger in the Sai Satcharita, I thought of Smokie and how Baba takes care of the welfare of animals and grants them salvation and remembered how food happened to be left every night in my home even if we had cooked only a half a small cooker container.

This should have been sufficient only for one person but after both of us finished dinner, there used to be enough food to feed Smokie. Sometimes we would eat out and then also we used bring excess food packed or there would be the day’s left over food at home that would get offered to Smokie.

Somehow every night food would be supplied to Smokie by us and we used feel full even with a small quantity. Perhaps that day Smokie was actually praying Baba and then left the world. Baba also gave him enough strength to move from my home and die somewhere else.

This shows how Baba takes care of even animals just as He used to do at Shirdi.

Ashoka Kalgude, Bangalore


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POEM

LIFE....

Life starts its sublime but arduous journey,
Like a melodious rhapsody,
From the mother's lap,
Marching through the ifs.

Life is Immortality,
Life is a flicker of hope.
Baba show me the light,
To inflame the aspiration within me,
To live with a purpose.

Life ends with eternity,
Life is eternal bliss....
And with You Baba,
The journey of Life goes on and on,
Unfolding the celestial beauty of Your creation.

Mahima Sankar Behera, Bhubaneswar

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TOPIC OF DISCUSSION

Pain and Pleasure are like Twins, Always Entwined

“Pain and pleasure, like light and darkness, succeed each other.” Laurence Sterne

The entire universe is pervaded with positive and negative paired attributes which go hand in hand, such as happiness and sadness, pleasure and pain, male and female, white and black, inside and outside, body and soul, life and death to name a few. This design of nature is natural to create a balance in the universe. So it is imperative to say that when there is pleasure then pain is sure to follow and one would be correct to say that pain and pleasure are like twins always entwined.

It is also equally true to say that man can find eternal happiness and never face pain in this world. How is that possible? Happiness is a state of mind; pleasure on the other hand is gratification of senses usually associated with material things. From this we can deduce is that man is actually seeking pleasure rather than happiness as he is in constant look out for gratification of his sensual needs.

When an ordinary man talks of happiness it is relative and is usually associated with material things. One perceives that bigger the bank balance or house and riches happier the man is, offcourse we know that this in not true. No matter what a man possesses he still seems to be looking for something more and associates that with happiness. Man in his quest for happiness forgets to understand the fact that linking happiness with material things is always filled with pain and one goes through the roller coaster of emotions.

One of the big questions is – can a man experience constant happiness and never feel pain in his life? The answer is yes, one can live in eternal happiness or “sat chit anand” or “divine bliss” for ever. To attain this state our scriptures and god men have said that man does not require a prop.

Happiness lies within himself, but being ignorant, man does not realise this ultimate truth. The kind of materialistic happiness man seeks is transitory and does not last forever and pain invariably follows. The next question would be - how can one attain this eternal happiness? In order to obtain “sat chit anand” state one has to be disciplined. Only a true spiritual aspirant with intense desire to be liberated of the pain will be able to reach this goal.

However as Baba mentions, the path of spirituality is like the “edge of a razor” and is not easy to tread on, one has to persevere and seek the help of a guru who has Himself attained the supreme blissful state who can show the disciple how to attain it.

A true spiritual aspirant has to surrender the vital forces, senses, mind, intellect, and ego. Baba says that only he who has intense desire to be free of bondage, who develops a feeling of disgust of things of this world, involves in introspection of the self, abstains from committing sin, consciously engages in right conduct preferring good to pleasant, control of mind and senses, discharges his duties without any interest in the result of the actions, follows instructions of the guru, when the above qualifications are obtained then the Lord’s grace will ultimately shine forth on the aspirant and take him to the path of spiritual realisation where in he find the happiness in himself.

Such aspirants will know that the soul embodied within the body is one with God and happiness is the state of being within the body and not associate it with the body. In Bhagavadgeeta, lord Shri Krishna states that “One who has control over the mind is tranquil in heat and cold, in pleasure and pain, and in honor and dishonor; and is ever steadfast with the Supreme Self.”

Emotions such as pain and pleasure are constants in this universe. One cannot stop the flow of positive and negative forces in this universe, the only thing one has control over is our reaction towards these forces. The degree of pain that one faces varies based on the previous actions or prarabdh. A man brings with him into the present world the footprints of his previous actions. One can reduce the effect of this previous action by seeking shelter at the feet of a guru.

A disciplined mind which has evolved under the grace of a guru knows no pain or pleasure. The purpose of epics such as Ramayana is for the common man to learn from it and evolve in life. Ramayana is a story filled with sadness, separation, poverty and destruction of evil.

Rama’s conduct and steadfastness in the face of peril shows how a man should conduct himself in daily life. One learns of responsibility and duty towards family, conducting the day to day affairs in the light of righteousness and truthfulness, always remaining in control of emotions and witnessing all the events in life by remaining unaffected while playing one’s part with indifference, a principle which is the crux of Isha upanishad. The values taught in Ramayana are applicable at any time and age in this universe.

The great saints such as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharishi understood the purpose of life, controlled their mind and remained unaffected by the events around them. They progressed spiritually using their discrimination in separating the reality from illusion and discovering the true happiness within themselves.

As a result even though they were ailing from severe illnesses it never bothered them, for they knew that body was temporary and transitory and once the work of the body is over it perishes only to take on a new body to carry on the responsibilities that have been bestowed on the soul. This does not mean that they did not suffer pain. Rather, their spiritual progress was such that they were oblivious to the pain experienced by the body, and they always lived in the constant state of bliss or “sat chit anand”.

These great saints take on all the problems of the world on themselves and relieve people of their burdens, in spite of their own personal issues be it with themselves or inflicted on their family members, because such god men perceive the whole universe to be their own family and experience the pain of others as their own. Those followers who were fortunate enough to come in contact with such masters experience the vibrant bliss that radiates from the saints while in their company.

Shirdi Sai Baba said that mind was flexible and fickle and its duty is to think. It keeps on thinking of the object that has been fed to it. So it is up to the spiritual aspirant to make a conscious effort to feed it with positive thoughts. Eventually the liking and desire for mundane pleasures vanishes, one gains insight into the secrets of the universe and ultimately rises above the emotions of this world.

If it were simple to control the mind then the world would be filled with spiritual leaders. Controlling the mind is not so easy. It is only with the grace of a guru or a spiritual leader who can lead a man to control his mind in a systematic way to attain supreme bliss. When asked, Shri Satpathyji once said that all humans face some kind of problem or other in their life. Nobody is free of pain or problems.

The only panacea is constant reading of Shri Sai Satcharita. This will help people during times of trouble. By focusing on the stories of Baba they will get the strength to face the situations. One should invoke grace of Shri Shirdi Sai to do parayana of Shri Sai Satcharita, which would not be possible unless Guru wills it.

Therefore, one who seeks to be oblivious to pain and always remain in the blissful state experiencing God’s benevolence must heed to the words of Shirdi Sai Baba who said that “Wealth and prosperity are transient and the body is subject to decay and death. Knowing this, do your duty, leaving all attachment to the things of this world and next. He who does this and surrenders himself to the Feet of Hari (Lord) will get free from all troubles and attain bliss. The Lord runs and helps him who remembers and meditates on Him with love and affection.”

Anitha Kandukuri, Canberra, Australia.

 

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Share your views on Topic of Discussion- "On the Understanding of Sai Philosophy"

 


CHILDREN'S SECTION

MAA AUR MAIN

Main Priasha
apni maa ki priya asha
aur maa meri hai
pyaar aur sneh ki paribhaasha

Jab shishu thi bezubaan thi
man ki baat na kehe paati thi
par maa mehsoos kar leti thi
phir mujhse lipatkar mujhe seti thi

Jab jeevan mein toofanon ne bhaybheet kiya
tab maa ne mujhe aanchal mein lapet liya
maa ki sparsh ne har dar ko bhagaaya
maa ki khushboo ne meethi neend sulaaya

Antim kshan jab aayega
aur deh se praan chhoot jaayega
tab aatma se Sai poochhenge
tu kis roop mein waapas jaayega?

Lipat jaaoongi Sai charnon se
mila do mujhe phir usi maa se
bhar deti thi jo jeevan mamta ke rang se
apoorn hoon main jiske na hone se

Prabhu! bani rahoon main apni maa ki priya asha
janam janam tak
anant aur antaheen
yahi meri hai abhilasha
yahi meri hai abhilasha...

Priasha Sai Ukil, Kolkata

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DEVOTEES' FORUM

Deepak Sethi, Pune

My Life's Purpose

The purpose of my life is being focused on my own self, identify my own shortcomings, accept it, dissolve my negative emotions, gradually begin the change and let the transformation start.

In the early days, I was not willing to look at my inner self. I used to think there is nothing wrong with me but there is something wrong with the other person with whom I was interacting, forgetting that when one points a finger at someone else, three fingers are also pointing back at me.

When I began my own emotional roller coaster ride in life a few years ago, I had to face my own truths and believe me friends it was the defining moment of my life, when I faced my own truths, my own reality. It was the loneliest moment of my life. I had reached rock bottom. Thereafter the options were either to leave this planet or accept who I was and let the change begin within.

I chose the second option and the journey began. It has been a great journey, a valuable learning experience. There are times on this journey when I made mistakes, was hurt, got up, accepted the mistakes, healed myself and moved on. It is a great learning process.

Have I become perfect? Not at all, I am a human being and all humans are prone to make mistakes. However there is learning from the mistakes. Over the years, at some point in my life, there had been a small spark lit within my heart to have the inner strength and courage to begin my own transformation. Today this spark is a burning desire within to complete this process and “Be the Change”

The process is on in my life which I have been sharing transparently with friends so that others may learn and not repeat the same mistakes I have made. This is my way of giving back to society. This is my life's purpose. We are all spiritual beings traveling along the same path, evolving, growing. Eventually we are all going to get to the same place. The last soul to complete it's journey is no less worthy than the first.

Massimiliano Trabace

I went to India, and to Shirdi also, in 2007 and visited His Samadhi. I am not Indian, but I think I must have been Indian in some of my past lives. During the Darshan, in Shirdi, after a long queue, I cannot say I felt something particular. But afterwards, I could not stop thinking about Him, the image; the statue of Baba was constantly on my mind.

Just in this period I am going through a hard situation. Look at Him and He will certainly look at you. I wear a ring on my left hand, with Baba's image, to help remind me that I belong to Him. I am waiting for Baba to manifest His holy presence again in my life. I remain open...that's all I think I can do...

Share your feelings about Shirdi Sai in Devotees’ Forum


 

READER'S REFLECTION

Koirala Pradip Prasad, Kathmandu, Nepal

The Magazine has already occupied a very special space amongst Sai sebak like me. It is sure to reach culmination of the quality as it is under the guidance of Satpathyji.

Usha Vishwanath, Delhi

I look forward to receive the Heritage of Shirdi Sai magazine. It gives me immense pleasure and faith to read each copy. It is wonderful to read Satpathyji’s Message to us which gives us an insight into Sai Baba’s philosophy of life and splendid teachings in leading everyday life and spiritual life and how to coordinate both. It also gives us immense strength to read devotees experiences and how Baba has helped them. Very often we get solutions in our problems by reading them.

All of us who read this magazine are very lucky to experience the divine grace of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba in some form or other.

Share Reader's Reflection


 

NEWS OF SHIRDI SAI ACTIVITIES

SHREE SHIRDI SAI PEETH, Baripada Website

On the 1st Jan 2011, the NEW ODIA & HINDI Websites off SHREE SHIRDI SAI PEETH, Baripada were launched after getting the approval from Revered Shri Satpathyji during His Odisha Visit from 25thDec-2nd Jan. The websites are designed and developed by A. Niraj Kumar and the contents were prepared by Saumyaranjan Mishra from Baripada. It is the 1st Website of Baba in Odia language. The original ENGLISH website was launched on the Dussehra of 2009. The three websites can be viewed at the following URLs:

http://www.shirdisaipeeth.org

http://www.shirdisaipeeth.org/hindi

http://www.shirdisaipeeth.org/odia

The websites features User Registration, E-mail Alerts, Photo and Video gallery, books and cds of Shri Satpathyji, downloads of various apps, blogs, all the Odia interviews with revered Shri Satpathyji in English and Hindi subtitles etc.

Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Wembley, England

Location: Union Hall, Union Road, WEMBLEY, MIDDLESEX, HA0 4AU

Name of Trust/organization:: SHITAL

Daily timings and activities: Every day timings 8 am to 9 pm
Thursday, 8 am to 10 PM, Preet Bhoj is followed after Shej Aarti at 8.30 pm.

For more information please call +44(0) 208 9022 311 or visit http://www.shirdisai.org.uk/


ONLINE SHIRDI SAI BABA RADIO

With the blessings and grace of Shri Shirdi Sai , the first ever online Shirdi Sai baba radio will be broadcasting,- leela's of Baba thru His bhajans in Hindi, Telugu, Marathi and Gujrati, Sai Mahima , Sai amritwani, Sai mantra ,Sai Satcharitra prayaan ,discourses ,Geeta Gyan , Vishnu Sahasaram and much much more. I will be hosting it from this thursday. I will also be sharing my experiences and experiences of other Sai devotees thru this media.

This is the first ever online radio dedicated to the lotus feet of Shri Shirdi Sai baba. Just by listening to this radio, Sai devotees will feel the bliss of Baba and His leela's around them. You can go to http://debu7366.blogspot.com/ to listen to this radio [ password- omsrisai ]or for knowing the weekly program guide and to post your request, suggestions ,feedback and comments- plz visit http://sairadio.blogspot.com/ . You will also find a lot of important information at this site in the coming weeks.

SHIRDI SAI BABA SANSTHAN, CANADA (TORONTO)

Located at SAI KA MADHUBAN in Unionville - Three Annual Events celebrated: Ram Navami Guru Purrnima, and Vijay Dashami, Monthly Weekly and daily Activities: Abhishek - Akhand Parayan - Bhajan Sandhaya - Aarti - Annadaan..."Prepare a Meal" - Chitra Yatra - Paduka Puja - Palki Pothi & Portrait Procession - Volunteer Sevices - Character and Moral Values. A Youth Program based on Baba's Teachings and Shri Sai Ceremonial Yatra. For event updates visit www.shirdisainath.org

INVOCATION OF BLESSINGS ON AUSPICIOUS THURSDAYS

Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan, Canada, (Toronto) cordially invite Devotees to attend - volunteer - Receive Baba's Grace and be Immersed in Divine Bliss on the AUSPICIOUS day of THURSDAY 6:30PM at the GUR MANDIR 207 Queen's Plate Drive., Etobicoke (South of Steeles on the East side of Highway 27 on Queen's Plate). Invocation Ceremony of Baba's Divine Blessings will be conducted with Sacred Ashtotra Namavali to the accompaniment of Bhajans, Satcharita Paraayan, Naivedaya Offerings Dhoop Aarti and Mahaprasaad (Preeti Bhoj) Devotees are welcome to bring a dish for Naivedaya Offerings as inspired by Baba. Details at www.shirdisainath.org

SHRI SHIRDI SAI BABA RESOURCE CENTRE IN TORONTO

Maple Crest Private School 28 Roytech Road. Woodbridge, ON L4L 8E4 PHONE - 416-294-4804 (by appointment only). Complementary copy of "Sai Satcharita" (one per family) in all languages is now available, excluding Pothi in Marathi, Indira kher ji's English Version and Hindi Pothi by Kakaria ji,. Reserve your copy today. For pictures - posters - CD's - VCD's- Baba Murtis and other books on Baba visit the Resource Centre. On Line Shopping coming soon at www.shirdisainath.org . HERITAGE OF SHIRDI SAI MAGAZINE is now AVAILABLE IN CANADA: Send your request for subscription. Limited copies only. Email: saileela99@yahoo.com

SHIRDI SAI MANDIR, TORONTO, CANADA

THE SHIRDI SAI MANDIR, TORONTO, CANADA
2721 Markham Road, Unit# 8, Toronto, Ontario, M1X 1L5 (North East corner of Markham Road and Nashdene), Tel:647-444-4724, Email: info@theshirdisaimandir.ca Website:www.theshirdisaimandir.ca

Daily Operating Hours: 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Extended hours on THURSDAY and SATURDAY: 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. Baba's Kakad Aarti, Abhishek Puja, Madhyan Aarti, Dhoop Aarti, Satcharita Reading and Shej Aarti are performed every day.

Bhajans and Sai Naam Sankirtan are offered to Baba on Thursday and Saturday evenings.

Various resources such as Satcharitas, Photos, CDs are available.
Please visit our website for information on Mandir activities.

 

SHIRDI SAI PARIVAR VANCOUVER

Shirdi Sai parivar in Vancouver holds Satsang on Thursday (6.30-7.30pm)and Sai abhishek and aarti first Sunday of every month at SAI KUTIR ,9529, 119 A st, Delta ,BC, V4C 6P4. For further details contact (604) 584 9770 and cell is (604) 782 4878 or email, say.sai.sai@gmail.com.

SHRI SHIRDI SAI BABA MANDIR EDMONTON

Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir Edmonton, Located at 3036 - 106 Street. Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA

Operating Hours: 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. (Monday to Saturday except Thursdays)
Thursday and Sundays: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
For Program details visit the website or call: Tel: 1-780-757-3333, Email: shirdisaibabaedmonton@yahoo.ca or visit website: www.shirdisaibabaedmonton.com

SHRI SHIRDI SAI SANSTHAN LOS ANGELES

By the grace of our Shirdi Sai we are happy to announce the inauguration of Shri Shirdi Sai Temple in LA region in the city of Montebello. We need the support of all Sai Devotees. For more information please email krishna@shirdisaila.org

 

SRI SAI BABA MANDIR OHIO USA

Location:7674 Sawmill Road, Dublin, OH-43016

Daily timings and activities:

Weekdays:
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM 9:00 AM Kakad Arati, 12:00 Noon: Madhyan Arati 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm: 6:00 PM: Dhoop Arathi, 8:30 PM: Shej Arathi

Weekends:

Temple is open from
9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Every Thursday:
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm: Sai Bhajans followed by Mangal Arati and Shej Arati at 9:30 PM.

For more information please call at 614-799-8411 or visit http://www.saibaba.cc/.

 

SHIRDI SAI CENTER, BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA

Location: 897-B E. Kifer Rd, Sunnyvale, CA - 94086

Daily timings and activities:

Weekdays:
6:15 am – 7:40 am: Abhishekam and Kakad Arathi at 6:30 am
11.45 am – 12:30 pm: Madhyan Arathi at 12:00 pm
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm: Dhoop Arathi at 6:30 pm and Shej Arathi at 8:30 pm

Weekends:
6:15 am – 7:40 am: Kakad Arathi at 6:30 am
11:00 am – 9:30 pm: Madhyan Arathi at 12:00 pm, Dhoop Arathi at 6:30 pm and Shej Arathi at 8:30 pm

Every Thursday:
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm: Shirdi Sai Bhajans

For more information please call 408-705-7904 / 408-564-6704 or send email to saibandhu@yahoo.com or visit our website at http://www.shirdisaiparivaar.org/

NORTH AMERICA SHIRDI SAI TEMPLE OF ATLANTA

Location: 700 James Burgess Road,Suwanee GA 30024, USA

The North America Shirdi Sai Temple is located at 700 James Burgess Road,Suwanee GA 30024.Temple is open all seven days of the week. Baba's Kakad Aarti, Abhishek Puja, Madhyan Aarti, Dhoop Aarti and Shej Aarti are performed every day. Bhajans are sung on all thursday and sunday evenings. For information regarding the daily schedule, temple activities and events please visit Mandir's website: www.templeofpeace.org or call 678-455-7200

 

SRI SHIRDI SAI BABA TEMPLE, MICHIGAN, USA

Location: Sri Shirdi SaiBaba Temple in greater Detroit 28875 W SEVEN MILE RD, LIVONIA, MI 48125, USA

Daily timings and activities:

Kakad Aarti 09:00 AM; Abhishekam 10:00 AM; Archana 10:30 AM; Mid-day Aarti 12:00 PM; Temple Closed 12:30 - 5:30 PM; Dhup Aarti 6:00 PM; Archana & Bhajans 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM; Sai Chalisa 8:00 PM; Shej Aarti 8:30 PM

Special:

Hanuman Chalisa 6:30 PM (Tuesday); Lalitha Sahasranamam 6:30 PM (Friday); Vishnu Sahasranamam 6:30 PM (Saturday);

SHIRDI SAI TEMPLE, MASSACHUSETTS, USA

We are a community of Shirdi Sai Baba devotees serving the Boston area and beyond in the New England region on the east coast of USA. With His infinite blessings we have started Shirdi Sai temple in a leased hall at the Sadhu Vaswani Center. We are grateful to all the devotees for their kind support which has made this possible.

Location: SADHU VASWANI CENTER - 1827 BRIDGE STREET, DRACUT, MA 01826, USA, Pin-zip: 01826

Name of Trust/organization:: New England Shirdi Sai Parivar

Daily timings and activities:

Thu & Fri (Evening only) 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM •7:00 PM - Vishnu Sahastranaam
•7:35 PM - Sai Mahima
•8:00 PM - Dhoop Aarti
Sat & Sun (Evening only) 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM •5:00 PM - Vishnu Sahastranaam
•5:35 PM - Sai Mahima
•6:00 PM - Dhoop Aarti
Sai Baba's Abhishek - Every fourth Sunday of the month from 4:00 - 7:00 PM

For more information please call (978) 528 1985 or send email to maildrop@nessp.org or visit our website at http://nessp.org/

SHRI SHIRDI SAI SAMAJ MALAYSIA

No.744-1, Tingkat 1, Jln. Sentul Selatan, Sentul, 51000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This is a new Shirdi Baba center in malaysia. We conduct weekly prayers/arathi at the following times:
Friday - 7pm - 10.30pm
Sunday - Noon - 2.30pm

Our official centre website is http://saisamaj.blogspot.com/
For more information, please email mailto:hyperkinetix@gmail.com

PERSATUAN SHIRDI SAI BABA SELANGOR, MALAYSIA

This is to inform all of you that we have a Shirdi Sai Baba Temple in Malaysia. Here we have daily prayers and special prayers on thursday mornings 9.00am and bhajans and satsang from 8 pm onwards. Also breakfast, lunch and dinner, cooked by our seva-group is provided to all devotees. other than that first thursday of the month we have talk on spirituality, second thursday on health, third thursday satsang on Sai Satcharitra, fourth thursday talk on general topics, by experts in the respective fields. Lot of charitable activities are conducted by our Centre,like sponsoring immediate services to childrens\' homes, old-folks homes, sick and needy, etc. etc.

If any devotee, from Malaysia or Singapore likes to join our Centre, please contact Mr.SP Kannan at Mobile -012-2739486; usha - 006122392911; Res: 03-33717540. Our Centre address is : Persatuan Shirdi Sai Baba Selangor, No.2574, Jalan Seruling 59, Taman Klang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.Thank you and Sai Ram.

 

SHIRDI SAI TEMPLE SINGAPORE

The dream of having a full fledged exclusive Shirdi Sai Temple in Singapore, will soon come true. Thanks to the efforts of a Sai devotee in making this happen. The Shirdi Sai Baba Centre in Singapore is now live with the 3rd floor function hall, Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman temple, being secured and converted to a full fledged exclusive Shirdi Sai worship centre. The Centre will be devoted to celebrating the life & teachings of Shirdi Sai Baba only. For more information visit our website http://www.saisansthan.com/

SHIRDI SAI BABA SANSTHAN, AUCKLAND NEW ZEALAND

Bhajans Every Thursday
Venue Mt Roskill War Memorial Hall, 13 May Road, Mt Roskill, Auckland

7.00 pm - 7.50 pm Sai Bhajans,
7.50 pm - 8.10 pm Pravachan and Sai Ashtotharam
8.10 pm - 8.30 pm Shej Aarthi
8.30 pm - 9.00 pm Prasad distribution.
For more details contact us Hari Gangisetty (President) Mobile: (+64) 21 629 993 Email: President@shirdisaibaba.org.nz or Bhaskar Reddy Duvvuru (Secretary) Mobile: (+64) 21 292 3807 Email: Secretary@shirdisaibaba.org.nz
Address: Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan of NZ, P.O. Box: 16142,
Sandringham, Auckland, New Zealand. Visit our website http://www.shirdisaibaba.org.nz/


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TOPIC OF DISCUSSION: On the Understanding of Sai Philosophy

Reader’s Reflection
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