N E W S L E T T E R
VOL39, SEPTEMBER 2007
 

FROM SHRI C.B. SATPATHY'S MESSAGE

……“Devotees speak volumes about their masters. They speak on the Master’s glory, personality, activities, miracles, their personal experiences, and of other devotees and group activities etc. Particularly, when it comes to Shri Sainath Maharaj devotees speak more about dreams with relation to Him, their own experience, which they call miracles and on their emotive interaction with Baba. In short, they experience Him as a Personal God, who can be a Sadguru or a deity. Some of them worship a number of Personal Gods at the same time and therefore, find it difficult to focus on one. In any case the One Ultimate has to be beyond all the Personal Gods. A Personal God, by whatever name, is called Saguna (with certain qualities and powers) Sakara (a form which a human mind can ordinarily comprehend). A finer understanding of God is Nirguna (beyond such limited qualities and powers), Nirakara (beyond specific forms). Nirguna Nirakara - this means seeing or experiencing the essence of God or that Ultimate reality or Brahma in all its creations, i.e., in the devotee himself and in the entire manifested and non-manifested creation around him.

By this logic all statues or paintings, structures (like Samadhis), names, Aartis, Mantras, Charan Padukas, etc. are symbols of God and certainly not God, the Ultimate. Such symbols are generally worshipped and contemplated on, as it is easy for the limited human mind to comprehend them. The question is whether the human mind should necessarily be limited, or a path should be chosen to keep it limited. If any path or any religion prescribes such an approach, it itself is limited. Hinduism prescribes certain methods by which a devotee can graduate from Sakara (limited form of) worship to Nirakara (form-less) worship. Religion means both ritualism and spiritualism. Unless one transcends ritualism, it is difficult to enter into the arena of spiritualism in the true sense of the term. Spiritualism means to follow the true diktats of the spirit within. Generally speaking, ‘the spirit within’ means the soul, which is a part of that God, the Ultimate who encompasses both the seen and unseen, the living and non-living aspects of nature and from the smallest particles to biggest stars. Spiritualism, therefore, has necessarily to expand the spirit of the soul from its limited body-bounden awareness to a vast cosmic awareness. If sheer ritualism like Puja, Archana, Yagyans does not uplift the spirit of the individual or expand his mental horizon, it certainly is not spiritualism.

Generally, it is due to the lack of understanding of what real spiritualism means that most of the devotees spend their whole life doing certain rituals without progressing. From multiple forms of God to a single form God to a formless state of God is the real prescription for spiritualism. Multiple form worships (i.e. of deities etc.) do not give focus on a particular form. Since these various symbolic representations of different aspects of nature go with various functions and powers, a person worshipping these forms gets scared to stop such worship even when he understands that he has to graduate to a formless state of worship. For example, Shri Ganapati is for the removal of obstructions, Shri Durga is for protection against enemies or Shri Laxmi is for prosperity or Shri Hanumana for courage, etc. No doubt that all the four deities are manifestations of the Ultimate One but then on whom does the devotee concentrate? Where then is the question of what is called “Ekagra Chitta” as a sine-qua-non for subtle experience of God. In such a situation one has to choose one of the two ways. Either to worship the Ultimate One (Nirguna Nirakara) going beyond the worship of these deities or to evolve through these limited forms to the Ultimate reality through Gyana Marga (Path of Knowledge). All spiritual practitioners in all ages, of whichever religion, have gone through this process of leaving the forms and contemplating on the formless state of God or in experiencing the formless state of God through the forms. The Perfect Masters or Sadgurus always taught the same method to their disciples at a certain stage of evolution. Those who followed them and tried to experience the impersonal aspects of God evolved faster than those that stuck on to the Personal aspect of God only. Thus Baba has clearly stated in Shri Sai Satcharitra that the best way of worship is to experience Him as a Formless, Universal existence. If not, to worship Him with a form. Therefore, the devotee of Baba while worshipping Him with a form, should always try to experience Him as the formless. But then, the big question is how to be focused and be in a state of “Ekagra Chitta” when too many forms are contemplated on at the same time. Is not the form of the Sadguru enough!”…….


FROM "LIFE OF SAI BABA" BY NARASIMHA SWAMI

……“Occasionally some turned up wanting Brahma Jnana from Baba to be handed over to them like a packet of sweets across the counter. One such person was a rich man who went to Baba, and expressly put the question to Baba, ‘What is God like?’ Baba did not address the visitor, but asked some devotee near him to go to Bagchand Marwadi and tell him that Baba wanted Rs.100, and then bring the money. That man returned in a minute and said, ‘The Marwadi (Money lender) says that he has no money, and sends his namaskar’. Baba again sent this man to another money lender to ask him for the loan of Rs. 100. This time also the devotee returned saying that the money lender said that he had no money. Baba next said, ‘Fetch Nana Saheb Chandorkar’. Nana came. Then Baba told Nana that he wanted Rs.100. Nana at once wrote a chit to the same Bagchand Marwadi for a loan of Rs.I00, and in a minute the money came from that Marwadi, and Nana placed that sum in Baba’s hands. Baba then said, ‘It is all like this in this world.’ The impatient visitor could make out nothing at all and could not understand why, when he asked about God, Baba did not answer the question but went on sending people for loans, and asked Das Ganu why Baba did so. Das Ganu said that Baba had answered his question. The visitor wanted to know how. Das Ganu said, ‘When others asked for money, it was not forthcoming, but when Nana Saheb asked for it, the money was at once forthcoming. So, the man who merely asks, “What is God like” does not get to know it. But the man who is qualified to know that and only the man who deserves to know that, gets that knowledge. Baba’s answer therefore is “Deserve before you desire Brahman”.
On another occasion, a very rich man came to Baba with a large amount of money in his pocket, and with great anxiety to avoid extra expenditure, as far as possible, he had engaged a cab for the journey from Kopergaon to Shirdi and back, promising to return in half an hour. So, the man came in a hurry to Baba and said, ‘Baba, show me God, Brahman. It is for this I have come all this long way. People say that Shirdi Baba reveals Brahman very quickly.’ Baba said, ‘Do not fear. Immediately and clearly I will show you. This is not a matter that could be put off. It is hard to get questioners seeking illumination like you. (Here Baba’s irony was hardly understood by the man). Most people seek wealth, cure of disease or trouble, honour, position, or perpetual pleasure and other earthly objects. None wants God. Oh, I long to see those who long to see God. Now, Brahman is the root cause of the Universe that which accounts for Solar and Planetary motions, variations of seasons and division of all functions. One must know, i.e., realise Brahman before death. Else there will be an ever recurring cycle of births and deaths. ReaIisation gives 'Kevala Advaita Sukham '. A Guru gives it and only a Guru can'.

Baba then turned to some others and sent a boy out with these words: “Go, tell Nandalal Marwadi, Baba urgently wants a hand loan of Rs.5/- and bring the money”. The boy went and found the marwadi absent. Baba sent more messages to absent men. The rich man was getting impatient at Baba’s failure to give him atmajnan or sight of God, more especially because delay would mean extra payment to the tonga walla whom he had engaged for the return journey also. He saw, of course, that Baba wanted Rs.5 and he could stop the repeated requests of Baba for Rs.5 by paying it out of the Rs.250/¬- he had in his pocket. But he was oppressed with the fear that if he advanced the loan, it might prove irrecoverable. He asked Baba, ‘Will you help me to grasp Brahman?’ Baba replied, ‘You see what I have been doing all this while is to enable you to see God even as you are now seated. Have you understood nothing? I want five. One must surrender the five to get at Brahman. One must surrender the five senses (Indriyas), the five pranas and manas, Buddhi, Ahankar (Mind, Intellect and Ego) (all of which involve Vairagya i.e., detachment). The road to Brahma Jnana is hard to tread. All cannot tread it. When it dawns, there will be light. One who feels unattached to things terrestrial and celestial is alone competent to have Brahmajnan'.

The man found that Baba had read his strong attachment to the Rs.5/- which he considered more important than getting Brahmajnana Upadesa.
Baba taught the absolute importance of complete surrender of Tan Man Dan, that is, body, mind and possessions, as an essential preliminary to fitness to understand and be absorbed in God. This surrender is set out in Srimad Bhagavata and other works.”……


DEVOTEE'S EXPERIENCE

I am Sai devotee since my childhood. My day starts with Sai prayers. In every distress and trouble Sai helps us always. On Sunday 3rd Sept, 2006, my Daddy suddenly started getting hiccups. He took some home medicine. The whole day he was getting hiccups continuously for 2 - 2 ½ hours. They would stop for some time and then start again for 2 - 2 ½ hours. As it was Sunday, we telephoned the doctor. He told us to give him one tablet. He took the medicine but that did not help. On Monday morning we took him to the doctor. He took the prescribed medicine, had his lunch and went to sleep. Usually he takes rest only for 2 hours, 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm. That day till 4 o’clock he was fast asleep, it became 4.15 pm but there no sign of his waking up. My sister and I called Daddy, he responded but turn his side and again slept. We waited for another 15 minutes and again called him but again he changed the side and slept. We found something strange. Immediately we prepared sugar water solution as Daddy is a diabetic patient, but he refused to take it. Somehow we managed to make him to sit and tried giving water but he threw it out of his mouth. I went to call a nearby Doctor who usually comes by 5.30 pm but luckily that day he was there at 4.45 pm. The Doctor checked his diabetes on a glucometer and said it had fallen to 20 and we should rush him to the hospital. Daddy had become semi unconscious. We called up our cousin brother, who was luckily in a nearby area and reached the hospital before us. Our neighbors helped us to take Daddy to the hospital. Through the traffic jam we managed to reach the hospital. My brother had already met the doctor and kept things ready. Hospital doctors immediately put him on glucose. Within ½ hour after admission he became fully conscious and was surprised that he was in the hospital. His condition was diagnosed as pneumonia patch on his lungs, starting of jaundice, chest congestion. The pneumonia patch had touched the diaphragm, the reason for the continuous hiccups. Because of all these internal complications his sugar levels had become so low.

He was in the hospital for 8 days. Now, he is completely all right. Doctors said diabetes count of 20 is too dangerous and at a count below 30, a person cannot survive. That can even lead to some dangerous side effects. Also, his pneumonia was detected on time. Our saver Sai helped us.
When my daddy was in the hospital, one evening my younger sister was returning home from the hospital. Her leg got stuck in one pothole and she had a fall. Her ankle got twisted and she was unable to get up. She was crossing the lane. Suddenly one rickshaw stood next to her and she somehow managed to get up and get into the rickshaw. The rickshaw driver started the rickshaw without asking her anything. After some time she told him where to take her. She had fractured her leg. After putting plaster on her leg for 1 ½ month, she is okay now. From where did the rickshaw arrive right on time? Who else other than Sai can send help.

By the grace of Baba, both my sister and daddy are fine now.

Vishakha J. Paralkar, Mumbai

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POEM

Pain

Living in this world is pain,
birth and death is pain,
painful is gaining experiences
and learning lessons of life.

Most valuable are the hours of pain,
as they make us halt in the travel of life
and think and concentrate
on important points.

Pain makes us strong
capable to face all hurdles,
pain makes us feel,
the value of pleasure.

When in pain, we try and
look for happiness inside.
Spiritual quest starts
from hours of pain.

Many have risen to heights,
In trial times of life.
All saints on this earth
Are tested by God in hours of pain.

S. Modi, Delhi

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TOPIC OF DISCUSSION

Sai’s Message to the children

The word “Children” immediately brings to our mind, tiny tots and children below adolescent age. We selectively forget that we, the adults, are also Children of God. What is true for us has then to be true for the small kids too.

Sai’s message is Universal. To attain the goal of “Vasudeva Kudambakam”, meaning the world must be a place for peace lovers belonging to one and the same family. It is said that the birth of a human being is the most prized award; each soul gets in response to its deeds and misdeeds in earlier lives. If that be so, it can not be wasted away in peripheral anxieties and so called worldly pleasures, which are invariably short-lived. We must always be looking for salvation, to avoid re-birth and to be one with Sai forever.

Sai’s guiding principles towards this end are:-

(a) To serve humanity, and to serve with unconditional love.
(b) Partake in sufferings of less privileged and up-lift them in their life.
(c) Always work with dedication and commitment.
(d) Develop patience and “vairagya” to complete any task undertaken.
(e) Never publicize your good deeds.
(f) Never desist from sharing your bounties.
(g) Have unstinted faith in Him – why fear when He is there?
(h) Aspire for everlasting peace and a place next to Him.
(i) Follow His eleven prized Do’s and Don’ts publicized in all Sai Mandirs.

Sai’s message to us, the Children, in nutshell is to serve, serve, serve and serve the humanity ever.

Lt Col (Retd) RVS Mani, Muscat

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DEVOTEES' FORUM

God's grace is the greatest wealth. To consider the amassing of money, gold or other material objects, as the ultimate goal is not right. The goal of life, instead, should be the acquisition of the divine wealth of God's grace. Try to win His grace by reforming your habits, reducing your desires and refining your nature. One step makes the next one easier; that is the unique quality of the spiritual path. With each step, your strength and confidence increases and you feel the Lord's grace all the more.

Arun N Reddy, London

While I was meditating I observed the Paradox of Human nature. People throng in multitudes before the Guru or Spiritual master. The highly intellectual society, celebrities and famous musicians are part of it. I do not understand why the simple thing is incomprehensible to the many people. That is you can become a Paramahamsa by your own self. The people verily see the Guru to be very simple, egoless, loving and kind, smiling, disciplined and honest, morally high and mentally strong. The people attend Satsang, which always imparts the aforesaid things. Yet the people go to meet the Guru in expensive costumes, scents, imported perfumes, display pompousness and opportunistic behaviour and are greedy to get the attraction of the Guru and his blessings.

Crowds gather on different occasions such as political meetings, shows involving film stars, sports and games meet, etc. What is unique about a spiritual gathering is that it is not meant for any benefit other than the Guru wishing for the welfare of his disciples. The former gathering is meant for personal or collective benefit and involves opportunism but the later one is meant for welfare of others and involves the sacrifice of the Guru.

Gurus sacrifice their life for the welfare of the society. Loving our own brethren is difficult for us. Guru loves each and every one. Guru's mind is fixed in divinity. His actions are fixed in human welfare.

We, the common people, presume the Guru to possesses incomprehensible powers, working wonders with mantras and austerities. It is not so. They have love and kindness flowing all over the body, which makes them most sought after. If you always meditate upon the welfare of the others and show kindness to all then you acquire spiritual powers. A mind that is without ego, jealousy, lust, anger and greed is stronger than a mind that has these weaknesses.

VSP Haran, Patna

 

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READER'S REFLECTION

This is very inspiring & interesting site. As an ardent devotee of Shri Shiridi Sai, I wish to be a part of this worldwide network.

Lakshmi Vivekanand, Chennai

It is difficult to pen one's overwhelming thoughts, experiences and feelings about Baba. This magazine brings, personally to me a sudden awakening to make me alert and live in the present by concentrating on Baba. In the workplace when I get the copy on my computer, it changes me. Every time is a new time with Baba. It makes me wonder how much HE suffers for all of us, small and mean mortals. I am practicing total submission every moment and would continue to learn that throughout my life. That is what I am living for. Can there be a bigger/higher Yoga than this? I am what I am because of Him. This magazine, time and again, reinforces the thought in me. I am a reader who is trying to be a meditative reader and I think the magazine helps me a lot.

Charudutta Panigrahi, Delhi

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NEWS OF SHIRDI SAI ACTIVITIES

SHIRDI SAI BABA SANSTHAN, CANADA

Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan, Canada holds Satsang on Thursdays and third Sunday of every month at Gur Mandir, 207 Queen’s Plate, Toronto (Etobicoke). For other Details call 416-294-4804 or visit http://www.shirdisainath.org/

THE RESOURCE CENTRE

Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan, Canada is pleased to announce the establishment of it's first Resource Centre in Woodbridge, Toronto. All visits are by appointment only. Shri Sai Satcharita is available in all languages. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Friday between 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. Location: Maple Crest Private School - 28 Roytech Rd. Woodbridge, On L4L 8E4 Ph: 905 - 652-6666. For other Details call 416-294-4804 or visit http://www.shirdisainath.org/

 

SHIRDI SAI MANDIR, TORONTO, CANADA

The Shirdi Sai Mandir located at 2721 Markham Road, Toronto, Ontario, M1X 1L5 (Intersection of Markham and Nashdene) is open through out the day on Saturday, Sunday and holidays and in the morning and evenings on all weekdays. Baba's Kakad Aarti, Abhishek Puja, Madhyan Aarti, Dhoop Aarti, Satcharita Reading and Shej Aarti are performed every day. Bhajans and Sai Naam Sankirtan in the evening on Thursday and Saturday. For information regarding the daily schedule, temple activities and events please visit Mandir's website: http://www.theshirdisaimandir.com/ or send an email to info@theshirdisaimandir.com or call 647-444-4724.

 

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 8571, 118A St, Delta, V4C 6L2. For further details contact (604) 592 4182 or email, say.sai.sai@gmail.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

 

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/

 

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 Amar Alluri(President) Mobile: (+64) 27 230 5360 Email: President@shirdisaibaba.org.nz or Sai Krishna Tridandapani (Secretary) Mobile: (+64) 21 239 7907 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://heritageofshirdisai.org/newsletter/Desktop/www.shirdisaibaba.org.nz


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TOPIC OF DISCUSSION: DAKSHINA AND SAI

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