N E W S L E T T E R
VOL45, NOVEMBER 2007
 

FROM SHRI C.B. SATPATHY'S MESSAGE

……“Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi is verily called as Sadguru, Fakir, Awalia, Maha Yogi and most importantly “the Incarnation of the Age”. When Baba was in Shirdi some spiritual personalities used to visit that place.

On seeing Baba as a young person at Shirdi one such personality Shri Gangagir commented that the young Sai was like a jewel under a heap of cow-dung and also that one day His divine shine will bring glory to Shirdi.

Meher Baba, (a disciple of Upasani Maharaj who was the Prime disciple of Baba) has commented that he knew that Shri Sai is like the beginning and end of creation. Upasani Maharaj has spoken a lot on Shri Sai, saying that Shri Sai is everything.

Thus, a lot has been spoken and written on Shri Sai. Hundreds of epithets have been used in His name. The “Sai Nam Astottarasata Namahvalih” glorifying the names and divine qualifies of Shri Sai are recited in most of the temples of Baba. People during His time and as also today have exhaustively written on this majestic and unfathomable divine personality, on the past and present miraculous deeds related to Him and on emotional attachment of the devotees with Him. Crores of people are being drawn towards Him and thousands of temples have been built all over India and some in other countries. His photographs can be seen everywhere. The process of such expansion continues. Today He is the Sai - the Master and father to so many. The number of devotees is ever on the increase and this “Sai Wave” is slowly but surely engulfing humanity.

Speculations apart, the fact remains that the divine status of Shri Sai has not been exactly defined. The Hindus use all the terminologies and epithets quoting from their scriptures to explain the divine attributes and Leelas of Shri Sai. Shri Sai is worshipped as Sai Maharaj, Sai Bhagwan, Sai -Ram, Sai Krishna, Sai Vithala, Sai-Mouli (means mother), Sai Param Brahma, Sai Shiva, Sai Dattatreya, Sai Vishnoo, Sai Shankara, Sai Avatara and Sai Ishwara, etc. Would one analyse these divine epithets He would be drawn to the conclusion that although Shri Sai Baba played the role of a Sadguru i.e. a Perfect Master while at Shirdi, He is much beyond that.

Shri Sai left His human embodiment long ago, without institutionalizing His movement and without leaving an heir-apparent as most of the Gurus do. He came to serve His devotees for their spiritual evolution, although he rendered temporal benefit to all of them more by His kind acts than through speech. An analysis of the visible personality of Shri Sai would indicate that he was totally detached from all material needs, was sometimes in a Jalali (spiritually intoxicated) state, used his spiritual powers for the benefit of His devotees in abundance, treated all equally, not-withstanding the barriers of caste, religion, creed, language, temporal status, etc.; was divinely compassionate to all, including animals, was in a state of God-intoxication and beyond all behaved like an ordinary man in a village without any assertion of His divine hierarchy (as many Gurus do). He lived in one place and left His body having served who-so-¬ever came to Him for 60 years without seeking any returns.

Today Shri Sai is a name known to most of the people of India. Shirdi has become a ‘Tirath’ with devotees from all over the world making a bee-line there. The “Saism” as many call it, is expanding very fast. Such expansion by sheer self- motivation of His devotees indicates the power that “Shri Sai” is even eighty six years after His Samadhi. This is what happened to all the incarnations in the past.

Let us pray to Shri Sai, “the Incarnation of the Age” on the New Years' day to guide and bless us.”…….


FROM "LIFE OF SAI BABA" BY NARASIMHA SWAMI

……“There was no special celebration of Guru Poornima, and each person worshipped separately with that Arati song. There was no congregational worship. As for Guru Poornima, Baba told Dada Kelkar on a Guru Poornima day, “Don’t you know that this is Gurupoornima Day? Come with your worship materials and do your Guru puja”. So from that day, every year Guru puja is being conducted by all devotees at Shirdi. And still, at other times, it was individual puja alone. The occasion for its developing into congregational puja was the sending by H.Y.Sathe of a Brahmin named Megha to Shirdi.

Megha was a very peculiar orthodox Brahmin. He did not even know his Gayatri. But he did not wish to go near Muslims or have anything to do with the worship of Muslims. Sathe found him living at Viramgaon when he was Deputy Collector there. He found Megha repeating ‘Namas-Sivaya’ always. So, finding that he was sufficiently pious, Sathe taught him Sandhya and Gayatti and sent him to Broach to worship Siva there. After he did Siva worship at Broach, Sathe sent him to Shirdi telling him that Siva was in flesh and blood at Shirdi in the form of Sai Baba, and gave him the necessary money.

But at the Broach railway station, Megha learnt that Sai Baba was a Muslim, and he was horrified. “What? Have I to go and bow to a Muslim and pray?” he thought. He requested Sathe not to send him to Shirdi. But Sathe insisted and gave him a letter to Dada Kelkar who, he said, would introduce him to Baba and make him understand Baba. But when Megha went to the Shirdi Mosque, Baba got angry and would not allow him to get into the Mosque. Baba said ‘Kick out that rascal,’ and asked ‘What a fool is this Saheb (meaning H. V. Sathe) to send this man here?’ Megha then went away to Triambak and worshipped Gangadareswarar for a year and a half. He suffered there from severe pains in his abdomen. During that time he got faith in Baba and came back to Shirdi. Dada Kelkar interceded on his behalf, and Baba allowed him to stay at Shirdi and worship him at the Mosque.

Baba’s work on Megha was purely internal. Baba did not give him any oral instruction at all. But by that internal change, Megha became the most remarkable bhakta of Sai Baba, whom he considered really as Siva. Megha being a hardy man, would daily go to Godavari, which is locally called Ganga (5 miles away from Shirdi en route to Kopergaon -station), bring Ganga water, and pour it on the head of Siva, Siva being Sai Baba.

Sri R.B. Purandhare, an Ankita of Baba, mentions here one chamatkar of Baba. In his anxiety to pour Ganga water on Baba, Megha had brought a whole pot. Baba told him, ‘Arre, the head is the chief thing; so put a few drops on the head, and that will suffice’. But the impetuosity of Megha’s bhakti made him take up the whole pot and turn it upside down over the head of Baba. Strangely, not a drop of water fell on the body of Baba. The whole pot of water had fallen on the head and come away without touching Baba’s body. So, just as Siva had tied up Ganga in his own tuft (kabadha), Baba also used his head for retaining and throwing away the water so as not to touch his body or clothes.

Megha was treated by Baba very kindly, and Baba suited himself to Megha’s taste. As he specialised in Siva worship, Baba gave him a Pindi (or lingam as we call it), that is, an elongated round stone which is worshipped as Siva, when placed in the hollow of another stone, which is called yoni. Somebody had brought a pindi to Baba, and Baba presented it to Megha and asked him to go on with its worship. This was installed in Sathe Wada, and Megha worshipped Sivalinga there.

Just immediately before this pindi came, Baba appeared in Megha’s sleep and told him ‘Draw up a Trisul’ (i.e. Siva's Trident). Megha wondered how Baba’s voice could be heard inside the wada. So, he went to the Mosque and asked Baba whether he gave the order. Baba said he did, and when asked how he could get entrance into the wada when the door was bolted, Baba declared, ‘Bolted doors do not bar access to Me’. Megha also was given a huge picture of Baba by H. S Dixit to be placed by the side of his pindi so that he could worship the Sivalinga there and Sai Baba’s picture together.

Baba noting his peculiar idiosyncrasy to worship all the gods in the temples of the village, that is, Devi, Sani, Siva, Maruthi, and Khandoba, told him, ‘After worshipping all these, come and worship Me’. Megha was regularly doing so. Megha was impressed with Baba’s omnipresence by his directions on some occasions.

One day when he went to Khandoba’s temple, Upasani Maharaj, who lived there, had bolted the door from within, and he could not enter into the temple and worship Khandoba. So he returned to Baba. Khandoba’s temple is a very long way off from Baba’s Mosque and is not visible from there. When Megha went to worship Baba on that day, Baba told him, ‘You have not yet done worship at Khandoba’s. If you go there now, you will find the door open. Do the puja of Khandoba and then come here’. (B.C.S. 158). Megha then went to Khandoba and saw the door then open as stated by Baba. After doing that puja also, he went to Sai Baba for puja.

Megha died in 1912 at Shirdi. Baba’s appreciation was shown by his coming to the corpse and placing his hands over it saying, ‘This was a true devotee of mine’. Baba bore the expenses of the funeral dinner, and Kaka Saheb Dixit carried out his order. ”……


DEVOTEE'S EXPERIENCE

Prior to last year, my wife and I were not such ardent devotees of Shri Shridi Sai, though we believed in His greatness and had pasted His picture with both His hands raised in blessing, on our bedroom door. In April 2005, my wife, Lakshmi, had to undergo neurosurgery for a Pituitary Tumor that had recurred after about 5 years. Prior to the surgery we were tense and worried as it was a major and critical surgery. We requested a dear friend who is a Reiki sadhak like both of us to come home and join me in giving Reiki to my wife. After the Reiki session, she suddenly noticed the picture of Sai Bhagwan and remarked that when He has been with us in our own room all the time, there is nothing to fear and the surgery will be successful. Next morning when I was checking my e-mails, to my great surprise, I had received a beautiful picture of Shirdi Sai from someone I did not know. We both believed that this was His way of blessing us and telling us not to fear when He is there in our hearts. The surgery went well. Two days later, I was returning to the hospital with some food for my wife and as I turned a corner, I noticed the image of Shirdi Sai reflected from a shop window. I had taken this route so many times, but this had never happened before. It was the reflection of a painting someone had made recently on the wall opposite the shop. A few days later, as I was coming out of a post-office, the first thing I noticed was a car with His picture on the windshield. After a couple of days, I had to buy some coffee from my usual coffee shop. But that day I could not go there, so I stopped suddenly at another branch on an impulse. I was astounded to again notice Sai's picture in this shop whereas in my usual one there were only pictures of Jesus and Mary.

After the receipt of Sai's picture in my e-mail, I did a Google search for Shirdi Sai's temples. Again I was surprised to notice that the very first entry was about 'The Shirdi Sai Temple of Greater Chicago' where both my son and daughter were living. We had also been to Chicago many times, but had never heard about this temple of Shirdi Sai. We immediately rang up our children and asked them to visit the temple and offer prayers so that their mother's surgery would be successful.

A year after the surgery, we decide to move to a better locality in Chennai. We started looking for suitable places, but could not find any that met our requirements. Then a relative mentioned a place was available near his residence. We visited that place and to our utter amazement we found a big picture of Sai very prominently displayed in the drawing room by the current occupants who are also ardent Sai devotees. Then and there we decided to shift to this nice place as Sai Himself seemed to be directing us to this place. We now live here.

A few days after we moved to the new place, we went for our morning walk and noticed a small Shirdi Sai Shrine in the garden of a house in the next street. The owner is an ardent Sai devotee and permits people to worship and offer prayers here. So we go there often and worship Sai Bhagwan. What more can His devotees need? We have been extremely fortunate in this respect - being so close to Him and being blessed and guided by Him in this amazing way so unique to Him.

All these frequent and quite unexpected sightings of Shirdi Sai at the time of our greatest crisis made us believe that it was His way of conveying His blessings to us and reminding us that He is always with us and we can all discern His divine presence and power if only we repose total faith and belief in Him. Such are the inimitable, divine ways of Sai.

My wife is scheduled to have her follow-up MRI. We pray to Him to bless us as always so that my wife's tumor disappears forever. We request all our fellow Sai Devotee friends to pray for my wife.

JAI SAIRAM!

V.Vivekanand, Chennai, India

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POEM

Reminiscence

The Rhythm, the Emotion,
The Chanting, the Devotion,
The Ringing and Swinging bells,
The Sound of Drums, the Conches and the Shells,
The Fragrance of the Burning incense,
The Aura and the Diadem,
The Floral Decorations,
The Voices of Salutations,
The People in Prostration,
The Freshness in the Morning Prayer,
The Splash in the river,
The Eastern winds sending Shivers,
The Festivals and the Commotion,
The Entrenched images appears,
As I assimilate the nostalgic notions,

No other way to go,
Whenever I feel the hollow,
It's the path towards my temple, which I follow,
Once I am there everything follows,
There I get a glimpse of His magnificence,
Which acts as an antidote to sorrow,
Where doubts disappear and happiness follows.

Nitesh Shrivastava

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TOPIC OF DISCUSSION

Dakshina and Sai

Aum Sairam

Taking Dakshina [money] from His followers used to be an important part of Sri Sai Baba’s style of guiding His followers.

Whatever He used to collect during the day, He used to distribute in the evenings. He used to give out specific but different amounts to some people around Him every day; He used to pull out money from His pocket without counting. The miracle was that each person used to get exactly the same amount every day. No matter how much He used to collect everyday, by the next morning He used to be back being the poor fakir.

Once the British government wanted to tax the money received by Sri Sai Baba and appointed a secret agent to count the money Sri Sai Baba received everyday. The agent used to get perplexed and frustrated because, according to his observation, Sri Sai Baba used to receive about 25 rupees everyday but He used to distribute in hundreds of rupees. How this was possible was the dilemma? As Sri Sai Baba's devotees know, when Baba (God) walked on earth, anything was possible.

Sometimes Sri Sai Baba’s asking for money used to be to remind the devotees to pay off previously forgotten commitments or to highlight their weaknesses and bring change in them.

Sri Sai Baba used to say:
"I never take money unnecessarily nor do I take from everyone. I ask only those that Allah points me to. Actually, the person that gives me money is planting seeds for a better future. Money is there to do good to others and to progress in the path of dharma. If money is spent only for personal comforts, such use of money is a waste.

What you have is given by God and now is being asked by God. By giving money the person attains Jnana and increases his devotion. What do I do with money? I give back ten times more."


Allah Malik

Naresh Kundanani, Mumbai

Share your views on Topic of Discussion- DEVOTION


 

DEVOTEES' FORUM

Life is a journey from birth to death; we keep evolving to better ourselves. In this process we have limitations, for whatever means adopted we are in bondage with our small self. To free ourselves from the shackles of self, we look for larger causes. Mahatma Gandhi in liberating India from the shackles of British rule, was riddled with bullets in a prayer meeting. His last words were Hey Ram? What messenger have you sent to take my life in violence? All my life I have fought with non-violence against the British rule. In fact violence will be met with violence, which is what we witness today. His faith in Ram never diminished, in spite of all tribulations, humiliations at the British hands. Sir Winston Churchill called him a naked faqir. We all live in faith. In Shirdi we see His eternal face of love and compassion.

Jagannathan Padmanabhan, Bangalore

The daily life is full of turmoil. The ambitions, aspirations and expectations are a constant source of misery to one and all. Remembrance and meditation on the holy name of Guru deep within our heart gives us little solace and energy for meeting the needs of daily life. I feel only a spiritual person can offload all his or her worries at the lotus feet of Guru and find peace.

Anand Kumar Tewari, Noida

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READER'S REFLECTION

Herewith, I would like to thank you for sending me the Newsletter Sai Heritage E-Zine. I am a devotee of Shirdi Sai Baba and I have never been to India and I have got to know my dear Baba only by receiving one of his books. It just happened that I found exactly the same book in a bookshop without even looking for it. I love him very much and I had promised him last year that if I could raise the assets of my children to more every year then I would spend some amount of money (which He knows Himself) for Shirdi Baba Temple. But since last year somehow I have lost most of my assets and now I am facing a lot of difficulties, I am sure my dear Baba will help me to overcome this problem very soon. If one day I overcome my problem I will surely come to India and spend the money that I have promised my dear Baba. Right now unfortunately I could not be of any help but by receiving your articles it gives me a feeling that my dear Baba is behind all these contacts just to show me that he is aware of what is going on. I only would like to ask for my Dear Baba's energy be with me and my family to overcome this problem.

Yar Yavari, USA

Thank you so much for sending me Hertage of Shirdi Sai magazine. It came just in time when I needed it. It is so beautiful in every way. The pictures add extra beauty to the magazine. The cover is sooooo sweet, Baba's blessing Hand and His Lotus Feet on a real peacock feather! Wow! Hats off to the great and wonderful idea!

At His Divine Lotus Feet, a lotus

Neeraja, USA

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NEWS OF SHIRDI SAI ACTIVITIES

SHIRDI SAI BABA SANSTHAN, CANADA

Sai Dwarkamai : 147 Winston Castle Dr., Markham, ON L6C 2N4 (Open to Public on Thursdays for Darshan - Satsang at 7:00PM)
Mail at: PO Box# 64721 Hwy7 East., Unionville, ON L3R 0M9
Phone: 416-294-4804 Website: http://www.shirdisainath.org/ (Visit regularly for Event and Activity update. Post your Divine Experiences with Baba in the Guest Book.

Three Annual Events : Ram Navami Guru Purrnima, and Vijay Dashami, Monthly Weekly and daily Activities: Abhishek - Akhand Parayan - Bhajan Sandhaya - Aarti - Annadaan - Chitra Yatra - Paduka Puja - Palki Pothi & Portrait Procession - Volunteer Sevices - Character and Moral Values... Youth Program based on Baba's Teachings (in Progress)

THE RESOURCE CENTRE

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. On Line Shopping will be coming soon.
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/

 

SHIRDI SAI MANDIR, TORONTO, CANADA

The Shirdi Sai Mandir located at 2721 Markham Road, Unit# 8, 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.ca or send an email to info@theshirdisaimandir.ca 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

 

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 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

 

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 Srinivas Sadam (Secretary) Mobile: (+64) 27 463 0175 Email: Secretary@shirdisaibaba.org.nz
Address: Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan of NZ, P.O. Box: 16142,
Sandringham, Auckland, New Zealand. Visit our website www.shirdisaibaba.org.nz


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TOPIC OF DISCUSSION: DEVOTION

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