N E W S L E T T E R
VOL50,JANUARY 2008
 

FROM SHRI C.B. SATPATHY'S MESSAGE

……“Shirdi Sai Baba of the past has become a phenomena of today.

This can safely be stated on the basis of the unexpected and amazing number of activities happening around in India and the world towards the propagation of the path He had shown. It is seen that in the last few years the Shirdi Sai Sansthan at Shirdi has expanded its activities multi-fold. This is somewhat expected given the fact that an average of about 40 to 50 thousand devotees visit Shirdi everyday. On important days it is a few lakhs.

What is amazing is the construction and opening of hundreds and hundreds of Shirdi Sai Baba temples and other related institutions in India and abroad through the self-motivation of the devotees. Would one historically examine the way in which temples have been created by devotees following other paths, it would become clear that usually the main trust (like the Shirdi Sai Sansthan at Shirdi) opens its branches at other places as the first step.

Then the main trust and the branches take up temple construction projects which include planning, financing, constructing and supervising etc. But in name of Shri Sainath Maharaj, self-motivated devotees and groups are themselves creating resources, constructing temples and carrying out a number of other religious and charitable activities. No doubt such self-motivation is a result of the existing spirit of Shri Sai.

Most of Baba’ s devotees are emotively linked with Him and are prepared to undergo any amount of hardship and sacrifice to do a task in His name. The rate at which the number of His devotees and institutions are multiplying is simply astounding. There are a large number of publications about Baba in various languages in the form of books, journals, magazines, booklets and the number runs to thousands. Devotees are ever avid to know more and more details about the past of Baba as also the happenings of today relating to Him. There are a large number of web-sites on Baba on the internet.

Notwithstanding these multi faced activities, one important aspect which is necessary to spread the name of Shri Sai Baba is prominently lacking. That is, serious research on Baba, using modem research methodology, is much below the desired standards. Some scholars from India and abroad, independently or through research institutions, have made substantial contribution in research and some books and research findings in the form of articles have been published.

However, a study of these volumes would indicate that the researchers/authors have not had access to many of the important documents published during Baba’s time and thereafter. This is because initially most of the books and articles written on Baba were in Marathi language and later English versions or original writings in English came to the market. There is hardly any library that has a comprehensive collection of literature on Baba.

To undertake serious research, a good library maintaining the required documents like books, journals, newspaper items, manuscripts, hand-written notings, photo¬graphs, paintings, sketches, maps, research papers and a well maintained bibliography is a must. Unfortunately no such library is in existence, to enable the researches on Baba to undertake serious study. Some devotees, particularly the writers, are in possession of some of the important documents but what is needed is to create a single forum/ body that possesses and maintains this for posterity.

It should be the endeavor of each devotee to collect all such records of the past and maintain them properly for use by future researchers. That would be a great contribution for Baba's cause. Let us resolve to work towards this end in the New Year to come.”…….


FROM "LIFE OF SAI BABA" BY NARASIMHA SWAMI

……“Next Das Ganu was anxious to render even a Sanskrit Upanishad, namely, Isavasya Upanishad, into Marathi. This famous Upanishad consists of only 18 verses. It is full of great thoughts and has been considered by Mahatma Gandhi to be peculiarly important. Mahatma Gandhi said that if the whole of Hindu spiritual literature were gone leaving only this Isa Upanishad, the whole of Hindu dharma could be reconstructed with this alone.

Though the Upanishad has received such high encomia, it is a very difficult and tough Upanishad even for separation of sentences and phrases in it, and much more for the interpretation of the same. Different writers have adopted widely different courses. Taking even the very first verse, the punctuation varies. Having so many difficulties in the way of his ambition, Das Ganu Maharaj went to Baba. Baba said, ‘What difficulty is there in this?

You had better go, as usual, to Kaka Dixit’s bungalow in Ville Parle. And there that (cooly girl) Malkarni, will give you the meaning’. People would laugh at a great pandit like Das Ganu getting interpretation of an Upanishad from a cooly girl. But all the same Das Ganu went to Kaka’s bungalow. He slept there. When he woke up in the morning, he heard a girl (it must be the Malkarni mentioned by Baba, he thought) singing songs in great joy. She was praising some orange coloured silk sari, wondering at its fineness and the beauty of its borders, and the floral embroidery on it. Then he just peeped to see who the songster was. The songster had no sari. She wore a rag which was not silk, nor orange coloured, had no borders and no embroidery.

He pitied the girl and got a friend to give her a sari-a small cheap sari. She wore it just one day, and went about enjoying it. But the very following day, she cast it aside, again wore her tatters and again began to sing joyously the song about the orange coloured sari and its beauty. Then Das Ganu understood the Upanishad. He found out that the girl’s happiness lay not in the external sari which she had ‘thrown away’ (tena tyaktena, which means, that being thrown away) but in herself.

And Isavasya Upanishad says the same thing. ‘All this world’, says the first verse, ‘is covered by the Maya of Iswara. So enjoy bliss, not by having the externals, but by rejecting the externals (Tenatyaktena)’. 'Tena Tyaktena' might mean being content with what God gives you. The girl was happy as she was contented. Thus Baba taught Isa Upanishad to Ganu through a cooly girl. Baba’s ways of teaching were and are peculiar and different in the case of different individuals.”……


DEVOTEE EXPERIENCE


I have been a Sai devotee since 1993, which is when I was first drawn to him. It was in that year that my grandmother passed away. She had always been the person to whom I was closest as a child, and who gave me the most love. Sai knew that I needed a replacement and immediately took me into His fold. Since that time Sai has consistently taken care of my family and me during difficult times in our lives. Throughout my life, I have cultivated the habit of praying to Baba as soon as I open my eyes every morning. I also give thanks and prayers before going to bed, regardless of how the day may be.

In the summer of 2006, my daughter went to East Africa as a visiting medical student. She had a wonderful time, both working with the population and visiting many different regions. It was a thoroughly magnificent experience for her. While touring various cities, she had a 30-hour bus journey on a road made of sticks and stones. The ride was no less than miserably uncomfortable. But the worst came at the Kenyan-Ugandan border.

After spending nearly ten minutes finding a “restroom” (which was essentially a hole in the ground, around which rodent and insect visitors gathered), she walked back out onto the road just in time to see the tail lights of her bus disappearing in the distance. Her stomach sank as the bus carried everything that she owned with the exception of twenty thousand Tanzanian schillings, a roll of toilet paper, and her passport.

Before she realized what was happening, she started sprinting in her flip-flops and skirt, just as the tears started rolling down her eyes, as she was cursing herself and her small bladder, a man on a moped drove up next to her. She jumped on, they finally made it to the bus, got their attention and the bus stopped. In a daze of adrenaline she hugged the man who saved her life, handed him her Tanzanian schillings and toilet paper, and climbed on the bus. The driver and passengers all looked extremely annoyed at her, since she was also the passenger who had to have the bus stop 4 times previously to use the restroom. She was so happy to be back on that bus and needless to say she did not drink another drop of water for the rest of her journey.

After this horrifying episode, she sent me an email narrating this episode. While reading that email I developed heart palpitations and by the end I had tears in my eyes. I instantly realized that this man who saved my daughter that day could only have been my beloved Sai. It was a true manifestation of his pledge, “I would cross seven seas to help my devotees,” which is a tenet that I have read in Sai Satcharita several times. Sai truly does prove his love for his devotees. He has affected my life in innumerable ways and I am confident that he will continue to express his protection over my family and me for years to come…

Vijaya, California, USA

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POEM

Whatever your cross

Whatever your cross,
Whatever your pain,
There will always be sunshine,
After the rain...

Perhaps you may stumble,
Perhaps even fall,
But Sai is always ready,
To answer your call...

He knows every heartache,
Sees every tear,
A word from His lips,
Can calm every fear...

Your sorrows may linger,
Throughout the night,
But suddenly vanish,
In dawn's early light...

Sai is waiting,
Somewhere above,
To give you His grace,
And send you His love...

Whatever your cross,
Whatever your pain,
"Sai always sends rainbows...
After the rain..."

Deepa H.

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TOPIC OF DISCUSSION

Devotion

Devotion is a feeling of love, faith and awe expressed by devotee/spiritual seeker towards a super power – God or Guru who has the power to alleviate his mundane problems. This feeling takes the form of an action such as singing, dancing, writing the glories etc. It is not always true to assume that when people resort to the holy feet of the Lord they would be spared the pain inflicted physically and emotionally.

One finds that there is increased restlessness, pain, suffering and melancholy in the world with passing time and everybody who resorts to the feet of god or guru is not a devotee. As explained in Satcharita “when Damu Anna once thought “There are so many crowding to Sai Baba. Do they all get benefit from Him? To this, He (Baba) replied orally - "Look at the mango tree in blossom. If all the flowers brought fruit, what a splendid crop it would be. But do they? Most fall off (either as flowers or as unripe fruits) by wind etc. Very few remain".”

"A cheerful, courageous smile perennially dancing on (our) lips is the visible proof of (our) invisible faith in God" “Smiling Tears” - Sriram. Devotion is expressed in various ways towards God/guru. People can resort to one or more of the navavidha bhakthi such as (1) Shravana (Hearing); (2) Kirtana (Praying); (3) Smarana (Remembering); (4) Padasevana (resorting to the feet); (5) Archana (Worship); (6) Namaskara (Bowing); (7) Dasya (Service); (8) Sakhyatva (Friendship); (9) Atmanivedana (surrender of the self) as described in chapter 21 of Satcharita. Though there is no prescribed form or practice of showing devotion towards God or Guru however in the present age the best or highest form of expressing devotion is Dasya (service).

Service to man is service to God. The other types of service can be done in isolation and do not require contact with other people and will help man to achieve his goal gradually but that becomes selfish doesn't it? While serving others we not only serve God but also help those in need and influence them through our spiritual beliefs and actions. Service should not distinguish between people, caste, class or religion. While serving, the thought process is important, what does an individual feel and think? Does he think he is free to offer and restrict his service as and how he chooses? If there is any thought of discrimination, superiority, self importance or selfish motive then that does not constitute devotion. A devotee involved in serving will gradually lose his ego, and his actions will be completely controlled by BABA.

Humility is the ornament of a true devotee. Devotion is not said to have achieved its purpose unless a man is humble in his service and knows that he is there to serve God by serving His children. “The beloved of the Almighty are the rich who have the humility of the poor, and the poor who have the magnanimity of the rich.”

True devotion inspires people to shower nectar through the words they speak “Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.” - Mother Theresa. A devotee with these qualities radiates his perfection, sincerity for the love of God by his actions, service and the above mentioned qualities. Though loving God and showing devotion seems simple enough it is not an easy path to tread.

Baba Himself describes devotion or bhakti as a double edged razor - only a true spiritual seeker can withstand the hurdles they come across in the path of devotion. Very few people remain steady in their devotion towards God and practice spirituality while being subjected to tests and turmoils in life. The rest give up and fall behind or seek solace from elsewhere in the search for unburdening their problems.

True devotion inspires a sadhak to aspire and practice the teachings of Guru. While treading the spiritual path one comes across a number of hurdles in life. The victory lies in clearing these hurdles. Perhaps the devotees might stumble while crossing the hurdles but holding on to the feet of the lord and taking His name would help them clear these hurdles. Devotion is the first step towards reaching God.

Once a person is on this path, and places full faith in his guru, rest of the journey is taken care of by the guru. Guru stands by the devotee in face of all perils and helps the seeker rise above the mundane problems and worries. God has given us faculties and limbs to help ourselves and also those around us. It is not enough to say that we love God.

To love God we need to love His creation and people and serve Him by serving people. Let us not wait for others to take the first step in serving others. We are the leaders and initiators. Show the world that Service is the highest and the richest forms of devotion, which helps us progress not just spiritually but also as a community and a nation. This form of devotion is beneficial to the whole of mankind rather than restricting it to one individual. May Baba bless us and guide us in the right path.

Anitha Kandukuri, Canberra, Australia

Share your views on Topic of Discussion- PRARABDH


 

DEVOTEES' FORUM

Ramana Maharishi was asked by devotees that why Ramana does not perform miracles? There was a huge crowd outside the ashram as a yogi was performing unbelievable miracle. Ramana replied, Ramana as body ceased at the age of sixteen, his identity was the manifestation of Arunachala Siva. Since he did not exist how will he be aware that he is performing miracles. He was an instrument of divine for Ramana was not in the body. He lived in cosmic consciousness - there was no yesterday, today and tomorrow. Clad in loin cloth, living in caves, he was a diamond adorning the hills of Arunachala, and lived in such state for fifty four years At the time of his passing away, he said he is eternal and his spirit lives. Where will he go? In excruciating pain with severe form of ulcer in my mouth, my lungs drawing oxygen from a machine, I was feeling dehydrated at three o’clock at night. I intensely kept my mind on Ramana and fell asleep as my eyelids were tired. In my dream I saw an old man prophesizing that by next morning at 9 am I should open my mouth will find no trace of ulcer and blister in my mouth... at the appointed time I found my mouth clean with no trace of the bruises and blisters. Who cured? Om Namo Bhagwate Sri Ramanaya.

Jagannathan Padmanabhan, Bangalore

 

Jai Shri Sachinand Sadguru Sainath Maharaj Ki Jai, my many, many millions of thanks to our dear Sainath Maharaj, as today I feel that my faith and trust on you paid off with your miracle and blessings. It was today that after almost a year my wife called and has given me a chance to work out our differences. Baba knows how much I have been wanting to be with her and I know this is a fresh start and once again I ask Baba's blessings to save our marriage. I love you very much Baba, everybody please believe in Him and trust Him wholeheartedly as He is so generous to His devotees and all living beings. Thank you again Baba.

Adi, USA

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READER'S REFLECTION

“This magazine is indeed a great effort to spread the teachings and blessings of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba. Every Sai devotee should try and contribute to this as much as possible. May Sai shower His blessings on all those taking this effort and reward them with all success in their life.” Jai Sai Ram

Swamy Mahadevan, Cochin

To introduce myself, I am a Sai devotee. I went through the site in rapt attention. To say the least it is EXCELLENT in its conceptualisation, formatisation, contents, artwork and communicative skills. THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST SITES ON SHRI SHIRDI SAI . I recommend readers to visit the site and contribute as desired by the org. Whosoever has created the site and updates it deserves the highest kudos. May Shri Sai bless all those that have created this beautiful work of art.

C. B. Satpathy, Delhi

 

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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. or 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
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: http://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 http://www.shirdisaibaba.org.nz/


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TOPIC OF DISCUSSION: PRARABDH

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