N E W S L E T T E R
VOL52, FEBRUARY2007
 

FROM SHRI C.B. SATPATHY'S MESSAGE

……“Ever since the phenomenon of Shri Shirdi Sai extensively caught public attention in India and outside, there has been a relentless stream of speculation as well as concerted effort on the question of His parentage i.e. whether he was born a Hindu or a Muslim. The net result of such research by different researchers has turned out to be either speculative or controversial since it is based more on circumstantial evidence as opposed to primary data. However, my efforts are channelised into finding out who and what Baba is rather than what was His parentage or where he was born.

There can be no denial in any quarter that Shri Shirdi Sai Baba is a divine personality of the highest order who demonstrated magnificent qualities of selfless service to all, who came in contact with Him, without least consideration of His self. He was not constrained by the limitations of any organized religion or path as is amply evidenced by His acceptance of disciples from all religions, cultures, castes and paths etc.

There was no question of economic and social differentiation in His scheme of things. Besides non-possession and non-attachment, he was divinely magnanimous and empathetic towards the poorest of the poor among His devotees, as well as animals and birds. He also possessed wonderful powers of miracles, which he often used to help His disciples in distress, even at distant places.

Given this universal theme of His approach, one can safely conclude that Shri Sai demonstrated the highest qualities of Hinduism, notwithstanding whether He was born of Hindu or Muslim parentage.

When one speaks of Hinduism at first one has to understand as to what Hinduism stands for in its essence. Some historians comment that the word ‘Hindu’ was originally ‘Indu’ coming out of ‘Indus valley civilization’ but some foreigners called it Hindu like ‘Hindukush’ mountain. Hinduism in its quintessence is more a way of life than merely being a Hindu path of worship of deities. It prescribes numerous paths to its people and leaves them free to choose any one. It prescribes a number of divine forms (Devatas/Devis) to be worshipped and also the worship of the formless (Brahman – the ultimate God).

Hinduism does not insist on the conversion of others to its fold and failing which their extinction. It has never believed in religious expansionism with the help of sword. This highest level of tolerance has led to the absorption of many conquering or colonizing races, following different paths, into its all embracing fold. Sufism, which truly believes in the unity of souls and tolerance among people following different paths, therefore, found a strong base in India – the soil of Hindus.

Basically what Shri Shirdi Sai Baba practiced and taught is spiritualism and humanism as against bigotry, obscurantism and intolerance. To that extent He was a genuine Hindu and genuine Sufi amalgamated together. He often used to say ‘Allah Malik hai’ or ‘Ishwar Achha karega’ or ‘Sabka Malik ek hai’ i.e., the one and ultimate God called Ishwar or Allah is the sovereign power who controls everyone and everything.

This is the monistic “Advaitya” philosophy of the Hindus. On the other hand, He never deterred His Hindu devotees from going to temples to worship any deity of their faith or stopped the Muslims from taking out the Tazia procession or doing anything prescribed by their religion etc. Indeed He encouraged both and ensured, at Shirdi, tolerance towards the religious sentiments of devotees practicing various faiths, through mutual participation in each others festivals.

Not only for the residents of Shirdi but also for the outsiders who used to visit Him in great numbers, He was not only a Guru but a part of their entire existence. Shri Sai had permeated into all aspects of their lives – religion, family, festivals, way of earning and spending, social conduct, moral conduct, cultural activities, births and deaths, diseases and cures and even regarding the rearing of their children and pets.

Baba’s influence has been so strong and wide that even two to three generations of a family would come together to seek His blessings and advice on varied matters at Shirdi. Every one looked up to Him as a God in human form and also as the head of the family and surrendered to Him. The way of life not only for the natives of Shirdi, but those visiting Him, metamorphosized to a new way of looking at life which Baba taught them through His conduct and precepts. Thus, like Hinduism, the path shown by Shri Sai has become a way of life for His devotees rather than a religious and ritualistic path alone. Even today the same Sai spirit pervades the lives of millions.

This is what explains the unimaginable expansion of the Sai path not only in India, but in other countries. Shri Sai remains, as promised by Him, a living Master, with His all-pervasive spirit that controls the entire life of His devotees. Such a magnificent, universal and time-less divine personality is termed as “Vasudeva” in Hinduism. And the spirit of Shri Vasudeva is eternal.”…….


FROM "LIFE OF SAI BABA" BY NARASIMHA SWAMI

……“Dixit had such perfect reliance on Baba that before taking any step in any important matter, he would go to Baba and get His orders and follow the same to the very letter, even though the course was running counter to his own judgment and feelings or those of his friends and relations. Baba once tested and proved his implicit obedience while enjoying the fun of the test. B.C.S. 619 gives the account which shows that Bade Baba, Shama, and Ayi all shrank from assisting Baba or carrying out His order that a goat thoroughly weak and about to die should be slaughtered with a knife at the mosque - while Kaka Dixit alone stood the test and was bringing down a knife over the neck of the creature ¬in implicit obedience to an apparently horrid command B.C.S.619 gives the account thus.

619. Once a goat entered the mosque, old, famished and just about to die.

Baba (to Bade Baba):-Cut that goat with one stroke.

Bade Baba-(Looking at it with pity) How are we to kill this? So saying, he went away from the mosque.

Baba:-Shama, you cut it. Fetch a knife from Radhakrishna Ayi.

(Ayi sent a knife; but learning the purpose, recalled it)

Shama:-l will go home to fetch a knife.

Shama went home and stayed away there.

Then Baba to H.S.D: - ‘You fetch a knife and kill it’.
H.S.D. went and fetched a knife.

H.S.D:-Baba, shall I kill it?

Baba :- Yes.

H.S.D. lifted up the knife and held it up in hesitation.

Baba :-What are you thinking of? Strike.

Dixit obeyed and was bringing the knife down.

Baba:-Stop. Let the creature remain. I will kill it myself but not at the mosque.

Then Baba carried the creature a few yards, after which it fell dead.

Some might suppose that such intimate relation and dependence of the disciple might snap if the Guru left the body. But that was not so. After Baba left the body, Dixit, like several other staunch devotees, intently concentrated on Sai Baba, and after prayer cast chits before Baba, and asked some child to pick up a chit at random, and the directions of the chit were Baba’s orders and were safe to follow always.

One instance may be cited of Dixit’s trust in consulting Baba through chits and its proving a reliable method and Baba's proving a reliable helper of himself and his relations. After Baba's samadhi Dixit tried to revive his practice especially for the sake of others. His brother Sadashiv Dixit, BA, LLB., tried to practice at Nagpur, etc., and failed to secure any practice or appointment. Dixit then consulted Baba through chits and acting on the chit-accrued order brought Sadashiv over to Bombay. But even at Bombay, Sadashiv failed to secure any success. Kaka wondered how Baba's order of advice should prove so useless.

He was thinking of sending his brother away from Bombay, but as Deepawali festival came in, the brother was detained for that festival. Just at that time, leading persons from the Cutch Samsthan came to consult Kaka Dixit as to which person should be selected as a sufficiently reliable officer on a high pay of Rs. 1000. When Kaka suggested Sadasiva's name, that was readily accepted, and he became Dewan of that State.

Baba springs his surprise at the last moment when he gives His blessing and justifies the fullest confidence reposed in him by Dixit, etc. Damodar Rasane employed a similar practice, and says in his experiences (Vide Devotees' Experiences, Volume II) that Baba's answer on chits to him were always found to be correct (N. B.-Powerful faith alone can elicit a reply).”……


DEVOTEE EXPERIENCE

My daughter had taken my car keys from my pocket, while I was asleep, to practice driving on her own to prepare for the Driving Test next day. She had taken her friend as
a co-passenger and was driving along the road through the Driveway of a fast food restaurant, McDonalds, in the vicinity. She took a sharp curve in the driveway and drove onto the curb. She could not reverse the car as the path was too narrow and she was afraid of hitting the car behind her. She accelerated, could not control the car and drove on the road dividing McDonald and a Gas station and hit a tree. This stopped the car from hitting and exploding the Gas Pump. The property manager of the Gas Station summoned the police. She was crying and telephoned me. I prayed Lord Sai to help.

When I reached the accident spot, I found that my car Steering Air Bag had saved her life. Her co-passenger was also slightly hurt The Police Officer on site interrogated me about my daughter and her friend. My daughter had no insurance and license to drive independently without a qualified driver next to her. The Police Officer was very co-operative and warned her not to do it again. Who else in the western world would pardon such a major car accident? It is only Lord Sai who has manifested in human form and averted this mishap and helped my family in this crisis.

Devotees, Lord Sai is Omnipresent and always there when you call Him with Faith and Love and will share every burden of yours in every walk of your life.

My daughter experienced the vision on the sticker of Lord Sai on the windshield. She has turned an ardent devotee since that day. May Lord Sai protect His devotees and grace them with Happiness and Joy forever.

Jai Sai Ram!!!

Ravinder Thota, Canada

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POEM

Thirst

Thirst in life never ceases,
there is thirst for riches,
children, power,
more life and siddhis.

There is thirst for joy
sense pleasures,
materials, and worldly indulgence.

Thirst keeps the mind occupied,
never lets God enter,
keeps it centered in matter,
whether in mosque or temple.

Thirst does not let you see
even with eyes, that
at death everything remains here,
it makes a person blind.

Thirst keeps increasing,
every desire fulfilled
brings only bondage,
unhappiness and misery.

Thirst makes a person struggle
with no gains,
keeps him always disturbed,
with no mental peace.

Thirst with desire for God alone
brings harmony,
contentment and bliss
long-awaited; for the whole of our life.

By S. Modi, Delhi

 

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TOPIC OF DISCUSSION

Devotion

Devotion to me means complete faith and great love. You can be devoted to a cause, to your family. But the ultimate devotion is to the Guru who is God incarnate.

When you have faith and great love for your Guru you need nothing else. All of the world and the rest of the universe is included in the Guru. The Guru reciprocates giving you greater love and His blessings.

If you are truly devoted to the Guru you can face whatever life offers up; both the good and the bad can be equated. There is a constant feeling that he is there - omnipresent, omnipotent. There seems to be a reason why things happen in life. Indeed there seems to be a meaning to existence itself.
Even at the worst of times there is a glimmer of hope because you have left everything to Him whom you adore.

Nirmala Pandit, Chennai

Share your views on Topic of Discussion- PRARABDH


 

DEVOTEES' FORUM

ONE PARAGRAPH THAT EXPLAINS LIFE!

Arthur Ashe, the legendary Wimbledon player was dying of AIDS which he got due to infected blood he received during a heart surgery in 1983.

From world over, he received letters from his fans, one of which conveyed: 'Why does GOD have to select you for such a bad disease'?

To this Arthur Ashe replied:

'The world over -- 50 million children start playing tennis, 5 million learn to play tennis, 500,000 learn professional tennis, 50,000 come to the circuit, and 5000 reach the grand slam, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 to semi final, 2 to the finals, when I was holding a cup I never asked GOD 'Why me?'. And today in pain I should not be asking GOD 'Why me?' '

'Happiness keeps you Sweet,

Trials keep you Strong,

Sorrow keeps you Human,

Failure keeps you humble and Success keeps you glowing, but only Faith & Attitude Keeps you going...

Shipra Shukla, Delhi

Due to medical reasons, my husband had to opt for early retirement. This means we are getting no income for almost five months. At the same time my son Girish managed to top the University in Newcastle, Australia, with Honours in Mechanical Engineering and he was offered 75% scholarship from the University to do his Doctorate. I was very upset that Baba gave me some good news and some difficulties as well. Nevertheless, my son went back to Australia to resume his studies.

My husband said, Baba knows our pain and helplessness and he will find a way to help us. On this auspicious Thursday, I am hoping that Baba will help us see through our difficult times. I am praying that my husband gets employed again till my son can help us financially once he finishes his course. We also hope he gets his PR status soon.

Allah Malik and Sai help all of Us!!!!

Mrs Sobha Jeevan, Singapore

 

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READER'S REFLECTION

Jai Sai Ram! I am just so so shocked after reading a devotee's experience in your Magazine. That devotee's name is "Vandana Ritik" from New Delhi. I cannot thank you enough for sharing your experience with us. I am still so so moved.

I read Shri Satpathyji's Guru Purnima Message with the utmost of devotion and really it was something that I totally identified with particularly with regard to psychological dependence on Baba; wish to establish intense relationship with him and periodical emotional vacuum when one feels as if Baba is no more "in Touch" with us my reaction to it initially was I used to get upset about it. Gradually I begin to accept it and felt calmer. I realised that Baba is always there when I need him and he has innumerable devotees to look after. This intensified my Faith in Him and 'Saburi' too. True, as Shri Satpathyji says, one is always looking to collect photographs and trinkets of Baba Sai Nath. Many times I have felt Baba's subtle Presence and His Kind Grace in many emotional difficulties. What more can I say about the Master of Universe? I am speechless. I always look forward to read Shri Satpathyji's article on Baba as I feel very connected to Baba Sai through them. Thank you.

Seema Poddar, Kolkotta

I am very, very grateful and thankful to those Sai devotees who made this website of Heritage of Shirdi Sai happen. I am a true Sai Baba devotee and always get good margdarshan through the newsletters. Shri Satpathyji's messages are a great guiding force for all of us towards the way of spiritualism and towards our own Shri Shirdi Sai Baba. Baba is with us every moment of life and will always be. I am very fortunate to experience His presence in my life and the experiences He gives me.

Anand Joshi, Dubai

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NEWS OF SHIRDI SAI ACTIVITIES

SHIRDI SAI BABA SANSTHAN, CANADA

INVOCATION OF BLESSINGS ON AUSPICIOUS THURSDAYS

Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan, Canada, (Toronto) cordially invite Devotees to attend - participate -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 of Baba's Divine Blessings Ceremony will be conducted with Sacred Ashtotra Namavali to the accompaniment of, Bhajans, Satcharita Paraayan, Naivedaya Offerings Dhoop Aarti and Mahaprasaad (Preeti Bhoj) Naivedaya Offerings: Devotees are welcome to bring a dish for Naivedaya Offerings as inspired by Baba.

CEREMONIAL YATRA IN TORONTO

DEVOTEES in TORONTO, are invited to participate in Shri Shirdi Sai Ceremonial Yatra currently underway in Toronto.Invite Baba to your home and invoking His Grace immerse in Divine Bliss. For Program details and Location call 416-294-4804 or saileela99@yahoo.com

OTHER SERVICES IN TORONTO

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.

THE 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. HERITAGE OF SHIRDI SAI MAGAZINE AVAILABLE IN CANADA: Send your request for subscription. Limited copies only. Email: saileela99@yahoo.com

 

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: PRARABDH

Reader’s Reflection
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