N E W S L E T T E R
VOL60, JUNE 2008
 

FROM SHRI C.B. SATPATHY'S MESSAGE

……“Often during my visit to the temples of Shirdi Sai Baba and also in the functions relating to Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi, I at times observe certain types of conduct of devotees of Baba as also the general visitors to the temples, which to my mind does not seem appropriate for the place or the occasion. Far to speak of higher spiritual senses and sensibilities, even the common sense of an ordinary man dictates that certain dress and behavioral codes are required to be adopted in a certain situation.

Let us think of a few such situations i.e., a marriage party, an official conference, a funeral procession and a golf tournament. Can any one think of attending a marriage party in attire meant for playing golf or an official function in attire befitting a funeral procession? The dress codes prescribed for each of these occasions are different. Such dress specifications have evolved gradually over a long period of time in our civilization, because they are appropriate to the occasion.

The idea is to keep the environment comfortable and non-intimidating for everyone and take into consideration the sensitivities of other human beings around. Since to be civilized means to make compromises to accommodate the human sensitivities and sentiments of others, it is essential that while in a place meant for group activities one must be dressed appropriately.

Now let us examine the way the devotees of some religions dress or conduct themselves while in a religious congregation. While in the church the Christians are fully and appropriately dressed. So also is the case of Sikhs, Muslims, and Buddhists etc. When inside the temple premises, devotees are supposed to concentrate all their faculties for a definite purpose and in a certain manner i.e., eyes (through which they concentrate and meditate on the image of the deity), mouth (through which they recite mantras or aartis and bhajans in praise of the deity), ears (through which they listen to mantras, aartis, discourses etc.), nose (through which they smell the sweet smell of flowers and incense offered to the deity) and skin (through which they touch the feet of the deity).

One can imagine the serene atmosphere of a temple, which gives a feeling of expansion of the thought horizons and a sense of ecstatic upliftment of the soul. The most desirable situation in the temple is where one can listen to the prolonged euphoric notes of somber mantras, there is no hustle bustle, no high pitched and abusive ruckus mingled with diatribes with choicest invectives.

It should also not give a picture of a depressed and melancholic place with tearful devotees with sulking faces. Such devotees sulking in the temple due to non-fulfillment of their purely material desires spoil the pleasant and peaceful atmosphere of the temple. It needs to be a place of unison of minds and souls of devotees, while focusing on a deity, in chanting mantras and also singing the aarti together. When the purpose, the thoughts, the sentiments and the activities of the devotees are merged in a prayer in invoking the deity or the master, the love of the master or deity flows down to the devotees. This then is the method and the purpose of going to a temple or a religious congregation.

On the other hand, imagine for a moment, when such a pristine atmosphere is about to raise the souls of the devotees to a state of sublime ecstasy, impropriety in dressing and conduct such as talking or laughing loudly by a devotee may knowingly or unknowingly disturb the other devotees and vitiate the atmosphere. The focus is shifted from the deity, in our case, the holy image of Shri Sai Nath Maharaj of Shirdi towards such individuals. Then the whole purpose of visiting a temple is defeated.

Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi was never in favour of his devotees and workers wearing such clothes. Once poet Dasganu the famous ballad singer on Baba and other saints came to Baba on his way to a religious function, where he was supposed to give a rendition of songs on Baba. He was donned in dazzling and colourful attire, which Kirtankars and Kathavachaks usually wear in Maharashtra and elsewhere. Baba asked him not to decorate himself in such lavish style and attend the function in the simplest possible dress.

In the light of what has been explained above, it is desirable for the Shirdi Sai devotees to worship Baba in the temple or to participate in a congregation of Sai devotees in modest and simple attire. Baba’s teachings show that lavish display of material aspects of life including dazzling dresses never impressed Baba. Shri Sai Baba the Fakir with the torn clothes perhaps finds it more comfortable to be with simply dressed but truthful people.

In this context I have also observed many devotees trying to wear clothes in the style and manner of the Master, wearing Kafnis (long flowing cloth covering the entire body) and patka (headgear). Some of them carry a satka additionally in their hand. The famous Gurugita asks the devotees not to copy the look or the behaviour of the Master.

And this is the accepted rule of law, in the master-disciple relationship in the spiritual world. Even the famous Shri Vivekananda never imitated the attire of his Guru, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Although some Sai devotees tend to dress like Baba out of ignorance and simply as a feel good factor, there are other fraudulent ones who try to impress the gullible devotees in order to extract money and other advantages. It is therefore correct on the part of the temple trust to surely but politely impress upon the visitors to the temple to be properly attired and behave while in the temple premises.

On the day of Mahasamadhi of Baba, I invoke Shri Sai Baba’s blessing for the devotees and readers in helping them to evolve in the spiritual path.”…….


FROM "LIFE OF SAI BABA" BY NARASIMHA SWAMI

……“Two very important things about Khaparde are not found detailed in the diary, namely the facts of Mrs. G. S. Khaparde’s previous births and previous service to Baba, and Baba’s withdrawing the plague from his son Balwant’s body to himself. The last is to be found in Shama’s statement. From December 1911 for 3 months, plague raged at Shirdi and Balwant, son of Khaparde, had an attack.

There was the bubo and fever, and the mother of the patient went to Baba with tears, asking whether it was to sacrifice her child that she had come to Shirdi. Baba spoke in parables assuring her that all would be well. She could not understand him and later Baba showed on his own person the bubos and told her that he had saved Balwant and that his orders were supreme Ajna Apraithata. Accordingly Balwant recovered and so also Baba.

This reminds one of a similar sacrifice of Baba on behalf of another devotee. Mrs. Tarabai Sadashiv Tarkhad of Poona who came to Shirdi with a longstanding eye trouble which her doctor could not diagnose or cure. She came to Shirdi and sat before Baba. Baba cast his glance at her eyes and her eyes ceased to pain or water and Baba’s eyes were watering. That was the end to her eye trouble, and she wondered how instantaneously Baba worked the cure of a disease which baffled doctors. Similarly, Noverkar with a high fever sent his son with Rs. 500 to Baba. Baba received the sum and at once his limbs began to shiver. Baba explained that he had to bear the burdens of his devotees. Noverkar was of course cured.

In the case of Khaparde, Baba mentioned no doubt the rinanubandha noted already in this chapter. The most interesting statement of rinanubandha was in respect of Mrs. Khaparde. One day when a number of naivedyas were placed one after another before Baba, he did not touch anyone of them.

When Mrs. Khaparde’s naivedya was brought, he at once put it into his mouth. Then Shama, who occasionally took liberties with Baba, asked why he was so partial to Mrs. Khaparde's naivedya and Baba gave an account of the Khaparde's love and service to him birth after birth. Baba said, ‘She was formely a cow of a banya and gave me plenty of milk.

Then she was born of a mali gardener and later went to a Kshatriya. The she married the banya. Then she was born a Brahmin. After a long spell of time, I am seeing her again, and the food she gives me is sweet with her love.’ Mrs. Khaparde's prema more than Mr. Khaparde's self-interested visit to Shirdi was what operated powerfully on Baba and made him take so much trouble for each member of that family. Baba did not give mantra Upadesha except in exceptional cases. Baba gave it to Mrs. G.S. Khaparde thus; ‘G0 on saying Rajah Ram, Rajah Ram’.”……


DEVOTEE EXPERIENCE

I was not a bhakt of Sai Baba but my friend told me to start praying to Him with complete faith and devotion. I was having problems with my wife for about four months. She stopped talking to me because of some misunderstanding. I tried to clear things out and get things back to normal but she just would not listen to me.

I was totally devastated, as I never expected this. Then my friend asked me to start praying to Sai Baba with complete faith and devotion which I started and also started reading the ‘Sai Sat Charitra’ and started learning so much from Sai Baba and his leelas that I changed many things in my life and started following my Sai Baba’s words. I had heard that the Baba fulfills the wishes of a devotee who reads Sai Sat Charitra (all 50 Chapters) in one week’s time. Along with this I also started Sai Baba’s 9 Thursdays Sai Vrat with due formalities according to the vrat book.

When I started reading the ‘Sai Sat Charitra’ I really started feeling so happy inside. I had stopped going out with friends but as I kept reading Sai Baba’s Leelas, I learned so much from Him and my thoughts changed. I started going out and started to enjoy again even though my marital problems had not been solved. But I had complete faith and trust in my Sai Baba and left everything to him.

I did everything possible to get my wish fulfilled and solve my problems with my wife and get back things back to normal. After I completed my vrat with due formalities, Sai Baba answered my prayers and my wife called me and we discussed everything and things are now fine between us.

While reading Sai Sat Charitra, there are chapters telling about His Udi and its efficaciousness. In my mind I was asking Sai Baba if I could also get His Udi somehow (as I live in Canada, there is no Sai Baba mandir here). I happened to go to a friend’s place and she had just got back from Mumbai. I started telling her about Sai Baba and she told me that she had been to Shirdi and had got Udi and she offered me some, which I very happily took from her. After coming back home, I prayed to Sai Baba and thanked him so much for getting me the Udi.

I love Sai Baba from bottom of my heart and will always love him. I have also told my friends about my experiences with Sai Baba and I am so happy that they have also started to believe my Sai Baba..!! Trust Sai Baba totally and He will answer your prayers for sure. But like we all know we need complete faith and patience and devotion towards him.

Chirag, Vancouver, Canada

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POEM

Grief

Grief and joy are
two sides of a coin.
Grief brings discomfort
but makes joy more valuable.
The period of grief
is difficult to endure.

Joy after grief is, like the shade of a tree
to a tired traveler.
A glass of water
to a dry and thirsty throat.
Good health, after long
suffering and sickness.

Grief brings creations
unimaginable
by the human mind.
Taj mahal built by Shahjahan in the memory of Mumtaz
is the result of his ailing heart.

Grief makes
a person strong,
courageous and better
able to face adversities.
Contemplation in grief
brings purity of heart.

Grief is like the fire
that removes impurities of gold.
It is like a bitter medicine
which cures the disease.
Most of us remember God
only in grief.

We know God loves us the most
only when others betray.
Grief teaches us to remain calm,
in all circumstances.
It is grief alone which
teaches us to surrender to His will.

S. Modi, Delhi

 

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TOPIC OF DISCUSSION

Prarabdh

Prarabdh or destiny is the result of the karma (done by oneself in the past) that one is destined to reap in the present life. It includes both the sukarma (good) and dushkarma (bad). But usually only when unwanted things happen, we use the word prarabdh.

We can understand this through use of a simple example. Suppose I want a mango plant and for this I sow the seeds in the soil. After due care, to my surprise a neem plant grows from the seeds I planted (instead of mango plant). This creates confusion and dissatisfaction in my mind. When I ponder over the cause of this, I realized that my lack of knowledge about the seeds made me plant neem seeds instead of mango seeds. In this example, planting the seeds is the sanchita karma (action done in the past), Reaping a neem tree is Prarabhda (result of action in the present).

In the same way, even though all of us want to enjoy happiness, our own selfish and ignorant actions in the past create a dissatisfactory present. From this it must be clear that there is no one to blame for our present situation. This is what prarabdha karma means. We are responsible for our own Prarabhda. Sri Sai explains this to us on several occasions.

So, what to do next? This becomes the future karma (Agami). Let us again take the above example. Now, I have to go to a person or Guru who has knowledge about seeds and who can advise me properly. With the help of the Guru, if I can plant a mango seed this time in the appropriate way, I will get a mango tree as desired.

The prerequisite is to have Sraddha or Faith with the understanding that whatever my Guru advises is for my own best. The second one is Saburi. It means to have the courage and patience to trust in the words of the teacher, even though things are not falling in place in the time frame that I have set.

As stated earlier, Prarabdha also means results of Sukarma (good actions). The very thought of seeking the advice of a Guru is the result of Good Prarabhda. If one continues to follow the teachings of the Guru in daily living, this will surely turn things around in due course of time. (Even if one falls repeatedly, one should be able to muster the courage and try to get up. This is the Purushartha or Free will.) So, in the Prarabdha, if one is due for an injury from a knife, a pin will prick in its place if we properly follow the Dharmic way of life.

Sai Parabrahmarpana mastu.

Umabala, USA

 

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DEVOTEES' FORUM

How often do we test god? Almost every day I gather. We ask for things and we wait for signs, I always do, wait for signs from Him of HIS presence. Some of us even wait for some miracle to happen; we wait for it, infact we wait anxiously so that we can increase our devotion. But honestly, where such conditional faith exists do you really think it can be called devotion?

We as humans are conditioned no doubt, but we should put aside our intellect and worship and trust god as a little 2 year old toddler trusts its parents. It knows that it is safe in the arms of parents come what may. We try to measure our depth of spirituality by seeing the extent of God’s presence in life. Some of us wait for Udhi to fall out of photographs of BABA, or honey to come out spurting.

Come to think of it, did Satcharita ever mention BABA exhibit qualities either while He was alive or even after HIS passing away? Isn't Satcharita HIS direct word and Gospel for all Shirdi Sai Followers? Then why do we restrict our belief in god's presence wait to see the physical acts of unimaginable things. Does it not denote our limited capacity to BELIEVE in god? Is our faith so feeble? When there is no physical evidence does it denote God is not with us? Is this why we pray, to see materialisation of things so that we can be satisfied to know that God is real? Being such conditional believers can we call ourselves Devotees?

Devotion is a spontaneous emotion which is unconditional and is a means of expressing love, gratitude towards the supreme energy which controls the life forces of the universe. DEvotion is love without any conditions and blind faith of existance of the super power called God. Our presence on earth is a proof of Gods existence. The existence of this world is proof enough about Gods presence. What else do we need? EVery time we are in doubt the only way to remove our web of confusion is Satcharita, it is not just a book of parables or interesting stories but it is the life lead and taught by BABA Himself. What is not listed in Satcharita Never happens.

Let us knock down the walls of doubt and see God through HIS teachings.

Anitha Kandukuri, Canberra Australia

Life is a campaign against one's inner foes; it is a battle with obstacles, temptations, hardships and hesitations. These foes are within man and so the battle has to be incessant and perpetual. Like the virus that thrives in the bloodstream, the vices of lust, greed, hate, malice, pride and envy sap the energy and faith of man and ruin him.

Arun N Reddy, London

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READER'S REFLECTION

I always like the section written by Shri C. B. Satpathy and I feel I am getting Baba's blessings when I am read this section. Baba has blessed you by giving you this opportunity to spread His message around.

Yashika, Birmingham, UK

Wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year - 2008. I wish and pray whole heartedly that Baba should be with all of us every moment and guide us to the right path and bless us. I thank one and all for this wonderful website. On 31st night at 12 .30 when I logged on to my email I was so happy to get the New Year message. I felt that my family was blessed by Baba. No other New Year message would have made me so happy and blessed. Thanks a lot for the wonderful job. Please continue the same with the blessings of Baba. Satpathji I thank you a lot for your message and wish you a very happy new year once again.

Asha Rajashekhar

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NEWS OF SHIRDI SAI ACTIVITIES

SHIRDI SAI BABA SANSTHAN, CANADA (TORONTO)

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

INVOCATION OF BLESSINGS ON AUSPICIOUS THURSDAYS

Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan, Canada, (Toronto) cordially invite Devotees to attend - volunteer - Receive Baba's Grace and be Immersed in Divine Bliss on the AUSPICIOUS day of THURSDAY 6:30PM at the GUR MANDIR 207 Queen's Plate Drive., Etobicoke (South of Steeles on the East side of Highway 27 on Queen's Plate)

Invocation Ceremony of Baba's Divine Blessings will be conducted with Sacred Ashtotra Namavali to the accompaniment of Bhajans, Satcharita Paraayan, Naivedaya Offerings Dhoop Aarti and Mahaprasaad (Preeti Bhoj) Devotees are welcome to bring a dish for Naivedaya Offerings as inspired by Baba. Details at www.shirdisainath.org

SHRI SHIRDI SAI BABA RESOURCE CENTRE IN TORONTO

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

 

SHIRDI SAI MANDIR, TORONTO, CANADA

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

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

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

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

 

SHIRDI SAI PARIVAR VANCOUVER

Shirdi Sai parivar in Vancouver holds Satsang on Thursday (6.30-7.30pm)and Sai abhishek and aarti first Sunday of every month at 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: 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 Ravi Chittajallu (Secretary) Mobile: (+64) 21 332 922 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: DHARMA AND KARMA, WHICH ONE SHOULD HAVE PRIORITY

Reader’s Reflection
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