N E W S L E T T E R
VOL63, AUGUST 2008
 

FROM SHRI C.B. SATPATHY'S MESSAGE

……“On one occasion, Shri Shirdi Sai Baba advised one of His devotees working as a Magistrate, to maintain 'probity' in personal and professional life. The word 'probity' means a high standard of moral behaviour or adherence to the highest principles and ideals or in short, uprightness. People from all walks of life, such as government servants like magistrates, revenue officials, tehsildars, mamlatdars, police officials to lawyers, artists, pilgrims, used to flock around Baba at Shirdi, seeking His divine blessings, help and guidance, both mundane and spiritual. Baba helped everyone as and when required, without any considerations of religion, caste, creed, temporal status or varied social differentiation.

Of all the advice that Shri Sainath Maharaj rendered, the most important and common advice was to maintain uprightness and honesty in all aspects of life religious, social, professional or personal. By asking the Magistrate to exhibit moral conduct in his profession, Baba gave the message that demonstrating the quality of righteousness in only one sphere of life, is not conducive to spiritual growth of an individual. It has to be practiced or adhered to in every sphere of life.

In our ordinary life, we come across many people, who demonstrate their quality of piety by donating lots of money to the temples, but shirk away in providing any such help to their poor domestic servant, even if he or she may be in dire stress due to any number of reasons such as the sickness of his or her child. There are others who spend lots of money and time on the rearing of their pet dogs, but do not think twice before hurling abuses and even beat up urchins begging on the street. Such examples are too numerous to be described within the limited space of this article. Such people show contradiction between their thought, intent and action, where they display virtuosity selectively, sometimes simply for their personal gains. Thus, the quality of uprightness, probity and honesty are applied as utilitarian principles. One need not be surprised at such examples, because to be successful in the worldly life, most people take recourse to such a formula. However, such an approach is not conducive for those desirous of their inner evolution. The formula that Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi prescribed, was upholding the qualities of tolerance, compassion, uprightness, sacrifice and non-attachment to be practiced resolutely in every station of life be it professional, personal, religious or social.

Those who followed Baba's teaching in letter and spirit gained spiritual progress much faster than those who did not follow. Shri Sai Satcharitra cites stories of many such evolved souls during Baba's lifetime, such as, Megha, who maintained his simplicity till his demise, Bala Saheb Bhate and Kaka Saheb Dixit who renounced worldly life entirely on the bidding of Baba, while Mahalsapati maintained his non-attachment to materialism. These exalted and noble souls, and many others, who never faltered in sustaining their qualities under the guidance of the Master of Shirdi, have been praised in Shri Sat Charitra and elsewhere.

Therefore, it behoves the true Sai devotees to consciously try to evolve the best qualities in them, in all the activities they undertake. No doubt, this is not at all easy to achieve, but steadfast love, devotion and unwavering faith towards Baba will gradually bring out the best qualities in them. May Shri Sai bless us all, to be able to follow the path of righteousness and uprightness.”…….


FROM "LIFE OF SAI BABA" BY NARASIMHA SWAMI

……“ Baba states that himself and three others were studying puran and other works and discussing among themselves obviously on an intellectual basis how to get realization, and they had their own differences. One stressed the neecessity of depending upon oneself as the Gita says, Uddharet Atmana. Another, equally self-sufficient, said that the main thing was to make the mind self-centred, free from thoughts and doubts, because it is we who are in everything and everywhere. A third companion said that Vichara was the thing to be stressed, and Vichara consisted in Viveka, regarding the difference between Nitya and Anitya, the Changeable and the Unchangeable, the Changeable form and the formless Unchangeable Reality.

Obviously with all these controversies they were not anywhere near God-realisation. Baba disliked all this metaphysical and intellectual discussion and stressed the practical steps that had to be taken, to approach a Guru, and surrender one's Tan, Man Dhan to the Guru and leave it to the Guru to accomplish the rest. The field of this intellectual discussion was a veritable forest, vast and dense, through which no way could be found out of it. So, as they rambled on without finding a way out, they came across one who knew the forest thoroughly, a Vanajari, a forest dweller. That Vanajari asked them, ‘Where are you going into these trackless woods unnecessarily?’ He kindly invited them to go with him and have some food, which should enable them to continue their journey through the forest.

The majority being self-sufficient and independent, the Vanajari's words were not heeded. But the party went into this intellectual wood and lost their way. Again the Vanajari appeared before them and showed them how by relying on their own intelligence they had lost their way and gone the wrong path, and told them that a guiding finger was necessary to show them the proper way. The Vanajari said that the offer of food was not to be despised, for the offer of food was an auspicious sign betokening the coming success in the enterprise.

So, he repeated the offer of his hospitality. For a second time the majority decided to reject the offer. So they continued their rambling in the track-less forest. Hunger seized them all but the unbending three were too proud to change. Baba alone left that company, went to the Vanajari and accepted his food and water. That Vanajari was the Guru and enquired of all that they had talked about, and the conclusions they had come to. Baba revealed to him the entire facts.

The others did not care to depend on a Guru or a Guide. But for himself he felt that the Guru and Guru alone, was the thing needed. So saying Baba bowed in reverence to the Guru with faith. The Guru at once put his faith to the test. Baba's description of the test resembled an allegory and was obviously symbolical.

Baba says, ‘Then he took me to a well, tied up my legs with a rope and suspended me, head downwards, from a tree by a side of the well. My head was about three feet off the water, which I could not reach. And my guru left me there and went away God knows where. He returned after 4 or 5 hours and asked me how I fared. In great bliss was my time passed, I answered. The Guru, mighty pleased with me, drew me near him, passed his palm -over my head and body and spoke to me tender words dripping with love, and he put me into his school where I entirely forgot my father and mother and all attachments and desires.

‘I loved to gaze at him. If he were not there to see, I would not like to have eyes at all. I did not wish to go back. I forgot all other things but the Guru. My life was concentrated in my sight and my sight in him. That was the object of my meditation. In silence I bowed’.

‘Meanwhile, Realisation flashed upon me of itself without effort or study, purely by his grace’.

‘Guru’s grace is our only sadhana. Jnana comes as experience or in its wake'.”……


DEVOTEE EXPERIENCE

In 1997 I was working for a well known company in Chennai and was executing a major project. I was from North India and had been specially hired for this project. Several senior executives of this company had been superseded for this position and were not comfortable with my quick results and so indulged in office politics. I had to travel to Mumbai for marketing. I quite liked Mumbai as a place for professionals. Moreover, my wife was from Mumbai. I decided to seek a place for myself in Mumbai.

My wife and in-laws are staunch devotees of Sai Baba and I too got initiated to Baba after my marriage. During the 1980s I was in Nasik and Deolali but never had visited Shirdi despite its proximity. I used to silently pray to Baba to get me to Mumbai as I was quite upset with the situation in the Chennai company. Having putting in my best and brought the project to commercial production, I used to feel choked.

I was invited by a Mumbai based company to join them on a senior position and had to visit them for a preliminary meeting. We used to travel by air for office work. Since this was personal work I decided to travel by train to save money. I drove the car to Chennai railway station and parked the car in its huge parking lot as I planned to return in two days. The meeting in Mumbai went well and it was decided that I would join the new position in two months.

When I returned to Chennai and went to my parked car, I saw a small booklet inserted below the car wiper and glass on the driver's side. Initially I thought someone would have put some publicity booklet and was about to throw it. But then I realized it was in Hindi. Within no time I realised it was a Sai Baba Aarti booklet. Who and why someone would leave that book for my attention. What intrigues me till today is how did that person know that this car belonged to a Hindi speaking devotee, that too in Chennai. There are sometimes as many as 200 cars parked in that railway station.

I moved to Mumbai two months later and worked there till 1999. During my stint with this company we stayed in Pune in the company's house in Viman Nagar as I had to look after production and had to frequently travel for three to four days in a week to Mumbai.

One night we went for a movie. As we did not have a landline I had given a mobile to my wife to remain connected. On this fateful day when we were taking out the car my wife made my three year old son sit on a kiosk and left her mobile on the plank. Later she realized she had left the mobile on that kiosk. We came halfway but the kiosk had closed. My wife was very upset; she cried and prayed to Sai Baba. Despite my best assurances that I would get her a new mobile she did not sleep the whole night but prayed.

The next day I had to leave for Mumbai. During the day she went with the driver to the same kiosk to enquire if they found a mobile the previous night. As she approached the shop, before she could ask, an old man asked her if she had forgotten her mobile phone last night. She said yes and he handed her the Ericson phone. She thanked him and came home.

She called me at my Mumbai office to tell me she had found the mobile. When I returned to Pune her joy knew no bounds. I asked did you give something as a token gesture to the old man. She said she was so overwhelmed that she did not.

We then drove to meet the old man. We went to the kiosk on MG Road and asked for the old man who handed over the lost mobile to us. To our astonishment we were informed that they did not have any old man working for them and did not even know about the lost mobile episode.

Then who was the old who gave back the lost mobile to us? Was it Sai Baba in person? This is still a mystery to us till today. Thereafter I decided to leave the job and start my own company. For the last nine years I am on my own in the field of print media and have a successful business and am well settled in Mumbai. It was Baba's unseen hand that helped me come to Mumbai. There have been a few such incidents in our lives that that make us feel that Sai Baba has always been with us. Now we are regular visitors to Shirdi. Baba is omnipotent and always with his devotees. But then we need to do good to others and walk on the path shown by him.

Prasoon K, Mumbai

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POEM

Whom to blame?

Many a times
life is hard,
difficulties gross
not easy to sustain.

No one understands
no one cares,
loneliness overpowers
with miseries infinite.

All efforts made
to do good to others
and actions of love
bring hatred in return.

The burden of life
seems so heavy,
feet get tired
and path too lengthy.

The mind gets puzzled
questions overflow
all this load,
how long to endure?

Why such things
happen to me?
Why this suffering
for me alone?

Who is responsible
for this game?
Whom should I ask?
Whom should I blame?

When I go deep
I understand and feel,
it is me and only me
to be questioned and blamed.

It was me,
who gave the blueprint
to God,
to carve my path.

It was me
who chose my circumstances,
my relations, friends
and this life.

Why do I cry?
Why does my heart become heavy?
Why do tears
roll down my cheeks?

I am sole1y responsible
for choosing this route.
This unending path
of attachments and desires.

The path of miseries,
love and hate,
happiness and sorrow,
lust and greed.

Oh God! Lead me now,
lead me to the righteous path,
devoid of unending desires
and ultimate bliss.

Let me not forget
the difference between
the eternal
and the ephemeral.

S. Modi, Delhi

 

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TOPIC OF DISCUSSION

DHARMA AND KARMA, WHICH ONE SHOULD HAVE PRIORITY

Dharma - In other words, the path of righteousness or following the ethics laid by our gurus in ancient Hindu scriptures with total blind faith.

However, I have never been able to understand the true meaning of Dharma. The era in which the Hindu scriptures were written was satyug and we are now living in kalyug. According to me dharma is different in every situation. Something that is right for one person may not be so for another. For example, it is wrong to kill another human being but a warrior in the battlefield does not do anything wrong by killing his enemy - he is simply doing what he believes to be dharma.

Another example is that it is against the dharma to lie but if someone lies to save the life of someone, then that that lie can be condoned. So dharma cannot be fully justified as the path of righteousness. Sati was one of the dharmas of a Hindu wife. But what kind of dharma is this which wants a woman to throw herself in the burning fire when her husband dies while the rule for the husband is totally different when his wife passes away and he is allowed to get married once again and lead a happily married life? Committing suicide is against dharma but being a Sati also means committing suicide. Strange that dharma is different for different people and it keeps clashing with its own boundaries of what is right and what is defined as wrong.

Karma on the other hand merely means the actions that we choose to perform at our physical and as well as mental level. As long as we keep our hearts clear of bad intentions, according to me that karma is the real dharma. I truly believe that I will leave all the riches, all my relationships, my thoughts, my dharma, my religion behind when I die, but what I will surely take with myself will be my karma or my actions in this life and this will decide my happiness and sorrows in all my lives to come.

What I will sow is what I will reap and I will eat the fruits of my own karma. Besides that, along with the faith and devotion for the one who has created me, the only thing that I can offer Him at His lotus feet are my karmas. If only everyone keeps in mind that whatever they do, they are offering their karmas to God, then I am sure none of us need dharma in our lives. We will make sure that along with the nectar of pure devotion we also offer and perform karmas with no negative thoughts or evil intentions so that we can place them at the feet of the Lord. My karmas alone have the power to bring me close to my creator or push me away in hell. I pray to my Sai, My creator to help me clean my soul with my good karmas. And so in other words my karma is my dharma. And I hold my karma far more important than any dharma.

Deepa Harkishnani, Seattle,Washington, USA

 

Share your views on Topic of Discussion- LOVE OF HUMANITY IS LOVE OF GOD


DEVOTEES' FORUM


Once a man had a dream where he was walking along with his Lord (Sai) on the beach and he saw his life flashing across the sky. He also noticed two sets of footprints in the sand one his and the other his Lord's. However he also noticed that during the saddest and the hardest time in his life there was only one set of footprints.

So he asked his Lord I thought you said that you will always be with me, then why when I did you leave me when I needed you the most. The man thought he saw only his footprint in the sand during sad times. The Lord said my child I love you and will never leave you. You see only one set of footprints in those times when you needed me the most as it is then that I carried you. Please remember this always that our Sai will never leave us even when we think he may have.

Nainesh Patel, New Jersey, USA


When we are born on this earth, we bring with us certain thought forms, experiences and characteristics from our previous births. Sai Baba says that we have to go through these prarabdhs that we bring with us in this birth also as a continuum. But through devotion to the Guru and God and through their grace, we can achieve the realisation of our aim in this life. Then , and only then, can we evolve into a better state of being in this birth itself and the ones that may follow. It is also said by Sai Baba that such a realisation is the hall mark of being born as a human being and that we must make the greatest use of this privilege.

Whatever we enjoy or suffer has some connection to our prarabdh. These words of Our Sai gives us hope and courage to live through even the worst times of our lives; as whatever we go through have to be taken as lessons He provides us. We must be ever vigilant to learn through our experiences. Instead of cursing our bad fortune we should seek to find out what He is trying to teach us. In good times we should think that this has also been given by Him to tell us something that He wants us to learn. Both the good and bad of life can thus be accepted with equanimity.

Kunti Devi in the Mahabharatha thanks Lord Krishna for the bad events in her life and prays to Him to give her more tragedies to enable her to think of Him always. Let us pray to Sai to help us evolve as better human beings.

Nirmala Pandit, Chennai, India

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READER'S REFLECTION

Om Sai Ram

First of all let me thank you and the entire team of "Heritage of Shirdi Sai" for such a beautiful work which lets all of us devotees of Shri Shirdi Sainath across the world progress in the direction of spiritual evolvement.

I have been a devotee of Sai since Childhood and could write an entire Encyclopedia of wonderful experiences I have had. My only message to all of you devotees out there is to keep firm faith in Shri Shirdi Sainath even when you experience severe difficulties in your life and the life of your dear ones.

He is only testing our faith. Instead of remembering him during your difficult times, try and remember him and offer him your true love everyday. He only wants our sincere love, surrender to him whole hearted and you will experience the Joy and Happiness in your life.

Shri Satchidanand Sadguru Sainath Maharaj ki Jai!!!!!!!!!!!

Kantu Motwani, Ceuta, Spain

Thanks I got copy of the Heritage of Shirdi Sai Magazine New Year Issue. It is just beautiful and full of information and knowledge.

I did not have much knowledge about prarabdh and was actually confused what it was all about after loss of my son. But when I started to type, it appears that Baba made me go on typing not only about prarabdh but also about other karmas. This article was finished in half a day on Thursday (yesterday) that too during office hours when luckily I had no work on hand. I consider it grace of SaiBaba.

Vandana Ritik, Delhi

 

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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: LOVE OF HUMANITY IS LOVE OF GOD

Reader’s Reflection
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