Newsletter

N E W S L E T T E R
VOL9, SEPTEMBER 2006

FROM SHRI C.B. SATPATHY'S MESSAGE 

……“When tomorrow will be a fact, yesterday will become a fiction. Such is the game of illusion that facts become fiction, and fiction becomes fact. With physical death, the fact of life ends for most of us, where as, the fiction continues for some generations. The entire endeavour of the spiritual seekers is to be in a continuous state of fact (truth and dharma) and get redeemed from the fictions (illusion or maya). But, we think before we begin the New Year whether we are putting in adequate effort for getting rid of fictions, illusions.

Experiences show that intellectual endeavours, howsoever potent and mighty they may seem, have not catapulted or thrown or raised any human being to spiritual heights. History shows that the highest spiritual masters are those who were uneducated in formal sense. For example Ramakrishna Parmahans, Sri Shirdi Sai, Namdeva, Tukaram, Paltu Maharaj etc. It obviously means that there is something self-limited in the intellectualism, in the path of spiritual progress. All that the spiritual masters learnt in their life and spread among others is ‘bhakti’ or devotion. ‘Bhakti’ means love of God. Since God is not sitting on a throne like an individual, therefore, how to love Him. The answer is that God is in everyone, and if one has the capacity to love others, he is doing real bhakti. Even doing all the worship, yoga, pranayaam or breath control etc. for one's own improvement is not ‘bhakti’. It is an activity for fulfilling spiritual/occult ambition like any other ambition.”…….


FROM "LIFE OF SAI BABA" BY NARASIMHA SWAMI   

……“Prayer saves. But what are prayers but thoughts? Many a person fancies that he must put forward a definite demand in prayer to the ‘highest’ powers and get it granted by force of prayer. There is some truth in this mixed up with much error and confusion. What comes often after prayer and is supposed to be the result of prayer is very often something fixed up by a higher power which, as part of its plan, produces the thought of prayer first. Prayer often proves to be the immediate predecessor, but not the efficient and direct cause of the result. ‘Post hoc, ergo propter hoc’ (i.e. ‘after that; therefore due to that’) is what we frequently say and believe. Many a man says ‘I prayed; I got it. So it is prayer that got it’. But this is neither logically nor theologically sound. The fact is that prayer is a means of placing one in contact with higher beneficent powers and there it serves its primary purpose. Incidentally when a devout soul is deeply concentrating on God, what happens is that the soul gets so thoroughly saturated with the divine that divine power infiltrates into the Jiva and the combined power or the higher power (both are the same, despite difference in names) produces certain results. It is the man of prayer that draws down divinity, i.e. turns divine at the moment of intense prayer and is responsible for certain results (Etad hyeva aksharam jnaatwa yo yad ichchati tasya tat¬ Khat, i.e. Having realised the Imperishable, if one has desire, that is fulfilled, even when the results have not been previously fixed up, as the result of previous karma. Anyhow, Chandorkar’s thought and longing constituted a good prayer on account of its earnest faith and contact with Supreme Power and Mercy.

It is always good to pray, because it brings one in contact with God. The prayer, however, that is found most common in society is occasional prayer for a definite material object, and there it stops. It is always advisable to avoid the commercial spirit when dealing with God. We should not bargain with God. Nor should we say, ‘I will pray to you only for such and such an object being gained’. The thought of God purifies the soul, and the purified soul gets power to draw God more and more into it. The commercialised soul, if too much oppressed with the contemplation of the worldly benefit is handicapping itself and preventing its purification, that is, saturation with God idea (purity means having God-idea and impurity is lack of God or God ¬idea). The very idea of material objects may so obsess a mind as practically to obliterate the thought of God. God then becomes only a secondary consideration, a sort of side element, a weak coloration when the main object before the mind’s eye is worldly gain. Such approaches are deplorable, however attractive the object to be gained by prayer may be. One ought to have prayer without concentrating too much on worldly gains. Concentration on God alone is purity. Purity means power, and when a soul is thoroughly pure, and then the objects entertained in the mind of the prayerful soul some time previously, that is even before the prayer began, remain in the subconscious, i.e. at the back of the praying party’s mind and may come to fruition by the power of the purified and strengthened soul. This is an incidental benefit, which ought not to turn the scales when one considers how he should pray. Prayer is primarily and essentially only an affair of the soul with God. All intervention of outside objects is an interference with the soul’s concentration on God. Prayer must be purified by very keen practice, i.e., it must be shorn of all undesirable gross elements just as we keep off the floating moss repeatedly when we bathe in a tank. In cases where however one is in dire extremity and prayer comes out from him for a much needed object, in spite of oneself, as was the case with Chandorkar on the Harischandra hill, then prayer cannot be condemned at all. Prayer is the natural vent for the heart. We leap out at what we want on the wings of prayer. It is God Himself that has implanted this tendency to seek God’s help to attain objects of great importance to one’s material or spiritual life and each time we so seek, we should stress in our mind that God is our first and final object and that other objects form a temporary and partial diversion or screen. ”……

 


DEVOTEE'S EXPERIENCE

HOW SAI BABA CAME INTO MY LIFE

Although I don't consider my story to be particularly valuable, I have been invited to share it with other Sai devotees so here goes.

I just turned 57. Sai Baba came into my life around the time I turned 20 years old. At that time I lived just south of San Francisco. Since the year was 1967 and I was in college I was probably what you would call your typical hippie. I had been introduced to "eastern" thought and meditation through Maharishi and was meditating with his "transcendental meditation” technique. I had my mantra.

I worked in downtown San Francisco part time while I went to college. A record store on the same block as my employment started carrying pictures from India. I bought four of them for $1.00. One was of Laxmi, two I don't remember and one was of this fellow sitting on a rock, his name was in Hindi and I couldn't read it. I mounted the four pictures on four pieces of cardboard and put them on my dresser with candles and incense burning and that is where I did my meditation. The fellow on the rock I referred to as the "guru". After a couple of weeks of doing this I found a book called “The Incredible Sai Baba” by Arthur Osbourne. Now I had a name for my "guru". I also found out about his life and that he had died almost 50 years earlier (this was 1967). I devoured the book more than once. I still have it. In the front it makes reference to the books by Swami B.V. Narasimhaswami published by the All India Sai Samaj at Madras. I was hungry for more information on Sai Baba so I wrote to the only address that I had: All India Sai Samaj, Madras, India. It is a bit amazing that with this brief and rather incomplete address it arrived at its destination. I got a letter back and a list of books that were available. I believe that I spent $7 and got Life of Sai Baba, Charters and Sayings, Devotees Experiences and many other books. They must have taken a month to arrive, but I got them.

I am not Indian and had never been to India, let alone Shirdi. At this point my only connection with India, Shirdi, and Sai Baba was through the All India Sai Samaj. I was so excited when I heard that Sai Baba was alive - having returned. I heard of a record producer in Los Angeles that knew of it so I wrote to him and found out about Satya Sai Baba. Something told me that I had to beware so I wrote to the All India Sai Samaj and got back a very long single spaced typewritten letter. It explained that God might incarnate as Rama, he might then incarnate as Krsna and he might incarnate as others like Sai Baba. God incarnates, he doesn't reincarnate i.e .Krsna didn't come back. This was enough for me.

Unfortunately for me, not being in India, I don't have a Sai Baba temple here to go to. I heard of a house in the same town that I live in that had bhajans on Thursday nights. The first time I went of course they wanted to know why I was there. Once I explained this, I was accepted as part of the group. Unfortunately, for me, their devotion of Sai Baba included both and I am sorry but Shirdi Sai is the one for me and no others.

I have a shrine on a dresser in my bedroom with a number of statues of Sai Baba and pictures. There may not be a large group of people here but I see him and think of him often during the day.

I do not believe that anything happens by accident. Especially important things like this. I firmly believe that Sai Baba called to me more than 35 years ago. I am sure he calls many people. Those who have ears to hear his call and to listen to his words are the lucky ones. I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I heard his call and listened.

His picture is posted in my car and occasionally friends will ask about that "guy in the turban". I patiently explain that he is my guru who died many years ago. Whether they believe me or not, I don't know, nor do I care. I know the truth. Om Sai

Cody D. Grundy

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POEM 

MAKE ME FREE

Baba, with kafni, a cap, and a sparkling face looked so fine,
He came to Shirdi with a purpose which was so very divine.
Jealous I am of the land, the soil and the grass of Shirdi,
Which were blessed by kissing the Feet of a Sadguru so divine.

The power of the Fakir to many, was not really known;
Till with water He lit the daily lamps, which brightly shone.
A flower garden He did water daily with tender loving care,
Symbolic of the brotherly love He wanted to share.

A chillim passed around was blessed by the touch of His lip,
But the people of Shirdi were more fortunate to be in His grip.
Oh, so envious am I hearing about those wonderful days,
But I am sure those days will return if everyone prays.

I now do look with anticipation under every neem tree,
Hoping to find Baba with a cap, a kafni and
a sparkling face to make me free.

Kumar

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DEVOTEES' FORUM

SAI BABA ALWAYS ANSWERS MY PRAYERS

I want to share some of my experiences since I started praying to Sai Baba. Sai Baba is my father. Ever since I started praying to Baba I have received whatever I have asked for and Baba has always blessed me and is with me whenever I am in need of help. It is only through Baba’s help that I was able to convince my parents to allow me to marry the person I loved and now through Baba’s blessing I have got a job in a very good company. Recently I prayed to Baba and asked for something. We had put flower on Sai Baba’s photo. I prayed to Baba that before we remove the flower he should give that to me as prasad and Baba did that. I am very thankful to Baba for helping me every time. Baba helps me whenever I say SAI.

Shreya Nag

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READER'S REFLECTION

“I wait for Sai Heritage every Quarter. I look forward to Guruji’s message. This time I devoured every word of Sai Prabha and I do not think I have patience to wait for the next one. I like the quality of the paper, print, style and contents of the magazine. My favourite is the write up and photographs of events in different temples and works. It takes me to those places when I see that section.


I think the Magazine is just right though I like to see more articles about Baba, but that again is subject to your financial feasibility. I personally think the magazine should be as you are doing now and different from what you have on the Website. This whets people’s curiosity to read the magazine. Keep up the good work. I look forward to it always. Congratulations to you and Sai Heritage team for the wonderful service to the whole community.

I like this edition’s cover page. It is fantastic with the colour combinations and the picture.”

Anitha Kandukuri
Canberra, Australia

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NEWS OF SHIRDI SAI ACTIVITIES   

Ek Shaam Shri Sai kay Naam

Ek Shaam Shri Sai kay naam (An evening with Shirdi Sai Baba) is a collection of programs coordinated by Shirdi Sai Baba Sanstha, Chicago and performed by Pt. Ajitkumar Kadkade a renowned classical and devotional singer.

Pt. Ajitkumar Kadkade will be performing in various parts of North America during a tour spanning over 2 months.

For events details please click here.

Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan, Canada

Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan, Canada holds Satsang on Thursdays and third Sunday of every month at Gur Mandir, 207 Queen’s Plate, Toronto (Etobicoke). Introducing "Character and Moral Values"- a unique 4 Week Summer Program for children of all ages. The guiding principle of the program is "Shraddha" & "Saburi" with its curriculum based on the Teachings of our Sadguru Shri Shirdi Sai Nath. For details of registration or other activities and the Resource Centre please visit www.shirdisainath.org

Shirdi Sai parivar in Vancouver holds Satsang on Thursday and first Sunday of every month at 8571, 118A St, Delta, V4C 6L2. Continuing the tradition of “Feeding the Hungry and Homeless, the parivar organizes Charitable food donations on the 2nd Saturday of every month. For details and other activities please visit www.shirdisainath.org

 

Shirdi Sai Baba Murthi Pratishta Mahotsav

Shirdi Sai Mandir, Toronto, Canada

Friday Sep 29, 2006 - Monday Oct 2, 2006
Devotees are invited to attend and participate in Shirdi Sai Baba Murthi Pratishta Mahotsav during the auspicious days of Navratri from Friday, Sep 29 until Monday, Oct 2 - Vijaya Dashami, Baba's Maha Samadhi day. Pranapratistha ceremonies will be conducted on Shirdi Sai Baba's life-like Murthi across four days to the accompaniment of sacred Vedic rites, Bhajans, Naam Sankirtan and Satcharita Prayan. Garba, Dandia and other cultural activities are also planned during all days of Mahotsav. Please mark your calendars and do not miss this rare opportunity to receive Baba's Grace and be immersed in Divine Bliss. For details please visit www.theshirdisaimandir.com/ or send an email to info@theshirdisaimandir.com or call 647-444-4724.


Persatuan Shirdi Sai Baba Selangor, Malaysia

I belong to the Shirdi Sai Group (registered as Persatuan Shirdi Sai Baba, Selangor), Malaysia. Sai Ram everybody. This to inform the Baba devotees in Malaysia and Singapore that every Thursday we conduct prayers in the morning at 9.00 am and bhajans and satsang in the evenings 7.30 pm onwards. Anyone who is interested in joining us may please contact SP Kannan at 012-2739486; or Usha at 012-2392911; or Res: 03-33717540. Also if you come across any Malaysian devotees, please direct them to us. Thank you and Sai Ram.

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