Newsletter

N E W S L E T T E R
VOL31, JUNE 2007
Heritage

FROM SHRI C.B. SATPATHY'S MESSAGE 

……“We worship our Sadguru Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi because, even after leaving His human form this great divine soul continues to give us some kind of divine experience and bliss. He came only to give and not to take. If we closely study the life history of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba during his stay at Shirdi for nearly sixty years it will become evident that he continues to give the benefits to His devotees just as he used to do when in Shirdi in a physical form. Devotees of Baba when constructing temples or doing any work in his cause or name should not be proud of their doer¬ship as the faith and strength to carry on such activities are given by Baba only. The relation of the Sadguru with His devotees is not limited to one life but spreads over a number of lives. When a human being gets attracted towards the Sadguru, one thing is sure that he must have accumulated lots of merits in his previous lives. The most important role of the Sadguru lies in his great vision to change the whole world into a family on this earth. Experience has shown that those people who render maximum possible help to others and who have created Sai organizations, are the best recipients of Baba's blessings, if they have done so without seeking any returns.

Shri Das Guru Maharaj spread the name of Shri Sai all over India, Kaka Saheb Dixit contributed his best in forming the Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan as it is known today and brought harmony among people through the Sai Leela magazine, which he started. Shyama used to take part in functions arranged by many organizations/individuals on behalf of Baba, Mhalsapati and Tatya Kote Patel rendered immense service to Baba being with Him always, and Shri Anna Saheb Dabholkar, spread the name of Baba throughout the globe through his magnificent creation called “Shri Sai Satcharitra”. The Sai devotees take the names of these people today, notwithstanding the fact that some of them did not have any formal education or degree. But those unfortunate souls who even when working in Baba's temple and getting the blessings of Baba are not able to clear the mental cobwebs of negative thinking surely create differences among the devotees and disturb the pious vibrations in the temples. Some of them are more demonstrative in their Bhakti to impress others while nourishing ill feelings towards them. They will get inner happiness only if they correctly follow the path of Baba as reflected in “Shri Sai Satcharitra”.

I may advise that people should focus their thoughts on Baba and His sayings as depicted in “Shri Sai Satcharitra” instead of running around here and there in search of God or for the evolution of their soul. Under all conditions of happiness and unhappiness they should always remember and depend on Baba as advised by Him. If they continue to do so with faith and concentration, slowly the deeper inner knowledge about Baba will be revealed and they will receive the divine experiences. Only then their contribution to the human welfare will be distinctive and others will learn from them. A candle will light many other candles.”…….

 

FROM "LIFE OF SAI BABA" BY NARASIMHA SWAMI

NAMASMARANA   

……“Naamno asti yaavati scaktih paapa nirharane hareh
Taavat kartum nascaknoti paatakam paataki janah

This means, "No sinner can commit so many or so heinous sins as to make it impossible for God’s name to redeem him." It is folly and ignorance of a highly self-destructive sort on the part of a sinner to limit the power of God to redeem him. Hence neither Sai nor Chaitanya despaired of redeeming desperate characters. Just as Chaitanya drew Madho and Jagai from the depths of an almost bottomless pit to the heights of saintliness, so Baba has done in the case of Das Ganu.

The words used in the first stanza above quoted show the power of God’s name. It is just as well to point out that practically God's name and God are not different. The name has a power because it is God’s name. If it is the name of the devil or any other person, it would not have such power. But the name is so closely intertwined with the object that even philosophers confound the two. There is a school of nominalist philosophers who say that everything is only name and that there is nothing beyond. Commonsense rebels against this view and most people join the conceptualist or realist school saying that objects exist apart from names and we have a conception of an object to which name is applied as a handle. No doubt the cleverness of songsters and poets makes them attach undue importance to the bare fact of the name as in the following stanza:

Ninyaako ranga ninhang yako
Nee naama bala ondu iddare sako

This means, ‘O, Ranga (or God), what is the use of your prowess or anything else except your name? The power of your name is sufficient’. The songster begins to instance the cases of Draupadi, Gajendra, Ajamila, etc., to prove that the name was sufficient in all these cases to save them and that God himself was not wanted for the purpose of saving. This is obviously absurd in the case of Draupadi and Gajendra where God himself took action or appeared and saved the devotees. Only in the case of Ajamila, there is some degree of justification for the poetic flair, and perhaps some basis for it in the Bhagavata stanza which runs as follows:

Etavata alam agha nirharanaya pumsam
sankritanam bhagavato gunakarma namnam
Aakruscya putram aghavan yat Ajamilo api
Naarayana iti Mriyamanaiyaya muktim.

This means. ‘To wipe off sins of men, it is enough if they go on with sankirtanam, that is, good singing or recital of God's gunas, (qualities), karma (deeds), and nama (names). (For example) Ajamila, though a great sinner, by barely calling out the name of his child Narayana at the moment of death obtained mukti. This seems a basis for saying that the bare utterance of God’s name, even though the utterance was only of the name of the child bearing God’s name, at the moment of death, would have the effect of saving a man.”……

ARTICLE

THE MAGIC OF SURRENDER

During the course of life each one of us passes through phases of joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, victory and defeat, and ups and downs of various kinds. While most of us get agitated by the so-called negative phases, an enlightened man lives in wisdom. He is not agitated by grief nor does he hanker after pleasure. Such a man lives free from lust, fear and anger.

Most of us manage to get what we want, but we are always greedy for more. As Mahatma Gandhi once said - this planet has enough for every one's need but not enough for a single person's greed. In our desire for money, name, fame, power, possession and riches, we become manipulative and vicious as we try to keep others away from what we have obtained.

When we keep thinking about sense objects, attachment comes. This attachment breeds desire and the lust for possessions, which when thwarted, burns and becomes anger. Anger clouds the judgement and we make mistakes. We can no longer learn from past mistakes. As a result of this we lose the power to choose between wise and unwise and under such circumstances we make no progress on the spiritual path. Life becomes an utter waste.

The mind is without doubt unsteady and difficult to curb. But it can be controlled through practice. When we surrender completely at our Sadguru’s feet we are in a state of yoga. Yoga is difficult unless the mind is under control and is ceaselessly striving. This can be attained through practice.

If we cannot meditate we cannot be at peace. When we know no peace how can we have joy? When we let our mind heed the call of senses they will carry away our judgement as a storm drives a boat away from its safe chartered course to certain doom. We must use all our powers to set the senses free from attachment and aversion alike and live in the full wisdom of self.

A drop of water on a hot plate takes a little time to disappear. It makes some noise and evaporates. Gratitude in our life seems to disappear even faster. We seem to forget how much we have grown, how much we have received. The mind seeks more and more. And in every wanting of more and more, it forgets the past very easily. So today we cannot say that no one is grateful. Everyone is grateful but for the moment and then it is over. But GRACE is that gratitude which remains all the time. It is like the snow in the Himalayas that always stays.

Lord Shri Krishna in Shrimad Bhagwat Gita describes to Arjuna the behaviour of an enlightened man. Such a man is not fettered by selfish attachments, he is not elated by good fortune or depressed by bad. Such a man is a seer. He is like a tortoise who draws in his limbs at will. An illumined man too draws his senses within at will. He can go and live anywhere even in the midst of any agitation. When the situation is serious he just says "withdraw" and the gates of the senses are closed. That man is unshaken and firmly established in Sadguru's feet. Gradually on the path of bhakti, the Sadguru helps the aspirant to quiet the senses and the mind.

When we take up yoga and wish to concentrate on the divine, the ordinary motives of the vital being are replaced by the spiritual motive, which then enables the sadhak to work with the same force as before, no longer for himself but for the divine. Initially there may be difficulties but then the divine power starts working through him and uses his capacity and vital force for its ends.

So we must learn to be the instrument and accept Him as the master. Accept yourself as a divine instrument and obey absolutely. There is no greater pride and glory than to be a perfect instrument of the master. Meditate on Sadguru’s feet for He will take us across the cycle of birth and death. This will deepen our meditation, which will release more and more energy with which we can help others. It will automatically impart us the supreme knowledge, which is nothing but the knowledge of the Self. It will direct us to perform selfless actions.

So there are many paths to reach the supreme and Lord Sri Krishna has described many such paths; but he also says that dearest to me are those who seek me in faith and love as life's eternal goal. They meditate on thy feet and go beyond death to immortality.

Anuradha Mal, Gurgaon

 

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POEM

DEVOTION

The power of Karma,
The soul, which is Dharma,
The knowledge of the omniscient,
Is sufficient to dispel your ignorance,
And entice your mind towards wisdom and devotion,
Devotion, which flows like Ganges,
When there is overwhelming emotion.
The Ganges purifies your thoughts and soul
And you enter the world of devotion.
A world, which is a test of your temptation and determination,
A world where Maya (illusion) lures you,
To forsake your path of righteousness,
It’s a world where only your faith and belief in your Sadguru,
Helps you to steer away from the course of embracing Maya.
The fruit relished in this world is self-realization,
Which may ultimately lead to HIS realization.

Nitesh Shrivastava

 

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TOPIC OF DISCUSSION

DENOUNCING MAYA - NECESSARY OR NOT

"Though I have become a Fakir, have no house or wife, and though leaving off all cares, I have stayed at one place, the inevitable Maya teases Me often. Though I forgot Myself I cannot forget Her. She always envelops Me. This Maya (illusive power) of the Lord (Shri Hari) teases God Brahma and others; then what to speak of a poor Fakir like Me? Those who take refuge in the Lord will be freed from Her clutches with his grace". Baba – Chapter 13, Sai Satcharita.

“Maya”, materialism and family is considered to be a hindrance in the path of spiritualism, or is it really? Let us consider the evil called Maya in light of Baba’s teachings to us through Satcharita. From Satcharita we gather that people initially started going to Baba for fulfillment of their personal needs, such as begetting a child, to solve their financial problems, increase social status, and performing marriage of children, win court cases and relief from health problems. Baba never shunned any of such devotees, in fact He encouraged them to come to Him and He gladly helped them achieve their materialistic needs. Sounds dubious? Well consider why Baba said He never wanted His devotees to fast. A hungry person cannot think of God. Only when the hunger is appeased then a person can concentrate on other aspects in life. In the same way, man is born with a purpose in life; he is endowed with responsibilities towards his family and community. If a person cannot meet his basic needs in life and keep his family clothed and fed and live comfortably, such a man will always be burdened with life’s problems and will not focus on anything other than ways and means to get money to fulfill his family’s daily requirements. In order to fulfill the responsibilities man has to work and earn money and keep his family happy. How can a person who keeps away from money and materialism keep his family happy?

Money materialism and family is not bad, but is essential to fulfill our Dharma, but the strong attachment to these things makes a person get overtaken by the 6 vicious qualities - greed, anger, lust, desire, envy, and egotism. When a man is centered only on money and cannot think of anything else in life other than himself, his status in the society, and endless satisfaction of his desires, then he is said to be enticed with the seductress called Maya. Such a person is blinded by the materialism and money and may not respect or love his parents, god or elders. No amount of money or status can make such people happy. Their world revolves only around money and such people are easy targets to be overtaken by Maya.

Money should be used for executing responsibilities or dharma. Take Baba for example, He collected lots of money, but at the end of the day He was same poor fakir as He distributed money to the people of Shirdi who had responsibilities to fulfill. The Samadhi Mandir, Sathe’s Wada, Dixit Wade are constructed by devotees who were financially well off and staunch devotees of Baba. If it were not for them we would not have had the privilege to visit Shirdi and relive the beautiful days as described in Satcharita. These devotees, Buty, Dixit and Sathe were rich and influential people, but at the same time they were humble and kind. They used their money for betterment of the community after fulfilling their family obligations.

Another thing to consider is that if Baba wanted people to leave off their money, home and family why would He ask Sathe to remarry? Why did He ask impatient Jog, who wanted to renounce everything and be with Him, to wait, as a time would come when Jog would be free and then he can devote his time to Baba? Baba knew Jog’s wife would predecease him and after Jog’s responsibilities were fulfilled then Baba advised him to turn towards spirituality. Shri Satpathyji in his book ‘May I Answer’ also mentions that spiritual progress is faster for a man who despite being entangled in the mundane world and fulfilling his responsibilities towards family, work and society focuses his thoughts towards God.

From the above discussion what I gathered is that Money, Materialism and family itself is not bad, but it is our attachment towards them that creates shackles. We can keep Maya at bay when we are not always focused on materialistic wants but consider it as essential for well being and fulfilling our family and community related duties. And know that God will fulfill our wants and He gives us as much as we can handle and need in our life. One should not be selfish and only look after the needs of his own family, but if there is scope then help others, share things to ease our neighbour’s pain and help him to be happy. Let us focus our thoughts on god who will help us denounce the strong attachment for our surroundings and will keep our coffers filled such that we can lead a comfortable life and fulfill our responsibilities, while progressing spiritually as well.

Sairam

Anitha Kandukuri,Australia

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DEVOTEES' FORUM

Life is an imagination and body is an image, millions are awake for actions, but one in a million for effective intellectual exertion only one in hundreds of millions to a divine life. Shirdi Sai can be counted as one in billions who is a great dispeller of darkness.

Mind is slave to the body. We worship the body. Finally the body wears away. At that time we realise the power of mind. The journey was to discover the self, but we have been cheating ourselves and cheating others, glorifying the self called ego. The death of ego is the birth of divinity. It has no beginning, no end. It is eternal. In our finite body the eternity hid, and mind limited itself to mind body nexus of limited consciousness. We searched the mountains, sea, everywhere, in search of the divine. But where was divine? In the cave shaped heart. The heart is the reality, mind is transience phase, cosmic consciousness is the quest. Shirdi Sai the blessed had realised and made devotees know that he was one in many and many in one, the Best.

Jagannathan Padmanabhan, USA

Please forgive me for not trusting you. I always felt that you never answered my prayers and never helped me or guided me in my life. I was so wrong, I did not realise that you were always with me, watching my every single move and choosing what is best for me in life. The apology letter written to you by Anitha Kandukuri, relates to me as well. I used to think the same way she did, and after reading that letter I was ashamed of myself. How could I not trust you Baba? Thank you for accepting me as your devotee. Please continue to take care of my parents as you know they need you the most now, and do not have anyone to share their problems with. Please keep them happy and be with them always. You are the only hope I have Baba.

Once again, thank you for making me the person I am today.

Soumya Sachin, Californaia

I feel in today's life where everyone is struggling for power and money Sai Satcharitra tells that we should be satisfied with whatever we get. And that is God's wish. No matter how much wealth we acquire we can't be satisfied unless we have internal peace. It all depends on our internal mental condition. A rich person can be dissatisfied and a servant can be joyful and happy. We should be thankful to God every time every minute. Real happiness is internal and that comes from Sai's Ashirwad...

Aarushi Thakur, Toronto

 

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READER'S REFLECTION

Thanking you for sending me wonderful and peaceful messages at the time I and my family are going through hard times. We wish by the Grace of God Sai Baba to remove all the obstacles we are at the moment experiencing. We are great devotees of God Sai Baba and Sai Baba shall manifest in one form or the other to help us.

Manfred, Vimla and Meenakshi Kaiser

I am really grateful to all those who made the magazine Heritage of Shirdi Sai and the website www.heritageofshirdisai.org possible. I have no words to express my feelings that arise when I read the experiences of other devotees. Please do continue to share such experiences with us as it guides us to lead a happy life and reminds us to just think of our Great Baba at all times. SAI RAM

Ashalatha Raja Shekhar, Texas, USA

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NEWS OF SHIRDI SAI ACTIVITIES

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). For other Details call 416-294-4804 or visit http://www.shirdisainath.org/

THE RESOURCE CENTRE

Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan, Canada is pleased to announce the establishment of it's first Resource Centre in Woodbridge, Toronto. All visits are by appointment only. Shri Sai Satcharita is available in all languages. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Friday between 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. Location: Maple Crest Private School - 28 Roytech Rd. Woodbridge, On L4L 8E4 Ph: 905 - 652-6666. For other Details call 416-294-4804 or visit http://www.shirdisainath.org/

 

SHIRDI SAI MANDIR, TORONTO, CANADA

The Shirdi Sai Mandir located at 2721 Markham Road, 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.com/ or send an email to info@theshirdisaimandir.com 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

 

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

 

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
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 Sai Krishna Tridandapani (Secretary) Mobile: (+64) 21 239 7907 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 : SAI'S MESSAGE TO THE CHILDREN

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