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2.  Glory of the Divine Names of Sri Sathya Sai

OM SRI SATHYA SAI BÄBÄYA NAMAH – My humble salutations to Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

The word Sai Baba literally means Sa + Aai (mother) and Baba (father). So Swami is our mother and father. ‘Sa’ means divine, so Sai Baba is our Divine Mother and Father. When a child is young, the foremost duty of the parents is to nurture him, protect him and imbibe values in the child. Today, millions of devotees from all over the world adore Swami as their Divine Parent and Swami takes care of them, in a like manner.

An incident that took place on 4th July 1996, speaks for itself. On this day, while giving a talk on Swami, one student addressed Him as ‘my Saimata’. He further said, “I do not have a mother, but I am blessed with the love of a thousand mothers.”

In the divine discourse that followed, Swami explained this statement. He said, “Do you all know why this student referred to Me as ‘Saimata’? Ten years ago, when this boy and his brother were young children, their mother was brought to Vrindavan on a stretcher. They had arrived from Himachal Pradesh. The mother was seriously ill. I drew the children close to Me and promised her, ‘From now on these children are Mine. Don’t worry.’ The mother was relieved. Later she passed away. Their father rarely comes here. The children have been left under Swami’s care.”

“The children started attending school here. This boy was five years old and was studying in the first standard. One day the lady warden brought him to Me saying, ‘this child is missing his mother terribly. He does not even eat his food and keeps crying all the time.’ I took him to the interview room and materialized a ring for him. I pacified him in many ways. From that moment, he was able to overcome his sorrow. He was joyous.”

This represents just one example. There are millions of people around the world who as His children are being constantly looked after by Swami.

Swami’s love is that of a thousand mothers. But we are unable to comprehend this. So many of us keep feeling, “Swami did not look at us; He did not talk to us!”

Two years ago, a middle-aged gentleman came for Swami’s darshan after his father’s demise. He was sitting in the first row. As Swami came along, this person was overwhelmed with his father’s memories and was unable to control his tears. Swami walked up to him and told him lovingly, ‘Don’t cry. Serve your mother’. And from that moment miraculously his sufferings eased, because the gentleman realized that he was under his Divine Father’s care.

Swami says “Your own parents may love you with some selfish intent but this Divine Saimata and Pita showers compassion on you, only so that you may attain success in your efforts towards Self Realization”.

OM SRI SATHYA SAINATH ARPANAM ASTU

 

OM SRI SAI SATHYA SWAROOPÄYA NAMAH – (2) Salutation to Sri Sai Who is the embodiment of Truth.

The word ‘Sathya’ has three syllables.

Sa – Sâkshatkâr (Self Realization)

Ta – Tapas (Penance)

Ya – Yama (Control of the senses)

The Truth experienced through Self Realization is ‘Sathya’. About ‘Sathya Swaroopa’ Bhagawan Baba says, “This entire universe is a manifestation of Truth. The world cannot exist without it. Each and every thing has emerged out of Sathyam.”

God created everything from Truth. There is no space where it does not exist. Sathya is the one and only sacred embodiment of the ‘Atma.’

All prosperity, all pleasures emerge from Truth. The Vedas, Upanishads and all the sacred scriptures have also emerged out of it. Truth and God are inseparable.

Truth is God. Upanishads also declare, ‘Rasovai Saha!” God is sweetness. This denotes that God pervades everything in a subtle form. Like sugar in sugarcane and butter in milk, He is present everywhere. Although it may be difficult to directly get a vision of the Lord, His existence can be experienced in many ways. The sweetness of sugar, the sourness of a lemon, the bitter taste of the neem, all these give an experience of the existence of divinity. The joy that we derive on seeing a mountain, a waterfall or a forest, is the revelation of God’s existence. The bright sun and the stars, the planets revolving in their orbits are all manifestations of the divine. A flame reveals the nature of fire, a drop of water reveals the river Ganges. In the same way, if one understands man’s true nature, one will be able to realize God.

Although constantly engaged in activity, man is unaware of his true nature. He identifies himself with the body, mind and the senses. He forgets that his true nature, which is ‘Sat’ or ‘Atmaswaroopa’, transcends all these. There are two existing principles in man-‘deha’ or ‘kshetra’ (body) and the indweller ‘Dehi’ or Kshetrajna’ which is the Self (one’s true nature).

There is a story about young Swami when He used to go with His devotees to the banks of the Chitravathi river in the evenings. Once some of the devotees expressed their desire to know Swami’s ‘Sathya Swaroop’ (true nature). At the time of sunset, while walking with the devotees, Swami suddenly disappeared. Everybody started searching for Him, but to no avail. Suddenly they heard a clapping sound from a distance, from a hilltop. When everyone looked in the direction, they saw Swami standing on top of the hill. He asked everyone from there, “Do you want to see the sun?” “Yes!” Everybody replied in unison. How will the sun reappear after sunset? But lo and behold, they could see the ‘Suryanarayana’ (sun) rising behind Sri Sathyanarayana. Its brilliance was so intense, they all started sweating profusely, due to the heat. They shouted, “Swami! It’s too hot.” In an instant the heat started reducing. Then Swami asked, “Do you want to see the moon?” And the full moon started rising behind Him. As the pleasant moonlight started to spread everywhere, the devotees feeling the cold, started shivering. Some of them shouted, “Swami! It’s too cold!” And the cold slowly subsided. 

Then Swami announced in His authoritative tone, “I will show you the third eye now. Watch carefully.” Even as everyone was wondering how the third eye will be, Swami could not be seen. Only His head was seen. It started growing in size to an extent that the entire sky was covered by His head. As everyone was watching this, an opening appeared in the centre of His eyebrows. Fiery sparks and light started gushing out from it. The brilliance increased to a point, when some devotees unable to bear it, fell unconscious and children began to cry. Suddenly, all this phenomena disappeared and everybody saw Swami standing amidst them… Smilingly looking towards them, He asked them all, “What happened? Are you all right?” Then He materialized vibhuti and applied it on everyone’s foreheads. One by one all those who had fallen unconscious, regained consciousness. But all of them felt the vertigo effect for another two days.

While explaining this extraordinary darshan Swami said, “Since you prayed to Me to show you My real nature, I did all this. Because of your prayers of many past births, I have shown you the third eye. I did not show you even a thousandth part of My brilliance. But that too was difficult for you to withstand.”

May Swami bless us all with the capacity to understand His true nature (Sathya Swaroopa). We sincerely pray at His divine lotus feet to grant us the opportunity.

OM SRI SATHYA SAINATH ARPANAM ASTU

 

OM SRI SAI SATHYA DHARMA PARÄYANÄYA NAMAH – (3) Salutation to Sri Sai, who solely adheres to Truth & Righteousness

Dharma = Righteousness

Parâyana = Ultimate Refuge

We bow down to Sri Sai Who is the Ultimate Refuge and can be attained through Self Realization by adhering to Truth and Righteousness. Whenever God has incarnated on earth, He has given utmost importance to adherence to Truth and Righteousness. The Ramayana narrates the various duties of a father, mother, son, brother, wife and king. Lord Ramachandra has set an ideal for us by explicitly following His duties as a son, husband, brother and king.

On many occasions during the Sri Krishna avatar, Bhagawan stressed on the importance of ‘Dharma’ (righteousness / duty). In the Bhagavad Gita He has declared.

Shreyän Swadharmo Vigunah Para Dharmät Swanushtität

Swadharmé Nidhanam Shreyah Para Dharmo Bhayävaha

‘Better one’s own duty, though devoid of merit, than the duty of another well discharged. Better is death in one’s own duty; the duty of another is fraught with fear and generates positive danger.’ (Here Bhagawan relates to ‘Dharma’ as one’s own

duty or righteousness).’

Even while assuring the devotees of His divine protection, Sri Krishna has declared

Sarva Dharmän Parityajya Mämekam Sharanam Vraja

‘Abandoning all dharmas (of the body, mind and intellect) surrender to Me.’ Live My message – is the inner significance of this declaration.

There is one significant story from Sai’s Shirdi Incarnation. Sainath had one peculiar habit. At times, when He talked, He seemed to speak irrelevant things, apparently vague to a common listener, but relevant and meaningful to the one for whom it was intended.

Once when Sainath was sitting in Dwarakamayi and talking to His devotees, an unknown person arrived for His darshan. No sooner did he start stepping up onto the steps of Dwarakamayi, Baba thundered at the top of His voice, “Stop! Don’t climb up.” Such an expression was quite alarming to all present, including the person concerned. Not bothering about Baba’s warning, he continued climbing the steps of Dwarakamayi. Baba then flew into a rage. His face and eyes turning red with anger, He shouted “Stop there! Don’t you dare climb up. Haven’t you sold your father?” Hearing this, the intruder felt ashamed. He hung his head and left. None were able to understand the significance of this statement. On enquiry, it was revealed that he had recently changed his religion. No one was aware of this. But can anything be hidden from the Omniscient Sai? All religions teach the same principle of love, so why did he need to change his religion? He could have fulfilled his duties by remaining true to the religion of his birth. Sainath did not approve of this and so, showed His displeasure.

In the present Sathya Sai avataar , Swami tells us, “My life is My message.” At the age of ten, He told Easwaramma, “I have been born to serve.” His task of upliftment of humanity is ongoing. Swami says, “To follow religion is an eternal law. If one stops abiding by his religion, there will be chaos in the world.”

In the Gita, Sri Krishna has declared.

Yé Tu Dhammärmrutam Idam Yathoktam Paryupäsaté

Shraddhadhänä Mat Paramä Bhaktästa Ateeva Mé Priyah

“They indeed, who follow this ‘Immortal Dharma’ (Law of life) as described above, endowed with faith, regarding Me as their supreme Goal – such devotees are exceedingly dear to me.”

Today, those devotees who practise righteous conduct religiously, are very dear to Sai Krishna.

OM SRI SATHYA SAINATH ARPANAM ASTU

 

OM SRI SAI VARADÄYA NAMAH – (4) Salutation to Sri Sai, who is the giver of boons.

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In every incarnation of His, Bhagawan has been granting rewards to devotees who undertake arduous sadhana. God grants His blessings in many ways, to those who love Him.

In His Shirdi Sai incarnation He used to say, “In the beginning, I give all My devotees whatever they ask for. I grant them so much that ultimately they ask for what I wish to bestow on them.”

 

This is a unique incident, which reveals Sri Sai’s extraordinary ways of granting boons. A lot of devotees used to throng the Dwarakamayi for Sainath’s darshan. In those days, persons like Mhalsapati, Madhavrao Deshpande alias Shama, Tatya Kote Patil used to assemble around Sai.

 

One day, one gentleman and his family came to Dwarakamayi for Sai’s darshan. When this gentleman’s son put his head on Sainath’s feet, Sainath made him sit next to Him very lovingly and casting a loving glance towards the boy, He said, “Diya!” (meaning thereby-given). The expression sounded strange to the boy’s father and all present, except Shama who at once asked the boy to say, “Liya!” (meaning thereby – I accept). Immediately the boy said to Sainath, “Liya.”

 

Sainath smiled happily. The next moment, He took off His robe (kafni) and put it on that boy. At that time, this gesture of Baba’s was beyond anybody’s understanding.

A few years passed by. Sainath took samadhi on Dassera (Vijayadashami) i.e. 15th October 1918. The young boy grew up and studied to become a doctor. The Sai Sansthan was established at Shirdi. The same boy was appointed as the first President of Shirdi Sai Sansthan. His name was Dr. Gawankar and Sainath had blessed him with the honourable robe long back! As Shirdi Sai’s well-known words say,

“Know that everyone will receive help here. Whatever anyone may ask, he will receive it.”

 

We all know that Sai’s second incarnation is Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in the form of Shiv-Shakti. Shiva had once granted a boon to Maharshi Bharadwaj that He would take birth thrice in his lineage. Devi Sathyabhama had given an indication to Sri Kondamma Raju, Baba’s grandfather, of the advent of Sri Krishna. Sri Venkavdhoot, a yogi, had also given a hint to Kondamma Raju, about the birth of a Divine Being in their family, quite early on. Swami’s mother Easwaramma saw a divine flash of light entering her womb before Swami’s birth. All these were God’s boons.

 

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba says, “When you come to Me and see Me for the first time, you may feel shy. But I know you since a very long time. So, whatever you want to ask of Me, ask without any reservations. Do you feel awkward when asking something from your father? Ask Me in the same manner.” Swami also says, “I am an invaluable diamond with many facets; so, don’t use Me as a paperweight.” The inner significance of this is, ‘When I have come to give you the highest treasure, why ask for petty things?’

When Swami grants boons to His devotees and gives with His innumerable hands, how much can one receive with just two hands?

OM SRI SATHYA SAINATH ARPANAM ASTU

 

With pranams at the lotus feet of our dear Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai baba, 

Devotional Wing, SSSGC USA

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4.  Seniors Corner

Seniors group :

  1. PRAYER BRACELET PROJECT FOR THE PATIENTS AT WAKEMED HOSPITAL:   This project was initiated by senior members of the Raleigh Sai Center, in collaboration with the Senior Club of Hindu Society of North Carolina (HSNC) and the members of Raleigh Sai Center. Bracelets are made with 18 crystal glass beads and filler beads for men and women. Members recite Gayatri Mantra or similar prayer based on their religious background 108 times with each glass bead. Bracelets are put in small cloth bags (stitched by the members) along with a printed message from the WakeMed Hospital. These bracelets are given to the interested patients by the hospital volunteers. Each month hospital volunteers are requesting 30-40 bracelets. Patients are very much appreciative of having the prayer bracelets during their convalescence. Photo of a bracelet offering can be seen below:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/177CLfNxjNoLJKkdD8RW9q0EuVvV1985t/view?usp=share_link

 2. RSC  Seniors Group is planning to make the Vibuthi Packets for distribution during  Aradhana Day, Easwaramma Day, Guru Poornima and Swami’s birthday celebrations. Our Senior Group is doing this as a spiritual sadhana of writing “Aum Sri Sairam” on one side of the paper and then cut the paper into four parts, include vibuthi in the unwritten side and fold the paper to make vibuthi packets for distribution. 

3. Some members of the Senior Group are meeting virtually on Thursday afternoons at 3:00 pm to discuss the application of Swami’s messages in their everyday lives. If you are interested in participating in the virtual meetings or to participate in seva activities with senior’s, please email:   seniors@raleighsaicenter.org
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6.  KEY ANNOUNCEMENT(S)
A) Service activities :
1) In-person Breakfast service – Saturday June 15th at 4:30 am:   
Our monthly in-person breakfast service to support Raleigh Men’s shelter is scheduled on Saturday June 15th at 4:30am to prepare and serve breakfast at the shelter. You can also signup for ingredients and drop off at 719 McRae Rd, Cary by 7pm on Friday June 14th. Please use the signup sheet below to participate in the breakfast service. 
Signup for in-person breakfast service – Saturday June 15th 4:30am
2) In-person Dinner service – Sunday June 15th at 2:30pm: 
Our monthly in-person dinner service to support Raleigh Men’s shelter is scheduled on Saturday June 15th at 2:30 pm to prepare and serve dinner at the shelter. There is an option to signup for both cooking and serving. You can also signup for ingredients and drop off at 719 McRae Rd, Cary by 7pm on Friday June 14th. Please use the signup sheet below to participate in the in-person dinner service. 
Signup for in-person dinner service – Saturday June 15th at 2:30pm
B) Sai Samarpan – Please note Sai samarpan is available, click Sai samarpan
C) Sunday, Jun 16th at HSNC:
Room 7:  2:45 PM to 3:15 PM – Vedam class 
Rooms 3,4,5,6:
  3:30 PM – Setup  
  4:30 PM – 6:15 PM –  Study circle ‘Meditation’ by Bro. Gurumani
  5:00 PM – 6:15 PM – Sai Premam Bhajans , Arati and Closing Prayers 
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