Om Sai Mandir’s Service Programs are Free and Accessible to Everyone Irrespective of their Religious Background or Other Beliefs
Love All, Serve All! This is the message Baba has taught us to live by. Sai Baba did not preach any religion. Instead, He embraced every religion, every belief as a pathway to one truth. As such, he did not establish a religious order. Instead, He taught us to love everyone and serve everyone. Love is our religion, service of others is our fundamental duty, and acceptance of each and every person as our universal brethren is our sacred belief.
Om Sai Mandir, though established for religious purposes, does not discriminate against anyone wishing to gain benefit of its service programs. Anyone, from any religion, can come to the mandir and seek assistance and benefit from the following SEVA programs:
1. Free Food Distribution
Daily at 8.30 AM, 12.30 PM, 6.30 PM, and 8.30 PM, food is distributed at no cost to anyone who wishes to obtain a hot meal. The service is free, open to everyone, and no registration is required. Simply walk in and ask for a meal after the arti every day.
2. Free Career Guidance and Resume Writing Assistance
Stuck in your career? Looking for a job? Need help with your resume? Walk in at the temple and schedule an appointment for free career coaching and resume writing assistance. The program is open to everyone and no fees are accepted for the service.
3. Free Immigration Assistance
If you are an immigrant, the complex maze of immigration services may appear daunting but fear not. We are here to help. An attorney will guide you through the various immigration options at no cost to you other than what the government charges (paid directly to the government) but the legal assistance is free.
4. Free Notary Services
Need a document notarized? Come over to Om Sai Mandir and we will notarize the document at no charge.
5. Government Benefits
Need to apply for food stamp assistance? Rental vouchers? Medicaid? If you qualify for these benefits, we will explain the various options available to you and assist you with filling out applications. The guidance and services are free.
6. Free Education in Human Values
The basic human values–truth, love, peace, non-violence, etc. are a part of every civilized society. Human values are not constrained by race, religion, or belief but are universal and we offer free education in human values programs for children up to 16 years. Adults may participate in these programs as well.
Perhaps, the first temple in the world dedicated to the two most recent avatars of Lord Sai, Om Sai Mandir is a unique and divinely-inspired temple of the Lord where individuals from all faiths and beliefs gather to worship the Supreme Lord Sai. Om Sai Mandir or Flushing Sai Baba Temple, as it is commonly known, was established in Flushing, Queens, New York (NY) in 2003 with the singular purpose of serving Sai devotees in a spirit of unity, love, and selflessness. Since its inception, the temple has remained open for devotees seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Temple Timings, Address, and Daily Schedule and Activities
Om Sai Mandir, 4511 Smart Street, Flushing, NY 11355, Phone: 1.718.461.0454
The temple is open daily from 8 AM to 9 PM. Please do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions.
Daily Schedule and Activities
Our daily schedule includes four aratis (Kakad Arati – 8 AM, Madhyana Arti – 12 PM, Dhoop Arati – 6 PM, and Shej Arati – 8 PM) just as they are observed in Shirdi. Additionally, Sathya Sai Baba’s arati is performed twice every day. In the morning after Kakad Arati and in the afternoon after Madhyan Arati.
Additionally, Rudra Abhishekam and Sarva Devata Abhishekam is performed at 9 AM daily. Vedic prayers such as Rudram, Sri Suktam, Durga Suktam, and Purusha Suktam are chanted during the abhishekam. Hanuman Chalisa is chanted 108 times every Saturday and Maha Mrityunjaya Jap is performed 1008 times every Monday. Sai Naam Jap is chanted every Sunday (1008 times). Vishnu Sahasranam and Lalitha Sahasranam are chanted daily as well.
Apart from the intense prayer schedule, the temple participates in numerous programs and activities focused on teaching bhajans to the children, serving the elderly (senior citizens), feeding the poor (annadanam), and various other service projects that are taken from time-to-time. Individuals with reading difficulties and language problems are provided translation services and assistance with filling various forms.
If you are on Facebook, Google, Twitter or other social media sites, please do like us and join us. We host daily satsanghs and provide a wealth of information on Baba’s teachings, sayings, stories, and messages.
Thousands of individuals visit Sai mandir, Sai Baba temple in Flushing, every single year, including devotees from all five boroughs (Queens, Long Island, Staten Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Bronx) and also from states outside of New York, including far-off states. The visitors come not only from the tristate area, but also from various countries. The mandir is fortunate to have a following from practically all continents in the world. It is Shirdi Sai Baba and Shree Sathya Sai Baba’s divine presence and grace that attracts everyone, no matter how far the distance. In fact, we have had several devotees who said that they just felt drawn to the temple. Some claimed to have been directed by none other than Sai either through dreams or through friends and well-wishers.
Followers of Saibaba know that He has emphatically declared in the Sai Satcharita that I draw my followers to Me, just as sparrows are drawn with a string tied to their feet. We, at Baba’s temple, have been fortunate enough to witness these words in action and can confirm that Baba does indeed carry out His work Himself, without the need for any agency or instrument. It is Swami’s supreme will that accomplishes the welfare of his followers the world over.
Directions to Om Sai Mandir
Driving Directions and Route from Manhattan (New York City)
Drive to Long Island Expressway, LIE, (I-495 East) and take Exit 24 (Kissena Boulevard). Once you take the exit, make a left into Kissena and drive north for about one mile and then turn right into 45th Avenue. Keep going for about four blocks and make a right into Smart Street. We are the second building on your left.
Route from Long Island
Om Sai Mandir is just as easily accessible from Long Island. Again take I-495 West and get off at Exit 24 (Kissena Blvd). Turn right into Kissena and go north for about a mile. Turn right into 45th Avenue and drive for about four blocks. Turn into Smart Street and drive to 45-11 Smart Street.
For out-of-state devotees, you can reach LIE through all major highways, including The Belt Parkway, Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE), Grand Central, and others. Once on Long Island Expressway, follow the directions provided above to reach Saibaba Temple in Flushing.
You can also use public transportation, which provides frequent service in the vicinity of the mandir. For directions through public transportation, kindly visit our directions page.
Brief History and Structure
Our founders, Dr. Gangadhar Rao Chalasani and his wife, felt a strong need to have a place of worship that would be dedicated to followers of both Shirdi Sai Baba and Sathya Sai Baba. Given the fact that the Sai movement is growing manifold, it was necessary to have a common ground so followers of Baba could learn about the teachings of both Sai avatars in one place. Our founders started the temple (as a non-profit organization) without much fanfare and in the simplest manner. As such, the institution is a product of love, dedication, and sacrifice for which we remain eternally grateful to the founders, who have decided to shun any form of limelight from the very beginning of the organization’s journey.
What is most unique about the institution is the fact that all of its programs and activities are coordinated by a dedicated group of volunteers, who serve at the temple seven days a week. This taskforce of tireless, young Sai-lovers form the very core of the strength and their presence ensures that all of the temple’s resources are allocated exclusively for the functioning of the temple and its various programs and not a single cent is spent on manpower.
The organizational structure is one of love and humility. Every person who serves here works without the lure for titles and accolades. Sai is everything from the head of the mandir to the one who orchestrates the entire show. The volunteers and the founders prefer to serve as humble instruments, nay servants, of the Lord and exist for the sole purpose of selfless service.
Blessings of Baba, Sages, and Saints
Since its inception, many saints of the highest order (such as Shree Vishvayogi Viswamjee, Shree Bhawati Siddhar, and others) have visited the temple and showered their blessings on devotees. Each one of them has unequivocally attested to the fact that they could feel Baba’s divine presence at the mandir in abundance. In fact, the temple’s inception was entirely coordinated by the Lord Himself and we will post these experiences on our blog shortly.
Miracles of Baba at the Mandir
Baba performed the most inexplicable miracles in both Shirdi and Sathya Sai avatars. He never placed much importance on the miracles, though, and performed them for the sole purpose of benefiting devotees. Baba has performed countless miracles at Om Sai Mandir as well. Many of these are not shared due to respect for the concerned devotees’ privacy, but we were fortunate enough to record some of the miracles on video and the same can be viewed on our YouTube channel. You can also read about Baba’s honey miracle that occurred recently. Baba has also cured many devotees of various ailments (including cancer, Glaucoma, and others) and has benefited them in more ways than we can humanly describe.
We do not crave for miracles, but when Swami does perform them, we feel overjoyed, grateful, and reassured of His constant divine presence. Our attitude toward these miracles is that of a witness filled with reverence, gratitude, and awe. Only Sai is the doer, not us.
Newsletter, Outreach, and Information about Sai
It is imperative that our beloved Lord’s teachings and stories be preserved for future generations and it is our humble endeavor to share His teachings (again as an instrument) through the temple’s newsletter, blog, and various one-on-one and group-based educational interactions. The past newsletters can be viewed here and to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, please visit the subscribe page.
The mandir’s blog has many informative articles and can be accessed through any Internet-enabled device. Furthermore, extensive information is posted on a daily basis through our various social media outreach initiatives on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and YouTube. Be sure to like us on your favorite social media channels.
Information for Out-of-State Devotees
If you are visiting New York (NYC) for the purpose of having darshan at Om Sai Mandir, there are plenty of amenities in the close proximity of the mandir. In addition to the prasad served at the temple, there are plenty of restaurants and fast food joints in the close vicinity of the temple. From the Ganesh Temple’s canteen to other fast food and fine dining establishments (and we have a variety, from Chinese to Italian and everything in between), food is never a problem in Flushing. If you need to make living arrangements during your stay in New York, the Flushing YMCA offers reasonably-priced accommodations. There are also many hotels and motels in the area, should you desire to follow that route. We are not affiliated with any of these organizations, so devotees should perform their own diligence before narrowing down their lodging and eating arrangements.
Rest assured, we are just a phone call or e-mail away, so please do not hesitate to call the temple if you have any questions.
Facebook recently made significant changes that allow you to prioritize the newsfeeds you see first. In order to ensure you see Om Sai Mandir’s posts regularly, please like/share/comment on the posts regularly. Additionally, kindly make the following changes to your newsfeed settings. We have outlined the steps for you:
1. Please click on the downward pointing arrow toward the top right of your Facebook bar. Then click on News Feed Preferences.
2. Click on Prioritize Who to See First
3. You will see a list of your liked pages and friends. Please find Om Sai Mandir’s page and click on it. Once you click on Om Sai Mandir, a star will appear next to it. That’s it!
Baba has strange ways to make His presence known. Devotees of Baba know very well that He can do ANYTHING in this universe and that nothing is impossible for Him. As such, Baba’s children do not crave for miracles but when Baba does an act that shows He is with us and that He is everywhere, it is certainly a moment of joy and excitement for all who hear these stories.
As announced earlier, intense prayers are being offered to Baba during this Navratri. Nine days of homam is being performed along with 24,000 chants of Gayatri Mantra. Many devotees are participating in these prayers. Individuals who cannot physically come to the mandir, are posting their prayer counts on Om Sai Mandir’s Facebook Page.
This morning, right after homam, we were preparing for the daily pujas when Baba did a small leela for the joy of devotees. Honey miraculously started emanating from Baba’s padukas at Om Sai Mandir. It was sheer joy to witness this miracle and all who were present were simply overjoyed and grateful.
We are posting some pictures for the benefit of devotees. Please continue your prayers.
Today, January 01, 2014, New Year’s Day, we witnessed a strange manifestation at Om Sai Mandir. After finishing the morning Rudra/Sai Abhishekam, we saw streams of water emanating from a picture of Baba’s feet. The water was unmistakably sweet. Devotees were present when the water manifested from Swami’s feet.
On previous occasions, devotees have felt the appearance of vibhuti from the same picture. For the benefit of devotees, we are providing pictures from the miracle:
The arrow points to streams of water flowing while a bigger drop is circled
This is a close-up of Baba’s feet. The manifestation of holy water can be clearly seen within the circle.
Another view of the water stream flowing through Baba’s feet.
Those who visit Om Sai Mandir regularly are familiar with the miracles that Baba often performs at the mandir out of His sheer compassion. Many have witnessed the balloon miracle in the past and are familiar with the manner in which Baba has demonstrated His leelas. Today was an encore.
This afternoon, during the Rudram prayers, Baba manifested His presence yet again. Baba, as we all know is omnipresent — not only everywhere, but in everything — and to prove this, He often shows us how He controls every single atom of this vast cosmos. For the benefit of devotees, we are narrating the events that occurred today:
It is not unusual for balloons to float in the air but when they start behaving like a live human being, one can see God’s hand at play. As the prayers were going on this afternoon, a balloon floated and first touched Baba’s feet on the upper floor of the mandir. We did not pay much attention to it but then suddenly the balloon started moving toward the door on the second floor and then took a right turn and directed itself toward the steps leading to the first floor.
Under normal circumstances, a balloon would just float in the air, but this one started WALKING DOWN the steps, mimicking the steps taken by a live human being. It would rise, come down, touch a step, then rise again again and touch the lower step … until it reached the first floor in a hopping fashion, as if someone was walking down the stairs. Balloons float, they don’t hop or walk. We still did not take it seriously.
Then soon thereafter, the balloon took a U-turn (almost as if someone was driving it) and approached the very place where the prayers were being chanted. It then came and stood there (see picture) — still and motionless.
The way it was standing reminded us of how Baba used to stand while inspecting devotees’ prayers. The strangest thing was that the balloon stood right there until 1008 chants of Maha Mrityunjaya Mantram were completed. It did not move for almost thirty minutes.
Those who have seen Baba walk would instantly recognize His characteristic swaying motions and graceful, floating walk. When one witnesses Baba walking, it gives the impression that He is gliding on thin air, almost floating.
As soon as the chants were finished, the balloon moved toward the devotees who were participating in the chant, as if it was Baba’s gesture of blessing the devotees. Then we performed Baba’s afternoon arati. Until then the balloon was steady but as soon as the prayers were completed, it moved away from the area IMMEDIATELY — in a snap.
Just as a background these balloons have been at the mandir since almost two months but they never behaved in this fashion. What’s more wonderful is that this nearly deflated balloon had suddenly regained shape.
The fact that it first touched Baba’s feet, moved down the steps like a human, made right turns and U-turns, stood motionlessly at the same spot until the prayers were being performed, moved away the moment prayers were over … all of this adds up to just one fact: Baba was orchestrating the whole show.
The excitement did not end there, though. In the afternoon, when devotees were praying in front of Baba, the balloon started approaching each devotee individually and would stand still in front of the devotee. Then it would move to the next devotee and stand in front of that devotee … only at the spots where prayers were being performed, nowhere else.
Last year, Baba performed many similar miracles. During one such instance, a bunch of balloons moved across the room, touched Baba’s feet, and went to the lamp in front of Baba, after catching fire from the lamp, the balloon bunch circulated around the table in front of Baba and finally burnt some papers that were there. Thereafter, the fire extinguished on its own before we could do anything.
On every occasion, the balloons ALWAYS touch Baba’s feet first before moving in any direction. Once it could be a coincidence, but if every time Baba’s feet is touched first it cannot be a coincidence.
To give devotees a visual map, we have provided arrows indicating how it all happened. The steps can be seen in the background as well.
Om Sai Mandir, the heavenly abode of Lord Sai, is fast becoming a divine destination where prayers are being uninterruptedly and ceaselessly chanted every single day. The latest in the series of prayer events is the chanting of 108 Hanuman Chalisas every Saturday (from 12.30 PM to 6.30 PM).
During one such occasion (Hanuman Jayanti 2009), a group of devotees were chanting Hanuman Chalisa 108 times when a picture of Hanumanji’s portrait was taken. Much to the surprise of devotees, when the picture was observed later, the real Divine Face of Lord Hanuman has appeared within the portrait—with a shining aura.
While the rest of the picture is a painting, the face appears real with eyes, nose, and facial features resembling a live being (and not a portrait).
Even more surprising is the fact (which can be observed on digitally enlarging the picture) that the face is that of a child Hanuman, while the entire body is one of a grown-up. Furthermore, seasoned photographers have attested to the fact that the aura is not the work of flash.