Sai Sandesh Volume 4, Issue
12; Dec 2007
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Editorial: We are not limited, finite beings
Devotees' Experiences: Baba performs balloon miracle again
Beacon Lights: Hanuman's exemplary conduct
statues have been installed at the temple!
Baba's love and grace found abundant
expression through two life-size color statues that were recently
installed at Om Sai Mandir. The Prana Prathistha/Sthapna was performed
on Friday, November 23, 2007, Swami's 82nd birthday. It was a historic
day considering these are probably the world's first life-size color
statues of Shirdi Sai Baba and Sathya Sai Baba to be installed at one
In October 2004, my father passed away and I had to visit India. My
visit was sudden but after performing the ceremonies and after visiting
Shirdi and Puttaparthi, I was divinely inspired to seek out a sculptor
who would be capable of carving the first life-size, marble statue of
Sri Sathya Sai Baba along with a statue of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba. During
my visit to Puttaparthi, I was fortunate as the Lord of Parthi
personally blessed Om Sai Mandir's card and also granted my prayer for
creating His statue.
My search for a capable person took me to many sculptors across India. I
visited sculptors from South to North and came across many skilled
artisans who were confident of carving Sri Shirdi Sai Baba's statue but
were not sure about carving the first-ever marble statue of Sathya Sai
Finally, with Swami's grace, a professional sculptor in Jaipur promised
to make an attempt, and I felt as if Sai was prompting me to select him.
Reluctant to make a hasty decision, however, I asked him to make a clay
model for my approval. With Baba's blessings, he created a model that
was close to what I had in mind. Pure Makrana marble was ordered in 2004
and during the next year or so the sculptors started chiseling the
Lord's beautiful forms.
In 2005, I took the sculptors to Parthi. They were blessed as Swami not
only gave them darshan, but also gave them an opportunity to sketch Him.
In His presence, the sculptors felt energized and continued their work
I had to make several trips to India to monitor the progress of this
project and spent days together at the workshop in Jaipur. It was
decided to make the statues in full color to give them a live look and
feel. To bring out sharp features and to achieve a high degree of
naturalness and originality, we had to work very hard and also incur
humungous expenses. Around 2006, the statues had taken fine shape. Once
the statues were ready, I realized that we would need beautiful silver
singhasans (thrones) as well, so, despite the additional expenses, I
decided to order two Silver singhasans (thrones). A professional from
Delhi was selected for the purpose and during a course of one year, he
was able to create beautiful Silver thrones.
The process culminated with a final trip to India around
August-September 2007, when I completed the necessary transportation and
customs formalities. With Baba's grace, Indian customs and Department of
Homeland Security cleared the process without a hitch. The statues
finally arrived in New York and on Monday, November 19, 2007, they were
delivered at the temple's premises.
Sathya Sai Baba's statue was designed with Abhaya Mudra (blessing hand).
The sculptors had feared that the hand may not be able to withstand the
transportation process, but with Sai's blessings, both statues came to
New York without a scratch-this was nothing short of a miracle. The
process of bringing the statues inside the temple was another
interesting journey that took around three days.
On Monday, November 19, 2007, the statues were delivered to the temple.
A commercial forklift had been arranged to unload the truck. Due to
various reasons the truckers had not made it on time making it very late
for the forklift operator to complete the process that day. We were
discussing alternate solutions, but Swami had pre-arranged everything.
Just opposite the temple, a forklift was waiting unnoticed until it
caught our attention. The operator acceded to our request and helped us
unload the statues.
Attempts were made to carry Baba inside but carrying them in physically
was almost impossible. Rain and bad weather hindered our efforts and we
decided to wait one more day.
Finally, on Wednesday, November 21, 2007, Karthika Ekadashi, an
auspicious day, we were able to bring the statues inside the temple. The
front wall of the temple was torn down to facilitate the process and
amidst chanting of Vedic hymns, the Lord's forms finally entered the
The mission was accomplished but the saga continues and a lot remains to
be achieved in Sai seva. Our journey so far was possible only because of
Saiís blessings and good wishes and prayers of all devotees and well
I would urge all devotees to come and visit the temple and take darshan
of the Lord's two beautiful forms.
--Gangadhar Rao Chalasani, MD, President
more details about the story behind the statues and to view a pictorial
presentation of the arrival, please read the PDF version of our
newsletter at the following link:
Abhishekam - 11 Times Daily
For the welfare of humanity,
Sri Rudra Abhishekam is being performed eleven times a day for a period
of 121 days. The prayers start at 8.00 A.M. and continue until 11.30
A.M. All are welcome to participate.
Editorial: We are not limited, finite beings
By The Sai
Very often we hear people saying,
"After all, I am just an ordinary human being." Untrue! Just the
way a lion cub growing in the company of meek lambs runs at the
sight of another lion or wild animal, man runs from his own real
nature until he is awakened to the truth about himself. Over so
many births we have become so conditioned and accustomed to
considering ourselves to be the finite body in which we reside,
we completely forget our real identity.
The Bible says that God created man in His own image. The Vedas
declare Aham Brahmasmi (I am the Supreme Spirit) and Tat Tvam
Asi (Thou Art That). Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto
you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do
also; and greater works than these shall he do." Swami, too, has
said, "You and I are not different. We are one" and that "Man is
God". Is there room to doubt when God Himself in the form of
Sai, Jesus, and various incarnations declares that man is
Even in his seventies, Late Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual giant,
would perform Herculean feats such as lifting elephants,
performing weight training exercises with thousands of pounds,
running extended marathons, and doing many acts which would be
considered impossible in the physical world. The purpose of
these feats was to demonstrate what man is capable of achieving.
It wasn't physical prowess, but rather his ability to connect
with God, his inner self, that empowered this super saint to
perform such extraordinary acts.
If we harness our will power, we can not only do great things,
we can actually shape the outcome of future events. Divine
beings like Krishna, Sai, and Buddha did exactly that. They
utilized their sankalpa shakti (divine will power) to cast their
will over entire mankind. All the spiritual awakening we are
witnessing today is a small byproduct of their sankalpa.
Paramhamsa Yogananda could tap into his will power even as a
child. He was so accustomed to speaking the truth that there
came a time when he developed enough power to make future events
mirror his words to the T. Once, he jokingly told his sister
that she would have a boil on her arm. True to his words, the
next day his sister's forearm had a big boil. At the start of
his mission, Vivekananda worshipped Lord Shiva with 108 Bilva
leaves and confidently declared that one day a big spiritual
institution would spring up at that place. This is exactly how
it happened many years later.
Will power is not restricted to saints and avatars. All human
beings are born with it. The author, for example, is an
insignificant person but he was able to exert his will power and
Sai's grace to open a bolted door. When he was in his teens, the
author was passing through a commercial studio. Helpless meowing
of a trapped kitten was rippling through the stillness of an
otherwise quiet environment and it was very clear that the
kitten was writhing with pain and hunger. As it was a Sunday,
the owners of the property were not available to facilitate the
newborn's rescue. To make matters worse, a big lock was securing
a two-piece wooden door and there appeared to be no way to get
past it physically. Unable to bear the cries, however, the
author invoked Sai's grace and while chanting His name, touched
the lock with his index finger. Lo! The lock broke open as if
hit by a thunderbolt.
On another occasion, he was diagnosed with a severe non-union
Scaphoid fracture that necessitated a complex bone graft
surgery. Through constant prayer, the author was able to fuse
and heal the fracture. A leading surgeon remarked: "Even I could
not have done a better job than this. You don't need any
surgery, young man."
It is only when man turns inward, that he realizes the divine
glory that constitutes manís true essence. We are not finite
beings. We are made in the image of the infinite Lord,
All-Powerful who pervades the entire cosmos. Can the image of
such a powerful Lord be weak and limited?
Truth is one. It is beyond mind
and speech. It transcends the limitations of time and space.
Innumerable seekers have pursued different paths to recognise
this Truth. There are notable differences among the seekers of
Truth. These differences do not affect the nature of Reality. On
the contrary, it is the existence of these differences that has
spurred the continuous search for a unifying principle. -- Baba
Source: Thought for the day, Prashanti Nilayam, December 04,
Baba performs the balloom miracle again
By Om Sai
Devotees may recall that last year
there was a balloon miracle at Om Sai Mandir. 81 Helium balloons
were adorning the ceiling to mark Swami's 81st birthday. When
the temple was opened the following day (November 24, 2006), all
balloons were neatly lined up at Baba's feet. Eight bunches of
ten each were sitting in groups and one single balloon was
resting at the center of the altar-as if forming the number 8+1.
Many balloons had been taped to the ceiling and it was a
surprise how they made their way to Baba's altar. (See pictures
of last year's balloon miracle at http://www.omsaimandir.org/sai_sandesh_v3_i10.pdf)
A similar miracle happened this year as well. We had decorated
the temple's main hall with 82 Helium balloons to mark Swami's
82nd birthday. When we were performing Ekadasa Rudra Abhishekam,
a bunch of balloons started descending to the altar. After
circling two individuals who were chanting Rudram, one bunch
circled around Lord Shiva and other deities and rested at the
corner of the altar in standing position for a very long period
Rudram was followed by Prana Prathistha (installation ceremony
for Baba's statues) puja. Around the end of the prayers, other
balloons started descending in an orderly fashion. They all
circled around the altar of Lord Shiva and slowly proceeded
toward Baba to finally rest at His feet. Bunch after bunch, the
balloons followed the same behavior, as if to pay obeisance to
the Lord of the Universe. Some balloons proceeded to the second
floor of the mandir while others were resting on of individual
devotees. Two purple balloons descended on the kalasham through
which the Prana Prathistha ceremony was performed. They stood in
a vertical position without any support and without any movement
for almost the entire day.
It was as if these inanimate objects had acquired a life of
their own and were sharing the excitement of this historic
Lights: Hanuman's exemplary conduct
After the annihilation of demonic
forces, Lord Rama returned to his kingdom. After His coronation
ceremony, He expressed His appreciation for the services of all
those who had participated in His divine mission by granting
gifts, favors, and boons. All to the exception of Hanuman were
granted precious gifts in abundance.
Through all this Hanuman remained unaffected and enraptured,
basking in the glory of Rama's feet. Mother Sita was witnessing
this entire ceremony and could not understand why Hanuman who
had played the most important role in Rama's mission was singled
out for receiving nothing. She wanted to make amends for the
oversight and immediately threw a precious necklace toward him.
Lord Hanuman, however, took the necklace and started biting each
pearl as if looking to find something within those pearls. After
breaking the pearls he would discard them away as waste.
Everyone in the court was shocked at Hanuman's behavior and
questioned the appropriateness of the act.
Hanuman then explained that he was looking for his Rama within
those pearls and without Rama those pearls meant nothing to him.
While saying this, he dug his sharp claws into his chest and
tore it open for all to see. The heart was a veritable temple
within which were imprinted clear images of Rama, Lakshman, and
Rama then explained that He did not grant anything in the
physical sense to Hanuman because He was well aware of the fact
that nothing was as precious to Hanuman as his Lord Rama and so
Rama had granted Himself to this beloved devotee of His.
Hanuman's conduct is a true beacon light for us. While others
were satisfied with a few trinkets, Hanuman did not crave for
them. His eyes were set only on one goal: Rama. Even when Maya
(Mother Sita) tried to tempt him with precious pearls, he
discarded them away and continued searching for his Rama. Life
often tempts us with what we consider as precious pearls in the
form of wealth, fame, attachment, power, and other perishable
objects. If we run after them, we will lose sight of the real
goal, but if we act like Hanuman and seek only the Lord, then He
will surely enshrine Himself in our hearts and lead us to the
ultimate goal, the true treasure.
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(c) 2007, Om Sai Mandir. All Rights Reserved.
OM SAI MANDIR
45 11 Smart Street
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Prayers, stotras, and annadan:
Dec 20: Vaikunta Ekadashi
Dec 24: Christmas Eve
Dec 25: Christmas
Dec 31: New Year's Eve
STATUES HAVE ARRIVED!
statues have arrived in New York. They are currently undergoing customs
clearance and will be installed at the temple shortly.
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