Sai Sandesh Volume
5, Issue 4&5; Apr & May 2008
Click here to download this issue
in PDF format
In this issue
Devotees are requested to e-mail suggestions, articles,
experiences, etc. to
to your e-mail address book and "safe list". This
will prevent the filtering of our e-mails.
e-mail address changed? Please enter your new address on our
or send an e-mail to
The divine nectar
of Rama's life
Baba, the epitome
Experiences: How a small bhajan center was started in Bangladesh
Fear not, you are
a child of God
Easwaramma Day will be celebrated at Om
Sai Mandir on Tuesday, May 06 from morning 7.45 AM till night 9.00 PM. A detailed
schedule can be viewed at
The divine nectar of
By The Sai Sandesh Team
Pibare Rama Rasam
Pibarey Rama Rasam Rasaney
Dhoori Krita Pataka Samsargam
Poorita Naanavidha Phala Vargam
Pibarey Rama Rasam Rasaney
O Mind! Quench the spiritual thirst by drinking Divine nectar of
chanting the name of Lord Shree Rama. It will destroy all sins. Reciting
the sacred name of Lord Rama will confer immense happiness of drinking
nectar of many delicious fruits.
As the preceding bhajan describes, chanting the name of Rama is not only
nectar-like, it is liberating. Avatars like Rama come to earth to uplift
man from his fallen state, to show man the true way to live, and also to
make man realize his innate potential: manava (man) is madhava (God).
Avatars during their sojourn on earth correct the prevailing state of
affairs on earth, for earth indeed is the spiritual engine of the
universe, and India of the world.
During Tretayuga, about 20,000 years ago, the Lord incarnated in the
form of Rama. The life of this Avatar is indeed the brightest beacon
light for mankind, for in this one incarnation, the Lord showed us the
ideal way of living. Not only was His life suffused with the spiritual
essence of the Vedas, He also showed us the way to live in the
world—like a human being. He lays before us the example of an ideal
father, a model son, a perfect brother, a compassionate master, a
benevolent Lord, a loving husband, a loyal friend, a just ruler, a true
devotee, and more.
His name. Rama, the name that has liberated millions, encompasses
three syllables: Ra, Aa, and Ma. Ra signifies Agni (Fire God); Aa, Surya
(Sun God); and Ma, Chandra (Moon God). Fire God burns all sins, Sun God
dispels darkness, and Moon God cools one’s temper and produces
tranquility—in essence fostering the harmony of thought, word, and deed.
His-Story. History is indeed His-Story and the story of the
Lord’s life can uplift even the worst of sinners. Reading the story of
Rama’s life granted liberation to many souls and for the benefit of
readers it is recounted here.
Rama’s Birth. For the Lord, birth and death are nothing more than
an act. Yet for the sake of His children, God plays even this role to
Dashratha, the King of Ayodhya, had three wives. Despite enjoying the
Lordship of a large kingdom, they were not happy due to the lack of
children. To fulfill his desire, Dashratha arranged for a special yagna
(religious rite), after the completion of which divine emissaries
appeared with a pot of pudding. Dashratha divided the prasad among his
wives and four beautiful princes were born to them. The charming princes
were named Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. The king along with
his queens and young princes spent the next few years in ecstasy.
Viswamitra and Rama. Once Vishwamitra, troubled by terrifying
demonic forces, requested the King to send Rama and Lakshmana to protect
the sages. Dashratha reluctantly fulfilled Vishwamitra’s wish. The
princes valiantly vanquished all the demonic forces and relieved the
sages of their suffering.
While the princes were spending time in the company of the holy ones,
Viswamitra received an invitation to attend the swayamvara (ceremony
where the bride chooses her suitor) of the king of Mithila’s daughter,
Janaki. The condition of the ceremony, however, was that the suitor must
be able to lift the divine bow of Shiva. Valiant stalwarts tried their
best but none could move the bow, let alone lift it. Rama, however,
lifted thebow, strung it, broke it into pieces, and won the hand of
Mother Sita. Dashratha was overjoyed to learn about the news of a
daughter-in-law and ordered the entire kingdom to adorn a festive
The exile. The
king was now growing old and decided to coronate Rama as the king of
Ayodhya, but providence had charted a completely different plan for
Rama. Kaikeyi, Dashratha’s youngest wife, incited by her wicked maid,
Manthara, opted to ask for the fulfillment of two boons that the king
had promised her in the past. According to the conditions, the youngest
queen requested Dashratha to send Rama to exile for fourteen years and
coronate her son, Bharata, instead. Dashratha was a man of his word but
was reluctant to commit such an act of injustice. Rama, however, did not
wish to let His father down and decided to fulfill his word and
accompanied by Sita and Lakshmana, Rama proceeded to the forest. The
divine trio was
passing their days in the forest, when Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana,
accosted Rama for courtship. Rama did not accede to her requests and
punished her instead. Infuriated, she fled to Lanka and prompted Ravana
to seek revenge; the demon immediately proceeded and in Rama’s absence
abducted Mother Sita.
Although these incidences appear unplanned, they were in reality a part
of the divine play, the very purpose for which Rama had incarnated. On
discovering Mother Sita’s absence, Rama and Lakshmana set out in her
search. In their travails, they met the Monkey King Sugriva and his
minister, the gem among devotees, Lord Hanuman. Rama instantly
recognized Hanuman as His chosen messenger. Hanuman too recognized in
Rama, his chosen deity. Both Sugriva and Hanuman pledged to serve Rama
in His mission of recovering Sita and destroying the Ravana’s demonic
forces. To ascertain Mother Sita’s welfare, Lord Rama dispatched Hanuman
to Lanka. Hanuman leapt across the Indian Ocean and reached Lanka, where
he wreaked havoc on the demons. A band of monkeys was collected to fight
the mighty army of Ravana. Divine grace is such that a band of monkeys
was sufficient to annihilate an entire demon army. To reach Lanka, it
would be necessary to cross the Indian Ocean. As there was no bridge,
the monkeys started throwing stones in the water after writing Rama’s
name on every stone. The power of the Lord’s name made the stones float
on water and a bridge was built. What followed was a war in which the
monkeys destroyed Ravana’s army. Ravana too met his end at the hands of
The destruction of Ravana. Ravana was a gatekeeper of Vishnu in
his previous life. While to human eyes, Rama killed Ravana; in the
divine realm, Rama had freed Ravana from a great curse. The Lord’s ways
are mysterious and always full of benediction.
Symbolic significance. The epic
Ramayana is not an ordinary one. Every word and character in this great
poem has a very deep significance. Lord Rama, for example, symbolizes a
person on the Nivrithi Marga (inward path); while the character of the
demon, Ravana, symbolizes a person on
the Pravritthi Marga (the outward path). Mother Sita symbolizes Brahma
Jnyan (knowledge of the absolute). Lord Rama’s securing Sita
demonstrates how a person on the inward path secures the knowledge of
the Lord, while a person on the outward path, Ravana for instance, faces
death. Ayodhya, the capital of Rama’s kingdom, symbolizes the human
heart. Ayodhya was a place free of strife and controversy; in a similar
manner, we too must attempt to make our heart free of all faults so the
Lord can make our heart as His capital.
It may be asked: Did Rama go to the forest under any compulsion or out
of His own resolve, or with a sense of dissatisfaction, or merely to
comply with His father's pledge? No. Rama set out for the forest with
the same sense of serenity and joy with which he looked forward to his
coronation. Rama demonstrated the spirit of equanimity. In human life,
pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow alternate all the time. It is
not good to welcome pleasure and turn away pain. We must welcome sorrow
in the same joyous spirit in which we greet happiness.
Happiness has no value unless there is also sorrow. That is why it is
said: “Pleasure is not secured by pleasant measure.” Pain is needed to
secure pleasure. Rama demonstrated this concept. Compare His behavior
with our lives. The least fortune sends us sky high and the smallest
trouble makes us depressed. Contrary to our imagination, it is not
difficult to emulate the Lord’s life. If we can emulate mortals, why
can’t we emulate the life of one who incarnated to teach us the way of
an ideal life?
1. Discourse, 5 Apr 1998, Ram Navami,
2. Summer Course, Brindavan, May 21, 2002
3. Discourse, March 11, 1994.
Abhishekam - 11 Times Daily
For the welfare of humanity,
Sri Rudra Abhishekam is being performed eleven times a day. The prayers start at 8.00 A.M. and continue until 11.30
A.M. All are welcome to participate.
Baba, the epitome of
A Sai Devotee, New York
Ramakrishna Parmahamsa once asked his
follower to summarize the Bhagavad Gita in one word. After many failed
attempts on the latter's part, the Parmahamsa asked him to repeat "Gita"
incessantly. "Gita" when repeated several times started sounding like "Tyagi"
(one who sacrifices for others). Selfless sacrifice is the true essence
Krishna has declared that the actions of great men are emulated by the
masses and hence the life and conduct of every avatar is carefully
orchestrated so as to serve as a shining example for the rest of
humanity. Baba, in both Shirdi and Parthi avatars, has demonstrated that
sacrifice and detachment are supreme virtues that lead a man God-ward.
Simplicity and sacrifice in lifestyle
During the Shirdi avatar, devotees would bring cushions and many items
of comfort, but Baba discarded all of these and chose a simple rock as
His seat. A piece of rug served as His bedding and one torn and tattered
gown, His wardrobe. Baba's detachment and spirit of sacrifice were so
great that He would freely distribute all the money that was offered to
Him by devotees. Thousands of rupees were offered to Baba daily, yet
when He took samadhi only Rs. 16 were found in His possession.
When delicious fruits were offered to Sai, He would skillfully extract
the sweet pulp for devotees and retain only the skin for Himself. Even
the food collected by Baba was left in the open courtyard for humans,
birds, and animals to consume from, and only leftovers were partaken by
Even in the present Sathya Sai avatar, all that is offered to Him is
used in the service of humanity. Baba's organization spends hundreds of
crores of rupees on mammoth projects that provide relief to millions of
suffering souls. Free hospitals where even major heart and brain
surgeries are performed without remuneration, free universities where
hundreds of students study from kindergarten to Ph.D. and beyond, free
drinking water to thousands of drought-prone villages-even governments
are unable to accomplish relief work on such a massive scale.
Accepting the suffering of others. Granting joy to all.
Once, Mrs. Khaparde, wife of Dadasaheb Khaparde of Amraoti, was staying
at Shirdi. She heard that her young son had developed high fever and
subsequently Bubonic Plague. The terrified mother accosted Baba to seek
permission for her Amraoti trip, at which the merciful Master spoke
kindly to her, saying, "The sky is beset with clouds, but they will melt
and pass off; everything will be smooth and clear." On saying this, He
lifted his robe and showed four fully-developed bubos, adding, "See how
I have to suffer for My devotees; their difficulties are Mine."
On another occasion, Shirdi Baba suddenly thrust His hand in a fire. A
devotee who witnessed this incidence rushed there and pulled Baba away.
Much later, Baba explained that a blacksmith's wife, who was working
near a furnace, accidentally dropped her child into the fire while in a
hurry to respond to her husband's call. Not minding the scorching
flames, Baba had willingly burnt His hand to save the child.
Granting relief to suffering devotees is a never-ending saga
A student of Sathya Sai Baba was a chronic asthmatic and would
frequently suffer from severe attacks. Frustrated, he once put a piece
of cloth around the nose of Swami's picture and said, "See how it
feels." During the darshan, that day, Swami came straight to the boy and
caught his hand firmly. Almost immediately, the merciful Sainath took on
Himself the devotee's asthma attack. Seeing his beloved Lord in pain,
the young lad tried to free himself from Sai's grip, but failed.
Much to his relief, Baba resumed normal breathing within a few minutes
and explained that what would take the lad almost two decades as a
process of elimination of karma, could be mitigated in a matter of a few
minutes if undergone by Divinity instead. True to these words, the boy
never suffered from the debilitating attacks ever again.
With utmost happiness, divine embodiments go to great extents to make
even the ultimate sacrifice for their devotees. It is said that Shirdi
Sai Baba had predicted the death of his devotee, Tatya. When the
appointed hour came, Tatya became severely ill and was expected to die
any moment, but events took a strange turn, and the Lord of Shirdi gave
up His mortal form instead. Many believe that Sainath had given up His
mortal coil in order to protect Tatya's life.
No attachment to name and form
When Baba arrived in Shirdi as a young lad, Mhalsapati addressed Him as
"Sai". Ever since, Baba came to be known as Sai Baba. How great was
Baba's detachment, He did not even care for His original name or form,
but instead assumed and glorified the one that was offered to Him.
None can equal Sai in sacrifice or detachment, but all of us make small
attempts to imitate His behavior--and this is one of those rare
instances where imitation, even to the smallest degree, is desirable and
The Lord has endowed man with the
body and so, every limb and every sense organ is worthy of
reverent attention. Each must be used for His Glory. The ear
must exult when it gets a chance to hear the wonderful glories
of God. The tongue must exult when it can praise Him. The human
body has been given to you for the grand purpose of realising
the Lord within. If you have a fully equipped car in good
running condition, would you keep it unused in the garage? The
car is primarily for going on a journey; get into it and go!
Only then is it worthwhile to own it. So too, with the body.
Proceed towards the goal. Learn how to use the faculties of the
body, senses, intellect and mind for achieving the goal, and
Source: Thought for the day, Prashanti Nilayam, March 02, 2008
Devotees' Experiences: How
a small bhajan center was started in Bangladesh
Dinakar, Flushing, NY
“I had to be in Asia for almost
one year in 2007, on official work, sourcing and purchasing
merchandise for American Importers. In February, I went to
Bangladesh. Before going there, I asked my local agent, if I
should come to Dhakka, the Capital or to Chittagong, the Main
He asked me to come to Chittagong. After two days and completing
our work., he insisted that I should meet one Mr.Ramachandran,
Production Manager of a leading Textile Mill. Actually I did not
have any official work with him. But my agent said that since
Ram and I are Tamils, we will be happy to meet each other. At
that point of time, I really did not understand why he insisted
on meeting him.
However we went to the mill and met him. Ram asked me where I am
coming from. I told him Puttaparthy where my mother is staying.
He was instantly and immensely happy and told me that he was
looking for someone to come and give a helping hand and initiate
Swamy Bhajans. He was searching for a Sai Center in Dhakka and
other cities in Bangladesh for the last 10 years, but in vain.
After a brief discussion, it was decided that a Bhajan Centre
should be started there. He immediately called his Sri Lankan
friend who is a Tabla player and all arrangements were made for
Bhajan the very next day. It was a Friday, the weekly holiday.
The first bhajan was held in Ram's house and it was a small
group . A lady from Kerala, working in Bangladesh joined,
another Sri Lankan couple (whose daughter is in medical sudent
in Bangalore whose life was saved by Swamy) and few more joined.
It was a modest beginning. Today there are about 20 people
attending and all have started singing very well. Subsequently
the Regional Coordinator, Sai Centres of Asia, from Nepal,
contacted the Bhajan group, suggesting that it should be
converted into a Sai Centre which will be the first one in
Bangladesh. Now they are doing necessary ground work.
I was thinking about this episode later and wondering, why did I
go to Chittagong instead of Dhakka. Why should my agent force me
to meet Ram. Out of 16 million people in that country, why did I
meet Ram in particular. I never had any clue that a Bhajan
centre would be started there and I would be an instrument in
the process. It was certainly not an accident. It is all Swamy's
design. This is how Swamy makes people meet - for some specific
Fear not, you are a
child of God
By Oka Chinna Katha
We call ourselves children of God
and yet doubt our own divinity. Isn’t that an irony?
Self-condemnation is the biggest mistake one can make on the
spiritual path. We often deride ourselves and others with
adjectives, such as “sinners,” “ignorant ones,” “unworthy,” etc.
Swami has repeatedly told us that sin is a very big word for
errors we may have committed out of ignorance and that there is
plenty of hope for those wanting to change. For a person who
sincerely repents and corrects erring actions, God will uplift
and exalt him to the status of saint, almost instantly.
In order to prove this fact, God has repeatedly performed the
miracle of transforming erring humans into saints. Valmiki, the
great saint through whom was penned the epic Ramayana, started
his early career as a highway robber. He continued along this
path until Sage Narada showed him the right path. Valmiki
decided to transform himself and resorted to the incessant
chanting of Rama’s name. Not accustomed to spiritual practices,
he started chanting “Mara, Mara” instead of “Rama,” “Rama.” With
the ceaseless chanting of Rama’s name, Valmiki was blessed with
a vision of Rama Himself. The person who at one point of time
stole people’s possessions had now managed to steal the Lord’s
butter-like heart, and the Lord on His part converted Valmiki
into a great saint; such is the power of the Lord’s name and
grace. And what great service did Valmiki perform. He was
instrumental in penning Ramayana, the divine epic that has
served as a beacon light to humanity for thousands of years.
The Lord is very merciful and is forever keen to grant us His
blessings. What is lacking is our desire to [truly] transform;
the moment a sincere resolve is made, God’s grace will work
magic into anyone’s life. Take the instance of Mary Magdalene;
before coming in contact with Lord Jesus she had lived the life
of unholiness; yet as soon as she came in contact with the Lord,
He forgave her sins and raised her to the status of an
apostle-like figure. Such is the power of repentance,
forgiveness, and grace.
One may ask how were these people, despite numerous sins,
forgiven so easily? The answer is very simple: God is pure love;
He is willing to forgive those who sincerely repent and decide
to walk along with Him. To such He will give the same gifts as
He would to saints. Even a human mother forgives her children
who commit sins out of ignorance, how much more so would the
divine mother. In reality, God does not discriminate between
saints and sinners. We are all His children and He loves us,
It is said that God created man in His own image; the Vedas too
declare Tat Tvam Asi (Thou Art That). How can God’s own image
ever be bad? Yes, we may have made mistakes in the past, for
which we must accept responsibility, but that should not stop us
from correcting ourselves and changing, nor should it be cause
for selfcondemnation. God always welcomes change and accepts us
with open arms, the way a loving parent would.
You may have heard of Pundalika’s story—the saint whose name is
associated with Vitthala of Pandharpur. Pundalika, though of
good heart, had turned to bad ways and had resorted to
illtreating his aged parents, to the extent of making them
perform menial work. It was not until Pundalika visited the
ashram of a great saint and underwent purificatory punishment
that he realized his mistake. The repentance, however, was
sincere and Pundalika resorted to chanting of the Lord’s name
while sincerely serving his old parents. Pleased with this
newfound transformation, the Lord Himself visited the house of
this devotee. Despite seeing the Lord standing at his doorstep,
Pundalika was unable to get up as he was deeply engrossed in
serving his parents. In order to offer a seat to the Lord, he
threw a brick and asked the Lord to sit on it. An ignorant
person may consider this as blasphemy but God has no ego and He
could see through the sincere devotion of Pundalika. Immensely
pleased, the Lord granted salvation to Pundalika and blessed
Pandharpur (Pundalika’s village) with his permanent residence in
the form of Vitthal. Even today, Pandharpur is one of the
holiest places in India.
The name of the Lord even if resorted to unknowingly can effect
a miraculous transformation, as in the case of Ajmilla. In
ancient days, there lived a brahmin by the name of Ajmilla. At
first, he was a pious man and regularly performed holy rites;
his association with a courtesan, however, led to his downfall.
Contrary to the customs in those days, he cohabited her for a
long time and fathered her children, the youngest of whom was
named Narayana. This boy was very dear to him.
Due to his actions, Ajmilla had lost the respect of the entire
community. He soon fell ill and took to the deathbed. Just
before dying, however, he called out his youngest son, Narayana.
Immediately, the emissaries of Lord Narayana came to the rescue
of Ajmilla’s soul. Around the same time, the torchbearers of
hell also appeared on the scene and began claiming rights to
the same time, the torchbearers of hell also appeared on the
scene and began claiming rights to
Their argument was based on the bad actions committed by Ajmilla
throughout his life. The emissaries of Narayana, however,
insisted on saving his soul as he had sincerely called out to
Narayana, even if it was in the context of calling his own son.
The emissaries of the Lord finally won the argument and
Ajmilla’s soul was saved.
Can fire cease to burn simply because it is touched out of
ignorance? No! Fire makes no such distinction; its duty is to
burn whatever comes in contact with it. In the same way, the
Lord’s name cannot but burn to ashes millions of sins committed
This is the easiest practice to which one can resort. One could
pray to God using any name or form
one likes. Be it God, Bhagavan, Allah, Rama, Jesus, Buddha,
Krishna, Sai—whatever be one’s mode of worship, it must be
Swami often tells us that Manava is Madhava (man is God). God
cannot but help save us, for He did create us in His own image.
What is needed on our part is just the first step toward Him; He
will then take a hundred steps toward us.
Let us forget all our past experiences and resolve to make a
fresh start toward God.
Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached; fear
not—you are indeed a child, a precious, precious child, of God.
Manifest by Nanditha
He is my inspiration,
my Herald of hope.
His love shines in
a mother's compassionate eyes.
His wrath is nature's fury.
His kindness is man's antidote
for pain and suffering.
A mother forgives only her children,
while He forgives those whose
mothers have abandoned them.
He created us,
and we created Him.
Our talents are His gifts.
Our flaws are His punishments.
Our pedestrian minds do not allow us
to completely understand Him,
but with prayer, we forge our way closer.
His divinity that is present in us,
reaches out to help others.
A child's gleeful laugh is His own.
A parent's tear, too, is a part of His being.
He is shapeless, yet exists everywhere.
His encompassing presence can only comfort you.
Those who fail to experience Him
have not identified with themselves.
As a flower is incomplete
when it is missing a petal,
we are vulnerable without his protection.
He leaves us with many choices,
and it is up to us to choose the ones
that make us one with Him . . .
to choose those paths that
He illuminates from above.
Click Here to Read Past Issues
requested to e-mail suggestions, articles, experiences, etc. to
your e-mail provider's address book and "safe list". This will
prevent the filtering of our e-mails.
your e-mail address changed? Please enter your new address on
or send an e-mail to
You are receiving
this e-mail because you have opted to receive newsletters and
Om Sai Mandir
45 11 Smart Street
Flushing, NY 11355
Sai Mandir follows a strict
here to unsubscribe from future
announcements and newsletters.
Sai Mandir - Sai Baba Temple in New York NY
(c) 2008, Om Sai Mandir. All Rights Reserved.
OM SAI MANDIR
45 11 Smart Street
Flushing, NY 11355
Click here for directions
8 AM, 12
PM, 6 PM, 8 PM
Thursday 7 PM to 8.30 PM
Every Sunday 2 PM to 3 PM
Prayers, stotras, and annadan:
Rudra Abhishek: 8.30 AM Daily
May 06: Easwaramma Day
May 11: Mother's Day
May 30: Hanuman
STATUES HAVE ARRIVED!
statues have arrived in New York. They are currently undergoing customs
clearance and will be installed at the temple shortly.
Click to subscribe to Sai Sandesh -- FREE!
Forward Sai Sandesh to your friends and loved ones.
Click here to read past issues