Sai Sandesh Volume
5, Issue 7; July 2008
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Guru, The Eternal
Be Like the
Lamps with Water
From Pain Comes
Everything for the Best
Cross the River
Sri Viswaguru Viswamji will be visiting Om Sai Mandir on
Thursday, July 10 at 7.00 PM. All are welcome to seek his blessings and
participate in a divine discourse. This is an opportunity of a lifetime.
Donít miss it.
Guru Poornima Celebrations will be held at Om Sai Mandir on
Friday, July 18, 2008. The celebrations will start at 7.45 AM and will
continue until 9.00 PM. A day full of prayers and festivities is
planned. For a detailed schedule and directions, please visit the
templeís official website: www.OmSaiMandir.org
As always, you can call us at 1.718.461.0454.
Gangadhar Rao Chalasani, MD
Baba's Ever-Watchful Eye
By The Sai Sandesh Team
After attending the Sunday bhajans at Om
Sai Mandir, the author was on his way home when he came across a
four-year-old girl running alone on the street. An unseen voice urged
the author to help the little child.
The child was very difficult to control and was impatiently hurrying to
the main intersection, an area frequented by many speeding vehicles.
When he questioned her about her whereabouts she did not give a definite
answer and babbled strange words. It was very clear that she was lost.
How was the author to control her? She was unwilling to take his help
and was intent on running in an unknown direction. It was a dilemma. If
he were to force help on her, people could easily mistake his
intentions. Leaving her alone was not an option either. Baba was the
only one who could suggest a way out of this dilemma, and so he
fervently invoked Baba's grace.
The invisible voice again drew the writer's attention to the girl's
forehead. There was a distinct vermillion mark, suggesting that she had
just visited the Ganesh temple across the street from Om Sai Mandir.
This was a wonderful clue. Next, the voice suggested, "Ask her to run a
race with you. That way she won't resist your help."
It worked. The girl cheerfully ran in the direction of the temple. When
they reached the temple's cafeteria a group of people were frantically
looking for the girl and as soon as they saw her they felt very
relieved. It was a wonderful reunion -- all hugs and kisses.
How did the author reach the spot just when the girl was lost? Who was
the invisible voice guiding him through the entire situation? It was
none other than Baba. Were it not for Baba's help, the innocent child
could have fallen in serious danger.
When devotees are in harm's way, Baba cannot but rush to their help.
This has been the experience of countless devotees. When Baba was
physically present in Shirdi, a devotee visited the place to seek His
blessings. As is normally the case, some villagers misguided the man
into visiting a woman who offered her services to travelers.
The two engaged in a conversation and just when the man was to face
spiritual downfall, the door slammed open and
he saw Baba physically standing there. Baba made hand gestures,
indicating as if that you have come to seek my blessings and is this
what you engage in? The devotee immediately left the place and was saved
by Baba's timely warning.
Nanasaheb Chandorkar, too, was saved from physical harm because of
Baba's vigilance. Nana was on a pilgrimage to a shrine that was situated
on a hill. When he was climbing the hill, he felt intensely thirsty and
He prayed to Baba and at that very moment a man came to him and offered
water. It need not be mentioned that the man was none other than Sainath.
In fact, at that very instance, Baba remarked to villagers at Shirdi
that he just gone to deliver water to Nana. None understood this comment
but when Nana visited Shirdi, the purport of Babaís remark became clear.
Our beloved Baba keeps an ever-watchful eye on His children and He
ensures our safety and welfare in every way possible. He is ever
vigilant and ever-ready to help everyone.
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.
Guru, The Eternal Guide
The Sai Sandesh Team
Oh mankind, worship and install in the
mind the feet of the Guru; it is very difficult to cross the ocean of
life and death, but the Guru can safely carry you to the shore of
divinity. This was the first bhajan sung by Baba himself. Baba was
calling all those suffering in the endless rounds of births and deaths
to worship the feet of the Guru, who was announcing Himself, and who had
come again for taking upon Himself the burden of those who sought refuge
Once, Emperor Shivaji and his minister were going on an evening stroll.
They came across a Buddhist monk. Immediately, Shivaji removed his crown
and prostrated at the monk's feet. The minister thought Shivaji had
demeaned his stature. The righteous emperor sensed these feelings and
wanted to teach him a lesson. One day, he asked the minister to bring
the head of a goat, a sheep, and a human. The minister collected the
goat and sheep heads. He went to a burial ground and cut the head of a
dead person. Shivaji commanded him to sell them. The heads of the sheep
and goat were sold in no time, but none came to buy the human head. The
emperor then ordered it to be given at no cost.
The minister took the human head to the market and waited there for a
couple of days. Despite his best efforts, nobody was willing to accept
it. The emperor said, "You felt sad when I placed my head at the feet of
a monk. Do you realize that the same would be the fate of our heads too,
when we leave our mortal coils? We should sanctify our lives by serving
noble souls." Material wealth is transient.
What is the significance of Guru Poornima? "Gu" means darkness and "ru"
means light [the act of removal of darkness]. Guru is thus the one who
illumines the path to divinity. Poornima stands for the cool full moon
light. Full moon symbolizes a mind with total illumination. It is
Shankarcharya had five disciples. Padmapada, was pure-hearted and always
engaged in serving his Guru. He considered himself as a dasa [servant].
While others would be engaged in studying scriptures, Padmapada would
busy himself in serving the Guru.
Once, on his way back from the other bank of the river, he did not
realize that the Ganga was in spate. As he was crossing the river, it
rose up to the level of his neck. He looked around, but had no fear
whether he would be washed away by the swelling waters. His only worry
was how to take the clothes to the Guru even at the cost of his life.
Placing the clothes on his head and chanting the word, "Guruji, Guruji,"
he continued wading through the river. Because of his intense devotion,
at every step he took there was a lotus-shaped stone on which he could
place his foot. He thereby earned the appellation "Padmapada."
Shankaracharya called him and imparted his teachings to him. He told
Padmapada: "Service to the Guru is a great virtue. You have adored the
Guru as God. Guru represents the Divine Trinity." Then, he imparted to
Padmapada the sacred truth. Padmapada could then repeat the entire Vedic
texts at one stroke.
Although a true Guru can lead the disciple to enlightenment, in modern
times there is a scarcity of such perfected beings. In today's time, God
alone is the Guru. What greater proof than the fact that Baba himself
has come as the world's divine teacher and is imparting his teachings to
all. One only needs to look inside and the inner Guru will safely lead
us to the shore of divinity.
Man should be the master of his
behaviour; he should not be led away by the impulse of the
moment; he must always be conscious of what is good for him. He
should carry on his daily tasks such that he does not make
others suffer or suffer himself. Be calm, unruffled and
collected. The more you develop charity for all beings,
contrition at your own faults, fear of sin and love of God, the
more firmly established you will be in Shanti (peace).
- July 02, 2008, BABA
Be Like the Squirrel
By The Sai Sandesh Team
In the legend of Ramayana one
cannot but help notice the mighty contribution of the little
squirrel, the same squirrel that was blessed thrice. First, for
being able to make a contribution to the Lord's cause; second,
for being blessed by Lord Rama; and third, for being sanctified
by His holy touch, a mark of which is still borne by descendants
of the squirrel race.
When in order to reach Lanka Lord Rama was getting a bridge
built over the Indian Ocean, millions of members of the monkey
army were gathering large stones and mountains for the
construction. When the monkeys were busy constructing the
bridge, a little squirrel busied itself in carrying small
pebbles to the site of construction. It would run and carry
small pebbles in its mouth and empty them at the place where
huge stones were being assembled. The squirrel's small size was
not a deterrent to its gigantic determination and devotion.
A band of monkeys noticed this unusual behavior and tossed the
squirrel out in an act of mockery. Their apparent cruelty turned
out to be an act of blessing, a blessing seldom secured by even
the greatest of gods, for the squirrel landed straight into the
hands of the Lord Himself. [What a beautiful lesson this is.
When the world tosses us out, the Lord's ever-protecting hands
are always ready to save us.]
The all-knowing, ever-merciful Lord feigned ignorance for the
sake of teaching the world and asked the squirrel: "What is it
that you were trying to accomplish, my child?" The meek creature
humbly replied, "Lord, I am very small in size and I cannot
carry big rocks, but I was very eager to contribute to your
cause and was therefore carrying these small pebbles in my
mouth. I did not want to lose this opportunity to serve you and
so I tried performing service in a manner that befits my size,
strength, and abilities."
When the squirrel fell into the hands of the Lord, three
beautiful lines were imprinted on its back, and Lord Rama
blessed the squirrel with the boon that all its descendants
would bear the same three marks on their backs. This act was a
beautiful lesson for mankind. The big works being performed by
giant, able-bodied monkeys did not catch the Lord's attention,
but this little act of service that was being performed with
sincere devotion ultimately won blessings.
Even in this Kaliyuga (age of unrighteousness), this truth was
demonstrated by a little child of Swami. When Sri Sathya Sai
Baba was constructing a super specialty hospital, huge project
plans were being drawn out. Top engineers, doctors, project
managers, and the elite of elite were eagerly awaiting a chance
to contribute to this magnanimous project. All along a little
boy, a student in Swami's university, was wondering how he could
contribute to this project.
During the construction of the hospital Swami would often spend
hours behind closeted doors conferencing with engineers and
doctors. One afternoon, the doors of the interview room opened
suddenly and the Lord appeared holding a letter in His hand.
There was a twinkle in His eye.
When the letter was read aloud, all were dumbfounded to hear the
plea of a small child. When all other students were giving their
clothes for professional laundering, this little boy was washing
them with his own hands. This went on for months until the boy
finally managed to save hundred rupees. This currency of love
was enclosed with the letter where he had poured his heart out
You have given so much to me and to every one here. You have
provided free education for me and all my brothers and now I
hear that you are constructing a BIG Hospital what will provide
the most modern health care facilities to every section of the
society totally free of cost.
Bhagavan! I also want to be a part of your glorious mission but
I am just a small boy and I don't know how I can contribute.
Bhagavan, my parents are extremely poor but in spite of that
they send me a little extra pocket money.
Bhagavan! For the last three months I have not given my clothes
to the dhoby. While all the other boys were sleeping in the
night I washed my clothes and thus I managed to save a little
money. Bhagavan! I have also resisted the temptations of
toffees, chocolates and all the other things and thus managed to
Bhagavan! I offer this 100 rupee note to you. I feel ashamed and
small to give you so little but even if this money can be used
to buy a small brick for the new hospital, I will be the
happiest child in the world.
Your Loving Son
Baba held this note very close to His heart and declared with
utmost joy that this single note was more than millions of
rupees for Him. The money was not important at all; it was all
the feeling and devotion that went behind it that had touched
the Lord's heart and won His grace. How many times do we stop
from undertaking beneficial devotional or service activities
with the fear that our little acts won't matter to the world or
to God. Had the squirrel or the little boy paid heed to such
discouraging thoughts could they ever have won God's grace?
Baba Lights Lamps with
By The Editor, Sai Sandesh
Baba provided a brief peek into
his divine powers by performing the miracle of lighting lamps
with water, instead of oil. They were the early days of Baba's
stay in Shirdi, when many villagers had not recognized His
divinity. They considered him to be an ordinary renunciate.
At one point of time, the local merchants of Shirdi formed a
pact and decided to cease giving Baba oil gratis. They wanted to
see what Baba would do without their favors. Of course, the Lord
had his own plans and wanted to use this opportunity to
inculcate a few moral lessons in the hearts of his children.
When the grocers refused to provide oil, Sainath left their
place unperturbed. The merchants, intent on testing Baba's
greatness, followed Sai to his place of residence, Dwarakamai.
From their place of hiding, they witnessed Baba following an
unusual course of action. The Lord of Shirdi took some water in
his mouth and poured it into a pot, as if sanctifying and
consecrating the same. He then filled all the lamps with this
water and lit them. Much to the mischief makers' surprise, the
lamps burnt bright all-night.
They later repented for their act and sought Baba's pardon. The
merciful Lord immediately granted His forgiveness but urged them
to be truthful in future.
What is considered a miracle in the realm of mortals was really
a manifestation of Baba's will. For the one who created this
universe, transformation from one form of matter (water) to
another (oil) is of no significance. Not only water, Lord Sai
has transformed countless devotees from ordinary to
extraordinary. This, too, poses no difficulty for the
all-powerful Lord. He uplifts His children from lower states of
existence to saint-like conditions in the wink of an eye. The
act is as easy for Him, as it is for a powerful gush of wind to
uplift nearly weightless cotton balls.
Readers of Sai Sandesh would love
to hear your experiences, stories, miracles, articles,
suggestions, etc. for publication in forthcoming issues of Sai
Please e-mail your contributions to the editorís attention at:
Your contributions will benefit thousands of readers of Sai
From Pain Comes
Life has its ups and downs. Events
in life occur in an almost circular fashion, periodically
alternating between pain and pleasure and joy and sorrow --
mimicking a merry-go-round as if. Despite their unpopularity,
unhappy moments of our lives play an important role in
furthering -- almost shaping -- the spiritual growth of the
jivštmš (individual soul).
The darkest phase of night occurs just before sunrise, welcoming
the light that is to shatter the reign of darkness. Painful
moments in our lives, too, serve as precursors to their happier
counterparts, and the peak of their intensity is a sure
indication that the light of God is going to fill our lives with
unending happiness and bliss.
When Swami, as a lad, made the divine declaration proclaiming
His divinity, many disbelieved Him and even went to the extent
of tormenting His physical form. They subjected His body to
untold, unbearable suffering that cannot be described in words.
Through the entire ordeal, Swami smiled to prove to the world --
and to set an example -- that He is beyond pain and pleasure.
Through this suffering, however, Swami's divinity shone like a
million suns and He is now worshipped in every corner of the
The Guru Charitra narrates the wonderful account of a devotee
whom the Lord Dattatreya visited in His physical form. The Lord
appeared at the doorstep of the devotee in the form of a monk
begging for food. The devotee was not at home and his wife
attended to the needs of the Guru. On His way out, the Lord
uprooted a vegetable plant that was the only source of meals for
the family. When the wife discovered this, she was petrified and
wailed inconsolably. The devotee returned to find a wife
bemoaning the loss of the only source of their sustenance. He
was a true devotee, however, and explained to her the importance
of equanimity in the wake of pain and pleasure, both products of
our own actions. After the explanation, he tried to replant the
tree and in the process discovered a pot of gold that was buried
there. Had the Lord not inflicted the momentary pain, could the
family have discovered the buried treasure?
Lord Krishna gave a unique demonstration about this truth as
well. A brahmin devotee once came to see His blessings. On
securing Krishna's blessings, the brahmin's cow (his only source
of sustenance) died immediately. Arjuna was by Krishna's side
when this happened and he did not lose the opportunity to
question the strange occurrence. The Divine One immediately
explained that He wanted to grace the brahmin with divine
blessings, a pre-requisite for which
would be unconditional reliance on God. Reliance on one's own
possessions would only hinder the divine blessings that were to
fill the brahmin's life. In the worldly sense this event would
be considered a tragedy, but in reality it served as blessing in
disguise, for the brahmin's responsibility was being borne by
the merciful Lord Himself.
In all the above stories, pain was the seed that planted the
tree of happiness. In addition to serving as a fertile soil for
long-term happiness, pain also has another benefit.
Ancient wisdom and seers often liken suffering to a furnace that
molds gold. In order to mold raw gold into fine jewelry, it is
subjected through the intense heat of a furnace. The intensity
of the heat plays a critical role in softening the pure metal.
Once it softens, it becomes very easy to mold it into fine
jewelry. Swami often calls His devotees "bangaru". In His eyes
we are pure gold and in order to soften us and carve us into
beautiful jewels that can be adorned by Divinity, we are often
challenged with the worldly fire of trials and tribulations. As
painful as these challenges appear, they play a beneficial role
in carving us into wonderful instruments of God. One need not go
far to look for proof of this. Reviewing our own lives, we will
find that the best of our qualities express themselves after the
worst of circumstances.
Night and day, summer and winter, joy and sorrow, pain and
pleasure, suffering and happiness -- all of these represent
opposites that constitute the dual nature of this universe. One
follows the other unfailingly, repeatedly reminding us about the
fleeting nature of things and carefully reiterating the
importance of equanimity (undisturbed state of mind in joy and
sorrow) in our lives.
God Does Everything for
the Best - Oka Chinna Katha
There was once a Minister to a
King who was in the habit of declaring whatever happened was for
one's good. One day the King cut his finger while slicing a
piece of sugar cane. Seeing the bleeding finger the Minister
said as usual "God does everything for the best". The King flew
into a rage and said "Here I am suffering with the pain of a
bleeding finger and you say God does everything for the best.
Enough of your philosophy. Is this the way of consoling me? How
can this be for the best when the pain is intense and real? The
King immediately committed the Minister to prison. Even then the
Minister said calmly "Even this sentence is for my best."
A few days later, the King went alone for hunting in a forest.
When the hunting expedition was over the King was resting under
a tree. Just then the servants of a certain tribal chief of the
forest seized the King, bound his hand and foot. The King
questioned them: "Why do you bind me? What are you going to do
with me?" The tribesmen replied: "We are going to sacrifice you
at the altar of our goddess Kali. It is the custom to offer her
a human sacrifice once a year. The time has arrived. We have
been looking out for a human being. We are fortunate in having
found you." The King remonstrated: "Let me go, I am the King of
the realm, you cannot kill me for the sacrifice." The tribesmen
laughed and said: "We are glad that this year's sacrifice would
be unique and our goddess will be highly pleased because we are
going to offer as sacrifice a great personage."
The King was carried and duly placed on a sacrificial altar.
Things were ready for the death blow; the priest noticed the
bandage on his left hand forefinger. They removed the bandage
only to find that a portion of it was cut. The priest said:
"This man is not acceptable as a sacrifice to our goddess. A man
with a defect in his body is not fit for sacrifice. Set him
The King remembered the words of the Minister uttered when his
finger was cut "God does everything for the best." He realised
that the injury to his finger alone had saved him from death. He
at once hurried home and went straight to the prison to set the
Minister free. He said, "I seek your forgiveness for the rash
and cruel treatment accorded to you." The Minister said: "Your
Majesty; you have done no harm. There is nothing to forgive."
The King once again questioned: "Why did you say that my sending
you to prison is for your good?" The Minister replied: "If I had
not been confined in prison, I would have accompanied you when
you went for hunting. I would have been in your Company.
When the tribesmen came to know
that you were unfit for sacrifice, they would have chosen me and
offered me as a sacrifice. So God does everything for the best."
Cross the River - Oka
There was a pundit who led a
disciplined life, sticking to a prearranged time table. He woke
up from sleep in the early hours of the morning, recited pranava
and later, after ablutions, drank a cup of milk at 7 a.m.
Sometimes the milk-maid arrived late, for she lived on the other
side of a river that flowed between the area in which she lived
and the area in which the pundit lived. She had to catch a ferry
to cross over the river with the milk. The ferry boat either
started a little earlier or a little later. So, sometimes by the
time she reached the Pundit's house it used to be very late.
One day the Pundit scolded her and said "You are upsetting my
disciplined life. Don't you know that I must have my cup of milk
at 7 a.m.? Why do you depend on that boat to take you across?
Just repeat the name of Rama. You will be able to walk across
the river. Rama will see that you do not get drowned."
The maid being very simple and unsophisticated had faith in the
words of the Pundit. Next day, the maid repeated the name of
Rama and she just walked across the river. The Pundit questioned
her: "How could you come on time?" The milk-maid replied: "Sir,
I repeated the name of Rama as you instructed yesterday, and I
could just walk across." The Pundit was flabbergasted. He did
not believe. He just drank the milk and said: "Let's now go to
the bank of the river. Let me see you walk across the river."
The maid stepped into the river repeating the name of Rama; she
could just walk across. The maid requested the Pundit to follow
her. But the Pundit knew that he would not be able to walk
across the river, because he did not have faith in what he
himself had said - the power of the Name.
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(c) 2008, Om Sai Mandir. All Rights Reserved.
OM SAI MANDIR
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Flushing, NY 11355
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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
July 10: Viswamji
will Visit Om Sai Mandir
July 18: Guru Poornima
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