Sai Sandesh Volume
7, Issue 1; Jan 2010
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Message from the
The Hallmark of
God Can Change
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Message from the President
As we close curtains on 2009 and embark on
a hopeful and prosperous 2010, it takes great pleasure on reflecting on
the happenings of 2009 and all the grace that was showered by the Lord
Sai Baba on all of us at Om Sai Mandir.
Despite all the incidences of the year, one thing that was constant
during the entire year was Baba’s invisible hand guiding us through
every event. It takes me great pleasure to inform you that the temple
has grown consistently and what amazes me most is the growth in the
number of younger devotees, especially young adults and children.
Our work with the children has started informally through one-on-one bal
vikas sessions, bhajans practice, and the habit of naama smarana which
is being inculcated into these young minds, personally by me and by the
volunteers. In fact, the number of young volunteers actively singing
bhajans and performing seva has grown remarkably during 2009. It makes
me very proud to see the devotion and dedication exhibited by these
young men and women of faith.
Ganga Jal miracle
Lord Sai has very unique ways of demonstrating His divine presence. In
fact, during the month of May 2009, we had a series of miracles wherein
Baba manifested Ganga Jal (holy water) from the temple’s Shiva Lingam.
Steady streams of water miraculously poured out of the Shiv Lingam every
day for a full period of one month. In fact, on Easwaramma Day we had to
collect the miracle water in vessels and the same was distributed to
devotees in need. We are humbled by this sign of grace.
His Holiness, Sri, Sri Viswayogi Viswamji Maharaj, who is considered to
be the ninth incarnation of Lord Dattatreya visited the temple. During
his visit, he delivered an inspiring discourse and blessed the gathering
with one-on-one interviews and divine prasadam.
Another crest-jewel of a saint, Swamy Bhagavathi Siddar, visited the
temple and performed many miracles and miraculous manifestations, much
to the delight of devotees. Devotees may recall that he had visited the
temple last year as well and had miraculously produced vibhuti,
rudrakshas, pendants, and other holy trinkets from Baba’s statues at Om
Rudram continues for world peace
It also gives me great pleasure to inform that the chanting of Ekadasa
Rudram which had commenced on June 11, 2007 continues along with ritual
abhishekam in the divine presence of Sai Baba. In fact, this year the
devotees chanting Rudram are individually expected to finish 14,641
chants (Athi Maha Rudram) of the Rudram and much to everyone’s delight
the day when these devotees will achieve this count coincides precisely
with Swami’s 85th birthday.
What grace that Swami chose His own birthday to bless the temple with
the performance of Athi Maha Rudram, a process which took almost 3.5
years. Elsewhere, 121 priests are called on to achieve this number, but
here at Om Sai Mandir a handful of devotees were permitted by Swami to
offer 14,641 Rudrams at His lotus feet. Om Sai Mandir is perhaps the
only, or one of the rare few temples in the world, where Rudram is
chanted eleven times along with sarva-devata abhishekam on a daily
Swami's blessings find ample expression through the tireless service of
our dedicated team of young volunteers, a taskforce that has grown
remarkably well during the last year. We are thankful to them.
Despite the steady progress over the past seven years, a lot remains to
be accomplished, and I would like to request the continued
participation, support, and blessings of devotees. We are very eager to
unwrap all the blessings Swami has in store for all of us in 2010. Many
exciting initiatives are being planned for the upcoming year. For
regular updates, be sure to check the temple's website (omsaimandir.org)
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Very Happy,
Healthy, and Prosperous New Year. May Sai Baba's blessings fill your
lives, and the lives of your loved ones, with ever lasting bliss.
Samastha loka sukhino bhavantu. Jai Sai Ram.
- Gangadhar Rao Chalasani, M.D.
The Hallmark of Devotion
By The Sai Sandesh Team
During a conversation with a friend, a
devotee was once told, “Oh, you are so close to Baba. I am sure you have
no problems in your life.” The devotee’s life, much to the contrary,
personified turbulence in every sense of the word. Difficulties,
challenges, and adversities were his constant companions. The friend’s
question led him to introspect whether he was a true devotee at all, and
if so, why was his life so full of undesirable circumstances?
Upon much introspection and contemplation, he managed to have an inner
conversation with Baba and the Lord assured him as follows: “My child,
true devotion is not measured by how many (or how few) worldly problems
one has to face, but is judged, rather, based on how much equanimity,
fortitude, and faith the devotee has demonstrated during those
Was the life of Jesus without problems? Was Mira given a dream life? Did
Hanuman never face difficulties? Nay, much to the contrary, these
exemplary devotees lived lives steeped in insurmountable challenges, yet
they were always cheerful and never detracted from their vow of devotion
and loyalty. They were never disturbed in the least and continued
marching God-ward no matter what came their way.
When Hanuman, who is now deified as God Himself, was crossing the ocean
to fulfill Lord Rama’s task, he braved and defeated not one, but many
dangerous demons. Yet, Hanuman cheerfully fought all these demons with
just one simple recourse—the name of Lord Rama Himself. Not once did he
feel dejected at the prospect of facing these difficulties. If at all,
he demonstrated utmost devotion and set an example for us that problems
and challenges make us stronger and inculcate and foster dispassion and
A guru once asked his disciple to plough a barren field. With implicit
obedience, the lad obeyed the guru’s command and toiled day and night
with the fond hope that the field will produce an outstanding produce.
During the process he was often scoffed and ridiculed by his lazy
neighbors, but the lad persisted in his efforts and did not pay heed to
what the idlers were saying.
despite his best efforts for many years there was no result. Undaunted,
the lad continued his efforts as he had utmost faith in his guru’s
words. After many years of toiling and innumerable difficulties,
however, there was no produce and the lad finally decided to give up.
Just then, the guru appeared miraculously and inquired as to what had
happened over the years.
Dejected, the lad replied he had failed in his efforts and had not
managed to produce anything for offering to the guru. The guru smiled
and asked the lad to look at himself. The person who was once a little
lad had now grown into a young man. His body, which was once emaciated,
had been transformed into a rugged, muscular, and masculine form. He had
become stronger and more experienced. Wisdom shone on his face and a
strange sense of calmness and peace pervaded his aura—all a product of
his tireless, determined, and faithful effort.
Again, the guru asked the disciple to look at the field. Through
constant work on the soil, the lad had managed to dig deep enough to
find visible traces of precious pearls that lay buried deep within the
apparently barren land. These precious treasures, which were buried, had
Isn’t God like that? He asks us to plough the land of our hearts, which
though at the surface appears to be barren and hardened, holds precious
treasures in the form of love, compassion, devotion, and other virtues
extolled in all ancient texts and religions. At first, our efforts may
not produce the desired fruits, but if we persist with faith and
tireless determination, we are sure to achieve success and become
stronger in the process.
The truth is that suffering forms the basis of future success and
through every painful experience we manage to acquire precious pearls of
wisdom and become worthy recipients of the Lord’s grace.
God Can Change Destiny
By The Sai Sandesh Team
The warmth of sincere devotion can
melt God's butter-soft heart in an instant, and in response to a
devotee's plea the Lord becomes like a servitor, willing to
extend any service possible.
When the call is sincere, He will alter even destiny and rescue
devotees from sorrow. This has been the experience of
Once, a mother-in-law was fortunate enough to experience this
grace. She was a pious lady who had a big family with many sons
and daughter-in-laws. Despite experiencing all forms of
happiness, she was not at peace, for none of her children were
able to become parents. She visited Puttaparthi with utmost
reverence and placed her sorrow at the feet of the Lord of
Parthi. He heard her request with compassion but explained that
none of her family members were destined to become parents--that
was their fate.
She was disheartened but she firmly held Sai's feet and with
tear-filled eyes begged Him to intercede. Swami was moved and
asked if she believed in Him. She calmly said that His will was
supreme and that He could alter destiny itself, if He so willed.
Swami was touched by her faith and blessed her. The following
year, she came with beautiful grand children.
Obedience to God’s teachings is a sure way to draw His response
and when a devotee adapts his lifestyle to match Baba’s
teachings, Baba is sure to save such a devotee from even the
most unalterable writ of destiny.
In the Sai Satcharita, there are numerous instances where
a devotee was to meet death or a terrible accident, but Baba
intervened and saved the devotee.
Once a devotee was intent on visiting Chitali on business
purpose. Just before the visit, Baba warned the devotee of
upcoming danger. Shirdi Baba posed his hand in the form of a
snake and said: “The lamba buva (snake) is dangerous but what
can he do to the children of Dwarakamai.
The presiding deity (Baba) is merciful; He will always protect.”
In compliance with Baba’s warning and instructions, the devotee
took Shama on the trip. True to his word, just when the devotee
was reading a newspaper a snake was found unnoticed, but Shama
noticed the snake and quickly called for help. Needless to say,
the devotee’s life was saved. There are many such instances
where Baba saved devotees from accidents and even predictions of
God is so merciful, He cannot but run for His devotees. He is
like the hard-working mother who is always busy performing
routine household chores--in His case, cosmic-duties. Despite
her burdens, the mother always provides for the children's needs
and keeps a watchful eye on them. The children may not know or
When they are safe or at play, she continues performing her
chores, but if a child starts crying inconsolably, she will
leave everything and run to console her darling. Similarly, God,
who bears the love of a thousand mothers, rushes to respond to
His children's calls. His simple words will allay all fears and
fulfill devotees' wishes.
You must understand the
distinction between Education and Educare. Education is
information-oriented. Educare is transformation-oriented.
Education is limited to physical and mental levels. Education
has its roots in Educare. Educare is related to our inner
feelings and purity of heart. Our speech, song and way of life (Maata,
Paata and Baata) should originate from the heart. That is the
essence of Educare. Only those endowed with the practical
knowledge and wisdom will be able to understand and appreciate
the concept of Educare. Even after acquiring a number of
degrees, if you lack purity in your heart, you cannot be called
Source: Thought For The Day, Prashanti Nilayam, Jan 12, 2010
Experience at Prashanti
By M. Saxena
It was the first time I had traveled by
myself to a foreign country. There was no family, no friends to where I
was going -- only Baba. He would be my only destination and source of
comfort and recognition for my trip to Prashanti, and for this life.
I remember first entering Prashanti. I arrived in the evening, and was
thus taken by a mutual friend to the rear of the assembly hall, where
Baba would sometimes appear. There were scores of white people seated,
Just then the bhajans stopped, and the chatters and whispers increased,
as along with their restlessness. The atmosphere was anxious -- Swami
I remember seeing Baba entering from the Ladies' side to the Mens'. He
had stopped in the center of the Mens' section and turned towards the
devotees. And though He was so far away I could barely make out his
visage, I stared on.
Very soon, Baba was still. I locked my gaze upon Him. I then saw this
simultaneous shadow and white aura emanating His body, and surrounding
Him. I no longer saw my Baba's ochre colored clothing. He was simply
light and shadows, shadows and light, slowly pulsating and coming from
Just as I was to step deeper in my experience, this mutual friend broke
my concentration, and asked me to go register so I may get appropriate
lodging. We soon left after Swami retired for the evening. Though I
never had a physical interview with Him, I know I experienced just a
child's leela of the Divine.
Adapted from Oka Chinna
Once, a famous dacoit advised his son
while initiating him into the ancestral profession, never for a moment
to listen to stories of the Lord. "Do not stay to listen to any Purana
or any reading of the Bhagavatha," he exhorted the young aspirant. The
son scrupulously observed this injunction for years and amassed a good
One night, however, while running with his loot on his shoulder through
a side lane of the city to avoid the police, a piece of glass cut his
sole. He sat for a while to pull it off and stop the flow of blood. He
was then behind a house, where some one was reading and explaining the
Bhagavatha to a small group of listeners; he listened perforce for a
short two minutes. The spark fell on the heap of cotton. During that
short period, he heard the pundit explaining the nature of God. He has
no ears, no eyes, no limbs: he has a thousand forms; He is without form.
"Sarvathah paani-paadam," as the Gita says. That description got fixed
in his heart. He could not shake it off.
A few days later the police came to know of the depredations made by him
as well as his associates and kinsmen. In order to know more about their
activities they entered the area incognito, one constable as Kali and
some others as the worshippers and priests. They shouted and yelled,
cursed and terrified the dacoits and called upon them to come out of
their homes and fall at the feet of Kali.
Many did so, but the son who had heard the Bhagavatha, albeit for two
minutes, knew just enough to save his skin. He was not terrified at all.
He challenged the constable who was acting the role of Kali and tore off
his make-up and exposed the plot and instilled courage into the hearts
of the gang. Then, when the police left discomfited he argued within
himself thus: "If two minutes of the forbidden fruit could help me so
much, what can I not gain, if I devote myself entirely to the stories of
the glories of God?" He left off the evil path and became a Sadhaka.
Adapted from Oka Chinna
Once Jesus was walking along the streets of a city. It was a slum area.
He saw a young man rolling in dirt, dead drunk. He went to him, sat by
his side and woke him up. The young man opened his eyes and saw Jesus.
Jesus asked him: "Son! Why are you wasting your precious youth in
drinking?" The young man replied: "Master!, I was a leper. You cured me
of my leprosy. What else can I do?" Jesus heaved a sigh and walked away.
In another street he saw a man madly pursuing a beautiful woman. Jesus
caught hold of him and asked him: "Son! Why do you desecrate your body
by indulging in such a sinful act?" The man replied: "Master! I was
really blind. You gave me vision. What else can I do?"
Jesus trudged along another street. He saw an old man crying bitterly.
Jesus approached him and gently touched him.
The old man wiped his tears and looked at Jesus. Jesus questioned him:
"Why are you weeping old man?" The old man said: "Master! I was nearly
dead. You granted me life. What else can I do except weep in this old
In times of difficulty and distress, we cry out for God's help.
But when God, out of His boundless love and compassion, responds to our
prayer, we ignore Him and fall back into our self-centered life. One
must guard oneself against this greatest sin of ingratitude towards God.
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