Devotional

Excerpts of the articles are presented below. Please click on the title to read the full article.
1.  Avatar Day Celebrations in Greensboro, NC
Please see the communication from Greensboro Sai Center regarding Avathar Declaration Day Celebrations.
 
 
Sairam All,
Hope you are doing well.
 
We are excited to invite you and your center members to the Sri Sathya Sai Avatar Declaration Day Celebrations in Greensboro. Just like the last 5 years, your presence and participation are what makes this program a great success and a humble offering to Swami.
 
We have had themes of Living Sai Values so far and as a natural extension of our earlier theme, we are exploring the theme of Practical Spirituality based on Satya Sai’s Teachings for this year.
 
We are getting the agenda and other logistics ready, we will send you more information in the next few weeks.
 
Greensboro devotees have opened their homes for all those who would like to arrive early.
 
Pls communicate the date and encourage your center members to participate and we look forward to having a great Sai filled gathering.
 
DATE :- OCT 14 , 2017(Saturday)
3.  Study Circle Topic – Significance of Easter (Discussion during the Easter Day of 2017)

STUDY CIRCLE  Continued on 30/04/2017 From Easter Day of April 16, 2017 

My Humble Pranams at the Divine Lotus Feet of Our Beloved Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

 For this study circle I would like to speak about the 3 steps of the Jesus life through the Divine speech of  Bhagavan Baba and rapport it with our daily lives.

Swami in a  Divine Speech said

 It is said that when Jesus was born in a manger, three kings were led by a star to Jesus’s place of birth. ln fact, they were not kings but three shepherds. One of them, seeing the infant Jesus, observed, “This child will be a lover of God”. A second one said, “No. God will love him.” The third one said, “Verily He is God Himself” .

The true significance of these three statements is,

To love God is to be His Messenger.

To be loved by God is to be a son of God.

The final state is to be one with God.

 

As Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.” Thus. all persons are messengers of God. This means that they should divinise themselves. When can men call themselves sons of God? Recognize what pure actions are done by God, selflessly for the sake of all. There is no trace of self-interest in Him. Everything He does, says, or thinks is for the good of others. On the other hand, everything men do, speak ,or think is born out of selfishness. Men have become puppets in the hands of selfishness. Men can describe themselves as “sons of God” only when they are completely free from selfishness and become Godly. To call yourself the “son of God”, you have to manifest the qualities of the Father. (12/25/1994)

 Here we see that the three steps of Jesus were

Be the messenger of God

Being the Son of God

Finally be one with God

Jesus is born man and dies like God. It is the way that every man should follow.

Baba said

Everything He does, says, or thinks is for the good of others. On the other hand, everything men do, speak ,or think is born out of selfishness. Men have become puppets in the hands of selfishness.

 What does it mean?

If the harmony between thought, word, and action has no basis for altruistic love

I am out of the truth, I am out of the dharma.

Today, it often happens to note people who have no harmony in word, action thinking. They think of something, they say something else and they do other.

As Baba said, it brings people to be an ego puppet.

We are no longer in control of our mind, but we are slaves of it.

People are always ready to satisfy every wish the mind has:

     – The desire for a glass of coca cola is born, they drink coca cola

  • Then they want to eat chocolate, they eat it
  • Then improvisedly feel the need for a cigarette, they smoke

They need to do it as soon as possible, they can not wait.

The mind is the boss of the body, every time it wants something the body is ready to do it.

Instead, people should put ceiling on desires.

About Jesus Swami said

He sacrificed his happiness, prosperity, comfort, safety and position; he braved the enmity of the powerful. He refused to yield or compromise. He renounced the ‘ego’, which is the toughest thing to get rid of. Honor Him for these. He willingly sacrificed the desires with which the body torments man; this is sacrifice greater than the sacrifice of the body under duress. (12/24/1972)

In another speech Baba  said:

If we want to attain the changeless Divinity, to some extent we have to control the body, which does, and the mind, which thinks. The body is like a water bubble. The mind is a mad monkey. We should not follow the body, which is a water bubble, or the mind, which is a mad monkey. We have to follow the conscience, or the Atma principle. But today’s aspirants are not following their conscience. They are following only the body and mind. Man should have a firm mind. (05/01/1991)

 How do I get a stable mind?

 Namasmaran

  • Adherence to the truth
  • Sattvic food
  • Good company
  • Meditation
  • Introspection
  • Prayer
  • Devotional singing
  • Seva
  • Study of Sacred Writings
  • Ceiling od desires
  • Good thoughts
  • Sat Sang
  • et cetera…

All these activities point to give peace to the mind and makes it pure.

Practically the mind has to be deconstruct.

Delete all the dirt, make the mind pure, so it can be rewritten with the right teachings.

It is also important, eliminate bad habit and replace them with goods ones.

Through a sincere effort, and the Guru grace the goal can be achieved.

As we make our mind pure, the more our discrimination will be better.

Avoid watching TV, reading magazines, spending time on social as Facebook or Twitter will also help to not pollute the mind.

The mind tends to stick to anything that is attractive in the world, like an octopus with thousands of tentacles that grab everything it can.

It never stop, is a desire after another.

These continuous attachments are the cause of suffering, that lead man increasingly to a decay.

“The mind is a set of desires. If gradually destroy the desires, the mind will be over. If you reduce desires and attachments you will gain the peace of mind.” Baba said.

From a Divine Speech of Swami I found this (12/25/1994)

At first he considered himself as Messenger of God. After the penance he realised he was the Son of God.

He began his ministry with a group of fishermen as his first disciples. He taught them that they should first seek the Kingdom of Heaven. To enter that Kingdom they had to cultivate loving hearts. Then, their hearts would become the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus further declared to them: “I and my Father are one.”

Foster love in your hearts and redeem your lives What is it that men should acquire today? It is the broadening of the heart so that it may be filled with all-embracing love. Only then the sense of spiritual oneness of all mankind can be experienced.

Out of that sense of unity will be born the love of God. This love will generate pure bliss in the heart that is boundless, indescribable and everlasting. For all forms of bliss, love is the source. A heart without love is like a barren land. Foster love in your hearts and redeem your lives. Whatever your scholarship or wealth, they are valueless without love. Without devotion all other accomplishments are of no avail for realising God. Men aspire for liberation. True liberation means freedom from desires.

Today men cannot go to forests for penance or engage themselves in meditation and other spiritual exercises. The easiest spiritual path for all people is to dedicate all their actions to God.

Swami here in a few lines gives us the key to liberation.

He tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us. Paradise is inside us.

In us is the ability to turn the lock key (mind) in the right direction.

Our destiny is in our hands.

From a thought comes a desire. From a desire an action is born. Repeated actions creates a habit. From a habit comes the character. By the character we will have our destiny.

I would like to end with these words:

There is only one God; He is Omnipresent. There is only one religion, the Religion of Love; there is only one caste, the Caste of Humanity; there is only one language, the Language of the Heart.

Jai Sai Ram

 

4.  Discussion Summary – Sadhana Quote of April 27, 2017

Quote of the Day

You have had the valuable opportunity to listen to Divine discourses and directions, they have been printed upon your hearts; many of your conversations is centred on Me or on My divine play (leelas) and glory (mahima). My advice to you is: Apply this adoration in your life. Let your companions see how disciplined you are, how sincerely you obey your parents, and how deeply you revere your teachers. Be a light, radiating virtue and self-control wherever you live, just as commendably as you did when in My divine presence. Do not slide back into indiscipline, bad manners, irresponsibility and evil habits. Do not complain against food; eat with pleasure whatever you get. Do not protest against any errand that your parents may assign you. Run gladly and fulfil it. When they want you to nurse them, do it happily, intelligently, and feeling glad that you got the chance. Live anywhere but such that I can pour My Grace on you, more and more.
– Divine Discourse, Feb 22, 1968
 
Summary of Discussion
 
1.When you alone and even when no one is watching, be as good and disciplined as we would be in the physical presence of Swami.
2.A personal incident was shared. While having a train journey, a lady approached a Sai devotee for help.She recognized that he is a Sai devotee by his white attire.  The gentleman offered her the needed help. Sai devotees are known for their serving attitude, discipline and sincerity. We should live up to those expectations.
3. We should always be available to offer help, because our Swami led by example, we should never bring bad name to Swami.
4. Back in Hyderabad, there was procession going on, Two traffic police sounded worried in the beginning and when they noticed they are Sathya sai devotees, they were relieved.
 
Testimonies of some of the Sai center member experiences of how our Sai Family members offer help and shower love were shared.
 
 
5.  Discussion Summary- Sadhana Quote of April 26, 2017

Quote for the Day

You are unnecessarily struggling and planning several schemes, thinking about them day and night. In spite of all your struggles, what has to go out of your hands will go. The body is like a water bubble. The mind is like a mad monkey. If you follow this mad monkey, you will get into trouble. In the same manner, if you believe in the body, you do not know when this body, which is like a water bubble, will burst. Nothing is permanent. Only the Atma (Self) is eternal and immortal. ‘I’, ‘Self’, ‘God’ are all different names by which the Atmaswarupa is called. God incarnated as Rama, Krishna, and the like, and underwent several difficulties to demonstrate great ideals. Finally, they too left the mortal coil. The physical bodies of the Avatars undergo changes, but the Divine Atma in their bodies remains the same. It is omnipresent, eternal and changeless. Divinity in all the human beings is one and the same.
– Divine Discourse, Jan 1, 2009
 
Summary of the Discussion
1. Swami in all his discourses talks about body or mind.When we associate ourselves with our body or follow the mind, that is duality, we should follow the Atma .
2.Swami says Rama and Krishna underwent all the difficulties as a normal human being. They led by example that the physical body is of no significance.
3.We should understand that mind and body are the vehicles to undertake divine work, they should not be misused merely to fulfill temporary desires and indulgences.
4.We should realize that Atma is permanent. Even though we know that body is momentary, we are unable to release ourselves from the bodily attachments.
5.When we participate in center activities, we feel good.  But outside of it, the worldly affairs influence us.  We should come out of the worldly attractions and dedicate all actions to God.
6.We may have some unpleasant moments, we need to practice letting go and moving on with faith in the Divine wisdom.
7.One should not have fear of death. Just as we change clothes, atma too switches to different bodies.
8. Great souls/sages who have left their physical form have come back to body again have conveyed many a times that the other side(beyond the physical plane) is very blissful.
 
6.  Discussion Summary – Sadhana Quote of April 25, 2017

Quote for the Day

You may install idols and worship them. But do not forget the inner significance of all that worship. All external activities are necessary only to help you to get the spirit of non-duality and experience unity in diversity. Love and sacrifice are very important. Where there is pure, unsullied, selfless, sacred and sublime love there is no fear at all. Giving and not getting is the underlying principle of spiritual sadhana. Your heart is full of love, but you are using it only for selfish purposes instead of diverting it towards God. God is in the heart and not in the head. The heart is full of love. Every day, remind yourself that God is one; all religions uphold the same principle of ‘One God, who is omnipresent.’ Do not have contempt for any religion, as each is a pathway to God. Fostering love towards your fellow-beings, receive the blessings of the Divine. This is the goal of life.
– Divine Discourse, Sep 9, 1994
 
Summary of The Discussion
 
1. Swami not only says that all religions are same, but also shows by an example. Puttparthi is the only place where the festivals of all the religions are celebrated.
2.Giving(love and sacrifice), not getting is the real spiritual sadhana
3.Pure love will spread positive vibrations and has the power to eliminate hatred.
4.During Bhagwan’s Chennai water project inauguration, the then chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Karunanidhi did not fancy offering his pranams at the Lotus feet. But Swami in his immense love visited his house and his unconditional and nonjudgmental love brought over a change of heart in Karunanidhi. He had to finally succumb to His love and he paid his respects to the Divine Master.
5.The evil mind is the cause of hatred among religions.
6.Excessive information(Media,whatsapp, facebook etc) causes unnecessary agitation in our minds. Swami  often say that today’s news paper is tomorrow’s waste paper.
7.Being in Sai’s fold is a blessing. Wherever we go ,  Sai family welcomes us even when they don’t know each other. The only connecting force is love for Swami.