Know The Secret Of Happiness That The Gopis Knew

Know The Secret Of Happiness That The Gopis Knew

Gopis were very unique, as devotees. They had no consciousness of the body at all; they were all the while attached only to the principle that is embodied in It. They were eager to know the `other’, not to experience ‘this’. As a matter of fact, it is the identification with the gross body that lies at the root of all the cruelty, injustice, greed, violence and falsehood that parade all over the world. It is this that breeds desire, that multiplies wants, that makes man ride on the waves of whim and fancy. When he is not able to catch up with his ambition, man becomes a prey to disappointment and grief, hate and avarice.

If you ask God to fulfil your wishes, your worship is degraded into an act of bargaining; your reverence is equated with what you receive; you are selling homage for so much of satisfaction. You become a paid servant, a hired labourer, insisting on wages and calculating how much is got for the work done. Be on the other hand, a member of the family, feel that you are the Lord’s own, do every task as `my work’ `my task’ without any idea of the return therefore; then the work does not tire, it is done well. When this attitude is taken up by you, you feel not clamour for wages at all. The Master will maintain you and your people as He feels you deserve. This secret of happiness the Gopis knew; you must also live out your lives on these lines.

(Sri Sathya Sai Baba – extracted from Divine Discourse on 19th August 1965)

Reference

Walls Of Sai Baba Temple In Shirdi Adorned With Gold Sheets

Sai Baba Of Shirdi

Sai Baba Of Shirdi


Walls Of Sai Baba Temple In Shirdi Adorned With Gold Sheets

Shirdi, Jan 11 (PTI) The four walls surrounding the statue of Shirdi Sai Baba have been adorned with gold sheets weighing 50 kg and embossed with pictures of the 20th century saint.

The sheets mounted over the walls, prepared using about 50 kg gold, 50 kg bronze and about 250 kg copper, have been donated to the temple’s trust by a Hyderabad-based businessman Adinarayana Reddy, a Sai Sansthan trustee told PTI.

Bangalore-based artist Raja Algar who has embossed the sheets with pictures depicting the saint, six in all, has been working on it since the past four months, he said.

Algar has worked on the designs of many temples including the Tirupati Balaji in Andhra Pradesh, he said.

In 2008 Reddy had donated the golden throne on which the Sai Baba now sits, after his wife Sulochana had a dream in which the saint asked her to get it made.

The throne which costs close to Rs 90 crore was made using 100 kg gold. It was also prepared by Algar.

The temple, the second richest in the country after Tirupati Balaji, see 25 per cent increase in the number of devotees each year, the trustee said.

Shirdi Sai Baba temple has collected Rs 81 crore in cash, 120 kg of gold and 440 kg of silver in the form of donations during the year 2008, he added. PTI

Reference

Prayer To Our True Parent

Sathya Sai Baba Avatar

Sathya Sai Baba Avatar


Prayer To Our True Parent

Tvameva Ma Ta ca pita tvameva
Tvameva Bandhusca Sakha tvameva
Tvameva Vidya Dravinam tvameva
Tvameva sarvam mama Devadeva

You alone are the father
You alone are the mother
You alone are the true relative
You alone are the true friend
You alone are the source of true knowledge
You alone are the source of true wealth
You are my all, O! My God of all gods

Once Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was visiting the primary school at Puttaparthi. For reasons known to Him alone, he picked out a boy and asked him: “Who is your parents?” The boy perhaps thought that Swami might be the good and great God but not that good in English Grammar. So he began to answer: “My parents are …”, Swami stopped him short and again asked: “Who is your parents?” with added accent on the ‘is’. The boy was feeling uneasy and again began answering. “My parents are…” Again he was cut short. Then with great love Swami told him: “I am both your true mother and true father. Yet I am not two but one. So I have deliberately used ‘is’ instead of ‘are’!” How truly it is said in the Upanishad that gods are fond of telling things indirectly (Deva paroksha priya).

Bhagawan is also known to have often asked devotees, “Where do you come from?” repeatedly until the right answer “from You, Swami” is elicited. Indeed, Bhagawan is the true begetter and the so-called parents are only receivers, keepers and caretakers. This is brought out beautifully in the Tamil language by the word ‘petrore’ which means ‘receivers’. The sooner this is realised the better it will be, for the children as well as the parents of their physical bodies.

In the ancient scriptures it is advised that we must regard the mother and father as gods. Indeed Bhagawan often exhorts his students to do so. But He does not fail to point out to the elder devotees that they are not exactly good examples to their children: Either they set bad examples of behaviour without much regard for the five human values or they pamper them with too much (comforts etc) to live with and too little (aim or ideal) to live for. Parents must try to give more time, love and care to their children than money and material comforts and further they must not hesitate to chide and punish the children when they make mistakes. How well our true parent (God) does it! He calls us Dhunna pothus (Buffalos) and rowdies with a show of anger when we do things wrongly and bangaru’s (golden ones) when we repent and resolve to set right our courses. So in the present times it will be more appropriate to say: Regard God as your mother and father!

In the second line, the devotee calls the Lord as his true relative and friend. True in the sense that He will be with us through thick and thin and not only when we are fine and full of felicity; that he will not only praise our good deeds but also criticise freely when we go wrong. Anyone with enough experience of life will know the validity of this statement for human/physical relatives and friends are fair-weather mates more often than not. Inspired by Bhagawan’s example, so many devotees have showered affection and care on the people who come to our medical camps and other service camps that the people often exclaim: “Even our relatives could not have shown so much care and affectionate regard as you have done”.

In the third line of this prayer, it is proclaimed that the lord is the source of knowledge and wealth. We gain knowledge through direct observation and experience (pratyaksha) , through inference using our reasoning mind (Anumana) and through the words of others and the words conveying ideas received through intuition, insight or divine revelation (sabda). The truest and the most important source of knowledge is ‘sabda’ which is not only informative but also transformative.

Similarly, wealth is not synonymous with lots of money. One can be happy and healthy and very useful to others with less lucre and more love, less gold and more of good values of life; if wealth is regarded as a source of happiness the latter will be more so than the former. Since love and values of life originate in the Lord’s love for us and in the teachings that He imparts, He then is the real source of knowledge and wealth indeed.

The last line is a summary of all that is said above. Yet another meaning too can be read in it. God is in parents, relatives, friends and the circumstances of our life that we now have, in or behind all of them. Through them God allows us to experience the results of our past and present deeds: Through good parents He teaches us with good examples worthy of following; through the not-so-good or bad ones, we are taught how not to think and do things. Through the facilities we have, the lord rewards our meritorious acts; and through the problems we face the Lord helps us to learn where we went wrong. So behind and in front and all around us there is God facilitating our growth in the understanding of our true self and concomitant wisdom and happiness. We are indeed the children of God, heirs to the legacy of His love, wisdom and bliss.

Om Sai Ram

Courtesy: Spiritual Impressions

The Divine Miracle Message Manifested By Sai Baba In London

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


The Divine Miracle Message Manifested By Sai Baba In London

Miracles have a strange way of manifesting themselves before the true devotee.
J.K., embodies the meaning of the word ‘Devotion.’ His work in setting up Sai Schools in Africa is being orchestrated by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Jay kay gives us a vivid description of the many miracles that Swami has given him.

Jay Kay is a devoted servant of Sai Baba. He has been involved in the setting up of Sai Schools in Africa and does other service work, mainly with blind children. His work for Zee TV in London has enabled him to set up a TV program on Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Well-known devotees from all over the world are telephoned and asked to share their experiences of Baba. Baba does not allow Jay to visit Him often as he claims that the money, which would be used for travel, would be better off utilised in service work.

However, Jay Kay regularly recieves communication from Baba in the form of letters that flutter down from the ceiling to materialise in mid air. A special letter always arrives on Jay’s birthday. Sometimes Jay will send a letter to Swami. These are generally returned unopened, with a response written over the letter in highlighter pen. Jay is often posted to different countries for a time. Wherever his altar is set up, miracles occur. Vibhuthi is found to manifest profusely off pictures of Sathya or Shirdi Sai will appear, sometimes inside picture frames. These may later “walk out” on to the altar. Sometimes vibhuthi forms the words, Om, etc. The following message was sent in a letter to Jay from Baba and has since been printed on a calendar, which is distributed throughout Malaysia. This private message contains, in a nutshell, many of Sai Baba’s essential teachings.

“Your faith should be of full divinity. Apart from saying God is Love, I do not think that anyone with human consciousness can define God until you merge with God. My message is of divine Love and Service. My life is my message. And what is life? Dedicated long service to mankind 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At night I read through sackfuls of letters. I do not sleep. I do not waste a single moment. What is life? The successful life is the development of one’s talents in the service of others. You are all tiny cells in this body of mine. The whole world is My vesture including animal and vegetable kingdoms. 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. The heart is the key of mystical insight. The secret of happiness lies in not doing what you like but in liking what you have to do. If you follow your deepest conscience however difficult, you will find in time joy and contentment, which is far satisfying and fulfilling than anything that self-will and the pursuit of physical and material desire can give you. I accept all religions and people from all religions. It is good to be born in a church but it is not good to die in one. Self-awareness and self-honesty are very important. You are not one but three: the one you think you are, the one others think you are and the one you really are. Be true to your innermost nature. True spiritual growth needs an honest base from which to grow. You must try to become children of God, rather than children of conditioning. Meditation should be done. Two-thirds of meditation should be self-enquiry. The elimination of the ego is another one third, for ego is the real enemy of self-honesty, and dedicated service is the best way to erase it. Life is a bridge over the ocean of change, pass over it but do not build a house over it. You all should know how to live, not just how to make a living. Character is important, I am not much interested in the marks a student gains as the remarks about his character. You seek too much information and not enough transformation. There must be a balance between knowing and being, between what you know and what you are. Knowledge which is not put into use in service is like food not being, digested. Too much book learning can lead to doubt and confusion. Be simple and sincere: God is simple, everything else is complex. A friend who cannot be corrected is not a friend. If your faults are pointed out, do not bear a grudge. Examine your own conduct carefully and mindfully proceed to correct yourself: You should be grateful for it and not be offended by it. Of course, selfishness is the greatest negative tendency in man. There is a road for each heart to God. Each will come in his own way at his own pace.

There is a way of life, a method of uplift, a path of progress distinct for each person, different from those of others. Come one step, I shall take a hundred towards you. Shed just one tear, I shall wipe a hundred from your eyes. Don’t worry I am always with you.

“With Love,”

Baba

Phillip and Jenny Cottingham

Reference

Shirdi Trust To Observe 3-Day Gurupournima Festival

Sai Baba

Sai Baba


Shirdi Trust to observe three-day Gurupournima Festival
July 15th, 2008 – 2:06 pm ICT by ANI

New Delhi, July 15 (ANI): The three-day Shri Gurupournima Festival will be observed from July 17 to July 19 this year.

Organised by the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, this festival is one among three observed and celebrated in any given year, the other two being the Shriramnavami Festival and the Shri Saibaba Punyatithi (birth anniversary) Festival.

The Shri Gurupournima Festival is observed to make the general public aware of the ancient teaching tradition and relationship between the Guru (the teacher) and the Shishya (student). It is also known as the Vyas Pooja after the learned sage of ancient times Vyasa.

On July 17, the festival will begin with the Kakad Arati procession of Sai babas portrait and holy book. It will be taken around the town and will be followed by the Akhand Parayan or the continuous reading of the holy book, which is also known as the Shri Saisatcharitra.

Devotees will then be allowed to pay homage to Sai baba, and thereafter, several religious ceremonies will be observed throughout the remainder of the day.

July 18 will be the main day of the festival, and will pretty much follow the routine set out on the previous day. Devotional songs and obeisance will be paid to the Sai baba by hundreds of thousands of devotees.

On the last day (July 19), the festival will be gin with devotees taking a ritual bath. This will be followed by the Rudra Abhishek ceremony at the Gurusthan. There will be a mid-day arati and traditional programs like the Gopal Kala and the Dahihandi will be performed.

In the evening between 7.30 p.m. and 9 p.m., Shailaja Acharya of Ambarnath will perform the Shri Santwani program in the central hall of the shrine.

Jayant Sasane, chairman of the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shankarrao Kolhe, the vice-chairman of the trust, and other officials will participate in the festival. (ANI)

Remembering Sai Geetha (aka ‘Sai Geeta’ – ‘Sai Gita’)

Baby Gita - Hairs Standing On End

Baby Gita - Hairs Standing On End

Remembering Sai Geetha (aka ‘Sai Geeta’ – ‘Sai Gita’)
Sai Gita: The Sweet Song Of Sai

To the mortals, exit from the physical plane comes as a big blow, for. It inflicts pain of separation from near and dear ones. Quoting an anonymous poet, Prof. N. Kasturi wrote substantiating his statement that anything, which is born and grows, declines and dies, …as soon as we are born our funeral procession started! Our heart is the drum. Our hearts beat like a muffled drum and the funeral march starts! So, birth is only the beginning of death!

Sai Geeta’s illustrious story that has essentially become a part of His Story is indeed an inspiring saga, especially in an age when man often falters to understand God’s greatest boon to humanity, the great sojourn called life. In an age when human values struggle to find their way into human hearts, when man’s bestial tendencies often prevail upon the latent good in him, it is Divinity’s masterplan that showcases the dedicated life of an elephant modelling devotion in its real and complete sense. indeed, it serves as a great lesson to humanity.

Tears that rolled down her cheeks on many a occasion, her mischievous pranks acknowledging ecstasy at having been blessed to be in the Divine Presence, were testimonies to the unmatched love, pristine in quality, she has had for her Beloved Master, Bhagawan, that for sure would be envied even by human beings.

It was not a mere coincidence that brought The Creator and His Creation together in the Mudumalai forest marking the beginning of this glorious tale of love. It was a Divine happenstance, a well-crafted master plan by the Divine that would have had its roots linked to many previous births that had made such a meeting possible. Sai Geeta is a Shuddha Brahmacharini (pristine and perfect celibate). She has come for Me, said Bhagawan once, at the end of a long arduous trial she had been forced to undertake at the instance of some senior devotees; she had been ‘reluctantly’ sent to the forest for breeding at the dogged persuasion of some senior devotees in the ashram for no positive result.

Adorned as a Little Princess
There came Sai Geeta to Prasanthi Nilayam
Rejoiced Prasanthi in her endearing presence
And struck a love tale…Creator with His creation
Echoed the song of her heart’s melody
Love for Baba…Life for Baba!
Gazing at Baba she wept
The King returned ‘His Own’ to her
His Love was that she sought
His Heart was that she conquered
Knowing fully, still unknowingly…
She lived a Life…a Life Full…
Unruffled and nonchalant
Dissipating every passing thought
…into the gleam of eternity
Yet, in the end came ‘the end’
Denouement of the drama of life…
Yet, she survived the scare…death
Basking in the love of her Sun
At the end…she receded…devoutly
Into the gleam of eternity!
We salute You, Oh! Little Princess!

Sai Geeta is history now and essentially a part of His-Story. She must have been with Bhagawan through many of His previous Avatars and hence possibly having found her way to Prasanthi Nilayam. Who are we to decipher Bhagawan’s play with our very limited intellect? It all seems a part of His overall drama. He knew that the children would come in to study at the schools and the universities. He knew that they loved animals and animals loved them in return. He had a plan to instil the mantra of divine love through His interaction with Sai Geeta. And she too seemed to play with the Divine, just the way the cows nuzzled up to Him in Brindavan.

“Death is the denouement of the drama of life” wrote Prof. N. Kasturi. For those who loved Sai Geeta, her passing away marked the end of a drama in physical. Devotees would definitely miss her beautifully caparisoned frame majestically leading processions, her gorgeous princely gait, rare sight of tears of love rolling down her cheeks, the beauty of her being cuddled and fed by Mother Sai so affectionately, her unruffled nonchalant looks dissipating every passing thought into the gleam of eternity and lots more…. But, her footprints would continue her legacy in the hearts of millions who loved her so dearly.

A year has gone by. And it is still vivid in the minds of those who were present to witness the scene on the morning of 23rd May 2007 when His all conquering love filled and fulfilled Sai Geeta and perhaps her final wish to have Him with her during her final earthly moments. How an ordinary mortal could decipher the mysterious moments that happened on that fateful morning when Bhagawan Himself drove down to the planetarium side to have a look at His pet elephant that had dropped down on the previous evening? He went close to Sai Geeta and smeared vibhuti all over her head. He was there for a couple of minutes pressing her head with His fingers, stroking her trunk, applying vibhuti on her face and limbs. He then lovingly moved His fingers over her eyes and even asked the caretaker to open her eyes. Though it had been fifteen hours after her passing away, clinically, her body was still supple and flexible as if it was still having traces of life inching towards final exit. Braving the simmering summer, there waited God in human form, silently guiding the entire proceedings of His beloved’s final journey, for more than two and a half hours, at the newly constructed Sai Geeta Mahal, as devotees affectionately started calling the same.

All knowing God, the master crafter and designer who knew in advance of the events to come had a well thought out plan for His beloved pet elephant. He had in fact shared with Mr. Pedda Reddy, the caretaker, an interesting idea well in advance of the fateful happening that the new building could be dedicated as a memorial to Sai Geeta. The hidden truth behind Bhagawan’s ‘indication’ was not properly understood by anyone, then. In similar fashion, it was against the usual schedule that had been in place over the years, that Bhagawan returned straight to Prasanthi Nilayam after three week’s stay in Kodaikanal, as if some important event was awaiting Him over here.

A Divine Grace to Record the Present:
Alex Prowse, an accomplished artist from the United Kingdom, member of The Pastel Society, a member of The Federation of British Artists, The Mall Galleries, London and more importantly an ardent devotee of Bhagawan had a beautiful experience with Bhagawan that had a Sai Geeta flavour. He believes that, foreseeing the future, Bhagawan had given him a rare chance to record the present, painting Sai Geeta alive!

Alex Prowse along with his wife was fortunate to have an interview with Bhagawan on the afternoon of 3rd April 2007. During the interview Bhagawan lovingly enquired after his health, as he had been unwell in between. Upon answering the question in affirmative, Alex showed Him a pencil drawing on Sai Geeta that he had done just a week before and expressed his concern that the elephant was suffering from a bad tummy. Bhagawan keenly looking at the drawing asked his wife, ‘now he will do painting?’ His wife, sitting at the other end, looked across to Alex before nodding and replying that yes, he would. During the following week Alex spent more time dedicated to drawing and filming Sai Geeta in preparation for a series of paintings that he was sure by then to undertake, as inspired by Bhagawan. “What a joy and privilege it was” writes Alex. Upon returning to the UK on the 19th April 2007 he began working on the first painting. Barely a month later, on 22nd May, he was shocked and saddened to receive a message informing him of the passing away of Sai Geeta. Alex writes:

“Swami had seen the future and given me the chance to record the present. The painting given here shows Sai Geeta losing her worldly form and morphing with her heavenly energy surrounded by Devas.”

Sai Geetha - An Offering

Sai Geetha - An Offering

From Switzerland To Shirdi To Parthi:
Urs Keller, a devotee from Switzerland and a great fan of Sai Geeta has had some interesting tales about the little princess of Prasanthi Nilayam. But, before turning into the Sai Geeta pages, it would be interesting to read, in his own words, how this man who set out to meet Sathya Sai Baba of Prasanthi Nilayam mysteriously reached the Abode of Shirdi Sai Baba at Shirdi from where he was subsequently guided to Parthi during his maiden trip to Bhagawan, as if some unseen hand was orchestrating the whole of the happening. Writes Keller:

“In the year 1978, I was in Luzern for teacher’s training. To go somewhere after my studies where there was peace was the most important thing for me. So, I began searching for this place in different spiritual groups and in literature where I could be free and at peace. After a long search here and there I came across an article in a magazine with a small photo of Sathya Sai Baba. The title was ‘Prashanthi Nilayam, The Abode of Supreme Peace’.

I told myself spontaneously, ‘I’ll go there!’ and cut out the article and put it into my wallet. Then I forgot about it, since I did not know about Sai Baba and Prashanthi Nilayam. Half a year later someone saw the photo of Sai Baba and invited me for tea. This Swiss man had visited Sai Baba in India and told me about the place. Now, everything became clear to me. Subsequently I had earned enough money and was able to travel to India to see Sai Baba in August 1980 and stay for three months. The article about Sathya Sai Baba had been with me for a long time.

Because I was told that all people in India know Sai Baba, I flew to Bombay. Outside the airport I asked where I could find Sai Baba. Everywhere I got the answer ‘yes, yes’ and was first directed to the railway station. There I heard different answers until I got exhausted, crouched down in a corner and wept. After some time someone came to me, took my hand, guided me to a train, put me into a compartment and told the fellow travellers where they should let me get off. At last he placed a ticket into my hand, smiled and disappeared. I had no idea who he was, but until today I am very grateful to him.

In the early morning hours I reached a small village north of Bombay. I walked through the deserted lanes as if guided by an unseen hand to a temple and stepped inside with my shoes on, like in a church. Because I was there all alone, ready to drop down, I fell asleep at the feet of the marble idol.

When the priests came they did not know what to do with me and first of all took my shoes off while I was still asleep. Waking up I realized that the priests and some other people were looking at me with eyes wide open. As I walked out of the temple one of the priests started conversing with me in a very friendly way. He explained that this was Shirdi Sai Baba’s temple and asked me to stay another day. Then he arranged my tickets for the train and bus to Prashanthi Nilayam – the Abode of Supreme Peace- about 800 km in the South.”

Sai Gita Bliss

Sai Gita Bliss

And once in Prasanthi Nilayam he developed a new found love, apart from regular darshan of Bhagawan, Sai Geeta, Bhagawan’s pet elephant. Keller continues:

“For several weeks, I spent my time at noon sitting near Sai Baba’s pet elephant, Sai Geeta, in the cowshed called Gokulam. Many a time, I went for a walk with Sai Geeta and her mahout. Once we were on our way to the small animal park next to the college when Sai Geeta suddenly started trumpeting like mad. The mahout told me that Sai Baba’s car would come from the village at any moment. In fact, after a few seconds the car showed up to the place. Bhagawan got down, patted Sai Geeta and smiled at me. I bowed down before Him. Sai Baba then explained to the man in charge of the small animal zoo in a very fast way many things about small animals like deer, rabbits and birds.”

It is indeed a known fact that every time Bhagawan would cross the then Sai Geeta residence through the road His attention would be diverted to Sai Geeta at that split second. Joy Zieglere of the US wrote about such an incident.

“Almost each day of my stay at Prasanthi Nilayam, I walked through the village, past the schools, past the new planetarium, to the large plot of tropical land that is Sai Geeta’s home. Often I would stop at one of the many small fruit and vegetable stands along the roadside and pick out five or six ripe bananas to take for the elephant. Usually, the gentleman who took care of Geeta allowed me to feed her and stroke her trunk.

Some days, if Swami was going to the Gokulam, He would drive by Geeta’s lush area and wave. Geeta would run to the gate and bow, holding her trunk out in salute to her adored Swami. I witnessed this many times during the two months I had been at the ashram. Sometimes Geeta would trumpet her love for Swami, sending elephant sounds deep into the sultry jungle that surrounded her.

There were other days when Swami would drive by and not glance Geeta’s way. Unhampered by this, the faithful elephant could still be seen at the roadside, knees bent, trunk outstretched, in praise to the Divine, as His car slowly passed. Geeta’s keeper was ever ready with assistance. Each day she was bathed, Indian designs were painted on her large forehead, usually in white, and a brass bell hung lazily from her neck. Purple bougainvilleas adorned the fence around Geeta’s yard as well.

One morning, as was my practice, I waved at the keeper and held up my gift of bananas. Holding up his hand in returned recognition, he walked toward the entrance. Speaking to me, he said, ‘I will not have you feed these to Geeta today,’ taking the fruits from my hand.

I responded quickly, ‘Is she sick?’

‘No, no,’ came his reply. ‘Swami may stop and feed her these bananas today.’

I thought to myself, `I have been here almost every day, and Swami has never stopped to feed her. Why, sometimes He has not even looked her way. This man must be dreaming.’ I finally presumed that the keeper was going to consume the bananas himself.

No sooner had this thought gone through my mind than a student, neatly dressed in fresh, white trousers with matching shirt, galloped up to the gateway and shouted to the elephant keeper that Swami was indeed on His way. Wiping Geeta’s trunk and straightening her bell, the keeper walked with Sai Geeta to the entrance. He opened the gate and she stepped out on the sand to wait in anticipation of Swami.

She bowed low and trumpeted loudly, as the red car came to a stop in front of her. The door opened and Swami stepped out. Walking several steps toward Geeta, He reached out and put His arms around her trunk and gave a hug. Geeta closed her eyes in ecstasy. Swami then took the bananas and fed them one by one to Geeta, stroking her trunk as she ate.

I was breathless. How had the keeper known Swami would stop there that day?

Nudging me gently, the elephant mahout pointed to the camera that hung forgotten around my neck, then to Swami, reminding me of the opportunity to take pictures.

What went on between God and His elephant that day was inexpressible. But the love that passed between them was glorious.As Swami’s car vanished down the narrow road, I turned to the keeper in near hysteria. ‘How did you know that Swami would stop and feed Geeta today?’ I asked in an almost scream.

Softly, the man replied, ‘I didn’t know. What I did know was that Geeta needed to be close to Swami. It had been waiting for a long time. God gives each of us what we need; not just to humans alone, but to each species of creation. Every being is in His ever knowing hands.'”

Sai Baba - Sai Geeta

Sai Baba - Sai Geeta

Sai Geetha is incomparable and her life is a deep mystery that the ordinary cannot comprehend. She is arguably the most fortunate of her kind, a great devotee of Lord. There were questions after her passing away as to ‘who next?’ But, none expected another calf to come so soon to fill the vacuum. Barely few months after her passing away, another sweet calf was brought to Prasanthi Nilayam. Yes, yet another Geetha – Sathya Geetha and that too all the way from the Bihar Nepal border. The new calf that was fed and christened by Bhagawan Himself would continue the great legacy of Sai Geetha traversing in her footsteps unravelling greater heights of devotion towards God in human. Sathya Geeta would once again demonstrate the interplay of God with Nature. The very name rings true of the closeness which Nature has with God – Sathya – and Geeta. Is this the new song of love being demonstrably played by Bhagawan so that we soak in the melody and transform our lives?

Bhagawan’s love for the world is unfathomable. When Sai Gita moved on there was sadness and now when Sathya Geeta has taken her place, this little bundle has brought great joy. Is not this the message that Bhagawan is constantly trying to help us internalise? That pain and joy come in close cycles?

Yes, as a devotee wrote about the pet elephant, Sai Geeta got her befitting due, and a Divine Adieu! His words on Sai Gita would be ringing in every human heart reminding them of the level of devotion human should strive to peak, after having been blessed with the Lord in physical, to transport themselves to the gleam of eternity. In His first address after the passing away of Sai Geeta, to the students of His educational institution, Bhagawan exhorted:

“If only you can remember and ruminate on the intense love that Sai Geeta had for Swami and develop such sacred and noble thoughts, I will Myself take you close to My heart. You do not have to do anything else.”

Let us feel grateful to Bhagawan for making every large and incomprehensible lesson so seemingly simple that it reaches out to us – time and time again!!!

Reference

Also see:

- Sai Geetha Website

Sai Geetha - Tender Stare

Sai Geetha - Tender Stare

The Music Of Devotion To God

Radha Krishna - Divine Music Of Devotion

The Music Of Devotion To God
The path of good music has always been through the heart. Antiquity proves that music had a divine origin and great music is always divine in its essence. Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us and these emotions, if properly channelised, can touch the essence of our being. As a listener or as a performer, an ardent advocate of music actually meditates.

The concept of harmony in western music and bhava (proper emotion), raga (deep tune), and tala (beat), in Indian music help to attain that meditative stage. It helps to complete a unique aesthetic experience that stills the mind, soothes the senses and makes one intuitively aware of the vibrations it creates. At one level, it has a healing and therapeutic effect, on another; it raises the consciousness of the individual.

For centuries, man’s communion with the Divine has been music-aided. Whether it is in the Saamagaana of Vedic chants, the Kritis of the Carnatic musicians, the bhajans of the travelling singers of North India-the devotional fervour of the music is unmistakable. Attend a church choir, tune yourself to Gospel singing or even lend your ear to the muezzin calling to prayer, the experience is yet the same.

Renowned Indian musician, Kishori Amonkar has this to say, “To me, music is a sadhana. To me, it is a dialogue with the divine, this intense focussed communication with the ultimate other.”

Bhagawan Sri Krishna declares in the Bhagawad Gita, “Among all Vedas, I am the Saama Veda (the Vedas of music).” Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba also attaches tremendous importance to devotional music. He says that God is Gaana Priya – the lover of music.

Bhagawan Baba blends the traditions of the North and the South of India and even the western world and encourages an all-embracing type of bhajan singing. It combines in itself, the essence of Kirthana of South India, the spirit of the Bhakti Movement that swept through North India two centuries ago, and the lively rhythm and cadence of western music. Based on the traditional Naamasankirthana, Sai bhajans are the simplest media for spiritual seekers to evolve themselves on the path of Bhakti.

Bhagawan Baba says,

Songs that glorify the Supreme, form the sum and substance of bhajans. Naturally, therefore, the spiritual vibrations produced by bhajans confer great joy both on those who sing them and on those who hear the songs. Bhajans remove all negative thoughts, soothe the nerves, purify the mind and fill the body and the heart with a sweet love. As one sings bhajans, the mind gets saturated with God-consciousness and a great ecstasy wells up from within. No mental or intellectual effort is called for, as there is no need to understand anything while uttering the holy names of God and singing His glory. The singing and the atmosphere created by bhajans take one beyond the realm of the body, mind and intellect and help to establish communion with the Higher Self (consciousness) within. Therefore, singing bhajans becomes a beautiful and blissful experience. Many great composers and musicians like Thyagaraja established communion with God through devotional music.

Yet, more effective is the concept of community bhajans singing – Sankirthana. It evokes vibrations that sanctify the entire atmosphere. “Community singing promotes unity which leads to purity and divinity.”

The great exponents of devotional music have always lived exemplary lives. Muthuswami Dikshitar of South India gifted away his small piece of land to avoid the village headman calling upon him for payment of land revenue. Purandaradasa gifted each bit of his rich possession to avoid any attachment other than to God. Thyagaraja thwarted the offer of King Sarfoji and preferred Rama’s Sannidhi (proximity) to any other nidhi (wealth). Meera Bai left her palace to sing the glory of Krishna in temples and in the streets of Mathura.

Songs have survived long after their composers have gone. They have the capacity to secure God’s grace for attaining Moksha (deliverance) – the final Purushartha (goal of life). Dana (charity), yagna (ritualistic sacrifices) and tapas (penance) help in procuring the other three Purusharthas-Dharma (righteous conduct), artha (wealth) and kama (desire). The Lord has so often declared, “I always stay where My devotees sing of Me.”

The only real requirement for devotional music is a sincere feeling from the heart. Bhagawan Baba says,

“I do not need songs glorifying God which like gramophone records, reproduce songs and strings of God’s names without any feeling or yearning while singing. Hours of shouting do not count; a moment of concentrated prayer from the heart is enough, to melt and move God.”

Of the nine types of devotion listed in the Narada Bhakti Sutra, Shravanam (hearing the name of God), Kirthanam (chanting the name of God) and Vishnusmaranam (remembering the name of Lord) are the foremost. All of them pertain to the realm of devotional music.

We should make music a part of our lives. Such music rendered with devotion will help us cut the Gordian knot of the painful strife of worldly living and bring us face to face with our divine Self.

Reference

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