94-kg Gold Throne For Sai Baba

Golden Throne At Shirdi Temple

Golden Throne At Shirdi Temple

94-kg Gold Throne For Sai Baba

Shirdi (Maharashtra) : Sri Sai Baba Sansthan at Shirdi – the town famous for Sai Baba’s temple – received an early morning bounty Thursday from two devotees.

Two brothers, Mahesh and Girish Reddy of Hyderabad, gifted the Sansthan a 94-kg gold throne costing a whopping Rs. 100 million.

It has been made by artisans in Bangalore for a five-and-half feet idol of Sai Baba, installed at the Sai Temple in Shirdi.

It was a challenge for the Reddys and the transporters to ferry the throne safely to Shirdi, located nearly 200 km from Pune.

The Reddys packed it in a bus, which was escorted by a fleet of 15 cars carrying gun-toting security personnel.

Jayant Sasane, director of Sri Sai Baba Sansthan, said the siblings, builders by profession, are Sai Baba devotees and have been visiting the temple town for the past 20 years.

During one such trip, they had sought Sai Baba’s blessings for a big contract which could bring them prosperity. They promised to install a special gold throne for the Sai Baba if they bagged the contract.

Apparently, Sai Baba fulfilled their wish and the Reddys called the Sansthan to tell them that they would keep their promise made to the Baba, Sasane told IANS.

“Incidentally, one-and-a-half years ago we had announced our plan for a gold throne for Sai Baba. Devotees had been donating for the cause and so far we have collected around Rs. 10 million,” Sasane said.

Some political parties suggested that the money meant for the throne should be used for victims of natural calamities.

“Last September, the Reddys called with their private offer to install the gold throne,” he said.

It will be installed Sunday (December 23), the day of Dutta Jayanti. The date is significant for millions of Sai Baba devotees around the world as he is considered an incarnation of Dutta Guru.

The throne is the second most generous donation that the Sansthan received in 2007. In June, one V.K. Ramani of Chennai donated Rs. 750 million, Sasane said.

Ramani, an IT professional, donated it for the construction of the sprawling Dutta Niwas. “It will cost almost Rs 10 billion. The money donated by Ramani will be used and the Sansthan will spend the rest,” Sasane added.

When completed, the Dutta Niwas will accommodate 15,000 devotees at a time, making it one of the largest congregation halls in the country.

Sai Baba - Golden Throne

Sai Baba Golden Throne

Jackie Shroff Quits Smoking, Drinking For Sai Baba

Saint Sai Baba

Saint Sai Baba

Jackie Shroff quits smoking, drinking for Sai Baba
Indo-Asian News Service
Mumbai, July 28, 2008

Jackie Shroff, who plays spiritual leader Sai Baba in a forthcoming movie has quit smoking and drinking to get into the skin of the character. Jackie, who is also an ardent follower of the spiritual guru, said: “Now I feel as if Baba is guiding me in the film and I am only following his instructions.”

Actor Jackie Shroff, who has worked in nearly 150 films and played diverse roles, now plays spiritual leader Sai Baba in a forthcoming movie. And he even quit smoking and drinking to get into the skin of the character.

“I have quit smoking and drinking for the last one-and-a-half years and plan to continue with it in the future too,” Jackie told IANS.

The actor has also turned completely vegetarian.

“I did not have the habit of eating non-vegetarian food much, but I have stopped it completely now,” Jackie said.

Jackie, who has played a cop with élan in many films, admits that he was initially apprehensive about getting into the role of the spiritual guru for the film titled Malik Ek. But director Deepak Balraj Vij was adamant about casting him.

“Initially, when he had approached me with the project, I did not agree as I thought playing Sai Baba would not be possible for me.

“But the constant persuasion from the director made me say yes and then I never looked back,” said Jackie, who won the Filmfare best actor award for his performance in Parinda (1989).

Jackie, who is also an ardent follower of the spiritual guru, said: “Now I feel as if Baba is guiding me in the film and I am only following his instructions.”

Malik Ek is slated for an October release.

Jackie is also working in Sohail Khan Productions Kisaan, where he will be seen as a Sikh farmer. The film also stars Sohail Khan, Arbaaz Khan, Nauheed Cyrusi and Dia Mirza.


Jackie Shroff

Jackie Shroff

Could Aliens Become Spiritual Mentors?

Alien Mentors

Alien Mentors

Could Aliens Become Spiritual Mentors?
Contact: C. L. Talmadge, HealingStone Books, 972-227-8233

LANCASTER, Texas, July 28 /Christian Newswire/ — Is our society about to acknowledge the existence of aliens?

A second credible member of the public has spoken out on the topic. Just last week former NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell, speaking on BBC Radio, said aliens exist and have been observing earth for “quite some time.”

The 77-year-old Mitchell, one of only 12 human beings to have walked on the moon, also said that events like the reported 1947 alien spaceship crash at Roswell, New Mexico, occurred and were hushed up by the U.S. and other governments for various reasons.

In a May interview with Italian newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s chief astronomer, the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, said there is no conflict between believing in extraterrestrial intelligent life and believing in God.

“How can we exclude that life has developed elsewhere?” Rev Funes asked, even implying that some aliens might not have been subject to the separation from God described in Genesis. “There could be (other beings) who remained in full friendship with their creator.”

Any extended discussion, apart from the existence question, about intelligent non-human life heretofore has been limited primarily to speculative fiction. Most works in these genres eschew any direct talk of spirituality, religion, or faith, alien or human.

There are some exceptions, however, and if our society is now more open to aliens, then a look at how we have portrayed alien faith and spirituality is worthwhile.

Enemy Mine, a 1985 science fiction film derived from an award-winning novella, depicts an intergalactic war between human beings and an alien race called the Drac. Marooned on an isolated, inhospitable planet, a Drac and a man start off as enemies. Out of survival necessity, however, they make a wary peace and eventually become dear friends.

The Drac shows a sense of his own spirituality and the divine, reading frequently from a small book of religious/philosophical text, and pondering the larger questions of life.

Ultimately, the alien’s faith and friendship motivate the human being to consider something other than his prestige as a top-scoring fighter pilot. The alien reminds the human that life is so much more than just a scramble for conquest and material success. The human being is much better off for having encountered an alien of great faith and courage.

An example of fantasy that directly addresses alien spirituality is the Green Stone of Healing epic series. It features an intelligent non-human being, a Mist-Weaver, who exhibits capabilities that human beings more readily ascribe to the supernatural. The Mist-Weaver is able to appear and dissolve at will, transitioning from material to non-material realities in much the same manner as the divine heralds of earthly religious traditions.

As would an angel, the Mist-Weaver assumes physical form to converse easier with the human characters. The Mist-Weaver clearly has a profound sense of the divine and his connection to it and to all life, and tries to encourage that spiritual connection in his human counterparts.

The Mist-Weaver’s presence spurs his human students to examine the limitations of their faith and their spiritual understanding, just as the burning bush, signaling God’s presence, presented Moses with challenges of faith and self-growth.

His spiritual teachings often leave the human beings baffled, however, because they are so different from human understanding. The Mist-Weaver never tries to dictate human behavior or beliefs, solve human problems, or protect his students from the consequences of their actions.

In taking a hands-off approach, he might seem indifferent to some, but the Mist-Weaver simply refuses to intervene out of his abiding respect for free will. Perhaps that’s what makes this alien truly strange. The Mist-Weaver doesn’t suffer from that all-too-human inclination to run other people’s lives or to proclaim God as a similar micro-manager.

A third example of speculative fiction portraying intelligent non-human beings with a highly developed spirituality is Alien Nation. Most of these on-screen “Newcomers” are just regular folks, although there are villains in their midst, too. But the average alien Joes and Jills have jobs, houses, children, and try to live peacefully among their human counterparts. They also have extensive religious rituals and traditions that are depicted throughout the TV series.

Like Enemy Mine and the Green Stone of Healing series, Alien Nation asserts that non-human beings can teach the human variety a thing or two about life and spirituality. The Newcomer police officer is paired with a human detective who is initially very unhappy about the arrangement. But the former earns the latter’s respect and affection through his courage, smarts, initiative, and loyalty. The Newcomer demonstrates that these enduring and spiritual character qualities are not the sole province of human beings. Again, the human being is better off for having known the alien.

Tragically, on earth today the concepts of spirituality and faith seem far more alien to many than does the assertion of intelligent non-human beings.

Aliens may give God far more credit than we do. If / when the day comes that we openly encounter intelligent non-human beings, we may find that the experience brings us much closer to reclaiming and living our own spirituality than we ever believed possible.

We can always choose to embrace the unknown–the alien–instead of fearing it.