Sathya Sai Housing Project In K’para Reaches Final Stage

Sathya Sai Housing Project In K’para Reaches Final Stage
BHUBANESWAR | Monday, March 30, 2009 | Pioneer News Service | Paradip

The Sathya Sai Housing Project at Samjori, Tikhiri and Mahanangala villages in Kendrapara district is on the verge of completion and the keys of the houses will be handed over to the beneficiaries soon by Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba himself at Prasanthi Nilayam in the first week of April.

It is worth mentioning here that after hearing the plight of the villagers affected by floods last year, Baba had declared to construct economical houses funded by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam with technical expertise from L&T for the poor villagers. Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Orissa had reached to the interior areas of the villages during flood to distribute relief. The organisation also carried out surveys in the marooned villages and selected beneficiaries to be included under the housing scheme.

Thereafter, a target was fixed to complete the houses within two months. However the same could not be completed within the stipulated time due to inaccessible road conditions for transporting construction materials, earmarking of lands for constructing the houses and other various factors.

However, due to the tireless efforts of the devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Orissa and the grace of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the project is in the final stage.

A total number of 60 houses have been constructed in these three villages of Kendrapara district under the guidance of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samiti, Paradip.

It is reported that the Gruhapravesha festival is likely to be carried out during second week of April.

It is learnt from the youth coordinator of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samiti, Paradip, Narahari Subudhi, that the beneficiaries of the houses are travelling to Puttaparthi on March 31, 2009 by Prasanthi Express to receive the house keys from Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

The Pioneer Reference

Saving Grace

Sai Sadguru Chananam

Sai Sadguru Chananam

Saving Grace

When Sathya Sai Baba appears in a dream, it is no longer a dream. It is the way He awakes us to the Atman. It was on one such occasion that He appeared and told me: “you know the story how one gopika crossed the turbulent river Yamuna with namasmarana alone to serve as her guru. Do you want to know the condition of her mind then?” Abruptly the scene changed. There was a splendid golden yellow light, no form (not even Baba). Time has no relevance in such a state. It was blissful and all pervading. At one stage even these feelings were not known. After sometime I was aware that I was part of that light and so was Swami. Suddenly there was a rapport between us. “You know now this state is really indescribable. Even the nearest descriptions like ‘Tatwamasi, Aham Brahmasmi …… ‘ when once put into words are far away from the Truth.” This blissful state continued for some more time.

Swami told me two more words which I could not recollect later inspite of my best efforts, partly because I have no knowledge of Sanskrit and mainly because of my ignorance of the Upanishads. The reader can well imagine the depth of my ignorance if I say it took me nearly a year to recall the missing words which were communicated to me by Baba. They are “Pragnanam Brahma and Ayamaatma Brahma”. I also came to know that these four constitute the “Maha Vakyas” (great pronouncements) taken one from each Veda—‘Pragnanam Brahma’ from the Rigveda, ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ from Yajurveda, ‘Tatwamasi’ from Sama-veda and ‘Ayamaatma Brahma’ from Adharvanaveda. Still more recently I was amazed to see these were the Maha Vakyas with which Sri Adi Sankara was initiated by his guru, Sri Govindapada.

Acquisition of this book knowledge itself makes an interesting story. In 1972 my mother-in-law became sick and both her lungs showed extensive lesions. Experts varied in their opinion—lung cancer or massive tuberculosis. In either case, the count down had begun in her life. I thought that if it was cancer then there was nothing that could be done at that late stage. If it was advanced tuberculosis, I thought that injection of streptomycin and other drugs could be tried, hoping against hope. This was explained to the old lady. She wanted to have the darshan of the Lord before her last breath. Immediately my wife, Dr. Sanyasamma, and her mother took the next available train. This they did simply because we had heard that Swami wanted to start some Summer Course (the first Summer Course) and that He would be at Whitefield. On April 30, 1972 both the ladies were seated in the Bhajan mandap. Swami asked Dr. Sanyasamma abruptly, “why are you still sitting here? What has happened to that Kasturi?” Later, Sri Kasturi explained that Swami had instructed him the day before to hand over a badge and ask her to stay for the whole summer course. This clearly showed that Baba’s will and will alone put the two ladies in the train and drew them to His feet.

Later her mother had a reeling sensation—a reaction to the streptomycin injections she was receiving. She thought it could be remedied only by placing her head on Swami’s Feet or if Swami placed His hand on her head. The very next day Swami, while talking to the lady doctor about the symptoms of her mother, created vibhuti and was about to hand it over to her. He then said: “if I give it personally, the patient would be more happy.” He went among the crowd of devotees and stood before her. She made use of this opportunity and immediately bowed down at His feet. While getting up Swami placed His hand over her head and blessed her, thus fulfilling both her wishes. Immediately all treatment was discontinued. When she returned after three weeks to Vishakhapatnam, her X-ray picture revealed that both lungs were absolutely normal.

Dr. Sanyasamma brought all the notes of the summer course in long hand and both of us studied the originals one by one and came across the ‘Maha Vakyas’. Then it became apparent that whatever Sathya Sai Baba says either from the stage or in a side talk or even as an apparent joke is pregnant with meaning, always paving the way to the final goal of knowing our own self.

—Dr. M. S. Krishna Rao, Chittoor


Thousands Of Sai Baba Devotees Receive Anna Dana

Sai Baba Of Shirdi

Sai Baba Of Shirdi

Thousands Of Sai Baba Devotees Receive Anna Dana
Shirdi (Maharashtra), Wed, 18 Mar 2009 ANI

Tens of thousands of devotees of Sai Baba were recently given Anna Dana at the annual prasadalaya function here, taking forward a tradition first started by the Sai Baba himself.

Devotees accepted the delicious prasad at a nominal rate.

Sources at the Shree Sai Baba Sansthan Trust said, nearly 1.5 crore devotees benefited from the prasad and the meals that were served.

The trust spends Rs.25 crore annually on the prasadlaya. The donation is considered very valuable in today’s age, which is known as KALYUG in the Hindu mythological context.

According to the trust, one should constantly endeavor to donate and help the needy, especially those who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition.

Legend has it that Sai Baba used to feed the hungry in his own unique way, taking the whole process to a spiritual plane.

He used to prepare the food himself, and ground the spices on a grinding stone. He also used to purchase foodgrains that were to be cooked and subsequently distributed by him personally.

The trust is really a place of faith for all Sai Baba devotees. They relish their food, which can be procured for as little as Rs.5 per person and Rs.2 for a child.

On any given normal day, 35,000 to 40,000 devotees attend the activities at the Sai Baba Trust. During occasions like festivals and vacations, the number goes up to 70,000 or 80,000.

One hall can accommodate up to 5,000 devotees, and a meal often includes servings of rice, roti, dal, two vegetables and a sweetmeat.

Free provision of food is given to the poor, blind, the physically challenged and hermits.

The prasadalaya purchases the foodgrains once a year, and it includes 9000 quintals of wheat, 5,500 quintals of rice, 6,500 quintals of besan, 9,500 quintals of sugar, and 11,000 quintals of tur dal, besides 6,200 quintals of vegetables which are stored in the cold storage of the trust. Another 2000 quintals of food grains is also purchased every year.

The prasadalaya operates for twelve hours every day and has 474 workers, 404 of whom are permanent.

The prasadalaya is the largest of its kind in India. A one storeyed building which has been built on seven acres of land at a cost of Rs.20 crores. (ANI)

News Track India Reference

Recent Events At Prashanti Nilayam – Sathya Sai Baba Ashram

Recent Events At Prashanti Nilayam – Sathya Sai Baba Ashram

– Curtesty RadioSai:

Friday, March 27, 2009
The new Telugu year “Virodhi” was ushered in on this Yugadi morning with Bhajans in the beautifully decorated Sai Kulwant Hall. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba arrived just before ten o’clock and came onstage after a full round of the hall in the chair. He sat onstage with the bhajans going on for a few minutes and then asked one of the MBA Professors to announce this evening’s music programme by the students. Arati was then offered at 10.20 am following which Swami returned to His residence blessing many devotees on the way. In the evening, Bhagawan arrived for darshan at 4.45 pm in the golden-coloured special chair and began the music programme by the students when He came onstage at five o’clock. Carnatic and Hindustani classical music along with a Quawwali and semi-classical songs were presented with panache by the students for an hour till Bhagawan accepted Arati a few minutes past six o’clock and returned to His residence.

Saturday, March 21, 2009
This evening, the outgoing batch of students of the Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music, Prasanthi Nilayam, presented their gratitude programme. Bhagawan completed His darshan round and came onstage to begin their programme at 5.30 pm. Their hour-long musical presentation fused the Carnatic and Hindustani styles of Indian classical music in a harmonious offering. Bhagawan accepted Arati at 6.30 pm before returning to His residence after a brief interaction with the music college students.
Gratitude Program by students of SSS Mirpuri College of Music, 21 Mar 2009, Images

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
This evening, Bhagawan came for darshan at 5.30 pm while the bhajans were going on. When He came onstage, He called up some of the students who were holding letters, these were the students from the campus here who had secured ranks in the GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) Exam including a few ranks in the top ten. He interacted with them and blessed them with group photographs, and gave a chain to one of them. It was 6.10 when Swami accepted Arati. He then moved to the interview room for ten minutes before interacting with some devotees on the verandah for a short while and then returning to His residence in the car.

Monday, March 16, 2009
The graduating batch of post-graduate students from the Prasanthi Nilayam campus of the Sri Sathya Sai University presented their gratitude programme this evening. Bhagawan came for darshan in His chair and after a round of the hall and a brief visit to the Bhajan Hall, came onstage to begin the programme just after 5.30 pm. The students innovated with items like Dumb Charades on scenes of Swami’s childhood, a mimicry session as part of ‘passing the parcel’ and so on, in addition to a musical tribute and short speeches in various languages. Bhagawan went into the interview room after 45 minutes had elapsed, and returned after five minutes for the programme to continue for twenty minutes more. As the students sang bhajans, they went up in small batches and had group photographs onstage. It was seven o’clock when Swami accepted Arati and returned to His residence.
Gratitude Program by final year PG students of SSS University, 16 Mar 2009, Images

Sunday, March 15, 2009
The outgoing batch of students from the Brindavan campus of Sri Sathya Sai University presented their gratitude programme today. Bhagawan came for evening darshan in the chair, and after His darshan round, came to the Bhajan Hall where some of the students were in costumes. After a brief interaction with them, He moved to the interview room and later to the stage to begin their programme at 4.50 pm. Since Bhagawan had called their batch the “Vainateya”s, Vainateya being another name of Garuda, the characters in costumes Lord Narayana, Garuda and Narada gave a brief introduction to their programme of songs interspersed with short speeches in various languages. Bhagawan blessed them with group photographs after their programme and seemed to acquiesce when they pleaded with Him to come to Brindavan. After ten minutes of Bhajans by the students in which they again sang Bhajans like “Aao Aao Nandalala”, Swami accepted Arati and returned to His residence at 6.30 pm.

Saturday, March 14, 2009
Last evening, the devotees from Bihar and Jharkhand were to leave, but they were informed that Bhagawan had consented to have their drama this evening, so their stay at Prasanthi Nilayam was extended by another day. Bhagawan came for darshan and went into the interview room after a brief visit onstage, speaking to some ministers from Tamil Nadu on the way. When Swami returned onstage, the programme commenced at 5.30 pm. In a 40 minute drama entitled “Chaitanyam”, the balvikas children and youth brought out a message of love for Mother and Motherland through Educare. Bhagawan came down from the stage and had group photographs with the participants, and then gave them clothes seated amidst them. When He returned to the stage, the students began bhajans at 6.15 pm. A couple of Bhajans later, Swami accepted Arati and returned to His residence.
Holi Celebrations by Bihar and Jharkhand, 11 & 14 Mar 2009, Images

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The Sai Kulwant Hall was colourfully decorated for the Holi celebrations by the devotees from Bihar and Jharkhand. Bhagawan came for evening darshan at 4.30 pm and when He came onstage twenty minutes later, the Holi celebrations commenced. The programme consisted of dances to the accompaniment of Holi songs by the devotees from Bihar and Jharkhand. After their 45 minute programme, Bhagawan went briefly to the interview room, and when He returned to the stage, the devotees commenced bhajans. Swami sent clothes for the participants and blessed them with group photographs while prasadam was distributed. At six o’clock, Bhagawan accepted Arati and returned to His residence.

Sunday, March 8, 2009
This evening, Bhagawan came for darshan in His chair at 4.45 pm and came onstage entering the verandah from the Eastern side. Listening to the Vedam chanting for a while and blessing some of the students, He went into the interview room before the five o’clock bhajans commenced. In a few minutes, He returned to the stage and sat there while the bhajans went on till He accepted Arati at 5.45 pm. While He was returning to His residence in the car, the students of the outgoing batches of the Anantapur campus of the Sri Sathya Sai University prayed for a chance to sing for Him. Swami stopped His car near them and they sang a couple of songs and got items blessed by Him from the car itself before Bhagawan returned to His residence.

Saturday, March 7, 2009
The outgoing batch of undergraduate students of the Prasanthi Nilayam campus of Sri Sathya Sai University were ready with their gratitude programme today. Bhagawan came for darshan and went into the interview room by 5.30 pm. It was nearly six o’clock when He came onstage and asked for the programme to commence. Swami was pleased with their presentation of songs and short heart-felt speeches in many languages. He called them onstage for photographs with Him, and they went up in groups of five and six. After the students, it was the turn of the teachers, and most of the teachers of the University were blessed with padanamaskar and a group photo. After blessing everyone profusely, Bhagawan retired for the day after Arati at 7.10 pm.
Gratitude Program by III year UG students of SSS University, 07 & 15 Mar 2009, Images

Friday, March 6, 2009
This evening, materials for distribution to the needy were kept in the centre of Sai Kulwant Hall. The devotees from Khamman were distributing not only items for earning a livelihood like wet-grinders and sewing machines, but also computers with suitable software to visually challenged students and hearing aids for those hard of hearing from a Deaf-Dumb-Blind school in their district. Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant Hall just after five o’clock and went into the interview room. When He came onstage, the leader of the group called out the items for distribution after an introductory speech at 5.45 pm. When the distribution concluded, one of the visually challenged children presented a song on the sweetness of the Telugu tongue. A music programme by the devotees followed, while Bhagawan called up and blessed all the visually challenged students. After half an hour of the songs by the devotees, He called up two of the student singers and blessed them with bracelets. They then sang a few bhajans with alap before Bhagawan accepted Arati at 7 pm and returned to His residence.

Thursday, March 5, 2009
This evening, the devotees of Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh presented their programme. The proceedings got underway with Swami coming onstage and the leader of the group making an introductory speech in Telugu at 5.20 pm. The dance-drama presented by them for the next 45 minutes exhorted the youth to arise and join Sathya Sai. Bhajans by the devotees commenced after Bhagawan blessed the participants, and twenty minutes later, He accepted Arati at 6.45 pm.

Monday, March 2, 2009
This evening, the students of the XI class of the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School presented a drama, ‘Journey to Sai’. Bhagawan came for darshan just after five o’clock, and came to the Bhajan Hall after His darshan round, interacting with the students in costumes there for a while. The 50 minute drama began at 5.30 pm once Swami came onstage and the Principal of the school announced the presentation. Swami blessed the participants after the drama by moving down from the stage for group photographs with them. Once He came onstage, He accepted Arati at 6.30 pm. He interacted with some teachers and students for a few more minutes before returning to His residence in the car.

Sunday, March 1, 2009
This morning, Bhagawan came for darshan just after the nine o’clock bhajans began. After completing His darshan round in the chair, He came near the Primary School students, and the XII class outgoing batch of girl students brought up many items to be blessed by Him. After a few minutes of interaction, they began singing songs to Him, and the bhajans were stopped. Swami sat near them and later on the verandah and listened to their singing for nearly twenty minutes, sending them chocolates and vibhuti prasadam. After a brief visit to the interview room, the bhajans recommenced, and Swami came onstage and sat there while the bhajans went on for another twenty minutes. He then moved around the verandah, remaining there for twenty minutes, and then went into the interview room for twenty minutes. It was eleven o’clock when He returned to His residence after accepting Arati onstage. In the evening, He arrived for darshan at 4.45 pm, and had another long bhajan session till just after six o’clock.

Pleased To Serve

Pleased To Serve
Originally published March 26, 2009

High school and college students are often criticized for their general attitudes about life. Charges of selfishness and self-absorbed behavior are frequently among the complaints. One image that has emerged over recent generations is that of a vacuous, self-indulgent, pleasure- and wealth-oriented bunch that is unaware of and unconcerned about what’s going on in the world around them.

For some that may be true, and, well, if the shoe fits, wear it. And, of course, they’ll always have plenty of adult company.

But many among the current crop of young people are bucking that stereotype, showing a genuine interest in politics, social justice and the fate of others that is perceived to have been missing to some extent in recent generations.

Frederick News-Post reporter Marge Neal’s March 20 story on “alternative spring break” clearly showed that you can’t paint an entire generation with one brush.

It seems that while a lot of their peers are partying out in places such as Daytona Beach, Fla., the Bahamas, Mexico and ever more exotic locales, some young people are choosing to tend to the needs of others as opposed to the desires of self.

Neal’s story recounted the spring break experiences of a number of local college students, including groups from Hood College and Mount St. Mary’s University. Rather than lying on the beach all day and partying all night for a week, these young people devoted their time and energy to their fellow man. They engaged in work such as tutoring and helping rebuilding houses. Some traveled to Florida, others to North Carolina and West Virginia.

While we have no doubt that college students who went the more traditional spring-break route had fun, we wonder how memorable a life experience their week will be. It appears from their comments that those who chose the alternative had fun, but their experience was also truly meaningful.

It’s arguable which group “enjoyed” itself more, the traditional spring-break crowd or the more altruistic ones. Ironically, it may well have been those who decided to spend their vacation in service to others. Helping other people is every bit as rewarding to those doing it as it is to those they’re helping — ask anyone who volunteers.

We hope that more college students will consider this kind of alterative next year at spring break. Otherwise, they may never discover what they’re missing.

As the Indian spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba succinctly put it: “The body has to be utilized for service to others. More bliss can be got from serving others than from merely serving oneself.”

Who doesn’t need a little more bliss in their lives?

Frederick News Post Reference

Pujya Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj Visits The Shri Sathya Sai Heart Hospital – Rajkot

Pramukh Swami Maharaj

Pramukh Swami Maharaj

Pujya Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj Visits The Shri Sathya Sai Heart Hospital – Rajkot

The head of the Swaminarayan mission, Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj visited the Shri Sathya Sai Heart Hospital at Rajkot.

Pujya Pramukh Swami met the Tustees Bros. Kanubhai Patel and Manojbhai Bhimani who took him around the whole hospital including the Operation theatres, ICUs etc. He was very pleased with the latest medical equipment in the hospital for diagnosing and treating even the most difficult cases. He then visited the wards and personally blessed all the patients there.

He told all those present there that He was very impressed with the care and love showered to the patients there by the devoted team of the Doctors and the staff.

Article in Gujarti (Translation in English below)

Pujya Shri Pramukh Visits Sathya Sai Hospital

Pujya Shri Pramukh Visits Sathya Sai Hospital

His Holiness Shri Pramukh Swami visits Sri Sathya Sai Hospital, Rajkot
Gujarat, India – Wednesday 29th June 2005

The most revered spiritual leader and head of Shri Swaminarayan Hindu Mission (BAPS), Pujya Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj, graced Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital, Kalawad Road, Rajkot with a visit last Sunday. The holy man saw for himself how this renowned establishment offers free facilities and services and was impressed by how it lives up to its ‘Service to Man is Service to God’ motto. He proceeded to give his personal attention to every section of the hospital and showered his blessings upon the medical staff, patients and members of the hospital trustee group.

Very expensive heart surgery and modern treatment is available at Sri Sathya Sai Hospital no cost – regardless of any ability to pay. Every patient is seen as ‘Narayana’ – God in human form.

His Holiness showed great interest in every aspect of the work being carried out and went through the administrative offices, operation theatre, Intensive Care Unit, and met those awaiting and undergoing treatment as well as those who had already been operated upon. This gave him an over all picture of the institution and its workings. He also met dignitaries and senior surgeons and showed how pleased and impressed he was with what he had seen and heard.

He then visited the Prayer Hall and offered flowers to the image of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, whose divine message has inspired the foundation of the hospital and other major social projects throughout India and, indeed, the world.

‘This auspicious visit by such a unique spiritual personality as Pramukh Swami Maharaj is truly momentous and an inspiration to do even more’ were the sentiments expressed by the Hospital Managing Trustee, Kanubhai Patel and Joint Managing Trustee, Manojbhai Bhimani.

Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj is the inspiration behind the creation of over 650 temples worldwide and heads an organisation which promotes social awakening, education and service to the community. Bochasanvasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha is a progressive and very active movement with several million followers throughout the world.

Sathya Sai Baba To Hand Over Houses To Flood-Hit On Ram Navami

Sathya Sai Baba To Hand Over Houses To Flood-Hit On Ram Navami
PNS | Cuttack

Bhagwan Sri Satya Sai Baba will offer keys of the newly-constructed houses under the Sai Kutir Yojana to the families which were severely affected by the devastating floods in the State last year.

He will hand over the keys of these housed on the occasion of the Ram Navami on April 3 at Puttaparti in Andhra Pradesh.

Six hundred two families of 14 villages in Cuttack, Puri and Kendrapara districts are included under the Yojna. Out of these, 200 families will be rehabilitated in the first phase. About Rs 6 crore is estimated to be spent in the construction of these 602 houses. Construction company L&T under the super vision of Chalpati Prusti and Ramkrushna Prusty, the engineers of the Prasanti Nilayam, is constructing these houses.

Heads of these 200 families along with their wives are invited to Puttaparti. Expenditure of transporting and lodging will be bore by the Satya Sai Sangathan.

They will get the blessings of Baba, besides new clothes and home appliances. The family members led by Sangathan’s State wing president Prof Harikrushna Das will start their journey on March 30.

The members in support of the Sangathan will present a cultural programme on their miserable conditions after the devastation by the flood and the grace of Baba.

In another programme, these beneficiaries through a song-drama based on the life of the Mythological character Sabari will request Baba to come to Orissa.

The Pioneer Reference