The Chief Minister’s Own House Of Commons

The Chief Minister’s Own House Of Commons
TNN 27 July 2009, 03:37am IST

CHENNAI: Cricket on the street corner part of every child’s growing-up years. And MK Stalin and MK Azhagiri’s childhood years were not that different. As boys, the brothers, sons of chief minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi, played countless games of cricket outside their house on the corner of Gopalapuram’s fourth street, a corner now swamped with policemen and patrol vehicles.

“It’s more crowded now but even when we were young, our house was always crowded with party men,” recalls deputy chief minister Stalin. “Thalaivar rarely found time to spend with us. We used to long for the Pongal festival, the only time the whole family would sit together and dine with him,” he says.

Karunanidhi recently announced that his Gopalapuram residence, the epicentre of political activity in Tamil Nadu since he first became chief minister in 1969, will become a charitable hospital after his and his wife Dayalu Ammal’s lifetime. The 85-year-old politician has formed five cabinets and met countless dignitaries in his book-filled study in this simple house, which he bought in the 1960s.

“Though the house has witnessed many crucial events, the days of the Emergency were the most hectic. Kalaignar conducted meetings with party functionaries here daily as the police had crippled democratic rights and it was impossible to hold public meetings,” says Murasoli Selvam, Karunanidhi’s son-in-law.

The DMK government had refused to arrest leaders and impose the Emergency, despite threats from the Centre. The top DMK leadership was behind bars and Karunanidhi was the only one who could direct action to counter the Emergency. Authorities laid siege to the house; visitors were checked, and vehicle numbers recorded. “It was a dark period. Party functionaries would tonsure their heads, disguise themselves as Tiruthani Murugan temple devotees and come home,” he says.

The Centre finally dismissed the DMK government and on the night of January 30, 1976, the police came knocking at Karunanidhi’s house. They were looking for Stalin. The house was searched. “I was at Madurandhagam that day,” says Stalin. “As soon as I returned the next day, Thalaivar called up the city commissioner. The police came to the Gopalapuram house to arrest me under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act,” he says. A couple of days later, it was the turn of Karunanidhi’s nephew Murasoli Maran, who lived there with his family.

In the previous decade, this house was where DMK founder CN Annadurai decided to give up his separatist demand for Dravida Nadu’ in response to Jawaharlal Nehru’s call for national unity in the face of the 1962 Chinese aggression. And it was where Anna’s ascension as the first regional party chief minister in the country was formally announced in 1967.

“It was at the Gopalapuram house that my early political career was shaped,” says Stalin. “As students, my friends and I collected funds from my father’s visitors to celebrate Anna’s birthday. We formed the youth wing of the DMK at a saloon near the house,” Stalin says, smiling as he recounts memories of the house and its many illustrious visitors.

If rationalist social reformer Periyar E V Ramasamy and his ideological foe but personal friend, C Rajagopalachari, were regular visitors decades ago, recent times saw corporate guru Bill Gates and spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba dropping in for a tête à tête. Leaders who have walked its corridors include former prime ministers Indira Gandhi, VP Singh, AB Vajpayee, IK Gujral and Deve Gowda, former president VV Giri, long-time friend MG Ramachandran, and veteran Congress leader K Kamaraj. Industrialists, actors, bureaucrats, party workers and citizens coming to present petitions have also made their way up to Karunanidhi’s study.

Structurally little has changed in the house since he bought it. An outhouse was connected to the main house when the grand joint family grew too large. Karunanidhi’s nephews the late Union minister Murasoli Maran, his brother Murasoli Selvam, Amirtham and others lived here for years, along with his wife Dayalu Ammal and own children MK Muthu, MK Alagiri, MK Stalin and MK Tamilarasu. They moved out only after marriage. Stalin lived here till 1996 when he became Mayor and the house could no longer accommodate the visitors for the CM and Mayor.

The thatched roof over the veranda outside was replaced with a tiled one after the Kumbakonam fire tragedy five years ago. When Karunanidhi developed knee pain, an elevator was fitted, but most visitors still use the flight of stairs which, legend has it, a former governor had to struggle up sideways as he was rather too large for the narrow staircase with a sign that reads: Time is Precious’.

Times Of India Reference

The Pink Twins – Accolade Productions

The Pink Twins | Accolade Productions
Written by Amy Hyslop
Tuesday, 28 July 2009 15:26

Pink, as they say, is the universal colour of love. And there was a whole lot of pink and whole lot of love on display at the opening night of Accolade Productions’ new piece of musical theatre The Pink Twins. Never have I seen such a fascinating opening night crowd as the “twinnies” of Brisbane came out in force (and in pink) to celebrate the lives and charitable works of two remarkable local women.

Written and directed by Sue Rider, The Pink Twins is a celebration, not only of ‘twinning’, but also of faith, difference and compassion. Through song and movement it explores the lives and good works of Brisbane legends Dorothy* and Moyia O’Brien, identical twins who, among their many achievements, founded the Sunshine Welfare and Remedial Association (SWARA).

Fittingly enough the O’Brien sisters are played by twin performers Anni and Maude Davey. They both give marvelous, magical performances. I don’t know what the O’Brien sisters are like in real life, and director Rider has stressed that The Pink Twins is a fictionalized account of their lives, but I cannot see how they would be failed to be delighted by the Davey sisters’ joyous, sensitive evocations.

They are beautifully supported by twin singers Heather and Marjorie Michael who give glorious voice to music by nationally recognized composer John Rogers. Rogers said that he relished the opportunity to explore the ways in which twins voices are the same yet different – a major theme of the piece as a whole. The arrangements are playful and, as Rider has been quoted as saying, slightly bent – like the twins themselves.

Dancer turned actor Dan Crestani moves effortlessly through a number of roles, most notably Dorothy and Moyia’s intense, spiritual mother. The role is a crucial one. It was their mother who instilled in the twins, or “twinnies” as she called them, the idea that anything is possible if you only embrace the notion of faith.

It was also their mother who controversially introduced them to Indian spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba. The subject of the twins’ connection to this alternative faith is sensitively touched on by Rider and avoids reference to ugly public claims by a former SWARA manager suggesting that SWARA was a dangerous cult.

Rider makes it clear that their involvement with Sathya Sai Baba’s group had nothing to do with cult mentality and evertyhing to do with its close adherence to their own ideas about the transformative powers of love and happiness.

The fine performances are supported by a wonderfully shambolic choir made up of SWARA clients. Rider had originally planned to use footage of SWARA clients. I’m pleased that she chose to involve them in the live performance. Their presence lends the piece soulful authenticity and highlights the importance of Dorothy and Moyia’s work.

The Pink Twins is a real triumph for everyone involved – particularly writer/director Sue Rider for whom the project has been a real labour of love. Any treatment of the O’Brien sisters’ lives could have easily fallen into the realm of “rose coloured” sentiment but Rider refuses to sanitize her subjects or their lives.

Instead what she gives us is a fast-paced, witty, lyrical and magical portrait of real women, not saints or worse, quaint oddballs.

I came away from The Pink Twins feeling spiritually invigorated and very much “loved-up.” A sentiment which no doubt would be approved by its subjects.

* Dorothy O’Brien passed away in 2004.

QPAC and Queensland Music Festival present
An Accolade Production
The Pink Twins
by Sue Rider

Venue: Cremorne Theatre, QPAC
Dates: Wed 22 July – Sat 1 August
Times: Wed to Sat 7.30pm, Tue 6.30pm.
Matinees: Wed 30 July 11am, Sat 25 July & Sat 1 August 1.30pm
Tickets: Full $29 – $39 Conc $19 – $29

Australian Stage Reference

Sathya Sai Gurukulam Students Excel

Sathya Sai Gurukulam Students Excel
Express News Service
First Published : 28 Jul 2009 05:12:00 AM IST

RAJAHMUNDRY: Sri Sathya Sai Gurukulam School won the ‘Rajahmundry City finals of Limca Book of Records Quiz-2009’ conducted at St Anns School here today.

Gowthami School campus 1, emerged as the runner up during the Rajahmundry City final of the National Quiz. About 400 students from various schools participated in the quiz programme.

The quiz programme was conducted by famous quiz master Jason Pote from Derek O’ Associates.

Coca-Cola India general manager Rateesh Kumar presented the award to the winners of the Rajahmundry city finals. According to Coca- Cola India general manager Rateesh Kumar, Limca Book of Records now celebrating its 20 illustrious year truly catalogues India at her best providing the opportunity to learn about the achievements of Indians. Limca Book of Records is in continuation of Coca-Cola India’s vision to promote knowledge and awareness in the young minds of the country.

This year , Coca-Cola took the initiative to organise the same in 3,000 schools across the country. Reputed quiz master Derek O’ Brien and founder of Know & Grow with Derek will host the national finals.

Entire database, including content, research material and quiz software will be provided by Know & Grow with Derek.

ExpressBuzz Reference

NOTE: The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust runs the Sri Sathya Sai Gurukulam English Medium School at Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh. It is a residential school affiliated to the ICSE (Indian Council for Secondary Education). The school conducts classes for boys up to 10th standard. In keeping with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s philosophy, no tuition fees are charged from the students. The schedule of activities too is modelled after that of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s institutions in Prasanthi Nilayam. The scenic campus spread over 27 acres houses an auditorium and a swimming pool in addition to the school and hostel buildings.

Why Are Our Prayers Sometimes Not Answered?

Sathya Sai Baba And Prayer

Sathya Sai Baba And Prayer

Why Are Our Prayers Sometimes Not Answered?

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

Today we would like to turn your attention to the subject of prayer. Many people have potent experiences through the avenue of prayer, while others seem to get no positive outcome. What might be the mysterious mechanism behind prayer, and how can we explain such contradictory results? Many religions and wisdom traditions over the ages have declared that all prayers are answered; Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba likewise says this is so. But how can this be, one protests, when so many boons we fervently pray for do not seem to be granted?

First of all, to be effective, a prayer must be sincere. Consulting a dictionary, we find sincere defined as “genuine, real” and “free from hypocrisy.” Sathya Sai Baba has noted that sometimes our prayers are no more than play acting. Perhaps he means that though we may be crying out to the Creator to help us, in our heart of hearts – our core convictions about life – we’re not convinced that God loves us and that we are worthy of His grace. Sathya Sai Baba also states that the universe always says, “Yes, yes, yes,” to us, so if within ourselves we are holding to a deep subconscious belief that contradicts our pleas, how can we expect our prayer to be effective? In that scenario, we are living in a state of hypocrisy, saying one thing while secretly believing another. The great Masters and Avatars who come to Earth as vehicles for divine energy do not force their will on us. Opening up to God’s love is our job, so if due to low self-esteem or other psychological conditions we cannot free our hearts and accept the love they offer, the circuit doesn’t get completed. In this case, it is not God turning a deaf ear to us, but we ourselves who are blocking the blessings we are yearning for. Our part in the process was pointed out by Jesus Christ thousands of years ago. When people praised him for the miraculous healings they received, he declared it was by their own faith that they were healed, meaning that they were ready to receive so their prayers for health could be fulfilled.

Another point to consider is that serious illness and other trials may be karmic in nature, meaning we ourselves have created the circumstances we are facing and they can teach us lessons which are crucial to our spiritual growth. In such cases, our ultimate good is better served by going through the karmic process and reaping the insights it will bring us. Since the true goal of life is self-realization and liberation, why would God interfere in that process?

The factor of time must also be added to the mix. It’s easy to recognize this when a child whines for something it is not ready for, like the five-year-old who wants to drive the car. Like big children, we don’t always know what’s best for us or when we should have it. Sathya Sai Baba has stated sometimes we don’t get what we ask for because something better is being held for us. In one account, Bhagawan Baba told a woman He would heal her just like that, and then snapped His fingers three times. Twenty years later He came in a dream, snapped His fingers three times and she was healed.

Then there is dharma. We are born into this world to play a specific role in the Lord’s play. In the Gita, Krishna discusses swa-dharma, the individual’s path of right action and says it is better to fail at our swa-dharma than to succeed at another’s. If a prayer is misguided in that we are pursuing something not suited for us, it may be best it is not fulfilled as we wish, as doing so might delay the day we awaken to our true dharmic role. For example, the ego might crave a certain job because of the pay and prestige, while on a soul level we are seeking work in harmony with our inner nature and a way to serve others as well as support ourselves. We humans are complex beings, and life is about getting to know oneself on every level.

An article in New Realities magazine in May of 1990 entitled The Power of Prayer; Old Approach, New Wonders, written by Larry Dossey, MD, described some fascinating experiments conducted by an organization called Spindrift. They used sprouting seeds as a biological medium to measure the effects of prayer. When two groups of identical seeds were placed side by side and one was prayed over and the other was not, the prayed for group always yielded more shoots. The results were reproducible and consistent. When the seeds were stressed by adding saltwater, simulating a health crisis, the difference between the two groups was even more striking. Different types of seeds and different types of stress produced the same results: prayer became more effective the worse the situation got. When different control groups were prayed over for varied amounts of time, the germination count was proportional: more prayer equaled more sprouts. They also found those experienced at prayer could produce greater results than a novice. This suggests prayer is something you can learn and get better at.

There are two basic types of prayer: directed and nondirected. Directed prayer is when you have a clear image in mind – that good paying job for instance – or use visualization techniques to produce a specific outcome, such as healing an illness. Nondirected prayer is when you release your personal agenda and ask for the highest good in the situation or use the classic Thy Will Be Done approach. When the Spindrift researchers compared them, both worked, but the nondirected technique was more powerful and often twice as effective. This would seem to indicate that when we step out of the way, more can come through. Trying to control the results through our concept of what’s best merely places a limit on what can happen.

Lastly, in a conversation with Dr. John S. Hislop, Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba explained prayer should not be equated with begging, and though the divine is aware of our needs, it is still our duty to approach God and ask for those needs to be met. He used the analogy of a mother who knows her child must have milk to survive but only gives it when the baby cries. We should never feel ashamed to pray, for it is not only OK to ask, it is required. And should we find ourselves to be so fortunate as to have no pressing needs or difficulties in our lives, then Sathya Sai Baba says we should pray for peace.

We hope this small piece cleared a lot of doubts in your mind about Prayer.

Jai Sai Ram.

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart” Team.

Is A Guru Necessary?

Sat Guru Sathya Sai Baba

Sat Guru Sathya Sai Baba

Is A Guru Necessary?

Dear Reader, we have for you an excerpt from Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba‘s own writing, a chapter from the sacred volume “Sandeha Nivarini”.

Devotee: Swami, can we ask you freely about any topic concerning the spiritual path, which we do not know?
Sathya Sai Baba: Certainly. What is the objection? Why this doubt? What am I here for? Is it not for explaining to you things you do not know? You can ask me without any fear or hesitation. I am always ready to answer; only, I want earnest inquiry with a desire to know.

Devotee: But some elders say it is wrong to vex the Guru with questions. Are they right, Swami?
Sathya Sai Baba: That is not correct. Whom else can the disciple approach? Since the Guru is everything to him, it is best that he consults him in all matters and then acts.

Devotee: Some say that we should reverentially carry out whatever the elders ask us to do without raising any objections. Is that your command also?
Sathya Sai Baba: Until you develop full faith in them and know that their words are valid, it will be difficult for you to carry out their orders reverentially. So, until then, it won’t be wrong to ask them the significance and the validity of their orders, so that you may be convinced.

Devotee: Swami, whom are we to believe, whom are we to discard? The world is so full of deceit. When those, whom we believed are good, themselves turn out to be bad, how can faith grow?
Sathya Sai Baba: Well, My boy! Where is the need for you in this world or any world to grow faith in others? Believe in yourself, first. Then believe in the Lord, Paramatma (universal being). When you have faith in these two, neither the good nor the bad will affect you.

Devotee: Swami, faith in the Lord too diminishes sometimes. What is the reason for that?
Sathya Sai Baba: When one is deluded by the mere external world and when one does not attain success in such external desires, faith in the Lord diminishes. So, give up such desires. Desire only for the spiritual relationship; then you won’t become the target of doubts and difficulties. The important thing for this is faith in the Lord; without that, you start doubting everything, big and small.

Devotee: Until we understand the reality of Paramatma, it is important, they say, to be in the company of the great and the good and also to have a Guru. Are these necessary?
Sathya Sai Baba: Of course, the company of the great and the good is necessary. To make that reality known to you, a Guru too is important. But, in this matter, you should be very careful. Genuine Gurus are scarce these days. Cheats have multiplied and teachers have retreated into solitude, in order to realise themselves undisturbed. There are many genuine Gurus but they cannot be secured easily. Even if you get them, you must thank your destiny if they vouchsafe to you more that one single Sadvakya (spiritual truth) ; they won’t spend time telling you all kinds of stories! There should be no hurry in the search for a Guru.

Devotee: Then, what in the world is the path?
Sathya Sai Baba: Why, it is just for this that we have the Veda, Sastra, Purana and Ithihasa (ancient scriptures) . Study them; adhere to the path they teach and gather the experience; understand their meaning and the trend of their message from Pundits; follow them in practice; meditate on the Paramatma (universal being) as the Guru and as God; then, those books themselves will help you as your Guru. For, what is a Guru? The Guru is that through which your mind gets fixed on God. If you consider Paramatma as the Guru and do Sadhana (spiritual practice) with unshakable love, the Lord Himself will appear before you and give Upadesa just as a Guru. Or, He may so bless you that as a result of the Sadhana, you may meet a Sadguru.

Devotee: But, nowadays, some great big persons are granting Upadesa to all who ask; are these not Sadgurus, Swami?
Sathya Sai Baba: I won’t say they are or they are not. I declare only this: It is not the sign of a Sadguru to grant Upadesa (spiritual instruction) to any and every person who comes to him with praise, without considering the past and the future, without discovering the qualifications of the pupil and testing whether he is fit.

Devotee: Then Swami, I have committed a blunder! When one great person arrived at our village, and when all were receiving Upadesa from him, I too went and prostrated before him and asked him for it. He granted me a good Upadesa; I repeated the Manthra for some time, but, soon, I came to know that the great person was a cheat. Since that day, I lost faith in the name he gave me; I gave up Manthra. Was this wrong? Or, am I right?
Sathya Sai Baba: Do you doubt the right and wrong of this? It is very wrong. Just as the Guru, as I told you now, examines the qualifications of the disciple, the disciple too has to critically examine the credentials of the Guru before receiving Upadesa. Your first mistake was that you did not pay attention to this but hastily accepted Upadesa. Well, even if the Guru gave it without the necessary qualification, why did you break your vow and stop repeating the name? That is the second mistake: casting the fault of another on the sacred name of God. Before receiving Upadesa, you should have taken time and known his genuineness and enveloped faith in him. Then, when the desire to accept him as Guru emerged, you should have received the Upadesa. But, once you accept, you must repeat it, whatever the difficulty; you should not give it up. Otherwise, you commit the wrong of accepting without deliberation and rejecting without deliberation. That wrong will be on your head. You should accept a name when you are still afflicted by doubt or a name which you do not prefer. Having accepted, you should not give it up.

Devotee: What happens when it is given up?
Sathya Sai Baba: Well, my boy. Disloyalty to the Guru and discarding the name of God – on account of these, your one-pointed endeavor and concentration will wither away. As the saying goes, “The diseased seedling can never grow into a tree”.

Jai Sai Ram.

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart” Team.

The God Beyond The Head

Sathya Sai Baba - Heart To Heart

Sathya Sai Baba - Heart To Heart

The God Beyond The Head

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

Here in Prashanti, it is quite common to see many people sitting in the veranda reading books, while waiting for Sathya Sai Baba to come out for Darshan. These days, many of the books that devotees are reading deal with Science and God. By and large, these books appear to examine whether or not God exists, through the “scientific route,” if we might call it that. Some of the books are by theologians, while others are by scientists. Where the latter are concerned, the question seems to be: “Looking at the physical Universe as it has evolved and as it is today, is there any evidence to suggest that it was created by a God beyond the Universe?”

The question as well as the approach of exploration is nothing new. From very ancient times, people have repeatedly been asking: “Wherefrom did the Universe come, and was there a Supreme Creator who actually willed it and brought it into existence?” Given the intrinsic doubting nature of humans, we suppose this question would remain for ever, at least as long the human race exists.

Now why did we bring all this up? For a good reason; we wish to discuss today the question: “How does one think of God, what does one believe about God and how exactly must one relate to God?” Actually, we have nothing original to say on the subject because all that needs to be said has already said by Sathya Sai Baba; what we intend to do is just to pull together the various pieces and offer them as one integrated piece.

We would like to start by reminding ourselves that the human being is actually a composite of three entities: The gross body, the subtle Mind and the even subtler Heart. Of these, the Heart is the seat of feeling; the Mind is the vehicle for generating thoughts while the body is the engine of action. Generally speaking, action is preceded by thoughts, which are in turn triggered by feelings – in other words, the hierarchy is, Heart first, Mind next, the senses and the body last. Here is an example that illustrates the point.

You are walking along the road and you see an old hungry lady begging for food. That sight fills your Heart with sadness and compassion. That feeling makes your Mind think: “I have with me here in a bag that I am carrying, some bread. Why not I give this lady a part of that loaf?” That is the thought that arises in your Mind. The thought then triggers action. You go near the old woman, stop, smile, take out some bread, give it to her and say, “Mother, please accept this food as a gift from God. Hope you would like it,” or something like that.

You may say, “All this is fine but how does it relate to the title of this article?” Ah, that exactly is what we are coming to! Let us go back to the example just given and ask: “What if the Heart did not ooze with compassion, at the sight of the old and hungry lady?” You might have just walked away without paying any attention.

The difference between actions shaped entirely by the “Head” and those triggered by the “Heart” were beautifully brought out by Jesus a long time ago, through his famous parable of the Good Samaritan. We have referred to this story any number of times in the past but it is necessary to recall it briefly one more time, in order to place it in the present context. In that story, there is a man who has been waylaid by robbers, ripped of all his possessions, beaten black and blue, and left helpless by the side of a desert track. Two people pass by, one after the other, a Levite and a priest. Both take a look at the man and pass on. Why? Was it not obvious to them that the poor man needed urgent help? Perhaps in a vague way it was. Even as they were possibly wondering what they ought to do, the Head, we are sure, must have intervened and said, “Listen, you want to help that man? But what’s there in it for you? Move on.”

If we analyse carefully we would find that most of the time when people switch off when assistance or help is desperately needed is because of the question: “What’s there in it for me?” Given human nature, this question is inevitable; it would always arise. If that be the case, does it mean that one would always come to the conclusion, “No, there is nothing in it for me,” and walk away as the priest and the Levite did? How then does one explain the behaviour of the Good Samaritan, whose example Jesus holds out for us? What was there in it for him? That really is the point of our discussion today.

You see, the question that we referred to does indeed arise often. And every time the question is asked [the question, by the way, is always asked by the “Head”], there sure is an answer. However, there are two sources for the answer – the Head, and the Heart. In the case of the Levite and the priest, it was the Head that answered. It simply said, “Move on buddy, there is nothing in it for you.” In the case of the Good Samaritan, the answer came from the Heart, which said, “Look at that poor fellow. He desperately needs your help. Go and do something for him, whatever you can.”

This then tells us, that two voices can and do speak from within, each with its own perspective. One voice is that of the “Head” and the other is from the “Heart”. The question now arises: “What is the difference, and how do we distinguish between the two?” The answer has been given by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He says the voice of the Head is really the voice of the lower self or the ego. And the voice from the Heart? That is the Voice of the True Higher Self, the Indweller, the Voice of God. As for the difference, the Head will generally offer many options and argue: “Listen, this option means these advantages for you. That option means those advantages and disadvantages for you. Choose this one, because this means least trouble for you and indeed a lot of gain.” In other words, the language of the Head is the language of business, of profit and loss, of advantages and disadvantages, in short, the language of selfishness. As for the Heart, it never offers multiple choices. God the Resident of the Heart, is One. He is Truth, and Truth as Sathya Sai Baba often reminds us, is always one, not two. In practical terms, the Heart will always give only one option, that option being what God would like us to do.

To sum up this part of the discussion, we note the following important points:

  • The Head is not everything.
  • The Head always offers many options and argues which is most advantageous and so forth.
  • The options of the Head are inevitably tinged with selfishness, sometimes in the extreme.
  • The options of the Head might seem very rational from a worldly point of view but one must not be fooled.
  • They all arise from the Ego, must be carefully avoided.
  • As for the Heart, it never speaks with a “forked tongue”.
  • It gives only one option, always, because Truth is one and not two.
  • The course of action indicated by the Heart is always free from selfishness because its source is God.

In fact, “the selfishness test” is the best way of checking out whether the voice we hear from within is from the Head or from the Heart.

Getting back to the point we started with, we would at this point like to say that to us at least, it seems meaningless to discover God through the route of Science. Such explorations might be intellectually very challenging and even stimulating but at the end of the day, we wonder about their utility. What we mean is the following: OK, through Science we “prove” there is a God. What next? Do we raise yet another question, start yet another inquiry and write more books?

In our view, all this is a complete waste of time. Gandhi told the western world way back in 1931, “He is no God who merely satisfies the intellect. God to be God must rule the Heart and transform the senses. He is LOVE.” That is what we find in the case of the Good Samaritan. God ruled his Heart and his actions bear testimony to that. This leads us to the important point that it does not make sense to “discover” the existence of God via Science. Such an exercise depends on the “Head” and, as Gandhi has pointed out, this is a futile way of trying to find out whether God exists or not.

We must not try to “understand” God as some are trying to do but EXPERIENCE God. How does one do that? Sathya Sai Baba has given the answer. He says Bliss is Union with God. This implies that experiencing Bliss is the best way to experience God. The question now arises: “What is this Bliss? How is it different from pleasure, that one gets say from gambling?” The answer is simple and once again is available from Sathya Sai Baba. When we talk of joy, happiness etc., we invariably mean pleasure that we get out worldly experiences, experiences that gratify the senses in some manner or the other. These “joyful” experiences [like the “good feeling” one supposedly gets by drinking alcohol say] belong to the dual world and therefore have an opposite. As Satya Sai Baba reminds us so often, pleasure is an interval between two pains. Further, let us say a person enjoys a cone of ice-cream. One year later when he recalls that event, it remains a mere recollection. There is no particular joy in the recollection. On the other hand, let us consider an Interview that Swami has given us. During the Interview of course we are all in a state of Bliss; it cannot be any other way. Ten years later when we recall, we still feel a lot of exhilaration. That is an important quality of Bliss. Also, it has no opposite, since Bliss belongs to the non-dual realm of God.

So, experiencing Bliss is what experiencing God is all about. There are many ways of experiencing such Bliss. Listening to stories of the Lord is one; listening to songs in praise of the Lord is another; singing Sai Bhajans with feeling is yet another; and so on the list goes. We submit, as Sathya SaiBaba has often told us, serving others with Selfless Love is the simplest and most practical way of experiencing Bliss. That is exactly how one can understand the behaviour of the Good Samaritan. The Head asked the question: “What is there in it for me?” And the Heart answered, “There is Bliss; don’t miss the chance; experience Bliss through service and be with God at least for some time.”

To wrap it all up, we submit that trying to reason out the existence of God may be intellectually stimulating and satisfying but at the end of the day, it merely amounts to what Swami refers to as Bookish Knowledge. On the other hand, spontaneously responding to distress and reaching out to help results in Bliss, and constitutes, in Sathya Sai Baba’s language, Practical Knowledge. If we are interested in joy, pleasure or “kicks” to use a popular slang, the Head is the best agent. But if we want Bliss, then the Heart is the unfailing guide.

In a sense thus, life is constantly offering us a choice between pleasure and Bliss. If we want pleasure, the Head would show the way, but if we prefer Bliss, then we must look beyond the Head, for that is where God is.

Have you noticed that Spirituality is not something hairy-fairy but very practical? That is why Swami refers to Spirituality as Practical Knowledge. Swami does not want us to withdraw from or to run away from the world into seclusion. He wants us to be very much in it, but conduct our lives using the Heart as a compass rather than the Head.

There is a lot that needs to be said on this subject but we shall deal with that later. For the moment, we take your leave. Till we get together again.

Jai Sai Ram.

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart” Team.

300 Year Old Shiva Lingam Found in Puttaparthi

300 Year Old Shiva Lingam Found in Puttaparthi

Om Sairam dearest family,

on 23rd July 2009 there was some work being done in one farmer’s field just behind Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram in Peddakammavari Palli road and the work men found this less than 3 feet Shivalingam.

In no time the news spread in Puttaparthi and hundreds of devotees started going there and it was talk of the town. Puttaparthi has little bit of history before Sathya Sai Baba’s birth in this holy tiny hamlet… The King Sri Krishnadevaraya who had his base in Penukonda (1 hour from Parthi) had built some temples around Puttaparthi in Bukkapatnam and he was also instrumental in building two lakes in Puttaparthi area.

The emergence of Lingam was a big news for Puttaparthians and the media from all over the state came here to cover the news. The archeological director was also called to check the Shivalingam. The primary investigation confirms that that lingam was of 17 th century and the Archeological director also didn’t write off the possibility of a temple some where closer by this place.

Devotees were queuing up to see this lingam. Many offered Milk, Ghee and other offerings as abhishekam and there were also high profile visitors from the ashram to see this lingam. The flower and coconut vendors who usually sell near Ganesh gate shifted to this new place and it was totally a festive atmosphere around the Lingam place. The auto rickshaw drivers were all driving up and down with devotees to this place.

The upper part of the lingam was detachable and many pandits are of the opinion that since the upper part was removed, it needs to be installed in a better place and a puja is to be done to get the power back into the Lingam.

Here are some photos of the Lingam…

With pranams at the lotus feet of our beloved Lord

Satish Naik.

300 Year Old Shiva Linga Unearthed At Puttaparthi Behind Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ashram

300 Year Old Shiva Linga Unearthed At Puttaparthi Behind Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ashram

300 Year Old Shiva Lingam Unearthed In Puttaparthi

300 Year Old Shiva Lingam Unearthed In Puttaparthi

Curtesy SaiBabaNews Yahoo Group