Huge Attendance At Sai Baba Temple Guru Purnima Celebrations

Sai Baba

Sai Baba

Huge Attendance At Sai Baba Temple Guru Purnima Celebrations
Thu Jul 24, 2008

MONTEBELLO,CA – An unprecedented flow of hundreds of devotees to receive the blessings of their guru Sai Baba marked the celebration of Guru Purnima at the Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan LA, here in an event spread over three days, July 17 – 20. With almost double the number of expected people showing up, volunteers were hard pressed to produce the Mahaprasad to feed all arrivals. However the army of volunteers responded to the challenge by setting up a kitchen on site for cooking and made sure that not a single visitor left hungry.

The event paying respect to the guru saw several aaratis, poojas and hawans performed during its duration which were all well attended and supported by eager followers of the Baba. The Lalitha and Vishnu Sahasranamams were also recited on different days, On Saturday, after the daily morning kakad aarati the final ceremonies commenced with the Samoohika Kserabhishekam. This service comprised the bathing of the sacred idol of Sai Baba with water and milk in which almost a hundred people participated.

Following this ritual the curtains were drawn and the idol was kept away from the sight of the public while it was draped for ‘alankara’ in fresh new apparel and the alter decked with flowers and food . There was much joy and excitement among the gathering when the drapes were drawn to a darshan revealing the Guru in splendid attire placed in beautifully decorated surroundings.

After the pooja of the Sadguru the priest had the growing congregation squat on the floor and immerse itself in the combined chanting of “Om” for a quarter of an hour which added a whole new spiritual ambience to the religious experience.

Addressing the devotees on the occasion , the founder of the temple, Dr Prabhakar Tummala reminded devotees how the temple when it was inaugurated last year, started with just the basics. He thanked Baba’s staunch devotees which has grown to over 4,000 strong and the volunteer ‘soldiers’ of Baba in converting it to a full fledged temple in a matter of months. He continued to say that this sanctuary is a “Shirdi away from Shirdi.”

Tummala announced upcoming events and said a neem tree would also be planted behind the structure to replicate the setting in Shirdi in India.

The morning rituals concluded with the ceremonial planting of the Udumbara tree when a puja was conducted in the courtyard of the temple with devotees doing three pradarshans around it while chanting “Om Sai Namo Namaha” and each one throwing a handful of rice into the receptacle holding the plant. This again was to duplicate the presence of a similar tree in Shirdi under which the Sai Baba spent several happy and peaceful hours.

In the afternoon there were bhajan sessions led by Suresh and a presentation of episodes from the Ramayana by children of “Bala Gokulam” which meets at the temple every Saturday.


Sathya Sai Baba Guru Purnima Celebrations

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Guru Purnima Celebrations
Book Release, Divine Discourse and Music Programme
July 18, 2008

Sathya Sai Baba’s mission is holy in essence and holistic in approach and this mission has ever been focussed in promoting individual as well as societal transformation. What could be aptly described as a spiritual and cultural renaissance was the most happening thing under His Divine Mission and every festivity and event in Prasanthi Nilayam consciously or subconsciously is aimed at attaining this end result. With primitive age old customs and traditions no longer getting due attention and are engaged in a hard-fought battle for survival, Prasanthi Nilayam very often witnesses festivities celebrated in the very presence of the Promoter of Cultural and Spiritual Renaissance of the modern age, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and there unfolds the most subtle significance of each and every festivity.

The Sanskrit meaning of the term Guru is a person having great knowledge, wisdom and authority in a given area and used the same to guide others. ‘Gu’ is darkness and ‘Ru’ is light and thus the term gets the finer meaning as the one who dispels darkness. Where else one could turn his attention to remove the veil of ignorance, darkness than the preceptor of all preceptors, Sathya Sai Baba? Guru Purnima has always been a festival with foremost reckoning in Prasanthi Nilayam.

Who is a Guru? He is the Divine dispeller of the darkness within you. The Divine Trinity have been described as Guru. This implies that the Divine should be regarded as the supreme preceptor who can destroy the darkness of ignorance. Forgetting this basic truth, people run after men wearing ochre robe who profess to impart a mantra and stretch their palm for money. This is not what is meant by Guru. Install God in your heart. The vibrations that emanate from the heart will elevate you spiritually and confer Divine Wisdom. – Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Moon connotes the mind and on a perfect moon day mind is believed to be regaling in cool and calm composure. When the moon’s perfection coincides with the Sun’s transition heralding the advent of the month of Ashada based on the vernacular calendar, it marks the arrival of Guru Purnima, with a silent reminder to man of the salient need to pay respect and obeisance to Teacher or Guru.

18th July 2007, Prasanthi Nilayam was filled to capacity and bore a festive look. Gliding past from the Ashadi backdrop that has been there for the past four days, Prasanthi got into a higher gear with the festival with a greater significance arrived and with it a bout of attached events. On the serene and beautiful morning that was supposedly spotless with sun shining bright, it was He, The Sun of all the suns came out emerging from His Divine Abode in sparkling yellow robe, dot at 8:50 a.m. Regaled entire Prasanthi and the thousands thronged to have a glimpse of the Lord when the Lord made His way through to the thousands with a beaming smile on His beautiful face completing a full round before coming on to the dais after cutting the cake specially made for the occasion.

The morning proceedings began with an introductory speech by Prof. Anil Kumar who thanked Bhagawan for His greater magnanimity conferring the chosen blessings on multitudes. Referring to the lakhs and lakhs of devotees around the world who could not make it to Prasanthi Nilayam, he hoped that Bhagawan’s blessings would be there for the entire world. The Chief Guest for the morning session was Hon’ble Home Minister of India, Sri Shivaraj Patil who was seated next to Bhagawan on the dais. Inviting Sri Shivaraj Patil to address the gathering, he mentioned about Mr. Patil’s book on Bhagavad Gita that was just released by Bhagawan, that Sri Shivaraj Patil has extensively studied the Gita to write his own book on the celestial song and the book was already written in various other languages.

Offering pranams at His Divine Lotus Feet and to the devotees assembled the minister said: Bhagawan inspires, guides, encourages and blesses all of us, and whatever is done or achieved is done only with His inspiration, encouragement and blessings, making an indirect reference to his composition on Bhagavad Gita. He does it at times covertly and otherwise overtly. He said: Bhagavad Gita would not have seen the light without His inspiration. Talking about Bhagavad Gita’s significance, He said, Bhagavad Gita teaches one to live in the world righteously, fighting the battle to realize the purpose of life. Touching the point to reach out the masses affectively the minister highlighted the importance of such works to be written and translated into various languages. With a prayer on his lips to bless the entire humanity and the cosmos in entirety, the minister concluded his inspiration speech.

The whole universe emerges out of the principle of Truth and merges back into Truth. Upon investigation one cannot find a single space without Truth. Truth is omnipresent and for all actions Truth is the primal cause, said Bhagawan commencing His Divine Discourse.

Switching over to Shivaraj Patil’s latest composition on Bhagavad Gita, He said, the composition is especially significant as the minister would show the script to Bhagawan for His Divine guidance and guidelines. The book is Bhagavad Gita in essence; the essence of Bhagavad Gita imprinted in his heart was translated and passed into paper.

Gurupurnima is not as one thinks an occasion to show adoration and veneration to the elders, preceptors and celibates. Reciting the famous Guru Manthra, Gurur Brahma…Gurur Visnu, Gurur Devo Maheshwara…Bhagawan said, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara are the real gurus and as such God is the Guru and remembering God with adoration, veneration with a spotless mind signifies the real meaning of Guru Purnima. Bhagawan went in detail into Ekalavya’s story narrating the Preceptor – Disciple relationship. In spite of knowing that he would not be able to use all the skills that he has learnt at the feet of his master, through his dedication, concentration reverence and love for his guru Dronacharya, when it came to offering Guru Dakshina, he never ever hesitated even a bit, to offer his thumb, without which his skills would be of any use. The feeling of “I” and “Mine” are to be cut to know the essence of Bhagavad Gita. Any investigation would be futile without removing the feeling of “I” and “Mine” and one would not be successful in knowing the Atma Tathwa without achieving the same. He referred to the holy cross as the finest example as a most useful weapon to reach out Jesus, the Godhood. Bhagavad Gita has three important messages, namely, Self Confidence, Self Sacrifice and Self Realisation. Bhagavad Gita is the very breath of God. The celestial song may not have subtle explanations, but, one is sure to find many answers to his various questions.

Referring to the last sloka in Bhagavad Gita, Yatra yogeshwara Krishno yatra Partho dhanur dharaha. Tatra shreer vijayo bhutir dhruvo nithir mathir mamaha, Bhagawan said, the essence of Gita lies in same.

One may be reading so many books, but it comes to no use until and unless one tries to put the same into practical life. Students and teachers should not only read and recapitulate, but, also should practise and share the knowledge with others. Students in Prasanthi are good and have sacred hearts. Sacred Hearts would lead to Secret Place that is Destiny, added Bhagawan. He called out a faculty from the Department of Physics who have been invited by the Govt. of Hungary for a presentation and said other students also should emulate such fine examples and achieve distinction. Whatever one has learnt as a student in the portals of Sathya Sai University and at the Feet of Bhagawan should be shared with students from other universities.

Yes, full moon is spotless, said Bhagawan and commencing the Divine Discourse He said, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara are to be revered and worshipped. Worship God with a spotless mind was essence of the message of Bhagawan on Guru Purnima Day.

Way back in 1964, during the Guru Purnima Divine Discourse, Bhagawan said:

Being Guru Pournima Day, I am reminded of a lady at Shirdi, an old devotee called Radhabai Desh¬mukh, who was worshipping Me in My previous Sariram. She wanted initiation into a Mantra and fasted for three full days, in order to persuade Me to do it. Shyama came running and announced she was very exhaus¬ted. She was brought to Dwarakamayi. Baba asked her what she wanted and wanted her to explain what she meant by Guru. She repeated the sloka, ‘Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheshwarah, Gurusaakshaath Parabrahma Thasmai Sree Gurave Namah’. Then, Baba asked her, ‘If the Guru is all that, what other Mantra do you expect him to give? Why should He give you the name of any other Form of God?’ Then He told her, ‘This is the Gurusthanam as well as Devasthanam for you. My Name is enough for you. Go.’ Some people may ask: ‘If we are immersed in Namasmarana, what is to happen to our lives and to those who are dependent on us?’ But I tell them, ‘They are not dependent on you; when you depend on the Lord, they too are His responsibility. Why should you carry your luggage on your head, once you have boarded the train? Sit down in comfort. The train will take you, along with the luggage.’ If you get immersed in Namasmarana, the Lord will provide not Annam, but Amritam.

You too have secured the Presence not merely of the Guru but of God. You are in Bhagavatsannidh¬yam, (in the immediate Divine Presence) not just satsangam. How lucky you are! Make the best use of this golden chance.”

Does it not sound significant to all of us who are hearing the Divine in physical? We need to dig out, we need to introspect, meditate to know the Truth, to realise the Truth.

Let’s sing in chorus…

The light of wisdom within me shines brighter today because of you.
The knowledge of the first light has been fanned by you
I have within me all the Truth that is, and is to be
I am unaware of all that is
With You, O Great One, I shall realize the Truth;
With gratitude, I honour Your Name, which is many;

With humility, I bow to Thy Form, which is changing;
With trust, I merge my mind with Thine, to become the One Mind;
With Thee as my Guide, Teacher, Guru, I know
I will come to know my true self, the One Self of all
Your name is Sathya, You are Truth
The Truth that I am…

Musical Twilight
Music is the inner or universal language of God, and God’s love for music is no secret. Soulful music awakens the inner heart as it embodies the absolute supreme. We have umpteen instances where godly passion for Music melted the Divine in various forms. Bhagawan Himself used to sing carnatic vocals in His youthful days and He has always been encouraging musicians from various parts of the world who found it a rare blessing to perform in His Divine Presence. Music is as powerful as Love and when Love for God and Music come together, Divine has to manifest. …What Prasanthi Nilayam witnessed on the Guru Purnima evening was heavenly indeed with the famous duo Malladi Brothers sang their hearts out with a bout of carnatic compositions that turned the auspicious twilight into a most memorable one.

The concert started off with a Guru Dhyana Slokam of Saint Thayagaraja, in Guruleka Ragam and Gowrimanohari Thalam. The second rendition was Sujana Jeevana of St. Thayagaraja in Khamas and Roopakam. Next to come was Evarani in Devamrithavarshini Ragam and Adi Talam. Through this famous composition Thyagaraja expounds on the greatness of the name of Lord Rama as Bhagawan says, “Ra” is the Jeevakshara of “Om Namo Narayana”, while “Ma” is the Jeevakshara of “Om Namasivaya”. Entha Vedukondura in Saraswathi Manohara Ragam and Adi Thalam was the next, followed by Nagumomu (nagumOmu ganalEni nAjAli telisi nannu brOvaga rAdA shrI raghuvara nI) in Abheri and Adi that lasted for a scintillating fifteen minutes leaving one and all spell bound. With Bhagawan watching from a very close quarter, the duo immersed completely in rendition and the entire hall in pin drop silence it was the Goddess of Music who was prevailing over the Lord in Physical who was seen in rapt attention. The famous English poem written by Maharishi Aurobindo declaring that the Lord has descended on earth, with a direct reference to Bhagawan’s Advent was composed beautifully by the duo to sing in His Divine Presence as an apt offering at His Feet on the auspicious evening. Sai Namasmaranam in Dwijawanthi and Adi followed by Slokams in Telugu Sama, Kedaragowla, Sindhu Bhairavi and Hindola were also rendered followed by Santhamuleka in Sama Ragam to end the evening programme with the famous Venkatachalanilayam of Saint Purandharadasa.

To savour the sweetness of music in fullness, one need to have a taste for it and it was sure that those who understand the language of God and the language of music would have definitely found it a most memorable twilight with the duo brought their mesmerizing touch to bring the feelings poured out by the eighteenth century music exponent St. Thyagaraja in a in a most effective way that made Bhagawan to sit through in full attention and the devotees spell bound. During a brief chat with our reporting team, the duo said, singing for God is always a very special moment and they cherish each and every moment of such opportunities. It was Bhagawan’s greater magnanimity that got them the chance to sing for Him on the auspicious evening and they were indebted to Him. Referring to composition on Bhagawan, they said, the lyric was taken from our monthly journal Sanathana Sarathi and composed to the occasion especially for Bhagawan as an offering at His Lotus Feet.

Indeed, Music is the Inner Language of God! He is Music Divine!

Reference (With Pictures)



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)