Canadian Hindu Leader Pundit Jankie Persad Sharma Passes Away

Canadian Hindu Leader Pundit Jankie Persad Sharma Passes Away
By Karishma Patel

Mississauga, Canada (CHAKRA) – An important leader and pioneer of the Hindu religion, Pundit Jankie Persad Sharma has died. He was a prominent leader for Hindus in both Trinidad an Tabago and Canada. He was the one to start celebrating Diwali in Trinidad in addition to building temples, performing wedding ceremonies as well as taking trips to India.

He was 80 years old and settled in Canada in 1989 after many Trinidadians requested for him to live there. He lived in Mississauga and passed away on Thursday, March 1. A funeral with many attendees was held for him a few days later.

Sharma’s father, originally from the state of Madhya Pradesh, came to Trinidad in 1910 with his 12 year old son. Once in Trinidad, Sharma’s father became a certified priest and conducted many religious ceremonies. He had eight children of whom Sharma was the eldest. Sharma along with two of his younger brothers followed his dad’s footsteps and also pursued becoming priests.

Sharma was conducting his own public prayers and rituals by 1944. He married a woman named Badewattee Persad in 1962 and they had six children altogether.

He had begun to create temples by 1971 in Matilda, Princes Town, Barrackpore and Rio Claro of which one is the well known Moruga temple in Matilda.

Boodram Ramoutar, a close friend of Sharma said, “His family fully understood and supported his role as a pundit and community leader with little time for all else. One special aspect was that he was not driven by material rewards, and treated rich, poor, man, woman, child, young and old with empathy and respect. In Trinidad alone, he had officiated at 4,000 weddings and become the guru of over 5,000 godchildren after baptising them as Hindus. It is fair to say that Trinidad has become richer in Hindu traditions, culture, and spirituality by the presence and teachings of Pundit Jankie Persad Sharma.”

For the diaspora, Sharma organized the first tour to India in 1983 because many Trinidadians were more interested in their roots and where they came from due to listening to radio programmes as well as from watching movies associated with their cultural past.

His initiatives such as his visits to India increased the demand of people wanting to learn more about their ancestors, their religious leaders and temples. The Sathya Sai Baba following was one such example. He became so respected by crowds as well as a charismatic leader that Sathya Sai Baba himself requested to meet him and talk privately as well as give blessings to all Trinidadians that he represented.

Sharma was asked to address the opening at the first Diwali Nagar celebration in 1986 in Chaguanas. Hindu awareness was growing and thus this event since then became an annual function which not only drew Hindus but also people of other faiths who just wished to experience the auspicious occasion of Diwali.

Thereafter, on the island, every Hindu celebration began to be celebrated with high respect and grandeur.

Most Trinidadians who moved to Canada, Britain and the United States starting in the 1970’s and onwards all called Sharma to perform their religious ceremonies such as weddings, house warming’s and other related religious events that required blessings from a respected elder. Due to this increase and demand for him, Sharma and his family moved to Canada thereafter to settle in the province of Ontario.

In Canada, he started the Satya Jyoti Cultural Sabha while becoming more prevalent to Canadian Hindus at the same time, marking a presence of Hinduism in the Canadian society.

All levels of government in Canada praised and honoured him with certificates and recommendations for his service to the Mississauga and Canadian community as a whole. Pundit Jankie Persad Sharma had become Canada’s first swami and was also known as Swami Atmananda Maharaj Ji.

Chakra News Reference

Language of the heart – Author Ramesh Sharma believes being spiritual is being human

Language of the heart – Author Ramesh Sharma believes being spiritual is being human
by Bissme S.

Since young, Ramesh Sharma has been fascinated about finding out the true purpose of human life. As he grew older, he continued with his quest, even going on trips to India to meet up with spiritual gurus.

Two years ago, the 53-year-old former salesman decided to write down his experiences.

A Buddhist Disciple Muk Tho’s Journey of Spiritual Mystic (Pristine Books, RM33.80) tells of some experiences which might seem ‘miraculous’ and somewhat out of this world.

For instance, there is the story about a garland his mother had placed on a photograph of Indian mystic Sathya Sai Baba which, his mother claimed, had grown longer.

“When she first told me about it, I didn’t believe her,” says Ramesh (bottom) at a recent reading of his book. “So when my mother told me again that the garland had grown longer, I was ready to prove her wrong.”

He decided to measure its length. To his surprise, he found the garland had actually grown longer! In the end, it grew so long that it touched the floor of the prayer room where the photo was placed.

Ramesh, who was 12 then, was speechless and spellbound.

Then when he was 15, he was stung on the hand by a bee. While getting ready to go to the hospital, his maid suddenly went into a trance and acted like she was possessed by the monkey god Hanuman (an Indian deity).

She grabbed his hand and sucked out the poison.

“I was trembling at that time,” he recalls. “Amazingly, the swelling on my hand went down.”

Another story also concerned his mother. During a trip to see Sathya Sai Baba in India years ago, she was given a locket by this holy man. But on the day she died, the locket mysteriously disappeared and was never found.

Of course, sceptics might have a hard time digesting some of these stories but Ramesh remains unperturbed.

“Miracles and divine interventions are experienced by people of all religions and races,” claims the author, who grew up in Penang.

“Spirituality cannot be found in books nor can it be intellectualised. It needs to be experienced through self endeavour and enquiry. Do not take my word for it.”

He encourages people to go on their own journey to find the meaning of life, love and god. “You cannot look for those things from other people’s experiences,” he adds.

Ramesh also believes that the human race will always want to be one with the Creator. “But man must be sincere in his quest to be connected to God. Being sincere means not asking for material wealth all the time. The human race always asks for the wrong things from God.

“Real happiness is not always equated to the material things in life but rather, it is within you – the way you feel and see things in life with contentment.”

He believes that God wants the human race to lead a fruitful life. “You should ask for virtues that will make you a better person. You should ask for strength and guidance.

“When you leave this world, you’re going to leave your money behind and where you’re going will depend on your good deeds.”

He dismisses the notion that being spiritual is about wearing robes, chanting mantras and meditating in a cave. “Being spiritual is being human,” he says. “And being human is about touching someone’s heart.”

Pointing to the late Mother Teresa as an example of a truly great human being, Ramesh says she once brought home a dying homeless man and bathed and cleaned him. She held his hand as he breathed his last.

“Before dying, the homeless man apparently told her: ‘I had lived my life as a pauper but I’m going to die as a king’.

The man was grateful that there was someone who loved him enough to clean him up and hold his hand on his deathbed. It is love that everyone is craving for, and not material wealth.”

It was his mother, Nivedita Joshi, who triggered his interest in spirituality. She was an ardent reader of books on this subject.

He was especially struck by a line in one book, Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. It says: “Why do you search for me when I am within you,” which he found very comforting.

Years later, when he inherited most of her books after her death, he read all of them and they opened up a whole new world of experiences for him – one that he cherishes till today.

Reference

The Divine Alchemy-A Miracle Of Sathya Saibaba

The Divine Alchemy-A Miracle Of Sathya Saibaba

Is there an end to Sathya SaiBaba’s miracles, that take place in glorious, mysterious ways?

Buzz up! A fascinating episode has been recorded in “Sai Baba: Invitation to Glory” by Howard Murphet.

There is no dearth for miracles in a Master’s prescence. Divine alchemy as we may call it, when Jesus Christ turned water to wine at Cana in Galiliee and Mosses turned the river Nile to a stream of blood in Egypt, is still a continuing story as Sathya Sai Baba turns water into petrol.

An old Sai devotee was once driving with Baba and others, just after the second World War, through the country side, heading to a religious festival. It so happened that the car car stopped mid way in want of fuel. One of the passengers knew a fuel station down the road but was not sure about the availability of petrol. The driver opted to buy petrol from somewhere nearby but since the availability was the seeming question, Swami asked him to fetch a pail of water from the house that stood less than a hundred meters from them.

When the driver returned with the bucket of water, Swami Sathya Baba played his finger on the surface of the water as those who accompanied Him stood watching silently. He then instructed the driver to pour the ‘Water-fuel’ into the petrol tank warning him not spill even a drop. Soon the Swami and the othres began to drive as the car responded to Swami’s miraculous petrol!

If this achemy could happen in Sathya Sai Baba’s physical presence, there are instances where it could happen in the absence of His bodily presence. The petrol tank of Mr. Gordon Chetty’s car, a nine seater Station Wagon, was always full miraculously! The vehicle was employed in spreading Baba’s teachings irespective of the distance. It happened eleven times in two years.

Once Mr. Gordon was in a wedding party when suddenly he was called by someone urgently to attend to the petrol spilling out of the tank. It was always a usual happening that his parked car would have its petrol tank full miraculously, and a little of the fuel overflowing. It was customary of a huge crowd, of over hundreds, watching each such miracle. At this particular happening there were about 800 spectators and twelve people who collected the overflowing petrol for their own use!

Is there anything that Grace cannot manifest?

One India Reference

Sri Sathya Sai Baba To Visit City Tomorrow

Sri Sathya Sai Baba To Visit City Tomorrow
TNN 30 October 2009, 06:32am IST

MUMBAI: Spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba will bless his devotees in the city on a visit scheduled from October 31 to November 2. Sri Sathya Sai Baba will be staying at his divine adobe ‘Dharmakshetra’ in Andheri.

The schedule for the Mumbai trip includes bhajan and darshan at these locations: Bombay Exhibition Centre in Goregaon on October 31 at 4 pm ; Jamboori Maidan in Worli on November 1 at 10 am and Brabourne Stadium in Churchgate on November 1 at 5 pm.

He visited Mumbai for the first time in 1967 and laid the foundation for Dharmakshetra, which was inaugurated in 1968. Dharmakshetra is an initiative involved in many social activities like education and medical care among other things.

Times Of India Reference

Sathya Sai Baba’s Maha Shivaratri Discourse 2009

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Sathya Sai Baba’s Maha Shivaratri Discourse 2009
Develop Self-Confidence To Gain Success In Life
by Sathya Sai Baba

The beauty of this sacred land of Bharat lies in its Forbearance!. Of all the rituals, adherence to truth is the greatest penance. The nectarine feeling in this country is the feeling of love toward one’s mother. Character is valued far more than the very life itself. People have forgotten the basic principles of this great culture and are imitating Western culture. Alas! Bharathiyas are not aware of the greatness of their cultural heritage just as a mighty elephant is not aware of its own strength. (Telugu poem)

The elephant, unable to realise its innate strength, meekly submits itself to the commands of the mahout, who works for a paltry sum of money. It gets up and sits down as the mahout bids as it is trained by him.. Similarly Bharathiyas today blindly follow the western culture, quite forgetting their own rich and sacred heritage and culture. The culture of Bharath is very sacred, strong, and ancient. It is eternal and a beacon light that has and continues to guide all the countries of the world. Then how can the Bharathiyas forget their own great culture?

The culture of Bharath is such that it instills the philosophy where the mother and the father are to be respected like God.. It exhorts every child to follow the axiom of ‘Mathrudevo bhava’ and ‘Pithrudevo bhava’ (mother is God; father is God). It does not stop just at this level alone it also urges one to follow the truism of ‘Acharyadevo bhava’ and ‘Athithidevo bhava’ (Teacher is God and the guest is God). If you tend to ignore the words of your own mother, whom else will you revere and respect?

Embodiments of Love!

As we go on talking for hours together, we tend to forget what we really intend to communicate. So many deviations and distortions creep into our speech. Today, the entire world is filled with negative feelings. Whoever you come across, and in whatever you see, negativity is widespread. All are reflections of your inner thoughts and feelings.

But beyond all these, there is one entity, called Atma, which is the Embodiment of the Divine Self. There is only one Atma, which dwells in every individual, or should I say in every living being. The Bhagavad Gita declared “Mamaivamso jeevaloke jeevabhuthah Sanathanah” (the Eternal Atma present in all beings is a part of My Being). There is no scope at all for any doubt or duality in this aspect. It is “Ekameva adwitheeyam Brahma” (The Atma or Brahma is one without a second). That is why it is said “A man with a dual mind is half blind.”

Divinity is described in the Vedas as “Sahasra seersha purushaha sahasrakshah sahasra paad” (The Cosmic Being has thousands of heads, eyes and feet.). The significance of this statement is that one Divinity expresses itself through millions of individuals and therefore all are Divine. We tend to forget this great truth and consider each individual as separate from one another. The strife and conflicts between human beings started the moment humanity forgot its fundamental unity. It is time that this trend is reversed and the elemental unity among human beings is re-established.

Along with unity, there should be purity. When unity and purity go together, there is Divinity. The combination of unity, purity and Divinity will result in the realisation of the Atma Tathwa (Atmic Principle). The Upanishads, especially the Taithreeyopanishad, dealt at length with this Atma Tathwa. The one who develops faith only in this Atma Tathwa will succeed in all his endeavours.

The Atma Tathwa or Divine Consciousness permeates the entire Universe. Even a blade of grass cannot move without this Divine Consciousness. Everything in this Universe is the reflection of this Divine Consciousness. It is the same Atma Tathwa which dwells in all human beings irrespective of religion, caste, creed, and nationality.

This is true even in the case of Avatars. The Avatars of Rama and Krishna may be different from each other by their names and forms; but the Atma Tathwa which resides within them is only one. They all lived in their human vestures till the completion of their Avataric mission, and once their task was completed, they disappeared. So, physical bodies are not permanent. In fact, nothing in this ephemeral world is permanent, not even the great Avatars.

Atma is the only entity that is eternal. It is beyond birth and death. It is changeless. There is a beginning and an end for everything else in this universe, except the Atma. Hence, one has to develop firm faith in this Atma Tathwa.
Unfortunately, we today tend to forget this true and eternal Atma Tathwa and develop faith in the ephemeral world. We weave a web of imagination around the pleasures that this transient world would offer. Ultimately, we land ourselves in sorrow and difficulties.

The Atma Tathwa is the only entity that is true, eternal, and changeless. Everything else undergoes change from time to time. Even the human body passes through different stages like childhood, adolescence, youth and old age, but the individual remains the same through all these changes.

Today, people adapt themselves to continuous changes in time, situations, and environment. People who change themselves thus are not a human beings in the real sense. Who then is a real human being? One who does not undergo a change; one whose faith in the Atma Tathwa (Self) is firm and steady. That is self-confidence. One who develops that self confidence can find a place for himself permanently in the history of the world.

You all know about Abraham Lincoln, the past President of the United States of America. He was a perfect example of such self-confidence. He came from a very poor family and could not afford to have books or even decent clothes. He was so poor that he had to study under the streetlights. His mother used to support him with the meager amount of money she earned by mending old and wornout clothes.

One day his classmates, who were rich and wearing fine suits, boots, and hats, heckled him, by saying that he did not deserve to walk along with them in his poor clothes and that he should walk on the footpath. He came home crying and poured out his agony to his mother, explaining how he was insulted and humiliated.

His mother consoled him by saying, “My dear son! Do not get affected by either praise or blame. Understand the situation at home. Your father cannot afford to spend money on your education. Develop self-confidence. That is your property.”

These words made a lasting impression on the tender heart of Lincoln. He inculcated self-confidence and self-respect, with the constant support and encouragement of his mother. He even did some odd jobs and earned some money to support himself. The good name he earned for himself in society won him the respect and love of his fellowmen.

In due course of time, his friends and well-wishers advised him to run for election. They assured him of their support and votes. On their advice, he participated as a candidate in the election and won. He became the President of America. Thus, Abraham Lincoln, the son of a poor artisan with very little money to pursue even his primary education, became the President of America by sheer hard work and the self-confidence which his mother encouraged him to develop all through his life.

People cannot reach great heights without self-confidence. Not even the nine forms of devotion — sravanam (listening), kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), Padasevanam (serving His Lotus Feet), vandanam (salutation), archanam (worship), dasyam (servitude), sneham (friendship), and Atmanivedanam (self-surrender) — can help.

Any amount of sadhana (spiritual practices) without self-confidence will be of little use. Hence, I wish that all of you should develop self-confidence. Face your examinations with self-confidence. Without self-confidence, not even your friends can help.
Do not forget to follow your mother’s advice, for, she is ‘Mathrudevo bhava’ (mother is God). She will always protect you, wherever you are. One who respects the commands of their mother and follows them sincerely will come up in life, as in the case of Abraham Lincoln.

Unfortunately, people today do not give due respect and recognition to their mothers. There are people in high positions who do not hesitate even to put down their mothers in front of others . There have been instances when they do not hesitate to call their mother a servant when guests or colleague officers visit their houses and ask about the mother. This behaviour is totally against the Vedic injunctions, which urges everyone to treat the mother as God.

In fact, the mother is living divinity. She is the first guru to a human being. She is the only person who selflessly works and wishes for the welfare of her children.

Those who disregard the advice of their mother will never be successful in life. Even in foreign countries, people like Abraham Lincoln attained high positions by obeying the commands of their mothers and by developing self-confidence.

We consider foreigners as great. But not all foreigners can be considered great. Only those who respect their mothers and follow their advice are great. If you ignore the advice of your mother, you are sure to face difficulties in life. Follow her advice wholeheartedly. Without a second thought, develop the quality of implicit obedience to the wishes of your mother. Only then only will your life be peaceful.

The women of Bharath have earned great name and fame for the sterling quality of chastity. They are not to be treated lightly. Such noble women are always worth remembering and need to be emulated. Savithri could bring her deceased husband back to life, by the power of her chastity. The great woman Sita entered the fire to prove her chastity and came out unscathed. There were several more such examples in this country of Bharath, of women who have shone as guiding lights to the entire world.

Bharath is a holy and sacred land. You are indeed fortunate to be born in this great land of Bharath! You must therefore sanctify your lives by following the rich and sacred culture of this country. Magnanimity and sacrifice flourished in this holy land of Bharath The spiritual outlook of Bharath is unparalleled. In fact, it is this spiritual outlook that has sustained this country through time and has taken it to great heights.

People here are enjoying peace and bliss even today, while the whole world is passing through difficult times. It is for this reason that people from all other countries visit this country and find solace here. We have to sustain this rich legacy of spirituality.

Whenever someone asks a student what he is doing, he replies that he is concentrating on his studies. But the real meaning of concentration is fixing one’s mind on a particular object. Contemplation is the next step. The final step is meditation. Thus, concentration, contemplation, and meditation are the three steps in sadhana. Meditation is not just sitting silent and closing one’s eyes. Maintaining an unwavering and steady mind is meditation.

People think that concentration is a great exercise, but it is just the first step in sadhana, the others being contemplation and meditation. Concentration is like primary school education. Contemplation is high school education and meditation is college level education. Only after reaching the college level is one eligible to acquire a degree. All our ancient rishis reached this stage and meditated upon Divinity.

When one reaches the stage of meditation, there is no scope for any wavering, and one’s faith in Divinity becomes steady. You have to attain that stage. You may study a number of books and pass your examination in the school or college. But, it is only one who reached the meditation stage that passes the test prescribed by God.

Dear students! Do not be proud of your achievement in getting a first class or a rank. It is not the marks that count. See that you do not get remarks, which is the result of your losing self-confidence. Hence, develop self-confidence to become real successes in life.( Or) Develop self confidence and become really successful in life.
(Bhagawan sang the bhajan, “Bhajana bina …” and continued His discourse.)

Embodiments of Love!

Constantly meditate upon a name and form of God that is to your liking. It does not matter which name and form you select for your namasmarana. All names and form belong to the one God. He is Atmaswarupa (Embodiment of divine Atma). God takes up different forms and is worshipped by various names. Only God can fulfill the desires of devotees. It is He who grants you powers and positions. Without Him, you cannot achieve any position. All are zeros only! With God’s grace, one can become a hero!

Reference

New Year 2009 At The Sathya Sai Baba Ashram

Old And The New

Old And The New


2009 New Year Morning Darshan At Prashanti Nilayam, Sathya Sai Baba Ashram

New Year Celebrations At Prashanti, 01 Jan 2009, Pictures

Curtesty SaiEditor:
The darshan hall is quiet, the flag-bearers await Swami, the procession and band wait quietly outside Yajur Mandir. The darshan hall is chock-a-block full of waiting devotees. Primary school children enter the darshan hall, in their bright orange vests; parents wait for their children to pass and get a glimpse. Classes carrying New Year Cards and Greetings to Swami; some are quite large.

Silence; waiting for the Lord. My mind wanders and I wonder if Swami is waiting for Muhurtam, a most auspicious time for giving of grace, blessing and Love, Love, Love. At 9.45am, the procession enters the darshan hall – Flag bearers, students dressed as brahmins in ochre robes with white shawls enter next, chanting slokas, among all of that I hear the Sai Gayathri, and then Swami enters, dressed in white, in the gold throne chair, with umbrella following him.

A slow procession across the darshan hall, then across the very front of the porch, up to the veranda.

The porch cover is draped in bunting, green boughs and there is a floral arch atop with Happy New Year. Swami’s face is beaming, almost a radiant, golden face, he has a smile and moves slowly across the front of the porch to traverse the length of the veranda where cards and cakes are presented by the various classes and schools.

Swami then arrives at the front of the porch, where he lights two lamps; there is applause as Swami lights the lamps. The brahmin students continue to chant slokas. Swami turns and faces the darshan hall. Looking down the darshan hall, I can see men standing at the back, the crowd is impassable, there are men on the steps, men have climbed the iron fencing itself to obtain darshan.

Up the front, cameras flash. Students kneel in front of Swami; there is some conversation and the morning’s program is presented to Swami.

Enfin, the Brahmin students chant Shanti, Shanti Shantihi.

Silence.

First is an orchestral presentation … orchestral music, trumpets, drums, electric piano, tuba, oompha, more drums, cymbals, it is grand to listen to. There is loud applause as the Music College students finish their numbers.

One student arises, takes padnamaskar and speaks. He talks about the difference Swami makes to this world, every sunrise, every day, every breath of wind, all of creation is graced by all of His love. His integrity, his grace and above all, His love, makes our lives pristine, pure and a holy offering. On behalf of all of us present, and devotees everywhere, he greets Swami on this auspicious new year day.

The violins play a catchy tune, and there is a song, very uplifting about the glory of Sai Baba. The next song is pure magic. It is a song to Sai Maa, with western backing, it grabs the very heart and soul and lifts the emotions, all of who you are up with each refrain to Sai Maa. Swami is reading the program. A pause; more of this marvellous song:

Sai Maa,
Sai Maa,
Atma Maa,
Atmaswarupa Maa,
SAI MAA

And that last Sai Maaaaaa just about blows the roof of the darshan hall. Marvellous.
The oboe plays a solo number; serenity pervades the darshan hall.

Students then sing a composition called Sai Prema Govinda, those voices are of the quality I recall of the great singers of classical ragas. They are fabulous voices. There is a twist, a very nice song with a strong catchy drum support about “Surrender to you, Sai Prema Maa”, and I realise its the same song, Sai Maa with a catchy rock beat behind it; they sing of the glories of Shirdi, the glories of Parthi. Then Sai Govinda, beloved of the Gopees.

Students approach Swami, kneel and offer the next part of the program to Swami. One of them gives a talk and towards the end of the talk, the electric piano starts up accompanied by flute, and a lovely song, the crowd sing along and clap, “Everybody loves Sai”. A very catchy song, sung bhajan style. Crowd joins in enthusiastically. Its a mixture of blues, rock, very appealing and parts of it remind me of Frank Sinatra singing! That causes me to pause a bit and ponder the skillbase of these students — they have certainly acquired a vast repertoire of musical ability; this reminds me of what Swami told me one day, “What I look for in people is capacity”.

Swami, wearing a white robe, is seated at the front of the darshan hall on the golden throne-chair, (I don’t think this one is a car seat, somehow) (although it could well be) … and he dabs his lips often, and keeps referring to the program. A troupe of students wearing gaily coloured headbands approach the front of the porch and begin dancing and singing Nacho, Nacho, Nandalala, and they move through several different types of dance as they sing; a Radhe-Gopala bhajan, and then Govinda Krishna Jai which everybody joins in, singing and clapping. They did it really well.

Another student gets up and gives a talk; students then approach Swami with bowls of prasadam which Swami blesses. Electric piano and flute lead the bhajans as the students begin to thread their way through the darshan distributing prasadam to all present.

And that was the morning darshan for New Year Day. The Lord Sai was captured prisoner by the love and devotion and presentations of the students and assembled devotees on this New Year’s Morn.

Courtesy: http://saieditor. com/spirit/

Curtesy RadioSai
Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Sai Students – alumni of Prasanthi Nilayam and Brindavan – were ready to escort Bhagawan from His residence to Sai Kulwant Hall in a procession with flag marchers and Poornakumbham with Vedam. Swami arrived just before 10 am in a dazzling white robe seated on a golden chair, granting New Year darshan to the devotees who filled and surrounded Sai Kulwant Hall. When He reached the verandah, Bhagawan blessed the cakes there and came onstage to begin the programme arranged by the Sai Students. A band programme with symphonic and vocal accompaniment was followed by songs composed for the occasion by the Sai Students. The whole programme was interspersed with short speeches by the alumni, reliving their days with Sai. A bhajan medley formed the score for a short dance programme too. Swami blessed the participants who came up to Him one by one, and after prasadam was distributed, accepted Arati at 11.35 am.

Bhagawan arrived in the evening for darshan clad in a deep red robe. When He came onstage just before 5.30 pm, He blessed the brass band of the University to perform, and they played a couple of pieces with brief introductions. Songs by the students followed. Swami called up some of the alumni singers and asked them to sing, and they sang some of the group songs which used to be sung by the students in the mid-90s. After 45 minutes of music, Bhagawan delivered His Divine Message. Bhagawan’s emphasised the message of Advaita, stressing the point that there is nothing in this world which is not divine, and that we should conduct ourselves bearing this in mind. After speaking for more than 70 minutes, Bhagawan asked for Bhajans to begin at 7.25 pm. Prasadam was distributed, and Swami accepted Arati at 7.45 before returning to His residence.

Also see:
Happy New Year 2009 From The SathyaSaiBaba WordPress Blog

Sai Spiritual Showers – Issue 70

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Sai Spiritual Showers – Issue 70

How often do you get to ask Bhagawan some of the most intricate questions seeking clarification? Late Ms. Peggy Mason, an ardent devotee of Bhagawan from the United Kingdom had an opportunity to seek Divine clarification on some of the most intricate things about Jesus in a series of three consecutive interviews granted by the Lord. …and thus after 2000 years of his advent, humanity got to hear the Divine Whispers revealing the truth… Excerpts from Ms. Peggy Mason’s article The Interviews, published in Sanathana Sarathi, Sept 1980.

The Questions
I wished I had asked Swami more questions. Yet when one really thinks about it, many questions which leap to mind regarding past events are of academic interest compared to the here and now, and the living reality of the divine principle incarnate in Sai Baba at this most crucial period of the planet’s evolutionary history. There was, however, a question which was most vital to us – to hear from Swami’s own lips – and Ron “plucked up courage” to ask it.

“Swami, you are reported as saying, on Christmas Day 1972, that Jesus said: ‘He who sent me among you will come again. His name will be truth. He will wear a blood red robe. He will be short, with a crown (of hair).’ Does this mean that it was you who sent Jesus into incarnation?”

With ineffable simplicity, never moving his eyes from Ron’s, and in his soft, gentle voice, Swami nodded and said, “Yes.”

Ron took a deep breath. “Then, in that case, are you what Western Christians call `The Cosmic Christ’?” (the Cosmic Christ spirit)

Again came that simple, gentle reply, “Yes.”

As long as I live I shall see His face as He gave this answer in a manner no ordinary human being could assume—so direct, so simple, so gentle, and completely egoless. For a few moments we said nothing, overcome by the impact of His reply.

Everywhere men and women of goodwill are expecting and praying for the Second Coming of the Cosmic Christ spirit. But whether they recognise it or not, it is here amongst us in the embodiment of selfless love.

Carols in the Rain
The most touching darshan I have ever witnessed took place this Christmas Eve, in the late afternoon. Thousands of devotees from all over the world had gathered to spend Christmas with Bhagawan Baba. It had been threatening rain all day and by darshan time there was a steady drizzle.
I gazed across the darshan line and saw a sea of people sitting in the rain. There was absolute silence; no one stirred. They all sat, soaking in the rain, as water dripped from their heads to their faces. Each one was determined to have Swami’s darshan.

Their love seemed to touch the heart of Swami. He came out on the verandah, looking at all these apparently “God-Crazy” people sitting in the rain. Bhagawan moved from beneath the sheltered verandah, walking ever so slowly in the rain, giving us darshan, and letting us know’ by His action that He is always experiencing every thing in life with us. Not once but twice He walked past – showing us that for each deed we do for Him, He blesses us twice.

The wet crowd all dispersed after darshan, and re-appeared in clean clothing for bhajans. The rain had stopped in the interval. The Overseas Devotees’ Christmas Choir sat in front of the Mandir prepared to sing carols during the allotted Bhajan time. All the overseas devotees sat together next to the choir. Swami filled the verandah with all the boy students and placed His red chair amongst the children, at the western edge of the verandah facing the choir.

It began to rain. The more it rained, the stronger the voice of the choir determined to go on with the programme. Swami swayed and tapped with His hands to the rhythm of the songs. He seemed to enjoy us all sitting in the rain at His Divine Lotus Feet.

When the choir finished their programme, Swami signalled us to continue by singing Bhajans. After arati, one person said, “We have had a complete Baptism!”

In between darshan and bhajans my eyes fell on this quote:

“When I sprinkle your face with rain and wash the earth, the first smell of clean rain, I am cleansing you – THINK OF ME!”

Reference

Christmas 2008 At Prashanti Nilayam

Christmas 2008 At Prashanti Nilayam

Curtesy Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust
Christmas Celebrations, 24-25 Dec 2008, Images

Curtesty Radiosai

Friday, December 26, 2008
This evening, children from overseas presented songs and a musical play on the works of Jesus. After His darshan round at 4.30 pm, Swami came to the stage from the interview room at 5.10. and began the programme. Half an hour of songs were followed by the half-hour musical play. As they concluded, Bhagawan came down from the stage and blessed the participants with clothes and a group photograph. He then gifted photo-frames to the children who sang. The conductor and accompanists were also blessed with clothes. Swami interacted with the group for nearly half an hour before He went back onstage to accept Arati. Before He returned to His residence at 6.50, He blessed Mr. John Behner, the Christmas co-ordinator, also with clothes and raised both His hands in blessing all the devotees.

Thursday, December 25, 2008
This Christmas morning, the devotees from overseas gathered in the Sai Kulwant Hall and carolled after Nagarsankirtan as scenes from early morning darshans from Christmases past were projected on two screens atop the Mandir. Later, Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant Hall at 8.35 in a white robe seated on His golden chair led by a procession of children from overseas dressed as the characters in the Nativity. When He reached the verandah, He blessed the cakes arrayed there and came onstage to begin the programme. The University brass band was the first to perform. After 10 minutes of Christmas-themed music from them, the violins of the Primary School took over. As the young boys finished their performance with ‘Jingle Bells’, young ‘Santa’s came up to Swami to get their gift bags blessed. Swami threw a few toffees to the boys nearby, and the Santas completed the job, running around the hall. Christmas songs by the students began next. The 40 minute song bouquet was interspersed with a commentary in the form of a dialogue between two of Christ’s apostles and a young boy. Two more ‘Santa’s arrived to throw toffees, and more traditional prasadam was distributed too. After Arati at 10 o’clock, Swami blessed students who came up with pictures of the Senior Students Hostel, Christmas day being the Hostel anniversary day too. More students with cards and birthday trays were blessed too before Swami left for His residence 10 minutes later.

In the evening, Bhagawan arrived at 4.40 pm. The programme got underway once He came onstage with an introduction and thanksgiving by Mr. John Behner from Latin America. Two overseas speakers were blessed to present talks – Ms. Gisele Sebastian from Germany and Mr. Ted Henry from the USA. Following their moving talks, Bhagawan delivered His Divine Discourse at 5.45 pm. After His Discourse, Swami asked the students to sing a couple of Bhajans, following which He accepted Arati and returned to His residence at 7 pm.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008
This evening, the Christmas eve celebrations began with Bhagawan arriving at 4.30 pm in His chair. After a full round of the Sai Kulwant Hall, Swami came onstage after a brief visit to the interview room. The conductor of the Western choir came up to Bhagawan for blessings, and their hour-long programme began. When they finished all the songs in their printed schedule, Swami asked them to sing more songs, so they sang some traditional carols like ‘Silent Night’ and then began an encore of selected songs from their programme. Prasadam was distributed and Swami called up the conductor to bless her with a chain before accepting Arati. He then asked the students to sing bhajans. After the first couple of bhajans, He asked them to sing ‘Sarva Dharma Priya Deva’. A couple of multi-religious bhajans followed before Swami accepted Arati once again and returned to His residence in the car after spending more than 2 hours in Sai Kulwant Hall.

Curtesty Spirit Reflections

Christmas afternoon in Prashanti Nilayam;

Hmm, I decided to enter the darshan hall by the top gate, and I was going to wander down to the back of the hall; an old Seva Dal pointed to me to go and sit somewhere at the front; I said, “No, I am going down the back” , and he said “No, you go and sit there only”.  

Well, I went and found the foreigners sitting and went and sat in an open space, about three rows from front line. Some people told me it was the space for the canteen volunteers and a seva dal told me to move. And another seva dal told me to go back and sit down. So I did, three rows from the front, closest I have been to the front on the men’s side. 

The atmosphere and energy in the darshan hall was gay, in the original sense of the word; it was joyful, it was happy, there was a humdrum of conversation, and we were waiting for Sai Baba to come. Happy devotees from every country, I had people from Scotland and South America around me, and children everywhere. Apparently I was sitting nearby the Children’s Choir. 

Swami arrived around 4.30pm; there were about five people walking behind Swami, and he stopped and spoke to members of the Ladies Choir; also stopped and spoke to some men, immediately he arrived on the mens’s side, and took letters. Swami: I was close, how to describe? 

Well, that chair moves slowly, and Swami looks left and right; his hair is just so; his robe shows the ironing creases, he sits and looks right across the men as he passes; hands go up in pranams; did our eyes meet? I think so, but I was three rows back. A sere smile on his face, hands raised in blessing as he passes by. Yes, Swami looked very happy as he passed us by. At the top of the walkway before he turns right to go across the front of the Mandir, he paused and spoke to some of the old students, who were seated there; Swami was talking for quite some time before he moved across and around to the other side of the Mandir, where he pauses for a long time in front of the primary school children; quite some conversation there. Then Swami came to the front of the porch and there was silence. John Behner kneels beside Swami and gives him details of the afternoon program. 

John Behner, Coordinator from Latin America, introduced the afternoon’s proceedings.  He spoke of the teams who had prepared the Darshan Hall, the devotees from South California, Nevada, and so on. The group of 200 Indonesians, who prepared the prasadum, the 160 ladies involved in sewing and decorations, the containers from China, the planning for the Christmas decorations. All planning had been submitted to Swami, and Swami had personally seen and approved all the decorations. The canteen and their work, decorations and the Christmas meal; the choir and their 9 days of preparation.   Last, but not least, the men who did the dirty work were acknowledged.  Big round of applause. 

FIrst speaker is Mrs Geesje Sebastian of Germany, a Human Values teacher, Regional Coordinator, SSE Teacher. Mrs Sebastian spoke in slow, careful English and told the story of her coming to Swami, how she did not know who or where this Sai Baba was, and how he entered her life and saved her eyesight. Mrs Sebastian finished with a beautiful song. 

Second speaker was Ted Henry, a retired TV Broadcaster from Cleveland OHIO, and Ted has been interviewing people for many years, and making videos. Ted told that the fruit of all this was not the change in the people he was interviewing, nor the change he had hoped for in those who might view his interviews on Radio Sai Global Harmony; no, the real changes came in Ted himself, it was his heart that was pierced with Love. Ted is a great speaker. 

Then silence. John Behner went to Swami, knelt and spoke and then got up and went back to his place. We all looked at Swami. Swami turned his head, and looked around, then an imperceptible nod; there was going to be a divine discourse, and a great round of applause burst out. 

I have never seen Swami sit and give a discourse before, but, you know, it was really no different; Anil Kumar was beside Swami, always turning his head to Swami and waiting for him to finish before looking up and translating. AK took the microphone from the stand and held it in his hand (he gave up writing, as usual).

Swami spoke in English a lot. He never said Sathyam, Sathya, shanti, he spoke in English a lot. Swami told (in my inaccurate recall) (these are the English bits)

  • The body is a container, we have to look after it
  • Truth is God; Truth is Love, Truth is the basis of the Universe
  • God is above you, below you, around you, in you (all in English)
  • Hurt Never, Help Ever
  • Love is everything, give love, only love
  • You are three people, the one you think you are, the one others think you are, and the One God sees
  • I,I,I, don’t say I am this, I am that, say I am God
  • People ask “Who are you, don’t say I am the body, don’t give body-name, say I am God, and tell them YOU ARE GOD TOO, (all in English) (tremendous applause)
  • Swami spoke about Jesus on the Cross, and Mother Mary at the foot of the Cross, weeping, crying; Jesus told Mother Mary not to weep, all this was fore-ordained
  • Swami spoke about the mind, he never said manas or tapas, he kept on speaking in English, Mind is a bundle of thoughts, master the mind, do not think you are the mind, do not think you are the body. Swami really spoke a lot about the body and how it has to be taken care of so we can do service. 

And that is about all I can recall now. Then Swami sang Prema Muditha Manasa Kaho (Chant the name of the Lord with Love) … then he began Bhajana bina sukha shanti nahi .. it was really funny, we all sang the first line with Swami with both of those bhajans, just the first line, it was a teriffic feeling to be singing that so softly and sweetly with Swami …

After singing, Swami spoke again and lauded the singing of the Choir, and said something like their effort was blessed and pure and of wondrous quality.  He really praised the Choir and we all gave them a round of applause. 

It was dark, now, around 6.50pm, and a magnificent singer sang some strophes, and then into two bhajans, they were marvellous, Swami blessed the prasad and students ran out to collect and distribute; then the pujari stood and gave arathi, and I could see Dorothy of the UTurn school waving the arati flame along with one or two other ladies, on the ladies side. 

It was dark now, and Swami left in his car, a most blessed Christmas in Prashanti Nilayam.

Prashanti Nilayam – Christmas 2008 Childrens Christmas
Prashanti Nilayam Add commentsIt was the time for the Children’s presentations in the darshan hall; they had been waiting in there for many hours. First, it was the choir, and their first song was magnificent; the words are still going around in my head. so high was their energy. They also sang a very fast version of “Take me away oh won’t you carry me” with few verses I had not heard before. Also, their rendition of Why Fear When I am here was magnificent; their refrain was “So says Baba, Sai Baba and Jesus, Why fear when I am here”. Marvellous.

I still haven’t got the new Samasta Loka right in my head, and when it comes at the end of Bhajans, I am slightly non-plussed for a few moments, then I catch on; the children’s choir integrated this into “May the Love we’re sharing spread its wings” and came in with Samasta Loka sukhino Bhavantu, Bhavantu, and the second bhavantu is really high with emphasis and volume; it sounded really good.

I had to laugh at one stage. Something caught my attention during the Childrens Play, I saw snow falling onto the choir in the darshan hall. The adult choir members were sitting near the walkway and some heads were covered with snow, and I could see waves and waves of snow falling all over the choir… then I looked up to the roof and there were two “snow boxes” up there, and snow was just billowing out from them. People were reaching up and brushing the snow off their heads and shoulders; there really was a lot of it.

Lovely energy with the Children, the Lord Jesus had a thick mop of black hair and a fulsome black beard, there was a boat, and nets, and Peter went out and walked on the water with Jesus. The diction and delivery of the lines was excellent, it was rich and full of energy.

The darshan hall was chock full of children from everywhere, overseas and local children; it was a wonderful, graceful and joyful atmosphere in the hall this evening. Swami sitting up on the front of the porch, following the play very attentively, reading the program, and holding the HUGE RED ROSE presented to him by the Producer of the Childrens’s presentation. The Childrens Choir sang sacred songs during the scene changes in the play, and the whole presentation was very inspiring and edifying; it very nearly brought me to tears several times, so sweet was their energy.

Puttaparthi is dark, the wind is blowing, and buses are leaving. And more buses arriving.

Lovingly shared by a Sai Devotee

Sai Spiritual Showers – Issue 67

Sathya Sai Baba Prema

Sathya Sai Baba Prema


Sai Spiritual Showers – Issue 67

The Omnipresent One cares for you in your absence as much as He enthralls you in your presence. One such account by a student of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba‘s University sheds light on the affection par excellence of the Divine Mother. Read on for an account by Sri P.S. Priya Chakravarthi, an alumnus of Sathya Sai University as published in Fragrance – A Tale of Love, souvenir brought out by the School of Business Management – Accounts and Finance, Sri Sathya Sai University.

From Disability to Ability
It was during Dasera in 1995, just after my B.Sc. (Honours) Course, in the Brindavan campus of SSSIHL. All the Brindavan boys who stayed back for the vacation were accommodated in the old Hostel located near the Mandir. As usual, the students used to rush inside the Mandir and were often selective about their sitting locations. I used to have a particular seat where I sat for Swami’s Darshan. May be it was my perception, but Swami appeared to avoid looking in the direction where I used to sit.

One day during Darshan, observing my vacant seat, Swami enquired about my absence from my brother (Vamsi, MBA 1995-97) and asked him where I was. My brother was perplexed and he feared that I was absconding from Darshan with no valid reason. Once the Darshan got over and Swami went inside the interview room with a few devotees, my brother immediately rushed to the old Hostel where I was sleeping. He approached me with anger but seeing me, his anger melted down. He saw me in lot of pain and my face wet with sweat. I was finding it difficult to even sit down on my bed. I was struggling with excruciating pain at the right lower side, but I had not mentioned about this to anyone.

He immediately went back to the Mandir and Swami again approached him and asked him as to where Chakravarthy was. My brother promptly replied that I was in agony and was experiencing unbearable pain. This shows the Omnipresence of Swami. Bhagawan exhibits His Love for all His beings where ever they are, immaterial of whether they are present physically in front of Him or not.

Swami smiled at him and immediately calling a doctor, told him to take me to the Super Speciality Hospital. He also directed my brother to accompany me. I was transported to the Hospital and was given medical attention. In the evening Swami again called my brother and the doctor, materialised Vibuthi and gave money to buy tender coconuts to be given to me with instructions that the Vibuthi should be applied externally at the place where the pain occurred. It reached me by evening. This act of Grace repeated for 3 days (Swami materialising Vibuthi, giving money to buy tender coconuts to be given to me)! The 3rd day, Swami instructed that the Vibuthi should be taken with water.

Then came the D-day, when the senior surgeon recommended that I should be operated upon immediately. I was in a dilemma and could not accept the fact that I was suffering from appendicitis. But the situation demanded surgery and I had no choice. Prior to my operation, I wanted to have Swami’s Darshan and possibly, a chance to talk to Him about my operation (shows my ignorance!). I was permitted for Darshan and was sitting in the front line, mainly to catch the attention of Swami. As usual Swami was busy and He was distributing Prasadam. I was not making any attempt to talk to Him as He was very busy, but the doctor on the verandah began insisting that I should take a chance to talk to Swami. Then, by Swami’s Sankalpa I got a chance to talk to Him. I told Swami, “The doctor says I need to be operated; I need your Grace and Blessings”. Swami gave a stern look and He moved away from me without saying a single wor d. This gave me a shiver that chilled my bones! I was baffled and scared.

My operation was scheduled for the next morning and the doctor administered some medicines. He advised his team to do an initial scan on me to get more clarity about my ailment. But lo and behold! When the reports of the scan arrived, the protrusion of the appendix was literally not visible! The team wrestled with the machine but it always showed a negative report for the protrusion. I was brought back to my ward. The senior doctor was astonished, but was ready to accept this as an instance of the Omnipotence of Swami. I was discharged in a day and I went for Darshan. This time Swami gave me a smile and moved on silently!

This is just one of the many incidents showing His Omnipresence, Omnipotence and Omniscience.

Shahukar Janaki celebrates her 77th B-day

Shahukar Janaki

Shahukar Janaki


Shahukar Janaki celebrates her 77th B-day
IndiaGlitz [Tuesday, December 02, 2008]

Shahukar Janaki’s history in cinema spans by over 385 films in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam languages. The yesteryear actress debuted in the Telugu movie ‘Shahukaaru’ with NT Rama Rao, produced by Vijaya Productions. Even before her stint in movies, she was a radio jockey for Telugu programs at a tender age of 11. Being a stage artist, she has performed in 300 shows in India and abroad. One of it was her performance for Tana in two Telugu plays scripted by actor Murali Mohan.

Janaki’s cognomen came with the Telugu hit ‘Shahukar’ which got her wide accolades and the name ‘Shahukar’ Janaki. The actress has acted alongside top heroes like A Nageswar Rao, NTR, Jaggaiah in Telugu and with MGR, Sivaji Ganesan, Gemini Ganesan in Tamil. She also did about ten movies with the Kannada superstar Dr. Raj Kumar and many other actors.

Her best performance glittered on screen in the direction of Veteran director K Balachandar with movies like ‘Iru Kodugal’, ‘Ethir Neechal’, ‘Bama Vijayam’ among a few others. For a period of time, she was a part of the Jury for the National Film Awards committee and as the chair person for the State Telugu Film awards committee. An ardent devotee of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the kind hearted thespian has helped the less privileged people in her vicinity.

The veteran actress who is a recipient of the honorable Kalai Maa Mani title celebrates her 77th birthday today on December 2nd.

Reference