Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s visit to Ashok Chavan’s residence

Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s visit to Ashok Chavan’s residence
News channels have become sensationalists and try to give political colour to non political issues and attack privacy where they have no relevance. They have made an issue out of Sri Sathya Sai Baba visiting CM Chavan!
CJ: M. S. Verma
Mon, Nov 02, 2009 11:38:25 IST

SRI SATHYA Sai Baba was at Hadsi, a village about 40 kms away from Pune to inaugurate a newly constructed temple.

In Ashok Chavan’s family, Baba occupies the same reverential place as a preceptor, teacher or Guru in Indian tradition. Before him his father, late Shri SB Chavan too was a follower of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Shri Chavan naturally liked to have the Guru’s blessing before swearing in as the new CM of Maharashtra. He also touched his feet. He invited Sri Baba who out of his love and benevolence condescended to visit Shri Chavan’s official residence. Shri Chavan showed due reverence towards Baba and naturally touched his feet and received his blessings. The media took this up and converted it into a political issue. The have left no stone unturned to make a mountain of a mole hill.

No society raises a hue and cry if anybody, even if the President of a country, shows reverence to the Preceptor, whether he has any miraculous powers or not. But a couple of news channels have made such a fuss over this incident, totally a private affair of Shri Chavan and who is being condemned as someone who has done something very objectionable and politically incorrect and that the Baba is made to appear a most undesirable individual. Dirty references about him have been dug up and are being thrown about to malign the Baba and to criticize Shri Chavan. Sri Sathya Sai Baba is a spiritual Guru. He is not a politician. He does not advise CMs of states or Presidents of countries. In Charles Dickens’s Story “A Deal in Ostriches,” one of the passengers on a ship has five ostriches. One of the ostriches on board the ship swallows a diamond belonging to one Padishaw, a merchant and the passengers discuss whether the diamond belonged to the merchant or to the owner of the ostriches. A passenger, claiming to be the father of a lawyer, gives his funny opinion as if he himself were the lawyer and had the authority to give legal opinion in the matter. Of course it was just ridiculous.

The basic question is whether the channels know much about Sri Sathya Sai Baba or just have the temerity to say anything they like about Baba or any other religious head? Obviously they don’t and in order to create sensation and spread misinformation about the Baba, their correspondents have been talking irrelevant and offensive things over and over again. They don’t realise that in doing this, they are hurting the sensibility of millions of followers of Sri Sathya Sai Baba round the globe in over 170 countries. Baba preaches unity of all faiths, which no politician will ever be able to do. Would the media talk in equal derogatory terms about other religious and spiritual heads? Why then do they choose to do this in this case, only because Baba preaches tolerance, love and selfless service of humanity? It was Baba’s love for humanity that impelled him to arrange drinking water for the whole city of Madras, which successive governments couldn’t do. His two super specialty hospitals, one in Puttaparthy, Andhra and the other at White field Bangalore provide free medical services to the poor, where free heart and other organs transplants are done. He provided drinking water to the whole of Rayal Seema in Andhra. Such services are numerous.

He has hurt none and has rendered service in such a great volume that no ordinary being would ever do. Incidentally, I was a witness when three former Presidents of India (in office) came to pay homage to Baba. All of them were images of humility and piety. The channels would do themselves a lot of good before opening an all out attack on Shri Chavan and Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Late Shri Karanjia, editor of Blitz weekly too was skeptical about Baba’s greatness like the channels in question but he visited Puttaparthy, to get first hand information about Baba before publishing anything.

He visited Baba’s ashram and interviewed him for days like any capable journalist and had to admit the bonafide of the Baba’s mission of service to humanity and later wrote a book “God lives in India,” which is an eye opener for the skeptics and may be to the channels in question. Even otherwise journalists should be well informed about an issue they take up and must first verify the authenticity of persons and things before starting criticising them. Baba’s followers and all sensible citizens of a democracy like India’s would like the channel to desist from harping on a non issue.

Meri News Reference

Spiritual Leader Sathya Sai Baba Visits Ashok Chavan In Mumbai

Chavan hosts Satya Saibaba at Varsha
Press Trust Of India
Mumbai, November 01, 2009
First Published: 16:10 IST(1/11/2009)
Last Updated: 16:11 IST(1/11/2009)

Maharashtra Chief Minister designate Ashok Chavan on Sunday hosted Satya Saibaba at his official residence Varsha.

Sathya Sai Baba was on a five-day visit to the state and in Mumbai since Saturday where he had a discourse at the Jambori maidan at Worli in central Mumbai.

Chavan has said that the Baba has been his spiritual guru since the time of his birth.

Chavan’s father late S B Chavan who also served as Chief Minister twice, was an ardent devotee of the Baba.

Several Congress-NCP politicians, who are devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, also attended the prayer ceremony held inside the house.

Hindustan Times Reference

Sathya Sai Baba visits Ashok Chavan’s residence, blesses him
November 1st, 2009 – 3:40 pm ICT by IANS
By Quaid Najmi

Mumbai, Nov 1 (IANS) In an unprecedented development, Maharashtra’s chief minister-designate Ashok Chavan hosted his spiritual guru, Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, here Sunday afternoon.

Chavan had specially invited Sathya Sai Baba to visit Varsha, the official residence of the state chief minister at Malabar Hill in south Mumbai, according to a government official.

Clad in his traditional saffron robe with his trademark hairstyle, Sathya Sai Baba entered Varsha shortly after 12.30 p.m., the official said.

Chavan, along with his wife Ameeta and teenaged daughters Srijaya and Sujaya, received the dignitary on the white steps of Varsha which had been specially decorated with saffron-coloured flowers, flags and buntings for the occasion.

“The occasion is strictly a private, family affair… nobody from the government or his staff or the party is invited,” the official told IANS.

Sathya Sai Baba, who arrived here from Pune Saturday morning, will conduct a special pooja at the chief minister’s residence in the presence of the Chavan family.

As a mark of respect to the visiting dignitary, Chavan may also wash Sathya Sai Baba’s feet, though no official is willing to go on record.

Later, Chavan will host a lunch in honour of Sathya Sai Baba in the private dining hall of Varsha, which is usually reserved for VVIPs who visit the place.

The chief minister has never kept his devotion and admiration for Sathya Sai Baba under wraps. He seeks his blessings regularly in times of need and goes to express his gratitude when his wishes are fulfilled.

In fact, shortly after his party’s victory in last month’s assembly elections, Chavan had rushed to thank his spiritual guru.

Though this is Sathya Sai Baba’s first visit to the the state chief minister’s residence, he is no stranger to politicians and leaders across the political spectrum.

Among his most prominent admirers and devotees was the former prime minister, the late P.V. Narasimha Rao.

Heavy security arrangements were made for the VVIP guru in the area.

The Malabar Hill, with the Arabian Sea on three sides, is home for VVIPs and celebrities including the chief justice of Bombay High Court and other judges, ministers, top government officials, legislators, foreign diplomats, scientists, leading industrialists and businessmen, head honchos of multinationals and even a few film stars.

Prior to his Varsha sojourn, Sathya Sai Baba – visiting the state after nine years – also held widely-patronised public discourses in different parts of Mumbai.

He also attended a religious concert by Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam in Goregaon Saturday evening, and interacted with officials of his various charitable interests in Maharashtra and Mumbai.

Sathya Sai Baba arrived in Pune last Wednesday from Puttaparthi by a private chartered aircraft on a three-day visit and inaugurated a temple complex, Sri Sathya Sai Pandurang Kshetra at Hadshi.

Thai Indian Reference

Power Inc takes a breather, gets down to spiritual biz
1 Nov 2009, 2358 hrs IST, ET Bureau

MUMBAI: Temporal and spiritual power intermingled in Mumbai on Sunday as devotees — both the humble and the great and the good — of the spiritual leader Shri Sathya Sai Baba lined up to receive his blessings.

Big chiefs of the financial sector and India Inc turned out in large numbers to seek the Baba’s blessings. The morning prayer in the Mumbai suburb of Andheri was attended by an eclectic collection of dignitaries. These included ICICI Bank chairman, KV Kamath, the chairman and MD of the Union Bank of India, MV Nair, Kotak Bank’s vice-chairman and MD Uday Kotak, Gunit Chadha, the head of Deutsche Bank’s India operations, PMS Prasad, a director on the board of Reliance Industries (RIL), India’s largest private sector company, and Meera Sanyal, a banker and an independent candidate from the South Mumbai parliamentary constituency.

At a prayer meeting on Sunday, Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, BJP leader Gopinath Munde and many other dignitaries sought the Swami’s blessings at a darshan organised in Mahakali Caves, Andheri.

Chief minister Ashok Chavan prayed for his new administration. “The government needs the Swamiji’s touch and his blessings. We hope to run the government according to his principles,” Mr Chavan said on Sunday morning.
The CM wasn’t the only dignitary queuing up for a sprinkling of the spiritual stardust. A clutch of serving and former judges, including former Supreme Court judge BM Srikrishna (of the Srikrishna Commission fame) and a number of prominent lawyers and doctors were also present.

Mr Kamath, who spoke on the occasion, referred to the insights thrown up in the course of a two-day conference on the ‘Ethics and the world of finance’ held in August 2009 at the Sathya Sai Baba University at Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh. That conference was attended by two RBI governors, the incumbent Duvvuri Subbarao and his predecessor YV Reddy. Besides the assorted dignitaries, thousands lined up for a darshan, first at Andheri and later at Worli.

Later in the day, the chief minister and his family hosted the Sathya Sai Baba at Varsha, the Maharashtra CM’s residence in Mumbai’s Malabar Hill. Predictably, some of this attracted criticism from people of a rationalist bent of mind who said that the CM’s actions were not in consonance with the state’s secular traditions. Pictures of Mr Chavan paying obeisance to the Sathya Sai Baba were flashed by some Hindi and Marathi television channels.

That’s unlikely to deter the CM, who recalled his family’s three decade-long relationship with the spiritual leader. His father SB Chavan, two times Maharashtra CM and former Union finance minister under Rajiv Gandhi, had been similarly criticised in 1975. But the media critics of that era had later realised their error, Chavan Jr said.

Both Mr Chavan and Mr Kamath praised the selflessness of the volunteers, many from affluent backgrounds, working at various hospitals and educational institutions run by the Sathya Sai Seva Organisation.

Shri Sathya Sai Baba is on five-day visit to Maharashtra. The Sathya Sai Seva Organisation runs a number of schools and four hospitals. The organisation was recently in the forefront of relief work for cyclone victims in Orissa and flood victims in West Bengal.

Economic Times 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

Two Divine Answers By Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Two Divine Answers By Baba

Question: Sometimes people ask us that if Swamiji is God, then why does He not remove all the sufferings?

Sathya Sai Baba: It is not that Swami has no ‘desire’ (ichcha) to remove the suffering, but how is it possible for Swami to accept part-time devotion and give full-time payment? Swami has a great ‘desire’ to give happiness to all mankind, but mankind itself is responsible for the good and the bad it experiences. God’s grace can change your destiny, if you so desire.

All the good and all the bad, are merely reflections of the various activities in this world indulged in by mankind. The world is not constituted of earth and mud only. There are people in it as well and the earth and the people are inseparably bound with each other. They cannot be separated.

For every act of man, there is Reaction, Resound and Reflection.

Question: Does Swamiji suffer sorrow or happiness?

Sathya Sai Baba: You see Sorrow and happiness only because of your dual nature. God only sees One, not many. Of course, the seed of activity (Karma) is there and that brings forth your destiny.

You reap whatever you have planted. God sees only One. There is a tree with its roots, trunk, branches, leaves, flowers and fruits.. It is a manifestation of many forms and attributes, which have all come from the One seed. Take the example of soil or earth. There is sweetness in sugarcane and various fruits. The sweetness is really contained in the One earth just as the tree is in the One seed.

Similarly for all the names, forms and attributes, the One Divinity is the basis. Because I know the Truth fully, that all are Divine; that everything is Divine and that there is no Jiva (individuality) other than Divinity, there is no time or occasion when Swami has suffered pain, or pleasure, or sorrow. At no time does Swami suffer any of these things.

When someone comes to Me and says that he is suffering great pain or sorrow, I very much want to feel and see what pain is like or what sorrow is like. But it has not been possible for me to experience either pain or sorrow. Since such people have not understood this aspect of Mine, I pretend and look sorrowful or as if I am suffering. I pretend, so that I may correct them, put them on the proper path and make them understand me. I am telling you these things through truthful personal experience and these are not some imaginary statements.

In Me there is no such thing as sinking at some worldly sorrows or being elated at some worldly achievements. “My Life Is My Message” has been said in this context and if you try to follow Me, you will also have an enormous amount of peace and bliss.


Millions Flock From Around the World to India’s Hugging Guru



Millions Flock From Around the World to India’s Hugging Guru
Saturday, March 07, 2009

AMRITAPURI, India — The droves who come here leave with no souvenirs, no memories of posh hotels, nothing more than they brought.

All they came for was a hug.

The woman offering the soft embrace is considered a guru, and her tender approach and simple message have galvanized followers to amass in crowds thousands deep at stops around the globe. Part of the appeal of Mata Amritanandamayi, or Amma, as she is universally known, are teachings she says transcend any single faith, let alone simply her Hindu upbringing.

“My message is not unique,” she says through an interpreter. “There will ever only be one message capable of purifying man, nature, the atmosphere, the earth we live on and life itself. That message is: Act with compassion and love for all our fellow beings.”

The masses aren’t coming for Amma’s eloquence, though. Far more than any oratory, any dogma, any writings, people are drawn here by her touch, and so they line up and wait in marathon hugging sessions that can stretch 20 hours and more. The guru’s aides say she sleeps little, sometimes just an hour a night, but is as eager to hug her first visitor as her last.

Here, on these lush banks of the Arabian Sea near India’s southern tip, along backwaters dotted with coconut and cashew trees, Amma has built the capital of hugs. Her ashram, or spiritual center, is a maze of buildings reached by boat or a footbridge over a river.

Eventually, visitors find a large open-air auditorium with a group of men playing music and chanting, and lines of plastic chairs full of people awaiting their turn to walk up the ramp at stage right. When they finally make it, they enter a space so full of people it is hard to move.

Amma is finally in sight.

She is wrapped in a sheer white sari. Her dark hair is tinged with gray and pulled back, her face round, her features soft. Her ears and nose are pierced, and a red and gold dot is worn between her eyebrows. Her smile is beaming but imperfect. She looks older than her 55 years.

She offers hugs as aides come to her with varied questions about her multimillion-dollar charity network of hospitals and orphanages; she gesticulates frequently as she talks.

When the time comes, the visitor is nudged to sink to his knees before Amma’s makeshift throne covered in gold fabric. And, in an instant, it happens.

She holds the visitor’s head tightly between her shoulder and face, uttering in Malayalam what is unintelligible to the non-speaker. Some, she simply holds, others she gently strokes or pats their backs. Some are brief encounters; others last several minutes.

Some sob. Others can’t help but to break into a gaping smile of their own. Some tremble, believing they have been given a divine touch. Nearly everyone seems moved.

When it is over, Amma offers her visitor a small gift — often a hard candy or piece of fruit — and the line moves on. All told, her aides claim she has done this more than 25 million times.

“Her hugs are really like a sermon,” said Vasudha Narayanan, the director of the Center for the Study of Hindu Traditions at the University of Florida. “In her touch, in her hugs are the greatest teachings.”

The experience so moves some that they give up their lives to follow the guru. Dante Sawyer was editing a jazz magazine in New York when he first met Amma in 1998. He had never felt anything like it.

“You really experience a love that’s given completely, selflessly — it’s just like sunlight pouring out,” said 35-year-old Sawyer, who is known at the ashram simply as Sachin. “It’s a love that doesn’t have demands of you.”

Two years after first meeting Amma — a name that means mother in Malayalam — he moved here to dedicate his life to her work. Countless others have similar stories to tell.

Amma was named Sudhamani when born to a relatively poor family here and from childhood was said to have spent a great deal of time meditating, singing and chanting, fixing her eyes on a picture of Krishna.

As her followers tell it, she felt compassion for others from an early age, even to untouchables, and was driven to tears by others’ suffering. Her own family viewed her with disdain, even wondering if she was mentally ill, those who tell her story say, and she was beaten and treated as a servant. She even pondered suicide.

All sorts of lore surrounds her story, including miraculous claims of turning water to milk and allowing a poisonous cobra to flick its tongue against her own. However it happened, though, as a young woman she attracted a following. Some ridiculed her and deemed her a fraud, but the number of devotees grew, and people began to journey to her in the 1970s.

She became regarded as a guru, but unlike other Hindu spiritual masters, she allowed herself to be more than just seen, offering her touch to anyone who wanted it. Amma’s touch is seen as having the potential to ignite one’s spiritual power.

Critics remain, charging Amma’s movement amounts to a personality cult. They question the finances of her organization or even claim it is linked to radical groups. Amma and her followers reject such accusations.

Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri, considered Amma’s most senior disciple, says the guru has attracted so many followers because she is accessible to anyone and allows people to feel the presence of God.

“She is humble but firm as the earth,” he writes. “She is simple yet beautiful like the full moon. She is love, she is truth, she is the embodiment of renunciation and self-sacrifice.”

Today, her spiritual star power drives not only her popularity, but the success of international humanitarian efforts fueled by millions in donations. A visitor to her ashram is not asked to give anything, but many around the world do, funding her many Indian charitable endeavors, as well as massive relief for those affected by events such as the Asian tsunami.

She has a sleek Web site. Her movements are tracked on Twitter. She even has a logo.

At the end of her exceptionally long days, Amma climbs the steps to a simple studio apartment in a small peach-colored walk-up at the ashram. She will go to bed alone, having refuted her parents’ numerous attempts to arrange a marriage.

Amma received no formal education beyond the age of 10, and on this day, like every other, she has steered away from scriptural specifics. But her message is clear.

It is about taking as little as possible and giving the maximum, about embracing the core of faith.

It is, in essence, about a hug.

Fox News Reference