With love for the Baba

With love for the Baba

A grand event was staged to celebrate Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Baba‘s 84th birthday.

To celebrate the 84th birthday of Puttaparthi Sri Satya Sai Baba, a five-day festival of music was organised. Several associations of his devotees, followers and members of the city seva samithi in association with the pupils and teachers of Sri Satya Sai Vidya Vihar in MVP Colony, organised the festival of music, dance and drama.

The ballet Sree Paadaalu scripted and directed by M. Prakasa Rao, staged on the penultimate evening on last Sunday was the highlight of the festival.

Enacted by about five scores of pupils of the Sri Satya Sai Vidya Vihara on the imposing stage, attracted a very large gathering. It depicted the story, how a very prideful scientist who was an atheist got totally reformed after coming to know about Sathya Sai Baba from one of his staunch devotees whom he came across by chance.

As was advised by the devotee, he went along with him on a pilgrimage to get ethically worthy enough to visit Prasanthi Nilayam, the abode of Sathya SaiBaba at Puttaparthi and fall on his feet to get blessed by him for deliverance from the ill effects of the sinful life that he had led.

Visualisation as to how his desire gets fulfilled marked the grand finale of the ballet. All dialogues in prose and lyrical form for all the dramatis-personae were perfectly rendered by professionals (evocatively, musically, melodiously and aesthetically) and were pre-recorded. Makeup, sound and stage management were admirably accomplished. No wonder, watching the ballet, spell bindingly turned out to be an enthralling and elated experience.

The Hindu Reference

Baba’s birthday a low-key affair

Baba’s birthday a low-key affair
Express News Service
First Published : 24 Nov 2009 03:48:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 24 Nov 2009 11:08:59 AM IST

PUTTAPARTHI: The 84th birthday celebrations of Sri Satya Sai Baba were held at Sai Kulwant Hall in Prashanti Nilayam in Puttaparthi. Saibaba has formally cut the cake to mark his birthday in the presence of several dignitaries and thousands of devotees who thronged to witness the celebrations.

This time around, Sathya Sai Baba did not speak nor give any message.

The entire celebrations were a low-key affair. Malgudi brothers entertained the audience with their bhajans.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan attended the function with his family members.

Tourism Minister J Geeta Reddy, Puttaparthi MLA Palle Raghunatha Reddy, former Supreme Court Justice PN Bhagawati, TTD chairman DK Audikesavulu Naidu. Additional DGP Sivanarayana, former DGP HJ Dora, former cricketer EAS Prasanna, TVS Group head Srinivasan, Mallika Srinivasan, noted Sitar player Pandit Ravishankar, District Collector B Janardhan Reddy, Anantapur Range DIG BL Sujatha Rao, SP MK Singh, actresses Anjali Devi, Krishnakumari, Janaki, Jamuna, playback singer Suseela and a host of other celebrities participated.

There were less number of foreign devotees this year for the birthday celebrations may be due to economic recession and the recent floods. NT Chowdary and Dr Damoder arranged for free food for the devotees.

The district SP made elaborate police bandobast in Puttaparthi.

Express Buzz Reference

An enchanting evening of ragas and talas
TNN 24 November 2009, 05:13am IST

BANGALORE: The Goddesses of Carnatic music and dance left audience hooked to their seats at Ambedkar Bhavan. The musical evening, part of the ‘Bangalore Festival’ had the audience swaying to ragas and talas.

Monday saw mesmerizing performances from Carnatic music singer Sudha Raghunathan and Bharatanatyam dancer, choreographer, and accomplished actress, Shobhana.

It was Sudha who set the pace for the evening. She began with preludes in Sanskrit, seeking the blessings of lord Ganesha and Krishna. The ragas she sang left listeners lost in a melodious world.

When she picked the high note, the packed audience echoed with applause. She also rendered a bhajan to Sathya Sai Baba, as it was his birthday on Monday.

After one hour of pure bliss, Padma Shri Shobhana took centrestage. She began with a varnam and she also danced to a bhajan from one of her Hindi movies. Her troupe, which performed a ballet, regaled the rasikas as well. A music lover and dancer herself, Vani Ganapathy kept on clapping and encouraging both her contemporaries. She expressed delight in attending the cultural festival. At the end of the programme, music and dance lovers went home craving for more.

Times Of India Reference

Also see:
Sudha Raghunathan And Sathya Sai Baba

Satya Sai Baba Celebrates 84th Birthday

Satya Sai Baba Celebrates 84th Birthday

Many believe that Sathya Sai Baba is a divine human form on the earth. As one of his miracles, the Baba once created Shiva Lingas and Gold chains for his devotees. He has lakhs of devotees in and outside India. His services to mankind are in many ways.

Mon, Nov 23, 2009 15:17:04 IST

Devotees of Godman Sri Satya Sai Baba celebrated his 84th birthday in a grand manner in Prasanti Nilayam of Puttaparti. The incarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba, the Sathya Sai Baba was born on November 23, 1926, in a tiny village of Puttapathi in Anantapur district.

Many believe that Sathya Sai Baba is a divine human form on the earth. As one of his miracles, the Baba once created Shiva Lingas and Gold chains for his devotees. He has lakhs of devotees in and outside India. His services to mankind are in many ways, particularly in the fields of education and health.

He has started a university of higher learning, apart from a super speciality hospital in Puttaparthi, where poor people of Andhra Pradesh are given free treatment for heart related and other important ailments. He has also funded many drinking water projects in the districts of Rayalaseema.

Sri Satya Saibaba says that there is only one nation that is humanity, one religion that is love, one language that is the language of the heart and only one God. He asks men why they live in fear, asking them to put their faith in him. He also mentions that transformation starts from individual and it changes the world, while, right thoughts always leads to right direction as well as action. He says that he has come here to give the key of happiness (anandam).

MeriNews Reference

Sai Baba Birthday Celebrations 2009
Today is Sathya Sai Baba’s Birthday. Sathya Sai Baba was born on 23 November 1926. He has said that he is the re-incarnation of the fakir and saint, Sai Baba of Shirdi.

He is a South Indian guru, religious figure, and educator. He was born to Eswaramma and Peddavenkama Raju in the remote village of Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, India.

His special talents were for drama, music, poetry and acting. He was even writing songs for the village opera at the age of eight. There are numerous stories of plays, poems, dances and songs he wrote as a child.

24 Masti Reference

Education without values serves none: Baba

Education without values serves none: Baba
Express News Service
First Published : 23 Nov 2009 03:27:00 AM IST

PUTTAPARTHI: Higher education should not be pursued with an aim to amass wealth and get power.

It should be done for selfless service to the society, says Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Addressing students at the 28th convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University at Sai Kulwanth Hall in Prasanthi Nilayam today, Sathya Sai Baba said the real purpose of education is served, when the needy are helped and the society gets the benefit. Love is all powerful and with it the world can be won. One should remember that education without values serves none and good conduct is far more valuable than wealth. There is no greater education or love than that of mother’s love. There is also no greater degree than love, he said.

Emphasising that what one learns through education should be used for the good of society, he said the greater meaning of education is love towards fellow humans and all living beings in the universe. Education is physical and educare is spiritual knowledge.

Expressing concern over the increased rat race for the worldly pursuit, he advised students to learn Sanatana Dharmas, which are truth, love and non-violence. “Love is God and it is in every living being. Inner satisfaction is far more worthy than physical satisfaction.” He advised people to reduce the use of cellphone which has become a hindrance to love and respect to people. “Instead of bringing people together, it is widening the gap among them,” he observed.

In his convocation address, Samuel Sandweiss of University of California, who is also the author of ‘Saibaba: The Holyman and Psychiatrist’, ‘Spirit and Mind’ and ‘With Love Man is God’, elaborated on the purpose and value of education in the context of spiritual needs of human beings.

He said education is the very process which lays the foundation for Dharma (Righteousness) by removing ignorance and letting the self inner shine. Citing examples of the earliest universities Oxford, Salamanca and Soroban in Europe and Nalanda and Taxila in ancient India, he said these institutions had deep religious and presumably spiritual foundations. He lauded the growth achieved by Sri Sathya Sai University and its endeavour for social welfare.

Varsity Vice-Chancellor Vishwanath Pandit presented a report. In all, 21 students received gold medals from the hands of Sri Sathya Saibaba.

District Collector P Janardhan Reddy, SP MK Singh, Puttaparthi MLA P Raghunath Reddy and others were present.

Express Buzz Reference

Parents must set the best example

Parents must set the best example

Sai Reflections
Published: 18 Nov 2009

The following words (author unknown) are worth pondering over:

If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness,
he learns justice.
If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love. Praise is good, but don’t overdo it: It has at last been realised that a child does need some encouragement and praise but, like most things, this can be overdone. Give praise when it is due, but don’t shower praise on shoddy work and half-baked efforts. Your child is no fool, and knows perfectly well that it could have done much better, and so loses respect for your judgement if you are too easily satisfied. It is much more helpful to examine the work carefully (whether picture, homework, sandcastle, or anything else) praise the good parts, then give constructive hints on how it could be improved.

In that way, the child will appreciate that you have shown genuine interest, while, at the same time, being encouraged to do better. One needs to build the child’s self confidence, but giving praise where it is not due can produce the opposite result. The child can become addicted to praise and, when it is not forthcoming, a feeling of insurmountable inadequacy then often takes over. The need for ideals: Our aim should always be to prepare our children for life. This means giving them ideals, self-confidence, adherence to values, consideration for others, and the courage to face difficulties. But this also implies that you, yourselves, must practice these virtues. Sathya Sai Baba: “People want happiness in the family, but they fail to lead exemplary lives. The fault lies with both the husband and the wife. If children have taken to wrong paths these days, the parents alone are responsible, as they are not exemplary in their behaviour either.”

Children learn by example: As Sathya Sai Baba says elsewhere, “Parents must set good examples for their children. Parents talk of honesty, but they utter lies in the presence of their children, and even encourage them to speak falsehood. The father, while at home, asks the child to tell the unwelcome visitor that he is not at home! The child is thus taught his first lesson in prevarication by the father himself. There is no use blaming the child if he grows into a social menace.” It is natural for children to imitate the grown-ups around them; that is how they learn. It is no use scolding your child for using some four-letter word that you, yourself, use at every turn. By all means correct the child, but say also that you realise that you must correct yourself as well; you can even ask him to help you correct yourself—he will be very good at it, and you might even succeed in breaking the habit! Sathya Sai Baba: “You should have proper control over your children, but first of all you must have control over yourself. Only when the father is good, can he expect his son to be good. Is it possible for him to keep his son at home if he, himself, roams about as he pleases and goes to places that he should avoid?”

Compiled by Sathya Sai Institute of Education West Indies.

Trinibad And Tobago Guardian Reference

Sai Baba birthday celebrations

The Sai Nilayam at No. 113, New Chetty Street, Colombo 13 will celebrate the 84th birthday of Sri Sathya Sai Baba on November 23. The program will commence at 5 a.m. The inter-religious flag hoisting ceremony will commence at 9 a.m. and special poojas and bajan will be held the full day. A Sai Chariot Procession will be held on the November 22 at 6 p.m.

Daily News Reference

There is never a dull moment with Sai Baba

There is never a dull moment with Sai Baba
14/11/2009 14:00:00
Venkat Raman

I have often heard some people say that they visit Sri Satya Sai Baba in Puttaparthi (Andhra Pradesh) or Whitefield (near Bangalore) expecting him to materialise a gold chain, a wristwatch or at least vibhuthi (sacred ash).

Baba rarely obliges them.

For, his objective is to draw people into a world of piety, chastity, righteousness and good behaviour, and not to show them ‘miracles.’

“Then why do you do it?” I used to ask him.

“One day you would be writing impressive headlines to draw the attention of people to read your stories,” he prophesied.

“Why are there rewards for achievers?” he said, hoping that I would understand the import of his thoughts.

I have had the honour and privilege of knowing Baba since I was a teenager and learnt from him about life in all its vicissitudes over countless meetings and discussions.

I have also met people who used to arrive at the ‘Prashanti Nilayam’ in Puttaparthi just to have a glimpse of their favourite Bhagawan (God).

I distinctly remember a great writer and editor of a magazine telling Sathya Sai Baba 30 years ago, “I Want Peace.”

Lofty, meaningful goals
Instant came the reply, “Remove I (ego) and Want (desire) and you will have Peace.” Then turning to me, he said, “Just like all the wealth that one has, just like what you call, ‘miracles,’ everything is illusion. What is ultimate is the truth – of who you are and what you do.”

Sathya Sai Baba also used to tell me time and again, “Do not just to strive to raise your Standard of Living. You should lift the your Standard of Life. The former is material but the latter is eternal.”

My career has taken me to many countries around the world, I have spent more years living elsewhere than in the land of my birth, but I have never lost touch with the Greatest Teacher that I have ever had in life.

I also remember many world leaders, celebrities and people who you read about in newspapers or watch on television preferring to wait along with the crowd, rather than seek a special audience (not that he would always oblige) with Baba.

“Everyone is important for Baba and everyone is equal before my eyes,” he would say and then invite the least expected person and his family for a special meeting.

“Every person aspires for happiness and peace without understanding nature. While we are all a part of nature, why should we differentiate between each other in terms of wealth, community and religion? Though there are many determined men, no one knows the goal of life,” he said, speaking on his birthday recently.

Great social worker
Sathya Sai Baba’s Birthday (November 23) has always been a special occasion for me since my formative years. I would be excited to see a few hundred people (compared to tens of thousands today) come together to sing in his praise and do voluntary work.

Sathya Sai Baba is a great social worker.

From building roads and bridges to bringing potable water to the poor people in villages, he has achieved more than what any government anywhere could claim to have done in years.

Education has always been his passion.

“Look at those innocent faces,” he would say, showing me some photographs or pointing to children in an assembly, “they are so impressionable and therefore it is important that they are shaped well. Education without character is useless. It is like chanting a mantra without either understanding its meaning or concentrating on God. We should not let our children go astray.”

The educational institutions that he has built or funded are all today citadels of understanding and appreciating the larger aspects of life, rather than rote learning of arts and science subjects. Students are taught qualitative aspects of life and emerge from these schools and colleges as fine young men and women, without being addicted to alcohol, drugs or cigarettes.

An inimitable Avatar
Those were days of intense curiosity as well. I used to hear from ‘Kasturi Kaka’ that Satya Sai Baba is an Avatar and an actual incarnation of the full power of Divinity, of the Godhead.

The birth of Sathya Sai was an auspicious event, which has not occurred for more than 5000 years. In another major Age of Mankind, Baba was Lord Krishna, he would say.

Baba says that that divine essence has come again, as the prophets have foretold, to guide and uplift Mankind at this critical time in human history.

It is a historical fact that Divinity appears amongst us in order to remind us of our divinity.

“I know who I am. I have come to help you to realise who you are. You are no less. All of us are God Incarnate,” Baba has said on many occasions.

The Bhagavan, the Supreme Being, the Social Worker, the Doctor who cures all ailments and above all, the World’s Greatest Teacher is a class to Himself, attracting people of all religious faiths, income groups and nationalities into his fold. Whether he is an Avatar or not may be a subject of debate but the former is gaining ground.

On the occasion of his Birthday on November 23, Indian Newslink offers its salutations to Sathya Sai Baba on behalf of millions of his devotees all over the world.

Celebrations in New Zealand
Indian Newslink understands that Satya Sai organisations and groupings will mark the 84th Birthday of Satya Sai Baba on November 23 with prayers and other events. The following are some of them:

  • Skiptin Hall, 53 Skipton Road, Mangere, Manukau City from 715 pm to 930 pm
  • Mahatma Gandhi Centre, 145 New North Road, Eden Terrace 7 pm to 9 pm
  • Kelston Community Centre, 126 Awaroa Road, Kelston, Waitakere 630 pm to 945 pm
  • Edgewater College, 32 Edgewater Drive, Pakuranga, Manukau 430 pm to 730 pm

Indian Newslink Reference

84-Hour Long Sai Bhajans Programme

84-Hour Long Sai Bhajans Programme
TNN 8 October 2009, 06:53am IST

ALLAHABAD: A non-stop all religion bhajan programme would be organised by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Sangathan here as a prelude to 84th birthday celebrations of Sathya Sai Baba. Spreading the message of love, truthfulness, non violence, peace and co-existence, hundreds of devotees will start singing the Sai Bhajans on October 8 (7.30 am onwards) continuously for 84 hours.

The programme will start with the lighting of lamp by Justice Sanjay Mishra of Allahabad High Court. The bhajan programme will be held at Mathur Vaisya Dharmshala, Mumfordganj.

Giving information, Gopal Tiwari of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Sangathan said that the programme is being organised to spread the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. “Devotees, crossing the bar of caste and religion, belonging to different parts of the state have already arrived here for the programme,” he said.

Beside the bhajan programme, an exhibition on Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings will also be organised. The Bhajan programme will conclude on October 11 at 7.30 pm by Mahamangal Arti of Baba. The state president of the organisation, Y K Saluja will address the gathering and perform mahamangal arti.

Times Of India Reference

Krishna Janmashtami Krishnashtami In Prasanthi Nilayam

Sathya Sai Baba Gold Krishna

Sathya Sai Baba Gold Krishna

Krishna Janmashtami Krishnashtami In Prasanthi Nilayam
Posed at 9:10 Hrs. 15th Aug 2009

Krishnashtami (also ‘Krishna Janmashtami’) denotes the Birth of Bhagawan Sri Krishna. Enchanting Little Krishna has been the most endearing Divine form for millions and billions of hearts over past many millennia, cutting across borders and barriers set by religion, caste and nationality…And His song celestial Bhagavad Gita has been the right recipe for the human minds to reach their final destination. His legacy continuous even after five thousand years of His Divine Advent, as this Divine Being, fondled and nurtured by Mother Yasoda – epitome of Motherly love and compassion, continues to be the stealer of hearts, as is often sung in Prasanthi Nilayam, Chitha Chora Yasoda Ke Bal… Navaneeta Chora Gopal…

The land known for its rich cultural and mythical heritage, land that has given birth to umpteen number of saints and sages, the land that has spread the glory of Lord to the entire world was the only fortunate land that was blessed by Incarnations. Lord Rama in Treta Yuga, Bhagawan Sri Krishna in Dwapara Yuga and now Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Kali Yuga…Bharat is the chosen land of God!

Bhagawan Krishna was born in the Dwapara Yuga, over five thousand years ago, in Mathura, India on the eight day (Rohini star on Ashtami day) of the dark half (new moon fortnight) of Shravana.

The falling week with three consecutive holidays ensured a quite a capacity crowd in Prasanthi Nilayam. In the morning, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came out of His Abode after 9:20, donned in Yellow Robe blessing the vast concourse of devotees filled every available space in the spacious Sai Kulwant Hall. Adding to this chunk of devotees joined the students from the three campuses along with a contingent from the Muddenahalli and Alike institutions and a group of devotees from Aksa village Maharasthtra.

The evening proceedings began at four with regular Veda chanting for an hour followed by Bhajans. By five o’ clock, the “Gokulam Procession” of cows and other quadrupeds, led by Little Sathya Geeta arrived at the mandir joining the devotees awaiting the Lord. As the Lord made His grand entry, Bhajans gave way to Bhajagovindam followed by other keertanams and special songs. Sathya Sai Baba, enroute, blessed the Gokulam Procession of animals and birds, a traditional affair every year during the occasion, symbolizing the Dwapara’s age old tradition derived out of Lord Krishna’s greater affinity towards the quadruped…

Bhagawan Sri Krishna’s story is all about love principle and the students, including the tiny tots from the primary school make it a point to express their greater love for the Lord in physical and this was very much evident on the auspicious evening wherein students from all campuses vied to get a Divine Glimpse, a Divine Touch, a glance from the Lord to their “handiwork” greetings marking the special occasion. Sitting onstage Bhagawan Sathya SaiBaba asked for Bhajans to continue for some time before calling for Mangala Arathi.

A convention of ‘Thyagajeevi’’s of Muddenahalli and Alike Institutions and Brahmachari’s of Prasanthi Nilayam and Brindavan institutions was held, as a prelude to the a symbosium scheduled for 15th August, at the adjacent building to Bhagawan Baba’s residence. Mr. Narasimhamurthy, Warden, Brindavan Campus addressed the gathering of “two hundred and forty” evincing details of the 15th August proceedings followed by a peptalk on the greater significance of the institution of Brahmacharya. Quoting Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, he announced that, You have made the sacred decision in your life; hold on to it; you could not have done anything better… The symposium would continue on the 15th August with a morning session followed by another session after the lunch wherein eminent speakers from the all the campuses including Muddenahalli and Alike institutions would address the aspirants.

Reference (With Pictures)

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar Celebrates 60th Birthday At Sathya Sai Baba Ashram – News 2

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar Celebrates 60th Birthday At Sathya Sai Baba Ashram – News 2

‘I’m fortunate to celebrate birthday with Sai Baba’
11 Jul 2009, 0121 hrs IST, Pradeep Vijayakar, TNN

MUMBAI: For those who know Sunil Gavaskar, it didn’t come as a surprise that he celebrated his 60th birthday at Sathya Sai Baba‘s ashram at Puttaparthi on Friday. He hasn’t spoken much about Sathya Sai Baba in public but, last year, when he was conferred the honorary doctorate by DY Patil University, he declared: “All this is because of Baba. I know he is around all the time.”

A Gavaskar confidante explained that the Little Master revered Baba because he got inspiration from him to do the right things and keep away from the wrong things, to anticipate the grey areas and steer clear of them, meet the right people and go in the right direction.

A news report from Puttaparti quoted Gavaskar saying, “I am extremely fortunate and happy that I celebrated by birthday here at Puttaparthi at Baba’s Ashram.”

Gavaskar also said he missed his fans on the occasion and thanked all of them for their greetings and good wishes. “What attracted me to Puttaparti today was the presence of Baba and his teachings of peace and love,” he added.

Gavaskar once wrote:

“Since the day my mother got the vision of Bhagavan, my family has been a Sai devotee. Like any middle class family, we too believe in God. We have a small Mandir where idols of various Hindu gods are kept and prayers are offered daily. However, in 1970, things changed suddenly. My mother was in the kitchen and there she saw a vision of Swami on the wall.”

Gavaskar related an incident about the Vibhuti (sacred ash).

“We were in Australia and in one of the tour matches, I slipped and tore a thigh muscle. The local state team’s physiotherapist examined me and announced that it would take about three weeks of therapy and one more week of training before I would be able to play again.

With the first Test due to start in just over a week’s time, this was a huge blow. As soon as this news reached my family, they sent me packets of Swami’s Vibhuti. These arrived just three days before the D-day. Despite regular physiotherapy, the improvement had been marginal. However, after I started applying Vibhuti, there was marked improvement. On the morning of the match, as I stepped onto the ground for my fitness test, I realised that the stiffness was gone. I went on to play the Test.”

Times Of India Reference

Gavaskar celebrates 60th birthday amid pouring tributes

New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Manohar Gavaskar turned 60 Friday and spent the day at the Satya Sai Baba ashram in Puttaparthi near Bangalore.
The little master was accompanied by his family members, including brother-in-law Gundappa Viswanath with whom he has shared many Indian innings.

Gavaskar burst onto the international scene in the away series against West Indies in 1971, aggregating 774 runs in four Tests. That saw the beginning of a sparkling career as he went on to become the first player to cross the milestone of 10,000 runs in Test cricket.

Indian media Friday was full of glowing tributes paid to Gavaskar by his contemporaries, some of the greats of the game who played alongside him.

Gavaskar’s huge contribution to the game and especially to Indian cricket was acknowledged by both his colleagues and the current crop of players.

Sachin Tendulkar, who idolized Gavaskar in his growing up days, led in paying the tributes, calling Sunny an “institution” in himself and one who fired the imagination of cricketers not only of his generation but later too.

Tendulkar, who broke Gavaskar’s record of 34 Test centuries, said he was privileged to have shared some great moments with the legend and has learnt many aspects of the game from him in every step of his career.

Former India skipper Ajit Wadekar, who led India to a historic victory against the West Indies in Gavavaskar’s debut series in 1971, recalled how the opener had shown gumption and played a stellar role in the tour.

“Sunny was made of legendary stuff. He is India’s greatest batsman,” Wadekar said.

Gavaskar’s contemporary and another great of the game, Clive Lloyd, too, said the 1971 series heralded the arrival of a star.

“I saw all those runs from a very close quarters. The talent aspect highlighted my first impressions of him. I admired his concentration skills and the ease with which he played,” Llyod said.

“He had so much time to play the ball and that is always a sign of a great player. He made a lot of runs against us and we knew for sure that here is a star for the future.”

Thirteen of Gavaskar’s centuries came against the West Indies’ fearsome pace attack. The audacity the little master showed in facing the fire from the West Indian quickies without a protective headgear made him one of the most admired opening batsman.

“Thirteen hundreds against the West Indies is no mean feat. It was always a challenge to play against him because of his sheer skills,” said Lloyd.

It was against West Indies in the 1983-84 series at home that Gavaskar surpassed Sir Donald Bradman’s record of 29 Test centuries.

Another West Indies great, Rohan Kanhai, said: “I still remember his first tour in the West Indies. He played brilliantly and went on to become one of the greatest Test batsmen.”

Former England captain David Gower said: “You could see the pride in the way he represented India all those years earning the respect of all those who came up against him. He remains one of the shrewdest judges of the game of cricket.”

Gavaskar, the perfect copy-book executioner, scored 10,122 runs from 125 Tests in a career spanning 16 years.

He was part of the 1983 World Cup winning squad and later led India to victory in the World Championship in Australia.

Thai Indian Reference

Legends wish Sunny happy birthday

India’s various cricketing icons wish Sunil Gavaskar on his 60th birthday and share some unforgettable memories.

As one of India’s favourite son, ‘Little Master’ Sunil Gavaskar, turns a milestone today, his former colleagues wish him all the best.

Gundappa Rangnath Viswanath:
We are all celebrating his birthday at Puttaparthi, seeking the blessings of Saibaba. All the family members have gathered here. I personally wish Sunny a very happy birthday. I wish Sunny, who scored many tons in cricket, a complete a century in his real life. He is a true legend. I think the whole life will not be enough to discuss his exploits.

I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to play alongside him. We played top level cricket together for over a decade and a half. It was pure joy to watch Sunny handle the finest of the fast bowlers. I don’t remember if there was any bowler who could really trouble him. He was a truly gifted cricketer.

It is very difficult to single out a particular innings of the great man. But if I were to mention two of his special knocks, I think it would be the hundred he made in Manchester on a grassy wicket and his 221 at Oval when India came nine runs short of making history.

The greatest aspect of Sunny is that even after 22 years of hanging up his boots he continues to be the role model he was. He is the true blue icon. He is highly respected everywhere for the simple reason that he has been a disciplined person all through his life.

Ajit Wadekar:
There was a time when people feared facing the West Indies pace battery. And that was the time when Sunil shattered the myth. His extraordinary batting skills as an opener, who could unnerve the fastest of the lot, Sunil scored most of his centuries against the West Indies. It is not ironical that with 13 centuries against the West Indians he puts to shade the six tons scored by English opener Len Hutton.

I remember, as the captain of the historic squad, we all were praying in the dressing room that Sunil should not score a century on debut.

That was because Indian batsmen were caught in the Test debut jinx till Gundappa Vishwanath came along.

Shivlal Yadav:
It was an honour to play along side a living legend. I remember an innings in Adelaide when I partnered him as a tail-ender and helped India avoid a defeat.

When I look back, I feel it was my good luck that I played with the finest of the cricketers in Sunny and Vishy.

I never had the opportunity to bowl to Sunil Gavaskar, one of my childhood heroes, in big matches. But I remember I bowled to him in some exhibition matches. I think he was the most difficult batsman to get out.

Thank God, I got the chance to play with him and bowl to him.

— As told to Sudeer Mahavaadi

ESPN Star Reference

Gavaskar celebrates 60th birthday in Puttaparthi

Mumbai (PTI): Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar on Friday celebrated his 60th birthday by paying a visit to Sathya Sai Baba at his ashram in Puttaparthi near Bangalore.

Gavaskar was accompanied by his entire family and Gundappa Viswanath, his brother-in-law, on the visit.

The first batsman ever to reach 10,000 runs in the history of cricket, Gavaskar had a distinguished career adorned with many landmarks.

Playing with his bat very close to his pads, Gavaskar was the epitome of copybook batting as he scored 10,122 runs from 125 Tests with a then record of 34 Test tons in an international career spanning 16 years.

The diminutive cricketer-turned-columnist and commentator was also the first batsman to surpass Sir Donald Bradman’s 29 centuries in Tests, an achievement which acquire more significance as it came in the era of tearaway West Indian bowlers.

He and Viswanath were the backbone of the Indian batting line-up when the batsmen were not protected with modern-day protective equipment like helmet and there was also no restriction on number of bumpers that could be bowled in an over.

The Hindu Reference

Gavaskar celebrates 60th b’day in Puttaparthi

Mumbai: Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar today celebrated his 60th birthday by paying a visit to Sathya Sai Baba at his ashram in Puttaparthi near Bangalore.

Gavaskar was accompanied by his entire family and Gundappa Viswanath, his brother-in-law, on the visit.

The first batsman ever to reach 10,000 runs in the history of cricket, Gavaskar had a distinguished career adorned with many landmarks.

Playing with his bat very close to his pads, Gavaskar was the epitome of copybook batting as he scored 10,122 runs from 125 Tests with a then record of 34 Test tons in an international career spanning 16 years.

The diminutive cricketer-turned-columnist and commentator was also the first batsman to surpass Sir Donald Bradman’s 29 centuries in Tests, an achievement which acquire more significance as it came in the era of tearaway West Indian bowlers.

Indopia Reference

Gavaskar celebrates 60th b’day in Puttaparthi

Mumbai, July 10: Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar celebrated his 60th birthday by paying a visit to Satya Sai Baba at his ashram in Puttaparthi near Bangalore.

Gavaskar was accompanied by his entire family and Gundappa Viswanath, his brother-in-law, on the visit.

The first batsman ever to reach 10,000 runs in the history of cricket, Gavaskar had a distinguished career adorned with many landmarks.

Playing with his bat very close to his pads, Gavaskar was the epitome of copybook batting as he scored 10,122 runs from 125 Tests with a then record of 34 Test tons in an international career spanning 16 years.

The diminutive cricketer-turned-columnist and commentator was also the first batsman to surpass Sir Donald Bradman`s 29 centuries in Tests, an achievement which acquire more significance as it came in the era of tearaway West Indian bowlers.

He and Viswanath were the backbone of the Indian batting line-up when the batsmen were not protected with modern-day protective equipment like helmet and there was also no restriction on number of bumpers that could be bowled in an over.

Bureau Report

ZeeNews Reference

Turning 60 no worry for Gavaskar
10 Jul 2009, 0022 hrs IST
Pradeep Vijayakar, TNN

MUMBAI: Sunil Gavaskar isn’t a blogger. So the world won’t know his thoughts on becoming a sexagenarian today. But The Times of India got lucky to
get his thoughts on reaching yet another milestone. Of course, it isn’t one that Gavaskar will care much for, knowing his penchant for hundreds. The kind of ton Prof DB Deodhar hit in life, always beckons.

So will it get difficult for Sunny Gavaskar to maintain the three Ds — discipline, determination, dedication — virtues which brought him massive success on the field and off it too, in life after 60?

Said Gavaskar, who will spend his birthday seeking the blessings of Sathya Sai Baba with his entire family at Puttaparthi, on birthday eve, “These things have been a part and parcel of my life. So it won’t be difficult. I have applied these virtues to every aspect of my life, not just cricket.”

Now that he has reached 60, Gavaskar’s adversaries won’t be Wes Hall, John Snow, Andy Roberts or Dennis Lillee, but aches and pains, the battle of the bulge, fading sight and hair loss. How does he fancy facing them? “The battle of the bulge will be the most formidable. When I don’t do my regular things like playing badminton and some drills when I am in Mumbai, I tend to put on weight, especially abroad, where the discipline in my food habits, goes for a toss.”

When Gavaskar quit cricket, he weighed 74. Today he weighs 78. “My weight fluctuates between 77 and 79. It got to 80-plus on one tour.”

As far as eyesight goes, Gavaskar used to pride himself on having 2020 vision. That was when he got them tested in Dubai. Time has caught up. “I am using reading glasses for the last two years.” The secret of Gavaskar’s good eyesight was he never read anything in a moving vehicle.

Sir Don Bradman, the Gavaskar of an earlier era, had an interesting tale on this eyesight business. When he read about praise from critics that the secret of his greatness was that he saw the ball early, Sir Don decided to check it out and tests revealed his eye reflexes were indeed slower than normal!

Turning sixty-plus means a walking stick beckons sooner rather than later. Does that worry Gavaskar? “I used a walking stick as a style statement on the tour of Australia in 1981. But I batted like an old man in that series and chucked the stick away!” said the legend, who had a trademark swagger, swaying from side to side.”

So how have his emotions evolved from being the highest run-getter to being a grand-father? “It’s over 20 years since I gave up an active sporting career. My energies have been focussed on life off the field. It has been thoroughly enjoyable and terrific.”

The latter is one word is The Little Master uses as regularly as the flick off his toes. He said his constant travel meant less time to spend with the family. “But when I am in town, I spend every evening with my grand-daughter Rhea, who is now four years old.”

Any grandpa stories — ones that he’s heard and ones he relates to? Gavaskar ducked that one just like he would do against a Lillee bouncer. He had had a hectic Wednesday while chairing the BCCI’s technical committee meeting and the mind was beginning to turn blank.

He couldn’t even remember the incident which gave his parents an inkling of his amazing concentration which was instrumental in making him a legend. The story goes that it was mom Meenal’s task to narrate not one, but two stories every night to the young Gavaskar. But often she got so tired after the day’s chores that narrating the second tale became quite a task. It so happened that she introduced Arjuna in the mythological tale, Ramayana, only to be pulled up by Sunny about what a merry mix-up she was making.

Papa Manohar said his son’s memory and recall had their genesis in the bedtime stories.

Celebs are famous for their indulgences and crave for gizmos. Gavaskar’s most famous indulgence has been glucose biscuits and he can never have enough of them. Will that continue now that he is 60? “My delayed medicals are due. They will give me an idea.”

Gavaskar and his badminton buddy, the late Gautam Thakkar, would take their medicals together every year. It was an unfailing annual ritual in May. Gautam’s tests were delayed the last time around. Else, the cancer that claimed him, may have been detected.

As for gadgets, Gavaskar said, “Some of these are very basic. But I don’t use cellphones, except when I am abroad.”

When in Sri Lanka, in 1995, one had told him of a computer where words appeared on the monitor when you spoke into it. One told him it would make his task as a columnist easier. Gavaskar left that one alone outside the off-stump. Famous for penning his thoughts on a single sheet for his column, Gavaskar does use the laptop these days.

When you age, your temper tends to get the better of you. So who bears the brunt of his anger these days? Wife Pammi or son Rohan? “The reflection in the mirror,” said the birthday `boy’.

One age hazard that Gavaskar won’t have to worry about is being snubbed for giving unsolicited advice. Gavaskar doesn’t proffer any, unless asked.

Also, he doesn’t chase dreams any more. He just enjoys living a ‘normal’ life. ‘Normal’ for him is living out of a suitcase. From Puttaparthi, he flies to England for the ICC History Conference. A tour of Europe follows and also the US.”

Turning 60 won’t change his hectic lifestyle. Because Sunny Gavaskar won’t behave like a 60-year-old.

IndiaToday Reference

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar Celebrates 60th Birthday At Sathya Sai Baba Ashram – News 1

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar Celebrates 60th Birthday At Sathya Sai Baba Ashram – News 1

Gavaskar celebrates a quiet 60th b’day
Press Trust Of India
Posted on Jul 11, 2009 at 00:26

Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh): Away from the hustle-bustle of city life, Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar on Friday celebrated his 60th birthday in a sober fashion by visiting the Ashram of Sathya Sai Baba at Puttaparthi here.

Accompanied by wife Marshniel, son Rohan and his brother-in-law Gundappa Viswanath, Gavaskar reached Puttaparthi from Bangalore this morning and attended the Bhajan in the serene ashram of Sathya Sai Baba.

“I am delighted to be here. There could not have been a better way to celebrate my 60th birthday then being present here and getting Baba’s darshan and blessings. This is ultimate for me and I feel very fortunate to be here,” Gavaskar said.

The former Indian skipper had a distinguished career adorned with many landmarks and Gavaskar said he doesn’t regret anything in life.

“I Won’t say I regret. May be, I could have handled certain things better in life. In certain matches, if I had kept my cool and had been temperamentally good, it could have been a different thing altogether,” said Gavaskar, who was the first batsman ever to reach 10,000 runs in the history of cricket.

Gavaskar was the epitome of copybook batting as he scored 10,122 runs from 125 Tests with a then record of 34 Test tons in an international career spanning 16 years.

The diminutive cricketer-turned-columnist and commentator was also the first batsman to surpass Sir Donald Bradman’s 29 centuries in Tests.

One of the greatest opening batsmen of all time, Gavaskar was concentration personified, who defence was almost unbreachable, making him the most prized scalp of his time.

He played a stellar role with Dilip Sardesai and Eknath Solkar to help India to a historic series victory in the Caribbean under the leadership of Ajit Wadekar.

The Mumbai icon, who lived by the virtue of discipline and professionalism, also showed his prowess in the one-day format, although it was not considered his forte.

He was the part of 1983 World Cup winning squad and also shone in the 1987 World Cup match against New Zealand.

Controversies also had their own share in Gavaskar’s career.

His first visit to England in 1971 saw him collide with rival fast bowler John Snow on the pitch while taking a run and the Indian opener was sent sprawling as a result.

Four years later, he scored an inexplicable 36 not out in 60 overs in the first World Cup, against England, and was reprimanded for it by the Cricket Board following an adverse report by team manager GS Ramchand.

Gavaskar also showed his hot-headed streak when he very nearly made India the first country to forfeit a Test match in 1981, the dubious distinction later attained by arch-rivals Pakistan.

Cricket Next Reference

Gavaskar celebrates b’day at SaiBaba’s abode
11 Jul 2009, 0016 hrs IST, TNN

ANANTAPUR: Cricket maestro and former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar celebrated his 60th birthday at Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi in Anantapur
district on Friday. About 20 family members, including his son Rohan Gavaskar, arrived in Puttaparthi late on Thursday night to celebrate the birthday fete.

Gavaskar, an avowed devotee of godman Sri Satya Sai Baba, said he came to celebrate the birthday with Baba’s love, affection and blessings. “Though I have options to celebrate the day in various locations, I arrived here only to seek the blessings of Baba,” Gavaskar said.

Gavaskar also said that he had achieved several goals in the field of cricket only because of Baba’s blessings. “I am lucky to celebrate my birthday in Prasanthi Nilayam,” he said.

Times Of India Reference

Gavaskar celebrates 60th birthday in Puttaparthi

Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar celebrated his 60th birthday on Friday in solemn fashion at Puttaparthi, the abode of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.

Accompanied by wife Marshniel, son Rohan and former brother-in-law, India batsman Gundappa Viswanath, Gavaskar reached Puttaparthi Ashram from Bangalore and met with Sai Baba in the morning.

Baba blessed Gavaskar, the first cricketer to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket, and expressed his good wishes.

“I am extremely fortunate and happy that I celebrated by birthday here at Puttaparthi at Baba’s Ashram,” Gavaskar said after meeting Sai Baba.

Known to be a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, Gavaskar said he missed his fans on the occasion and thanked all of them for their greetings and good wishes.

“What attracted me to Puttaparthi today was the presence of Baba and his teachings of peace and love,” he added.

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad

Rediff Reference

Netting fishes or runs, he’s game
Madhav Mantri
July 10, 2009

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar celebrates his 60th birthday today at the Sathya Sai Baba Ashram in Puttaparthi with his parents. In this tribute, his ‘nanamama’ former India wicketkeeper-batsman Madhav Mantri, talks about his legendary nephew.

I am 88 and in the twilight of my life. But July 10, 1949 is a date I will remember till my death. It not only marked the day Sunil was born, but also ushered in a world of happiness for all of us.

That he became a famous cricketer is another story altogether, but things could have been different. Sunil stayed in the maternity home with his mother for some days after his birth. His kaka (Narayan Masurkar) from Rajkot had come to see the baby. A day before he left, he paid a second visit to the hospital. He looked at the baby and suddenly asked my sister if she was sure it was her son.

Masurkar had earlier spotted a mark on one of Sunil’s ears and this time around, it was gone. An alarm was raised and after hours, Sunil was found asleep in the lap of a fisherwoman in one corner of the hospital. The babies had been swapped by mistake. Much later, when I asked Sunil about the incident, he laughed: “What would have happened Nanamama… I would have gone to the sea and netted 10,000 fishes. I had to create a record.”

Those growing years
As a kid, Sunil was very fond of table tennis. During his stay at his Grant Road house, he would go to Proctor YMCA everyday. He was very athletic and enjoyed the sport. It was only after he joined St Xavier’s school that he began taking cricket seriously. He was in the junior team and that triggered his passion for the game. Moreover, his father was an active club cricketer and my sister would often play with him.

One Sunday, I was preparing to leave for a game when Sunil walked into my room. He was fascinated by the caps in my kitbag and very excitedly, asked: “Nanamama, can you give me one?” I replied: “I have won all these. They are not to be gifted.”

Two years later, I found Sunil eagerly waiting for me in the verandah one day. His school team had won the Giles Shield. “Our school has presented us with a sweater and a cap,” he said. Sunil should have gone home to celebrate, but he waited to show me his cap. It was just the beginning of a long journey.

Books and beyond
Sunil is an avid reader and be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, he invariably has a book in one hand and eats with the other. Right from an early age, he read all types of books, including cricket books and autobiographies. But reading books alone didn’t gift him an impeccable technique. Whenever he found himself out of form (as an India player), he would come to Dadar Union club and practice for hours. I clearly remember he would call Mumbai pacer VS Patil and ask him to bowl at him in the nets. That boosted his confidence.

Sometimes, when he struggled against any particular bowler, he would walk down and ask his partner at the non-striker’s end about his mistakes. So the other batsman had to be attentive. That’s how Sunil perfected his technique — by sheer hard work, dedication and relentless practice.

A perfectionist
When the Alvin Kallicharran-led West Indies came to India in 1978-79, Sunil played one of the gutsiest innings of his life. It had rained in Bombay the previous day and West Indies put India in at the Wankhede (in the first Test between December 1 and 6). Sunil opened with Chetan Chauhan. Sylvester Clarke was unleashed, but the Windies quickie failed to remove Sunil before the latter scripted a magnificent double century on the second day.

The next morning, when I went to the dressing room to congratulate him, Sunil showed me a piece of paper. It was a letter from Vijay Merchant, who was commentating. He was so impressed by Sunil’s innings that he wrote a letter that night to be delivered to Sunil the next morning.

Merchant’s one principle was that he never invaded the dressing room. He was against disturbing any player during a match. But I insisted that it was a special occasion and that he should congratulate Sunil personally. When he met Sunil at the end of the day, the first thing Sunil asked was: “Vijay bhai did you watch my entire innings?” We both were taken by surprise. Sunil continued: “Tell me, when I was on 197, Norbert Phillip bowled a bouncer and I hooked it to the fine leg boundary. What was wrong with my shot?”

None of us expected such a question. While we celebrated his double, he was brooding over that one miscued shot, though it took him to the 200-run mark.

Boycott or Gavaskar?
During the 1977-78 series against Australia, Sunil scored three centuries. The Australian media went gaga over him and dubbed him the most successful opener of his era. But Ian Chappell begged to differ. In an interview he said that Sunil was good but England opener Geoff Boycott was better. Reacting to Chappell’s comments, Don Bradman hit back saying that Chappell had forgotten both Gavaskar and Boycott were technically sound batsmen, but what elevated Sunil was his ability to score runs quickly as opposed to Boycott’s over-cautious approach.

Best wishes from Miandad
It was 1987 and Sunil was playing his last Test in Bangalore against Pakistan. The Chinnaswamy pitch was crumbling and the ball was turning viciously. But Sunil was steadfast and played a superb knock of 96 in the second innings before being dubiously given out. At the end of the match, Javed Miandad came to congratulate Sunil. The Pakistan batsman, Sunil later told me, said: “We abused you so much, tried to distract you, but you were not bothered. It was a great knock mate.” Sunil replied: “Though you won the match, I passed the test. And you are not getting a second chance.” That was Sunil for you.

Hindustan Times Reference