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  Sai Ram - Departure from Puttaparthi - Bhagawan leaves for Delhi...    

Delhi's Moments of Joy


It was joyous welcome for The Lord whose benevolence blessed the capital city after eleven long years.  Delhi was yet again basking in the glory of His benign presence! The Chartered Aircraft touched down the tarmac at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 1645 hrs. The entire route leading from the International Airport to His Abode at the Sri Sathya Sai International Centre was sealed for traffic for the Divine and His entourage to pass.

…And was a smile on everyone’s face and a feeling - it is true Bhagawan has arrived in Delhi!!!

The venue had a riot of colours with decorations galore welcoming the Master. After an hour-long drive by road, as His car turned into the street where the International Centre is situated, at around 1740 hrs. IST, the drums beat out loud to welcome Him. Bhagawan’s car was led up to the entrance of the Centre by the boys of the band dressed in white and blue, followed by the group of Veda chanting boys dressed in orange. This Vedam group in their splendorous orange attire appeared like marigolds being offered at the Divine Lotus Feet. There were so many Balvikas children showering rose petals receiving Bhagawan. Bhagawan was accorded a traditional welcome with Poornakumbham.

All arrangements had been well synchronized, those on wheelchairs had been placed just by the entrance to the lane were they could with great ease have a glimpse of their Lord…Upon arrival Bhagawan came onstage granting darshan to the thousands who had been waiting for the moment right from the morning hours. As He entered, the welcome song, ‘Swagatam” rang out in the air. As His Divine Palm moved up in Abhaya posture, one could see eyes going moist with emotion and devotion filling the air.

Bhagawan was accompanied by All India President Sri V.Srinivasan, Former Vice Chancellors, Prof. G.Venkataraman, and Sri SV Giri, IAS (Retd.), Trust Member Sri. Ratnakar, Prof. Anil Kumar, Sri. Narasimhamurthy along with some seniors and a group of eighteen students.



Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba arrives in Delhi  - Day 1 - 9th April 2010

Information received from Delhi indicates that the "Air Chariot" carrying Bhagawan touched down the tarmac at Indira Gandhi International Airport at around 1650 hrs. IST. Bhagawan and His entourage would be driving down to Sri Sathya Sai International Centre, almost an hour drive from the airport.

After an hour-long drive by road, as His car turned into the street where the International Centre is situated, at around 1745 hrs. IST, the drums beat out loud to welcome Him. Bhagawan’s car was led upto the entrance of the Centre by the boys of the band dressed in white and blue, followed by the group of Veda chanting boys dressed in orange. This Vedam group in their splendorous orange attire appeared like marigolds being offered at the Divine Lotus Feet. There were so many Balvikas children that received Him too.

Swami coming out of His Car - Sri Sathya Sai Airport
Swami coming out of His Car - Sri Sathya Sai Airport

 All arrangements had been well synchronized, those on wheelchairs had been placed just by the entrance to the lane were they could with great ease have a glimpse of their Lord… Soon Bhagawan granted Darshan to all as ‘Swagatam” rang out in the air. Interestingly, Sri Sathya Sai International Centre and the Shirdi Baba temple, both at Lodhi Road, are opposite to each other.

The Divine darshan charmed everyone and ended for the day with Aarati offered to Bhagawan. There was hope for more such Divine interludes in the next few days as the national capital is basking in the Divine Presence!!!


Sai Ram - Departure from Puttaparthi - Bhagawan leaves for Delhi...

Posted at 1630 IST on April 9, 2010

Delhi’s joy becomes the moments of desperation for Prasanthi. As the national capital is gearing up to welcome the most anticipated moment, the “Return of The Lord”, after eleven long years of anticipation, Prasanthi bid farewell to The Lord who embarked on a weeklong visit to the national capital starting from tomorrow.

Despite the intense summer, at 13 hrs. post lunch, Sai Kulwant had good assemblage of devotees anticipating Bhagawan to make His entry enroute to His scheduled departure at 2:15.

To the delight of thousands assembled, Bhagawan came in His Toyota Porte at 1:43 on His way to the Airport. Stopping for a while at the centre near the lion at the ladies' side, Bhagawan blessed the assemblage, while coconuts were broken and Arathi was offered, a regular sight during Divine departure over the years. Upon accepting Arathi and blessing the concourse, Bhagawan drove past the hall at 1:45.

Blessing scattered groups of devotees awaiting enroute, intending to steal a glance of the Lord braving the scorching sun, Bhagawan arrived at the Sri Sathya Sai Airport at 2:07, driving directly towards the flight. Boarding the plane at 2:11, the specially chartered Kingfisher VT KFG airliner took off at 2:32 after a five minute runway run, embarking on a two hour airborne sojourn carrying the Lord to the national capital, Delhi. Hundreds of onlookers, including staff and students were at the airport wishing “Happy Journey” to Bhagawan for His weeklong Divine Sojourn.

In the meantime reports from Delhi indicates of the mood of merriment of the greater anticipation of His Divine Arrival.    top

Here comes the musings on the mood in Delhi…

Oh, how He fulfils the yearning of every heart,
The longing has to intensify,
Incessant is the flow of grace, of the One who lived in Shirdi,
But now walks amongst us as Sathya Sai…

India’s capital city – Delhi, truly became the nation’s pride, as it so lovingly and joyfully prepared to welcome Beloved Bhagawan on this afternoon. The Sri Sathya Sai International Centre, New Delhi, is being decorated gaily. Shamianas have been put up, there are flowers of a myriad colours, red carpet everywhere that Beloved Bhagawan will tread. Sai brothers and sisters are on Seva Dal duty are seen sharing information to all who are eager for a darshan of The Lord. There is a kind of expectancy and excitement in the air which is so palpable. Lord Surya seems to have softened His rays, birds are chirping with delight, animals too have sensed the visit of the Lord, the leaves on the trees are swaying with joy as the breeze brings news of Bhagawan’s arrival…

Like coming across an oasis in the middle of a desert, Bhagawan’s visit is an event that every parched heart is looking forward to. When one listens to the news on any channel or in the newspapers, all one gets to hear is negative things that makes one feel threatened, frustrated and helpless. Beloved Bhagawan – His very name, His darshan, sparshan and sambhashan is the beacon of light, hope and love that all are looking forward to.

The flying chariot for our sweet Lord is scheduled to arrive in the Rajdhani at around 4:30 pm. The International centre is being beautified even as Brindavan was when Sri Krishna returned for a visit. Can one imagine the joy of the Brijvasis – the cows, calves, the gopis, gopas? Delhi too, will with great fervor and humility receive the touch of the Lord’s Holy Lotus Feet after a separation of ten years…

The world over, the attention of Sai fraternity and spiritual seekers is fixed on Delhi, as devotees await news of the Lord’s visit. If we but let our imagination flow, we can perhaps visualize the flying chariot in the blue sky, with Lord Ganesha in front leading the divine entourage, Lord Kartikeya and Ananta Shesha as Lord Balram, on the two sides as escorts, and of course, Sri Hanumanji following…a sight fit for celestial beings!!! There will be a brilliant glow in the sky that will move northwards over India to descend into New Delhi and all will benefit from the constant flow of grace.

How very fortunate are we all to get even a glimpse of the Lord in this His present Avataric form!!!  top



In the afternoon, Bhagawan arrived in the car at 1:43 on His way to the Airport for the scheduled departure for Delhi at 2:15. Stopping for a while at the centre near the lion at the ladies' side, Bhagawan blessed the assemblage, while coconuts were broken and Arathi was offered, a regular sight during Divine departure over the years. Upon accepting Arathi and blessing the concourse, Bhagawan drove past the hall at 1:45. Blessing scattered groups of devotees awaiting enroute intending to steal a glance of the Lord braving scorching sun, Bhagawan arrived at the Sri Sathya Sai Airport at 2:07, driving directly towards the flight. Boarding the plane at 2:11, the specially chartered Kingfisher VT KFG airliner took off at 2:32 after a five minute runway run, for a two hour airborne sojourn carrying the Lord to the national capital, Delhi.



Also read: Delhi awaits Divine Arrival



Sairam dearest Sai Family,
for the benefit of people who are planning to visit Swami in the near future and to those who are living close to Delhi, here is an important news about Swami.


Public Darshan Schedule

Sri Sathya Sai Baba will be visiting Delhi, Capital of India. The
Public Darshan Schedule has been updated & is available for
viewing and downloading -
Click here
    -  Shimla Visit


Bhagawan to visit National Capital, Delhi
Update Day 1- 9th April 2010


Click to enlarge

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba will be visiting Delhi and National Capital Region on a weeklong trip starting from 9th April 2010. Bhagawan along with His entourage of senior administrators and students are set to fly from Prasanthi Nilayam Airport in a special chartered flight in the afternoon on 9th April. A notification by the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations - Delhi posted on the official website,, (or here on this SBOI page) indicates of elaborate Darshan arrangements for the devotees at DC-10 DDA Grounds (Near Dwarka Sector-10 Metro Station) Dwarka on the 10th, 12th, 13th and 14th April. Entry to the Darshan ground will begin at 15 hrs. IST. Bhagawan’s last visit to Delhi was in March 1999, when He officially sanctified and inaugurated the Sri Sathya Sai International Centre at Lodhi Road in the presence of Sri. Atal Behari Vajpayee, the then Prime Minister of India.

In the meantime, hectic preparations are on at the Sri Sathya Sai International Centre and at the venue of the public darshan DC-10 DDA Grounds, Dwarka.

 Daring the scorching summer that is always at its merciless best in the capital city, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations - Delhi has teamed up thousands of dedicated Sevadal volunteers and skilled workforce, who are busy engaged in sprucing up the Sri Sathya Sai International Centre at Lodhi Road and the main darshan venue DC-10 DDA Grounds at Dwarka.

 Areas attended by these dedicated work force ensuring perfect setting for welcoming the Divine at the International Centre are, decorations at various locations, setting up of the special dais for Bhagawan, rehearsal of Veda Chanting with mock shows, mock show of Brass Band Team of Sri Sathya Sai Primary School at Sri Sathya Sai International Centre, Balvikas Girls’ welcome rehearsal, Setting up of Public Sound System etc. and at the public venue, hundreds of Sevadal volunteers are engaged in setting up of the tent, arranging the ramp, stage lights etc.



Sathya Sai Baba to visit Shimla next week


Renowned spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi will visit the hill station next week Monday to deliver sermons to his disciples.

"Sri Sathya Sai Baba is reaching Shimla April 12 from Delhi. He will stay in a five-storied temple at Pujarali for a few days to deliver address and bless his devotees," a spokesperson for the Sri Sathya Sai Trust Himachal Pradesh said.

Pujarali is located on the outskirts of Shimla.

This would be the third visit of Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Shimla. Earlier, he visited the town in 1973 and 1975.

The spiritual guru has a large following across the world.

Copyright Indo Asian News


Submitted to SBOI-Group - Sai Forum  Join Group Sai Baba Of India - "SBOI" 


For any queries please contact


Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's Delhi visit
- Programme Schedule & Route Map

Programme Schedule

Public Darshans at
DC-10 DDA Grounds (Near Dawarka Sector-10 Metro Station) Dwarka
on Entry 3:00 pm onwards 10th, 12th, 13th and 14th April 2010

Photo Dwarka sub city: lick to enlarge

Photo Dwarka sub city: click to enlarge

General Public is hereby informed to please use the Blue Line of Delhi Metro to reach Dwarka Sector-10 or Sector-11 station.

Both these stations are located within walking distance of DC-10, DDA Grounds, Dwarka.

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's Delhi visit-Programme Schedule
Indicative Map, not to scale

Items not allowed at Darshans

Please carry a valid photo ID to the venue.

Please do not bring pens/pencils, handbags, briefcase, eatables, radio/transistor, mobile telephone and pager, tape recorder, camera, binoculars, digital diary, palm-top, laptop, notebook, computer, remote controlled car lock keys, arms and ammunition, thermos flask, water bottle, cigarette, bidi, gutka/paan masala, matchbox, lighter, knife, razor, scissors, screwdriver, blade etc with you, as all such items will not be allowed into the seating enclosures.

click to enlarge

The Organisation reserves the right to include/exclude any other material(s), not notified above, at any time without prior notice. The Organisation also reserves the right to deny admission to person(s)/group(s) without assigning reasons.



Sourced from PDF file submitted to SBOI-Group

(Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's Delhi visit-Schedule PDF FILE download)

Source: Sri Sathya Sai Organisation, Delhi-NCR - Sri Sathya Sai Organisation, Delhi-NCR welcomes Bhagawan's Arrival -




Also read: Swami's Previous Trips to Delhi etc. 



The Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee conversing with His Holiness Shri Satya Sai Baba after inaugurating Shri Satya Sai Baba International Centre at Lodhi Road in New Delhi on March 12, 1999
The Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee conversing with His Holiness Shri Satya Sai Baba after inaugurating Shri Satya Sai Baba International Centre at Lodhi Road in New Delhi on March 12, 1999

Sai Baba opens international centre, school


NEW DELHI, MARCH 12: Sri Sathya Sai Baba inaugurated the first international centre and school named after him in Lodhi Colony today. He unveiled an inauguration stone and after his discourse, cut the ribbon at the entrance before taking a round of the place. The function was presided over by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. In his welcome address, Vajpayee said that it was a joyous occasion for Delhiites as Swami Bhagwan had agreed to come to Delhi after 17 years. ``But now we won't have to wait so long. For he'll be here every year. We really need to have him here in Delhi. Pollution is increasing in the city, but now with his blessings Delhi will improve,'' he said. Speaking about the centre, Vajpayee said that this is the first International Centre and a lot of devotees would benefit from it. ``I keep meeting so many bhakts all over the world who keep asking me to convey their regards to Sai when I meet him. And they also ask me to tell Sai to visit them in their country. I told them that Sai worriesabout all his bhakts, no matter where they are. But now they can come over and meet him here in India,'' he said.

He said that during his visits to Puttaparthy or Shantiville, he saw the activities that Sai had undertaken for the welfare of the people. And these activities, he said, were an ideal in themselves as they aimed at removing darkness.

Vajpayee said that for once he was not present in this assembly as a prime minister, but as a bhakt. ``The last time Sai was here in Delhi, I held the post of foreign minister. Now I've been promoted and I've become prime minister,'' he said, adding that he used to seek Sai Baba'a blessing even when he was out of office, and now that he's the prime minister, he perhaps needed it a little more.

In his discourse, Sathya Sai Baba said that India is a vast country which has always been a centre of spirituality, peace and non-violence. It is also the birthplace of great men like Valmiki, Vyasa, Buddha, Rama, Krishna and the land of schools, music, literature and science. ``But today, the people seem to have forgotten the importance of the hard-earned freedom and no longer stand united,'' he said.

``India today needs new principles to keep it together, which include integrity, unity, fraternity and brotherhood,'' he said. He attributed the various ills prevailing in the country to the lack of unity. ``It is time for Indians to get together to determine the welfare of the society and practice the true message of love, as it is only love that binds us together,'' Sai Baba said.

He also said all that political parties do today is fight and criticise each other. He asked them to preach and practice love and brotherhood. He also commended Vajpayee for his loyalty to one party during his political career. ``I have seen him for the past 70 years, and he has stuck to the same party all these years. We must support such a leader, who knows how to follow his dharma,'' said Sai Baba.

Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


In the News media:


Sai Baba to Visit Delhi Every Year

Published in The Times of India on Saturday 13 March 1999
By M P K Kutty, The Times of India News Service 

NEW DELHI: Visiting Delhi after a gap of 17 years, the Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi has this good news for his devotees: he will now be coming to the national capital every year.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Sathya Sai International Centre and School on Lodhi Road on Friday morning, he compared Delhi to the stomach of Bharat. Diseases arise when the stomach does not function properly. "If the stomach is in good condition, the body will be healthy. If Delhi is good, the country will be good,'' he added.

The Swami, adored by millions, had a good word for Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, who also addressed the meeting for ten minutes. "I have known Mr Vajpayee for 17 years.'' He commended the 'spiritual leadership' of Mr Vajpayee "who has continued with the same party.'' He also wished the Prime Minister success in his efforts to promote good relations with neighbouring countries.

"I have not come here as Prime Minister,'' Mr Vajpayee said, recalling that he was foreign minister when the Baba first visited Delhi 17 years ago. "Today I am something different. I still need his grace.'' He commended the Baba for demonstrating through his multifarious projects and activities that service of the people constituted service to God. Union home minister L K Advani, human resource development minister Murli Manohar Joshi, former President Shanker Dayal Sharma and other prominent politicians and senior officials were present at the function.

In his more than 30-minute address, the Baba recalled the greatness of India, known for eminent men like Valmiki, Veda Vyasa, Rama and Buddha. Indian culture and tradition emphasised charity, the spirit of sacrifice, truth and non-violence.

"But what have we achieved in 50 years of freedom? Murders, hijackings, kidnappings...the human mind is polluted by kama and krodha. We are afraid to travel by road, rail or by plane. The world is full of fear. We speak of peace. But where is peace? We have only 'pieces.' There must be peace within first. And there will be peace outside when people relate to one another in love.''

"Today, there is a lot of hatred. Only the mean-minded people hate. So long as there is hatred, there will not be any peace...While we love our motherland, we should not criticise other countries.'' And he added his slogan: 'Help ever; hurt never.'

In his speech, the Baba repeatedly stressed the greatness of Indian culture and bemoaned the lack of unity which had led to foreign rule in the past. The country could achieve freedom but not unity. He was also critical of the tendency among the young and the educated to imitate other cultures. "Our culture is as vast as the Himalayas and as deep as the ocean. No other culture is as great as India's,'' he declared, amid loud applause.

Spirituality means morality. Of all the sacred rituals, there is nothing greater than adherence to truth. Is any ritual more important than feelings towards one's mother? Love your motherland. "God is in you, He is around you. There is no place where God is not,'' he said, adding: "Love is God. Live in love.''

Earlier, Kulwant Rai, president of the Delhi unit of the Sai seva organisation, said the international centre would promote the five values of truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence. He also gave an account of the water supply project, the super-speciality hospital and other projects set up by Sathya Sai Baba.



Devotees continue to throng darshan venues

Sri Sathya Sai Baba continued to attract thousands of devotees today in the third day of his stay in the Capital. As the news of the visit of the spiritual leader spread in the neighbouring states, a large number of devotees from there turned up at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium to have a darshan of the Baba. A large number of vehicles from the neighbouring states were seen parked at the venue.

For more information and photo, please log on to:



PM attends Sai Baba function
New Delhi March 12 (HT Correspondent)

Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the saint of Puttaparthy, who is in the Capital after a gap of seventeen years, today inaugurated the Sai International Centre at Lodhi Road in South Delhi this morning.

Brief darshan of heat, hope and vibhuti
(Extract from Times of India Sat 13 Mar 99) By Jug Suraiya (Times of India) - Saturday 13 March 1999

I had an appointment with the Almighty - or at least with one whom 50 million people worldwide consider to be His PA on earth - and I wasn't sure if I were ready for the event. Suppose I proved allergic to vibhuti and sneezed? Would my personal file be forever buried in an eternal In-tray? I was going to see Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the revered sage of Puttaparthi, who was in Delhi for the first time in 19 years. I had an Admit One card (``Handbags, briefcases, mobile phones, radio, cameras, binoculars, eatables... will not be permitted'') to a public darshan of Baba, as he is lovingly known to his devotees, held at the south Delhi residence of an industrialist.

Hundreds thronged the leafy lane lined with purple banners quoting Baba: Service to humanity is service to divinity. White-garbed volunteers with blue scarves kept the queues in line, manned a counter dispensing first aid against the growing afternoon heat. With the others, I passed through three metal detectors and was comprehensively and repeatedly frisked (For mobile? Binoculars? Camera? Snacks?) by volunteers sibilating Sia Ram.

Largely from Delhi, the throng had a cosmopolitan leaven: greek, American, Kannada, Telugu punctuated local Punglish. ``There's Amjad Ali Khan!'' someone exclaimed. ``And Justice Bhagwati, no?'' added another. Inside, the commons squatted on a wide lawn covered with green carpets; protocol provided white plastic chairs for the privilegentsia. On the verandah of the white bungalow stood a purple-draped jhoola with a wrought iron Om. Amplified bhajans and tangible awe stilled the birdsong.



The verandah doors opened and a slight, diminutive figure emerged in a saffron robe crowned with the unmistakable aureole of jet black hair. A thousand breaths waiting to exhale went ``Ah!'' in hushed reverence.

Baba appeared to glide rather than walk as he moved among his flock, a gentle smile on his lips. The fingers of his upturned right palm seemed to ask an eloquent question of the faces turned up to him in adoration: What is it that you seek from me, my child, that is not already there within yourself?

The faces were rapt with Baba's presence, beyond question or answer. Several bore a look of concentrated piety, not unfamiliar in the Capital's anterooms of ministerial power and patronage. The look seemed to say: Will my submission - for a daughter's marriage, a government contract, relief from physical or mental pain - be accorded tatkal status in the general Scheme of Things?

Now and then, Baba paused to touch a devotee lightly on head or shoulder in benediction. Those around the favoured one touched him or her in turn, in ardent hope of relayed grace. Several got up and in a worshipful half crouch edged forward to proffer envelopes containing petitions for boons to Baba. Shuffling back in reverse gear, eyes fixed on Baba, a substantial devotee stumbled and almost landed on the lap of another, who deferentially eased him to a safe landing.

``There, there! Did you see? Baba produced vibhuti, put it in the handkerchief that young man gave him!'', someone murmured ecstatically. I tried to see but the dazzle of sun and palpable faith proved too blinding. ``Three times I came from America to see him, but never got a darshan. Today, I touched his feet; my prayers have been answered,'' whispered a devotee, face radiant with joyous tears.

Then, as quietly as he had made his entrance, Baba was gone. Arti was performed before the empty swing, the tremulous flame an after-image of a saffron robe. The bhajans were switched off. Silence swirled in the heat. A tentative bird chirped. The darshan was over.

``I've been a follower for over 25 years. First because my husband believed in him, now because I believe myself,'' confided a devotee on the way out. The volunteers didn't frisk us this time but said Sia Ram just the same. Despite the heat, I felt a lightness of step: You don't have to believe yourself to have faith in the faith of others.

As I stepped off the kerb, a lorry thundered down at me. I waved benignly at the driver, Sia Ram, bete! The fellow screeched on his brakes. Even a Delhi lorry driver knows better than to try conclusions with one just coming from an audience with the best connected PA in town


Sai expereince: Sai Baba's previous visit 1980 to North India ( Delhi)

Sathya Sai Baba, Bill Aitken And The Vibuthi Covered Pick - "You will be successful"

Divinity's Visiting Card on Vibhuti's magical effect


A Sai experience by Bill Aitken from
On 14th June 1980 I was lucky enough to be present in a house visited by Baba in New Delhi after His Divine visit to Kashmir. I was preparing to go on a pilgrimage to the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, one of the most difficult treks in the Himalayas. I took my high altitude equipment with me, including ropes, pitons (rock clamps) and my trusted ice-axe, an indispensable tool for negotiating precipitous icy terrain in the high mountains.

Baba graciously asked after my welfare and I said I would like Him to bless my adventure. My hostess suggested I give Baba my ice-axe to bless. He smiled, took it and began to ask some searching questions about the composition of the steel used in its making. His students knew more about this than I did. Suddenly He produced Vibhuti from thin air (without the usual circular movements I had seen in public) and proceeded to rub it with great intensity on one side, the pick side, of the ice-axe only. He didn't put any Vibhuti on the other parts. Then with an air of finality He said, "You will be successful," and handed back the ice-axe.

I do not know what constitutes a miracle but I do know that a month later, on 26th July, while climbing into the Sanctuary, the pick of the ice-axe saved my life.

Traversing some tricky wet slabs of rockcut croppings above the Rishi Ganga gorge at Rhamani I was aided by two excellent Garhwali porters. They were so skillful and daring that they disdained to use any rope and would cross the wet slabs sloping out over the edge of the gorge in their bare feet. They would go ahead fixing rope, then sit on their haunches and wait for me with all my climbing regalia to haul myself up.
We began up a narrow earth gully which was particularly slippery and treacherous. There were no reliable footholds anywhere and we had to make them as we went. I looked back into the yawning chasm that led a thousand feet straight down into the huge gorge carved out by the rushing river below.

I kicked a toehold in the damp earth and reaching up whacked the pick of the ice-axe into the earth above. To my dismay the six inch pick clanged against rock after it had gone in only three inches, not enough to hold much weight. At the same moment the earth under my toehold crumbled away and I felt myself sinking gently with the earth until I was dangling above the gorge supported only by the Vibhuti covered pick. For the agonising moment my full weight came on the axe; my thoughts were more of self disgust at my incompetence than fear of hurtling a thousand feet to certain death.

Somehow that three inches of steel didn't slice through the soft earth but held me long enough for the porters to back down and grab me. After a few more close shaves we were successful and got to our destination, the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, reaching that holy place on Gurupurnima. There were other hair raising incidents on our return trip, but thanks to Baba's Divine Grace, we came through all right and I am alive today to narrate this story.

- Bill Aitken

(William McKay Aitken, also known as Bill Aitken is a Scottish born naturalised Indian writer and traveller)
January 3, 2004
News from Sri Sathya Sai International Center

The Sri Sathya Sai International Centre in Delhi began the New Year with a lecture on 3rd January, by the Dalai Lama. Lt. Gen.Dr.M.L.Chibber, Director of the Centre welcomed the Guest of Honour and Dr. Karan Singh, eminent philosopher-statesman, who presided over the function. The auditorium was packed to capacity, even though it was one of the coldest days of this winter. His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke for 45 minutes, after which Dr. Karan Singh, delivered his presidential remarks.

The Dalai LamaThe Dalai Lama opened with the remark that the key to peace lies in non-violence and tolerance, which is a 7000-year-old tradition in India.

We can have peace only if we are able to bring about an attitude of respect for religions, faiths and belief systems other than our own. There is an interesting fact to be noted about the great world religions. At the level of philosophy there might be apparent differences among them; but at the level of practice there is no difference.
When we study the ethics or the practice advocated by the various faiths, there is not much difference. They all believe in certain core human values like Truth, Non-violence, Compassion, Love and Peace. One of the important values is Truth. Truth lies in perceiving Reality as it is. Reality can be experienced in its fullness, only if one harbours positive emotions and not negative emotions.

It would not be correct to say that we should have no emotions. A person without emotions is a person without feeling. He is apt to be dry, distant, cold, friendless, negative and vicious. The important thing is not to harbour negative emotions.

Negative emotions are emotions that are immature, narrow and cloudy. For example, attachment and hatred are two such negative emotions. When a person sees the world through the prism of attachment, he would conclude that whatever he does is 100% right. And when he sees someone else through the prism of hate, he would conclude that whatever the other person does is 100% wrong. Nothing in Nature is 100% right or wrong. Such a perception is merely a mental projection, that distorts our appreciation of Reality, creating more problems.

Positive emotions are mature emotions because here emotion is combined with intelligence. The application of intelligence leads to analysis and investigation. Analysis leads to conviction. The disciplining of emotion leads to a holistic vision of Reality. Everything is interconnected. If one fails to see the interconnectedness and interdependence, then it is a distorted vision. Examples of positive emotions are faith and Compassion, which can be imbibed only through a training of emotions.
Knowledge leads to conviction. Conviction leads to determination. Determination leads to familiarization. Familiarization leads to change of emotion. The main attempt must be have a clear vision so that we can see Reality as it truly is. Only then can we solve the problems of life.
Cultivation of positive and noble emotions leads one towards Compassion, Contentment, Forgiveness and Self-discipline, in turn producing a calmness of Mind. When there are no ripples in the Mind, it remains clear in its vision of Reality. It sees a problem as it really is and is able to solve it easily. Problems would then be unable to disturb Peace of Mind. But if the Mind is weak, if it is assailed by fear and doubt or too much of unbridled emotion, it would find it difficult to face the arduous problems of life.

Life is bound to be full of problems. Even if there are no other problems, one’s own body suffers from the problems of illness, decay and death. If problems are an integral part of our existence, we have to be fully prepared to face these with calmness, placidity and fortitude.

In this process of nurturing your inner self, it helps if you continue to remain in the spiritual and religious tradition in which you have been born. I am happy to see that Sathya Sai Baba has said that his mission is not to convert people to other traditions. He would like a Buddhist to be a better Buddhist, a Muslim to be a better Muslim and a Hindu to be a better Hindu.

One should be serious and sincere towards one’s own faith. This generates a calm atmosphere both in the individual and the society. Our inner experiences reach a deeper dimension.
Quite often, I get the feeling that I am reciting verses that were taught to me by my mother and teacher in my childhood. On certain days, it seems to me that I am reciting the verses by rote and not with my full heart and soul in it. The recitation then becomes something of a burden. But later I realize that such daily practice, although it appears to be monotonous and repetitive, it silently and effortlessly builds my inner resources and strength and help me to become a true follower of the Buddha.

In this audience there is a plurality of faiths. This reality has to be accepted. India has always believed in ahimsa in terms of acceptance of other faiths. Gandhiji is a great example of inter-religious harmony. He was a staunch Hindu, but he had a deep respect for other faiths.

Buddha was also a true Indian in this sense. He studied the faiths prevalent in India in his time and practised a number of Hindu paths. After his enlightenment, he taught the four noble truths. Buddha’s philosophy of interdependence is his unique contribution to world philosophy. The concept of interdependence is equally true in the fields of economy, politics, defence and so on. This gives a wider, holistic picture of any problem and brings us closer to reality.

Buddha believed in the human value of truth. He exhorted his followers to follow the truth. When he enunciated the four noble truths, he also analyzed the cause of suffering. His conclusion was that all suffering was due to ignorance. He accepted the practice of Samadhi. He also innovated the vipassana system, which can be a very effective method for reducing attachment. He had great respect for the other traditions.

This ideal of religious tolerance is still alive in India at the village level. There the followers of different faiths have lived together in peace and harmony for the last several centuries. Multi-culturalism and religious tolerance is practised in their daily lives.

It is only in recent times that some politicians have created problems due to their low level of awareness. They have too much attachment, which leads to a narrowness of vision and a kind of shortsightedness. It is important that these few people are not allowed to destroy the rich 7000-year-old tradition of tolerance and harmony. We can all live together and work together at individual and community levels.Shri Karan Singh

In his presidential address, Dr. Karan described the Dalai Lama as a unique combination of a natural sense of humour, compassion, wisdom, and an infectious childlike laugh. He demonstrated by his living example that Spirituality did not necessarily mean a prissy, acidic outlook on life. On the other hand, Spiritually-advanced souls were full of Ananda, which often bubbled over into their conversation.

The Dalai Lama was also the epitome of Compassion. Compassion was the essence of Buddhism. He had deep insight into the nature of the world and man. He had nurtured Tibetan Diaspora all over the world and helped them to organize themselves into dynamic communities.
But apart from being the apostle of Tibetan Buddhism, he had taken the Message of Love, Compassion and Peace to the people of the world. He could be described as a great Warrior of Peace. His services to the world community had been recognized through the award of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Today the world was divided and split apart by fanaticism, hatred and war. Against these demonic forces, we were sorely in need of a countervailing coalition for Peace, led by personalities like Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Dalai Lama.

In order to strengthen the forces of Peace, it was necessary to first accept the fundamental fact that no religion could claim a monopoly on Truth. Nor could we wage wars, crusades and religious conflicts in the twenty-first century, in order to compel others to adopt our point of view. Today, war meant a nuclear conflict, which could easily result in the disappearance of humanity from the face of the globe. We find ourselves in an imperfect world and we have perforce to learn the art of living together in peace and harmony.

India had always nurtured religious harmony through the ages. Our seers had declared long ago that Truth was One and the sages simply called it by different names. We needed to remember these insights that had served this country through the millennia of its existence.

Describing the discourse of the Dalai Lama as illuminating, Dr. Karan Singh expressed his happiness at the large presence of young people in the audience. With so much of misinformation around, it was refreshing to drink from a healing spring of knowledge, insight and wisdom.
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