Sai Vichaar
 Thursday , September 07, 2006 :: Volume 9, Issue 17
 
 (In its nineth year of publication.)
 

Sai Vichaar is a Weekly newsletter distributed every Thursday and is devoted to the life, philosophy and teachings of Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi. Feel free to forward this newsletter to your interested associates in its original form.


 

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    IN THIS ISSUE:

  • FEATURE OF THE WEEK
  • CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE
  • DEVOTEES SAY
  • PRAYER CLUB
  • EXPERIENCE OF DEVOTEES
  • QUOTATION OF THE WEEK
  • QUESTION OF THE WEEK
  • SAI ACTIVITIES
  • FROM THE EDITORS KEYBOARD
Shri Sai Baba's Photo

 

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: Surrendering to Sadguru

"Ruso mama priyambika,
majavaree pithaahi ruso..
ruso mama priyanganaa priyasuthaathmajaahi ruso.."

The ancient Hindu scriptures proclaim that of all the means to realize God, the path of devotion or Bhakthi Maarga is the most suitable for modern times. Although this can be interpreted in several ways depending on one?s religious views, the abstract of the content seem to transcend the boundaries of religion.
Gaining knowledge by reading scriptures might make one a scholar, or learned. However, it does confer one a sense of "learnedness", a form of ego. On the other hand, Bhakthi Maarga or the path of devotion commences with the acceptance of the superior nature of God and proceeds with the single-minded goal of realizing that God pervades everything. This is accomplished by constant contemplation, known as Saadhana or an intense pursuit.
This simple path to the spiritual awareness is quite common to most of the religions, with their own variations. It is accepted that one need to have the guidance of Guru in their spiritual pursuits. During this intense pursuit, one becomes very aware of the importance of self-surrender. Self-surrender to Guru is believed to benefit the seeker in his pursuit of self-realization, thereby achieving the purpose a life may have. Self-surrender may not be a passive resignation that arises out of inability to deal with one?s duties and responsibilities.

Sadguru Sainath said that pursuit of God and renunciation that arises out of weakness and selfishness is sinful. On the other hand, the surrender of the self is an active pursuit wherein the seeker realizes the importance of Guru God and recognizes Him as his utmost priority. Sadguru Sainath's evening Aarthi glorifies this concept with the phrase, "Oh Sainath, please do not leave me and be with me even if my spouse, parents, children, and siblings forsake me".


 

CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE: Two Vices

Once a sage was cultivating a beautiful garden growing a variety of flowers and fruits. Even in him egoism reared its head and in its wake jealousy also took root. When these two were present, hatred also joined the evil brood. Seeing this, the Lord, who felt that a sage wearing the saffron robe and claiming to have renounced all attachments, should not entertain such evil qualities entered the sage's garden in the guise of an old brahmana to reform the sage. The Brahmana left and shortly thereafter a cow entered the garden and caused havoc among the flower plants. Seeing this from a distance, the sage hurled a big stick at the cow. The moment the stick hit the cow, the animal died. The sage inwardly feared that he might be guilty of the sin of go-hathya (cow slaughter). Meanwhile, the old Braahmana returned and, seeing the dead cow, exclaimed: "What a pity! Who could have killed the poor cow?" The sage replied: "It is all God's Will." The Brahmana revealed his true form and said: "You claim credit for all the good things, but when anything untoward happens you attribute it to God. Your conceit is totally unbecoming. I am not a Brahmana and I assumed this form only to remove from you the ego that has taken root in you."

There are two bad qualities, which are particularly undesirable - Asuya (jealousy) and Dhwesha (hatred). Asuuya is like the pest, which attacks the root of a tree. Dhwesha is like the pest that attacks the branches, leaves and flowers. They two together utterly destroy the tree even though it looks beautiful and flourishing. Asuuya attacks a person from inside and is not visible whereas Dhwesha exhibits itself in open forms. Everyone should strive to get rid himself of egoism, jealousy and hatred which can be achieved by constant efforts like cultivating love and dedication of all actions to God, but not mere study of books.

Total elimination of jealousy is a primary requisite for the sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) else, it will destroy every good quality in him or her. The man filled with jealousy and hatred is like a blind man who cannot see the sun however brightly he may shine. The man filled with good qualities like Truth, Love, absence of jealousy, ego and hatred can see God without searching for him. He becomes a Jnani i.e. a man of spiritual wisdom. It has been said, Death is sweeter than the blindness of ignorance. One must develop virtue of enjoying at another's prosperity and happiness. It is one of the teachings of the Bhagavathgeetha - "Oh Arjuna, be free from the evil of jealousy. Become an Anasuuyaka (one who has no jealousy)."

The meaning of self-realization can be grasped only when one's daily life is governed by the cultivation of virtues and by the promotion of an environment conductive to spiritual effort. The Athma is not realized through shasthras. Realization of self has to be obtained only through one's own earnest sadhana (spiritual efforts). The Vedhas (ancient sacred scriptures), Upanishaths, Shaasthras and Puraanas (ancient scriptures of spiritual wisdom, metaphysical treatises and mythological legends) all serve as signposts and they indicate the direction one should take. They show the goal that should be sought but the journey has to be made by ourselves.

(Contributed by Sathyanarayana)

CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE: Raghuvir Bhaskar Purandhare

May 4th 1936- I (Raghuvir Bhaskar Purandhare) heard first of Sai Baba in 1909 and went to see him. I was always desirous of association with Sadhus-saintly people. I heard he was a Saint, so I felt attracted to him. He appeared in my dream and called me to Shirdi. At that time my elder daughter (aged then six months) was very ill and so my mother objected to my going. I still persisted in going to Shirdi and I took my wife, that child and my mother with me to Shirdi. I remained there (first visit) for thirteen days. On the third day of my visit, the child got all right. Baba did not permit me to go back till the thirteenth day. I did not ask him about any matter. He told my mother that for seven centuries, he (Sai Baba) was connected with me. "I will not forget him. I will always remember him even if he is away more than 2000 miles. I will not eat even a bit without him," said Baba. Then I started away to Nasik with his permission. We went back to Dadar where I was living. My wife got an attack of cholera and the doctor gave her up as hopeless. I gave Baba's Udhi and Tirtha to her. I saw Baba at the side of Datta Mandir in front of my Dadar house and he ordered me to give the Udhi and Tirtha and so I gave her the Udhi and Tirtha. Half an hour later, she had recovered sufficient warmth and the doctor felt hopeful of her recovery and she recovered. Since then I visited Baba very often and stayed long periods at Shirdi in obedience to Baba's order. Baba would occasionally ask Mr. H.S. Dixit to write to me to go over. I have visited Baba often with Dixit. I went with no worldly motives, though I was very poor; I was an orphan. He told me to continue my previous Upasana. I was and am fond of worshipping Vishnu and of prayers. I continued the same.

He asked me several times for Rs. 2 only. Once I asked him what for he asked always for Rs. 2. He then said, "It is not these Rupees I want. I want Nishta, i.e., concentrated faith and Saburi (patience)." I replied I had given these-faith in him and was patiently awaiting progress. He told me to keep up Nishta and to be strict and anxious to fulfill all promises I made. "You should have truth always with you. Then I will be always with you, wherever you are and at all times." I promised to try my best and wanted his help for controlling my mind. "Please get that done by me" I told him. He agreed. All this was at my very first visit. He then told me to buy my own-house. I had only Rs. 35 salary. By his grace, in three years time I got the house. At once as soon as he said "Buy," I purchased a plot and began to build and in three years, the building was finished at Bandra- wherein I am still living. "Do not ask for a single pie from anyone. I will help you myself." I was slow at first in building. He threw stones at me for my delay. Nana S.C. and H.S. Dixit offered to build it for me. But Baba would not permit it. I then took a loan from my office of Rs. 500 and the built it. It was a lonely building in a field. Baba said that he was sitting himself there and guarding my young wife and me. So I stayed on. I lost my wife in 1920.

(Contributed by continued......)

CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE: Raghuvir Bhaskar Purandhare

He often insisted on my adherence to truth. I am now joint-treasurer of Baba's Sansthan, After Baba's demise, he would appear to me and order me to go and stay at Shirdi and attend to duties, relating to Sansthan. I see and recognize his control over me in all details of what I have to do and am doing. He directed me to co-operate with Kaka Saheb Dixit (i.e., H.S. Dixit) and told Kaka Saheb to cooperate with me. We two acted together as intimates.

He never talked to me of Dhyana. He never asked anybody to pray to him only. "Continue your usual prayers, be it to Shanker or to Vishnu," he said. He used to give Darshan to the devotee in that form, e.g., S. or V. or Goddess, whichever the devotee adored. About 1913 - My mother was long pressing me to go to Pandharpur. I did not mention the matter to Baba to get the necessary permission. Baba himself broached the subject of going to Pandharpur and asked her when she was hoping to start. Then Baba gave my wife and mother Darshan of himself as Vithoba and Rukmai, at Shirdi Masjid. They were highly pleased and did not want to go to Pandharpur. He often asked her afterwards when she would go to Pandharpur. She always replied thereafter that her God was there at Shirdi which was her Pandharpur. When my wife was ill once before her delivery, Baba appeared in a dream and applied Udhi and she got up and cried, "Baba is come and applying Udhi fresh and hot from the Dhuni. My body is burning. So get up." She got all right. Like this, Baba has appeared several times.

When in great difficulty, I always cried before his picture at home and he would then appear before me at once and comfort me. Nana S.C. told me of Baba's sending a man with Udhi to help his daughter in her delivery in ill-health at Jamner; that a tongawalla and horses-not sent by him fetched the messenger and disappeared. That messenger is a Ramgir Gosavi still alive at Shirdi. Baba used to call him Babugir. Nana's two sons, Babu and Bapu, are at Kalyan in "Chandorkar Wada, Kalyan." A daughter of his is living at Poona. Nana was proud of his Sanskrit knowledge. Sai Baba asked him to explain, and he did. Baba corrected him and explained it better. This is mentioned in (Satcharita) 2 ch. on that matter: Ch. 31,32, and 33 of "Bhakta Lilamrit" by D.G. and I Ch. in "Santa Katamrit" by D.G.; deal with Sai Baba and "Bhavartha Deepika" by Dabholkar. ( to be continued......).

(Contributed by from "Devotees Experiences of Sri Saibaba" by Pujyasri BV Narasimha Swami)


 

DEVOTEES SAY:

Krishnaveni
I would like to share my experience with you all regarding this. Sai first gave me a job which to my disappointment, did not last very long. I prayed to him fervently asking him to place me. Within the next day or two spouse spotted an opportunity and in the next one month I joined the new job. In retrospect I feel that it was indeed a good learning experience for me and Baba had better plans for me. Thank you Baba for being with us at all times and guiding us. Thank you for giving us a wonderful daughter. Please bless my family. Please bless us always and guide us to peace and happiness. Peace be to all. Jai Sri Sai.

Avinash
I never believed in God but my family always goes to Shirdi every year. one time I was in Shirdi where in dream Saibaba came to me and said my son please give up your habit of insulting God and Saints. I felt sorry to Saibaba and after that I became a strong devotee of Baba. Although from a middle class family, I became a lawyer by Baba's grace. Baba solves my problem in a minute.

A Sai devotee
Saibaba thank you for every success in my life you have helped me through every critical stages of my life. You helped my brother to get his documents ready which was almost impossible without your blessings. May everyone's life shower with your blessings and love.

Leena
Saibaba Pranam. Baba with your blessing I got a new job. Baba, please bless me to continue my job without any problems and I can do my best to help other people. Baba please stay with me all the time.


 

PRAYER CLUB:

Anupam
You are aware of my present situation at my work place, things are very difficult and everything looks to be working against me. Sai, please do not put me to test. I want to grow in my career and get happily married. Bestow your blessing on me.

Soundarya
I just heard the news that my best friend is suffering from Breast cancer. I pray to Baba for her speedy recovery and move on to her normal life.

Ramesh
Baba I want to concentrate on my study so that I get good marks in my coming exam please favor me.

Raghuram Singh
I am still waiting to receive my appointment order. It is over 45 days and I am still waiting. I am in many problems at the present job and the financial position is also bad. Please forgive all our mistakes and give us blessings.

Kirti
Baba Please bless us with a healthy child very soon. I shall post your miracle in this forum. You are our only hope.

Mukul
Help me to get immigration, for my nephews and nieces. Please bring my daughter to her senses so she can be a useful contributor to the society and herself. Bless me for my new business venture and most of all please bless me for my spiritual upliftment. Baba, you're always generous and your blessings go along way.

Jayanthi
Tomorrow is my mother's operation, please be by her side and make it successful and get rid of all her sufferings.

Cynthia
Dear Sai Brothers and Sisters, please pray for me. I don?t know what is wrong recently. I feel so depressed and miserable all the time. Work is very stressful and I keep on having fears of what will happen to me and my loved ones should I not have a job. I am a single parent, I live with my loving mother and other family members. Swami has blessed me with a beautiful daughter who is 14 years old. I don?t know exactly why I feel so down. I constantly think that I am and must have been a very bad person in my previous life to go through these feelings that I have. I thank Baba for my kind loving wonderful mom and pray his choicest blessings upon her and all at home and all that we come in contact with. Please Baba I need you.

Jayanth
Dear Baba, I had been Your staunch devotee since the last eight months, after I visited Shirdi. You really pulled me to Shirdi, as mentioned in the Sai Satcharita. I have come across lots of miracles in my life since then. Baba, You know better what I need, I leave it to You. As You know better when to deliver, You are the ultimate. Baba, my friend's mom is undergoing a major health problem in India. Kindly bless her and everyone of us are praying for her speedy recovery and I am sure my Baba will bless her and the results should turn out to be negative and cure her. I beleive and trust in You.

Rajasri
Baba, please guide me with problems I am having now with my eye and also give me patience to handle situations amicably. You were always there for me and please be with me forever.

Sai devotee
A thousand namaskars to You Oh Kind Sai. Oh Sai Deva please let everything be alright in my friend's marriage. Let their marriage survive the upheavel they have undergone. Please let him and his wife be together for lifelong time. Please continue to shower Your blessings on them and their small son.


 

EXPERIENCE OF DEVOTEES:

Sai devotee
I was hesitant to share my experience with any one till now but it is time I show my gratitude by sharing with others. I was diagnosed with HIV in 1998 and the doctors told me that I will be going to medication soon. My mother is a strong believer of Sai, I am a strong devotee as well. It is more than 8 years and my tests show no progress and the doctors are of the opinion that my decease is cured now. I have not experienced any problem, my case is under review by the experts of the world as to how I am not progressing with age, and my results are same even today. How can I make the world doctors believe that this is nothing but His grace.

Rama
My husband has taken voluntary retirement because the office environment had become very hostile. We had put all our PF in the bank and were trying to live off of the interest. Still we were short of Rs. 5000 per month. He is very young (just 50) and could not sit home. So I prayed to Baba that if he gets a job especially in a computer field, even though he does not know any computers, I will write in this section. Baba miraculously sent a job his way this week. He now not only earns more than Rs 20,000 per month but it is also a multi-national company who has no idea about accounting. They gave all the accounts responsibility to him, knowing that he has no clue about computers. It is only a true miracle which has happened. Thank you so much Baba. I can't thank You enough.

Sreeram
My wife had recently completed reading Sai Satcharitra. That weekend we were going to regular temple. Since we know that there is no Sai Baba's idol in this temple, we felt we are going to miss having a darshan of Him. As usual we went to the temple and started having darshan of all Gods. Once we reached Lord Hanuman, our eyes fell on a box at that place on which Sai Baba was there, blessing us. We looked at each other instantaneously and felt glad that we had darshan of Sai Baba also.

Vijaya
My husband and I applied for his green card last year and after our interview there were many complication and tensions and we heard nothing from them. We made an appointment and at that time they told us we would not hear anything for upto 6 months. We were so scared and prayed to Sai Baba that He would guide us. Within days everything miraculously happened so quickly and my husband's green card was granted.


 

QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:

"Let us bow now before the great Saints. Their merciful glances will destroy mountains of sins and do away with all the evil taints of our character. Their casual talk gives us good teachings and confers on us imperishable happiness. Their minds do not know any difference such as 'This is ours and that is yours.' Such differentiation never arises in their minds. Their debts (obligations) will never be repaid by us in this birth as well as in many future births".-Sri Sai Satcharita


 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK:

Q. Does Baba test his devotees?

A. by Swaminathan

One can say both yes and no to this question. As mere human beings we might think that Baba is testing us, our faith in Him whenever we meet with difficulties, troubles and upsets in our life or when we don't get what we desire or expect in life. When our desires are fulfilled then we become happy again. This is like the way we test or tease our children for before we give them what they want from us. It shows the strength of this relationship. Since Baba has a parental relation with us we can think he is testing us. On the other hand we can consider the happenings of our life as a result of our karma of previous life, which we have to go through then we can say that Baba does not test us. In fact He actually lessens the pains and help us to fulfill our karma successfully.

Q. Does Baba test his devotees?

A. by Rama Prasad

Yes, He does it. Our friend Shri Sadashiv Kavthankar has given in the previous issue of Sai Vichaar, the instances of Sadguru Sai Baba testing His devotees. I wish to add my own observations on this topic. Baba puts His devotees to test not to harass them, but in order to inculcate "shraddha" and "saburi" in them. Even if the devotee fails in His test initially, the failure will instill devotion and faith for the Master in the devotee.

A classical example of this kind is that of Sapathnekar. Initially Sapathnekar had no faith in Sai Baba and he even went to the extent of making fun of his friend Shavade for his blind faith in Sai Baba. Later, Sapathnekar turned to Baba for redemption after facing many trials and tribulations in life. Sapathnekar and his wife approached Baba to take refuge in Him. While blessing Mrs. Sapathnekar on one hand, Baba drove Sapathnekar away saying, "chal, hat" meaning "Get away!" This was indeed a test for Sapathnekar. Realizing his earlier folly, Sapathnekar persistently approached Baba and put his head at the Master's feet. He did not give up despite Baba throwing him out initially. Impressed with the genuine transformation in the devotee, Baba blessed him.

Sai Baba tested me too. This happened during my stay in Mozambique in 1997. Once as I was returning to my apartment on the fourth floor of the building, a strange, middle aged and tall Mozambican approached me on the very fourth floor and asked me in Portuguese, " I need 20,000 Meticals (Mozambican currency equal to roughly 2.5 US dollars in 1997). Can you please spare me the sum?" I had known most of the people in that area; but I had not seen the person earlier. I got a bit apprehensive and doubtful about the man. Immediately I said "Sorry, I don't have the money." I did have the money; but I told a lie to avoid giving him. I could have easily spared that sum to a man in need.

The man looked at me and said " Really! Then, I am sorry!" He walked away very fast from me. I was a bit surprised at his attitude. I expected him to pester me with his request for the money; instead he walked away! I walked fast to have another glance of the man, as I got mentally prepared to give him the sum of money; but the man was nowhere there in the entire building. I wondered as to how he could vanish so quickly! I tried to look for him again in the subsequent days; but failed to find him. Then, it donned on me that He was indeed Lord Sainath, who came to me as a Mozambican! I cursed my self to have failed to answer His call! In my daily prayers, I begged Lord for His pardon and requested Him to give me a good sense and "sadbuddhi".


 

SAI ACTIVITIES:

Live Sai bhajans by Pandit Ajitkumar Kadkade in North America
Pandit Ajitkumar Kadkade will be performing live Sai bhajans in North America in "Ek Sham Shri Sai Ke Naam", organized by Saibaba.org. To learn more about program venues, dates and Ajitkumar Kadkade, log on to www.saibaba.org and follow link to Ajitkumar Kadkade page or call at 847-931-4058.

Shirdi Sai Temple of Chicago and Suburbs, Illinois, USA
Shirdi Sai temple is open daily from 7:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m (Summer hours). Daily program includes Kakad Arathi at 7 a.m. followed by Abhisek. Madhayana Arathi at 12 noon, Dhoop Arathi at 6 p.m. and Shej Arathi at 9 p.m. Archana, Homams, Sahasranama and sponsored poojas continue in between the Arathis. To request a pooja for yourselves, your friends and family, please call. Devotees can request water (Abhishek Jal) from the Holy bathing of Baba by sending us an email or by phone. Temple is located 25 minutes drive west of Schaumburg on intersection of IL Route 47 and Plank Road in Hampshire, IL. For more information please call 847-931-4058 or send email to maildrop@saibaba.org.

Shri Saibaba Mandir, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saibaba activities in Minneapolis were conducted at Shirdi Saibaba Prayer center since the year 2002. Now, with the grace and blessings of Baba and the support of devotees, a new Saibaba Mandir has begun to function at 1835 Polk St NE, Minneapolis from July 11th 2006. Please visit www.hamaresai.org for all details.

Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple of Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple of DFW Metroplex is located at 2109 West Parker (Parker Plaza), Suite 212, Plano, TX 75023. For temple hours and activities please call the temple office at 469-467-3388 or visit the website www.shirdisaidallas.org.

Shirdi Sai Satsang, Bay Area, California
Shirdi Sai Parivaar invites all to join us for Satsang every Thursday 7:30 pm at Odd Fellows Temple, 20589 Homestead Road, Cupertino, CA 95014. For details please call 408-564-6704 or send email to saibandhu@yahoo.com or visit www.ShradhaSaburi.org.


 

FROM THE EDITORS KEYBOARD:

Sai Vichaar thanks you for your support for the Question of the Week feature. This feature is intended to initiate useful discussion on topics related to Sai philosophy, His message and Sai devotion. Please send your suggested topics for the same.

The "Question of the week" for this week is,

Q. Does Baba test his devotees?

Humbly Yours,
The Editor


 

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From and Editor: Shirdi Sai Baba Web Site
  Shirdi Sai Baba Sanstha
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Mail: 12N950 State Route 47
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