Sai Vichaar
 Thursday , August 17, 2006 :: Volume 9, Issue 14
 
 (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

 

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: The Power of Bhakthi

The efficacy of Bhakthi or devotion as means of salvation can never be fully emphasized. Its power and the results one gains through this chosen path are such. Guru bhakthi is the one where the disciple loves and serves Guru and accepts Him as the God. For such a disciple there is no other thing in the world which is more important, meaningful, and fulfilling than Guru. When the disciple performs his duties with reverence, Guru empowers him with unusual boons and showers His grace in the form of capabilities to perform miracles. The disciple who by now has succeeded in surrendering his body and soul to the supremacy of the Guru can only perform his duties in a selfless manner without moving even a bit from his disposition of humility.

Shri R. Parthasarathy in "God who walked on Earth", a classic work on Sadguru Sainath, wrote, "Baba stressed the importance of devotion to one's Guru and treating him as God. It was seeing God in, through and as the Guru and identifying the Guru with God that marked the bhakthi path shown by Baba. Baba's method of teaching varied. He would simple touch with his palm the head of the devotee and that would have one kind of influence. Sometimes, He pressed His hands heavily on the devotee's head as though He was crushing out some of the low impulses. On occasions He would pat on the back of the devotee or would press His palm over his hand. Each had its own effect affecting the sensations and feelings of the persons concerned. Apart from touch, He effected an invisible operation on the devotee which brought about a great change in him".

In the same work, an incident narrates the boon given by Baba to Kusa Bhav, a devotee. "Henceforth", He said, "you will have the power to produce udhi from the dhuni of Mayi of Shirdi by merely remembering me and holding forth your hands. Give this udhi freely. It will help all people and you will get punya". Kusa Bhav gave this udhi to Narasimha Swamiji when he met him in Pune. Kusa Bhav closed his eyes and stretched his hands with uplifted face and suddenly his palm was full of udhi and he said: "Hold your hands and receive the udhi". Narasimha Swamiji found the udhi to be warm coming as it did fresh from Dhuni Mayi in Shirdi on a cold day.


 

CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE: Emphasis on Bhakthi

Sai Baba of Shirdi is considered as the humblest of the humble and the most merciful Guru. Sadguru Sainath placed an enormous amount of importance to Bhakthi or devotion as a means for attaining salvation. Devotion is an emotion that is basic to every human and an attitude that could be cultivated by everyone regardless of one's religious preference. Let us observe what Smt. Mani Sahukar says in her beautiful work, "Sai Baba, the Saint of Shirdi", on Sai Baba and devotion: "As a matter of fact, with the advent of the Saint of Shirdi, the great and traditional movement of Bhakthi (Devotion), as a virile Sadhana for attaining salvation, received a tremendous impetus. Sai Baba brought about a powerful renaissance of the cult of devotion. For this contribution alone has the Master earned Himself an immortal name in the annals of spirituality."

Conscious of the beauty and power that reside in devotion that is tendered to the divine, Shri Sai Baba exhorted men and women to adopt Bhakthi as the most rewarding Saadhana. It must not be imagined however, that Sai Baba in any way decried the value and importance of other paths. After all, the goal is the same, declared Baba. Shri Sainath did feel that intellectual concepts have an uncomfortable and an infinite capacity of varying and multiplying with individuals. There are as many systems of philosophy as there are philosophers, and, as such, these concepts, more often than not, become causes of tension among seekers. However, Bhakthi is different. Bhakthi or love (love towards God is the principle emotion involved in Bhakthi), is the most natural and vital feeling of the human heart. Like a true and sensitive psychologist, Sai Baba recognized that the need to adore is inherent to human heart and as such, he felt that the saadhana of devotion could well become the basis of an inter-religious dialogue.

Shri Sai Baba, therefore, descended as the Avatar of Love. It could be said that after Jesus Christ, there has not been a greater apostle of love than Shri Sai Baba, the Saint of Shirdi.

(Contributed by Sai devotee)


 

DEVOTEES SAY:

Praveen
I thank you for helping my wife pass her exams even though they were tough. I strongly believe that you will guide her to get her job as she wants it with out giving any fake experience.

Beenu
Om Sai Ram, I saw Sai Baba and Shirdi Temple in my dreams when I was 19 yrs old and in that dream I was talking to Baba while my family was annoyed that I was talking to a stranger. Till I saw that dream I didn't know much about Sai Baba. Then I met a girl who eventually become my best friend, she was going to Shirdi with her family and asked me if I would like to go with her. I got the permission from my parents and went to Shirdi. When I reached the Shirdi Temple I was really surprised because it was the temple I had seen in my dream, it was simply unbelievable. I was 26 years old when I first went to Shirdi and now I am 33 yrs old. Baba has helped me always and I hope he will always be with me and my family.

T Singh
I was looking forward to admission to a PhD program in US, there was no hope as all requirements were to be met and I had only four months. There was lot of difficulties in appointments for GMAT and TOEFEL exams and results being in times, I had nearly given up hope that it was impossible to get in. I prayed to my baba and I do not know how it happened, I cleared my exams after twenty years of break in education, applied for and got my admission papers processed in one week what normally takes months. Baba was by my side always and helping and getting things done and I do not know how it happened and before I knew I was in the university of my choice and my subjects and have done one semester. How please don't ask me as I could not have done it without my Baba's hand. Baba please protect all of us, I cannot say as where you have brought us from where we were. Please bless us and give us the strength to help others and serve others in our Society. I have a dream to serve others Baba, please help me fulfill it in your name. Bless all of us and may there be peace amongst your people all over

Vijay
I resigned my job in India and came to US. I was searching for job for past two months and nothing was being finalized. Slowly I started loosing my confidence and doubted about my skills. Yesterday was Thursday and I prayed seriously before Idol of Baba. Today with God's grace, I got a job which I was never expecting. Thank you Sai, I got this job just because of Your blessings.

Rajashree
Sai, You are with me all the time. It's been six years I have come in touch with Sai. Since than Sai has helped me in everything. Sai, You helped my husband in jobs, buying home, good health and green card. I have so much faith in Sai that I know He is always with me in whatever I do. Saying thanks to Sai will not be enough; nothing can repay what Sai has given to me and my family. Sai please keep on blessing all of us. We just bought our dream home with Sai's blessing. Sai bless my daughter and son to settle in their new schools and have good friends. Thank you Sai, thank you very much.


 

PRAYER CLUB:

Pooja
My husband and I are extremely stressed out with our Green Card process. We are trying our best but things are not picking up. Please take care of our Green Card process. I am placing it in Your hands now and I have complete faith in You.

Rajani
Hardly have 20 more days to register for next semester. You know my situation; I can't leave my family to go to school. I need my family too but at the same time help me to continue in my studies. Please help Baba. Please bless our family.

Rajeswari
Please help my mother to overcome her sorrows and grief, at present she is undergoing many problems.

Sachin
Please help me pass the CFA level three exams in which I appeared on 4th June 2006.

Chandra
I and my wife are living separate for many months. I can't live without her. I ask You Baba to give blessings for getting Visa for my wife.

Dhwani
Deva, I pray that let my husband be healthy and live a long life.

Rajalakshmi
My husband has taken VRS from govt service on June 1, 2006. He has started his own business. He is yet to receive his settlement and housing documents. Please help us Baba.

Punam
Baba I am going for my IVF after the failure of all treatments. As you know now this is the last option I have. Baba please be with me and bless me with a child this time.

Srinivas
Oh Sai! we are facing a financial stress in our lives for the first time ever. You are the Divine Lord! You know everything. We always pray You. If at all You feel that our prayers are not sincere, please forgive us. Oh Baba, please see that I do well in my job and me and my wife do very well in our business too, so that we lead a financially independent life. I am also ready to do a second job part-time besides my business and first job. Please help me Baba. Please see that I buy a big house by the end of July 2007. Please shower Your divine blessings on us Lord. See that all of us in our family maintain a very good health. Show us Your miracle Baba. We have total faith in You.

Sheeba
Baba has always helped us at time of crisis. Today again I pray whole heartedly for my daughter who is sick and suffering from cough and breathing problems from a long time. I cannot see her getting weak day by day. Please all devotees take a moment to pray for my daughter's good health to Baba.

Sai devotee
Dear Sai devotees, please pray for my ex-colleague who is suffering from bilateral kidney failure and other complications all of a sudden. He has got a 19-month-old child. He will be undergoing his transplantation probably this week and he has so many other complications all of a sudden. So all Sai devotees please pray for him that he should be alright by Baba's grace and become normal ASAP. Baba I will write in Sai Vichaar once he gets alright. I have full trust on you Baba. He can be alright only by Your blessings and nothing else because You know his present condition very well. Please take care of him and his family especially his father who had paralytic attack at the same time. So please bless them and be with them and save them. Love you Baba.

Nitin
Baba, please help me. As You know I am not able to perform at work. Inspite of my efforts, things are just not moving in the right direction. I am loosing focus every now and then. Please help me Baba.

Venkatachalam
Please pray for me, as I am going under tremedous pressure, my job is not going well and I am unable to concentrate on my prayers too.


 

EXPERIENCE OF DEVOTEES:

Sai devotee
In January of 2006 I and my husband visited the Sai temple in Chicago, after losing our way couple of times we made it to the temple but missed the arati. We were facing a lot of problems in life my health, his situation at work etc. The week after we got back my husband lost his job. Seeing the current economic conditions we were very upset and were very worried. My husband told me that when he was in the temple he felt unusual peace and was sure that everything will be for the best. However worried about our financial situation I started praying to SaiMa. Things did not look very bright. On Ramnavami day we went to the local Sai Sanstha pooja. There the volunteers kept approaching us to participate in Sita Kalyanam. Due to time constraint we refused at first but on repeated request we decide to participate. It was a wonderful experience. We both were thrilled to have been a part of the pooja. It was 9:30 at night when we got done. We stepped out of the temple when my husband realized that he had couple of missed calls on his cell phone. He called back the number and was very happy to know that it was one of the recruiters offering him a project. He had to move away from home, but by Baba's grace everything went smoothly. No qualifications matter, all you need is His blessings.

Sahana
A couple of days ago, my fiancÚ' had a knee surgery in NY and we were coming home from NY to NJ. It was evening peak time traffic and we were stuck on the speedway. His anesthesia was fading and the pain was increasing, so we got at Newark exit which I believe is crowded at peak time. But to my surprise it was completely empty. Then through Newark we drove to Garden State Parkway. But again there was a traffic jam at the toll and at this point his pain was increasing very much, and he was not able to bear it. I was just asking Baba to get us out of this traffic so that we could buy him his medicine and within couple of miles we passed the toll and the parkway was clear even though it was evening peak time. We drove in full speed and reached home safely and gave him medicines. It was only because of Sai we were able to get off the traffic which at that moment looked so impossible and with his pain increasing, it was definitely our Baba that saved us. Thank you Baba, and it is just one such miracle or Sai Leela that I have written. Many such miracles keep happening, every time Baba reassures his presence. Om Sai Shri Sai Jaya Jaya Sai.

Prakash
I saw Sai Baba's photo almost more than 10 years back, because my manager was stanch devotee of Sai. Even most of the employees in that company are Sai devotees, but nothing attracted me, since I am very much influenced by J.Krishnamurthy's teachings. Then few years back my neighbor told me about Sai's temple at Injambakkam, Chennai on the East Coast Road (ECR) on the way to Mahabalipuram. As I bought a new vehicle we used to drive on ECR during weekends. So, whenever we go on ECR we visit this temple and slowly we have been attracted towards Sai. Surprisingly my father had a small statue of Sai for longtime in our pooja room, which I noticed only recently. Whenever we had problems we prayed to Sai and he always answered to our calls. My brother-in-law is suffering from vision problem and could not complete his BE final semester. We tried all kinds of treatment for the last 6 years. He is suffering from Optic Neuritis, as of now it is under research and no treatment is available. We also tried stem cell operation but the doctors told us that all the cells are dead in his eyeball and even stem cell operation will not bring back the vision. He tried suicide couple of times but not successful. So, we decided to find some social organization, which can provide some training and get him a job, but nothing clicked. We prayed to Baba and also bought ring or dollar with Sai's photo but either it will break or he will misplace it. Few months back we gave another dollar with Sai's picture which he is still wearing now. Finally now he is undergoing training at National Association for Blind at Bangalore and they will also find a suitable job for him. He strongly believes that his life changed for better only after wearing Sai's dollar. Also my father-in-law is an atheist and never visited any temple. Surprisingly few months back when we went to Sai temple in Mylapore, Chennai, he accompanied us. Thanks to Sai for everything.


 

QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:

"The purpose or object of Divine Incarnation is to protect the good and destroy the wicked. But the mission of the Saints is quite different. To them the good and the wicked are the same. First they feel for the evil-doers and set them on the right path".-Shri Sai Satcharitha


 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK:

Q. What does a devotee learn from Mr R B Purandhare's devotion and service to Baba?


 

SAI ACTIVITIES:

Shirdi Sai Temple Chicago Anniversary celebrations Aug 19th 2006
Shridi Sai Temple Chicago is celebrating its second anniversary celebrations with live renditions of Sai Bhajans by Pandit Ajitkumar Kadkade on Saturday August 19th 2006 at the temple from 6 p.m. onwards. Please join with family and friends for this free admission event. Mahaprasad will be served. For volunteer opportunities, directions and other questions please call the temple at 847-931-4058 or email at maildrop@saibaba.org

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.

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.

Sai Satsang, New Jersey, USA
Shirdi Sai Dham, Inc regularly conducts Sai bhajans followed by Aarti and Prasad on every 1st Saturday of each month at Durga Mandir, Kendall Park, New Jersey. All are requested to kindly come and receive Baba's blessings. For more information, please call us at 609-275-1334 or visit www.shirdisaidham.org or email us at shirdisaidham@hotmail.com.

Summer Sai activities for Children, Toronto, Canada
Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan of Canada cordially introduces "Character and Moral Values"- a unique 4 Week Summer Program for Children of all ages. The Guiding Principal of the program is "Shraddha" "Saburi" with its curriculum based on the Teachings of our Sadguru Shri Shirdi Sai Nath. For details to enroll or volunteer visit www.shirdisainath.org or send email saileela99@yahoo.com or call 416-402-8089 or 416-895-7905.

Shirdi Sai Mandir, Scarborough, Canada
The Shirdi Sai Mandir located at 2721 Markham Road, Scarborough, Ontario, M1X 1L5 (Intersection of Markham and Nashdene) is open through out the day on Saturday, Sunday and holidays and in the morning and evenings on all weekdays. Baba's Kakad Aarti, Abhishek Puja, Madhyan Aarti, Dhoop Aarti, Satcharita Reading and Shej Aarti are performed everyday. Bhajans and Sai Naam Sankirtan in evening on Thursday and Saturday. For daily schedule, temple activities and events information please visit www.theshirdisaimandir.com or send an email to info@theshirdisaimandir.com or call 647-444-4724.

Shirdi Sai parivar, Vancouver, Canada
Shirdi Sai parivar in Vancouver invites you all for Sai satsang on Thursday from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm and first Sunday of every month from 11:30 am to 1 pm, at 8571, 118A St, Delta, V4C 6L2. For further details contact (604)592 4182 or email at sai_ish@hotmail.com.

Sai Satsangs in Singapore
Dear Sai devotees in Singapore, Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan (Singapore) conducts regular Sai bhajans every Saturday from 6:30 p.m. at Shri Vadapathira Kalliamman Temple, Serangoon Road, Little India, Singapore. Please visit the web site http://www.saisansthan.com for more details.

Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Dattatreya Mandir Seventh Anniversary celebrations
Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Dattatreya Mandir invites you to the Seventh Anniversary celebrations Akhanda Sai Nama Sapthaha and daily Anna Prasada from September 3rd to 10th, 2006 at Sai Snehadhama Vrudhasrhama premises, Metipalya Village, Tavarekere, Sondekoppa Road, Bangalore South Taluk. Please call 080 57744468 in Bangalore, India for more details.

Janmashtami celebrations at Sai Mandir in Sydney, Australia
Shree Shirdi Sai Sansthan Sydney invites you with family and friends to join for Janmashtami celebrations on Sunday, August 20th 2006 at 420 Liverpool Road (corner of Hill Street and Liverpool Road), Strathfield South, NSW 2136, Australia. For detailed programme or Sansthan's activities, please contact Sansthan Info-Line at 0500 524 724.


 

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. What does a Sai devotee learn from Shri R B Purandhare's devotion and service to Saibaba?

Humbly Yours,
The Editor