FEATURE OF THE WEEK: Spiritual Paradox
Every aspirant would like to believe that he or she has
surrendered the self at the feet of Sadguru. A typical day for such an
aspirant would start with the reminiscence of the Sadguru by way of prayers.
However, it is more common to observe that a blissful day is easily marred
by an incident, sometimes very small, and soon it is realized that one is
far away from surrendering to Sadguru. What goes wrong? Spiritual progress
is in a way a retreat; regression from the acquisitions the self identifies
with. Resignation from the material acquisitions may be an apparent goal and
task at hand for an aspirant. While some of the attributes of the material
self may be gotten rid of by practice and preparation, the challenges in
fighting the enemy within, requires Guru's grace. This is well explained in
Sri Sai Satcharita, in the episode where the merchant seeks the ultimate
knowledge. Guru's grace is the essential aspect of self-realization.
One might forego the cravings of material pursuit, truthfully
realize the temporary nature of worldly acquisitions, and even win past the
shackles of attachment. However, this does not guarantee a freedom from the
playfulness of Maya, the delusion. Somdev Swami may have renounced
everything, but when he reached the shores of Shirdi and saw Sainath's
glory, his pride did not allow him to accept the greatness of the God who
walked on earth! The power of Maya is such. One that was successful in
physically arising above the bondage of attachment and material wealth,
blinded by the ego, did not see the equanimity of Lord Sai. Eventually,
blessed that he was, Somdev had the fortune of seeing Sai reveal Himself to
him. Was Saibaba the begging fakir that allowed others to decorate Him with
silk and perfume? Or is He the supreme Lord that took a morsel out of the
most offensive appearing leper's bowl? Does Baba have any "self" to Him? He
is Antaryamin! Working towards material detachment, in thoughts as well as
action, is a significant part of the regression process. Completion may not
be possible unless Guru reveals Himself to the aspirant. Equanimity is the
reward an aspirant earns from the saadhana. This is a secret the Guru, only
Guru, can lead the aspirant to.
CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE: Ek Shyam Shri Sai Ke Naam - In Colimbus,
"Mere Sai kitana dayaloo, sab kuch deta jaye...", Sai's name
is sweet by itself, added to it is aroma of Ajitkumarji's voice on the
evening of August 12th in Sai Mandir, Columbus, Ohio. A packed hall of
devotees were enthralled by flow of devotion and music by Ajitkumar Kadkade
and troupe. The effortless blend of light music and Hindustani, rendered
with devotion inspired devotees to sing and involve in bhajan so much, the
hall reverberated with "Sai Naam". Ajitkumarji declared with humbleness "I
am a mere instrucment", but the three hour program showed how Sai made His
presence felt through Ajitkumarji's exquisite voice. The hall prepared by
several volunteers in very short time and was a feast to eyes. The program
started with Dhoop Aarthi and ended with Shej Aarthi and mahaprasad. The
devotees left the Mandir with a great satisfaction of fulfilment, and sure
to remember the occassion for very long time.
(Contributed by Sai Sampthnath)
CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE: Ek Shaam Shri Sai Kay Naam - in Chicago,
Pandit Kadkade's recitation was electrifying and had a
soothing effect on the audience uplifting the soul to devotional ecstasy,
crying for more. Each devotional song was carefully chosen, planned and
rendered based on a different "raga" of the Hindustani classical style. In a
three hour long rendition Pandit Kadkade kept the audience spell bound and
glued to their seats. It truly became an evening devoted to Shri Sai Baba
with the involvement of the crowd in the program. Devotees in the program
were found singing along the light tunes and got absorbed in the divine
atmosphere forgetting all their worldly issues. Pandit Kadkade mostly sang
in Hindi on the life and teachings of Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi devotional
songs that were composed and written by Shraddheya Shri C B Sapathyji an IPS
officer from New Delhi lovingly addressed to as 'Guruji' by Baba's devotees.
Prakash Yeshwant Vagal accompanied Pandit Kadkade on Harmonium and Rohidas
Parab on Tabla. The festivities concluded with arathi of Shri Sai Baba
followed by serving of Mahaprasad.
'Ek Shaam Shri Sai Kay Naam' continues in other cities across
USA with live renditions by Pandit Ajitkumar Kadkade through mid September.
Sri Kadkade's north American tour is sponsored by Shirdi Sai Temple,
Chicago, the details of which can be had on the temple website. The temple
is located in Hampshire, IL about twenty minutes drive west of Schaumburg
and is closer to I-90. The temple follows style of worship as being followed
in Shirdi and is open daily from 7am to 9pm. More details regarding the
temple can be had on their web site http://www.saibaba.org or by calling the
temple at (847) 931-4058.
(Contributed by Support Team)
Om Sai Ram, I would like to thank Saibaba for having blessed my son-in-law
with a very good job and having increased his faith in Baba and lots of
confidence and faith in himself. Baba, just last week I had posted a request
to You asking You to bless my son-in-law with the right and perfect job
which he has been blessed yesterday. Thank you Saibaba for continuously
holding our hands and lifting us in Your arms and leading us towards the
path to happiness, peace and righteousness.
I am so happy that Baba is with me. He has helped me a lot in all respects.
Last year my sister and brother-in-law were in Canada and I used to pray the
Lord that they should get visa for USA and stay with me. Now, they are in
USA and my brother-in-law got a good job even if it is at a different
location from my place. I am happy that both are happy. But my sister is not
having any children. She is eagerly waiting for kids since long time. Baba,
please bless here with a baby. I promise that I will keep Your name to the
baby. She should also be blessed with a good job. She is on dependent visa
now. Thanks God for helping everyone. Without You I am nowhere and this
world doesn't exist.Thanks for being there for me.
Om Sairam Baba, I prayed for a job for my elder son when he lost his
previous job. With Your grace my son got a job when he needed it very badly.
I do not know whether he has still understood his mistakes and why he lost
his previous job. I seek Your grace to make him understand what he is doing
is not in line with accepted norms of life and make him realise how he
should behave at home, how he should interact in office and other places. I
can't bear to see the way he treats his wife. I feel really very bad for my
daughter-in-law. Similarly my own daughther is also suffering in her in-laws
place. My son-in-law is not settled in any job yet and he and his relatives
are troubling my daughter endlessly. Please help him succeed in his
endeavour to get a job and settle in life. I do not know what sins I have
commiitted to undergo all this and other turmoil. God, Bless us and give us
courage to face all hurdles and lead us all in the right path. We have
nowhere to go except You. Om Sai Ram.
Dear Baba, Koti pranams to You. I am leaving everything at Your feet for You
to decide. I am having marital problems. This is all because of me. You know
what is the problem. I pray to You to forgive me for my sins and help me
lead a new life with my wife and son. At one moment I strayed away from You
and due to that I have to face all these problems. I promise that I will not
do any such thing which will hurt You. Please reunite me with my wife and
son and help me with solving the problem. Only You can save me from the
wrath. I promise that if I am reunited and have a happy family life again I
shall come to Shirdi and write my experiences in this column. Please pray
Dear Baba, as right now I am going through very difficult health issue, as I
have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called SLE, very rare in
India but I am one of the affected. This disease causes my own immune system
to fight against my own body and thus slowly destroys all organs; right now
it has affected my kidneys due to which I have been having swelling for the
past two months and on steroids and taking food without salt also. I got
married last November 14th and ours was a love marriage, with so many dreams
we married but our marriage life has been more visiting hospitals and giving
tons of blood tests. My husband and my in-laws are gem of a people, their
support has given me more strength but I am very worried that I will lose
this battle and never live to be normal and healthy again. I want my disease
to go away the way it came so that I can look after those who are caring for
me right now. My mother being a cancer survivor is doing too much for her
age when I must be looking after all of them. Please Baba show me your
guidance and bless me and do some miracle Baba, everyday is an ordeal for
me. I will come surely when You call no matter in what condition I am in. I
just want to touch Your feet Baba and cry, I must have done wrong that's why
I am being punished so I want to ask You for forgiveness as well. Give me
strength to face everything now Baba, I will fight over it. Keep blessing my
husband and all family and dear ones and show us the right path.
Baba I know You are there for me always then why are You not responding to
my prayers. You know it's been three years that I am suffering each moment.
Please ask him to marry me. My parents are really worried and I now
desperatly want to settle down with him. Please Sainath You are my only hope
and I know You can do everything. You can change destiny. Please help me
Baba, I need You desperatly. I request all Sai devotees who are reading this
to please pray for me. Maybe Baba will hear one of you. Please help me.
Saibaba, as You know my employment has now ceased. I look for Your mercy to
find me the next employment in my chosen path. I chant Your name in every
step of the day and night (including in my sleep) only You know this is
true. Please shower me with Your blessings. Emotionally, You only know what
I am going through.
Om Sri Sai Ram Baba, my neighbour's daughter is married almost four year
back. Baba, she got miscarriage 4 times. Baba, please bless her a child.
Baba, please give me strength to remember You always. Baba, please bless us
with good health.
Sainath as I am facing serious problems from my boss at the organisation
where I work, kindly grant me a new job before this month end.
My dear Baba, our consultant is solely depending on You and working very
hard to the best of his ability. Inspite of his dedicated efforts, he is not
getting a breakthrough. Kindly help him, otherwise I am afraid he may go
into depression. My humble pranams to Your lotus feet.
Om Sai, Shri Sai, Jay Jay Sai. Sai Baba, please give Your blessings, help me
to get a good job and show me the right path.
Oh Sai! We are facing a financial stress in our lives for the first time
ever. You know everything. We always pray You. If at all You feel that our
prayers are not sincere, please forgive us. Oh Baba, please get me good job
as soon as possible so that we lead a financially independent life. Please
help me Baba. We have total faith in you.
My friends A and B are in a lot of trouble. A's father suffered a stroke and
was in the ICU for a week or so. He has been shifted recently out of the ICU
but hasn't returned home yet. A is running from pillar to post between the
hospital, home and the institute where she is studying. B's dad has been
diagnosed with a neuro-degenerative disease and B's mom is also not well.
Yet B and her mother are doing a splendid job standing upto the troubles.
They don't want no sympathy from any of us. Iam not in their city to be of
help to (atleast) A. Please Baba take care of their dads. Please make them
recover completely without any side-effects.
Please let my sister get pregnant and have a healthy and beautiful baby.
Also, please make sure that RRB gets his green card immediately without any
problems and that he has the patience to wait for some more days, if need
be. You know he is a very staunch devotee of Your and does so much work for
the temple too, even though he is not from India. I will surely post this
all when it happens, which I am sure You will take care of. Thank you and
please be with us always and guide us in the right direction.
EXPERIENCE OF DEVOTEES:
I am working for the government in Bangalore. My boss (HOD) is very much
angry with me for the reasons which he presumes himself and also for the
reasons that I have not yeilded for his demands of bribery. In June he got
me transferred to Mysore. I was very much worried as my daughter's marraige
had been fixed in August. Hence I prayed Baba and started trying to get back
transferred to Bangalore and luckily one officer was retiring on 30th June.
I went on trying and at one point I had lost all hopes as at every stage I
felt hurdles, leave apart the expenses. By that time the concerned Minister
also came to know about my boss and his inhuman behaviour and other
activities which also helped me to try for transfer. I went on praying Baba
for about a week and finally I got transferred to Bangalore with the
blessings of Saibaba and I feel whatever I am suffering unnecessarily in the
hands of my boss is due to probably my earlier debt to him or I might have
done some harm to him in my previous birth. Om Sai Ram
ust wanted to share my experiance with Baba. I went through a painful life
with my whole world going upside down for 15 years. I lost my husband, my
mother, lived a very lonely life. But in all of those years I believed in
Baba and prayed to Him, fought with Him, cried with Him. For me He was the
only one to whom I could talk. He put me through all that, I tried to kill
myself but each time He rescued me. Now I am 35 years old. He has suddenly
changed my life and given me so much that I don't know my pain anymore. He
made me humble, wise, forgiving. Baba and I live in each others heart. He is
right when He says, "You look to me and I look to you". It may be a very
long period of suffering for me but Baba had to put me through it because of
my past Karma. He has blessed me in ten folds. Just want to tell everyone
that He may take long for some or maybe less for some but He comes around
for everyone, we just need to believe in Him and wait and watch. I am a
living example of Baba's love and faith. I feel blessed all the time. Jai
Live Sai bhajans by Pandit Ajitkumar Kadkade in North
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
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 email@example.com.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or
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 email@example.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
firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
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