The Rose – Photography

 

 

To this day we use flowers to communicate feelings and messages.  In reality, there are no rules to what flower represents a purpose for giving; it’s the sentiment and thought that represents each occasion.  Sometimes a specific flower or color will trigger a memory, special event or personal meaning.  Others love to send flowers specifically for their language or meaning. With Valentine’s day just around the corner, you might expect that red roses imply romance and love, pink roses as an expression of admiration, and yellow roses stand for friendship and devotion.  But with the wide variety of flowers and colors available, different flowers represent different forms of affection and messages.

 

The following meanings from Blossom Town website:

 

  1. Red Roses: A red rose is an unmistakable expression of love. Red roses convey deep emotions – be it love, longing or desire. Red Roses can also be used to convey respect, admiration or devotion. A deep red rose can be used to convey heartfelt regret and sorrow. The number of red roses has special romantic meanings associated with them. 12 red roses is the most popular of all which conveys “Be mine” and “I love you” White Roses: White is the color of purity, chastity and innocence. White flowers are generally associated with new beginnings and make an ideal accompaniment to a first-time bride walking down the aisle.
  2. Yellow Roses: Yellow roses are an expression of exuberance. Yellow roses evoke sunny feelings of joy, warmth and welcome. They are symbols of friendship and caring. The yellow rose, like the other roses, does not carry an undertone of romance. It indicates purely platonic emotions.
  3. Pink Roses: There are a lot of variations of the pink rose. Over all, pink roses are used to convey gentle emotions such as admiration, joy and gratitude. Light pink rose blooms are indicative of sweetness and innocence. Deep pink rose blooms convey deep gratitude and appreciation. Pink roses also connote elegance and grace.
  4.  A variety of meanings. Who knows!

 

 

January Rose

January Rose

 

 

a favourite colour

a favourite colour

 

a favourite

a favourite

 

 

rainy day rose

rainy day rose

 

classic photography

classic photography

 

rose petals in Leela Palace Hotel, Bangalore

rose petals in Leela Palace Hotel, Bangalore

 

 

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India - the market in bangalore

India – the market in bangalore

 

 

my favourite rose so far. taken in a florist shop in france

my favourite rose so far. taken in a florist shop in france

 

 

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“There are no coincidences in life. What person that wandered in and out of your life was there for some purpose, even if they caused you harm. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense the short periods of time we get with people, or the outcomes from their choices. However, if you turn it over to God he promises that you will see the big picture in the hereafter. Nothing is too small to be a mistake.”
― Shannon L. Alder

from my friend

from my friend

 

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Flower Wisdom – Sathya Sai Baba

 

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A few word to my fellow Word Press  bloggers. I am so sorry not to be around to read your blogs. I have had a sprained wrist for awhile now which is still painful. I have also developed Repetitive strain injury too.

At the moment, I am using an ipad instead to help rest my wrist/arm from getting any worse. I must admit to finding an ipad almost impossible to use. For the moment I am not doing the usual of blogging rounds. Again most sorry. Eve   

 

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Darshans were a wonderful experience, especially in those early days in the ashram. The vitality and energy that flowed from Baba seemed to permeate the entire surrounding area and the village. Whatever that energy was it seemed to wash our souls. Reactions differed depending on  people and their character. Some people were joyous and radiant, while others acted excitable and even anxious.  Others seem to get rather cantankerous. Yet, others cried. I am sure whatever  and wherever His energy reached, there would be a short charge to the “chakra system”, if only temporary. I remember one American lady described her darshan as an  “extreme close embrace,” might add she was not alone in her interpretation. Whatever the person’s mood, it seemed to surface during darshan and afterwards for many hours. Another distinct feature of darshan, was a need to sleep afterwards or to be alone and silent. Baba, himself, shone from the inside out. There was never a time when he did not appear extremely beautiful. Often He seemed to glide rather than walk across the darshan sands. On several occasions during darshan when it rained, He just turned his palm upward and the rain stopped. Of course it  began again the moment He stepped inside the temple’s veranda. Eve

 

 

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Once an individual moves away from the worldly desires, all dharmas are one and the same. God resides in all living beings. He is in everything.  One should not peal of the outer skin of the wound before it is healed. Once dry the dead skin falls off by itself. If the skin is forcibly pulled, the wound bleeds and the healing has to continue.  In the same way, it is impossible for man to understand nishkaamakarma (actions without expectation of its fruits) before he realizes his true nature. To perceive this truth, is mans primary purpose. His varnaashrana dharma (The duties of man as per his level of consciousness); his gruhasta dharma (the duites of a householder) facilitate in unraveling this mystic secret. Once these dharmas are conquered, every thing becomes one and the same. -Baba  From Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana

 

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Touched By Love – Sai Baba Memories

looking out over the darshan area, from the Mandir

 

‘At first, name and form are essential, that is the reason why Avatars come, so that God can be loved, adored, worshiped, listened to and followed, and finally realized as nameless and formless.’ – Baba

 


After the physical passing of Sai Baba during April 2011, darshan experiences are no different from those experienced when he was alive.  In other words, the vibrations can still be felt. One might say that Sai Baba has not gone anywhere. Long ago, I remember reading a particularly beautiful story about Sri Ramana Maharshi. Ramana told one distraught devotee not to worry about his imminent demise, for he (Ramana) was not going anywhere. He had no place to go to that He was not already there! Ramana would remain available to all who sought darshan and solace in his ashram. So it is, I now believe, the same with Sathya Sai Baba.  Here is a short story from Diana Baskin who tells us that Swami told her just before his demise these few words: I am not going anywhere.

 

 
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‘I am not going anywhere.’ –

Why would Swami tell Diana Baskin these few words, I believe without a doubt he was telling her that he would always be available to those who were dedicated to him. He also was giving a broader message, his vibration and his essence would always be there in Puttaparthi.

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Swami, the Heart Core of our Life

Swami became my Guru when I first came to India in 1969, taking on the task of teaching me the principles of a spiritual life by building a solid foundation rooted in Dharma. Later, He became my Mother, taking over the task of nurturing, acceptance and unconditional love. Finally in 1979, Swami took the role of Father by introducing me to my husband, Robert, performing our marriage ceremony and extending His strong hand of support and gentle loving guidance throughout our marriage.

Swami was the heart core of our life. For the past 40 years, our life centred solely upon Him, and the anticipation of our trips to India that brought us in His physical presence was our nourishment. My husband and I were devastated and heartbroken as we lost all at once our Guru, our Mother and our Father.

But Swami did not teach us to be weaklings and even in the midst of sorrow His teachings rushed to my side, giving me strength and support while gently reminding me that there was a limit to everything.

When the husband of our friend died, Swami said to her that she could mourn his death but only for a short time; after that, she needed to let go of her sorrow. Last Words of Swami

I understood intellectually that to honour Swami and His teachings, I needed to put them into practice, be a master of my emotions and keep my focus on positive and constructive thoughts. While this helped to some extent, it was not enough. I longed to re-establish the direct heart-to-heart link with Swami that gives joy to life.

Swami had not only foreseen the problem I would encounter but in His infinite compassion had given the solution, unbeknownst to me, shortly before leaving His physical body.

One morning, after Bhajans as Swami was returning to His residence, His car stopped in front of me and as the driver lowered the window, Swami motioned for me to come forward. His voice was very faint and I had to lean into the car and read His lips to grasp His words. At the end of our brief conversation, He said something so unusual and out of context that I had to ask Him to repeat it. These were the last words Swami ever spoke to me.

For the year that followed, I pondered His words and questioned their meaning but failed to find the reason why He voiced them at that time nor could I find any sort of veiled connotation they might imply. It was not until a few weeks after Swami passed, in the midst of great sorrow and mourning that like a thunderbolt from the heavens it hit me! Not only did I understand what He meant from the deeper perspective of Advaita but a mere remembrance had the power to re-establish the precious heart-to-heart link and fill my heart with love. The powerful words of truth, love and wisdom. “I am not going anywhere.”

source of Diana Baskin’s story -Sanathana Sarathi

Love Is My Form – Memories of Sai Baba

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Himy, an old friend of mine on FaceBook and a great supporter of this blog, wrote the following account for this blog,  back when Swami was alive. I loved it so much, I am re-posting it today.

I understand exactly how Himy felt that far off day in 1999, when Swami gave him close Darshan. I often felt the same way too during darshan! 

In this small story, Himy tells how he had mentally told Baba earlier that day, “I don’t want anything” and Swami, as always, knew exactly what Himy had thought. Himy tells us in this story, “I didn’t even get a bit of the vibuthi  Swami made”.  Likewise, I, too, was always telling Sai Baba, “I do not want anything”, then while at Darshan, I would end up at the back of the hall, often where I could not see him!  Often in those early days, I would end up crying because of his lack of attention towards me. I never much thought that Swami was giving me exactly what I’d asked him for! Although, there’s never “nothing” with Swami – the Darshans were deep and  always filled with light and wonder. He was always, until the very end, radiant and sublime, and as a result, we came away from Darshan filled to the brim. – Eve

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I Only Wanted Swami To Talk To Me! – Himy’s Darshan Story

On one of my visits to Puttaparthi, I had a really great experience with Swami. (I think it was during 1999). I was feeling very down and out.
I was feeling very small and insignificant and unworthy, even when talking to people.  I was just keeping to myself. Then I prayed to Baba to talk to me because that would make me feel better and worthy of being talked to by others also. With that thought, I went inside Sai Kulwant hall after having drawn 4th token (or something near to that number.) And I was sitting in the second row in darshan on the men’s side.

Then the music started and Baba  came out from the Poornachandra Auditorium. He used to walk then. He shuffled forward taking letters, blessing sweet trays. Finally he was opposite my row. He spoke to someone there.  Then He suddenly turned towards our side. There was a Russian sitting  in front of me.  Baba said something to him. Then suddenly He was looking at me and  saying something  in Telugu (I think – because I heard something like “neevu” which is a Telugu word). My head was spinning. I couldn’t believe Baba was talking to me !! At the same time the thought passed though my head “could Baba be mistaking me for some other guy, some Telugu guy”? I dismissed that thought as soon as it came because I knew that  Baba knows everything. He doesn’t make mistakes. Then Baba repeated what he must have said earlier, in English.  He said “Where have you come from ?” I was still too stunned to reply. Baba spoke a third time.  This time in Hindi. He said “Keedhar se aayaa?” meaning again  “where  had I come from.” I managed to say:  “SAI, Mumbai”. Then Baba threw up His hands in the air as if I had given the wrong answer and He said “Oh!! Bombay!”

Then He proceeded to make vibhuti right in front of me and gave some to a Telugu farmer sitting next to me. Others nearby  stretched out their hands and Baba kept giving vibhuti to all. Finally, I also picked up the courage to stretch my hands out for vibhuti. But Baba just turned away. When i was praying to Baba earlier in the day, I had told him that “I dont want vibhuti or anything else,  Baba,  please just talk to me.”

By turning away Baba displayed His omniscience. He proved to me that He knew my thoughts.  What a proof !! I sat there with tears flowing down my cheeks and couldn’t stop crying long after darshan. People would just look at me and I was not able to say anything. They just nodded, knowingly, and said “Ananda” meaning bliss! Baba does hear and answer our prayers. He knows everything.

From Himy

A Flicker Of Faith, Ram Dass – Early Sai Baba Devotees

 

 

How I remember Swami

How I remember Swami

 

Touching report from Ram Dass on his meeting Sai Baba back in those early days of the 1960’s. He tells us here how Baba created a ring for him. He tells us the ring was obviously man-made and come from the Sai Stores. We all remember the Sai Stores and the bits and bobs Baba would gather from there and give to devotees, just to encourage faith. Of course many say, he was wrong to do this, but he never made any secret that this was all “tinsel and trash” compared to what he really wanted to give, that was his love to change our hearts around.

 

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Flicker of Faith

Posted January 15, 2016

In India there was a very beautiful saint, Sathya Sai Baba, where you could go twice a day everyday and stand in his courtyard. He was a very high spiritual being. He would come out beautifully, just flowing and he would look at someone and say, “You have very bad dysentery.” Then he put out his hand, someone else holding out a piece of paper, and about a foot above his hand dust comes out of the air, verbouti or sacred ash. It comes right out of the air and falls onto the piece of paper. He folds it up and gives it to the person saying, “Here, put a little of this in your mouth everyday, and you will get rid of your dysentery.”

When I was there, as I was sitting at his feet and he was sitting on a chair, he said to me, ‘“Here Ram Dass, I’ll give you something.” and I said, ‘No Babaji, I don’t want anything.’ “No, no, let me give you something.” He held out his hand, and I knew he did things like this, manifest small things like bracelets, watches, small things like that. As a social scientist, responsible to the West, my eyes were going to watch his hand closely, I wasn’t going to blink. As I watched, a bluish light formed on the top of his hand, a flickering light, and it became more and more solid, and then it became a little medallion. It was a little circle a star on it with a little gold image of himself, Sathya Sai Baba. He gave it to me, it was definitely man-made, it did not have an astral quality to it at all. Later I asked a Swami there, “How does he do that?” And he said, “Well, he doesn’t make those; he just moves them from his warehouse with his mind.” And you can just imagine his warehouse, full of these little medallions, and if you were in the warehouse, they’d be disappearing from the shelves, literally.”

Here is a being who is far beyond all of this physical stuff, and it is very interesting what miracles do for most people who are ready to see them. They give a flicker of faith in the possibility that things aren’t the way that you thought they were.

This makes you open to the Spirit. For those who are not ready, it just makes them worship the person performing the miracle, because miracles are not the thing itself. Miracles have the power to give you faith through your rational mind and senses because your rational mind and senses can’t do the miracle, so it gives you faith that there’s some other reality. It opens you to it.

-Ram Dass

 

Cosmic Christ – Living The Holiest Of Myseries

Cosmic Christ was created between 1999 and 2000 with oil paints on a wood surface by artist Alex Grey. It is surrounded by and part of a carved wooden frame. It is presently the centerpiece of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in New York, his personally created sanctuary for the inspiration of other artists. It is not only a wonderful representation of the work that he does, but an incredibly powerful and symbolic piece of art.

Cosmic Christ was created between 1999 and 2000 with oil paints on a wood surface by artist Alex Grey. It is surrounded by and part of a carved wooden frame. It is presently the centerpiece of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in New York, his personally created sanctuary for the inspiration of other artists. It is not only a wonderful representation of the work that he does, but an incredibly powerful and symbolic piece of art.

 

 

“About Fr. Bede Griffiths. The first thing he taught me was that the true Christ path is terrifyingly humble. He would never claim enlightenment. He would never claim to be a master. He would never claim to be a guru. He absolutely loathed hierarchy and separation” ~ A.H.

 

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Hari Dass, a yoga teacher in India, once wrote on his chalkboard: If a pickpocket meets a saint, all he sees are his pockets.

For those folks reading this, we all understand we are on a spiritual journey. We may also understand that, from within the illusion of our separateness, what we perceive is relative reality, what in India is called  maya, the projected illusion of subject and objects. All around us, there are various levels of relative reality. When we begin to awaken to our predicament that we are trapped in illusion, we begin to see through the dreamlike quality of the veils of illusion. Everything we thought was real we now see as maya or (illusion.) So when we polish the mirror of illusion, we find staring back at us is our own habitual desires, created by our perceptual universe. In that sense we can say our reality is a projection of how we identify ourselves. Hari Dass, a yoga teacher in India, once wrote on his chalkboard: If a pickpocket meets a saint, all he sees are his pockets.” – how true is that? A good teacher will be one filled with light and humility who does not see seperation. One who will dust our  Self-Mirror and redirect us towards the light,  the truth and away from our own false habitual mind.

 

 

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From the writings of Andrew Harvey

And it was then that I met the man who changed my life. In 1993, when he was eighty-six, I met Father Bede Griffiths, and that brought everything that I had hitherto experienced together, because here was a being at the very highest level of awareness, who married the Eastern traditions with the Western traditions, who came from England, who had been to Oxford, but who was living out this utterly brave, naked, evolutionary life in the middle of India, fifty miles from the place where I was born. So I believe that we were destined to meet. I was destined to be at the feet of this transcendent and holy and beautiful man, and he was destined to break my heart, and to break my heart open, and to teach me by his presence three things.

The first thing he taught me was that the true Christ path is terrifyingly humble. He would never claim enlightenment. He would never claim to be a master. He would never claim to be a guru. He absolutely loathed hierarchy and separation. For him, Jesus had communicated in the tenderness of ecstatic friendship, and that was the way this great truth of the divinity of human beings was to be exchanged.

The second thing that he communicated to me was that the relationship with Jesus and the Cosmic Christ—Jesus, both Jesus the being and Jesus the archetypal face of the Cosmic Christ— that relationship that Mechtild of Magdeburg ecstasized over, that relationship that drove the whole life of Theresa of Avila, that relationship that gave the Cure of Ars the power to go and heal day after day after day in his tiny parish, that relationship that drove Francis into the arms of a divine love that enabled him to re-experience the crucifixion—that relationship was not some poetic, tender fiction. That relationship was the relationship that was clearly transfiguring this holy man, and it was something to him more naked and more real than anything else. And so it became so for me.

 

painting from the late and great mystic Daskalos

painting from the late and great mystic Daskalos

And the third thing that Bede communicated to me—and this is the key of the key of the mystery that is coming through the Christ path, I believe—the third thing that Bede communicated to me was the revelation that was coming to him in his eighties of what in the Greek Orthodox tradition is called theosis. And theosis means transfiguration. And from St. Macarius onwards in the fourth century to Romanian priests(?) in our current century and to Bede himself, we have had examples that have been celebrated and noted of human beings who so adored the revelation of love and wisdom in Jesus and in the exploding vision of the Cosmic Christ, that through intense discipline and intense love they transformed their minds, they illumined their hearts, and they also progressively became so flooded in their bodies by divine light that their bodies began to be transfigured by light.

Bede knew that he was living this holiest of mysteries. And for him, he would say the first big bang began the universe creation; the resurrection was the second big bang that began the creation of a divine humanity; and the radiation of that resurrection power and force is what the humble lover and servant of the Cosmic Christ, if they love enough and if they are rigorous and disciplined and purified enough, can access for a total transformation of the total being.

 

You Tube with Father Bede speaking about the Black Madonna

Memories Of Swami Sai Baba For Christmas Week

 

Swami

The fire of Wisdom has the power to transform anything. Does not a piece of black coal when subjected to fire lose its natural form, and take the form of a piece of burning ember? Similarly, though God’s flames of compassion are cool, once they blend with the flames of bhakti, the heat thereby generated increases. Fire is born from water, which is a medium used to put down fire. The reason is when the water flows incessantly in circular motion, it generates a new power that we call electricity. Similarly when we think of the name of God and repeat it incessantly, power is generated from the friction. This is the essence. To procure that essence, practice is necessary for that practice, God’s name is the basis. ~Baba

 

Whether one remains in the affairs of the world (samsaara) or renounces it thinking that everything depends on God’s will,  and offers everything to God and performs one’s karma, there is nothing one can do beyond this.  Just as the quantity of bread depends on the quantity of flour, so is it  jnana of the divine realm that one attains, and  depends on the devotion (bhakthi) that one has gained. It is an act of insanity to search for jnana in a place where there is no dedication or true worship to God. Undeterred faith is essential for God to reveal himself. Undeterred faith in chanting His name and is essential for the revelation of God. Discriminate between the permanent and the transient. To kill others, one may require swords and spears, but to kill oneself –  is not a small needle enough? In order to preach to others, one has to study many scriptures (shastras) in order to attain revelation of God; repetition of a single mantra is enough.  ~Baba   from the book Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana

 

 


The old darshan area in the sand.

The old darshan area in the sand.

 

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On Communicators:   Swami knew everyone  gathered close to him. He was aware of every feeling they carried in their hearts. Every sad thought. Every moment we cried or laughed. No matter what our moods  joyous or angry, he was fully aware. He knew our doubts and in his own way often addressed them. There was nothing he did not know about us, wherever we sat for darshan. Darshan could not only be felt in the mandir in Puttaparthi but also when we were away in Bangalore, or even thousands of miles away from him, at home. I had my last darshan at home on 24th November, 2010. Swami never needed help in any way from a communicator/medium. How can we even entertain the thought that he would! He used to, when alive,  speak directly to people or sometimes he used telepathy when he wanted to convey guidance or help. He is no diffent in that regard,  than all the other saints, sages, avatars who have come before.

 

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Following on from my previous post, The Old Mandir – Puttaparthi, here’s several more memorable photos and quotes posted above. The quotations come from the book Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana. The book was published a few years ago, although its not sold in Puttaparthi as far as I know. The entire took is an authentic translation of Swami’s words written originally in his native Telugu,  then translated “precisely” into the English language. Although at first glance, the words and sentences are not easily understood by English speakers, due to the phrasing used at the time the book was translated.  But the book is all Swami. From my point of view, the simple and beautiful translation is more meaningful than many other translations of his collective works to date.

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Here’s Sai Baba chanting the Gayatri Mantra in his soft beautiful voice. This You Tube is certainly worth watching. I remember being in darhsan many times while Swami or someone else chanted the mantra. I also have to thank Baba for being instrumental in my learning it. I remember one particular time in Brindavan, where all I could do was chant the “Gayatri” quietly to myself. I suspected at some level, Sai was prompting me to learn and recite it. I am so glad he did. Sai Ram

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Old Mandir – Puttaparthi – History and Photographs

 

Photos and You Tube from Old Mandir-Puttaparthi page on Face book with thanks. People interested in the early years of the Sai Baba’s journey, might like to visit the page so lovingly set up with all details of that time including a wealth of very old photographs.  During my stay in Puttaparthi in 1992, I visited the Old Mandir once or twice and was thoroughly delighted by the way it had been kept faithfully to those early days. Sadly a few years later they demolished the old Mandir to replace it with the modern one we see there today. I wish they had not ruined such a priceless piece of spiritual history, that would have been of such interest today, especially  to a new generation of young people who never knew Sai Baba.

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my photo taken this year in the garden of rocks where there are several wonderful painted rocks. Here is one of Sai Baba. the garland, I could not quite place over the rock as I would have liked.

my photo taken this year in the garden of rocks where there are several wonderful painted rocks. Here is one of Sai Baba. the garland, I could not quite place over the rock as I would have liked.

 

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A day at the Old Mandir-1

During those days there were no rituals like omkaram,suprabhatam or nagarasankirtan. Swami was everything for devotees. At 3 AM one could hear farmers going to their fields, singing folk songs. That was the Omkaram for devotees those days. At 5 AM one could hear milk vendors saying ,”Please buy my curd, milk and flowers”. This was the suprabhatam for devotees. In any case they had to get up by daybreak.

At dawn, Swami would rise, wash himself and drink the hot beverage devotees offered to him, and move happily with them and talk to them also. At 9 Am devotees would offer him the breakfast they would have prepared. Swami would taste a bit from each, joke a bit and offer the same as prasadam for everyone.

After breakfast, anyone could do padapuja to Swami. There was a old cane-chair in the Old Mandir which would be placed in the hall. Requesting Swami to place his lotus feet on a plate, devotees would wash the feet with scented water, wipe with kumkum. Then they would offer Swami naivedhyem which he would partake a little.

Devotees would then offer harathi to Swami and everyone would do padanamaskar. While doing padapuja, Swami would ask devotees to sing with devotion, instead of mechanically.

Bhajans would start at 11 AM. There was no regular bhajans those days…..just long songs. Any person could sing during bhajans. Swami would sit on that red stone and also sing. The hall was very small and men and women sat on either side. Some men sat behind Swami fanning him. Despite that, Swami’s robe would be soaked wet due to the scorching heat. At the end of the session, Swami himself would do harathi to please his devotees and then distribute prasadam to everyone.

At 1 pm, everyone would assemble for lunch. Swami would take a little food from everybody, mix it, eat a little and distribute the rest as prasadam. Later he would rest for a while. Even in those days Swami never took sweets, ghee, milk or curds. When pressed for a reason, Swami said he had had enough during Krishnavatar.

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the ten rupee note. The beginning of the Old Mandir

the ten rupee note. The beginning of the Old Mandir

 

THE GIFT DEED JULY-25 1945

When Subbamma heard of this offer, she quickly moved to invite Swami to move into a small hut on land owned by the Karnam family on the other side of the river.

Kamalamma then went to the ailing Subbamma and told her that their husband had planned to build a temple for the poor, but had died before he could get it built.

They agreed the land set aside for this could be given to Swami for his own use and the use of his devotees. A document writer was called and a deed of sale was drawn up. Next day, Kamalamma went to Bukkapatnam to have the deed registered.Swami went with her upto Chitravathi River. It was 25 July 1945.

Karanam Subbamma and Karanam Kamalamma gifted the land in presence of two witnesses.

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The backyard of the simple house where Swami was born.

The backyard of the simple house where Swami was born.

 

 

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THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PADAPUJA

In the Old Mandir anyone could do padapuja to Swami. There was a old cane-chair which would be placed in the hall. Requesting Swami to place his lotus feet on a plate, devotees would wash the feet with scented water, wipe with kumkum. Then they would offer Swami naivedhyem which he would partake a little.

When Swami went to the homes of devotees it was done with great reverence and devotion.

In Venkatagiri Padapuja was an elaborate ritual.They used to place Swami’s feet ina golden plate and wash them with rose water.Then sandlewood would be applied to his feet followed by kumkum.All this with the strains of music from the singers Raman and laxmanan.

When we were students we had our own version of Padapuja.We called it Padaseva.We would take turns massaging Swami’s feet in the interview room when we got the chance.

Once Swami was sitting with some of His students in the interview room and all the boys had the great opportunity to press Swami’s Feet. And Swami asked this question, what is Pada Pooja?

One of the boys seated next to Him said, Swami what we are doing is Pada Pooja.

Swami said, No, no… this is not Pada Pooja. And then someone had a little higher understanding of telling Swami – in fact our tears of gratitude are like ‘Toyam’ and ‘Patram’ and the Phalam are all our merits and demerits that we offer at Your Lotus Feet.

You know He wanted to give a little better understanding and Swami said no, no, no.

Swami went on to say that true Pada Pooja is when the Lord in human form leaves His Footprints – to walk in His Footprints.

 

 

The Sathyabhama temple in the early years

The Sathyabhama temple in the early years

 

 

Sai Baba as a young man -

Sai Baba as a young man –

 

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During the foundation-stone ceremony of the Old Mandir a very strange incident occured.

When the servant, Gooni Venkata (Venkata with the hump) , dug at the spot indicated by Swami , so that consecrated stones could be laid as foundation, a large number of stone bases used as stands for lingams were discovered.

But strangely enough, no lingams could be found, though a vigorous search was made. Dozens of bases – but not a single lingam.

People gathered round Swami and sought the answer.

Swami told them, pointing a finger at his stomach, “The lingams are all here.”.

The first Lingodbhavam – 1947

This was the first time Swami manifested a Shiva Lingam.

There were less than a dozen devotees gathered at Puttaparthi on this auspicious day.

Swami was adorned in white and sat upright in his chair drinking plenty of water.

A swelling in his stomach was evident.

The ‘swelling’ moved up and emerged out of His mouth in time, as a Lingam.

Old photos of Sathya Sai baba - Old Mandir

Old photos of Sathya Sai baba – Old Mandir

 

Darshan on the men's side, Puttaparthi Ashram

Darshan on the men’s side, Puttaparthi Ashram – before the new huge Sai Kalwant Hall was built

 

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“Today scientists are trying to understand this power of attraction in
Nature. Take, for instance, a temple. Thousands of people go to the
temple for worship. The magnetic power in the earth extends to the
idol in the sanctum. The thoughts of the worshippers are also
attracted by the idol. Thereby the power of attraction in the idol
gets intensified. The rituals performed for the idol also enhance its
power of attraction. This process can be noticed if a couple of nails
are kept near a magnet. After two days it will be found that the nails
also have been magnetised. In the same manner when worshippers go to a
temple the power goes forth from thousands of worshippers, the power
or action in the idol gets immensely intensified. The idol surcharged
with this power is able to energize the worshippers.

Thus, in the world there is no object without this power. Atomic
energy is present everywhere. It is only when the true character of
this atomic power is understood that the power of the Divine can also
be understood.”

– Sathya Sai Baba