FROM PRASHANTHI NILAYAM, Christmas 2012 – Sathya Sai Memories


This most wonderful carol of Away In a Manger is well worth a listen for those of you interested in English Christmas music. It doesn’t come much better than this.

1. Away in a manger, no crib for His bed,
 The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head;
 The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
 The little Lord Jesus, asleep in the hay.
2. The cattle are lowing, the poor Baby wakes.
 But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes.
 I love thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky.
 And stay by the cradle till morning is nigh.
3. Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay,
 Close by me forever, and love me, I pray!
 Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care
 And take us to heaven, to Live with Thee there.
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 Words: Unknown, 1885 (verses 1 & 2)
 Verse 3: Attributed to John Thomas McFarland, 1887 (1851-1913)


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UPDATE ON THE CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES

On my arrival since late November, the vibes in the temple have been wonderful. The darshan could not have been better and there was a peace and a respect that really touched my heart. I could not have been happier… But Christmas time has brought in the crowds big-time with many village people from all over India. There are about 10,000 OR SO I AM TOLD..  This has added a touch of chaos to the ashram, and has rather dampened the spirit of Xmas this year for the few foreign visitors who are here.
It is a pity as we only have two days in the year in which to celebrated the Christian religion and it’s traditions, and this year this has been brought down to the bare bones….. The choir has worked hard and I am sure they will sing their hearts out this afternoon. The decorations around the ashram have been lovingly created to make a festival of lights that is truly breath-taking. The inside decorations are not like those of the old days when Swami was here physically with us but they are nice all the same.
I am posting some of my favourite photos of Swami along with this update. enjoy…..
I wish you all a very Happy Xmas and New Year……
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Dear Folks,

Christmas morning was pretty amazing. The day began with the Vedas, then the students played a selection of classical music on violins and other traditional western instruments which really added a touch of old-time feeling to the festivities.  Later, a sweet selection of carols were offered and for a time we were transported to a sort of Christmas Heaven for want of a better word.  And even later, a Christmas play  presented  by the students portrayed the real meaning of Christmas.    “No,” as the boy said, “Christmas is not all about yummy food and presents, Christmas is about the birth of a great teacher whose message seems to be somewhat lost in the world today…”

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For the activities, I stood outside on the men’s side where a huge video screen was visible for those outside. It probably was the best place to be, for I could see the beautiful white candle, (not real of course) that stood centre stage and brought the feeling of light and sacredness to the overly  flowery stage.  The last part of this morning’s celebrations was a light-hearted and very Western concert of Christmas songs… then Bhajans ended the morning.

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I loved sitting outside where I had the freedom to move around the beautiful ashram… I remained, for the  most part  of the morning, at the West gate, where I could sit on my own and truly take in the spirit of Christmas.

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The decorations inside the ashram this year were arranged by the New Zealanders. The theme being hearts in silver and white on a blue background. The hearts moved on the breeze giving them a ethereal feeling. Also there were blue lights and lanterns hanging from the columns of the Sai Kulwant hall. Must say it was very pretty. The garlands on the wrought-iron gates and in the public areas were white, yellow and red and blue, a unique design that I had not seen before.

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Mandir, Christmas, 2012

Back to my updates for this Christmas 

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Christmas afternoon: The international children’s choir presented a collection of sweet songs on the Christmas theme and as always they performed very well. The last day, yes –  an added day that came as a surprise to us all, saw the South Africans perform a play on the birth of Jesus together with a thoughtful presentation on love to all creatures as taught by Jesus the Christ. They further emphasized the sorry state of the world and how we are destroying it by our lack of  love and love of things, (stuff)  also included  in their programme was love for all other species that we share our world with.  This kind gesture from the South African community finished the Christmas holiday presentations for this year.
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( Will add Christmas at Prashanti photos soon )
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Nativity5 Nativity1 Nativity2 Nativity4

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We wanted to share this touching Christian parable by Hans Christian Anderson

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The Little Match Girl

So terribly cold it was, and nearly dark on the last evening of the old year. The snow was falling fast. In the cold and the darkness, a poor little girl roamed through the streets. It is true she had on a pair of slippers when she left home, but they were not of much use. They were very large, so large, indeed, that they had belonged to her mother, and the poor little creature had lost them in running across the street to avoid two carriages that were rolling along at a terrible rate. She could not find one of the slippers, and a boy seized upon the other and ran away with it, saying that he could use it as a cradle, when he had children of his own. So the little girl went on with her little naked feet, which were quite red and blue with the cold. In an old apron she carried a number of matches and had a bundle of them in her hands. No one had bought anything from her the whole day, nor had anyone given her even a penny. Shivering with cold and hunger, she crept along; poor little child, she looked the picture of misery. The snowflakes fell on her long, fair hair, which hung in curls on her shoulders, but she regarded them not.

The Little Match Girl

     Lights were shining from every window, and there was a savory smell of roast goose, for it was New Year’s Eve. In a corner, between two houses, one of which projected beyond the other, she sank down and huddled herself together. She had drawn her little feet under her, but she could not keep off the cold; and she dared not go home, for she had sold no matches, and could not take home even a penny of money. Her father would certainly beat her; besides, it was almost as cold at home as here, for they had only the roof to cover them, through which the wind howled, although the largest holes had been stopped up with straw and rags. Her little hands were almost frozen with the cold. Ah! perhaps a burning match might be some good, if she could draw it from the bundle and strike it against the wall, just to warm her fingers. She drew one out—“scratch!” how it sputtered as it burnt! It gave a warm, bright light, like a little candle, as she held her hand over it. It was really a wonderful light. It seemed to the little girl that she was sitting by a large iron stove, with polished brass feet and a brass ornament. How the fire burned! and seemed so beautifully warm that the child stretched out her feet as if to warm them, when, lo! the flame of the match went out, the stove vanished, and she had only the remains of the half-burnt match in her hand.

     She rubbed another match on the wall. It burst into a flame, and where its light fell upon the wall it became as transparent as a veil, and she could see into the room. The table was covered with a snowy white table-cloth, on which stood a splendid dinner service, and a steaming roast goose, stuffed with apples and dried plums. And what was still more wonderful, the goose jumped down from the dish and waddled across the floor, with a knife and fork in its breast, to the little girl. Then the match went out, and there remained nothing but the thick, damp, cold wall before her.

     She lit another match, and then she found herself sitting under a beautiful Christmas tree. It was larger and more beautifully decorated than the one which she had seen through the glass door at the rich merchant’s. Thousands of tapers were burning upon the green branches, and colored pictures, like those she had seen in the show windows, looked down upon it all. The little girl stretched out her hand towards them, and the match went out.

     The Christmas lights rose higher and higher, till they looked to her like the stars in the sky. Then she saw a star fall, leaving behind it a bright streak of fire. “Someone is dying,” thought the little girl, for her old grandmother, the only one who had ever loved her, and who was now dead, had told her that when a star falls, a soul was going up to God.

     She again rubbed a match on the wall, and the light shone round her; in the brightness stood her old grandmother, clear and shining, yet mild and loving in her appearance. “Grandmother,” cried the little one, “O take me with you; I know you will go away when the match burns out; you will vanish like the warm stove, the roast goose, and the large, glorious Christmas-tree.” And she made haste to light the whole bundle of matches, for she wished to keep her grandmother there. And the matches glowed with a light that was brighter than the noon day, and her grandmother had never appeared so large or so beautiful. She took the little girl in her arms, and they both flew upwards in brightness and joy far above the earth, where there was neither cold nor hunger nor pain, for they were with God.

In the dawn of morning there lay the poor little girl, with pale cheeks and smiling mouth, leaning against the wall: she had been frozen to death on the last evening of the year. The New Year’s sun rose and shone upon a little corpse! The child still sat, in the stiffness of death, holding the matches in her hand, one bundle of which was burnt. “She tried to warm herself,” said some. No one imagined what beautiful things she had seen, nor into what glory she had entered with her grandmother, on New Year’s day.

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– Sathya Sai Memories Cont.

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The Dhobi Man: – Memories of Sai Baba

Who did Swami say he was? He said he was the Dhobi-man… He took it upon himself to clean our dirty laundry. ( Re: Our deeply in-bedded traits and desires.) On visits to the ashram, most of us would find we were having a goodly amount of our “dirty linen” washed by him. Of course, most people did not recognise their desires and certainly few saw their faults. They spent most of their time concentrating on each others’ faults. Often times, during visits to the ashram, I saw all kinds of odd behaviour and often times, I was aware of my own odd behaviour. I guess the amount of vitality that Swami pushed through us daily really did change the way we acted while there on visits. It was a bit like being put in front of a giant generator that set our hearts on fire and whereby we, for a short time, lost our usual worldly reserve and became what we truly are. Truly I tell you, no one knew our faults more than Swami. I can safely say that!  For Swami was a mirror to us.

Swami did not pick out only those people in the general public for the laundromat. No,  he especially chose those from the VIPs. The more important the VIP thought he was, the more he was put through the wash and grind. The odd thing, though, was those people hardly ever recognised they, too, were part of the process. Most just talked about others being “evil,” “bad,” or “crazy” or “lustful,” but little did they know the very  “evil, bad  crazy, or lustful” behaviour they were seeing in others, came through their own faulty visions and were, of course, a reflection of themselves. But as I have already said, they could never, ever see their own faults and desires, they only filed such lessons in the too-hard basket…

Here is a small excerpt from ‘Guru as Mirror’.

The relationship between student and teacher is a spiritual one, a relationship focused on identity. The quest for identity is the ultimate quest. To know oneself, to find out, to discover who you are, is the truth that everyone is looking for. The student seeks out a teacher because they want to know who they are. They are looking for help to understand the confounding complexities and limitations of their own personality. You could say they are having an identity crisis. Usually, the search starts with an experience of discontent and a feeling that they may be more than they thought they were, or that life may hold more potential beyond just eating, sleeping, money, sex, marriage, home, job and acquiring more stuff. This is why the spiritual path is not for normal people; it is for people who are looking for something more than success in the realms of the three basic power-drives which fuel the three lower chakras: money, sex and fame. When these start to look less interesting, it is then that a person is at a critical point where they begin to realize they are more than their body and mind, more than a skin encapsulated ego/personality. At this time, they begin to seriously ask: Is there more to life? Is compassion, generosity and kindness really worthwhile? What is Love, and does God exist?

We all need help to be able to see ourselves as we truly are. The job of a guru is to provide this assistance. A guru is someone who sees you as you really are, sees beyond your personality foibles, sees you as a holy being. It is through the medium of love that the guru is able to perceive this truth.”

“The Halo” – Sathya Sai Memories Cont.

videoswamieight

“Dissolve the self in the supreme Self as the pot-space is dissolved in infinite space; then, as the Infinite be silent for ever, O sage!”

– Adhyatma Upanishad

 

 

One summer’s afternoon in 1994, I was sitting in the front of block two in the Sai Ramash Hall in Whitefield, listening to one of Swami’s discourses. It was one of those days when everything had gone amiss and I felt a strong sense of being let down. In this negative state of mind, I sat with arms folded in an effect to prevent further pain.

At the end of the afternoon’s discourse, Swami began to sing his favourite Rama bhajan, then instantaneously He beckoned us to join in the singing. The cheerful crowd began to clap and sing with enthusiasm – in fact the entire hall seemed to come alive and move with the music. But I stubbornly remained motionless – still hugging myself.

Swami, who was not far away, looked down with concern as I sat there still and silent. Then all of a sudden, the hall turned a misty brilliant white. I gasped and looked around me but within a few seconds the assembled crowd, myself included, were engulfed in the gathering mist. I rubbed my eyes and blinked but the luminescence continued to gather. As I sat there watching, the mist seemed to take on a life of its own. It began to thicken and intensify in a manner that seemed to reflect the joyfulness of the singing. When the bhajan came to its climax, I could no longer see anything as the mist had completly enfolded me.

At the end of the bhajan, I glanced up at Swami. He, too, was encircled by the mist, but to add to my surprise, a powerful light shone around Him. Not entirely convinced I was seeing correctly I thought to myself, ‘someone must be shining a very strong spotlight on Him.’ I peered around the hall for signs of extra lighting but there were none. When Swami turned slowly around to preform Arathi, I clearly saw at the back of His head, and unattached, a milky white shiny disc. When He moved, so the disc moved with Him, never wavering from its position.  It quivered with some unearthly luminescence.

After the Arathi, Swami began to walk away and the disc became more apparent. I can only describe it as a halo, but unlike those seen on pictures of Christian saints. Swami’s halo had a radiance that I felt was somehow charged by His divine essence. When Swami reached the door, both the mist and the halo disappeared.

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The memory of that long ago afternoon is as fresh today as it had been then. Swami had given me a wondrous insight to encourage me during a time when I felt like giving up and it was – ‘LIKE THAT HE TAUGHT ME’.


The Whole World – Sathya Sai Memories Cont.

 

♥♥♥,இڿڰۣ .S.♥.E.♥.V.♥.G.♥.İ.♥.L.♥.E.♥.R.♥.İ.♥.M.♥.L.♥.E.இڿڰۣ♥♥♥.

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The Whole World

The whole world appears as containing innumerable names and forms. One
should not be enmeshed with these names and forms. It is only when the
names and forms are set aside and the underlying source is identified
that it is possible to recognise the truth. And that truth is
Tattwamasi (That Thou Art). That is Prajnanam Brahma (constant
integrated awareness is Brahman). That awareness is Ayam Atma Brahma
(This Self is Brahman). When you analyse the mahavakya Tattwamasi, it
will lead you to the awareness “I am That” and “That I am”.

When you
are able to realise this truth, you will find that the principle “I”
underlies everything in the universe as the principle of unity. We
have to recognise that “I” principle, which is universal. It is a
futile exercise to get into arguments and counter-arguments over this
matter and waste one’s time. The only aspect you have to realise is “I
am Brahman.” When somebody questions you who you are, the proper
answer would be “I am I”, “I am the word, I am the form, and I am the
name.” This “I” represents and explains everything. When somebody
questions who you are, do not reply by quoting your name. The name
represents the name given to the body. You are not the body. Hence
reply “I am I.” Everyone should strive to attain that state of unity.
………………….BHAGAWAN SHRI SATHYA SAI BABA

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the darshan area as I knew it in 1990. Old memories with many old friends in photo. 

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Divine Video From Christmas 2010 – Sathya Sai Memories Cont.

Sai Ram all,

This video was  given to my dad, a gift at Prashanti for  Christmas time 2010. He was doing  seva dal  service  in the holy Christmas  month. Due to his kind  work and seva, he received this DVD. It is not in production and only a few people have it. You cannot purchase the DVD from Prashanti or anywhere for that matter . Here, I have uploaded it on you tube for the WORLD to see!!! 😀

The video is twenty-three minutes long.
enjoy!!!

-Vikesh

“Look out into the

universe and contemplate the

glory of God.

Observe the stars,

millions of them,

twinkling in the night sky,

all with a message of unity,

part of the very nature of God.

-baba

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I thought the video posted above might  be an enjoyable addition to the blog, as a much valued memory of  the last Christmas with Sai Baba, before his passing. This video is probably most suited to Sai devotees, due to the theme being solely created around Him and his work… Lovely and sentimental for those who are devotees.  Thanks.

****.♥ಌڿڰۣ N░A░M░A░S T░E’♥ ॐ♥”*****

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I am posting lots at the moment as I will be away in India for two months from middle of Feb.

Sai Gems – Sathya Sai Memories Cont.

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True teaching is
always an epiphany:
sometimes a clap of thunder
…but often only a whisper,
easily missed.


Once Swami went to the hostel to give the joy of dining with the students. Faculty members were also invited. Swami after having just a spoonful of food as usual started supervising the serving. After all the students and staff had their food, Swami went to one plate and observed that a particular person left some food in the plate and left for washing his hands. Swami enquired as to who sat there and a particular individual was identified that he left the food (wasted). The gentleman apologised to Swami for wasting the food. But Swami did not accept it but said smilingly “If you left some food on your plate at  home, your wife would have had to clear it away but who you think will do it here?”.

Source: As narrated by a faculty member.

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Sai Baba giving darshan during the 1980s under the old tree in Whitefield

Prof. Anil Kumar: Bhagavan! In our namavali, series of names of God,
we address God by so many names. We have more than a hundred names
‘ashtottara’ and a thousand names ‘sahasranama.’ Of these various
names, which is the best and the exact name of God?
Bhagavan: All names and forms are The Divine. There is nothing in the
universe, which is not Divine. You should consider God as the indweller
of your heart – hrudayavasi.
Draupadi, when she was being disrobed and humiliated, prayed to
Krishna for help, calling him ‘brindavana sancari’ and ‘mathura
natha’, which caused some delay in Krishna manifesting to save her. To
prove the truth of her prayerful words, Krishna had to go to Brindavan
and Mathura and then reach the open court to save her. Had she called
Krishna ‘Hrdayavasi’, the indweller of her heart He would have
appeared immediately before her and saved her straightaway from
disgrace. You sing ‘Brindavana sancari’ in your bhajans. Presently I
am in Kodaikanal. Are you not wrong? You sing, prasanthivasa,
parthivihara, ‘one who is in Prasanti Nilayam, moves about in
Puttaparti’, in your bhajans. Is it  right? No. I am in Kodaikanal, not
in Puttaparti or Prasanthi. But, if you say ‘Hrudayavasi’ the
indweller of your heart, though I may be physically anywhere, you will
get immediate response from Me.  ~ (COURTESY :RADIO SAI)

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Sai Krishna Jayanthi Celebrations 1993 – Sathya Sai Memories Cont.

“Arjuna saw the entire universe,divided in many ways, but standing as
(all in One) and One in all, the body of Krishnam – he God of gods.”

-Bhagavad Gita

The following story was brilliantly  penned  by Susan C. in 1993. The  surreal atmosphere and jollity of the festival is captured  in this story.    Susan, at the time, edited a small newspaper on everything “Sai.”  The newspaper, being popular, was  distributed all over the world. Sai Devotees from abroad  picked up copies from Susan’s room and took them home to share with others.    Susan C. still resides in  Puttaparthi… God Bless her!

   

♥*♫*•*¨¨*•♫…♥*

Krishna Jayanthi Celebrations

If you love Lord Krishna, and to know Him is to love Him, where would
you want to spend His festival day? In Brindavan, surely with his
gopalas and gopis and cows. Well that’s what was in store for the
devotees of Sri Sai Baba one August many years ago in Whitefield,
Brindavan.

As dawn broke on this special morning, we heard the Nagasankirtan
singers chanting, ‘Bansidhara Kanaya’ (recite the name of Lord
Krishna) as they passed the guest house going to the compound. We
quickly hurried to see our Krishna, as did the gopis of old, for the
Rasa Vilola on the banks of the Yamuna. A middle number in the lines
took us into Sai Ramesh Hall and as we passed the beautifully
decorated gate to ‘Sai Krishnas’ abode, we heard the temple musicians
playing. Oh! He must be feeding those lucky cows, we thought, with a
little envy. We wondered if they were dressed in their finery with
tassels on their horns. We didn’t have to wonder about Sai Ramesh Hall
however. We could see finery everywhere and we felt lucky to be
inside. Garlands of flowers and long streamers flowed down from the
top of Shanthi Nedika – roses, jasmine and various colours of
marigolds completely covered the two pillars in front of the hall, and
the top was scalloped with wreaths of beautiful bright flowers. Oh how
lovely it looked.

Swami’s silver chair upholstered in maroon velvet was centre stage. We
recognised it as the one used for Chaturi last year. This year, we
wondered what Sai leelas were in store for us.

Swami’s ‘gems’ were on signs around the edges of the hall, “all are
one, be alike to everyone.” “Care more for remarks than for marks.” to
name just a few. The T.V. sets were in place also. Just as we were
writing down the sayings, we glanced up at the screen to see Sai
Krishna taking notes from His gopalas – a previous film.

The Seva Dals and singers were wearing their new finery graciously
given by our Swami the previous day. They looked quite grand in their
silk sarees with deep gold borders. The Krishna statue was richly
decorated of course, with many garlands reaching to the floor in front
of a floral temple door.

Lord Ganesha was in His place in front, decorated with flowers and,
perhaps, anxiously waiting for His day to come next month. The tall
brass lamps were lit, four wicks in each bringing illumination to each
of the four quarters of the hall and maybe the world too? Oh! how
heavenly it is to be in Brindavan itself with our Sai Krishna – even
if we couldn’t see Him with the cows!

The programme starts: Boys sing a traditional Ganesha Bhajan, then
entered the temple musicians through the inner gates, followed by the
students chanting slokas, followed by the cows – Oh! Swami, it’s the
cows – all dressed in their finery. We weren’t in a good position to
see but the T.V. picked up adorable pictures of Swami feeding pongal
(a rice dish) and bananas to the happy sacred cows. He broke coconuts
and did Arathi as well. How marvellous! We could hear the prayers
uttered by the retinue. Then Swami (Vasudeva) entered in his pitambara
robes of a lovely golden silk. Before assuming his chair, he cut an
enormous blue cake – and the boys sang “Krishan Vande Jagat Guru”
followed by a wonderful song describing all of His attributes as
“Madhuram, Madhuram” (sweeter than sweet).

♥*♫*•*¨¨*•♫…♥*

After this, an orchestra of small boys came and sat on the stage at
the lotus feet of Swami. They sang with gusto but it wasn’t until we
heard the familiar tunes from the ‘Ramakatha’ that we realised they
were the Puttaparthi primary school boys. They had difficulty with
only one thing. After an absence of six months away from Swami, they
couldn’t stare straight ahead as they sang, but turned their young
faces to Swami, who continued to look lovingly at them. The divine
magnet held them and they couldn’t turn away. After the RamaKatha
song, Swami preformed Arathi and the Puttaparthi boys brought boxes of
wonderful sweet, buttery prasad to be blessed. This was given to the
Seva Dals and Brindavan singers and supervised lovingly by Bhagavan
Baba – who seemed to enjoy this small part of his divine activity.

Swami then returned slowly to his home.

-Susan C.

Might add that Susan Cadfray sadly died a year ago..

 


❤♫❤♫❤.•*¨`*•..¸♥☼♥ ¸.•*¨`*•.♫❤♫❤♫❤
.;;;..Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♥ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
.. Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ….…. Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ…….. Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

Om Gang Ganapataye Namaha – Sathya Sai Memories Cont.

A truly wonderful  chant from Deva Premal -Om Gang Ganapataye Namaha

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all my friends 🙂 Sai Ram

Today I am happy to post some long lost photos of Sathya Sai, most of which are rare. Also there is an old post called:   American Interview, 1994 & Ganesha’s Birthday – Sathya Sai Memoriesan Amazing story about an equally amazing group interview.

No worship can succeed unless the heart is pure and the senses are mastered. Ganesha is the God who helps overcome obstacles; but, He will create obstacles when good endeavor is obstructed by bad influences; He will clear the path for the sincere sadhaka. He is Prasannavadanam (of bright countenance), of beneficial looks, when you pray to Him for good ends; but, He will not be that when you seek His help for nefarious stratagems! He is Pranava-Swarupa, the Om personified; so He is auspiciousness itself.

Vinayaka is a leader for all deities. Faith in Vinayaka should be developed as the exemplar for all deities and He should be worshiped as the embodiment of Divinity.

from a Sathya Sai Baba Discourse.

Ganesh Gayatri

Om Eka Dantaya Vidmahe
Vakra Thundaya Dhemahi
Thannoh Dhantih Prachodhayath
Om Shanti … Shanti … Shanti

Realizing that Elephant-faced One,
with one tusk is God;
Meditate on the One Who has a curved trunk;
May He enlighten our intellect.