Puttaparthi/Muddenahalli – The Towns of Lost Love – Sathya Sai Baba Memories

FLIGHT

Dark, rain, garden gate ajar
I leave without kisses…
the taxi wheels spraying dirty water
as it goes under the arches
of the town of lost love…
nearly everyone asleep
or dead.

I am full of Emptiness,
the promised void of the Buddha
for those who give up attachment
and now only witness
or remember.

Dark, rain, garden gate ajar
No afflictive emotions,,
such as sorrow, terror,
or murderous jealousy
disturb the stillness
that absorbs me.

At the airport I walk with the living
into the belly of God.
The first meal I’m served
is a big, fat roll
stuffed with masala,
onions, and potatoes.

I eat the remaining bits of India
washing down our first night
and our last night
with coffee
hot as tears.

Dark, rain, garden gate ajar…

https://thetruesai.weebly.com/Terry’s Puttaparthi Abode

The True Sai website is presently on line to provide all information on the Muddenahalli scam and what is being done about it.

https://thetruesai.weebly.com/robert-baskin-usa.html

https://thetruesai.weebly.com/

 

 

In the small town of Puttaparthi,  home of the late Sathya Sai Baba, the times are a changing. It has grown and is no longer cheap to visit, unless there’s room in the ashram for you to stay. Hotels have sprung up and so have the tarriffs, even flats to rent come at a high price.  The once sleepy South India village has grown and now has become a pilgrimage centre for Sathya Sai Baba devotees, although it appears somewhat lonely, without the old magic of Sathya Sai Baba being present. They were magical times! A time most of us do not want to forget. Although,  there are some who have forgotten those days and now chase after the fake Madhusudan in Muddenahalli calling him, “Swami.” How can this ex -student with limited mental faculties and a huge ego besides, be Swami?  One cannot even imagine. Those fake devotees are still living in Puttaparthi, where they are actively persuading others to join them on their frequent visits to darshan of  Madhusudan. Unfortunately they are openly tolerated in Puttaparthi. Why I do not know!  The ex-student tells everyone he is the one person on planet Earth who can both hear and see the late Sai Baba at any given moment. He claims that the real mission of  “Sai” is carried out through him alone! He has elevated himself to the position of a new “God.”  This is nonsense of course.  Swami said “Life is a game, play it”, but games have rules and the Muddenahalli  Fraud Squad are NOT playing by the rules set forth by Swami. Those of us who stand up for the TRUTH by pointing out the discrepancies between the Muddenahalli  crew’s actions and Swami’s teachings are like the child who declared, “The Emperor has no clothes!” and nailed the deception that everyone knew but were afraid to say.

Swami in his 40’s

In Swami’s time these fake devotees would have been banned. He never tolerated for a minute anyone who broke rules or whom he felt unfit to stay in Puttaparthi. I remember on one occasions in 1994 when He was staying in Whitefield. Swami, one afteroon, called us in for an interview. Most of those present were Westerners. There must has been around 400 of us. He spoke about many issues but the one he concentrated on the most, was the one I took to heart – the topic of flitting from guru to guru. He said: “do not go from guru to guru – do not waste your time or their time. You will learn nothing. You will only make of yourself a spiritual prostitute. Do not make yourself into such a low person. Do not become a spiritual prostitute! Stay with Swami if you want me to be your guru. I will help you and keep you safe.”

 He eventually banned a number of persons for being less than sincere. When He banned people, it was for life. Swami kept to his boundaries and most of us abided by his wishes.

….

A friend wrote:

 

“The Muddenahalli Misleadership, although they may have been placed in excellent roles close to Swami due to boons from good deeds in past births, have squandered their “longed-for-by-the-gods” good fortune by turning a deaf ear to what Swami so pointedly cautioned us about when He was in  His Form; that is, to never collect money in His Name and to run away from anyone who professes to be the “go-between” for Swami and His devotees. Swami has made it abundantly clear that His connection to His devotees is direct, Heart to heart, no go-between EVER necessary.

The Muddenahalli Fraud Squad Misleadership are preying on the naive, the ignorant and the egotistical, traveling the world in First Class style, but soliciting funds like beggars! They are appealing to peoples’ EGOS by telling them that “only the top 20% of devotees” will see Swami’s “Lightbody” and follow (that Fraud) Madhusudan. And they twist Swami’s very words, homogenizing them so as to make their blatantly fraudulent actions palatable to those who don’t know any better or do not care investigate the Truth.

This is how they are performing their “duties” in the name of the late Sathya Sai Baba!

 

 

Photos of the Muddenahalli Impersonator and Plan Master, Isaac Tigrett:

 

Madhusudan as a student:

……

Isaac Tigrett – enjoying life in the ashram during Swami’s last years. He was given a spacious flat to live, also  a seat in the front of all others on the verandah.

 

….

 

Terry has written a heartfelt letter on leaving Puttparthi which I share here.  (Towns parthi – Puttaparthi and MDH – Muddenahalli.)

“I could no longer afford to live there. As a tourist I could not earn money. I had a small pension that helped me but it was not enough to cover my increasing costs of living in Parthi. I came home to be close to my mother and siblings and my children and grandchildren who need me in their lives right now. No one in Parthi needed me for anything and I got more than 50 hate mails a week! People would cross the street when they saw me. MDH believers roam freely through the town. They eat in the canteens and preach about Madhu who they believe to be God. No one stops them. They do not have to report their overnight stays at MDH to the authorities and strut through town confident that soon MDH and Parthi will be one organization. Letters to the Trusts, to Prasanthi Council, and people who I thought would help us understand the problem have gone unanswered, not just ones I write, but dozens of devotees tell me they do not get as much as a peep of a reply.

I worked so hard and wanted to alert people, many of whom were my dearest friends and still are, to the dangers of MDH Frauds, to expose them. Being a woman and a non-Hindu continued to create obstacles in day-to-day affairs. I would only get a few likes on my reports. The most I ever got was 100 once. Devotees, real devotees, also did not support my work. They are quick to scold me and complain that I am not capable of understanding Swami’s teachings.

Meanwhile, writing about MDH showed me how few people truly care to adhere to Swami’s teachings. They want tinsel and trash as He called material things….promotions in their jobs, good marriages for their offspring; and do not understand at all the meaning of the three zeroes Swami taught as a requirement for liberation…Loss of Health, Wealth, and Reputation. Frankly, it is so obvious that reading the Avatar’s teachings did not, and does not, interest them.
.
No one forced me out. I left to be of use in a place where people need me, my work, my insight, my forthrightness, and my LOVE. I hope this helps you understand that once Swami is within us and there is no separation, wherever we are is the right place. He showed me that being abused and hated by so-called devotees is not the way He wants me, or anyone else, to be treated. Earning money was a necessity as well. I ran out of funds in the new “use only plastic” economy and could no longer afford to live in such a costly environment. The two events happened simultaneously. HAHAHAHAH No use of plastic bags allowed, but you must use plastic money cards….”

Meanwhile to end of Sai Baba’s famous words:  “Follow The Master; Face the devil; Fight to the end; Finish the goal.”

 

 

Might add: Madhusudan and others. ~ On their last visit to Ca. They told people that the “invisible”  or Lightbody of  Sai Baba had instructed them through Madhusudan, to buy land in Ca. to build an Ashram in his name. They even went ahead with a fire ceremony to mark this important occasion.  Oddly enough it is right there in the fire belt, at Los Gatos, in the hills above San Francisco . Would the real and true Sathya Sai Baba tell them to buy land to build an ashram in his name on ground that would be burned to a cinder within a few months?  Does not ring true to me!

 

 

An offering  of Flowers To Sathya Sai Baba

When Our Hearts Break – Inspirational Quotations

the dark Iris

The Zen of an Aching Heart

“Your days pass like rainbows, like a flash of lightning, like a star at dawn. Your life is short. How can you quarrel?”

~The Buddha

~Buddha 

In the Jewish mystical tradition, one great Rabbi taught his disciples to memorize and contemplate the teachings and place the prayers and holy words on their heart. One day a student asked the Rabbi why he always used the phrase “on your heart” and not “in your heart,” and the master replied, “Only time and grace can put the essence of these stories in your heart. Here we recite and learn them and put them on our hearts hoping that some day when our heart breaks they will fall in.”

But when our heart breaks—in love, in friendship, in partnership—it is always a very difficult experience. Modern neuroscience has even discovered that the emotional suffering we experience registers in the same areas of the brain as physical pain. So when we’re feeling abandoned and rejected, we don’t want to eat, we can’t sleep, we have difficulty breathing, our bodies feel as if we have the flu or we’ve been run over by a truck.

So, what can we do when we have to accept the loss of a friend, a lover, or a loved one? What truth can we find beyond the stories we tell ourselves about how they’re wrong and we’re right, or that we’re wrong and they’re right? What can we do besides spending fruitless hours trying decipher everything they said or did? Can we do something more useful than justifying to ourselves what we said or did, or wishing that we had said or done something else? And what can we do when the story spreads to nearly drown us in despair over feelings that there’s something wrong with us, that we’re unlovable, that we’re the reason things didn’t work out?

Like a sandcastle, all is temporary.

Build it, tend it, enjoy it.

And when the time comes

let it go.

The first thing you need to do when you’ve suffered loss or betrayal is to find a way to regain your wise heart so that you can let it hold the aching of your heart. The Zen teacher Karlfried Von Durckheim speaks of the importance of the need to go through our difficulties in a conscious and clear way.

The person who, already being on the way, falls upon hard times in the world, will not as a consequence turn to those friends who offered them refuge and comfort and encourage their old self to survive. Rather, they will seek out someone who will faithfully and inexorably help them to risk themselves, so they may endure the difficulty and pass courageously through it. Only to the extent that a person exposes themselves over and over again to annihilation and loss can that which is indestructible be found within them. In this daring lie dignity and the spirit of true awakening.

….

Sometimes suffering the losses and the unexpected betrayals and break-ups that befall each of us becomes the places where we grow deepest in our capacity to lead an authentic and free life. Here is where the heart grows in dignity and care. By grieving honorably and tenderly and working our way through our difficulties, our ability to love and feel compassion for ourselves and others deepens, along with the trust that will help us through similar problems in the future.

Breathe. Remember, there are countless others who have suffered in this way and gotten through it. We are not alone. Learning how to survive our present difficulties is one of the few things that will help us to know the right things to say and do when others whom we love suffer as well.

This excerpt is taken from the book, “A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times“ Jack Kornfield

So Much Beauty – The Persian Verses of Rumi

Have we taken Allah out of Rumi’s poems?

New Age “translations of  jalaluddin Rumi’s works have become a type of ‘spiritual colonialism.’ We in the West have been bypassing, erasing, and occupying a spiritual landscape that has been lived and breathed and internalized by Muslims from Bosnia and Istanbul to Konya and Iran to Central and South Asia.” Extracting the spiritual from the religious context has deep reverberations. Islam is regularly diagnosed as a “cancer”  by people today and we are loathed to think that the  greatness of Sufi Poems are based on the Islamic faith.

In the 1800s, colonialist-minded translators found it difficult to reconcile Rumi’s poetry with their preconceptions of Islam as a “desert religion,” whose followers were forsaken with “unusual moral and legal codes.” In the twentieth century, prominent translators, such as R. A. Nicholson, A. J. Arberry, and Annemarie Schimmel, made limited headway into producing versions that stayed more true to the original Persian prose, but these translations have not been the most widely circulated among Western readers.

earlier translations of Rumi’s works – possibly

by R.A. Nicholson

That title is held by Coleman Barks, the American poet and interpreter responsible for re-introducing Rumi’s poetry for English-speaking audiences in recent decades. Barks, who does not speak Persian and is not trained in Islamic literature, has recast earlier translations of Rumi’s works into “fluid, casual American free verse,” according to Christain Science Monitor.

For his part, Coleman Barks sees religion as secondary to the essence of Rumi. “Religion is such a point of contention for the world,” he told me. “I got my truth and you got your truth—this is just absurd. We’re all in this together and I’m trying to open my heart, and Rumi’s poetry helps with that.” One might detect in this philosophy something of Rumi’s own approach to poetry: Rumi often amended texts from the Koran so that they would fit the lyrical rhyme and meter of the Persian verse. But while Rumi’s Persian readers would recognize the tactic, most American readers are unaware of the Islamic blueprint. Some have said, compare reading Rumi without the Koran to reading Milton without the Bible: even if Rumi was heterodox, it’s important to recognize that he was heterodox in a Muslim context—and that Islamic culture, centuries ago, had room for such heterodoxy. Rumi’s works are not just layered with religion; they represent the historical dynamism within Islamic scholarship.

Rumi used the Koran, Hadiths, and religion in an explorative way, often challenging conventional readings. One of Barks’s popular renditions goes like this: “Out beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing, there is a field. / I will meet you there.” The original version makes no mention of “rightdoing” or “wrongdoing.” The words Rumi wrote were iman (“religion”) and kufr (“infidelity”). Imagine, then, a Muslim scholar saying that the basis of faith lies not in religious code but in an elevated space of compassion and love. What we, and perhaps many Muslim clerics, might consider radical today is an interpretation that Rumi put forward more than seven hundred years ago.

Such readings were not entirely unique back then. Rumi’s works reflected a broader push and pull between religious spirituality and institutionalized faith—though with a wit that was unmatched. “Historically speaking, no text has shaped the imagination of Muslims—other than the Koran—as the poetry of Rumi and Hafez,” it is said. This is why Rumi’s voluminous writings, produced at a time when scribes had to copy works by hand, have survived.

“Language isn’t just a means of communication,” the writer and translator Sinan Antoon has said. “It’s a reservoir of memory, tradition, and heritage.” As conduits between two cultures, translators take on an inherently political project. They must figure out how to make, for instance, a thirteenth-century Persian poet comprehensible to a contemporary American audience. But they have a responsibility to remain true to the original work—an act that, in the case of Rumi, would help readers to recognize that a professor of Sharia could also write some of the world’s mostly widely read love poetry.

Jawid Mojaddedi is now in the midst of a years-long project to translate all six books of the “Masnavi.” Three of them” have been published; the fourth is due out this spring. His translations acknowledge the Islamic and Koranic texts in the original by using italics to denote whenever Rumi switches to Arabic. His books are also riddled with footnotes. Reading them requires some effort, and perhaps a desire to see beyond one’s preconceptions. That, after all, is the point of translation: to understand the foreign. As Keshavarz put it, translation is a reminder that “everything has a form, everything has culture and history. A Muslim can be like that, too.”

earlier translation

Have we hi-jacked Rumi and moulded him to our own understanding – Yes indeed,  is that a bad thing? No! Indeed no. We have not destroyed the original Rumi and who would want to? We have  expanded on his wonderful poetry and by so doing, opened him and his works to an international audience and an entirely new generation. I think we have done good! 

Excerpted from Rozina Ali’s recent article The Erasure of Islam from the Poetry of Rumi

Link to article

http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-erasure-of-islam-from-the-poetry-of-rumi

When the Guru Is Gone – Sathya Sai Baba

Offering of Flowers To Sathya Sai Baba

What happens, then, when the guru dies or goes away? How do disciples cope with the absence of the one whose living and loving presence has opened for them the door to their own heart, the one through whom all reality has been filtered, and their own self understood? The disciples of Jesus, Palestinian Jews living at the beginning of the Common Era, and the disciples of the Indian Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba, both Indians and Americans in 1970’s India, were both forced to negotiate the absence of the guru. These two groups of devotees,  separated by almost 2,000 years in time and more than 2,500 miles, in land mass, inhabited very different cultures. They told stories about their gurus that help us understand the evolving meaning of the body of the guru—both in its presence and its absence. It is an interesting tale of sameness.

In looking at what devotees have chosen to recall we come to see what the disciple community finds destabilizing in the guru’s physical absence as well as how that absence can be overcome; how the pain of loss of the “non-dual reciprocity” of guru and disciple is eventually transcended through a new understanding of the body of the guru. A process that many people face today while  recovering from the loss of Sathya Sai Baba, who many worshipped and adored.

In the Absence of the Body: Discipleship When the Guru Has Gone

 

An ancient axiom holds that when the disciple is ready, the guru will appear.  Much less is said about what happens when the guru disappears—and for this, disciples are rarely ready.  It is often a more traumatic event than the death of a parent or spouse or child, because the relationship between disciple and guru is of a different nature than relationships with parents, lovers, friends, or one’s own children.  While all these relationships can involve deep and selfless love, the love of the guru (in both the genitive and objective sense) becomes the lens through which the disciple understands the self, the other, and the world. And at least initially, the locus of this love is the bodily presence of the guru.

The guru not only shows the way, but is that very way.  “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” is how Jesus’ disciples remembered him.

Abhishiktānanda, a modern Roman Catholic monk initiated into Indian advaita by his guru, Gnānānanda, writes that “Guru and disciple form a dyad, a pair, whose two components call for each other and belong together.  No more than the two poles (of a magnet) can they exist without being related to each other.  On the way towards unity they are a dyad.  In the ultimate realization they are a non-dual reciprocity.”

 

How and Why We Remember

Gospel scholars talk about the “messianic secret” that describes how Jesus in the Gospels tells his disciples not to talk about his deeds of power or identity as the Christ, but to keep these things silent. Scholars often interpret this “secret” as a literary device (especially in Mark) employed to explain why, if Jesus was working all the wonders reported in the narrative, all of Israel did not come to believe in him, or at least know of him in his lifetime.3

In collecting the early stories of Neem Karoli Baba, Ram Dass encountered a modern corollary of the messianic secret. He writes that it took a number of years for Neem Karoli Baba’s Indian disciples to openly share their stories of Maharajji (as Neem Karoli Baba was known) due to his own directive that he should not be spoken about to others. There are stories of Maharajji ordering the burning of a collection of stories about him and of his tearing up a manuscript of an article on him. Neem Karoli, much like Jesus, ordered those who witnessed miracles effected by or through him never to speak of them. In the case of Neem Karoli Baba, this reticence is certainly not a literary device. Can it be that for Jesus, too, the “messianic secret” was real—and not a device of the Gospel authors?

We have similar instances of both teachers rebuking those who would compliment or draw attention to them. When his contemporary, Deoria Baba, said that Neem Karoli was an incarnation of love, Maharaji responded, “Why, that wicked man! What does he know? Who does he think he is?” Jesus, when called “good teacher” by an inquiring outsider, answered, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” Both of them were opposed having their deeds recorded, and yet their disciples felt the need to do so when they were gone.

Both maharaj and Jesus often complained that their disciples did not truly understand their message, or even who they were. Yet, in spite of the guru’s admonitions, the community of disciples feels responsible for interpreting him to one another after his disappearance, and for preserving/creating a body of material through which the guru will become known by others. The gathering together of such stories offers those who experienced them a way to process the events of the past and gives new generations the possibility of experiencing an awakening similar to that of those who lived in the presence of the guru. In theological language this is called anamnesis, a remembering that makes real in the present the being or event that is being recalled. Anamnesis is one attempt at making the disappeared body of the guru present again.

Now we have the same with Sathya Sai Baba, while alive he complained that his followers failed to understand him. He called himself an enigma, one who could not be known. His passing six years ago, came as a surprise to his community and left them in shock. How did they deal with his passing? On the surface, not very well. While some carried on just as before, holding on to their past habits and routines they had build up during their time with the guru, others floundered. Many left to find another guru or to find solace in a former student and imposter.  Although, I feel that a certain Anamnesis has taken place and the steadfast following will overcome the humbug following, in making  the guru’s Temple and Ashram, the guru himself.

 

Excerpted from Parabola: Where Spiritual Traditions Meet, Vol. 37, No. 3 (2012).

 By James H. Reho 

..

The key is in understanding that the physical body is only an instrument of the divine. It is not forever. What was it that Sathya Sai Baba said so well ? “You are not the body.” “Drop all attachments to the body and its desires.”  I feel that includes all physical attachment to Sai Baba’s form also. ~  More importantly He said and I quote:  “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.” And to end on a happy note, a beautiful video of darshan with Swami to the huanting music of Secret Garden.  

We Didn’t Own An Ipad! Funny Video

 

 

 

Children growing up during the 1970s remember!

 

“I remember when we first got an automatic washing machine. We all sat on the floor and watched it go round for one full load. It was better than watching t.v.  We had only three channels and no way of recording programmes. You watched live or not at all. The audience for the most popular programmes was enormous, in a way that’s inconceivable now except for things like the Olympics and state funerals/weddings.Taping things off the radio when they played the charts on a Sunday night, trying not to get the D.J. talking over the intro.I was trying to explain to my son that there were no mobile phones, no internet, no iPods or iPads, no computers when I was a child. TV only had 3 channels and closed down half the day and all night, and we didn’t have videos in any homes that I knew of, either. He couldn’t begin to get his head around it. With such limited entertainment available, people developed a real fondness for what was on offer. We had lots of good adverts on TV – The Milk Tray man and the man sneaking down in the middle of the night to get R. White’s lemonade out of the fridge.

 

Those weird foreign children’s serials the BBC put on (although that may have been more in the 60s) – Belle and Sebastian,White Horses and the daddy of them all – The Singing Ringing Tree. I think they dubbed them, as you couldn’t really expect tiny children to read subtitles. But somehow you could still hear the original dialogue underneath – is that right?!”

Calling Swap Shop on 01 811 8055. Or, in reality, watching  “Swap Shop” and being really envious of those children that were actually allowed to use the phone.

….

 And where were your Parents?
Parenting methods were more laissez-faire. My mum and dad used to drive to the pub and leave me in the car with a bottle of pop and a packet of crisps whilst they sat inside.I always travelled alone on flights, mum and dad went straight down the back to smoke and drink in the rear seats. I saw them at take off and landing.

 

 

“And no-one had a clue when it came to health and safety. Sitting on my mum’s lap in the front seat of the car. No seat belts. Ever. Standing up in the car with head out the sunroof. Or sitting in the back of the car close to the rear window.  Our local play park was a death trap. The slide was very, very, very high and there was no padded stuff or even grass – just rock hard concrete or tarmac. The climbing frame looked like it had been constructed using scaffolding poles. Also,  1970s style had a certain ‘je ne sais quoi‘ about it. Dad wore medallions and drove a Firebird Trans Am with an eagle on the bonnet. Mum said you could hear it coming five minutes before arrival. Flicked-out hair-dos done with curling-tongs and before any sort of gel or mousse had been invented. People describe the 70s as the decade that taste forgot. Au contraire. It was massively stuffed with taste. Just not, well…the best.”

 

a favourite from the 1970s
A time of simple Pleasures:
simple Christmases

It was a time of simple pleasures such as The Blue Peter Christmas lantern that was a tinsel-covered pair of wire hangers with actual candles. Jackie posters that came in 3 parts so you got David Cassidy’s legs one week, torso the next and his head the next! Queueing up to watch Star Wars (Matinee) aged 7 in Manchester with my brother and parents was a real treat!  British gastronomy attained truly dizzying heights.

I remember making my Mum breakfast for her birthday with an orange juice that came in a packet and you added water to it. I thought it the height of sophistication. I can remember the awful orange juice we had that used to stick to the bottle. I’m sure this was not good for us. Rice paper at 1p per sheet – it was a novelty to have paper you were allowed to eat.”Ice Magic” (went stiff when you put it on the ice cream).

 

every little girls dream bike

The Bad Things:

“Of course, that’s not to say it didn’t have its bad points Those terrifying public safety films they used to show you in schools. Phone boxes – always smelled of pee (you didn’t dare stand on the floor if there was water on it) and the receiver always smelled of ciggies. Buses regularly on strike and having to walk home six miles from school all alone in the rain.  I remember getting REALLY horribly burnt in the summer. Kids didn’t really wear sun cream back then. Even the tarmac bubbled up in the 1976 heatwave.”

Spirit Walking – The Arboretum

Magnolia

Now it’s Spring, why not spend time in a flower garden or in a park?  An arboretum is a great place to be with trees and often provides a special sort of quiet.  In an arboretum you can take a spirit walk. That is to be at one with nature. There among the trees you can listen to the breeze moving through the branches and the grasses.  Birds too can be heard in the quiet of a tree-lined pathway. There’s no better sanctury for birds and butterflies than an arboretum.  A walk with nature is a healing thing.  Stay there as long as you wish, but make sure your visit is long enough to take in the various forms and colours that the world of  leaves and petals provides. You can glean so much in such a short time. Nature is ever providing something wonderful to look upon. Look not only to what’s growing around trees or those flowers growing along the way,  Look beneath your feet too. What do you see? However you choose to spend your time, be aware that you are a guest in someone else’s home — nature’s — so act accordingly. Eve

“Nature is part of our life. We grew out of the seed, the earth, and we are part of all that. But we are rapidly losing the sense that we are animals like the others. Can you have a feeling for that tree, look at it, see the beauty of it, listen to the sound it makes; be sensitive to the little plant, to the little weed, to that creeper that is growing up the wall, to the light on the leaves and the many shadows? One must be aware of all this and have the sense of communion with nature around you. You may live in a town but you do have trees here and there. A flower in the next garden may be ill-kept, crowded with weeds, but look at it, feel that you are part of all that, part of all living things. If you hurt nature you are hurting yourself.”

~ Krishnamurti

bluebells in Kent, UK
Winter 2016
Pathway with Petals
fallen Camellias
Magnolia Branches
Flowers – Large Magnolia
Fr.

Msgnolia in Carhaix, Brittany, Fr.
Forsythia, Brittany, France
Large Flowering Magnolia
France

Seeking And Finding, The “Get Real” Factor

If you dream of finding a great Teacher, a Master, the operative advice is, “get real.” Great teachers may appear once in a hundred years. Masters require great sacrifice of those willing to follow them … and as we are not prepared to pay the price, it’s best to start exactly where we find ourselves with the help that is within reach. More likely I can find a guide, someone who knows the way but is still in the process of becoming. A useful guide is one who will help me to connect to my authentic self, that self that is connected to God. No shame, no blame, no fear, marks this journey, where every inner movement needs to be seen without judgment.  – His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama

inevitably, sooner or later the teacher dies.

We will hear his voice no more.
It is the end of an era.
You, you mourn.
With the spiritual parent gone, you are no longer the child.
What is a pupil to do?
To find another teacher seems necessary, but wait— What did he or she teach you?  The source of  “I Am” is within.

Richard Gere inspired by the Dalai Lama

George Harrison and Ravi Shankar inspired

by The Hari Krishnas and Sathya Sai Baba

Deva Premal and Miten Inspired by Osho

FINDING

The wise say I can learn from everyone I meet.  But exactly what is it that is being learned? What can I glean from some rough lout, some timid or repressed soul, some crazy?  Surely they have nothing to teach an educated person like me. But there is no better teacher than the mirror, and every person can be my mirror, reflecting back to me some aspect of myself, particularly when it is something I dislike. I contain multitudes, as Walt Whitman put it. There is nothing I can see in another that I do not also contain to some degree—cheat, murderer, martyr, hero, and much more. Looking closely I discover that fundamentally we are all alike—all subject to the same passions and hopes, and this touches a feeling of compassion in me that does not otherwise appear.

My deepest guilty secret is gradually revealed to me: I believe that at least in some respect, I am better than everyone else. Only a penetrating view of my inner world dispels this pernicious illusion.
Books are helpful—reading prepares the mind and books are available where a living guide is not to be found. But eventually we need the human connection. A book cannot look back at me and hear my tone of voice. It cannot remind me to release the tension in my shoulders. It does not know when I am ready for the next step.

https://parabola.org/2014/07/26/how-to-find-a-spiritual-teacher/

On Reaching The Sixth Anniversary Of the Passing Of Sathya Sai Baba – Make Yourself A Light!

Swami in his 40’s

“I need only one ‘Mandir’ – Your Hearts!

Preserve the purity of your hearts, so that SAI may reside therein

….

We are coming up to the sixth anniversary of the passing of Sathya Sai Baba. To honour his most sapient teaching, I have written a small article called  “The Source.” It is posted below.  Sai Baba may have been the most high-lighted guru of his day, but his message is no different from other distinguished teachers who have lived, taught and left a remarkable legacy of a time-honoured practice to go within. He always stressed the need for inner reflection. He stressed that spiritual practices can only be done with the help of the body. All education obtained is through the body. Everything we are is due to the facility of the body. Both our merit and demerit are the result of  actions performed with the help of our bodies. And that all important incessant search for peace is a heartfelt attempt to find the God Source inside our own bodies but we are not just the body, we  are far greater than that.

WHY FIGHT OVER BODY PARTS? – THE SOURCE IS WITHIN.

Someone said something extraordinary to me the other day, while we were discussing Sathya Sai baba and the Muddenahalli splinter group. The now infamous group who have forged ahead in Sai Baba’s name. They said why be attached to body parts when you can seek the Source within? True, why do we hang onto body parts or a body form, when the wisest teachers tell us clearly we are not a body. The source of wisdom is love and that is something we can all find within ourselves. All spiritual teachers speak with one voice, when they say that a flesh and blood temporary body is just a vehicle to be used while on Earth. We are all just body-parts with the potential of finding the eternal truth within us. Best to focus and find that sacred place in our hearts where the in-dweller resides. Yes, it takes a lot of determination and dedication but it is not without merit, that we eventually find out that our spiritual teacher’s guidance is both wise and compassionate. But as always in cases of well-known spiritual teachers, once they pass from this world, those pivotal devotees who once held positions or power within their late teachers setup, struggle over the right to carry his/her name on in their own chosen way. They claim power and possession over their late teacher’s movement and cause confusion and division among followers. Power struggles are part of every religion and almost all sects. Such power struggle are normal in this ego-centric world, often going against everything their late teacher had taught. When hard nosed egos decides they are the one and only “Source of Light and Knowledge,” and they are the chosen ones, they literally go out of their way to be deliberately spiteful and vengeful to others, who do not see them as the “new mouth-piece” for their late teacher.


SO LISTEN TO THE WISDOM OF THE TEACHER AND DON’T ALLOW BODY PARTS TO INTERFERE WITH YOUR SEARCH FOR THE INNER SOURCE.

The early days in the old Mandir

 

Sathya Sai Baba’s words on mediums and cheats.

 

Today, Sai Baba’s Samadhi  has a concentrated energy force that permeates all areas of his ashram. Very much like  a vortex of a storm, this energy or shakti is far-reaching.  The uplifting vibrations are  apparent in and around the Shine, embedded as they are, in every nook and cranny of the immediate area of the Samadhi. The guru’s shakti has now become a forceful tool for enlightenment. For those who come to the Shrine to worship and practise, there’s nothing better than the vibrations of the late Sai Baba.