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

Geometry Of Light From Cathedrals Of France

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THE SUN

“But to receive the sun, one must first have dwelt for a long while in its thrice-blessed courts. One must have gone to meet it for a while, must have long been its student. As to bad monuments, the sun has nothing to say to bad artists whom the open air of the work yards has not prepared with understanding.

Is it possible that everyone is oblivious to, or mistakes, the sun’s gifts? Does it not present the universe with majesty, making everything perceptible and living? Does it not inspire the poet, whether famous or obscure? The sun is responsible for the prosperity of the farmers, the joy of animals, the fertility of the land; and man’s thoughts perhaps have their hearth in its light and warmth. For a long time man believed he saw God’s truth blazing in its fires, and God wishes us to adore the sun. When it shines, the earth is modelled according to its divine flame.

Thus it is allowed, and, by patience and diligence, it is possible, to understand and feel the geometry of light. In this spirit tastes response in silence, drawing forth from it a new energy and generosity.”

– Auguste Rodin, ‘The Cathedrals of France’

thanks to Jake Murray for the article

 

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Les nouvelles cloches de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris exposées dans la nef en février 2013
Les nouvelles cloches de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris exposées dans la nef en février 2013

 

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Light Festival de Lyon, France - Cathedral de Lyon
Light Festival de Lyon, France – Cathedral de Lyon

 

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Majestic Carcassone cathedral interiors in sun light. Lanquedoc, France.
Majestic Carcassone cathedral interiors in sun light. Lanquedoc, France.

 

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- sun rays beaming through the old stained glass window of saint denis cathedral and lighting interior with tomb. Paris, France, Europe.
– sun rays beaming through the old stained glass window of saint denis cathedral and lighting interior with tomb. Paris, France, Europe.

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https://sathyasaimemories.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/17436076-majestic-carcassone-cathedral-interiors-in-sun-light-lanquedoc-france
https://sathyasaimemories.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/17436076-majestic-carcassone-cathedral-interiors-in-sun-light-lanquedoc-france

Schelling’s CLARA – Inspirational Quotations

Port de Carhaix - Fr.
Port de Carhaix – Fr.

 

 

 

I find myself every once in a while, searching through quotations for something to inspire and to light up my day. Here’s several such quotations from Schelling. I hope you enjoy them. Photos are from this Fall, and what an enchanting Fall it was too.

 

Schelling’s,   –  “CLARA”

One of the characters in this book says:

Oh, the true ruins are not those of ancient human splendor which the curious seek out in Persian or Indian deserts; the whole Earth is One great ruin, where animals live as ghosts and humans as spirits and where many hidden powers and treasures are locked away, as if by an invisible strength or by a magician’s spell.

And this:

Even in your own opinion nature is suffering from a hidden poison that she would like to overcome or reject, but cannot. Doesn’t she mourn with us? We are able to complain, but she suffers in silence and can talk to us only through signs and miens. What a quiet wistfulness lies in so many flowers, the mourning dew and in the evening’s fading colors.

 …

All Fall down!
All Fall down!

 

 …

Orchids
Orchids

 

 …

“Certainly one who could write completely the history of their own life would also have, in a small epitome, concurrently grasped the history of the cosmos. Most people turn away from what is concealed within themselves just as they turn away from the depths of the great life and shy away from the glance into the abysses of that past which are still in one just as much as the present.”

“I now need friends who are not strangers to the real seriousness of pain and who feel that the single right and happy state of the soul is the divine mourning in which all earthly pain is immersed.”

Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph

 

 …

Sweet Williams
Sweet Williams

 

 …

Cyclamen
Cyclamen

 

“A tree that draws strength, life, and substance into itself from the earth may hope to drive its topmost branches hanging with blossom right up to heaven. However, the thoughts of those who think from the beginning that they can separate themselves from nature, even when they are truly spiritually and mentally gifted, are only like those delicate threads that float in the air in late summer and that are as incapable of touching heaven as they are of being pulled to the ground by their own weight.”

-Schelling, “Clara”

Can anyone tell me: Does Word Press have an automatic “like” button feature anywhere? I am beginning to feel there has to be one, judging by the fast speed of the first few likes on each and every post, sometimes before I have published!   ...

 

chrysanthemum
chrysanthemum

 …

 

Cyclamen
Cyclamen

Sand Castles – Inspirational Quotes

from the garden in fall
from the garden in fall

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It is hard to believe I have kept this little blog going now for five long years.Of course during that time, it has been changed and been rearranged so many times, I’ve lost count. It began as a blog for small stories and quotes from Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who died unfortunately, in 2011.

After his demise, the blog lost purpose. At least for  me. The sadness of losing Sai Baba and the community that had been “home” to me for over two decades, left a big hole in my heart. Saddened, I renamed the blog “Children Of Light” then continued on with spiritual parables and quotes. Later still, I began adding more photos and you tubes. Just lately though, I have definitely developed writers block, although I’m not sure why. Perhaps I have reached the limits of my capabilities in the writing dept. Still, the photography is something I love to share with you all. So like the quote below, I have with some success built my sand-castle, decorated it with shells – now the tide has come in and washing all of it away, leaving me with the just the photos.

 Just like children building a sand castle, we embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of colored glass. The castle is ours, off limits to others. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sand castle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea. 🙂

~ Pema Chödrön

The Window Box flowers, Quintin, Fr.
The Window Box flowers,
Quintin, Fr.

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Seeing Miracles –

Petals in the fountain - by Eve
Petals in the fountain – by Eve

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”

― Thich Nhat Hanh


For these pics. I used a Lumix XL7 camera on macro setting.

Blackberries growing under the hedge
Blackberries growing under the hedge
begonia and geranium floating in the fountain
begonia and geranium floating in the fountain
white hydrangea
white hydrangea

Seeing Everything As A Gift – Inspirational

Photo from Corlay, Brittany, 2014
Photo from Corlay, a small village in central  Brittany,

Walking around with my camera as I tend to do,  I never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. I keep putting one foot in front of the other, until something appears I want to photograph. The picture here is of a path, one I regularly visit.  While shooting  the photo, I’d focused on the trees only, thus, had not seen the lady with the white dog. Sitting later in the computer room, editing the photo, the lady in the far background suddenly became visible.  How had I missed her? She was wearing  a red coat, a colour that stands out, but somehow I had not seen her. Now, I wonder was she real or was she a phantom?  I will never know. She is a pleasing gift for this photo though.   Thank you lady in the Red Coat!   


“As we traversed rural India at the speed of a couple of miles per hour, it became clear how much we could learn simply by bearing witness to the villagers’ way of life. Their entire mental model is different—the multiplication of wants is replaced by the basic fulfillment of human needs. When you are no longer preoccupied with asking for more and more stuff, then you just take what is given and give what is taken. Life is simple again. A farmer explained it to us this way: “You cannot make the clouds rain more, you cannot make the sun shine less. They are just nature’s gifts—take it or leave it.”

When the things around you are seen as gifts, they are no longer a means to an end; they are the means and the end. And thus, a cow-herder will tend to his animals with the compassion of a father, a village woman will wait three hours for a delayed bus without a trace of anger, a child will spend countless hours fascinated by stars in the galaxy, and finding his place in the vast cosmos.

So with today’s modernized tools at your ready disposal, don’t let yourself zoom obliviously from point A to point B on the highways of life; try walking the back roads of the world, where you will witness a profoundly inextricable connection with all living things.”

–Nipun Mehta, PATHS ARE MADE FOR WALKING: Four steps to take on the road of life


Here are several other favourite paths from central Brittany, France. “Photos of Fall”

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a favourite path
a favourite path

Goddesses – Video

A magnificent you tube defining the Goddess, her strengths and her beauty. The photos are amazing, the music magical. 🙂

A little about two ancient Greek Goddesses – Demeter and Persephone and the rites of the divine bee.   Here goes in a few words.

The fifth century BCE Greek historian Herodotus relates the importance of bees in ancient Greece, pointing out that the honey of neighboring countries was made using fruit, while the honey of the Greeks was produced by bees. The significance of this difference lies in that, to the Greeks of that time period, bees were considered to be divine insects, and were revered in their myths and rituals. Among the most celebrated of these myths was the story of the fertility goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone. Demeter restores her gift of fruit and grain to the earth, but she also gives a greater gift to humans—the Mysteries.

The Eleusinian Mysteries were an initiatory tradition that played an important role in the lives of those who experienced it. In these rites, the initiates, known as mystai, were led on a procession toward Eleusis by the priests and priestesses of Demeter. This was a symbolic initiatic journey in which they purified themselves in preparation to ceremonially return Persephone from the underworld and take part in other sacred acts. As in the wider Greek culture, the bee symbolized divine concepts of life and death, so in the Mysteries and other traditions it took on the connotation of initiatic death and rebirth: that is, of personal regeneration and transformation.

Debbie Rilley - thanks for bee pic.
Debbie Rilley – thanks for bee pic.

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from the garden
from the garden

Flower The Symbol Of The Soul – Inspirational

flower photos by eve
flower photos by eve

There is one school of thought that we already are just a state of consciousness, just with part of that state in material form. If our bodies are aspects of consciousness, just dense ones, then we are better understood as being half-beings, made up of manifest (material) and unmanifest (non-material) consciousness. Here in this excerpt from Blossoming Of The Rose, we read how the flower is a symbol of Spirit. 

    


“The flower has been regarded and used as a symbol of the Soul, of the spiritual Self, of Divinity in both the East and West. China adopted the image of the ‘Golden Flower’, while India and Tibet adopted the lotus, which has its roots in the earth, its stem in the water and its petals in the air, where they open under the rays of the sun. In Persia and Europe, the rose has been extensively used. Examples are to be found in the ‘Roman de la Rose’ of the Troubadours, the mystical rose exquisitely described by Dante in the ‘Paradisio’ and the rose at the centre of the cross that forms the symbol of some religious orders. Usually it has been the already open flower that has served as a symbol of the Spirit, and, although this is a static representation, its visualisation can be very stimulating and evocative. But even more effective in stimulating psychospiritual processes is the dynamic visualisation of a flower, that is, of its transition and development from the closed bud to the fully open bloom.

Such a dynamic symbol, conveying the idea of development, corresponds to a profound reality, to a fundamental law of life that governs the functions of the human mind as well as the processes of nature. Our spiritual being, the Self, which is the essential and most real part of us, is concealed, confined and ‘enveloped’ first by the physical body with its sense impressions, then by the multiplicity of the emotions and the different drives (fears, desires, attractions and repulsions) and finally by the restless activity of the mind. The liberation of the consciousness from the entanglements is an indispensable prelude to the revelation of the spiritual Centre. The agency for achieving it – and this applies in nature as much as in the realm of the mind – is the wonderful and mysterious action of the intrinsic value of ‘livingness’, both biological and psychological, that works with irresistible pressure from within.”

– Roberto Assgioli, MD, ‘Psychosynthesis: A Collection of Basic Writings’

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