You are aware that fire is created when one stick is rubbed vigorously against another. Is it friction between the two sticks that produces the fire? No! Fire is latent in the wood and emerges from rubbing the sticks together. The fire hidden imperceptibly in the wood, is made manifest by sadhana (the process of rubbing the sticks). The wooden sticks symbolise the inert human body, in which the fire of divine wisdom (Jnana) is ever present in subtle form. Divine power pervades every part of your body. You should put it to proper use and become a treasure-house of good conduct and pure qualities. Then depending on the state of purity of the temple of your body, the divine power will manifest in you.
Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated on the Chaturthi, i.e., the fourth day of Indian lunar month of Bhadrapada.
It usually falls in the month of September in the English calendar. Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God is usually worshipped before commencing any activity in order to remove obstacles and ensure success of the endeavour. He is also the bestower of worldly intelligence and spiritual wisdom.
Watch the Video Webcast of the Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations in Prasanthi Nilayam
Let us recall the benign countenance of the omni-present Lord,
with a moon-like complexion, having four arms
and clad in a white garment.
May He remove all impediments in our path.
The festival is usually celebrated for a period for three days in Prasanthi Nilayam. On the first day, the students sing devotional songs and Stotrams (hymns) and present cultural programmes in the Divine Presence and Bhagawan grants His discourse.During the next two days, students and staff of Bhagawans Institutions worship idols of Lord Ganesha in their respective premises. On the third day of the festival, the idols are brought to the Sai Kulwant Hall in a grand procession of colourful and exquisitely designed chariots amidst chanting of hymns and singing of Bhajans. After offering final worship and Arati, it is customary to immerse in the idol in a nearby lake or pond as it is the belief that Lord Ganesha takes with him the troubles and the bad tendencies that act as obstacles on the spiritual path.
Ganesha Chaturthi Pooja & Aarti performed in Puttaparthi
“Vinayaka (Ganesha) is one who drives away all sorrows, difficulties and miseries. He is the enemy of all obstacles. He will not allow any obstacles to come in the way. He is the destroyer of obstacles. He confers happiness and peace (on his devotees). He is the master of all these powers (Buddhi and Siddhi). What is Siddhi (fullfillment)? When there is purity of mind you achieve peace (which is Siddhi). Vinayaka is thus Lord of Buddhi (the intellect and Self-Realization). Hence every human being should aquire control over the mind…
Vinayaka is the Lord of learning (Vidya). Does learning mean bookish scholarship? No. Everything pertaining to the cosmos is included in the term learning (Vidya). Walking, talking, laughing, sitting, eating, strolling, thinking – every kind of activity is related to learning. Vinayaka is the master of every kind of learning…
“Whenever people want to commence any undertaking, they first offer worship to Vinayaka (Ganesha or Ganapathi)…Ganapathi is one who gives us spiritual potency and endows us with Supreme Intelligence…” – Sathya Sai Baba
He is one who instills purity in body, and fearlessness in the mind.” – Sathya Sai Baba
A Ganesha idol materialised by Swami for a student in 2004
“What is the inner significance of worshipping the elephant-faced deity? The elephant is a symbol of might and magnitude. The elephant’s foot is larger than that of any other animal. The elephant can make its way through the densest jungle. In this way, it signifies the quality of a leader who shows the way for others. The elephant is also known for its faithfulness and gratitude. These are the lessons man should learn from the elephant. Intelligence without gratitude is valueless. Every man should be grateful to those who have helped him”.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba in a Letter to V.R. Krishna Kumar, 1946
‘Sa’ means Divine; ‘ai’ or ‘ayi’ means Mother and ‘Baba’ means Father. The Name, Sai Baba means Divine Mother and Father. Sai’s descent is to achieve the supreme task of uniting the entire mankind as one family through the bond of brotherhood and to affirm and illumine the Divine (Aathmic) Reality within each and every being. The Divine takes the form as Avatar to reveal Himself as the basis for the entire Cosmos, and to instruct all to recognise the common divine heritage that binds everyone; so that human beings can work hard to rid themselves of animalistic qualities. I am the embodiment of Love; Love is My instrument. I reveal truth about Myself for, I desire that you should contemplate on this and derive joy. Also, may you be inspired to observe the disciplines laid down and progress towards the goal of Self-Realisation. Realise the Sai who shines in your hearts. (Divine Discourse, 19 June 1974)
Bhagawan has declared that Lord Krishna’s advent took place at 3 a.m. on 20th July, 3228 B.C, the Ashtami Day (eighth day after full moon) under the star ‘Rohini’ in the dark fortnight.(Krishna Paksha) of Shravana Masa in the year named ‘Srimukha’.
Even the smallest acts of Krishna were saturated with supreme sweetness. Krishna was everyone’s dearest kinsman and fastest comrade. The Leelas (Divine Sport) of Krishna are sweet and meaningful. All activities of Krishna were for the well being of the World. His advent was for the uplift of the world from wickedness and unrighteousness. It was also for fulfilling the needs of those who are devoted to Him, for the establishment of righteousness and the revival of the Vedas. Though people caught in the coils of ignorance see the Leelas as self-centered and even motivated by delusion, genuine devotees cherish each one of these as significant and sustaining examples of Grace. The Lord showers Grace on each and every one in such a way that suits the time, the person and their aspirations.
– Bhagavatha Vahini, “Krishna Avatara” Chap 34.
Today we are celebrating the Birthday of Krishna. You are attaching importance to His body, but not to His teachings. You will be celebrating Krishna’s Birthday in the true spirit of the term only when you put His teachings into practice.
All the actions that you undertake must be sacred. There should be harmony in your thought, word and deed. The proper study of mankind is man. “Work is Worship”, “Duty is God”. This was the teaching of our ancient seers. Consider all activities as an offering to God and all work as God’s work. Just as two wings are essential for a bird to soar high in the sky, two wheels for a cycle to move, Prema (Love) and Seva (service) are essential for man to reach his destination. No benefit accrues from rendering service devoid of love. Do not expect any returns for your acts of service. The satisfaction which you derive from rendering service is itself a reward.
People merely say, “Krishna, Krishna,” as they go round or pass-by a temple. Of what value is such part-time devotion? They are mere name’s sake Bhaktas. You must strive to earn the great wealth of God’s love. God is omnipresent in all His attributes. One experiences this unity. Ramadasa also had this experience. Thaneesha put him in jail, but he never gave up the name of Rama. “O Rama! When all is your form, how can I be apart from you,”, he prayed.
There are those who sit in Dhyana or meditative postures. But their minds are in the market or in hair dressing shop. Is this Dhyana or Japa? The mind should be immersed in Krishna. Instead it is filled with desires (Trishna). What is needed is Krishna not Trishna. Krishna will fulfil all your Trishnas.
In chapter twelve Lord Krishna extols the glory of devotion to God.
Along with this he explains the different forms of spiritual disciplines and discusses
the qualities of the devotees who by performing their activities in this way become very dear to Him.
Thus this chapter is entitled: The Path of Devotion.
More than the adherent of the path of karma, jñâna or yoga, the follower of the path of bhakti is declared fortunate and superior. He is better than the yogî, the sannyâsî, the jñânî and the sadhaka who takes up the discipline of karma. – Prasanthi Vahini, p. 76
(1) “Krushathi-ithi Krishna” that is, “The One who ploughs is called Krishna.” The field here symbolizes the heart. The heart should be cleared of weeds (evil qualities). It should be filled with love. The seeds of the Lord’s name should be sown in it. Krishna is the one who inspires the devotee to do all this.
(2) “Karshathi-ithi Krishna” that is, “The One who attracts is called Krishna.” Krishna has the supreme power of attraction. By His words, His sport, His music and all His actions, He attracts all people. This power of Divine attraction is present in everyone. Hence, everyone is potentially Krishna.
(3) “Kushyathi-ithi Krishna” that is, “The One who imparts bliss is called Krishna.” Everyone seeks happiness. The Divine, who is the embodiment of happiness, is in you. God wants you to be happy, but you do not realize it. Try to recognize the source of bliss within you. It is not the true nature of man to be unhappy. When anyone is sad, people around him are concerned about him. You should always be happy, because you are the embodiment of the Atma. Never give way to worry.
GURU SAKSHAT PARA BRAHMA THASMAI SRI GURAVE NAMAHA
“Guru is Brahman. He is the Creator; He Himself is the creation and He is the One that exists in the creation. The universe is filled with Brahman. It becomes clear that the One who Himself has become the universe is the Guru.
Guru is Vishnu. Who is Vishnu? Vishnu is one who has the quality of pervasiveness. He is the Doer and also what is done. The universe is the action, God is the Doer. God is the consciousness behind the cause and effect. The whole universe is the form of Vishnu. This Vishnu is the Guru.
Guru is Maheshvara. Who is Maheshvara? He is the one who rules all beings in the Universe. He commands and ordains everything in the universe in the right manner. Sun-rise and Sun-set go on according to His command. Seasons, rain, the day and night are His commands. Eeshvara is one that makes everything–follow its discipline without any lapse. Guru is not one who merely teaches. A Guru is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, He is God himself.
Guru Poornima is the full moon day in the month of ‘Ashada’, the fourth month in the Indian lunar calendar, corresponding to end of June or early July. It is also called ‘Vyasa Poornima’, as this full moon day marks the birthday of the great sage Veda Vyasa, who categorized the vast body of Vedic knowledge in to the four Vedas – Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. Even the writing of the eighteen Puranas (ancient Hindu legends) was completed by him on this day.
“The term ‘Guru’ means one who dispels the darkness of ignorance. ‘Gu’ means one who is beyond attributes (or gunas), ‘ru’ implies one who is beyond forms (rupa). This refers only to God. That is why the Guru is hailed as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva (the holy trinity of Hindu belief). Only God is the true Guru. All others are merely teachers, like the teachers of different subjects in a college. ‘Guru’ is the one who reveals the guri (target) to the disciple. ‘Guri’ here refers to the Atmic Principle (the principle of the self)”.
– Sathya Sai Baba
Discourse: 20th July, 1997
Gurupuurnima means full moon without any defect or lacuna. Moon is nothing but mind. When the mind is completely perfect, it sheds light. Gurupuurnima is not performed by circumambulation and offerings to the Guru. What is the real offering? It is the offering of one’s love. To know that God exists everywhere is circumambulation. If you understand these terms, everyday is Gurupuurnima. There is only one Guru, that is God and there is no other Guru. Contemplate on that Guru.” – Sathya Sai Baba
Divine Discourse: July 14, 1992
Practice detachment at every step, or else, greed and miserliness will overpower your finer human nature. Try to win God’s grace by reforming your habits, reducing your desires and refining your higher nature. One step makes the next one easier; that is the excellence of the spiritual journey. At each step, your strength and confidence increases and you receive larger and larger instalments of grace. I command you on this day of Guru Poornima, to take the path of your chosen spiritual practice sincerely. Many people ask me, “Swami, give me a name of God, which I can repeat”. Take any name you like, anything that appeals to you; all His names are equally sweet. In spirituality there are no differences of nationality, caste and so on; all belong to the State of God.
– Divine Discourse July 14, 1965
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Let all beings in all worlds be happy and peaceful…
God illumines the entire universe as the Atma Tatwa immanent in all the living beings and objects. Even though God may appear to be involved in so many activities in the world, it is only for the pleasure of His devotees. He has no desire of His own.
He has only one desire – Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu!
Samastha Lokaah Sukhino Bhavantu is a chant wholesome, selfless and true…that has the welfare of each being and the establishment of Oneness as its core. It is a chant so very dear to our Lord, Who set an example for us all to emulate through His limitless selfless actions. On 31st August 2008, Bhagawan adapted Lokah Samastha into Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu….so as to enable us to awaken, be aware and envelope not only our lokaah or planet with love and goodwill, but to extend and emit kindred feelings such that it includes and embraces all embodied or disembodied beings, upon all the planets the cosmos through…the basis being love for every atom of creation.