Conceit, jealousy, anger, pride, trickery, fault-finding — all these are obstacles in the spiritual path. Even if these are not patently exhibited, the inner impulses urging one along these wrong directions are latent in the mind. When a room kept closed for a long time is opened and found dust-ridden and foul-smelling, it is cleaned and made habitable by elaborate sweeping and dusting. Similarly the mind too has to be cleansed by means of meditation. Spiritual aspirants must, by inward observation, examine the mind and its contents and condition. By proper disciplinary habits, the accumulated dirt should be removed little by little and systematically. Conceit, for example, is deep-rooted and unyielding. It may appear to be dry and dead for some time, but will sprout again easily. In a passionate mind it puts forth many branches and spreads in all directions, as soon as a chance arises. So, a spiritual aspirant must be ever vigilant.
– Dhyana Vahini, Ch 14: “Remove Defects in Character”
Dasara or Navaratri is a ten day festival, usually falling in the month of October, that is celebrated all over India in the worship of the Divine as the Mother principle. Bhagawan has explained that the festival of Dasara is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil signifying the vanquishing of the ‘six demons’ of lust, anger, attachment, greed, pride and jealously within us.
Durga Mata Mandir in Puttaparthi
Durga is worshipped the first 3 days, Laxmi the next 3 days then Saraswati the final 3 days.
Vijaya Dasami Day being the 10th Day.
The Dasara celebrations at Prasanthi Nilayam begins with the Kalasha Sthapana Puja in the Bhajan Mandir. After this, Kalasha puja is performed during all days of the Navarathri.
who is the auspiciousness of all that is auspicious,
who is the consort of Lord Shiva,
who is the bestower of every desire of one’s heart.
Adorations to You!
O Devi, I have taken refuge in you.
Is the mother of the universe and believed to be the power behind the work of creation, preservation, and destruction of the world. Since time immemorial she has been worshipped as the supreme power of the Supreme Being and has been mentioned in many scriptures
– Yajur Veda, Vajasaneyi Samhita and Taittareya Brahman.
Devi Durga stands on a lion in a fearless pose of “Abhay Mudra”, signifying assurance of freedom from fear. The universal mother seems to be saying to all her devotees: “Surrender all actions and duties onto me and I shall release thee from all fears”.
“WHY FEAR WHEN I AM HERE” …Baba
“The life of a man who cannot respect and love one’s mother is utterly useless. Recognizing one’s mother as the very embodiment of all divine forces, one must show reverence to her and treat her with love. This is the true message that this nine-night festival (the Navaratri) gives us. The supreme Shakti manifests herself in the form of Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. Durga grants us energy – physical, mental, and spiritual. Lakshmi bestows on us all forms of wealth – not just money but intellectual wealth, the wealth of character, and others. Even health is a kind of wealth. She grants untold riches to us. And Saraswati bestows intelligence, the capacity for intellectual inquiry, and the power of discrimination on us. The Navaratri festival is celebrated in order to proclaim the power of the goddesses to the world. One’s own mother is the combination of all these divine beings. She provides us with energy, wealth, and intelligence. She constantly desires our advancement in life. So she represents all the three goddesses that we worship during the Navaratri festival.”
– Divine Discourse: 14th October 1988
Veda Purusha Sapthaha Jnana Yagna
During Dasara Celebrations the Yagnam commences with the rubbing of wooden blocks to produce fire through friction. Thereafter, the sacred fire thus produced, is placed in the ‘Yagna Kunda’ (the sacrificial altar into which oblations are offered)
The most important component of the Yagnam is the ‘Rudra Homam’, an invocation to Lord Siva, in which the oblations of clarified butter are poured into the Yagna Kunda while chanting hymns from the ‘Sri Rudram’. Other rituals also take place simultaneously like the Surya Namaskar, or the worship of the Sun as the visible symbol of the Supreme. The Srimad Bhagavatham Parayana, and the Ramayana Parayana and the Devi Mahatmyam are simultaneously performed by noted scholars, and a few pundits and Bhagavan’s students simultaneously chant various hymns from the Vedas. Another priest worships the Sri Chakra, a mystic drawing representing the Supreme Mother. The first 6 days the Yagna follows this routine daily.
The Dasara Celebrations come to an auspicious close on, Vijaya Dasami Day, the 7th day of the Yagna. Poornahuthi or the Valedictory Offering is made.
After seeking the blessings of Bhagavan, the priests make the final offering of clarified butter into the fire while chanting hymns from the ‘Chamakam,’ praying for the physical and spiritual welfare of all the beings of the world. Bhagavan blesses all the priests by sprinkling sacred water and akshada (turmeric coated rice) on them.
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.
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”.
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’.
Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations from Prasanthi Nilayam
The Mystical Sport of Sai Krishna
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 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
Moon on Guru Poornima – 19th July 2016
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
GURU BRAHMA GURU VISHNU GURU DEVO MAHESWARA
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.
– 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)
Buddham Saranam Gacchami. Dharmam Saranam Gacchami. Sangham Saranam Gacchami. I take refuge in the Buddha. I take refuge in the Dharma. I take refuge in the Sangha.
The day of Vaisakh Purnima, which usually falls in the month of May, is considered most sacred by Buddhists all over the world. This day is significant for three reasons. It was on this day that Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born as Prince Siddhartha at Lumbini in Nepal in 560 B.C. It is also the day when He attained enlightenment at Gaya in India, after years of search and enquiry into the causes and remedy for sorrow in the world. Thereafter, Siddhartha came to be known as Buddha, or the Enlightened one. He preached that desires are at the root of all sorrow and hence advocated the path of right conduct and the right use of senses as the way to enlightenment. He attained Nirvana (Unity with the Absolute) in 480 B.C., again on the day of Vaisakh Purnima.
This auspicious day is observed as Buddha Purnima
“Today is Buddha Poornima. Poornima means full moon. The underlying message of Buddha Poornima is that the mind should shine with total purity like full moon; it should unite with its source i.e., the Atma which is pure and effulgent. There is no darkness on the full moon night. On this auspicious day of Buddha Poornima, we should attain full purity of the mind.”- Baba