You must have calm thoughts. Only then can your mind experience equanimity. It is just a question of the discipline of the mind, difficult in the beginning, but once mastered, capable of conquering all troubles and worries. An unruffled mind is very important for every aspirant. It is one of his beneficial qualities. Strive to gain it, though you may fail in earlier attempts. Such a mind gives real strength and happiness. Do not yield to despair, cowardice or helplessness. Even if a calamity befalls, you must not lose heart. The mind must be ever pure, untarnished, calm, full of courage. No weeping for the past, no faltering in the performance of the task at hand – this is the true mark of a spiritual aspirant. Be prepared to gladly have any obstacle in your path. Only when you confront them, you can realize the goal to achieve everlasting peace.
Deepavali, the festival of Lights is celebrated on the new moon day in the month of ‘Ashwin’ of the Indian lunar Calendar.
It usually falls in late October or early November.
Deepavali or Diwali, , is a festival of lights symbolizing the victory of righteousness over evil and the lifting of spiritual darkness. The word ‘Deepavali’ literally means ‘rows of lamps’. The lamp is not merely the symbol of knowledge of Truth, but also of the one Atma (spirit) that shines in all.
“Today is the day on which Naraka, the demon was killed. What does this event signify? It signifies killing the demon in man. ‘Nara’ means man and ‘Asura’ means demon. This demon is present in every human being. It is not necessary to acquire great weapons to kill this demon. Man is called ‘Nara’ because there is Atma (spirit) in him. That Atma is the embodiment of love. It is possible to kill the demons only through love. Therefore, realize the Atma Tathva and develop love. This is true Bhakti (devotion)”.
- Divine Discourse: November 4, 2002
Asato mA Sadgamaya |
Tamaso mA Jyotirgamaya |
MRRityormA AmRRitaM Gamaya || Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthihi Lead us from the Unreal to the Real Lead us from Darkness to Light Lead us from Death to Immortality Om Peace, Peace, Peace
“The flame of a lamp has two significant qualities. One is to banish darkness; the other is a continuous upward movement. Even if a lamp is kept in a pit, the flame is directed upwards. The ancients have taught that the upward movement of the flame denotes the path to wisdom and the path to divinity. However, the external light can dispel only the external darkness, but not the darkness of ignorance in man.
From the very name of today’s festival–Deepavali–it can be seen that the Divine effulgence is manifest in it. Deepavali means “the array of lights.” “Thamasomaa jyotirgamaya” (Lead me from darkness to light) is an Upanishadic prayer: This means that where there is darkness light is needed. What is this darkness? Sorrow is one form of darkness. Peacelessness is another. Loss is another. Disappointment is one form of darkness. Misery is yet another. Lack of enthusiasm is another. All these are different forms of darkness. To get rid of the darkness of sorrow, you have to light the lamp of happiness. To dispel the darkness of disease, you have to install the light of health. To get over the darkness of losses and failures, you have to usher in the light of prosperity. —
‘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)
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.
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.
Day 1 – (27th September 2014)
Day 7 – Poornaahuti Function (3rd October 2014)
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,
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’.
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.
- Divine Discourse: 25th August 1997
A inspirational talk by Professor Anil Kumar on the subject of “Be His Flute”
He was blessed by Bhagavan with an unique opportunity of being His translator for 23 years.
Inauguration Day – 23rd November 1950 on Swami’s 25th Birthday
One day, Baba told Lakshmaiah, pointing to the hillocks south of the village,
The Sai Pravesh (the advent of Sai) will transform that region into Prasanthi Pradesh (a region of highest peace). There will rise a bhavan (mansion)! Lakhs of people from all over India, why only India, from all over the world, will come and wait there for Sai darshan (sight of Sai)!
Lakshmaiah expressed his doubt. Baba asserted,
You will have to believe it when you have to stand where we are now, trying to catch a glimpse of me, standing on the porch of that bhavan.
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
Photo of the Moon taken on Guru Poornima – 22nd July 2013
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.