Issue 256 - November 28, 2021
Editor's Note
Sairam Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Once Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was asked as to how He could love everyone, without any distinctions or boundaries. Swami responded in the most profound way by saying, “I love Myself, and see everyone as Myself, and hence I am able to love everyone as I love Myself!”

When one does not realise that the truth is the same in all, it leads to a myopic view of mine and thine. We then end up worrying or caring only about ourselves and our near and dear ones. Saints of the yore, Masters and avatārs have always undertaken to give us this reality check, to propel us beyond the limited illusory existence, we so revel in! Their teachings strive to clear our vision and broaden our perspective thereby enabling us to experience boundless bliss. And the result - love beyond boundaries.

Bhuvana Santhanam
ātmano mokshārtam
(Emancipation of one’s self)
Excerpt from a Book
Sometimes I motivate myself to work hard towards achieving something with the thought, ‘If I really deserve it, God will give it to me.’ Is this the right feeling and approach?

Answer: Why do you work with an expectation? This itself is not the right attitude. One should work for the joy of doing. A river flows because its joy is in flowing, not because somebody is praising or ridiculing it, or somebody is drinking from it or spitting on it. A river does not care about all that. It flows because of the joy of flowing that way. Life should be like the river — flow for the sake of flowing. Do not flow with the expectation that you will gain something. The moment you put your expectation into any activity, it becomes impure — not fit for God. The moment you remove the expectation, it becomes pure and fit for offering to God. Remove the expectations from your work; do not be concerned about your merits or lack of it. It is because of God’s compassion that He gives Himself away to you, despite all your flaws. Do not worry about deservedness; keep doing for the sake of doing, just to please God. What God wants to do with it, is His choice. You should say to God, ‘Lord! You have given me the opportunity to serve. This service is the best thing for me. What more can I ask of You? Hundreds of thousands of people do not realise this. They are wasting all their time. I am not one of them. Thank You for that.’ That, in itself, is a blessing.

An excerpt from the book 'Spirituality 101' authored by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai.
My Story
The Pandemic Lessons

By Jose Maria Taborda
Accountant, Argentina

The recent COVID pandemic taught us many lessons, both individually and collectively. COVID suddenly appeared in the life of humanity, forcing us to get off that high-speed train, in which the vast majority are immersed—also known as routine or everyday life—and leaving us at a stop that many times we overlook our own life. It was a unique event in human history where, for the first time, where the entire world stopped almost completely at the same time.

One of the things that I have been able to see clearly is that, just as all human beings are equal in the eyes of our beloved Lord, we have also been identical in the face of the virus. It has affected us all in the same way, without distinction of race, colour, social status, financial and economic capacity or religion, we all have been equally vulnerable to it.

The pandemic taught me that we should never stop expressing what we feel to our loved ones, because we may never see that person again. During COVID we were unable to express feelings, to give a hug, a kiss, to have close contact with other people, because of the distance that had to be maintained to avoid the spread of the virus. This inability to demonstrate our feelings has made relationships more impersonal and less affective which we have undoubtedly experienced. Thanks to our merciful Lord, I did not have to go through the trauma of losing a loved one to COVID, but I have many acquaintances who experienced this sad loss of a family member or a beloved friend. I feel for the agony that they went through because they could not be near them or say goodbye or tell them, everything they felt for them.

I also learned a lot about the value of freedom. For most of us, freedom is so natural that until we lose it or is restricted, we don't realise its importance. As in many countries in the world, here in Argentina, the confinement lasted for quite some time, which forced us to remain in our homes, only being able to go out to perform some essential or necessary tasks. That was when I realized how important freedom is, that feeling when we walk outdoors, enjoying nature, visiting friends, family, or doing things to our whims and fancies.

Something notorious that the pandemic brought with, was the fear generated in many people. That fear, triggered mainly by uncertainty, brought to light, the dark shadows that all of us carry with. This situation, at the same time, prompted many believers or non-believers, to deploy their faith and trust in the existence of something greater, something supreme, to trust that everything happens for some reason, and in that way, be able to overcome the fear that paralyzed them.

COVID and its confinement led many of us towards strong feelings of self-introspection. The massive disruption to our routines, in our live styles, has led us to find ourselves, to rediscover and cultivate our inner divinity. For many, this time alone, has served to take care of us, of things that we had put off for later; It has forced us to know us better, to discover ourselves, to reorder priorities in life, to see that we would continue choosing wisely for our future and discard what we need to get rid of. In other words, it has led us to take cognizance of the most important thing that each of us possess: our own temple, our body, our inner divinity, our life. I could also see that many other people, who were forced to introspect, felt disoriented, desperate, worried, anxious, because they did not know what to do with that time that they only had for them or their families, because maybe they weren't used to taking care of themselves.

Something very important that the pandemic reminded us, is the importance of taking care of our great home, our planet, our environment. In those toughest moments of the pandemic, in that rigorous & complete confinement of the world, in that mighty stoppage of the entire humanity, our beloved planet was able to breathe easy and rest a little. It was amazing to see how this caused a large drop in air pollution, making the waters more crystal clear, which was reflected in an improvement in air and water quality in large urbanizations around the world; We could witness the wild fauna reclaim their rightful places that once belonged to them, but were snatched by man, either due to the expansion of tourism in natural areas or due to industrial activity.

In conclusion, despite the tragic scenes and bleak situations that the world experienced because of COVID, humanity at large has secured immense positivity. The thought of concern for one's true self has been sown. People have been self-taught to go within to heal, to look out for other as well as to take care of the self, to love, to cultivate our divinity. It's my wish, that all the learning that we accomplished during the pandemic remain with us for life, making us more supportive, more loving towards all and more human.
Self Development
To help reach Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s human values-based education to the world, and to resuscitate the humanness of humanity, the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence launched a unique, first-of-its-kind Institute of Human Values, to offer tailor-made courses totally free of any charges, curated by experts from around the world. The Vision of the Institute is to make better humans in their personal and professional spheres, by making them more sensitive towards society’s needs and exploring ways of their contribution to society in a meaningful and selfless manner, thereby creating a sense of global citizenship and responsibility.

The courses will help an individual balance the inside and outside, while progressively being a better human being, that will ultimately help him or her unravel the true meaning and purpose in life.

Learning from the heart is spiritual awakening, Baba would say. The Institute of Human Values is the first step to help lead the world into the beautiful awareness of its heart – a heart that operates from the universal human values of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema and Ahimsa.

Log on to today!
After observing the śraddhā of the little Nachiketā, who stood right at the gates of yamalokā (the realm of death) for three nights straight, without food or water, the lord of death – Lord Yamā, out of joy gave him three boons.

Nachiketā might have been a little kid but was extremely wise and observant of the various situations of life and the entire creation. The three boons asked by Nachiketā to Lord Yamā were:

  1. When I go back to my father, he should accept me happily.
  2. What is the way to heavens, where one can find no hunger, no thirst and incessant joy?
  3. Please explain to me as to what happens after death.

Lord Yamā granted him the first two boons but resisted to fulfil the final one. He tried his best to dissuade Nachiketā by offering him worldly trinkets. But Nachiketā remained undeterred and stuck to his goal proving his deservedness to attain the highest wisdom. After being satisfied with the śraddhā of Nachiketā, Lord Yama revealed the ultimate wisdom to him.

In episode 37, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai reiterates and summarises the entire chapter one from the kaṭhopaniṣad in the simplest and most logical way possible!
“God has His own ways of choosing His instruments.”

– Mahatma Gandhi
jagat hitāya
(Welfare of the World)
The Sandwich sevā was undertaken by Sai youth of Fremont, where the homeless and needy individuals received a bag containing vegetable sandwich, peanut butter jelly sandwich, an apple and a banana. A total of 50 such bags were distributed at San Jose.

Young volunteers enthusiastically participated in this sevā and one of them chose to celebrate his 12th birthday doing sevā.