Issue 233 - June 20, 2021
Editor's Note
Sairam dear brothers and sisters,

Great power is bestowed upon us when we engage in any sort of seva, it is said. Now, one might wonder what this ‘great power’ could be. This is the power of ‘being and doing good’. Never underestimate this power, says our beloved Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai. “What you did might look like a passing event. But it will have a far lasting impact on the minds of the beneficiaries, and through them who knows how many more people? Never underestimate the power of doing good. Whatever little good you can do every day in your capacity, do it. Even if you can’t help, a kind word, a smile or even a greeting, will go a long way. You never know what it will lead to. Always keep doing good”, He reminds us.

We hear a multitude of stories every day from some corner of the world about what this ‘great power of doing good’ has accomplished. And every time these stories of love and compassion surface, something sweeps through our core and shakes our being. It gives us a glimpse of what it means to be enveloped in true joy, as we don’t know what will happen the next moment. For such is this impermanent and transient world. Words fail to describe the feeling, but one thing is for certain…it is definitely inching us closer towards our true divine selves.

Bhuvana Santhanam
ātmano mokshārtam
(Emancipation of one’s self)
Excerpt From Divine Discourse
In the taittiriya Upanishad, it is mentioned that Bhrigu went to seek divine knowledge. He realised the truth that from food everything comes and from food divinity arises.

Food is not only what we eat. Whatever we see, whatever we hear, whatever we touch, whatever we feel and whatever we experience is also food. It is a mistaken notion to think that what we partake through the mouth alone is food. There are five ingredients in the annamayakośa (Food sheath) – hearing, touching, seeing, tasting and smelling – all these constitute the organs of the human system, the body.

Food enters into the body and makes the mind. As is the food, so is the mind. When food is sacred, all the five senses – sound, touch, smell, touch, form, taste – are sanctified. All the impurities get extinct when you pray, chanting ‘brahmārpanam.

Whenever we serve food to the needy, we should give it with shraddha, diligence and faith. Faithlessness is not good. With diligence and interest, we must do work. Then we will reap the benefit. Give bounteously, not miserly. Give with humility. Give with the feeling that it should suffice their needs. You must have concern that whatever is served should satisfy them, and not serve out of ego. Serve with this awareness. Out of ignorance, we should not act or else we have to face the consequences.

O Golden Ones! It is difficult to cross samsara without performing seva. Little or more, we should perform service.

Dadheechi! What was he? When Indra faced a dire disaster, he appealed to the sage Dadheechi for a weapon. “How it should be made?” the sage asked. “You should sacrifice your backbone and make the weapon. Then alone I would be able to kill the demons”, explained Indra. Without hesitating even for a moment, Dadheechi burnt himself and sacrificed his life and gave the backbone. And that was used as vajrāyudha by Indra.

We should not waste away our life in sensual indulgence. We should instead sanctify our life by serving others. Suffuse yourself with the spirit of service and make the entire world Sai world.

An excerpt from the Divine discourse delivered on January 03, 2016.
My Story
Lockdown Reflections
By Veekash Parmar
Chattered Accountant
United Kingdom
The year 2020 will remain etched in my memory forever. Marked by drastic change, it was a year of opportunity through adversity. While the world had been reeling from the effects of the global pandemic, which even my immediate family was not completely immune to, God made sure to bless me in His own way with experiences that would support my continued transformation.
The lockdowns led to financial difficulty for many people around the world. Due to personal circumstances, I found myself in a similar position after a series of financial setbacks occurred in quick succession, concluding with me being made redundant. I was now unemployed and the burden of providing for my family weighed greatly on me.
Initially, I instinctively resisted the events that had taken place and sought to rationalise within myself that they were neither fair nor beneficial. However, I soon learnt that they had to happen. I came to realise that they were the result of a universal obligation that was fulfilling itself and so I accepted them accordingly.
Following my redundancy, I started listening to the ‘Master the Mind’ series by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai. This helped me to turn more inward than I had been willing to before. I also spent more time with my family and in nature. The option of a luxury holiday that we would often enjoy was no longer available or affordable for us. However, we found that the quality of our interaction was positively enhanced by not resorting to material comforts to bring us together.
After returning from the Shivaratri celebrations in Sathya Sai Grama last year, we were able to participate as a family in the global rudram chanting that was initiated once the lockdown began. This has been extremely powerful. It has provided us with healing and cleansing and served as a source of strength to cope with the challenges that have confronted us. We continue to chant rudram almost every day, revelling in its beauty and receiving the protection that it confers with gratitude.
I received a new job offer on my birthday later that year. Given its timing and the general state of the job market in London at the time, this was undoubtedly an act of providence. Whilst work has kept me very busy, I have not allowed it, or the various other worldly distractions that often appear before us, to overpower my life as much as they used to. I feel that this has been achievable only because of the solitude and opportunity for contemplation that the lockdowns provided.
The clarion call of Swami in the ‘Master the Mind’ series to go within and recognise our true nature hit me deeply and has constantly been in the background of my mind ever since. I have been prompted to revisit the works of the great non-dual or advaitic spiritual masters that I had encountered many years ago. I have found that I am now more receptive to the substance of their teachings, which shine more clearly than before. Furthermore, I now realise that my previous conceptualisations of their message were superficial at best. The central principles of the non-dual or advaitic teaching have been reinforced through group satsangs that I have been able to attend subsequently.
All in all, the lockdowns have been a period of introspection in which the movie of my life has been truly shaken. However, only by the grace of Swami, my attention is now drawn more and more to the ever-present screen on which this movie is being projected. Its gentle stillness has helped dampen the turbulence of my objective experience, even if I have only caught a small glimpse of its totality. There is much to learn, or rather unlearn, to empty myself of all the conditioning that has been accumulated. I pray that we all may continue to delve deeper, with one-pointed focus, until we recognise the oneness of the movie and the screen and realise that our life, as we currently perceive it, is just a dream.
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!
kaṭhopaniṣad is a legendary story of a brave little boy, Nachiketa, son of Sage Vajasravasa, who meets Yama (the Hindu deity of death), and seeks spiritual wisdom from him. Their conversation evolves to a discussion of the nature of man, knowledge, ātman (Soul, Self) and mokṣā (liberation).

kaṭhopaniṣad is a legendary story of a brave little boy, Nachiketa, son of Sage Vajasravasa, who meets Yama (the Hindu deity of death), and seeks spiritual wisdom from him. Their conversation evolves to a discussion of the nature of man, knowledge, ātman (Soul, Self) and mokṣā (liberation).
The ātman (Self) is the pure consciousness which can be known only through relentless perseverance. One must divert the mind from its obsession with its natural habitat, the objective world, and maintain it in a state of unwavering equanimity. This triumph alone can remove one’s grief, once for all! The feeling that you (the jivi) are separate from that ‘One’ (the ātman) is the root cause of the cycle of birth and death.
Initially, Yama tested the sincerity and determination of Nachiketa by refusing and denying answering, by luring him with the riches of the world and distracting him with sensual pleasures. But Nachiketa, being a true aspirant on the spiritual path, discriminated between being a true aspirant on the spiritual path, discriminated between 'sreyas' (the good) and 'preyas' (the pleasant) remained unmoved and pined only to know the truth. Thus, he earned the deservedness to attain the supreme knowledge, brahmajnana (the knowledge of Brahman) from Yamadeva himself. Anyone who perseveres like Nachiketa is guaranteed to attain and experience Brahman.
The episode 26 featured this week further explains about the chariot of life. Under the guidance of our Divine Master, let us learn these profound teachings of vedanta and follow Him in the path of Self-Realisation.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

Mahavatar Babaji

jagat hitāya
(Welfare of the World)
During the month of May, the Sai youth continued their monthly seva activities with much enthusiasm and energy. The youth joined hands with a local organisation which caters to the need of poor. 20 kilograms of lentils, 40 kilograms of rice, 20 litres of olive oil, 20 kilograms of tomato sauce and 50 kilograms of pasta were supplied to the organisation which in turn prepared meals and distributed them to the poor individuals. In addition to this, 30 meals along with ice-creams as dessert were provided to the children of St. Andreas orphanage. 
In same way, the Sai youth also joined their hands with the local Church for feeding the poor of the same locality. A total of 120 boxes containing food supplies such as pasta, rice, lentils, olive oil, tomato sauce, milk, sesame bars were provided.
The Sai youth kept supporting the children of the 'Support Centre for Children and Family' with their school lessons in Math, Physics, Computers, etc., three times a week.
Every Sunday, the Sai youth distribute meals near the Church and Mosque in Almaty city.

After the Sunday prayers the group of needy people wait for the Sai youth near the Cathedral. Meals including sandwiches, tea, chocolates, cookies and fruits are distributed to the needy individuals with much love. Every beneficiary waits with joy and share their life stories and experiences with the Sai youth.