Issue 239 - August 01, 2021
Editor's Note
Sairam Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are all in the quest for happiness. We try and seek this happiness in all places, and we are conditioned to believe that by attaining material success we will be happy. But alas, this only gives us pleasure, and not happiness, until one day it dawns upon us that everything is transient. There is another kind of living which bestows upon us the true, deep, unfailing and unconditional joy; a life in service.
While speaking about service to a group of devotees, Swami once said, “If you want to be happy for a moment, eat something nice, whatever you like. Want to be happy for an hour? Go and take a nap, sleep; you will be happy for an hour. If you want to be happy for a month, go get married, you will be happy only for a month (amidst much laughter). But you want to be happy for your whole life, then do service and help others. This is the best way to be happy. When you give happiness to others, it magnifies and comes back to you, multiple times. That happiness is beyond, that which cannot be described. That is the joy of sevā , which you have to experience!”

Bhuvana Santhanam
ātmano mokshārtam
(Emancipation of one’s self)
Excerpts From Book
What are the fundamental tenets of sanātana dharma?
Answer: The fundamental premise in sanātana dharma is that ‘all is divine’, animate and inanimate. Brahman is the Supreme God of sanātana dharma, who manifested the entire universe with all the movable and immovable entities, on His own, like the spider that brings out the web from its stomach, lives in it and swallows it back. The universe emanated from Brahman, is sustained by Brahman and ultimately dissolved by Brahman into His own Self. sanātana dharma thus believes that, all that which exists is Brahman or Divine, as it is made by and made of Brahman.

The other most important aspect of sanātana dharma which naturally cascades down to hindu dharma is the twin principles of karma (action and reaction) and punarjanma (reincarnation). The actions that we perform lead to consequences that are good, bad or mixed ones and we must experience them at some point of time. Much like Newton’s third law of action and reaction with the only difference being that some results are instantaneous like satisfaction of thirst upon drinking cool water, some are long drawn like a seed sown that becomes a tree after a few years, and some are really long drawn spanning several births. Therefore, reincarnation happens when the same jivatātmā must experience the left-over consequences of previous births by reincarnating in another form in another time and place. That would explain why some children are born child prodigies without any formal training, or why some are born poor and some are born rich, some are born sick and some are healthy and so on. These twin principles of karma and punarjanma control or decide the family and circumstances in which one is born.

An excerpt from the book ‘Spirituality 101’ authored by Sri Madhusudan Sai, Pg no. 06-07.
My Story
Follow the Master

By Pravesh Purusothaman
Youth Leader, Australia

I am a third generation Sathya Sai Baba’s devotee in my family. My grandparents were the first to accept and follow Swami and were greatly inspired by His teachings. As a youngster, I had no choice but to embrace Swami that point in time. Everything was about Sai Baba at my home; and it was almost forced upon me. I attended the Sai Centre with my family, attended Bal Vikas classes, and also participated in dramas and children’s programmes. Because of my natural inclination towards music, my favourite activity at the Sai Centre was bhajans, where I really enjoyed singing and playing tabla/dholak.

There was this Sai way of life in the Centre (wearing whites, putting vibhuti on the forehead and behaving well as if I was a really good boy); but as soon as the session at the Centre was over, it was all about enjoying all the apparent treasures the world had to offer, especially the time after finishing school, which went in partying and engaging in silly and petty activities. After Swami’s maha samadhi, the remorse lasted only for a few months because going back to Puttaparthi wouldn’t be the same anymore. But as is the case with us, we eventually move on in life. My schedule had again become—eat, work, party, sleep and repeat.

As I’m writing this, I recall an incident during Swami’s previous trip to Australia. I was blessed to travel with Swami around the country. Mid-way through the week-long trip, we were in Sydney (the capital city of the country). Swami’s room was overlooking the entire harbour. It was one of those peak traffic times, looking at which Swami remarked, ‘’Very busy city, isn’t it?’’ I instantly replied, “Yes Swami, it is terribly busy”. “Busy doing what?” He asked. To which I said, “Swami, we are all busy enjoying the world”. What Swami said next keeps ringing in my ears even now. He said, “Kaadu Raa (not really), you are not busy enjoying the world, whereas the world is busy enjoying you!”

Swami’s arrival in subtle form was a boon for me and I am so grateful that Swami didn’t abandon me. He graced me with the ability to recognise Him and allow me to continue to be a part of His story. Being a bit more spiritually mature now, as I kept listening to Him, I noticed that there is an inner shift happening within me. 

The service being done all over the globe really inspired me, and I involved myself completely in the service projects in Australia. Honestly, these have been the times that led to my personal transformation, because for once in my life, I started thinking about others before myself. I started thinking twice about going for a lunch with my colleagues every day, or going to the café for the second or third cup of coffee. When I saw some new gadget, or latest cell phone, I immediately brushed away the thought. Why did I do so? Because, I believed that the same money that I would otherwise waste on unnecessary accumulation of things could benefit someone else. Truly, this is how sevā has changed my life.

The satisfaction that I get when I know that someone today is having a meal because I did not go and buy a coffee is so rewarding! This I say not to give a pat to my own ego, but to realise that the person I am serving does not have all the means for living that I am bestowed with. On many occasions, I pinch myself, to come to the realisation that I have a job; I have a roof over my head; and the affordability to eat more than three meals a day! For the person, whom I serve, those things that I previously took for granted, seems like a luxury! This is the satisfaction, I meant. Therefore, sevā has really taught me how to be compassionate and empathetic. Most importantly, it has taught me how to sacrifice and become selfless, exactly like that of our dearest Swami.
Now we have our dear Sadguru, who is teaching us all the way to realise our true Selves. All we need to do is give Him our time, purity and sincerity and put His teachings into practice. It is indeed difficult—trying to juggle our worldly responsibilities and doing our sadhana, but Sadguru has assured all of us that we must continue to put our sincere efforts. We may slip and we may fall, but we have to just hold on to His feet, be fearless, get up and keep going.

Dear Youth, let us not waste this opportunity! How many people in the world out there, are in search of a Guru or God, and here HE is, in our midst, guiding us so lovingly. Let us internalise this thought just for a moment and realise how fortunate we all are, that He is giving us the chance to make things right—A chance to transform ourselves and finally become Him! If we all put sincere efforts to do this, the world will be a much better place. We must make our life’s only intention as—to gain His love, to constantly be aware of His presence and follow what He commands us to do.

This is certainly my intention and what I strive to do each and every day!
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!
The sole purpose of human life is to turn the senses inwards or within and not about turning them outside and getting carried away with the māyā (illusion) of the world. Turning the focus outward is called as the worldly path whereas turning it inwards is called as the spiritual path.

The scriptures declare that the sense objects are greater than the senses. The senses work for the sake of sense objects. For example; only if an object exists then the purpose of eye is met by seeing it. Without the object the very existence of the eye fails. It is not the brain which analyses an experience, but it is mind which is working behind the brain which understands it. The mind can perceive the sense objects even in their absence by recollecting the information from its cittā (memory) which is like a database. Greater than buddhi is the jivātman (individual consciousness). Above this is avyakta-ātman (unmanifest ātman) and beyond this is puruṣa (ultimate consciousness). These are the seven stages or hierarchy of all the experience. The goal is to reach the first stage i.e ultimate consciousness and establish oneself in that.
In the Episode 30 featured this week, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai explains the process of withdrawal and reach the Self within as prescribed by the scriptures. Under the guidance of our Divine Master, let us learn these profound teachings of vedanta and follow Him in the path of Self-Realisation.
“Liberation is to know yourself as awareness alone.”

jagat hitāya
(Welfare of the World)
Values Programme

The Values programme focussed on children from the age group 5 to 13 years, and provided weekly interactive sessions on the core human values through a range of fun activities.

In the month of July, the focus was to teach the use of positive affirmations in daily lives. Due to COVID lockdown, these sessions were conducted online. The participants experienced the impact, the positive affirmations had on their lives. Few examples of affirmations that the kids came up with were: “Change is great and is a part of life”, “I will keep trying”, “I will make the most of this lockdown period”, etc.
Mindful Parenting 

The Sai youth also conducted a weekly parenting session on the theme ‘Family Values.’ Currently, seven parents are involved in the weekly programme.
Health Sessions
Due to COVID restrictions, the Sai youth were unable to carry out the usual face-to-face free dental care and health consultations. However, in the month of July 2021, the youth conducted two online educative sessions for 20 refugee mothers per session, regarding healthy living and oral hygiene.
Food Distribution

The daily feeding programme is being done on a voluntary basis by the Sai youth of Malaysia to the poor and needy communities in Batu Caves, Selayang and the surrounding vicinity. In the month of July 2021, 80 packets of food on an average were cooked, packed and distributed to the needy by the volunteers, on a daily basis. Especially, the last two weeks of July 2021, witnessed the distribution of 150 packets of cooked meals to the needy, every day, by the Sai youth of Malaysia. In addition to the above, the Sai youth distributed 250 packets of delicious vegetarian meals to the needy, one of the days.