Issue 223 - April 04, 2021
Editor's Note
Sairam dear brothers and sisters,

Out of immense love for humanity, God binds Himself in a form. With the love of a thousand mothers, He patiently teaches us the lessons we ought to learn in this birth, so that we will ultimately achieve the true purpose of life. He is patient and despite our follies, He forgives and guides us.

During one of the overseas trips, while speaking to a small group of devotees, Swami said, “God is very patient. He will wait for you to open the door of your heart from inside; it is a devotee’s prerogative. The day you surrender, everything changes. This is spirituality. And only when it is ‘fearless surrender’, you will know that your devotion is ripening”.

Surrender is the epitome of all devotion and spirituality; without questioning everything is placed at His Feet for He knows what is best. And then, He takes over. Like Mahayogi Sri Aurobindo said, ‘One who chooses the Divine is chosen by the Divine.’

We have all been chosen by the Divine to play a part in His cosmic drama. Let us remember at all times that we’ve got to play it well!

Sairam
Bhuvana Santhanam
ātmano mokshārtam
(Emancipation of one’s self)
Excerpt From Santana Dharma
In order to comprehend Indian philosophy, one is advised to study the three important texts – upaniṣads, Brahma Sutras and Bhagavadgita, which are grouped as the prasthāna traya. Brahma Sutras and Bhagavadgita are derivatives of upaniṣadic wisdom. Therefore, these two can be perused as additional texts for sanātana dharma after the study of the upaniṣads.

As broadly reflected in vedic literature, there are four stages in the spiritual evolution of man, while journ
eying towards the highest wisdom contained in the upaniṣads.

In the first stage, we find the deification and worship of natural phenomena and forces like the wind, fire, water, rain, sun, moon and stars. yāgas and yajñas or sacrificial rites were performed to propitiate and offer gratitude to these divine entities, please them and in return, receive gifts of prosperity, success and happiness. These sacrifices were symbolic of man’s gratitude to Mother Nature and also an effort to maintain ecological balance.

In the second stage, there came the discovery that there was only one Supreme God who controlled everything in the universe. The deities representing various natural forces were seen as many expressions of the one God, who could be worshipped in any form. The dictum became, ‘God is one and Infinite are His names and forms.’

The third stage saw man internalising the Divine on discovering that He exists not only outside but also inside oneself. Therefore, the idea arose that man should conduct himself in a way that pleases the God within; this gave rise to the idea of right conduct or dharma.

In the fourth and the final stage, man found ways to realise the God within by direct experience. This led him to the ultimate truth of Divinity and Unity of everyone and everything in the universe. Here, man found out that he could conquer all sorrows and put an end to all sufferings by realising his Divinity and Unity with all existence. This highest spiritual wisdom of sanātana dharma is the subject of the upaniṣads, whereas saṁhitas, brāhmaṇas and araṇyakas deal with the first three stages mentioned above.

Thus, upaniṣads are the first scriptures of sanātana dharma. They depict the zenith of vedic thought and philosophy. From the completely unprejudiced and supremely catholic perspective of the upaniṣads, all religious texts that subscribe to the Truth of Divinity and Unity of existence can be considered as the scriptures of sanātana dharma. Many religious scriptures worldwide fall into this category, irrespective of which Divine Master’s teachings they represent and which language they are composed in. This makes sanātana dharma the bedrock of omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent spiritual thought.

An excerpt from the book ‘SANĀTANA DHARMA’ (Pg no. 12, 13 and 14) authored by Mr Narasimha Murthy, Chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence.
My Story
Transformation - Within and Without
By Mukish Kumar Munyady
Electrical engineer, Malaysia

Swami has been with me always, even before I noticed Him in my life. I always thought that He was far away, inaccessible to me. Today, I realise that this thought was an illusion created by my mind. Now I am slowly learning that my mind of me doesn’t even exist, and it is only Him that exists. Throughout my school days, I was generously blessed by Swami - from knowing about His form to having had the great fortune of interacting with His instruments and learning His teachings in the most practical way. Swami has remained extremely patient towards me and has accepted me with all my ignorance and flaws.

It wasn’t until I had to leave home and its underappreciated comforts where I believe the true phase of my spiritual journey commenced. Swami was generous to give me such loving parents and a comfortable childhood. The never-ending grace of Swami and the unmatched sacrifices of my parents brought me helped me until grade 12 with little hassle, and soon I was ready to get enrolled in university. Recalling now, it was not so easy, especially mentally, for me to be away from home and to be in high spirits, as I had never lived away from home before.

Naturally, few questions kept popping in my mind: Will I be able to live through this? Is this all worth it? Why am I doing this? These questions eventually evolved to - What is life? Is it worth it? Why am I alive? - which turned out to spark my interest in my spiritual journey. Thinking about it now, these questions are extremely important, and things could have ended up negatively, if the right kind of perspective was not applied. That was where I believe, Swami’s balvikas classes and His teachings steered me in the right direction. Once again, Swami’s hands were visible which worked through His instruments.

I was fortunate to have been offered to pursue and complete my studies overseas. After two years of under graduation studies in Malaysia, I had a chance to step foot into USA. It was exciting for a youth of my age to be away from home and experience the other side of the world. Here was where, in my opinion, the next phase of my spiritual journey began. I was not only away from the people I know, but this time, away from familiar culture, language, food etc. The three years in the USA turned out to be wonderful, memorable and life-changing time for me. I personally got to experience Swami in His antaryami form, where He was like a mother who ensured that I was alright, like a friend who confirmed that I had a place to confide to and like a teacher who made sure that I had a place to ask for guidance. On top of that, I had the chance to learn about Swami’s mystery and that He was anything beyond the comprehension of the human mind. From the smallest of things, like complaining to Him within, that I was going to be late for class, where He immediately sent a stranger in a car to take me to the campus, to His announcement of the continuation of the Sai mission in the subtle, Swami held my hand at all times, giving me the fondest of memories to recall.

After returning to Malaysia, I was enthused and hoped to be part of Swami’s continuing mission. Getting the chance to have his Darshan, I asked Him about it, to which He replied with a graceful nodding gesture. Not knowing what it meant then, this simple physical gesture gradually brought me to the loving folds of the Sai Ananda family in Malaysia. With His grace alone, I get the chance to participate in service and spiritual activities alongside His instruments and experience His Love, especially during His visits to Malaysia. Being here, I got to see what it meant to be actually part of His work. We are constantly posed with challenges and it requires undying faith, love and commitment. How deceptively simple is this, yet overcoming the ego was what the Sai avatar and other great avatars and gurus have come to teach humans.

As I conclude penning this article, I feel Swami with me, singing the bhajan, Pibare Rama Rasam playing on the background in YouTube. Now the question rolling in my mind is - Have I opened my mouth to receive the ‘rasam’? I don’t think I have. I probably have to figure it out. Mother Sai has got a tough little toddler in His hands. On a clearer note, my journey with Swami has taught me of how lucky and blessed I am, to have the Lord of the Universe focusing on the spiritual journey of this little soul alongside countless others.

So, have I transformed? I think the more accurate way to put it is that I am being guided, blessed and being transformed every day in the tangible aspect. I take every every situation that comes by as a learning and an opportunity to transform myself. And in the intangible, I can only hope that I am inching closer to experiencing Him. Till then, I pray that He continues to hold on to our hands in our journey of transformation.
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 www.iohv.org today!
upaniṣad
“Desire is the root cause of all the sufferings”, said Lord Buddha. Desires are the cause for all the bondages and sufferings in this world.
How does a desire enter the mind?

According to Patanjali yoga sūtras, there are many ways for desires to enter one’s mind. It can seep inside either by seeing something (dṛṣṭa) or by hearing about something (ānuśrāvika). Other senses also play a vital role in developing a desire.

One can get rid of all the desires by avoiding or cutting off the very source of desire or by consciously developing detachment towards it. These are just temporary fixes. It is like moving a lawn, as the desires will keep coming back according to the state of mind or the situation.
The only solution for attaining the ultimate state of desirelessness is by experiencing one’s true Self. Once ‘That’ is experienced, all the desires are uprooted at once. After this, the realised person will never again be lured by any desires. This can be explained using a simile of mercury and gold. Mercury once transformed into gold cannot be changed to mercury again. It loses its toxicity and becomes pure and invaluable in nature.

In Episode #17 featured this week, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai explains verse one and two from the second vallī (canto) of Chapter One of kaṭhopaniṣad, wherein He explains the trick to loosen the grip of desires on us and finally get rid of them, forever.
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

– Lao Tzu

jagat hitāya
(Welfare of the World)
Serving the hungry is one of the prime service projects for the youth in Australia. Under the Annapoorna Breakfast Initiative with the motto ‘Let no child go to school hungry ever’, breakfast consisting of bread, cereals and milk is provided to many schools on a daily basis. Every single day, 1000 school-going children are benefitted with nutritious and sumptuous breakfast in North Brisbane.
 
Distribution of cooked food and hampers of fresh fruit and vegetables to the homeless individuals and families continued in the cities of New South Wales, Queensland and Sydney. During the month of April, over 500 meals were provided to the homeless in Brisbane. 200 cooked meals which included fried rice and curried vegetarian sausages, noodles and pasta were delivered to a facility for homeless in Queensland. At the town of Murwillumbah in New South Wales, meals are prepared on a regular basis and delivered to an organisation that is serving the needy in the surrounding area.