Issue 112 - February 24, 2019
Inspirational Note ...
In 2015 one of the Satsangs held in the divine presence at Torino, Italy. A devotee asked how one can develop good character.

And here is what Swami said:

What you were is not important. The past is past, forget the past. The future is uncertain, so there is no point worrying about the future. The present is omnipresent. This present is here because of your past, and because of this present, your future will occur. So, the present was born out of the past and will give birth to the future. Therefore, the present is omnipresent. Do not worry about what happened or what will happen. Only what is happening now should be your concern.

What is character? Doing the right thing is character. In all circumstances, however easy or difficult, always following the right thing is character.

Man has been bestowed with two powers: viveka (discrimination) and vairagya (detachment). When a situation comes, you must take a little time and think what is right and what is not right; what is selfish and what is selfless; what will please Swami and what will displease Swami. Like this, if you analyse and choose the right thing, that is your character. However, that is only 50%. The other 50% is, after having chosen, you must follow that. Knowing what to do and then doing it, together consists of character.

Initially, you may fall, but you must always get up and continue your journey. Don’t stop till you reach your goal. Continuously practice this, and that will develop character. As your character, so your destiny. Keep your thoughts, words and actions pure.
Service Updates
The Beginning of a New Year
The group from Buenos Aires gathers every Thursday, in the evening, to cook and then to distribute the meals to the homeless in the City of Buenos Aires. The menu includes delicious rice with vegetable. During this month they served 463 meals. Furthermore, in Escobar City, they cook different dishes for the children at two dining rooms. They also spend time with the children. In January, the youth served 431 meals for the children and their families.
A Truly Selfless Activity
No amount of activity can please Bhagawan , until the activity becomes truly selfless. While the feeding has been going on for many years now, the Sai Ashraya volunteers feel that service has been an opportunity to feel and see Bhagawan in serving the homeless. They chant while cooking, to create holy vibrations with a prayer to heal the people they distribute to. In the past newsletters, the volunteers had shared how they train homeless teens, place them in jobs, take them out of homelessness and shelter them. This article is about one such story of a Sai Ashraya volunteer who witnessed something extraordinary.
The homeless person who was lamenting all the while broke into a smile (first time in the last half hour) and said that he wanted to go to a bank to withdraw cash to buy a charger for his phone. The volunteer decided to give him a ride and while driving he started sharing his struggles and became emotional and thankful for the drop-off as it was raining heavily that day. He also shared how he usually falls sick when he goes around in the rain.
Huntsville, Alabama Breakfast Seva
Subtle but significant changes are beginning to occur, as the climate changes, leading to the emergence of unusual weather patterns. Heavy and persistent rain blanketed the Southern portions of the United States on this day during this winter season, due to changes in the jet stream, while the Northern regions of the country faced life-threatening cold caused by the descent of a polar vortex earlier in this season. The grace of Bhagawan is the shelter, the refuge and strength during all periods of uncertainty and tumult.
Kansas Seva
As winter continued and snow blanketed Kansas City, the Sai Youth continued on their mission to share food and love with displaced communities. On Super Bowl Sunday, the youth gathered at a grocery store to pick up a case of water bottles, Gatorade and green tea. They then picked up an assortment of 30 fresh-made, delectable desserts, including cupcakes, muffins, cookies and brownies from a local bakery. Finally, they headed to a pizza restaurant to pick up 20 large cheese pizzas, for which they had placed an order the night before.
Ongoing Seva in Houston, Texas
Food was served in abundance with appetizers and desserts. The youth appeared famished and their hearts and bellies were filled to their contentment while the volunteers sat and engaged with them. After a break and handing out bus passes to each youth (which they depend on, day in day out) they proceeded to the scheduled activity for the evening. Coinciding with the activity, they were taken into the "Closet" two at a time to choose from a variety of items such as clothes, toiletries, shoes, snacks, sleeping bags and so on. This was also another opportunity to have a harmless banter with the youth at a more personal level. The volunteers assisted with helping them sort and look for their specific needs.