Issue 217- February 21, 2021
Editor's Note
Sairam dear brothers and sisters,

To unravel the fundamental truth of life is our very purpose. This is a statement which we keep hearing and reading again and again and again, and again. The purpose is only to serve as a constant reminder, so we do not get carried away or bogged down by the vicissitudes of life. Our primary goal is to realise our divinity, and Seva is one path which helps us inch closer to our goal.

Speaking to a group of youth in Kuala Lumpur, Swami once said, “If you are young you can engage in Seva with your hands, head and heart. After some time, hands become weak; you may not be able serve with your hands. But you can still do Seva with your head and heart. After some time, the head may also become weak; you may not even remember your own name. Then, only the heart remains!” He explained that since the youth have the faculties of hands, head and heart intact, precious time should not be wasted, but should be used meaningfully to serve the needy with the hands, while also meditating and contemplating on the Lord with the head and loving the Lord with the heart. With this thought reverberating through every cell of our body, let us understand our innate nature.

Every week, the service activities updated through the newsletter serves as a wonderful reminder to all of us that every effort is being made by all our brothers and sisters in all the countries to serve the destitute despite the ongoing pandemic restrictions, while following all the rules and laws of the land.

Sairam
Bhuvana Santhanam
ātmano mokshārtam
(Emancipation of one’s self)
Excerpt From the Book God Management
by Sadguru Sri Madhusudhan Sai
The four M’s of Management are men, money, material and method, which at times expand to 7 M’s to include machines, marketing and moral values too.
 
While people differ in their verdict on which is the most important M of Management, Sri Sathya Sai Baba has always laid emphasis on the Men. He said, “Men are more valuable than all the wealth of the world and all the management is essentially Man Management”. The classic definition of ‘Manager’ as expanded by Baba, letter by letter, summaries His idea of what Management is all about.
 
M – Mind of Man (Understanding human psychology to inspire behavior)
 
A – Awareness of atma (Recognising the unity of all existence as equal and spiritual)
 
N – Nature of Nations (Considering the unique culture of countries)
 
A – Aspects of Environment (Adjusting to the time, place and situation)
 
G – Guidelines of Godness (Prioritising selfless good over selfish greatness)
 
E – Enquiry into Ethos (Emulating the exemplary)
 
R – Role of Rules (Observing the law of the land)
 
An excerpt from the book ‘GOD MANAGEMENT’ authored by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, Page no. 33-34
My Story
From Belief to Reality
By Abhilash V Sadasivan
Pharmacist
Middle East

My journey with Swami started in 2007. My parents were very devout, kind and led a simple life. As years rolled by after my first visit to Parthi, I began to realise the presence of His hand in all important milestones in my life be it my marriage, my job or even challenges. By the year 2011, my devotion for Swami had grown multifold, that when He gave up His physical form, I was totally devastated. But life continued.

In the year 2019, my father passed away suddenly in the month of June due to a cardiac arrest. I was very attached to him and deep within the understanding was that a life without him would be difficult for me.

But few months before his demise, I had started listening to Bhagavatam during my long drives every day, for over a month. Bhagavatam is about how Sage Suka teaches King Parikshit who had only seven days to live, about how the body is temporary and prepared him for his death. I was getting deeply absorbed with the teachings elucidated in the Bhagavatam, that so much so, the body consciousness was reducing, and the realisation was dawning slowly upon me that this entire world is temporary and an illusion.

So, when I received the call that night from my friend about the sudden demise of my father, though my mind was initially blank, I had the mental strength to cope with this shock which I now attribute to the Bhagavatam teachings I had received. I understood that it was Swami whose unseen hand led me to the teachings of Bhagavatam and prepared me for my father’s physical departure.

After landing in Kerala for the last rites of my father, my first experience of Swami’s omnipresence was felt during a bhajan session, which was organised as a shraddhanjali to my father on the sixteenth day after his demise. We all felt the presence of Swami, and for certain I did not see just an empty chair. The bhajans gave rise to an inexplicable joy, calmed my grieving heart, and soothed my wounds due to the loss of my father. The bhajan singers were regulars at Muddenahalli, and I was very new to the continuing mission. I simply brushed it aside, and returned to Dubai. But Swami’s plan was different for me.

Through my mother I got the opportunity to get connected with a group of devotees, and my family and me participated in the bhajans. I experienced Swami’s presence during the bhajans yet again at Dubai. Deep within me, I felt that the search was complete. I felt Swami’s hand in connecting me to the right people and the right place. I slowly familiarised with the continuing mission of Swami and the happenings at Muddenahalli. But, I was still unable to fathom the real essence. The compassionate Swami explained to me about the continuing mission at Muddenahalli through a dream, in which Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai smilingly enquired about my father and if I missed him, to which I replied in the affirmative. I also saw my father standing next to Swami, happily smiling. With this dream I came an understanding that my father was with Swami, and all the confusions and the doubts I had about Sadguru vanished. Swami also explained through another dream that since my father’s karma was over, it was his time to reach His Lotus Feet. These dreams helped me to accept my father’s passing and also instilled faith in His omnipresence. I no longer miss my father, as I am receiving that love of my father from someone or the other, because everywhere I see, whoever I see, I see Swami in all.

Just like how a fish is in water at all times, I experience that I am in Swami at all times. My family and me feel Swami’s love every second and whatever be the situation, we no longer feel it as a problem or a challenge. Transformation in me has been belief of Swami’s omnipresence...to experiencing the reality of His omnipresence. It is not just a belief anymore.

It is all His grand master plan. I have learnt that all seva activities I do, like being a pharmacist, distributing medicines to the needy, feeding the hungry etc., is for my own purification. I now understand that when I serve, I am the first beneficiary. Seeing Swami in all and seeing Him in all the recipients of seva, has broadened my heart. I now jump at these opportunities to serve.

There is now an understanding within that this world and this life is temporary and an illusion, and we are only guests here on Earth. Through different Masters and Avatars, God has always imparted the highest wisdom that we are all divine. And now, we all have Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, who is guiding us on the path and teaching us that loving all and serving all without any inhibitions and prejudices will inch us closer to our true divine selves, and one day the oneness will be experienced.
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!
UPANISHAD
Kathopanishad 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 moksha (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 '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, bramhajnana from yamadeva himself. Anyone who perseveres like Nachiketa is guaranteed to attain and experience brahman.

Under the guidance of our Divine Master, let us learn these profound teachings of Vedanta and follow Him in the path of Self Realisation.

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE WEEK
“True knowledge is not attained by thinking. It is what you are; it is what you become.” 


- Sri Aurobindo

jagat hitāya
(Welfare of the World)
Seva Through Collaboration
The youth and the devotees of Greece contributed their part of seva by supporting an organisation - 'The Other Human' with large quantities of food items. 'The Other Human' is an organisation which provides 1,000-1,500 meals for the poor and the needy, every single day. The contribution included 400 packets of pasta, 100 kgs of chickpeas, 100 kgs of rice, 50 kgs of beans, 50 kgs of lentils, 100 kgs of olive oil, 70 kgs tomato sauce. Every Saturday, Greek devotees have been delivering the leftover sandwiches and other food items from a bakery, to the 'The Other Human' organization.