Issue 215 - February 07, 2021
Editor's Note
Many years ago, Sri Sathya Sai Baba told Sri Madhusudan Sai one day, “Doing My work is one part, that is Seva. That will prepare you to do Sadhana. When you do Seva, you forget yourself, you think of others, you become selfless, you become purer and you are ready; you are a fertile bed to sow the seeds of self-realisation. That's where the tree will grow. But in a dry soil, on a sandy soil or a stony or rocky soil, nothing is going to grow. Somebody has to till the soil. Seva helps you. It will help anyone to prepare themselves to receive that which I have come to give!”

Even if we pick up one teaching or even one word from Swami’s messages, discourses or from simple instructions like the above, and then engage in continuous contemplation on it all day, it will certainly propel us forward to put it into practice and ultimately help in Chitta Shuddhi or purification of the mind. At the end of the day, everything is in our hands; all depends on our sincerity.

The Seva that we do purifies our hearts; ‘Purity leads to Divinity’, says the Lord. Loving without duty and serving with any sort of expectations in return, is the way to march forward. Whether it is providing staple food to refugee families in Australia or ration items in Malaysia; serving daily meals to needy families in Singapore or conducting values-based classes to little children at Laos, our brothers and sisters across the four regions are slowly but surely walking on this path, as every week more needy individuals are being embraced and more hearts are being purified.

We invite more youth to send their stories of individual transformation as it will surely enlighten other youth who may be facing similar challenges in every day life.

Bhuvana Santhanam
ātmano mokshārtam
(Emancipation of one’s self)
The Choice of Words
Some words are smooth while some words hurt,
Some cause sorrow while some cause mirth,
Some bring solace to a broken heart,
Some cause husband and wife apart.
So whenever you open your mouth in haste,
Think well each word and speak well in taste.
The words of poem called ‘Words’, that I learnt during my school days, still ring in my ears about how important it is to choose the right words while speaking, so as to not utter anything in distaste.
Drawing from the wisdom of the Indian scriptures, Baba advises, ‘sathyam bruyat priyam bruyat na bruyat sathyam apriyam’ – Speak the truth, speak pleasant words, do not speak truth in an unpleasant way’. Many misunderstand it as ‘do not speak the unpleasant truth’, but Baba explains that what it truly means is to speak truth in a pleasant way. For example, telling a student, “You are poor in studies”, is not the right communication, as even though it might be true, it is unpleasant. The right communication would be to say, “You can do better in the studies”, as that would be the truth spoken in pleasant words.
Far from judgmental, Baba teaches us to communicate in a way that will help improve the person or the situation, instead of adding to the misery of the mistake already commited.

 - Excerpt from the book ‘God Management’ authored by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai.
My Story
Overcoming Fear
By Snehil Naidu
Year Two, MSc Physics

I had always faced an issue with myself - fearful of stepping out of my comfort zone. Whenever something new came my way, I would either ignore or stress about it and as a result would hesitate to embrace the new opportunity. When Swami commanded me to go to one of His campuses and serve as an intern, I was petrified. Thoughts like ‘How was I going doing it? Am I capable of taking up the responsibility? Will I be able to make Swami happy?’ haunted me.

But nevertheless, as it was Swami’s wish, I plunged into the new role. The internship demanded me to reinvent myself everyday, because of this, I was able to overcome fear to a great extent.

During the teaching of Upanishads, Swami said, “If one has to define spirituality in one word, it would be - Spirituality is fearlessness.” This hit me hard! I could not resist but think about this for the next few days. I tried understanding what I was afraid of. I was maybe afraid of failure or maybe death at the most. The understanding also dawned on me that failure and success is a part of our life, and certainly I would have experienced failure hundreds of times and even death across many lifetimes. After all that, here I am, not affected by any of them. Then I wondered, ‘why should I be afraid of anything then? Why should I not take a step forward towards my goal?’

Swami always reminds us that “hunger, fear, sleep and procreation are all common between man and animals. When we purify ourselves, it transforms us from animals to a higher being. No person who is afraid can attain God; God is for only the courageous. That is why our scriptures say, ‘Be fearless, Abhihi Abhihi Abhihi.’ Only fearless and selfless people have achieved God, no one else. Flies hover around a glass of juice, as they want to taste the juice and enjoy it. But they are afraid that if they fall, they may die. So all life they keep hovering around the glass of juice, but they don't get to taste even a drop of that. Don't be like the flies! God has to be achieved at the cost of yourself.”

Today, I can say with confidence and conviction that I have overcome fear and I am able to take up anything and everything that comes my way in the same stride.
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!
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, Atman (Soul, Self) and Moksha (liberation).

The Atman (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 Atman) 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.

“It is better to change an opinion than to persist in a wrong one.”

jagat hitāya
(Welfare of the World)
Heart of Love Foundation
The main project youth in Australia are engaged in feeding programs through the provision of Food Grocery Hampers and cooked meals. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic halted many activities in some states but was boosted in others. Youth across Australia served 38097 meals in 2020!
In Murwillumbah, 99 Food and Grocery hampers were provided (equating to 1485 meals). 180 cooked meals were provided. These are provided to families in need.
In Brisbane, 91 Food and Grocery Hampers were provided (equating to 1365 meals). 958 cooked meals were provided. These are provided to families in need as well as to the homeless.
Each One Feed One
Laos Initiative
In Laos, Sri Sathya Sai Foundation, carries out food distribution service activities at a Vagrant Home. There are nearly 350 residents at the Home. The Foundation provides food under the noble service inspiration of Swami: Each 1 Feed 1. Lunches are served and enough packed food is also provided for dinner. In the month of January, a total of 5,600 meals were provided. Services are conducted on Thursdays and Saturdays. Food is cooked at the Sri Sathya Sai School kitchen by school staff and volunteers.
Malaysia Seva Update
Narayana seva is something that swami emphasises the most. Feeding the needy is equivalent to feeding the God. Sai Ananda served nutritious and well-balanced breakfast and lunch for 250 people. One of the pressing needs during the pandemic is that many of the families don’t have the money to purchase or cook good, healthy food.
Moreover, every day, about 50 women including grannies and single mothers are fed at Sai Ananda. Other regions in Kl serves 100 pax of meal to the unfortunate who are surviving this tough pandemic that has fallen on us.
Singapore January 2021 Updates
Value Based Classes
Value based classes at the Marymount Children’s has now returned back to face-to-face sessions. All the girls at the home were so happy to finally interact and play with us in person.

Feed Singapore
Multiple opportunities to feed needy Singaporeans have been taken up by our youths. Delivery of meals physically have been allowed for some of these programs.

Weekly Youth Satsang
The youths have journeyed through weekly Satsang and have completed 30 episodes of master the mind together.