Issue 224 - April 11, 2021
Editor's Note
Sairam dear brothers and sisters,

Many years ago, while speaking to a group of devotees Swami reiterated that every step taken forward towards God matters, and every day spent in a purposeful and selfless way for the sake of others is important. See how God is! He only teaches us, gives us the opportunity to engage in seva, so that He can in turn shower His abundant grace on us.

Lord Krishna who has the Sudarshana Chakra on his little finger, cut his finger with a sugarcane afterall. Is it even possible? But it was done for the sake of Draupadi to save her honour at some point in time, which Lord Krishna had foreseen. He had given Draupadi the chance to tie His little finger with a piece of cloth from her saree, which came to her rescue. In the same way, God creates opportunities for each and every one of us to be of some service to another person. At the end of the day, it is He who serves and it is He who is served.

All our brothers and sisters are engaged in selfless service every day despite the difficulties and challenges. Lives are being touched. Lives are being saved. But, we do need to keep one very important point in mind as propounded by Swami; while doing any sort of service, the receiver is greater than the person serving, and constant contemplation on this thought will only lead us to become more selfless.

Bhuvana Santhanam
ātmano mokshārtam
(Emancipation of one’s self)
Excerpt From Master The Mind Series
Having read many texts and scriptures, what all have involved themselves into is - debates and arguments; but nobody has acquired the true and complete knowledge, pūrṇa jñāna.

After getting all kinds of education and having received certificates and medals for it, ultimately all are going to die one day. So, what should one do? One should acquire that knowledge which will make oneself immortal, which raises oneself beyond the cycles of birth and death. This is the true education which liberates one from the falsehood of this world. Everyone must strive to learn this. To experience the ultimate, the seeker should understand this knowledge as it is - yathāśrutam. Everyone is interested in doing all kinds of things in the world. For small examinations during the school or college days, students lose their sleep and are ready to skip their breakfast just to get few more marks. One should question oneself that, can this kind of education help oneself cross the bhavasāgara– the ocean of life? How many people are losing their sleep over this thought, how many are sacrificing their breakfast or lunch, how many are sacrificing their rest and leisure to attain this wisdom, to learn this knowledge is the question to be posed. How many? It is only because most of the people do not recognise the value of this education of liberation and in ignorance, they may think that apara vidyā or worldly knowledge is superior in comparison. apara vidyā is considered important by most because it will lead them to get employment so that they can live their lives comfortably. Our Sanjeev Shetty says – ‘Education for employment, employment for enjoyment!’ This is the culture which is set in front of young and budding generation in today’s society. They think that life is all about earning money, family, big house, cars, vacations and enjoyment. That is why, people get employed which in return helps them earn more money, for which they are ready to study and sacrifice their sleep, leisure, breakfast, lunch. Sacrificing bath is very common during examination especially.

Now after completion of degrees one can take all their certificates and present it to Yama (lord of Death). Now if you go and tell Yama that, “You see I have MTech, I have Ph.D. and Double Ph.D’s and I went abroad and I did this, I invented that, etc.” You know what will Yama do? He will take all these certificates and feed his buffalo with it. That’s what he will do. He is not going to read through them, he is not even going to skim through, he is not even going to bother about those educational certificates of which one is so proud about. He’ll ask only one thing, “Are you a Brahmavidāh – knower of Brahman?”

brahmavidyā or ātmavidyā is the only knowledge which can redeem oneself from the cycles of birth and death. But unfortunately, no one attempts to learn and experience this in their whole life span. In kaṭhopaniṣad it is said, that the soul goes from death to death in search of a body if it hasn’t learnt the brahmavidyā or ātmavidyā during its sojourn on the earth. It travels from one womb to other to attain a body. The soul may get a human womb or an animal womb or it can even become an immobile being like that of a tree or stone. Nobody knows what will happen next!

There are plenty of stories in puranas where ladies have become rivers and men have turned into mountains. Knowing our true Self is the only way to step out of this samsara (World) and its māyā (Illusion) once for all. ātmavidyā is something which doesn’t get destroyed and it is said that whatever efforts one puts on this path will never go waste. Sri Krishna says, ‘svalpam apyasya dharmasya trāyate’ which means even by putting little efforts one can overcome the greatest of fears.

Excerpt from the Master the Mind series episode 15 delivered by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai.
My Story
Learning to Just Be
Jayashree V
Intern - Jayapura Campus

During this precious time of the golden era, it’s our great and rare fortune to have been born as a human being, to have the desire to reach GOD, and to have GOD Himself as our guru, by our side, in this journey of life. Even though I am aware what the true purpose of life should be, a fact which many of us need to constantly remind ourselves with, there are instances when I fail to apply it during crucial times or moments during the day. Now, as I go about engaging myself in the various roles of my internship, by constant self-interrogation, I am slowly and consciously putting into practice, the cherished knowledge which our dear Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai lovingly imparted to us. But, I too had to go through my bouts of learning.
Many of us listen to His discourses and at that moment we know exactly what needs to be done. But, as we ‘go back’ to our mundane chores of everyday life, we are unable to put those teachings into practice. I am sure there are many youth out there with the same predicament. Let me share my experience with all of you here. I always wanted to do the right thing and project myself as someone who followed everything implicitly by keeping God in the midst of everything. And then, one day the realisation dawned upon me that in this whole process of ‘doing’ and exerting the effort, I was possibly missing out on the bliss and joy of being able to savour the experience. One fundamental aspect which I understood was “Being matters more than Doing”. For example, I always wanted to talk about the aspect of spirituality and divinity with everyone, but would get disheartened when people wouldn’t reciprocate my enthusiasm.

I would feel disappointed trying to fathom why sometimes people were not forthcoming. But, slowly am learning that one need not worry much about ‘enforcing’ the concept of divinity in others, but simply ‘by being’ while experiencing the divinity within, everyone around can get transformed. Now, my efforts are much towards going within. This is helping me to identify myself with every passing moment. I have slowly started to value and accept with humility every role in this existence of mine, which is helping me to work more efficiently with people, with the knowledge that this journey of life is GOD, the path is GOD, the obstacle is GOD and the companion is GOD. I am fearless now, for I know that there is no need to shroud myself in shadows and reflections. The mere thought that “I and my god are ONE” is taking me to a different dimension of being, and filling my heart with much contentment, when I reflect at the end of each day.
A seed’s future does not lay inside a box in the cupboard. A seed’s true fulfilment can be found only when it germinates and grows into a huge tree so that it can yield thousand such seeds, and much more thereafter. This can only happen when the seed is willing to undergo the process of germination, by allowing itself to experience the various factors of moisture, heat etc., favourable or unfavourable. In the same way, I have started to understand that our existence on this earth is not just to live life and make merry. It is to reach our supreme goal of true happiness, which is union with GOD. So, my effort in this journey is to live with the thought that everything is divine, and place my life at the feet of my GURU, for I am certain that with His grace I will find my way back to my true home.
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!
Great men of wisdom often told the common crowd to undergo various meditation, yoga etc. in order to maintain and develop one’s own body spiritually. For the intermediate level they moved a little forward in this path and asked them to practice certain upāsanā (worships), cittaśuddhi (purification of mind), to conduct pūjā, homa, yajña etc. And for the advanced seekers they suggested to dive into meditation to lose one’s body and mind.

But the Vedanta firmly questions them back saying, ‘Why keep worrying about all these temporary shifts and what is the need to undergo such strenuous task? Vedanta openly declares to every single being in the creation that, ‘You are The Pure Consciousness - cidānanda rupah śivo’ham śivo’ham’.

Everything in this creation happens as the pure consciousness. Rest all are just modifications. Just like the sweetness cannot be described by anything other than itself, the consciousness cannot be described or expressed in its entirety unless it is experienced. Sweet meats may vary in number, sizes and shapes. Ultimately the one factor which binds them all together is the same sweetness which they carry within them.

When one realises and experiences the oneness with ātman, he will never again consider himself as the body, whatsoever.

In the episode 18 featured this week, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai explains verses 18 and 19 from Chapter one, valli two (canto) of kaṭhopaniṣad and also guides further the ways to attain oneness with the ātman.
“For it is in giving that we receive.”

- St. Francis of Assisi
jagat hitāya
(Welfare of the World)
The month of March involved many activities undertaken by the youth which were filled with energy and enthusiasm. 

Distribution of Meals

It was brought to the attention of the youth, that there were people working as car cleaners in the neighbourhood were facing a very challenging phase in their lives due to the current lockdown. The Sai Youth and a few balvikas children immediately sprang into action. They themselves cooked nutritious, wholesome meals, packed it with great care and distributed to about 35 beneficiaries.
Snacks Distribution

The youth have been actively participating in distribution of evening snacks comprising of a fruit, a packet of biscuit and juice to the cleaning staff.

Many volunteers were readily contributing the items needed, in no time. This month 280 snack meals were distributed in total.

The beneficiaries expressed their immense gratitude and happiness to the young volunteers as they were touched by their service filled with love and kindness. These youth are now driven with only one intention to help more and more people in need! This was clearly visible as the youth were prompt and eager to do the seva.
Refreshment and Lunch for the Government Workers

The distribution of refreshments for the government workers continues to this day. The disposal truck workers report to work in the area where most of the youth reside, almost every other day and they are always welcomed with a well-deserved cup of hot tea – which to the youth’s delight, they say, rejuvenates them immensely and gives them the needed boost to continue through long working hours. The freshly prepared tea is served alongside sandwiches containing different fillings such as jams, devilled potatoes and ‘seeni sambol’ (a sweet onion fry) – a Lankan household staple, biscuits of both the savory and sweet kinds, cake slices, traditional sweetmeats etc. throughout the month. On most days, since the workers often come to work on an empty stomach, the youth have decided to accompany these refreshments with lunch parcels for the workers. These parcels are filled with steaming rice with homemade traditional curries lovingly prepared by the youth. A total of 120 meals where provided to the workers this month.
Contribution for the Buddha Statue

The Sai Youth joined together to contribute a Buddha statue to the Harvard School in Pettah. Comprised of students from grade 1-5, the Harvard school is a small but lively place, filled with lively laughters during school days. The children come from underprivileged households and are mostly cared for by their grandparents, as their parents are either on the street looking for any income or serving a sentence in jail. The Sai Youth have been working with these children for the past few years, and it has always been a delightful interaction for both. Despite Covid-19 restrictions, the youth shared their time with these children taking due care to comply with physical distancing norms. Children were jubilant, seeing the Sai youth and the day was spent in love and laughter. After installing the Buddha statue, prayers were performed followed with a little treat of vegetable rolls and a butter-cake slices for the children. A total of 190 meals where distributed to the school children and the staff of the school.