Issue 236 - July 11, 2021
Editor's Note
Sairam Dear Brothers and Sisters,

While addressing a group of devotees in Australia, Swami said, “From the seed of Love, all other values blossom. A heart bereft of love, is no heart at all. In order to taste a sweet, one must have a pure tongue. Similarly, divine love can only be experienced in one's pure heart. To experience it, the tongue should be free of fever and all other diseases. One will not be able to experience the pure divine love, unless one’s heart becomes pure."

Sri Adi Shakaraachrya proclaimed, ‘cittasya śuddhaye karma’ - work leads to the purification of the mind. As Swami reminds us very often, a pure mind becomes the channel of God. It does not colour the thought of God. It does not contaminate the word of God. It does not pollute the act of God. Everything depends on our sincerity, and how hollow an instrument we are at the hands of the divine, as we continue to embark on several sevā projects to touch more needy lives. It is up to each one of us to constantly remember, that as these lives get touched our hearts and minds must also get touched and purified, as only then the revelation of our true selves will actualise.

Bhuvana Santhanam
ātmano mokshārtam
(Emancipation of one’s self)
Excerpt From The Book
A Hollow Instrument

A beautiful couplet of Jalaluddin Rumi says, “I once had a thousand desires, but in my one desire to know You, all else melted away.” This was truly the life of brother Madhusudan, and he was becoming the role model for many who came in touch with his personality. All conversations would begin and end with how one could serve Baba better, or how one could perennially be available to Him by pushing aside everything else, however tempting they would seem or sound. He guided young and old on becoming a completely hollow instrument, which is the key to allowing Divinity to flow through anyone.

Once Baba was talking about this and said, “Unless you are hollow, you cannot be a channel. Hollow means, having no ego or attachment; Like Krishna’s flute which is hollow, though an ordinary piece of bamboo, it transforms into a flute in His hands when He plays music. Likewise, if you want to be a channel of God’s peace, God’s love, God’s pardon; then you have to be empty. No ego, no desires no attachments – then you are perfect and will become a pure channel of peace. That’s what you have to become. What you need, God will give. (It is said) ‘Don’t ask, O mind, if you ask, it only gets delayed. Without asking, things will happen faster. Didn’t Rama blessed Sabari who did not ask Him for anything? Didn’t He give her mokṣa, the ṣaḍgati? Don’t ask anything from God, O mind don’t ask! At the right time, in the right way, in the right quantity, God will provide you with whatever you want. Only your desire disturbs the peace. It’s like a calm lake; and when you throw a stone into it, it disturbs the peace. Without desire, you will always be peaceful. What God wants to give, He will give at right time and in the right way. This is the kind of devotion you must have!”

An excerpt from the book ‘Karishye Vachanam Tava’ authored by Bhuvana Santhanam, Pg no.202.
My Story
Swami My Saviour

Shashini Dissanayake
Sri Lanka
After the untimely demise of my mother last April, I collapsed both mentally and physically. I struggled with the thought of losing my mother and unable to sleep for days together. I had unbearable pain in my heart and I felt very lonely as I had grown up without a father, elder brother living in abroad which made my mother the entire world to me. I started living with my grandmother who was in her early 90s. We had to change our residence unexpectedly right after my mother passed away and so, we moved to Colombo in pursuit of my higher education. My life has changed completely since then.
Financially, we were not well-to-do and struggled to make the two ends meet with my grandmother’s meager pension. We even couldn’t afford a place to stay. It was during these uncertain times, dear brothers and sisters, that Swami looked after me, way before I knew of His existence. One day out of the blue, a friend of my grandmother volunteered to give her own house for us to stay in it without having to pay any rent as she was overseas at that point in time. It was then, that I met Aunty Gayani; our neighbour who became friends with us after we moved in. She helped me change my life. Swami’s love manifested through her words and in subtle ways He guided me as what He wanted me to be, through her. She gave me vibhuthi and a photo of Swami. It is at this point that I began praying to Swami. I started meditating and worshiped Lord Buddha. She told me the importance of being vegetarian, which convinced me to stop the practice of eating meat.
I learnt to follow Swami’s words and embody His teachings in my life. Aunty Gayani spoke about Swami’s miracles which helped others and her own family, including the story of her eldest daughter, Menali Dissanayake, who was chosen by Swami to study medicine in India. I feel blessed to have heard these miraculous stories of so many people. These stories kindled my heart and my faith in God grew since then.
I began reading books, especially the ones written on Swami and I used to be eager to listen to Aunty sharing things about Him. She told me about a daily prayer session on zoom which is conducted in the evenings among a small circle of devotees. I felt very compelled to join these sessions and whenever I didn’t have my classes, I started attending them. Those sessions used to fill me with happiness and peace as we would pray for the well-being of the entire world. Aunty Gayani and her daughter Sandu also encouraged me to get involved in the various sevā activities undertaken by Sai youth, throughout the month.
If at all a big change happened in my life, it was that of Swami entering into my life. Earlier I used to get sick, it was only later that I realised that I slowly but steadily had become healthier both physically and mentally by undertaking sādhana and immersing myself in contemplation and practicing His teachings.
Within a short span, I had changed completely into a different person. My thinking ability had improved and I felt that there was positive energy surrounding me, always. I felt that the Divine energy was engulfing my being and flowed through me. Swami started visiting me in my dreams, giving me His Divine darshan. Gradually my mind started to heal. Now I understand the purpose of life and it is my life’s mission to pay it forward, by loving all the same way as He loves us.
Swami has blessed me to soon embark on the next chapter of my life as I am going to live with my brother who is currently studying abroad. There are many things of which I am uncertain, but I trust that in the end, He will take care of me as He has always done. Thus, I have grown to develop unwavering devotion and faith in Him because it is He who showed me the way through the darkness in my life. I have been transformed and I have found the light. Just as there were many people for me during my darkest phase of life, I pray that I too can become an instrument that can be of some use to the service of others.
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!
kaṭhopaniṣad 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 mokṣā (liberation).
kaṭhopaniṣad 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 mokṣā (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 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, brahmajnana (the knowledge of Brahman) from Yamadeva himself. Anyone who perseveres like Nachiketa is guaranteed to attain and experience Brahman.
Episode 28 featured this week further explains about the eight steps to destruction. Under the guidance of our Divine Master, let us learn these profound teachings of vedanta and follow Him in the path of Self-Realisation.
“Do not be proud of wealth, people, relations, and friends, or youth. All these are snatched by time in the blink of an eye. Giving up this illusory world, know and attain the Supreme.”

-       Sri Adi Shankaracharya

jagat hitāya
(Welfare of the World)
Food ATM

Sai youth collaborated with an organisation, Food ATM, to serve nutritious vegetarian breakfast to blue-collar workers every day. Breakfast, being the very first meal of the day is very important for well-being and good health. Saving on their salaries thus, only a small percentage is spent on necessities, while the rest is saved to support their families in their respective home countries to provide financial means, education, accommodation and so forth.
Uganda sevā

During the month of June, 500 pieces weighing about 100 kilogram of clothes, ironed and packed neatly by volunteers were sent to the community of families in Uganda, as part of the continuing youth initiative which commenced few months ago.
Refreshments sevā

With temperatures soaring close to 45° C in the Middle East, youth along with a few children joined hands in the sevā of distributing laban/juice, banana/biscuits to the tired workers who brave the heat of summer and work hard. About 400 workers in four different locations were benefitted during the month of June. Laban is a traditional buttermilk served in the Middle East.
Support of Oxygenated Beds

In these times of strife, the sevā of the Sri Lankan youth served as a beacon of hope to the patients at the Gampola Hospital in Kandy district of Sri Lanka who are currently battling the virus. A team of engineers had decided to build oxygenated beds for hospitals across the island and the Sai youth did their part by supporting the pilot project in Gampola through 10 beds.

Distribution of Snack Boxes to COVID-19 Patients

To lighten up the day of those who are bravely facing the illness, which is no easy feat, the youth distributed 225 boxes of short-eats such as sandwiches, patties and rolls with a packet of milk, to be enjoyed along with their afternoon tea. The patients of the hospital were immensely touched by this endearing gesture.
Refreshments for Disposal Truck Workers

Refreshments served to the workers ranged from sweets, such as a variety of biscuits and wafers, to sandwiches stuffed with various fillings, fresh fruits etc. The workers expressed their gratitude for the continuation of this simple act of love, as they submitted that no one else had ever taken the time to do this for them.
Dry Ration for Disposal Truck Workers

The youth were able to lend a helping hand to a bunch of disposal truck workers. A special dry ration pack which consisted of essentials such as rice, noodles, lentils, onions, potatoes, soya, sugar, tea leaves, milk powder, salt, spices etc were distributed. The workers were moved by this gesture and accepted the tokens of love with much gratitude.
Weekly Lunch Distribution

Inspired by the teachings of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, the Sai youth have taken up the initiative to prepare traditional home-cooked meals once a week and distribute them to the needy.