Issue 230 - May 23, 2021
Editor's Note
Sairam dear brothers and sisters,

Once, while speaking to an intimate gathering of devotees, Swami said that everyone’s prayer should be, “The heart that You have given me Lord, I offer it back to You. Other than this I don’t have anything. Please accept this as I offer it in to Your hands.” Swami went on say, “Keep your heart steady. Heart is the seat of God, permanently given to God. That heart must always be kept pure, bereft of anger, and selfishness. Speak from your heart to mine. Listen, talk and experience Me from within. That is the journey, as friendship with God is the best!”

More than listening to lectures or even delivering them to others, offering an act of genuine seva purifies our heart, as a pure heart is required to establish a communion with God within. And slowly but surely as the heart purifies, as we start shedding the qualities which do not personify our true divine selves, we develop more love in our hearts. And then...the veil slowly starts to unfurl; there will be less words and more action. The voice from within starts becoming clear and it begins to guide us every step along way.

The journey that we are on, the path that we have taken, is possibly the less travelled road, but certainly the most sought after. Really? Yes, because in this world, every single human being is seeking permanent happiness, but alas everyone thinks it is outside and copes with the external joys. The answer lies within, and that’s the inner journey we have all embarked on in one way or the other.

Bhuvana Santhanam
ātmano mokshārtam
(Emancipation of one’s self)
Excerpt From A Book
“How will a new person know that I am God?”

An interesting question was asked by someone to brother Madhusudan who in turn submitted to Baba for an answer, “How do you know Sai Baba is God?”

Baba asked back the same question to brother Madhusudan, “How do you know I am God?”

“I know it through my experience”, replied brother Madhusudan as a matter of fact.

Baba in turn asked, “That is your experience but that may not be the experience of that person, isn’t it? How will a new person know that I am God?”

Baba Himself continued and said, “See God has three qualities – omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. All the three together is God. Draupadi cried in the court of Kauravas for help. Lord Krishna was nowehere in the surroundings, or in the vicinity, but yet He heard Draupadi’s prayer. That is omniscience. Lord Krishna knew everything that was happening without even being present there. Now, even though He was physically not present in the court of Kauravas, He appeared to Draupadi in some way and she could feel Lord Krishna’s presence in the form of the continuous stream of the saree that flowed, when she was being disrobed. That is omnipresence. If anyone is omniscient and omnipresent, then he is automatically omnipotent! He is God.”

In retrospect, all this can be read in books, but to see someone do this day in and day out, is indeed magical. And Baba did many things like this, every single day. But the most important thing Baba said to brother Madhusudan was, “More than anything else, can anybody, for decaded together, every single day wake up with only one thought, ‘How can I be of help, how can I be of service to others’, and do it not for a day or a week or a month or a decade, but every morning, afternoon and evening without fail, without a vacation or time off? Yes, only a great person, a saint or a Mahatma or a Master can do it for maybe two years or ten years or twenty years, but can you show me one person in this world who has done it throughout his life? Only God can do this. Nobody other than God can do this kind of seva, this kind of work. Not one day, two days but years and years together the entire life.” Brother Madhusudan was grateful for the beautiful explanation he received from Baba, and was even mor grateful that he was now living this life, everyday.

An excerpt from the book – ‘Karishye Vachanam Tava - A Life In Surrender - Sri Madhusudan Sai’ authored by Bhuvana Santhanam, pg no. 165
My Story
From Victimhood to Victory
By Dr Manoj Bharadwaj
Houston, Texas

Like several others, while growing up, I too had faced many challenges in my life including that of domestic violence, a father with drug and gambling addictions and eventually losing his medical license and declaring bankruptcy. Racism, bullying and sexual abuse to name a few others. Living in such a toxic environment and soaked head to toe in guilt, it was apt to say I was living in a state of victimhood. That something was happening to me and not for me; and it was hard to see it in any other way. That perhaps it was some karmic bank balance that I had to clear in this life. It was easy to get caught up in that philosophy especially with my cultural upbringing.
I had many key turning points in my life to shake me loose but one particular moment was when I came across the work of Robert Schwartz and his book ‘Your Soul's Plan’. There was no doubt that Swami had led me to his work among many others. But essentially it took a deep and detailed dive into how we as souls, before incarnating, map out our own lives to experience certain events/situations at a physical level so that at a spirit level it brings us back into balance/wholeness or allows us to grow at a deeper level. Many events we pre-plan with a lot of room for free will of course.

We make soul contracts with others but the core driving force of all these plans is always love. I had always heard that we chose our parents and families before we incarnate but never had I understood it at such a deep intricate level. Although it was difficult for me to first digest, I allowed myself to entertain this concept and just try it on for size. If I truly chose those major situations and not the other way round does that not perhaps make me a brave or courageous soul indeed? After all there is no one ‘up there’ dishing out punishments and keeping a scorecard. In that other dimension there is only love and nothing but love aka our true reality. No judge or jury except that which we create in the chasms of our mind. This allowed me to at least bring a gentle shift in my perspective about all the difficulties in my life and helped me take a huge step into the world of empowerment as a powerful creator or co-creator being. I may not have been ready to accept this wisdom when I was face down on the ground back then but as time went on with Swami's infinite love and patience, I was able to understand many higher truths.

This also helped many of my patients across many religions and cultures who were molded in victim mentality and shrouded in guilt for apparent sins that they had committed and were now reaping what they had sown. It allowed them to at least make a dent in that misguided and misunderstood belief so that they could taste that freedom again. Swami had once mentioned that in actuality there is no such thing as sin. Only mistakes which we make unconsciously or consciously by listening to a misguided ego. The difference is profound. One instills fear and guilt and the other is a gentle allowing us to learn from our mistakes, dust ourselves off and just try again so we can keep on keeping on. I frequently tell my patients (as a reminder to myself as well) that they have always been innocent and they will remain innocent in the tender loving eyes of God till their dying day and beyond.
Love is who we are, love is what we are into and will merge back into the same love from where we all have come from.
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).

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, Bramhajnana (the knowledge of Brahman) from Yamadeva himself. Anyone who perseveres like Nachiketa is guaranteed to attain and experience Brahman.

The episode 24 featured this week is a recap of Chapter one, valli one and two of kaṭhopaniṣad. Under the guidance of our Divine Master, let us learn these profound teachings of Vedanta and follow Him in the path of Self Realisation.
“To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is bliss”

– Bodhidharma

jagat hitāya
(Welfare of the World)
This month, the Sai youth of Alberta packed and distributed food packets to the homeless individuals in the Downtown region of Edmonton. The food packets consisted of juice boxes, crackers, cheese, bread rolls, granola bars, bananas, apples and water. All service activities have been carried out as per the COVID-19 health guidelines of Alberta.