Issue 211- January 10, 2021
Editor's Note
Spirituality teaches us balance, and we are so very fortunate to be guided by a Master at every step of our lives. While speaking about Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami one day said, “Ramakrishna Paramahamsa would say ‘Jackfruit sticks to the finger when it is being cut. Therefore, oil is applied before cutting the fruit, and then it becomes easy to eat the jackfruit.’ Likewise, this oil of spirituality, which is detachment, must be applied by everyone before engaging in the world. Without applying this, you enter the world and get stuck. By applying this oil of spirituality, if you enter the world, you can enjoy the world, but the world will not enjoy you. You will have the choice to give up when you want to. Otherwise, you are stuck. It is very much possible to live in the world, do what is required, educate yourself, study, do business, earn a living, raise a family, and yet remain very detached. All the kings in the past took to this path. Whether Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism or ultimately whichever spiritual path they took, it taught them to detach themselves. Don't think that one day you will be able to wake up and develop that detachment. It has to be gradually practised. The way you have entangled yourself, is the way you have to get yourself out of it also. That is the process. So spirituality teaches us how to get into the world, and more importantly how to get out of it as well.”

Like Adi Shankara said, ‘Harite nimishāt kālāt sarvam’, we never know which would be our final moment. Engaging in a detached way in all that we do through the day, in every moment living in the world,
is the true way of living in the world.

Bhuvana Santhanam
ātmano mokshārtam
(Emancipation of one’s self)
What Is the One Experience
We Must Have in This Life
Excerpt from Divine Discourse Delivered on February 22, 2020

Everybody is unhappy thinking that they don’t have this, they don’t have that. But the truth is that the real cause of their unhappiness is that they don’t have God, they don’t believe in God, they don’t love God. That is the main cause of all the sorrows. To bring back this idea and not just an idea but put it into practice in our day to day lives in everything that we think, say or do, is the whole effort.
The greatest of all services in all times is taking a person back to his own or her own Divine realisation. And that service if somebody can do, they are the greatest servants of the society because by doing this, everything else will be done. I go on telling whichever country I went, I told, “Please learn Nirvana Shatakam.” More than that contemplate on its meaning.

This is one experience that one needs to gain in one’s life. This is the ultimate. Towards this, put your efforts.
My Story
Fighting Depression
By Bhanu Prakash
First Year - MSc Life Sciences
Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence

Depression is a global term which continues to affect many youth. It comes when one is suppressed by others or when one let’s oneself down. Reasons could be multi fold. Sometimes this feeling of inadequacy can eat us up. This is a weed in all our lives which must be removed. It keeps growing, however much we try to chop it. The only permanent solution is to extract it from the roots.

Belief in myself was the one aspect which was holding me below the ground, and this never allowed me to propel towards growth, both internally and externally.

Thinking about it today, on the one hand, I feel the reason for this apprehension could have been because of the environment around me during my childhood days, and on the other, it may have been self created; my own imaginations of weaknesses. Instead of catapulting forward every time an opportunity knocked my door, these thoughts made me to take a step back.

At schools, we are not taught how to cope with failures or any kind of setbacks. We are told to live in competition, but not in cooperation. During my school days, I never participated in any sports or other extra curricular activities; the reason was that I felt that I would never succeed or win anything, because I was simply not good enough. Recognition of talent and its encouragement is what every child requires at an young age, so that the talent can blossom and give joy deep within. A sense of “can do” and “I am equally good” takes birth within.

I joined the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence at Muddenahalli in 2014 for graduation, and was able to eliminate these negative impressions about my myself. I am grateful to Swami that He guided and instilled confidence in me. When I once told Him that the thought of not being useful and not good at anything was eating me from within, He lovingly said, “Whenever you feel low and depressed that you are unable to do a certain thing because of the feeling that arises from within, don’t stop from doing what you set out to do. Keep practicing until you get it right, and leaving the results to God will not bother you much. Choose God above everything.” This guidance given by Swami was an immense blessing in my life, and slowly I was able to weed out the low self-esteem from within. It gave me a chance to look deep inside, and unravel the positivities of life.

After graduation, we were sent as interns and in the educational campus where I was posted, when I was faced with a situation when my confidence dropped, Swami’s words gave me all the strength. At one time, He had reminded the youth of a very important lesson, “Every moment of your life, every situation of your life, every crossroad of life that you face, always choose God!"

Dear brothers and sisters, let us focus our efforts towards helping each other by using the talents given by God. And let us offer whatever we do back to God, so that no depression can touch us and no feeling of inadequacy can trouble us.

“As you are in touch with God, you will ripen. One has to hold on to the Master, to ripen in His grace!” - Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai
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.
"Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions"
The Dalai Lama
jagat hitāya
(Welfare of the World)
Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust
Fifth Anniversary Celebrations
December 27, 2020, marked the Fifth Anniversary of the Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust and the Eighth Anniversary of the Annapoorna Breakfast Programme.

Since the schools were shut down during the COVID pandemic, the Annapoorna volunteers, lovingly addressed as the Covid Annapoorna Warriors, visited the families of the neediest children and distributed over 100,000 relief kits which contained monthly rations.
Trustees of the Annapoorna Trust with Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai
celebrating the fifth anniversary
The volunteering teams of Kolkata and Jamshedpur from Sri Sathya Sai Aarogya Vahini Trust provided nutrition as well as healthcare to the affected regions during the devastating cyclone, Amphan.

Annapoorna looked at it as an opportunity to reach out to more, to fill their hearts with love and to instil faith in humanity by their acts of service. Through their acts of service, they made everyone very proud.
Selfless seva in the Middle East
In the current situation of the pandemic, close to 150 needy individuals whose income had slashed down to a bare minimum were the beneficiaries of the Sri Sathya Sai Love Kit (SSSLK). This included fishermen, those serving in labour camps and even some residing in desert areas in eight different temporary camp shelters were all given the love kits which contained hygiene essentials - rice, flour, sugar, oil and other kitchen necessities. The beneficiaries expressed their immense gratitude and happiness to the volunteers, who were very touched by their emotional outpouring.
OMAD - One Meal A Day
OMAD comes under 'feed the world initiative' started by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai in the year 2018. So far millions of meals have been served around the world.

OMAD is, once again, the most happening seva which is being lovingly done by the volunteers. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba says the service of feeding the hungry is noblest of all forms of service. This month, 18 volunteers shared 438 meals.