Issue 222 - March 28, 2021
Editor's Note
Sairam dear brothers and sisters,

Swami was once speaking to a group of youth when He said "My mission is not about conferences or establishing schools, colleges, hospitals or even inaugurating buildings and halls. I want to be as many as you are, so that you can go and spread love everywhere. My mission is ‘you’. My mission is about your transformation, so that one day you will realise who you truly are.”

As we take every step within to fathom who we truly are, for we haven’t been given this human body without a purpose, the path becomes clearer as we begin to experience God through salokyam (to come see God and have satsang); samipyam (feel the closeness of God); saroopyam (when qualities of God start manifesting in oneself) and sayujyam (becoming God).

‘Emptying our cup’ is a step which will inch us closer to the goal. Didn’t Kahlil Gibran say “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” May we all empty our cups fully and completely, surrender our minds and live by our hearts!

Bhuvana Santhanam
ātmano mokshārtam
(Emancipation of one’s self)
Baba told us that every child born on earth has three fundamental rights, ‘Right to nutrition, Right to education, and Right to healthcare’. And all these three must be provided at no cost to every child irrespective of socio-economic status, religion, gender or geography. This very message of Baba has become our life breath. The amount of work that has been done in these three fields in the last nine years is unparalleled and, in a way, path breaking.

“Let no child go to school hungry ever!” was the vision given to Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust that now serves 500,000 children with nutritious breakfast across thousands of government schools and is counting.

23 educational campuses, including a university that sprang up across the length and breadth of Karnataka and spilled over to the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Telangana, serving 5,000 children at no cost, from basic schooling to specialized post-graduation programmes, all in a span of nine years seems unbelievable to many, but true! Not just that, at the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam group of institutions, the academic education is infused with spiritual and moral values, something that is most modern educational institutions lack.

Three super speciality paediatric cardiac care facilities – the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals in Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Maharashtra – not only cure heart problems of children from impoverished backgrounds, but also serve expecting women in several districts of the country by providing nutrition and regular health check-ups through the Divine Mother and Child Health Program (DMCHP). This apart, a general hospital, the Sri Sathya Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital in Karnataka, upcoming hospitals in the Fiji Islands, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and USA, and several medical camps in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lank, Africa and the likes, have brought relief to the doorsteps of sick and needy without any charges.

In a world consumed by commerce, this sort of free education, healthcare and nutrition would seem like a distant dream to many, whereas this is a living reality in Baba’s mission. Despite several challenges, Baba stayed true to His belief and inspired all of us to provide these services free as well. “The sacred name ‘Sri Sathya Sai’ is synonymous to FREE service of the highest quality to all humanity without any discrimination.”

An excerpt from the book ‘God Management’ authored by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, Pg no. 119, 120 and 123.
My Story
Brighter Horizons
By -
Sathvik Vasam, Kansas,USA

When a caterpillar makes its cocoon, it knows no better than to think its hours are quickly dwindling. It rolls up inside, preparing for what it imagines as its end. Of course, what it doesn't know is that the most beautiful time of its life lies in waiting.

My journey over the past few months has felt like this too. Of course, in my case, as in all our cases, I'm referring to the end of the concept of ‘self’ - the ego, the attachment to our body and desires, the addiction to the cycle of happiness and suffering. In every aspect of my life - health, career, relationships - I have been exploring the depths of my relationship with myself, clinging onto whatever I think, I hope, might make my load just a little lighter.

My ideas of what I know about myself and the world are changing, or rather, being tested incessantly and shattered ruthlessly. There's a certain satisfaction that I have been conditioned to expect when I feel that my life is in my control. And the more I feel compelled to learn and inculcate the values and qualities that I know are waiting to be expressed boundlessly, the more challenges I seem to encounter to test those new boundaries. I am consciously making space for the new; the old has to exit, ideally, gracefully. We may not know how the caterpillar feels as it makes its cocoon, whether it laments its fate or simply performs its duty with detachment. In fact, could you imagine a butterfly trying to cheer up and explain to a nearby caterpillar that its life will bear no resemblance to the one it leads now? Either way, what's important is it listens to its inner guidance, and proceeds with its work having faith. And so just like the caterpillar fills up before its ensuing cocoon-building, what I can do now is to just listen and continue to fill myself up with forgiveness about the past, self-love in the present and faith about the future.

What's also helped tremendously is knowing that I'm not alone. Not only that, but being of service to those around me who might be going through anything similar gives me a unique self-confidence, not in ‘myself’, but in something beyond my ‘self’. It's like the very things I desire the most - peace, strength, freedom - flow to and through me without limits when I intend to ‘share’ what little I thought I had of them. I don't know how that works or anything beyond "We are all one" or "I to We to He", so maybe when this body experiences that awareness, it can share a more poignant lesson. But for now, I'm learning to be content with, "Yea, I just don't know" and to be grateful for the role that "others" are playing to help me along my journey.

So that's where "I am" in "my" journey, this little droplet of ocean riding with its fellow droplets on a wave, on its way, inevitably to the shore. What is new that is waiting to emerge? I don't yet know. The only thing I'm learning to do is, like the caterpillar, to surrender and dissolve...into the not-yet-known, the not-yet-experienced. And patiently and graciously and humbly experience our wings coalesce and strengthen, ready to break free - a miraculous expression of transformation, of creative destruction...of life.

What is the new that's waiting to emerge, with wings? I'm not sure.

I did hear that caterpillars usually live alone and butterflies hang together more often. So perhaps this is a sign of things to come.
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!
AUM is the most perfect symbol and sound to describe Brahman. There are three states of being – ‘A’ represents jāgṛta avasthā (Waking state), ‘U’ represents svapna avasthā (Dreaming state) and ‘M’ represents suṣupti (Deep Sleep) and the silence thereafter represents the turīya avasthā (Pure awareness).

It can be compared and understood by the following example. The jewellery such as bracelet, chain and ring are different from each other. But one thing remains same in all the three articles which is gold. In the same way pure awareness is the reason for all the states to exist.

It is like the same person who plays different roles like that of a son, father, student, brother, nephew, grandson etc wherein the person remains the same, but the roles subject to change.

brahman is the basis of the whole creation, its sustenance and destruction. It is anādi, without beginning or end. It was there before the creation; it is there in the creation and it will continue to remain after the destruction of the creation. AUM is the closest representation of brahman.  

In the episode 16 featured this week, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai explains verse fifteen and sixteen from the second vallī (canto) of Chapter One of kaṭhopaniṣad in which significance and importance of AUM in the spiritual path is expounded.
“If you do not find peace within, you will not find it anywhere else. The goal of life is the attainment of Peace and not the achievement of power, name, fame and wealth.”

– Swami Sivananda

jagat hitāya
(Welfare of the World)
The Youth from three cities of La Plata, Córdoba and Iguazú of Argentina undertook various feeding activities in their region, feeding more than 1,350 people in total.
In the month of February, they served more than 850 people. This seva activity is undertaken every Friday. The youth from La Plata prepared homemade vegetarian burgers for families from two underprivileged neighbourhoods.

 This was the third time in this year when all the youth of Rio De Janeiro came together to serve the needy people. 290 hot meals were distributed which included rice, beans, vegetables, French fries and soy meat with tomato sauce, accompanied with packaged sweets, apples and bottled water.
Hygiene kits were also provided which contained disposable masks, toothpaste, soap, toothbrush and hygiene items for women. Rubber sandals were also distributed.

During the two months of February and March, the youth of São Paulo served 104 hot veggie meals consisting of rice, red and black beans and soy meat veggie curries to the underprivileged people.
A little more than 9 kgs of bananas were provided for distributions to the homeless people.

In the month of March, the Youth of Alberta had packed and distributed food packets in the Downtown region of Edmonton.
The food packets included items such as blueberry muffins, bottled chocolate milk, ambrosia apple, sweet and chewy granola bars. The food packets were distributed to the needy homeless people.
Gourmet, homemade burritos were cooked by the youth co-ordinating the dinner service. The fillings for the burritos consisted of black beans with fajita seasoning, sautéed green/red peppers & onions, tomato rice, salsa and sour cream, all wrapped in flour tortillas. The youth and adults assembled and packed the burritos in a professional manner. Later in the evening, the burrito bags were taken for distribution in downtown San Jose and were handed out to the homeless in different areas of Santa Clara and San Jose. Around 75 meals were served. The recipients were extremely happy receiving the burritos for dinner.