BHAGAWAN SRI SATHYA SAI ASHTOTTARA SHATHA NAMAVALI
This is a garland of 108 sacred names in praise of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, each describing one of His countless Divine attributes and powers.
Each of these 108 sacred names begins with AUM SRI SAIand ends with the word NAMAHA, what does these four words signify?
The chanting of each names starts with Aum which is the primordial sound from which the whole creation has emerged. All the sounds in the Universe are only waves or vibrations of this primeval sound which is therefore, considered most sacred. For the same reason, Aum represents and also symbolises the Brahman or the all-pervading Supreme Cosmic Consciousness itself. It is called 'Pranava mantra', Sacred syllable having spiritual significance and power.
'Sri' signifies the subtle beauty, charm and grace of auspiciousness embedded in the Divine. It also stands for the radiance of spiritual manifestation and power in any particular deity - goddess or god.
'Sai' is the composite form of 'Sa' indicating Sarveshwara the creator or Father of Creation and 'Ayi' indicating Shakti or the creative Energy or the Mother of creation. Thus, Sai is the embodiment of our Divine Father as well as Mother looking after our material welfare as well as our spiritual progress towards realizing the truth of our own divinity.
In common parlance, Namaha means 'my salutation or namaskaram'. Namaha has also a deeper significance, which is more relevant in these sacred names all of which end with this word. 'Na' means no, not, or nil. 'Ma' signifies delusion which makes one identify himself with the inert body (Ego) and, thereby, subjects him to ignorance, misery and death. 'Namaha', thus, signifies the surrender of one's ego to the - Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent God in recognition of the truth that we are also a part of that supreme reality. Each of these sacred names, therefore, ends in a note of reverence, salutations and surrender.
Thus 'AUM SRI SAI', at the beginning of each name is intended to elevate our vision to the sublime glory of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai while 'Namaha' at the end of each name serves to awaken in us a spirit of reverence, humility and self-surrender to the Avatar of this Age. It is in this spirit that we have to chant each of the line in the following Namavali.