Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva Group 2007 (Tuesday 23rd October)
Morning bhajans started at the usual time of 9am. The Sai Kulwant hall was unusually busy as a large group has recently come from the Prakasam district of Andra Pradesh to receive Swami’s darshan and blessings. Swami came to give darshan at 9.20 in the car. It appeared as if Swami was pre-occupied as He stayed for just one bhajan before calling for aarti and going back to His residence.
In the afternoon, Swami came to give darshan at 4.40pm. He did a full round of the Sai Kulwant hall in His car. He then came in the chair to the portico where he spent a few minutes interacting with his younger students. In particular, he called one 10-year-old Iranian student and requested him to chant Vedam along with the senior students. Bhajans began at 5.14pm and Swami stayed till 5.45pm before accepting aarti and retiring to his residence.
The UK group on leaving offered their deepest gratitude to Swami for allowing them to participate in this year's Grama Seva.
Courtesy: Arvind Tank - via Saibabanews 25.10.2007
Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva Group 2007 (Monday 22nd October)
Prasanthi appears to be settling back into the normal routine as the crowd has reduced significantly after the majestic Navratri and Vijayadasami celebrations.
Swami came for darshan today in his car at 9.40am, whilst bhajans were going on. After speaking to a few lucky devotees on the verandah, Swami proceeded towards the mandir where he blessed the priests who had performed the Veda Purusha Sapta Maha Yagna. He then accepted aarti at 10.45am and headed back to His residence.
Swami came for darshan in his car a little earlier than normal, much to the delight of the devotees assembled there. Swami kindly accepted a thank you card from the UK group leader (puppet) and further enquired as to how they boys were doing. Bhajans started at 5pm as normal and finished at 5.40 as Swami accepted the aarti and retired to his residence for the evening.
In the evening, the UK Grama Seva boys were privileged to have a spiritual satsang with the warden of the Brindavan Campus, Sri B Narasimhamurthy. One of the boys asked for further clarification on Swami’s Vijayadasami discourse on Truth and Righteousness. Sri Narasimhamurthy explained what Swami had meant yesterday in more detail. He said that God is Truth, God is everywhere and this is the real truth. Dharma is what you have to do and this is a choice between Shreyas and Preyas. Whatever you do, do it with love not hatred.
Sri Narasimhamurthy then detailed out a 9-point plan which he has devised to help man further his spiritual progress:
1. Early to bed, early to rise.
2. Simple living and high thinking – reduce material needs and desires. Unity in thought, word and deed.
3. 30 minutes of satsang everyday – company of good people. As Swami says, “tell me your company, I’ll tell you what you are.” For those of you unable to have satsang daily, you can do Swadhyay (study of spiritual literature).
4. 30 minutes of solitude – spent on your own and contemplate.
5. Constant namasmarana – constant repetition of the Lord’s name.
6. Hands in the society and heads in the forest.
7. Do Seva all the time – this can be broken down into 3 types of Seva:
a. Mental - pray for the wellbeing of others
b. By word – always speak kindly and lovingly
c. Action – use every opportunity available, regardless of size, to help others. "If you can do one act a day for 10 days, you’ll experience spiritual bliss."
8. Dedicate all activities unto God – e.g. People do activities because they have to or because they derive happiness from it. However, it should be done because of your love for God.
9. God is everywhere so see God in everything and see everything in God.
Sri Narasimhamurthy also gave a means to monitor your spiritual progress in daily life, in the form of simple ABCD:
- Awareness of Inner Bliss
- Balance of mind – equanimity
- Ceiling on desires
- Dedication to welfare of others
Courtesy: Arvind Tank via Saibabanews
Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva Group 2007 (21st October)
On this auspicious day of the Dusshera function, Prasanthi Nilayam was reverbrating with extra vigour. Also on this day, Shirdi Sai Baba chose to take Maha Samadhi in 1918. He told one of his close devotees the day before that he would leave his mortal coil on the day of Dusshera.
In the Threta yuga, Lord Sri Rama was victorious in his battle with the demon king, Ravana. He then returned to Ayodha where he was crowned king. In the kali yuga our dear Swami, the Veda Purusha himself, came to the poornachandra hall to carry out the poornahuti of the yagna. This ceremony took place at 10am this morning. Swami then watched over the rituals for over 45 minutes. This included the yagna ceremony and he blessed all the priests who were fortunate to take part. The Poornachandra hall was completely full as everyone was keen to get a glimpse of Swami performing the yagna Himself. The scene before our eyes took our imagination back to the Threta yuga yagnas.
For the first time the grama seva was performed for the full 9 days of the navratri function. Usually on dusshera the sisters of the Anantapur campus would do grama seva within the Prasanthi Nilayam ashram. However in addition to this, Swami instructed the students and the UK group to continue with the service activities in the villages. Some of these villages that were fortunate to receive Swami’s prasadam on Vijayadasami day were Tarakarama Nagar, Djp(Deenajanoddhara na) and Cheya. These villages are located behind the ashram. In total over 200 homes received Swami’s prasadam including 58 students in the Deenajanoddharana orphanage.
The UK grama seva group expresses their deepest gratitude towards Swami for allowing them to take part in this grand event covering 145 villages in 8 days. Service of this magnitude is only possible with the Divine blessing.
Swami came for darshan at 4.15pm in his chair today, just before the rahulkalam started at 4.30pm. He then spoke to the UK grama sevagroup leader puppet and instructed him to give a talk. Swami then spent over 20 minutes with his students looking fondly at the various models and presentations of dushhera craft works.
Sri Sanjay Sahani then introduced the 2 speakers for the evening. These were Ajit Poppat (puppet) and Sri S.V.Giri (previous vice chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai University ).
Sri Ajit Poppat (puppet) spoke in his usual charismatic and energetic manner. He spoke on leading a Heartificial instead of an artificial life and elaborated on this by quoting the 5 “L’s” given by Swami. These are:
- Listening – to “Avatar Vahni” i.e. the teachings of the living master.
- Learning – learning to put into practice the above teachings
- Lifting – lifting oneself above the physical plane to mental, intellectual, psychic and eventually to the spiritual plane.
- Living – live what you have learnt
- Loving – to love selflessly.
Sri Ajit Poppat spoke of how one of the boy joined the UK Grama Seva group faced with a very difficult choice. Few days before the departure of the group the boy’s Mother who was suffering from Cancer, became very serious. The Father informed the Group leader that the boy will not be able to come.
However, the Mother insisted that her son should go for Grama Seva and serve our Lord Sai, despite the fact that she was in a very critical situation. During Grama Seva, the boy received a phone call from the Father explaining that his Mother’s situation is getting worse and Doctors have given her only couple of days. The father wanted the boy to come back home. The boy wrote a letter with a picture of his Mother and gave to Swami. Swami immediately read the letter on the Veranda. Soon after that the boy received a call from his family who explained that his Mother wanted him to stay with Swami and complete the Grama Seva activities in the villages.
She was very proud that her son is serving our Lord Sai at her last moments. The sacrifice made by the mother and son, touched the heart of our dear Lord Sai. Swami, looked at the boy with a motherly smile many times during darshan. Sri Ajit Poppat ended his talk with a prayer to Baba.
Sri S.V. Giri then spoke eloquently on his recent experiences during Grama Seva. He narrated an incident in a village where a family shared their prasadam with their pet dog as they considered it to be an equal member of the household. Sri Giri then compared this to a similar experience in the life of Shirdi Sai Baba. In another village, Sri Giri noticed a marked improvement in the self confidence of the inhabitants as a direct result of the love showered on them during Grama Seva over the years.
After Sri Giri had finished his talk, Swami gifted us all wih His divine discourse on this auspicious day of Vijayadasami. To the great delight and joy of the audience, Swami then stood up for the first part of the discourse and spoke whilst standing. Swami started off saying that this auspicious day gives great joy to many people, however this day was also a day of grief to many people in the past as this was the day Shirdi Baba left his physical body and took maha Samadhi. Swami then explained the importance of following Sathya, Truth and Dharma, Righteousness. He then quoted the story of Lakshmi Bhai who was given two gold coins by Shirdi Baba symbolising Sathya and Dharma and to the amazement of the audience he materialized these two coins.
The rest of Swami’s discourse elaborated the principle of Sathya and dharma. Swami said that following the above basic principles is superior to any form of worship or prayer and everything done should be based on truth.
Swami concluded saying that all of us are a reflection of “Sathya Sai” and that God is one, whether we call him Rama, Krishna , Jesus or Allah.
Swami ended his talk singing the famous song “Bhaja Govindam”.
Courtesy: Arvind Tank via Saibabanews - 22.10.2007
Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama
Seva Group 2007 (Saturday 20th
On this very day, Swami declared
his avatarhood. At the age of
14, Swami left his parents' home
to fulfill His divine mission.
Today being the 9th day of
navratri the crowd continues to
grow in anticipation of the
Dusshera celebrations. Today's
rahulkalam (the inauspicious
period of the day) was between 9
– 10.30am, therefore Swami's
students left in the early hours
of the morning for Grama Seva.
As usual many villages received
Swami's prasadam. One particular
village that was served was
called, Janakampalli, in the
Bukkhapatnam mandal. The village
consisted of approximately 1150
houses with an approximate
population of 4500. In total
there were 7 sub groups made up
of 12-14 Sai students each. This
also included a group of the UK
Grama Seva group. With Swami's
grace, the activities which
distribution of prasadam,
bhajans and aarti were completed
quickly and efficiently.
The group returned to Prasanthi
Nilayam at 10.15am and went
straight to the Yagna at the
Poornachandra Hall. Our dear
Swami entered the Poornachandra
hall just after the rahulkalam
ended, to reside over the Yagna.
Swami blessed all the priests
taking part during the mantra
pushpam aarti. He then headed
towards the Sai Kulwant hall
where thousands of devotees were
waiting eagerly since the early
hours of the morning. Swami did
a full round of darshan in his
chair giving love and joy to
all, and then headed to the
interview room to bless the
chief minister of Gujarat,
Narendra Modi. After a short
interview Swami headed back to
Swami came for darshan at
5.40pm, taking a full round in
his chair. He then went onto the
portico to bless an eminent
Indian classical music clarinet
player. The musician with his
accompanying artists started
playing a few select Bhajans,
songs and ragas. The ragas
played included Hamsadhwani, 2
bhajans of which one was Prema
Mudhita Manase Kaho and finished
with raga bhairavi. Out of His
infinite grace Swami
materialised a gold chain for
the clarinet player and gave new
clothes to each of the
musicians. Whilst the music was
being played, prasadam was
issued to all devotees present
in the Sai Kulwant hall. Swami
called for aarti at 6.40pm and
then retired to his residence
for the evening.
Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama
Seva Group 2007 (Friday 19th
On this auspicious day of Durga
Ashtami the 8th day of the
Navratri function, various
activities have taken place. On
this holy day, the instruments (Astras
& Vehicles) are worshipped.
Today is the day Swami, Himself
performs the worship of the
vehicles. This tradition has
been followed since the ancient
times of Bharat (India). On this
day, the Pandavas completed
their time in exile and the 13th
year of hiding. On this day, the
weapons that were hidden away
In the usual manner, Grama Seva
commenced with Pradikshana
around the Sanctum Sanctorum.
One of the villages covered
today was Locherla. This village
is located in the Kotachero
Mandal, and consisted of over
800 houses with approximately
3350 residents. The community
spirit was noticeable as one of
the teams arrived and the
villagers were waiting for us
eagerly. As the supply vehicles
drove into the village, they
were cheerfully welcomed by the
local children who were all
shouting “Sai Ram Sai Ram!!”
whilst the parents and
grandparents welcomed us quietly
with a heartfelt smile and
twinkle in their eyes.
With the Army of Swami’s
students, Swami’s prasadam was
distributed very rapidly before
lunchtime as per Swami’s
Courtesy: Arvind Tank - via
Saibabanews - 21.10.2007
Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva
Group 2007 (Thursday 18th
The chanting from the Veda
Purusha Sapta Jyana Yagna could
be clearly heard from the
Poornachandra hall, as the
devotees sat in the Sai Kulwant
hall. The Nadaswaram was being
played which added the festive
mood of the Navaratri function.
As the Yagna was being performed
throughout the day, to generate
uplifting vibrations for world
peace, at the same time Swami's
students and faculty members
were spreading His message of
love in the Kotacharu Mandal.
One of the villages that
received Swami's prasadam was
Talamarya and Avulkutla (which
consisted of 15 houses in a very
The group reached all the
villages and houses in and
around the area, regardless of
the remoteness and
inaccessibility of the houses.
This was only made possible by
Swami's love and grace on the
At 4.40 the Vedam singing
started, signalling the arrival
of our dear Lord Sai. Swami
arrived in the silver car for
darshan and headed towards the
portico, where he spoke to UK
Gama Seva group Leader Puppet
for a very brief moment.
Sanjay Sahani, got up to
introduce the speakers for the
day, which included 1) Sir
Narashimamurthi, The Warden for
the Brindawan campus. 2) Krishna
Warden Sir, spoke for almost for
an hour on various topics
including the life and mission
of Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the
super speciality hospital. He
mentioned that there are 36
slokas describing the life and
mission of the Avatar. He
mentioned and described the
various stages of the Avatar,
1st comes the Leela, the pastime
of Sai Baba. 2nd Mahimaha, 3rd
Updesa, 4th Vidha, establishing
the educational institutes, 5th
Vaidy, the establishments of the
hospitals and 6th Establishment
of Sanatana Drama.
Sir Narashimamurthi also
explained how to win Swami's
grace so that Swami would come
to you. All you have to do is
call him to your heart with
tears in your eye "Lord I belong
to you". The only condition
required to win His grace is
The second speaker Krishna
Kumar, spoke from his heart
about the Glory of Sai Mother.
Krishna Kumar spoke with
examples of all the attributes
of Swami that make him a Mother.
Whilst the talk was going on
Swami was in a very delightful
mood as He would be playing with
handkerchief, like a little boy
and when He looked up and found
that everyone was looking and
smiling at Him, he gave the
amazing smile (like Krishna did
when He was caught doing
Our dear Lord Sai is so kind
that He materialised a gold
chain for Krishna Kumar and just
like a mother Swami put the
chain around the boy's neck
Himself. It was a very beautiful
sight to observe.
Swami listened to few bhajans
before taking the Aarti and
headed towards the divine
residence at 6.30.
Courtesy: Arvind Tank via
Saibabanews - 20.10.2007
Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva
Group 2007 (17th October)
The Grama Seva
activities commenced in the
early hours of the morning at
7.45am.The UK Grama Seva Group
were originally allocated
Dhupampalli and neighbouring
villages. Unfortunately due to
that fact these villages were
inaccessible by the Sumo
vehicles, the planning committee
then changed the villages to
Chedrayaipalli and Kottalapalli.
Before Grama Seva commenced, the
UK boys went around the village
chanting Vedam and singing
Bhajans. Swami has mentioned
that doing this will spiritually
cleanse the village. It also
serves as announcement to the
villagers regarding the seva
Chedrayaipalli consisted of
approximately 145 houses with an
additional 20 houses in the
Kottalapalli, which was served
by Sai Students.
After successfully completing
the distribution of Swami’s
prasadam, the UK boys and
Swami’s students performed the
Aarti together in the village
The UK Grama Seva boys were
given a uplifting and
inspirational talk by the group
leader Sri Ajit Poppat (puppet),
prior to going for Swami’s
He spoke on the importance of
regular spiritual practices
which will lead to many
benefits. He spoke about:
- Devotees never make mistakes….
Because a true devotee never
does anything, everything is
done by GOD
- Devotees never waste
time…Every act is dedicated to
- Through spiritual practices
devotees are awakened to
intuitive knowledge. This
knowledge comes from within
Ajit Poppat also mentioned the
importance of surrendering
everything to GOD so that GOD
can work though you to achieve
all of the above. Therefore you
will be successful in all aspect
of life. Ajit Poppat illustrated
the above with very comical
examples in his usual manner.
With mind focused and heart full
of love for Swami, all the UK
Grama Seva boys headed towards
Sai Kulwant hall to receive the
darshan of Bhagawan. Our Beloved
Swami’s heart is as soft as
butter that melts immediately
whenever there is a call from a
pure heart. Today, Swami
displayed this yet again by
coming for Darshan at 4.45 on
his Chair in order that everyone
could get a very close darshan.
Swami kindly continued His
darshan from the portico as his
gave Sanjay Sahani instructions
to announce the speakers for the
Prashanthi Maha Vidhvan Sabha.
The first speaker was Sri
Srinivas Rangarajan. He spoke
eloquently on Karma Yagna.
Rangarajan, mentioned some of
the points of Karma Yagna as
1. Offer to God within
4. Intention (feeling)
5. Offer every act to GOD
For instance, when he gave blood
in the hospital Swami enquired
whether he had given blood.
However, it seemed that Swami
was not happy with the response,
even though it was “Yes”. Swami
then said “You did not give me
blood, you gave blood to the
patient.” Therefore, one must
strive to see God in everyone.
An example of perfection was
that during grama seva a few
houses were located in a remote,
inaccessible area of the
Dhupampalli. However the student
insisted on going to these
houses even if it meant going by
The second speaker was a
university student, Natesh
Shankar Shetty. He spoke from
the heart about the mother
aspect of God. He elaborated on
this by singing the bhajan,
Janani Maa Sai Janani Maa. He
then went on to explain how the
bhajan emphasises Divine
knowledge and bliss. He spoke
for 20 minutes and ended by
emotionally declaring to all how
his deep gratitude towards Swami
for granting him this immense
opportunity on his birthday.
Swami then out of his infinite
divine love materialised a ring
Swami then instructed for the
Bhajans to begin and within 10
minutes called for Aarti. As
Swami was getting back into the
car, he called for the UK grama
seva group leader, Sri Ajit
Poppat (puppet). Swami then
inquired if the group was
regularly taking part in the
grama seva and if they were
happy. Sri Poppat replied
Courtesy: Arvind Tank via
Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva
Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva Group 2007 (15th
On this auspicious day of Veda Purusha Sapta
Jyana Yagna, the Nadaswaram started just before
9.00am to commence the first day of the Yagna.
The Sai Kulwant Hall is fully decorated which
enhanced to the festive mood. Many of Swami’s
students were also dressed in traditional
Peethamber, as part of the Vedam Procession. The
group of priest who will be conducting the Yagna
through out the Navratri festival, were led in
to the Sanctum Sanctorium.
Our Lord Sai, heard the prayers of all the
devotees gathered and responded by giving
darshan to one and all. Swami blessed the
priests and the Vedam boys inside Mandir and
instructed them to proceed to the Poornachandra
Hall, where the Yagna will take place. They were
followed by the other devotees, who all gathered
in the Poornachandra Hall.
All were gathered waiting for the Purusha
himself, who arrived shortly thereafter to
inaugurate the Yagna. At 10am the Priests
created the holy fire in the age-old traditional
manner, by churning the woods together.
Swami blessed the creation of the fire whilst
various Mantras and Vedam were chanted
simultaneously. Shortly after this, Swami
instructed the Grama Seva boys to carry out the
daily service activities in the villages.
Today’s Grama Seva took place in Puttaparthi
village itself. The UK Grama Seva group was
privileged and honoured to follow Swami’s direct
instructions to distribute his parcels of love
at the super speciality hospital rather than go
to the village. The residents of the hospital
warmly welcomed the group as they received
Swami’s love, in the form of Prasad am. Most of
the residents in the hospital quarters consisted
of doctors, nurses and their families.
To the pleasant surprise of all the devotees
gathered in Sai Kulwant hall, our dear Lord gave
chair darshan at 5.15pm by taking a full round
of the Sai Kulwant hall. The UK Grama Seva group
were blessed as Swami gave them direct eye
contact. On entering the veranda, Swami enquired
about the welfare of the UK group from Sri Ajit
then instructed the vice chancellor to introduce
the speakers for then Prasanthi Maha Vidhvan
Sabha. The first speaker was Professor
Venkataraman, who spoke for more than 20 minutes
on the inner spiritual significance of Navratri,
stating we should meditate on the Divine mother
principal to destroy our inner demons. The next
speaker was Professor Veerbudhraya, who spoke in
Telugu. Swami then instructed the Sai students
to commence Bhajans. Swami took aarti at 6.30pm
and retired to His residence.
The evening session continued for the UK Grama
Seva boys with a satang with Dr. Choudhry, the
director of the Cardiology department at both
super speciality hospitals. He spoke about his
personal experiences and how Swami helped him to
develop an understanding about working with the
Courtesy: Arvind Tank - via Saibabanews
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at 7am. As
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the UK group
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bless us all
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