Parthi News

Rahul Dravid meet Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

An Indian cricketer, and the former captain of the Indian national cricket team, of which he has been a regular member since 1996. He currently has the highest Test batting average among all other Indian batsman. Dravid is one of only three Indian batsmen to have scored 9,000 runs in test cricket (the other two being Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar). On February 14, 2007, he became the sixth player in history and only the third Indian after Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly to score 10,000 runs in ODI cricket. As of now, he is the highest ranked Indian batsman in the ICC Test rankings. The above photo taken in Prasanthi Nilayam recently (14.312.2007). - photo emailed by KM.

Prasanthi Updates

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


CHRISTMAS DISCOURSE
26/12/07

Swami arrived in the evening at 5 pm, as all devotees patiently waited for His discourse. He asked a professor to speak for sometime. At around 5.30 he got up, with a beaming smile, ever ready to bless all of us. Here are a few excerpts from His divine discourse.

Anger is the cause of failure. It leads to commit many sins.
 

All conflicts arise due to lack of love. All problems, difficulties are nothing but our own imagination. There’s nothing like restlessness in the world. There’s Shanti everywhere. Peace within your heart will get reflected in peace around you. Everything is governed by the principle of “reflection, reaction, resound.”
 

(Swami asked a boy) “What is your name?”(he replied “vikas”). No, you are not Vikas. You are Brahman. If you ask God “what is your name?” he will reply “Aham Brahmasmi”
 

You are not one but three (one you think you are, others think you are…What others think you are is a matter of imagination. The true self is “I” which is common to all of you. Christians worship this “I”
 

One is not born with the name. It’s just for the sake of identity.
 

All beings take birth by the Will of God. (At this point, Swami materialized a chain and placed it on the mike.) We run after materialistic things which are nothing but shadows (maya). The shadow changes according to the position of sunlight but the object remains same. The object is the Brahman.


Love is the basis for faith. LOVE, the first letter stands for Lord. Everything arises from the Lord. Without creator, there’s no creation.

Swami discussed in detail about the life of Jesus.

Jesus was a son of a carpenter named Joseph. Joseph loved a girl in his village. After sometime, he noticed she was pregnant. It was election time then. So, they had to return to their native village. There was no transport available, so they had to ride on a donkey. When they reached the village, they found all houses were occupied. They went to a place nearby where donkeys were kept and spent the night. Mary had labor pains, but Joseph thought it was because of long hours of travel. On that holy night, Mary delivered a baby boy

Jesus grew up under the care of his mother. One day there was a function in Jerusalem. Jesus went to the function and got separated in the crowd. His parents thought their son was lost and cried in despair. But He returned back at night, much to the relief of his parents. He told them that he had joined a gathering in listening to the speeches of wise elders in village. The pundits said that there is only one truth, which is the self. Later on, contemplating n this truth, Jesus went around mountains near the village. He came down by the riverside and met Peter, a boatman. Peter introduced himself and his father to Jesus. He told Jesus that they were not able to catch any fish in the river anymore. Jesus pointed out a place and asked them to go and fish there. To their amazement, they found plenty of fish. All the fishermen thanked Jesus and accepted Him as their master.

Seeing this popularity of Jesus, some people were jealous of Him. They decided to conspire against him. (Swami narrated episodes of how Judas betrayed Jesus and how Jesus was crucified). When Jesus was about to be crucified, Mother Mary came to him and cried. Jesus pacified her saying body is just a water bubble, the true self can never die. But she said that she couldn’t bear such torture to her son. Jesus replied “I am not anybody’s son. All are my children”

The next day Jesus appeared for the supper. The king was surprised and asked how he could come here. Jesus said, “I can go anywhere, at my Will. I am God. None can kill me” These words moved the king and he decided to bow down to Jesus.

There’s nothing beyond the Will of God. Any person having complete faith in these words will be protected. Faith is most important. Today, people have lost the two eyes of faith and have become blind. With faith and love, one can achieve anything. Faith grows in love.

Many foreigners have faith, but sometimes love is missing. Both are like +ve and -ve forces. Develop this “Master Faith” in the Lord. If you strengthen faith, you can achieve anything.

Bhagwan isn’t ordinary. The mistake of such thought lies in your vision. Swami’s happiness is in you. You are not separate from Him. This is the fundamental truth.

Bhagwan makes you work like instruments. He wants you to become ideal instruments in His mission. With Jnaana, Vijanaana and Sujnaana, Swami wants all of you to become powerful instruments.

You think your qualifications make you succeed in life. There are so many educated people in this world. In fact, educated people are the ones who ruin the world today. Thus, with secular education, a spiritual life is very much essential.

Students, you are ripe fruits. But fruit must have the sweet juice (of love), otherwise it will be discarded. You are not here merely for learning, but to learn from Swami. Have strong faith, grow your love. Believe in the principle of oneness.

(Swami sang the bhajan “Hari bhajan bina sukh shanti nahin...”) Bhajan alone gives you true peace. You may earn your degrees, but do not forget the chanting of Lord’s name. It is the easiest way to attain moksha, be it a tiny tot or an old man.

Swami later put the chain around the neck of a student. After a bhajan, aarati was given. He sat through he entire aarati. It was 6.45 when he returned to Yajur Mandir. It was the longest discourse given by Swami in recent times, but we just couldn’t figure out how time passed by so soon!

 

BY A Sai Student


Tuesday, December 25, 2007
 

A MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS

Things seem to be getting better in mandir day by day. As Swami started coming late for darshans since last month, His interaction with us was limited to a few occasions. Christmas has truly brought the yonder days back. I’ve already discussed about the drama episode before.

A couple of days before, Swami asked a boy whether students are practicing any carols for Christmas. He was enquiring as to what songs were being practised for the 25th. The boy replied that Christmas programme was ready and mentioned the various carols. He said even the Jingle Bells song was ready. Swami was pleased.

On the Christmas morning, all of us were ready and seated in Kulwant hall by 7 am. However, Swami arrived only at 8.30. In the beginning, there was a violin recital by a group of kids from Primary School. The boys played three beautiful pieces including the jingle bells song. As soon as that piece began, four tiny tots dressed as Santa appeared. They went to Swami and got their sacks blessed. Swami was very amused; He even joined them in throwing the chocolates to the students!

Soon after, there was a programme by the Institute Band group followed by carols sung by students. Swami was indeed enjoying the music and songs; He patiently waited till 10.00 am so that students could sing all the songs.

The evening session was no less exciting. Though Swami came a bit late at 5pm, the programme went on as planned. There were four speeches, first being a talk given by a youth wing member from Argentina. She narrated experiences from her life and how Swami brought her back into His fold. Swami was pleased with her and materialized a chain. The next speaker was another youth, originally hailing from Fiji, now settled in Mumbai. He too spoke on similar lines and His talk was interspersed with some melodious songs. Later, there were a couple of speeches by senior overseas devotees. First was Mrs. Hilcott who spoke about the various episodes in Prasanthi Nilayam during Christmas in the past. Her talk was very interesting and transported us to those wonderful days of the seventies and eighties.

After the four speeches, the master of ceremonies requested Swami to give His Christmas message. It was already 6.30 in the evening, so Swami said that devotees have been sitting for long, He does not want to trouble them more. However, He consented to give His discourse the next day.

This year’s Christmas was special for more than one reason. The huge gathering of devotees made the environment look as if it was Sivaratri. The decorations in mandir were fantastic. There was a special huge candle brought from Georgia, a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe besides many other fancy items. The mood of Swami was something that struck me the most; because of late, there were hardly any interactions with Him to talk about. Today, he looked like a proud father celebrating His son’s birthday. The bottom line remains; we are all truly merry this Christmas.

 

By A Sai Student


Sunday, December 23, 2007
 

Christmas Gifts from Sai

It’s been quite a dreadful time for me in the past few weeks. To meet the project deadlines, we (MBA) boys were cutting all corners out, even to the extent of going late for darshans at times. Our Mother Sai knows it all, for He has changed the darshan timings these days. It’s all His grace that made us complete our projects on time.

Though He arrives late, Swami makes it a point to bless all of us, sometimes by spending time in the portico or watching the programmes put up by the various groups of devotees. Parthi always seems crowded as every other day, new groups of devotees land here. Though it’s Christmas time now, the huge crowds make us feel it’s Swami’s birthday festival coming soon!!!

For the past one week, Swami had been enquiring as to what the boys were doing, why they were not putting up any programme. “So many groups put up drama, when will our boys present one?” he remarked. Therefore, a Burrakatha (folk song) was presented by three boys few days back.

As Christmas is a couple of days away, the decorations in Kulwant hall have already begun. Yesterday, Swami sat in the portico for an hour and blessed us all. He asked a professor to give a speech in telugu. There is a statue of an angel kept near portico along with other decoration items. Swami kept looking at it (with an expressionless face), turned towards a student and asked, “what is all this? Is Christmas round the corner?” In matters of humour, none can beat Him.

Some boys showed a card to Swami yesterday, regarding the drama. He was pleased and consented to see it the next day. I can say He was more than just pleased because He kept on enquiring today afternoon whether the actors are ready. The Vice Chancellor came running to Kulwant hall and told the boys, “Swami is waiting for you. Get your make up done as soon as possible.” Our lord finally arrived at 5 pm and went straight to the bhajan mandir where the actors were waiting. He said, “I was waiting all this while for you to get ready. Is your make up over?” He spent quite sometime talking to the actors and then came to the portico.

At this juncture, I must mention about one of the actors. This boy was initially dejected when he got a small role (as Sravankumar’s father). He was praying desperately that Swami should look at Him. As Swami sat in Bhajan mandir before drama, a boy pointed out the main roles of Rama, Lakshmana, Sita etc. Swami looked at Him and replied, “ But where is Sravankumar’s father?” That actor’s happiness knew no bounds. Since he was also one of the few who could speak telugu, Swami preferred to ask him most of the questions too.

The drama was very brief and very beautifully enacted. It had incidents from Ramayana like the devotion of Sravankumar, Shabari and Guha. The songs were well sung, which was one of the main reasons that made Him happy. After the programme, Swami blessed all actors with photographs. He materialized vibhuti and surprisingly, rolled it in his palms to make a lump before giving it to every boy. He materialized a chain and gave it to the student who acted as Shabari. Swami looked very happy and stayed on till Aarati was given to Him. He said, “I am very happy with your drama. You should have portrayed how Sravankumar’s parents curse Dasaratha after knowing about their son’s death. Anyway, next time, I want you to put up this drama in Poornachandra Auditorium with all the sets and costumes. I will personally come and direct it.”

Well, that’s our Director Divine, the Will behind Ramayana as also behind each of our lives. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

By A Sai Student


 

Prasanthi Update - A Wonderful Divine Discourse

 

Yesterday Swami went to the Hill View Stadium in the morning around 9 A.M to see the March Past Practice of the Students of the University.

Then in the evening Swami came around 4:45 P.M and after a speech by one Telugu Professor, Swami gave a Most Wonderful Divine Discourse as He had promised earlier.

Excerpts of the Divine Discourse :

" Each and everything in this vast and Huge Universe is God's creation. Everyone will come closer to God if they realise this Divine Truth.

"Many of the devotees think that Swami is an ordinary person like everyone, But Swami is not like that at all. If everyone are seeing it like that, then it is your fault and your eye's fault. Correct your Sight, Your Vision.

"My Students were all like like Ripe Fruits with Sweet juice in them. There is no use of the Fruit if there is no Juice, Every Student should try to fill themselves with the Fruit Juice of Love and try to spread the Message of Love"

"Each and every Devotee of Mine are my Instruments in my Hand for a Divine Mission. Swami is always everywhere around, above and Beside and above all in all of you, Swami and you are One. Everyone are Swami".


" Bhajans are the easiest way to Reach Swami. Even if you do not meditate, Do Bhajans with Full Heart and everyone will be closer to Swami ".

Swami created a gold chain in the middle of the discourse, and told the audience that He could create because He has Willed it. Swami then hung the chain on the Microphone for the rest of the Divine Discourse.

When Swami was speaking, Swami said that that normally when we ask someone their name, they would reply what their name is being so and so. At that moment Swami pointed out to one student and asked his name. The boy replied "Vikas". Swami then Wonderfully said that " Everyone would tell their name like the Boy had just done, If anyone were to ask God his name, God would say, "Aham Brahmasmi".

At the end of the Divine Discourse , Swami called the boy ( Vikas ) and presented the chain to him.

Then Swami concluded with the Melodious Bhajan "Hari Bhajana Bina....." and took Managala Aarathi.

A Wonderful Day ended with the Most Wonderful Divine Discourse.

 

Sent by KM - 27.12.2007



Om Sai Ram

I am submitting a few reports from my friend Philip who is spending Christmas at Puttaparthi -- his first visit to Swami! Blessings,
Laura Brainard


Sent: Wednesday, December 26, 2007 12:56 AM
Subject: Christmas at Parthy


Sai Ram All,

It is 2:05 pm on the 26th of December. I am running out of here in a moment to line up for Darshan. Swami said we were all too tired last night to hear his divine discourse, so today, in a few hours we shall receive it. Yay!

Yesterday and today have been beautiful. We lined up at 4 am to go into the mandir. Swami made it feel like Christmas! It was the first morning that I was really cold! I had to use my shawl as a protective wrap. Felt like I was back in Northern California. Once we entered, at first in row 3, I thought my good luck had struck again. And it had, however, we were not to remain sitting there. We sang Christmas Carols with a group from Southern California from 6 am until about 6:30 or so? About ten songs, sung twice in a row. Then, around 8:20, Swami came in a bit earlier than expected and his students raced in with their instruments and found a spot to sit until his car drove by. Then, they found their normal positions. A few young children were dressed up as Santa Claus (hopping around throwing candy to devotees), and others as little drummer boys. The large candle on the stage, it was announced, was from Medjugore (where the Virgin Mary was spotted for many years), and the Lady of Guadalupe images hung up in back were from Mexico City. The students played some Marching Band type numbers and some jazzy types of songs (some of them bhajans and others carols).

In the afternoon, I was in the 2nd section and row 3. I saw Anil coming my way and hoped and prayed he would say, "Thanks again for helping me out. Why don't you come up on stage with me." He spoke to the people on my left...and then the people on my right. Never once noticing I was sitting there, beaming a smile and in prayer position. Okay, thy will be done, right? I let it go. Then, Swami too came right to where I was sitting. His car pulled up right in front of me, down came the window, and a few fortunate devotees were able to deliver him letters. Again, a couple from my left and a couple from my right. (Haven't I heard this type of story from Sai Devotees before?) So, scientifically speaking, from this position I was the closest I've been to Sai yet, without anything material between us (like a window). I keep mentioning I am sitting in my emails, because I do believe he radiates and a Love and a Purifying Grace which can be felt the close one is to him. He has a radiant beaming face. And, I have to say, I often feel Swami resembles my grandfather. Both of them are a bit stoic and silent at times, but letting out these cute little smiles of love and cuteness!

There were 4 speakers. One young adult woman from Argentina spoke for a few minutes, and when she returned to Sai to thank him, he materialized a gold necklace for her! Cool! That's two miracles I've seen in person now. By the end, we all prayed for his divine discourse, but Swami said we were all too tired from sitting, and so he promises to speak to us today. Yippee! The Golden Voice shall be heard across the lands!

This morning was a beautiful darshan, too. I felt very comfortable this morning, despite sitting for another 3 hours, again. It was very peaceful. At 10:30 am a Catholic Mass was held at the Ashram by a priest from Africa (I believe). Arthur and Poppy Hillcoat brought up the communion. Anil Kumar said prayers in Telugu. It was over 2 hours long. It was very beautiful. When the time of Peace Exchange happened, I looked back and saw Anil Kumar behind me. He lit up, "Hey! I gave your work to the publisher yesterday!" We hugged and exchanged feelings of peace and goodwill.

Tonight, after Darshan, the first part of a film called ADVENT will be showed, which highlights The Birth and Coming of Sai to Earth. I was sad that I had to miss the Childrens Project Performance today at 1 pm (my friend from Trinidad, Terrance and I were going to go, but Mass didn't even end until 1) and wish the children well as they return to their home tonight. Tomorrow I will visit Swami Chaitanya and I look forward to this great blessing.

Hope you all had a wonderful, joy-filled, merry Christmas!

Love and Light,

Philip

Courtesy: Saibabanews 27.12.2007


Another Christmas report from my friend Philip Cowlishaw -- Blessings, Laura Brainard

----- Original Message -----
From: Philip Cowlishaw

Sent: Monday, December 24, 2007 10:12 PM

Merry Christmas from Puttaparthy!

Om Jai Sai Ram Everybody! Glory to God! Today is the birth of the Lord!

Merry Christmas from across the street of Sathya Sai Baba's Ashram here in India. It is 10:30 am on Christmas Morning, and we have just recently finished 2 out of our 3 holiday darshan celebration events.

Last night was quite spectacular for me. A very Holy Night indeed. Our choir gathered around 1 pm for the 4:30 event. The sun was very hot so we held our spots with our cushions and made our way over into the shade. I was still wavering back and forth as to whether or not by some Major Miracle I would be called upon to sing "Amazing Grace," so I stood near the fence going over my words.

When we finally did shuffle in, I was amazed to see how close I would be to Sai Baba. At first count, only 7 rows back and 3 from the center. After the musicians and children settled in, I became part of row 10. When I turned my head right, I was looking right down the runway and to the gate where Sai would be entering. Wow! What a view! And when He did finally enter in, the 10th row, the back row, turned our seats around and we became 1st row for his pathway. As he grew closer to me I started crying and saying quietly out-loud, "I'm so sorry for being so selfish Lord." And then, there he was...his car passing right by my feet and his face and large hair floating by my happy soul. THAT...turned out to be my Amazing Grace experience, not my ego trying to make it all about me; quite humbling.

Once he had made it to his position for the night, again, I gasped at how close and right in front of me he was. I couldn't say if he was looking at the kids to my right, or our general direction, or at me, but his gaze was upon me sooo much of the night! I cried and prayed to him as he stared at me, "Swami, please bless my mother and father, brother and sister, all their spouses and children, my family, my friends, all whom I've ever known or ever will know. God bless all humanity and all sentient beings everywhere." I even caught myself and felt a bit embarrassed as I realized I was mouthing, "I love you, Swami," to him while he looked my way.

Our musical program went well. The children were great and adorable. Everyone seemed happy with our performance, including Sai. At one point, while we sang the lyrics, "Sathya Sai Baba, is the Name of Names," Swami began to move his arms in self-adoration and it was so amazing to see! He was agreeing with us! 'Yes, who you see before you (Wow! Anil Kumar just entered into this tiny little Internet Spot! Wow! Another Christmas miracle! He is right behind me talking right now! Cool! I keep running into him. He is Sai Baba's Translator...he is asking for the worker to print out something for him, cool!) Okay, I'll try to hold it together and finish my little story here. Anil is looking for someone to help him wi

I just helped Anil Kumar! He was looking for a fast typist. I said, "I type 60 - 70 words a minute." He said, "Oh good. I just finished my book SAI BLOSSOMS and I need someone to type the Preface for me." And with that he sat next to me and we began. Boy, was I nervous!! It was a 3-page document, which, golly geez, I guess I could attach to this email. None of you will go do something wrong and dirty with it now, will you? While typing, he told me how he has been to Los Angeles twice and up to San Jose where his son-in-law worked/studied. I asked him, "When is Swami coming to California?" He gave me that "believe you me" look and said, "I want Him to come, too. We'll see." When I finished, he asked, "How can I repay you for this kind deed?" I wanted to answer, "An Interview with Swami please," but instead replied, "This has been a gift enough. A great Christmas gift indeed." As he walked of the small computer room, he said, "Every time I open this book, I will think of you." WOW! What a beautiful thing to say. Whew...okay...back to Christmas Eve. (Thank you, Swami! Thank you, Anil!)

Well, what more to say? The evening was beautiful and holy. I noticed he kept staring up into the sky. Perhaps he was watching angels flying around, proclaiming peace on earth and goodwill to men. At the end, as he wheeled away, I saw the cross in the back of his head. I don't hear a lot of people speak about this, but it is true, when Sathya was a young boy, his parents thought for a moment or two, that he might be possessed and that is how he had all of his powers, etc. They took him to a priest and this man carved the sign of the cross in the back of little Sai's head, and then, I believe, poured hot spice and lime juice on the wound? To this day...almost 70 some years later, the scar and the image of the Christian Cross remain on his scalp, and hair doesn't grow there. Very cool how God works!!! So as he rolled away, that was the last image I had of him, the Christian Cross on Christmas Eve on the One who Sent Jesus into Incarnation. Amazing Grace again!

I walked up to Michael who had played guitar for the kids and wished him Merry Christmas. He offered a sweet hug and then I mosied over to the center of the center of the mandir stage/platform, right in front of the "Peace on Earth" sign, and said this prayer of Surrender and Thanksgiving.

"Swami, I love you and I thank you for allowing me to be a part of these Christmas Festivities. I give you my body, mind, and spirit for all Eternity. I give you my every thought, word, and deed. Thy will be done unto and through me." And with that I smiled large and exited the mandir. Christmas had come. Christ had arrived. Amazing Grace indeed.

Have a beautiful Christmas everyone!

Oh my goodness! How could I have forgotten! I saw a Miracle Manifestation! After our English Songs, Sai said he also wanted to hear the bhajans we had worked on. While singing them, he motioned to our female cellist to begin playing along. This sweet, humble white woman picked up her cello and tried to come up with some sort of an accompaniment to an Indian Bhajan! She looked a bit embarrassed by his request. He motioned to her to come up to the stage. As she walked up the stairs, Baba began to move his right hand in a circular motion, and then it happened...a gold necklace materialized out of thin air and from his sacred palm! Wow! From the 10th row, up close, I was able to see my very first Sai Manifestation. Ahh...nice. Thank you, Swamiji. Needless to say, the woman was speechless as she bent down and he put it around her neck, Swami smiling the entire time. (He likes to give!)

Love and Light,

Philip

Courtesy: Saibabanews 27.12.2007


Another report from my friend Philip in India with Swami -- Blessings, Laura Brainard

----- Original Message -----
From: Philip Cowlishaw

Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2007 12:27 AM
Subject: More from Sai-ville...

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..." as the song goes. A woman made a faux Snowman in front of the Western Canteen yesterday. They've got Nat King Cole singing his heart away while you eat. I even heard George Michael coming from one building, "Last Christmas, I gave you my heart..." This morning I noticed that they had put Gold paper around the Main Hall column tubes. There are little signs around the perimeter saying Merry Christmas in different languages.

Choir Rehearsal is going well. We've grown from 600 people, to 700, to 850 to a choir of 950 devotees from over 54 countries worldwide! Our director said, "If only these nation's leaders could have this much Unity and Peace." She has many Interview Stories. Here are a few:

One time, a woman, very heartfully said, "Oh Swami, I am here to help you and your mission." He looked at her and said, "Help me! My mission is already complete. It is only now unfolding." Ahh...beautiful and anxiety-dissolving. All is well in the world.

Another story, Sai Baba materialized a Necklace from out of thin air. A very loud, pompous woman said, "Oh Swami, can I do that too?" He looked over at her and said, "You...you can only cook rice." Ouch! The humility that Avatars like to create in their devotees. Kind of funny though, eh?

And another...Sylvia sat at Swami's feet and said, "Swami, is Life predetermined?" He said, "What do you mean?" She replied, "Was it predestined that I sit here at your feet, on this day, at this time, and ask this question?" He said back, "Ahh, yes, yes..." Sylvia added, "Even though it's all predetermined, it doesn't mean that we are not responsible for our actions though. (Darn! I thought I was off the hook!)

Our Choir rehearses twice a day, 10: 30 am - 12:30 pm and 4:30 - 6:30 pm. I am able to make it to Morning Darshan, but not afternoon. Also, I will have to visit the Museum and other places after Christmas is done. But that is OK! No complaining here!

Speaking of Darshan! This morning...4th row! Much better than the night before when it was dark, my cold and eyes bothering me...and he was looking the other way! This time, a beautiful, bright morning...His car slowly guided before us, and there he was...about 10 feet away from me, looking our way! I sat in perfect prayer posture and just kept repeating, "I love you, Swami. I love you, Swami..." over and over with tears rolling down my face. After he passed, I wept like a baby. He is so beautiful.

What else? I've met a nice young guy from Trinidad named Terrance. He keeps calling me Andrew though. I tell him, "That's okay, I have a brother and nephew with that same name. You're close!" He is sweet. I also met a man from South Africa last night. He sat on the cot next to mine and started saying such beautiful things which I knew were coming from Swami. "You were with Sai when Christ was here, when Buddha was here, and when Krishna was here...that is why you've been allowed to come to the Ocean now in this lifetime." Yes, Sai is the Ocean of Loving-Kindness and Compassion. Thank you!

I go to sleep around 8 pm or so, after having showered and snacked. I am listening to my 2 Adyashanti CD sets to lull myself to sleep. I purchased another sheet, so now I have a cover for my cot. At rehearsal last night, I heard Swami say inside, "Come to Me clean shaven." Everytime I hear him I tear up...even about shaving! So, of course, I went to the little market here after rehearsal and bought my supplies. Clean and fresh I now am. I also bought detergent. I am excited to clean my clothes in a bucket!!! Fun! I like this life. (Although a hot bath sounds good about now...only cold showers here.)

Okay, I guess that's it for now. More people responding to me saying, "YES, keep the emails coming!" You can always delete them...no hard feelings here. These are also for me and my book, of course. This trip shall surely change my life, some how and some way, forever.

I eagerly wait to sing for Sai on Christmas Eve! Ahhhh...the Grace of God prevails!

Much love to you all!

Love and Light,

Philip

Courtesy: Saibabanews 27.12.2007


----- Original Message -----
From: Philip Cowlishaw

Sent: Sunday, December 23, 2007 2:09 AM
Subject: More from the World of Sai...


Hello One,

I finally have gathered some photos and will send them out tomorrow or the next day. Things are going well. I just returned from meeting Michael and the kids of Childrens Project; an orphanage about 9 hours from here, which has been named an official Sai Baba school. Only some of the 33 children were here, but the ones who were here were filled with life, light, joy, and gusto! After hearing Michael speak, I presented to him a book and card (with our photo) from Mill Valley Montessori. I told him that I too, would be one of his "beggars" for his children, as they would love to accept more children and expand their facilities, but sadly cannot, due to a present lack of funds. If any of you feel to donate money or supplies to these dear angels, here is their website address: www.ChildrensProject.org I do believe they are registered as a non-profit in the States as well. I also took photos of and with the children, and played Balloon Bounce for about an hour! The girls are divine and their names represent that; Devi, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. They called me Uncle and stole my heart for sure. I was in tears, you can imagine. I really want to do all I can for these little ones of Sai. Your help is greatly appreciated. Good Seva!

Tomorrow is the day. The Choir performs for Swami, as we gather at 1 pm near the Mandir. And, it appears, we will be performing on Christmas morning, too, with the Southern California group; traditional carols. Turns out Swami's 2 favorite songs are "Silent Night" and "White Christmas." Both of which I heard right after finding this out. We were told this information at Choir Rehearsal. When I exited the building, I found that someone had stolen my shoes! Ha! Go figure? Was it Swami, or Ganesha (the remover of obstacles), or just a plain mistake. No worries. I wandered down the path to the shop and purchased a new pair for 54 rupees. In the store, they were playing music which sounded like "Christmas with Lawrence Welk." Kidding aside, I loved it! It made me feel home again! I was skipping around the store, barefoot, making some of the Indians laugh. I was happy. Everybody loves their Homeland, yes? (I even bought some Sai Baba Underwear...fancy that!)

While having lunch across the street at World Peace Cafe (recommended to me by George of the San Fran Sai Center), I took advantage of the rooftop restaurant and people-watched for awhile in the hot sun. I looked down upon 7 or 8 young Sai devotees who were carrying the body of a dead man, garlanded, through the streets for all to see. Interesting difference. In America, we put make-up on our dead bodies and pump them up with chemicals. Denial, anyone? I love how raw and real life here in India seems to be.

As I walked back to my dormitory last night. I kept feeling compelled to look up at the moon. Devotees have been seeing Swami's face in the moon. (The TRUE, Man in the Moon...rather The Man Who Created the Moon.) I soon noticed that many other people were star-gazing as well. I stopped near some boys and took out my camera, wondering what I might capture. They looked so excited and ran up to me. "Excuse me sir, but does your camera have zoom?" My $5, Longs Pharmacy, Kodak Disposable Camera....sorry boys, but no. Then I reached into my bag and brought out my digital. Still to far away. Just a very bright moon. When I returned to my dormitory, there too, grown men huddled together in search of Sai. I told them, "I don't know what the moon looks like from here in India usually, but I think I can see him in the bottom half of the moon (as I had seen in photos before)." One gentleman said something very wise, "Why are you looking for Swami in the moon? He's just over there," motioning over the rooftops of buildings and indicating Swami's home. I smiled, "People like showy, flashy, miracles...don't they?" We both agreed. (Yes, I'm one of them!)

This morning I teared up as I looked upon the Nativity Scene they have created in front of the Northern Indian Canteen. The story of Saint Francis and how he created the first Nativity Scene in Italy, back in 1203 A.D. was written. "Francis' devotion was so strong, that Jesus actually, physically appeared before him as a baby in the cradle." How beautiful to be that devoted to God.

As I ate breakfast, they played Celine Dion's beautiful version of "O Holy Night." Whew! That girl can sing! Her angelic music put me into a bit of a trance, as I stared upward and outward of a broken window. I thought, "Why must I travel across the entire world to feel such love and have such revelations of Unity." The answer...I don't. Everywhere I go, I AM. Thanks be to God!

When I woke, I felt not to go to Darshan. I am still suffering from my cold and thought the extra sleep would be nice. My only real focus right now, is getting healthy for the Choir Performance. I've been "secretly" going over my words for Amazing Grace...hoping and praying that I might be called upon to sing for Swami! (A guy can dream, can't he?) Anyways, I was in the area, and so around 9:15 am I went on the opposite side of the Mandir to watch him come out of his home and into his car. But...he never came. At 9:30, the bhajans ceased and everyone walked away. Hm...what does this mean? Sai Baba says, "Love My uncertainty."

I've learned that Sai Baba says that Matthew is the most precise Gospel of the Bible, for you Christians out there. This makes sense to me, as I believe it is Matthew which contains the Sermon on the Mount and Beatitudes.

Anil Kumar stopped by and surprised our Choir Rehearsal this morning. Sylvia, our Director, has been praying that Sai would stop by decorating the doors and making the Seva Dals at the door chant, "Please come, Swami. Please come, Swami." When Anil came in, Sylvia said her heart raced just as much as it would have had it been Swami. This was her excuse for the mistakes she made. We forgive her.

Okay, that's it for now. The next few days may be too busy to email. And on the 26th, they are offering Catholic Mass here, and at 1 pm, the Orphanage Girls will be singing and dancing with Ladd again. I have also scheduled to see a young, 10-year old Swami Chaitanya, who Swami had told his mother, prior to the little boys birth, that he would be born in her. I am sure he is quite amazing. He has black and white skunk colored hair. I'll let you know how it goes.

Again, happy holidays to all. I love you and wish you all the very best!

Love and Light,

Philip

Courtesy: Saibabanews 27.12.2007


Sunday, December 23, 2007
Christmas Gifts from Sai

It’s been quite a dreadful time for me in the past few weeks. To meet the project deadlines, we (MBA) boys were cutting all corners out, even to the extent of going late for darshans at times. Our Mother Sai knows it all, for He has changed the darshan timings these days. It’s all His grace that made us complete our projects on time.

Though He arrives late, Swami makes it a point to bless all of us, sometimes by spending time in the portico or watching the programmes put up by the various groups of devotees. Parthi always seems crowded as every other day, new groups of devotees land here. Though it’s Christmas time now, the huge crowds make us feel it’s Swami’s birthday festival coming soon!!!

For the past one week, Swami had been enquiring as to what the boys were doing, why they were not putting up any programme. “So many groups put up drama, when will our boys present one?” he remarked. Therefore, a Burrakatha (folk song) was presented by three boys few days back.

As Christmas is a couple of days away, the decorations in Kulwant hall have already begun. Yesterday, Swami sat in the portico for an hour and blessed us all. He asked a professor to give a speech in telugu. There is a statue of an angel kept near portico along with other decoration items. Swami kept looking at it (with an expressionless face), turned towards a student and asked, “what is all this? Is Christmas round the corner?” In matters of humour, none can beat Him.

Some boys showed a card to Swami yesterday, regarding the drama. He was pleased and consented to see it the next day. I can say He was more than just pleased because He kept on enquiring today afternoon whether the actors are ready. The Vice Chancellor came running to Kulwant hall and told the boys, “Swami is waiting for you. Get your make up done as soon as possible.” Our lord finally arrived at 5 pm and went straight to the bhajan mandir where the actors were waiting. He said, “I was waiting all this while for you to get ready. Is your make up over?” He spent quite sometime talking to the actors and then came to the portico.

At this juncture, I must mention about one of the actors. This boy was initially dejected when he got a small role (as Sravankumar’s father). He was praying desperately that Swami should look at Him. As Swami sat in Bhajan mandir before drama, a boy pointed out the main roles of Rama, Lakshmana, Sita etc. Swami looked at Him and replied, “ But where is Sravankumar’s father?” That actor’s happiness knew no bounds. Since he was also one of the few who could speak telugu, Swami preferred to ask him most of the questions too.

The drama was very brief and very beautifully enacted. It had incidents from Ramayana like the devotion of Sravankumar, Shabari and Guha. The songs were well sung, which was one of the main reasons that made Him happy. After the programme, Swami blessed all actors with photographs. He materialized vibhuti and surprisingly, rolled it in his palms to make a lump before giving it to every boy. He materialized a chain and gave it to the student who acted as Shabari. Swami looked very happy and stayed on till Aarati was given to Him. He said, “I am very happy with your drama. You should have portrayed how Sravankumar’s parents curse Dasaratha after knowing about their son’s death. Anyway, next time, I want you to put up this drama in Poornachandra Auditorium with all the sets and costumes. I will personally come and direct it.”

Well, that’s our Director Divine, the Will behind Ramayana as also behind each of our lives. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

From A Sai Student - 23.12.2007


Divya Prema

On Sunday the students of Sri Sathya Sai University put up a program: Divya Prema.

The story line starts with Lav and Kush coming over to Rama's court and lakshmana introduces them. Then, on request of Rama, they start singing the Rama-Katha. As they proceed, few questions are raised by these youngsters and rama explains them. As the story unfolds, the scene of Shravan Kumar and his bhakthi and sradhdha to his parents is depicted. Because, Dasaratha unknowingly kills him... Duty towards parents and love for them was well depicted in this scene, with touching dialogues between Shravan, his mother and Father.

Then as the Rama-Katha proceeds, the story of Guha and his devotion to Rama is explained by Rama. This was also depicted, with beautiful songs and dance. The dialogue that ensues between Rama and Guha portrays Guha's faith and surrender to His lord. For this scene, there was Rama, Lakshmana and Seetha, Guha and few dancers. As Lav and Kush continue to sing Rama's praises, Rama explains why and how he went to meet Sabari.

The actor who acted as Sabari is an M.Phil student, who did an excellent job. It was so realistic and touching. Everyone in Kulwant hall was moved. Swami was also in tears. The Love of Sabari and her unflinching faith that one day her Lord will come was depicted thro a Telugu song. The voice for Sabari was rendered by one third year UG student who spoke in a soft feminine was. The story ends by sage Vashista highlighting the importance of these unsung heroes of Ramayana and how avatar comes to fulfill the wishes of such humble devotees.

Some facts about this program:

1. This was not in the agenda of the Institute's program. As so many groups of people are coming to Parthi and putting up programs, there was hardly any chance of students programs on normal days. But about a week back swami wanted that students should do some program and specifically he wanted some things on Parents, etc.

2. After the news was conveyed that swami wants a program, some teachers and boys started working on the theme and came up with these ideas.

3. Totally the actors would have properly practiced for about four days.

4. Vice chancellor came and saw the program on Friday night. That day I told him that only by Sunday that we can be fully ready with costumes.

5. Overall, the program was conceived and executed in a span of five days.

6. Final confirmation of the actual approval of the program came today noon.

7. Three lady characters were there and make-up for them were done by boys here in about 1.5 hrs.

8. There were two Ramas and two Lakshmanas - one in royal attire and other in Vanavas attire.

9. Minimal settings and props.

10. Swami spent few minutes in bhajan hall before the program and then instead of sitting on stage, he went down and sat among students. So the program was staged in such a way that it was visible to all the devotees present in Kulwant hall.

In the end, swami praised the performance and He was very happy. He also told that the costumes were very good. He was interested in staging the same on a stage, probably in Poorna chandra Audi, such that all people can see properly...

He gave chain to Sabari and vibuthi to all actors. He took photographs with all actors.

Om Sai Ram

Posted by KM on 24.12.2007


From a Dear Sai Brother from Prasanthi Nilayam :

Swami came yesterday after 5.00 P.M for the evening Darshan. The Madhya Pradesh youth were ready with a program as Swami had permitted them and they were ready with costumes and make-up and the settings were ready.

Swami came, sat outside and after about five minutes asked to start the program. The theme was "Manava seva is Madhava seva". With the backdrop of the Kasi Viswanath Temple, the story was based on Swami's Chinna Katha. It was a short and sweet program, with minimum characters. Songs and script were really good.

The Second Part of the Programme was a vocal classical bhajans rendering by a young Sai Devotee who is a Disciple of the Great Pandit Jasraj. It was a really wonderful Programme as he had a wonderful Voice and the rendering was excellent.The Programme ended at 7 P.M.

Nowadays that is almost everyday during the Evening Darshan, Swami is coming at around 5.00 P.M and all the programmes go on till 6.45 P.M, Almost 2 Hours of Wonderful Darshan.

Om Sai Ram

sent by KM - 21.12.2007



Sent by a Sai Brother from Swami's Abode : 

Eashwaramma - the chosen mother
 

Yesterday evening three students from the Sri Sathya Sai University performed 'Burakathaa' depicting the life of Mother Easwaramba. They were ready for the last three days, and Swami had given permission. But He chose to listen yesterday .

 

Around 5.45 P.M, bhajans ended and Aarathi was given. Contrary to what happens daily, Swami today came out on the Kulwant hall dais, and asked the three boys to perform. He blessed them and got the microphones arranged in front of the thousands of devotees seated there.
 

The story of the Mother of our Lord was the theme of the Burakatha. Dialogues interspersed with beautiful songs tuned to different ragas, the three students drew the audience to the life of the chose mother of the avathar. What to say of the melody and how to depict the emotions! It was an awesome performance. Each and every song and the storyline depiction sent the audience in rapture.

 

Swami was also emotional at some point of time. All three students belong to the Post-graduate section. The main singer, Prabhakar, doing his M.A. in economics has a very sweet voice and it suits this art form. Today he was exceptionally good. The ragas chosen matched the mood and the episode being narrated. Swami was very happy at the end of the program, blessed them and took photographs with them. There was aarathi again around 6:55pm and Swami retired to yajur Mandir.

Every evening is turning out to be very interesting and has surprises for everyone. Let us see what is store in the next few days, and that too X-mas and New year approaching....

Sairam.

 

sent by KM -20.12.2007

Yesterday Swami came out much after the Bhajans had started at around 5.30 P.M. Swami took a shortcut to reach the portico, but before the car could come in, he ordered to take the car near the students side, then to the gents side. It was a round in the opposite direction as compared to normal days. Then, to the surprise of all, Swami wished to go out for a ride. Swami went out and the bhajans were going on.

After about 25 Minutes, Swami's car entered the Gopuram gate but instead of coming inside Kulwant hall, Swami went straight on the canteen road. The weather was cold, it was dark and the bhajans were still going on. While usually Swami goes back to His residence, He did not come back for long time. It was much later, around 6:30pm the car entered the yajur mandir. Yet another surprise awaited the devotees. The compassionate Lord chose not to ignore the devotees who have been waiting there since afternoon, and singing bhajans for nearly 1 and half hours. He came to Kulwant hall, went to the bhajan hall, sat for two minutes, and took aarthi, got into the car and went back to yajur mandir. At the end of hours of waiting, it was so Wonderful to have a Most Wonderful Darshan.

Om Sai Ram

sent by KM -19.12.2007


Yesterday in the Evening, Swami came at around 5.20 P.M after the Bhajans had started, Swami chose to sit outside rather than in the Bhajan Hall. Swami also took some Letters from some staff members and spoke to the Hostel Warden. When Prasadam was being distributed at around 5:45 P.M, Swami instructed for Prof.G.Venkatraman to speak. Shri.G.Venkatraman spoke for about half an hour in which he eloborated on Swami's Love and his concern for the millions of devotees. Later, Swami asked the Vedam students to chant vedam for about 10 minutes. At around 6:45 P.M, Aarthi was taken and Swami retired to Yajur Mandiram.

Om Sai Ram

sent by KM on 18.12.2007

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