Showing posts with label Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Show all posts

Friday, January 4, 2019

Sri Sathya Sai Baba


Sathya Sai Baba (born Sathyanarayana Raju; 23 November 1926 – 24 April 2011) was an Indian guru, a spiritual leader, and philanthropist. 
Sai Baba's purported materialisations of vibhuti (holy ash) and other small objects such as rings, necklaces, and watches, were considered by his devotees as signs of his divinity. Innumerable reports of miraculous healings, resurrection, clairvoyance, bilocation have been attributed to Sai Baba by devotees.
The Sathya Sai Organisation, founded by Sai Baba "to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement", has over 1,200 Sathya Sai Centres (branches) in 126 countries. Through this organisation, Sai Baba established a network of free hospitals, clinics, drinking water projects, auditoriums, ashrams and schools.
Almost everything known about Sai Baba's early life stems from the hagiography that grew around him, narratives that hold special meaning to his devotees and are considered by them to be evidence of his divine nature. According to these sources, Sathya Narayana Raju was born to Meesaraganda Eashwaramma and Peddavenkama Raju Ratnakaram in the village of Puttaparthi, to a Raju family, in what was the Madras Presidency of British India. His birth, which his mother Eashwaramma asserted was by miraculous conception, was also said to be heralded by miracles.
Sai Baba's siblings included elder brother Ratnakaram Seshama Raju (1911–1985), sisters Venkamma (1918–1993) and Parvathamma (1920–1998), and younger brother Janakiramaiah (1931–2003).
As a child, he was described as "unusually intelligent" and charitable, though not necessarily academically inclined, as his interests were of a more spiritual nature. He was uncommonly talented in devotional music, dance and drama. From a young age, he was alleged to have been capable of materialising objects such as food and sweets out of thin air.
On 8 March 1940, while living with his elder brother Seshama Raju in Uravakonda, a small town near Puttaparthi, 14 year old Sathya was apparently stung by a scorpion. He lost consciousness for several hours and in the next few days underwent a noticeable change in behaviour. There were "symptoms of laughing and weeping, eloquence and silence." It is claimed that then "he began to sing Sanskrit verses, a language of which it is alleged he had no prior knowledge." Doctors concluded his behaviour to be hysteria. Concerned, his parents brought Sathya back home to Puttaparthi and took him to many priests, doctors and exorcists. One of the exorcists at Kadiri, a town near Puttaparthi, went to the extent of torturing him with the aim of curing him; Sathya seemingly kept calm throughout the torture.
On 23 May 1940, Sathya called household members and reportedly materialised sugar candy (prasad) and flowers for them. His father became furious at seeing this, thinking his son was bewitched. He took a stick and threatened to beat him if Sathya did not reveal who he really was, the young Sathya responded calmly and firmly "I am Sai Baba", a reference to Sai Baba of Shirdi. This was the first time he proclaimed himself to be the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi—a saint who became famous in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Maharashtra and had died eight years before Sathya was born.
In 1944, a mandir for Sai Baba's devotees was built near the village of Puttaparthi. It is now referred to as the "old mandir". The construction of Prashanthi Nilayam, the current ashram, began in 1948 and was completed in 1950. In 1954, Sai Baba established a small free general hospital in the village of Puttaparthi. He won fame for mystical powers and the ability to heal. In 1957 Sai Baba went on a North Indian temple tour.
In 1963, it was asserted that Sai Baba suffered a stroke and four severe heart attacks, which left him paralysed on one side. These events culminated in an event where he apparently healed himself in front of the thousands of people gathered in Prashanthi Nilayam who were then praying for his recovery.
On recovering, Sai Baba announced that he would one day next be reborn as an incarnation named Prema Sai Baba in the neighbouring state of Karnataka. He stated, "I am Shiva-Sakthi, born in the gotra (lineage) of Bharadwaja, according to a boon won by that sage from Siva and Sakthi. Siva was born in the gotra of that sage as Sai Baba of Shirdi; Shiva and Sakthi have incarnated as Myself in his gotra now; Sakthi alone will incarnate as the third Sai (Prema Sai Baba) in the same gotra in Mandya district of Karnataka State." He stated he would be born again eight years after his death. He died at the age of 84.
In 1968, he established Dharmakshetra or the Sathyam Mandir in Mumbai. In 1973, he established the Shivam Mandir in Hyderabad. On 19 January 1981, in Chennai, he inaugurated the Sundaram Mandir.
In March 1995, Sai Baba started a project to provide drinking water to 1.2 million people in the drought-prone Rayalaseema region in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. In April 1999 he inaugurated the Ananda Nilayam Mandir in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
In 2001 he established another free super-speciality hospital in Bangalore to benefit the poor. 
On 28 March 2011, Sai Baba was admitted to the Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital at Prashantigram at Puttaparthi, following respiration-related problems. After nearly a month of hospitalisation, during which his condition progressively deteriorated, Sai Baba died on Sunday, 24 April at 7:40 IST, aged 84.
His body lay in state for two days and was buried with full state honours on 27 April 2011. An estimated 500,000 people attended the burial, among them the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi (India's Present Prime Minister), as well as other political leaders and prominent figures.
Sai Baba's death triggered an outpouring of grief from followers who included Indian politicians, movie stars, athletes and industrialists. Most remembered him as a pious, selfless person who worked to help others with the billions of dollars donated to his charitable trust.
Political leaders who offered their condolences included the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Dalai Lama. The Hindu newspaper reported that "Sri Sathya Sai Baba's propagation of spiritualism and preaching of Hindu philosophy never came in the way of his commitment to secular beliefs.
The Government of Karnataka declared 25 and 26 April as days of mourning and Andhra Pradesh declared 25, 26, and 27 April as days of mourning.
Sathya Sai Organisation:
The Sathya Sai Organisation (or Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization) was founded in the 1960s by Sai Baba. The first Sai Centres were started in India under the name of the "Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samithi". The Sathya Sai Organisation originated "to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement." The official mission of the Sathya Sai Organization is "to help its members realize the innate divinity within".
The Sathya Sai Organisation publishes an official monthly magazine named Sanathana Sarathi, published by the Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust. The English translation of the word Sanathana Sarathi means 'Eternal Charioteer'.]
Sai Baba stated that the main objective of the Sathya Sai Organisation "is to help man recognize the divinity that is inherent in him. So, your duty is to emphasize the One, to experience the One in all you do or speak. Do not give any importance to differences of religion or sect or status or colour. Have the feeling of one-ness permeate every act of yours. Only those who do so have a place in this Organization; the rest can withdraw."
The Sathya Sai Organisation reports that there are an estimated 1,200 Sathya Sai Baba Centres in 114 countries. However, the number of active Sai Baba followers is hard to determine. Estimates vary from 6 million up to nearly 100 million. In India itself, Sai Baba drew followers predominantly from the upper-middle-class, the urban sections of society who have the "most wealth, education and exposure to Western ideas." 
Sai Baba founded a large number of schools and colleges, hospitals, and other charitable institutions in India and abroad.
Institutions, Projects and Other Works:
Educational Institutions
Sai Baba's educational institutions aim to impart character education along with excellence in academics with emphasis on human values and ethics.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed to be University), established in 1981, called Sri Sathya Sai University for some years, of which Sai Baba was the Chancellor, has four campuses, one at Puttaparthi for men, one at Whitefield, Bangalore for men, one at Anantapur for women, and one at Muddenahalli for men.

Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School

The Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School was founded by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 15 June 1981 in 'Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Giri' complex of Prasanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi. This is a boarding school with separate hostel for boys and girls. The school caters to classes I to XII of the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi [CBSE]. For 2014, it was ranked in the top 10 CBSE schools of India.
Others
Sathya Sai Baba chaired the Sri Sathya Sai loka Seva institutions, Alike and Muddenahalli Karnataka from Madiyal Narayana Bhat, Currently it is headed by U Gangadhar Bhat. In addition, a Sathya Sai Baba University and Medical School also a hospital and research institute are being constructed on over 200 acres (0.81 km2). Baba said that the campus will be modelled after Puttaparthi and will infuse spirituality with academics.

Hospitals and medical care

The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust runs several general hospitals, two speciality hospitals, eye hospitals and mobile dispensaries and conducts medical camps in rural and slum areas in India.

Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Whitefield

The Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Whitefield was opened in Whitefield, Bangalore, in 1977 and provides complex surgery, food and medicines free of cost. The hospital has treated over 2 million patients.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi

The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi is a 300-bed facility which provides free surgical and medical care and which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narasimha Rao on 22 November 1991. The hospital was financed and its construction supervised by Isaac Tigrett, founder of the Hard Rock Cafe and House of Blues.
The hospital is equipped 11 surgical theatres, five intensive care units, two cardiac catheterisation laboratories, medical and surgical wards, and a 24-hour emergency unit. "Leading doctors specialising in the fields of Cardiology, Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, Urology, Ophthalmology etc. come from different parts of the World on their own and render their services free of cost."
The hospital has a unique history of its own. On 23 November 1990, during his birthday discourse, Sri Sathya Sai Baba while talking about the inability of healthcare access to the poor declared within one year a tertiary care hospital will come up in the village of Puttaparthi, which will provide high-end care completely free to all the patients. The hospital was constructed in a record time of exactly one year and the first cardiothoracic operations were carried out successfully.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield

After the success of the first super speciality hospital, the Karnataka government offered Sai Baba 53 acres of land to establish another super speciality hospital in Whitefield.
The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield is a 333-bed hospital, which was inaugurated on 19 January 2001 by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. The estimated cost of this second hospital was Rs 2000 million. The hospital has provided free medical care to over 250,000 patients.

Drinking water supply projects

Anantapur

In November 1995, Sai Baba expressed his concern about the lack of drinking water in Rayalseema. In March 1995, the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust commenced work on a project to supply pure drinking water to villages in the district of Anantapur. The project was completed in 1996 supplies water to 1.2 million people in about 750 villages in the drought-prone Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh.

Chennai

The Chennai drinking water project, completed in 2004, supplies water to Chennai through a rebuilt waterway named "Sathya Sai Ganga Canal". Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi praised the Chennai water project and Sai Baba's involvement. Other completed water projects include the Medak District Project benefiting 450,000 people in 179 villages and the Mahbubnagar District Project benefiting 350,000 people in 141 villages. In January 2007, the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust said it would start a drinking water project in Latur, Maharashtra.
Telugu-Ganga Project
The Telugu-Ganga project is a water supply scheme implemented by Andhra Pradesh, India to provide drinking water to Chennai city in Tamil Nadu. The source of water is the river Krishna in Andhra Pradesh and the Poondi reservoir near Chennai is the destination with water planned to be routed through a series of interlinked canals.
The water initially supplied by the canal was disappointing, delivering less than 500 million cubic feet (14×106 m3). In 2002, Sri Sathya Sai Baba announced a scheme of restoration and lining of the canal; as his own undertaking. With an extensive rebuilding of the canal and several reservoirs, the project was completed in 2004, when Poondi reservoir received Krishna water for the first time. The supply of water to Chennai city in 2006 was 3.7 billion cubic feet (100×106 m3). After the re-lining and reconstruction, the Kandaleru-Poondi part of the canal was renamed Sai Ganga.

Odisha

In 2008, two million people in the state of Odisha were affected by floods. As a relief measure, the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization built 699 houses as part of their first phase in 16 villages by March 2009.

Educare

Sai Baba's Educare programme seeks to found schools throughout the world with the goal of educating children in the five human values. According to the Sai Educare site, schools have been founded in 33 countries, including Australia, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Peru. The Times of Zambia states, "The positive influence of Sathya Sai is unprecedented in the annals of education in Zambia. Sai Baba's education ideals as embodied in his human values-based approach in education are an eye-opener to educationists in Zambia."
In Canada, the Fraser Institute, an independent Canadian research and educational organisation, ranked the Sathya Sai School of Canada as one of the top 37 elementary schools in Ontario.

Spiritual media

On 23 November 2001, the digital radio network Radio Sai Global Harmony was launched through the World Space Organization, United States. Michael Oleinikof Nobel (distant relative to Alfred Nobel and one of the patrons for the radio network) said that the radio network would spread Sai Baba's message of global harmony and peace.
Recognition
A 1999 stamp devoted to the Sri Sathya Sai Water Supply Project.
On 23 November 1999, the Department of Posts, Government of India, released a postage stamp and a postal cover in recognition of the service rendered by Sai Baba in addressing the problem of providing safe drinking water to the rural masses.
Ashrams and Mandirs
Puttaparthi, where Sai Baba was born and lived, was originally a small, remote South Indian village in Andhra Pradesh. Now there is an extensive university complex, a speciality hospital, and two museums: the Sanathana Samskruti or Eternal Heritage Museum, sometimes called the Museum of All Religions, and the Chaitanya Jyoti, devoted exclusively to the life and teachings of Sai Baba; the latter has won several international awards for its architectural design. There is also a planetarium, a railway station, a hill-view stadium, an administrative building, an airport, an indoor sports stadium and more. High-ranking Indian politicians such as the former president A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Andhra Pradesh former chief minister Konijeti Rosaiah and Karnataka chief minister B. S. Yeddyurappa have been official guests at the ashram in Puttaparthi. It was reported that well over a million people attended Sai Baba's 80th birthday celebration, including delegates from India and 180 other countries.]
Sai Baba resided much of the time in his main ashram, Prashanthi Nilayam (Abode of Highest Peace), at Puttaparthi. In the summer he often left for his other ashram, Brindavan, in Kadugodi, Whitefield, a town on the outskirts of Bangalore. Occasionally he visited his Sai Shruti ashram in Kodaikanal.

Sathyam, Shivam, Sundaram

Sai Baba established three primary mandirs (spiritual centres) in India. The first mandir, founded in Mumbai in 1968, is referred to as either the "Dharmakshetra" or "Sathyam". The second centre, established in Hyderabad in 1973, is referred to as "Shivam". The third, inaugurated on 19 January 1981 in Chennai, is called "Sundaram". The Dharmakshetra was established on the occasion of the first world conference (of SSSO). Many people from various of parts of the world attended the conference which was held at Bharatiya vidya Bhavan campus at versova, Bombay. It consists of various service centers for devotees like a hospital and eye care center. The educational center consists of various training centers. As a part of Bal Vikas the technical training is provided freely to the children from poor backgrounds by the youth wing of the organization.
Characteristics, beliefs and practices of devotees
Sai Baba claimed to be the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi, and his followers considered him to be the Avatar of Shiva. Sai Baba of Shirdi was known to combine Islamic and Hindu teachings; still Charles S. J. White, of The American University at Washington D.C., noted of Sathya Sai Baba in 1972, that "there is no discernible Muslim influence." Stephanie Tallings, in The Harvard international Review, noted Sai Baba’s following is drawn from people of all religions, ethnicities, and social classes. Lawrence A. Babb, of the Amherst College in Massachusetts, labelled Sai Baba movement as a cult in the 1980s, calling it "deeply and authentically Hindu..." and noted, " The most striking feature of this cult, however, is the extremely strong emphasis given to the miraculous." However, a scholarly review claims Babb misapplies the word “cult”, responding, "the so-called 'cult' of Satya Sai Baba seems to possess all such characteristics which are, according to the author, central to a religious movement." Deborah A. Swallow, of the University of Cambridge, referred to it as a cult and said that the "ritual and theology, then, unlike Sai Baba [of Shirdi]'s, is distinctly Hindu in form and content." But John D. Kelly, a professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago, wrote about Hindu missions in Fiji that the Sathya Sai Organization (which is part of the movement) rejected the label Hindu. According to Kelly, they see their founder as the "living synthesis of the world's religious traditions" and prefer to be classified as an interfaith movement. But he observed that Sai Baba mission is a Hindu mission as active as Christian or Muslim missions. In a 2001 scholarly book Tulasi Srinivas, notes, “The Sathya Sai global civil religious movement incorporates Hindu and Muslim practices, Buddhist, Christian, and Zoroastrian influences, and "New Age"-style rituals and beliefs.’ And in the appendix of the book (p. 349) lists 10 scholarly authors/researchers in both Europe and America who all refer to it as a New Religious Movement (NRM).
Sai Baba was known for his quote "Love All, Serve All. Help Ever, Hurt Never." Internationally, his devotees gather daily, or weekly on Sundays or Thursdays or both, for devotional songs, prayer, spiritual meditation, service to the community (Seva), and to participate in "Education in Human Values" (SSEHV) known as "Bal Vikas" (Blossoming of the Child).
Followers believed in seeking the spiritual benefit of Sai Baba's darshan, scheduled for morning and afternoon each day. Sai Baba would interact with people, accept letters, materialise and distribute vibhuti (sacred ash) or call groups or individuals for interviews. Devotees considered it a great privilege to have an interview and sometimes a single person, group or family was invited for a private interview for answers to spiritual questions and general guidance.
Websites:

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Brahmarpanam

Brahmārpañam Brahma Havir Brahmāgnau Brahmañāhutaṃ |
Brahmaiva Tena Gantavyam Brahmakarmā Samādhinah ||
Aham Vaishvānaro Bhutvā Prāñinām Ḍehamāshritaha |
Prāñāpāna Samāyuktah Pachāmyannam Chaturvidham ||

ब्रह्मार्पणं ब्रह्म हविः ब्रह्माग्नौ ब्रह्मणा हुतम्
ब्रह्मैव तेन गन्तव्यं ब्रह्मकर्मसमाधिना

अहम् वैश्वानरो भूत्वा प्राणीनाम् देहमाश्रितः |
प्राणापान समायुक्तः पचाम्यन्नम् चतुर्विदम् ||



Brahmārpañam Brahma HavirBrahmāgnauBrahmañāhutaṃ,
Brahmaiva Tena GantavyamBrahmakarmāSamādhinah.
The act of offering is God. The oblation is God. By God it is offered into the Fire of God.God is That which is to be attained by him who performs action pertaining to God.
Word For Word Translation
brahmā: supreme spirit; arpañam: oblation, havih: butter,   agnau: in the fire of consummation.      brahmana: by the spirit soul.   aahutam: offered.brahma: spiritual kingdom:   eva: certainly.   tena: by him.  gantavyam: to be reached.brahma: spiritual.  karma: in activities.   samadhina: by complete absorption.
AhamVaishvānaroBhutvāPrāñināmḌehamāshritaha,
PrāñāpānaSamāyuktahPachāmyannamChaturvidham.
Becoming the life-fire in the bodies of living beings, mingling with the subtle breathsI digest the four kinds of food. 
Word For Word Translation
aham:   I. vaisvanarah: My plenary portion as the digesting fire.   bhutva: becoming.praninam: of all living entities.   deham: in the bodies.   asritah: situated.prana: the outgoing air.   apana: the down-going air.   samayuktah: keeping in balance.pachami: I digest.   annam.   foodstuff.    catuh-vidham. the four kinds.
The two verses are from the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter IV, Verse 24 and Bhagavad Gita, Chapter XV, Verse 14. 

Sri Sathhya Sai Baba's explanation of this prayer
We should partake food with a sathwic (pure, serene) mind. Our ancestors recommended the offering of food to God before partaking. Food so partaken becomes prasad (consecrated offering). Prayer cleanses the food of the three impurities caused by the absence of cleanliness of the vessel, cleanliness of the food stuff, and cleanliness in the process of cooking. It is necessary to get rid of these three impurities to purify the food, for pure food goes into the making of a pure mind. It is not possible to ensure the purity of the cooking process because we do not know what thoughts rage in the mind of the man who prepares the food. Similarly, we cannot ensure the cleanliness of the food ingredients because we do not know whether it was acquired in a righteous way by the person who sold it to us. Hence, it is essential on our part to offer food to God in the form of prayer so that these three impurities do not afflict our mind.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Sri Sathya Sai Baba Aarti

Om Jaya Jaga-dheesa Harey
Swami Sathya Sai Harey
Bhak-tha Jana Sam-rakshaka
Bhak-tha Jana Sam-rakshaka
Parthi Mahesh-wara
Om Jaya Jaga-dheesa Harey
Sashi Vadhana Sree Karaa Sarva Praana Pathey
Swami Sarva Praana Pathey
Aasri-tha Kalpa Latheeka
Aasri-tha Kalpa Latheeka
Aap-adh Baan-dhavaa
Om Jaya Jaga-dheesa Harey
Maatha Pitha Guru Dhai-vamu Mari An-thayu Neevey
Swami Mari An-thayu Neevey
Naadha Brahma Jagan Naatha
Naadha Brahma Jagan Naatha
Naagendra Shayanaa
Om Jaya Jaga-dheesa Harey
Om-kaara Roopa Ojaswi Om Saayi Mahadeva
Sathya Saayi Mahadeva
Mangala Aarthi Anduko
Mangala Aarthi Anduko
Mandhara Giridhari
Om Jaya Jaga-dheesa Harey
Narayana Narayana Om
Sathya Narayana Narayana Narayana Om
Narayana Narayana Om
Sathya Narayana Narayana Om
Sathya Narayana Narayana Om
Om Jai Sad Guru Devaa
Narayana Narayana Om
Sathya Narayana Narayana Narayana Om
Narayana Narayana Om
Sathya Narayana Narayana Om
Sathya Narayana Narayana Om
Om Jai Sad Guru Devaa
Narayana Narayana Om
Sathya Narayana Narayana Narayana Om
Narayana Narayana Om
Sathya Narayana Narayana Om
Sathya Narayana Narayana Om
Om Jai Sad Guru Devaa
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu
Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu
Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti hee
Jai Bholo Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba ji ki - Jai