Source: Articles: Originally published at
|Y.Arvind, an alumnus of Sri Sathya Sai University passed out in the year 2000 with
an MBA degree. He was twice Cultural Champion, Sri Sathya Sai Annual Sports and
Cultural meet and has been a Member of Sri Sathya Sai Institute Brass band
Prasanthinilayam from 1992 to 1997. He was trained at AIIMS in Operation Theatre
Management and perfusion technology and has worked CTVS OT of SSSIHMS, Whitefield
from 2001 to 2006. Currently Sri Aravind is working as Senior Manager, Public
Relations at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield,
Bangalore. Read on his musings on the concept of Divine Birthday.
It all began as a single thought, years ago, on the eve of a birthday. I was nursing a mug of hot milk seated on my bed, leaning against the wall. I silently mused…
“What is a birthday?”
A voice inside my head answered… unexpectedly.
“Simple question simple answer – a day some one is born.”
That was the obvious answer. What did it really mean?
“What is being born?” I asked the disembodied voice.
“Come on! Don’t tell me you don’t know it? You come out of a womb, a bundle of flesh and bone, announcing your arrival with a cry. As time goes by, you grow up and every year on the day you were born you celebrate your birthday.”
“Is that all?”
“Well, what else do you expect? A birthday is a celebration of life. A birthday serves to remind you of the most glorious fact — ‘I am alive’.”
“That’s good! The funny part is, I am alive for the rest of the year too! Why don’t I celebrate those days?”
“Nobody’s stopping you from being happy.”
That hit me hard! It was true. Nobody could stop me from being happy. I could either choose to be happy or sad. A circumstance has no attribute of its own. And Swami has often said “Happiness is union with God.”
I was feeling pretty good about my analysis and said, “So if I am happy! If I am able to look at every day as a celebration of being alive, everyday is a birthday.”
“Bhagawan Baba has been saying this all along. He says in almost every one of his Birthday discourses, ‘…don’t wish me happy birthday. My nature is Bliss, I am always in Sat Chit Ananda…’ He is always happy because He is beyond this world. Total commitment, but total detachment.”
“What has that got to do with birthdays?”
“Did you feel bad that your birthday was over and life should be one long party?”
“Well! As I child… Yes.”
“What prevents you from celebrating every day, hour, and second?”
“People would think I am crazy.”
“You don’t have to exhibit the celebration, just be happy!”
“You are right! All I need to do is to decide to be happy and I can be happy.”
“But how can I be happy always…?” I said.
“I mean how can I smile when… say there is bereavement in the family?”
“My friend, I said be happy, not show your happiness… In the Sankhya Yoga Lord Krishna advises Arjuna to be equipoised in the face of both joy and sorrow, victory and defeat.”
“But what does it mean to me now?” I was trying to figure out how the qualities of a devotee apply to me and the conversation on birthdays…were we getting derailed or something?
“It means that you can be happy without showing it.”
“Alright, I am beginning to understand that happiness is a reflection of inner peace and unless I achieve that I can never be truly happy.”
“But let's get real here,” I continued. “I am a student. Exams, classes, room-mates…you know where I am heading. It is really tough to focus on inner peace when I am in the middle of mayhem.”
“You are not listening.” The voice was soft and gentle. “Total Commitment, total detachment. Everything Swami takes up He gives His 100% to it.”
“Yes! This is the nishkama karma.”
“Now do you understand? God has come down in human form to teach man how to be human. How many times have you not heard, ‘Children of immortality!’ God wants you to be Happy! That is your true nature. If you treat every moment of your existence as new, fresh, absolutely fresh, it cannot be tainted by the world.”
“You mean I have an inner life and an outer life?”
“You never had an outer life. The world is a reflection of you.”
“I never looked at things this way!”
“Probably that’s why we are talking tonight! In one of His discourses, Bhagawan Baba declared that birthdays are moments of reckoning, a point in Time, to stop and ponder. Where am I going? Where am I supposed to go? Where am I now?
“But having been born do we not have to achieve something in life? Is realisation of one’s true self the only goal in life?”
“I know it’s hard to accept. You have to act, but don’t get attached to it. What you do in this world will not matter much once you are gone. This is a world where you see, hear, feel, smell, and touch; cognise a reality and consider it True. Yet at times you know what your senses tell you is not true.”
“Yes, we call it the sixth sense; intuition.”
“Good! Something that we do not consciously evaluate, judge or even recognise – tells us what really is. With age comes wisdom. The more common expression heard is, ‘You will understand it when you grow up.’ It refers to the evolution of mind than the body. You can choose to be happy or choose to be sad. Choose to grow older or wiser. Now that you are on the path, don’t stop walking. And don’t look back.”
“Now it makes new sense to me.”
“Good, now sleep. Remember, every day is a birthday.”
I drifted off into a slumber and awoke early the next day. It was the birthday of someone really special.
A huge birthday party had been arranged and it was only friends and family, no guests here. I was about to close the doors of my cupboard when I noticed I had not flipped the calendar. I tore off yesterday’s date page and today stared at me. 23rd November.
From where I stood, Sai Kulwant Hall granted me a view of the sea of humanity congregated to have a glimpse of their God.
The powerful chant of the Vedas rent the air. Voices roared in unison, “Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Babaji ki Jai”. A few tense seconds later the orange robed effulgence entered Sai Kulwant hall.
His palm raised in blessing, a lovely smile playing on His lips, eyes full of eternal, inexhaustible love, He moved among his loved ones. One could see the love of the Creator for His Creation. His gaze revitalising, purifying those it touched. His very presence cleansing the soul…
My team and I took up our designated positions. Folded palms rose up in obeisance. “Sahasra seersha purusah, sahasraaksha sahasrapaad”.
And up there from the sanctum a hand waved. The Signal.
I lifted my trumpet and with the rest of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute Brass Band played “Happy birthday to you…” as Swami cut His Birthday Cake.
|Should it not be the full moon that should be felicitated for having witnessed
eighty-two glorious years of the Avatar’s Divine mission on earth!...asks Ms. Shammi
Paranjape referring to the much talked about festivity in waiting. Born in Kanpur,
Shammi Paranjape graduated from Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College with English honours.
She followed this up with an LLB from Mumbai’s Govt. Law College. With writing being
her first love, Shammi has been pursuing her freelance journalism ever since with
avid interest. She has authored a book Blossoms in the Eternal Spring, a moving
memoir about spiritual discovery and the strength and joy this bestows on a person.
A thousand ‘full moons’ ago a day dawned that was to brilliantly enhance the destiny of mankind. The glorious day saw the birth of a Divine Babe, in a tiny hamlet of South-India, who would be called ‘Sathya’ (truth) and who would usher in a golden era of great moral and spiritual regeneration. The blessed dawn was a culmination of the ardent prayers of holy ones for a Saviour on earth and the fulfillment of the promise given by Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita-‘ Yada yada hi dharmasya, glanir bhavati Bharata abhyutanama adharmasya, tad aatmanama srujyamyaham.’(O Bharata whenever there is a decline in dharma and rise in adharma I shall incarnate myself to save the world.)
23rd November 1926 stands for the glorious day when this Divine promise was redeemed and the Avatar of the age, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba took birth. However, to ascribe the term ‘Birthday’ - to the Birthless One - seems inappropriate; ‘Advent’ would be better suited to describe the magnitude of the event of the Supreme, Adorable and Venerable One coming into our midst in a human form! However, though Advent it is, devotees lovingly refer to it as the ‘Birthday’ of their Beloved Guru and Master and go all out to celebrate it joyously every year. Baba, the Master of supreme detachment and Embodiment of perfect bliss at all times needs no fanfare of celebrations, but devotees do! They wish to mark out the day that brought all auspiciousness to earth and made available to them, the boon-conferring feet of their Lord! No wonder then, that the day arouses a mystical fervor amongst millions around the world, those fortunate ones who have been drawn into the Divine fold. These fortunate cover people from all faiths creeds and countries as one of the principle messages of Sai is the Divine unity of man and the essential harmony of all faiths. However, what is significant is that the spiritual excitement ignited in the juggernaut of Sai devotees seeks to express itself not in wasteful expenditure or ostentation but in the upholding and celebration of the glorious ideals underlying the mission of the Avatar. Devotees know that the only ‘Gift’ that will be acceptable to Baba is to-‘Live His message.’
Every Birthday is special and significant for devotees but this year it was even more so. This was because a unique historic event called ‘Sahastra Poorna Chandra Darshan’ marked the celebrations. This is a practice enjoined by the Vedas where a human being completing eighty years or more and who has thus had the good fortune to witness a thousand full moons in his lifetime is honoured and felicitated. The Vedic right is supposed to confer all nature of blessings through the ritual poojas and the yagnas associated with it. But in the case of our Lord, should it not be the full moon that should be felicitated for having witnessed eighty-two glorious years of the Avatar’s Divine mission on earth!
A key aspect of Baba’s mission which is now manifesting itself in all richness is the restoration of the Vedas. The Vedas represent India’s richest cultural and spiritual heritage. They embody timeless wisdom and are universal. They are the fountainhead of all knowledge. It is said, that being the ‘Word of God’ Himself they contain verily the secrets of creation. David Frawly a Vedic researcher has said that the Vedas represent “the most extensive and exalted spiritual teaching the world has ever known”. Today when moral structures are crumbling and the spirit of man is being crushed under the weight of rank materialism and technological encroachment mankind needs the pure restorative injunctions and guidelines of the pristine Vedas as never before. By participating in Vedic rites and encouraging the daily chanting of the Vedas by students and devotees, Baba is building an atmosphere which will allow for the growth of Vedic culture, within the modern framework.
Every Avatar comes with a mission suited to the particular time and place. The power of the presence of a Spiritual Master is truly great and when it is the Supreme Light guiding man’s faltering steps back to the goal, the scope and scale of transformation is phenomenal. It touches all. In the furtherance of His Divine mission Baba has tirelessly been working for the welfare of humanity for eighty-two years. With His divine love, He has been melting hearts and making flowers bloom in deserts. His methods are unique and infallible. He has only one task, to foster all of mankind and establish the unity of all peoples as one. He has by His Divine example motivated the multitudes to take to righteous paths and ‘Love all, serve all’ His teachings simple on the face of it are the nectarine drops of wisdom that can sweeten life and restore it to wholesome fullness and beatitude. His story is a story full of action. And He exhorts all to follow His example even if it means folding up the prayer mat and putting away the rosary into the bag, for ‘Hands that help are holier than lips that pray’. His is the splendid inspiration behind the loving seva sweeping the world and gathering all the needy into its fold. His is the dynamic spirituality of action, where selflessness replaces selfishness and the act of seva becomes the holy offering placed at His lotus feet. His is the unconditional pure love that is touching and healing hearts and effecting miracles of transformation.
This is just a tiny glimpse into the mystique of twenty-third November… a date that will surely be circled in gold by the moving finger of time and bedazzle generations to come… source
27th Annual Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University
Sai Baba's picture is with USA's president elect Barak Obama
|Sai Ram All,
I just want to share the good news that Swami is with Obama. When Obama
Came to Pittsburgh in Sept unannounced for a private meeting with host
Committee in Pittsburgh, we were invited as a part of the host committee
Team. We had an opportunity to speak to him personally for few minutes.
I gave him Sai Baba's picture, he took it and looked at it intensely and
Asked 'who is this'? I told him HE is my spiritual guru and am
Giving you for your guidance, good luck and protection. He put the
Picture in the pocket of his coat and told me he will always keep it.
Few hours later, my husband got a call from Obama's campaign manager
And security people as to what was that picture about because Obama kept
That picture in his wallet. My husband explained to them that the
Picture is our spiritual master and we gave him for his good luck,
Guidance and safety. They were ok with that response.
Few days ago, my husband was invited for Obama Victory celebration and the
Same campaign manager said Dr. Sharma your guru's picture has worked.
Enjoy these four pictures.
Swami is with Obama and guiding him every step of the way. It augurs
Well for the whole mankind.
I received the below mail from a friend in Germany who had in a way been involved in the US poll.. She shares a small incident that happened.
let me send you two pictures of Obama's private meeting with host committee in Pittsburgh, when Obama took a photo of Swami.
As he asked about "who is this?" the lady (Anita Sharma) said "HE is my spiritual guru and am giving you for your guidance, good luck and protection."
Obama put the picture in the pocket of his coat and said he will always keep it. Few hours later, the lady's husband husband, Dr. Sharma, got a call from Obama'sand security people as to what was that picture about because Obama kept that picture in his wallet. Dr. Sharma explained to them that the picture is our spiritual master and we gave him for his good luck, guidance and safety. They were ok with that response.
Few days ago, Dr. Sharma, was invited for Obama Victory celebration and same campaign manager said Dr. Sharma, your guru's picture has worked. Obama has expressed his desire to come and visit Prashanti Nilayam and meet 'The Sadguru'. :)
Om Sai Ram
|My Dears, Greetings and love from Lusaka Airport, as I await boarding for a long flight from here to Jburg, than to Singapore to KL.But look at this attached, sent by Sunny in Little Rock (Harmony Clinic). I thought this may make you all happy & I am in the HAPPINESS BUSINESS. I am not clicking the REPLY ALL button, but deliberately sending this to as many people as possible...but I will send to more. This is pleasant news & here is something else. You know the Harmony Clinic (Free medical fro poor) that was launched in Little Rock, Arkansa...they had invited Barak Obama to officially launch the clinic and they had done this before he was elected. So if it manifests, what a great event for SAI in USA!...and we in Malaysia played a tiny role, with our Friendship Group inspiring them in Little Rock. LOVE & God Bless Jega|