As an offering for Maha Shivaratri, Radio Sai had launched a new YouTube Channel called “Radio Sai Bhajans”
What Will This Channel Offer?
For more information please visit the Radio Sai Website.
For clean up day 3rd of March 2019,Rydalmere Sai Centre has volunteered to Clean Up Sydney Murugan Temple in preparation for temple’s annual festival.
Rydalmere Sai Centre has been doing this service activity more than ten years. Now temple lovingly expects Rydalmere Sai Centre for clean up every year. As it was Sunday, Sai Spiritual Education Children with their parents also participated in this service activity. Twenty eight members attended. It was a beautiful sunny day everyone actively participated in outdoor cleaning and temple oil lamps are cleaned outside.
The Sai Life Style program is designed to support the Sai followers cross the ocean of life through the practical application of Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings. This program has been established as a follow-up program to the successful Self Transformation Program (STP) which was launched Australia wide in 2018. It is hoped that the new program, ‘Sai Life Style ‘will capitalise on the learnings from STP and assist Sai followers to continue on their journey of realising their inherent divinity.
The two modules that have been released under the Sai Life Style program to date are ‘Communication and active listening’ and ‘Minding the mind for spiritual growth’. The ACT Region of the Sathya Sai International Organisation of PNG organised in 2018 the workshop titled ‘Communication and active listening’ and it was conducted by Jenny Monson.
The workshop on ‘Minding the mind for spiritual growth’ was held on Saturday, 16 March 2019 and it was conducted by Cugan Cugansan, a Senior Member of the Sathya Sai International Organisation of Australia and PNG. This workshop attended by about 14 Sai followers explored ‘what is ‘mind’ and how the conscious mind, sub- conscious mind, ego and the intellect influence one’s spiritual progress including self-transformation. The participants of this workshop felt that the work shop content was well researched and the presentation engaging and of benefit to their spiritual progress.
Those wishing to attend the future workshops to held under the Sai Life Style program are request contact their respective centre presidents or devotional coordinators.
On the 20th of March 2019 the SSIO was invited by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service NSW to honour blood donation contributions through their Red25 programme.
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has united with organisations and community groups around Australia to create a powerful movement called Red25. This initiative is designed to get organisations such as community groups, workplaces and universities to provide 25% of the total donations required by Red Cross Blood Service.
The event was attended by our National President Singanayagam Indrapalan, Community Engagement Referent Nalini Kumar, and previous Liquid Love project coordinators Jaslyn Doshi and Kailaesh Raveendran. During the event, the SSIO was acknowledged for our continued support of donations and, and the group discussed strategies to progress in the future. SSIO Australia was presented with the 2018 Achievement Certificate, honouring the donations made last year.
In 2018, the Liquid Love project expanded to become a year-round initiative by the Sai Young Adults wing. 718 donations made last year, translating to 2,154 lives saved and exceeding the initial goal of saving 2,000 lives.
A light-hearted friendly competition between the states and territories of Australia saw Queensland take top honours, saving 759 lives with their donations, followed by New South Wales on 567 and Victoria on 483. Updated monthly statistics were shared electronically to keep donors informed of the progress towards the goal. All these numbers saw the other states and territories extra keen to close the gap in 2019!
The campaign kicked off in early 2018 with the Regional Liquid Love Representatives (RLLPs) visiting their respective centres to inform and educate members on the importance of donating blood, the critical shortages faced in Australia, and how members could get involved in donating. Devotees across Australia were fascinated by the promotional video compiled by the young adults to show that “you don’t need a cape to be a superhero”, which was the theme for the year. Donors were also eager to share photos of their donation experience on the Facebook Liquid Love group page in order to encourage other members to donate.
The programme additionally served as a way to further intensify the spiritual discipline practice for many young adults in the lead up to the Prashanthi 2019 pilgrimage. As part of the Spiritual Discipline Plan component #ServeSai, young adults were encouraged to contribute towards blood/plasma donation by being rewarded points within their respective regions for undertaking various Liquid Love activities (e.g. donating, taking a friend to donate, driving donors etc). The young adults took to this challenge with aplomb, supporting one another through lifts and encouragement.
With so many people pouring out immense love from their hearts (and veins) to support this incredible cause in 2018, it’s exciting to see where 2019 will take this truly transformative programme!
We have heard Sai Baba often saying “My Life is My Message”. And truly, he has demonstrated through action every single message he has given. Most of us are aware of the concept named “Ceiling on Desires” that Sai Baba has given us. Every SSE student is initiated in to this at some point during their studies, and members of the organisation are constantly encouraged to follow this principle. It’s a very simple principle that can be practised in our day-to-day life, and it has great bearing in our spiritual journey. It has 5 components: do not waste Water, Food, Energy, Money or Time. I will narrate here, how Sai Baba demonstrated this principle himself, so that we can follow him, as we tread in spiritual path.
All of us are aware of how precious water is, but often take very little care while using it. Once Baba had come to Boys Hostel at Brindavan, Bangalore to see the new altar that the boys had personally constructed in the dining hall. I was fortunate to be there at that moment. Sai Baba was happy with the new altar. Then he walked towards the washing area, which was just renovated and paved with tiles, and was also very happy with this. As we were all busy watching Sai Baba, none of us realised that one of taps was not properly closed and was dripping water. Sai Baba personally walked to the tap and closed it. As he turned back, he said “don’t waste water”. He could have pointed to the tap, and we would have rushed to close it. But, He chose to personally demonstrate, so that it would be etched in our minds and hearts.
Baba is very particular that we take only as much as is required, and that we do not waste food. One of the ways to make us not waste food is chanting the Food Prayer (“Brahmarpanam”). When we offer something to God, we tend to not waste it. Thus, if we are sincere about the Food Prayer, we automatically follow this principle. I was so moved by Baba’s words of encouragement when in one of his discourses he said, “… my students never waste food. Even when there is food left over in the night, they keep it and use it the next day. If there is rice left, they will make fried rice and eat…” No wonder I started loving fried rice! Baba has always encouraged us to respect food, and in turn we pay our gratitude to Mother Nature and the farmers who have produced the food for us.
All of us know that we should not waste money, but rarely realise that we are wasting it in unwanted fulfilment of desire. Students and young adults especially should be very careful about this. Once during darshan, a student gave a letter to Baba. To all of us sitting beside him, this appeared to be the usual ordinary letter of prayers which we often give to Baba. Baba graciously took the letter, took two stepped forward and stopped. To our surprise, he opened the envelope took out a 50 rupees note, stepped back to where the student was and flung it to back him, saying “ I don’t need money, I need your Love. Study well; do not waste your parent’s money”. With this one action, Baba, apart from giving a glimpse of His omniscience, also gave us a very loving message. As a student, this had great impact on me. It always helped me to make a decision when spending money.
We are still left with two more principles of not wasting – Energy and Time – which I shall take up in the next article.
Several Divine manifestations of the Lord have taken place at our altar in Bahrain, which was also a Sai Centre while we were staying there. It was a continuous stream of divine manifestations; some were visible, while some were invisible to the naked eye. They were in different forms, like the white holy ash of Sathya Sai, the black coloured ash of Shirdi Sai, Kum Kum, garlands in turmeric, nectar, statues of deities for all family members and much more. Below are two examples of what our family has been blessed to witness.
There was a young couple, the wife of which was (and is) a Sathya Sai Baba devotee. The husband was a Shirdi Sai devotee, and did not believe in Sathya Sai Baba. He did not want to attend any Sathya Sai centres because he doubted that Sathya Sai Baba was really Shirdi Baba incarnate. He used to drop and pick his wife up from Sai activities. It was at this point in time, during a group reading of Shirdi Sai Satcharitra (a usual occurrence as part of Sathya Sai Baba’s birthday celebrations at our house), that the white/grey-coloured holy ash of Sathya Sai manifested on the feet of Sathya Sai Baba, and Udi (the black coloured holy ash associated with Shirdi Baba) appeared on the feet of Shirdi Sai, as if an answer to the husband’s doubts. This cleared all his reservations, after which he became an ardent devotee of Sathya Sai Baba and a very active member of the Sai Organisation.
My wife Gowri used to make garlands for Sai Baba regularly; particularly, for the weekly centre programmes and other special Sai events wherever it took place.
Once the Tapovanam (Sathya Sai Baba’s story) reading was taking place at one of the three centres in Bahrain for a week or so and Gowri, as usual, made garlands almost every day. During this period, some other ladies were concerned about Gowri’s additional work of making garlands and suggested that she could better use this time in other domestic activities. But Gowri ignored these comments and continued to make the garlands.
For this group reading, some printouts of Tapovanam books were made, with some of Sai Baba’s quotes being inserted at the end of each chapter wherever there was any blank space. In the process, there was a quote regarding people offering garlands (Sathya Sai Baba says one should not make hefty, expensive garlands and load the idols and pictures of deities and parade about. Instead He says that devotion should be simple and sincere) which was inserted on the last page of the last chapter. Although this was not part of the story to be read, it got read aloud.
This caught the attention of the ladies who had earlier commented on Gowri making garlands, and they looked at her, indicating that the message was actually for her since it fitted with their earlier conversation regarding making garlands.
Gowri looked disturbed and I comforted her while driving back home from the reading saying that, if her making of garlands for Sai Baba was an actual show of devotion, it is up to Him, and therefore told her to ignore the comments of the ladies.
No doubt Sai Baba heard all the above, and probably to indicate His acceptance of Gowri’s devotion shown by making garlands, He Himself materialized a garland in turmeric first on a small picture of His (standing with Shirdi Baba), and later a bigger garland in turmeric with a pendant.
Two forums on healthy aging were recently delivered to local communities in Bundaberg and Robertson NSW with the assistance of the Sai Medical Unit. The aim of the forums was to provide people in the senior and approaching senior age groups and their carers advice about potential health issues and the means to prevent or mitigate them, as well as knowledge and awareness about support services and facilities.
The forum in Bundaberg was organised by the local Sathya Sai Centre in conjunction with a number of local health professionals. Thirty people participated in the event held at Bundaberg Business Enterprise Centre on Saturday, 23 February. Eastside Medical Centre kindly provided the venue and catering.
Two general practitioners, Drs Varghese and Jenny Crane spoke about dermatology, skin cancers and palliative care, as well as a range of other relevant matters. Ms Connolly, a dietician and diabetes educator covered matters relating to diet. Mr & Mrs Bramley, both physiotherapists covered risks associated with falls and their prevention. Ms Karen Whyte, a yoga teacher, talked about and demonstrated the benefits of yoga for the aged.
All in all, the seminar was very well received by the participants. Some have indicated they would like a similar seminar in the future covering additional issues.
Mr Neville Fredericks, a member of the SSIO, invited the Sai Medical Unit to hold a healthy ageing forum at the Robertson School of Arts on Saturday, 23 February. Fifty people participated in the event which covered a number of health-related issues that may impact people as they age.
Dr Ketan Bhatt covered two topics titled ‘Ageing Well’ and ‘Dementia – Not a normal part of ageing’. Doneel Dass (Exercise Physiologist) and Vicgnesai Tharmarajah (Physiotherapist) talked about ‘Exercise and Falls Prevention’, including practical demonstrations with the audience. Dr Jaslyn Doshi (Infectious Disease Physician) presented ‘Common Infections and Vaccines to Know About’, providing important facts about infections and diseases related to ageing. Dr Kamala Varatharajan (Senior Dentist and Lecturer UOS) presented on ‘Good Oral Health and Healthy Ageing’. All the presentations were well-received with a lot of interaction. Feedback from the participants was very positive.