Friday, 28 December 2012

Lord's grace is the most reliable means of support

"The reinforcement of Grace from the Lord is the most reliable means of support. When you win the Grace of Lord, dishonour, defeat and despair fade away like fog evaporates before the Sun. Even disease cannot touch you. Hence, I advise you to face life by strengthening your spiritual urges and invoking the Grace of the Lord."

-- Bhagawan Baba

Become tough through denial

"Life becomes sweeter, with a little dose of denial too; if you get all your desires, it begins to cloy. Deny yourselves many of the things your mind runs after and you will find that you become tough enough to bear both good fortune and bad."

-- Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba,
Mahaaraani's Women's College, Mysore,
on 12-9-1963

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Without God, nothing is worth anything

"God is your indweller and so when you seek Him outside, He cannot be caught. Look for Him within you. Love Him with no other thought, and feel that without Him, nothing is worth anything. Feel that He is all. Then you become His and He becomes yours. There is no kinship nearer than that!"

-- Bhagawan Baba in a divine discourse on Oct 17, 1966

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Call on God in true faith and you will be heard

I was indeed touched and reassured by this message that I received today in my email.

"On this day of your life, Aarthi, I believe God wants you to know...
...that all who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the
heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they
have asked and desired.

Martin Luther said that, and he was right. Now Martin
Luther is not exactly considered a spokesman for the
New Age -- yet this extraordinary statement echos
precisely what is said in Conversations with God and
many other books of the New Thought movement.

The point: Truth is truth, no matter what the source.
And what many people say is "wrong" with so-called
New Age thinking turns out to be the belief of the
man who instigated The Reformation! Wow."

God alone is our anchor

You are born with a helpless lamenting cry; you should die with a smile of joy. That is the purpose of the years between. But those years are wasted now. People are tossed about from one want to another, one grief to another, until they are blinded by despair and exhausted by foiled pursuits. Most illnesses are due to this despair and exhaustion. God alone is your anchor, who will save you from stress and storm. Do not neglect or ignore Him in your life. -- Bhagawan Baba in a Divine Discourse on Oct 15, 1966

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Destiny, Providence, God -- all mean the same

An old man was once warned that there was a cobra on the roadside of the path he proposed to walk through. But he said, he had never seen it and so he did not believe it. Unfortunately for him, he did believe in it later, after it bit him. But then, it was too late to benefit from the information that he had heard earlier.

Several leaders had to acknowledge that there is destiny that shapes events in lives, irrespective of individual efforts. Know that everyone has to come to the same conclusion, sooner or later, for there is a limit to the capacity of the individual to control events in the world. 

Beyond that, there is an Unseen Hand that takes over the wheel of events. One may call it Destiny, another may call it Providence and the third may call it God – the Names do not matter. What matters is your humility, your ability to wonder, and sense of awe at the grandeur and magnificence of Divinity.

-- Sathya Sai Baba, in a divine discourse on 14th Jan, 2002

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Walk one step at a time

"Step by step, you reach the end of the road. One act followed by another leads to a good habit. Listening over and over again, you get prodded into action. Resolve to act, to mix only in good company, to read only elevating books and to form the habit of remembering the Lord's name (Naamasmarana), then ignorance will vanish automatically. The Divine Bliss that will well up within you by the contemplation of the lord who is Bliss Personified, will drive out all grief and worry. Move forward towards the Light and the shadow falls behind; move away from it and you have to follow your own shadow. Go every moment one step nearer to the Lord and then maya (illusion) which is the shadow will fall back and will not delude you at all."

-- Bhagawan Baba

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

How to win the grace of God

"Yearn and work sincerely to win the Grace of the Lord – and all your accumulated burden will be burnt into ashes in just a moment!" -- Bhagawan Baba

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

On tests

Got this from an old Bal Vikas magazine -- an extract from Swami's discourse to His students

"My dear students! Why should God test us? What does this test mean? It is not test but it is His taste. Unless you are tested, your determination will not be strong. You appear for four examinations per year. What are they meant for? They are not to trouble you but to develop your interest in the subjects. When you pass in the examination, you are promoted to a higher class. You will be tested even for entering higher studies. God also does the same. Whatever may be the test, you must clear it. Only then you attain a higher state. It is in fact to protect, not to trouble. It is not a punishment. but only a protection. Then why does God want to test when He knows everything?

There is no need for Him to test you as He knows your standard. Only the teacher tests you because he does not know about you. God knows that you are good but He tests in order to set an ideal for others. What you see is one and what God sees is another. God does not put everyone to test. He keeps protecting you. He is always there within you, beside you and around you to safeguard you. How can such a God test you?

But all your sins and shortcomings need to be washed away. We wash the tumbler both inside outside before using. Is it not enough if you wash inside? But, people outside also should see the cleanliness. He tests you in order to strengthen your patience and devotion. Even gold is tested. Everything is tested. Suppose you have been honoured by a degree or you apply for a job. They call you for an interview. Even the interview is an examination. The questions can be very tricky.

Once an interview was organised in the third floor of a building. The interviewers asked the person who was being interviewed, "How many steps have you climbed to reach the third floor of the building?" The boy was stunned. He said, "Sir, I did not count." He was rejected for this reason.

These tests are conducted in order to test your courage. Without test, you do not get rest. You should ask for tests. You have to face the tests and attain a higher stage. If you keep on pestering Swami that you do not want test, how can you go to a higher state? In order to progress ahead, you must face the tests and you should have the courage to face them. Even if you are weak or unfortunate, you must try to win. The Godward path is very hard to follow. Whatever happens, take it as God's will.

We must say, "Whatever You have given me, I offer it back to You. I did not bring anything with me." You may think that your mother and father have given you this body. They might have given birth to the body, but who put the heart in it? You may feed the body, but who is running the heart incessantly? Who is its Master? Who is the driving force behind the circulation of blood? 

God Himself takes care of everything that goes on in the body. The eye that is not even an inch long can clearly perceive the stars far away in the sky. Who has given this strength to the little eye? God has conferred upon you everything. However, you say everything is yours out of ego. This is the greatest ignorance. So, let God do Whatever He wants.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Give your mind to the Lord

If you focus only on the worldly gains, a time will come when you look back on your achievements and will yourself sigh at the futility of it. Entrust your mind the task of serving your Lord, before it is too late. Let Him shape it as He likes, and your mind will be tamed. You don’t have to hand over to the goldsmith an ornament that is quite beautiful. You give him broken and dented ones, or those that have gone out of fashion! So too willingly give the Lord your mind that certainly needs repair, if not complete reconstruction!

Sathya Sai Baba in a Divine Discourse delivered on Jan 1, 1964.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Everything that happens in the gift of grace

Take everything that happens to you as the Gift of Grace. Of course, on your path, you must act with all the skill and devotion you are capable of. Do this with as much sincerity as you worship God. Then, leave the result to the All-powerful, All-knowing, All-merciful God. Let whatever ensues ensue! Why do you hold yourself responsible? He prompted it, He got it done through you; He will give whatever result He feels He must!

-- Bhagawan Baba, in a discourse given on 27-3-1971

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

What is true Yajna

The term Yajna means ‘any activity dedicated to the glory of God’. Such activity can be done in all climes, in all realms, and by all races. The key to success is ‘dedication’. Without it, there will inevitably arise anxiety, fear and faction. 

Every activity in the world is directed unto God, whether you know it or not. If God is not the inspirer and motivator, how can the Universe be moving in harmony, wheeling so smoothly, without chaos and anarchy? Those who are aware of this fact and accept it, experience thrill and joy in witnessing it! Anyone who lives in the constant presence of God and does all acts dedicated to God is continuously engaged in Yajna

- Divine Discourse, Oct 11, 1972.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Offer yourself completely to God, to be merged in His Glory

Sai Inspires -- 19 Oct, 2012

Cleanse the heart with the water of love and the detergents of prayer and contrition, so that the stains of desire will be removed. Then God will pour His Grace into it. If you yearn for God, you should give up attachment to the external world and to the body (Loka bhranthi and Deha bhranthi). There is no use trying to put one foot in one boat and another in a different boat. You may have been a spiritual aspirant for 20 or 25 years, but if you worry more about physical needs and comforts than meditation and spiritual progress, then the years of practice is of no value, as there has been no progress. The waving of the camphor flame (aarti) at the end of the prayer or bhajan session is to remind you that your sensual cravings must be burnt away without leaving any trace behind. You must offer yourself completely to God, to be merged in His Glory.

- Divine Discourse, Sep 8, 1966.

Make your choices wisely.

A merchant was once brought before a magistrate for selling adulterated ghee (clarified butter). Judgment was pronounced and as a punishment he was asked to either consume the entire quantity of the foul ghee or receive 20 whips or pay a fine of 100 gold coins. He preferred the ghee and started drinking the stuff a little bit, but finding the smell unbearable, he then chose the stripes. He received a few but could not stand any more. So finally he pleaded with the magistrate to let him go with the fine and paid his dues. If only he had opted for this initially, he could have avoided the foul drink and the excruciating pain. By swaying in his decision, he had to taste the wreck and the rod. So too, most people do not opt for God in the beginning when grief overpowers them. They do not recognize the inevitability but eventually come to God, sooner or later. Make your choices wisely.
- Divine Discourse, Sep 8, 1966.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Do not yield to despair

If you are patient and calm, I shall grant you joy without fail. Do not yield to despair. Even the infant lotus buds will bloom, in their own good time. -- Baba

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Just hold on and hang in there

I came across this today at and felt greatly encouraged. 

"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you cannot hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." 

-- Harriet Beecher Stowe

Monday, 8 October 2012

Thick clouds of thought in young age

I came across these lines in a divine discourse transcript in the Sanathana Sarathi magazine last night. I felt greatly reassured on reading it.

"Youth is not permanent. It is a temporary intermediary stage which comes and goes like passing clouds. Do not waste your life by exulting over temporary and ephemeral youth. Youth is very sacred but students try to make it unsacred. You should not waste precious human birth just for ephemeral pleasures.

Youth is the stage when one gets all sorts of excitements. It is necessary to control these passions and excitements by recitation of God's Name and by self-suggestion: "Such unsacred thoughts are not good and proper for me. These are just passing clouds; they will come and go. My life is eternal and these thoughts are ephemeral like passing clouds."

The heart is like the sky, the mind is the moon and the intellect, the sun. Clouds of thoughts come in the sky of heart and cover the sun and the moon. Sometimes, very thick clouds of thoughts come in young age. Then, one cannot see the sun or the moon. 

But how long will the sun or the moon remain invisible? Just for a few moments because these thoughts are like passing clouds. Be patient and the clouds will move away by themselves. Hold on to patience firmly. Do not make haste. Haste makes waste. Waste makes worry. Therefore, do not be in a hurry. Haste is not good particularly at this age; maintain your quietude.

-- From Bhagawan's Divine Discourse in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam on 24th June 1996.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Still the mind

"If the desire to communicate with Swami is sufficiently intense and strong, then the mind will be sufficiently quiet for Swami to speak"

From 'Conversations with Sai' - Part 15

Monday, 1 October 2012

Message from the Lord for the start of a new month

Two messages that reassured me today.

"If you are patient and calm, I shall grant you joy without fail. Do not yield to despair. Even the infant lotus buds will bloom, in their own good time."

"Wherever you go and whatever you do, it is known to God even if you think none has noticed it. People start worrying about petty temporary things that are passing clouds and sometimes falter in faith and devotion. This is not correct. You should never give up devotion. Your good work will beget God's grace without fail." 

Proper time for everything - God plans everything 4 ur sake

"There is a proper time and a proper way for your own sake. Sometimes God withholds even a spiritual experience because God does everything for man's good. He never does anything to harm man or give him sorrow. But you must have that faith. "

-- Bhagawan Baba, in 'Conversations with Sai' (Taken from Radio Sai archives)

Friday, 21 September 2012

Approach God alone for your wants

Got this mesg in Sai Inspires y'day. In the past week, this was the 3rd time I was getting this mesg and I knew Swami was reiterating the fact that I should seek what I want from Him alone.

It is always preferable to approach God for the fulfillment of your wants, rather than cringe before others, who themselves are but tools in the hands of God. In his own silent way, God will transform the mind and turn it towards spiritual practices and successful spiritual pilgrimage. He cannot allow his children to lose their way and suffer in the jungle. When you approach God and seek his help and guidance, you have taken the first step to save yourself. You are then led to accept His will as your own. Thus, you achieve peace. God draws you to Him to re-form and re-shape you. God is a kind of smith, who repairs broken, leaky, and damaged ‘human-ware’. He is adept at fixing broken hearts, fragile minds, warped intellects, feeble resolutions and fading faith. Come to Him with hands that salute in prayer, hands that are eager to serve. Then, He fills them with loads of Grace.

Divine Discourse, Oct 1 1965.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Divine Fillip to do Namasmarana

Although I love bhajans, I dun always keep humming a tune within myself. Sometimes, I do and sometimes, I don't. But of late, I have been thinking I should consciously keep remembering the Lord's name and glory at all times and sing some bhajan or other. 

Today, this urge intensified and I kept humming song bhajan or other for most part of the day. To show me I'm on the right path, Bhagawan made sure that many of the bhajans that I had been humming were sung in the Prasanthi Mandir Bhajan session this evening, which I listened to on Radio Sai. In fact, I only caught the latter half of the session as I had gone out during the 1st half.

Just as I was entering my house, I was thrilled to hear 'Madhuvana Murali' and then came 'Samba Vinodini Shiva Sai Shankari'. Although the 2nd one is bhajan I know well, today I was groping for the words. By including this bhajan in the list today, I felt Swami was showing that He even knows which bhajan I'm actually meaning to remember, even if I forget it at that point of time. Then came 'Rama Chandra Shri Ram'
followed by 'Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram'.

As if to propel me to continue this Sadhana regularly, I found on the Prasanthi Reporter web site an article titled 'The Power of the Lord's Name'.

Pls go here to read the full text --

It gives a gist of what Baba said in a discourse on June 22nd, 1989. It stresses the need for everyone to constantly chant the Lord's name for one can never say when the end will come. 

Baba in fact says "By no other spiritual or religious practic­es can peace be attained in this age. The Divine Name can turn poison into nectar. It can revive a lifeless thing. It is surcharged with infinite power."

WOW! That was indeed a divine fillip for my efforts.

And a third mesg just sealed it for me -- "Let your home resound with names no other than those of Mine. It will create peace within you. And those around. For constant repetition of My name forces Me to come and visit and My presence will be immediately known with the calmness which settles your mind."

Pls go here to view this mesg -- Sai Darshan - Part -1 - 55

All these just keep reminding me that Bhagawan is with me every millisecond. He's happy that I've started to consciously sing bhajans and He is encouraging me to do it all the time. Thank you Swami! I pray that you help me always remember your name.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Do not question 'Why' but ask 'What'

I believe God wants you to know...
...that "Why is this happening?" is the most useless
question in the Universe.
The only really profitable question is, "What?"  
As in "What do I choose now?" This question empowers.
The "why" question simply perplexes
 and rarely satisfies even when it gets a good answer.
So don't try to "figure it out." 
Stop it. Just focus on what you now wish to create. 
Keep moving forward. 

There's nothing behind you that can possibly serve
you better than your highest thoughts about tomorrow.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

The Divine Banker

Got this line in an sms just a few days ago. Swami decided that He should reiterate the same mesg today again for me. So He sends the same mesg in Sai Inspires, the daily email that I receive from Radio Sai.

"Offer your sullied heart to the Lord. It is like presenting a soiled note to the Reserve Bank and getting a new one."

Indeed! Who else but the divine banker can take a crumpled note like my heart and give me a brand-new one? 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Prasadam galore and time to thank the Lord

I had gone for a meeting to the company for which I work on freelance projects. It's been more than 3 months since I got into this project. Since the company's client was delaying payments, the payments which were to reach us editors were also getting delayed. We had been told that it was likely to done by this weekend.

Today's meeting was to take stock of the past 3 mths and discuss our feedback, learnings, suggestions for process improvements, etc. based on the work done in the past. That was the agenda or so we thought. Well, yes, that was the main part but were we (the other editors and I) in for a real pleasant surprise today!

The Project Manager greeted each of us with a huge box of assorted chocolates (Cadbury Celebrations), a book, a letter of appreciation for our work and commitment in the project over the last 3 mths and most importantly, the cheque. WOW! I immediately thanked Swami for the Prasadam, which I felt very grateful for. 

Sometime back, a brother who works with Radio Sai shared that Swami mentioned on many occasions that He never pays salaries to those who work in His various institutions. Swami said He only gives Prasadam. That touched a chord with me. 

I felt that whatever work I do, if I dedicate it to Him, then when the pay cheque comes, it automatically becomes His prasadam, right? So today, when I got the pay cheque, I thanked Swami for this prasadam. I also thanked Him for making my day unforgettable with my due reward (the pay cheque & a letter of appreciation from the company) plus gifts galore -- chocolates and a book. :)

It seemed like Swami had chosen today to just shower His blessings abundantly. This was the 1st time in my freelance career that I'm getting such an appreciation. Usually, the clients I work for just send a mail thanking me for sticking to the quality and deadlines and they make the payments on time. But that's about it. So today indeed made me feel really nice to be appreciated. I immediately know whose handiwork this was. Who else but my Swami? I kept thanking Him. That's all I could do.

He made my day even more sweet by showing that He knows every lil fleeting wish of mine. In one of the emails I received today, I found this photograph.

Kaise jiyun mein tere bin

The above picture is the bigger version of the 2nd smaller picture, which I insert below.  

My Sweet Swami
I was smiling to myself on seeing the big photo. And then it suddenly hit me!

I have a folder on my computer where I keep adding lovely photos from wherever I can find them online. I remember adding this small image also to that folder quite sometime back. At that time, I just wished that I could have a bigger and clearer picture where I could see Swami's face very closely. Of course, I cherished the small one and even used it as my desktop wallpaper sometimes (I keep changing my wallpaper every few days).

I may have forgotten it, but the omniscient Lord chose today to fulfill that desire of mine. He sent me this beautiful close-up pic of the very same photo. :) My God! What thanks can I render unto thee My Lord? Thank you for filling me with gratitude today.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

God gives us what we deserve

"God will grant you what you need and deserve; there is no need to ask, no reason to grumble. Be content. Nothing can happen against His Will."

-- Bhagawan Baba

Friday, 24 August 2012

Swami knows what I am going through and He shows it

I was looking through some feedback sent by readers on Heart2Heart articles in the archives of Radio Sai (I stumbled upon this in a search for something else). I just opened up one article and said, "Swami, I'm seeking a message from you. Let me see what you tell me in this article."

As I scrolled through the Web page, my eyes fell on these lines and as I read them, tears just started flowing freely from my eyes.

"Amavasya or the new moon night – dark night - is not everlasting. Poornima or the full moon night is certain to follow. Just be patient for some time. Know that Swami’s protective eyes and watchful eyes are ever on you. Swami will never put you through difficulties. Because of difficulties coming one after another in succession, your mind is agitated. This is the time to use Swami’s name for courage. 
Will anyone wear woolen clothes in summer and thin cotton garments in winter? Never, ever! For the present heated state of your mind, wear the cooling garments of Bhagavat Chintana or remembrances of God. Do not increase the heat of your mind by wearing the woolen clothes of Prakriti chintana or thoughts of the world."

Yes! Swami knows the pain I am going through, but it's all for a reason. I shall hold on to Him and Him alone and seek my answers from Him.

Thank you Swami!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

God is with me at every moment

Last night, before I went to bed, I said "Swami, I know you are with me this very moment. I am going to open the book 'Sai Darshan II' by Seema Dewan and see what mesg u r giving me now."

I was touched and reassured on seeing the foll. lines

Whenever you worry, say to yourself, 'God is my only friend. He is with me right now, He knows everything. And if He knows, all will be well. And I will be taken care of in the best way.'

Another beautiful thought I got this morning from the same book

"Be sincere when you are devoted to God... If you love Him, then all you must remember is that alone... The rest shall come to you at the right moment..."

I keep thanking Swami for constantly showing me His presence in myriad ways. :)

Sunday, 12 August 2012

A beautiful Krishna Janmashtami

We celebrated Krishna Jayanthi on the evening of 9th August (Thursday) at home, since we follow the Tamil Iyer traditions and this year, our calendar showed that the Ashtami thithi fell on 9th August. I felt blessed as we finished the Puja and tuned in to the Radio Sai bhajan classroom for 'Jaya Krishna Kunja Vihari', a sweet bhajan that adores Sai as Lord Krishna. The vibes and happiness I felt on listening to the whole bhajan classroom were so good. I really felt the divine communion with my Lord.

We have the custom of drawing tiny footprints using rice flour in various rooms, indicating that Baby Krishna is running around here and there. When a friend asked me that night how the Puja went off at home and whether Krishna had come home, I told her about these footprints. She said, "That means the lil Krishna came home searching for your hearts."

I told her, "Lord Sai Krishna has already stolen my heart and run away. It's just that I'm not able to see His form, though I feel His presence." I had tears when I typed this sms to her. That night, I told Swami that He's my best friend -- my Prana Sakha. I told Him that I felt blessed that He had chosen me and thanked Him for everything and His constant presence in my life.

In Prasanthi Nilayam, Krishna Janmashtami celebrations were on Friday, Aug 10th. I watched the entire video proceedings from Sai Kulwant Hall in the morning and felt extremely happy, esp with the songs by the students and Swami's message in His discourse. He spoke highly of women and their devotion. He said that women are always very devoted to Lord and in fact, they are the ones who pull in the men to God. I felt very touched on hearing this. A great way to start off the day!

In the evening of Aug 10th, when I went to Sai Nivas (the Sai mandir near my house), I felt very happy to see Swami's photo and the other idols beautifully decked in garlands. The Krishna statue stood out magnificently, because He was decked from top to toe with many garlands and there was even a special focus light for Him. I was lost in His beauty!

On seeing the garlands, I immediately knew they had been freshly put that morning for the nagarsankeerthan. I also knew they would surely be changed before the evening bhajan. 

I dunno why I suddenly got this thought. But I said, "Swami, I'm not a great lady like Droupadi. But one thing is I have firm faith in you like she did. On this Krishna Jayanthi day, I feel I should look up to you for protection like a sister would look to her brother. Droupadi considered you her brother and when she was in danger, when she was in any predicament or when she needed help, she called out to you only. Well, I too am doing the same thing. I have nobody else but you. You know what all is running thro my mind. You know my heart's desire. It is up to you to fulfil it."

One uncle in Sai Nivas who takes care of replacing the old garlands with new ones and other arrangements for the altar there sometimes gives me the garlands to take home as prasadam and we hang it with reverence at the entrance of our flat. That evening, as I was having the thought about how Krishna was Droupadi's brother, I suddenly got this thought also -- "Swami, it's been a long time since that uncle gave me garlands to take home. Today, the garlands are extra-special 'coz they are the garlands that you have worn this morning. If you make him give me those, I will take it that you're giving me a positive signal that you're soon going to bless me with what my heart desires."

The bhajan got over, I forgot about this and was getting ready to leave. That uncle had taken his cycle and was nearing the gate. But suddenly, he stopped and asked me "Would you like to take the garlands home?" 

I immediately smiled and said, "Sure sir. If you give, I shall take them. Have I ever asked you for the garlands? Whenever you give them to me, I take it that Swami is giving and gladly take them home."

He said, "U surely deserve to take them home ma. Pls wait." Saying so, he rushed in and got me 4 garlands and gave saying "We used them this morning for Swami." What a finale to a beautiful Krishna Jayanthi! Swami keeps showing me every day that He is with me every second and knows every lil fleeting thought I have. :)

And it did not end there. When I went to Sai Nivas yesterday in the evening, he again gave me 2 garlands . :)

Another thing. There were some old Sanathana Sarathi books which I spotted in Sai Nivas. I usually look thro them 'coz some of the photos on the 1st page inside the cover are simply too good. I liked one photo and I brought that book home. 

Just around 11 pm, I said "Swami, I am feeling sleepy but want to look thro this and see what is ur mesg for me." I just opened the cover. On the left-hand top corner of the inside of the cover, I saw this -- "Your discrimination is like a signal. Never ignore this signal. When your inner self tells you that something is right, you should follow it scrupulously, irrespective of what others say. Let people talk whatever they want, but we should remain steady in our mind."

I was simply stunned on reading these words. Just last evening, I had been chatting with a friend about 'signals' from Swami (or rather I perceived them as His responses to my prayers) and whether I was reading the signals correctly. And see the mesg He gives me!! Whoa!! 

This msg further strengthened my resolve about something which has become like a raging fire within me. I pray to Bhagawan that He fulfills my only desire soon. I also pray to Him for firm faith, patience, persistence and strength to hold on until whatever I have resolved upon fructifies.

But I'm sure my Krishna will never let me down. :) He's very mischievous and keeps playing with me and makes me cry a lot but in the end, He will only pull me closer and closer to Him. Of that, I am sure!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

My devotee alone has the final say

Stumbled upon this quote from Swami's discourse today. Felt quite encouraged on reading it.

God says, “I will gladly accept defeat but never let a devotee down. 
I am a servant of My devotees. 
I wait day and night as a watchman in the prayer room of My devotee! 
Do you know why? 

My devotee could express any desire at any time. 
I want to be present to fulfill his slightest wish.
I am the final authority everywhere—except with my devotee. 
My devotee alone has the final say.”

Beautiful quote! So reassuring!

Monday, 6 August 2012

God speaks to me every day

It is simply amazing how Swami makes His presence felt through myriad ways. Today's message from my Neale Donald Walsch subscription was quite profound and it made a lot of sense to me, 'coz it resonated with a particular thought in my mind. Here is that mesg.
On this day of your life, Aarthi, I believe God wants you to know...
...that you have only just begun to discover your magnificence.

This period of your life marks a New Beginning. 
You can feel it. 
And you have only just begun to know
 the treasure and the glory of You. 

And you have only just begun to make your Real and Lasting Contribution.

It was the last line that was really the icing on the cake and that really made my day. Yes, I have begun to realize my inner true potential and I am beginning to understand where I can really contribute and how lasting that can be. :)

Thank you Swami for this very touching mesg for me today.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Today's disappointment could be tomorrow's springboard

Got this beautiful message today in my mail -- resonates with my thought. :)

I believe God wants you to know... 
that disappointment is your thought 
that God doesn't know what God is doing.

That, of course, is impossible. So try to not be disappointed in anything. 
Know that life is showing up perfectly in every moment.

Today's disappointment could be tomorrow's springboard to all that you've ever wanted. In fact, it probably is.

You will not have to think very hard to know exactly why you received this message today...

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A beautiful prayer

I remember reading this somewhere in the Sathya Sai General Hospital in mid-March 2011, when I was there for my Prasanthi seva. A beautiful one that struck an immediate chord with me! I noted it and kept. I happened to come across it today and so, decided to post it here.

When you take me on your wings into the skies of your glory,

Give me the humility to bow to you in all men.

When you trample me under your feet, to shake off all my unlikeness to you,

Grant me the resolve to cling to your feet with love.

When you take up the sword to strip me off all selfhood,

Give me the strength to surrender to your wrath.

When you lift me up into the heavens of your bosom,

Grant me the courage to sever the bonds of earth.

Revisiting my Parthi trip of Jan 2009

I happened to check my 'Sent mails' folder today and discovered a mail I'd sent on Jan 11th, 2009 to a friend in my Sai circle. As I read through this mail today and looked back, I could easily see how Swami has planned everything for me down to the last detail and how He has pulled me so close to Him in recent years.

Pls find below a slightly edited version of my experiences in Parthi during end of Dec 2008 and beginning of January 2009. My parents and I were there for nearly a week starting from end of Dec 2008.

I am really grateful to Swami for everything in my life. I am absolutely convinced that every good thought we have comes from Him only. The fact that I was moved on seeing mothers with handicapped kids or the way I resolved to use my youth properly or the way I decided to try and follow 'Help Ever, Hurt Never' or my thought about not complaining and accepting everything as His prasad -- all these I cannot claim as my own but I can only dedicate them to Swami. In hindsight, I am now realizing that He is the source of all good thoughts, words and deeds. Thank you Swami for this lovely realization you've blessed me with! Help me always remember this so that my ego never surfaces.

The thoughts might be a bit random but the below write-up reveals exactly how I felt on my return to Chennai after that trip to Prasanthi Nilayam.

It was a lovely experience in Parthi, a good break for me and my parents. Amma did not come much into the Kulwant hall but I went and sat for almost every session. I was very touched to see so many people yearning for Swami and coming and waiting so many hours, especially mothers with young kids, some of whom were handicapped. I could also see many young kids who were just in 10th or 11th classes.

One day, we were in the token lines early and people who came late got a token number much ahead of us. When I started muttering about this along with a few others next to me, one girl beside me (I learnt later that she was from a group that had come from Sivakasi and that she was in 10th class) told me that we should be happy that Swami gave us at least the chance to be seated inside Kulwant Hall, no matter what number token we got. That was a very valuable lesson I learnt! That girl, so many years younger to me, had such maturity. I felt ashamed of myself. What is the use of knowing Swami so many years if we can't follow such simple things?

When I saw old ladies and mothers with handicapped children, I felt very moved. Swami has given us healthy bodies. People are so devoted to Swami and have so much faith in Him, even if he has not solved their problems for many years. On seeing such people, I resolved that I should not waste my youth and should do something of use. I decided I will render whatever service is possible. I know that bhajan is also a service, but if I can do something else too, I will have some satisfaction and that is a sure way to earn Swami's grace.

New Year Day, January 1, 2009 was a lovely start for me. All through my stay in Parthi, I kept praying to Swami to be with me and guide and guard me throughout my life. I told Him I was confused and helpless and didn't know what direction to take, with regard to many aspects in my life. But I was very happy when I got a 2009 calendar on New Year Day with Swami's photo and the mesg “I am with you – to guide and guard.” I really felt Swami was speaking to me directly. What more could I ask for? Why should I fear or worry when He has promised to be with me? That was a great experience. I could really feel Swami's presence.

When I heard all the old songs like ‘Humko tumse pyar kitna’ and ‘Tu pyar ka sagar hai’, tears just kept flowing from my eyes. I was able to sing along for most of the songs, since I was very familiar with them. I felt Swami had chosen those songs for me, so that I could also join in. :)

The 1st samithi I attended was VP Colony samithi in Ayanavaram, North Chennai. I started going to this samithi from 8th std and played harmonium for the bhajan sessions. That time, I was not too involved in anything else. I attended the samithi only because I was interested in playing harmonium and in music.

Of course, I have been praying to Swami since my young age. Swami has written 'Aum' for me and given, which is such a great blessing — it is so rare nowadays to get it. I always used to pray before Swami's photo and touch the 'Aum' slate and pray.

I attended bhajan, nagarsankeerthan, devotional songs program, etc. in the VP Colony samithi so many times, without realizing much what a golden opportunity I was being given. Only now, I realize what a chance Swami gave me and how He has moulded me, my harmonium playing and my understanding of Him through these years. Really, I feel that whatever bhajans and other music-related activities I took part in all those years have borne fruit now and have made me visit Prasanthi Nilayam many times in the recent years for Swami's darshan.

Coming to Sai Nivas has changed my life in many ways. I have been learning Vedas and have got the chance to play harmonium in the bhajan group. My playing has improved a lot. Also, I am learning Vedas. I had never imagined I could chant Vedas and I sincerely thank Swami for giving me a wonderful teacher and for blessing me with the ability to grasp well and chant the various Vedic hymns.

In Kulwant Hall, when I saw Swami this time, I kept thinking that I have done some punyam in my previous birth to get the gift of playing the harmonium from Him — it is indeed a very very rare blessing. I also kept thanking Him for making me play for two programs at Sai Nivas during His 83rd bday celebrations.

It was a great learning experience for me. I learnt many ragas that I was not too familiar with earlier and in many languages, especially during our mahila youth program. Swami has been with me throughout and guided me during these programs. Without Him, I could not have done anything. If the programs became successful, it is only because of His grace. All praise and glory to Him alone I am just an instrument in His hands.

I also realized that there is no point in complaining about anything — be it at the Sai center or the people around us at work, etc. Swami wants us to be the best and set an example and to accept everything He gives. That is my New Year resolution and I hope Swami helps me to live like that always. I just prayed to Swami that I should do good things to earn His grace and make myself worthy of His grace.

We were in Parthi for almost a week and that week was super. How time flew, we didn't know. It was heaven. We didn't feel like returning at all.

I heard that Swami recently told His students that He's depending on them to create a better world. What a profound thought that is! We have been chosen by Swami to be in His mission. Everything is His sankalpa. There are so many people who don't know Him.We should feel grateful we know Him.

There's a line in a devotional song ‘Dhanyawad’ by the Sai students that goes like this “Aap ki pehchaan hum ko aap ki kripaa se hai”, which means that we can get to know Him only if His grace is there. We can do nothing on our own — it is He who is making us work every day. That song is my favorite nowadays. Lovely lyrics! I kept singing that many times in Parthi, thanking Swami for everything He has given me. “Sukh aur dukh, aashaa niraashaa, aap ki kripaa se hai” is a lovely line, which means that happiness or sadness, desires or aversions, everything is His grace.

I resolved to keep doing good and helping others in whatever way I can. It's enough if we follow Swami's teachings ‘Help ever, hurt never’ and ‘Be good, do good’. If we keep thinking of Swami all the time, it's very easy to remain peaceful and no bad thoughts will cross our mind and the easiest way to do this is namasankeertana. I keep singing some bhajan or other all the time, some devotional songs too — that really helps. We must be thankful to Swami for giving us this wonderful gift of music and we must use it properly. I can go on writing but I think I will stop at this.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Surround yourself by persons devoted to the higher life

Beautiful mesg from the Lord, which is in sync with what I was thinking this morning!

Force your mind to breathe the grander atmosphere of the Eternal. Do this by reminding it of God and His Glory every second, with every breath, by repeating any of His Names. 

Or engage in some work, which will take you out of your narrow self into His vast magnificence; some task where you dedicate the fruit to God, or where you devote your time and energy to share your skill, joy or knowledge with your fellow beings. 

Or keep yourself surrounded always by persons devoted to the higher life; persons who will encourage you to move forward along the road towards the goal. Through these means, you can achieve Chittha Shuddhi (cleansing of your mind).

-- Sathya Sai Baba in a divine discourse on Mar 27, 1966.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Sai - The Mother of Mothers - A few recent experiences I had

Just to share a few thoughts about my recent wonderful trip to Prasanthi Nilayam. Right from the time mom and I stepped out from our house in Chennai, we felt Swami's hand guiding and protecting us. Truly, Swami is the mother of mothers, watching over us all the time. We have to just keep holding on to His hand all the time. Then, He does take over and plan things for us.

Here are 3 striking incidents which really touched me and showed that Swami is the mother of mothers and really made me feel His love for me. It was as if He was saying "I know you have come to Prasanthi Nilayam. I also want you to know that I am with you all the time and am aware of every lil wish of yours, even if it is a fleeting one."

1. On July 20th in the afternoon, I was just telling amma that we should remember to ask for Vibhuti prasad in the small room near the South Indian ladies canteen in the ashram. That afternoon, one Sai brother had come to meet us. He spent some time with us sharing about Swami.

I dunno what prompted him but just before he left,  he showed us a picture of him with Swami which he has in his wallet & gave us a lil Vibhuti which Swami had given with His own hands when He blessed him for his wedding. WOW!!

I was simply amazed at this beautiful blessing from Swami. I felt Swami saying, "Aarthi, you asked for Vibhuti. Here it is, directly from Me!"

2. On July 20th evening, as I was seated in Kulwant Hall, I could see Swami's students lining up basins full of sweets in the area outside the mandir, which I could see from where I was seated. I was wondering what the special occasion was. Towards the end of the bhajan session, the sevadals came and distributed the sweets to us. As I was wondering which direction I should put out my hand to, I felt a laddoo land on my lap. :) 

I smiled and thanked Swami. I felt Him saying, "You said you've come to your mother's house, right? Will a mother ever allow her child to return without a sweet or two? Here is a sweet for you. And you dun even have to put out ur hand for it."

True. I had told a few friends that I was going to my mother's house, referring to Prasanthi Nilayam.  And Swami had in His own way reiterated that for me. :)

3. On July 21st morning, we had set the alarm for 4 am. Somehow, during the previous night, we could not fall asleep easily, even tho we slept only by 12. I told Swami, "You better wake me up at 4 am. We have to get ready early 'coz we need to start at least by 6.30 am from our room to hand over the room key in the accommodation office and then go to the bus depot. Only if we wake up by 4 am, we can do things in a relaxed manner."

Sometime in the morning, I heard my mother's voice call out 'Aarthi!!' and I woke up with a jolt but noticed amma sleeping. I woke her up and asked if she had called me. She said no. When I saw my mobile, it was 5 mins to 4 am and the alarm hadn't even gone off. I immediately realized it was Swami who had woken me up as I had asked Him to, that too much before the alarm. :) 

I thanked Him profusely. Truly, when we tell Him that He needs to take care of us, He does to the very last detail.

These are just 3 incidents but overall, our recent trip to Prasanthi Nilayam was most fulfilling. Right from the lovely room to the food to the weather to the few people we met and spoke to, everything was so memorable. Everything was so convenient and comfortable for us. All His grace. That's all.

Thank you Swami! What else can I say? You gave me a recent disappointment but I thank you for that also, because only 'coz of that, I felt prompted to come to Prasanthi Nilayam to run into your arms. And boy! What a welcome you gave me! And what a send-off!!

I can only shed silent tears of gratitude! Thank you once again Swami for this lovely blessing!