Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Memorial Service for Departed Souls




 A memorial service was held at our Centre for departed family members and friends on Sunday, 23rd August, 2015, in conjunction with the annual Hungry Ghost Festival. Lotus candles with the names of departed loved ones were lighted and offered at Swami's altar by each family.  Bhajans and prayers began at 7.00 p.m.  The evening ended with an extract from Swami's Discourse.





Friday, August 7, 2015

Kuan Yin's Day of Enlightenment



The Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin's second birthday of this year fell on Monday, 3rd August. Known as the Day of Enlightenment, it corresponds to the 19th day of the 6th lunar month of the Chinese calendar.  We conducted a bhajan at the Centre followed by the recitation of Tibetan mantras and Om Mani Padme Hum.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Guru Poornima 2015



We celebrated the holy festival of Guru Poornima in the early morning of Friday, 31st July 2015 with Omkar, Suprabhatam and Namavalli  at 5.30 a.m.  A short bhajan followed after the prayers.

In the evening, we held a bhajan at 8.00 p.m. which was preceded by the chanting of the Sri Rudram.  Bro. Y.K. Lee, Chairman, read Swami's message on the significance of Guru Poornima.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

State Sadhana Camp





The State Sadhana Camp was held on Saturday, 11th July 2015 at the SSBC of Gelugor.  The theme was "Transforming Self, Family, Society and Nation Through Love and Service".  The programme began at 9.00 a.m. with an inspiring talk by the President of the Sathya Sai Baba Central Council of Malaysia, Prof. Dr. Suresh Govind.  This was followed by a workshop on Love and Service, a Youth presentation, a Leadership Workshop and a presentation by Wing VP's on their Aspirations.  

A total of 31 members from NED attended.  The camp ended at around 6.30 p.m.  Refreshments, lunch and dinner were served during the camp.

Friday, June 26, 2015

NED's 31st A.G.M.






The 31st Annual General Meeting of NED Centre was held on Sunday, 21st June 2015 at 8.15 p.m. immediately after arathi.  Penang State Co-ordinator, Bro. Mathavan was present to witness the proceedings.

The meeting commenced with the Chairman, Bro. Lee Yew Khun making his welcome address.  This was followed by the Confirmation of Minutes of the last AGM.  The Annual Report and Financial Report 2014/2015 were duly approved and adopted. The existing Hon.Internal Auditors, Bro. Gan Boon Teong and Bro. Alan Chew confirmed their willingness to remain in office for another term.

Bro.Mathavan gave a short address before the meeting concluded.  A total of 28 members attended the meeting.

Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Transformation



"If you wish to lead a sacred life and have sacred experiences, you must engage yourself in sacred actions.  The good and evil in the world can be changed only by the change in men's actions.  Transformation of society must start with transformation of individuals."

~ Baba ~

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sai Geeta - A Devotee Par Excellence

Bhagavan's beloved elephant, Sai Geeta which served Him for over half a century and was part of all celebrations at Prasanthi Nilayam for decades breathed its last on 22nd May 2007.  It was a painless and peaceful end of a life dedicated totally to Bhagavan whose motherly love and divine grace it received in abundance all through its life.  With its death, a sage of unmatched, unique and sublime love between Bhagavan and Sai Geeta came to an end, filling the hearts of thousands of devotees with a sense of irreparable loss.

Bhagavan came to its shed at 7.30 a.m. on 23rd May 2007, materialised Vibhuti and sprinkled it on its body.   Later, Bhagavan came again at 10.30 a.m. when a crane was requisitioned to put its body in a specially made pit.  The body was lowered into the pit amidst Veda chanting and Bhajan singing by the students of Sri Sathya Sai University while Bhagavan stayed there for nearly two hours, supervising the arrangements of its burial with full honours.

Sai Geeta was a small calf when it was brought to Prasanthi Nilayam.  Though it had lost its mother just after its birth, what it received from Mother Sai was the love of a thousand mothers.  In the beginning, it was housed in a specially constructed shed attached to the Prashanthi Mandir on the western side of the wall from wherBhagavan could see it any time from His bedroom.  But as the number of devotees increased, another shed was made for it on the northern side of the Prasanthi Mandir where the idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman are now installed.  However, its residence was shifted again on the north-western corner of the Mandir and later to Sri Sathya Sai Gokulam.

As the number of cows increased in Gokulum and the need was felt to provide it more space and better attention, a spacious high-rise shed was specially constructed in front of the Senior Boys Hostel to accommodate it.  It was shifted to its present location in November 2006 when Sri Sathya Sai Indoor Stadium was constructed.

Though it was sent to a forest for nearly three months, it never mixed with other elephants.  On its return to Prasanthi Nilayam, some experts predicted that it could give birth to a calf.  But nothing of this sort happened.  It, as Bhagavan said, was a perfect celibate.

Though born as an animal, it had no animal instincts and its entire focus throughout its stay at Prasanthi Nilayam for more than 50 years was Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.  It led its life as though it lived only for Bhagavan and dedicated its life to Him with one-pointed devotion, an example worth emulating by all human beings.

Sai Geeta was, no doubt, a devotee par excellence who reached the pinnacle of devotion, surrender and self-sacrifice in spite of its birth as an animal.

(From Sanathana Sarathi - June 2007)

Ringing of God's Name



"Many years ago, Swami wrote to me in a letter: "Sit in silence until God's name rings in your ears."  At that time, I thought if I just sat quietly as long as possible, I would hear Swami's name or the Om.  Now I understand that silence is God's abode, His name is His Presence and the ringing is His boundless love."

~ Diana Baskin ~
(Sanathana Sarathi - July 2001)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Namasmaran




Namasmaran means remembering or chanting God’s name repeatedly. It is one of the spiritual practices enjoined on an aspirant endeavouring to reach God. The importance Swami attaches to it is illustrated by an incident.

A devotee asked, “Swami, we often hear about total surrender (saranagathi). How is one to accomplish it?” Swami answered softly, “Bangaru, saranagathi is beyond you; why do you bother about it? Resort to namasmaran, God Himself will be at your beck and call.”

Swami once explained the special significance of namasmaran. “It is the most sublime of all the spiritual practices, it consists of japam (chanting of God’s name repeatedly), it is the most infallible penance (thapas). Kuchela could attain Lord Sri Krishna’s grace only through namasmaran. When you do namasmaran, intone the name with fervour, deep devotion and love. It bestows on you immense benefit.

In this Kali Yuga, namasmaran is enough to earn salvation and release from the otherwise unbroken cycle of birth and death. Namasmaran is the one and only divine medicine capable of curing you of lack of mental equanimity, avarice and other ills which torment you. It gives you abiding peace and contentment.

The name you choose can be any one of the thousands of names of God. Or, it can be any one of the names now in common use in any religion, country or region of the world, or in any section of devotees. Select any name and devote at least five minutes everyday for namasmaran; make it a part of your daily routine. It will give you immense benefit.”

Here is one illustration. Moorthy, Sri Kasturi’s son, was doing research in Geology. In that connection he had to tour forest areas in Assam. On one occasion when he was alone, a wild bear noticed him and began closing in on him. Moorthy fled for his life but the animal continued to chase him.

As he ran over some rocks in his desperate flight to safety, he tripped and fell down but continued to cry loudly, “Baba, Baba!” Within moments, a motor truck appeared there from nowhere and Moorthy found safety by getting into it.

After a few months, he happened to be in Prasanthi Nilayam. Swami told him, “I received your phone call and despatched a truck. Did it reach you in time?”


From the book “Tapovanam” by J.V.Sastry