Issue 203 - November 15, 2020
Master the Mind
Mind is the cause of bondage and liberation, and if one can master this mind, one can become not just a mastermind but the master Himself, says Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai. In this series of talks, ‘Master the Mind’, primarily given to the Ashram residents of Sathya Sai Grama, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai guides us step by step, to take up a 30 day sadhana to understand, analyse, master and finally merge the mind into the divine self.
Athi Rudra Maha Yagna
We invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva as we embark on a discovery to revive the spiritual heritage within each one of us. Whilst on the quest for spirituality, the hallowed time of the year is here, the Athi Rudra Maha Yagna, to be conducted in the Divine presence of our dear Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli.

Eko hi rudro na dvitīyāya tasthur - The Vedas declare that there is only Rudra and none other. Rudra is the popular form of Lord Shiva. He is the supreme Lord and is the creator, protector and destroyer of the world. Sri Rudram is a hymn dedicated to Lord Shiva and is the essential and central part of the Athi Rudra Maha Yagna. Ruk means sorrow or misery and the one who destroys misery is called Rudra.

Sri Rudram is a part and the heart of Krishna Yajur Veda. It comprises Namakam and Chamakam, both with eleven anuvakas (chapters in the Veda). Namakam is derived from the Sanskrit word namaha which means ‘I bow to’. Namakam includes praising the Lord, seeking forgiveness and invoking His mercy and grace. Chamakam is derived from the words Cha and me which literally mean ‘and to me be given. On chanting the Chamakam, one seeks from the Lord, material as well as spiritual benefits to lead a fulfilled life.

Follow us here to hear more about the rituals, procedure, significance, hidden secrets and surprises of partaking in the yagna and more in the next few days. Meanwhile, we have 5 days to declutter our minds and hearts to create space for the plentiful gifts coming our way, by propitiating the Lord of the universe.

Mark your calendars from 13 November 2020 to 23 November 2020 to virtually participate in Athi Rudra Maha Yagna as well as the 95th birthday celebrations of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Inspirational Note...
In 2017 a Satsang held in the divine presence at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a devotee asked how to stay focused during service and other spiritual activities.
Here is what Swami said:
Practice, practice, practice! When you were born, you could not walk; you would fall every now and then. You had to hold someone’s hand and walk. Eventually, when you could start walking on your own, you were very careful to ensure that you did not fall. After some years of walking continuously, you did not even mind if a cow, buffalo or vehicle was in the path, you could go your way and walk without falling. It comes with practice.
If you continuously practise doing good things, avoiding wrong company, keeping good company and offering everything to God, the practice will make you perfect enough so that you will not fall later.
Instead, what do you do? You practice for two days, do not practice for four days and forget what you had practiced. It does not work like that. You eat and sleep every day. You do not say, “I have eaten the past two days, so why should I eat for the next days?” You will skip all the good things, thinking you have done it already and say, “Why should I do it again?” It should be treated like food; it should be daily and done regularly.
Service Updates
Spiritual and Service Activities in Croatia
At Swami's future Croatian Ashram, Krnjak, young people are initiating various spiritual activities. For the past two years, they have chanted Ekadashini Rudram and 1,008 Gayatri Mantras twice a month.

In the “House of Unity”, where various miracles and the manifestation of Swami’s vibhuti in paintings and statues of deities take place, creative workshops on human values through art and mindfulness have begun.  
Seva in Greece November 2020
  • Each day of the week, a different member of the group distributes 5 - 10 boxes of these delicacies to a different institution, according to a schedule.
  • Inspired by this idea, one volunteer is picking up more than 100 sandwiches and other remaining bakery items every Friday night and delivering them the next morning
  • The Greek devotees have also provided an institution with pizzas, milk, breakfast and other food items for more than 50 families with poor children.
  • 40 masks have been donated to the institution of orphans.
  • 500 bottles of antiseptic gel have been donated to the schools of one municipality in the South of Athens.
Seva in Kazakhstan
October 2020
Every month the youth in Kazakhstan are engaged in assisting single parent families, primarily single mothers and widowed mothers who are raising many children. Basic necessities such as food and hygiene products are distributed.

Another month has passed and volunteers finally met the supported families. It was an emotional meeting full of love and joy. The volunteers were particularly pleased with the children who seemed to have grown up both physically and spiritually. They ran to meet the volunteers with open arms and filled everyone with love and inspiration. They shared about their studies which is online.
Helping Beings In Need
Selfless Seva Trust Of Istanbul
  • 800 meals in Sisli Region
  • 256 meals in Pendik Region
  • 800 meals in Ömerli Region
  • 168 meals in Uskumruköy Region
  • The youth have also continued with the Narayana Seva individually as per Swami’s dictum, ‘Let no one go to sleep hungry’. 
  • 1,686 meals delivered individually.
  • The house-rent of two homes, and the utility fees such as electricity and water of 10 homes were paid.
Gift of Grace for Selfless Service
Towards the end of last year, I came to know about the traditional Buddhist meditation called 'Vipassana'. I had the good fortune to experience a 'mild' version of this in a meditation centre in Sri Lanka, and I loved the wisdom and the light which comes with silence and stillness by simply observing one's breath and one's mind.
One day, around Christmas, when we were distributing food in the port of Piraeus, I met a poor man who seemed very desperate, as he could not communicate with his family in Romania. I also noticed that he was quite underdressed for the cold winter of Athens and that he only had very few belongings which he kept in a trolley, next to the corner where he used to sleep.
Seva Gives Positivity
Zhanar Mukashanova

Our Seva activities have transformed all of us. Each one of us observes positive changes in our group. We have become more compassionate, caring and selfless. Moreover, we feel unity amongst us and the families whom we support. Helping them fills us with positive energy and happiness.
As a month passes, the other volunteers and I feel a call in the heart that the time for Seva has come. With joy and love we go for a meeting. Every meeting with supported families is unique.
I personally feel that Seva helps me to be closer to God and to let go of the materialistic world. It helps to purify my mind and heart.