Issue 229 - May 16, 2021
Editor's Note
Sairam dear brothers and sisters,

Keeping a check on our ego is paramount while we continue to engage in the various seva activities. Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai often reminds us that an ego that arises out of the feeling of having done something good to someone else is extremely difficult to get rid of, for it sticks to our mind forever. For eg., we sometimes feel elated and happy that a particular activity went off well, and tend to gloat about it to others. Sometimes this is even called satvik ego, where we ‘want to be known as good’. But alas, this is also ego. Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai says, “Once it comes, it sticks to you and it doesn’t go easily. Therefore, for such a person, even an act of service which is supposed to be liberating becomes a cause of bondage.”

Thus, the soot of ego must be cleaned; feelings and thoughts of ‘I did it’ or ‘It was my idea’ or ‘No one can do this seva activity better than me’ or ‘I am so loving and kind while serving’ etc., must be completely annihilated. Any seva activity must make us more humble and sincere.

Bhuvana Santhanam
ātmano mokshārtam
(Emancipation of one’s self)
Excerpt From Divine Discourse
What is the basic quality of a devotee?

How do I be happy in this world which is by design something that does not give us permanent happiness? You worship Me; that is the only way you can be happy in an otherwise by design unhappy world. Those who love of because they want only love of God and nothing else. They are ultimately the happiest. The purest happiness is when you desire nothing. Just a simple pure-hearted feeling to love God and be loved by God, that is all that the devotee desires, that devotee becomes the highest of the devotees. Truly I love such devotees who have no desires for they know ‘Whatever I need, before asking, God will fulfil it.
anoraniyan mahatomahiyan - You are the biggest of the big and the smallest of the small. When it comes to humility, you should be the smallest of the small; when it comes to your truth, you are the biggest, you are the greatest of the great. That is the feeling with which one should live when they live with God, that is the understanding with which one should live. Contented with what we have. And ever willing to follow God. Total dependence on God is true surrender. In nine things you are surrendered and one thing you are not surrendered, it means you are not surrendered. It negates everything that you do. Depending on God totally without any conditions is surrender. You have a fat bank account; that is surrender? You have plenty of friends and relations; that is surrender? Have all these things as a backup plan, safety nets and then come and say, “Swami, I am surrendered to you.” That is not surrender.
Surrender is the epitome of all devotion, all spirituality. If surrender is not there at the end of it, all your spiritual activities are mere activities, they are show. Nothing more than that to Me. The one who is completely surrendered, lives in that faith, that confidence of surrender that God knows, God is and He will take care of everything, I don’t have to depend on all this flimsy support systems like money, friends, network, name, position, power. I don’t need any of these things. Such a person alone is a true devotee. Whichever path you are in, surrender is a common basic quality of a devotee. Only if you have that kind of a surrender, that fearless surrender, that is when you know that your devotion is ripening. Otherwise, it is still raw, still shaky. This we must learn. The one who learns this will truly understand the truth. The one who knows the truth alone can be in bliss. ‘Even if everything disappears from around me, I am still at peace because I know whatever is, God is with me all the time.’ That faith, that fearlessness is a prerequisite for any spiritual sadhāna.
An excerpt from the Divine discourse delivered by Sri Sathya Sai Baba on October 27, 2019
My Story
Living Outside My Mind
By Dr Victory Craxi
Looking into the past and evaluating my state of mind today, I have noticed a marked difference which is something that I’d like to share. For my whole life everything I did was dictated by my love for Swami but it was accompanied by a chatter, a mental chatter, always dictating to me what to do and how to go about doing it. This chatter would last quite a while during which I would be paralyzed, and would not able to go ahead with whatever action had to be carried out. This would drain me of all my energy and many times I would end up dejected and feeling not up to the task. All that would happen would be me listening to this chatter and getting lost in it for hours, if not for days on end. Then came along yet another great blessing in the form of ‘Master the Mind’ series. After having followed each discourse diligently and in depth, I started attempting at putting Swami’s teachings into practice.

Out of habit, my mind started again with its usual chatter but this time I was able to observe it carrying out all its antics. One of the first things the mind did was to judge and be critical about my inner practice that Swami had suggested we do. I held on strong to remaining the observer and every time I did this, many times but not always, I found myself running after the mind or being carried away by it. Not because I wanted to, but simply because it was a habit.
Rereading and contemplating on Swami’s words I realised that expecting the mind to stop was absurd, but at least I could avoid over-feeding it. I then started noticing how many activities in my daily life were being carried out of habit and how they were over-feeding the mind through unnecessary sensorial inputs. I began observing this as well and when I noticed that I was having difficulty in curtailing or decreasing these habits (like wasting time browsing the internet for example) I prayed to Swami for help. I then kept at it, I would, on a daily basis, be vigil to the mind and all its noise.

Slowly in time something dawned on me. If I was able to observe the mind from the outside it meant that I wasn’t it. I was the observer and the mind, the observed. This took off a huge weight off my shoulders and gave me a total new vision towards life. I began enjoying this separation from myself and the mind. I think I’m far from being able to quieten the mind, but I have noticed that at least I don’t identify with it as before. It is I who choose whether to listen to what it says or not. In this sense, a friendly relationship has been born where I now dictate things in a kind manner and the mind, after having discovered through experience, that listening rather than going by habit or inertia on its own is the easier path. I am still accompanied by its chatter but I now have the power, at least to some extent, to decide what it thinks and that’s exactly but I ask of it. I used to suggest multiple times during the day that it do namasmarana that has now become such a welcome habit. One thorn was removed by another; useless thoughts by namasmarana.
Life is now so much easier and happier seen from a perspective that is outside of the mind and not per force and always through it. I will always be grateful that the Master of Masters Himself has come down to our level to teach us how to catch hold of the reins that drive our senses and set ourselves on the path towards ourselves.
All that I’ve shared with you definitely represents a work in progress, but atleast I have more space for silence and contemplation rather than pointless and useless activities related to the senses.
Self Development
To help reach Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s human values-based education to the world, and to resuscitate the humanness of humanity, the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence launched a unique, first-of-its-kind Institute of Human Values, to offer tailor-made courses totally free of any charges, curated by experts from around the world. The Vision of the Institute is to make better humans in their personal and professional spheres, by making them more sensitive towards society’s needs and exploring ways of their contribution to society in a meaningful and selfless manner, thereby creating a sense of global citizenship and responsibility.

The courses will help an individual balance the inside and outside, while progressively being a better human being, that will ultimately help him or her unravel the true meaning and purpose in life.

Learning from the heart is spiritual awakening, Baba would say. The Institute of Human Values is the first step to help lead the world into the beautiful awareness of its heart – a heart that operates from the universal human values of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema and Ahimsa.

Log on to today!
Every single word from the kaṭhopaniṣad can be considered as a mantra. A mantra has two aspects – sound and the meaning which should be understood correctly.

- mananāt trāyatē iti mantraḥ.

According to our scriptures, mantras are that, meditating upon which, one crosses over the cycle of births and deaths. Any word can be a mantra from kathopanishad and can be contemplated upon which will reveal many facets of the its meaning, depending upon the individual’s spiritual progress. For example, the word aśānta manas can be taken as a mantra. It can have multiple meaning but as per verse in kaṭhopaniṣad it means a mind not in peace and a mind which is impatient. It teaches the importance of patience in one’s life.

The spiritual aspirant can inculcate all the qualities and perform all the sādhana, but it is only in the hands of Brahman to reveal itself to the aspirant. If the aspirant is restless in mind and impatient then the truth won’t be revealed to such one.

 In the episode 23 featured this week, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai explains verse twenty three and twenty four from the second vallī (canto) of Chapter One of kaṭhopaniṣad. Many minor details are revealed by Sadguru which can help the aspirant to progress on the spiritual path of self-discovery.
The world is a drama staged in a dream.

– Guru Nanak

jagat hitāya
(Welfare of the World)
The Sai Youth from Croatia decided to once again start the seva activity - Hills of Love - which used to be conducted before the pandemic on a regular basis. The seva activity is a continuous process of collecting food and household necessities for the elderly and destitute in the Krnjak region.
The youth freshly cooked and packed the food which also consisted of grocery supplies to meet the needs of the family. 35 packages were delivered, and some so-called jumbo package where also provided to large families. Most of them are elderly, often sick and helpless, on the brink of poverty, and most often, neglected by their families or no longer with any of them.
Every Sunday morning around in Milan in Piazza Duca D’aosta (Central Station) bags containing fruit, sweets and snacks are lovingly served to the homeless. The reason for choosing a Sunday was many canteens which usually provide meals to the homeless, are closed.

It was noticed that homeless wait for the arrival of Sai Youth and silently queue up to receive the food bag.