"Mind is responsible for both our bondage and liberation which connects the body and Divinity. When the mind turns towards outside, it becomes filled with body consciousness and when turned towards Divinity within, it becomes full of Divine effulgence. Mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts which gives direction to your life. It is necessary we synthesise all our thoughts, words and deeds. Our journey is from our thoughts to our character. The kind of person you are and your character, depends on the kinds of thoughts you have. In order to develop Divine feelings, it is necessary we get into the company of the Divine. When your thoughts are Divine, naturally your words and actions will also become Divine."
With the Blessings of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, we are delighted to present our Sixty sixth issue of Ananda Vahini. The weekly newsletter includes interesting musings and short excerpts from the week's events.
In this issue, we bring you the first part of Bhagawan's visit along with the students of Centre of Human Excellence to Top Slip - Valparai and Ooty between March 3, 2017 and March 8, 2017.
In this week's INNER VIEW, Brother Madhusudan Naidu shares an interesting moment between the Lord and His students.
- Sathya Sai Grama Communications Team
- By Sri Madhusudan Naidu
As Swami walked in to His cottage at Ooty after the public Satsang, the most fortunate students of the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence, who accompanied Him on the 'Holydays' flanked the red carpet path. Swami was asking them whether they were comfortably accommodated in the cottage, when He noticed a youth from Singapore who was granted the special exception of travelling with Swami's students on this trip.
Swami asked him, "Is the accommodation here comfortable for you?"
"Yes Swami", he replied even though he had to stay in a dormitory, sleep on the floor and share the washrooms with 45 others!
Swami was pleased with his answer and said, "In Singapore, you have been through the one year mandatory army training, during which you had to live in difficult and harsh conditions adjusting with all others. So you are not finding it difficult here. Consider this also as an army training camp!"
All the students burst in to laughter when Swami suddenly became serious and said, "No I am not joking, it is indeed an army training camp here, for I am training these students rigorously to be not merely my soldiers, but my commanders. They are going to lead this mission of love and service. They are getting trained not to fight and divide, but to love and unite the entire mankind. They are under special training."
It was a proud moment for the students who had been getting so much attention and instructions from Swami at such a young age. In fact just a day before Sri B N Narasimha Murthy confessed during his talk to the students that if he had received such spiritual guidance at a young age like these boys, he would have definitely been a better person than what he is today.
Yes! Swami is training a very special set of students here to shoulder the responsibilities in the near future. And though they are less in age, they are 'old heads on young shoulders', who are ever ready to take Swami's mission forward!
DIVINE VISIT – TOP SLIP – VALPARAI
MARCH 03, 2017
The Third of March 2017 saw an excited lot of students from the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence along with a few teachers jump in to their buses, that were all set for a Divine holiday, rather Holydays with Swami in the Nilgiris. The buses began their journey from Muddenahalli to Top Slip in the Southern Western Ghat Region of Annaimalai Tiger Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary, which was to host Swami for two days. The devotees and Swami were received at Coimbatore International Airport by the devotees from Ooty and Coimbatore, and of course, Swami reached by the Aakasha Marga.
Swami and His entourage, which consisted of a handful of chosen devotees were driven up to the hills of Annaimalai Tiger Reserve, around ninety kilometres from the Coimbatore International Airport and they reached the forest rest house, which was to be the residence of the Lord, around half past noon. Swami was served His lunch in the specially done up room of the forest rest house by the students, who had traveled a little early to make the arrangements befitting His glory and presence. Mrs Rajasekhar, wife of the retired Chief Conservator of the Forest had prepared a variety of dishes to serve Her Lord with great love. The last time when Swami asked her if she had prepared the ghee too along with the other dishes, she answered in the negative. This time, she lovingly prepared the ghee all by herself to serve Swami, without forgetting. The love between Bhagawan and His devotees is always endearing! Mr Rajasekhar, who retired from the Forest Department Services two years ago, is now a full-time....
Evening Satsang at Forest Rest House, Southern Western Ghat Region of Annaimalai Tiger Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary, Top Slip, Valparai
Mr Rajasekhar, retired Chief Conservator of the Forest addressing the students and the entourage
Mr Ganesan, the Chief Conservator of the Forest addressing the gathering
DIVINE VISIT – TOP SLIP – VALPARAI
MARCH 04, 2017 (MORNING)
The second day at Top Slip began with an early morning walk in to the forest. It was a one-and-a-half-hour trek, and was the first activity of the day, when the students, staff and elders wore bright clothes, which would act as a camouflage in the dense forests, and thus would not attract unnecessary attention from the in-dwellers of the jungle, the animals! By 7 a.m. everyone was ready and assembled in front of the guest house, and walked through the forest guided by the Forest Guard, and accompanied by Mr Rajashekar. While spotting the Malabar Squirrel, a pug mark of the Leopard and a couple of wild monkeys were seen! In this deciduous forest, most of the trees had shed their leaves with the onset of summer. This also happens to be one of the worst years of drought in this side of the Forest Range, so most of the animals had migrated towards Kerala where there is a large dam as a part of the Tiger Reserve. This particular Forest Reserve shares its boundary with Kerala, and on the other side is the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, which has the Parambikulam Dam which still has plenty of water to look after the inmates of the jungle.
As everyone walked through the thick foliage of the forest, a variety of flora and fauna were spotted. The Forest Officer familiarised all with the many species of plants and variety of creepers, which were all around the jungle. A little rivulet which otherwise runs to its capacity, was dry because of the drought and summer. Forest fires were also....
Students, guests and the entourage pose for a picture during the trek
Morning Satsang after the trek in the Forest Rest House
DIVINE VISIT – TOP SLIP – VALPARAI
MARCH 04, 2017 (EVENING)
After the afternoon rest, everyone assembled back at the Forest Rest House which had turned in to the abode of the Divine. Perched on top of the highest point, it had a panoramic view of the forest. As everyone assembled in the portico, Swami emerged from His room a little past 5 p.m. and entered the Satsang hall, where Bhajans were in progress. Brother Madhusudan later revealed that Swami looked up at the sky which was beginning to get dark, and one could see the rain clouds gliding from all corners. It was a surprising sight, for the area was sweltering with the summer heat, and did not even have a drop of water. All of a sudden in the middle of the summer season, rain clouds in the sky were seen. The cool breeze carrying the fragrance of red soil wafted through the portico infusing everyone with fresh energy. It was obvious that something must have happened, as willed by Swami, who was very much moved by the forest fires and the inconveniences that the Forest Officers were facing to put out the fire and save the forest, as well as its inhabitants. And therefore, He had brought about this sudden change in the climate.
After a few Bhajans, Swami asked the students if anyone wanted to speak, and Rahul Rao from second year Under-graduation from the Centre for Human Excellence spoke about his experiences with Swami. Though Swami had commanded him to join the Centre for Human Excellence, he had other thoughts in his mind which led him to apply....
Brother Rahul Rao, a second year student from Centre for Human Excellence speaking about his experiences with Swami
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy speaking about the very first topic on the eight-fold path of Yoga – Yamah and the five components of Yamah to the gathering
DIVINE VISIT - TOP SLIP TO OOTY
MARCH 05, 2017 (MORNING)
The rain drenched terrain of Top Slip was covered with a thick blanket of mist, which greeted everyone in the morning. The place was abuzz with activity, as Bhagawan’s students and guests were getting ready to leave Top Slip for Ooty, soon after breakfast. The students left in buses to the Masani Amman Temple first, which was on the way to Ooty. Masani Amman, is a highly-revered shrine situated at Anaimalai, in Coimbatore District of Tamil Nadu. She is the presiding deity of the hills and worshipped by the people who live around the area. The deity is seen in a lying posture measuring 15 feet from head to foot, and is depicted with four hands; two placed on the ground and two raised above.
Swami compassionately agreed to visit the temple, and sanctify the premises with His divine presence. All the arrangements were made for the guests and students to enter the temple through a separate way, to avoid crowds and also get the opportunity to go closer to the shrine of the Mother Goddess. Amidst the chants of Vedic Hymns on Mother Goddess and the singing of Bhajans, Swami proceeded in to the temple and as a token of His love and benediction, offered silk sarees, flowers, bangles, turmeric, kumkum and other necessary items of worship, which are traditionally offered to the Mother. The priest performed a special Puja on behalf of all the students and staff, and thereafter Prasadam was distributed to everyone. Soon after, everyone proceeded from the temple and headed towards Ooty. Bypassing Coimbatore, and driving through Metupalayam, Bhagawan and His entourage reached Coonor, where lunch was organised.
The house where Bhagawan and His guests partook their lunch belonged to Brother Satish, a very active Sai...
Swami entering in to the temple with the tokens of His love to the Goddess of the temple
Goddess Masani Amman in lying posture measuring 15 feet from head to foot depicted with four hands; two placed on the ground and two raised above
DIVINE VISIT - OOTY - MARCH 05, 2017 (EVENING)
Ooty which never received rains for a long time and was parched, found fulfillment when it welcomed the Lord, and this brought delight to one and all. Truly, it wasn’t the rain, but the love of Swami that poured on the people and the place. The evening Satsang was held in a small hall in the Palace, which was converted in to a Bhajan mandir by the students. Amidst soulful Bhajans, Swami walked in to the hall where students, staff, and a handful of devotees had gathered to partake the nectar of His Divine presence. After a few Bhajans, Swami indicated Sri B N Narasimha Murthy to speak. He spoke about a trip with Swami way back in the eighties, when there were no security cars and no pilot jeep. It was just Swami in His car, and an army jeep with a Captain which led the matador van, in which around ten students along with Sri Narasimha Murthy travelled to Ooty. Due to some mechanical issue, the matador got delayed, so Swami waited for them at the Mudumalai Hill Top Forest Rest House for lunch. After everyone had reached, Swami personally served each of them several fills of Puliogare (tamarind rice) and curd rice like a mother.
Sri Narasimha Murthy also recollected that it was during that time, he translated Swami's discourse for the first time in to English. Swami mentioned that all the boys got excited seeing the deer and the elephant in the forest. "The students get to see deer in Brindavan, Sai Geetha in Puttaparthi every day, but do not get excited. It is natural because they have sighted these animals in their habitat, whereas in Brindavan or Prasanthi Nilayam, the same animals are kept in artificial environs. Same is the case with man", he said. It is natural for man to be with God and artificial for...
All the students were up and ready after breakfast, and assembled to travel along with Swami to the Pykara Dam where a boat ride was organised for Swami’s entourage. Pykara Dam is approximately twenty kilometres from Ooty town and is nestled in the lap of hills. The water is clean, pure and serene and the atmosphere is absolutely unpolluted! Swami’s car drove past Ooty and crossed the town, the meadows, the hills, and finally reached Pykara Dam. Swami got down to watch the students board the motor boats and then bid them an enjoyable ride. He then departed to look for a certain piece of land for the upcoming Ashram in Ooty. By lunch time, Swami as well as the students arrived at the Palace. After a sumptuous lunch, everyone retired for a brief rest.
In the evening, a Satsang was organised in a hall in Ooty town, where approximately three hundred devotees had gathered to bask in the love of Swami. Swami went to the hall a little past 5 p.m. and was greeted by the devotees in a traditional way, during which they offered the Poorna Kumbam and also washed the path on which Swami walked. As Swami glided into the wall, He blessed many devotees whom He knew from the past. He walked up to the dais amidst the Bhajans that were being sung by the students of the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence....
Bhagawan's residence at Ooty, The Suraj Guest House
Swami along with the entourage and students at Pykara
The beautiful view of the lake at Pykara
Devotees welcoming Bhagawan for the evening Satsang at YWCA, Aanandgiri, Ooty
Evening Satsang in progress
Master Kavish offering a welcome song welcoming the Lord
Dance recital by a girl student at the Divine Lotus Feet
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has been travelling all over the world in the Subtle to keep His promise of visiting the countries. Below is the link to the Google Drive library of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s divine visits overseas.
If you would like to subscribe to receive the new Booklets of Bhagawan’s overseas travels in 2016, as soon as they are available, kindly email email@example.com.
And as Swami continues travelling in 2016 and beyond, and new Booklets are created, they will be added to the Google Drive Library.
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