Issue One Hundred and Eighty Fifth - March 03, 2021
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Prayer is the strength of a devotee and weakness of God. God can withstand anything but not a devotee’s prayer which is made sincerely.
                                                             - Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai
With the Blessings of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, we are delighted to present our One Hundred and Eighty Fifth issue of Ananda Vahini. 

In this issue, we present the visit of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai to Mandya, Melkote and Mysore between February 18 to February 20, 2021.

We are immensely pleased to present a summary of the Upanayanam (sacred thread) ceremony which was held at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahlli on February 20 and February 21, 2021.

It is indeed a blessing to be listening to the divine voice of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, who lovingly explains the Kathopanishad to us. May all benefit from the teachings by our dear Sadguru and progress rapidly on the journey inwards to realise one's true self.

In this issue, we present Episode 13 of the 'Kathopanishad' video series.

- Sathya Sai Grama Communications Team.

FEBRUARY 18 AND 19, 2021


In November 2020, during the visit of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai to the Mandya campus, He had also visited the Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple in Melkote. There, He had blessed the priests and promised that He would offer a gold-plated Suryamandala for the Rathasaptami festival in February 2021. Therefore, on 18 February 2021, along with some guests, students and staff, He embarked on a two-day visit to Mandya, Melkote and Mysore.

On Thursday 18 February, Sadguru departed from Muddenahalli by helicopter and landed at the Sri Sathya Sai Sharadaniketanam, Mandya at 10:30 a.m. He was lovingly welcomed by the students and staff of the campus with a grand procession and guard of honour. Sadguru proceeded to the prayer hall, ‘Sai Hrudayam’, where after Bhajans, the music group offered a bouquet of songs. The welcome address was delivered by Sri Shashank Narayana, Warden of the Sri Sathya Sai Sathyaniketanam, Hassan campus. After an invocatory chant of the sannyāsa sūktam, four students expressed their gratitude to Sadguru and shared their learnings from the parāvidyā classes and expressed their readiness to serve in this noble mission of serving the needy. Sadguru answered a few questions asked by the students thereafter and also went on to explain the vision behind the introduction of the Gurukula system of education and the NIOS system.

Emphasising the importance of being in good company, Sadguru expanded on the examples of the Pandavas and Duryodhana. Commanding the students to develop good habits which would make their present and future life strong, positive and sublime, Sadguru concluded by saying that by becoming a good and selfless servant of society, anyone can become like Him.

In the evening, Satsang was held at the Dhyana Mantapam in the majestic Lord Shiva temple. After a few Bhajans, the Music Department of the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence presented devotional songs of various saints of Karnataka. Sadguru then spoke about the teachings of Adi Shankaracharya in the Viveka Chudamani and expanded on the importance of sense control. Narrating the examples of five animals who lose their lives due to lack of control of one sense, Sadguru cautioned that human beings must be very careful as they possess all five senses. He said that before doing anything, one must always ask whether the action will take one closer to God or away from God. Sadguru spoke further on the topics of viveka and vairāgya and thereafter received Mangala Arati before retiring for dinner.

The next morning on 19 February, the students and staff gathered for a special prayer session as they chanted Suprabhatam in front of Sadguru’s residence. He granted Darshan to all of them from the balcony and then descended down at 6 a.m. Speaking to the students, Sadguru guided them on choosing the right path saying that if one chooses the right path, one reaches the right destination. Sadguru spoke about the festival of ‘Rathasaptami’ and referring to the movements of the Sun, explained that jñāna mārga is like moving in a helicopter whereas, bhakti mārga and karma mārga are like moving in a car. Therefore, it is jñāna mārga that will take one to the final destination quickly. After interacting with the students, at 6:30 a.m Sadguru proceeded to Melkote by helicopter.

Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai arrives at Mandya
Sadguru being received in grandeur
Satsang at the Prayer Hall
Proceeding towards the Dhyana Mantapam
Evening Satsang at the Dhyana Mantapam
A musical offering by the Staff and Students

FEBRUARY 19, 2021


Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai arrived at the Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple at Melkote by 7 a.m on the auspicious day of Rathasaptami or Surya Jayanti.

Rathasaptami is an annual festival celebrating the change of seasons and arrival of spring. This marks the start of the harvesting season for farmers and the festival is observed with special prayers to Lord Surya, the Sun God. Also known as Surya Jayanti, the day Lord Surya was born to the great Sage Kashyapa and his wife Aditi, this day is celebrated with great pomp and celebration. This day is said to be when Surya deva actually begins the journey, turning his magnificent chariot yoked with seven white horses, in the Northward direction. 

At Melkote temple in Mandya district, on Rathasaptami, the presiding deity of the temple, Sri Cheluvanarayanaswamy is famously given place on a grand Swarnaprabha Vahanam or golden chariot and drawn in a ceremonial procession after numerous special pujas are performed. 

As the first rays of the morning sun touched the feet of the utsava murti (smaller idol of a deity carried during the chariot festival), special pūjā was performed to the Swarnaprabha Vahanam (Golden Chariot). Accompanied with diverse folk troupes from across the state of Karnataka, the Lord being seated majestically on the chariot was then gloriously led in a large procession before being brought back to the Sanctum Sanctorum. Sadguru then proceeded to the Sanctum Sanctorum for Darshan of the main sannidhi and then departed to Mysore.

In the evening at around 5:00 p.m, everyone gathered for a Satsang at the home of Professor J Shashidhara Prasad, former Vice-Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prashanti Nilayam. After a few Bhajans and songs by the music group, the grand-daughter of Professor Shashidhara Prasad offered a devotional song on Goddess Lakshmi at Sadguru’s feet. When Sadguru asked the little girl as to what she would ask for if the Goddess came to her home, she responded saying that she would not ask for anything. This made Sadguru very happy and He said that the dearest of devotees are those who ask for God only for God’s sake. He explained that just as democracy is for the people, by the people and of the people, in the same way, spirituality is for God, by God and of God. Sadguru then concluded the session and after interacting with a few devotees, retired for the evening.

Morning - Visit to Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple, Melkote

Bhagawan being welcomed by the Priests of the Temple

Swarnaprabha Vahanam (Golden Chariot)
The Utsava Murti of Lord Cheluvanarayana Perumal on the Chariot
At the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Temple
Evening - Satsang at the residence of Prof J Shashidhar Prasad
Divine Message


FEBRUARY 20, 2021

On the morning of 20 February, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai proceeded to the home of Brother Sai Manohar who is currently serving as a site engineer at the Sri Sathya Sai Vaniniketanam, Gadag campus. Sadguru spent precious moments with all the family members and after blessing them all profusely, He departed to Sri Sathya Sai Gokulam, a dairy products company founded by alumnus Sri H N Prashanth.

After a grand welcome by Sri Prashanth, and his family, Sadguru inaugurated the factory. Various homas had been underway since morning, and Sadguru participated in the pūrṇāhuti, before inaugurating the office space and spending precious moments with Sri Prashanth and family. Sadguru then blessed all the workers and staff of the factory and all the devotees who had gathered. Speaking to all the devotees, Sadguru emphasised the importance of working for dharma and not for money or fame. He said that if one works for dharma, all else automatically follows. Sadguru also guided on a collaboration of Sri Sathya Sai Gokulam with the SaiSure initiative. After speaking to the family and guiding them on how to proceed further, Sadguru partook lunch and then departed back to the Mandya campus, reaching around noon.

After a brief rest at the campus, Sadguru spent a few moments with the staff and students, before departing by helicopter at 4 :00 p.m and returned to Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli at 4:45 p.m.

Morning - At the residence of Brother Sai Manohar

Arrival at Sri Sathya Sai Gokulam Dairy Products, Naviluru



The auspicious Upanayanam ceremony is a ritual by which a young boy or vatu is invested with the ‘sacred thread’ and initiated into the celebrated gāyatrī mantra, the holiest of all mantras and a priceless legacy passed down from the ancient sages. After the Upanayanam ceremony is performed, the boy becomes eligible to study the vedas and thus, the ritual signifies a spiritual rebirth for the young vatu.

On 20 and 21 February, 2021, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai undertook the performance of the sacred Upanayanam ceremony for 84 young vatus. The proceedings began on the evening of Saturday 20 February, as all the vatus, their parents and families gathered for the performance of guru prārthanā, navagraha homa and gāyatrī homa at 5:00 p.m at the entrance of the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham hall. These prayers and homas were performed as an offering to invoke Goddess Gayatri to bless all the vatus who would be initiated into the sacred gāyatrī mantra during their Upanayanam ceremony the following morning. The rituals were underway when Sadguru arrived and granted Darshan to everyone who were gathered at Premamrutham. He then sat as Bhajans continued and after some time, He proceeded to the homa kuṇḍa where He performed the final pūrṇāhuti ritual and thereafter blessed everyone by sprinkling the sacred water from the yajña.

Sadguru then briefly spoke to all the young vatus, revealing that this auspicious occasion marked the official launch of the re-awakening of sanātana dharma which is the real mission of the Sai Avatar. Sadguru also revealed that in times to come, sanātana dharma would spread not only across India but throughout the globe.

As Sadguru concluded His message,  Mangala Arati was offered and the rituals for the day came to a conclusion.

On the morning of Sunday 21 February, 2021, the rituals began at 8:00 a.m at Premamrutham, where all the vatus and their parents were seated. The event began with prayers to Lord Ganesha to remove all obstacles. Thereafter, the rituals of the Upanayanam ceremony began and Sadguru arrived at Premamrutham at around 9:00 a.m. After granting Darshan, Sadguru took His seat on stage and the proceedings continued as the sacred thread was invested to each boy by his father and the auspicious gāyatrī mantra was chanted into the ears of the young boys. This initiation into the gāyatrī mantra is also known as brahmopadeśa and facilitates the flow of Divine guidance to inspire and illumine the intellect so that the jīva or individual soul may know the paramātma or Supreme Self.

After the ceremony concluded, Sadguru profusely blessed each of the vatus and their parents and lovingly took photographs with all of them. Sadguru then addressed everyone reminding them of the importance of the Upanayanam ceremony, and how the word itself means that it gives one a closer vision of one’s true Self’. “When one is born from the mother’s womb, one is no different from an animal but after this sacred ceremony, the jñāna śakti or power of wisdom is awakened, thus bringing one closer to the Divine Self”, He said.

Thus, the most auspicious and sacred Upanayanam ceremony came to an end and after Mangala Arati, Sadguru proceeded to partake lunch with the blessed young vatus.

A young vatu along with his parents
Sadguru sprinkling holy water on everyone
Divine Guidance


Kathopanishad - Episode 13 - Three Pillars of Vedanta



All the episodes of this exclusively series are made available on Sound Cloud, where the episodes can be listened at convenience any number of times.

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