Sunday, November 18, 2012


Being a Sadguru, Baba assigns various tasks to his devotees, so that they could earn his blessings – guru krupa. He got the temple constructed through Booty. He decided that Hemad Pant should write His stories. Baba asked Shyama to go on a pilgrimage. He made Das Ganu sing devotional songs - kirtans. Kirtans are stage shows in which the artiste tells glorifying stories of great mythological heroes, partly in prose and partly in poetry with the help of music. He will have a ‘chiplis’ in his hands. Whenever and wherever Dasganu Maharaj performed, the audiences were spell bound. He had that rare quality of holding the attention of the audiences with his story telling art. 

Baba was not so widely known in the earlier days. He was known only in Poona and Ahmednagar Districts. It was mostly because of Nanasaheb Chandorkar and Dasganu Maharaj that Baba came to be known in the Konkan (Bombay) area. Dasganu Maharaj performed kirtans singing the glories of Baba. He used to perform at various places and at all those places, he sang about Baba. Kirtans attract many people. During those days, it was one of the very few sources of entertainment mixed with education. The story was always from mythology, glorifying God. Some came for the music; some came for the erudition with which the kirtankar spoke and many came just to spend time. Very few came for getting benefited from the moral of the kirtans. Dasganu was one of the best kirtankars of that time and attracted huge crowds wherever he performed. And the topic was invariably about Baba. The effect of listening to Dasganu was electrifying. He had a fine metallic voice and could hold an audience of over 2,000 people spellbound in rapt attention. As he never asked for any money, his kirtans were very popular. In all his kirtans, he would place Baba's picture next to him and even though his katha was about Tukaram or Namdev or Jnanadev, he would always refer to Sai Baba as the living Satpurusha, as the present Great Saint. Dasganu would emphasise that it would be a great blessing for people to have darshan of Sai, as the very darshan would purify and benefit the visitor. As soon as his kirtans ended, people started in numbers to go to Shirdi and see Baba. These numbers included high officials of good and great position, as also the poor. Thus he was the means of sending some tens of thousands of people to Baba. He was justly styled Hari Bhakta Parayana Kirtankar. 

Das Ganu Maharaja's regular kirtans throughout Maharashtra have raised him in the estimation of all whether they are devoted to Sai Baba or not. His eminence may be seen from the fact that he was the President of the All India Sai Devotees' Conference held at Coimbatore in 1948. Das Ganu Maharaj passed away at the ripe old age of 95 years on 23 October 1962. Sai devotees had to wait for nearly 30 long years to see and hear Das Ganu again, as Abhinava Dasganu continued the good work of spreading SaiTatva electrifying the audiences with his masterly narration of Sri Sai Satcharitra. 

Abhinava Dasganu, or Sri Krishnavajjula Rajendra Prasad as he is known, was born in the erstwhile city of Madras (presently Chennai) on 28 June 1954. Brought up in an atmosphere of spirituality and devotion, Prasad was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva during his childhood. He also had the great fortune of spending three months with the Paramacharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. This experience gave him the adequate grounding in Vedas and other scriptures. Inspired by Swamy Chinmayananda, young Prasad left everything and stayed with the Swamy for some time. Swamy Chinmayananda’s Geeta Gyana Yagnas left a lasting impression on his young mind. 

His father, Sri KV Narasimham, was a noted writer. He was writing under the pen name of ‘Vihari’ and his articles appeared in eminent journals like ‘Bharati’ and ‘Krishna Patrika’, ‘Chitragupta’ and many others. Sri Prasad’s mother, Smt Lalita Devi, was a very enlightened person and worked as a school teacher. She was a Hindi Pandit and was a great devotee of Goddess Sri Lalita. In addition, she was also a devotee of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba. In spite of his best efforts, Prasad could not get any employment till his twenty-fifth year, which was the prescribed age limit for employment in those days. When he was pondering over his future, his elder brother, Sri KR Sharma gave him Sri Sai Satcharita written in Telugu by Sri Patti Narayana Rao. That was the beginning of Prasad’s association with Sri Shirdi Sai Baba. Baba immediately took him under his fold and the first grace that Prasad experienced was getting an employment in the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) in Hyderabad, days before completing his twenty-fifth year. Prasad still works for NGRI. 

Sri Rajendra Prasad married Smt Hymavathy in the year 1976 and the couple are blessed with a daughter, Jayanti and a son, Sai. Still unemployed when married, Prasad’s mind was constantly thinking of doing something. It was then that his mother, Smt Lalita Devi suggested that he should take up Sri Sai Satcharitra and devote himself to it. With a background of Swamy Chinmayananda’s Geeta Gyana Yagna and also inspired by Sri MS Rama Rao’s “Sundara Kanda” discourses in Telugu, Prasad thought of bringing Sri Sai Satcharitra on to a similar platform. Thus was born the concept of Satcharitra Gyana Yagna. Though he was working in NGRI, his mind, however, was working on the above concept. He then founded The Gyana Yagna Samiti, which is a registered body and became its first Chair-Person. 

The first Gyana Yagna was performed on the Shivaratri day, 02 March of 1992. The place was his own house at Uppal, opposite Uppal Bus Stand, built in 1990. A total of 30 persons, including friends and relatives attended it. The Gyana Yagna lasted for 40 days, culminating on Sri Rama Navami day of the same year. Prasad had realised the goal of his life. And then began a relentless pursuit of excellence in his chosen subject. For the first 30 or 40 Yagnas, he had written notes to support him. The audience, having been mesmerised by his eloquence, felt that the notes were a hindrance and insisted on him to go extempore. In one of these Gyan Yagnas, Sri Rajendra Prasad was honoured with the title of “Abhinava Dasganu” and “Sai Tatva Kathamruta Manasa Hamsa”. The title was only a logical and appropriate step as Prasad had inherited all the qualities of his predecessor, the late Dasganu Maharaj. His discourses were equally electrifying, and induced the same devotion in devotees for Baba. Baba had really blessed him. With a voice reminiscent of Sri MS Rama Rao, and the ambrosia of Baba’s tales, it was no wonder that the Satcharitra Gyana Yagnas became highly popular and went on scaling new peaks – first the 100th one. Then the 200th one was held, once again, in his own house, this time in the first floor, where a hall dedicated to the Gyana Yagna was already built. The 300thGyana Yagna was held in Ashoknagar, Hyderabad. The 400th one was held in Vijayawada, during the Krishna Pushkaras with the blessings of Pujya Guruji Sri CB Satpathy. The 500thGyana Yagna was held in Swamy Vivekananda Centenary Hall of Mehboob College, Secunderabad. Till date, Abhinava Dasganu has completed 528Gyana Yagnas. It may be mentioned here that so far, no one has attempted so many Gyana Yagnas on a single book anywhere in the world. Sri Prasad’s name is well worth being entered in the Guiness Book. 

Baba had entered Prasad’s life when Prasad’s brother gave him a copy of Telugu Sri Sai Satcharitra, but the full impact of realisation came only when his daughter, Jayanti, fell ill. She was around 7 or 8 years. The girl used to lose consciousness occasionally, and on that occasion, the intensity was slightly more and caused concern. Prasad and his wife took the girl to the local doctor in Habsiguda, Hyderabad and the doctor advised them to take the girl immediately to Nilofer Children’s hospital. On the way, near the Andhra Mahila Sabha, the condition of the girl became more serious. Worried parents cut short the distance and got the girl admitted in Andhra Mahila Sabha itself. The doctors there did not give them any hope. She was kept under observation.Sometime in the night, the doctors gave up all hopes. Prasad’s wife asked him what to do. With immense faith in Baba, he asked her to give Baba’s udi to the girl. She made a mixture of udi and water and made the girl drink it. True to his faith, in the next five minutes, the girl regained consciousness and opened her eyes. This incident cemented the faith of Prasad and his wife in Baba. 

With more than two decades of living with Baba and over 520 Satcharitra Gyana Yagnas, Abhinava Dasganu summarises Sri Sai Tatva in three words – Unostentatiousness, Selflessness and a Sathvik way of life. 

 In addition to the Gyana Yagnas, Sri Prasad has also penned around 14 poems on Baba and sung it also. His Sri Sai Chalisa, sung by most of the Sai devotees while worshipping Baba, is Sri Sai Satcharitra condensed in 40 simple verses. He has also published an audio DVD of Sri Sai Satcharitra in Telugu as well as a video DVD of the 53 episodes of Sri Sai Satcharitra narrated in a very simple language understandable by anyone. The video has been telecast repeatedly over the years on Local TV Channels, every morning at 06.30am. His life, so far, is an ample proof, if at all proof is required, of the immense care Baba takes of his devotees. With Baba’s blessings, all Sai devotees fervently hope and expect to see Sri Krishnavajjula Rajendra Prasad sing the glory of Baba to those who are residing in lands beyond the frontiers of our country. 

Sri Satchidananda Sadguru Sainath Maharaj Ki Jai!! 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


 IT once occurred to a certain king, that if he always knew the right time to begin everything; if he knew who the right people to listen to were, and whom to avoid, and, above all, if he always knew what was the most important thing to do, he would never fail in anything he might undertake. 

And this thought having occurred to him, he had it proclaimed throughout his kingdom that he would give a great reward to any one who would teach him what was the right time for every action, and who were the most necessary people, and how he might know what was the most important thing to do. 

And learned men came to the King, but they all answered his questions differently. In reply to the first question, some said that to know the right time for every action, one must draw up in advance, a table of days, months and years, and must live strictly according to it. Only thus, said they, could everything be done at its proper time. Others declared that it was impossible to decide beforehand the right time for every action; but that, not letting oneself be absorbed in idle pastimes, one should always attend to all that was going on, and then do what was most needful. Others, again, said that however attentive the King might be to what was going on, it was impossible for one man to decide correctly the right time for every action, but that he should have a Council of wise men, who would help him to fix the proper time for everything. But then again others said there were some things which could not wait to be laid before a Council, but about which one had at once to decide whether to undertake them or not. But in order to decide that one must know beforehand what was going to happen. It is only magicians who know that; and, therefore in order to know the right time for every action, one must consult magicians. 

Equally various were the answers to the second question. Some said, the people the King most needed were his councilors; others, the priests; others, the doctors; while some said the warriors were the most necessary. 

To the third question, as to what was the most important occupation: some replied that the most important thing in the world was science. Others said it was skill in warfare; and others, again, that it was religious worship. 

All the answers being different, the King agreed with none of them, and gave the reward to none. 

But still wishing to find the right answers to his questions, he decided to consult a hermit, widely renowned for his wisdom. The hermit lived in a wood which he never quitted and he received none but common folk. So the King put on simple clothes, and before reaching the hermit's cell dismounted from his horse, and, leaving his bodyguard behind, went on alone. 

When the King approached, the hermit was digging the ground in front of his hut. Seeing the King, he greeted him and went on digging. The hermit was frail and weak, and each time he stuck his spade into the ground and turned a little earth, he breathed heavily. The King went up to him and said: 'I have come to you, wise hermit, to ask you to answer three questions: How can I learn to do the right thing at the right time? Who are the people I most need, and to whom should I, therefore, pay more attention than to the rest? And, what affairs are the most important and need my first attention?' 

The hermit listened to the King, but answered nothing. He just spat on his hand and recommenced digging. 'You are tired,' said the King, 'let me take the spade and work awhile for you.' 'Thanks!' said the hermit, and, giving the spade to the King, he sat down on the ground. When he had dug two beds, the King stopped and repeated his questions. The hermit again gave no answer, but rose, stretched out his hand for the spade, and said: 'Now rest awhile -- and let me work a bit.' 

But the King did not give him the spade, and continued to dig. One hour passed, and another. The sun began to sink behind the trees, and the King at last stuck the spade into the ground, and said: 

'I came to you, wise man, for an answer to my questions. If you can give me none, tell me so, and I will return home.' 

 'Here comes some one running,' said the hermit, 'let us see who it is.' 

The King turned round, and saw a bearded man come running out of the wood. The man held his hands pressed against his stomach, and blood was flowing from under them. When he reached the King, he fell fainting on the ground moaning feebly. The King and the hermit unfastened the man's clothing. There was a large wound in his stomach. The King washed it as best he could, and bandaged it with his handkerchief and with a towel the hermit had. But the blood would not stop flowing and the King again and again removed the bandage soaked with warm blood, and washed and re-bandaged the wound. 

When at last the blood ceased flowing, the man revived and asked for something to drink. The King brought fresh water and gave it to him. Meanwhile the sun had set, and it had become cool. So the King, with the hermit's help, carried the wounded man into the hut and laid him on the bed. Lying on the bed the man closed his eyes and was quiet; but the King was so tired with his walk and with the work he had done, that he crouched down on the threshold, and also fell asleep -- so soundly that he slept all through the short summer night. When he awoke in the morning, it was long before he could remember where he was, or who was the strange bearded man lying on the bed and gazing intently at him with shining eyes.

 'Forgive me!' said the bearded man in a weak voice, when he saw that the King was awake and was looking at him. 

 'I do not know you, and have nothing to forgive you for,' said the King. 

'You do not know me, but I know you. I am that enemy of yours who swore to revenge himself on you, because you executed his brother and seized his property. I knew you had gone alone to see the hermit, and I resolved to kill you on your way back. But the day passed and you did not return. So I came out from my ambush to find you, and I came upon your bodyguard, and they recognized me, and wounded me. I escaped from them, but should have bled to death had you not dressed my wound. I wished to kill you, and you have saved my life. Now, if I live, and if you wish it, I will serve you as your most faithful slave, and will bid my sons do the same. Forgive me!' 

The King was very glad to have made peace with his enemy so easily, and to have gained him for a friend, and he not only forgave him, but said he would send his servants and his own physician to attend him, and promised to restore his property. Having taken leave of the wounded man, the King went out into the porch and looked around for the hermit. Before going away he wished once more to beg an answer to the questions he had put. The hermit was outside, on his knees, sowing seeds in the beds that had been dug the day before. 

 The King approached him, and said: 'For the last time, I pray you to answer my questions, wise man.' 

'You have already been answered!' said the hermit still crouching on his thin legs, and looking up at the King, who stood before him.

 'How answered? What do you mean?' asked the King. 

'Do you not see,' replied the hermit. 'If you had not pitied my weakness yesterday, and had not dug these beds for me, but had gone your way that man would have attacked you, and you would have repented of not having stayed with me. So the most important time was when you were digging the beds; and I was the most important man; and to do me good was your most important business. Afterwards, when that man ran to us, the most important time was when you were attending to him, for if you had not bound up his wounds he would have died without having made peace with you. So he was the most important man, and what you did for him was your most important business. 

Remember then: there is only one time that is important -- Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. 

The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!' 

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy 

Monday, December 12, 2011


Dattatreya is an incarnation of the Divine Trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The word Datta means "Given", Datta is called so because the divine trinities have "given" themselves in the form of a son to the sage couple Atri and Anasuya. He is the son of Atri, hence the name "Atreya". In the Natha tradition, Dattatreya is recognized as an Avatar or incarnation of the Lord Shiva and as the Adi-Guru (First Teacher) of the Adi-Nath sampradaya of the Nathas. The creative, the preservative and the disintegrating powers of God are supposed to be manifest in the personality of Lord Dattatreya. The name or word 'Dattatreya' is constituted of two terms, 'Datta' and 'Atreya'. In Sanskrit, 'Datta' means one who is bestowed as a gift, and 'Atreya' is an honorific which is derived from the name of a great sage called Atri. The son of Atri is Atreya. A descendent of Atri also is Atreya. One who is bestowed as a divine child on the great sage Atri, by the Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva themselves, is Dattatreya.

Sage Atri was a self-realized and enlightened soul. ‘Tri’ means “Trigunas” – Rajas, Tamas and Satva. Atri means one who is beyond the trigunas – “a – tri”. His wife was a very pious and pativrata lady by name Anasuya. ‘Asuya’ means jealousy. Anasuya was without jealousy – “an-asuya.” Anasuya was the embodiment of chastity and became very famous for her devotion to her husband. Such was her spiritual powers that she induced jealousy and envy in other women including the goddesses Lakshmi, Parvati and Saraswati. Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma, husbands of these goddesses decided to prove Anasuya’s spiritual power to the world.

They transformed themselves into beggars, approached the hermitage of sage Atri and begged for alms. At that time sage Atri was away at the river offering his daily oblations. Anusuya came out and offered food to them. They made a strange request. The food should be prepared and served to them by Anusuya, in the nude. In the Indian tradition any 'athithi' (guest) cannot be turned away. They are considered to be an aspect of God. Hence she was placed in a dilemma. She smiled to herself and thought: ‘I am totally purified by the long association with the holy sage Atri. What harm can the god of lust ever do to me? So I need not fear. As they have sought food from my hands, I look upon them as my own children and not as strangers and grown up men!’ Her thoughts – the thoughts of a pious and chaste person – instantly became reality. The elderly guests became babies!

Sage Atri on his return to the hermitage saw his wife Anusuya fondling three babies. Anusuya said "These children are the gift of God to us. We have been childless so far". Sage Atri was overjoyed and named them Datta, which means 'given'. At this the three Gods reverted to their real forms and disclosed the truth. They extolled the power of chastity and purity of Anusuya which vanquished the combined and colossal powers of all three of them. Sage Atri and Anusuya prayed that they should remain as their sons. With the “amshas” of the three gods, three babies were gifted (traya – three). Vishnu’s “amsha” was Datta, Shiva’s “amsha” was Durvasa and Brahma’s “amsha” was Chandra. Dattatreya was thus the first of the Datta Pantha.

Though He is the Supreme Lord of this universe, yet Sri Dattatreya or Datta Guru is a total and supreme recluse. Though He moves from place to place, His favorite abode is the Holy Audambar tree. He has matted hair on His head. His body is ever smeared with holy ashes and He wears tiger-skin for His garment. A cow and four dogs are always with Him as His constant companions. He is an 'Avadhoot', ever anchored in Spirit, but always overflowing with compassion for all the beings and the entire creation. He is the embodiment of total Godhead. All the aspects of Godhead are fully manifest in Him. His faces and form are ever radiant with peace and divine charm.

• The Cow, which is always with Him, represents the Mother Earth and Dharma. She is the wish fulfilling cow 'Kamadhenu'.
• The four dogs symbolise the four Vedas – the external repositories of Spiritual Wisdom.
• The trident indicates that He has transcended the three gunas, which constitute the illusory world: Sattva-illumination, Rajas-activity and Tamas-inertia.
• The 'Sudharshana chakra' , disc indicates that He is beyond the cycles of time i.e. the past, present and future and His holding of 'chakra' means He is the controller of time.
• The conch represents the eternal sound ‘AUM’ – which is the manifestation of the Spirit. It is also the life principle in us and the cosmos.
• The 'bhasma' ashes indicated His 'Vairaagya' dispassion as well as His purity. Ashes indicate the evanescent nature of all created nature of all created objects and the ultimate state of all matter.
• He always carries a begging bowl so as to teach us the lesson that we will have to share our wealth and food with others.
• The japa-mala, rosary He wears reminds us that our primary duty is chanting the sacred name of the Lord and meditating on the feet of the Lord, and our redemption depends on this discipline alone.

His Teachings:

Guru Dattatreya gave Ashtanga Yoga (eight fold path of Yoga) to the world thousands of years ago. Patanjali codified this knowledge in sootra forms. It comprises:

1. Yama – non-killing, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-receiving of any gifts, moral discipline.
2. Niyama – cleanliness, contentment, austerity, study and self-surrender to God. Moral discipline Yama and Niyama are moral training and form the basis of Yoga. As these two become established, the Yogi will begin to realize the fruits of his practice.
3. Asana – posture
4. Pranayama – ‘Prana’ is the life-force, ‘yama’ is control. 'Pranayama' consists of breath control exercises.
5. Pratyahara – withdrawal of senses from sense objects
6. Dharana – concentration.
7. Dhyana – meditation.
8. Samadhi – the transcendental or super conscious state of being one with God:

Principle tenets of the Datta tradition

The principle tenets of the Dattatreya tradition are:

1. Everyone should know oneself first and should know one's own reality, which is but God.
2. One should realize the relationship between God, man and creation – the underlying kinship, unity and oneness of these three entities. Brahman is the immanent and all-pervading reality in all matter – it is the origin, the support and sustenance of all.
3. To obtain this vision and discern this truth, one should conquer one's ego through Yoga and renunciation.
4. Guru's grace is indispensable. One has to surrender oneself totally and unreservedly at the feet of the Guru.
His grace awakens 'Jnana' (illumination) by which we can recognize the Reality of Brahman, which is the real self of all.

Apart from this the disciples should:

• Have purity of thought, word and deed.
• Do 'Nama smaran' – remembrance of the Lord's name and meditation on it.
• Have compassion and love for all beings.
• Render selfless services at the feet of the Guru and surrender completely and unconditionally.

Incarnations of Shri Dattatreya :

While Shri Dattatreya was the primal manifestation in "Datta Sampradaya" and Guru Tradition, His incarnations are:



Sripada Shri Vallabha was born in a Brahmin family in a village named Pithapur (East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh, India). A Brahmin couple Appala Raju Sharma and Sumathi, were devotees of Lord Datta. They had many children of whom only two survived. One was lame and the other was blind. They worshipped Lord Datta and never failed to offer food to mendicants and monks. They looked upon on all such as the very forms of Lord Datta. One day, they were performing the annual ceremony in their house and many Brahmins were invited as guests for the feast. Tradition holds that none should eat on that day before these guests take their food. At that time Lord Datta appeared at their threshold in the form of a sadhu (saint), bearing the staff and the water-vessel (Kamandalu) and asked for food. The housewife, with immense faith that the visitor was none other than the Lord to whom the whole annual ceremony was being offered, gave Him food even before the Brahmin guests were fed! Her faith touched the Lord's heart and He at once granted her a vision of his true form. His glorious form had three heads, clad in a tiger's skin and his body besmeared with sacred ash (vibhuti), he looked like a silver mountain in moonlight.

Not long after, Sumathi conceived and delivered a male child at the proper time. She gave birth to one who is indeed birth-less. There was no birth in the normal sense; the Lord just manifested Himself as a child in this house. As the child has all the Divine features with celestial radiance, he was fittingly named as Sripada. This was the first incarnation of Lord Dattatreya.

As days and months passed, the child Serenade grew ever more glorious, the age of eight. As per the tradition, he was invested with the sacred thread. Normally, after the sacred thread ceremony a boy has to be trained by a Guru for 8 years before he can memorize the Vedas (external repositories of Spiritual Wisdom) completely. But this boy, Sripada, started imparting Vedic knowledge to this pupil right from the moment of his upanyana (sacred thread ceremony). It was all a purely Divine miracle.

When Sripada attained marriageable age, He was asked His opinion, "All women in this world are like my mother. I am married to sanyasa (renunciation). My mission is to give initiation and guidance to sadhus (holy men)". Speaking thus he sought permission from his parents to become a sanyasi and to leave the house. The parents were loath to forego such a son. Apart from this, the other two children were dumb, deaf and blind. If Sripada left his parents, who will look after them in their old age? Sripada understood their anxiety. He called these blind and lame brothers, his heart, melting with compassion at the sight of the tears in his parents, Sripada touched his brothers and made them whole in a moment! What is impossible for the Almighty and the lord of the universe?

The miracle dispelled the veil of delusion that blinded their understanding. Then the Lord granted them the vision of His real Divine form. The handsome, tender lad at once appeared radiant like a million suns and pleasing as myriad moons. His blissful nature seemed to enliven every atom of existence. With their permission, He renounced all worldly ties and trekked to several Holy places like Dwaraka, Brindavan, Mathura, and Badrinath. After wandering there for some time, He marched down to the Holy Gokarna in order to bless the spiritual seekers. Sripada lived for three years in Gokarna. Having uplifted several seekers there spiritually, the Lord went to Kurvapur and settled down there.

One day a widow, Ambika came to the river to end her life due to her unbearable poverty and to run away from the world which made fun of her for having given birth to a dullard and an idiot boy. Miraculously Sripada came there and said 'Oh Brahmin, do not be hasty; otherwise you would incur the sin of committing suicide, as well as the sin of killing a Brahmin. No one can help you out of it. It is better for you to live on, facing any amount of suffering.' The Brahmin lady then said, 'Oh Holy one, people are humiliating me for being cursed with the birth of a stupid son. They consider it a sin even to see my face. What could I gain by continuing to live?' The Lord was moved by compassion at her words and said, 'Mother, by committing suicide, you only add to your former sins and you will have to suffer more in the next life. Therefore, devote your whole life to the worship of Lord Shiva. You shall be blessed with a noble son in your next life'.

The above event was perhaps Shri Guru’s own sankalpa to reincarnate again as Sri Narasimha Saraswati . Therefore He had pre-arranged this leela so as to meet and bless His next incarnation’s mother-to-be.

The blessed housewife drank the divine glory of the Lord's from and felt that the highest object of her birth was fulfilled. The Lord said, "Mother, I am pleased with your devotion. Even before you fed the Brahmin guests, you have given me food with the full faith that this is the Lord in the guise of a holy mendicant. Now, ask me for anything you wish and it shall be granted". The sight blessed her eyes and now her ears were sanctified by His sweet words. "Lord", she said, "Lord! You addressed me as mother, please let your word be turned into reality" Lord replied “Tathastu” (so be it) and disappeared. Then Sumathi told her husband of the Divine vision the Lord had bestowed on her and of his granting her wish for a divine son.

Sripada Vallabha disappeared one day after entering the Ganges River. Though he is physically no more, devotees ever feel His presence and grace. His divine spirit is ever manifesting. The Lord is eternal. As He is the seed of the whole universe, His activities are infinite. So His purposes are infinite. In fact, He is ever in front of His devotees, granting their prayers. Yet he is invisible to all those who are blinded by the spirit of the ‘Kali’ age he has been granting the wishes of his devotees, though he is invisible to them. He can even be seen by those who are pure of heart. That village has become Holy by His eternal presence.


Sripada Swami told a Brahmin lady to devote her life to the worship of Lord Siva. She did accordingly and, as a result of it, she was born in Karanja a town near Akola (Central India) in a pious family and was named Amba. She grew and she was married to a pious man Madhava Sharma. She was devoted, heart and soul, to the service of of her husband. His noble company added to the holy tendencies she developed as a result of her spiritual discipline in her previous life. She now became an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva.

In course of time, she gave birth to a son. The child did not cry, as usual, at birth. On the other hand, the only sound he uttered was 'AUM' (the eternal sound - 'AUM' is the manifestation of the spirit) and everyone was amazed at it. Astrologers assured Madhava Sharma that their child was indeed an avatar of the Lord. They also prophesied that he would renounce all worldly ties and that he would uplift the fallen souls. The child was named Narahari. The child Narahari grew up to be a handsome boy of five, but he could not speak and the parents were very much worried about it.

One day, the boy conveyed to them through gestures that he wished to be invested with the sacred thread. Young Narahari learned the 'Gayatri Mantra', adopted the vows of a young celibate (Brahmacharya), accepted the first offering of food from his mother's hands and at once recited the Vedas (external repositories of Spiritual Wisdom) . The parents were overjoyed but their joy did not last. According to tradition after the sacred thread ceremony, the initiate is a sanyasi and has to beg alms from his mother and leave for pilgrimage. Thus, the mother asked him to beg alms and young Narahari, taking it as her adesha (command) sought permission to take sanyasa, renounce worldly life and leave for pilgrimage. The mother bewailed her plight and pleaded with him to give up such an idea. Narahari said "I do not want to enjoy the objects of the senses which can only lead to misery. So, I shall pass on from the state of celibacy directly to the life of a sanyasi. Wealth, family ties and responsibilities are as unreal as a dream. Youth is transient as a flower which soon withers. Thus life is very short when viewed in the light of the only purposed of it, i.e., Self-realization. To be emotionally attached to anything in this phenomenal world amounts to mere self-betrayal and is self-defeating too. This body, with the skin as its surface layer, flesh, bones and the blood within, is as frail a structure as a water bubble. Excessive fondness for one's spouse and children is the root of all other evil tendencies. In itself, this body of ours is made of inanimate matter and is ever changing and perishable. Only the 'Self' within is eternal and is our only true being. Joys and sorrows of worldly life are merely relative, subjective and are therefore illusory experiences to the realized. Man can break the fetters of this illusion only through the grace of the Guru. Therefore, Oh mother, do not hinder me in my resolve. You shall be blessed with some more children. Go on meditating on me and thereby you shall cross the ocean of misery and ignorance too".

So saying, Narahari again blessed His mother with the vision of His Divine form. She perceived it through the eye of wisdom and was at once reminded of her previous birth. So she said to the Lord : 'Holy one, you are indeed Lord Sripada, who, in my previous life, saved me from my unwise resolve to commit suicide. I bow before you. You are, indeed, the Unbounded one. All the universes have their being in your infinite expanse. To say that you are born to me as my son is but a fallacy; for you are eternal. Yours is the omnipotent will. I shall not hinder your resolve to renounce the world for the welfare of all sentient beings. You have assured me that I shall be blessed with a few more children. Pray, stay with us, at least till such time!' Lord Narahari graciously acceded to her request and stayed away. The blessed couple used to worship the Lord every day with full awareness of his divinity. After his mother got more children He covered His head with a piece of cloth, put on wooden sandals, covered His body with the ochre robe and wore a codpiece. Taking a staff in His hand, He set out from His home in joy to fulfill His mission which was to revive faith and uplift the people morally and spiritually.

After his mother got more children He covered His head with a piece of cloth, put on wooden sandals, covered His body with the ochre robe and wore a codpiece. Taking a staff in His hand, He set out from His home in joy to fulfill His mission which was to revive faith and uplift the people morally and spiritually. On his way to Badrinath, Narahari reached the Holy Varanasi (Kashi) in the guise of a seeker after liberation. Lord Narahari, in accordance with Holy tradition, resorted to His Holiness Swami Krishna Saraswati as his Guru and from him took the vow of sanyas. Henceforth, He came to be known as Shri Narasimha Saraswati. He formally took the vow of lifelong celibacy. Thus he became a full-fledged sanyasi who has transcended the opposites of joy and sorrow and the limitations of a self-centered will.

This World Teacher has laid down the tradition of sanyas for seekers after liberation. Shri Nrishimha Saraswati expounded the nature of sanyas to some and the meaning of the Vedas, which can secure the true objects of life (Purusharthas), to others. Then, he proceeded in his wanderings round the country in a clock-wise direction, along with his disciples. He had seven disciples and they were Baala, Krishna, Upendra, Janajyotim Sadaananda, Madhava and Siddha. All have the title 'Saraswati' suffixed to their names.

He took holy dips in all the holy rivers along the way and reached the sacred place where the river Ganga joins the sea. From Benares he went to Badrika Ashram with his disciples. Then moving from place to place for the welfare of common people, he arrived at Ganga sagar, near Calcutta. Some Twenty years passed this way. Shri Narasimha Saraswati reappeared at his home to the wonder and joy of his family and town people, He blessed them all. Shri Narasimha Saraswati then went to Trayambakeshwar, Parli and Parli vaijnath. At Parli Vaijnath he did penance for one year and remained in seclusion. Afterwards he went to Audumbar and Amarapur near the confluence of the rivers Krishna and the Panchaganga. At Amarapur he stayed 12 years. This place was called "Narasimhawadi" and later "Narsob awadi" by his affectionate disciples and devotees. From Amarapur he went to Ganagapur and remained there for 24 years. During his stay there many astonishing incidents and miracles took place. Shri Narasimha Saraswati was now considered as 'Siddha Purusha' (Perfect, almost Godlike being) with Divine powers of healing physical ailments and alleviating worries of his devotees. Hindus and Muslims used to come to him considering him their Sadguru.

One day he bade good-bye to people of Ganagapur and with his 7 select disciples went to the confluence of Bhima and Amraja rivers and stood for a while under the Aswatha tree. He stated "worship this tree and practice penance, your wish will be fulfilled and your life will be blessed". He announced his departure from this world and his disciples were plunged in grief.

A float was prepared on the banana leaves and was adorned with flowers. This float was placed in the river and Shri Narasimha Saraswati sat on it. All the disciples offered worship although their hearts were weighed down by grief. Shri Narasimha Saraswati cheered them up and told them he was going to Kadali-vana (grove of banana trees) near Srisailam (One of the 12 "Jyotir Linga" is located here) and upon reaching there, as a mark of his safe arrival, clusters of flowers would come back floating against current. Soon after, as per the Master's promise, clusters of flowers came to them drifting on the river against the current!

When the Master got ready for departure, the natives of the village rushed to him and begged him not to deprive them of His Divine presence, but to stay on. The Lord said, "Do not feel sad that way. How can I bear to be away from my devotees? I only seem to leave for Srisailam only to the grosser vision of the physical, but I will ever abide at Ganagapur in my real state as the Spirit or the real Self. I will seek my noon alms in this village and accept your loving devotional services. My living presence will be experienced by anyone who bathes in the Sangam (confluence of holy rivers), worships the Holy peepal tree and takes darshan of my 'pudukas' (sacred foot-wear) here.

"The Master can be seen even today by the virtuous and the devout. Only the unrighteous cannot experience his living presence. Taking his daily dip at the holy Sangam, he ever abides there. In fact, he has been blessing devotees with his divine acts (leelas) on countless occasions. The aspirations of those who worship him there with true love will be fulfilled. Indeed, the Lord is ever present with those who incessantly adore him. The miraculous experiences of such will ever remain hidden in their own hearts. He is the granter of prayers!"

When people were in utter despair, Shri Narasimha Saraswati brought about a religious and spiritual renaissance and restored their morale. The places where He stayed have become centres of pilgrimage viz., Narsobawadi, Audumbar and Ganagapur. Ganagapur is believed to be the abode of Lord Dattatreya. There is a holy hillock of Vibhuti (holy ash) from which devotees pick up the sacred ash as Prasad to take home. This hillock has not been depleted, even though devotees have been taking away sacred ash for centuries. The atmosphere in all the three pilgrimage centers is sublime and devotees feel peaceful and spiritually uplifted. Miracles take place at Ganagapur specially, even now.

The message of Shri Narasimha Saraswati is summarized as under:

1. In our short fleeting span of human life, we should attempt to realize God through devotion
2. Use Buddhi (intellect) and Viveka (discrimination) to purify the minds.
3. Never think of hurting others in thought, word or deed.
4. Consider yourself blessed, if you secure the blessings of a Guru.
5. Strive to realize God who is inherent in your own heart.


Believed to be an incarnation of Shri Dattatreya the name of this spiritual master, popularly called Swami Samarth, is a household word in Maharashtra and the region around. As this Perfect Master chose to reside at a place called Akkalkot for 22 years where he took Mahasamadhi in 1878, he is also known as the Maharaj of Akkalkot. Akkalkot is situated in district Sholapur of Maharashtra state of India.

As per the most popular belief, Shri Narasimha Swami, after helping and spiritually uplifting a large number of people over a few decades, went away to the Himalayas for penance and went into Samadhi. In the Samadhi state He remained for about three hundred years. With the passage of time a huge anthill grew over him and he was lost to the outside world. One day accidentally a woodcutter’s axe fell on the bushes grown around the ant hill. He was shocked to find blood stains on the blade of the axe. He cleared the anthill and Lo, he found a Yogi in meditation. The Yogi slowly opened his eyes and consoled the dumbfounded woodcutter saying that it was the Divine Will for Him to re-appear in the world to resume His mission. This Yogi, in his new role came to be known as Swami Samarth.

Prior to his settlement at Akkalkot, Swami Samarth visited far and wide. While moving in the Himalayan region he visited China. Thereafter, he visited places like Puri, Benaras, Hardwar, Girnar, Kathiawad and Rameswaram in the South. He also stayed at Mangalvedha, a town near Pandharpur in Solapur district Maharashtra, which had been inhabited earlier by famous saints like Domojipant and Chokhamela. He came to Akkalkot in 1856 where he continued his physical existence for 22 years. He came to Akkalkot on the invitation of one Chintopant Tol and stayed at a place on the outskirts of the town.

The Risaldar of that area, a Muslim person, wanted to test the Swami by offering him a 'Chilum' (an earthen smoking pipe) without tobacco in it and asked him to smoke. Swami Samarth started smoking the empty Chillum after lighting it as if nothing had happened. Realizing him to be an advanced spiritual person, the Risaldar apologized and made arrangements for his stay in the house of one Cholappa. It is in this small house that Swami Samarth lived up to his last.

Soon, the name of Swami Samarth as a Spiritual Master spread all around and devotees came for taking his blessings. The ordinary people did not understand many of his gestures and mystic statements, which he used to make cryptically, although their meanings became apparent on later dates. He treated Muslims, Christians and Parsees all alike. His Kindness was always bestowed on the poor, needy and the people at the lowest rung of the society. Both Hindus and Muslim festivals like Dusshehra and Moharram etc. used to be celebrated by Him. As in Shirdi, Thursday became a special day of celebration at Akkalkot. Like Shirdi Sai Baba, Swami Samarth of Akkalkot was fond of mass feeding. Once, on his visit to a place called Rampur, a devotee named Rawaji, to celebrate his visit, cooked food for 50 people. However, hearing the news of Swami Samarth's arrival hundreds of people from the neighbouring villages started rushing to the village. Seeing such a large number of people at his doorstep, Rawaji became visibly panicky. Moved by his plight, Swami Samarth asked Rawaji to get some empty baskets. When the baskets were brought from the market, idols of all the deities like Khandoba, Annapurna, etc were put in them and food materials like chapatis (bread) etc. were piled over them. Bawaji and his wife were asked to carry these baskets and take three rounds around the Tulsi plant. After that, they were asked to serve food from these baskets to the guest without looking into them. When food were being served, Rawaji and his wife were amazed to see that the baskets never exhausted even after a few hundred people had been served. After all the people who had come finished their meal, Swami Samarth took his meal. This is known as 'Annapurna Siddhi'.

Once a Jewish doctor, who was working as an eye specialist in the J.J. Hospital, Bombay met Swami Samarth. The doctor was very proud of his professional competence. Seeing him Swami Samarth asked "tell me doctor, how many of the eye patients you have treated have lost their eye sights forever"'. This sentence made a tremendous impact on the doctor. He realised that many people had lost their sights forever even if they had been treated by him. His ego immediately vanished and thereafter he became a devotee of Swami Samarth. After retirement the doctor settled-down at Akkalkot and served the Master till his last.

After serving the poor, curing the sick and helping the spiritual seekers over a few decades, Swami Samarth one day suddenly announced that the time had come for him to go out of his physical existence. By Hindu calendar It was Chaitra Sudha trayodasi, Shaka 1800 i.e. the year 1878 AD Tuesday at 4 PM. At this time he seated himself in Padmasana (Lotus Posture) and uttered his last words - "no one should weep I shall always be present at all places and I shall respond to every call of the devotees"". Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi had also said exactly the same thing before his Mahasamadhi.

Just before he had left his gross body, one devotee named Keshav Nayak who was emotionally charged, asked "Maharaj, since you are going, who will give us protection?” Swami Samarth gave him a pair of his sandals to worship. He told him "in future I will be staying at Shirdi in district Ahmednagar". Another devotee, Krishna Ali Bagkar decided to go to Akkalkot and worship the padukas of Swami Samarth. Thereafter he got a dream appearance of Swami Samarth who told him "now I am staying at Shirdi, go there and worship me". Bagkar went to Shirdi where he stayed for six months. Later, when he wanted to take leave of Shri Sai and go to Akkalkot again Shri Sai told him "what is there in Akkalkot, Maharaj of Akkalkot is staying here". Bagkar realised that there is no difference between Swami Samarth and Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi as he recalled his earlier dream.

The divine game (leela) of Swami Samarth did not end with his Maha Samadhi (shedding his mortal coil). His devotees continue to experience the miracles of his visible and invisible help even till today. It is exactly like the experience received by the devotees of Sai Baba of Shirdi after his Mahasamadhi in 1918. Many people have authenticated his appearance in physical form before them. These people are not the faith-blind rural folk. Many of them are well educated people like doctors, educationists etc. For example, Dr. S.V.Marathe, a private medical practitioner of Pune once underwent treatment in a chest Hospital at a place called Aundh in 1964. Many of his friends were anxious to come and visit him. At this juncture, Swami Samarth appeared before many of his friends in a dream and gave the same message to all of them. He asked them not to worry about Dr.Marathe, as he was under His (Swami Samarth's) protection and also not to come to Aundh. Hundreds of devotees continue to have miraculous experience about the Perfect Master even today.


Sai Baba, a personification of spiritual perfection and an epitome of compassion, lived in the little village of Shirdi in the state of Maharashtra (India) for sixty years. Like most of the perfect saints he left no authentic record of his birth and early life before arriving at Shirdi. In fact, in the face of his spiritual brilliance such queries do not have much relevance.

He reached Shirdi as a nameless entity. One of the persons who first came in contact with him at Shirdi addressed him spontaneously as ‘Sai’ which means Savior, Master or Saint. ‘Baba’ means father as an expression of reverence. In the Divine play it was designed as such, that He subtly inspired this person to call Him by this name, which was most appropriate for His self-allotted mission.

All that we definitely know of Sai Baba is that his arrival at Shirdi was anonymous. He was first noticed in the outskirts of the village Shirdi, seated under a ‘neem’ (margosa) tree, about the year 1854. However, even this date is not definitely noted. Sai Baba of these younger days remained a stranger staying under the neem tree for some time and then suddenly he left Shirdi to come back again sometime in 1858, and stayed there till he left his gross body in the year 1918. The second advent of Baba at Shirdi, around 1858 was interestingly quite different from the first. This time he accompanied a wedding procession as guest of honor. On the arrival at Shirdi, he was immediately recognized by someone as the same anonymous saintly personality who used to be seated under the neem tree a few years earlier and, greeted Him as "YA SAI" Welcome SAI !

In the early days of his stay at Shirdi he spent his time either wandering in the outskirts of village and neighboring thorny jungles or sitting under the neem tree totally self-absorbed. The first set of villagers who regarded this saintly figure was Mhalsapati, Tatya Kote, Bayyaji Bai and few others. Bayyaji Bai felt deeply motivated by this Divine Saint, and with her motherly instinct she used to walk miles on end into the jungles in search of him, carrying food in a basket on her head. Often she found Sai Baba sitting under some tree in deep meditation, calm and motionless. She would boldly approach him, serve the meal and return home. After sometime as though out of compassion for her, Sai Baba ceased wandering and moved into a dilapidated mosque in the outskirts of the village. He referred to this mosque, where He resided till the end, as ‘Dwarkamai’ (Dwarka was the place where Lord Shri Krishna stayed to fulfill His divine Advent). This mosque ‘Dwarkamai’ – abode of Sai Baba became Mother of Mercy for all the time to come.

He had a body of athlete built and in his earlier days he was fond of wrestling. Another aspect of Sai Baba’s personality was his love for song and dance. In those early years of his life he used to go to ‘Takia’, the public night shelter for Muslim visitors to the village. There in the company of sojourning devotees and fakirs, he used to dance and sing in divine bliss, with small tinkles tied around his ankles. The songs he sang were mostly in Persian or Arabic. Sometimes he sang some popular songs of Kabir. He donned a long shirt – ‘Kafni’ and tied a cloth around his head, and twisted it into a flowing plait like manner behind his left ear.He used a piece of sackcloth for his seat and slept on it with a brick as his pillow. He always declared that Fakiri (Holy poverty) was far superior to worldly richness. He was no ordinary fakir but an ‘Avatar ’ (incarnation) of a very high order. But His external appearance was of simple, illiterate, moody, emphatic – at times fiery and abusive and at times full of compassion and love. In the moments of towering rage people with him thought it was ungovernable rage. But his anger never prevented his compassion dealing with the devotees. His anger was evidently directed at unseen forces. He enacted all these simple traits only to hide His real identity as the God incarnate. Under the cover of simplicity He silently worked for the spiritual transformation and liberation of innumerable souls – human beings and animals alike, who were drawn to Him, by unseen forces.

He begged for alms and shared what he got with his devotees and all the creatures around him. He never kept any food in reserve for the next meal. He maintained the ‘Dhuni’ – the perpetual sacred fire and distributed its ash – ‘Udi’ as token of His divine grace to all who came to Him for help.

Baba would ask for ‘Dakshina’ (money offered with reverence to the ‘Guru’ or the master) from some of those who came to see him. This was not because he needed their money but for deeper significance, which the devotees realized at, an appropriate time.

Baba used to freely distribute all the money that was received in the form of Dakshina to the destitute, poor, sick and needy the very same day. This was one of Baba's methods for testing out the devotees attachments to worthy things and willingness to surrender.

He ploughed up the village common land and raised a flower garden there. He watered the plants, carrying pots full of water on his shoulders. In the later years he spent a few hours in this Lendi garden which he himself had laid out in the early days.

He was every moment exercising a double consciousness, one actively utilizing the apparent Ego called 'Sai Baba' dealing with other egos in temporal and spiritual affairs, and the other - entirely superseding all egos as the Universal Ego or Over soul.

He was the common man’s God. He lived with them; he slept and ate with them. Baba had a keen sense of humour. He shared a ‘chillum’ (clay pipe for smoking) indiscriminately with them to write off the cast superiority and orthodoxy in their minds. He had no pretensions of any kind. He was always very playful in the presence of children. Baba used to feed the fakirs and devotees and even cook for them.

Sai Baba’s perfect purity, benevolence, non -attachment, compassion and other virtues evoked deep reverence in the villagers around him. His divinity could not conceal itself for long. Initially when people wanted to worship him formally, Baba protested and dissuaded them. But gradually he allowed it with the prescience that it would become the means for temporal and spiritual benefits to millions of individuals for all time to come.

The Dwarkamai of Sai Baba was open to all, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. As the days passed, devotees from all walks of life started streaming into Shirdi. The village Shirdi was fast assuming prominence. As the gifts and presentations flowed in, the pomp and grandeur of Sai worship also increased. But Baba’s life of a fakir remained calm, undisturbed, unaltered and there is the Saint’s spiritual glory.

He lived His divine mission through His pure self in a human embodiment. The immense energy that was manifest in the body of Sai was moving in a mysterious way, creating and recreating itself everywhere beyond the comprehension of time and space.

This fountainhead of unsurpassed spiritual glory shed His gross body on 15th October 1918. Every limb, every bone and pore of his body was permeated with divine essence. Baba claimed that though one day his physical body will not exist his remains will communicate with all those who seek him with inner yearnings. His self-allotted labour of love in His physical body was perhaps over. Today He continues to work ever vigorously as the ‘Sai Spirit’.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The day of full moon, Purnima, in the month of Ashadh of the Hindu calendar is traditionally celebrated as Guru Purnima by Hindus. On this day, devotees offer puja to their Guru.
This was the day when Vyasa, author of the Mahabharata, was born. Vyasa (also known as Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa, or Veda Vyasa), did yeoman service to the cause of Vedic studies by gathering all the Vedic hymns extant during his times, dividing them into four parts based on their use in the sacrificial rites, and teaching them to his four chief disciples – Paila, Vaisampayana, Jaimini and Sumantu. It was this dividing and editing that earned him the honorific "Vyasa" (vyas = to edit, to divide).

"He divided the Veda into four, namely Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. The histories and the Puranas are said to be the fifth Veda."
- Brahmanda Purana 1.4.21

The spiritual Gurus are revered on this day by remembering their life and teachings. Seekers try to get as much opportunity to do Satseva of the Guru as possible during this period. As the Guru principle is 1000 times more active during this period, when compared to any other day during this year, the satseva done on Guru Poornima fetches substantial grace of the Guru for their spiritual progress.
(Ref : Sanatan Prabhat)

This day is of deep significance to the farmers, for it heralds the setting in of the much-needed rains, as the advent of cool showers usher in fresh life in the fields. It is a good time to begin your spiritual lessons. Traditionally, spiritual seekers commence to intensify their spiritual 'sadhana' from this day. The period 'Chaturmas' ("four months") begins from this day. In the past, wandering spiritual masters and their disciples used to settle down at a place to study and discourse on the Brahma Sutras composed by Vyasa, and engage themselves in Vedantic discussions.

This year (2010) we celebrate Guru Purnima as a tribute to the Saptarishi, as they are the primordial teachers who continue to guide us to the secrets of life and universe. They are Gurus to the entire Universe, and can help us acquire the finest qualities, such as unconditional love, faith, bliss, and forgiveness. The Saptarishi or the Seven Great Sages (Atri, Bhrigu, Pulastya, Vasishtha, Gautama, Angirasa and Marichi) are venerated masters who completely dedicated themselves to the pursuit of inner bliss and divine light. They are known as 'Seers' as they are said to possess perfect knowledge about the past, present and future of humanity. They represent the higher mind, the vision of truth, and the principles of growth, expansion, and optimism.

Guru Poornima is celebrated by devotees by performing Guru Pooja (offering prayers to the Guru) to our Lord Shri Sai Baba. Each Sai Devotee can either perform the Sai Guru Pooja (prayer) at home or attend a Sai Guru Pooja or sponsor a Sai Guru Pooja being performed at a Sai temple by offering donation or other articles used in Pooja(Pooja samagri).

One can attend a bhajan or visit a Sai Mandir where ever possible. For those of us who do not have the fortune of visiting a Sai temple or attending a Bhajan, humming songs about Sai or repeating Sai slokams or Sai Nama would be a good way to spend Guru Poornima day.

It was the year 1906. The day was Vyasa Poornima in the month Ashada. It was called Vyasa Poornima in recognition of Vyasa Maharshi, who authored the eighteen Puranas. On the morning of this day, Baba called Kelkar, Sathe’s father-in-law, and told him that this day was Guru Poornima, when the Guru is to be worshiped. He asked him to bring Shama and other devotees along with the puja materials. Dada Kelkar collected all the devotees and with the puja materials, brought them to the masjid. By then, Baba with his half-closed eyes was concentrating on something. Noticing this, no one had the courage to talk to him for fear of disturbing his concentration. After a while, Baba opened his eyes, looked at the devotees for a moment and fell silent again.

Till then, everyone believed that Baba was the incarnation of God, with divine and supernatural powers but no one had the thought to worship Baba as their ‘Guru’. Hence, they did not know whom they should worship as Guru and how to worship, and kept quiet. Knowing their thoughts Sai Baba taught them as follows:

"You are all worshiping me as a fakir with divine and supernatural powers. Some of you believe that I am the incarnation of God. Allah Malik hai. I am only his servant. I am like a father to you all. You should benefit from me. I have come into this world to divert your thoughts from materialism towards spiritualism, and establish truth, righteousness, peace and love in you and through you to the entire mankind, and bless them with peace and happiness. This is the goal of Sai Avatar. If you worship me keeping me in a photo frame like other gods, you will not benefit anything from me. But you should consider me as your ‘Guru’ and surrender completely to me and put into practice what all I teach you. Your present actions only are the foundations for your future lives and births. You should all treat today’s Vyasa Poornima as Guru Poornima and worship me as your Guru and make your lives happy."


From among all the devotees who had gathered in the masjid, Dada Kelkar went to Baba, prostrated before him, washed his feet in a plate, took a little of this water ( Pada Tirtha ) inside and sprinkled it on his head, distributing it to all those present. After this he put sandal paste on Baba’s forehead, put a dot with kumkum and worshiped him with flowers and akshatas (rice). Then he broke a coconut and gave arati with camphor. While the arati was being given, Baba’s face became very radiant as if a thousand lamps were lighted with different colours. The surprised devotees wanted to touch Baba’s feet and prostrate before him. Noticing the thoughts of the devotees, he slowly walked towards the big stone that he created in front of Dwarakamai, while the devotees spread flowers all the way and made him walk on the flowers. As soon as he reached the stone he sat on it putting his left hand on the toe of his right leg and putting the right hand on the thigh of his right leg. Then he looked deeply into the eyes of each devotee, by which the joy experienced by them was beyond description. When they touched his feet, they felt an unknown divine power entering their bodies and reach their hearts. These things have to be personally experienced and cannot be explained. All those who experienced this, started to celebrate Guru Poornima on every Ashada Suddha Poornima day with pomp and gaiety. Even today Guru Poornima is celebrated in Shirdi. This festival is very important to Sai devotees as they worship their Guru according to their might and get the blessings from him. Those who worship their Guru with devotion and sincerity on this day will always have the Guru with them. Sai Baba had personally told them that he was Sadguru and they could not get another Guru in this world. We should completely surrender ourselves to him and seek Jnana Marga.

The Gurupurnima of 2009 was on 07 July and it was a Tuesday. By Baba’s blessings, it was decided that the English version of the Sri Sai Satcharitra compiled by me, was to be released on that day. Initially there was some discussion about having the function at Shirdi or at Siddipet. We sought Baba’s advice. My youngest grandson, Sri Saathvik was asked to choose between two slips of paper, one with Shirdi written on it and the other with Siddipet written on it. Saathvik had not yet completed his first year and so was thought to be the appropriate choice. He picked up Siddipet. My wife also had preferred the place as it was possible to organize the function with the help of my friend Sri Konda Krishna Murthy, the Chairman of the Sai Baba temple there. He had promised all help. The next stage was to find a suitable person to release the book. Various names were suggested, but most of them were busy with their own functions on that day. My wife was particular and insisted on only Sri MP Sainath, author of many books on Sai Baba and my guru in this field. Sri Sainath is a walking encyclopedia on Sai Baba. Being a true devotee of Baba, he always keeps himself away from publicity, and does not attend any public functions. When my wife and I approached him, out of consideration for me, he agreed to attend the function, arranged at any place, but would not get onto the dais. It was only after great persuasion that he agreed to release the book, but said that he would not make any speech. We were happy with whatever blessings we could get.

My eldest son, Srinivas, had come to Hyderabad, a week earlier, on official work. In view of the book release, he stayed for a week more to help me in this sacred work.

On the appointed day I got up at 03.30 am. It was Guru Purnima day and also as we were going to Siddipet for the book launch function, we sought Baba’s blessings by seeing the Kakad Arati telecast live from Shirdi on TV1 channel. Around 06.00 am, we engaged two auto rickshaws and went to Sri MP Sainath’s place in Gandhinagar. Sri Sainath and his wife Smt Krishnaveni had gone to Baba temple near their house. After their return, we all left for Jubilee Bus Stand from where we had to catch the bus to Siddipet. At the entrance itself, a Volvo bus coming from Bangalore and going to Siddipet was waiting for us. My friends, Sri DSS Rao, Sri Mohan Kish
ore and his wife Smt Lakshmi, Sri Yamanappa and his wife Smt Sharana Kumari, joined us. The bus left at 07.30am and reached Siddipet within 90 minutes. We all had one of the best travels to Siddipet. The temple management committee, with Sri Srinivas (President), Sri T Narasaih (Secretary) and Sri Shivanandam (Treasurer) took care of us by providing us with the customary breakfast prasadam, a room to keep the books and our luggage. As soon as we had darshan, Sri KK Murthy, his wife Smt Vijaya, Sri VS Naidu and his wife Smt Jayalakshmi, and Sri O Hanumantha Rao joined us at the temple. I was greatly overjoyed by such collection of my well wishers.

My friend Sri KK Murthy (Chairman) took all of us and organized a special Pooja to Baba. It was a very auspicious beginning. My friend, Sri Rajamouli (Joint Secretary) along with his friend Sri Sathyanarayana, organized the conduct of the programme. It began with an invocation to Baba. Then a couple of speakers, including Sri Sathyanarayana, spoke about the book, Sri Sai Satcharitra. By now it was nearing noon arati. Just then, my friend Sri K Babu Rao and his wife Dr. Prabhutva Kumari joined us. They were held up due to some reasons and were praying Baba fervently that they should be able to attend the programme. Maybe for their sake, Baba saw to it that the schedule was slightly delayed. Sri MP Sainath then launched the book and spoke some very fine words about the book. One of his statements which will be etched in mind is, “I have read many books on Baba. If all those authors have given 70% of Baba in their books, Srivatsa has given 100% of Baba in this book”. My friends Sri Mohan Kishore, Sri Babu Rao, Smt Vijaya and Sri KK Murthy spoke about the book and the relevance of the occasion. A special feature was the arrival from California, USA of Chi. Usha Nimikol. She had come with her father. Chi. Usha along with Chi. Archana Vengaldas and Chi. Sukanya Maddali, had designed the website for the Sai Mandir, Siddipet. Chi. Usha also spoke on the occasion. I replied to all the felicitations and requested that if each of the devotees present there could write down their experiences with Baba on a paper and give it to the Temple authorities, then we could publish them in a book form

My friend Sri KK Murthy was gracious enough to buy the first copy of the book. My wife and I honoured the first buyer with a shawl. Then we honoured other dignitaries. Around 02.00 pm,
we had Prasadam lunch. The Temple committee was kind enough to organize all these events. The book had brisk sales and after seeing it, Sri Shivanandam enthusiastically predicted that the book will soon have a second edition. We spent time with all the friends there till 04.00pm. All good things come to an end. Leaving Baba and all the friends in Siddipet, was really painful. I feel this pain every time I visit Siddipet. It will be very exciting in the morning when we start, and very painful when we leave for home. Sri Mohan Kishore and his wife had already left with Smt and Sri K Baba Rao, and Sri O Hanumantha Rao. We left with Smt & Sri MP Sainath, Smt & Sri VS Naidu, Smt & Sri Yamanappa and Sri DSS Rao. The bus to Hyderabad, it appeared, was waiting for us. There was a brief rain on the way. While getting down at the Jubilee Bus Stand, found that my mobile phone had slipped out of my pant pocket. Went for some distance in the bus, searched for it and when I could not find it, got down and walked back to where my wife and friends were waiting for me. My wife handed me the mobile phone and said that one of the passengers had given her. I thought that it was another of Baba’s miracles.

I was in some kind of a trance for the next few days, engrossed in the very divine ambience at the temple. Siddipet Temple has its own charm and fascination for me. Sri KK Murthy, Sri Granthi Srinivas, Sri Tadakamalla Narasaiah, Sri Rajamouli, Sri Shivanandam are all friends of long standing and our friendship has stood the test of time. On this occasion, it is my duty to express my deep gratitude to all of them for treating me as one among them and organizing the function so immaculately well. After all, life is an integration of such memorable events with all the friends coming together and contributing so heartily to make it a remarkably successful event! The beauty of the occasion was that no single person considered the function as his own or that of a friend. We all moved together as we were tied by a single thread of love weaved by Baba. It was at this temple itself that my journey with Baba began and the book took its roots. The extraordinary fact is that the book was released by a great devotee of Baba who also had the same name – Sainath!