1.Feature of the Week: Patience
2.Religions of the World, Part VI
3.Experiences of Devotees
5.From the Editor's Keyboard
6.Subscribe to Sai Vichaar
From the Editor's Keyboard...
Thanks to Babita Lakhanpal ji for sharing with us the wonderful miracle of Sadguru Sainath. The best of rational thinking still falls short of an acceptable explanation for the incidents that only faith can explain. Even a casual acknowledgment of His miracles will bring in that faith in one's life, and a careful analysis will only increase it.
We received a mail from Vivek Jhingran that read " Jai Sai Ram. Thank you very much for including me in your weekly letter. I feel content after reading the feature of the week, and Sai Devotees experiences. I want to know how and where can I put up my queries and questions and who will answer those queries. I would be grateful to u if I could get this information as soon as possible." The main advantage of a global forum dedicated to the teachings and philosophy of Sainath is the availability of such means where one can share and learn. No single source can completely expound the teachings of Sai Baba. It is in this context that interested devotees are encouraged to participate by posting their opinions, questions, comments, and experiences, and know from one another. Specific questions related to the philosophy of Sai Baba of Shirdi are always welcome and can be directed to the web site organizer. Every attempt will be made to address those questions.
We hope that you will take a minute to visit our Guru Poornima celebrations section and please be reminded of the essay writing activity . We sincerely appreciate essay contributions in every group and we hope that by His grace, our attempts will be blessed. May Sai bless you all.
Sai Vichaar is devoted to the philosophy and teachings of Shri Sadguru Sai Baba of Shirdi, and will take every measure to avoid topics or themes contradicting the same.
Sai Vichaar team or the Shirdi Sai Baba web site organization is not responsible for the opinions expressed by individual contributors.
Feature of the week:
Sai Baba demanded dakshina (the term given to money or other material offered to the Guru by the disciple). It is known that He did not ask for it from everyone that visited Him. His demands did not seem to conform to a particular pattern; neither did He receive it from everyone who wanted to offer. It was as if a divine predisposition dictated the matter of asking and receiving dakshina. Sai Satcharitha reveals several incidents where Sainath had asked specific amounts of money from those who visited Him only to be confirmed later that the dealings existed beyond the knowledge of the giver.
On a metaphorical note, Sai Baba always insisted on two pice as
dakshina to be given to Him by His followers. Faith and patience are
considered as those two pice that this saint God wanted from His
children. Patience is realized as a universal virtue that needs no
explanation. However, patience that Sainath wants from His devotees is
unique. Sri B. Hanumantha Rao, a blessed devotee of Sadguru Sainath
and the writer of a telugu work titled "Sai Anusaranamu" expounds this
principle as follows.."the patience a devotee must possess should be
similar to the one that a war horse exhibits in a battle field. Amid
the deafening sounds of cannons, lingering death knell, chaos, and
cacophony, the horse bears the weight of its rider and surges forward
without any fear for his life. This is a patience coupled with valor
and enthusiasm. This is the patience that Baba wants His children to
exhibit." A passive act of waiting because of lack of alternatives
may not be construed as patience that Sainath demands from His
followers. Patience has to be an active phase of courage, hope, and
enthusiasm that arise out of one's surrender to His predisposition.
Such a patience will reap a rich harvest, material and spiritual.
(Contributed by Mr. Somalingam, Christchurch, Newzealand)
The Sikh religion was found in the 15th century by a teacher, or guru, called Nanak. It combines beliefs from both the Muslim and Hindu faiths, with its own distinctive principles. The scriptures of Sikhism are called the Guru Granth Sahib. Sikh children attend a coming of age ceremony that initiates them into the Khalsa, the community of the pure. All boys take the name of Singh (lion) and the young women of Kaur (princess). Orthodox Sikh men have to have long hair and beards (kesh), carry a comb (kangha) and a sabre (kirpan), to wear shorts (kacha) and a bangle (kara). The Sikhs regard themselves as warriors. The word 'Sikh' in the Punjabi language means 'disciple', Sikhs are the disciples of God who follow the writings and teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus. The wisdom of these teachings in Sri Guru Granth Sahib is practical and universal in their appeal to all humankind. A Sikh faithfully believes in: (i) One Immortal Being, (ii) Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Dev to Guru Gobind Singh, (iii) The Guru Granth Sahib, (iv) The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus and, (v) the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru.
Philosophy and Beliefs
Sikhs believe in the existence of one God for all humankind. They also believe that the soul goes through cycles of births and deaths before it reaches the human form and the goal of our life is to lead an exemplary existence so that one may merge with God. Sikhs should remember God always and practice living a virtuous life as laid out in the Guru Granth Sahib.
Sikhism also believes that the true path to achieving salvation does not require renunciation of the world or celibacy, but living the life of a householder and avoiding worldly temptation and sins. In fact, Sikhism condemns such rituals as fasting, visiting places of pilgrimage, superstitions, and idol worship. Sikhism preaches that people of different races, religions, or sex are all equal in the eyes of God. Sikhism also teaches the full equality of men and women.
Faith and Practices
Guru Nanak founded the Sikh religion. Guru Nanak was born in 1469. He preached a message of love and understanding. Guru Nanak passed on his leadership of the Sikhs and his enlightened spirit to nine successive Gurus. The last of the living Gurus, Guru Gobind Singh died in 1708. Guru Gobind Singh established a new voluntary order of Sikhs, the Khalsa fellowship (meaning 'The Pure'), soldier-saints. The Khalsa upheld the highest Sikh virtues and fought many battles to fight injustice and preserve Sikhism. The Khalsa is A Sikh who has undergone the baptism ceremony initiated by Guru Gobind Singh and who follow a Code of Conduct and wear five physical symbols of the brotherhood. One of the more noticeable features is the uncut hair that they cover with a turban.
Before his death Guru Gobind Singh appointed his successor as the Sikh Holy Book the Guru Granth Sahib and declared that the Sikhs no longer needed a living Guru. Guru Gobind Singh felt that the wisdom needed by the Sikhs for guidance in their daily lives could be found in the Guru Granth Sahib, the Eternal Guru of the Sikhs. The Guru Granth Sahib is a unique scripture because it is accorded the sole status of being the head of the Sikh religion.
Guru Gobind Singh abolished the priests' system since it was felt that
priests were corrupt and egotistic. Sikhs refer to Guru Granth Sahib
as the holy shrine, and any Sikh is free to read the Guru Granth Sahib
in the Gurdwara (Sikh Temple) or in their home. People of all
religions are welcome to the Gurdwara where all people pray together
and share a meal as a whole community. The most important religious
center for the Sikhs is Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) at
Amritsar in Punjab. As the Vatican is to Catholics and Mecca to the
Muslims so is The Golden Temple to Sikhs.
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