1.Feature of the Week: Faith
2.Religions of the World, Part VII
3.In the News
5.Experiences of Devotees
7.From the Editor's Keyboard
8.Subscribe to Sai Vichaar
From the Editor's Keyboard...
The section on Experiences of devotees is well received and we thank you all for that. We request readers to support the essay writing activities by contributing to them as well as by voting. Topics for the essay writing were decided upon keeping in view of the global nature of participants and the objective that the universal nature of Sai philosophy may be exposed. The topics in each category do provide enough room for incorporating individual experiences and build up a reading material for a wider readership. If readers would like to suggest more topics for such activities, please do so. We will be happy to use them for future activities.
Sai Vichaar team is greatly indebted to those who support this publication. We also urge you not to hesitate about expressing your opinions and forwarding your contributions for publication in Sai Vichaar. If needed, Sai Vichaar team will be happy to provide any support with your write up. If you have any material to contribute to Sai Vichaar, and need assistance with writing and putting the material together, please contact the web site administrator. We would like to remind that Sai Vichaar is a weekly newsletter dedicated to the philosophy and teachings of Sadguru Sainath of Shirdi. The weekly nature of this publication lends itself less interactive to carry out any extended discussions on matters of interest to the readers. We would like to suggest that other forums on this website are more appropriate for carrying out discussions on any spiritual matters and other topics related to Sai Baba.
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:|
Spiritual pursuit requires faith. Is faith in Sadguru something that one can successfully teach or logically decipher? Perhaps not. Faith is a virtue of certitude that has to exist without even an aorta of distrust or doubt. The term "blind faith", is commonly used to denote the unshakable trust one possesses in the object of reference. Ancient Hindu scriptures depict the story of great devotee Prahlada, the son of demon king Hiranyakasyapa. Hiranyakasyapa challenges the existence of God and goes to the extent of torturing his very son to prove his point. To the madness of the demon father, the child Prahlada responds with a smile and counterchallenges that the all-pervading God could be realized in any object, animate and inanimate. The proud demon king kicks on the post near-by ridiculing how God could be found in an inert object such as a brick wall or a post. Alas! The faith of devotee child Prahlada is paid off; Lord Vishnu manifests Himself by coming out of the post split kicked by the demon king. Vishnu appearing in the form of Lion-faced Narasimha, kills Hiranyakasyapa and rescues His devotee Prahlada from the torture of the evil.
The faith that a follower should have in his/her Guru has often been compared to the faith exhibited by a dog towards her master. Of all the animalsin nature, dog is known for its faithfulness. Sai Baba's special love for this animal signifies the same. Dog always accompanies her master and never forsakes him at times of distress. In this case, a life form that is far less evolved than humans in other faculty stands out as an example for faith, an important requisite for a seeker.
(A contribution by Soma Somalingam, Christchurch, Newzealand, and Ravin Gnanasambandam, Arkansas, USA)
Jains believe that all life forms have a soul and should not be harmed. Jains will not eat meat and the most devout Jains will even sweep insects from their path to avoid stepping on them and wear masks to avoid accidentally swallowing insects. Like Hindus they believe in reincarnation but they do not believe in Gods. They believe in an eternal universe and all living things are a part of this universe.
Jainism is one of the oldest religions of the world believed to be followed by the earliest enlightened teachers known as (Tirthankaras) cited in Rig-Veda. Structured Jain religion as it exists today, was founded by Vardhaman Mahavira, 2500 years ago. The major scriptures of Jainism include Agamas Siddhantas.
Jain philosophy believes in a Universe that is beginning-less, endless and operates in accordance with its own law, known as natural law. Jains believe in Ahimsa,doctrine of non-killing, non-violence and non-injury. They also believe in Law of Karma in the sense of cause and effect. The primary causes of suffering and injustice in the world are Himsa (violence), nirdaya (lack of compassion), krodha (anger), mada (pride), maya (infatuation), lobha (greed), dvesha (hatred), and trishna (craving). It is believed that attachment to material objects is the primary cause of bondage and leads to greed and jealousy, which further leads to suffering and injustice. Renouncing attachment to material object is a necessary condition for attaining peace and joy in the world and thereafter.
Jainism rejects the ritualistic content of the Vedas but accepts their higher teachings. Jainism also does not believe in existence of God as creator, sustainer and moral governor of the world. Goal of life according to Jain dharma is to attain kevala (liberation) whereas in other Hindu philosophies the goal is moksha. Both are similar, in that both emphasize transcending the world of names and forms to realize the truth, the truth that is both jiva (life) and nirjiva (lifeless). Jainism enumerates five Samväya (Five causes for everything that happens). They are 1. Time (käl), 2. Own-nature (svabhäva), 3. Karma, 4. Fate (niyati), and 5.Self-effort (purushärtha).
Ten Virtues of Jain Monks
Diwali (Dipavali - row of lamps)
Gyan (Gnan) Panchami - Gyan Panchami is celebrated on the fifth day of the New Year to honor knowledge and Holy books.
Ekadashi (day of silence -Mauna) falls on the eleventh day of the waning moon of the month Margshirsh.
Mahavir Swami Diksha Kalyanak The day Mahavir Swami took diksha i.e. renounced the worldly life.
Mahavir Swami Janma Kalyanak (Mahavir Jayanti)
Akshay Tritya or Akhatrij
Mahavir Swami Kevalgnan Kalyanak - On the 10th day of Vaisakh, Mahavir Swami attained Kevalgnan after intense meditation on the bank of river Rujuvaleka.
Paryushaan - This is a period, devised by the Jain Acharyas in the distant past, to celebrate before their Monsoon sojourn begins. During Paryushan the monks recite from the scripture Kalpasutra, dealing with specific injunctions about behavior and Mahavir Swami's life. The final day called 'Samvatsari', is marked by a ceremony of communal confession and seeking of pardon and concludes with a communal meal.
Back to Menu
It is with sadness that we report the demise of Uddhav Madhavrao Deshpande. Uddhavrao Deshpande is familiar to Sai devotees as a small boy standing next to Sadguru Sainath in one of very few original photographs of Sai Baba taken in Shirdi. Uddhav Madahvrao Deshpande, son of late Madhavarao Balwant Deshpande alias Shyama was born in the year 1907. At the time of Sadguru Sainath's Mahasamadhi in the year 1918, Uddhav Baba was 11 years old. Until his end a couple of weeks ago, he narrated his divine and inspiring first hand experiences with Sai Baba. We also learn that he lived almost all of his life in Shirdi, hardly 3 minutes walk from Dwarkamai Masjid at Shirdi. He was the last rare associate of Sai Baba.
Sai Activities - Shirdi Sai Samsthan USA, Chicago has scheduled the following events for the month of August 1998:
Sravana Poornima - Saturday, August 8, 1998
(Originally posted by Srinivas on Sun, Aug 2, 1998)
One day I was in deep trouble, I really do not know how to deal with the situation and how to tackle it. I had only one and only Guruji it is my SAI. I say Sai is my friend and direction. He wakes me up so manytimes whenever I sleep. He is my dear guru. I am lucky to become close to my Sai. I read a book on Sai, on some pages it suggests me that offer some sugar to sai for 40 days and give it to a sadhu. I was successfully offered sugar and able to complete 40 days. I was in a question that how to give it to a sadhu. There is no sadhu in my area. I took it to my home. I arrived with that whatever I was offering to Sai, in a pack on a morning. The same day I saw a person who looked like a pakir wearing a turban and a stick in his hand shouting at the door "SAI BABA". I was so surprised. I just took that pack of sugar and offered to him. After three days, I was thinking how I was able to make it to reach the offerings. Its amazing Sai came on his own to collect my offerings. That is Sai. I love you Sai. Hey friends .. You see Sai. He is in your hearts. You call Him; He will come anywhere you want. This is one small experience in my life. Sai has done many many miracles in my life. He is Great Sadguru.
Thank you for sending the newsletter, unexpected though it was it certainly is not SPAM. It is always a joy to read. It is the same with the Ramana Maharshi Newsletter which is the only thing I read cover to cover upon getting it out of the mailbox. Thanks again,
Sai Ram Dear Vignesh ji
A. If only spirituality and the need for spiritual quest can be successfullyand completely interpreted or explained, we may be living in a different world, a world completely full of selfless service, unconditional love, shining virtues, and the wisdom that the Supreme permeates everything. However, the world is far from such a state. The statement, "No single source can completely expound the teachings of Sai Baba." was based on the experience of Sai Vichaar that Sai philosophy is universal and can be experienced by saadhana as deviate as the individual seeker himself. Consider a student approaching to learn a topic; biology or logic. This cannot be accomplished by reading just one book or from a single source. If this is so, how appropriate would it be to say that "Sai tatva" or the essence of Sai teachings can be learnt from one particular source or for that matter, any source. Hence, it is an opinion that, "No single source can completely expound the teachings of Sai Baba."
B. Shirdi Sai Baba preached advaitha or non-dual nature of Atman in His own way by citing examples of His omnipresence through several incidents during His stay at Shirdi and beyond, for those who have faith in His omnipresence.
Finally, appropriate forum for discussions on such topics as this, would be the world wide devotees discussion forum elsewhere on this website. We suggest that these topics may be posted in that forum for an enlightening discussion involving worldwide devotee participation.
You may subscribe to receive the newsletter by e-mail.
Back to Menu
© 1996-1998 by Shirdi Sai Baba web site Organization, all rights reserved.