Saturday, December 31, 2011 0 comments

2011 Snapshots - Sri Sai Leelamrutham and Sri Guru Charitra Saamuhika grantha puja









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2011 Snapshots - Sri Krishnaashtami & Vinayaka Chavithi


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2011 Snapshots - Varalakshmi Vratam

Varalakshmi Vratam 2011 in the presence of Divyajanani, the granter of all that is good for us, at the residence of Smt. Adidam Vedavathi and Sri Adidam Srikanth garu, Nagole


Friday, December 30, 2011 1 comments

Permaculture updates

Here are some more photos of  our plot (refer my post on November 17, 2011) and more such spots in Nagole. Even these are from November 2011. Soon, I shall put up some up-to-date, fantastic shots of that very plot!!



Aah! tomatoes

Fresh, fresh gourds (beerakaya) for Nivedana

Just see the change in a month. Nature's work

Can you spot the corn plant?

Spinach planted with marigold for protection

I spy brinjals


Snakes (snake gourds) hanging in the sky!



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2011 Snapshots - March 6th and April 12th

March 6th  - the day Pujya Acharya Ekkirala Bharadwaja joined Pujyasri  Alivelu Manga Thayaru in holy matrimony, thereby to uplift the 'grihastha' ashrama.




April 12th - when we lost our beloved Mastergaru in body to gain him eternally in the spirit. 
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2011 Snapshots - New Year , Sankranthi, Kanya Tulasi Puja

In just a few hours another revolution of the earth around the sun would be complete. Even the earth (supposed to be all matter only) has the sense not the leave the source of light and life - giving energy. And the moon is our faithful satellite. Howcome the most intelligent species of this world (including yours truly) does not have the sense to perform pradakshina to the Guru every single second????

In this post and the next few I am going to post snaps of some key events in Nagole calendar 2011, in the holy presence of Pujya Mastergaru and Ammagaru. Please do bear with my inadequate blogging skills.






In the photos - first New Year celebrations 2011, Sankranthi pandaga, Collecting flower bulbs etc. from the International horticulture expo and Kanya Tulasi puja.




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2011 Snapshots - Deepawali & Oct 30th








Wednesday, December 21, 2011 0 comments

There is a lot about the last month that I have yet to post on, but before that I would like to share with you the recording of a play that I happened to revisit yesterday. It was performed on Feb 9th this year at Nagole, Hyderabad, commemorating the anniversary of Pujya Mastergaru's experience of Samadhi (enlightenment) at Shirdi in 1963.

Even though I was among the fortunate few who saw this live, the impact on viewing the recording is still as fresh and compelling. The Master's teachings are so simple and yet profound....For those who have seen or atleast seen photos of Mastergaru at his simple desk in the front hall - writing, reading, interacting incessantly (his 'karya nishtatah' and 'sraddha' towards each and everyone, that Pujya Ammagaru spoke of recently, come to mind), Ammagaru close by in the adjoining room - the very setting was evocative. There is something very profound and moving about a son playing the father and in this case ....words are insufficient.



This is another rare, precious gem to hold dear in our hearts. Truely as Smt. Adidam Vedavathi garu put it, 'These are golden days in the presence of Amma (Pujyasri Alivelu Mangathayaru garu)'.

Monday, December 12, 2011 0 comments

Sri Datta Jayanti Mahotsavam

The last month in Nagole has been something like a quiet whirlwind, building silently towards Sri Datta Jayanti Mahotsavam on 10th Dec. As the holy book, Sri Guru Charitra elaborates, the avatar of Lord Dattatreya is unlike other avatars such as Lord Rama and Lord Krishna. 
'...The incarnation of Sree Rama was intended for the destruction of the demon king Ravana. The avatar of Sree Krishna was intended for the annihilation of King Duryodhana and his wicked train. So, after the completion of those missions, Sree Rama and Sree Krishna had cast off their physical bodies and left for their heavenly abode. But the avatar of Dattatreya was intended for the welfare of all creatures. As this mission has to be carried out as long as creation exists, he does not lay down his body and leave for his heavenly realm but goes on wandering from place to place. Thus Dattatreya is the eternal avatar of god's spirit of self-dedication to the salvation of all creatures. He manifests himself perennially as the perfect saints of all religions of the world....' 
Sree Guru Charitra by Pujya Sri Acharya E. Bharadwaja 
 In order to help prepare our minds to commemorate his  momentous advent on earth, to revisit the purpose of our  lives,  Pujya Ammagaru advised that Dhuni puja should be performed for eleven consecutive days leading up to the main day. It is perhaps the first time in recent years that this kind of Deeksha has been given. The Dhuni Puja was performed at Ammagaru's Sivapuri, Nagole residence after the  daily evening satsangam wherein the 108 parayanas (in preparation for great celebration of Master Sri Ekkirala Bharadwaja Maharaj Krutagnataa Mahotsavamu Feb 8, 2013 - Oct 30, 2014) is in progress.  With Pujya Mastergaru's and Divyajanani Ammagaru's grace, our Satsangam group was able to attend the puja continously. 

The release of the Braille edition of Sri Sai Leelamrutham by Divyajanani Alivelu Mangathayaru garu is another historic mile-stone in Sri Shirdi Sai tava pracharam taken up as a life-work by Pujya Mastergaru.

With Pujya Sai Master's blessings, we are able to avail the video of the entire Sri Dattajayani Mahotsavam celebrations. This is a treasure to savour for all times. Note the profound and melodious Mangalam song sung towards the end by Smt. Adidam Vedavathi, which is a composition of Pujyasri Ammagaru.


Thursday, November 17, 2011 2 comments

Working together, namam and permaculture!

Following Pujya Ammagaru's passion for growing plants, Babugaru (DJ) took up experiments in Permaculture in earnest. This is no mean task, for Nagole has dry, almost barren soil, and coming close to the government's 'Department of Forestry' conservation area, there is a regular deluge of pests and reptiles of all orders! 

Babugaru and his team took up studies on the subject, brain stormed ideas on landscaping, water-conservation and plant mixing. They took up every accessible piece of land for their hands-on work, growing more than manageable amounts of fresh, organic produce to offer for Mastergaru's nivedana  and preparation of large quantities of prasadam for distribution.

After a year of hard-work, the rest of us, (majority city-bred Nagolites), were ready for lessons from them. Babugaru in his tireless manner took several hours explaining the basics of forest systems and permaculture - ecologically sustainable cultivation. Next was how we can practically apply them to become self-sufficient in vegetable produce with minimum investment. 

One saturday, some of us gathered in our free time to put in some Baba namam and some physical work, to create a vegetable patch and learn in the process. Nature took up the rest and you can see the flourishing results below. 

Jai Sai Master!





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Wither Human being ?


Swami Vivekananda has said, 'So long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every man a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them'. The Bible says 'Do unto others as you would have others do unto you (Matthew 7:12)'. 

But the unspoken question all of us appear to have is  that we are overburdened with our lives and problems, we have come into Baba's fold to find solutions to our own problems, what can we do for others?

One of the oft repeated themes in Ammagaru's messages at Satsangs at Nagole is there can be no spirituality without 'being human' in the first place. Without basic kindness and consideration for others, we are just 'manushya rupena mrigah charanti' (beasts in the garb of men/women).

It does not always mean great acts of social service. Simple things such as not hogging the best spot under the fan, the wall support, the seating area (while many others stand outside), the front spot etc in the satsang hall indicate how much we care about others and inversely about ourselves! We are inherently selfish and the only way to get out of it is to start doing things for others. 

In this respect Ammagaru believes that the old way of village life was better. Everyone knew everyone else and came forward to help. Whereas in our insulated independent houses and apartment complexes, we often do no even know whether our neighbours are in or not, whether they are ill or have visitors and perhaps simply making tea could help them out. Further, everyone knowing everyone's business also acted as  collective social restraint on individuals deviating from positive behaviour.

On this topic, it is worth our while to read DJ's post on  Society and the Individual.

Easier said than done, one might say, but one has to begin somewhere and better late than never!

Please feel free to post your comments.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011 0 comments

Food, Festival and Family

With Diwali just past and Christmas and New Year round the corner, the general mood is festive. And food is synonymous with festivals and family time. Interestingly, every mahatma has performed leelas in relation to food.
Sri Krishna in the Mahabharata, saved the Pandavas in the forest from the sage Durvasa's curse, by partaking a single morsel of rice left over in their Akshayapatra, thus in effect feeding all the hungry sages.

In the Sree Guru Charitra (click the title to read the book), Chapter 19, there is the story of Bhaskara Sharma, a poor but devout brahmin who came to offer food to  Sree Guru with provisions enough for only three persons. The Master asked him to invite all for lunch. When he did so, '...they (other disciples) heckled him saying, ' We are more numerous than the grains you have cooked. How dare you invite all of us?'....When the food was being served it was found that though the preparations were meagre, what was being served was enormous in quantity...'

In The Supreme Master (click the title to read the book), Chapter 2, there is a similar great leela performed by Sri Akkalkot Maharaj

One of our fondest memories of Pujyasri Mastergaru is an occasion when he mixed rice with his own hands and fed young and old alike. During the summer months, when it is very hot in Ongole, and kids would often skip food in favour of cool drinks, Ammagaru would herself mix rice and making every one sit around her, with lively words would make them eat enough to last a few mealtimes. At Nagole too the tradition continues. Ammagaru has taught us to cook for large numbers, for everyone is family!, and spend our leisure time together. Ammagaru herself plans surprise, special treats made out of the simplest ingredients; made all the more special because there is no formal occasion for it. And the taste is indescribably delicious. While we savour the food, all we are asked to do is to think, ' What am I here for? What do I hope to achieve? Have I achieved it? '  

Such is their love and grace!

                                                     ------------------------------------
The Gospel of Matthew VI: 
[31] 'Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?' 
[32] (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.


[33] But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

[34] Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof


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Seeds of Spiritual life



In the Chapter 'A Sketch of His Life (II)', Sai Baba the Master (click here to read), Mastergaru says,
          '... Once when he (Baba) went to Rahata he had brought with him  several varieties of seeds. After     cleaning and levelling a certain plot of the village land, he planted the seeds and watered them regularly....This went on regularly for quite some time and in due course a beautiful garden grew up. Visualizing the whole process, it seemed symbolic of the elevation of a god-forsaken village lke Shirdi into a powerful spiritual centre and the common rung of the society that came to him into a luscious spiritual crop...'

At hitherto god-forsaken Nagole too, Ammagaru with her own hands started beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. The size, strength, colour and variety of blooms vies with those of international horitculture companies.Every morning and evening, Ammagaru herself selects and arranges the blooms to decorate Shirdi Sai Baba and Pujya's Mastergaru's photos and peetham. This pulangi seva is one of the most delicate and beautiful of sevas to see at Nagole. It has taught me that the dedication to offering of flowers to Baba (which most of us take care of by plucking a few common flowers from our garden or buying the routine 'chataku' and maala at the market) is starting from the stage of sowing of seeds, right up to the final eye-catching flower arrangement. For are not Baba and Master, Kings among Mahatmas? And if we do so much for our pathetic faces every morning, how much more should we be doing for them!! 

Vegetables too - all the leafy varieties plus tomatoes, brinjals, beans, tamarind, carrots, beets, spinach to mention a few, are planted under Ammagaru's precise directions and grown organically. Ammagaru taught all the children here to grow from cuttings in pots and also got them to sow all the grains etc we eat, so that they learn to recognise the  plants that provide our daily meal. Ammagaru taught that beginning with hoeing the ground, sowing, watering etc, we should perform every action with Baba Namam, with the prayer in our hearts that the food thus grown, should sow seeds of bhakhti and brotherhood in everyone of us.  

Jai Sai Master
Friday, October 7, 2011 0 comments

Divyajanani Alivelu Mangatayaru gari Jayanti Utsavam


Once I met a colleague and fellow avid-reader in the office elevator. He commented on the latest management books I was carrying and this led to a brief lively discussion comparing authors. Before he left he said, 'All that is fine but we don’t really apply it, do we? Then one book is as good as the other!'. 

On the occasion of Ammagaru’s birthday on 1st Oct, 2011, Nagole-ites gathered to put up a puja pandal and decorated the stage for Ammagaru. In the holy presence of Sri Dattatreya, Sri Sai Baba and Sri Saimaster gracing us in the form of their photos, the morning  and afternoon were dedicated to a very timely parayana (devout study) of  Sri Saimaster Pravachanamulu (a collection of  teachings from the speeches)  by Paramapuja Acharya Sri Ekkirala Bharadwaja. In this unique and invaluable book to any aspirant, Mastergaru has delineated the mindset of a seeker, the relation between the guru and the sishya, the path a seeker should take to mould herself, the meaning of several key terms and concepts - nishta, saburi, dakshina, sadguru seva, satgrantha patana, satsang etc. For more on this book and a link to read online, visit http://www.saibharadwaja.org/pages/books.aspx 

When evening came, after the Shirdi arati, everyone looked forward to getting a glimpse of Pujya Ammagaru. After Ammagaru was welcomed onto the dias, Babugaru (Ekkirala Dwarakanath Jnaneswar) reminisced about Mastergaru, literally bringing his look and voice alive in our minds and his loving presence in our hearts. Explaining that the spiritual connection is the reason why the Master invokes such response in our hearts, Babugaru also elaborated how practices of spiritual initiation all over the world, try to give the sadhaka a glimpse of what he is seeking to achieve. 


When requested to bless us with a few words of wisdom,  Ammagaru started in a lighter vein and went on to say that the only way for us to achieve success in this life and beyond, is actually applying what Mastergaru has in deed done and shown us through his own life.

Ammagaru explains Mastergaru’s ‘Deeksha‘, his ‘Karya Nishta’, which we all need to imbibe. To avail Pujyasri Ammagaru’s darshan and listen to this invaluable speech yourself, click here
We came away feeling greatly inspired to persevere in our positive efforts.

Monday, October 3, 2011 0 comments

Jai Sai Master!



Divyajanani Alivelu Mangatayaru garu at her residence in Nagole, Hyderabad, India

Salutations to Pujya Ammagaru, praying for her presence on this blog and seeking her blessings for this first post.


'Manasa bhajare guru charanam, manasa bhajare guru charanam, dustara bhava sagarataranam'

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Note: All the thoughts and views expressed in this blog are my own and are in no way associated with any individual or organisation. I humbly claim all errors as mine and credits, if any, are the outcome of His blessings. For information on complete works, authorised notifications and events review vist www.saibharadwaja.org. Jai Sai Master!
 
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