As the needles on the clock edged towards the big 12 o' clock on 31st Dec 2011, eager devotees (Sai bandhus) were all immersed in bhajan lead by our inimitable Yoga. Ammagaru graced us all with her darshan - a blessing for sore eyes & souls, and Babugaru performed the arathi to Shirdi Sai Baba, Sai Master and Ammagaru at Nilayam, followed by nivedana. A wonderful way to start the new year; new beginnings.
Ammagaru further graced us all with her message. It has been printed in this month's Sai Baba magazine (in Telugu). And then everyone's heart leapt with Babugaru's announcement that everyone could personally perform namaskaram to Ammagaru! Once we took this for granted and sadly only now that it is rarer, we learn to truly value it.
Afterwards, while everyone partook of prasadam and wished one other, Babugaru as usual took his plate and sat down with us to talk. He raised several questions, beginning with 'what is spirituality? Is is merely doing parayana and or going to the temple regularly? At times elaborating, he said, 'to live properly/following dharma is spirituality. What is dharma?'. That is not easy for us common people to know or understand. There are huge gaps & misunderstandings in our understanding of the various phases of life and prevalent traditions. This lack of clarity at personal and familial level leads to larger issues of socio-economic resource mismanagement. For example, it makes sense to allow the much experience older work -force to retire and, instead of being put away in homes (as is already prevalent in many countries), use their knowledge to train the young. This leaves the middle aged free to focus, work productively and earn livelihoods for all...
While mosquitoes feasted on everyone's exposed skin, Babugaru included them too in the cause of humour and it was almost 3 am on 1st Jan. 2012 that Nagolites broke up to go home. Babugaru had scarcely touched his plate.