FAQ - How should we do Parayana? - II

Master wrote more than 45 books and in His life time discoursed almost ceaselessly (even through His meals). Once when some one asked Him to summarize, He said that if we are really trying to be true followers of Sri Sai Baba, Parayana and leaving food outside before meals are the two key, central practices to be followed compulsorily.

Babugaru recommends, 'Read and reread the oft neglected Introductions, Prefaces, Forewords, Appendices & Glossaries if any to all of Saimaster's writings especially the main parayana granthas, Sri Sai Leelamrutham (Telugu), Sri Guru Charitra (Telugu), Sai Baba the Master (see Appendix 'A Note on Devotion to the Guru'), Sri Swami Samarth (English) to begin with'. These are concise writings answer many of our questions and dilemmas of daily life. For example:
  • what are the benefits of having a spiritual life and does it take away from our worldly life  
  • what are the benefits of doing Parayana
  • a brief introduction to the great culture and tradition of Parayana in our country beginning with Srimad Bhagwatham. why this tradition is still relevant today and the future, and should become the central point in our lives
  •  what is the Dattatreya tradition and what is its uniqueness
  •  how does Shirdi Sai Baba fit into the Dattatreya tradition and why Sri Guru Charitra and Sri Sai Jeevitha Charitra (same as Sri Sai Leelamrutham) should be read side by side.
This wealth should be imprinted in on our minds. 

Babugaru further says, 'Be an active reader.  i.e. do not just swallow what Master says in the books, because that is going against what Master himself believed in.'  Having promised us all that he has said, in say the Introduction to Sri Sai Leelamrutham, while reading the book, we should see if it delivers. Do you actually experience the 'benefits'?; if not why and if yes to what extent. In either case this is what we should bring to the discussion table in the numerous talks at Nagole and outside, online forums, regular home discussion groups (satsangs) etc.

Moreover we should not read these books in isolation. We should cross-reference (atleast where Master himself refers to other books) all the time. 

We should simultaneously read books by and on other mahatmas, especially Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Sri Ramana Maharshi,

Reading Sri Sai Prabodhamrutam is a must, especially for those who have been reading Sri Sai Leelamrutham for years. Have you actually put into practice what Master mentions in the first para, in the first ten pages?? As Sri Sai Baba to the devotee who make the difficult buffalo ride across the Nanhe Ghat, 'Mere reading without practice is of no use'.