NewsLetter

General Announcements

Devotion

  • Sunday Sai Center Activities Schedule
     
    Time Description
    2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Setup Activities
    3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Sathya Sai Education (SSE) Classes for children (September to May)
    3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Singers Practice only for the specific group singing on that day
    4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Devotional Singing Practice open to all devotees (First and Fifth Sunday of the month)

    OR

    Study Circle (all other Sundays)

    5:10 – 06:10 p.m. Devotional Singing

    Looking for a service opportunity? Volunteers are needed every Sunday at 2:30 pm to help with the set-up of the Sai Center and altar. Also, volunteers are needed to stay back after the devotional activities are completed to help with the break down and cleanup. 


  • Study Circle

    1/14/2018

    This session focused on “Managing the Mind”, building on Bhagawan’s directives to:

    (a) Regular cleaning of the Mind, (b) Turning the Mind towards God (c) Rendering the Mind Objectless. We spoke of the above in the context of the characteristics of the Mind we studied in the last few sessions. As managing the mind is no mean task, Grace of the Lord, attained through deep prayer is a recommended method.

    In the next session, we encourage members to come forward to share their insights based on the discussions we have had, on this theme. Sairam!

    1/7/2018

    With Bhagwan’s Grace the study circle members reconvened after a long gap, to continue discussing the characteristics of the Mind. Bhagwan’s concept of ” Materialization – Vibration – Radiation” and about 15 different characteristics such as ” Operates through the senses”, “tends to seek  self gain and dwell in the past or the future” “Engages in planning and mental chatter” were discussed. Bhagwan’s concept of “CIA” or ” Constant Integrated Awareness” was introduced. Many examples from Bhagwan’s life and actions were presented to show how He operated from beyond the “Body – Mind”construct. Turning the mind to focus on the Atman, is a major “shift” that we should try to achieve with utmost sincerity.

    On the following Sunday, the discussion will focus on ways to “Manage the Mind” through Awareness of the Breath, Cleansing the mind, Turning it toward God. Jai Sai Ram!

    11/05/17 – Guidance to Western Devotees on the Mind

    We revisited  the characteristics of the mind, namely, “planning” and “mental chatter” and discussed some questions from the group. We also spoke of how Bhagawan operated from a different plane beyond the mind. His universal vision and selflessness are exemplary and His help to us, devotees, through His Life and teachings are most valuable.

    We discussed Bhagawan’s guidance to Western devotees on how the Mind uses the senses to compare with external environment and this again becomes a trigger for mental chatter and planning. 

    Bhagawan also explains that the Mind goes out to grasp thoughts and that they are material. In the next session, we will focus on Bhagawan’s prescription on how we can, “Manage the Mind”.

    Please see the entire compilation for this topic at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oUd3bbsRF32hXFxL8iwhAqArL_kYb9QhUAizg8M5JOU/edit

    10/29/17 – “Body is like a Water bubble”, ” Mind is like a Mad Monkey”

    Bhagawan says – “Body is like a water bubble” and “Mind is like a Mad Monkey”. We tried to understand the import of this insight from Bhagawan.

    According to Bhagawan, two characteristics of the Mind “Aalochana” or “Planning” and  Sambhashana or “mental chatter” are constant, even unrelenting, especially, during stressful situations. We discussed this and agreed to observe the “mental chatter” during periods such as driving, eating our food and taking a shower, when the vacant mind, often times,  surfaces its hidden agenda.

    In the next session, we will dive deep into Swamiji’s guidance on another characteristic of the Mind, namely Comparison and read how He guided Western devotees in this regard!

    Topic: Master the Mind – Be a Master Mind 
     

    The session focused entirely on discussing Quotes from Bhagawan’s writings such as Sandeha Nivarini and Discourses, with a view to understand the Divine teachings and apply them in our lives so we can achieve the objective of: Managing the Mind which is truly a difficult task, but is critical as spiritual aspirants.

    The first session, focused on understanding the ” Antahkarana” or the Inner Equipment we’ve been endowed with. These include – the Mind, Consciousness, the Intellect and the Atma (Soul). We also discussed Bhagawan’s statements describing how these four, react to outer objects and circumstances, throwing a cover over clear vision, achieving their own work and pulling man away from Inner peace.

    We then discussed how the Mind is the “thinking aspect of the Absolute consciousness” and is derived from it. We also discussed the “vrittis” or activities that characterize the mind. The Mind is always unsteady and constantly flitting from one object to another.

    Based on these we made points around the fact that this concept of “Mine” is conjured up by the mind, for objects, people unknown until yesterday. Using examples from real life we discussed how attraction to objects can derail your objective or goal, as the Mind gets attracted suddenly through a sense organ.

    Conviction that control of outer events is possible drives us to fret and spend energy in that direction, while the mature aspirant knows that action is necessary while events are not in anyone’s control. The judgemental nature of the Mind, makes it stand in judgement f God too. Bhagawan Divinized everything and is beyond context, while the Mind constantly judges and contextualizes things.

    There was discussion on the senses, questions around whether or not this is a very depressive view of the world.

    The next session may focus on Characteristics of the mind – mainly Sambhashana (Mental Chatter) and Aalochana (Planning).

 

  • Bhajan of the week

    Deity: Vittala
    Raag: Shankarabharanam/Bilawal
    Taal: Keherwa/Adi (8 beat)

    Lyrics:

    Jaya Panduranga Jaya Vittala
    Jagadodhara Hari Vittala
    Pandari Natha Jaya Hari Vittala
    Purandara Vittala Parama Dayala

    Meaning:

    Glory to Vittala, the One standing on a brick, Hari, Panduranga the redeemer of the Universe, Lord of Pandharpur and Purandara (Saint Composer) and the One who is Supremely compassionate.

    Audio Link:

Service

  • RSC Service Activities
     
    Date & Time Activity Details Locations
    Second Saturday (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM) Pillow service  Pillow Service at Vijay & Navya’s place, 112 Sand dollar Road, Cary, NC 27519 (2:00 – 4:00 PM)
    Third Saturday (4:15 AM – 6:45 AM) Breakfast service Breakfast service serving about 160 people. For more information and sign up Click Here
    Fourth Sunday (3:45 PM – 5:00 PM) Sandwich service Sandwich service by SSE kids at HSNC
         

SSE

  • SSE Classes run from September to May

  • Pre-SSE

    CLASS DATE: 02/18/2018 TEACHERS: Vanaja patti,  Chandran Thatha, Vasanthi aunty
    SUMMARY: Patience ATTENDANCE: 20

    Prayers:

    3 Oms, Gayatri, Ganapathi Slokam

    Main topics:  

     

    Today patti talked to us about patience. She showed us a picture of kids standing in line and we saw in that picture a girl is having a hard time to stand still. Waiting is very hard but she told us that we can count or sing quietly or think of a color and see how many objects we can find in that color in a room while waiting. She read a book called ‘Waiting is not easy’ by Mo Willems.

    Group Activity

    We played a couple of games and waited patiently for our turn.

    We practiced our bhajans “jaya Guru Omkara” and an english bhajan ‘Love is the way’ with Meenakshi akka.. Thank you akka for practicing those two bhajans with us. 

    Life application/Home work: 

    Practice to wait by staying calm and engaging in a quiet activity that does not disturb others such as counting.

    sing the bhajans with your parents every day. .

     

    Note to Parents: Do activities with your children, such as playing board games, which will help them to learn patience and wait for their turn.

  • SSE-Group1

    CLASS DATE: 2/18/2018 TEACHERS:   Jagruti, Aruna, Mansi
    SUMMARY ATTENDANCE: 14
    Prayers:

    We began the class with three Om’s and our regular Shlokas: Vakratunda, Kara Charana, Gurur Brahma, and Sai Gayatri.

    Main topic: Devotion

    We discussed different instances and ways that one can show devotion to god.

     Activities-

    • We began by learning a new bhajan called Shiva Nataraj Dónde Estás. The lyrics are attached below:
    Shiva Nataraj, ¿Dónde Estas?
    En El Corazón De La Verdad [ Shiva Nataraj … ]
    Baila Al Ritmo Del Tambor,
    (Shiva) Ven Conmigo, O, Señor
    Meaning: Shiva Nataraj, Where are you?
    In the heart of truth
    Dance to the rhythm of the drum
    Come with me, Oh Shiva
    • We also watched three stories: Jonah and the Whale, Markandeya, and Sudhama. Each story portrayed a different type of devotion and each story showed how each individual showed their love for god. 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqW70DsZpVw – Jonah and the Whale
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tpjuwIF7T4 – Markandeya
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeIsoGAz10U – Sudhama

    • We also played a game where each team picked a name of a God from a bag and they had to name three facts about that god, sing a bhajan, chant a prayer..etc about that god.

     Life application/Home work:

    Make sure to record everyday: “What I have done today to show my love to God”
    Daily night prayers and “Reflection”
    Don’t forget to write down at least three good deeds for this week.

    Note to Parents

    Please help the children fill out this weeks activities: Day, date, reflection, and prayers. Assist them in writing what they have done today to show their love for God and their good deeds completed during the week. This can be done individually, or with the entire family, and this can become a beautiful family activity as well.

     

  • SSE-Group2

     

    CLASS DATE: 02/18/2018

    TEACHERS:Hitha Raj, Aditi Jain, Jalaja 

    SUMMARY: How are we using our quality time towards our faith in God, self confidence in ourself. Always thinking positive.

     

    ATTENDANCE: 19 out of 24.

     

    Class started with 3 Oms, prayers and bhajans.  3Bhajans were reviewed from last class and students learned the bhajans from Athima.

    i am super proud to say that 11 years ago she was in  my group 2 SSE and today she was in the same class as an young adult and teaching the bhajans for the kids. It’s a great blessing and thank you Athima. May swami bless you.

    Quote:God Is Love And Love Is God And God And Man Are One

    Activity:  we watched a beautiful Video about power of positive thinking.

    staying in thought word and deed of positive thinking .

    trusting in God and having faith in God.

     

     

    It was a very Amazing class with discussion and some personal stories how Having faith in God, and trusting in God and believing in God and staying positive can be so magical.

    We also talked about Meerabai story and how her devotion and love for Krishna as her savior and guide and guard.

    ask your kids what was the inspiring part of the class they enjoyed the most.

    we really had so much fun sharing,discussing and enjoying the class to the fullest.

     

     

    Life application/Homework:

    1.       Practice light meditation daily. . Observe yourself if you are carrying the love and light with you wherever you go. Come and share with us how did it help you

    2.       Continue spreading golden hearts by trying to get to know someone that you don’t know very well.  Optional challenge – If there is someone that you dislike or gets on your nerves, try to get to know them better.

     3. Stay in positive thinking and come and share in the next class how it helped you.

    4.how are you spending your quality time with God and how is your faith and trust on your God.

    come and share how you get in the next class.

    5. Know more about Meerabai story, on radio sai SWAMI’s   discourse, youtube and from parents.

     

     

     

     

     
     
     

    Note to Parents:

     1.Please encourage students to practice light meditation. 

    2..Please encourage children to be regular to the classes, also please be on time. 

    As you all know we are working on Time, we would love students be present by 3.25pm

    we need your help for students to be on time. 

    2.Have a family discussion about today’s class; what did they learn, what impacted them the most

    3..We humbly request you and your son / daughter to stay back for the Bhajan session whenever it is possible. Many of the group dynamics we are working on are connected to the center devotional session. We appreciate your time and commitment it’s a blessing to be part singing SWAMI’s Glory.

     

  • SSE-Group3

    CLASS DATE: 2/18/18 TEACHERS: Nalini, KK, Gangadher, Ardra
    SUMMARY: Life is Game- Play it: Life Skills. Guest speaker: Brother Ravi Varanasi ATTENDANCE: 18 ( Full attendance this week) 

    Prayers:

    Beginning prayers led by students. Ganesha, Guru, Mata.  We also introduced multi faith prayers. Please have them learn them. Link to multi faith prayers audio link: http://sairegion3.org/multi-faith-prayers/

    General class guidelines. No cell phones and being respectful to each other.

    Main topics:

    1. Topic for the rest of the year. Life is game. How to be successful\win it.
    2. In this series, we discussed 3 important Life skills to win. 
       I CAN: I CAN do this with God by my side- Any task should be taken up with this attitude 
       Skills: While trying to finish the task we will face hurdles, we might fail but we learn and move on.
       Persistent: Keep reminding our self the goal and do not give up. 
    3. We used analogy of boat as body, light house as Swami and life as turbulent ocean. 
    4. To give an experience to children we played a relay race that demonstrates about all the 3 life skills
    5. Divided groups of 3 kids. Each will be given series of things to do, they need to get them done in that order while respecting each other. We will time it.Fastest team wins.
       
      First group:
      Put a red, yellow, green scarf around the neck
      make a triangle with cards (playing card)
      Collect cotton balls in gold color basket, white stones in grey basket, gray stones in white basket
      jump thru obstacles (place boxes to jump over)
      put the bouncy ball in the bin with left hand
      Draw a sarva dharma symbol
       
      Order changes for each group.
       
      Discussion items after game: 
      1. Did each member of the team start with attitude I can do it. How many of you thought of God before starting –  How did that impact?
      2. Now that you understand the hurdles if you play again do you think you will win? – Learn from mistakes and build skills
      3. How many of you forgot the next thing to do and gave up- Did you give up and set yourself for failure?
      4. How many of you were focused on getting there fastest to win- Did you keep reminding yourself of the goal?
    6. Brother Ravi Varanasi was guest speaker who shared about his childhood, how he got into Swami’s fold, importance of SSE, how he practices values in profession, his experiences with Swami.
    7. Key points from the interactive talk: Pray to God before taking any test or starting any task,  Acceptance-Trust in Swami, Love is the language of the heart, Always remind that I am an instrument of Swami.
    8. It was a interactive session where kids asked lot of questions and came up with lesson for each experience shared.
    9. Deck used for the class with details: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1xqD-cQd97GzJQe8oEEYdkKnVUsrjDOaSllz-pRiG25o/edit?usp=sharing
    Life application
    1. Practice every day in mind, talk to Swami within for at least 2 mins. Students have to experiment, gain their own experience and share with class. These two mins should be completely focused on Swami and identify any distracting thoughts, but as explained the class manage those distractions.
    2. Consciously pay attention to the guidance given by your inner voice.  
    3. Students continue to fill out online google form for self assessment. This encourages them to constantly make an effort to connect to Swami within. 
    4. Pray to Swami daily the prayers given by Swami: On waking, pray every morning of your life, “Oh Lord, I am born now from the womb of sleep. I am determined to carry out all tasks this day as offerings to Thee, with Thee ever present before my mind’s eye. Make my words, thoughts, and deeds sacred and pure. Let me not inflict pain on anyone; let no one inflict pain on me. Direct me, guide me, this day.”
    And when you enter the portals of sleep at night, pray, “Oh Lord! the tasks of this day, whose burden I placed on you this morning, are over. It was You who made me walk and talk and think and act. I therefore place at Thy Feet all my words, thoughts, and deeds. My task is done. Receive me, I am coming back to you.”
    Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 2 Ch. 14
     
     

    Note to Parents: 

    1. Attendance is key for SSE to be successful. Please remind and help them practice life application. 
    2. We humbly request you and your son / daughter to stay back for the Bhajan session whenever it is possible. Many of the group dynamics we are working on are connected to the center devotional session. We appreciate your support! 
  • SSE-Group4

    CLASS DATE: 02/18/2018 TEACHER(S): Mouli and Meenakshi
    SUMMARY: 

    Sai-Inspiration Presentations and Guest Speaker Shankar Iyer

    ATTENDANCE: 5

    Main topic:

    This week we began class by talking about the upcoming service projects: sandwich service on February 25th, women’s shelter on March 26th, and Habitat for Humanity on April 7th. After. Then, we finished up our presentations on our “Sai Inspiration.” 

    In the second part of the class, we joined the center in listening to guest speaker Shankar Iyer Uncle who spoke about the meaning and importance of Mahashivarathri. He also spoke about his experience with Swami and sang a few bhajans. 
     

    During the week:

    Preparations for monthly sandwich service which will be led by Group 4 students this month.

    Sairam Parents –

    This Sunday, February 25th, Group 4 will be leading the monthly sandwich service. Any materials that have been signed up for are requested to be brought to the Group 4 room at 3:30 PM on February 25th.

    Sairam.

Young Adults (YA) Updates

  • None

Media Repository

  • The media repository for all past events is now available in our main page under this link.

Sai Center Officers

  • Officer Role

    Name

    Email Address

    President

    Ramki Nagaraj

    president@raleighsaicenter.org

    Vice-President

    Jaime Villegas

    vp@raleighsaicenter.org

    Education (SSE) Co-ordinator

    Nalini Dasana

    educare@raleighsaicenter.org

    Devotional Co-ordinator

    Saideepa Subramanian

    devotion@raleighsaicenter.org

    Service Co-ordinator

    Gopal Somu

    service@raleighsaicenter.org

    YA Co-ordinator

    Yadavan Varatharajah

    ya@raleighsaicenter.org

    If you have any questions, please email the respective office bearer. Click here to access their phone numbers (password protected). 

Thought for the Week

  •  

    You may have the best of vegetables, you may be the most capable cook, but if the copper vessel in which you prepare the vegetable soup is not tinned, the dish you cook will be highly poisonous! So ‘tin’ your heart with satya, dharma, shanti and prema (truth, right conduct, peace and divine love), it will then become a vessel fit for repeating the holy name, and for meditation, religious vows, pilgrimage, ritualistic worship and other dishes that you prepare in it. It is an uphill task to reform one’s tendencies and character. You may study all the text-books of spiritual practice, all the scriptures, and may even lecture for hours on them, but you will slip into error when temptation confronts you. The heart may appear like a land that is parched and free from any crop of evil, but when the first showers fall, the seeds and roots underneath the soil change the waste into a carpet of green. That is why the human values are so essential.

    – Divine Discourse, Jan 13, 1965.

    .