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3.  Glory of the Divine Names of Sri Sathya Sai

OM SRI SATHYA SAI BÄBÄYA NAMAH – My humble salutations to Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

The word Sai Baba literally means Sa + Aai (mother) and Baba (father). So Swami is our mother and father. ‘Sa’ means divine, so Sai Baba is our Divine Mother and Father. When a child is young, the foremost duty of the parents is to nurture him, protect him and imbibe values in the child. Today, millions of devotees from all over the world adore Swami as their Divine Parent and Swami takes care of them, in a like manner.

An incident that took place on 4th July 1996, speaks for itself. On this day, while giving a talk on Swami, one student addressed Him as ‘my Saimata’. He further said, “I do not have a mother, but I am blessed with the love of a thousand mothers.”

In the divine discourse that followed, Swami explained this statement. He said, “Do you all know why this student referred to Me as ‘Saimata’? Ten years ago, when this boy and his brother were young children, their mother was brought to Vrindavan on a stretcher. They had arrived from Himachal Pradesh. The mother was seriously ill. I drew the children close to Me and promised her, ‘From now on these children are Mine. Don’t worry.’ The mother was relieved. Later she passed away. Their father rarely comes here. The children have been left under Swami’s care.”

“The children started attending school here. This boy was five years old and was studying in the first standard. One day the lady warden brought him to Me saying, ‘this child is missing his mother terribly. He does not even eat his food and keeps crying all the time.’ I took him to the interview room and materialized a ring for him. I pacified him in many ways. From that moment, he was able to overcome his sorrow. He was joyous.”

This represents just one example. There are millions of people around the world who as His children are being constantly looked after by Swami.

Swami’s love is that of a thousand mothers. But we are unable to comprehend this. So many of us keep feeling, “Swami did not look at us; He did not talk to us!”

Two years ago, a middle-aged gentleman came for Swami’s darshan after his father’s demise. He was sitting in the first row. As Swami came along, this person was overwhelmed with his father’s memories and was unable to control his tears. Swami walked up to him and told him lovingly, ‘Don’t cry. Serve your mother’. And from that moment miraculously his sufferings eased, because the gentleman realized that he was under his Divine Father’s care.

Swami says “Your own parents may love you with some selfish intent but this Divine Saimata and Pita showers compassion on you, only so that you may attain success in your efforts towards Self Realization”.

OM SRI SATHYA SAINATH ARPANAM ASTU

 

OM SRI SAI SATHYA SWAROOPÄYA NAMAH – (2) Salutation to Sri Sai Who is the embodiment of Truth.

The word ‘Sathya’ has three syllables.

Sa – Sâkshatkâr (Self Realization)

Ta – Tapas (Penance)

Ya – Yama (Control of the senses)

The Truth experienced through Self Realization is ‘Sathya’. About ‘Sathya Swaroopa’ Bhagawan Baba says, “This entire universe is a manifestation of Truth. The world cannot exist without it. Each and every thing has emerged out of Sathyam.”

God created everything from Truth. There is no space where it does not exist. Sathya is the one and only sacred embodiment of the ‘Atma.’

All prosperity, all pleasures emerge from Truth. The Vedas, Upanishads and all the sacred scriptures have also emerged out of it. Truth and God are inseparable.

Truth is God. Upanishads also declare, ‘Rasovai Saha!” God is sweetness. This denotes that God pervades everything in a subtle form. Like sugar in sugarcane and butter in milk, He is present everywhere. Although it may be difficult to directly get a vision of the Lord, His existence can be experienced in many ways. The sweetness of sugar, the sourness of a lemon, the bitter taste of the neem, all these give an experience of the existence of divinity. The joy that we derive on seeing a mountain, a waterfall or a forest, is the revelation of God’s existence. The bright sun and the stars, the planets revolving in their orbits are all manifestations of the divine. A flame reveals the nature of fire, a drop of water reveals the river Ganges. In the same way, if one understands man’s true nature, one will be able to realize God.

Although constantly engaged in activity, man is unaware of his true nature. He identifies himself with the body, mind and the senses. He forgets that his true nature, which is ‘Sat’ or ‘Atmaswaroopa’, transcends all these. There are two existing principles in man-‘deha’ or ‘kshetra’ (body) and the indweller ‘Dehi’ or Kshetrajna’ which is the Self (one’s true nature).

There is a story about young Swami when He used to go with His devotees to the banks of the Chitravathi river in the evenings. Once some of the devotees expressed their desire to know Swami’s ‘Sathya Swaroop’ (true nature). At the time of sunset, while walking with the devotees, Swami suddenly disappeared. Everybody started searching for Him, but to no avail. Suddenly they heard a clapping sound from a distance, from a hilltop. When everyone looked in the direction, they saw Swami standing on top of the hill. He asked everyone from there, “Do you want to see the sun?” “Yes!” Everybody replied in unison. How will the sun reappear after sunset? But lo and behold, they could see the ‘Suryanarayana’ (sun) rising behind Sri Sathyanarayana. Its brilliance was so intense, they all started sweating profusely, due to the heat. They shouted, “Swami! It’s too hot.” In an instant the heat started reducing. Then Swami asked, “Do you want to see the moon?” And the full moon started rising behind Him. As the pleasant moonlight started to spread everywhere, the devotees feeling the cold, started shivering. Some of them shouted, “Swami! It’s too cold!” And the cold slowly subsided. 

Then Swami announced in His authoritative tone, “I will show you the third eye now. Watch carefully.” Even as everyone was wondering how the third eye will be, Swami could not be seen. Only His head was seen. It started growing in size to an extent that the entire sky was covered by His head. As everyone was watching this, an opening appeared in the centre of His eyebrows. Fiery sparks and light started gushing out from it. The brilliance increased to a point, when some devotees unable to bear it, fell unconscious and children began to cry. Suddenly, all this phenomena disappeared and everybody saw Swami standing amidst them… Smilingly looking towards them, He asked them all, “What happened? Are you all right?” Then He materialized vibhuti and applied it on everyone’s foreheads. One by one all those who had fallen unconscious, regained consciousness. But all of them felt the vertigo effect for another two days.

While explaining this extraordinary darshan Swami said, “Since you prayed to Me to show you My real nature, I did all this. Because of your prayers of many past births, I have shown you the third eye. I did not show you even a thousandth part of My brilliance. But that too was difficult for you to withstand.”

May Swami bless us all with the capacity to understand His true nature (Sathya Swaroopa). We sincerely pray at His divine lotus feet to grant us the opportunity.

OM SRI SATHYA SAINATH ARPANAM ASTU

 

OM SRI SAI SATHYA DHARMA PARÄYANÄYA NAMAH – (3) Salutation to Sri Sai, who solely adheres to Truth & Righteousness

Dharma = Righteousness

Parâyana = Ultimate Refuge

We bow down to Sri Sai Who is the Ultimate Refuge and can be attained through Self Realization by adhering to Truth and Righteousness. Whenever God has incarnated on earth, He has given utmost importance to adherence to Truth and Righteousness. The Ramayana narrates the various duties of a father, mother, son, brother, wife and king. Lord Ramachandra has set an ideal for us by explicitly following His duties as a son, husband, brother and king.

On many occasions during the Sri Krishna avatar, Bhagawan stressed on the importance of ‘Dharma’ (righteousness / duty). In the Bhagavad Gita He has declared.

Shreyän Swadharmo Vigunah Para Dharmät Swanushtität

Swadharmé Nidhanam Shreyah Para Dharmo Bhayävaha

‘Better one’s own duty, though devoid of merit, than the duty of another well discharged. Better is death in one’s own duty; the duty of another is fraught with fear and generates positive danger.’ (Here Bhagawan relates to ‘Dharma’ as one’s own

duty or righteousness).’

Even while assuring the devotees of His divine protection, Sri Krishna has declared

Sarva Dharmän Parityajya Mämekam Sharanam Vraja

‘Abandoning all dharmas (of the body, mind and intellect) surrender to Me.’ Live My message – is the inner significance of this declaration.

There is one significant story from Sai’s Shirdi Incarnation. Sainath had one peculiar habit. At times, when He talked, He seemed to speak irrelevant things, apparently vague to a common listener, but relevant and meaningful to the one for whom it was intended.

Once when Sainath was sitting in Dwarakamayi and talking to His devotees, an unknown person arrived for His darshan. No sooner did he start stepping up onto the steps of Dwarakamayi, Baba thundered at the top of His voice, “Stop! Don’t climb up.” Such an expression was quite alarming to all present, including the person concerned. Not bothering about Baba’s warning, he continued climbing the steps of Dwarakamayi. Baba then flew into a rage. His face and eyes turning red with anger, He shouted “Stop there! Don’t you dare climb up. Haven’t you sold your father?” Hearing this, the intruder felt ashamed. He hung his head and left. None were able to understand the significance of this statement. On enquiry, it was revealed that he had recently changed his religion. No one was aware of this. But can anything be hidden from the Omniscient Sai? All religions teach the same principle of love, so why did he need to change his religion? He could have fulfilled his duties by remaining true to the religion of his birth. Sainath did not approve of this and so, showed His displeasure.

In the present Sathya Sai avataar , Swami tells us, “My life is My message.” At the age of ten, He told Easwaramma, “I have been born to serve.” His task of upliftment of humanity is ongoing. Swami says, “To follow religion is an eternal law. If one stops abiding by his religion, there will be chaos in the world.”

In the Gita, Sri Krishna has declared.

Yé Tu Dhammärmrutam Idam Yathoktam Paryupäsaté

Shraddhadhänä Mat Paramä Bhaktästa Ateeva Mé Priyah

“They indeed, who follow this ‘Immortal Dharma’ (Law of life) as described above, endowed with faith, regarding Me as their supreme Goal – such devotees are exceedingly dear to me.”

Today, those devotees who practise righteous conduct religiously, are very dear to Sai Krishna.

OM SRI SATHYA SAINATH ARPANAM ASTU

 

OM SRI SAI VARADÄYA NAMAH – (4) Salutation to Sri Sai, who is the giver of boons.

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In every incarnation of His, Bhagawan has been granting rewards to devotees who undertake arduous sadhana. God grants His blessings in many ways, to those who love Him.

In His Shirdi Sai incarnation He used to say, “In the beginning, I give all My devotees whatever they ask for. I grant them so much that ultimately they ask for what I wish to bestow on them.”

 

This is a unique incident, which reveals Sri Sai’s extraordinary ways of granting boons. A lot of devotees used to throng the Dwarakamayi for Sainath’s darshan. In those days, persons like Mhalsapati, Madhavrao Deshpande alias Shama, Tatya Kote Patil used to assemble around Sai.

 

One day, one gentleman and his family came to Dwarakamayi for Sai’s darshan. When this gentleman’s son put his head on Sainath’s feet, Sainath made him sit next to Him very lovingly and casting a loving glance towards the boy, He said, “Diya!” (meaning thereby-given). The expression sounded strange to the boy’s father and all present, except Shama who at once asked the boy to say, “Liya!” (meaning thereby – I accept). Immediately the boy said to Sainath, “Liya.”

 

Sainath smiled happily. The next moment, He took off His robe (kafni) and put it on that boy. At that time, this gesture of Baba’s was beyond anybody’s understanding.

A few years passed by. Sainath took samadhi on Dassera (Vijayadashami) i.e. 15th October 1918. The young boy grew up and studied to become a doctor. The Sai Sansthan was established at Shirdi. The same boy was appointed as the first President of Shirdi Sai Sansthan. His name was Dr. Gawankar and Sainath had blessed him with the honourable robe long back! As Shirdi Sai’s well-known words say,

“Know that everyone will receive help here. Whatever anyone may ask, he will receive it.”

 

We all know that Sai’s second incarnation is Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in the form of Shiv-Shakti. Shiva had once granted a boon to Maharshi Bharadwaj that He would take birth thrice in his lineage. Devi Sathyabhama had given an indication to Sri Kondamma Raju, Baba’s grandfather, of the advent of Sri Krishna. Sri Venkavdhoot, a yogi, had also given a hint to Kondamma Raju, about the birth of a Divine Being in their family, quite early on. Swami’s mother Easwaramma saw a divine flash of light entering her womb before Swami’s birth. All these were God’s boons.

 

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba says, “When you come to Me and see Me for the first time, you may feel shy. But I know you since a very long time. So, whatever you want to ask of Me, ask without any reservations. Do you feel awkward when asking something from your father? Ask Me in the same manner.” Swami also says, “I am an invaluable diamond with many facets; so, don’t use Me as a paperweight.” The inner significance of this is, ‘When I have come to give you the highest treasure, why ask for petty things?’

When Swami grants boons to His devotees and gives with His innumerable hands, how much can one receive with just two hands?

OM SRI SATHYA SAINATH ARPANAM ASTU

 

With pranams at the lotus feet of our dear Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai baba, 

Devotional Wing, SSSGC USA

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5.  Seniors Corner

Seniors group :

  1. PRAYER BRACELET PROJECT FOR THE PATIENTS AT WAKEMED HOSPITAL:   This project was initiated by senior members of the Raleigh Sai Center, in collaboration with the Senior Club of Hindu Society of North Carolina (HSNC) and the members of Raleigh Sai Center. Bracelets are made with 18 crystal glass beads and filler beads for men and women. Members recite Gayatri Mantra or similar prayer based on their religious background 108 times with each glass bead. Bracelets are put in small cloth bags (stitched by the members) along with a printed message from the WakeMed Hospital. These bracelets are given to the interested patients by the hospital volunteers. Each month hospital volunteers are requesting 30-40 bracelets. Patients are very much appreciative of having the prayer bracelets during their convalescence. Photo of a bracelet offering can be seen below:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/177CLfNxjNoLJKkdD8RW9q0EuVvV1985t/view?usp=share_link

 2. RSC  Seniors Group is planning to make the Vibuthi Packets for distribution during  Aradhana Day, Easwaramma Day, Guru Poornima and Swami’s birthday celebrations. Our Senior Group is doing this as a spiritual sadhana of writing “Aum Sri Sairam” on one side of the paper and then cut the paper into four parts, include vibuthi in the unwritten side and fold the paper to make vibuthi packets for distribution. 

3. Some members of the Senior Group are meeting virtually on Thursday afternoons at 3:00 pm to discuss the application of Swami’s messages in their everyday lives. If you are interested in participating in the virtual meetings or to participate in seva activities with senior’s, please email:   seniors@raleighsaicenter.org
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6.  SSSE Group 3 Archives

2/28/21

We started with beginning prayers & recap of previous topics: Follow the Master, Face the Devil, Fight till the end, this class was how can we finish the game.

We shared a picture and few prompts that students had to discuss and present.

  • What are your comments on the picture? 
  • What makes a person impure while growing?
  • Do you think of any story/incident related to purity and innocence?
  • Think of a caption for the picture above.
  • What does the child get from God

Conclusion

  • Child showed pure devotion in the picture
  • Peer pressure, exposure to the world, being judged pollute devotion as we grow
  • Students shared lot of stories where the outside world did not influence their devotion (Meera, Prahalada, Kannappa, Sai Geeta..)
  • If we can establish & maintain that pure connection to Swami, then Swami will help finish the game by being with us every step of our fight against the devils
  • What are your connections to Swami: Prayers, chanting, service, music, letters

2/21/21

We started with beginning prayers & recap of previous topics: Follow the Master, Face the Devil, this class was what Fight till the end means.

We divided students into 5 breakout rooms, each room was given a category. They had to  discuss & present.

  • Discuss what does Follow the Master, Fight till the end mean in the context given to you
  • Obstacles you will or might face and how to overcome them.
  • Discuss with Examples and inspirations from own/role models. 
  • How can you keep yourself motivated

Categories:

  • Sports\Martial arts: 
  • Singing: 
  • Instrument: 
  • Academics: 
  • Dance: 

Conclusions

  • Each team presented, overall, all the obstacles\devils identified in each category were 80% internal to us 20% are external 
  • Internal enemies keep coming back (example procrastination, anger, fear) so the fight against them or practice or sadhana is continuous
  • Since most of them are internal, effort has to be made by us
  • We shared a funny story told by Swami about internal enemies coming back.

Motivation

  • We have to be grateful for the learning opportunities each of us has. No one questions, why me for talents they have, so it is our duty to do justice for talent\opportunities Swami has given us.
  • We have to follow our master, Swami our conscience, listen to his teachings to keep ourselves motivated
Feb 14th 

We started with beginning prayers.

Inter faith food drive- Feb community leads confirmed 

Recycling project- student presented in group 2 today

Group 3 Tutoring – 3 Grp 1 students paired. 2 tutors started on Friday, one to start on Monday

Valentine day pre sse presentation & Tutoring experience sharing

Experience sharing: We discussed last week’s fight with the devil (fear and anger) with respect to recent activities (Valentine day program and Tutoring).

  • Did you have a fear of failure: Students said, yes because they did not know what & how to do it.

  • How did you overcome it? Understand the audience’s needs, plan what to present, practice it many times, put love and effort into it. 

  • Good vs Bad fear: Good fear helped practice many times and be prepared before the event.
  • Did you doubt yourself even before the event: Yes. Prayer to the rescue

Fear of failure goes down when you have to take up the same activity again, but many opportunities in life come only one time, so don’t let the fair stop you. Take up the challenge but plan, practice, pray & you can do it with Swami by your side. 

  We reviewed the SMART goals and added what % do they think they were successful for the month of Jan & Feb. We discussed what they are doing to improve & tips to help them.

    • FEBRUARY 7TH , 2021:

      We started with beginning prayers & going over service project updates

      Inter faith food – Feb community leads signup

      Recycling project- student presented research on this topic

      Group 3 Tutoring – 2 tutors & students finalized (schedules & pairing)

      Valentine day pre sse presentation- program finalized

      Topic:

      We discussed, why Fear is a devil we need to fight?

      Good fear – regulates us. Examples: fear of becoming obese makes us avoid junk food, fear of low grades makes us focus more.

       Bad fear – Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of losing friends, fear of public speaking, fear of appearance, fear of unknown, fear of God.

      Fear arises from
      1. Ignorance – Half knowledge

      2. Not able to see clearly

      3. Considering ourselves weak

      4. Thinking we are not complete

      Leads to Worry => Stress => dimmed discrimination => unethical behavior

      How to face the fear?

      1. Effort: Manage time, put full effort to gain knowledge and skills

      2. Affirmation: I am complete and full

      3. Trust: Why fear when I am here says Baba

      4. Faith: Take refuge in God – My swami can turn things from any situation. 

      This requires continuous practice.

       

    • JANUARY 31ST, 2021:

      We started with beginning prayers & going over service project updates

      Inter faith food – Jan donations

      Recycling project

      Group 3 Tutoring

      Valentine day pre sse presentation

      Topic:

      We discussed, why is Anger a devil we need to fight? Physical & emotional problems it creates.

      Students gave, examples from mythology, history, contemporary situations of anger that caused damage

      “Follow the Master” & hear from our Swami what to do to face this devil, anger. 

      4 Tips to help Control Anger given by Swami- Video we watched 

      We discussed effective way of communication when angry with some scenarios (at home, school)

      Life Application: Have a log how many times got angry in a day, how many times you were able to manage it with  tips from the video.

    • JANUARY 24th 2021 :

      We started the class with beginning prayers.

      Student leads presented their E-day program idea to the class.

      We reviewed monthly food drive donations collected by community leads.

      Topic:

      We showed students 4 pictures and asked them to come up with Swami quotes they can think of. We got many quotes like Why fear when I am here. You take one step, I will take 100 steps etc. Students also gave the quote that is intro to the topic: Follow the Master, Face the Devil, Fight to the End, Finish the game.

      We discussed, Who is the Master that Swami is asking us to follow, Is that Master always with us to ask questions and guide, we shared example of Arjuna & Krishna where master was always there to guide, Swami students who always had Swami physically to guide. But current situation who is this master? Students concluded it is our conscience.

      Conclusion: Master is Swami & he is our conscience. Learn from his life and teachings. Also train to tune into your inner voice. Goal of SSE is to raise students with clean and clear conscience

      We discussed, What is the Devil we have to face? Students gave many examples like internal enemies, anger, lethargy, fear of failure, thought -inability to take up as they think tasks are huge, stress, anxiety, fear of public speaking….  

      We ended the class to make an effort to listen to our conscience and we will learn how to face the devils they mentioned in the subsequent classes.

    • JANUARY 17th 2021

      Session 2: Learn good & get Inspired from others lives. Students presented many inspiring real life experiences they learned from the interviews. 

      New service project proposal & plan was reviewed with students.

      Update on existing service projects progress.

      Valentine’s day, E-day idea discussion & plan.

      1/10/21

      We had parent teacher meeting @ 3:30pm. It was very encouraging to see 99% parents join, provide feedback and listen to the student presentations.

      During Christmas break, students were asked to conduct interviews of their grand parents, uncle/aunty etc to Learn good & get Inspired from others lives. Students presented to both teachers and parents many inspiring real life experiences they learned from the interviews. 

      Whom did you interview?

      What did they aspire to achieve in their lives

      What were the struggles/hurdles they faced & how they overcame them

      What did you learn from them?

      How will you bring these lessons into your own life to practice?

    • December 20, 2020

      Today’s was last class on Oneness topic

      Analogy: Showed students many lamps that were not lit except one. All of the others were lit using the one lamp, post which students cannot identify the one that was used to lit them all. Message: Everything is spark of the divine, but we forgot our source. 

      We played a Ted Ed video on the discovery of Higgs Boson aka God particle and Higgs field. Quantum physics shows God particle is one that is giving energy to all, the Higgs boson field pervades whole universe that we cannot see but gives mass to the particles. 

      We then watched Q&A with Swami on this same topic asked by his students and we dwelled upon Swami’s message for us and Life application. 

      Life Application:

      From Swami’s message: How to gain confidence, I am God

      Life Application

          • Mindful living: Always think before every action about the source of the energy (consciousness in you) example
          • When you play instrument – hands moving, memory- attribute to that God/energy in you.
          • When eating, drinking, studying – attribute it to the God/energy in you
          • When you see nature (Water, flowers, fruits)- attribute to the energy (same consciousness in all)
          • Practice God qualities- kindness, compassion, love.

      Class presentation

    • December 13, 2020

      We started with prayers, had an icebreaker (make a wish for someone else this Christmas, what will that be and for whom). Students mentioned well being on front line workers, everyone who lost family members or jobs during the pandemic.

      Based on last class, students were supposed to set SMART goal to practice from now thru next Swami birthday, monitor and track it. Each student shared their goal and we discussed how to track & measure progress while practicing them. We will share the goals with parents so they can help as well.

      We had open discussion about: Oneness with nature

          1. What are the 5 elements how are they connected to you?
          2. How can you respect nature through your actions?
          3. Can you share some rituals/customs that keep reminding us that nature is God
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    •  December 6, 2020

      We started with prayers, had an ice breaker (number of dishes you had on Thanksgiving meal) This led to being thankful & our Inter Faith food drive progress, contributions for Nov and plan for Dec. We narrated two stories that Swami shared during a discourse about 1) Story showing how one bad habit can take you down like while digging a well 2) Story showing how one good habit can take you up like while constructing a wall. Activity time: Students were divided into 5 break out rooms & asked to pick one bad habit & tell with example how it leads to many more and 2) pick one good habit show examples how it helps build yourself. Students presented for bad habits: procrastination, lying, wasting time, laziness, too much device time. for good habits: self confidence, Discipline (twice), doing our duties, positive self talk We talked about these good habits in terms more SMART goals. We also discussed different means to learn good virtues: Stories, experience from others, parents, teachers, Swami. To help more learning, we have asked them to Interview their grandparents, uncles/aunts or anyone to get to know their lives and get inspired. Goal: Students have to pick one good habit for Swami’s birthday, parent’s birthday or even their own birthday to start practicing. Students prepare & present their thoughts on Oneness with Nature/Universe in next class.

      Summary of the discussion & class presentation 

    • November 8, 2020

      Students watched a video as homework, they discussed in breakout rooms and presented to the class their thoughts.

      Summary of the discussion & class presentation 

      Thought Vibrations -What are you broadcasting?

          • Your intentions/emotions positive or negative are creating vibrations around you and also attracting similar vibrations from the universe
          • A negative emotion/thought impacts you first before it reaches the other person.
          • Positive affirmations and thoughts are the key for the success.

      Word Vibrations 

          • Masaru Emoto experiments on impact of vibrations created by words.
          • There is relation between sound vibration and the form it takes.
          • CERN (Geneva) experiment on atom vibrations and form.
          • Watch your words, use them wisely.
          • Do not raise your voice to prove your point.
          • Most of the time, the tone (how you say) is more important than the message (what you say)

      Deed Vibrations 

          • Do more and more deeds to show Love, Compassion, Kindness round the clock. 
          • These deeds generate highest vibrations for person doing the act, receiving & watching/hearing the act. We discussed how we get emotional while watching a scene in the movie.
          • Self Love
          • Service at home
          • Community service     
  •  
    • November 1, 2020

      After invocation prayers we started with an ice breaker, reviewed food drive service and communications on google hangouts

      Today topics

      1) We played Kahoot that covered quarter 1 topics. 

      2) we had students divided into 8 breakout groups, gave each grp one topic to discuss for 15mins. Each grp presented the summary of their discussion to the class.

          • Grp 1: Open minded (what is it, how it helps, how to practice, qualities of person with open mind)
          • Grp 2: Learning things faster  (brain hormones, how it helps, tips, practice)
          • Grp 3: What is unity in worldly sense and in spirituality (examples of diversity, unity, practice)
          • Grp 4: Who is dear to God (devotee, qualities, practice)
          • Grp 5: Purity (define, why is it important, how to purify, practice)
          • Grp 6: 4 Qualities for pure heart (what are they, example scenarios, practice)
          • Grp 7: Bad company (define, examples, how to handle, practice)
          • Grp 8: Stress & Anxiety (what, when, how, practice, tips)
          • Grp 8: Science behind sacred sounds (sounds & vibration exp, sacred sounds, how they help, sounds and water, practice)

      Please find link to the class presentation.

      Home work:

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    • October 25, 2020

      After invocation prayers we started with an ice breaker, reviewed food drive service and communications on google hangouts

      Today we discussed about

      1) What rituals in Navratri are meant to help see divinity in all

      2) What is Anxiety, what symptoms do they notice & when does anxiety kick in

      3) Three tips to overcome anxiety. These 3 tips have to be practiced daily.

          • Sit in a comfortable position (on chair/ground), close your eyes and chant OM 3 times, with each OM imagine a circle of protection forming on top of your head
          •  With eyes closed Chant Gayathri mantra 3 times, with each chant imagine a circle of protection forming around your body
          • Positive Self talk –  talk to Swami in your heart, Swami please help me put my best effort and take ownership of the result

      4) Sounds & frequency impact on matter and water

      5) Science behind scared sounds and how they help curb anxiety

      Grp 3 had Swami birthday bhajan today. Please find link to the class presentation.

      Class notes for previous classes can be found here.

    • October 3, 2020

      As class we dwelled deeper into what does oneness mean? what is the definition of Unity per Swami. Black Lives Matter was a topic to discussed & examples to help identify oneness in diversity.

      What does unity mean? It is not the combination of many; it is the realization of oneness. Satya Sai Baba

       Please find link to the class presentation.

CLASS DATE: 10/3/21

TEACHER(S):  Nalini, Gangadhar

SUMMARY: Body is a miracle of God

ATTENDANCE:  21

Topic: When everyone of us is gifted with this wonderful machine/instrument body, should we not love and take care of it? I know that, but let’s discuss everyday problems we face. 

  • What are some examples of negative body image? 
  • Do you have or want to share one thing you are insecure about, do you look someone down for it? 
  • How do peers, media impact body image.
  • List 4 unhealthy behaviors to change body image.
  • List 3-5 ways to maintain healthy body and image.

 Breakout rooms: We had two breakout rooms, one for boys & one for girls to discuss above questions & present it to the class.

Summary: 5 ways to maintain healthy body & image

  • Aim to be the best you can be, do not be ashamed of yourself.  1)Eat healthy food and avoid/reduce junk food. 2) Do exercise/yoga & meditation for physical and mental health. 3) Avoid screen time whenever possible. 4) Take care of your personal hygiene. 5) Give back to the community to boost your self esteem  and confidence 6) Show gratitude to your parents & God for this wonderful gift
  • Embrace and be proud of how you look, how nature is moulding you as your genes, your heritage and culture goes into it.
  • Focus on what makes you memorable? what is your strength? 
  • Do not compare with others, you are different and that is what sets you apart and strong. Beauty is not zero sum.
  • Daily affirmation: I am beautiful\handsome inside and out.

We started discussion, what sets humans & animals apart. Students gave many answers: Mind, Love, Emotional Intelligence, Discrimination. We will continue the this discussion in next class.

Next Class: Discover your inherent potential, Body is temple of God. 

Note to Parents:

Swami Birthday self transformation offering: Each student summarized their understanding of the topic, Love towards parents and introspected where they can improve. Each student identified their transformation ideas that they will follow.  Each student was asked to write up the transformation ideas on a paper, show it to their parents and post it in their room or fridge so they can be reminded of the offering to Swami.

 

 

CLASS DATE: 10/17/21

TEACHER(S):  Nalini, Gangadhar

SUMMARY: What did Swami say about Habits and Character

ATTENDANCE:  17

Today we learned Swami’s message about habits and character. We watched a Swami video and Megahana (YA from MA) took a session on the same topic. Presentation is here  

In the breakout rooms, students wrote up habits (as SMART goals) they would like to develop to better themselves 5 years from now.

Next Class: Pancha Koshas 

Note to Parents:

Swami Birthday self transformation offering: Each student summarized their understanding of the topic, Love towards parents and introspected where they can improve. Each student identified their transformation ideas that they will follow.  Each student was asked to write up the transformation ideas on a paper, show it to their parents and post it in their room or fridge so they can be reminded of the offering to Swami.

 

 

CLASS DATE: 10/24/21

TEACHER(S):  Nalini, Gangadhar

SUMMARY: Pancha Koshas

ATTENDANCE:  14

 In this class we learned about pancha koshas (five sheaths) of Human body through a story of Brighu and his father Varuna.  We learned what constitutes each kosha,  how to purify them and how Jyothi meditation can helps in this regard. Students summarized their understanding of the topic.  Click here to see the presentation deck  used for the class. 

Next Class: Quiz, Diwali etc 

Note to Parents:

Swami Birthday self transformation offering: Each student summarized their understanding of the topic, Love towards parents and introspected where they can improve. Each student identified their transformation ideas that they will follow.  Each student was asked to write up the transformation ideas on a paper, show it to their parents and post it in their room or fridge so they can be reminded of the offering to Swami.

 

 

CLASS DATE: 10/31/21

TEACHER(S):  Nalini, Gangadhar

SUMMARY: Diwali, Kahoot quiz

ATTENDANCE:  14

 In this class we learned about Diwali. We understood the meaning of Diwali and when it is celebrated. We also learned two stories related Diwali. One about killing of Narakasura and one about Rama returning back to Ayodhya. We learned spiritual significance of Diwali.  Click here to see the presentation deck  used for the class. 

Next Class: guest speakers

Note to Parents:

Swami Birthday self transformation offering: Each student summarized their understanding of the topic, Love towards parents and introspected where they can improve. Each student identified their transformation ideas that they will follow.  Each student was asked to write up the transformation ideas on a paper, show it to their parents and post it in their room or fridge so they can be reminded of the offering to Swami.

 

 

CLASS DATE: 12/14/2021

TEACHER(S):  Nalini, Gangadhar

SUMMARY: Student led, topic Gratitude

ATTENDANCE:  15

We had group 2 gurus come in today for interactive session on Celebrating Christ and his messages.

Presentation link

We discussed about

Who is Christ

Importance of Christmas 

what did Swami say about it,

Christmas carols

how to practice teachings

 

CLASS DATE: 01/09/2022

TEACHER(S):  Nalini, Gangadhar

SUMMARY: Parent led topic “Faith”

ATTENDANCE:  15

Today in our class we have Manoj uncle as a parent guest speaker. He spoke to us about importance of “faith in God” and how to cultivate that. He started his presentation with few quotes on the topic and a short video discourse clip on the same. We discussed on those quotes and the video clip. Everyone of us shared an experience or a story of having faith in God.  Apart from how “faith in Swami” gave him strength to face difficulties, Manoj uncle gave us some practical tips like sitting straight, 30sec silent sitting, raised eyebrows, namasmarana etc helps us cultivate that faith. 

 

CLASS DATE: 01/16/2022

TEACHER(S):  Nalini, Gangadhar

SUMMARY:  Faith in God

ATTENDANCE:  14

In the last class we continued on the topic of “faith in God” from last class. In this class we learned it through the story of Dhruva. How his unwavering faith in god led him to become a polar star. In this story we also learnt how we can re-direct our worldly disappointments, how faith will be tested etc. Also, Valli presented go-green tips for January. We ended the class with understanding of Makara Sankranti.

CLASS DATE: 01/22/2022

TEACHER(S):  Nalini, Gangadhar

SUMMARY:  Social Conformity

ATTENDANCE:  14

Today in our class,  Kaavya Raman presented on topic “Social Conformity”. We learnt about positive and negative influences of social conformity. 5Ds (Duty, Devotion, Discipline, Determination, Discrimination) can help us find out if it is a positive or a negative influence. We learnt about some examples and ABC of life (Avoid Bad Company). Then we broke out into different rooms to discuss conformity at home, school and friends.  Please see the presentation for more details. Sairam

 

CLASS DATE: 01/30/2022

TEACHER(S):  Nalini, Gangadhar

SUMMARY:  Discipline

ATTENDANCE:  14

Sairam dear parents,

In our class today (01/22), we discussed on the topic “Discipline“. We listened to short audio clip of Swami’s discourse on Discipline. Then we went into different breakout rooms to discuss about the following topics related to discipline.

 

Breakout room questions

  1. Give an inspiring example(s) of a person(s) following Discipline.
  2. How can we follow discipline in our day-to-day life?
  3. What are the benefits of following discipline?
  4. What happens if there is no Discipline?

 

All the students came up with one life application each. Please see the jamboard to see the discussion summary and the life applications students came up with.

 

https://jamboard.google.com/d/1vJZQraeI10BD5GXly-kjOKtulxqnyAyUaa9p09ZHGws/edit?usp=sharing

 

Sairam

 Group 3 Teachers

 

CLASS DATE: 02/06/2022

TEACHER(S):  Nalini, Gangadhar

SUMMARY:  Judging others

ATTENDANCE:  17

Sairam dear parents,

Today in our class (02/06/22) Vishal gave us a presentation on “Judging others”.  In his presentation he talked about

  1. Why people judge
  2. Why we shouldn’t judge
  3. What does it mean to judge someone etc.

 

We were split into 4 breakout rooms to answer the following questions in jamboard

  1. On what grounds people are judged?
  2. How do you feel when you are judged?
  3. What was the reason when you judged others?

 

We ended the class with a small video clip of Swami talking about this topic.

 

Here are the links.

Swami’s video

presentation

Jamboard

 

Sairam

 Group 3 Teachers

 

CLASS DATE: 02/13/2022

TEACHER(S):  Nalini, Gangadhar

SUMMARY:  Connecting to God through Bhajans

ATTENDANCE:  14

In our class today (02/13/22) Shivaani presented on the the topic “Connecting to God through Bhajans”. After the presentation we discussed some inspiring stories of devotees who connected to God through their singing. Then we were split into 4 breakout rooms. Each group chose a bhajan and they presented to class on how they connect to swami through that bhajan.

Sairam
Group 3 teachers.

 

Here are the links.

presentation

Sairam

 

 

CLASS DATE: 02/20/2022

TEACHER(S):  Nalini, Gangadhar

SUMMARY:  Service

ATTENDANCE:  14

 

Sairam dear parents,
Today (02/20/22) in our class Krishna and Siddharth presented on topic “service”. After the intro, we were split into different breakout rooms where we discussed on question related to service. Then we saw a video about service in which swami talks about how service should be rendered.
1. Without expectation of praise or material gain
2. See God in whom service is being rendered
3. Reflect on how the act of service improved you spiritually.

Then we read a swami’s childhood story that illustrates how as a young Satya swami helped his family members and villagers with His selfless acts.

 

Here is the presentation. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1l7Bt2Pe649ug3ehq63LCX1JvnEL0Uvotw26Vhmxv7m4/edit?usp=drivesdk

Sairam
Group 3 teachers

 

 

CLASS DATE: 02/27/2022

TEACHER(S):  Nalini, Gangadhar

SUMMARY:  Service

ATTENDANCE:  14

 

Sairam Parents,

Continuing on the topic of Service, today (02/27) in our class we have Brother Lakshman & Aswini Kumar both Swami students as guest speakers presenting on Grama Seva they did when they were students in Prashanthi nilayam. Attached is the presentation.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1X2-pQltri09_agVGA7KZQEcDymfrNtuH/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=103160435559620068055&rtpof=true&sd=true

 

Sairam

 Group 3 Teachers

 

 

CLASS DATE: 03/06/2022

TEACHER(S):  Nalini, Gangadhar

SUMMARY:  Anger Management

ATTENDANCE:  14

Sairam Parents,
Today (03/06), in our class we have our group 3 student, Vishwajith presented on the topic “Anger Management”. He presented on what causes anger, tips to controll it(WATCH technique), Swami’s quotes, a small video, what is said in Bhagavadgita about anger management etc. Attached is the presentation deck.

Sairam
Group 3 Teachers

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1SZFAirUkLY-4Tj215lRIn49xqfubkOurRANPldYBDSg/edit?usp=sharing

 

CLASS  DATE: 10/3/2022

TEACHER(S): Nalini, Gangadher

 Value: Choosing right company. Significance of Navratri

 

 Attendance: 30/34
Class Summary
Prayers, recap of last class.
Game: A blind folded student will hear his peers talk, based on what he hears either chooses to go closer or go away from bad company.
Discussion: Categories of Good Company: People, Media, Devices, books. 
Categories of Bad Company: People, Media, devices, books.
Students concluded both good and bad company categories are same, only difference is choice we make.
Impact of good company: Enhances good qualities, students listed out Truth, Kindness, Love
Impact of bad company: Promotes animal tendencies in us. External bad companies are easy to run away from, but
are you aware of 6 internal enemies? Desire, Anger, Greed, Lust, Pride, Jealousy.
Role play: we asked students to help act/role play taking a scenario of bad company & impact.
they choose to take up scenario where student company gives wearing latest branded clothes is at most importance. 
Mom and child role play showing how the desire for Essay shoes due to the company, quickly brings out other internal enemies like anger, jealousy, greed, pride.
Navratri story: Every festival has winning of good over bad as theme. How is Navratri related to this?
Shared Mahishasura Mardini story, inner significance.
if we want to enhance our good qualities, along with being in good company, we need to pray to God.
How to practice ABC of life:
  1. Tyaja durjana samsargam- Run away from bad company
  2. Bhaja sadhu samagamam- Join good company & do prayers, bhajans, chanting, meditation
  3. Kuru punya mahoratram-  Undertake righteous actions day & night
  4. Smara nithyamanithyatham- Enquire into that which is permanent & that which is ephemeral

9/25 Class Summary
Prayers, Inter Faith food shuttle service presentation by a student.
Game: A blind folded student had to identify what is in the brown bag (fruit/veg/flower) by the smell
They identify Onion, Banana, Popcorn, Flower. But the classmates noticed that the bags we actually empty.
They had to discuss in their own break out groups
1. Why did the brown bag smell like the item though it was empty?
2. Does this relate to Swami’s teachings, how?
3. Is there anyone whose association had an impact on you?
Each group presented their discussion.
We concluded importance of company as it leaves impact & Swami’s message: Avoid Bad Company.
We also shared the story on 3 kinds of friendships from mythology
Drona took Drupada as friend, but it ended in enmity
Karna took Duryodhana as friend but ended up supporting a wrong cause.
Arjuna took Krishna as friend; he was guided all his life in the right path.
We also discussed about few red flags they need to watch out as they seek out for company/friends.
-Don’t surround yourself with people for whom you need to make fun of yourself to satisfy
-Don’t surround yourself with people where you cannot be your true self.
-Don’t surround yourself with people who always gossip about others
 

Announcements: Inter Faith Food Shuttle

Life Application: Please sign up if you would like to take up Interfaith food shuttle service.

 

CLASS  DATE: 10/23/2022

TEACHER(S): Nalini, Gangadher

 Value: Importance of Avatar declaration day and Diwali

 

 Attendance: 32/34
Class Summary: 
In our class we had discussion about. 
1. What does Avatar mean?
2. Why Swami has to come down?
3. What can we learn from Swami’s life?
4. How can we start practicing from the moral of Swami childhood stories. Students have been asked to set goal to practice any value g that would help them to get closer to Swami. They can judge where they need to improve.
5. We also shared significance of Diwali. What does light represent, legends of the story.
Class Summary- 10/9 Five senses
 
In our class today we performed a skit that portrays our 5 senses. These senses are, touch, hearing, taste, smell, and sight. The 5 senses that we have been given can pull us in many ways but we have to learn how to control them and use them wisely. The skit depicts how senses can bring a person to his downfall when they are not controlled.  We had a group discussion on the take away lessons from skit how it is related to our daily lives with examples. 
Here the summary provided by one of our students.
“In class we performed a skit that portrays our 5 senses. These senses are, touch, hearing, taste, smell, and sight. The 5 senses that we have been given can pull us in many ways but we have to learn how to control them and use them wisely. We had a group discussion on which one of our senses we believed were our biggest enemy. As a class we compared our send to a computer and the similarities between them. We also came up with examples when our senses pull us in different ways. When we want to do our homework and we see a YouTube video pop up and get distracted, or if we smell cookies baking, that can distract us as well. To achieve control of our senses we need to make an effort to control them. Everyone should create a smart goal and keep a report on it. An example of this would be, doing your homework in a quiet space, without any devices around you. Taking these efforts will gradually give you full control of your senses”
Here is the link to the skit we did in our class. 
 
Announcements: Inter Faith Food Shuttle

 

Life Application: Please sign up if you would like to take up Interfaith food shuttle service.

 

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