NEWSLETTER - Oct 2016 Newsletter

Dear Sai Brothers and Sisters,

            Sai Ram Jai Maruthi Jai Maruthi! We hope that this last quarter has been eventful and full of love and joy! This past quarter was quite busy, starting with Valli Kalyaanam, followed by other pujas and events along the way. We’re looking forward to a festival-filled quarter coming up!

            Thursday,July 14th marked Valli Kalyaanam, which was performed right here in our ashram. We celebrated the marriage of Goddess Valli to Lord Muruga with traditional rituals and lots of pomp and celebration. A group of ladies performed, and depicted Lord Muruga’s childhood, with beautiful songs to illustrate each phase of His life, concluding with His marriage to Valli. We had a big crowd in attendance, which just increased the fervor and enthusiasm in the air on this auspicious day! After the festivities concluded, noon aarthi was performed followed by annadhanam.

            Guru Poornima fell on July 19th this year, marking a day full of joy and fervor. The morning began with morning Shivaabishekam, performed by Krishnapadha, while chanting the Rudram & Chamakam, all leading up to a Devi puja in the evening which was done while chanting Lalitha Sahasranama. Both the Shivaabhishekam and the Devi puja are usually performed for the Swayambu Shivashakti Lingam, which is worshipped only once a month during Poornimas.  The Vyasa puja was simultaneously performed by Sripadha in the morning, as it is a tradition which is followed in all ashrams in which all Gurus from all paramparas are invoked. As always, we made our Guru Poornima function complete by performing the Padha Puja for our dear Gurumaa. Also continuing an annual tradition, the bag of rice was changed in order to symbolize great abundance. After Maa performed the Dhuni Puja and changed the sack of rice, it was followed by noon aarthi and annadhanam.

            August signified a month full of food, festivals, and happiness. On the 9th, we brought about a new addition to our ashram; a new bull, named Bharat. He’s extremely cute and is only 18 months old! On the 18th, we celebrated Raksha Bandhan, during which, traditionally, rakhis are tied by the sisters, on their brothers’ wrists. It symbolizes the sister’s love and prayers for her brother's well-being, and the brother's lifelong vow to protect her. However, here in our ashram, we tie a rakhi on Baba, to commemorate his blessings and protection which are ever-present for all devotees.  Next, on the 25th, we celebrated Janmashtami, which marks the day of Lord Krishna’s birth, with lots of earnestness and zeal, as always. Janmashtami was celebrated by chanting Vishnu Sahasranamam and Krishna Ashtotram while elaborate prasadams were offered to Lord Krishna at the Panduranga shrine. A special alankaram was done after the daily abhiskek in the morning, and our beloved Gurumaa sang bhajans dedicated to Lord Krishna. It was attended by a huge crowd, who also stayed for the Thursday noon aarthi and annadhanam.

            On September 5th, we celebrated Ganesh Chaturti. On this day, we pray to Lord Ganesha so that every new activity that is started is successfully completed without any obstacles. In our ashram, we did a special puja abhishek, archana, aarthi and neivedyam for all five of the ashram’s Ganapathys (Vijay Ganapathy, Siddhi Buddhi Vinayakar, Kali Ganapathy, Bala Ganapathy, and Veerya Ganapathy). As always, the prasad modakam, appam, vadai, and sundal were prepared and offered, but what was special this year, was that our very own Gurumaa assisted bySripadha and Krishnapadha, prepared the prasad themselves, for the very first time! This day was full of happiness, food, and festivities! Fun fact: the sacred and rare durva grass, which is special to Lord Ganesha, grows right here in our ashram!

            On the charitable front, Sri Sai Darshan Trust has been involved in a number of different charities, this fiscal year. Shankara Nethralaya, is a foundation based in Chennai dedicated to eye care, and is an organization that Sri Sai Darshan has been involved with quite some time now. We have donated 3 lakhs to Shankara Nethralaya, in order to educate the underprivileged regarding paramedic knowledge, and to pay for 6 eye surgeries.

            Next, Sri Sai Darshan donated 25,000 rupees to Seva Chakra, a foundation dedicated to the education of the rural and tribal children around Chennai. Furthermore, RASA, is an organization dedicated to providing education and rehabilitation to mentally challenged children, through the theatre arts, music, and dance. Sri Sai Darshan donated 40,000 rupees to RASA to further help educate these children through the fine arts.

            Sri Sai Darshan Trust has also donated 25,000 rupees to Maithree, a foundation also located in Chennai. This organization is dedicated to the welfare of people with mental disabilities. Their objective is to provide services to these people to help them become independent and able individuals. Services include a special education school for the children, an activity center, a rehabilitation center, a vocational training center, and a group home. Sri Sai Darshan Trust also donated 50,000 rupees to the Snehadhara Foundation, which is dedicated to the nurturing and rehabilitation of mentally challenged children. Sri Sai Darshan Trust donated 50,000 rupees to the Anugraha Charitable Trust, which is a foundation committed to providing education to the underprivileged and mentally challenged, as well as providing basic necessities, counseling, and rehabilitation to these groups of people.

            Most recently, Sri Sai Darshan, donated1 lakh to Sri Arunodhaya Trust which is located here in Chennai. It is a home for mentally challenged children who have been abandoned by their parents. Rescued by social welfare, police, and other humanitarian organizations, these children are brought to this home, where they are nurtured and rehabilitated. Mr. Iyyappan Subramaniyan founded this trust in 2003 and has built this home for these children in which they are rehabilitated through education and therapy, which in turn is improving their quality of life, enabling them to live as independent individuals contributing to society.


            With this past quarter coming to a close, we have a huge and exciting event to look forward to in this upcoming quarter-the Sahasra Chandi Homam during this year’s December function and Baba’s New Year Abishek.  The dates are between December 15th - 27th, and we hope to see you all there!


            The monthly programs, including the medical camp, Poornima Puja, Pradosha Puja, and Thursday annadhanams have been happening without fail. We thank you, all devotees and well wishers, for your continuous support.  Heres to another fantastic quarter filled with love and happiness!


May Babas grace and Maas blessings be showered on us all.

Jai Sai Ram Jai Maruthi Jai Maruthi!