SRI SAI DARSHAN TRUST

NEWSLETTER - Last Quarter 2016

Sai Ram Jai Maruthi Jai Maruthi,

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and welcome to this quarter’s newsletter! This last quarter of 2016 was full of events including Navarathri, Deepavali, Christmas, Homi Baba’s birthday, and the infamous Vardha cyclone which had disastrous consequences. 

The quarter began with Navarathri, which was celebrated by performing a Kali pooja. Usually Kali in most parts on India is feared for her ferocious nature, but here in the ashram she expresses her all powerful, yet divine motherly love to all who take her darshan.  There was a special alankara and abhishekam that was performed each day.  We were overwhelmed by Mother Kali’s divine grace and presence. 

Every Navarathri is more special for Sai devotees because it culminates with Baba’s mahasamadhi day, which falls on Vijayadashami. On this day, we performed annadhanam at noon, and devotees did abhishekam for the idol of Shirdi Baba that Maa keeps in her own room, followed by a Palki  Utsavam in the evening while devotees sang bhajans to commemorate this auspicious day.  This is the day that our dear Shri Shirdi Sai Baba left his mortal coil to merge with the macrocosmic universe.  Though Baba is omnipresent, Vijaydasami is the single most celebrated day of the year to receive the grace and worship our Sai Baba. 

During Deepavali, the entire ashram and temple were magnificently lit up withlamps, similar to the way that Baba would decorate Dwarakamai with lights every day. Bhajans were also sung in celebration.

Christmas, as always was celebrated with lots of joy and festivity. Abhishekam was done in the morning for Infant Jesus, followed by a celebration in the evening, in which all devotees participated.  The decorations included lights, along with candles, which were lit by everyone in the ashram while singing Christmas carols.

Homi Baba's birthday is also a huge celebration in the ashram.  This year, there was a special abhishek and alankaram done for Homi Baba in the morning, and then Maa cut a cake during the celebration in the evening with all devotees present. 

Although the Sahasra Chandi Homam function was planned during the December month, it has been postponed due to the Vardha cyclone that made landfall on December 12th.  This day also coincided with Kartigai Deepam, during which the entire temple and prayer hall is usually lit with hundreds of lamps. However, due to the weather conditions and the havoc created, all festivities were canceled. Massive amounts of damage were left in the aftermath of this storm in our ashram. Trees uprooted and flew across the ashram, numerous trees fell due to the destructive winds, and the compound wall that surrounded the ashram and the annadhanam hall was completely destroyed in many spots. The ashram car was also totaled in the midst of the destruction, after the upstairs wall of the verandah and the roof above the car, fell on the car itself and smashed all the windows, hood, and roof of the car. The overall damage done was almost too much to fathom, and it was hard to understand where to begin in terms of repair. Due to the destruction in the ashram, the December function has been postponed until April 7th-16th. 

Although the major December function was postponed, Maa said it was important that we have a function, even if it’s small, during this month. So in gratitude to Baba for keeping our ashram and everyone in the ashram safe from suffering greater destruction, we held a small function on December 27th-a Ganapathy Navagraha Sakaladevata Gayatri Homam, to pray for the general welfare of the ashram by chanting the Gayatri mantra specific to each deity in the temple, 9 times each. We also performed an Ashtadigbali Pooja, which protects all eight corners of the entire ashram. We thank Baba for protecting us, and the ashram from further destruction. 

On New Year's Eve, as all devotees gathered in the hall to wish Baba a happy new year, a small kutcheri was held by a few of our devotees followed by bhajans. This year, we had our biggest attending crowd so far-400 people! As usual, everyone was allowed in the altar to do abhishekam for Baba themselves.  At midnight, Maa did the aarthi for Baba and distributed kaju katli and the 2017 calendars to everyone! 

On the charitable front, we has been involved in a number of different 

charities, in this quarter like , funding Rs 2 lakhs to Adayar Cancer institute  based in Chennai dedicated to the treatment of cancer patients , and  Rs 1.55 lakhs to St Louis School & College For Deaf & Blind. Gurumaa visited both place personally and discussed  with them their requirments . We also gave dress and other things like sleeping mats and pillows to Parisutha Narkarunai illam , a home for mentally challenged people having over 220 inmates.

 

With this past quarter having come to a close, we have a few exciting events coming up in this upcoming quarter including Pongal on January 14th, Mattu Pongal on January 15th, Sri Sai Darshan Trust’s 21st anniversary on February 26th, Maa’s birthday on 22nd March (star birthday) & 31st March (calendar birthday), and the Sahasra Chandi Homam between April 7th and 16th. More details regarding Maa’s birthday celebrations and the April function, will be shared closer to the dates. 

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.  Here’s to another fantastic quarter filled with love and happiness!

 

May Baba’s grace and Maa’s blessings be showered on us all.

Jai Sai Ram Jai Maruthi Jai Maruthi!

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