NEWSLETTER - 1st Quarter 2019

            Sai Ram Jai Maruthi Jai Maruthi! Welcome dear Sai brothers and sisters to the first quarter  newsletter of the year. Filled with exciting and fun events starting with Pongal, all the way to the splendor of Maa’s Jayanti celebrations, this quarter was busy and full of celebration and pure happiness!

            The first day of Pongal fell on January 14th this year and is essentially known as the “Happy Pongal!” day, on which people all over Tamil Nadu decorate earthen pots and prepare pongal (a South Indian kichadi) in celebration of the new year’s harvest that God has provided us with. It was traditionally celebrated by farmers, but over time has become reason for celebrate for everyone-especially the children who get excused from going to school for these few days!

            Day 2 of the Pongal celebration fell on January 15th and is known as “Mattu Pongal.” On this day, the cows/bulls are worshipped and celebrated, as they are essentially the sole reason for the successful new harvest and agriculture, as without the cows, we would not have milk and oxen to plow the fields for crops to grow into. For this reason, on this day, they  are worshipped and honored with great reverence. The main event of course, was the outdoor cookout. Our own Gurumaa sat under a tree, just outside the Goshala, and with an old fashioned pot placed atop bricks and logs for fuel, Maa cooked an irresistible, mouth-watering “Chakkarai Pongal (sweet pongal).”

            February 26, 2016 was a very special day for everyone. It marked Sri Sai Darshan Trust’s 23rd year in service to Baba. This year, the trust anniversary was celebrated with a Homam done in the yaagashala. It was a wonderful day full of happiness and inspiration to continue living with the purpose of serving. And congratulations to all the devotees on completing 23 years!

            “Om Namashivaya!” Shivaratri fell on March 4th this year. We all joined together to worship the destroyer of time, Lord Shiva at our “Atma Lingam,” the shrine dedicated to Him, located in front of the main prayer hall. All those who attended, kept vigil and a fast and participated in performing a “naalu kal” pooja (pooja done four times throughout the night), at 6 PM, 9 PM, 12 AM, and 3 AM. Rudrabishekam and Puja were performed 4 times throughout the night as well. The puja was done with milk curd, honey ghee panchamritham,pancha gavyam, lemon juice, chandan, tender coconut, vibhuti, and sugarcanejuice.

            The main highlight of this quarter and this newsletter was Maa’s Jayanti celebrations this year that began on March 28th and culminated on March 31st. During the noon arathi on March 28th, special bhajans were sung in honor of our beloved Gurumaa. The 29th denoted Maa’s Nakshatra (star) birthday, with the 30th and 31st (Maa’s calendar birthday), being celebrated with Radha Kalyaanam. The zest and energy was palpable in the air with music and dance encompassing the two days! The festivities ran almost all day on both days, but the energy was so high and full of devotion, celebration, and love! A special group of Bhagvataars were called to perform the Radha Kalyaanam and their performance was outstanding, especially from the young boys who played mridangam and kept the energy raised high and positive throughout the day, among the audience!

The two days of celebration were full of music, dance, food, love, and happiness all around!

            And as always, it goes without saying that the Poornima pooja, Pradosham pooja, the monthly medical camps on every second Saturday, and the weekly Annadhanam are taking place without fail. We thank you, all devotees and well-wishers, for your continuous support. Here’s to another wonderful 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!