NEWSLETTER - 2nd Quarter 2019

Sai Ram Jai Maruthi Jai Maruthi! Never is there a day where the feeling of happiness, positivity, love, and spirituality wavers, here in our ashram! This quarter was full of celebration, the not so pleasant heat of peak summer, and the very pleasant welcome of mangoes. Overall, this quarter made for a calm few months and serenity here in our ashram.

                 May brought Agni Nakshatram. The peak heat of the summer was finally here. The heat from the sunny skies mixed with the humidity, was simply overwhelming at times, and it felt like the heat would never ease. The upside of the lack of cool air was the plentiful mangoes in our ashram! So perhaps due to the abundance of sweet mangoes, it made the heat a little more bearable. As always, with so many mangoes in our ashram, we were sure to make lots and lots of oorgai(achaar), and varieties of dishes made with the sweet and raw mangoes!

           Our main event this quarter was Guru Purnima, which was held on July 16th marking a day full of joy and fervor. The morning began with Shivaabishekam while chanting the Rudram & Chamakam, all leading up to a Devi pooja in the evening which was done while chanting Lalitha Sahasranama. The Vyasa puja was simultaneously carried out 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, after conducting the Dwarakamai Pooja, the bag of rice was changed in order to symbolize great abundance. After the noon arathi, annadhanam was performed for almost 250 people! Then, the afternoon Poornima Pooja was performed as mentioned before. To top off the evening, Palak Utsavam was performed with Shri Shirdi Sai Baba taken on a Palki Procession, 9 times around the temple. The procession was lead by two torch-bearers in the front, with all the devotees signing bhajans with great devotion in their voices and hearts! Overall, Guru Poornima was a grand success and we truly could feel the exuberance and warmth in the air!

                 On the charitable front, Sri Sai Darshan recently donated 25,500 rupees to a top ranking 10th standard student who performed very well, for her 11th grade standard fees. Sri Sai Darshan also recently covered the medical fees of 30,000 rupees for a high school student who was in need of surgery and medical treatment. We also recently donated stationery items such as books, pens, and notebooks, to a local school in need of financial help, for 100 students, for the upcoming academic year!

                On Thursday every month, a group of Bhagavatars (troupe, trained and skilled in the art of telling the stories of our Gods, through different forms of art such as bhajans, dance, theatre), come to sing the praise as well as dance and enact the all the stories that we have grown up listening to! Two hours of entertainment, joy, and a feeling of festivity is sensed by all those in attendance. Devotees in the audience are lost in the palpable energy in the air and the feeling of warmth!

                 Another exciting snippet of news- we are renovating the ashram! The main veranda, all five dormitories, two rooms, kitchen, and dining room are all getting re-tiled. It’s important to note that this veranda has been a key area of extensive service, devotion, humanitarian efforts, and has fed people for so many years now! For the past 22 years, this veranda has been in the path of so many guests, and people, and has always been filled with positivity and good memories of different happenings throughout the day and evening. This renovation brings about a welcome change while maintaining the ever-present feeling of joy and warmth!

                 In the upcoming months, we have the annual function in December, to look forward to!

    As always, our regular monthly projects continue-including the medical camps, weekly annadhanam, Purnima Puja, and Pradosham Puja. We look forward lots of love, happiness, and festivities in the upcoming quarters.

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

                                Jai Sai Ram Jai Maruthi Jai Maruthi!