NEWSLETTER - 3rd Quarter - 2020

Dear Sai Brothers and Sisters,

                       Sai Ram Jai Maruthi Jai Maruthi! We hope this past quarter has been full of happiness and good health! Here in the ashram, although on the quiet side, we have celebrated festivals, planted trees in our ashram, and much more!

             July started off with Guru Poornima on the 5th. The day began with morning Shivaabishekam 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.  In between, during the day, Vyasa puja was performed as is the 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. Due to the lockdown in Chennai, we could not have any devotees attend the function, but nevertheless, we held our function with the same earnestness and devotion!

             As instructed by Baba, Sri Sai Darshan Trust (SSDT) is to perform a large-scale Dhanvantari Mahayagna in the ashram with the homa kunda having a depth of 9 feet. The date and time of the function, are yet to be given by Baba. In preparation, all devotees have been instructed to perform Likitha Japam Sadhana of the Dhanvantari Moola mantra, 11 times per day. These notebooks will then be brought to the ashram and kept during the puja before Lord Dhanvantari’s idol. On July 16th, Jalavaasa was performed for the idols of Lord Ganesha and Lord Dhanvantari. Jalavaasa is a part of a purification process, which is performed before the worship of any stone deity. Jalavaasa is followed by Thaila Kappu (anointing of oil). Lord Ganesha stands at approximately 3 feet, while Lord Dhanvantari stands at approximately 4 feet. After the Jalavaasa process was completed, starting the 23rd of July, Thaila Kappu (anointing of oil) was then performed for the idols. Devotees took turns applying oil to the idols. This Thaila Kappu will be continued until further instruction is given by Maa.      

             August festivities started off on the 11th, when we celebrated Janmashtami, which marks the day of Lord Krishnas birth, with lots of earnestness and joy, as always. Janmashtami was celebrated by praying and chanting various shlokas, while delicious prasadams were offered to Lord Krishna at the Panduranga shrine. Shodasho Upachara puja was also performed for Rukmini and Panduranga. The day was full of love and joy! Next, on August 22nd, we celebrated Ganesh Chaturti. In our ashram, we performed an abhishekam to all the Ganapatis in the temple and ashram, and offered lots of arugampul (grass) to Lord Ganesha. Prasadam was offered to Lord Ganesha at the Vijaya Ganapathi Meenkashi temple in the ashram. On this day, we pray to Lord Ganesha so that every new activity that is started is successfully completed without any obstacles.

             On another exciting note, on August 29th, we planted 2000 trees, in our newly acquired land, known as Brindavan! This will eventually grow into a dense forest on one side of the land, providing lush greenery, and a home to lots of wildlife!

             On the charity front, SSDT donated 1.5 lakh rupees to the Medical Research Foundation, for the purpose of research in the scientific and medical fields.

             Next, SSDT donated 1.5 lakh rupees to the Cancer Institute of Chennai. This donation will go towards research in the field of cancer and for funding treatments for patients, as well as meals for the patients in the institute.

             Next, SSDT has been donating on average 30,000 rupees worth of groceries, per week, to people in surrounding villages, since the beginning of the lockdown. In this time of lockdown, access to basic necessities and groceries is tough for many people in villages. Each Thursday, when our ashram annadhanam would usually be taking place, volunteers from SSDT, distribute packages of groceries which include rice, oil, 2 types of dal, sugar, soap, noodles and jaggery. These groceries are distributed to approximately 50 families each week!

             Lastly, the ashram’s desktop computer as well as a laptop were donated to Shankara Nethralaya.

             We are fortunate enough with Baba’s blessings to be safe, healthy, and happy during these times in which so many families are unfortunately suffering for daily means of survival. We thank Baba for blessing us with the means to help these families in whichever way possible, to ease their hardships.

             As we look forward to this next quarter, upcoming events include Navarathri, Deepavali and Kartigai Deepam. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the annual December function has still not been decided upon. At this point, prevention of further spread of the disease and the good health of all, are our utmost priorities. Information regarding the December function will be communicated as and when, Maa instructs.

             As a reminder, various measures have been prescribed by Baba and Maa, to be followed everyday. As outlined in the previous newsletters, these instructions include:

 -     Water & powder mixture which is to be taken twice a day

 -     Haldi water/milk

 -     Chanting of 3 Oms, 21 Dhanvantari Mantras, and 5 Hanuman chalisas

 -     Reading of Chapter 73 of the Shrimad Bhagavtam as well as Chapter 1 of the Sai Satcharitra

 -     Likitha Japam

 -     Oil Pulling

 -     Salt Water Gargling/Swishing

 -     Coconut oil around the eyes/nostrils

 -     Maintaining personal hygiene

 -     Incorporating Maa’s points into our lives


These all should be done daily, without fail. We must remember that above all, our lifestyles must change in order for us to truly overcome this virus and all other obstacles which may come our way. The most important lifestyle changes that must be implemented in our lives on a daily basis, are to develop a positive outlook on everything, forgive and forget, avoid all outside food, maintain personal hygiene, improve our immunity, and to love everyone.

             As always, it goes without saying that the Poornima puja, Pradosham puja,  are taking place without fail. As of early September, Sri Sai Darshan Trust, opened up the temple to the public only on Thursdays. All preventative and safety measures have been implemented and are being strictly enforced. Medical camps which occur on every second Saturday have been placed on hold for the time-being due to the pandemic. As Annadhanam also cannot take place in the ashram, as explained above, packaged groceries are being distributed to people in surrounding villages, by SSDT. We thank you, all devotees and well-wishers, for your continuous support. Here’s to another wonderful quarter filled with love, happiness, and good health!


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

 Jai Sai Ram Jai Maruthi Jai Maruthi!