Jai Maruthi Jai Maruthi

Jai Sai Ram

Dear Sai brothers and sisters, welcome to this year’s first quarterly newsletter.  Sri Sai Darshan had an interesting blend of activities during the past couple of months from the traditional outdoor Pongal cook-out to the 16 camera CCTV surveillance system, to the new solar powered water heater we are seriously cooking, literally. 

Jan 15th is “Happy Pongal” day, when all of Tamil Nadu decorates an earthen pot and prepares pongal (a South Indian kichadi) for the plentiful crops and vegetation that God provides us with.  Traditionally celebrated by farmers, but nowadays everyone enjoys this holidays especially the kids because they get leave from school.

Jan 16th the very next day is “Mattu Pongal” Mattu means cows and so there is no agriculture without the domesticated cow to give milk and the oxen to plow the field and hence the already Holy Cows  are worshipped with great gusto on this day. This is when the outdoor cook out takes place.  We all sat outside the Go-Shala and prepared Chakra Pongal the old-fashioned way on  an open fire.  What are the benefits of and outdoor cook out?  The food tastes better and you can never really burn the food.


Feb 26th marks Sri Sai Darshan Trust’s 19 years in service to Baba.  It fell on a Thursday which happens to be an auspicious day for Baba.  Thursday representing the Guru, Maa herself distributed over 700 laddus to all the devotees who came and attended the arathis, both noon and in the evening.  What made this Trust Anniversary so special is the fact that we got to taste test the laddus when they were still hot and believe me, they were too good.

March 28th is Ram Navami, the day Lord Sri Rama was born.  At the ashram an elaborate puja was conducted which included the chanting of Hanuman Chalisa 5 times and the rendition of Samkshepa Ramayana over 50 devotees participated in the function and Prasadam was distributed.  On the same day Maa was in Delhi for her birthday celebration and on the 28th the devotees performed there regular monthly “Sri Dhanvantari Homam”. 

March 31st was Maa’s Platinum Jubilee.  Maa has completed 75 years and the devotees in Delhi organized for a mass celebration.  There were bhajans, poetry reading, talks on the significance of Guru and importance of being in the physical presence of the Guru.  Then an elaborate Padha Puja was performed followed by an arathi and annadham for more than one 140 people.  It was truly a memorable event.  Our monthly Veerapuram (Christian Home) annadhanam was performed on this day being Maa’s birthday. 

Back in the ashram we decided to make use of all the sun we get in Chennai by installing a solar powered water heater.  It was installed above the four rooms and Maa’s room.  It can effectively heat water for up to 8 people to avoid that early morning cold water bath.  It will save us from having to use the high power consuming conventional water heater. 

Taking a step back in time to the days before the gas cylinder we have started using wood to fire up an outdoor stove for cooking on Thursday’s for our annadhanam.  We save one hour on cooking  due to huge flame and even cooking produced by the woodstove.  This is also a good way to save on gas by 50% and of course the most important part is that the food tastes much better.  The wood is not purchased for this purpose as that ashrams sticks twigs and cut logs work just fine.  An all-round better way to cook for 1000 people.

CCTV or closed circuit television cameras have been installed for surveillance purposes as the crowds on Thursday swell to over 1000 people and a DVR for recording the same comes in handy.  


Sri Sai Darshan has also sponsored 9 students including tuition through “Shankara Netralaya” eye organization. The details have been given below for more clarification.

As usual monthly medical camps take place providing free medicines for 150 underprivileged people.  Our monthly annadhanam at the Christian home for 200 mentally disable people takes place as usual. 

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

Jai Sai Ram Jai Maruthi Jai Maruthi!