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Dear Sai Brothers and Sisters,

We hope that this last quarter has been eventful and full of love and joy! In our Ashram, this past quarter was quite busy with major events such as Guru Purnima and other pujas and functions along the way. With festival season coming up, we are looking forward to another quarter with a long line of events coming up!

This quarter began with a Dhanwantari Homam that was performed in Coimbatore on July 6th. With Maa’s instructions for the homams to be conducted in 5 different places in a given time, the devotees had a short time of just a week to organize the event in Coimbatore, making this Homam notably the quickest event to be organized by Sai Darshan so far. The task of organizing this event was split between adults and school students in order to conduct the Homam as smoothly as possible. The tasks needed to be completed included inviting people, selecting the venue, procuring the puja items, and fulfilling other related task. With Baba’s and Maa’s blessings, we organized fifty-four havan kunds with no obstacles, showcasing when solemn occasion is instructed to be performed by our Guru, divine grace automatically follows allowing such functions to be performed ever so smoothly and with utmost ease. The entire function included Ganapathi pooja to begin with, followed by a Mahasankalpam. This was followed by Dhanwantri Abhishekam while concurrently reciting the Vishnu Sahasranaman and Hanuman Chalisa, finally leading up to the Dhanwantri Homam. The unique feature of this Homam in comparison to other Homams was that the attendees were given the opportunity to execute the Homam themselves. This Homam was done for good health both in the physical and mental sense as Lord Dhanwantri manifests overall good health and wellbeing. The importance of having a healthy physical and mental wellbeing is accentuated in this Kali Yuga. An Annadhaanam brought the function to a full circle making the event a grand success. Thank you all, who took part in the event and made it a memorable one.

Guru Purnima fell on July 12th this year, marking a day full of joy and fervor. The day began with morning Shivaabishekam while chanting the Rudram & Chamakam, all leading up to a Devi pooja in the evening which was done while chanting Lalitha Sahasranama. Both the Shivaabhishekam and the Devi pooja 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. After the noon arathi, the artful evening began. The programme kicked off with a rendition of devotional songs by T.L. Thyagarajan and troupe, followed by the Palki Procession. However, although we have had Palki processions of Baba’s padukas a few times in the past, this time stood out from the rest as Nadaswaram Vidwans led the procession and the enthusiastic devotees through each pradakshinam. Gurumaa carried the palki for one pradakshinam as well. This memorable Palki Procession brings one back to imagine the Chavadi procession that is deftly illustrated in the Sai Satcharitra. Words cannot describe the grandeur and fervor of the procession and the enthusiasm of the devotees, all of which left the overall energy in the air extremely positive, vibrant and joyful, and could be felt by all in the air and atmosphere around.

August signified a month full of food and festivals. Beginning with Janmashtami, Lord Krishna’s birth day, we continued the month of festivals that concluded with Ganesh Chaturthi on Aug 29. Both these occasions were celebrated in our ashram with the same earnestness and zeal as ever. Janmashtami was celebrated by chanting Vishnu Sahasranamam and Krishna Ashtotram while elaborate prasadams were offered to Lord Krishna at the Panduranga shrine. To celebrate Ganesh Chaturti, we performed a Ganapati Homam as done in the past.

Upcoming festivals include Navarathri, Saraswathi Pooja and Vijaya Dashami which is coincidentally Baba’s Maha Samadhi day. Navarathri is celebrated by invoking Goddess Lalitha Tripurasundari. The first three days of the 9 day period are focused on Goddess Durga, followed by 3 days of worship of Goddess Lakshmi, and concluded with 3 days dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi. The tradition is outlined by people inviting Sumanglis to their homes after the Golu has been arranged and performing poojai every day. During Navarthri, the specific focus is on the elaborate alangaram to Dakshina Kali. The nine evenings are celebrated by the chanting of Lalitha Sahasranamavali. At our ashram, one of the key functions performed is on Vijaya Dashami. On this auspicious day, Baba took Maha Samadhi in the year 1918, thus leaving his mortal coil. This denotes a very important and notable and momentous day for all Baba devotees, universally. Details of the program for Vijaya Dashami at our ashram are enclosed.

In between, various other events and schedules continue at the ashram as per schedule. Gurumaa made a short trip to the United States in order to conduct special prayers for betterment and overall well-being of various locales around the country. On August 6th, Maa landed in Dallas, Texas where she performed a Hanuman Puja to instill protection. Next, she visited Detroit, Michigan to nurture peace and welfare in the area. Lastly, she visited Phoenix, Arizona for the betterment of health and increased spirituality. Her trip concluded on August 28th when she returned to the ashram.

And as always, it goes without saying that the Pournami pooja, Pradosha Puja, 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!