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Dear Sai Brothers and Sisters,

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and welcome to this quarter's newsletter!  Our last quarter of 2014 was filled with many exciting events, from Deepavali, Christmas, and Homi Baba's birthday to our much awaited December function, the Sri Dattatreya Mantra Samputitha Satha Chandi Homam.

Our quarter first started off with Deepavali, the festival of lights.  The entire ashram and temple were magnificently lit up with over 1000 lamps, similar to the way that Baba would decorate Dwarakamai with lights every day.

Christmas is always a grand celebration in the ashram. This year, special abhishek was done for Infant Jesus in the morning, followed by a celebration in the evening, where all devotees, children and adults alike participated.  The decorations included a Christmas tree and lights, along with candles, which were lit by everyone in the ashram.

Homi Baba's birthday is also a huge celebration in the ashram.  This year, there was a special abhishek done for Homi Baba in the morning, and then Maa cut a cake during the celebration in the afternoon.

On New Year's Eve, all devotees gathered in the hall close to midnight to wish Baba a happy new year.  As usual, everyone was allowed into the sanctum sanctorum to do abhishek for Baba themselves.  At midnight, Maa did the Aarthi for Baba and distributed sweets to everyone.

The main event for this quarter was the Sri Dattatreya Mantra Samputitha Satha Chandi Homam and Sampurna Navagraha Homam.  The event kicked off on the 29th of December with a Ganapathi Homam, along with the standard pujas that were done every day, including Ganapathi Puja, Go Puja, and a Puja for Baba.  The priests would then gather in the main hall for the first three days to chant the Rudram and Parayanam.  Later, during a break for lunch, the devotees would gather around the veranda to listen to Maa's Satsang.  The priests would then come together again in the evening to chant the Parayanam and Lalitha Sahasranamam.  The last day of the function, January 1st, was the grand finale--the Chandi and Navagraha Homam.  The importance of this homam was to please the Navagrahas, or the planetary deities, to maintain a balance on earth.

A unique aspect of this year's puja was the devotees being allowed to do the Japa for the Dattatreya Kalasham.  As per the instructions of Baba, the devotees were required to be in the Yagasala in front of the Kalasham from 7 in the morning until 7 in the evening chanting the mantra "Om Dram Dattatreyaya Namaha Om".  The water from the Kalasham was then used to do Abhishek for Baba and Maa on the last day.

As usual, Annadhanam was done from 10-2 in the morning and 6-8 in the evening every day of function, with more than 4000 people coming in all.  Additionally, Annadhanam was also done at a Christian charitable institution that takes care of mentally disabled people in Veerapuram.

In terms of charitable services, Sri Sai Darshan has helped sponsor the latest educational project of Shankara Netralaya by donating 1.5 lakhs to help educate less fortunate children.

Aside from the special events, our regular monthly projects continue, including the medical camps, weekly annadhanam, Purnima Puja, and Pradosha Puja.

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

Jai Sai Ram Jai Maruthi Jai Maruthi!