Thursday, September 29, 2016

"Firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence" and USA Declaration of Independence, 1776

I recently watched a video where a quite well known Conservative values speaker in the USA, Mr. Glenn Beck, was focusing on the phrase, "firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence" in the founding documents of the USA. The speaker also claimed that he places a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence for his business activities (radio talk show host, book writer and more).

I found it quite interesting that USA founding documents had such content, and so decided to do some reading up on it. It is the USA Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776, that has this phrase as well as some very lofty phrases. This document seems to be main formal document with names & signatures where the leaders of the American revolutionaries wanting independence from their then ruler, Great Britain, openly and boldly proclaimed their independence and seem to have indicated their willingness to fight a war of independence with Great Britain to protect/achieve their independence.

Given below are a few extracts from a transcript of it, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
...
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

--- end extracts from transcript of USA Declaration of Independence ---

Ravi: So the phrase, "with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence", is in the context of the signatories mutually pledging to each other their lives, fortune and honour, to support the declaration of independence. It is not an open-ended statement about relying on the protection of divine Providence for everything related to USA. However, I do understand how some persons may (and I think do) interpret it/extend it in that manner. "In God We Trust" is the motto of the USA (adopted in 1956), and appears on USA Dollar bills/notes (paper currency); see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_God_We_Trust.

Now I must say that as a devout believer in Almighty God I do have immense respect for those people who have such a reliance on the protection of divine Providence, for anything and everything in their lives. In this post, I am focusing on the content of USA founding documents in this regard.

Some information about this Declation of Independence from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration.html is given below:

Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson's most enduring monument. Here, in exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people. The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in "self-evident truths" and set forth a list of grievances against the King in order to justify before the world the breaking of ties between the colonies and the mother country.

--- end extract from ...declaration.html ---

Ravi: Some of the signatories to this document paid a heavy price for this act of rebellion against Great Britain. From https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1987/10/our-divine-constitution?lang=eng:

Five of the signers were captured as traitors and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary War; another had two sons captured. Nine died from wounds or from the hardships of the war. [Ravi: The Declaration document had 56 signatures.]
...
During his first inaugural address in 1789, President George Washington, a man who was raised up by God [Ravi: "raised up by God" is a belief/view from this article from the Mormon church, USA (The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)], said: “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency” (First Inaugural Address, 30 Apr. 1789).

--- end short extracts from ...our-divine-constitution ---

Readers may want to view my post, Main events in founding of the United States of America as an independent country, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2016/09/main-events-in-founding-of-united.html.

[I thank archives.gov and lds.org and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts (short extracts from lds.org) from their websites on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Monday, September 26, 2016

Divine Glory of Prasanthi Nilayam, Sathya Sai Avatar's abode, just as powerful as before

Last updated on 29th Sept. 2016

A correspondent from a foreign country (not India) wrote the following to me over email (slightly edited; correspondent was OK with public sharing):

--Name-snipped-- claims that Prashanti Nilayam is losing its glory. What does he base this on? When did he last come to Prashanti Nilayam? What facts did he observe that led him to this conclusion?

I’ve been to Prashanti Nilayam more recently than --name-snipped-- and found the Divine Glory of the Avatar’s abode just as powerful as when Swami was physically present. Not only that, when our youth went for the World Youth Festival they came back filled with stories of Swami’s miracles which they experienced in Prashanti Nilayam, including having His darshan. Yet --name-snipped-- and his ‘friends’ and ‘sources’ in Puttaparthi see only human dramas and politicking. How sad for them. To be in the holiest place on earth and utterly waste that rare and Divinely granted opportunity. Swami said that the world is only reaction, reflection and resound. Whatever is within you, that is what you will see in the world.
=======================================

Some comments from my Facebook post,
https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1795131537370082, having the same content as above, are given below:

Ravi S. Iyer wrote: "Swami said that the world is only reaction, reflection and resound. Whatever is within you, that is what you will see in the world." - Perfect Sathya Sai words of wisdom for this matter, in my considered opinion.
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Venkat Reddy wrote: I was in Prashanthi Nilayam in Jan-Feb and was inspired beyond words. i tried to put my experiences and insights into words to share with friends but i still couldn't quite communicate the feeling.

The only way i could was to return there myself with my family. Which i did. Only to have my treasure trove of memories and experiences spill over, yet again.

Prashanthi Nilayam, above and beyond all places on earth, remains my Divine Mother's Home. The reach of Her Love and all enveloping presence at Prashanthi Nilayam has to be experienced, not debated. Like Swami. Om Sai Ram
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote: Wonderful words, bro. Venkat Reddy. Thanks for sharing.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote: Sairam Vr Ganti sir. Thank you for liking this post. I appreciate such support from you, sir, for Prasanthi Nilayam, the Holy Abode of Shiva-Shakti Swarupa, Kali Yuga Avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi.
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Vr Ganti wrote (edited): Ravi S. Iyer Do you think I dont love SWAMI? Are you saying that I dont know about SWAMI? Or do you think that I am doing something against SWAMI?
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote: Sairam Vr Ganti sir, have I ever questioned your love for Swami? Show me one comment/post of mine where I have done that.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote: Vr Ganti sir, My disagreement with you is about your approach to help Prasanthi Nilayam. What you view as helping Prasanthi Nilayam is being viewed by some as hurting Prasanthi Nilayam. I do not want to debate this point more with you, sir, as it will become an emotional issue. I just wanted you to be aware that this is how some Prasanthi Nilayam and Puttaparthi supporters feel.
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Mahabaleshwar Ip wrote: to b frank i see only good things happening in PN, more and more people r coming, more and more activities(sometimes i use to think better than whn Swamy was in physical Form), our elders are doing their best to retain the sanctity and the regular activities in the abode, we should help them in the same mentality.....one very important thing we should never forget that The Lord created this wonderful Land Called Prasanthi Nilayam, sure it wll grant peace and harmony to the Humanity, whn God Himself created this He wll take care of everything let's not doubt in this, let's only follow His teachings atleast 1%, that's enough, whn we think we r doing, we r controlling, we r leading - leads to more problems.....HE is the Doer, controller and everything, let's not fall in the Maya He created, instead let's Hold on to His Divine Feet....pl stop complaining, Parthi is as beautiful and as Peaceful as before, Welcome to your Mother's Home......Sairam
[The pic below was attached to above comment]

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Mahabaleshwar Ip wrote: Sairam Ravi Bro., pl forgive me if iam Wrong.......... ................. Find the sweetness in your own heart, then you may find the sweetness in every heart.

~ Rumi
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote: Sairam and thanks for your supportive comments, brother Mahabaleshwar Ip.
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Shubha Ramesh Kumar wrote: PN is, was and will always be our home, home of our mother. No home is without Issues and problems. But at large when one thinks of home, we only recall the sweet memories, the happiness one experienced when the Mother was physically there and how much we miss the presence today. Today our home is like that where the elder who we all looked up to is not there, a home where the children have to now learn the ropes of running the show while all the while dealing with the pain of the loss. Things will smooth out eventually with the Swaami's grace, say that with hope and faith but the glory shall never fade or wane. Sairam.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote (edited): Well said, Shubha Ramesh Kumar. Thanks.
----

An elder told me that everybody in Muddenahalli DOES NOT do Sashtanga Namaskar to Narasimhamurthy sir


Firstly, I am NOT a supporter of Muddenahalli group. I publicly write that belief in so called communicator, Madhusudan Rao Naidu, is a FALSE BELIEF, and write against the SERIOUS DIVISIVE THREAT Muddenahalli group has become for Sathya Sai movement worldwide.

However, I would like to keep a balanced and truthful stand, and so am putting up this post. Today I had a meeting and conversation with an elder who interacts with Shri B.N. Narasimhamurthy at Muddenahalli. Recently I saw a photograph (see attached pic) of somebody doing Sashtanga Namaskar to Shri B.N. Narasimhamurthy sir (BNNM) and was wondering whether BNNM had now acquired a Swami kind of stature among Muddenahalli group. I frankly asked this elder about it.

The elder dismissed it and said that, in this matter, BNNM is like the warden (sir) that he was before Mahasamadhi and that he speaks to people with love and respect. In fact, the elder shared with me that in end 2012 he himself wanted to do Sashtanga Namaskar to BNNM, after seeing some achievements of BNNM and others then. But, the elder told me today, BNNM had then objected very strongly and pleaded with him not to do such things. BNNM told him that they both were only devotees of Swami working on Swami's mission.

The elder said that some youngsters do such Sashtanga Namaskar to BNNM but it is not that most people do such Sashtanga Namaskar to BNNM (even today).

As the elder regularly visits Muddenahalli, and is quite well known to me, I give a lot of value to his words in this matter. I felt it appropriate to share this info. with others in the interest of giving a balanced view of the matter.

Note that my putting up this post DOES NOT MEAN that I approve of Shri B.N. Narasimhamurthy's (BNNM's) actions in endorsing FALSE BELIEF in communicator, Madhusudan Rao Naidu, and in the SERIOUS DIVISIVE THREAT that Muddenahalli group of which he is a key leader, poses to Sathya Sai movement worldwide. In fact, I strongly disapprove of these actions of BNNM.
===================================================

A comment I made on the associated Facebook post,
https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1794567490759820, is given below.

--Name-snipped--, Yes, I do see the danger of dominance from BNNM possibility as shown in this pic. And so a BNNM cult forming (if it has not formed already). But ... the elder I spoke to had a different take. Maybe the elder also does not have the full picture.
----

My response to Mr. Ganti's statements about Puttaparthi Vaasi (residents) living in fear

Last updated on 28th Sept. 2016

Given below is a comment I made on Mr. Ganti's Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/notes/vr-ganti/is-prashanthi-nilayam-losing-alebit-slowly-its-glory/10207607441408766.

I live in outside ashram Puttaparthi and am not associated with any Sai institution in Puttaparthi (or elsewhere) since March 2012. Prior to that I was offering free service in the Sai university from Jan. 2003 to Mar. 2012 with designations of Honorary Staff, Honorary Faculty and Visiting Faculty.

Mr. Ganti writes, "I am told that the entire town of PUTTAPARTHI is gripped by FEAR and people are, just not only hesitant but are afraid to voice their views. When will PARTHI VASIYO (residents of Parthi) get freedom is the question I have."

I am NOT gripped by FEAR!!! Mr. Ganti seems to live in some imaginary world of his when he uses such words.

However, I do not typically publicly criticize Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust or Swami family members. This is how it was when I was serving in the Sai university in Bhagavan's physical presence over eight years, and I would like to continue to keep that approach now too. I think such an approach has helped me in my spiritual journey. I have not come to Puttaparthi to become an investigative journalist exposing any alleged financial corruption and crime!!! I have come to Puttaparthi for spiritual progress.

Does that mean I am gripped by FEAR!!! When I walk on the streets of Puttaparthi do I worry that somebody will physically attack me or rob me? Not at all! In fact, I find that even outside ashram Puttaparthi is a largely peaceful and safe town for people like me. I am very happy (with exception of Muddenahalli issue and related unhappiness, at times) and NOT FEARFUL in my life in outside ashram Puttaparthi town. It is a very pleasant life that I lead and I am thankful to the police, govt. authorities as well as Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust for their contributions to a safe and peaceful outside ashram Puttaparthi town with good services of water and free medical care through Bhagavan's hospitals. It is also my considered view, in the years after Mahasamadhi, that Shri R.J. Rathnakar in his role as an important local leader of outside ashram Puttaparthi town has contributed significantly to ensuring that Sai devotees including foreign Sai devotees visiting and living in outside ashram Puttaparthi are not troubled by any local troublemakers. I am therefore very supportive of this leadership role played by Shri R.J.Rathnakar in outside ashram Puttaparthi town.

The contrast in terms of peaceful and hassle free life for Sai devotees, between outside ashram Puttaparthi town and other towns in Rayalaseema can be easily felt by those who have experienced life in such towns.

Now does that mean that I will poke my nose into all financial dealings and business activities that are going on in outside ashram Puttaparthi town and do exposure of any such illegal activities. Of course NOT. Such exposure involves risk and therefore it is the media and police authorities who do such work. NOT spiritual aspirants and writers on spirituality & religion like me!!! As an individual writer, I am afraid of investigating and exposing financial and other malpractices not only in outside ashram Puttaparthi but anywhere in India or the world, for that matter. I think that fear is a healthy fear. Like having fear of going to a jungle which has ferocious animals, or to a warzone, or to a place having an outbreak of deadly contagious disease (e.g. Ebola).

And BTW I was born and lived for most of the first four decades of my life in and around Mumbai. The biggest mafia bosses in India came to limelight in Mumbai during my time there. As an individual writer, I am AFRAID of writing against these mafia bosses even today! And I think that is a healthy fear. I mean, I have read enough about hitman killings in Mumbai ordered and executed by these mafia gangs, when I was living in and around Mumbai to know how dangerous they can be to those who trouble them. I also was caught up in downtown Mumbai when the 1993 serial bomb blasts organized by one of these mafia bosses struck Mumbai and terrorized it for a day or two (then Mumbai was back in action, shrugging off the first serial bomb blast attack in India). [Here's my blog post on it for those who would like to read it, My memories of the 1993 Bombay/Mumbai serial bomb blasts, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2015/07/my-memories-of-1993-bombaymumbai-serial.html.] It is the police authorities and powerful media orgns. protected by the police who have the task of doing the dangerous work of investigating criminal actions of these mafia gangs. Not individual writers on spirituality and religion like me!

The way Mr. Ganti writes, it seems that he thinks he is some great FEARLESS man who will expose Asathya and Adharma anywhere. Given the mocking tone that Mr. Ganti has used for Puttaparthi residents let me challenge him to live in Puttaparthi and then write about such matters (any exposure of alleged financial corruption and malpractices). Then I will say he is a FEARLESS man. Otherwise he is just claiming to be FEARLESS but is only sitting safely in Singapore and mocking Puttaparthi residents as FEARFUL!

Further, is Singapore free from all crime and corruption?? I have only visited Singapore for a couple of days on a marketing trip during my software industry days, sometime in the early 90s. It did come across as a well disciplined city then but I could sense an undercurrent of fear too then. I mean, it was not like how I have felt while I lived in Western Europe and the USA.

And, is Singapore politics really free democracy politics like in Western Europe and USA (and to a lesser extent, India)?? Two short extracts from  the article, "Sister of Singapore Prime Minister Lee accuses him of dynasty politics", http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/11/sister-of-singapore-prime-minister-lee-accuses-him-of-dynasty-politics.html, dated 11th April 2016, are given below:
International media have long criticized Singapore's political system over the prominence of the Lee family. The People's Action Party (PAP), created by Lee Kuan Yew in 1954, has ruled Singapore's political landscape since the country's independence in 1965.
...
A few days later, on April 1, she wrote, "I will no longer write for SPH [Singapore Press Holdings, publisher of The Straits Times] as the editors there do not allow me freedom of speech. In fact, that was the reason why I posted the article that LKY would not want to be hero-worshipped."
--- end short extracts from cnbc.com ---

What Ganti sir! No  press freedom in Straits Times for even daughter of Late Singapore strongman Lee Kuan Yew! What sort of FEARFUL place you are living in!!! I challenge you, Mr. Ganti, to write in support of press freedom in Singapore and in support of Lee Wei Ling, younger sister of Singapore Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong. Or should I say entire Singapore city including Mr. V.R. Ganti is GRIPPED BY FEAR of Lee Hsein Loong and DARE NOT SUPPORT his sister and critic, Lee Wei Ling???

=======================================================

Additional comments of mine in the same post of Mr. Ganti mentioned above, are given below.

Ganti sir, I will never forget the courageous work that you did in exposing Muddenhalli group. As I have said earlier on multiple occasions that is a signal contribution from you to the post-Mahasamadhi Sathya Sai movement.

But, sir, you are now painting Puttaparthi town in a very poor light. Mind you, many Sai devotees in Puttaparthi try to do their best to follow Bhagavan's teachings. In my considered opinion, Bhagavan would not approve of Sai devotees very aggressively and publicly criticizing trustees of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, and any member of Swami's family, as you are doing, sir. You are saying that Sai devotees in Puttaparthi are "gripped by FEAR"! That is a completely wrong way of looking at it. By using such language, you want to provoke Puttaparthi Sai devotees into doing what you want them to do. But, sir, all such language will do is to create anger towards you in most Puttaparthi residents (including me) who read your post/mail, as your characterisation of them is insulting.

My view is that as a now well known social media writer of Sathya Sai movement matters, you sir, can surely raise polite questions of SSSCT. I have publicly expressed my view that it will be better if there is more transparency in SSSCT in this post-Mahasamadhi phase of Sathya Sai movement.

But you have gone way beyond that in this post of yours (as you have done earlier too). You have assumed unto yourself a dictatorial role and want to dictate terms to SSSCT! You have targeted two of these trustees by name in this post and used very harsh language against them. This kind of post is really shocking to me!

It is one thing to demand more transparency and accountability in the Sai orgn. But you have gone way beyond that, sir.

I am afraid I cannot be part of such discussions and debate.

I pray to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to cool you down, sir, and show you that these kind of posts will only create disharmony and anger in Puttaparthi and SSSCT, and not help Sathya Sai movement.
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--Name-snipped-- sister, I could not tolerate the words Mr. Ganti has put up in this post which insults Puttaparthi residents (including you and me) as living in great fear. Please note that his mails go out to many people around the world. I felt it is important to strongly rebut the view that people like you and me live in great fear in Puttaparthi.
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Ganti sir, I have never interacted with Shri R.J. Rathnakar directly and am not attached to him in any way. However, I do appreciate the good influence that he, along with ruling govt. leaders like Minister and MLA Dr. Palle Raghunatha Reddy, have over outside ashram Puttaparthi to keep it free from or limit it to a very low level of problems that towns near to Puttaparthi face [Liquor shops and associated drunkard problems, eve-teasing, robberies ...]. Even if I move away from Puttaparthi, I will try to stick to the norms I had when I was serving in the Sai university in Prasanthi Nilayam campus in Bhagavan's physical presence, of having respect towards family members of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba which includes Shri R.J. Rathnakar and Smt. Chetana Raju.

You have put out a view that Puttaparthi residents live in great fear. I do not live in great fear in outside-ashram Puttaparthi. I don't bother RJR and he does not bother me. I don't trouble other leaders of PTP town and they don't trouble me. So I am not afraid of them. I will have need to fear them if I poke my nose into their business, political and personal affairs. Why should I do that??? I am not a competitor to them and have not come to Puttaparthi to earn money from business or a job with Sai institution, or get elected to political office. That is the truth whether you want to accept it or not.

Perhaps those who have written to you from Puttaparthi about such fear are persons who are into business or other activities which face opposition from others in Puttaparthi.
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You [Mr. Ganti] made allegations against me sir in your comment stating that "You are attached to the local leader". I wanted readers to know that that is a false statement.
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Sairam --name-snipped-- sir, Thanks for the kind words about me. But I am just a regular person with human flaws who needs your good wishes, and am NOT worthy of any prostration of any sort. ..... I was only one of the persons offering honorary service in Sai university. I am deeply grateful to Bhagavan for having given me the opportunity to serve Him in this manner in His DIVINE university. While I did not ask for (and did not get) any money salary from Bhagavan for my nine year service stint, I asked for and He gave in a much bigger way than I had expected, spiritual grace (spiritual salary) to me, for which I am deeply, deeply grateful to Him.
-------
====================================================================

Given below is a comment from my Facebook post,
https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1794942760722293, associated with this blog post:

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Part of an exchange (slightly edited) over FB chat with a FB friend who along with her parents shifted to Puttaparthi from Mumbai in 2001 (so living in Puttaparthi for 15 years) is given below (she was OK with sharing it):

FB Friend (FBF) wrote: Sairam, It's right, as a woman i feel in Parthi compared to other places in India.

I wrote: Did you mean that, as a woman, you feel safer in Parthi? ... I think Parthi crime rate is quite low as compared to nearby towns. Do you disagree?

Are you gripped by fear in your life in Puttaparti??? Of course, there is discipline in the PRIVATE mandir complex and PRIVATE Sai institutions like hospitals and educational institutions where one has to follow rules & regulations. But that is different from living in great fear. But what do you think? Do you live in great fear in Puttaparthi?

FBF wrote (slightly edited): No, i have no fear in Parthi as a woman and i did not encounter any unpleasantness in this place since we shifted here. Yes, in hospital or in mandir, we have (to) follow certain rules, which i always do. I feel, it also depends on a woman how she conducts herself in public.
=============================================

Ravi S. Iyer wrote: Additional comment I put up in Mr. Ganti's FB post referred in post above: I have deleted the comment referring to dogs made by somebody on my Facebook post. I do not approve of such words being used in these debates.

However, I must also inform readers that I think some people in Puttaparthi (locals) are very upset with the tone of this post of Mr. Ganti. So I understand the anger which led to the comment with dogs reference being put on my Facebook page by somebody.

Puttaparthi locals are rough-and-tough people. So long as you don't come in their way and bother them, they will not bother you. But if you create problems for them they tend to react with Rayalaseema rough-and-tough attitude. This was the reality of outside ashram Puttaparthi (and to a smaller extent, within the ashram too) even prior to Swami's Mahasamadhi, and continues to be the reality today.

I am sharing this view/information only from an intention to alert readers to the reality of outside ashram Puttaparthi. What they want to post and comment is up to them. But if they use very harsh words against some top persons of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT) and/or Swami's family members, they should not be surprised if they receive back some very harsh words, Rayalaseema style, from some Puttaparthi locals.

SSSCT and Swami family members are quite highly respected in outside ashram Puttaparthi. Outside ashram Puttaparthi is dependent on SSSCT for many services, and I think most, if not all, reasonably well informed Puttaparthi locals understand that very well, and many are grateful to SSSCT as the key instrument of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, through whom these services to them are rendered. Of course, their primary gratitude is to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba himself.

It does pain me when I read strong words being used not only from Mr. Ganti and others against SSSCT but also in the reverse direction from Puttaparthi locals hurt by these words towards Mr. Ganti and others. That is why I have made this comment. I do hope it will serve to make the tone more polite. I personally am biased towards SSSCT and Swami family members and so I do not want to engage much in this discussion.

Thank you. Jai Sairam!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

I hold Swami's family members including Smt. Chetana Raju, in high respect

Given below is a comment (slightly edited) I made on Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/notes/vr-ganti/chethna-garu-did-she-realize-her-mistake-and-come-back-to-parthi-for-good/10207594525325872 [Swami refers to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba]:

--Name-snipped--, Since you have tagged me in a comment, I am responding. Otherwise I would not have liked to respond to this matter.

My stand on Muddenahalli group belief in so called communicator, Madhusudan Rao Naidu, that it is a FALSE BELIEF, is a public and clear stand. Further, my stand is that office bearers of official Sai orgn. should not associate with Muddenahalli group, and that is also the official Sai orgn. stand, I believe.

I think it is up to the current All India President of Sai orgn., Shri Nimish Pandya, to PUBLICLY clarify what his stand is with respect to Smt. Chetana Raju, who is an important person from Swami's family and who has been an important figure in Prasanthi Nilayam functions associated with women's wing for years. Mr. Pandya's silence on the matter will lend value to a belief that there are double standards whereby teachers who have served Swami for years/decades in Swami's school (and one teacher in Sai university) in Prasanthi Nilayam/Puttaparthi had to pay the price of being removed from their service for attending Muddenahalli group functions, whereas top office bearers of Sai orgn. do not have any such restriction.

Of course, it would be wonderful if Smt. Chetana Raju, as an important Swami family member, clearly states her stand publicly. That will help Sai fraternity to know whether she continues to be a supporter of Muddenahalli group and a believer in so called communicator, Madhusudan Rao Naidu.

I strongly disapprove of unsubstantiated allegations and name-calling against Smt. Chetana Raju. I hold Swami's family members in high respect as I have personally seen in my regular attendance in Sai Kulwant Hall (Prasanthi Nilayam) from Jan 2003 to April 2011 that Swami (physical form) gave great affection and respect to his family. As a teacher in Prasanthi Nilayam campus of the Sai university, I (and other Sai university staff) were expected to be respectful of Swami's family. I happen to have taught one Lab. course to one young man from Swami's family too. I would like to continue that attitude of respect towards Swami's family members now too. So I strongly disapprove of any unsubstantiated allegations and name-calling against Smt. Chetana Raju.

I would also like to say that Swami has in public discourses said that his (physical body) sisters were among the first to recognize his divinity. They also, I am sure, would have played a great role in caring for Swami at physical level in the very challenging and difficult period when Swami was a young school going boy and later was starting his mission. So I am deeply grateful to these members of Swami's family who provided that vital support to Swami at that difficult time, as I have been able to benefit from the fruit of all their hard work when I came to Swami's fold in the early 1990s. Smt. Chetana Raju is the granddaughter of one such sister of Swami! So I respect Smt. Chetana Raju and her family, for their family's service to Swami.
--- end comment ---

Friday, September 23, 2016

Nature article: Religion and science can have a true dialogue

A correspondent passed on this very interesting article from the leading science journal, Nature, titled, Religion and science can have a true dialogue, http://www.nature.com/news/religion-and-science-can-have-a-true-dialogue-1.20627, dated 22nd Sept. 2016

A short extract from it:

They [group of UK church leaders] were frustrated by the task of engaging seriously with science against the backdrop of a popular narrative of science–faith conflict that pervades contemporary culture.

Too often, this simplistic claimed tension is used in the media, for instance, to pigeonhole ethical arguments from (even highly scientifically literate) religious figures as being relevant only to those ‘of faith’, rather than expressing a broader concern for human welfare.
--- end short extract ---

Abortion: Polarising issue in USA politics; Seems to be complex from spiritual view

How sensitive the topic of abortion is in the USA can be sensed from this article where a pastor advises his congregation to vote for the Republican party as its platform is against abortion:

[Please note that this is a sensitive matter. Readers who prefer to avoid reading about such sensitive matters may please skip reading the remaining part of this post.]

From the Heart of a Pastor: What I Am Telling My Congregation About the Election, http://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/59867-from-the-heart-of-a-pastor-what-i-am-telling-my-congregation-about-the-election, dated Sept. 13th 2016.

Please note that I have a PUBLICLY NEUTRAL informal-student-observer role in these posts that I put up about the USA presidential elections. Of course, as I am an Indian citizen living in India, there is no question of me voting in these elections.
-------------------------------------------------

Ravi: I find abortion to be a very complex topic from a spiritual point of view. I don't have a clear stand on it, as of now. I mean, I am learning about it. [I don't know whether Sathya Sai has written or spoken in public discourses on abortion.]

Of course, cases where health of the mother is in danger (and cases like rape & incest?), come across as cases where abortion should be OK from a spiritual point of view. But in other cases, especially in unmarried teenage pregnancy cases, is it the spiritually right thing to do for the pregnant lady to abort? How would a spiritual advisor counsel an unmarried teenage pregnant woman who does not have the financial and social support structure to raise a child, at that stage in her life? It is one thing to talk about the glory and wonder of a new human baby coming into the world, but it is another thing altogether to handle the at least two decades effort, in many parts of today's world including many parts of India, to raise the child.

Of course, I am not talking about any legal issues here, like laws in some states of the USA where abortion, barring the exception cases mentioned earlier, would be legal but would have some restrictions (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States_by_state). I am talking only about the spiritual view of the matter.

Some people may view abortion from a non-religious/non-spiritual prism. That, I think, is a key difference between my view and their view. I view creation of human life through a spiritual and religious (Hindu beliefs mainly) prism. I view the birth of a child into a family as not limited to the physical act of sex and then the biological development of the foetus in the mother taken to full term as a human child that is born. I view it additionally as having an important undercurrent of it being a gift of God / act of destiny/ karmic effect, which has the great potential of lighting up the family with not only human happiness and joy but also elevate the parents spiritually as they get into roles of parents. One of the most awesome things that I see in human life is the unconditional love that many mothers have towards their children. Such mothers are willing to sacrifice anything, even their own life at times, for the well being of their children. In such cases, the wife gets transformed into an example of selfless service as a mother, that spiritual and religious people like me, hold in awe and great respect! In fact, my belief as per (my understanding of) the teachings of my Guru, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, is that this unconditional love that some mothers (who evolve into that role after (first) childbirth from a different role of being only a wife-not-mother role) have for their children, is a sample of the love that God has for his devotees. Hindu scripture is full of stories of such unconditional love that God has shown to his devotees (e.g Prahlada, Dhruva, Gajendra) by responding to their earnest prayers to Him.

So, for me, motherhood and also fatherhood, is a God sent opportunity for a wife and husband to spiritually evolve and become more worthy of love and respect as human beings.

I repeat that my stand on abortion is not clear and that I am learning about it. So please be tolerant of any flaws in my views expressed above, and do convey your differing views, if any. Thanks.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mail exchange about my current writing stand on Muddenahalli group belief

Last updated on 25th Sept. 2016

[Update on 25th Sept. 2016: Initially when this post was put up on 22nd Sept. 2016 with the title, "Some more thoughts and responses about my current writing stand on Muddenahalli group belief", I had not got approval from the correspondent with whom I had this exchange to share her part of the exchange. So I presented my part of that conversation in this post without any reference to the mail conversation. Now the correspondent, an old friend of mine from my software industry days in Mumbai (she was not with the software development work but was with the finance section of the first software consultancy company that I worked in, from 1984 to 1990 in Mumbai), has given her approval to share her part of the conversation too. So I have included her part too (slightly edited) in this post. My portion of the exchange is slightly edited as well.]

Note: The order below is slightly different from the mail exchange order which was not broken into points. So some minor sequence issues will have to be tolerated by the reader.

1) Correspondent (C) wrote: Every institution, religious or otherwise, will undergo splits when there is a leadership change. Each faction will claim to be the original or the true heir to the legacy.  You have yourself quoted what Ramana said when there was another faction. While that may have been for property ...
I (Ravi) responded: I think it was about ashram administration rather than property. Ashram administration is a very tricky thing as people will always find some complaint or the other with the ashram administration.
2) C wrote: The reason you did not get a response from Modi's office [Ravi: to my open letter to PM Modi, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2016/09/open-letter-to-pm-modi-hrd-minister.html], is because they also viewed it as a fight between two factions not worth taking sides. There is a possibility, that Modi or his ministers would attend not only Muddenhalli's events , but also events held by your faction as well. They have no time or inclination to take sides. They see it only as power struggle.
I responded: Yes, the central and state govts. would view Puttaparthi group and Muddenahalli group as two factions and would not want to get embroiled in the disputes between the two factions. So they attend Puttaparthi ashram functions and also Muddenahalli group functions.
My point is not about whether they attend Muddenahalli group events but whether they ENDORSE the communicator/medium belief. As far as I know, I don't think there has been any major ashram system in India in my lifetime which has a medium of a departed Guru as the key person giving darshan, interviews and discourses supposedly of the departed Guru through the medium. Do you know of any such major (or even minor) ashram in India??
Visits by top political leaders are tried to be promoted by Muddenahalli group as them having become convinced of the communicator/medium's claims. PM Modi is a special case, which is a BIG, BIG PRIZE for Muddenahalli group to win (I mean, if they win his belief). This is because PM Modi has visited Sathya Sai Baba (in physical form) in the past on multiple occasions. The communicator/medium seems to have the ability to tell people about their past experiences with Sathya Sai Baba. That floors many people and they then believe everything about his medium/communicator claim. If PM Modi also is told by this communicator about some of his past private interactions with Sathya Sai which leads PM Modi to start believing that this medium/communicator guy is really channeling Sathya Sai spirit then, in my view, that would be a very sad event. I mean, the top leader of the country would be believing in this medium (communicator) guy, Madhusudan Rao Naidu's claim, which I am deeply convinced is a FALSE CLAIM based on my extensive study of the words & actions of this medium (communicator) which is DOCUMENTED on this blog!!!!
Perhaps for some persons that would not be an issue. But it does worry me. And I feel I need to do my bit as an Indian citizen and as a Sathya Sai devotee, in my individual capacity, to try to alert the PM about it.
C wrote: As for believing in "medium", I don't believe in it.. as much as I don't believe in many other things. However, if there are some folks who believe they can get salvation thru' it, its their choice, as much as they would go to Tirupathi and drop money in the hundi and expect something in return. I neither drop money in a temple nor be awed by someone who says he is the "medium".  there are many who do past life regression..
I responded: If it comes only to individuals, one need not get so worried. If some unknown to me person goes to Muddenahalli group and becomes a believer in the medium, I don't bother to interfere in that person's choice. But if PM Modi and HRD minister are being wooed by the medium/communicator (Madhusudan Rao Naidu), I worry about them getting trapped by the medium!!! B'cos they are powerful leaders of the union govt. who take big decisions on policy and big projects which could affect the lives of many, many Indians today, and whose (decisions) impact would extend to some time in the future.
As I read and blog about the USA presidential election that is ongoing, I note that some people who knew both the major presidential candidates from up close in the past, chose to go public with their warnings about what they view as these candidates' unsuitability to be USA president. They did this as a kind of duty to their country and knew that they would face an onslaught of criticism from the presidential candidates' camp and perhaps even legal issues. Some may view that as negativity. I view some of it as fair and necessary criticism by USA citizens to provide USA citizens valuable information that will help them take an informed decision while electing the next president of the USA. However, I do recognize that some of such criticism is false and negative propaganda against the presidential candidates. I am in favour of genuine and fair criticism of, and against false and negative propaganda targeting, the USA presidential candidates.
In a small way, I am doing my bit through fair criticism to prevent what I am sure is a false claim medium/communicator (Madhusudan Rao Naidu) trapping PM and top union ministers of India, into his net using the ***POWERFUL for political leaders *** name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba for his (medium's) words.
C wrote: Find a positive balance for yourself and negate the negative energy.
I responded: I think fair criticism is an important part of life. Some may view it as negativity. I don't view fair criticism as negativity.
3) About me not getting a proper response to my open letter to PM Modi:
I wrote: India has a huge population. Rather extensive filtering of communication to PM is but natural. I took a chance. It did not work out. I have the satisfaction of having tried to do my bit as an Indian citizen and Sai devotee. My conscience is at rest.
4) C wrote: To your point - "From a detachment point of view perhaps Ramana's approach was right [Ravi: About Ramana not wanting to fight with the breakaway devotee group/person that had set up a parallel ashram in Ramana's name!]. But from an ashram systems point of view, from the well being of the community of the ashram system, some ashram leaders had to take action.". The question I have for you - Did you go on this path to build ashrams and institutions or was it for salvation?
I responded: When I came to Puttaparthi with an aim to settle down, if things worked out, in end 2002, I wanted to have a balance between my individual spiritual progress and my contribution to the Sathya Sai mission which focuses on strengthening ideals of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti & Prema in society, service to society in various sectors (education, medicine ...) and also spreading the teachings of Sathya Sai. Till mid 2010, I was keeping this balance. Some incident and associated interactions (thoughts & prayers from me, and facial gestures and a key discourse from Swami) between Swami and me in 2010, where he stood by me in a time of great test for me, made me deeply devoted to Sathya Sai, like perhaps how some followers of Jesus became deeply devoted to Jesus. For me, this is personal. I mean, it is a personal bond of immense gratitude that I have with Sathya Sai for all that he did for me as a Guru including at physical form interaction level between him and me (prayers & thoughts from me towards Swami, and from Swami to me: facial gestures mainly but a few words too, and discourses which I heard live (sometimes watching him delivering the discourse) in his physical presence sitting in the main Darshan Hall in Puttaparthi ashram, Sai Kulwant Hall).
After Mahasamadhi of Sathya Sai (April 2011), I have become far more involved in the mission of Sathya Sai (in an individual role), than in my individual spiritual practices like meditation and contemplation (of which I would do a lot prior to mid 2010). So now I am more of a Sathya Sai missionary than an individual spiritual aspirant. And from a Sathya Sai missionary point of view, safeguarding the teachings of Sathya Sai from corruption and dilution (which is what Madhusudan Rao Naidu is doing in my considered view) is a major activity that I do not want to shirk.
5) C wrote: The university thing would not have happened on its own. Because you were taking sides, the other side will always look for your weak points. Once you take up a battle, then there will be no holds barred.
I responded: Well, I have noticed that you have never said that me being shown as Teaching Assistant by the Sai university in a document was wrong, as I was issued Identity cards duly signed by Principal of the Sai university campus that I was serving in, as Honorary Staff, Honorary Faculty and Visiting Faculty. I find that rather strange unless you disbelieve my statements above.
C responded: Sorry, I did not mean to say that the misrepresentation of your designation was right. All that I said, was folks will look for various ways to hit back, when cornered or in a fight. In this case, they tried this tactic. The underlying cause is different of why this happened.  The battle was for something else and they ensured you were distracted by this gross misrep.
I responded: Thanks a ton for clearly stating that you view my designation issue as a gross misrepresentation and do not view it as right. You see, the biggest disappointment, and I have to say even betrayal, that I felt in my fight with the Sai university administrators (in first half of 2012), was that NOT ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES or SENIORS (including a former HOD) who were paid staff of the Sai university, came up to me privately (forget about publicly stating so), and told me that Sai university had done a wrong thing by grossly misrepresenting my designation as a very junior one. NOT ONE of these persons! [Today, in 2016, I have a much kinder view of my paid Sai university colleagues and seniors not telling me even privately that Sai university had a done a wrong thing in this case. I think they were just too scared of losing their job or being penalised in some way if they were seen to be supporting me in any way. I mean, paid ashram staff are simply not in a position to criticize ashram administrators. That is the reality of Puttaparthi ashram and perhaps is the reality of other ashrams in India too.]
My value system was, and continues to be, such that I expect an apology from the authorities for their mistake. Instead I was greeted with haughty arrogance (in March to June 2012)! As if to say that what can you do? You are only one individual guy (who also has health problems). We can do what we want with your designation! [Note that they did not specifically use such words. But the way they behaved with me made me feel that this was their attitude.] This was gross abuse of power and even sadistic behaviour by Sai university administrators.
As they refused to apologize, when I was able to expose their wrongdoing in social media (in 2015 & 2016), I felt happy. [For more details on it, please see my blog post, My May 2012 service record & record tampering related correspondence with Sai university (SSSIHL) administrators, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2015/11/my-may-2012-service-record-record.html, dated Nov. 2015 and last updated Sept. 2016.] Somehow I wanted justice to be done. Exposing their misdeeds on social media allowed me to get that satisfaction to some extent. They still have not apologized and perhaps may never do so. Puttaparthi ashram system has feudal type arrogance where ashram bosses NEVER EVER apologize. But by exposing on social media the individuals of the Sai university who humiliated and insulted me, and labeling them publicly (in my blog & Facebook posts) as Teacher-Drohis (those who do harm to teachers), I have ensured that I got some level of justice, even if I did not get an apology.
I read somewhere about how institutional betrayal can cause psychological trauma. I think that is what I suffered then from in an acute way in 2011-12 at which time I did not use social media exposure, and so got brutally marginalized by a huge ashram university system crushing a single individual's cry for justice. Today I still face a minor level of trauma when I recall those incidents and write about them, but it is not as bad as it was in 2011-12 when I felt all alone in Puttaparthi.
The really peculiar thing about my experience is that while the Sai university betrayed me and I have very negative feelings about Sai university administrators, my beloved Gurudev, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba never betrayed me but always faithfully and truthfully played his role of a Guru guiding me, sometimes chastising me for my good, in my spiritual journey [I am writing about physical form Sathya Sai]. Sathya Sai was ALWAYS TRUE to me in my relationship with him of me being a spiritual aspirant and he being my Guru. In this spiritual relationship between me and him aspect, Sathya Sai lived up FULLY to his name of Sathya (truth). So on one hand I have bitter feelings towards the Sai university but on the other hand, I have immense gratitude for Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who was the founder chancellor of the Sai university, besides being my beloved Gurudev!!!!
6) C wrote: If you had taken up a fight to save someone's life or someone's suffering,  --name-snipped-- and I would not have objected as we do today. Because its about factions, we see no point in the battle.
I responded: I understand that you and --name-snipped-- (non Sai devotees; includes some other friends & relatives of mine) do not see any point in this faction battle. You are not into Sathya Sai and so you could not care less about these matters.
7) C wrote: There is always a urge in everyone to fight for something.. that's the way we are wired  Like we are trying to argue with you. When one is caught in the "grihastha ashram" part of life, there are so many issues, that one issue cannot assume a larger than life mindspace.. Like my mails to you are also bucketed among various other things on the to do list.  I am being honest with you.

Yes, I do not view Sai Baba as a God (Not that i have any other God I am awed with).. but I never felt like spending my life proving or disproving my point of view about Sai Baba, because my to-do list is already very crowded.

I am going to be cheeky now.. Most men after retirement are a pain.. after a lifetime of working, they have no idea of how to spend their time and really make life difficult for their families :p. ... That's what I meant, when in one of my earlier mails I said "Idle mind is devils workshop". You do not have enough things on your plate to be engaged with and this has now become an all consuming thing on your mind. I am sure --name-snipped-- will agree with me, you can put your brain and time to much better use.
I responded: You see, many people are thanking me for the work I have done in this matter. I myself feel very satisfied that I did not run away from Puttaparthi after Swami Mahasamadhi, and leave others to deal with the mess that followed the Mahasamadhi. My conscience is clear that I have done my duty to my beloved Guru in this post-Mahasamadhi trauma, chaos and confusion matter by this social media writing work of mine. That is a vital, vital thing for me. You reject my writings and work in this regard as idle mind is devil's workshop. What can I say? I don't want to use hurtful words. All I will say is that perhaps you have never been with any spiritual master or spiritual following. That is why you are using such words.
C responded: I agree I have not met any spiritual person or otherwise who has influenced me very deeply. I have always striven to never be carried away by one thing to loose sight of possible other perspectives. So could never trust and have complete faith in one person or ideology. You could call it my arrogance or skepticism. I have been influenced by lot of folks as I look for things I can learn, but never completely by one person, that I would consider it to be gospel truth. That's how I am :)
I responded: Noted. And I respect your stand and value you as a friend who has that stand.
8) C wrote: I would still urge you to occupy yourself with other things, whether its family or other purposes.
I responded: Well, Muddenahalli group matter is not the only thing I deal with. I write about non-controversial spirituality & religion matters. You may be disinterested. But many are interested and have thanked me for my writings. The reading that I do related to/prompting such writings gives me great satisfaction.
I have also extensively blogged (for free) about improving the practice of software development in Indian Computer Science & Information Technology academia. I consider that to be a significant contribution from me to the software development profession which gave me a great livelihood and great joy as a professional, even if that work (blog) does not have much recognition, as of now at least.
I have put up the course content of the various courses I taught in the Sai university on the Internet for free. [Note that for many of these courses I re-used and adapted freely available course content of USA and other Western country universities.]
I have studied the contemporary God & Science conversation and blogged (for free) about it on a different blog from my Sai Baba blog. That blog has no reference to Sathya Sai Baba at all, and focuses only on philosophy and values.
I share my views on a miscellaneous blog (for free) about other miscellaneous matters of human interest (not related to spirituality & religion or software technology) like USA politics which seems to interest a few people, and which I find educative.
Is all the above the work of an idle mind and that of a devil's workshop? Perhaps that's your view. I dismiss that view as an ignorant view (sorry to be blunt), and I think many of my readers too would dismiss it in a similar way.
And BTW before I left the Sai university I taught (for free) software development courses to M.Sc. and M.Tech. students and guided M.Tech. project work of some students for NINE YEARS. Is that also idle mind being devil's workshop stuff from some persons' point of view??
I actually even wonder whether you are against me writing about such things on the Internet. If so, why? Do you hate writers? Or is it that you just hate me being a writer on social media? Sorry if the questions seem harsh. But the tone of such criticism leaves me no option but to try to understand why you have such a harsh view of my post-retirement-from-commercial-work life.
C responded: I have nothing against writers. Yes, you are a very capable writer and your blogs are very impressive.
I responded: Thanks for the kind (perhaps very kind and exaggeratedly kind) words. I am touched by the genuineness of at least some appreciation from you for my writings. It is such appreciation that is the motivation fuel for writers like me. Without such appreciation I would have stopped writing and focused only on reading.
I do know that I have many flaws as a writer (hurried writing; grammatical mistakes; long-winded and repetitive at times ...). But my focus is more on the content that I want to share even if the manner of that content-sharing (writing style) could be better. I mean, right now I am focused on hurriedly but effectively communicating my thoughts on some matters to those who are interested. Over time perhaps I will become more of a laid back writer when I find that I can spend more time on improving my writing style.
C wrote: if those activities alongwith taking the Sai mission forward (in a positive manner and not defending) form major part of your life then my comment about "idle mind" is wrong and I apologize. However, when the Muddenahhali fight took the centre stage, the other discourses took a back seat and negative energy started flowing.. I do not like to see any energy being wasted on negative thoughts. That got me writing to you alongwith --name-snipped--. --name-snipped-- may have his own reasons, but this was my trigger.  I apologize if this hurt you. You should step back and see how much time are you in a positive frame of mind and how much is it defending, disturbed and negative. Its for you to find your balance.
I responded: Thanks for the conciliatory tone. I really appreciate it. On Muddenahalli stuff, what you view as negative, I view as truth-telling even if unpleasant truth-telling, that must be done for the larger and long-time good. But I do not want to debate this endlessly. I have noted that you view my unpleasant truth-telling stuff as negative.
9) C wrote: To me most of this is about money and power and so is all other religious discourses, except there are a few folks, who become the "Born again Christians".. I know you are not in it for the power and money!
I responded: Undoubtedly there is huge money and power in big spiritual and religious institutions, and some of it is unethical stuff (with some of it being used for service to society activities).
Thanks for your faith in me that I am not in this for power and money. And I guess I am a "Born Again Hindu" now, though I don't force my views on others (no forceful evangelism, but a share the good news with those interested type evangelism).
10) C wrote: I shall refrain from anymore comments on this topic.
I responded: Noted that you want to refrain from further comments on this topic.
Thank you very much for the valuable time you took to share your views and ***WELL-INTENTIONED*** warnings to me. I have no doubt whatsoever that friends like you and --name-snipped--, only want my well being, and that your recent mails to me to back off from Muddenahalli public criticism (and consider leaving Puttaparthi and Sathya Sai Baba related matters and go back to Mumbai/Dombivli), sprang from that genuine and sincere concern about my well being. I am grateful to God that He has blessed me with such genuine and sincere friends like you and --name-snipped-- (and other such friends and relatives). Thank you very much, once again.
If any of my words above have caused hurt, I am genuinely and sincerely sorry and apologize for the hurt caused. But I do not retract the words above as I think they are the truth and this truth needs to be said. The intent of these words is not to cause hurt but to share the truth as I see it and which truth-telling may help avoid such unpleasantness to others in future.
11) In response to my seeking her approval to share the above exchange, C wrote: Hey no problem.. Whatsoever.  The only reason i said i will refrain is bcoz i had already spelt out my opinion and we were going round in circles :)

i have no problem with whichever way you wish to share our exchange.
Not that i want to have the last word..  But do try and get back on your spiritual quest. :)
Apologies for the delay in responding.  This falls in my weekend bucket :D
Take care and best wishes

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Shirdi Sai Baba's life and sayings on Sufi Maqaams (stations) of faqr (poverty), sabr (patience) and tawakkul (trust/surrender)

Last updated on 19th Sept. 2016

In the book, The Life and Teachings of Sai Baba of Shirdi by Antonio Rigopoulos, Page 285 to 290, the author (Rigopoulos) covers Shirdi Sai Baba's adherance to faqr (poverty), sabr (patience) and tawakkul (trust/surrender), which the author says are three fundamental aspects of tariq(a), the classical spiritual path of Sufism.

Some info. from wikipedia on these matters, before I get back to Rigopoulos' book

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tariqa:

A Tariqa (or tariqah; Arabic: طريقة‎‎ ṭarīqah) is the term for a school or order of Sufism, or especially for the mystical teaching and spiritual practices of such an order with the aim of seeking Haqīqah, which translates as "ultimate truth".

A Tariqa has a Murshid (guide) who plays the role of leader or spiritual director. The members or followers of a tariqa are known as Murīdīn (singular Murīd), meaning "desirous", viz. "desiring the knowledge of knowing God and loving God" (also called a Faqīr فقير)

The metaphor of "way, path" is to be understood in connection of the term sharia which also has the meaning of "path", more specifically "well-trodden path; path to the waterhole". The "path" metaphor of tariqa is that of a further path, taken by the mystic, which continues from the "well-trodden path" or exoteric of sharia towards the esoteric haqiqa. A fourth "station" following the succession of shariah, tariqa and haqiqa is called marifa. This is the "unseen center" of haqiqa, and the ultimate aim of the mystic, corresponding to the unio mystica in Western mysticism. Tasawwuf, Arabic word that refers to mysticism and Islamic esotericism, is known in the West as Sufism.
--- end wiki Tariqa extract ---

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maqaam:

Maqaam (also known as maqām) or maqaamat (plural), translating to "stations" in Arabic [Ravi: English], is a term that references the various stages a Sufi's soul must attain in its search for God. The stations are derived from the most routine considerations a Sufi must deal with on a day-to-day basis and is essentially an embodiment of both mystical knowledge and Islamic law (Sharia). Although the number and order of maqaamat are not universal the majority agree on the following seven: Tawba, Wara', Zuhd, Faqr, Ṣabr, Tawakkul, and Riḍā. Sufis believe that these stations are the grounds of the spiritual life, and they are viewed as a mode through which the most elemental aspects of daily life begin to play a vital role in the overall attainment of oneness with God.

...

Faqr, translated as "poverty", is one of the central attitudes in a Sufi’s life. It was also one of the attributes of the Prophet. He claimed "poverty is my pride". In a spiritual sense, poverty is defined as the absence of desire for wealth or for the blessings of the otherworld.
...

Ṣabr (Patience)
Junayd describes the fifth station, "patience", as "The bearing of the burden for the sake of God Most High until the times of hardship have passed." Al-Ghazzali divides this station into different kinds of patience. The first is to have patience with physical pain. This can be caused by serious illness, an accident or even in the tasks of God's services. This patience is judged by laws of the religion. The second kind deals with attraction to evil and greed, essentially concerning matters of self-control. He lists other kinds of patience such as that of battles, the appeasement of anger, of happiness and that of possessions. The Prophet Muhammad described patience as the most difficult act of faith as well as the forbearing of hardship. Because the Prophet viewed patience as such a difficult act, it is widely followed on the path of a Sufi.
...

Tawwakul, translated "trust" is a noble stage a Sufi must reach once he has learned patience, so that when something is denied to a mystic they trust it is in agreement with destiny. True faith is accompanied by tawwakul, a disposition that must be incessantly cultivated through pious practice and reflection. This stage is characterized by complete trust in God and surrender to his will. It is agreed upon by some scholars that because the divine power is all-encompassing, complete trust in this power is mandatory. As such, the degree of tawwakul can vary in accordance to the amount of faith a person has.

--- end wiki Makaam extracts ---

Ravi: On faqr, Shirdi Sai Baba always identified himself as a faqir (a (Muslim) renunciant). Baba led a very, very simple life of a beggar. So he clearly adhered to faqr (poverty) aspect (makaam/station) of the Sufi Tariqa.

Baba is quoted from Narasimhaswami's Charters & Sayings book as having said, "Poverty is the highest riches and is a thousand times superior to a lord's position. God is the brother of the poor. The fakir is the real emperor. Fakirship does not perish, but an empire is soon lost."

On Sabr (patience/endurance), Rigopoulos gives Islamic references. He writes, "Sabur is included among the traditional ninety-nine names of Allah. It figures as the last one, designating Allah as al-Sabur, the Patient One."

He then quotes Shirdi Sai Baba from Narasimhaswami's Charters and Sayings book, as having said to Mrs. Radhabai Deshmukin, "What the Guru wanted from me were not metallic coins, he did not care even for gold, but only Nistha and Saburi i.e. faith and courageous patience. I gave these to him at once and he was pleased. Mother, Saburi is courage, do not discard it. It ferries you across to the distant goal. It gives manliness to men, eradicates sin and dejection and overcomes all fear."

Rigopoulos writes, "The concept of tawakkul (trust in God) describes the state of mystical abandonment into God's hands. Indeed, to be a Muslim means to surrender to Allah's will and to obey his laws."

Rigopoulos does not give specific examples here of Sai Baba quotes related to tawakkul. Perhaps Baba's frequent words, "Allah Malik" [God is the owner/master], can be viewed as an indication of tawakkul. But Rigopoulos quotes Sai Baba on Page 282 from Narasimhaswami's Charters & Sayings as having said on the matter of surrender, "God is the Actor. We must recognize His independence and our dependence on Him, and see all acts as His. If we do so, we shall be unattached and free from Karmic bondage." Perhaps this can be viewed as a quote related to tawakkul.

[I thank Antonio Rigopoulos, and B.V. Narasimahswami, and wikipedia and have presumed that they (and their books' publishers) will not have any objections to me sharing the above short extracts from the books, "The Life and Teachings of Sai Baba of Shirdi" and "Sri Sai Baba's Charters and Sayings", or website, on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Indian PM Modi seeking his mother's blessings on his birthday



मां की ममता, मां का आशीर्वाद जीवन जीने की जड़ी-बूटी होता है।

Mother's affection, mother's blessing, is the herb for living life.

Text & Pic courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/narendramodi/photos/a.10150164299700165.421791.177526890164/10157555355780165/?type=3

Ravi: I put up the following comment on the above Facebook post:

They say that God's love for his devotee is like the unconditional and ever present love of the mother towards her child.

India, IMHO, is blessed to have a Prime Minister who reveres and values his mother's love and blessings. Today seems to be PM Narendra Modi's birthday. Happy birthday, Hon'ble Prime Minister sir!

[I thank www.facebook.com/narendramodi and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above pic and text from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Friday, September 16, 2016

Shirdi Sai Baba on attitude towards Guru

From http://www.saibabaofshirdi.net/satcharita/sai45.html, precious words of Shirdi Sai Baba:
This story [Ravi: what is narrated before this extract] exhorts us to give respect to the words of other saints, but at the same time asks us to have full faith in our Mother, i.e., the Guru, and abide by His instructions: for he knows our welfare better than any other person. Carve out on your heart, the following words of Baba - "There are innumerable saints in this world, but 'Our father' (Guru) is the Father (Real Guru). Others might say many good things, but we should never forget our Guru's words. In short, love your Guru whole-heartedly, surrender to Him completely and prostrate yourselves before Him reverentially and then you will see that there is no sea of the mundane existence before you to cross, there is no darkness before the sun."

From Narasimhaswami, Charters and Sayings (as reported by Antonio Rigopoulos in his book on Shirdi Sai Baba), Shirdi Sai Baba is reported to have said:
I sat and gazed at him [Ravi: guru]; and we were both filled with Bliss. I cared not to turn my eye upon anything else. Night and day I pored upon his face with an ardour of love that banished hunger and thirst. The Guru's absence, even for a second, made me restless. I meditated upon nothing but the Guru and had no goal or object other than the Guru. Unceasingly fixed upon him was my mind ... I wanted nothing but the Guru and he wanted nothing but my love.

From Narasimhaswami, Charters and Sayings (as reported by Antonio Rigopoulos in his book on Shirdi Sai Baba), Shirdi Sai Baba is reported to have said:
My Guru, after depriving me of everything, asked me for two pice [Ravi: like two pennies/cents]. I gave them to him. He did not want metallic gifts. What he asked for was faith (nistha) and patience, cheerful endurance (saburi). [Ravi: The word sraddha common to some Indian languages, is also used in the place of nistha, in this context, in Shirdi Sai literature.]

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Open Letter to PM Modi & HRD minister Javadekar on Madhusudan Rao Naidu false claim of communicator of Sathya Sai Baba

Last updated on 17th Sept. 2016

To Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi

AND

Hon'ble Union Human Resource Development minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar

Dear gentlemen,

I am a devotee of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, and an Indian citizen. A recent reported statement of Hon'ble Union Minster for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri AnanthKumar, has resulted in me writing this open letter to you.

In the article, "Sathya Sai Trust's initiative to educate poor worth emulating: Ananth Kumar" in the Deccan Herald, dated Sept. 5th 2016, http://www.deccanherald.com/content/568717/sathya-sai-trusts-initiative-educate.html, Shri Ananth Kumar's visit to an event held at Sathyasai Grama (Village), Muddenahalli, Chikkaballapur district, Karnataka, is covered. Shri Ananth Kumar's Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/Ananthkumar.official/posts/590788154440969, has photographs related to the event which shows him sharing the dais with Shri Madhusudan Rao Naidu who claims to be a communicator of a so called subtle body of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba based in Muddenahalli which is visible and audible only (or mainly) to him.

The Deccan Herald article mentioned above further states, "The Union government is willing to support the extension programmes of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust. As a representative of the institution. I will talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Human Resource Minister Prakash Javadekar. I will bring Javadekar in the next programme of the Trust, Ananth Kumar said".

Sir, I would like to clearly state that I am appreciative of the free and/or subsidised education initiatives for the poor that Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust has undertaken. I do pray to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to shower His Grace on such service to society activities done by them.

However, sir, the presence of either of you, Hon'ble PM Shri Narendra Modi or Hon'ble Union HRD Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar, at events held in Sathya Sai Grama (Village), Muddenahalli, Chikkaballapur district, Karnataka, may be viewed or projected by some people, as ENDORSEMENT of the claim of Shri Madhusudan Rao Naidu about he being a so called communicator of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

I therefore do earnestly request both of you gentleman, Hon'ble PM Shri Narendra Modi and Hon'ble Union HRD Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar, that if you do share the dais with Shri Madhusudan Rao Naidu, for any event in Muddenahalli or elsewhere in the country (e.g. Naya Raipur or New Delhi), that you please inform us, the Sathya Sai devotee community, about your stand on Shri Madhusudan Rao Naidu's claim. i.e. Whether you subscribe to/believe in his claim of being so called communicator of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba or not.

I had posed a similar question to Hon'ble union minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri Ananth Kumar, on his abovementioned Facebook post, but did not receive any response from him.

Please note sir that I am not saying anything about whether you should or should not accept the claim of Shri Madhusudan Rao Naidu. But my own view is that his claim is a false claim based on my EXTENSIVE study and documentation of his words and actions as can be seen in many posts of my blog, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/.  If you would like to know more about my views of Madhusudan Rao Naidu's communicator claims being false, I would be very glad to share my views with you and answer any questions that you have of me.

Thanks & Regards

Ravi S. Iyer
Blogger/Facebook writer on spirituality & religion and retired software consultant, Puttaparthi, India

Spiritual/Religious Websites/Blogs
* About Sri Sathya Sai Baba and more: ravisiyer.blogspot.in
* God & science conversation and a little more: iami1.wordpress.com/god-and-science-toc

Software Websites/Blogs
* Indian CS & IT Academic Reform Activism: eklavyasai.blogspot.in/p/table-of-contents.html
* Course material related to computer programming (software lab.) courses: raviiyerteaches.wordpress.com

Misc. Topics Blogs
* ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/
* ravisiyer.wordpress.com/category/misc/

e-mail:   ravi@raviiyer.org (via riyer02@gmail.com)
Twitter:  twitter.com/RaviSaiIyer
Google+:  google.com/+RaviSIyerSai
Facebook: facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7

Service to Society is Service to God
=========================================

Open Letter sent to PM Modi via http://www.pmindia.gov.in/en/
and sent to HRD minister via official HRD minister email id minister.hrd@gov.in

From pgportal (letter to PM Modi) I got the an email acknowledgement response. A quote from it:
Your Communication has been registered vide Registration number PMOPG/E/2016/0343535.
=========================================

Update on 17th Sept. 2016

I checked the status of the (grievance) suggestion letter that I had sent to  PM Modi via http://www.pmindia.gov.in/en/ at http://pgportal.gov.in/. It showed the status as "Closed (NO ACTION REQUIRED)", the reason as "Complaint details inadequate or not legible", and the date of the action as 16 Sep 2016. The complaint was handled (according to the status screen) by Under Secretary (Public) of the Prime Minister's Office. The officer's name is mentioned but I don't find it appropriate to mention it here.

Hmm. So my Open Letter has not been treated as a valid suggestion (I had chosen suggestion as the category of the "grievance") for the Hon'ble PM. Well, I have to humbly accept the view of the concerned officer who would be playing a vital filtering role for such letters/communications to the PM. What this means is that, in all probability, the letter did not get shown to PM, Shri Narendra Modi.

I could call up the PMO, Under Secretary (Public) as his office's telephone number (and email id) is provided but I don't think it is appropriate of me to push this matter any further. I think the right thing for me to do is to simply accept the view of the officer that such a communication is not suitable to be shown to the PM.

Having said this, I do hope that any visits in future from PM and/or HRD minister to Muddenahalli group functions, is not projected by Muddenahalli group promoters as ENDORSEMENT of communicator claims of Madhusudan Rao Naidu, UNLESS the PM and/or HRD minister explicitly state that they accept or ENDORSE Madhusudan Rao Naidu's claim of being communicator of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

------------------------------------------------------------

A comment I made on Facebook in response to comment that my letter deserved a proper reply:
India has a huge population. Rather extensive filtering of communication to PM is but natural. I took a chance. It did not work out. I have the satisfaction of having tried to do my bit as an Indian citizen and Sai devotee. My conscience is at rest.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Some thoughts and responses about my current writing stand on Muddenahalli group belief

1) About me not giving up and being willing to go to jail, willing to give up my life etc.. sounding like bravado like some suicide-bomber:
I would like to point out that I am NOT threatening unilateral violence on anybody. I am simply stating that I am willing to go to jail for my writings (which is what some writers do) and even if there is a threat to my life (which there isn't as of now) like the apostle-martyrs of the Christian faith (St. Stephen, St. Peter etc.) I am willing to give up my life too. There is a HUGE difference of physical violence intent between a suicide bomber and a person willing to be a non-unilateral-violence religious martyr (I believe in self-defence against violence).

2) About me feeling righteous about myself:
In the context of my views about Muddenahalli group belief, my view is that I am airing my genuine opinion of Muddenahalli group belief related to my beloved Guru, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

3)About me fooling myself if I think I am on a spiritual journey and that I am now obsessed with myself, and that I should get away from all this Sai Baba stuff and connect with my family:
To be blunt, I think such a view is WRONG. Further, I think such a view is patronizing and so I dismiss this view.

4) About "Even if I feel Sri Sathya Sai Baba was a God, he doesn't need me to fight (verbally) for him.":
Well, followers of a Guru work to protect his/her legacy from corruption. Even the Avatars, Rama and Krishna, had roles for their followers like the Vanara Sena and the Pandavas. I think the above statement, "Even if I feel Sri Sathya Sai Baba was a God, he doesn't need me to fight (verbally) for him" smacks of both arrogance and ignorance about Hindu Avatars in particular and spiritual masters in general.

5) Well, I was being attacked viciously by an anonymous Facebook user called --name-snipped-- as I was sharing matters about Muddenahalli group in what many feel is a balanced way.

What seems to have triggered --name-snipped-- legal and police complaint threat (which is really an empty threat as there is no basis for him to make such complaints) against me, seems to be my sharing the SSIO Nigeria document on Muddenahalli group people's detention and interrogation in Nigeria.

As I seem to have acquired a truth-teller and balanced views reputation with respect to Muddenahalli group matter on social media, my sharing the SSIO (Sathya Sai International Orgn.) Nigeria document must have had some negative impact on Muddenahalli group. If I recall correctly, I wrote asking for Muddenahalli group leaders, Shri Narasimhamurthy and Madhusudan Naidu, to give their version of what happened there (and would have shared that too on my blog). But they did not do so, and instead another person who was not part of the group that visited Nigeria wrote some document disputing the SSIO Nigeria view.

So the situation that I found myself in was like that of a journalist. Muddenahalli group wanted to shut me up. I refused and still refuse to do so. However, due to my elder sister's very emotional words to me, I decided to stay away from reporting on legal and police matters related to Muddenahalli group (e.g. the Nigeria incident mentioned above) in future. But I explained to my elder sister that I will continue to do the other part of my social media writing in this regard which essentially gives my view about Muddenahalli group belief on its so called communicator, being false, based on my EXTENSIVE STUDY and DOCUMENTATION of words, actions and background of the so called communicator, Madhusudan Rao Naidu (who is the elder brother of a former student of mine in the Sai university).

6) I entirely agree on it (life) being all shades of gray and not crisply black or white, at least from my current spiritual level (far from being an enlightened being who understands everything).

I don't think my position on Muddenahalli group is extreme. Some people are critical of the materialization miracles of Sathya Sai Baba and have cast doubt on it. I do not agree with that view . But in a world with freedom of speech, they are entitled to have that view, especially as scientific investigation of these materialization miracles have not been done. I am respectful of their right to hold that view.

Now I hold the view that Madhusudan Rao Naidu is EITHER a fake OR a deluded person with respect to his claims of being a communicator of Sathya Sai Baba. I am entitled to hold this view.

But my view of Madhusudan Rao Naidu is a PUBLIC view. Further, my PUBLIC views of him may be negatively impacting Muddenahalli splinter group. And along with the role of going public with such views (fair views not extreme views) comes the public opposition.

Further, I became a whistle-blower about Sai university HIJACK and my dept. HOD's nasty politics against me which was supported OR not opposed by the then Vice-Chancellor, Director of Prasanthi Nilayam (Puttaparthi) campus and Registrar of the Sai university. I also had to protect my professional reputation from damage by threatening them with legal and police action if they publicly tried to portray my designation (FALSELY) as Teaching Assistant (a very junior designation). My truthful designations based on Prasanthi Nilayam, Sai university campus issued and duly signed Identity cards, were Honorary Staff, Honorary Faculty and Visiting Faculty (and never had a Teaching Assistant designation Identity Card), which is what any court of law in India will view as the official designations.

What would any professional do if some former employers of theirs OR a competitor or even enemy of theirs, publishes information about them, stating that he/she is a junior clerk or something like that, and which impression gains currency among people? Would that professional not have to protect his/her professional reputation by sharing the truth of the matter (perhaps by publishing evidence related to his/her official designation record/Identity cards)? That's what I did in my case.

7) Finally, some info. about Ramana Maharishi:
I have great regard and respect for Ramana Maharishi. I read that his name was Venkatraman Iyer prior to being known as Ramana Maharishi. I feel that I am able to identify with the earlier parts of Ramana Maharishi's spiritual journey very well. I say earlier parts as he later became a great spiritual master guiding tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands perhaps, of people (I mean, I cannot identify with that spiritual master part; that's way beyond me).

As the Sathya Sai ashram system went into trauma and chaos and confusion after Sathya Sai Mahasamadhi, I read up about similar situations in other ashram setups, including Ramana Ashram. Here's one of the books I read (partially; yet to finish reading it), Ramana Periya Puranam by V. Ganesan, the grandson of Ramana Maharishi's brother, http://www.aham.com/RamanaPeriyaPuranam/. Ramana Ashram too descended into chaos and neglect after his Mahasamadhi. Ganesan writes that sometimes even getting food to eat in the ashram became a problem!!! It never became so bad in Sathya Sai ashram setup. But then we now live in materially quite prosperous India as against the India of the days when Ramana gave up his body.

I was shocked to read in the book that even when Ramana was alive there was a split in the ashram community with a dynamic leader type of guy setting up a parallel ashram and installing a statue of Ramana as the TRUE Ramana!!! This seems to have been a reaction to some administrators in Ramana ashram (I think his brother was the main administrator). Ramana chose to remain silent it seems. When asked about letters to Ramana ashram going to the parallel ashram instead of coming to the regular ashram, Ramana said that let that person (his former devotee) have what he wants, and that he (Ramana) and others at the original ashram should be satisfied with the rest!!!

From a detachment point of view perhaps Ramana's approach was right. But from an ashram systems point of view, from the well being of the community of the ashram system, some ashram leaders had to take action. The matter had even gone to court!!! Finally, the parallel ashram founder (former devotee) repented, closed down his parallel ashram and came back to the original ashram. When he came back, the others wanted him to be thrown out but Ramana blocked them. Ramana said that they should NOT forget the great services rendered by the former devotee turned parallel ashram founder (who then closed it) in the past to Ramana.

This was a great eye-opener for me. I mean, even Ramana ashram had to face such a big split issue, and that too while Ramana was alive!!! In such split issues, some people in the following have to take up community voices role. Like some Ramana followers played community voice role, I am one of the Sathya Sai followers playing a similar role.
-----

My apologies if my views cause hurt to anybody.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Swami ni maravaku ra - Don't forget Swami (Sai Baba) dear - Song advice to Sai devotees

Sung by Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju in a recent Sai orgn. event in Solapur, Maharashtra, India. Video put up on my youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0m7OXBC2ifw, 3 min. 46 secs.

Telugu lyrics followed by [my non-expert rough English translation within square brackets which differs slightly from English subtitle text in the video] :

Swami ni maravaku ra Sai Baba Devudu ra
Swami ni maravaku ra Sai Baba Devudu ra

[Don't forget Swami dear; Sai Baba is (a) god dear
Don't forget Swami dear; Sai Baba is (a) god dear]

Bhajanalo neevu paadina gaani
Bhaktulu anduru pogidina gaani
(pathala?) chancu poyina gaani
Swami ni maravaku ra Sai Baba Devudu ra

[Whether you sing bhajans
whether you are praised by all devotees
whether you lose the chance to sing
Don't forget Swami dear; Sai Baba is (a) god dear]

Sevadalamulo cherina gaani
Sevalu enno chesina gaani
scarfulu badgulu laagina gaani
convenerlu (kasirina?) gaani
Swami ni maravaku ra Sai Baba Devudu ra

[Whether you join Sevadal
whether you have done lots of Seva
whether your (Sevadal) scarf and badge are taken away from you
whether the (Sai samithi/orgn.) convener (shouts?) at you
Don't forget Swami dear; Sai Baba is (a) god dear]

Neetheega neevu unna gaani
ne pai nindalu (muutina?) gaani
parama bhaktuduani pilichina gaani
(paapistholani palakina?) gaani
Swami ni maravaku ra Sai Baba Devudu ra

[Whether you are being ethical (Dharmic)
whether you are showered with criticism
whether you are praised as a great devotee
whether you are called a (great sinner?)
Don't forget Swami dear; Sai Baba is (a) god dear]

Udyogamulo unna gaani
oopi raalaka poyina gaani
officeralu archina gaani
companyvaaru karchina gaani
Swami ni maravaku ra Sai Baba Devudu ra

[Whether you are having a job (employment)
whether you are not having time to (even) breathe
whether the officer shouts at you
whether the company people bite you
Don't forget Swami dear; Sai Baba is (a) god dear]

Intlovaaru adagina gaani
Untlo shakti (oodigina?) gaani
friendulu (katchyam?) chesina gaani
Ninduga dandalu vesina gaani
Swami ni maravaku ra Sai Baba Devudu ra

[Whether people at home ask (about) you
whether you have strength in your body
whether friends laugh at you
whether you are saluted many times
Don't forget Swami dear; Sai Baba is (a) god dear]

Baba ninnu chuuchina gaani
baguga neeto navvina gaani
interview neekicchina gaani
iravaiyo linu vacchina gaani
Swami ni maravaku ra Sai Baba Devudu ra

[Whether Baba sees you
whether Baba smiles at you
whether you are given an interview (by Baba)
whether you get the 20th line (for Darshan)
Don't forget Swami dear; Sai Baba is (a) god dear]

--------------------------------------------------------

Video courtesy: Satish Naik, Original video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn6jucooYQ0