Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Who is Sri Sathya Sai Baba?
“I am God. And you too are God. The only difference between you and Me is that while I am aware of it, you are completely unaware.” This is the answer Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba gives to people who query Him about His identity and divinity. This fundamental truth of man’s divine nature is at the heart of His message and mission. Indeed, in His discourses to devotees, He addresses them as “Embodiments of the Divine Atma”. All who experience His pure and selfless love, and benefit from His illuminating counsel, and witness His miraculous nature get a glimpse of the glory and majesty of God, and therefore of what one potentially and inherently is.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born as Sathyanarayana Raju on November 23, 1926 in the village of Puttaparthi, in the state of Andhra Pradesh in South India. Even as a child, His spiritual inclination and contemplative nature set Him apart from other children of His age, and He was known as ‘Guru’ and “Brahmajnani’ (knower of Brahman or Godhead) among His peers and others in the village. However, it was not until October 20, 1940, the day He made the historic declaration of His Avatarhood, (Avatar - Divinity Incarnate) that the world at large learnt of this divine phenomenon. Today, millions of devotees from all over the world, professing various faiths, and hailing from various walks of life worship Him as an ‘Avatar’, and an incarnation of the Sai Baba of Shirdi. Thousands gather every day at Prasanthi Nilayam, His ashram established beside the village of Puttaparthi, for His Darshan, when He moves among devotees blessing them and providing spiritual succour and solace.
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Daily Schedule (at Sai Kulwant Hall)
Bhagawan has laid down the daily schedule to be followed in the Ashram. Every activity of the Ashram routine is suffused with deep spiritual significance. See the table below for the Ashram schedule:
|Aumkar, Meditation and Suprabhatham
|Veda Chanting and Nagar Sankeertan (Circumambulating the Mandir)
6.30 a.m. - 07.30 a.m.
|Pooja inside the Bhajan Hall (Entry for Devotees will start at 06.25 a.m.)
8.00 a.m. - 9.00 a.m.
9.00 a.m. - 9.30 a.m.
9.30 a.m. - 10.30 a.m.
|Darshan of Bhagawan’s Mahasamadhi and Prayer Hall
5.00 p.m. - 5.45 p.m.
5.45 p.m. - 6.30 p.m.
6.30 p.m. - 7.30 p.m.
|Darshan of Bhagawan’s Mahasamadhi
6.30 p.m. - 6.40 p.m
|Meditation for Overseas Devotees in Prayer Hall
Extension of Darshan timings: In response to requests by devotees, an additional time slot has been introduced on Sundays to facilitate Darshan of Bhagawan’s Sannidhi. Starting from September 7, 2014 (Onam Day), on all Sundays, devotees will be allowed to have Darshan of Bhagawan’s Sannidhi from 4.30 p.m. to 5.00 p.m, in addition to the current Darshan Timings after Bhajans.
Late Evening Aarti: To bring the Sannidhi Darshan to a ceremonial close and enhance the spiritual experience for the devotees, an Aarti will be offered at Bhagawan’s Sannidhi on all days towards the close of Evening Darshan, from September 4, 2014 onwards. This will be in addition to the usual Aarti offered after Evening Bhajans. Devotees will not be permitted to approach the Sannidhi after the last Aarti for the day.
- Ladies and gents are seated separately in the hall with separate entrances for ladies and gents.
- Devotees are generally allowed to be seated inside the Sai Kulwant Hall around 7.45 a.m. for the morning session and around 4.45 p.m. for the afternoon session.
- The prayer sessions and darshan are open to all. There is no restriction on any basis whatsoever, be it religion, region, status, caste, etc.
- There is no amount collected from anybody for Darshan.
- Devotees are not permitted to carry along with them articles like books, bags, purses, mobile phones, cameras and other electronic goods etc. into the Darshan Hall during Darshan time. Devotees may however bring their Veda books to the hall.
Electronics articles such as cell phones, can be kept in the cloak room located close to the entrance to the hall. There is also a Luggage Cloak Room near South -1 A - 31.
Aumkar: Aumkar is the chanting of ‘Aum’, the primordial sound, also called the ‘Pranava’. The vibrations that emanate from chanting ‘Aum’ have the potency to purify the inner personality of an individual as well as the surrounding environment. That is why the day at Prasanthi Nilayam begins with the chanting of 21 Aumkars.
Suprabhatham: ‘Su’ signifies good, auspicious and ‘Prabhath’ means morning. ‘Suprabhatham’ refers to the morning prayers that are chanted in praise of the Lord to awaken the divinity present within each individual. It is the act of dedicating oneself to the Lord and praying for His blessings right at the start of a new day. For the text and MP3 audio of the prayer,
Veda Chanting: Vedas are ancient spiritual scriptures revealed to great sages and seers while in communion with God. Chanting or listening to these hymns confers spiritual as well as physical benefits. That is why Bhagawan gives a lot of importance to Vedas and encourages everybody to chant these hymns and understand their meaning. The students of Bhagawan chant these hymns in the early hours of the morning while circumambulating the mandir complex, and also during Darshan hours in the morning and afternoon sessions in the mandir.
Nagar Sankeertan: ‘Nagar’ means city or locality and ‘Sankeertan’ means devotional singing. After Suprabhatam, devotees circumambulate the mandir complex while singing devotional songs and clapping their hands keeping beat. It charges the atmosphere with holy vibrations and one begins the day with the name of the Lord on one’s lips.
Bhajans: Bhajans means “Singing aloud the glory of God”. Bhajans in the divine presence of Bhagawan Baba are unique as they are universal in their scope and appeal and emphasise the unity of faiths. For Bhajans MP3,
Arati: ‘Arati’ is the ritual of waving lighted camphor to the deity to mark the culmination of worship. During Arati, devotees sing a devotional song in praise of the Lord and end with a prayer for universal peace. Arati MP3,
Prasanthi Nilayam Township is adjacent to the village of Puttaparthi, in Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, South India (Latitude 14° North, Longitude 78°1 East). It is well-connected by road, rail and air. Bangalore is the nearest metro at about 120 kilometres from the Ashram.
A number of bus services connect Prasanthi Nilayam to cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Tirupati.
The Prasanthi Nilayam bus terminal is located just opposite the Ashram. It has a fully computerised reservation counter of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC: http://www.apsrtconline.in/). [ Phone: (08555) 287210 ]
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC: http://ksrtc.in) too runs bus services connecting Prasanthi Nilayam to Bangalore (including a Volvo luxury bus service) and to Mangalore from this terminal. The KSRTC reservation counter is located close to the bus stand. [Phone: (08555) 288938 ]
Private Transport: There are a number of private bus and taxi operators who ply between Prasanthi Nilayam and cities like Bangalore, Chennai, etc. Please be advised that taxi fares between Bangalore and Prasanthi Nilayam are in the range of Rs. 2500/- to Rs. 3000/-.
The ‘Sri Sathya Sai Prasanthi Nilayam’ railway station is located 8 kilometres from the ashram. There is a computerised railway reservation counter in the bus terminal just outside the Ashram [ Phone: (08555) 287355 ].