Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Vratha Kalpam
(Procedure of Worship of Sri Sathya Sai)



Sri Sathya Sai Vratha Kalpam


Respected friends! At last, our lives have certainly attained fulfilment. We are extremely fortunate. Parandhaama Sathchidaananda Moorthy, who cannot be reached even after long years of yogic austerities or the most rigorous dhyana, has taken human form and we are all able to see him moving in our midst in flesh and blood. We are able to meet him, touch him and talk to him in living person; we hear his edifying speeches and discourses. This, truly, is the greatest good fortune of our countrymen. There can be no happier event, indeed there is none, one can ask for.

A number of people have personally come into contact with Sri Sai Bhagavan and realised his identity with Paramathma, the Supreme Being. Many of them have been writing books enumerating their individual divine experiences, and recording their admiration and love for Sri Sai. I too have written some books about his divine life. But I believe that this particular book is singularly valuable. This is by no means merely my belief but a matter of actual fact.

We come across innumerable devotional books written by learned persons in the form of stories, puranas and vrathams in praise of that Parandhaama, who is, however, not visible to our physical eyes. We read those great works of devotion and derive spiritual satisfaction. Notable among such works is Sri Sathya Narayana Vratha Kalpam, a book of worship, available all over India in every major language.

Lord Sri Sathya Narayana is the presiding deity of the sacred temple standing on a hill in Annavaram, a town in Andhra Pradesh. This deity is celebrated for his readiness to grant every boon and every desire of his devotees; and lakhs of pilgrims throng to Annavaram every year. It is a wonderful spectacle to see hundreds of worshippers sitting peacefully on the ground in long orderly rows and ranks, and simultaneously performing the rites of the Vratham with ardent devotion.

The point I beg to submit is that the mahimas and powers of granting boons to lakhs of people are integral to the image, the idol, the representation of Sri Sathya Narayana Swami. On the other hand, what we are witnessing in Sri Sai is that Supreme Being come down to us in person. He is physically moving among us, talking to his countless devotees, fulfilling their varied desires, directing them into ways and methods by which to attain their individual salvation. I need not attempt to describe the boundless divine sakthi of Sri Sathya Sai Parabrahma. Those who have seen it with their own eyes or experienced it personally can vouch for it.

I must here refer to a true and extraordinary fact. I dare say this is a secret which ordinary people may never have even suspected. Devotees who throng to Sri Sai or persons who repose unswerving faith in him, no matter whether they reside close to him or far away, as and when their time comes, depart from life peacefully in total repose. They suffer no death pangs or struggle or physical agony as is common with most persons. Release of the soul from the mortal coil takes place in a flicker - here one moment and gone the next. This is a wonderful phenomenon witnessed not only by me but by every devotee resident here. I can assert from housestops that this unusual phenomenon is undoubtedly due to the mahima of our Sri Sai Rama Parabrahma.

The leelas, mahimas and celestial powers (sakthis) of this all merciful Sathchidaananda Moorthy are unbounded, unceasing and astonishing. I do not possess the capacity to describe every one of them. So, I thought of taking recourse to the simple form of a Vratham, which may bring out in a nutshell the sacred life story of Sri Sai and the immense spiritual significance of his avatar in human form. I sincerely believe that it all happened only at the instance of the Lord Himself. There is no room for doubt that He was at the root of that tiny flash of thought, which led in due course to this book's birth.

In the normal course, devotees worship Sri Sai Bhagavan in their own way, do dhyan to the best of their ability and obtain fulfilment of their desires. If these rituals are done in a methodical manner, following the time-honoured framework of a Vratham, the worship is bound to be more satisfying and fruitful. Vratham is a Sanskrit word meaning a holy ritual of worship (pooja) of the Lord. Kalpam, also a Sanskrit word, means a prescribed procedure, a step-by-step order which the devotee follows while performing the Vratham.

Why do devotees go through this Vratham and what exactly is its significance?

Simply stated, worship (pooja) is : rendering obeisance to that Supreme Being, the Eternal Ultimate Reality that pervades everywhere and transcends everything. To reach and to merge with that Supreme Being is the spiritual goal of every aspiring soul.

For achieving that goal, great sages of yore devised several spiritual disciplines and austerities. For the benefit of those who are not in a position to undergo those rigours, several holy rituals are also available. One of them is Vratham.

All over India, Sri Sathya Narayana Vratham is performed. The presiding deity, Sri Sathya Narayana, is celebrated for his readiness to grant every boon and fulfil every desire seeking which a devotee performs the Vratham.

Sri Sathya Sai Vratha Kalpam is patterned on the same lines. As is well known, Sri Sathya Sai, as a baby, was named Sathya Narayana; and like that deity he is well known for fulfilling every desire of his devotees. He Himself proclaimed that he would ever protect and grant every wish of his devotees at all times. becomes very convenient for one and all to perform. There is another aspect worthy of note. Sri Sai Bhagavan is the avatar of Parabrahma Sathchidaananda Moorthy, the celestial Supreme Being having no beginning nor end. Therefore I consider that to perform this Vratham in the name of Sri Sathya Sai Bhagavan would amount to worshipping that ultimate Supreme Being.

I beg of all devotees to bless this my modest effort. Let lapses be ignored, and whatever is worthy be accepted. May they all generously give their benediction to this humble sister.

Year : Krodhana Day : Gurupoornima, 2 July 1985,

The lowliest servitor at the Lotus Feet of Sri Sai Bhagavan

Pedda Bottu

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