Om Sai Ram
Dear Sai Bandhus,
Welcome to this on-line Church ---devoted to Our Lord Shirdi Sainath of Perpetual Succour.
I welcome you to this website--the On-line Church devoted to Our Lord, Shirdi Sainath of Perpetual Succour.
In this age of Internet, What better way than this to construct a Church for Sainath, without brick and mortar, at the same time reaching out to anyone in any part of the world!
You will hear about Shirdi Sainath and also interact with other Sai Bandhus, who would become members of this Church..No membership fees or annual dues, only expressing "love towards Sainath".
I was prompted by another factor: we find literally hundreds of temples of Sainath in almost every town and city in India, new ones being constructed too, and several temples in the USA. A few weeks ago, I attended the consecration ceremony for a Sai temple in Milpitas, in the bay area of California,USA. Last year I attended mandala pooja in a new Sai temple in the sacred town of Thiruvannamalai [Arunachala]. In all such cases, friends and Sai bandhus are contacted through paper invitations,pamphlets and e-mails. A Church of Shirdi Sai would bring all these Sai devotees together for quick and easy communication without much paper work or individual invitations.
Again new books on Sai are being published almost every month. Can we hear about them?
There are excellent websites devoted to Sainath for information dissemination.
This church is meant to bring in devotion to Sainath through the Internet media and experience.
Please join me in this effort towards Sai devotions! Your suggestions are welcome.
In Sai Smaran,
Nenmeli K Srinivasan
[Sai-dasan] CONTACT: email ID: email@example.com
How do we worship Sai?
We can have elaborate Pooja with 16 items, [shodasa upasana] in the traditional way as one does Shiva Pooja.
Sai ,however, had made everything simple for us.
It is enough if we look at his picture and say "Sai Sai Sai"
I add something to this: Keep chanting: "OM SAI OM SAI"
We can worship this way at any time of the day.
But you do this Japa or chanting first thing in the morning ,after you wake up and the last thing before you go to bed.
There is one thing particular about Sai. HE PROTECTS YOU! HE IS THE BEST SECURITY FOR YOU! CAST YOUR FEARS AND FEEL THE WARMTH OF HIS SECURITY!!
Do read the book "Sai Satcharita" ---
[Note : You can log into the 'Prayer Requests' page and post your prayer request for all devotees of Sai. ]
A simple Bhajan chant :
Om Sai Namo Namah,
Sri Sai Namo Namah,
Jai Jai Namo Namah.
Sadguru Sai Namo Namah!
Sai started asking for dakshina or cash offering from devotees in later years. This habit of Sainath has been intriguing to many devotees and readers. Why did he ask for dakshina? for certain specified amount?
Firstly, Sainath did not ask for dakshina from every one. He asked from only certain persons.If two friends went to take darshan of Sai, Sai may ask for dakshina from one person and may ignore the other. Remember when Sai asked for it, there must be an earlier connection. May be the person took a vow but forgot to fulfill that. A person may have taken a vow that if he gets a job, he would pay certain part of it after getting the first pay. He might have failed to do that.Since Sainath would know your past,present and futuere, he would demand from that person a dakshina-- the exact amount he promised to give to any deity ot temple years ago. Sometimes sainath asked someone to give the entire amount he had with him,just to make him feel humble and free from the greed of holding on to money.So, in such cases, dakshina offering serves to cleanse the mind.
You know that both in Jewish faith and in Christian faith, there is an age-old practice of tithing...giving one tenth of income to the temple or church.This supplied churches with steady income and lot of riches. This practice came from the habit of farmers who put back one tenth of seeds after harvest back on the land.This practice of tithing ,it is believed, brings prosperity to the giver.
Catherine Ponder writes that tithing is a prosperity principle in her popular books on "prosperity" . How tithing works? It could create a mental thought that one is giving back to the source of wealth, that is God or Almighty and then that thought makesa person more secure and successful. Whatever the mechanism, many christains believe that tithing helps them to achieve prosperity. John D Rockefeller Sr believed in that and his riches grew so much he gave away ,in his lifetime, about half a billion dollars in tithing starting from $9 in the first year.!
Now it is obvious that Sainath wanted to turn us to similar habit ---he would ,of course, know our future too. Even now, many devotees have experienced this: Sai Baba appears in odd moments and asks for a rupee or some other amount. I have not had that expereince ,but my friends and relatives have been blessed with such 'encounters' with Sai.
Any offering made to Sai temple ,in Shirdi or elsewhere, would be like offering a dakshina to Sainath . Many devotees would vouchsafe that Sai would pay them back in abundance,far beyond their expectations. My own experiences also attest to this.
Let us not forget that we are not just talking about money as such. Money is only a symbol or marker. By giving dakshina ,we are connecting to Sai in a direct way and develop faith in Him. This aspect also explains the phenomenal growth of Sai temples and seva activities world over . This is indeed an exhilarating phenomenon that very few religious movements or growth of modern day gurus can match, as I have observed in the past three decades.
[Many modern gurus may claim similar methods; but remember, Sainath did not hoard the money;gave away everyday,did not start posh ashrams and campuses and pamper his relations;in fact he had no family relations at all to pamper. Sainath remained in Dwarkamai --the broken, dilapidated Masjid--till the end.] ]Though I do not have numbers to discuss, I can safely say that the growth of Shirdi sansthan and hundreds of Sai temples is phenomenal---due to love of Sai and faith in Sai among His devotees.
Om Sai Ram!
Dwarkamai or the dilapidated abandoned mosque or Masjid where Sainatha spent all his physical life at Shirdi---for over 60 years- where hundreds of miracles were perfromed, where Sai slept on a rafter hung from the ceiling, where he kept a "dhuni" -sacred fire burning all the time, where he had his few clothes, a tin pot to collect bhiksha or food offering when he made his begging rounds, where there is a small chakki or grind stone,symbolically grinding away our sins or bad karma....is the place from which the new Sai movement is spreading world-wide....You can call it a new religion--SAISM-- but that would be limiting the influence of Sai in simpler terms.
Sai never spoke of His message or called himself a prophet!--He was the humblest servant of God and always referred to the Almighty_-"Allah acha karega!" --God will do good for you...a common, familiar way of blessing every one.
If you vist Shirdi--if Sainath wills it--spend afew quiet moments in meditation at the front court yard,called Sabha Mandap--in front of Dwarkamai...Sit and meditate for a while.You will find tremendous spiritual vibrations in that place---it is the place hallowed by numerous devotees of Sai, besides Sai--you will also find the stone on which Sai used to sit outside the Masjid...Just focus on Sai and pray as much as you want...
The sense of peace and joy you will expereince is indescribable. You may feel that time stands still and you will be transported to a supernal realm, beyond thought and mind.
Since thousands of people visit Dwarkamai every day ,you will find lot of moving crowd and much noise.You will also hear songs and arati and other sounds from the Samadhi Mandir behind Dwarkamai. But you ignore all that and focus on Sai in that hall.
If there is a great sacred spot in Shirdi for meditation, this is the one! This spot is as sacred as any place in Benaras or Haridwar or Jerusalem or Mathura.!
Dear Sai Bandhus!
I would request all of you to perform some social service in the name of Sai.
Almost all Sai temples have many programs for voluntary service. Besides giving money or offering dakshina, you can do many small things ,depending on your physical and mental abilities. Every small bit adds a lot in Sai activites.
I have seen many ladies preparing food items and offering that for Sai devotees in temples. Poor feeding , in whatever manner, is one of the best service you can render. Even preapring tea or coffee and giving that to poor people near the temples in India is a big service. In some Sai temples, mid-day meals are arranged for poor school children and for orphanages--for instance, the Sai temple at Malleswaram,Bangalore does that.Many Sai temples have small dispensaries and clinic with voluntary doctors serving the patients.
Almost all of us have tremendous technical skills and specific knowledge which we can offer in these service programs.The Sai movement is indeed a large movement happening throughout the world, more so in India.
Since Sai movement is not centralized, like other movements such as Hare Krishna, there is greater flexibilty, more enthusaism at local levels and also greater transparency. Furthermore, lot of young people take part in these activities, thereby generating local leaders.