Sathya Sai Ashram - Puttaparthi
Already as a child, Sathya Sai performed miracles and showed superpower. He materialized candies and sweets for the children of his village, healed diseases, there were cases when he levitated. It was difficult for parents and relatives to understand what was happening to their child. The relatives decided that a spirit had infiltrated the child, and they tried to heal the boy Sathya Sai Baba.
Gradually, it became clear to all relatives that the child was a special creature, and they began to treat him in a special way. One of the earliest famous miracles that Sathya Sai Baba performed as a child was saving the village of Puttaparthi, where he was born. In their area in a neighboring village there was a dangerous epidemic, the inhabitants of the village where Sathya Sai lived, feared that the epidemic could penetrate into their village.
Little Satya Sai blessed the people living in the village and the epidemic passed by. In the village of Puttaparthi no one was hurt or got sick, but in the neighboring villages a lot of people got sick. People will remember this amazing incident for a long time. The teenager Sathya Sai Baba told his parents that he was a special incarnation. He stated that he should leave home and start giving instructions to disciples and devotees. He created his first ashram at the end of the 40s, in the ancient temple of Krishna, in his village. This very ancient temple of Krishna has survived to this day in Puttaparthi.
The antiquity of the Krishna temple can also be determined by the level of the soil, since it is located below the level of other neighboring buildings. In order to enter the temple, you need to go down several steps. The columns of the temple and reliefs also show that this building is quite old. The temple is quite small. This ancient temple of Krishna was abandoned when Sathya Sai Baba was a child. The teenager Sathya Sai Baba gathered friends and renovated the temple, then he decided to live there. Sathya Sai began to receive the first devotees and visitors to this temple, every month more and more people learned about him and gradually began to come to Sai for advice, guidance and healings.
In the early 50s, at a distance of three kilometers from his village, Sathya Sai Baba began to build an ashram which he called Prasanthi Nilayam, which means "Abode of the Highest Peace." In those early years, there was a jungle in this place, cobras and many scorpions lived in them. Local residents were afraid of this place and avoided it.
The very first visitors and devotees who came to Sathya Sai Baba were greatly surprised when the young Sathya Sai Baba said: “There will soon be a huge ashram, a building for devotees, a canteen, a post office, a bookstore. Millions of people will come here soon.” The first visitors silently listened to Sathya Sai Baba asserting the imminent greatness of the ashram. People were afraid to argue with their teacher, but they hardly believed that it was possible to build an ashram on this vacant lot.
Over time, the predictions of Sathya Sai became reality, later I was able to meet those who visited the ashram in those years, they talked about how the ashram in Puttaparthi began to be built. In the early years, the residents of the ashram came into contact with the difficulty that there were too many cobras in the area. There was a case when a cobra crawled into the new ashram. Residents and visitors of the ashram were very frightened, it hissed menacingly and everyone felt a great danger.
Sathya Sai Baba calmly went out into the street, approached the cobra, spoke to it like an ordinary person. He asked the cobras to leave the place that very day and not to cross a certain line, which he showed. Subsequently, the cobras left this territory; they have not crossed the line indicated by Sai Baba. There are a lot of cobras in the neighboring groves outside the ashram. uch later, a path was made along this line, it runs between the buildings and a small park. Many times I walked there, even late in the evening, several times I saw a cobra that crawled exclusively outside the ashram, and never crossed the cherished line.
It is not a very pleasant feeling to meet a cobra on the road. On warm South Indian evenings, when I was walking along the barely lit road, I could clearly hear the frightening rustling somewhere nearby in the dense bush. Sometimes cobras could crawl to the surface and show themselves. At the same time, they never crawled beyond the line that Sathya Sai Baba once pointed out to them.
The first time I visited the ashram in Puttaparthi in 1993. At that time it was already a huge ashram. Near the main territory of the ashram, a university and hostels for students, two hospitals with modern medical technologies, a stadium, a museum telling about the history of all world religions, and an airport that was able to receive large passenger planes were built. In the 90s, a big city already grew near the ashram; it was no longer a poor village, but the prosperous city of Puttaparthi.
During the life of Sathya Sai Baba, I visited the ashram in Puttaparthi for twenty years. In front of my eyes a small one-story village next to the ashram rapidly turned into a thriving oasis, beautiful multi-story buildings appeared. More and more devotees and visitors came to see Sathya Sai Baba, and the population of Puttaparthi grew rapidly.
What is Darshan? Life in the Ashram
The schedule and lifestyle at Sathya Sai Ashram has always been very comfortable. Devotees lived in comfortable rooms. Those who wanted could stay in hotels not far from the ashram, in more comfortable conditions with air conditioning. It was great that everyone who came to the ashram was allowed to stay for a month or two. When settling, no one asked what religion or tradition the newcomer belonged to. When people came to the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba, the doors opened for them. In other traditional ashrams in India, there are strict rules according to which only those who belong to this tradition can live in ashrams. However, all the guests were welcomed at the Sathya Sai Ashram. Sathya Sai Baba advised to live in the ashram for one or two months a year, then return home.
He said that it was best to visit the ashram for a short period of time. The reason was that his vibrations and energy were very strong, so for most people it was more useful to stay in close proximity to Sai Baba for no more than a month. There were devotees whom Sathya Sai Baba gave permission to live in the ashram for several months, some even for several years. The daily program never changed, except for big holidays and festivals. Every morning Sathya Sai Baba went out to the devotees, who gathered in a large room called the Mandir. The word Mandir is translated from Sanskrit as a temple or a place where joint meditations are held.
Darshan was when people could see Sathya Sai Baba directly. The word Darshan comes from the Sanskrit root Darsh (to see). Darshan is an important element of Vedic culture, a similar tradition of Darshan can be observed in other traditions and cultures. Seeing a spiritual mentor with your own eyes is an amazing experience, as a result a person gets blessings. Visitors came to the ashram from all parts of India, and even from different countries, to see and talk to Sathya Sai Baba, to feel his love. Seeing the greatest Avatar (divine teacher) directly is an opportunity to receive blessings.
It is very difficult to convey your feelings and experiences during Darshan; this should be experienced on your own, on your own experience. In the 90s, I was often asked about Darshan. When I was returning from the ashram to Moscow, my friends and relatives asked the question: “Why did you go to the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba?” I sincerely tried to tell them about Darshan. It was extremely difficult, words were helpless to convey the depth of my spiritual experiences.
Friends and relatives said: “We also have photos and even a video of Sathya Sai Baba, we can also look at him, without having to go to distant India. What is the difference between seeing him directly or in a photo? " The moment you got a unique opportunity to be in physical proximity and see Sathya Sai Baba, you got a chance to feel a high divine vibration, this is the miracle of Darshan. Sathya Sai Baba appeared before devotees and visitors twice a day, morning and evening. Every day there were programs in the ashram, tens of thousands of people gathered in the main hall to see Sathya Sai Baba. In the morning, the program was approximately from 8 to 11, while in the evening from 4 to 6.
Those who wanted to see Sathya Sai Baba gathered three hours before the start and took their seats. Each person tried to take a seat as close as possible to the path where Sathya Sai Baba passed. The hall was divided into two parts, for women and men. In the Vedic tradition, during spiritual meetings, they try to divide the hall into female and male halves; this division is perceived as natural. This custom is not perceived by local residents as a violation of women's rights. The biofield of women and men during joint prayer or meditation is traditionally not mixed in temples, visitors to the ashram approached this naturally.
Letters to God
When Sathya Sai Baba was young, an interesting tradition was formed to send him letters with requests and questions. There were situations when visitors could talk to Sathya Sai Baba personally, they could ask him about their spiritual development and ask for support in family life. Of course, most of those who came to the ashram did not have such an opportunity to talk to him personally.
Since there were many visitors and devotees around Sathya Sai Baba, people began to write letters and notes, and then tried to hand them over to Sathya Sai, such an opportunity appeared when he passed by. What did people write about when they turned to God? In these notes and letters, people often thanked for help and healing, wrote spiritual questions and requests for help, prayed for healing from illnesses, solving family difficulties, each wrote about his most urgent needs.
I often had the opportunity to speak directly with Sathya Sai Baba, but I also sometimes wrote him notes with questions and requests. He took my letters, after that I received a solution to difficult situations, the answers to spiritual questions came. The devotees brought notes and letters every day. When Sathya Sai Baba passed by, you could try to hand him your letter directly into his hands. Since Sathya Sai was a clairvoyant, he knew the content of all letters without even reading them.
Sathya Sai Baba never read a letter, his piercing gaze was enough for him to know exactly what was written there. Some letters he took immediately, and some refused to accept. There were situations when visitors handed him a whole bunch of letters, but Sai Baba accepted only one. If Baba accepted the letter, it meant that the problem would be solved and the question in the letter would be answered.
Some people tried to give him letters for several days, several weeks, but Sathya Sai Baba would not accept them. If he did not take the letter, it meant that he did not bless what was written there. It is difficult to say why he did not accept some letters. Sometimes people asked about achieving the wrong desires, or asked meaningless questions. The important thing is that if Sathya Sai Baba took or did not take a letter, that was always the answer.
Sai Baba Ashram in Puttaparthi
How to get there: buy air tickets to the city of Bangalore (India), do not forget to get an Indian visa. From the international airport to Puttaparthi you can reach by a taxi in 2 hours, the cost of the trip is 2000 rubles, the distance is about 150 kilometers. Living conditions in the ashram are quite modest, a room for two, there are rooms for eight people. The cost of a room in the ashram is from 6 to 12 dollars per day for two. If you want to live more comfortably, then stay in hotels, the price of a room per day is from 30 to 100 US dollars.
There are a lot of hotels near the ashram. There is no need to book a room in an ashram or a hotel in advance, but try not to come during the most important festivals - November 23, Sathya Sai's birthday, Shivaratri (February - March), Dasara (September - October). The exact dates of the festivals change from year to year, as they are calculated according to the lunar calendar, so look on the Internet every time. Too many people come to the festivals, so it's best to avoid these days.
Ashram rules are very simple: men and women can live in the same room in the ashram only if they are mother and son, brother and sister, husband and wife with the same surname in the passport. There are no such rules in the hotel. Also, in the ashram, you cannot smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, smoke marijuana, have intimate relationships outside of marriage, and eat non-vegetarian food. You should also follow the dress code, you can not wear shorts and mini-skirts, open shoulders for women.
Sai Baba Ashram
Sai Baba's Ashram in Puttaparthi is the space of people from all countries, all religions and nationalities. Therefore, you have the natural right to practice the prayers of your religion, study the scriptures of your religion, and everyone in the ashram will treat you with respect. Sai Baba Radio from Ashram is a regular broadcast of video and audio materials that are freely available on the Internet. These materials broadcast the philosophy and worldview of Sathya Sai Baba and help people to better understand his spiritual message. News from the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba is regularly published on the Internet, these are texts, video and audio materials that are freely available.
Ashram of Sai Baba bhajans is a daily musical program, the practice of chanting various aspects of God. The word Bhajan means a spiritual religious song in any language including Sanskrit, Hindi, Russian and English. These songs sing about the various qualities of Sathya Sai Baba, as well as other world teachers such as Krishna, Shiva, Jesus Christ, Buda, Zarathustra.