Post No.10

Om Sri Sai Ram

It was the last couple of days of our sojourn in Puttaparthi.
Due to a heavy cold, I took it slow and spent most of the time in the Ashram.
We went to morning Darshan.
Afterwards, we would visit the shopping complex, bookshop etc in the afternoon.
My son had not seen till then.
 We also visited the Meditation Tree.
The entrance to get there is now from outside the ashram.

Here's some pics from my mobile phone.

(Salutations to Sri Sai, who has planted firmly the Banyan Tree as a boon to the seekers of knowledge)

The Banyan Tree that is growing in the grove has a peculiar sanctity of its own.
 In April of 1959, while talking one evening on the sands of the Chitravathi River to a gathering of devotees, Baba spoke of Buddha and the Bodhi tree, the “Tree of Wisdom,” and of the Sadhakas (spiritual aspirants) seeking some specially favorable spots for their austerities. Even as He was speaking thus, He “took” out from the sands a thick copper plate about fifteen inches by ten inches in size which contained mystic markings and letters of many known and unknown alphabets! He said that such mystic plates, cryptograms written on copper or stone, are planted under trees where aspirants engage in austerities so that they may be helped to develop concentration of mind and control of the senses. He announced that He would be placing the copper plate under a Banyan tree that He proposed to plant in the grove. This was actually done on the twenty-ninth of June, 1959, and Sai Baba declared that Yogis who have reached a certain stage of spiritual progress will automatically come to know of this tree and this mystic plate, and they will be drawn by the mysterious force of these toward the meditation grove which will then fully justify its name!
…And here comes the Spiritual significance of the Tree, in Prof. Kasturi’s own words:

The Banyan tree, known as Nyagrodha, “down-grown,” and Vatavriksha, “enclosure tree,” is famous in Indian sacred literature and history. Lord Maha Vishnu, the great God of Preservation, or Siva, God in the Form of the Guru, is described as sitting under a Banyan tree, and expounding by His very silence all knowledge to His disciple. This tree may be said to symbolize Sanathana Dharma, the Eternal Wisdom, for its branches reach out in all directions and draw sustenance from every type of faith and spiritual striving. It is also called Rahupada, “many-footed” in Sanskrit, for the series of roots that its branches send down toward the earth strike the ground and seek food therein and make the branches independent even of the parent trunk. The tree is therefore immortal. There are in India Banyan trees that have been worshipped for thousands of years, such as the one at Triveni at Prayag, Allahabad, or the one called Akshaya-vat, the “Indestructible,” at Gaya.


After spending most of the afternoon in Prasanthi, we headed back to the hotel.
Had this sudden urge to again visit the Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple, as it is very close to the hotel.
The pujari was about to start a puja! Perfect timing!!!

Here is the video.

Some screenshots.


The pujari said the Temple was 500 years old!

He told me at around 5.30am the next morning, he would be doing abhishekam
 to the stone with the image of Krishna playing the flute.

Evening Darshan

Gratitude Program by Under Graduate & Music College Students of Sai University - March 13 2016

 That was the 13th.
The 14th would be our last day in Parthi.

The photo of the Sarva Dharma Stupa at the top of this page was taken with mobile phone on this day.

Here's the Sarva Dharma Stupa,
I took way back in 1992, using B/W Infared Film. Handcolored.
In those days cameras were allowed.

Sarva Dharma Aikya Stupa in Prasanthi Nilayam

A 50ft high pillar celebrating the unity of all religions, was built in 1975 to mark the advent of the Avatar.
At its base are symbols of five of the world’s major religions, along with the associated sayings shown below. The pillar, with its concentric rings, represents yoga, or Union with God. The rings indicate the stages of yogic discipline required for unfolding the “lotus of the heart”, whose petals are at the top of the pillar. The flame of inner illumination is in the center of the lotus. Just as the lotus plant lives in water but does not get contaminated by it, so we should live in the world but be untouched by it.
Hindu Om: Listen to the primeval Pranava (Om) resounding in your heart as well as in the heart of the Universe.
Buddhist wheel: Remember the wheel of cause and consequence, of deed and destiny, and the wheel of dharma that rights them all.
Zoroastrian fire symbol: Offer all bitterness in the sacred fire and emerge grand, great, and godly.
Islamic crescent and star: Be like the star, which never wavers from the crescent but is fixed in steady faith.
Christian cross: Cut the “I” feeling clean across and let your ego die on the cross, to endow on you Eternity.

Let the different faiths exist, let them flourish, and let the glory of God be sung in all the languages and in a variety of tunes. That should be the Ideal. Respect the differences between the faiths and recognize them as valid as long as they do not extinguish the flame of unity.
Sathya Sai Baba