Post National USA Pilgrimage 2017 Initiative

External show is not important. ... Devotion (bhakti) does not consist of having a photo for worship and giving it Arathi every day or shouting Baba, Baba. True devotion means that there is a transformation in your behaviour. God is within you, around you, and in you. He is omnipresent. Recognising this truth, you must arrive at the result that you and God are one.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Summer Showers, 1978

During the summer of 2017, over two hundred members of the Sathya Sai Organization of USA went on a spiritual homecoming pilgrimage journey to Prasanthi Nilayam (abode of supreme peace), Puttaparthi, India. The five day journey from July 5th to 10th consisted of a daily routine that began with respectful obeisance at the Divine final resting place of Sathya Sai Baba (Samadhi Darshan). This was followed by various activities including inspirational talks for the children and practice for the cultural program that was to be presented as part of the pilgrimage. The journey concluded with a rural village service and the cultural program.

The unique aspect of this pilgrimage was that for the first time, the children of the Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) USA who attended this pilgrimage could experience their own journey of discovery by “Walking in the footsteps of Sai.” They visited various places from Sathya Sai Baba’s childhood days and places that He established in service to the community including the Primary School, Radio Sai Global Harmony studios, Super Speciality Hospital and International Center for Sports indoor arena. They each were provided a journal to keep track of their adventures.

In an effort to share their experiences with the rest of the SSE children in the USA, a small group of SSE children created an initiative called “One with Sai.” This is intended to be a spiritual discipline that anyone can take up. Anybody who wishes to participate in this spiritual discipline needs to prepare themselves by setting aside fifteen minutes of their time everyday for five days to connect and spend time with their inner Self/Sai. They can then request the “One with Sai” kit which consists of mementos from the pilgrimage, invite as many children in their neighborhood to continue the “One with Sai” journey for one week with the kit, and share their reflections.

When inanimate objects like telephones are connected, should there not be a connection between human being and God? The former relationship is artificial in nature, whereas the latter is heart to heart.

Sathya Sai Baba, 21st November, 1999

One with Sai steps

  1. Set aside 15-20 minutes of Sai Time. No devices, no talking. This is a special time for you and Sai.
  2. You can choose to communicate with Swami - say a prayer, write a letter to Him, draw a picture for Him.
  3. If you can consistently do this for 5 consecutive days, you are ready to request the "One with Sai Kit.”
  4. Request your kit by filling out this form.
  5. Share your journey with others by writing to Experience compilations will be posted on this site.

Items in One with Sai Kit

The kit contains the following objects to assist us in connecting with Sai and walking in His footsteps -

  1. Aarthi plate and holder.
  2. Flowers from Samadhi and Matchstick used during Aarthi at Sai Kulwant Hall on the last day of 2017 pilgrimage
  3. Scarf, Swami's Photo, and Journal that was given during the 2017 Pilgrimage.
  4. Wool flowers for decorating the Aarthi plate. (Since children are involved, we recommend just using the flowers and not flame, to get experience of offering this symbolic expression of gratitude, surrender and receiving energy from Swami).
  5. "His Story" book from Sundaram Library, Chennai; Padukas; and Sathya Sai Baba's photo blessed by Sathya Sai Baba (shared by a devotee from California).

About Aarthi

The offering of Aarthi traditionally done as part of the closing prayers, is the waving of fire (fueled by camphor), and has a symbolic significance of receiving love and energy from Swami and sharing it with others without ego. The children who put this kit together were shown a specific way to do the Aarthi which they enjoyed doing because it gave them focus and a simple way of bringing their thought, word, and action on the task at hand. Here is how...first, start at the foot of the altar, go straight up and around clockwise in a semi-circle and then complete three full circles around the altar. The first semi-circle is done when the first paragraph (Om Jay Jagadheesa Harey) is sung. The three full circles are for the three paragraphs of the Aarthi song.

click the first photo below to start the slideshow