Going to Sai Baba's Ashram (Page One)

INFORMATION FOR THOSE TRAVELLING TO INDIA TO SEE SAI BABA.

Climate in southern India:

Summer = March/October = 70 to 91 F,
Winter = November/February 62 to 86 F.
Rainy = June/September = 84 to 89 F.

Prasanthi Nilayam: The climate is warm throughout the year and hottest between March and May. Heavy showers may be expected during the months of June, July and August and again from October to December. As it can be quite cool in the early hours of the morning during meditation and Nagarsankirtan in December to February, some warm clothing will be useful, Mosquito netting and other precautions against mosquitoes are desirable.

Brindavan: The climate is temperate. Occasional rains may be expected from April to August and again from October to December. Rains are followed by a sudden drop in temperature. Warm clothing may be necessary at any time.


Facilities at Prasanthi Nilayam

These consist mainly of unfurnished rooms (with attached toilet and shower) which may be made available if the donors are not expected at the same time for stay; dormitories (with communal toilets and showers) for ladies, men and families separately; water and electricity supply;
Canteens for meals and snacks; There are three canteens in Prasanthi Nilayam. Devotees are expected to eat at one of these canteens, cooking in the rooms is not allowed unless there is an accessible kitchen in the room.
The food in the canteens is vegetarian (no eggs either) plentiful and inexpensive, usually costing between 5 and 25 rupees. Within the canteens, there are men's sections and female sections.

Food offered to God is free from the evil vibrations that injure the individual in subtle ways. Since food has subtle impact on the feelings and thoughts, you have to be ever vigilant.
Sai Sathya Baba

Indian Canteen
The Indian canteen is located inside the ashram gate opposite the Central Trust offices. Indian style breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served the Indian way --you can get a spoon if you want, but it's far more fun to eat Indian style, with your hand. Breakfast is especially good, serving idlis, vadas, ugma, and the like. For this canteen, you have to buy coupons.

Breakfast: 6-30 A.M. to 8-30 A.M.
Lunch: 10.30 A.M. to 1-00 P.M.
Tea: 3-00 P.M. to
Dinner: 6-30 P.M. to 8-00 P.M.

North Indian Canteen
A separate canteen catering to North Indian taste is behind the Round Building 3. Excellent food, not too spicy. Payment is in cash (rupees). There may be times when it is not open.

Breakfast: not open for breakfast
Lunch: 11:00 A.M. to 12-30 P.M.
Dinner: 6-30 P.M. to 8-00 P.M.

Western Canteen
Located between Round Buildings 2 and 3, it caters to the western pallate. Salads, soups, noodles, rice, sandwiches, potatoes, vegetables, and desserts are among the menu. Payment is in cash (rupees). There may be times when it is not open.

Breakfast: after darshan
Lunch: 11 A.M. to 12-00 noon
Dinner: 6-30 P.M. to 7-30 P.M

Other Stores
Various stores for consumer goods and photographs of Baba, tapes etc; a bookshop of the Sri Sathya Books and Publications Trust; besides the offices of Accommodation, Public Relations, Lost Property, Safe Deposits (on special occasions) the Magazine ‘Sanathana Sarathi’(English and Telugu) and the Central Office of the Sri Sathya Sai Organisations.
Stamps and Postal stationery articles are also available on sale inside the ashram.
Within walking distance is the General Hospital with male and lady doctors. Various banks branches, a Post and Telegraph Office with a public telephone and a Police Station are situated outside the Prashanthi Nilayam compound.


IN AND AROUND PRASANTHI NILAYAM

1) PRASANTHI MANDIR
This is the central prayer hall and temple - the three-domed covered building inside the Ashram compound.

2) GOPURAM TOWER
The central pathway from the main entrance gate under the Gopurani (tower) leads to the Mandir through all archway (this entrance is not used by the public/devotees). The Gopuram tower has the syllable OM in different languages and the swastika symbol (of auspiciousness) vertically along the centre with sculptured figures of celestial beings on either side. The entrance door has wooden carvings of the Guardian Devas.

3) THE POORNA CHANDRA AUDITORIUM
This auditorium, built in 1973, measuring 60 metres in length and 40 metres in breadth, has a capacity to seat about 15,000- 20,000 people on the floor. Its roof has no supporting columns in the middle. it has on its side pillars the following sculptured figures starting from the left (west) end of the stage:
(1) Guardian (Jaya) (2) Lord Ganesha (3) Lord Vishnu (4) Lord Siva (5) Lord Krishna (6) Lord Siva (another form) (7) Lord Vishnu (on the serpent Shesha (8) Lord Siva (another form) (9) Goddess Durga(on lion) (10) Lord Buddha (11) Prophet Zoroaster (12) Saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (13) Matsya avatar (14) Varian avatar (15) Vamana avatar (16) Lord Rama (17) Lord Krishna (another form) (18) Kalki avatar (19) Balarama avatar (20) Parasurama avatar (21) Narasimha avatar (22) Kurma avatar (23) Guru Nanak (24) Adi Shankaracharya (25) Jesus Christ (26) Lord Siva (another form) (27) Dakshinamurthi (28) Lord Brahma (29) Lord Siva (another form) (30) Lord Krishna (on serpent Kaliya) (31) Lord Siva (another form) (32) Lord Krishna (another form) (33) Lord Subrahmanya (34) Guardian Vijaya.
On the walls on either side of the stage are portrayed the following figures in relief (from the east end of the stage):
Guardian Jaya, the Holy Quran (symbol of Islam) Jesus Christ, the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, Prophet Zoroaster, Lord Buddha, and Guardian Vijaya.

4) SARVA DHARMA AIKYA STHAMBHA
This 50 ft. column near the Poorna Chandra auditorium symbolises the unity of all religions. It was built on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Advent of the Avatar and the World Conference of Sri Sathya Sai Organisations held in November 1975. On the sides of the base of the column are depicted the symbols of the principal religions of the world
- Wheel of Dharma (Buddhism); Crescent and Star (Islam); Cross (Christianity); Fire (Zoroastrianism); Sanskrit syllable OM (Sanatana Dharma).

5) SRI SATHYA SAI INSTITUTE OF HIGHER LEARNING
(deemed university)

This deemed university, established in 1981, and recognised by the Government of India, Ministry of Education, offers courses of study leading to the first and final degrees of the five year integrated courses of study (B.A./B.ScJB.Com. and M.A./M.Sc.IM.Com.) in the arts, sciences and commerce, at its campuses at Prashanthi Nilayam, Brindavan, Bangalore and Anantapur. The institute has devised modem and up-to-date courses of study for students and it is these courses that are taught in the institute. To make the education of the students complete, moral and spiritual instruction is imparted through ‘integral’ items of living like the self-reliance programme in the kitchens and dining halls, attendance at prayers and bhajans and meditation, compulsory sports, games or yoga asanas, social work like the running of the dispensary, co-operative stores and help given in the home for the aged. The imposing building on the top of the hill behind the Prashanthi Mandir, forming a prominent land mark visible from afar, houses
the administrative offices and meeting halls of the university.

6) THE ETERNAL HERITAGE MUSEUM
Next to the administrative building of the university is the museum
Inaugurated on the 19th November 1990 by Bhagavan. It depicts man’s
eternal quest for realising eternal divinity. What we see in this magnificent museum - though it reflects only a fraction of Lord Sai’s magnificent Divinity, is a grand vista of the beautiful Sai Universe in its multifaceted glory. It conveys subtly and graphically through pictures, drawings, video films, plaques, sounds, panels murals, collection of manuscripts, books, instrument statues, tabloids, models, show cases, slide shows, replicas kiosks, caves etc.. the basic Messages of Bhagavan, His Life and works, the glorious past of India, the world religions, spiritual leaders and their famous teaching temples and shrines, all with the accent of the unity of man and one world, one religion.

7) SAI AIRPORT
Built in 1991, this airport has been specially constructed to complement the function of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medicine Hospital - the Airport is about 6 kilometres from Puttaparthi.

8) SRI SATHYA SAI INSTITUTE OF HIGHER MEDICINE HOSPITAL
The new hospital complex is located on 50 acres of land. The magnificent edifice reflects the great spiritual traditions of Prashanthi Nilayam. The best equipment available in the world has been acquired and every department is provided with the most modern tools to render the highest standard of medical care. The institute is becoming a centre of excellence in higher medicine providing facilities for postgraduate students and staff exchange programmes with similar centres world-wide. This hospital will off cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, neurology, urology, renal and urologic surgery and oncology to all people free of cost regardless of caste, creed, race or religion.

9) SRI SATHYA SAI VIDYA GIRI
This is a complex of buildings located along the main road, between the Gokulam dairy and the Ashram compound, and it comprises the Prashanthi Nilayam Campus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School (in two buildings) Smt. Easwaramma High School and boys’ hostel.

PLACES OF INTEREST IN PUTTAPARTHI

(1) Gokulam Diary: This is located about half a kilometre from Prasanthi Nilayam on the main road. To avoid disturbance to the cattle, the public are requested not to enter the cattle sheds.

(2) Samadhi of Bhagavan’s parents: This is located at the end of the lane in which the Post Office used to be situated.

(3) Chitravati River: This river runs almost parallel to the Prasanthi Nilayam compound. The road opposite the east side gate (the Ganesh gate) leads to this river.

(4) Kalpa Vriksha: This is a tamarind tree from which years ago Bhagavan used to pluck any fruit of the devotees’ choice. It is located on the side of the hill on the way to the Chitravati river.

(5) Puttaparthi Village: the village of Puttaparthi on the outskirts of which Prasanthi Nilayam is located has the following points of interest:
( Gopalaswami Temple This is dedicated to Lord Krishna as the Cowherd Boy, and enshrines the stone with which a cowherd was supposed to have hit a cobra for having sucked the milk from his cow and thereby drawn upon the village the curse of the serpent. The temple is said to have been built to ward off the effects of the curse.
( Sathyabhama Temple This temple is unique in that it is dedicated to Sathyabhama (consort of Lord Krishna) to whom this type of homage is seldom offered in any part of India. This temple was erected by Bhagavan’s grandfather as he dreamt of Sathyabhama asking for shelter. you are making life difficult for the permanent residents. So, when you pay too much for things, do not imagine that you are doing some service. You are really doing harm. Don’t waste money. If you keep this advice in mind, you will have plenty of money, and you will also progress spiritually.
( Kalvanamantapam This is dedicated to the memory of Bhagavan’s father -Pedda Venkappa Raju. Weddings and other functions are held here.
( The Siva Temple This marks the birthsite of Bhagavan Baba. The temple was opened by Baba in 1979.
( The village mosque and the hall opposite (for keeping Pirs) which was constructed and opened by Bhagavan Baba in 1978.
( Sathya Sai Nagar. This is a colony of 58 houses where the Harijans of the village who were displaced as a result of the unprecedented flood in the Chitravati river in 1975, have been provided comfortable shelter by Bhagavan Baba.

(6) Vata Vriksha: (or the meditation tree)
This is a banyan tree planted by Bhagavan Baba. A thick metal plate containing mystic markings was materialised and placed under its roots by Him in 1950 to help Sadhakas meditating under it. This tree is on the side of the hill behind the Mandir and on the left of the road leading to the Administrative Building of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.

FESTIVALS celebrated in Prasanthi

Some festivals usually observed at Prashanthi Nilayam are noted below. On these occasions, Bhagavan Baba may bless devotees with His Divine Message. As large crowds of devotees converge on Prashanthi Nilayam at festival times, it is not advisable for sick and disabled persons to visit the ashram at these times. Bhagavan Baba usually suspends the granting of interviews at these times.

(i) Makara Sankranthi (about mid-January)
This festival is dedicated to the Sun God, as at this time, the sun crosses the Tropic of Capricorn and enters the Makara Rashi (constellation) on his northward journey for the next six months, energising and invigorating all life. This six-month period is considered specially suitable for sadhana.

(ii) Vaikunth Ekadashi (about January-February)
This festival marks the famous event narrated in the Bhagavatham when Lord Vishnu incarnated as the Tortoise for facilitating the churning of the ocean of milk by the gods and the demons, to obtain the nectar of immortality. On this day the gates of Valkunth (heaven) are said to be open for spiritual aspirants to enter.

(iii) Yugaadi

(about February-March
This is the New Year’s Day according to the Indian lunar calendar.

(iv) Sivarathri (about February-March)
This festival falls on the 14th night of the dark half of the month, when there is just a little bit left visible of the moon, who symbolises the mind. As the object of all spiritual effort is complete dissolution of the mind (as the pre requisite for Self-realisation), the all night vigil with bhajans, japa, dhyana, etc. on Sivarathri night represents that extra effort of the spiritual aspirant, which can result in the complete conquest of the mind, symbolised by the disappearance of even that little bit of the moon on the following New Moon night.

(v) Ramanawami (about March-April)
This festival marks the birthday of Lord Rama, the great Divine incarnation of the Treta Yuga, whose glory and achievements have been so picturesquely described in the famous and popular epic Ramayana by sage Valmiki and poets Tulsidas and Kambha.

(vi) Guru Purnima (about July-August)
This festival dedicated to the Guru, is celebrated in grateful remembrance of the great sage Vyasa as the foremost Guru (spiritual leader), for his invaluable contribution to the spiritual literature of India, such as the Mahabharata, Bhagavatham, other puranas, etc.

(vii) Janmashtami (about August-September)
This festival celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, the complete incarnation of the Divine on earth, whose glory and exploits are described so picturesquely in the other famous epics Mahabharata and the Bhagavatham.

(viii) Onam (about August-September)
This festival, specially important in Kerala, marks the day on which Emperor Bali of the region, famous for his deep devotion to the Lord and great solicitude for the happiness and well being of his subjects, was blessed and granted liberation by the Supreme Divine by a personal visit in the form of a brahmin dwarf (the incarnation of the Lord as Vamana).

(ix) Navarathri or Dasara (about September-October)
This is the nine day festival dedicated to the Goddess of Energy (Shakti) worshipped in her three principal forms as Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. The number 9 symbolises the universal aspect of the Divine (as all numbers have to include one or more of the numbers 0 to 9 and there are no numbers beyond 9). The festival symbolises the struggle of the soul towards liberation, in three stages - the first where Mahakali is invoked (for the first three days) to overcome the evil forces of desire, anger, greed, etc. (mala) through action (karma); the second where Mahalakshmi is invoked (for the next three days) to overcome the agitations of the mind (vikshepa) which can be done only by calling upon the Divine help through constant remembrance and contemplation (upasana); and the third stage (the last three days) where Mahasaraswathi is invoked to overcome ignorance or illusion (avarana) through cultivation of knowledge and wisdom. The final victory is on the 10th day (vijaya dashami) symbolising the complete victory over the forces of nature and attainment of the goal.
During this festival, a yajna (sacrificial) ceremony - Veda Purusha Spathaha Yajna accompanied by Vedic chantings is held daily from the fourth day. The sacrificial ceremony symbolises the sacrifice of all the animal instincts in man, before the Supreme Divine, Lord of the Vedas (Veda Purusha). for man’s spiritual uplift. The Vedic chantings extol the glory of the Lord and invoke His blessings and grace for the general well being of all mankind. Speeches on spiritual subjects are delivered by learned speakers, followed usually by the Divine Message of Bhagavan Baba. Well known artistes also give performances as acts of service at the Lotus Feet of the Lord.

(x) Deepavali (about October-November)
This is the festival of lights to celebrate the destruction of the demon Narakasura (symbolising evil traits obstructing spiritual progress) at the hands of Lord Krishna (the Divine). The myriads of lights symbolise the energising from one source (the Divine-Atma) all other souls (jivas) with the supreme Atmic energy. The crackers usually burst on the occasion symbolise the driving out forcibly of the evil demonic qualities in man with the help of the Divine.

(xi) Bhagavan Baba’s birthday (23rd November)

(xii) Christmas Day (25th December)

(Click here to continue to Going to the Ashram page 2)

(Enlarged map of Southern India)

 

Sai Baba's residence in Brindavan

Over 150 Countries represented

Super Speciality Hospital

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prasanthi Mandir

 

 

 

Poorna Chandra Auditorium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prasanthi Stupa

 

 

SAI INSTITUTE OF HIGHER LEARNING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sri Sathya Sai Heritage Museum

 

 

 

 

Sai Airport

Sai Institute of Higher Medicine Hospital

Super Speciality Hospital

 

 

Related Links

Sai Baba's Ashram
A travellers prayer
Preparation For The Presence
• Quotes on pilgrimage
Going to the ashram Page Two
Going to the ashram Page Three

• A devotee's visit

 

Other Links

• What Sai Baba says about Books/Reading

• What Sai Baba says about Singing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sai General Hospital