At His Lotus Feet
Practice of Navavidha Bakthi through Nine code of conducts
1.Daily meditation and prayer.
To show our gratitude to the creator, who has created the universe and provided us the infrastructure to make our life simple and easy, we need to pray and meditate on Him. In a way meditation can be referred to as concentration of thoughts. In deeper sense this consists of 3 stages: Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Twelve seconds of uninterrupted concentrated thought on swami can be called Dharana. Twelve Dharanas make one Dhyana and twelve Dhayanas make one Samadhi. In real sense Samadhi means equanimity of mind. To maintain cool with pair of opposites like pleasure and pain, heat and cold, etc implies equanimity of mind. This code of conduct can be compared to “Vandana” of Navavidha Bakthi.
Uddhava, the friend of Krishna, thought he always remembered Krishna and there is no one to better him. But when Krishna sent him to Mathura, he was humbled by the devotion of Gopikas towards Krishna.
2. Bhajan with all members of the family once a week.
In the fast world, man seldom finds time to think about God. When everything is okay in his life he forgets God. Kabirdas says “One thinks of God only when he is in pain. Why not he think of God when in pleasure so that pain will not touch him”. What an advice for the man kind. So SWAMI says atleast once a week, collect all the members of the
family and do bhajan for an hour at your home. Well, all fingers are not of equal size. So too, there may be some members who do not agree for this. But do not pressurize them, but by your activities of remaining as a true Sai Devotee you can convince them after some time to join the bhajans. This code of conduct can be linked to “Keertana” of Nava vidha bhakthi.
Sukha Maharishi, the son of veda vyasa, recited Bhagavatham for a week to the ill-fated Parikshjt. Chaintanya Mahaprabhu was like lunatic in Krishna consciousness and was often pelted. Shirdi Sai was to sing and dance in ecstasy. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
lost his body consciousness often when singing about Kalimatha.
3. Participation in Balvikas programme by children of the family.
Mano Vikas, Buddi Vikas, Atma Vikas is Balavikas. Send your children to Balavikas. Set an example to outsiders that your children are in Balvikas, so that they can follow. Tell them the importance of Balavikas. Have parent contact programmes once a month which will enable us to bring the parents also into our fold. Through Balavikas the Higher mind is motivated and the children are taught to abide human values. Their awareness of the supreme divine is aroused. With this background they can shine well in their lifetime and be good examples of humanity.
As CIA (constant integrated awarness) is kindled through Balavikas this code of conduct can be linked to “Archana” (worship of God).
Saint Thirunavukkarasar was put in calcium kiln (Sunnambu Kalavoy) and because he was always worshipping, he felt as though he was in a refrigerated room. “Masil veenayyum malai madhiyamum”. He sang thus.
4. Participation in community service work and other programmes of the organization.
The seva concept is put forth here. It is only through seva, liberation can be sought. “Karishye Vachanam Thava” (I will do as per you say) should be our attitude. As brotherhood of man and fatherhood of God is to be experienced with all human beings, manava seva done is indeed madhava seva. This code can be related to “Padasevana” of Nava vidha Bakthi.
As the Lord Vishnu reclines on Adisesha, Lakhsrni does pada sevanam to Him symbolic of this. When Ravana was reluctant to hear the advice of Vibishana, Vibishana preferred to join the camp of Rama and do Padasevana being satwic in nature. Even though Kumbarkama had the same feelings towards Ravana he preferred to stay with Ravana and do Padasevana to him being Rajasik in nature.
Sugriva the monkey king did Padasevana to Rama and helped Rama to relieve Sita from the clutches of the demon king. Prof. Kasthuri did Padasevana to Swami in his various positions as editor of Sanathana Sarathi, State president, taking care of post office, as a biographer of Swami’s life, as a translator for Swami’s discourses, press work etc and delivered good for the organization.
5. Attendance once a month at least for Samithi activities.
Bhajan, nagara sangeerthan, meetings and activities, like these are conducted at the Samithi. Every activity at Samithi is attendance to God and hence no activity is to be missed. However due to preferential works one does not find time to attend all. So this is suggested. When these activities are attended you tend to know more about Swami and think of Swami for a long time. Your thoughts are refined, your words become sweet and soft and your actions become dharma. Constant hearing of God’s leelas through satsang makes one soft and his character transforms. Hearing about God is “Sravana” in Navavidha Bakthi and a survey shows that 45% of knowledge is gained only through Sravana. The best example to be given for Sravana is Parikshit. When his last day was known for him he spent the 7 days hearing about God only and attained mukthi.
We listen to the spiritual talks and study circles organized by Samithi, to know more about God and to spend more time on God. We listen to discourses of swami and follow them.
6.Regular study of SAI Literature.
SWAMI has simplified the vedic teachings in simple terms by giving proper examples for easy understanding. In his books he has given everything for the ideal living of humanity. The experiences of devotees with Swami and the miracles of Swami on them as found in various books on Swami are eye openers for the devotees which promotes their devotion to Swami which helps in ultimate salvation.
SAI literature should be interpreted as literature that helps to provide Spiritual Awakening and Inspiration. Also SAI means “See Always Inside” i.e. turn your vision on the indwelling Lord. Therefore any literature that promotes these things can be interpreted as Sai literature. This falls under the category “Smarana” in nava vidha Bakthi.
7. To speak softly and lovingly with every one.
“Iniya Ulavaga Innadha kooral
Kani Iruppa Kai Kavamthatru”
which means you have to speak sweet words to others.
“Sathyam brooyath priyam brooyath, Na brooyath Sathyam apriyam”
(speak Truth speak lovingly, do not speak Truth if it is harsh). This shows
the importance given to speak softly and lovingly.
A man’s character in determined by his expressions. To please others you have to speak obligingly which can be compared to “Dasya” Bakthi. Hanuman carried out the command of Rama exhibiting this type of Bakthi. He was a servant to Rama carrying out all his commands. So he gained a permanent place with Rama and Sita and also in the Krishna Avatar he secured a place in the flag on the car driven by Krishna.
8. Not speaking ill of others especially in their absence.
When we feel that the Atma residing in every one is residing in us and it is the spark of the Divine, then we will develop friendship with every one as there is no reason to be angry with them. So there is no need to talk ill of others.
This leads to "Sakhya Bakthi". Baktha and God become friends and one cannot leave the other and be alone. The friendship of Arjuna & Krishna is an example for this. The entire Pandava clan was taken care because of this friendship. Another example is Sunderamoorthy Nayanar with Lord Siva, who stopped his marriage and took him along with him to sing his glory.
9. Practice “Ceiling on Desires” and utilize the savings for service of mankind.
Ceiling on desires - a ceiling on food, energy, time and money.
Food - Do not waste food.
Energy - Electricity, water and your own energy.
Time - Time waste is life waste - so don’t waste time.
When you save all these and utilize the same for the benefit of others, for their betterment, this means that they see the Atma immanent in them in others and so do “Atma Nivedana” to the society and therefore to the creator. The navavida Bakthi component of “Atma Nivedhana’ is expressed by this code of conduct.
National Narayana seva is an example for ceiling on desires.
For this type of Bakthi the life story of Maha Bali is a good example.
Jai Sai Ram
At His Lotus Feet