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  Dattaguru Bhandara Trust - Glimpse

"Nitya Annadan" –"Nirantara Sainaam"

The Two eyes of the Dattaguru Bhandara Trust:

Annadan      and       Nama Sankirtan  have been dearer to Sadguru Sainath. As the practical application of the above Nitya Annadan and Nirantara Sainama Sankirtan are performed at Dattaguru Bhandara Trust which are the very eyes of trust in its services.

Nitya Annadan:

It is the much stressed principle by our holy scriptures and saints that food is Brahman (i.e. God) and offering food to the hungry is equivalent to give one his very life. Also charity of food is the one which gives contentment and hence treated as the best of all charities. It is the great privilege bestowed upon Dattaguru Bhandara Trust to undertake anna-santharpana or offering of holy prasad from Sadguru Sainath and Sri Nrisimha Saraswathy Swami Maharaj (the fifth and second avatars of Lord Dattatreya) in the form of south Indian food during noon.

The sympathy of Lord Dattatreya to His devotee-children is highlighted by the following consideration:

When a son meets his mother coming from a far-off place with great affection and tender care the mother serves him with his favourite dish. Even though Gangapur is geographically located within Karnataka, a southern state of India, the culture prevailing there even now is that of Maharashtra, a north Indian state. Due to this, south Indians accustomed to rice based food are supposed to suffer. Anticipating that south Indians  would be coming in large numbers in future, motherly Dattatreya has engaged Dattaguru Bhandara Trust into action that without any difficulty they would cherish tasty, fresh, timely, food of their choice, charged with His full grace by paying nothing except devotion. The normal menu consists of rice, vegetable, curry, sambar, rasam, pickle and buttermilk. Not to waste even small quantity of food, prepared out of precious contributions from devotees, an estimate of the partaking devotees is made. From 8:30 A.M to 10:00 A.M daily prasad coupons are issued, based on that food is prepared.

The serving of the food for coupons is in plates and starts by about 1:00 P.M after all the partakers take their seats. To remind them that it is not just food but holy prasad from Sadguru Sainath till the first round of food is completely served, they are made to chant the Sai tarakanama “OM SAI SRI SAI JAYA JAY SAI”. As the signal to start eating, the jaya goshams “Sacchidananda Sadguru Sainath Maharaj Ki Jai” and “Avadoota Chintana Shri Gurudeva Datta”, “Swami Maharaj Ki Jai” are loudly uttered.

An additional from of annadan called “Madhukari”, in accordance with the tradition of Gangapur is also practiced. Sri Nrisimha Saraswathy Swami had given an assurance to His devotees that He would visit Gangapur everyday for collecting biksha. With this belief, in so many places in Gangapur, after the noon arati at the Dattapaduka mandir is over single item food will be served which devotees stand in queue and receive. At Dattaguru Bhandara Trust also this is done after noon arati. Except on Ekadashi days prepared food like pongal, masala bath, vegetable bath are being served. So many sadhus, sadhakas and Lord Dattatreya in disguise give great value to this Madhukari and satisfy themselves with that.

See God in all beings is the principle preached by Sadguru Sainath. As its practical application even other forms of living beings are satisfied with food. After noon arati some quantity of food is offered at a particular spot for birds. Another quantity is mixed in the Bheema Amaraja river to feed aquatic creatures in it. Even to offer God immediately after arati a portion is offered to holy Dhuni treating fire as His representative.

It is to be noted that this anna-santharpana is common to all irrespective of their caste, creed etc.

On normal days issue of coupons is limited to 100 devotees. On festival days like Gurupoornima, Datta Jayanti, Maga Poornima (five days jathara), Karthik Poornima this is extended to thousands.

Nirantara Sainama

The second eye of Datta Guru Bhandara Trust activity is Nirantara Sainama Sankirtan with the Sai Tarakanama “OM SAI SRI SAI JAYA JAYA SAI”.

For this Kaliyug chanting God’s name (or naam) is prescribed as the infallible method to easily and effectively earn His grace. In “Sai Satcharitra” the holy book for all Sai devotees in so many places the importance and efficacy of chanting God’s name or nama sankirtan had been highlighted. Baba had Himself encouraged so many devotees to practice it.

How to redeem Baba for the rarest of privileges conferred on Dattaguru Bhandara Trust to initiate the first ever Nirantara (eternal) Sainama Sankirtan in the entire world? In niratara nama sankirtan the chanting must be continuous without break and after initiating it, the same should be continued without break for ever inspite of any kind of obstacles. Only great saints had the privilege and power to undertake such things. The humble attachment to Sai’s feet had given Dattaguru Bhandara Trust this greatest privilege.

To do full justification to the opportunity given by Baba the concerned members of the Trust charged themselves with perfect divine grace by having yatra to so many holy places for about six months before initiating the Nirantara Sainama Sankirtan with Sai Tarakanama “OM SAI SRI SAI JAYA JAYA SAI” at 9:09 A.M. on 09-07-1998, Gurupoornima. From then, so effectively the chanting is being continued.

It is wonderful to see that Baba had in His own subtle manner, arranged the nama to be chanted in the divine and melodious raga ‘revathi” of Karnatic music. This raga is used for many of the vedic chantings. As for rhythm or tala is concerned it is in “Teen taal” of Hindusthani or “Adi taal” of Karnatic music. Whether one knows music or not its effect on Him is electric and efficacious that he becomes simply captured by the nama and immediate effect is even an agitated mind become so much calm and composed.

It is moving to note that even to beg at Him God has given easy effective methods of appeal and it is not all exaggerating that “nama” particularly this Sai tarakanama “OM SAI SRI SAI JAYA JAYA SAI” is a standing proof of it. Dattaguru Bhandara Trust itself is the outcome of such naam at Kashi during 20th and 21st November (karthik poornima) at Kashi in 1994. At the Datta Paduka Mandir where Sri Nrisimha Saraswathi had His own initiation to sanyas.

The meaning of the Sai tarakanama has also worth consideration. The AUM composed from the letters ‘A’ from Brahma, the creative aspect of the almighty, “U’ from Vishnu, the protective aspect of Him and ‘M’ from Maheshwara the destructive aspect of Him became “AUM” or “OM”. It depicts the almighty who in our Indian tradition is called “Jagatpita” meaning father of the Universe. The word shri or ‘sri’ depicts “Jaganmata” or Mother of the Universe.

With the above background one of the esoteric meanings of Sai tarakanama is

OM SAI – You are the Jagatpita.

SRI SAI – You are the Jagatmata.

You have manifested in this world to confer on your dependants the four purusharthas namely.

Dharma – righteous living, Artha – life with wants provided, Kama – life with all desires fulfilled and lastly, Moksha – The perfect merger of one’s atma (soul) with the very Creator (who is in eternal bliss) with no more identity of itself.

JAYA JAYA SAI – In that undertaking you must be victorious nay you must be absolutely victorious (Jaya has been repeated to give emphasis).

The full meaning is “Sai you are the Jagatpita, you are the Jaganmata, Sai of this caliber, be absolutely victorious in your undertaking of conferring the four benefits namely dharma, artha, kama and moksha on your dependants. In other words the meaning is “Baba, kindly do confer these benefits on your dependants”.

In the very temple of Saidatta, at the most sacred land of Gangapur, the above nama replete with the above meaning, given by Baba Himself is chanted in a divine vedic tune, day and night, on behalf of all Sai devotees. What alternative is there for Baba apart from responding to the above sincere prayer? Participation and personal experience is the only answer for it.

It is estimated that the nama is chanted by 36 lakhs times per year. On 02-07-2005 Gurupoornima it has crossed 2.5 crores! Just to maintain the Nirantara Sainama Sankirtan a nama sevak group of 25 members is maintained. Once in two hours a chanting batch of 3 members is substituted by a fresh one. For them accommodation, food, medical aid and remuneration are being offered. Even devotees wishing to participate permanently or for a prescribed duration can approach the trust to accomplish the same.

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