Post No.1



 Shivalayam Temple
 (Sathya Sai Baba's Birthplace)
Maha Shivaratri - 10th March 2013


Sai Ram!!!
Mark here from Australia
 I thought I would like to share with you, some sights, some sounds and some personal insights
 of my recent trip to the
Abode of our Dear Lord Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba (Prasanthi Nilayam)
 situated in the village of Puttaparthi, India.
Well its not really a village any more. More like a bustling town full of
 multi-level apartment blocks.


This is my sixth trip to his abode and since I first went in '92, it has changed enormously.
I won't go into the details about Prasanthi itself. As you can easily find out all about it,
 on the many official and non-official Sai websites out there in cyber space.
At this point in time, I am not sure how this blog will evolve?
You will just have to keep in regular touch here, to see what transpires!
You never know what will pop up next!
Even I don't have a clue, as yet!


Lord Shiva statue photographed as Lord Surya rose above Puttaparthi
on Maha Shivaratri morning - 10th March 2013

To start off,

I had no intention or real urge to go back, as since Swami had left His mortal coil,
 I felt there was no need.

 He is omnipresent, with us at all times and in all places.

 He resides in all our hearts and is the guiding light within us all.

 We all know that, don't we?


 So why travel thousands of miles to this place?
One word for me...Recharge!!!
(Re-capturing that Divine Essence)

Living in this illusory world of Maya, we sometimes lose that constant feeling
 of His Divine Presence.

 Even though Swami is not there in His physical body.
 He is there! And will always be there!!!

More about this later in future posts.
 
I was sitting in front of my computer one day, which we all do sometimes and a Sai Brother rang me
 asking for the date of Maha Shivaratri in 2013.
 So I quickly looked it up on the internet. Pow!!! I couldn't believe it.
 My birthday!!! It falls on my birthday.
 That's it, straight and simple. I have to go!
That's how it usually works.
 Some moment manifests and the urge to go becomes all encompassing.
 No rhyme or reason.
This Sai brother was wanting to go for Maha Shivaratri himself. So why not?
 Good to be in the company of the true devotees.

From 2 of us originally going, 6 became the final number of Sai Brothers and Sisters who eventually
 came on this sojourn to His Abode.

p.s  I really don't like flying. Surrendering yourself completely to a machine to get to your intended destination,
 always makes me a tad uncomfortable.
 Lots of Sai Ram's and Gayatri chanted silently on takeoff and landing has helped me, so far!
I also imagine Swami sitting in the front section of the plane.

We left Australia around 3pm (Melbourne time), and after about a 12 hour journey, we finally
 reached Bangalore Airport around 11.30pm (Indian time) on the Friday night of the 8th of March.
Its now called Bengaluru Airport. Not sure why?

 Australia is a huge country. About 70% is mostly arid desert. Its usually also dry and hot at this time of the year.
Last year was the hottest year since records began over a hundred years ago.
From the air, it looks truly spectacular, especially in the middle of the continent.
 A Mars like landscape. Red earth everywhere. Very barren and untouched by man.

So here is a short snippet of a video taken from the plane over Australia.


(If you don't already know, the little star-like symbol at the bottom right of the screen, makes it go full-screen)
(Also HD means High Definition, if you wish to watch it that way)

We finally landed in India after a short stopover in Kuala Lumpur and we were quickly whisked away in two taxi's to
 Puttaparthi at about midnight on the Friday night there.
It took about 2-3 hours to get to Prasanthi.
Bangalore Airport had moved location years back, so the road to Puttaparthi is alot shorter and quicker now.
Most of the road from Bangalore is now a modern highway, before you eventually turn right, to the Puttaparthi main road.

 So here's another snippet of a video of some of that taxi journey.
 p.s  By the time you reach Bangalore from Australia, then spend the next 3 hours in a taxi without having any sleep at all, your enthusiasm to pick up a video camera and start shooting, wanes a tad somewhat.




We arrive in Puttaparthi!!!

Its about 3am in the morning, and not a soul in sight.

Its very surreal driving through Puttaparthi at that hour when there is no one in the
 main street except the occasional dog here and there.

During the day, well that's another story...

May Sai Always Be With You 
JAI SAI RAM

Post No.2