Under the shadow of Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Puttaparthi
India has the long trail of 5,000 year old spiritual history which allures infinite number of enthusiasts from different parts of the world. There are infinite numbers of temples, shakteepeeths, monasteries, and mosques which carry an epitome of real spiritualism. Every spiritual destination in India has strong mythological history which binds the aspiring devotees in a pristine thread of faith and equanimity. Garlanded with the presence of diverse faith, ideals, age old traditions, saints and seers, India is suffused with every flavor, satiating enough to purify your soul to the apex levels of enlightenment.
Reminiscently, Shirdi’s Sai Baba Shrine is the similar place professing the legacy of ‘Sufism’. Complying with the various believes, it is said that Sai Baba’s soul present in the astral form listens to the prayer of every devotee. Attesting the other school of thought, Sai Baba was said to be re-incarnated on Earth after 8 years of his death at Puttaparthi. Supporting all believes, born in the poor family of Puttaparthi in South India, Andhra Pradesh, this soul was entirely different from other kids in the same village. Named as Brahmajnani during the auspicious festivity, the priest told them that “this child has an exceptional configuration of astral chart. Born under the strong astrological influence, he will work for the noble human cause and would spread the message of peace all over the world”. In stance to some more historical events at the 14 years of age, he was blessed with spiritual enlightenment which received its testament with the declaration of his new avatar radually named as ‘Sri Sathya Sai Baba’(incarnation of Shirdi’s Sai Baba). With the chain of various co-incidents matching with the myths of Shirdi’s Sai Baba, people from the region started hailing him as the superficial divine power spreading its hallowed effect to every one suffering from pain, poverty, misery, disease and unforgivable sins.
In the year 1950 his followers inaugurated the ashram with the name ‘Prasanthi Nilayam’. From that year the wheel of transforming the society into a spiritual haven never stopped. Infinite numbers of super specialty hospitals, schools, universities and free homes for poor loomed up in many parts of the country. Following the trail blaze of his divinity and grace, today Puttaparthi has mushroomed into a full fledged ‘Prasanthi Nilayam’ ashram. Encompassed in the color of spiritualism and inner sanctity, this divine sanctum is weaved in the blend of strict ethics and highly sophisticated modernistic infrastructure.
For the utter most convenience of the devotees, ‘Prasanthi Nilayam’ is festooned with all faculties needed during the seven days stay at the ashram. The ashram authorities provide the devotees with an immense numbers of facilities like free accommodation, different types of canteen catering to the tastes of every mindset, bus stand, availability of taxis, and SBI bank in the premises for quick transactions. If you have come far away from your native place then there is also a facility for sending fax, telegram, and e-mails at an affordable price tag. Moreover, during a stay at the ashram, the disciples are provided with porters and laundry services to make their entire tenure more suave and simple. With the presence of Shopping center in close proximity, the shopping timings are fixed for ladies which are 9:00AM to 11:30 AM in the morning and 05:00 PM to 7:30 PM in evening. The ashram has well appointed locker and safe deposit facilities for all the devotees carrying loads of precious items with them. The NRI, foreigners and Indian counter parts can plan their stay at ashram only after taking the prior permission from the public relation authorities. In fact, the accommodation will be booked only when Sri Sathya Sai Baba is available especially at the peak time of summer months. In case if the devotees reach to ashram during the non-working hours, then they will be provided with the one day stay and 12:00 PM in the noon will be their check out time for leaving the premises. There are different rooms available for NRIs, Foreigners and Indian counter parts. When ever, the folks hailing from parts of the world desire to visit this spiritual sanctum, they could reach to Room 7, North-8(A-1) and North 8(A-1). These are the accommodations and registration offices with in the ashram, which could bestow the travelers with every possible support they desire. However during the stay, as the part of precautionary measures, the devotees are not allowed to consume alcohol, tobacco products or non vegetarian food inside the premises Bundled by the hard edged rules and ethics, the devotees have to wear the yellow or blue clothes and any kind of socialization by males or females is strictly prohibited by the authorities of the ashram. By a further co-incidence if an individual fails to get a room at Prasanthi Nilayam, then Hotels in Puttaparthi could provide them with the options best matching their preferences. Chaitanya International Hotel, Sai Towers and Sai Plaza are some of the peerless Puttaparthi Accommodations intricately nestled nearby the premises of ‘Prasanthi Nilayam’.
Apart from all the ethics, hard edged rules, facilities and personal succor provided by the ashram, devotees are heralded with particular schedule which is to be followed with the feeling of strong commitment and conviction. The morning at ashram commences at 5:20 AM when the clusters of devotees accumulated in the hall, recite Aumkar for 21 times. Followed by the devised schedule at 5:40 AM, just for the sake of cleansing the inner shades of the soul, devotees have to chant Vedic Mantras and sing Nagar Sankeertan, professing the feeling of thanks and gratitude towards Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Going through the trail of sublime events, the soul of devotees reverberates with the pious aura of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. After giving ‘Darshan’ at 7:00 AM in the morning, the trail of whole schedule followed by the Aarti at 9:30 AM to 7:45 PM(watching spiritual videos) in the evening, this procedure of spiritual syndication is repeatedly carried in the disciplined manner.
It is to be noted that during these spiritual sessions no amount is collected for Darshan, and the order in which the meetings are carried, are generally decided by the authorities through draw of lot system. The procedure is conducted separately for ladies and giants.
The schedule at ashram is so rigid in stance to the ethics that you would definitely feel the subtle purification process going on in different lengths and breadths of spiritual spaces. In order to unwind your tired senses under the shadow of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the aspiring devotees have to follow the simple road map. Before reaching Puttaparthi, the devotees have to take permission from authorities to book an accommodation in the ashram. Located 8 KMS from the Sai Prasanthi Railway Station and 40 KMS away from the Dharmavalam Railway Station, the devotees can board direct train to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkota.. If you are looking for some more feasible options, then you can also board a direct flight from Delhi or Mumbai to Puttaparthi. Nestled 120 KMS away from the ashram, this airport is the most nearest ones bringing huge influx of Sri Sathya Sai Baba followers to this divine center of spiritual enlightenment. Ending the deep insight of ‘Prasanthi Nilayam’, Sri Sathya Sai Baba preached some few lines in the context of his presence.
Always find a quiet corner after my darshan, where you may enter the stillness and receive the completion of my blessings. My energy goes out from me as I pass by you. If you proceed to talk to others, immediately after darshan this precious energy is dissipated and returns to me unused by you. Rest assured that whatever my eye sees becomes vitalized and transmuted. You are changed day by day. Never underestimate what is being accomplished by this act of darshan. My walking among you is a gift yearned for by the gods of the highest heaven, and here you are, daily receiving this grace. Be grateful. The travelers can also avail Puttaparthi Tour Packages which include a stay at one of the finest hotels in puttaparthi, platter of meals and a cab service to commute with in the precincts of the region.