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Rudra Ekaadhashini Homam and Gurupoornima Celebrations

“This Yagna is being conducted for the welfare of the world. There is a very important aspect of this Yagna. The Athi Rudra Maha Yagna protects and fosters the divine nature in the human beings, while rejecting and diminishing the demonic qualities. Thus, it works for the welfare of humanity.”

Bhagawan Baba, 09/08/2006,
Inauguration of Athi Rudra Maha Yagna, Prasanthi Nilayam

Inspired by these Divine Words and the Divine Yagna in Bhagawan’s supremely holy presence in 2006, many devotees across the world have since learnt to chant the majestic Sri Rudram, have contemplated on its message and have participated in many Yagnas and Homams over the years. Devotees participating in the Sri Rudram prayers for World Peace consider this as their great good fortune, and as a humble way of contributing to the Divine Sathya Sai Mission of Peace and Love. Above all, it is their heartfelt offering of love and gratitude at the feet of our most beloved Lord, our most compassionate Sathguru, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Sri Rudram, also known as Rudraprasna, is a hymn devoted to Lord Shiva. It is one of the greatest of the Vedic hymns for all round benefits and to remove all maladies and obstacles. It contains within it two of the most potent Manthras- Panchaakshari `and the Mruthyunjaya (Om Namah Shivaya and Thryambakam Yajaamahe respectively). Sri Rudram is in two parts. The first part is known as Namakam because of the repeated use of the word ‘Namo’ (salutations) in it. In this sacred hymn the devotee repeatedly salutes the Lord who pervades the animate and the inanimate, tangible and intangible, visible and invisible aspects of creation. The second part of the Rudram, is known as Chamakam because of the repeated use of the words ‘Cha me’. The devotee prays to the Lord for blessings and benefits both in this world and beyond.

The hymns are organised into eleven portions called Anuvakams in both the Namakam and Chamakam. Normally, one chant of the Namakam followed by one chant of the Chamakam constitutes one Rudram. Recital of 11 Namakas along with one Anuvaka of Chamaka at the end of each Namaka, thus completing one Chamaka constitutes Ekadasa Rudram. Recital of 11 Ekadasa Rudrams is Laghu Rudram or Rudra Ekaadhashini.

In the United Kingdom, since 2007 Sri Rudra Ekaadhashini Homam has been conducted with great devotional fervour, faith and sincerity. Large numbers of our Sai family have dedicated long hours and many months in learning this sacred Chant. This enthusiasm appears to be in response to a recognition of two important features that our beloved Bhagawan has highlighted for us. One, that individual transformation leading to peace within, contributes immensely to Welfare and Peace in the world. Second, that Sri Rudram is known for its potency in aiding the process of self purification, conferring on us lasting peace, happiness and auspiciousness.

“What man should aspire for is Peace. This is My desire. Everything is contained in peace”. Bhagawan Baba 09/08/2006

Thus with the divine blessings of our sacred Lord Sathya Sai, on the auspicious occasion of Gurupoornima, the 10th Rudra Ekaadhashini Homam and Rudraabhishekam is being conducted at the Sri Balaji Temple in Birmingham, on Saturday the 12th of July between 0830 am and 4.00pm. For the first time in this event, devotees are being offered an opportunity to sit together and perform Abhishekam to individual Shivalingams as part of the Homam. Arrangements have been made for 108 such Abhishekams to be performed on the day. This will no doubt enhance participation for devotees and the spiritual vibrations thereby generated.

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At this juncture, it will be helpful to remind ourselves of the true meaning of the terms Homam or Yagnam, that Bhagawan Baba, our dear Lord, has given us. He says that they do not just mean the ritualistic offering of oblations in fire as a mark of our gratitude to God. But the true Yagna or Homa entails offering oneself to God, to please God and to become worthy of His love. He further explains that any action that we perform, if we offer the fruit thereof to the Lord, it becomes a Yagna. In other words, a true Yagna involves unity of mind, action and words.

Elaborating the significance and rationale behind performing this Yajna, Bhagawan said: “Some learned people may think why large quantities of grain, ghee and other materials are offered in the fire. Can they not be used for serving the poor and the needy?”. He explained the same through an anecdote: A farmer collects large quantities of paddy, immerses them in water, dries and sows it in various parts of the field. Is it right on the part of the farmer to do so? Will it give him good results?...one may ask. One knows very well that at the time of harvest, the farmer reaps double the quantity of what he sowed. In the same manner, Yajnas performed by the priests will surely give good results. Never consider them as waste. The grain and ghee that is offered as worship to God in the sacrificial fire will give results multifold in future. What we have to offer to God are our desires in a spirit of renunciation. If you do so, you will get good results in future.

Let us all join together as fellow pilgrims on the spiritual journey, and offer our gratitude to the Divine in all His Manifested Forms during this Rudra Ekaadhashini Homam. Samastha Lokah Sukhini Bhavanthu. Om Shanthih Shanthih Shanthih

For the power we consume or the water we use, charges have to be paid for their supply. That being the case, do not we owe gratitude to the Divine who has provided the world with air, water and light free? As the beneficiaries of the benefits provided by the five basic elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth), we should show our gratitude to them as manifestations of the Divine. The five elements are the source of five qualities experienced by the five senses: Sound, Touch, Vision, Taste, and Smell. Man makes use of these five elements but shows no gratitude to them. Gratitude should be an essential quality in man.’
SSS Speaks, Volume 14, chapter 52

Dr. Rakendu Suren,
National Spiritual Coordinator, SSSSO UK