All About Sri Sai Satcharitra Parayan
“Many a time devotees are writing about Mahima and power of Sri Sai SatCharitra and they are mentioning about weekly Parayan .Many mails come to me asking for what is Sai Satcharitra Parayan and what is the procedure to do it ?Instead of replying individual mail I decided to write a post on this so that each devotee who is new to Sai Satcharitra reading or parayan can understand better from this post
Whatever I am going to write about Sai Satcharitra Parayan is what I have read ,heard and I am myself following, so if any devotee who finds it different than what they are doing are welcome to suggest or add value to the already posted article.
Like everyone has their own way of worshipping their deity similarly reading Sai Satcharitra and doing its Parayan or weekly Parayan is also an individual choice. Baba did not like rituals, and whatever I am writing is good practice or suggested practice.
I shall be writing common method what Sai devotees generally follow .Along with this I am also attaching the authentic details and references from Sai Satcharitra which can be taken as golden words/rule and can be followed and understood by new readers for Sai Satcharitra reading.
Before writing in detail about Parayan I shall like to mention i for new readers how Sai Satcharitra came into existence and how it was blessed by Baba HIMSELF to Hemadpant.
The complete detail about the same can be read from Sai Satcharitra book chapter 2 and 3 .Here I have extracted few related details for direct and better understanding of the devotees in 9 points.
After this I shall explain how Parayan/weekly Parayan(Saptah) should be done and finally the benefit of reading Sai Satcharitra ,prayer to Lord Sai ,followed by Prasad Yachna (Offering of Prasad.) Jai Sai Ram .
1. When Hemadpant(writer of Sri Sai Satcharitra) heard miracles of Sai Baba the delight he got, burst forth into poetic work. Hemandpant thought, that the description of these grand miracles of Sai Baba would be interesting, and instructive to His devotees; and would remove their sins, and so he began to write the sacred life and teachings of Sai Baba.
2. Hemadpant thought that he was not a fit person to undertake the work. He said, “I do not know the life of my intimate friend nor do I know my own mind, then how can I write the life of a saint or describe the nature of Incarnations, which even the Vedas were unable to do? One must be a saint himself, before he could know other saints, then how can I describe their glory? To write the life of a saint is the most difficult. He knew, that this was the most venturous undertaking, which might expose him to ridicule. He, therefore, invoked Sai Baba’s grace.
3. Many books and magazine were being written on Sai Baba during that time.Then the question of objection came in, that while so many works regarding Sai Baba were extant, why should this (Satcharita) be written? And where is its necessity? The answer came plain and simple. The life of Sai Baba is as wide and deep as the infinite ocean; and all can dive deep into the same and take out precious gems (of knowledge and Bhakti), and distribute them to the aspiring public. The stories, parables, and teachings of Sai Baba are very wonderful. They will give peace and happiness to the people, who are afflicted with sorrows and heavily loaded with miseries of this worldly existence, and also bestow knowledge and wisdom, both in the worldly and in spiritual domains. If these teachings of Sai Baba, which are as interesting and instructive as the Vedic lore, are listened to and meditated upon, the devotees will get, what they long for, viz., union with Brahman, mastery in eight-fold Yoga, Bliss of meditation etc.
4. So Hemandpant thought that he should call these stories together that would be his best Upasana. This collection would be most delightful to those simple souls, whose eyes were not blessed with Sai Baba’s darshana. So, he set about collecting Sai Baba’s teachings and expressions – the outcome of His boundless and natural self-realization. It was Sai Baba, who inspired him in this matter; in fact, Hemandpant surrendered his ego at Baba’s feet, and thought that his path was clear; and that Baba would make him quite happy here, and in the next world.
- Hemandpant could not ask Sai Baba to give him permission for this work; so he requested Mr. Madhavrao Deshpande alias Shama, Baba’s most intimate devotee, to speak to Him.. He pleaded for Hemandpant’s cause and said to Sai Baba, “This Annasaheb wishes to write Your biography, don’t say that You are a poor begging Fakir, and there is no necessity to write it, but if You agree and help him, he will write or rather, Your feet (grace) will accomplish the work. Without Your consent and blessing, nothing can be done successfully.” When Sai Baba heard this request, He was moved and blessed Hemandpant by giving him His Udi (sacred ashes) and placing His boon-bestowing hand on his head said :- “Let him make a collection of stories and experiences, keep notes and memos; I will help him. He is only an outward instrument. I should write Myself My autobiography and satisfy the wishes of My devotees. He should get rid of his ego, place (or surrender) it at My feet. He who acts like this in life, him I help the most. What of My life-stories? I serve him in his house in all possible ways. When his ego is completely annihilated and there is left no trace of it, I Myself shall enter into him and shall Myself write My own life. Hearing my stories and teachings will create faith in devotees’ hearts and they will easily get self – realization and Bliss; let there be no insistence on establishing one’s own view, no attempt to refute other’s opinions, no discussions of pros and cons of any subject.”
6. Sai Baba gave His complete assent to the writing of the Sat-Charita to Hemandpant and said, “I fully agree with you regarding the writing of Sat Charita. You do your duty, don’t be afraid in the least, steady your mind and have faith in My words. If My Leelas are written, the Avidya (nescience) will vanish and if they are attentively, and devoutly listened to, the consciousness of the worldly existence will abate, and strong waves of devotion, and love will rise up and if one dives deep into My Leelas, he would get precious jewels of knowledge.”
7. Hearing this, author was much pleased, and he at once became fearless and confident, and thought that work was bound to be a success. Then turning to Shama (Madhavrao Deshpande) Sai Baba said. “If a man utters My name with love, I shall fulfill all his wishes, increase his devotion. And if he sings earnestly My life and My deeds, him I shall beset in front and back and on all sides. Those devotees, who are attached to Me, heart and soul, will naturally feel happiness, when they hear these stories. Believe Me that if anybody sings My Leelas, I will give him infinite joy and everlasting contentment. It is My special characteristic to free any person, who surrenders completely to Me, and who does worship Me faithfully, and who remembers Me, and meditates on Me constantly. How can they be conscious of worldly objects and sensations, who utter My name, who worship Me, who think of My stories and My life and who thus always remember Me? I shall draw out My devotees from the jaws of Death. If My stories are listened to, all the diseases will be got rid of. So, hear My stories with respect; and think and meditate on them, assimilate them. This is the way of happiness and contentment. The pride and egoism of My devotees will vanish, the mind of the hearers will be set at rest; and if it has wholehearted and complete faith, it will be one with Supreme Consciousness. The simple remembrance of My name as ‘Sai, Sai’ will do away with sins of speech and hearing”.
8. The Lord entrusts different works to different devotees. Some are given the work of building temples and maths, or ghats (flight of steps) on rivers; some are made to sing the glories of God; some are sent on pilgrimages; but to me(Hemadpant) was allotted the work of writing the Sai SatCharita. Being a jack-of-all-trades but master of none, Hemandpant was quite unqualified for this job. Then why should he undertake such a difficult job? Who can describe the true life of Sai Baba? Sai Baba’s grace alone can enable one to accomplish this difficult work. So, when he took up the pen in his hand, Sai Baba took away his egoism and wrote Himself His stories. The credit of relating these stories, therefore, goes to Him (Sai Baba)and not to me says Hemandpant . Hemandpants says “though Brahmin by birth, I lacked the two eyes. (i.e. the sight or vision) of Shruti and Smriti and therefore was not at all capable of writing the Sai Sat-Charita, but the grace of the Lord makes a dumb man talk, enables a lame man to cross a mountain. He alone knows the knack of getting things done, as He likes.
9. Light houses are constructed at various places in the sea, to enable the boatmen to avoid rocks and dangers, and make them sail safely. Sai Baba’s stories serve a similar purpose in the ocean of worldly existence. They surpass nectar in sweetness, and make our worldly path smooth and easy to traverse. Blessed are the stories of the saints. When they enter our hearts through the ears, the body – consciousness or egoism and the sense of duality vanish; and when they are stored in the heart, doubts fly out to all sides, pride of the body will fall, and wisdom will be stored in abundance. The description of Baba’s pure fame, and the hearing of the same, with love, will destroy the sins of the devotee and, therefore, this is the simple Sadhana for attaining salvation. The Sadhana for Krita Age was Shamadama (tranquillity of mind and body), for Treta Age, sacrifice, for Dwapara, worship, and for Kali (present) Age, it is singing of the name and glory of the Lord. This last Sadhana is open to all the people of the four varnas (Brahmins, etc.). The other Sadhanas, viz. Yoga, Yagya (sacrifice), Dhyana (meditation) and Dharana (concentration) are very difficult to practice, but singing and hearing the stories and the glory of the Lord (Sai Baba) is very easy. We have only to turn our attention towards them. The listening and singing of the stories will remove the attachment to the senses and their objects, and will make the devotees dispassionate, and will ultimately lead them to self-realization. With this end in view, Sai Baba made Hemandpant or helped Hamandpant to write His stories, Sri Sat-Charitamrita. The devotees may now easily read and hear these stories of Sai Baba and while doing so, meditate on Him, His form and thus attain devotion to Guru and God (Sai Baba), get detachment and self-realization. In the preparation and writing of this work, Sat-Charitamrita, it is Sai Baba’s grace which has accomplished everything, making use of (Me)Hemandpant as a mere instrument.
Reasons for Reading Sai Satcharitra :
Devotee’s can do Sai Satcharitra parayan(reading )/Saptah Parayan(weekly reading ) for any of the following reason .If the complete book is read in one weeks time it is said to fulfill the desire of the reader .These can be:
1. Getting some wish or desire being fulfilled by Sai Maharaj
2. Treatment of ailment, health issue, progeny or related problem.
3. Seeking grace of Baba in removing the Problem or worries which are surrounding the bhakta.
4. For good education/knowledge/focus in studies /Sai Baba’s grace in studies – by student, for securing good result.
5. For employment, interview and job.
6. Financial, material, emotional, family and relationship related issues.
7. Out of love and devotion to Sadguru Sainath
8. For grace of Guru in attaining salvation, success in path of self –realization, spiritual upliftment.
9. To overcome pride, egoism, control over worldly objects and sensations.
10.For betterment in life, peace and happiness.
The above list is not exhaustive but only indicative. Parayan can fulfill any wish the devotee desires.….
But the fruit of Sai Satcharitra Parayan and its success purely depends on Baba’s Grace .He is capable of seeing the worth of devotee, his motive, his devotion ,His faith and His past ,present –future. Just mere reading of the holy book with intention of getting desired result may not be blessed by Baba .Not only this, sometime even after reading the result is not achieved ,in this case devotees should not be disheartened .Baba is the ultimate doer and what He shall bless shall be the best for the devotee. To be precise, when the devotees start the Parayan /weekly Parayan they should completely surrender the result at the Holy feet of Baba and Baba shall bless each according to His Prarabdh or worthiness.
Dear devotees there is no hard and fast rule in following these procedure .All Baba want is love and he did not believe in outward rituals .If the devotees have firm faith in Baba ,parayan shall have its result.
1. Devotees who wish to do weekly Parayan(Saptah) (complete the full book Sri Sai Satcharitra in 7 days) should start reading the book from Thursday .
2.After taking bath ,cleaning temple (home temple), lighting Diya ,Incense stick ,applying Baba’s sacred Udi should start the reading of Sri Sai Satcharitra.(called as Saptah Parayan)with complete devotion and faith in Baba.(If the devotees do not have a puja room, say for example devotees living in hostels, they can sit in a neat place, where there is no disturbance, and start their parayan). Similarly if one is not keeping good health or by any reason cannot take bath or light Diya ,taking Baba’s name they can still read the book .Hence there is no fast rule to follow .
3. Sai Satcharitra has total 51 chapters which can be divided into 7 chapters as per to 7 days and can be read by devotees as per to their convenience i.e. they can read all 7 chapter at one go or they can divide these 7 chapter into 3 chapter in the morning and 4 chapter in the evening. This purely depends on devotees how they wish to read these chapters in a day.
4. The chapters are divided in the following manner for ease of reading and completing in time.
Day 1 Ch 1-6
Day 2 Ch 7-13
Day 3 Ch 14-22
Day 4 Ch 23-28
Day 5 Ch 29-35
Day 6 Ch 36-42
Day 7 Ch 43-51
5. Every day some Prasad or navadiya should be offered to Baba like any fruit, dry fruit, sugar candy, raisins etc as per to convenience of the devotee .There is no hard and fast rule again.
6. By Wednesday evening Sai Satcharitra will complete.
7. After the completion of Sai Satcharitra Prashad (offering ) or Dakshina should be offered to Baba either in home temple or in Sai temple near to their home where they can go . If they cannot go than they can prepare anything at home or get readymade sweat dish and offer to Baba seeking his blessing for the parayan .Here again I would like to mention that it is not necessary if you cannot go or offer than, simple Pranam at Lotus feet of Baba shall also do, being in your own place. Whatever the devotees eat can be offered as food, it can be veg or non veg food. .
The last chapter (epilogue) in Sai Satcharitra which gives complete detail about result of Sai Satcharitra Parayan ,I am attaching here .Devotee shall read this chapter in their Sai Satcharitra Book when they complete the book on the last day .I am giving this particular (last) chapter here so that readers can know the importance of Reading Sai Satcharitra and doing its parayan .
8. Greatness of Sad-guru Sai and reward of reading Sai Satcharitra
We prostrate ourselves before and take refuge in that Sai Samarth Who besets all animate and inanimate things in the universe-from a post to God Brahma, pots, houses, mansions and even sky, Who pervades all creatures equally without any differentiation, to Whom all devotees are alike; and Who knows not honor and dishonors, like or dislike.
If we remember Him and surrender to Him, He fulfills all our desires and makes us attain the goal of life.
This ocean of mundane existence is very hard to cross. Waves of infatuation beat high there against the bank of bad thoughts and break down trees of fortitude. The breeze of egoism blows forcibly and makes the ocean rough and agitated. Crocodiles in the form of anger and hatred move there fearlessly. Eddies in the form of the idea “I and Mine” and other doubts whirl there incessantly and innumerable fishes in the form of censure, hate and jealousy play there, Though this ocean is so fierce and terrible, Sad-guru Sai is its Agasti (Destroyer) and the devotees of Sai have not the least to fear of it. Our Sadguru is the boat, which will safety take us across this ocean.
Now we fall flat before Sai Baba and holding His Feet make the following prayer for the public:- Let not our mind wander and desire anything except Thee. Let this work (Satcharita) be in every house and let it be studied daily. Ward off the calamities of those who study it regularly.
Fala-Shruti (Reward of Study of Sai Satcharitra )
Now a few words about the reward you get, from a study of this work. After bathing in the sacred Godavari and after taking the darshan of the Samadhi in the Samadhi-mandir in Shirdi, you should read or hear the Satcharita. If you do this all your threefold afflictions will vanish.
Casually thinking about the stories of Sai, you will get unconsciously interested in spiritual life and if you then go on through the work with love, all your sins will be destroyed. If you wish to get rid of the cycle of births and deaths, read Sai’s stories and remember Him always; and get yourself attached (devoted) to His Feet.
If you dive into the sea of Sai’s stories, and then give them out to others, you will get an ever-new flavor of them and save the hearers from perdition. If you go on meditating on Sai’s Form, it will in course of time disappear and lead you into self-realization. It is very hard to know or realize the nature of Self or Brahma, but if you approach through the Sugun Brahma (Sai’s Form) your progress will be easy.
If the devotee completely surrenders himself to Him, he will lose his individuality and be merged in Him and be one with Him, as the river in the sea. If you thus become merged with Him in any of the three states, viz., waking, dream and sleep, you get rid of the bond of samsara.
If anybody after bathing reads this with love and faith, and completes it within a week, his calamities will disappear; or if he hears or reads it daily and regularly all his dangers will be warded off. By its study, a man wishing for wealth will get it and a pure trader, success in his life. He will get the reward according to his faith and devotion. Without these, there will be no experience of any kind.
If you read this respectfully, Sai will be pleased, and removing you ignorance and poverty, He will give you knowledge, wealth and prosperity. With concentrated mind, if you read a Chapter daily, it will give you unbounded happiness. One, who has his welfare at heart, should study it carefully and then he will ever remember Sai gratefully and joyfully in birth after birth.
This work should be read at home especially on Guru-Pournima (Ashadha full-moon day), Gokul-Ashtami, Rama-Navami and Dasara (Baba’s anniversary day). If you study this one book carefully, all your desires will be satisfied and if you always remember Sai’s Feet in your heart, you will easily cross the Bhava (Samsar) sagar. By its study, the diseased and sick will get health, the poor wealth, the mean and afflicted prosperity, and the mind will get rid of all ideas and get steadiness.
Dear good and devoted readers and listeners, we also make our bow to you all, and make you a special request. Never forget Him whose stories you have read day by day or month by month. The more fervently you read or listen to these stories, the more encouragement Sai gives us to serve you and be of use to you. Both the author and the readers must co-operate in this work, help each other and be happy.
9. Prasad-Yachana (Offering of Prasad)
We close the with prayer to the Almighty for the following Prasad of favour:- May the readers and devotees get complete and whole-hearted devotion to Sai’s Feet. May His Form be ever fixed in their eyes and may they see Sai (the Lord) in all beings. Amen!
10. When the parayan is complete family members can join together and do Baba’s Aarti and than Prasad offered to Sainath can be distributed to the family members .”
Bow to Shri Sai – Peace be to all