The Lord of Thousand Moons
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Sahasra Poornachandra Darshanam - an overview
Learning Sri Rudram in Rudra's Presence!
23rd Nov... Why is it so special?
A Mirror of the Moon
Everyday is My Birthday
Happy Birthday - Divine Discourse, Nov 23, 1978
Sai tale from Arkansas

Everyday is My Birthday


Y.Arvind, an alumnus of Sri Sathya Sai University passed out in the year 2000 with an MBA degree. He was twice Cultural Champion, Sri Sathya Sai Annual Sports and Cultural meet and has been a Member of Sri Sathya Sai Institute Brass band Prasanthinilayam from 1992 to 1997. He was trained at AIIMS in Operation Theatre Management and perfusion technology and has worked  CTVS OT of SSSIHMS, Whitefield from 2001 to 2006. Currently Sri Aravind is working as Senior Manager, Public Relations at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield, Bangalore. Read on his musings on the concept of Divine Birthday.

It all began as a single thought, years ago, on the eve of a birthday. I was nursing a mug of hot milk seated on my bed, leaning against the wall. I silently mused…

“What is a birthday?”

A voice inside my head answered… unexpectedly.

“Simple question simple answer – a day some one is born.”

That was the obvious answer. What did it really mean?

“What is being born?” I asked the disembodied voice.

“Come on!  Don’t tell me you don’t know it? You come out of a womb, a bundle of flesh and bone, announcing your arrival with a cry. As time goes by, you grow up and every year on the day you were born you celebrate your birthday.”

“Is that all?”

“Well, what else do you expect? A birthday is a celebration of life. A birthday serves to remind you of the most glorious fact — ‘I am alive’.”

“That’s good! The funny part is, I am alive for the rest of the year too! Why don’t I celebrate those days?”

“Nobody’s stopping you from being happy.”

That hit me hard! It was true. Nobody could stop me from being happy. I could either choose to be happy or sad. A circumstance has no attribute of its own. And Swami has often said “Happiness is union with God.”

I was feeling pretty good about my analysis and said, “So if I am happy! If I am able to look at every day as a celebration of being alive, everyday is a birthday.”

“Bhagawan Baba has been saying this all along. He says in almost every one of his Birthday discourses, ‘…don’t wish me happy birthday. My nature is Bliss, I am always in Sat Chit Ananda…’ He is always happy because He is beyond this world. Total commitment, but total detachment.”

“What has that got to do with birthdays?”

“Did you feel bad that your birthday was over and life should be one long party?”

“Well! As I child… Yes.”

What prevents you from celebrating every day, hour, and second?”

“People would think I am crazy.”

“You don’t have to exhibit the celebration, just be happy!”

“You are right! All I need to do is to decide to be happy and I can be happy.”


“But how can I be happy always…?” I said.

“I mean how can I smile when… say there is bereavement in the family?”

“My friend, I said be happy, not show your happiness… In the Sankhya Yoga Lord Krishna advises Arjuna to be equipoised in the face of both joy and sorrow, victory and defeat.”

“But what does it mean to me now?” I was trying to figure out how the qualities of a devotee apply to me and the conversation on birthdays…were we getting derailed or something?

“It means that you can be happy without showing it.”

“Alright, I am beginning to understand that happiness is a reflection of inner peace and unless I achieve that I can never be truly happy.”

“But let's get real here,” I continued. “I am a student. Exams, classes, room-mates…you know where I am heading. It is really tough to focus on inner peace when I am in the middle of mayhem.”

“You are not listening.” The voice was soft and gentle. “Total Commitment, total detachment. Everything Swami takes up He gives His 100% to it.”

“Yes! This is the nishkama karma.”

“Now do you understand? God has come down in human form to teach man how to be human. How many times have you not heard, ‘Children of immortality!’ God wants you to be Happy! That is your true nature. If you treat every moment of your existence as new, fresh, absolutely fresh, it cannot be tainted by the world.”

“You mean I have an inner life and an outer life?”

“You never had an outer life. The world is a reflection of you.”

“I never looked at things this way!”

“Probably that’s why we are talking tonight! In one of His discourses, Bhagawan Baba declared that birthdays are moments of reckoning, a point in Time, to stop and ponder. Where am I going? Where am I supposed to go? Where am I now?

“But having been born do we not have to achieve something in life? Is realisation of one’s true self the only goal in life?”

“I know it’s hard to accept. You have to act, but don’t get attached to it. What you do in this world will not matter much once you are gone. This is a world where you see, hear, feel, smell, and touch; cognise a reality and consider it True. Yet at times you know what your senses tell you is not true.”

“Yes, we call it the sixth sense; intuition.”

“Good! Something that we do not consciously evaluate, judge or even recognise – tells us what really is. With age comes wisdom. The more common expression heard is, ‘You will understand it when you grow up.’ It refers to the evolution of mind than the body. You can choose to be happy or choose to be sad. Choose to grow older or wiser. Now that you are on the path, don’t stop walking. And don’t look back.”

“Now it makes new sense to me.”

“Good, now sleep. Remember, every day is a birthday.”

I drifted off into a slumber and awoke early the next day. It was the birthday of someone really special.
A huge birthday party had been arranged and it was only friends and family, no guests here. I was about to close the doors of my cupboard when I noticed I had not flipped the calendar. I tore off yesterday’s date page and today stared at me. 23rd November.

From where I stood, Sai Kulwant Hall granted me a view of the sea of humanity congregated to have a glimpse of their God.
The powerful chant of the Vedas rent the air. Voices roared in unison, “Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Babaji ki Jai”. A few tense seconds later the orange robed effulgence entered Sai Kulwant hall.

His palm raised in blessing, a lovely smile playing on His lips, eyes full of eternal, inexhaustible love, He moved among his loved ones. One could see the love of the Creator for His Creation. His gaze revitalising, purifying those it touched. His very presence cleansing the soul…

My team and I took up our designated positions. Folded palms rose up in obeisance. “Sahasra seersha purusah, sahasraaksha sahasrapaad”.

And up there from the sanctum a hand waved. The Signal.
I lifted my trumpet and with the rest of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute Brass Band played “Happy birthday to you…” as Swami cut His Birthday Cake.