Aum Sai Ram,
There are many questions regarding the reading or Parayan of Shri Sai SatCharitra. First let us take a look at What is Parayanam and why Sai SatCharitra Parayan?
Parayan is reading of a sacred or holy book in a set number of days. Mostly Sapthah (completing the reading of book in a week) is done. More or less period of time can also be devoted.
Normally books are source of information. When ever we need any information, books has been and is a very reliable source. Though today another alternative internet is also used much for gathering or obtaining information. Websites and blogs are also in the list to obtain any information we need.
There are certain sacred books or holy books which have a totally different quality. These holy or sacred books are not just information providing books. These books have a quality of grace in them. You might read two post already on this subject about Sai SatCharitra and Gospel of Ramakrishna on this blog for the same. These sacred books awakens the spiritual consciousness within us or what is called chaitanya shakti in Sanskrit or Hindi. That is the reason this books have to reread again and again. If we talk about Sai SatCharitra. Every time we read the book is like spending time with Sai Baba or Sai Baba's divine love and grace. So let's keep this in mind and make it a love affair or devotional affair with Sai Baba, rather than getting the sense of heaviness or duty. Words are like heaviness and duty are purposely used as lot of devotees gets themselves burdened for parayan of Sai SatCharitra. It's ironic to make this topic a burden while it is there for removing the burden.
Mostly Sai SatCharitra parayan is done to get free from troubles. Once we have taken this human body, problems, troubles and trials are inevitable. Even Sai Baba, went thorugh troubles and goes through troubles, who is well known for removing troubles and burdens. So mostly when people find themselves in some sort of problem or trouble, when some kind of insecurity gets hold on to them. They read Sai SatCharitra or some devotee recommends the parayan of Shri SaiSatCharitra to get free. So many devotees has found that this remedy works. Just give your problems to Sai Baba and to the parayan of Sai SatCharitra. Suppose some problem is getting on your head and heart. It troubles a lot. Just start a parayan of Shri Sai SatCharitra, surrender your problem to Sai Baba (Do follow this link on left side). Just give your problem to Sai Bab or divine ,and don't suggest a solution from your side. Sai Baba or divine grace knows more about the problem and it's solution. Our solution may not be the right one. So leave it to the divine intelligence rather than using our own limited intelligence, which is in trouble any way. And how can a troubled mind have a right answer or solution to a problem?
Now it is a common fact that we human do not like to go through agony, insecurities, disturbances. So in adverse condition, to seek the freedom from all of the above things we seek refuge in Sai SatCharitra parayan.
Should we forget the parayan of sacred book or holy book, once we are free form the problem? As stated above Sai SatCharitra is one of the few rare books on earth that has the quality of divine grace. When read again and again it gives new meanings of life and devotion. Our spiritual understanding reveals itself when read again and again.
While we read this book certain words and messages penetrate our mind and heart. That particular message is what we need most at this stage. Many devotees unaware of the quality of the sacred book and getting overwhelmed by the needed message underline those messages. This is a mistake. We are in procces of evolution of understanding. So do not underline sacred or holy books. After a year there will be new messages which you don't notice now, but will have much significance at that time. So leave the book as it is, the divine grace underlines the needed message at different times and different points of life.
So it should be done on regular basis. Even reading of Sai SatCharitra's one chapter a day (parayan in 51 days) should at least be done. As we read it, the love towards the book increases. Then the grace from the book itself acts as a magnet and we read it and enjoy the company of the book.
Also when everything seems to right in our life. There is joy and festivity. In this time we should read the Sai SatCharitra and share and surrender our joys to Baba's grace. We should seek freedom from these enjoyments as we seek freedom from the pains. Because the divine joy is beyond both the worldly joy, joy of senses and worldly pain, pain of senses and mind. And seek for the divine Bliss.
I have been getting many mails asking questions about Sai SatCharitra parayan.
Few of them are stated below
please tell me the correct procedure of doing parayans and after its completion can we start again if yes then how much time duration required for next start?
Do we need to fast during the Sai SatCharitra parayan?
Can I read Sai SatCharitra in office ?
Should Sai SatCharitra parayan be done in temple or in front of Sai Baba's image or picture?
Which are the auspicious days and or times we should read Sai SatCharitra?
For procedure of Sai satcharitra first reading about Sai SatCharitra and ways of worshiping Sai Baba will be of much help.
Basically there is no super highway or one correct procedure for the prayan of Sai SatCharitra. If we consider it as time spent with Sai Baba and we are reading it for the divine love. Divine love does not have any procedure. Do a mother asks a procedure to love her child? Do a lover asks a procedure for spending the time with beloved? No love itself guides. So let the love guide.
Below however are some points that may be helpful in beginning, as love develops those things might fall away on their own.
1. Since the book is sacred and should be considered as Sai Baba himself. We can worship Baba and the book (Sai SatCharitra) before starting the parayan. Light the oil lamps and aggarbatti (incense stick) Ask for the divine love and grace to remove the obstacles.
2. Reading the book at the place of worship. In the temple. In Shirdi prayan hall, is better as the divine vibrations in that places gives additional force. But these opportunities have to grabbed when we have them. Otherwise reading the book wherever we are also has great significance.
3. Fasting during the parayan. In Sai SatCharitra Sai Baba himself never suggested to fast(remaining hungry or eating specific food like fruits and faral) . If the hunger of stomach is knocking on the doors of mind, how can we put our awareness on divine energy. The Sanskrit word for fast is upvaas. If we look for the meaning or explanation of upvaas, it consists of two words. Up (pronounced oop) meaning near and vaas meaning staying or residing. So when one is near God or divine or one stays near the God or divine grace, it means upvaas. So reading of Sai SatCharitra itself is upvaas. When one is in deep love or even deep pain (eg when some close relative or loved one dies) there is no apptitude for food. One does not feel like eating. So if we are looking for upvaas or fasting let it be through deep love. Let us pray for the divine love so deep that thought for eating food does not come to our mind for long periods of time. In chapter 32 of Shri Sai SatCharitra Sai Baba himself describes this state.
"All my sense-organs, including the mind, had left their places and and come to stay in my eyes alone, for the purpose of meditating on Guru."So this is the state of upvaas. Not just the hunger but all sense-organs with the help of grace leave their places. Even the most subtle sense organ the mind is stunned and ceases to the bliss of divine presence. It is a state that can never be described. We have to reach that state of speechless silence. And prayans of Sai SatCharitra and asking for Sai Baba's grace for that Sat Chit Anand will certainly help.
"When thus meditating on the form of Guru, the working of the intellect ceases. Therefore ultimately, only make an obeisance to Him, observing speechless silence."
About remaining hungry and not real upvaas in the same chapter 34 of Shri Sai SatCharitra it says.
" If the bodily organs do not receive morsels of food they become enfeebled and forget to function efficiently."
"Unless the hunger is appeased with food, how can the eyes find God? How can the tongue sing His praises? And the ears hear them?"
" In Short, only when all the bodily organs have the strength can God be worshiped properly. But when they become emaciated for the want of food, they cannot progress towards the spiritual goal."
And soon a warning follows
" But eating in excess is not beneficial, either.Eating in moderation is what benefits truly. Fasting immoderately always brings on great sufferings."There are certain days on which the spiritual activities gets a great wind. So auspicious days suggested in Hinuism like RamNavmi, Gurupoornima, Dassera, Shivratri and such should be spent in as much reading as we can. Also early morning hours (sunrise time) and evening (sunset time) are more ideal. But that does not mean we should wait for these days and times. Like a true lover anytime is best to be with the beloved.
After the parayan is complete Aarti of Sai Baba is done. The prasad is distributed. Many a times poor and hungry or hungry animals are fed which so dear to Sai Baba.
Any question left out. Kindly put your questions in the comments of this post.
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