While all the wings simultaneously serve the spiritual needs of both the individual and society, as they are inextricably linked, the service and education wings more obviously focus on the needs of society, while the devotional wing caters to each individual’s heart to heart connectivity. This wing helps nurture the inner self of all members through group activities such as devotional singing, study circles, public lectures, seminars and meditation.
Group Devotional Singing (Bhajans)
Baba has taught that loving vibrations charge the atmosphere when engaged in group singing of the names of the Lord. This powerful activity trains, expands, and ultimately helps to transcend the mind for both the singers and listeners. It induces one to experience the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness of one’s own Divine Self.
Baba has emphasized the light meditation technique as a simple, powerful means to connect to our inner Divine Self. Members are encouraged to meditate daily as part of the nine-point code of conduct. Also, Baba has recommended all group devotional singing sessions have time dedicated for group meditation.
Retreats offer us time step back from the course of our daily lives and enter a world where we can reflect on our life’s true purpose, where we can realign and rededicate our spiritual journey with renewed fervor. An atmosphere of tranquility and learning, as can be found in Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi is emulated. Activities of group devotional singing, prayer, meditation, musical programs, plays, and practical workshops and talks led by esteemed fellow aspirants unites and inspires us to practice the teachings of ‘Love All, Serve All’ and ‘Help Ever, Hurt Ever’.
Study Circle and the Study of Sai Literature
Just as group singing is a powerful means to open our hearts to our inner divinity, group study also helps accelerate the blossoming of our inner divinity via the development of our discrimination to guide teachings into proper practice. Baba explains in conversations with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba by Dr. John S. Hislop: “What is a Study Circle? It is not just reading books. Each person gives their point of view, and finally values are derived from this. If there is just reading there is doubt. But if each one gives his view, doubts will be answered. The study circle looks at different facets. It is like a diamond with its different facets, but there is one facet that is flat, the top facet, and from this all can be viewed. To discover the top facet is the task of the study circle.”
The goal of studying Sai Literature is to enhance our journey from self to Self – to awaken to our own true Divine Self. This path of Self-Transformation is facilitated by a proper plan of study, guided by both self and group study, progressing first from reading and listening, followed by reflecting upon what has been absorbed, and finally with assimilating and applying the teachings into every aspect of our lives. Quotes regarding Study Circle are presented in the Appendix