Prasanthi Nilayam means 'the abode of highest peace'. It is the main ashram of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, located near the village of Puttaparthi amidst rolling hills, with the river Chitravathi to its east. The valley houses the divine sannidhi (sanctum) of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Sai Kulwant Hall, bhajan mandir, residential complexes, the headquarters of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, its allied institutions.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba spent most of the year in Prasanthi Nilayam, and hence, this hallowed township is the destination for thousands of spiritual aspirants of varied cultures, faiths, races, languages and socio-economic strata from all over the world to behold His divine presence and experience His pure love.
Click below for a virtual tour of places of interest in and around Prasanthi Nilayam.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba delivered a divine discourse on 25th January 1963, to the residents of Prasanthi Nilayam during which He emphasised on how to make the best out of one's stay in Prasanthi Nilayam. The excerpts presented below is an english translation of the Telugu discourse.
"In this Prasanthi Nilayam, certain limits are laid down, certain modes of spending time usefully are recommended by Me. All who come here, whether long-time residents or new arrivals, have to observe them. ...
You have seen Me, stayed here, and heard these discourses. Let Me ask what is the gain? Are you going back unchanged, unaffected? You must pull yourselves up into the purer air of spiritual life, draw yourselves away from slums and by-lanes, and travel on the highway to God. Dwell always on the glory of God; then, you will shine in that glory. Adhere to truth, that is the surest means of removing fear from your heart. Love (Prema) can grow only in the heart watered by truth.
I notice that while your feet are taking you round by force of habit, your tongues blabber about the faults of others, or the price of vegetables, or the dishes you propose to cook for lunch. Before you start on your rounds, which you call Pradakshina, give your mind as dakshina (thanksgiving offering) to the Resident of the temple, the Lord. That is the first thing to do, and perhaps the only thing to do. Making the rounds is not to be taken as prescribed, for loosening the limbs or giving them some exercise.
This Nilayam should not be treated with scant reverence. Make the best use of your stay here. Do not treat this chance lightly. You come spending much money and put yourselves to much trouble to reach here, but you do not bloom as fragrant offerings at the Lord’s feet by learning the spiritual path. The senses have to be curbed into obedient servants of the spirit. For example, I insist on silence. Talk less, and talk low when you must talk.
Do not thrust your sorrows, your needs, your problems into the ears of those who have come here with their own bundle of such things. They are not interested in adding to their troubles. I am here to listen to you, to console you. Do not by loudness of voice disturb those who are meditating or reading or writing the name of God. All ills are traceable to faulty living.
Meditate if possible, by yourselves, alone; read spiritual books if you can; write the name of the Lord in the quiet of your corner. If you cannot do these, at least do not disturb others who are doing these. Encourage one another to march along the path to God.
Become entitled to the honoured title of devotee. My glory is spread daily through those who call themselves My devotees. Your virtue, your self-control, your detachment, your faith, your steadfastness — these are the signs by which people read of My glory. Not that I want any such prop. But it just happens so, in this world, where people estimate others indirectly rather than directly. Let Me tell you, such devotees are very rare. That is the why I do not address your gathering as, “Dear devotees!” You can lay claim to that title only when you have placed yourself in My hands, fully, completely, with no trace of ego kept back to cater to your vanity."Read More
Sri Sathya Sai Baba has laid down the daily schedule to be followed in the Ashram. Every activity of the Ashram routine is suffused with deep spiritual significance.
See the table below for the Ashram schedule:
Aumkar, Meditation and Suprabhatham
Veda Chanting and Nagar Sankeertan (Circumambulating the Mandir)
Pooja inside the Bhajan Hall (Entry for Devotees will start at 06.25 a.m.)
6.30 a.m. - 07.30 a.m.
8.00 a.m. - 9.00 a.m.
9.00 a.m. - 9.30 a.m.
Darshan of Baba’s Mahasamadhi and Prayer Hall
9.30 a.m. - 10.30 a.m.
4.30 p.m. - 5.15 p.m.
5.15 p.m. - 6.00 p.m.
Darshan of Baba’s Mahasamadhi
6.00 p.m. - 7.00 p.m.
Meditation in Prayer Hall
6.00 p.m. - 6.20 p.m
Extension of Darshan timings: In response to requests by devotees, an additional time slot has been introduced on Sundays to facilitate Darshan of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Sannidhi. Starting from September 7, 2014 (Onam Day), on all Sundays, devotees will be allowed to have Darshan of Baba’s Sannidhi from 4.30 p.m. to 5.00 p.m, in addition to the current Darshan Timings after Bhajans.
Late Evening Aarti: To bring the Sannidhi Darshan to a ceremonial close and enhance the spiritual experience for the devotees, an Aarti is offered at Baba’s Sannidhi on all days towards the close of evening Darshan, since September 4, 2014 onwards. This is in addition to the Aarti offered after evening Bhajans. Devotees will not be permitted to approach the Sannidhi after the last Aarti for the day.
Aumkar is the chanting of ‘Aum’, the primordial sound, also called the ‘Pranava’. The vibrations that emanate from chanting ‘Aum’ have the potency to purify the inner personality of an individual as well as the surrounding environment. That is why the day at Prasanthi Nilayam begins with the chanting of 21 Aumkars.
‘Su’ signifies good, auspicious and ‘Prabhath’ means morning. ‘Suprabhatham’ refers to the morning prayers that are chanted in praise of the Lord to awaken the divinity present within each individual. It is the act of dedicating oneself to the Lord and praying for His blessings right at the start of a new day.
Vedas are ancient spiritual scriptures revealed to great sages and seers while in communion with God. Chanting or listening to these hymns confers spiritual as well as physical benefits. That is why Baba gives a lot of importance to Vedas and encourages everybody to chant these hymns and understand their meaning. The students of Baba chant these hymns in the early hours of the morning while circumambulating the mandir complex, and also during Darshan hours in the morning and afternoon sessions in the mandir.
‘Nagar’ means city or locality and ‘Sankeertan’ means devotional singing. After Suprabhatam, devotees circumambulate the mandir complex while singing devotional songs and clapping their hands keeping beat. It charges the atmosphere with holy vibrations and one begins the day with the name of the Lord on one’s lips.
Bhajans means “Singing aloud the glory of God”. Bhajans in the divine presence of Sri Sathya Sai Baba are unique as they are universal in their scope and appeal and emphasise the unity of faiths.
‘Arati’ is the ritual of waving lighted camphor to the deity to mark the culmination of worship. During Arati, devotees sing a devotional song in praise of the Lord and end with a prayer for universal peace.
A safe deposit locker is made available to overseas devotees at North-8, A-10 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. for storing valuables during their stay in the ashram.
No institution or individual other than the following are authorised to receive any donation inside the Ashram on any account:
Devotees are requested to note that the Trust does not solicit any donation through intermediaries or agents. Individuals, trusts and other bodies soliciting donations on behalf of Sri Sathya Sai Baba or the above-mentioned trusts are doing so illegally. Individuals or Institutions making donations to such unauthorised bodies are doing so at their own risk, and the above-mentioned trusts are not responsible for their acts.
Devotees are also required to beware of touts who collect money inside the ashram for any of the ashram services. Devotees are not required to pay to anyone inside the Ashram except for services like accommodation, food, etc. at the respective offices and canteens.
The Government of India has amended the schedule to the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act 1950 to include the following as protected names and emblems under the said Act:
In view of the above, no person shall use or continue to use for the purpose of any trade, business, calling or profession or any patent, trademark or design the aforementioned protected names / emblems or any colourable imitation thereof without the previous written permission of the Central Government. Any person who contravenes the above is liable to be proceeded against and punished under the provisions of the law.
Any person who is using the aforementioned names and emblem in contravention of the provisions of the Act is hereby notified and required to cease and desist from using the said names/emblems with effect from: 22nd July 2004.
Calculators and Electronic Items
Alarm Clocks & Torches
Cosmetics & Sprays
Firearms & Sharp Objects
Cigarettes, Drugs, Paan Masala & Lighters
Candles Matches & Incense
Big Bags & Hand Bags
MP3 Players & Tablets
Puja Materials & Coconuts/Oil
Food, Alcohol & Soft Drinks
Tetra Packs & Flasks
Open Cushion Covers
Pen drives, Cassettes, CDs
Non-spiritual / Non-study Books
Battery operated Toys