The coastal regions of the State of Orissa faced the fury of the floods during the third week of
September 2008. More than 6,000 villages in 18 districts of Orissa were marooned in floods, leaving
about 40 lakh people homeless. The devastating floods caused untold misery to many people in the
districts of Cuttack, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapura. On 7th October 2008, the sacred day of
Ayudha Puja during the Dasara celebrations, Sri V. Srinivasan, All India President, Sri Sathya Sai
Organisations announced that Bhagawan in His infinite compassion was going to build concrete houses
for those rendered homeless by the floods.
As part of Sri Rama Navami celebrations, on 2nd April 2009, 320 gents and ladies, who are the
beneficiaries to this divine act of grace, came over to Prasanthi Nilayam showing gratitude to
Bhagawan. Bhagawan on this occasion blessed the villagers with clothes; as their names were
announced, the villagers received this gift with gratitude after offering their salutations to
Sri Rama Navami
of Clothes and Cultural Programme by Orissa
April 02, 2009
Bhagawan came to the Hall at 4.50 p.m. At the outset, the State President of Sri Sathya Sai
Organisation, Orissa gave a brief speech expressing his gratitude to Bhagawan for this benign act of
grace. The programme for the evening started with three youth blowing conches and offering their
obeisance to Bhagawan. This was followed by “Pala” (traditional and intellectual form of musical
programme based on the theme of Indian mythologies and scriptures). The theme of Pala was the relief
and rehabilitation of the flood-affected villagers of Orissa. The performance of the youth with
cymbals and drum beats and pithy statements enthralled one and all. At the end of their performance,
Bhagawan blessed the lead artiste with a gold chain.
This was followed by a play “Shabari Ki Pratikshya” based on the episode of Shabari Moksha
(liberation) from the Ramayana.
The scene opens with tribals breaking into dance and music on the eve of Shabari’s wedding ceremony.
Having been exposed to the sacred vibrations of Mantras chanted in the Ashram of Sage Matanga, she
was leading a Satwic life with vegetarian habits. Naturally, she disapproved of the inhuman and
barbaric custom of an innocent creature’s sacrifice before the deity of the tribe as part of the
marriage ritual. She ran away from home into the forest cancelling her marriage. Being a girl she
was forbidden to enter an Ashram, but after hiding behind, listening to discourses and performance
of spiritual practices, she was blessed by Matanga Maharishi to stay in his Ashram. The Rishi
revealed to her that one day she would be blessed with Sri Rama’s Darshan.
Time and years rolled by; she went through the daily routine of clearing the pathway to the Ashram.
But there was no sight of the Divine personality. She collected fruits and tubers everyday awaiting
the Lord to the Ashram. As age took its toll over her, she became weak and emaciated, but
steadfastly continued the daily practice.
Due to her sincere prayers and pure heart, the Lord finally visits her Ashram. Feeling electrified
and emotionally charged she welcomes them to sanctify the Ashram premises with their Divine
presence. Being overwhelmed, she offers the sweet fruits though she has bitten and tongued them. The
Lord who is pleased with Shabari’s devotion relishes the fruits and blesses Shabari. She demeans
herself by saying that she is a dunce and does not know the ways and means to worship the Lord. Lord
Rama consoles her lovingly and gets immersed in the ocean of joy, impressed by her pure, unsullied
and selfless love. She falls at His Feet saying that she does not want to live any more, since the
consummation of her life has been achieved. Bhakta Shabari attains Moksha (liberation) and merges
with the Lord.
At the end of the performance, Bhagawan blessed the artistes by going amidst them and getting
Himself photographed. Then Prasadam was distributed to the artistes and the devotees. Arati was
offered to Bhagawan at 6.45 p.m. after which Bhagawan retired for the day.
Sri Rama Navami was celebrated at Prasanthi Nilayam on 3rd April 2009 with all its religious
fervour. The Hall was beautifully decked up for the occasion. The beneficiaries who were to receive
the keys of houses were seated in the central part of the Hall. Banners heralding the function were
displayed at vantage points in the Hall. “Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. Orissa Flood Rehabilitation
Housing Project. Allotment of Houses to Beneficiaries by Divine Hands” was the message in the
banners. Maps containing the regions where the houses are built were placed in important locations
in the Hall.
Distribution of Keys and other
articles for daily use to the Orissa Beneficiaries
Morning, April 03, 200
Bhagawan came to the Hall in His golden-hued robe at 9.20 a.m. to the accompaniment of Vedic chants.
Under Bhagawan’s direct supervision, keys for the houses were distributed to the beneficiaries.
Utensils and other articles of daily use, Bhagawan’s photograph were also distributed. As the
distribution of these items was in progress, students chanted Vedas in the background. Prasadam was
distributed to all at the end. The proceedings for the morning session concluded with Arati to
Bhagawan at 10.20 a.m.
On the afternoon of 3rd April 2009, there was a programme of speeches and to top it all, Bhagawan
gave his nectarous discourse to the delight of everyone. Bhagawan came to Sai Kulwant Hall at 4.55
p.m. At the outset, Sri V. Srinivasan, All India President, Sri Sathya Sai Organisations offered His
salutations to Bhagawan. He also extended his greetings to all on this holy day of Sri Rama Navami.
Sri Srinivasan said that the last two days were Bhagawan’s veritable flood of love to the
flood-affected victims of Orissa who had gathered in Prasanthi Nilayam to receive the keys of
newly-built houses. Referring to a line in a Bhajan, “Prem Ki Behati Dhara …” (flow of stream of
love), the learned speaker said that the beneficiaries were experiencing Bhagawan’s love and
compassion in abundant measure. He then introduced the two speakers for the day, Dr. Ramesh Chandra
Panda – senior IAS officer from Tamil Nadu cadre. He has held posts in the department of agriculture
and rural development. Presently, he is in Delhi, holding a post of the Central Government. The next
speaker Sri R. Kondal Rao, formerly chief engineer in the Panchayat department of Andhra Pradesh. He
still holds the post of technical advisor to the Government of Andhra Pradesh. He has been
associated with the various water projects of Bhagawan and now he is participating in the housing
project of Bhagawan in Orissa.
Dr. Ramesh Chandra Panda began his speech by offering his obeisance at the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan,
the Guru of gurus - Gurur-Brahma Gurur-Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheswara; Guru Sakshat Param Brahma
Thasmai Sri Gurave Namaha (Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Maheswara. Guru is verily the
supreme Brahman. So, salutations to the Guru). The erudite speaker said at the outset that he is a
humble instrument to transmit Bhagawan’s message to the beneficiaries, so he would speak in Oriya,
the language of the people of Orissa, with explicit permission from Bhagawan. Bhagawan has taken up
many humanitarian projects like providing high quality free education, drinking water projects,
hospitals providing tertiary care completely free of cost, home for the destitute, etc, said Sri
Panda. The speaker said that students in His educational institutions practise Bhagawan’s precept,
Education is not for a mere living,
Speeches and Divine Discourse
Evening, April 03, 2009
but for leading a good life. Bhagawan has provided water to the
city of Chennai which was facing water scarcity for most part of the year, now it is getting copious
amount of water for 24 hours a day. He said, Love All, Serve All is the motto of the Sai
Organisation. Calling the housing rehabilitation project in Orissa a unique one, out of the total
number of beneficiaries, 20% of them are women, the speaker said. Sri Panda concluded his speech
with the axiom, Twameva Mathacha Pitha Twameva, Twameva Bandhuscha Sakha Twameva, Twameva Vidya
Dravinam Twameva, Twameva Sarvam Mama Devadeva. (Oh Lord! You alone are my father and mother, friend
and relation, wisdom and wealth. You are my everything).
Sri R. Kondal Rao began his speech by offering his reverential salutations to Bhagawan. He expressed
his gratitude to Bhagavan on being giving the opportunity to speak on the holy occasion of Sri Rama
Navami. Sri Kondal Rao gave the reasons for the large scale destruction in the State of Orissa
because of the floods. About 15 lakh cusecs flowed from the river Mahanadi due to the torrential
rains whereas its capacity was only 10 lakh cusecs. As a result, the river breached its barriers and
entered human habitations. More than 50,000 houses were washed away by the floods. Sri Sathya Sai
Seva Organisation, Orissa quickly swung into action by providing cooked food and medical relief to
affected people. They had to travel even in boats to inaccessible places. When Bhagawan saw the
photographs of large scale destruction of houses, He immediately wanted concrete houses to be
constructed for the victims. A team comprising Sri V. Srinivasan, Sri A. Ramakrishna and Sri R.
Kondal Rao was sent by Bhagawan to assess the damage on 19th October 2008. The team toured and
finalised 14 villages for this project. The Government of Orissa was requested to provide sites for
construction in some places. Good concrete houses are built at a higher level from the ground on
Bhagawan’s direction so that water does not enter the houses in case of future floods. On 30th
November 2008, the construction work started in the villages. Bhagawan has also directed that
construction of houses should be done at a faster pace. The speaker also said that Bhagawan is
getting classrooms constructed for schools where it is damaged. Proper drinking water is also
provided to these houses. Sri Kondal Rao concluded his speech by saying that it was only Bhagawan’s
grace which has helped them to do this work.
Sweeter than sugar, tastier than curd, sweeter indeed than honey is the Name of Rama. Constant
repetition of this sweet Name gives one the taste of divine nectar itself. Therefore, one should
contemplate on the Name of Rama incessantly. (Telugu Poem)
Bharat is the motherland of many noble souls who earned great name and fame in all the continents of
the world. This is the land of valorous people who vanquished foreign rulers and attained
independence. This is the land which excelled in music, literature and other fine arts. Having been
born in this great land of Bharat, oh boys and girls, it is your sacred duty to protect its rich
From the very birth, there are no children in this land of Bharat who do not chant God’s name.
Children are given names of God so that parents get an opportunity to remember the name of God. In
this land of Bharat there is no village without a temple. From times immemorial, this land has given
importance to spirituality. If the Bharatiyas are happy and leading a secure life, it is due to
their spiritual way of life.
Every Bharatiya has self-confidence. They may be poor, but youngsters in this land have come up in
their life by studying even under streetlights.
Whether the adversities come in the form of explosion of bombs or floods, Bharatiyas depend on God.
If you depend on God, you will not face difficulties. Miseries and difficulties are like passing
clouds, they come and go.
Dasaratha had three wives – Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi. A daughter was born to Kausalya, but a
daughter cannot be crowned as heir to the throne. Dasaratha and Kausalya gave away the daughter to
Sage Rishyasringa. He taught her all kinds of education. As there was no male child in the family
who could ascend the throne, Sumanthara and other ministers asked Dasaratha to perform Putra Kamesti
Yaga. They thought only Rishyasringa was competent to perform the Yaga. During the performance of
Yaga, a divine being emerged from the sacrificial fire and handed over a vessel containing Payasam
(pudding). This was to be equally distributed between his three wives. They were supposed to partake
of the pudding after having a bath. As Sumitra was drying her hair in the terrace, she kept the
pudding in the parapet wall. Suddenly an eagle swooped down and carried the pudding in its claws.
Sumitra was fear-stricken since she was afraid of facing Dasaratha. When she related this incident
to Kausalya, she readily agreed to share half of her bowl of pudding. Kaikeyi too did the same.
Kausalya gave birth to Rama and Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharata, but Sumitra gave birth to twins –
Lakshmana and Satrughna. Sumitra faced a predicament; Lakshmana and Satrughna were always crying.
She could not find out the reason for this. In spite of resorting to many incantations and Mantras,
they never stopped crying. When Vasishtha, the family priest was asked the reason, he told her to
place Lakshmana by the side of Rama and Satrughna by the side of Bharata. When this was done, both
Lakshmana and Satrughna slept peacefully. The reason was Lakshmana was born after partaking of half
of the pudding given by Kausalya and Satrughna was born after partaking half of the pudding of
In the Ramayana, we do not find Sumitra and Lakshmana’s consort Urmila being given prominence. When
Lakshmana came to take leave of Urmila, she told him that he should never think of her in the
forest. He should serve Rama always. Even a thought of her should not interrupt his service to Rama.
Such was the nobility of Urmila.
Lanka was 100 miles away, but Hanuman could cross the ocean uttering the name of Rama.
The demon king Ravana abducted Sita. In the battle, Lakshmana fell unconscious. It is then that Rama
declared, “I can even live without Sita, but not without Lakshmana.” One of the demons advised that
Lakshmana could be saved by rubbing the Sanjivini (a medicine that had a divine cure) on his body.
Hanuman was sent to bring the Sanjivini. As Hanuman could not locate the Sanjivini, he uprooted the
whole mountain and brought it to Rama. When the Sanjivini was applied on Lakshmana, he regained
Rama was ever blissful. The name of Rama which is sweeter than sugar, tastier than curd and honey
should be chanted always.
The five human values, namely, Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa are very important. One who
cultivates these five human values is a true human being. Even if one of them is missing, he / she
cannot be called a true human.
When we have love in our heart, nobody will hate us. Therefore, develop love and live like brothers
and sisters. This is the essence of Ramayana. What Swami has done in Orissa is to demonstrate this
truth, the propagation of love. All of us should be united.
Let us all move together, let us all grow together,
Let us all stay united and grow in intelligence together,
Let us live together with friendship and harmony. (Telugu Poem)
Whether you are in Ashram or anywhere else, do not have a sense of hatred. It is love which unites
Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, “Prema Mudita Manase Kaho Rama Rama Ram …”
After the distribution of Prasadam, Arati was offered to Bhagawan at 7 p.m. Thus, concluded the Sri
Rama Navami celebrations at Prasanthi Nilayam.
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