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Puttparthi update 21st August 2006

Also read: Puttparthi Blog by Mark 22nd August 2006

There were no darshan this morning, Swami didn't come out to a "less packed" Sai Kulwant hall, though many are going back to their respective places still the crowd of devotees is huge. Also, today's bhajans were longer than usual. The Yajna ahuti is out and the same priests will perform the same Yajna in Chennai on Jan. 2007.

There is also a buzz here in the ashram that Swami might leave tomorrow? :-)

The ornamentations of Yajna from gate and other places has been removed. Taxi's have raised their fare prices to Bangalore also the local restaurants are doing good business. All in all an extra ordinary day at puttaparthi surely it is heaven on earth!

Weather: Hot/Humid

PS. By Swami's Grace, I had the good fortune of attending, along
with my mother,the Ati Rudra Maha Yagnam on the last three
days. In a speech by Sri.Vinay Kumar, the fortunate person
whom Swami selected as His instrument to organise the
Yagnam, he said that Swami had Himself selected the place
where the Lingam be placed so that even the last person in
the hall could view the abhishekam done to it.Truely the
Lingam was clearly visible even to those people who were
outside the hall alongside the wall. Swami's planning is
wonderful as Himself. JAI SAIRAM. Suresh
SBOI-Group  ( member)

Prasanthi Bulletin

August 21, 2006

The School of Business Management, Accounting and Finance (SBMAF) at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning is hosting a four-day Management Workshop on 'Financial Services' in connection with their department's anniversary celebrations, from August 21st to the 24th. Bhagawan had blessed the Dean of the SBMAF yesterday, while he presented Bhagawan with the programme sheet. This morning, Swami did not come for darshan. In the evening, He came straight to the interview room at 3.55 pm. After alighting from His car, He paused for a few minutes talking to some of the elders seated there, and thereafter went inside the interview room. At around five o'clock, Swami came out on His mobile chair with Sri. Vinay Kumar, the leader of the Karnataka Youth, and blessed the youth who had assisted with the Ati Rudra Maha Yagnam arrangements who were seated together in the Sai Kulwant Hall as a group. Thereafter He went into the Bhajan Hall where Bhajans had started as usual, sat for around half an hour, received Arati and returned to Yajur Mandiram.

August 20, 2006

It was the concluding day of the historic and divinely ordained Athi Rudra Maha Yagnam. By 5:15 A.M, the Sai Kulwant hall was packed to capacity and the gents side lines had clogged up to East Prashanthi entrance. Those with a keen sense of imagination and who have been to Puttaparthi could imagine the number of devotees who had descended here for the last day's proceedings which culminate with "Poorna ahuti". It was an early start to the day with 'Aruna Parayanam' beginning at 4 A.M in the morning. Following the pattern of the last 10 days, this was followed by Mahanyasam and Linga Abhishekam. Then the last 1331 chants of Rudram of the total 14641, commenced. The Ritwiks sounded all the more energetic, probably due to the nectarine love that Swami drenched them with in His discourse yesterday. For them too, it must have been a life fulfilling experience and a journey over many births that has brought them to chant in the presence of Lord Siva Himself.

To give a visual description of the decorations, we felt the way a famous writer once put, "language is short of words to express the experience". But in those few words that we do know, it was a complete conglomeration of the best. There were the Chinese hanging lamps, floral bouquets reminding us of Christmas, and the centre of the hall where the Yagnam was performed, made as traditional as it could be with coconut leaf buntings and colourful flowers. A magnificent statue of Lord Shiva standing in all tranquility had been placed next to the "marble block" pillar, facing the Yajur Mandiram.

By 6:45 A.M, the Athi Rudra Maha Yagnam was getting closer and closer to the significant number of 14641 chants and the expectations of the devotees was also rising along with the Sun God who chose to take shelter behind the heavy dark clouds. At 7:10 A.M, the final Parayanam was completed.

With the Rudra Parayanam concluded, the Head priest was preparing for the last day's Rudra Homam. Almost every neck in Kulwant hall was skewed to the right with a longing look towards 'Yajur Mandir'. The moment finally arrived! At 7:32 A.M Bhagawan granted His Darshan to the thousands who were straining to catch a glimpse of Him. In the apparently quick and silent round Swami took in the hall, He alone knows the blessings that He conferred on each and every one. The Lord never misses out anyone! He sat on the sofa at 7:43 A.M. Though He went back to the interview room in about seven minutes, He came back with His lovely smile at 8:10. Just then, the Rudra Homam was nearing completion with the Ritwiks pouring the offerings to the Yagna Kunda through a long silver spoon (about 4 feet long).

Swami was informed that the rites had been completed and He said that He would come down for the Poornahuthi. Swami was wheeled down and one could see the smile brimming on His face. He was full of eager anticipation. He sat in between the Lingam and the Yajna kundam. The head priest offered a bowl that had in it the Navadhanyas (9 types of grains) and also the Navaratnas (9 types of grains). Swami took fistfuls of them and cast them into the ceremonial pit. Then He took an hemispherical Copra (dried coconut) that had been filled with turmeric and then another one filled with kumkum and cast both of them into the fire. Swami then asked for the offering that He had personally readied! A big bundle tied in an ornate golden threaded, green silk sari was brought on a platter. Swami blessed it and the head priest offered it to the fire. Then a tray about 2 metres in diameter, filled with rare herbs and plant produce was brought. With the help of another Ritwik, the head priest offered this also into the fire as Swami watched on.

Swami then just sat gazing at the fire. The one making the offerings and the one receiving it were one and the same! The 'Orange' that offered was watching the 'Orange' that received! The head priest began pouring ghee and added logs into the fire. The ghee was again offered through the special silver spoon. The tongues of the flame rose higher and higher till they were almost 3 metres high. Swami seemed fascinated with the flame and though it was very hot near the Yajna kundam, He sat blissful. Then the pots containing water to be poured over Saieeshwara Lingam were brought to Saieeshwara. He blessed them and the water was used to perform the Abhishekam.

Swami was presently sitting with His back to the Lingam. A beautiful scene occurred. From the gents' side, Swami was at such an angle that it looked as though Swami's hair was the base for the Lingam and the Abhishekam took place. That sight thrilled us and filled our beings with joy.

Swami was then turned so that He too could 'see' the Abhishekam being done. Swami looked at Saishwara and a satisfied smile danced on His lovely face. Even from that position, He turned towards His right and kept gazing at the fire that was raging. A cool breeze began to blow and offerings had been made to the Yajna kundam. It was as if the five elements were dancing to the tunes of the Cosmic dancer. Ah! It was indeed a sight fit for the gods of highest heaven. As the head priest put it, "Even the gods will be jealous of us." The Abhishekam continued with the waters from the 100 rivers that had been placed for worship for all the 11 days. The chants reached a crescendo and then gave way to a beautiful song on the glory of Sankara. Saishwara looked resplendent - both the Saakara (one with form) and the Niraakara (formless one). It was at this time, that Swami decided to go around for the Prokshana( sprinkling the holy water). Swami started with the Ritwiks and then went around the Sai Kulwant hall for a complete round. People told Swami that He should rest and that the priests would do the needful. Swami was bursting with enthusiasm and He personally went around everywhere, sprinkling water and pouring love. The Prokshana complete, Swami sat on the sofa again. He was radiant and smiling. Each one of us seemed to reflect His bliss and joy. He then looked at the head priest and in a manner so natural to him, said- "You have conducted it very well. All is good." So characteristic of God isn't it- to do everything and then give us the credit? He then told the head priest to begin chanting. The whole hall began to reverberate with the chanting of the Rudram. All joined in unison and in those vibrations radiated the underlying cosmic harmony of creation. As the children of the same God, people of all castes, creeds, races, religions and countries joined the chant. Some of the devotees offered their personal Abhishekam- that of the eyes brimming with tears of joy and fulfilment. Swami sat swaying gently to the chants. As the line "Namaste Asthu Bhagawan Vishveshwaraya Mahadevaya" began, Swami too joined the chanting! Marvellous! The chanting now became enchanting!

Swami then called the All India President and told him something. When Mr. Srinivasan got up and came to the mike, his face was bursting with news to be shared. He said, "Swami has declared that the next Athi Rudra Maha yajna will be held in Madras in the month of January during the holy Uttarayanam." The whole hall now reverberated with applause! Swami also called Mr. G. K. Raman of the Sundaram group of companies, Tamil Nadu seva convener. He too offered his gratitude at Madras being conferred the honour and requested the head priest to guide the proceedings there too. Swami also got it announced that the Prasadam lunch would be given to all. He also promised to speak to the Ritwiks at 3:00 pm. Prasadam was distributed to all in the Sai Kulwant Hall, and food was served in the South Indian Canteen for the ladies and in the shamiana in front of the Shed No. 1 for the gents. The morning's proceedings ended on that happy note.

In the afternoon, Bhagawan interacted with the priests from 3 o'clock to 4.30 in the Bhajan Hall. Later, He went to the interview room, and asked for Bhajans to commence in the Bhajan Hall at 5.15. After nearly half an hour of Bhajans, Swami took Arati and retired to His residence. -Sairadio.org

Puttaparthi Blog By Mark

Sai Ram All

Since yesterday afternoon, things have changed for me here. Bro.Khamseng left to go to Tiruparthi Venkateswara. So I would need to move back to the sheds. A elderly lady, I met last week from Russia, offered me a flat above hers, which is above a cousin of Swami’s. Sri.R.Satyanarayana. Just behind the Shiva Temple (Swami’s birthplace). When you go out on the balcony, you look staight down on Lord Shiva. My other intention, when I came here was to film. What! I wasn’t sure. So I have moved there. She is very well known among the relatives of Swami. She took me to a wedding yesterday morning and today she is taking me across the river to Easwarrama’s House etc. She is also taking me to a place where they sing traditional bhajans. So hopefully I can film these. So the limited time I have here, I feel I need to concentrate doing the filming. Swami is still giving darshan. Last afternoon He was quickly wheeled around the men’s side. This morning, I missed the darshan, due to moving.

Will keep in touch.

Jai Sri Sai Ram


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