Bhagawan's Delhi - Shimla Sojourn -
A Photo Report - part 1
National Capital Delhi endured a long wait of 11 years and the
erstwhile summer capital during the British Raj, Shimla, endured it
much devotedly for a much longer period, 35 years, both praying to
Bhagawan to set His Divine Lotus Feet yet again granting the
sanctifying satiating touch, in Delhi and Shimla.
It was on 30th March during evening Darshan that Bhagawan called Mr.
Jatinder Cheema, State President of Sri Sathya Sai Organisations -
Delhi, onstage, confirming His Divine visit starting from 9th of
April. The day next found a group of students, especially music
troupe, earning attention, marking and finally making them eligible
to form the Divine entourage along with some senior devotees. And
what followed from their side was hectic practice sessions that
extended beyond midnight hours, fine tuning their skills ensuring
the Prasanthi benchmark.
April 9th to 18th, a nine day sojourn, started off with Bhagawan
taking off in a specially chartered Kingfisher VT KFG airliner from
Prasanthi Nilayam airport. After a prayerful and reverential
farewell from Prasanthi Nilayam the specially chartered “Air
Chariot” carrying Bhagawan and His entourage touched down the tarmac
at the Indira Gandhi international Airport at 1645 hr., to
reverential welcome by Sri Jatinder Cheema, the State President of
Sri Sathya Sai Organisation, Delhi-NCR and other senior
functionaries of the Sai Organisation. After an hour-long drive by
car, Bhagawan reached Sri Sathya Sai International Centre which was
magnificently decorated to welcome The Lord to Delhi after an
11-year hiatus, the last visit of Bhagawan to Delhi being in the
At the Sri Sathya Sai International Centre, “Divine Abode” in Delhi,
the venue had a riot of colours with decorations galore greeting The
Lord. Bhagawan was accorded a Poornakumbha Swagatam at the
International Centre. As His car turned into the street where the
International Centre is situated, at around 1740 hrs., the drums
beat out loud welcoming Him. Bhagawan’s car was led up to the
entrance of the Centre by the boys of the band dressed in white and
blue, followed by the group of Veda chanting boys dressed in orange.
There were many Balvikas children showering rose petals
acknowledging the auspiciousness of receiving The Mighty Lord. As He
entered, serene air surrounding the centre was rendered by a sweet
welcome song and upon alighting He was accorded a Poornakumbha
Swagatam, as Divinity ‘deserved’.
Upon alighting Bhagawan came onstage granting the first darshan in
11 years satiating the hunger of thousands who were awaiting The
Lord from the morning hours.
Being His Divine Abode, the Sri Sathya Sai International Centre had
the great good fortune of hosting Divine Darshan sessions invariably
both in the morning and evening, irrespective of schedules at other
On the first morning of Bhagawan in Delhi after 11 years, the Sri
Sathya Sai International Centre was bristling with devotees in large
numbers. Along with these thousands there were men and women of
accomplishments from the world of business and society, vying to
steal a glance and blessings from Bhagawan. This included the
Chairman and Managing Director of Bharti Telecom that runs India’s
largest cellular company, Airtel, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Hero Honda
Group Chairman, Brij Mohanlal Munjal, S.K. Birla, Chairman, S.K.
Birla Group, Minister of State for Railways, Mr.Muniappa and Justice
Karpaga Vinayagam, currently Chairman, Appellate Tribunal For
Electricity and Times of India Chief, Mrs. Indu Jain and many
secretaries of various ministries of the Government of India.
After the morning Darshan Bhagawan was gracious enough to move to
the Primary School block where a cultural programme was presented on
the theme of unity of religions by Balvikas children from the slum
areas of Delhi adopted for all-round development by Sri Sathya Sai
Organisation of Delhi under Sri Sathya Sai Village Integrated
Programme. At the conclusion of the drama, Bhagawan blessed the
children before moving into the rows of devotees granting the the
bliss of close proximity.
Dwarka, almost thirty-five kilometers from the SSSIC was the chosen
venue for public darshan and the first afternoon’s programme was
schedule at the Dwarka grounds. Before going to the Dwarka grounds,
Bhagawan granted darshan at Sri Sathya Sai International Centre. At
Dwarka, a mammoth congregation of devotees from Delhi regions, and
from the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana,
Punjab and Himachal Pradesh assembled with eager anticipation to
experience the bliss of His beauteous darshan. The programme
commenced with Veda chanting which was followed up with bhajan.
Thereafter, Balvikas children from Delhi had an excellent drama
presentation. Bhagawan sat through the entire presentation, blessed
the children at the end of the drama and even blessed them with a
coveted photo session.
On the third day, Sunday, 11th April 2010, Bhagawan granted darshan
at Sri Sathya Sai International Centre while bhajan was on. Coming
out at 1050 hrs., Bhagawan sat through till 1125 hrs. and similarly
in the evening, upon emerging at 1620 hrs,. He sat through till 1640
hrs. granting the feast of darshan. Family of the first citizen of
India, of President Ms. Pratibha Patil, was at the centre seeking
Divine blessings. Former Union Finance Minister, Mr. Yeshwant Sinha
was the other dignitary present at the centre seeking Divine
The evening programme was scheduled at the Mavlankar Auditorium
behind Parliament House. A select gathering of devotees,
legislatures and dignitaries that included several secretaries of
Government of India, several senior lawyers, bureaucrats,
technocrats, parliamentarians, business magnates, media
personalities, diplomats and CEO’s of MNC’s were present at the
auditorium. Cabinet Secretary Sri K.M. Chandrasekhar eminent jurist
Ram Jethmalani and noted TV journalist and film personality Rajeev
Mehrotra were some of the names present at the auditorium.
Bhagawan arrived at 1700 hrs. and the programme commenced with
former Chief of Air Staff Nirmal Kumar Suri addressing the gathering
introducing the speakers for the august assembly. The first speaker
was Sri Sunil Bharti Mittal, Managing Director of Bharti Telecom.
Sri Mittal spoke about his long association with Bhagawan, his
marriage into a family of Bhagawan’s devotees and his first darshan
of Bhagawan at Moga in seventies. Referring to the life and
teachings of Bhagawan, the eminent speaker observed that Bhagawan’s
universal message of truth, righteousness, love, peace and
non-violence was for the redemption of entire mankind without any
differences of religions, countries, nationalities and races. The
second speaker was Sri S.V. Giri, former Vice Chancellor of Sri
Sathya Sai University who went in detail explaining how Bhagawan’s
Mission was spreading worldwide and was bringing about
transformation in the lives of people of different countries and
faiths from all strata of society. The last speaker Prof. G.
Venkataraman, former Vice Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai University,
made an impressive presentation with the help of video clippings and
slides on Bhagawan’s Chennai Water Project, highlighting its salient
features and Bhagawan’s concern for the difficulties of common
people, specially those from economically weaker sections of
Next to come was a drama entitled, “Life is a Game, Play It” which
highlighted the importance of Bhagawan’s message on the Indian epic,
Bhagavad Gita by the Sai Youth that has a sizeable number of old
students from Sri Sathya Sai University.
Upon the conclusion of the programme, from the Mavlankar auditorium,
Bhagawan along with His entourage reached the residence of Sri
Kulwant Rai, and industrialist and formerly State President of Sri
Sathya Sai Organisation of Delhi, at Aurangazeb Lane. Special
arrangements had been made for public darshan outside the residence
where huge gathering of devotees had been engaged in singing His
glory. Blessing the concourse, blessing the family members Bhagawan
and His entourage was treated with dinner before returning to Sri
Sathya Sai International Centre.
The day next found Bhagawan, upon blessing the assembly at the
International centre, visiting Bahá'í House of Worship, the Lotus
Temple, where He was offered choir by the followers of Bahá'í faith.
Unique feature of this Bahá'í Temple is that like any other Bahá'í
Houses of Worship, the Lotus Temple is open to all barring any
religious or other distinction, as emphasized in Bahá'í texts.
Bahá'ís believe the crucial need facing humanity is to find a
unifying vision of the nature and purpose of life and of the future
of society. It is a gathering place where people of all religions
may worship God without denominational restrictions. The Bahá'í laws
also stipulate that the holy scriptures of the Bahá'í Faith and
other religions can be read or chanted inside in any language.
Bhagawan was warmly received at the Bahá'í House of Worship by
administrators Jamshed Anvar and Inonani along with others. Swami
was conducted to the main temple and placed in the centre.
Thereafter the Bahá'í community sang Sarva Dharma Choir in Swami’s
glory. Prior to this, passages from the Bible, the Quran and the
Gita were read to highlight the truth taught by Bhagawan that the
essence of the teachings of all faiths was the same. This special
meeting was attended by about 300 persons.
From the Bahá'í Temple Bhagawan moved to Justice PN Bhagwathi's
residence. Hon. Justice P. N. Bhagwathi is an eminent jurist of
International repute and was formerly the Chief Justice of India.
Justice Bhagwathi has been a long time devotee of Bhagawan and is a
member, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam. Blessing
the veteran and his family members, after having lunch at the
jurist's house, Bhagawan retired to the Sri Sathya Sai International
Centre at around 1430 hrs.
Earlier in the morning, Union Minister for Steel Mr. Sushil Kumar
Shinde and some Members of Parliament were at the Centre seeking
In the evening, Bhagawan came onstage at Sri Sathya Sai
International Centre at 1820 hrs. while bhajans were on. Upon His
arrival, Bhagawan nodded the students to sing and what followed up
was soul-stirring rendering of devotionals, that kept the audience
spellbound for nearly fifty minutes.
In a touching gesture suffused with Divine Love, Bhagawan, upon
accepting Arathi, travelled to Krishna Menon Marg, New Delhi, to the
residence of former Prime Minister of India, Sri Atal Behari
Vajpayee. The former Prime Minister was scheduled to visit Bhagawan
at the International Centre couple of days before, seeking His
blessings, but could not make it owing to ill health. Eleven years
ago, when Bhagawan visited the captial city last time, Mr. Vajpayee
was the Prime Minister and the SSSIC was inaugurated by the Divine
hands in his presence. Vajpayee has been a longtime devotee of
Bhagawan and had visited Prasanthi Nilayam several times. After
blessing the veteran leader, Bhagawan returned to the International
Centre at around 2030 hrs.---------------->>