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|Posted at 15:36:21 Hrs. IST on Mar
With Ugadi comes a new telugu year and as the name suggests, Vikruthi, the advent of the New Year raises apprehensions anticipating oddity. However, these general perceptions, observations and reservations do not bear any affect on Sai fraternity to whom, the greater faith that “All is well with Sai’s Grace” stands good for all times. The Bhagavatha Saptaaham that came close on the heels of the advent of the New Year was a reassurance to this greater faith of anticipating the best in the mighty presence of Sai. The young “narrator” of the epic, Sri Rituraj Ji Maharaj was heard sounding positive several times on the subject, though his reference was not connected to Ugadi. He said: “With Sai’s anugraha no grahas can affect us” meaning with with Sai’s Blessings no planet could ever affect you. Prof. Anil Kumar who with his eloquence mesmerized the telugu audience on the Ugadi morning also sounded the same…He said: when one is with God, what is there to worry about the influences of the planets or the lines on the hand.
Ugadi for Telugu and Kannada, Gudi Padwa for Maharashtra, Cheti Chand for the Sindhis, though the names vary, the occasion marks greater importance and thus the urge to celebrate the same in the Divine Presence. It is goodbye for "Virodhi" while welcoming "Vikruthi". The metamorphosis that is slowly affecting the festive patterns in Prasanthi was evident with Ugadi celebrations this year. Ugadi, which used to be a gala festivity in the earlier days, with people expecting Bhagawan to discourse on the New Year and students making presentations signifying the occasion, was celebrated without much ‘fanfare’.
Prasanthi celebrated Ugadi with a united team from Andhra Pradesh singing His glory in His Divine Presence on the 15th Mar 2010. A group of seventy from entire Andhra Pradesh had a musical offering at His Feet celebrating the Advent of the New Year. This was followed by Music College presentation with a collection of vocal and instrumentals on the 16th evening. In a scintillating session that lasted for more than an hour, the music boys sung setting greater benchmarks for themselves enchanting the Divine and mesmerizing the the capacity audience in an evening-turned-twilight-turned-night.
The most captivating thing in Prasanthi is His Divine Darshan and every festivity, every occasion and every single day seem to be heralding this message to each and every devotee in Prasanthi Nilayam. The Ugadi morning, 16th March, witnessed Bhagawan arriving in the morning, clad in maroon. And the morning proceedings were centered around some announcements on the revamping of the mighty parent body, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. Two of the senior most members in the Trust and Organisations, namely, Mr. Indulal Shah and Justice Bhagwati were made to speak on the occasion, highlighting the developments. Brushing aside some maligning propaganda against the Trust, Mr. Bhagwati emphasised that Bhagawan's mission was committed to the welfare of humanity. Mr. Srinivasan, the All India President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, in his address, called the Central Trust as the biggest Charitable Trust in the world aimed at serving the humanity.
The “icing on the cake”, if one is allowed to ascribe it so considering Bhagawan’s Divine Darshan as the highest boon, was Ugadi Divine Discourse. Ugadi marks the beginning of a New Year. On this New Year day one has to make an attempt to see God in every being whomsoever he or she comes across, exhorted Bhagawan. Avatar is not external - The Avatar is present in each and every one of us. When it is said that He has thousand hands, eyes and feet, it only means that every being in the world is a manifestation of God, said Bhagawan in His Divine Discourse that lasted for forty minutes. Every individual is originally Atma and the name that is given is only temporal for the worldly life, was an important message aired through a conversation with a student during the Divine Discourse, an episode similar to that happened with the Hyderabad Youth Team.
Close on the heels of the Ugadi celebrations came a weeklong spiritual bonanza, a Bhagavatha Saptaaham by Sri Rituraj Ji Maharaj from Madhya Pradesh. The Saptaaham in Hindi was a veritable feast for the seekers of Lord as the ‘commentator’ with his unique style of exposition transformed Prasanthi into a Dwapara bringing in the magical Krishna touch in the immediate Divine Presence of Bhagawan. …And for the narrator, most uniquely, Krishna of Dwapara and Sai of the current times were one and the same as He with ease replaced the Krishna factor with Sai factor in many of the stories to the greater delight of the audience.
The Maharaj, who, with his inimitable style of narration, with melody in his voice coupled with profundity of knowledge and greater devotion, was a treat to the audience who immersed in the epical exposition for a week that came as a big treat in the New Year from the Divine.
Howmuchever, one extols on the greater significance of the epical rendition, Prasanthi Nilayam holds the unique, ‘one of its kind’ significance, with the Avatar Himself in physical frame sitting and listening to the same, the exposition, on all the seven days.
This was an onerous task bestowed upon to the grateful alumni working with various institutions under Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. From food to accommodation to decoration and finally to the task of entertaining the Divine, the group, “Sai Sannidhi” made every effort to make ‘it’ a grand success, seeking guidance and blessings from Bhagawan. While thematic decorations, colourful and elegant, matching the grandeur of the occasion won attention from The Lord, the Music Troupe had a veritable feast in presenting His own poems that adorned as a prelude to many a discourse over the years. Following the first day’s presentation on the 19th March, the next presentation entitled “Radha Bhakti” held on the 20th March turned out to be a Divine treat delighting devotees with His own music, poetry and literature, elevating the minds and souls to sublime heights, presenting the sanctifying relationship between devotee and The Lord, Radha and Krishna.
Bhagawan’s love for “vedam” and the initiative He has taken upon Himself to uplift and spread the culture is well known to all. On the second day of the Saptaaham, in a morning session that extended beyond the noon hours, Bhagawan showcased this interst by asking the little primary school boy from Iran to chant vedam in public. Calling the two ‘little hearts’ from the primary school onstage, Bhagawan interacted with them praising their enthusiasm and ability to chant Vedam.
On the concluding day, the final scene was climactic. Maharaj’s final session's exposition had the tale of Bhagawan Sri Krishna's emotional meeting with his childhood friend, Sudhama. The Maharaj gave a scintillating narration of the meeting of the two friends that, The Lord, the narrator and the entire assemblage were literally transported into the days of Dwapara, 'visualising' the nostalgic magic moments in the life of Bhagawan's ‘dearmost’ friend, Sudhama. Choked with emotion, Rituraj Ji’s eyes were moist with tears of love and so was the Lord in physical frame. …And the wavelength spread the entire Sai Kulwant airing emotion encompassing a unique feeling of greater peace and love and sanctity.
Narrating the safe ‘exit’ of Raja Parikshit, ending the story, touching ‘Uddhava Gita’ and the ‘sarpa yaga’ performed by King Janamejaya marking an apt finale, the Maharaj dedicated the entire week-long spiritual exercise to the “Divine Parents”, Mother Easwaramma and Pedda Venkamma Raju.
The “Maharaj” who was filled with gratitude had one word of acclaim for the greater benevolence, for the greater benediction of the Greater Heaven… He asserted that not alone this birth, but many many births have been redeemed by virtue of being an instrument in His hands in conducting the Saptaaham. Later on the following day after the Saptaaham Bhagawan granted Rituraj ji and his music accompanists with a private audience.
Saptaaham was followed by Sri Rama Navami and the celebrations was minimum except for a long stint of Sri Rama bhajans in the morning followed by a bouquet of musical presentation by Sri Rituraj ji’s music accompaniment, whose prayers was heard by Bhagawan.
A "Burra Katha" presentation entitled "Yugaavathar" on the Life and Mission of Bhagawan that had been in the offing during the Bhagavatha Saptaaham was finally staged on the final day of the fortnight, Sunday, 28th March. The previous evening Bhagawan had instructed one of the boys to have the presentation on the ensuing evening and overnight the boys got ready for the shown for the Divine!
Over 140 members from Sathya Sai Samithi in Super Speciality Hospital, Prasanthigram, came as a group, Sai Sameepyam, seeking Divine Darshan and blessing from Bhagawan. Bhagawan spent ten minutes with the group, in two instalments, before and after bhajans with the group on the evening of 28th March, moving, listening and granting padanamaskars.
Solar Revolution is slowly catching up Ashram also as the South Indian Canteen in the Ashram has gone for a 25 Kilo Watt Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant which was commissioned during Sivarathri, last month. This would take care of electrical needs consumed by the lights and fans in the canteen.
A new computerized subscription counter for Sanathana Sarathi has been operational near the South Indian Canteen, in the newly built coupon counter block. This counter would be working from morning 8 to evening 7:30, except for an hour lunch break in the afternoon.
Daring the scorching summer that “zaps life”, the construction of dormitories is marking steady progress at the rear western end of Prasanthi.
Summer is normally severe in Parthi and the signs of yet another ‘ruthless’ summer is already in the cards with raising temperature levels for the past couple of days. …And with this peaking summer, yet another academic year is coming to its closure with final lap of end-semester examinations are in progress at the Sri Sathya Sai University Campuses in Anantapur, Brindavan and Prasanthi Nilayam.
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|Posted at 23:25:32 IST on Mar 16, 2010
The fortnight that was passed by had been eventful in many ways. Beginning with the trails of Holi celebrations, the fortnight began with the touch of uncertainty, with the scheduled evening for Holi celebrations went ‘blank’ with Bhagawan opted to stay indoors leaving the Bihar contingent to pray for the next evening session. And, what followed on the next day was a “Divine Act” of demonstrating the “actuality of power of interaction”!
On the evening of 2 March when there was a scheduled programme, a dance drama - Sita Kalyanam, by Balvikas children from Bihar, Bhagawan made the event most memorable by directing the climactic scene Himself, sending a barrage of instructions. It appeared as if The Lord was reliving the moments of the time of Lord Rama, as He guided the climactic scene to be re-enacted by sending instructions galore, airing a subtle message of greater importance adhered with the epochal event called “Sita Kalyanam”. Sita Kalyanam could be reminiscent of a sacred event of the distant past, but, the event as such is not an ordinary and has to be credited with due respect and reverence and Bhagawan had aptly aired this message ‘performing’ the event, in His own style as deemed fit by Divinity. Finally when Bhagawan retired to His Abode, it was 8:50, a record by Parthi standards!
The fortnight was enjoying the results of the slight metamorphosis in Prasanthi schedule, with Bhagawan coming out on most of the days granting morning Darshans as well. Continuing with Darshan galore from the previous week, the fortnight had sumptuous Darshan sessions, 11 morning Darshans and 11 evening Darshans.
A group of 600, including office bearers of the Sathya Sai Organisation, had come from Tamil Nadu, invoking and inviting Bhagawan to Chennai. And similar story from Delhi; prominent senior devotees from Delhi, including Former Air Chief Marshal, OP Mehra, Former Diplomat, SK Rasgotra, Former Education Secretary, MK Kaw, Former Military General, ML Chibber etc. were also camping here, apparently with a prayer invoking Bhagawan to Delhi. Apart from various other groups visited during the fortnight, one group that made its presence was a “Group of 85” Rudram Youth belonging to Karnataka Youth. The group had come after conducting 15,500 Rudram chanting in 85 houses, completed in a record 66 days, as part of the 85th year of Advent of Bhagawan. The group was blessed to be called in for a special session, held in the bhajan hall, wherein they had the rarest opportunity to chant in presence of Rudra Himself, at His specific Command and Will. Moving through the row of disciplined Youth, twice, Bhagawan blessed the entire group listening to their chanting, interacting with them in between.
Interestingly, nothing goes unnoticed by the Divine and His calling the group at the odd hour, when such a thing was not the least expected, itself had a tale worth mentioning. Sivarathri repeats every month and the 13th evening, the Saturday, was supposedly the Masa Sivarathri, Shani Pradosha, the most auspicious day after the Sivarathri in February. Masa Sivaratri is an auspicious day to perform Siva Puja which is observed on every Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi day in a Hindu month. And once the auspicious time “Sani Pradosha”, had started, Swami called the group in to allow them to chant Rudram in His presence. Bhagawan Himself had aired this message to the group leader.
Ratan Tata was again back in Prasanthi Nilayam seeking Divine Darshan. After making his first visit to the ashram in December, Tata was seen yet again seeking His darshan on the 3rd evening and 4th morning. He was blessed with a private audience.
Interviews, picking devotees from public, used to be a regular affair of the bygone days. ...And when such a thing repeates, when Bhagawan picks up someone from the public for interview, it becomes a rare event, evoking greater interest. On the 8th Mar, during His morning round of darshan, Bhagawan picked up two spanish speaking youngsters from Dominican Republic for half an hour interview. It is to be noted that such an event happend once during the previous year and this is only the first time someone or group was picked up from the public for an interview, during this year.
A new van for Mother and Child Care section of EWWP was blessed by Bhagawan which would be pressed into service for emergency care of the section.
The fortnight witnessed Bhagawan moving out in His car on the 11th morning. Driving out through the Primary School Bhagawan went to the hospital side to take a detour from the petrol bunk to come back to Ashram through Culvert Gate at the rear west end of Prasanthi. Moving through the dormitory work-in-progress site Bhagawan returned to Yajur Mandiram, blessing hundreds lined up en route for a glance of the Divine.
Summer that was set in immediately after Sivarathri in February is going high, scorching at its best over Parthi.
Close on the heels of the Gratitude Programmes came another music fiesta, this time the University Brass Band celebrated its 25th Year in the Divine Presence with innovative musical touch bringing yet another smile on their Beloved Bhagawan.
Maharashtra Batch of Sevadals have completed their tenure of duty during the fortnight passing the mantle to a mix of south indian states, namely, Andhra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, a regular practice during summer months, that has been on from the days when Bhagawan would be away from Prasanthi Nilayam during the period.
Everyone strives to bring a smile on Bhagawan’s face by endeavouring to excel with the best of their ability. Sai Sannidhi, a forum of grateful alumni working with various institutions in Prasanthi Nilayam and Brindavan has been active during the fortnight with reference to a Bhagavatha Saptaaha Yajnam to be conducted between Ugadi and Ram Navami festival. The “Sai Sannidhi” group has been graciously given the task of conducting the Bhagavatha Saptaaha Yajnam scheduled to start on the 17th Mar.