Ramanavami celebrations - Sri Sathya Sai Baba
BELOW: TEXT OF RAMANAVAMI 2009 DARSHAN
INCLUDING SUMMARY OF DIVINE DISCOURSE
|Food, clothing and shelter are the three basic
necessities of life. Anyone who doesn't have comfortable access to these three are
considered poor by the society! This day was to be an 'enriching' day in ways more
than one and it would be an enjoyable experience to go through the day in the order
of events as they unfolded. The trainload of people, rendered hapless and homeless
by the fury of the floods in Orissa, were dressed majestically in the sarees and
dhoties that Swami had gifted them yesterday. It was a very special day for them, a
turning point in all their lives as they admitted it. They were to receive the key
to their new homes, that had been built by Swami for them, in the Divine presence.
They unanimously felt and experienced that this was not a mere key to their homes
but the key to solve their miseries and problems and more importantly, the key to
their undying happiness.
They were seated as families, two or three members together, in the marbled blocks of Sai Kulwant hall. A carpeted path ran through the blocks of people. 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. Swami arrived, so grand and beautiful on the golden throne chair. He was dressed in the golden Pitambara (yellow cloth) robe. A mere sight of Him advancing thus towards the hall in the afternoon sunlight filled everyone with anticipative excitement. The minute Swami reached the centre of the hall, He cut and moved towards the stage. He was very eager to have the distribution started. Nearing the stage, He sat in the chair, in front of all the people assembled in the marbled blocks. The keys to the homes had been neatly arranged in trays in the front. Swami blessed the keys and asked the all India president and the others to begin the distribution immediately. And so the much awaited moment, for the 200 families that had assembled, arrived. It was with tears of gratitude and joy that they received the key, not only to their homes, but to their rejoicing and redemption too! They were also given a hamper that contained mats, vessels, plates, tumblers and ladles - items that are vital for them and yet are conspicuous by their absence in their lives! These people are among the poorest of the poor and they have lost whatever precious little they had to the floods. The joy radiating on their faces and tears welling up in their eyes made one wonder whether the ravaging floods were really a curse upon them? It had brought them to the feet of the Lord and made them the beneficiaries of His immense Grace and bounty. On Sri Ramanavami, everyone present in Kulwant hall saw this beautiful facet of service to mankind in Swami's Rama Rajyam!
Swami sat, very silent, witnessing the entire distribution in progress. He personally checked whether every person seated there received the gifts of grace or not. The Orissas state president expressed his deepest gratitude on behalf of the state to Swami and requested Him to speak to all. Swami told him that He would speak in the evening. As the distribution was nearing its close, Swami started to move down the lines of recipients. He moved through the centre of the blocks of seated people and all of them bowed to Him. A lucky few, evading the ever-growing security cordon, managed to touch His feet. Swami was all smiles and even seemed to tell the security people to be lenient! He moved behind all the way to the main gate and then traced His path back to the stage. He seemed so happy and satisfied. He is most happy when everyone around are happy! All the while, the Veda chanting maintained a holy and vibrant background for the proceedings. Swami blessed prasadam to be distributed to all. Then, knowing the inner cravings of all the hearts, Swami asked for photos to be distributed to all the beneficiaries. As they say, coincidences are miracles where God remains anonymous. The photos distributed to them were of Swami in a yellow robe granting the Abhayahastha, a perfect souvenir to remember this beautiful moment with Swami. It was 10:20 am, when Swami received Aarthi and retired for the morning.
Swami arrived for darshan in the evening and took a complete round. The student numbers had dwindled and so had the devotees. As Swami passed through the students' block, many of them offered letters to Him. Swami, pointing to His heart said," Keep them in the heart. Thats enough!" Arriving on the stage, Swami blessed the all India president to address the gathering. 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 the Tamil Nadu cadre, began his speech by offering his obeisance at the Lotus Feet of his Guru of gurus The erudite speaker said at the outset that he is an humble instrument to transmit Bhagawan’s message to the beneficiaries and so would speak in Oriya, the language of the people of Orissa.Speaking of the various humanitarian projects of Swami, the speaker said that students in His educational institutions practise Bhagawan’s precept, Education is not for a mere living, but for leading a good life. Expressing the myriad feelings of everyone about the housing rehabilitation project in Orissa he concluded his speech with the shloka, Twameva Mathacha Pitha Twameva which states that the Lord is our everything. The next speaker, Sri R. Kondal Rao, formerly chief engineer in the Panchayat department of Andhra Pradesh and also associated with all the water projects, began his speech expressing his gratitude to Swami on being giving the opportunity to speak on the holy occasion of Sri Rama Navami. He gave the reasons for 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. It has been a long and eventful journey since then. Do read the fascinating and overwhelming story of this Orissa project at
Sri Kondal Rao concluded his speech by saying that it was only Bhagawan’s grace which has helped them to do this work.
Sri Rama Navami Divine Discourse, 3rd April 2009