The staff of the Super Speciality Hospital at Prasanthi
gram is also coming to the Ashram in batches on
pilgrimage like their colleagues at Whitefield. This
evening, the first batch of staff with their families,
around 150 in number, were seated in the bhajan hall.
Bhagavan arrived as the bhajans went on, and after His
darshan round, came into the bhajan hall. He first moved
around them all, going around the hall a couple of
times. Then He sat in the front of the hall and had
group photos with them in batches of ten. After an
informal interaction with some of the group members for
some more time, Swami blessed prasadam for distribution
and moved to the stage as the bhajans continued. Five
minutes later, He accepted Arati and returned to His
residence at 6.20 pm.
February 27, 2010 – Songs of Gratitude by X and XII Girl
Like every other day, on February
27 too the Veda chanting gave way to bhajan singing at
5:00 p.m. At about 5:20 p.m., Swami arrived into the Sai
Kulwant Hall. The Primary School block which is normally
empty other than on Sundays and Thursdays, was today
The reason was the arrival of the
outgoing batches from the girls' side. The X and XII
class students had arrived, carrying with them cards,
cushions, letters, pens, vibhuti and most importantly
their hearts filled with gratitude. Swami took a
complete darshan round and blessing the few
birthday boys among the students, He moved into the
Primary school area.
As He passed by the girls in the
lines, He accepted letters and saw cards. Reaching the
end of the lines, He saw that there was a girl seated
with the harmonium. He asked her to begin playing and
start the programme. The girl appeared confused as even
though she began to play on the harmonium, it was barely
heard above the speakers which were in full blast.
Swami then moved onto the stage for
bhajans. Even as He sat for the bhajans,
He looked once or twice at the beseeching girls. After a
few bhajans, He called the birthday boys and
blessed them once more! He also placed vibhuti packets
into the trays of some of the boys. A couple of
bhajans after that, as the clock showed 5:55 p.m.,
Swami asked for aarthi.
The loving Mother then moved
towards her children who were waiting to open up their
hearts. Swami asked the girls to begin their programme
even as He sat in the western corner of the veranda,
facing them. The girls began to sing out their hearts in
Telugu, Hindi and English, the gist of all their songs
being - "Swami, You are our everything. Without You, we
are nothing. But with You by our side, there is nothing
that we cannot achieve.
We seek You and nothing else." The
power and thrill of singing in unison could be felt by
all in the hall. They had no mikes to amplify their
voice, but their hearts amplified their rich feelings as
Swami sat listening. Now, the students began to move to
Swami one by one offering various things.
A set of them offered to
Him a soft velvety foot mat. With His permission, they
raised His feet and placed them on it. The joy and
satisfaction was all writ large on their faces. Soon, a
line was formed with each one of the students being
blessed with the opportunity of a personal interaction.
They gave Him letters and
sought some clarifications. Pens and refills were
blessed to be used as instruments of His grace during
the exams. The songs were on continuously in the
background. The half an hour was thus filled with joy,
music and gratitude. At 6:25 p.m., blessing all the
girls, Swami moved towards His Residence.
On the evening of 26th February 2010, devotees from
Adilabad staged a dance drama “Kavim Kavinam” involving
illustrious personalities like Prof. Kasturi, translator
of Bhagawan’s Discourses, and who had written Bhagawan’s
Biography and other books, famous poet Karunasri and
Ghantasala, whose evergreen melodies have become
immortal and cast a spell on people to this day. The
Divine parents Mother Easwaramma and Pedda Venkama Raju
also played important roles in the drama. This
interesting drama brought alive the characters of those
days who had carved a niche for themselves in their
respective fields. Bhagawan, the poet of poets wrote
wonderful poetry to highlight the follies of villagers
and to bring about transformation in them through the
On this evening, Bhagawan came for Darshan at 5.30 to
the chant of Vedas. At the outset, tiny tots and elders
from the district offered their obeisance to Bhagawan.
The drama began with salutations to Bhagawan in the form
of a dance. The dance drama was an imaginative
expression of an assembly of famous personalities who
meet in Vaikunta in the presence of Devendra Indra, the
Lord of gods. Each one sings Bhagawan’s glory relating
beautiful incidents of those days. Mother Easwaramma
opines how one could forget the compositions and songs
of Karunasri and Ghantasala on Swami.
considers it was his good fortune to come into
Bhagawan’s fold and compose songs on Him. Pedda Venkama
Raju becomes nostalgic when he narrates the incident in
Bukkapatnam wherein Bhagawan composed a song instantly
on the freedom movement of Bharat and about the downfall
of ruthless dictator Hitler who was unknown till then to
the innocent villagers of those days. Even the
Britishers who were present in the congregation were
stunned at child Sathya’s wisdom and knowledge. The song
Do not cry, my child, do not cry.
If you cry, you will not be called a valiant son of
Go to sleep, my child, go to sleep.
Did you get scared because the terrible Hitler has
invaded the invincible Russia?
Go to sleep, my child, go to sleep.
Do not cry, my child, do not cry.
For the Red Army is marching under Stalin.
They will put an end to Hitler.
Then what else is the reason for your crying?
Is it because the countrymen lack unity?
All the countrymen will unite and fight to win freedom;
Go to sleep, my child, go to sleep.
Then Mother Easwaramma explained how Bhagawan exposed
people’s ludicrous follies in Puttaparthi through
telling compositions. Here is the poem that Bhagawan
What are these times that have descended on us!
Oh folks! What are these times that have descended on
The face powder has formed a cheap substitute for the
Oh folks! What are these times that have descended on
Gold necklaces have given way to cheap trinkets and
Oh folks! What are these times that have descended on
us! (Telugu Poem)
Pedda Venkama Raju adds how Bhagawan brought about
transformation in Karanam, the husband of Subbamma who
had taken to evil ways through this poem:
Don’t seek the company of women of loose character;
Surely you will fall down.
Your caste people will not allow you into their homes;
Your relatives will neck you out, if they see you;
Your friends will beat you with chappals,
If they see you in the company of such women.
Karunasri and Ghantalasala eulogise Bhagawan’s
compositions and bring out the literary value in them.
Prof. Kasturi sings a few poems of Bhagawan which
The Lord of Kailasa has manifested his Divine form with
the crescent moon adorning his head, the cool water of
the Ganga flowing between the matted locks, with his
radiant eye in the middle of the forehead and the purple
neck gleaming like the sheen of a blackberry. He wears
serpent bracelets and a snake belt, his entire body is
smeared with Vibhuti, his forehead is adorned with a
Kumkum dot, his ruddy lips glow with the juice of the
betel, diamond-studded gold earrings dangle from his
ears and his whole body glows with divine effulgence.
He also explains and lists out the 16 Vahinis of
Bhagawan. He says that lofty concepts were explained in
a simple and lucid manner by Bhagwan in these Vahinis.
Prof Kasturi says that Bhagawan explains the essence of
the Vedas lucidly in His Discourses, he also laces His
Discourses with Chinna Katha (a short anecdote) which
has a succinct moral at the end.
Karunasri feels sorry at the sorry state of affairs of
the world today. People relish reading newspapers, but
they have no time to read Bhagawan’s Discourses. At the
end all the cast of the drama converged at the
performing arena to seek Bhagawan’s blessings. Bhagawan
materialised a gold chain for the actor who played the
role of Prof. Kasturi. In a touching gesture, Bhagawan
gave with His own hands the spectacles to the cast who
played the role of Kasturi (since the spectacles were
removed when Bhagawan materialised the chain).
Bhagawan went amidst the participants and showered His
love on them. Bhagawan even instructed that the cast be
given clothes, Prasadam and Vibhuti Prasadam. Meanwhile,
the devotees from the district rendered a few songs.
devotees took this opportunity to bless a few items
which they would like to treasure like Siva Linga,
photographs of Bhagawan and a Sarva Dharma symbol
inscribed on wood. Arati was offered to Bhagawan at 7.20
p.m. after which Bhagawan retired for the day.
Over 3300 devotees from Adilabad district have come
joining Parthi Yatra 2010.
Puttaparthi the Abode of
Highest peace is buzzing with thousands of devotees every day. The
crowd is growing and growing day by day...Very
surprisingly the mercury levels are touching 40 degrees and the
summer season has not yet started.
The heat is too much now a
days. Due to the recent terror attacks elsewhere in
India, stringent security measurements are being taken
in Puttaparthi by the police department. Right at the
Ganesha gate there are sevadals thoroughly checking
every one like they check before entering Sai Kulwanth
Hall....Continue reading with photo
Once again, with the onset of summer, began that genre
of programmes where the 'outgoing' students from the
various educational institutions of Swami express their
gratitude for everything! Its 'outgoing' because once a
student of Swami, always a student of Swami. There is
nothing like leaving Him or Him leaving us, but the
physical separation itself seems so difficult.
And so, on that day the students from the class X and
class XII were seated prepared to pour out their hearts
to Swami. The marbled blocks presented a colorful sight
as students in various costumes sat waiting for Swami to
At about 5:45 p.m., Swami arrived for darshan. He
finished the usual round and as He came near the
students, He blessed the birthday boys and accepted
letters. Moving through the portico, He interacted with
the devotees seated there and also seemed to speak at
length with one of the staff members. Then, He arrived
The principal of the Higher Secondary School showed
Swami the hall tickets of the students for the upcoming
board exams. Swami evinced great interest in them and
began to leaf through the tickets that had been filed.
He looked at the photo of each and every student who
would be writing the Board exams in 2010. That in itself
took about 15 minutes! Blessed indeed are those
students! The principal then requested Swami on behalf
of the students for an opportunity to present the
gratitude programme. Swami nodded as He moved on. Also
seated there was the expert percussionist Anandan
Shivamani. He offered his pranams at Swami's feet and
spoke with Him a few words. Blessing him, Swami moved on
and arrived at the centre of the stage...
The Veda chanting was on and Swami began to read through
the pile of letters on His lap. The boys in the front
rows were eagerly trying to catch His attention for
permission to begin their programme. But Swami seemed to
be absorbed in His letters. After a while, Swami too
began to participate in the chanting and moved His
fingers up and down with the notes of the chants. At
about 6:45 p.m., He asked for the aarthi. It was done
and the student who presented the rose to Swami again
requested Him for the gratitude programme. Swami only
smiled and nodded. As the aarthi was completed, Swami
asked the principal, "What is the programme today?"
Excited murmurs coursed through the 'body' of eager
students and soon Swami was seeing their card and
blessing them to begin their programme.
As always, the presentation was studded with highest
emotions and deepest feelings. Recipients of amazing
instances of grace stood up and spoke out as to how
doctors had ruled them as dead or soon-to-die at birth
when Swami's invisible yet all powerful hand stretched
out to their aid. There were some for whom a sentence
from Swami had become the mantra for life and the
cornerstone about which they based all their daily
For some others, Swami's support in the darkest of their
times had proved beyond doubt that Swami's love is
indeed that of a thousand mothers. A few of them also
recounted anecdotes that brought a smile on everyone's
faces. It was a beautiful and emotion-filled journey
down memory lane and everyone were drenched in the love
that abounded in every word spoken.
Interspersed in between were songs that had been
specially written and composed by the students for their
beloved Swami. It is said that poetry is moments of
inspiration and love recollected in tranquility. In the
fading twilight, it was sheer poetry as the students
sang and spoke. The songs were eloquent in their meaning
and the talks were musical to the ears!
Towards the end, there was also a dance by the students
to the tune of a popular song, "Kannula mundara." The
dancers came in all sizes and as they moved about, Swami
blessed them with a sweet smile. The final song having
been sung, the students requested Swami to come amidst
them. Like the cherry atop the icing on the cake, Swami
moved down the stage and posed with the children. They
quickly changed and different groups got their pictures
It was almost 7:50 p.m. as Swami moved up the stage.
Students offered Him trays of pens, refills and vibhuti
packets - instruments to aid them during the board exams
– and He blessed them. It was almost 8 p.m. when Swami
moved into the Yajur Mandir.
Chennai based ace percussionist Sivamani was seen
seeking Divine Blessings on the blessed twilight. A
large group of devotees from Adilabad, come on a Parthi
Yatra, are camping in Prasanthi Nilayam.
Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 -
Whitefield Hospital staff blessed
The penultimate batch of staff from the two hospitals at
Whitefield had come to Prasanthi Nilayam on pilgrimage. This
evening, they were seated in the Bhajan hall. Swami arrived for
darshan ten minutes after the bhajans began in Sai Kulwant hall.
After His darshan round, He moved on the verandah and entered the
bhajan hall from the rear door. Moving among the staff and their
family members, Swami interacted with them for ten minutes before
moving onstage as the bhajans went on. Just before six o'clock, He
blessed prasadam for distribution and accepted Arati before
returning to His residence.
The Chinese New Year (of the tiger) was celebrated in
the hamlet of Highest Peace on February 20. Buddhist
monks belonging to the lineage of the Tibetan high Lama
who had arrived a few days earlier stayed back to bask
in the Divine Presence. The drama "Unity is Divinity"
was scheduled on the evening of that day. The veda
chanting started as always at 8:00 a.m. and the Buddhist
monks were seated in the marbled blocks, waiting for
Swami. And shortly after 8:30 a.m., the beautiful orange
frame of Swami glided into the Sai Kulwant Hall.
source: sssbpt.org - web layout design
Everyone knows of the political
situation between China and Tibet and the hardships that
are being borne by the Tibetan Lamas. As exiles without
passports to their own homeland, these Lamas have taken
refuge in India (a country which has embraced people
from everywhere all the time) and have established a
monastery for themselves in Karnataka. With unity and
harmony as the driving principles, these Lamas had
arrived from their monastery to celebrate the Chinese
Swami moved through the ladies' side and He asked the
event’s co-ordinator about how long the monks would be
staying. Crossing over to the gents' side, Swami
completed His darshan rounds and arrived at where the
monks were seated. He called the boy who had anchored
the programme very well the previous day.
source: sssbpt.org - web layout design
Speaking to him for a while, Swami materialized a
beautiful gold chain and put it round his neck. Moving
through the portico, Swami blessed some of them seated
there and arrived on the stage. The Veda chanting had
concluded and the bhajans began. Swami sat for the
bhajans for the next 45 minutes!
He looked at the clock and it showed 9:45 a.m. He said,
"One last bhajan." That bhajan was sung and Swami
beckoned for aarthi.
As the aarthi was done, the photo of Swami gifting the
chain was given to Him and Swami presented it to the
boy. Swami asked him what he was studying and he said
that he had three more years left to complete his
graduation from a Buddhist school. Swami blessed him
lovingly. Then, instead of moving to the residence, He
moved into the interview room.
He sent shawls for all the monks. But before giving it,
He had instructed that they be shown the shawl and asked
what they felt about it. They loved it and Swami was so
happy. He asked for all of them to assemble in the
Photo source: sssbpt.org - web layout
The monks did so and soon, Swami was there. He asked all
of them whether they liked the shawls and they were
indeed very happy. "We will use it every night as we
sleep." One of the monks told, "I love Swami." For a
monk who believes in absolutely the Nirakara (formless)
aspect, to openly profess love for Swami, it only
demonstrated the power of Divine love.
Swami then began to explain to them about the Bhajan
Hall in which they sat. He pointed out to the various
idols on top and explained to them the Dashaavatars (the
ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu). He also showed them
the Buddha and said that He too was there in the
avatars. Swami then began to ask the monks their names
and the meaning of the names. One of the younger ones
had a heart problem and Swami told him not to worry.
Then, he spoke to Captain Aung who had been the
facilitator for the whole group. He also moved amidst
the monks and asked each and everyone his name. After
three glides into the newly created aisles, Swami
returned to the front.
source: sssbpt.org - web layout design
Swami was speaking so softly. On one occasion, when
three people were straining their ears to hear, Swami
said, "I am giving you a lot of difficulty right?" They
were almost startled and said in one voice, "No Swami!
We love you Swami." Swami then pointed to the covers
which held the shawls. He read out what was written,
"Hands that serve are holier than the lips that pray."
Blessing all of them, Swami moved out of the Bhajan Hall
at almost 11 a.m.
The drama in the evening had been announced to be held
at 6:00 p.m. It was at sharp 5:55 p.m. that Swami
arrived. The New Year evening began in a novel way. One
of the staff members sought blessings the previous
evening telling Swami that he had bought a new car.
source: sssbpt.org - web layout design
source: sssbpt.org - web layout design
Swami asked for him to come with the car so that He
could have a look! Indeed wonderful and mysterious are
the ways in which the Lord blesses His loved ones. So,
as soon as Swami came out of the residence, A Tata Nano
car greeted Him. Swami asked the staff member (from the
SSSIHMS), "Which car is it?" "Swami, Nano." Swami lipped
the name after him.
Even his parents had come as per Swami's command and the
Lord spoke to the trio lovingly. Next, taking the key of
the car, Swami blessed it. Then He told him to drive the
car over lemons as is the tradition. Even as he did
that, the lemons were squashed and some of the juice
flew to Swami's hair. Swami beamed with joy as He wiped
it and seemed to admire the driving skills of His
student! Blessing the family with a group photograph,
Swami was preceded by a colourful Chinese procession. As
Swami moved in the marbled blocks, He collected letters
from Chinese kids who were seated in the front.
Completing the darshan round, as Swami arrived on the
stage, He lit the lamp in the altar of the Buddha that
had been specially made. Then He asked for the programme
to begin. It began with a plethora of offerings -
Fruits, cakes and other edibles - all held very sacred
by the Chinese.
Photo source: sssbpt.org - web layout
After the initial offerings, there was a speech by the
coordinator. In his speech, he spoke about the
importance of family that the Chinese culture had always
lays stress on. He laid out a nine point sadhana as per
Swami's guidelines to follow in one's life. With that,
he welcomed everyone for the celebration of the New
The programme then began with the Chinese performing a
variant of the Burrakatha! Everyone was wondering as to
what the programme would be like when three Chinese
youth took centrestage. Explaining the path to peace and
love through Swami's teachings, the boys sang out in
Hindi, Sanskrit and Telugu.
It was amazing as to how a rural art form from Andhra
Pradesh had traveled all the way to China, only because
of the fact that Swami loves it! The boys also chanted a
verse from the vedic mantra Rudram and the chanting was
impeccable. Their 15 minute presentation was very well
received and Swami also clapped for it. It was after
this that the drama began.
The drama was centred around family and family values.
It had its share of humor and was excellently acted out
by the youth and elders alike. It consisted of a typical
modern family where the elders are not cared for and the
values have gone for a walk! There is complete
disharmony and restlessness. Wrong decisions are taken
based on hypocrisy and the very foundation of the family
source: sssbpt.org - web layout design
It is at this point that the 'grand'father of the family
steps in to begin a dialogue that has a profound impact
on everyone present. He narrates tales from ancient
China and inspires love and bonding in the family. He
advises them as per Swami's teachings to ensure that the
love in the family strengthens the harmony in society.
Amidst all this wisdom, there was a deaf character who
provided comic relief. Towards the end, there was an
emotional reunion among the family members. Interspersed
in the drama were some colourful dances from China.
Soon, the entire troupe came ahead into the final
source: sssbpt.org - web layout design
Swami immediately moved down the stage and granted group
pictures for the participants. Then returning to the
stage, He asked for aarthi which was taken. However,
after the aarthi, He asked the students to sing bhajans.
Two bhajans later, there was another aarthi. As this
happened, many Chinese moved up to Swami at the stage
and presented Him a rose and took namaskar.
The boy who acted as the rebellious son in the drama,
having shed tears of repentance, began shedding tears
again as he approached Swami. Swami seemed to console
Him but that seemed to evoke more tears. Another boy by
his side consoled him, rubbing his shoulders in a
Swami then moved into the interview room and brought
sarees and white safari pieces. He then had them
distributed to all the participants. He also blessed
prasadam for distribution. Finally, ensuring smiles on
every face, Swami moved towards Yajur Mandir and the
time now was past 8:00 p.m.
Bhagavan did not come for evening darshan on Monday -
instructions were sent to offer Arati and conclude the
bhajans at 6 o'clock. On Tuesday and Wednesday He spent
much of the evening sessions in the interview room,
coming for darshan at 5.20 and 6.10 respectively. It was
nearly a quarter to eight when He returned to His
residence yesterday after Arati. This afternoon He went
for a drive at half-past noon, and came for darshan at
ten to five. During His round of the hall, He interacted
with some of the devotees and monks who have started
gathering here for the Chinese New Year celebrations.
After blessing the 'Birthday boys', Swami blessed
prasadam for distribution and moved to the interview
room at 5.45. At six o'clock He emerged, accepted Arati
and returned to His residence.
The 14th of February all around the
world is celebrated as Valentine's Day with or without
much ado! In its original untainted form, the day is a
celebration of true pure Love. And anyone with a little
(or loads of) experience in the world will know for sure
that true pure love or Divine love is possible only when
one is immersed in the Divine.
As far as Puttaparthi is concerned, it was the dawn of
yet another day, for everyday is a celebration of pure
love in this holy hamlet. The Shivarathri ceremonies and
celebrations having concluded, separation pangs filled
the air as it was time for the students from Brindavan
and Anantapur campus to return to their respective
During the Sports and Cultural Meet
2010, the students from the Anantapur campus had not got
the opportunity to present their "Cultural" part of the
Meet. In line with His delays not being His denials,
Swami lovingly permitted them to present that planned
programme on that day and the girls were simply
They sat in the marbled blocks awaiting His arrival. The
Veda chanting stopped at 5 p.m. and resumed at 5:15 p.m.
with Swami's arrival. Swami took a complete round and
even as He passed by the Anantapur block, He asked for
the letters the girls were holding.
He asked them what their programme
was about. Finding out that they wanted to sing songs,
He told them to begin the moment He reached on the
stage. As always, a host of initial offerings preceded
the programme. This included the release of a CD.
The programme consisted of a good
variety of songs from light to classical. Starting with
a prayer invoking Lord Ganesha, they went on to songs of
Shiva and the Mother. Interspersed were two excellent
renditions on the violins. The two girls who played
those pieces seemed totally lost in the tune. There was
a solo piece on the keyboard too.
They poured forth their love and
devotion to their dearest Swami. As the songs went on,
Swami called the Brindavan students who were holding up
a card. They pleaded with Him to visit Brindavan soon.
Swami saw their card and blessed them.
Curiosity now seemed to overcome
Swami as He called another boy. He was holding a message
that read, "Swami Plz Come To Brindavan." Swami asked
him what "Plz" meant! He answered, "Swami, please."
Swami seemed stunned at the new spellings (thanks to the
sms and email age!) He blessed that student and sent him
The 40 minute programme was sung
and performed by about 30 girls and as it came to the
last song, Swami asked, "How many more? Three?" The
warden was a little confused and said, "Four more" when
immediately the singers corrected her, "Swami one more."
Swami nodded and the whole campus sang out their Sports
Meet gratitude song.
Swami asked the students by His
side to get sarees and personally chose which saree He
wanted to present them. Then He moved down. Sitting in
front of the singers, Swami personally gifted a saree to
each and every member of the music group. After the
distribution was complete, Swami posed with all of them
for a group picture. Then, He moved up the stage.
The bhajans by the
Anantapur girls were on and soon Swami received
Aarthi. As He was leaving, the photographer got the
group photo that had been taken minutes back. Swami
seemed so keen to almost study the photo. Then He turned
around and called out for the Principal and Warden of
the Anantapur campus and gave the photo to them A joyous
applause rented the air as all the girls celebrated this
additional shower of grace.
On His way to Yajur Mandir, Swami
blessed two distinguished doctors, Dr. Roger Freedman
and Dr. Ted Zaharias from Utah, USA who were in
Puttaparthi for His darshan for a day before
leaving to Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical
Sciences, Whitefield, Bangalore, the next day to perform
a series of cardiac surgeries.
The Shivarathri bhajans continued through the night and
the microphones were turned on at six o'clock, and
Bhagavan came to Sai Kulwant hall five minutes later. He
moved down the centre of the Hall beyond the lotus gate,
inspecting and blessing the prasadam kept there before
moving to the stage. Swami sat onstage for half an hour
as the bhajans went on. He then moved to the bhajan hall
and blessed the food kept there as prasadam. Moving to
the gents' side of the hall, He went near the garage
area where more prasadam was arrayed, and then made
another full round of the hall.
After some time onstage,
Swami again moved to the bhajan hall and made another
round of the front of Sai Kulwant hall. At 7.10, He
asked for the Arati to conclude the night-long bhajan,
and asked for the prasadam to be distributed. He watched
as everyone was served sweet rice and tamarind rice on
leaf plates. Moving to the bhajan hall once again, He
went into the interview room, and returned to His
residence after half an hour, blessing many devotees on
In the evening, Bhagavan came for darshan as the bhajans
went on at a quarter-past five. He sat onstage for
nearly an hour after coming into the bhajan hall to see
the clothes arranged there for the group from Orissa.
Wall calendars were distributed as the bhajans went on.
The penultimate batch of beneficiaries of the houses
built by Bhagavan after the Orissa floods were here
during the Shivarathri celebrations, and today Swami was
gifting them with clothes. The ladies from the group
were asked to assemble in the bhajan hall, and Swami
moved there to bless them. He interacted with some of
them and moved among them after sarees and vibhuti
prasadam had been distributed. After this interaction,
Swami returned to the stage, and the gents from Orissa
had their clothes and vibhuti distributed in the Sai
Kulwant hall itself. It was seven o'clock when Bhagavan
accepted Arati and returned to His residence.
Shivarathri in Prasanthi assumes greater significance
with the Lord in physical frame preside over the day’s
proceedings leading up to whole night vigil with akhanda
bhajans singing His glory. The auspiciousness tagged to
the festivity permeates the air with Divinity becoming a
silent witness, immense in nature, tranquil and silent,
accepting the offering of singing through the night.
The day’s long wait came to an end when the Lord clad in
maroon came out of His Abode heading towards the
Poornachandra Auditorium wherein thousands upon
thousands had been seated for darshan. Blessing the vast
concourse, Bhagawan had a ‘trial inspection’ run of the
special screen relaying proceedings from the Sai Kulwant
Ushering into the Sai Kulwant Hall, the Lord was
welcomed by the auspicious sounds of Nadaswaram and
Pachavadyam while Veda chanting by the students was on.
Bhagawan, upon completing the round, cut the special
cake done by a special Italian “cake-makers”.
Bhagawan moved through the verandah to come on the dais
commencing the proceedings for the evening. When all
were clueless as to what would be the programme before
the commencement of the Akhanda Bhajan, the Lord
signaled to His students.
At the transitional phase between day and night on the
auspicious Shivarathri occasion, at the twilight, the
Nataraja, the Greatest of the Dance Masters, chose to
dance in the minds of the devotees listening to the
musical excellence of His students. An hour long musical
feast, started at 5:45 p.m. with the Lingashtakam, the
talented bunch of students brought out rare repertoire
of musical pieces, ranging from Carnatic to Hindustani,
from Telugu to Hindi, all at ease enthralling the Lord
and the capacity audience that filled the Sai Kulwant
Hall to capacity.
Click here to watch Shivaratri video
from 12th Feb
As they continued with the song, "Mahaprana Deepam"
raising the rhythmic energy levels, enticing and
tickling thousands upon thousands of vocal cords to
chorus, the subtlety of the auspiciousness tagged to the
festivity was emerging out bringing in beauty in the
hearts of thousands in the immediate Divine Presence of
Sathyam, the Truth. Sai Kulwant was verily exhibiting
Sathyam Sivam Sundaram in reality. While the number "Om
Namah Shivaya" in Hindustani was a treat to the ears,
the next piece that followed was a Carnatic one that
left lasting impressions. Immensely pleased with the
rendering, Bhagawan called the two singers onstage
asking them to sing a “thillana".
Akhanda Bhajan started at 6:45 pm when the twilight was
slowly giving way to the auspicious night. As the boys
and girls, in alternate turns continued with the
bhajans, Bhagawan sat through for quite long until He
retired to Yajur Mandiram after 8 pm.
Arathi was offered in between as instructed by Bhagawan
but without Shanti Mantra, continuing the bhajans with
Upon the Arathi, an announcement was made about the
Akhanda Bhajan to continue as a whole night vigil, with
various groups participating in alternate turns, singing
all through the night, until Mangala Arathi at 7
followed by prasadam distribution.
In the night, the Sai Kulwant Hall was emitting powerful
spiritual vibrations with various groups in alternate
turns singing His glory followed in chorus by capacity
audience, powered to keep vigil throughout the night.
The consecrated Sayeeshwara Lingam that was the centre
of attraction during the Ati Rudra Maha Yajna conducted
in the year 2006 was installed in front of the dais,
surcharging the atmosphere infinitely.
The fresh and spiritually charged morning found the Lord
coming out as early at 6:05 am. Gliding through, He
moved past the devotees, blessing the special prasadam
for the occasion in between before taking a detour,
cutting short to the dais. Bhagawan made several round
through the verandah and Bhajan Hall and a second round
starting from the gents side towards the ladies side
finally ending in the verandah.
Arathi was offered at 7:10 pm upon which Prasadam,
Tamarind Rice and Sweet Pudding were offered to the vast
assemblage of devotees. Bhagawan retired to the Yajur
Mandiram after 8 bringing the curtain down for
Huge populace of devotees attended the weekend festivity
with thousands upon thousands thronging to the spiritual
capital invoking Divine Blessings. As many as ten sheds
have been demolished owing to the construction of new
dormitories with better fecilities, west and south block
verandahs had been occupied by the huge influx of
Shivarathri devotees, well in advance, from 10th Feb
Once Swami left the
previous night, the Shivarathri vigil began. It is said
that there are as many ways to God as there are
devotees. Each chooses his/her way to worship God and
the Lord responds to each. The vigil too saw varied
activities being undertaken. Of course, 'central' to
everything was the bhajan singing that was on,
alternating between the gents and the ladies. Many
devotees undertook a night long fast. At about 9 p.m.,
once the mikes went off, group bhajans began.
A separate group was
formed in a corner of the hall and they began to chant
the Rudram. Reading of scriptures and holy books was
resorted to by some; others who were of a strong
physical constitution began circumambulating the Ganesha
temple and the various other temples in the vicinity.
Everyone tried to engage themselves in some spiritually
beneficial activity or the other.
The night was deep and at the crack
of dawn, the Saishwara lingam was re-adorned with
flowers. 6 a.m. saw the mikes being turned on and once
again the glory of Lord Shiva, as bhajans,
echoed everywhere in the Nilayam. Ten minutes later,
there was a hush and an outburst of Joy as the familiar
orange of Swami's robe was seen at the western end of
Swami had arrived and He was once
again on the special throne chair. As He moved through
the ladies side and reached the centre of the hall, He
was requested to bless the prasadam and Swami
gladly agreed. Swami moved through the centre aisle to
the Northern gate of Sai Kulwant Hall. Huge vessels
holding chakrapongal (sweetened rice) and
pulihora (tamarind rice) had been impressively
Swami took the small "broom" made
of sacred grasses and began to gently sprinkle water on
the prasadam vessels; He moved along the entire
array doing this. Some people were concerned about Swami
having to go to all the vessels. But Swami Himself was
very keen and He kept sprinkling water on all the
containers. After that was done, He moved back through
the aisle and continued to the stage. He arrived on the
dais and sat for the bhajans. Everyone now
Sleep was definitely overpowering a
few but it was no match to the glow that Swami brought.
Active bhajan singing resounded in the hall.
After a while, Swami allowed for the prasadam
to be brought and kept in the front on the respective
sides. Once that was done, Swami moved towards the
He blessed vessels of food there
and also gave some instructions on distribution. He then
had a look at the leaves on which the prasadam
would be served. Some things in life do not change and
Swami's meticulous attention when it comes to devotees
certainly tops the list. He then moved out of the Bhajan
Hall from the rear door and made His way to the side
area where the alumni generally sit.
He saw the arrangements that had
been made for the prasadam distribution.
Satisfied, He took a full darshan round in the
reverse direction and the devotees were simply too
happy. Moving through the gents and students, He went to
the ladies too. Now, He arrived on the stage and once
again, after a few bhajans, moved into the
Bhajan Hall. This time, He took another round and
traversed the path that had been neglected till now -
the one in the front bordered by students.
It was 7:10 a.m. when He arrived on
the stage and midway through a bhajan by the
boys, asked for the aarthi. Even as the
aarthi went on, the prasadam distribution
began - leaves followed by tasty pulihora and
pongal. And as all the devotees were being
served, Swami moved into the interview room. It was
shortly before 8 a.m. that He retired for the morning.
His devotees consider Bhagavan Sri
Sathya Sai Baba as the Shiva-Shakti avatar (the
embodiment of Lord Shiva and Mother Shakti). So it is no
surprise that Shivarathri sees an influx of devotees in
huge numbers to Prasanthi Nilayam. The resources and
energies of the volunteers at Prasanthi Nilayam are
tested to the last sinew and there are devotees
The corridors of all the residential complexes too are
filled to the brim and people spread sheets wherever
they find a little space and spend time there. Long
serpentine lines to enter the hallowed precincts of the
Mandir are a common feature and people endure standing
for 3-4 hours on the end with a smile.
Screens are erected and televisions
placed at strategic positions to enable the devotees a
good glimpse of their Sai Shiva. The Poorna Chandra
auditorium becomes a theater with a giant screen where
the marvel of technology brings the live happenings at
the Sai Kulwant Hall.
The Shivarathri (literally
translated as the night of Shiva) morning saw the Rudram
being chanted with added fervour followed by bhajans.
The Saishwara lingam that had been blessed with
pranaprathistapana at the divine hands during the
Athi Rudra Mahayajna in 2007 adorned the front area of
the marbled blocks. Aarthi was taken at 9:40
In the evening, Swami arrived at
5:20 p.m. He was dressed in a beautiful maroon robe and
gasps escaped the lips of those thrilled devotees the
moment He made His appearance. Before heading to the Sai
Kulwant Hall, He moved into the Poorna Chandra
auditorium. The hall was full and everyone seemed crazed
with joy at the mere sight of Swami. They raised their
arms as if grabbing and applying the love and grace that
was exuding from Him. Swami took a gentle round on the
Reaching the eastern end, He asked
a photographer there, "Are there steps to go down?" The
ramp to go down was at the western end and Swami
expressed the desire to go down! Ah! The excitement of
the devotees there should be seen to be believed. Swami
was smiling, raising His hand in blessings and
benediction. Reaching the centre, He moved through the
path. People were shouting, "Sairam! Sairam!" and almost
jumping in joy. When it looked people’s enthusiasm might
make it difficult to manage them, Swami turned around.
As He ascended the stage, the
photographer told Him that all that was happening live
in Sai Kulwant Hall would be relayed to the auditorium.
The lights were turned off and Swami saw the larger than
life image of the Saishwara lingam on the screen. He
appeared moved at this and then blessing the devotees
assembled for one last time, He moved out of the
auditorium into the hall.
The Veda chanting was on and the
nadaswaram and panchavadyam by the
students began to perform. Swami moved through the
ladies side. He was on the special throne chair and was
clearly seen by all as it has good height. Completing
the round through the gents and students, Swami arrived
at the centre. He had a look at the lingam that had been
installed there facing the east.
Then He moved on. The warden of the
Anantapur campus of the University sought Swami’s
permission for the girls too to lead the bhajans during
the night long vigil that was to follow. Swami nodded.
The tiny tots from the Primary school had prepared a
plethora of cards for Swami for the occasion of
Shivarathri. Swami looked through all of them and then
arrived at the portico.
There He lit the candle on a huge cake specially
prepared for the occasion. Cutting the cake, He moved
through the portico and arrived on the stage. He sat
listening to the Veda chants for about 15 minutes. He
then asked for the stotrams to begin.
The next 45 minutes, one felt as if
Kailasa had travelled south to meet its Lord! Beginning
with the Lingashatakam, the students sang the
song Prabhum Prananatham. Many more
stotrams and songs followed. They were so
enthralling and hearing them and seeing Swami was such a
profound spiritual experience. The song, Mahaprana
Deepam raised the rhythmic energy levels in the
entire hall and all those who could not sing along began
to enthusiastically clap.
The song "Om Namah Shivaya"
rendered in Hindustani style with all the variations and
in depth knowledge of the raaga was a treat to the ears.
This was followed by a Carnatic song. It was so
impressive that Swami called the two singers to stage.
He told them to sing another song
in the "thillana" style. They obliged and pleased Swami
and also the thousands who had gathered. As they
concluded, Swami told the students to begin bhajans.
And thus the bhajans
began. It was almost 6:50 p.m. The boys and girls began
to sing alternatively. Swami sat in His seat and it was
such a wonderful darshan. The night arrived and
truly Shivarathri was on at Prashanti Nilayam. Swami
drank a glassful of water or two.
Everyone sat up alert as this was one of those signals
which precede the lingodbhavam. The signals
ended with that, thankfully, as devotees experience so
much pain seeing their beloved Swami in pain during the
lingodbhavam. The bhajans continued.
After a while, Swami moved to the interview room.
Coming out, He continued to sit for
the bhajans. After a few minutes, He asked for
aarthi. Some people attempted to tell Him that
bhajans would be on for the whole of the night.
Swami nodded and called Prof. Anil Kumar. He had it
announced that there would be bhajans the whole
night and aarthi would be taken at 7 a.m.
the next day. Then, looking at the
priest, He asked him again to do the aarthi.
The priest was very hesistant but one more look from
Swami and some forceful prodding had him waving the
camphor. Swami called one of the teachers of the music
group and said, "After aarthi, do not chant the
Shanti mantra. Restart the bhajans instead."
That was done to the word and
bhajans went on. After a couple of them, Swami told
the Carnatic pair to sing the next bhajan. As
they started to sing, Swami began to move towards Yajur
Mandir. It was almost 8:15 p.m. when He retired.
"I am Nataraja—the dance master, the first among dancers.
You are all dance pupils. I alone know the agony of teaching
you each step in the dance!"
-Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
On Shivarathri how fortunate and
deserving one would be, to be in the precincts of Prasanthi Nilayam
that is blessed by the presence of Shiva himself in His physical
frame! Yet, are we ready to embrace this fact. Or, will it be
conceived to be a pseudo world that lures one with a temporary, so
called, heaven? Well, it is not an insignificant piece of
information that is to be sidelined in favour for the petty,
ephemeral and mundane choices of the world....Read on>>
The Great Night of Shiva -
Cover Story on Shivarathri
The Sri Sathya Sai Organisation
in Hyderabad is ever so active in serving the deserving.
And Swami from His side has always kept the Divine
inspiration going in His own way. On February 10,
another feather was added in their service cap as they
sought Divine blessings to inaugurate the mobile
hospital van “Sri Sathya Sai Prana Mitra”. The van,
decked in its flourescent blue stood majestically
outside the Yajur Mandir building.
Shortly before 4:20 p.m., Swami arrived and the Grama
Seva president along with the concerned conveners prayed
to Swami to bless the endeavour. Swami was more than
happy to do so. He moved towards the van and asked as to
how it would function. "Swami, starting from this
Shivarathri, it'll be available on a 24X7 basis for all
emergencies. People can be safely taken to the
The next question was, "How much did it cost?" "Swami,
12 lakhs." Swami nodded and said that He was very happy
and that service should be done. He blessed everyone
associated with the project and accepted roses and
letters from them.
The rear doors of the ambulance were opened and Swami
seemed to scrutinize every inch of the van as He charged
it with Divine healing and calming potency.
As He moved towards the Sai Kulwant Hall, He asked one
of the security guards as to where he came from. He told
Swami and then prayed for admission of his child in
primary school. Swami nodded a "We shall see", and then
moved ahead into Sai Kulwant Hall.
He accepted letters and moved through the students into
the gents’ side. He accepted letters as He passed by the
students and then arrived on stage by 4:40 p.m.
The Veda chanting was on and the students were holding a
card to seek permission for a programme on Shivarathri.
Swami smiled and He threw a packet of vibhuti for one of
the students. The student took that as a blessing as
well as the permission to go to Swami, so he moved up
and informed Swami about the planned programme. Swami
again smiled, nodded and sent him back.
Turning to His left, He called Mr. Ajit Popat to address
the gathering. The next half an hour or so was an
energy-filled talk as Mr. Popat, the Puppet as he calls
himself, dilated on the simple rule to being close to
God - Swasth raho, Vyasth raho aur Mast raho!" (Be
healthy, busy and joyous). Health referred to both
physical and mental aspects. Being busy in contemplating
upon, "Who am I? Where do I come from?" is the way to
Finally being happy by living in the present and neither
anticipating the future nor worrying about the past was
the way to lead life. The speaker presented many
anecdotes from the fictional life of Mullah Nasaruddin
which is metaphorical of man's life today.
He concluded his speech with three forceful “Jai Bolos”
to Bhagavan. Swami seemed moved with his speech and
blessed him profusely.
Swami then looked at the bhajan group and said, "It’s
time! Start bhajans." Bhajans followed for the next half
an hour almost. At the end of it, Swami asked for aarthi
and then started returning to His residence.
A big group of 690 devotees from Ooty, Nilgiris have
come on a pilgrimage to Prasanthi Nilayam spanning over
three days. The group comprising 350 ladies and 340
gents had an extra day stay when Bhagawan asked them to
have their programme on the 7th evening, against the
original plan of having the same staged on the 6th
The Nilgiris, popularly known as the fairyland of Tamil
Nadu is a marvellous natural wonder, an epitome of God’s
creative craft in pristine perfection, where mother
nature bejewels herself with exquisite repertoire of
native boons. Passing through the times in several
centuries, the Nilgiris, the blue mountains of Southern
India has been going through rich cultural evolution
from time to time, from the times of the Cheras and
Cholas through to the times of Pandyas, to the Hoysalas,
to British to the present day.
After the rare initiative taken up last year bringing
spiritually elevated souls from the valleys of the blue
mountains, this year the group had the folk art form,
Therukoothu, Street play of Tamil Nadu to present to the
On the evening of 7th February 2010, devotees from Ooty,
Tamil Nadu presented a folk dance drama “Sathyavan
Savitri” from the epic Mahabharata. The folk art style
of the artistes brought alive the hoary culture of
Bharat. Bhagawan came for Darshan on this evening at
5.05 p.m. to the chant of the Vedas. After Bhagawan came
to the dais of the Hall, the organisers sought
Bhagawan’s blessings and presented the programme for the
evening to Bhagawan. As is the tradition, the drama
began with salutations to Lord Ganesh, the remover of
obstacles. There was a cast dressed in the costume of
Lord Ganesh, which made the presentation all the more
The inner meaning of the story of Sathyavan Savitri is
that God protects those who lead a life of chastity
following the path of truth. The story runs thus: The
childless king of Madra, Ashwapati, lives ascetically
for many years and offers oblations to Sun God Savitr.
He wishes to have a son for his lineage. Finally,
pleased by the prayers, God Savitr appears to him and
grants him a boon: he will soon have a daughter. She is
born and named Savitri in honour of the god.
Once Savitri reaches the marriageable age, she chooses
as her husband Sathyavan, the son of blind king
Dymatsena, who after he had lost everything including
his kingdom lives in exile as a forest-dweller.
Sage Narada advises her father that Savitri had made a
wrong choice of marrying Sathyavan as he was destined to
die in a year. In response to her father’s pleas to
choose a more suitable husband, Savitri refuses by
saying that she will choose her husband only once.
Three days before the foreseen death of Sathyavan,
Savitri wears the clothing of a hermit and takes a rigid
vow of fasting and vigil. Her father-in-law tells her
she has taken too harsh a regimen, but Savitri replies
that she has taken an oath to perform these austerities,
at which Dyumatsena offers his support.
The morning of Sathyavan’s death, Savitri taking the
permission of her father-in-law accompanies her husband
to the forest. While splitting wood, Sathyavan becomes
weak and swoons to death. Lord Yama comes to claim the
soul of Sathyavan. Savitri follows Yama as he carries
the soul away. When he tries to convince her to turn
back, she discourses on Dharma to Yama, praises Yama for
his just rule and offers successive formulas of wisdom.
Impressed by her speeches, Yama accedes to offer her any
boon except the life of Sathyavan. She first asks for
restoration of kingdom and eyesight for her
father-in-law. Yama instantly grants the boon. Secondly,
she asks for a son for her and Sathyavan. Yama agrees to
grant even that boon. It is then that Savitri seizes the
opportunity and tells Yama that it is you who have
praised me as Pativrata (one of chastity). Now what am I
to do? Unable to wriggle out of the tricky situation,
Yama agrees to give back the life of Sathyavan.
Sathyavan awakens as though he has been in a deep sleep
and returns to his parents along with his wife.
Meanwhile Dyumatsena regains his eyesight. Since does
not know of the happenings, Savitri narrates everything
to her husband and parents-in-law. Joyfully the king and
his entourage return to his kingdom. At this happy turn
of events, the drama too concluded.
Bhagawan materialised a gold chain for the lead actor
Savitri and also blessed the cast with a photograph
session. Bhagawan also gave clothes to all the
participants with His own hands. After distribution of
Prasadam to the cast, Arati was offered to Bhagawan at
6.45 p.m. Thus, concluded the programme of the devotees
The group has been coming regularly for the past 5 to 6
years. Sai awareness programme is on aiming at having
108 bhajan mandalis during the 85th year of His Advent.
The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, over the years,
has been striving to bring the village heads of the
Badaga community, main populace of the valley spreading
over 600 villages, to Bhagawan as a part of the ongoing