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Makara Sankranthi: January 14th, 2005:
Divine Discourse: Makara Sankranthi: January 14th, 2005:
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Makara Sankranthi: January 14th, 2005:

Makara Sankranthi is the day on which the sun moves into the region of the zodiac sign Capricorn, and marks the migration of the sun towards the northern horizon. This movement of the sun is held to be of great spiritual significance in the scriptures. It is also the time when farmers rejoice after the toils of the year result in a bountiful harvest in the fields, and is celebrated all over the country. Indeed, the harvest festival is common to many cultures all over the world and is an occasion of joyful celebration and warm conviviality. In Prasanthi Nilayam, the festival coincides with the valedictory function of the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet of Bhagawan’s educational institutions, when the prizewinners of the various events and competitions held during the year are felicitated.

Procession of Sports Captains welcoming Bhagawan into Sai Kulwant HallOn the morning of 14th January, Bhagawan entered the Sai Kulwant Hall in a procession led by captains of the various sports teams of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning and by the brass bands of the Anantapur and Prasanthi Nilayam campuses of the Institute. After Bhagawan ascended the dais, the programme commenced with a talk by Sri S.V. Giri, the Vice-Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, who congratulated the students for their splendid performance during the Inaugural ceremony of the Sports and Cultural Meet – 2005, that was held on January 11th at the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View stadium. The speaker commented that the broad spectrum of events that were witnessed that day, ranging from the artistic to the adventurous, were a testimony to the wonders that can be achieved under Divine guidance. He said that the sports meet, that may appear as a mere physical activity to many, is imbued with a deep spiritual significance. The weeks of practice that precede the programme bring about concentration of the mind, which can then be chanelled towards spiritual pursuits during the auspicious period of Uttarayana that follows the Makara Sankranthi festival. He also revealed to the students how much concern Bhagawan had been evincing regarding the safety and welfare of the students during the practice sessions.

The talk by Sri S.V. Giri was followed by speeches by two students of the Institute, Kum. E. Thomas of the Anantapur Campus and Sri ArvindMiss E. Thomas addressing the gathering in Sai Kulwant Hall Balasubramaniam of the Prasanthi Nilayam campus. The first speaker viewed the annual sports meet as a time when one absorbs everlasting lessons of endurance and fortitude. She said that the eagerness to please Bhagawan transforms even the most timid of individuals into brave lions on the grounds of the Hill View stadium on January 11th. The next speaker, Sri Arvind, said that there is only one objective to the sports meet, indeed of every activity the students undertake, and that is to bring a smile on Bhagawan’s face. He related an incident that took place a few months ago during one of the presentations put up by students in Bhagawan’s presence at the Sai Kulwant Hall. After the presentation, as Bhagawan was blessing the participants, he materialized a chain for one of the students who played the role of King Parikshit. In the scene, King Parikshit gets separated from his party while hunting in the forest and after hours of roaming in the forest is tortured by thirst. This role was only a minor one in the presentation, and the speaker wondered what was it about the performance that had pleased Bhagawan. It was only later that he came to know that the student had kept off water for one full day so that he could give a convincing performance of a thirsty man in front of Bhagawan. This instance, the speaker observed, was an example of the love and the spirit of sacrifice that Bhagawan inspires in His students.
Bhagawan presenting the trophy to Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
After the talks by the students, Bhagawan presented trophies to the captains of the various campuses of His educational institutions and to the children of the “Deena Janoddharana Pathakamu”, the scheme set up by Bhagawan for destitute children belonging to the weaker sections of society.

Bhagawan then granted His Divine Discourse, which He began by describing the beauty of the festivities associated with Makara Sankranthi. He said that the festival of Sankranthi brings joy to man and Nature alike. But man today has forgotten that the fount of all happiness and peace lies within him and so seeks it in the outside world and thus brings sorrow upon himself. The term “Kranthi” signifies change, and so the festival reminds man that he must change his outlook and turn his vision inwards. Referring to the recent Tsunami disaster that caused devastation in many countries in South Asia, Bhagawan said that such disasters are wrought about by man upon himself and are a direct result of his impure thoughts and actions. Man must develop the forbearance to ford over the difficulties and disappointments that life presents us with, and realise his true nature as being one of unceasing bliss.

Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, “Hari Bhajan Bina …” and after accepting arati retired to His residence.A scene from Sai Bhagavatam - play presented by Sri Sathya Sai Primary School

In the evening at 5.00 p.m., at the Poornachandra Auditorium, the students of Sri Sathya Sai Primary School presented a drama entitled “Sai Bhagavatam” which depicted many episodes from Bhagawan’s childhood and how three small wishes of Mother Easwaramma for improving the living conditions of the residents of Puttaparthi have taken the form of the Drinking Water Supply Projects, the educational institutions, and the super-speciality hospitals that today benefit millions of people. The presentation was quite innovative with the use of a projector to project appropriate backdrops for the scenes. At the end of the programme Bhagawan blessed all the participants and accepted arati, and with this the Sankranthi celebrations drew to a close.

“Annamacharya” – Drama presented by Brindavan Campus: 13th January:
On the evening of 13th January, the students of the Brindavan campus of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning presented a play titled “Annamacharya” based on the life of Annamayya, the musician saint of Andhra Pradesh. Annamayya was born in 1424 A.D. in Tallapaaka village in Cuddapah district of A scene from Annamacharya presented by the Brindavan Campus of the universityAndhra Pradesh. He was rescued from the snares of worldly life by Lord Venkateswara (one of the forms of Lord Vishnu), who appeared to Annamayya in the form of a sanyasi (a renunciant) and weaned him away from a life of sensual pleasure to the worship of the beautiful form of the Lord enshrined in the Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirupati. He was initiated into Nadopasana (worship of the Lord through devotional music) by none other than Sage Narada himself. During his lifetime, Annamayya composed around 32,000 kirtanas (devotional songs) that are popular even to this day. He merged in the Lotus Feet of the Lord in 1503 A.D.

With magnificent backdrops, elaborate costumes and scintillating music and dances, the drama surcharged the atmosphere with feelings of devotionAnnamayya merges in the Lotus Feet of Lord Venkateswara - a scene from Annamacharya towards the Lord who was then worshipped by Sri Annamacharya as Lord Venkateswara and today is worshipped by millions all over the world as Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. At the conclusion of the programme, Bhagawan profusely blessed the students and stood for photographs with them and after arati retired to the Poornachandra residence.

Jai Sai Ram!


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