Brother Abhimanyu Kaul about Bhagawan
Blessing the programme for the January Alumni Meet:
January 15th, 2008
The northward moving sun dawned on the glorious day of Sankranthi, considered as the day when
the sweet fruits of one's patience and perseverence are rewarded. The great Bheeshmacharya was
rewarded with the highest heavens when he decided to give up his body. For the students of the
Sathya Sai Institutions too, Sankranthi is the day when they are rewarded by their dear Lord
for all the efforts put in during the Sports and Cultural Meet.
Swami decided to grant darshan on the chair itself and He was welcomed by the flag bearers
from the Institute and the brass band. Towards the centre of the hall, the boys made a canopy
of flag salutes and Swami slowly moved through that. After completing the darshan rounds,
Swami came and took His place in the centre of the stage. He lit the ceremonial lamp and went
over to each of the sides where all the shields and trophies had been arranged. He let His
gaze scan across the prizes and seemed to charge them with His love before they could be
handed over to the winners.
The physical instructors from all the different campuses came forward and offered roses and
their salutations to Swami. After that, the Vice Chancellor spoke briefly on the importance of
sports in the upkeep of the body to reach its ultimate goal. After him, Swami blessed Sri.
Dileep, a gold medalist and the script writer of the recently displayed Hanuman drama, to
address the august assembly. The student began on a very confident note. He narrated as to how
it is Swami who does everything including applauding and rewarding the students - His children
- for the efforts He put in. His short and sweet speech was topped with a loving pat from
Swami. Then a thrill of anticipation ran through the entire hall as Swami sat with a playful
smile on His lips. He rose to speak and all applauded. Given below is a summary of the
The great king Harishchandra - where is he today. He had to depart inspite of his vows of
truth. Similar was the fate of Nala, Maandhaatha and Rama. All the great kings had to depart
from the earth - no matter what their greatness. So many others have also come and gone. But
you foolishly think that property and bank balance are permanent. Man was born silent without
shedding tears. (He was made to cry on birth) He should leave the earth also very joyfully. Do
not struggle for the ephemeral objects. This is not the duty for which man was born. It is the
Vyashti (individual) who determines the Samashti (society). This in turn decides the Srishti
(creation) and all are part of Parameshti (God). But without individual, creation loses
Do you ever cry for God? It is not good to keep crying for mere clouds. The dark and thick
clouds may come but they will disappear. Sometimes they hide the sun and moon also. At such
times, just be patient. In this land of Bharat, Kshama is our true wealth, the feeling of Love
towards the mother is the sweetest feeling and the character is more important than life
itself. Bharatiyas today are just aping other cultures and have become like elephants that do
not know their own strength. Man is very powerful. That is why even God takes a Human form
when He descends. Daivam Maanusha Roopena.
It is betrayal if you forget God. Every moment, think of God. The jobs that you do may differ,
but keep the true identity and your true nature the same. That is divinity. We forget that
today and therefore have a lot of suffering. It is our imagination that is the cause of all
sorrow. God has nothing to do with that. God always confers happiness and joys. Your
imagination causes all the sorrow. You take things in a perverted way and that makes things
See, today you are all wearing black coats over white shirts. Seeing that, Anil Kumar here
thinks that he should also do the same as all are doing. So he came dressed the same way. The
whole world is engaged in the copying game today. It is not correct. This will give only
momentary happiness. None can carry back even a single coin that he has with him here. All the
emperors too went empty handed. So as long as an object exists, experience and enjoy it. After
that there is nothing. All the intimacy that you experience is all of your making. Enjoy it as
long as it lasts. Life is full of Joy. And JOY is not just that ice cream! It is in the heart.
Keep it there and keep relishing it always. We celebrate birth and mourn death. Never do that.
Let any difficulty come, keep telling yourself, "I am a spark of the divine. I will not shed a
tear." By practise, you will get that. Concentration and contemplation will give you the
strength to sacrifice.
A person is single till marriage. Then he gets 4 legs. After the first child it becomes 6
legs. As the legs increase, the misery also increases. And all the sorrow is due to your own
weaknesses and mad thoughts. To avoid misery, keep telling yourself, "Whatever I get is for my
own good." Yesterday, today and tomorrow are all one. Today is the yesterday for tomorrow.
Past is past. Future is uncertain. The present is the omnipresent and it includes all the
three in it.
Students, all that you experience is the untruth. Don't worry. You have moved forward already
and then why do you look back. Some people feel very sad - not only in matters of the studies
but in samsara also. They worry that he / she was there before and is not there now. Everytime
they are there. Only the fashions keep changing. From today, think that the new year has
begun. The old becomes new every moment. Don't worry or be afraid of anything. Do not
anticipate worries. It is only courage that can achieve anything. If you lose it, you lose
everything else. Courage is the Pushti (strength) that is responsible for Srishti.
Do not search outside for that which is within. Kama is desire and you run after it. Contain
it. Do not feel sorry that you are losing Kama. Every quality is installed in you. All is a
reflection from within. Treasure all that is within. It is a mistake to run after that you
don't have leaving all that you have. Students, you have studied a lot but of what use is all
these studies? With all this you do not know your own nature. We all study and finally die.
Therefore all education must lead to immortality. The education must benefit society. Teach
all that you know to the less fortunate ones. Share your knowledge and then alone will you
have the expansion of knowledge. Vyashti will then expand into Samashti. Samashti needs Pushti
and that can be obtained from sense control alone. And today there is no trace of sense
control. You lead a wayward life - not only in studies but in conduct also. It is to help you
achieve the true purpose of life that Srishti has been made. Even ants have progeny, they feed
and nurture. You need not take care of family etc if it is only feeding. The creator will do
People go abroad for more money. Whether you get $5000 there or Rs.500 here, it is the same.
There are lot of expenses and troubles there. What is there abroad? 'Aa' (meaning 'that' in
Telugu) broad is all within you. Remain here and serve your parents. Pass on the Bharatiya
culture to your children. Education is not mere scribbling on paper. Without Sujnana (wisdom
and discrimination) all education is useless. What the teachers tell you is all in the books.
The reality is in the Mastaka (head) and not in the Pustaka (book). Do not waste time
studying. Some like bookworms read day and night. Read when you are supposed to. You read all
that is not necessary. Even the junk fallen on the streets and the bazaara, you pick up and
read. The heads are empty nowadays due to cinema and novels. You just open the newspaper and
it is full of ads and cinema models. Your inner voice teaches you very well. Follow your
You do not become a human just because you have hands and legs. Lead an ideal life. This is
our true culture. That is our caste. The culture is ingrained in the caste and the caste
depends on tradition and lineage. The caste is that you are human. None can change that. Along
with the caste and culture, discrimination is of paramount importance. It is like the light in
the darkness. You must foster it.
Never make your parents feel sad. Mother and father are equivalent to God. Modern children do
not want parents but their toy dolls - wife. Everyone comes after parents only. The Vedas too
declare that. Love your mother and follow her commands. If you make her happy, you will be
happy. Make her shed a tear and you will feel sad throughout. Your joy is directly
proportional to the mother's joy. Very few are able to understand the love of the mother. They
say, "Keep quiet mother! Having grown so old, can I not decide this?" It is only from the
parents that one can receive true education.
Keep singing the glory of God. You will be peaceful when you listen to a bhajan. Bhajan is a
way to attain Samashti. Sing within yourself. Today the bhajan singing is also on the decline.
Never forget God. Everything comes and goes. But the bhajans are permanent and will stay and
After the discourse, Swami announced that He would be gifting away the huge cups to each and
every campus. But this time, He announced, that the wardens and principals of each campus
would be receiving it for the excellent performance during the Sports. So then, it was such a
wonderful sight as the wardens and principals of the Prashanti Nilayam, Brindavan, Anantapur,
Higher Secondary School, Mirpuri College of Music and Primary School came forward and received
the cups and blessings from Swami. While everyone were whole heartedly applauding, one could
not help but notice a tinge of disappointment on the faces of the captains and vice-captains
who usually receive the cups. When it was evident to people, will not the loving Lord notice
it? He immediately got more cups and gave them away to the captains and vice captains as well!
As if that was not enough, He asked for all the certificates and medals to be brought to Him.
He blessed each and every tray containing the certificates and picked up all the gold medals
and silver medals in His hands, blessing them all. He also got the number of medals for each
of the campus announced. Then He blessed prasadam to be distributed to all as the brass band
struck up a lively and lovely tune "Murali Krishna Mukunda Krishna". The band played two more
pieces after that and Swami blessed them. He then retired for the morning.
January 13th, 2008
After the grand drama by the Parthi students yesterday, it was the turn of the Brindavan
students to fulfill their role in the "Cultural" part of the Sports and Cultural Meet. Swami
had agreed for the drama,"Kabirdas" to be put up in the Kulwant Hall. The stage settings had
again been reversed from yesterday as the Brindavan campus had come prepared with very
elaborate sets. Swami completed His darshan rounds and immediately came out and sat on the
stage to witness the drama. The introductory roses and cards were offered to Him. Then the
drama began as Swami halted the Veda chanting.
A mention must be made here of the sets and back drops that the Brindavan boys had made. This
fine art seems to be evolving at a very rapid pace indeed. The entire story of Kabirdas
portrayed was almost the grandeur and glory of the sets. The narrative of the Brindavan
Kabirdas drama will not even be 50% complete without the story of the sets. There were three
magnificent settings. The first was the Hindu temple setting. Two Gopurams adorned the stage
and they had been intricately and beautifully carved. One housed the lingam. There were
pictures of Ganesha and Krishna also that had been cut out from thermocol. The second major
setting was a mosque setting. The same steps and buildings got transformed as a few lads came
up and turned around a few sheets. The sets were not only aesthetic but had also been
elegantly engineered. The third and the most grand one was a darbar setting of the badshah
(king). The rear of the throne was specially notable, fabulously painted in peacock blues and
The saint Kabirdas, in his own lifetime during the 15th century AD, combined the best of
Hindu, Islamic and Sufi wisdom and created for humanity a charming tapestry of spiritual gems
in the form of the dohas. The drama began with the young Kabirdas desperately in search of a
guru. He sings out that with Time fleeting and Death being the only certainty, who could show
the path other than the Guru. Guru Ramaanand accepts him as a disciple in spite of protests
from the other disciples that Kabir is a Muslim. Very soon, Kabir receives enlightenment and
dedicates his life to the uplift of humanity. The dohas were all beautifully incorporated to
bring out his message. "Chalti Chakki" was one powerful message, in which he says, " Only the
one who is centred on God will be saved from the twin stones of joy and sorrow which
relentlessly crush all the grains except those that are in the centre."
Kabirdas underwent many trials and tribulations. Both the Hindus and Muslims wanted him and
him alone to make a shawl for their respective Lords and attend the worship which happened to
fall on the same day. Working overnight, Kabir falls asleep without his knowledge and Rama
comes and completes the work for him! So all are happy. Kabir goes and attends the Muslim
festival. There was the scene of the Islamic Zikr. That song was accompanied by a vigorous and
elevating dance in which the message that Allah is the only refuge for all as all problems are
due to the improper identification of oneself as the ego and not the soul. The whole scene was
so powerful that one could feel the spiritual vibes wherever one was seated. Next, Kabir also
attends the Hindu festival in the Shiva temple. Once again, the scene matched the previous in
the power and grandeur of the Lord. "Om Maha Praana Deepam" was sung as many Shivas sprang
forth and did the Tandava dance.
Finally Kabir is tested when the Sultan summons him for spreading discord and gets him
whipped. All the while Kabir prays to the Lord to forgive his oppressors. The lashes suddenly
seem to fall on the Sultan and all his courtiers till they all fall at Kabirdas's feet and
seek pardon which they receive in no time. The drama ended with Kabir being seated on the
royal throne and singing messages which were similar to the ones that Swami has always been
emphasizing on. The drama had a final qawwali in which the theme was, "Who can comprehend the
mystery, grandeur and greatness of His work." As the forceful and thrilling qawwali concluded,
Swami called Kabirdas on to stage and created a gold chain and a ring for him. Kabir, being
concerned of humanity as he always was, requested Swami to bless all the actors too. Swami
gave group photos in small groups of 5-6 and all were happy. Swami was also beaming and
appeared so happy - and naturally so - He is so happy when His children are happy.
All the boys vociferouly prayed to Swami to visit Brindavan. Swami said, "I will come. I will
come." He blessed prasadam to be distributed to all and the left after receiving Aarthi.
January 11th, 2008 -
Today even the sun seemed to rise early with all vigour! Even before 7 am, a beautiful
golden hue enveloped Puttaparthi. The Vidyagiri stadium wore a festive look. People began
filing into the venue of the 2008 Sports and Cultural Meet in thousands. The Sports Meet is a
wonderful conglomeration of feelings, actions and thoughts. For the students, it is an
opportunity to please their dear Swami and dedicate the day specially for Him. For the
parents, its a time to swell their chests in pride seeing their children's capabilities. For
thousands of devotees, its an opportunity to witness another facet of the unique love-story
between the Lord and students. For the thousands of villagers, living in and around
Puttaparthi, it is what the Olympics is for the so-called "developed" world - a venue to make
them gape in awe and wonder.
The stadium seemed painted in millions of colours as the galleries filled up much before
Swami's arrival at 8:10 am. Swami too resembled the golden sun in His Golden yellow robe! A
thrill of joy seemed to pulsate through the entire audience even with the mere sight of their
"Bangaru" Swami through the glass of the Porte car. The welcome song went on the air and the
brass bands from the Anantapur and Prashanti Nilayam campuses struck the right chords. The
zoom bikes thundered down the road powerfully heralding Bhagawan's arrival. The motorcycle
escorts going wheel to wheel in front of the majestic horse escorts was a sight to be seen. An
arch of flags was formed through which Swami's car passed and reached the dais. Swami got down
and went on the lift and now, any little difference that existed between the rising golden sun
and Swami was gone as Swami slowly rose up much to the gleeful delight of all the assembled
devotees. Lighting the lamp and throwing open the Sports and Cultural Meet was the first thing
that Swami did as He came on stage. Then He went and took His position in the centre of the
stage.(like He always does in the centre of our hearts!)
The introductory offerings were made to Swami as the band struck up a lively marching beat and
the parade began. First it was the tiny tots from the Primary school right in the front. They
were followed by the marching squads from the Higher Secondary School and the three campuses
of the Institute at Anantapur, Brindavan and Prashanti Nilayam. The closing was by a special
Athletic squad. The Sports Meet gains significance for one very special reason. A few days
after the Sports Meet, on the 14th or 15th (depending on the calendar) is Sankranthi when the
sun begins the Uttarayanam(the northward movement). This is a very auspicious day and the sun
moving northwards is symbolic of the mind and heart of man moving towards God. The legendary
Bheeshma, the grandsire from the Mahabharata who had the boon to live as long as he wanted and
could give up his body at will, waited for the northward movement of the sun on a bed of
arrows before giving up his body. He was assured mergence with the Lord. That is the powerful
significance of the day. in ancient India, the period of a month or so before that day would
be spent entirely in the contemplation of the Lord. However, in the current times, when it is
so tough to keep the mind from wandering, Swami has, in all His Love and wisdom, designed the
Sports Meet. Every student of His participates in the Meet and for a month or so preceding the
Sankranthi day thinks of only one thing - to make Him happy. Swami occupies the time, energies
and thoughts of the students and everyone naturally benefits at the occurrence of the
auspicious moment. It is little wonder that once one is at His lotus feet, all his spiritual
welfare is taken care of.
After the march past was complete, if one allowed one's eyes to sweep across the ground, one
would get swept off one's feet! It was such an awe inspiring and lovely sight to see all the
squads arrayed in the ground. It literally brought the simile of His armies set to conquer the
world to ones mind. The oath was rendered where each child promised to his/her beloved lord
that they would forever live with the spirit that He had taught. The flag was brought in the
ceremonial march and Swami pressed the button that raised the University flag high on the
flagpole. He then lit the torch with the flame which would adorn the stadium throughout the
day. Releasing pigeons and balloons to mark the occasion, Swami participated in and added
colour and festivity to the day. The flame was taken around the stadium and midway up the hill
by the students who had distinguished themselves as sportsmen in their respective campuses.
From there on, the torch vehicle, the flying unicorn this time, carried the flame to the top
of the hill. There was an applause as the flame burst forth on top of the hill. As a
conclusion for the opening ceremonies, the brass bands from Anantapur and Prashanthi Nilayam
played brisks marches as they moved in front of the dais saluting the chancellor.
Then the campus presentations began. The first was by the Anantapur campus and representatives
from that campus came up on stage to offer their salutations and gratitude to Swami. The
Anantapur display began at 8.45 with graceful group dancing followed by a Far-Eastern group
item with parasols and hand-fans. A sports medley followed, presenting hockey, tennis and
volleyball movements in formation. Motorbike stunts was the next item, including
criss-crosses, various poses on bikes, a breath-taking ramp-jump over 20 girls and a human
pyramid of 38 girls on 9 bikes. The ramp jump seemed to touch Swami a lot and He made some
observations about it to the people sitting beside Him. The bikes kept zooming across the
ground with the riders and others in various poses and each of these stunts received applause
from the audience - both onstage and off it. The Anantapur students concluded their half-hour
presentation forming the words "We Love U" in a group formation as their theme song was
played. They joined in the singing and signed off in devotion with Swami blessing them with
The Brindavan students then began with an equestrian show-jumping demonstration. A marching
band presentation brought up a display of rolling in steel hoops and an aerobics exhibition. A
sort of timber-drill was the next item, with planks of wood being used in imaginative ways to
aid acrobatic feats. The Celestial Rhythms then began with the spelling out of "We Love You"
in a grid of students suspended by a crane nearly 80 feet above the ground. The students made
a number of formations and they looked scintillating with the blue sky as the back ground. As
the Brindavan presentation concluded, Bhagawan accepted Arati onstage and returned to the
Mandir at 10 o'clock while an announcement was made about the afternoon presentations. Swami
graciously granted group photographs for the Band groups of Anantapur and Prasanthi Nilayam
and also the motorcycle escorts before He went into Yajur Mandir. He was so smiling and sweet
and He seemed to be eager to grant photos too!
Bhagawan arrived at 3.25 pm in the afternoon in a maroon robe riding in His Mercedes sports
convertible. On the Sports day, seeing the "sporty" Swami, one was reminded of Swami's saying,
"Among men, I am a man, among women a woman, a child among children - alone I am God." In the
sportsfield, He is the most sportive and a sportsman!!As He reached the stage, tiny tots from
the Primary School brought up bouquets to Him and began the afternoon's presentation. The
hour-long Primary School presentation was a joyful riot of colour as usual, beginning with a "Ganesa"
group dance by small boys. The Ganesha's were interspersed with bears and tiny birds too. A
classical mass-dance, hand-fans and flowers formations, gymnastics, mass flower-dance, dance
by small girls with white wings and Mexican poncho dance followed in quick succession.
Children dressed as deer, tigers, bunnies and monkeys performed various gymnastic feats on
mats, ropes and poles. Their elder brothers and sisters may do motorbike stunts, but the
bicycle stunts by the Primary School boys were just as eye-catching. Unicycle stunts were
creative and even a basketball match was played on unicycles. It was really a fantastic feat
as the children kept their balance and did not miss pouching even a single basket! Then a
rainbow dance brought a grander splash of colours on field and led to their final dance,
balancing items on their heads, paying tribute to Bhagawan, the Light of Lights.
The students of the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School and the Prasanthi Nilayam campus of
Sri Sathya Sai University began their hour-long performance at 4.30 pm with a striking mass
item with classical dancers in the foreground and patterns made from colourful foldable discs
forming a context for Krishna's beautiful Leelas - "Adharam Madhuram...". The item was aptly
named, "The conscious dots" and resembles a giant screen where each pixel performed its role
to perfection to present a beautiful picture on the whole. They concluded with a formation of
a throbbing heart beating for their Lord. Gymnasts on moving trucks then presented balancing
feats with giant flags on equally giant poles - fifty feet high. Some of them balanced the
poles on their elbows while others did it in their mouths! Gymnastic feats including jumps
over vehicles and acrobatics on moving trucks led to a breathtaking display on ropes. The
rope-acrobats, depicted a creative "free-fall" of sorts with the rope wound around them and
the highlight of that item was a spectacular spin by a student on a rope suspended more than
20 feet above the ground with absolutely no safety link around him. He later came up on stage
and presented a rose to Swami. The rope structure was also used as a trapeze stage, as roller-bladers
scintillated on the ground below, ending their dramatic show with a series of jumps over a
van. A precision gun drill with amazing synchronization was followed by a karate display which
featured breaking tiles and pots and also mass nan-chak and stick displays. As the Prasanthi
Nilayam campus came together for their final song, Bhagawan expressed how pleased He was at
His students' performance and profusely blessed them before leaving for His residence. He also
got it announced that the next day, the students of Parthi campus would be putting up a drama
on the devotion of Hanuman at 5 pm in the Kulwant hall.
January 1st, 2008 -
The New Year 2008 began on a beautiful note here in Puttaparthi. The New Year Day
programme nowadays has been given by Swami to the old students of the University. It is such a
wonderful opportunity for all the students that the Lord wishes to begin His New Year with
them. What can be said of Swami's love for the students! As He Himself has said so many
times,"Students are My only property." It is not that the Sai students are a class apart and
so receive so much love from Swami. In fact, it is because they receive His Love in such
abundance that they seem to be a class apart. Like the thousands of zeroes that have no value
if the "1" is removed, Swami gives all the value in their lives and they know that. So they
take up the first day of the year to express their profound sense of gratitude to Him who
means everything to them.
All the students were seated in the marble blocks in front of the stage. Swami came to Sai
Kulwant Hall in His chair at 8.45 am in a procession led by the Students chanting Vedam, with
traditional fans and an umbrella as paraphernalia to adorn and worship the Lord. There was a
surge of Joy throughout the hall and seeing Swami in His beautiful form on the first day of
the year was such a blessing. Swami went all around the darshan rounds in the chair. In the
veranda were beautiful, multi coloured cakes. Swami went first upto them and cut them after
lighting the candles on them.
After Swami came onstage, the Vedam continued for a few minutes. Swami then signaled the
University Brass Band to play a few pieces. The way the brass band began with a bang was
definitely a grand way to welcome the year. The synchronisation, harmony and power were so
scintillating. Notable among the pieces played were La Bamba and the famous "The Love Story"
piece. After three pieces, Swami asked whether it was complete. The band leader then requested
Swami whether they could play one more and Swami consented with a smile. After that Prof. G.
Venkataraman was asked to speak. He welcomed the alumni and described them as the hope for a
troubled world. He emphatically stated and elaborated that Swami's message was the only
solution for all the worries that plague us. Sri A. V. Gokak, the current Vice-Chancellor was
the next to speak. His talk also centred around the transformational work done by the Sai
Students. After that, Swami threw up a most wonderful surprise! He called one of the students
who had formerly been a band leader. He said, "Ay, band leader. Will you speak?" The man,
however much he may grow, is still Swami's boy. He was delighted at the opportunity. He came
up straight and began extempore. He said that whenever Swami calls anyone to speak they need
not be nervous for two reasons:
1) It is like a heart opening into words in front of Swami.
2) Though one has to face the entire world while doing so, Swami is always on ones side.
He then went on to recollect a few of his student experiences.He ended on a note oozing with
gratitude for Swami and Swami materialized a gold chain for him. As He lovingly put it around
his neck, the boy got the great blessing of almost resting his head on his divine mother's
lap. As the speeches concluded at 10.10, Bhagawan asked the students to commence their music
programme. As the songs began, Swami told the alumni holding up the cake right in front to
come to Him. The cakes were all look alike and each of the three were massive in size. Swami
lovingly lit the candle atop each cake and then cut them too. In the process, a little icing
got on to His palms and hands. The 'icing' must have been thrilled to stay on something that
was sweeter than itself! Swami, again with a smile, took His kerchief and wiped away the
icing. After a few songs, the alumni presented a song taught to them by Swami for Ugadi in
1985. At that time Swami was browsing through a book that the alumni had released on the
occasion. The song progressed and Swami looked up at the students singing. His eyes made a
quick scan of everyone seated. One does not know whether the Lord too, like humans, feels
nostalgic or not. But it sure looked like Swami was remembering the time when He had actually
taught the song to them. As that song concluded, it was already nearing eleven
o'clock.Bhagawan said that He would see the other part of the programme in the evening.
Blessing prasadam for all, He accepted Arati and returned to His residence.
In the afternoon, Bhagawan arrived in His car at 4.45 pm. Coming onstage after a round of the
Hall, He noticed the bright coloured Bhangra dance group of the Sai Students. He called them
and permitted them to perform. The dance group was actually not part of the original plan of
New Year Day celebrations. But the alumni had picked up a few very basic steps in two days and
put it up. This once again highlighted the motherly Love that Swami feels for His students.
Really, just like a mother who sits appreciating her child mumbling some nursery rhymes, Swami
sat watching as the dancers tried to get some semblance of co-ordination! To top it all, at
the end of their 'performance', Swami asked, "Is it over already?" There was loud laughter
everywhere and Swami lovingly blessed the 'dancers' and spoke to many of them. The Orchestra
prepared by the alumni was the next item, performing from the centre of the Hall with
loudspeakers facing Bhagawan who was seated onstage. The most memorable piece they played was
the one from the famous album, "Vishwa Vinayaka". After the band, the alumni seated began to
speak. Short speeches followed, recollecting the golden years the students had spent with
their Lord. There were recollections of the tiny special things that Swami had done for each
student and continues to do so daily in their lives. All of a sudden, Swami asked for the
programme to be stopped. Swami then asked for the microphone and prepared to get up to speak.
Immediately everyone realized the magnitude of His magnanimity in deciding to speak to them
spontaneously of His own volition. Listening to the pleas of the Students, He decided to
remain seated and spoke for an hour. Swami then received Aarthi and retired for the day.
Click here to view pictures of the New Year & Bhagawan's Discourse
December 28th, 2007 -
Today Swami had set aside the evening for a very dear devotee of His - Sri Gopal Rao -
who had turned hundred yesterday. Swami had blessed him yesterday but He did not seem
satisfied with that. He came and took a full round of darshan and then alighted near the
interview room. Taking a round around the portico, He came out on the stage and very soon
asked that Gopal Rao too be brought on stage. Sri. Gopal Rao was wheeled on to the stage.
Swami then called Prof.G.Venkatraman and asiigned to him the pleasant task of speaking in felicitation of Gopal
The professor deemed it as a special privilege to speak on this occasion. He spoke of how
Gopal Rao's life had been saturated with faith and Love for Swami. He had been cured of a
cancer of the urinary bladder in 1960s simply by the force of a word from Swami. And now, in
2007, he was very fine and healthy. It was his steadfast faith in Swami's word that made him
stand firm during the Andhra Bank strike during which he was thoroughly tested. from the age
of eighty till late nineties, he served water for devotees in the canteen. The professor's
talk was very well appreciated and naturally so for it was the description of a most loved and
respected centurion. In the speech he also made public a revelation that Swami made, "As per
the scriptures, Sri Gopal Rao is not 100 but 105 actually!" Photos: 27th & 28thDec 2007
As he concluded, Swami asked Gopal Rao to speak. A mike was placed before the centurion and
the mike volumes must have been turned very high in anticipation of a feeble voice. Sri Gopal
Rao boomed forth and his voice was surprisingly clear and loud considering his age. He started
with a very recent anecdote. His eyes and ears were weakening and the doctors had prescribed
operations. Swami came to him and told him,"Gopal Rao, you have seen enough, you have heard
enough. No need of any operation now!" He then narrated of how he first came to Swami as a
proposed translator and then was saved the blushes when Bhurugulu Ramakrishna Rao stepped in
right in time. He expressed his deep sense of love and gratitude to Swami and also to RadioSai
for giving him Swami throughout the day. He spoke for about 40 minutes and everyone listened
with rapt attention as words of wisdom poured forth.
"Swami has kept telling that we are all God. All the problems are only because we do not seem
to listen how many ever times He tells. I try to follow that and it is so elevating."
With that statement, he offered himself to Swami. Swami got Gopal Rao publicly garlanded by
Sri Chakravarthi and there was a thunderous applause. Then Swami came to him and put a shawl
to felicitate him. Both of them had an intimate conversation. Gopal Rao told Swami that he had
seen all in his life and that He was ready. He had no desires left. He said that the whole
day, he could not step into his house for so many came to see him. It was all Swami's love and
grace he said. Swami got up and posed for photographs with him and blessed him so many times
by placing His hands on his head. Swami was smiling so sweetly and Gopal Rao chose to speak
through his eyes which were now shedding drops of Love.
God's love is so overwhelming and overpowering. None can resist its flow and grandeur. Swami
gives up Himself completely to anyone who has said from the depths of his heart, "Lord, I am
yours. I Love you." It was so touching to see Swami blessing and showering His Love on a dear
devotee. After that was done, the time was around 6:40pm. Swami had prasadam distributed and
then sat in a joyous pose as Aarthi was performed. Then He retired for the evening.
December 27th, 2007 - Today Swami had permitted a group of
devotees from USA to put up a programme on Christmas. The stage was set in a very cozy manner.
It was a small backdrop and the devotees - on both the gents and ladies side sat close forming
the borders of a stage to put up the play. Swami came out for darshan and saw the backdrop as
He went on His rounds. Then as He came out of the car, He went straight to Sri Gopal Rao who
was celebrating his 100th birthday today. Swami blessed him and showered him with akshatha
grains. Then He came out and sat for the programme.
The first part of the programme was a musical Christmas Play in One act taken from the Gospels
of Luke, Matthew and Mark. It was entitled "The Boy Jesus." The play takes place in the day of
the rule of Herod. Archangel Gabriel informs Mary that she was chosen to bear Jesus. Joseph
and Mary wander about in search of an inn and finally come to a shed where Jesus is born. It
is then that, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar from Mesopotamia, Persia and Ethiopia reach the
babe following a star and gift gold, frankincense and myrrh. Jesus grows into boyhood and
impresses and inspires everyone with wisdom far beyond his age. Jesus reminds all that the
kingdom of God is within one and all. The whole skit was interspersed with carols - Silent
Night, O Little town of Bethlehem, We three kings of Orient, etc. The final song was Joy to
the world and the children came front and sang out the final portions.
Swami called the boy who acted as Jesus and spoke for a while with him asking his name, place
etc. Then He materialized a chain for him. Swami took some time for opening the link to put
the chain around his neck. The boy told Swami, "Swami please do not trouble yourself." Swami
smiled and Himself put the chain around his neck. Then the second part of the programme began.
It was a musical program by the "Sathya Sai Singers of Southern California and Hawaii." For
the next 40 minutes or so, they sang out wonderfully to the Lord. All the songs were with
beautiful meaning and all directed towards Swami. After they concluded, Swami went into the
interview room and came out with sarees and white cloth pieces. He gave gold coin chocolates
to the kids who had performed in the drama and the clothes to the gents and ladies. After
that, He blessed them all and receiving Aarthi, retired for the day.
December 26th, 2007 - Today everyone were eagerly awaiting
Bhagawan's arrival as yesterday He had promised to speak today. Swami came and took His usual
rounds and then came on stage. He first asked the Telugu professor, Sri. Veerabhadriah to
speak. He was taken aback and we can sympathize with him for on a Christmas Day when the
majority of the people are non-Telugu speaking no one would expect Swami to ask a Telugu
professor to speak. But thats the nature of Love. It knows no reason or season and that is
exactly how the Professor began his speech - with wonder at Swami's spontaneous Love. He spoke
for about 15 minutes on the inner significance of the Cross as propounded by Swami. Then he
With a smile on His face, Swami rose to speak. There was a thrilled applause. He refused to
use the discourse table. He stood up holiding the railings and then began to speak. Given
below is a summary:
"One with anger is the one who commits sin repeatedly. God is Love and Love is God. All the
problems, differences and conflicts that you see today are due to the absence of love. They
are all due our imagination alone. There is nothing actually like difficulties or restlessness
(Ashanti). There is peace everywhere. So I don't understand why you complain that there is no
peace. When the heart is peaceful, everything around is peaceful. That is because everything
is reaction, reflection and resound. And we get carried away by our imagination. Even our
names are not true. Boy there! Whats your name?
(The boy answers - VIKAS)
This boy answers as Vikas and everyone seated here will respond in a similar manner. But if
God is asked what is His name, He will answer, "Aham Brahmaasmi" (literally translated as I am
god) That should be our response too. That is our name. And that is possible only if one has
But we do not understand Love. We think it is physical or worldly. You are not one person but
three. The one you think you are, the one others think you are and the one you truly are. What
you and others think is only imagination. Who is your true self? It is the "I". This I is
common to all. The Christian have the cross. How is it formed? Take the false I and cross it.
Kill the ego to get the true I. All those who are born of Karma must realise, "Aham
Brahmasmi". Then alone can you experience the Truth. Till then keep any names that you want.
You are not born with the name. Parents have named you thus. Thats why when they are asked,
"What is the child's name?" they sometimes answer, "We have not yet kept a name!" The name is
only for identification.
There are so many people in this world. But there is not even one who says, "I am God." We
just carry on this life with given names. Remember, your name at birth is Brahma (God). It is
the principle of 'I'ness. It is not anyone else's creation but your own. Your own will. See
here. I will and...(waving His hands, materializes a chain and puts it over the mike for all
to see) Creation always has two aspects - Truth and Illusion(Maya). If there is no illusion,
there will be no creation. But still, Maya is only a shadow and there can be no journey
without a shadow. At the time of sunrise the shadow is 20 feet long but by midday, it is
absent, under one's feet!
Love is the basis of Faith. None seem to know the origin of Love. The L in Love stands for
Lord. Everything has come from God and to God it will return.Even a blade of grass cannot move
without God's will. People may argue, debate etc. but is there anyone who knows the end fate.
Without God there is no creation. The sprouts come up because of the rain. The rain is due to
the clouds and the clouds are created because of the sun. The sun is the creation of God.
Without God, nothing is possible. We forget God and remember everything else. If you forget
God, you forget everything. Without the foundation the wall and roof cannot exist and there
can be no life. Self confidence is the foundation. Self satisfaction the walls. Self sacrifice
is the roof and life is one of Self realization.
Jesus was the son of the carpenter Joseph. Joseph stayed with a girl Mary who was pregnant. It
was a kind of election time then. So they had to move from village to village. Those days
there was no car, cycle or rickshaw. They used only a donkey. All the rooms were full then and
they came to a donkey shed. In the corner in a manger, the baby was born. Joseph thought that
it was because of the strain of the journey that Mary delivered early. Those days, the methods
of calculation had not been developed. Exactly nine months had been completed. The parents
brought leaves and hay and put an old cloth over it to comfort the baby. The child then was
fed by the mother and began to grow.
Once there was a function in Jerusalem. The lad Jesus was lost in the crowd there. The parents
hunted from morning to night but could not locate Jesus. As they wept and were about to go to
bed, there was a knock on the door. Jesus came and said, "Mother I did not go anywhere. I was
with the priests and learned men." The mother was very happy hearing this.
Jesus knew that the Truth lay in Him and that everything else was false. He roamed the
mountains. When He came down to the river, he met the boatmen and Peter. There were some
people knitting nets. They said, "Yesterday, we got no fish." Jesus worked His first miracle.
He said,"Go over there. You will reap a rich harvest." He later distributed bread to all.
Everyone hailed Him for the miracles. "Jesus is our Guru." they said. The followers grew and
so did the enemies. Wherever there are friends, there are bound to be enemies. Jesus said that
all were divine. "Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavathi" - (One who knows God becomes God) When He was
asked, "What is your name?"
"Who named you?"
"Who are you?"
"I am God."
He was taken for crucifixion. He did not try to argue or explain as He knew that it would all
be vain. When His mother cried at the cross, He said, "Oh Mary! The body is a water bubble.
Why do you weep for it? None can kill or destroy me. I am the only one. All are sparks of my
Jesus is not a mere mortal. He is totally divine. But some of the people had no faith. The
same thing is happening today also. It is the faith that protects. Hold a stone and call it
God, it will respond. Jesus was one who was very good. He gave food clothing and shelter to
all. He said, "All come from me and from my will" Remember that everything is the will of God.
People with faith will be protected. Faith is the foremost. People today have been blinded
because they have lost the eyes of faith. Faith and Love alone are the cause of all creation.
They are like the positive and negative ends of a circuit. Grow in love and trust.
Many foreigners have faith but they lack Love. Faith is useless without Love. When Jesus was
questioned in the court he said, "Go ahead! It is only my body. I can do as I will." Everyone
must have the Masterfaith. The rest is useless. You can achieve anything with it. So
students,develop faith. Without faith, there is no life. Without faith there is no self. Even
today, those with faith in Jesus have progressed. Whether your desires are fulfilled or not,
keep your faith. Faith can make the blind see and the dumb speak. Never doubt. Somethings just
keep happening in this world. People thought that Jesus was ordinary man. Likewise, many think
that Swami is an ordinary man. That is a big mistake. It is all the fault in your
sight(Drishti).There is no mistake in Swami. It is all the disease in your eyes. If you are
good and happy, Swami will be happy. Swami's happiness is in all of you.
You are all in me. I am yours and you are mine. Do not consider me separate. This is the
fundamental Truth. You are all instruments. Grow in faith and Swami will make you instruments.
It is only the spiritual life that protects. If that lacks, it is only emptiness. Fill your
hearts with devotion. God is in you, above you, below you, with you and around you. If you
have to be ripe fruits, you must have the sweet juice of devotion within. Any name you give
God, have faith in it. Jewels are many but gold is one. Never lose the gold. No jewels without
gold. Grow in Love.
Students, you are here not for studies but for learning from Swami. If you have this, you will
be successful everywhere."
Hari Bhajan Bina.....
After the discourse, Swami called the boy Vikas up in the front and put the chain the chain
that was resting on the mike, to his neck. After that, Swami had prasadam distributed and then
received Aarthi and left.
December 25th, 2007 -
Finally, the day for which preparations had been on for the past week dawned. In Puttaparthi,
it began with the Nagarsankeertan at 5:45 am. After that, Kulwant Hall was full again by about
7:30 am. Swami came out for darshan at about 8:20 am and was welcomed by children
holding candles. He went around for a complete round of darshan. He was in orange and that was
a sort of surprise again as many expected Him to be in
Click here for: Photos of Christmas
23rd - 26thth Dec.
Four cakes had been placed for Him to bless in the portico. The cakes were marvellous to say
the least. Two of them depicted the nativity scene so beautifully. The cake and icing formed
the stable and surroundings while beautiful idols of Jesus, Mother Mary and Joseph had been
placed to perfection. One another cake that could not be missed was the one from the General
hospital. The icing on the cake was a literal 'icing on the cakes' made on Christmas day.
Well, believe it or not, the nativity scene was painted on it with icing! Swami appreciated
each cake as He lit the candle and cut them. It was after the cake cutting that Swami came out
and sat on the stage.
As soon as He sat,
He saw the primary school children sitting right in the front with their violins. He
immediately asked them as to what they were upto. Two kids went up to Him and offered the card
that carried the details of the programme. The violin concert began. The tiny tots played with
beautiful synchronisation and in unison. The final piece they played was the famous Jingle
Bells. Not one, but six Santas came up to the stage with their bags full of goodies. Swami
smiled and as the Santas showed their bags, as though asking for His approval, He picked
chocolates from their bags and put them in other bags. He also threw a few of them to the boys
sitting in the front. The the Santas went about in all directions, hurling the chocolates to a
gleeful crowd. Meanwhile, the violins became silent and the children bowed down to Swami. Like
a mother, Swami called the children up in the front and gifted them with Hazelnut chocolate
bars. Then came the beautiful sight as the Santas were at the receiving end of the gifts!
Swami gave each of them chocolate bars too.
The second programme of the day was the one by the University brass band. The bandmaster and
another student went up to Swami with the card bearing the programme details. Swami blessed
the programme and it began. The band played four beautiful pieces and everyone applauded in
joy and appreciation. Then Swami signaled in a sweet manner, "Is it over?"
"Just one more piece Swami!" was the answer.
Swami nodded in agreement. The band began playing the piece, "Love is my form." The whole
audience clapped to the rhythm of the song. After that, they bowed to Swami and sat. The final
programme was the carol singing by the students. Two students again took a card to Swami.
Swami saw through the details of the programme. The carols began with, "We wish you a merry
Christmas." It was threaded along by Fred, Scrooge and the spirit of Christmas (characters
from the famous Dickensian play, "A Christmas Carol.") The whole programme went along crisply
and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The students sang about nine carols and in the middle, the
carol, "Jingle Bell Rock" was sung. It was at this time that the senior Santas arrived! They
too received blessings from Swami and went about distributing that to everyone seated. As the
carols progressed, Mr.Scrooge was getting transformed by the Christmas spirit and Swami asked,
"How many more?"
"Swami two more"
"OK" was the reply with a smile.
Swami sat listening to the carols and at about 9:45 am received Aarthi as Prasadam was blessed
for distribution. Swami then retired.
The evening programme had four speakers scheduled. Swami came out for darshan at about 5:10
pm. He went straight on the stage and after a short while of Veda chanting, He asked for the
speeches to begin. Mr. John Behner of Latin America introduced the four speakers of the day -
Ms. Inez from Argentina, Mr. Sumeet Tappoo from Fiji, Ms. Poppy Hillcoate from Australia and
Dr. Michael Congleton from the USA. The first two Youth speakers spoke of the transformation
Sai has brought in their lives. Ms. Hillcoate spoke of the joy she experienced in past
Christmases at Prasanthi Nilayam, and Mr. Congleton spoke of the joy derived from selfless
service. After the four speakers, Mr.Behner asked Swami to bless everyone with His divine
discourse. The time was already 6:30 pm. Swami said, "All are tired now. They will be fresh
tomorrow and then I will speak to them all."
A roar of applause made its way throughout the hall as everyone cheered at this promise. Swami
was all smiles. He asked for bhajans. As bhajans went on prasadam was distributed and then
receiving Aarthi, Swami left.
December 24th, 2007
Puttaparthi had undergone a transformation, like it always does on the different occasions to
suit the taste of the devotees gathered at His Feet. Christmas trees, small and big, seemed to
have sprouted up in different parts of the ashram. Frosty had arrived in front of the western
canteen and a smiling Santa with his sleigh and gifts too sat on the lawns near the canteen.
The climate too chipped in with its contribution, chilling the air and making every night into
a truly "silent" and "holy" one. Though the air was cold, there seemed a warmth in everyone as
they prepared for an evening of carols in front of their dear Swami.
In the evening, the whole of Kulwant hall had been decked and a huge gathering of the overseas
devotees waited for Swami's arrival. Swami arrived in the car and went around slowly granting
darshan. He alighted near the interview room and came straight outside. Three big candles had
been kept on the stage and they were lit in Swami's presence as He smilingly watched on. With
a gentle movement of His hand, Swami halted the Vedam chanting and then beckoned the overseas
devotees to begin.
The first part of the programme was the children's choir. The little ones began with shlokas
from the Bhagawad Geeta adapted to the western style of soft music. It had a very pleasing
effect and one could observe the effort that had gone into getting all the pronunciations
clear. It sounded very pleasing to the ear and in the middle, during one of the shlokas, Swami
began to nod His head in affirmation. What was the shloka being chanted?
Ananyaschintayantomaam - meaning "whomsoever thinks of me without any other thought, I shall
take care of their ultimate salvation without doubt." Anyone who could catch the import was
thrilled - the others were thrilled simply seeing His reaction! There was a small enaction by
the children for the carol, "We three kings of Orient". The choir lasted about 20 minutes
after which the adult Christmas choir began.
They began with the triple chanting of the Ganesha Gayathri. Wow! What a great feeling it was
as more than two thousand voices chanted it with the bass and alto harmonics, so natural to
the foriegn throat, and sent a feeling of reverberation in the mighty Kulwant hall. 2007 years
ago,(well, make that 2003 according to some as they say that Christ was born in 4 AD) the
angels in the heavens sang out as the father and mother of Christ, Joseph and Mary, waited for
the divine child to arrive, in a stable. Today the privilege of the angels had been given to
the blessed humans to sing out as the Father of Christ waited to shower His Divine Love on
They began with a carol - "Listen". It literally made everyone sit up and listen as the ladies
and gents alternated beautifully doing justice to the wonderful lyrics and composition. The
carols that followed had been subtly modified and the devotees used them as a medium to convey
their deep Love and yearning for Swami. There were smiles on every face and they reflected the
Love being radiated from every heart. Some of the songs were fast, some were gentle; some of
them had the power of God being expressed while still others reflected on His tenderness. They
sang eleven carols and the final concluding piece was "O Holy Night".
As they concluded, Swami beamed with joy and benediction. He sent Prasadam to be distributed
to all. Then, the conductor came upto Him and offered, "Swami, would you like some bhajans?"
Swami smiled, "Yes please." With a quick swing of her arms, just like the way she had been
conducting the whole evening, she signaled for the bhajans. The bhajans began in great
earnest. As they progressed, Swami called out for a lady instrumentalist to come on stage.
With a wave of His hand He got a chain with a pendant for her. There was bliss on her face as
He put the chain around her neck. She was in tears of joy and was finding a dire shortage of
words to express her feelings. Even then, her eyes spoke eloquently of the feelings coursing
through her and Swami understood everything.
The bhajan, "Hari bhajan Bina" started and Swami seemd so happy. He enquired as to who was
singing and the singer was blessed with a padanamaskar too!! After that, Swami received Aarthi
and left. Before that He got it announced that the next day there would be a programme by the