Music Programme and a skit entitled, 'Bhakth Ramadas'
April 12 & 14, 2008
As is the wont, this year too both Tamil New Year and Vishu fell on
successive days. A number of buses carrying devotees from the two
adjoining States started arriving right from 11th April 2008. Sai
Kulwant Hall and its precincts were filled with huge concourse of
devotees. The Hall was tastefully decorated for the two festivals.
Vishu celebrations began on the evening of 12th April 2008. Bhagawan
delighted everyone present as He was wheeled into the Hall on a sofa
this evening at 5 p.m.
Presentation of Devotional Songs by Bal Vikas children of Kerala
After He came to the dais, Bal Vikas children from Kerala presented a
bouquet of devotional songs. They started their presentation with the
song, Vandeham Gananayakam (salutations to Ganesh, the leader of Ganas)
and followed it with a song on the efficacy of chanting of Narayana’s
name, one song after the other captivated everybody attention. Chinni
Krishna Muralidhara (child Krishna who plays on the flute), the next
song described Krishna’s childhood pranks and His Leelas (divine
play), the One who attracts everyone with His beautiful form. Their
collection of devotional songs ended with Anandam Ide, Paramanandam
Ide, Brahmanandam Ide (this is bliss, this is supreme bliss, this is
divine bliss). On Bhagawan’s command, they started Bhajans, after a
few Bhajans, the students of the University took over from them. The
evening programme came to a close with Arati to Bhagawan at 6 p.m.
Vishu is a new year festival held in the state of Kerala (and
adjoining areas of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu). This occasion signifies
the Sun's transit to the zodiac Mesha Mesha Raasi as per Indian
astrological calculations. Vishu is also considered as the harvest
festival of Kerala and thus the importance of this day to all
Malayalees regardless of their religion or sect.
The festival is marked with offerings to the divine called Vishukanni.
The offerings consists of a ritual arrangement in the puja room of
auspicious articles like rice, linen, cucumber, betel leaves, mirror,
holy text and coins in a bell metal vessel called uruli. A lighted
bell metal lamp called nilavilakku is also placed alongside. This
arrangement is completed by the women of the house during the previous
night. On the day of Vishu, it is a custom to wake up at dawn and go
to the puja room with the eyes closed so that the first thing a person
sees is the Vishukanni. People wear new clothes for the occasion and
the elders in the family distribute tokens of money to the children,
servants and tenants. These tokens are called Vishukkaineetam and are
usually in the form of coins. People carry out this custom believing
that in this way, their children would be blessed with prosperity in
the future. Vishu is considered to be a day of feasting, wherein the
edibles consist of roughly equal proportions of salt, sweet, sour and
bitter items. Feast items include Veppampoorasam (a bitter preparation
of neem) and Mampazhapachadi (a sour mango soup).
Vishu Celebrations at Prasanthi Nilayam
Sai Kulwant had a touch of Kerala in the form of Thoranams made from
tender coconut leaves and banners wishing people a happy Vishu. This
day - 14th April, also happens to be the festival of Sri Rama Navami.
As Bhagawan entered the Hall at 4.45 p.m., a Panchavadyam troupe
heralded Bhagawan’s arrival by playing bugle. Again Bhagawan was
wheeled into the Hall in a sofa. His compassion knows no bounds. One
could see devotees craning their necks to have a glimpse of their dear
Bhakta Ramdas: A Drama by the Sai Youth of Kerala
This evening the Sai Youth of Kerala presented a drama “Bhakta Ramdas”
based on the life of Bhadrachalam Ramdas. The drama opens with the
statement, “There is nobody more fortunate than Hanuman who had the
opportunity to serve Rama.” Ramdas pines for Lord Rama. He feels that
he is not so fortunate as Guha or Sugriva who had the opportunity to
The drama was interspersed with many songs on Sri Rama, the first
being Bhagawan’s composition Rama Kodanda Rama ... (Rama who wields
the bow), then Rama Neela Meghashyama (Rama’s form is in the colour of
blue sky), Bhadrachalam Ramdas’ composition O Rama Ne Namam Entho
Ruchi Ra …(Oh Rama! Your name is full of sweetness).
When Ramdas sees the dilapidated condition of the Rama temple at
Bhadrachalam, he feels sad and decides to renovate the temple. He
needs cash to the tune of 8 lakh varahas (unit of currency prevalent
in those days). Ramdas uses the funds he had collected as tax for this
The king of the land comes to know of it and orders for Ramdas’
incarceration. The king stipulates a condition to Ramdas to remit the
8 lakh varahas within a period of 3 days, lest he will be decapitated.
God is Bhakta Paradhina (if a person trusts Me and leaves everything
to Me, I will never let him fall). Sri Rama and Lakshmana disguise
themselves as Ramoji and Lakshmoji and enter the chambers of the king.
The king is surprised as to how they could enter his chambers. They
say to the king that they work for Ramdas. Sri Rama remits 8 lakh
varahas and asks for the receipt from the king. The king at first gets
angry, but does not feel like reprimanding them because something in
him tells that they are divine, and feels compelled to accept the
Meanwhile, Ramdas pleads with the Lord saying, “Why have You forsaken
me? Do I lack devotion? Have I committed any mistake?” Suddenly,
Ramdas finds the receipt of remittance in the prison. The king himself
comes to the cell and asks for pardon from Ramdas for torturing him.
He narrates all that happened to Ramdas. Ramdas tells the king that it
was his good fortune he had the Darshan of Lord Rama. Even he was not
so fortunate to have His Darshan, Ramdas avers.
The drama concludes with the song, “Ram Ram Ram Sita Ram Ram Ram”.
Then a Sai Youth comes to the centre stage and declares, “Ramdas felt
sad that he was not born during Guha or Sugriva’s time, but we are
fortunate to be born during the time of this Avatar.”
Bhagawan materialised a chain for the youth who played the role of
Bhadrachalam Ramdas. Bhagawan went amidst them and gave them a photo
session. He also distributed clothes to all the participants with His
Divine Hands. The entire cast was in tears at Bhagawan’s compassion.
He even asked them to sing a Bhajan. Prasadam was distributed to all
the devotees. Arati was offered to Bhagawan at 6.40 p.m. Thus,
concluded the glorious Vishu and Sri Rama Navami celebrations at
2008 : Photos & Report: Swami inaugurated new canteen in the Super Specialty Hospital