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1st August, 2007: Music Programme by USA Youth and former students

To begin the wonderful blessings for this month, Swami had agreed for a programme by youth from USA. Many of the participants of this music programme were former students of the University. The car was absent when Swami came out for darshan and the greater proximity was reason for great cheer and excitement among all. He spoke to a few ladies and collected letters from many of them. As He passed through the boys in the middle, He took letters from almost everyone who were pining for this act of grace from their Lord. Then He went around the gents side and as He neared the birthday boys, He blessed them also. Finally, having brought so much joy with this unexpected gesture, Swami went to the dais enjoying the Vedic chants for sometime and then, He asked for the programme to begin.

Four members went to the stage and handed over a card with beautiful roses to Swami. After seeking His blessings, the first song began.

The card is presented to Swami.
To Swami with Love and Reverence...

What followed next were songs in different languages - Hindi, Telugu and English. There was a plethora of instruments: tabla, harmonium, drums, mridangam, electric guitar etc. and the songs were well distributed between the gents and ladies. In the middle, there was a dance performance too. Two young adults went up to Swami and requested whether they could perform a dance and Swami graciously agreed. They did the traditional Bharatanatyam bow to Swami and then began the dance. The dance was set to the rhythm of the famous song "Bho Shambho" and tuned to Raag Revati. The song possesses the magical capacity to arouse in the listener a great sense of detachment towards the world and an intense reverence for God. The two performers danced gracefully yet powerfully and Swami kept watching them with a mystical smile and great interest.

Bho Shambho Shiva Shambho Svayambho
Striking the pose of the Cosmic Dancer!


There is something so unfathomable about the way we feel and relate to Swami. When we call out to Him as the mischievous babe of Brindavan, He appears so tender, innocent, and so full of sweetness. As we sing out the glories of Lord Shiva and get immersed in them, He resembles the blue necked Lord and we gape in awe at His magnificent presence. On singing about Rama, and there He sits as the perfect one, full of dignity and equipoise. On this occasion as the song on Lord Shiva progressed, there seemed to be an aura of grandeur about Him.

The dance concluded and Swami called the dancers to Him and they prostrated at His feet. His hand immediately twirled and there was a beautiful necklace in His hand. He lovingly put it around a dancer's neck as the second dancer looked on. One could not help empathising with the mixed feelings the second dancer might have gone through. Both had undertaken the same effort and undergone the same pains. Yet only one seemed to be amply rewarded.
Our dear Swami- the perfect mirror

As they were slowly and gracefully making their way back, Swami lovingly called out to the second dancer. He waved His hand and materialized a ring and there were two sudden bursts - a burst of applause from the audience and a burst of emotion from the artiste!

Lord Shiva is Bholenath - easily pleased!
No heartaches - joy 'ringing' on the dancer's face!

Then the songs continued, only now they seemed to have greater vibrancy and variety. Swami sat through all the songs, granting a smile, waving His hands and closing His eyes as if in contemplation. The programme ended and Swami told them to continue with bhajans. After the bhajans, Swami blessed Prasadam to be given to all present. He then received Aarthi and left.

4 August: Leipzig Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra

The programme scheduled for August 4 was very unique in the sense that it was part of a foreign government aided tour. The performers were from the Leipzig Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Germany. The orchestra was on a musical tour of India and the final concert before their return to Germany was to be performed before Swami at Puttaparthi. By 2:30pm itself, the members of the orchestra started assembling in Kulwant hall and began taking their positions.

At about 3:30 pm Swami came out without the car. He looked at all the musicians as He passed by them in the centre of the hall. Then completing His darshan rounds, He came to the stage and sat for the programme. Dr. Michael Koelher, the director and conductor offered a rose and dedicated the programme to Swami.

Delight at the close Darshan opportunity.
Dr.Michael Koelher dedicates the programme to Swami.

Heard individually, each instrument seems incomplete and disconnected. But heard along with all the other instruments, the unity seems to conjure up an enchanting and divine melody.

The strength in Unity is something so phenomenal yet so subtle that it has to be experienced to be believed. Take the first few steps for Unity as Swami says and then we will never feel like dividing on any basis. The orchestra seemed to echo and resound this Truth and it was so joyful for the ears. The orchestra thrives only because everyone is united in focusing on the conductor. Their playing is governed by his hands and facial expressions and so there is harmony and symphony.

Then the orchestra began. The first piece was "The Hungarian Dance." It was a lively piece and literally lived up to its name. Pieces from Brahms and Mozart were played mellifluously. A special rendition in three parts of a composition of the Indian great L.Subramanyam was also played. On the whole, the programme brought out the beauty and harmony that could be achieved through unity and dedication to great musical works of art.

Symphony - the beauty of Unity in action.

To add to the spiritual undercurrent of the programme, Mr. Paul Erhard, who trains the Institute Brass band, spoke in between each song explaining its beauty and significance, relating it to Swami. The whole performance lasted about an hour. All of us were enraptured and Swami was there smiling and blessing their magnificent effort. Swami had sarees and white safari pieces to distribute to them as a token of His Love and Grace. He even came down from the stage and personally handed over the clothes. Swami was beaming at each participant. Many of the musicians had come for the first time to see Swami. It was so sweet to see them looking at the more 'experienced' members as to how to conduct themselves in Swami's presence. Hesitating bows and slightly confused handshakes slowly became devotion filled salutes and namaskars.

Swami then posed for a group picture with all the musicians. He insisted on standing up and it was a beautiful moment to capture the orchestra with The Orchestrator. Swami then walked back to the stage and when the group photo was given to Him, He gave it to His conductor who was overjoyed on receiving it. Swami then took Aarthi and left.

The 'Orchestrator ' with the orchestra.
The narrator, Mr. Paul Erhard 'holds on to Him'!

7th August – Musical Programme by North East region, USA

Today Swami came out at about 3:30pm and went around the darshan hall. Suddenly as Swami went into the interview room, there was some movement on both the ladies and gents side. After a little confusion, we came to know Swami had permitted the devotees from the North East region of USA to sing their offering of songs. Fifteen minutes later after a quick reorientation of seating, Swami came out and sat on the ladies’ side of the portico and immediately asked for the programme to start. They began with a song on the oneness of Love, followed by "Love is My Form" which had a good following from the devotees. In the middle of the programme Swami called the co-ordinator and asked him where his wife was and he pointed to her seated in the second line of the singing ladies.

Sweet bliss at the unexpected chance.....
...reflected in the sweetness of the songs.

The programme continued with ten more songs in English all conducted by a very enthusiastic lady orchestrator. She kept smiling at Bhagavan throughout and Swami would lovingly reciprocate. After 45 minutes, the programme was complete. Swami sent word for the student singers also to come and be seated outside. Then He went into the interview room. After 15 minutes, He came out with trays of sarees, watches and silver chains with medallions! He descended from the stage, down to where the USA devotees had assembled. Then He called all the ladies who were part of the music group and handed sarees to them personally. Many of them took Padanamaskar.

The gift of Sarees.....
....and of the much sought after Padanamskar.

Then He called all the youngsters and gave them all silver chains!! Some of them broke down and their emotions over took them.


Watches for the younger ones.
Swami hands over the watches to each one personally

Then He came over to the gents’ side and gave watches to all the adult performers and the youngsters all received silver chains. After He had finished the distribution, someone from the gents side said, "Thank you Swami." Instinctively, Swami said, "Why thanks?"

"Swami thank you."
"Why thanks?".....Just pure Love...

Then they asked Bhagavan whether they could sing bhajans and after gaining Bhagavan’s agreement we were treated to some melodious bhajans from the bliss-filled US singers. After a while, Swami called the students and told them to continue the bhajans and as this was going on, Swami called the lady conductor. He spoke with her for some time and materialised Vibhuti, personally packing it in some paper and giving it to her. After another bhajan, He asked for Aarthi and blessing everyone, He retired.

9th August – Inauguration of ‘Screening and Research Block’ at SSSIHMS


On the morning of August 9, the second Thursday of the month, there was a buzz at the Super Specialty Hospital in Puttaparthi. It was agog with activity and everyone seemed to be engrossed in something or the other. Little wonder when Swami had Himself promised that He would be there to inaugurate the new Screening and Research block. At exactly 9 am, Swami arrived at the new block in the Toyota Porte, accompanied by a motorcycle escort team comprising of the Hospital staff. As Swami arrived, staff and students in the traditional saffron dress chanted Vedas with the PoornaKumbham.

The arrival with motorcycle escorts.
Welcome with the traditional Poorna Kumbham.

Swami got down from the car looking radiant. Dr. Safaya, the director, welcomed Him with a rose and took Him to the oil lamps at the entrance. Here, was a beautifully decorated altar with a marble statue of Lord Ganesha.

The Director, Dr.Safaya welcomes Swami.
Swami lights the lamp to formally inaugurate the building.

Swami lit the two lamps and then slowly moved towards the main hall. As they were moving in, Swami kept asking Dr. Safaya about the new building. He pointed to the roof at a few places and asked about it. As soon as He entered the building, He was taken to the different rooms for screening. On these short rounds, Swami blessed so many members of the staff who were beaming with happiness at this beautiful opportunity. Bhajans were sung and Swami sat in the chair enjoying it.

Enquiries about the new building.
Blessing the doctors and the staff.

However after the Ganesha bhajan, there was silence as Swami began to speak and interact with those around. Dr. Safaya and the others showed Swami a card with various details and Swami went through it in earnest. At this juncture, something humorous took place. Just before Swami's arrival it had been repeatedly announced that cell phones must be silenced. As Swami was speaking with Dr. Safaya, his phone began ringing loudly! The great man, a former director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences who has been serving as the Director of Swami’s Hospital from its inception, was extremely busy till the last second of Swami’s arrival making arrangements.

Moments before the "phone music" incident !!
Filling in the functional details to Swami.

He was taken aback when the ‘phone music’ started and he quickly brought the culprit out of the pocket and handed it to a person chanting the Vedas. It was soon silenced. Everyone had smiles, but the best part is it looked as if Swami had not heard even the slightest sound!

Soon, Swami's attention was diverted to a young doctor who was up in the front. Swami called him and enquired about him. This professional had completed his MRCP from London and was eager to serve in Swami's Hospital at Puttaparthi for more than a year now. Unfortunately, the MRCP is not recognised by the Medical Council of India (MCI). And this had been the reason for the young man’s wait. Swami spoke very reassuringly to him and along with Dr. Safaya, said that something would be done. The MCI doesn't recognise many of the PG courses in India itself! When one wins the Lord's support, the whole universe seems to conspire to help him. A vice president of the MCI also happened to be there in the gathering. Swami called her and spoke to her as to what could be done. Swami, the vice president, the young doctor and Dr. Safaya were in a discussion for a while. It concluded with Swami materialising vibhuti for the young man and the MCI vice president.

"Who is this young boy?"
Swami solves the MRCP-MCI problem.

Some doctors around Swami told him that the trainees from the hospital were doing very well. Swami said that it was not enough if they do well. It would be a matter of pride if and only if they serve the society. Dr. Voleti Choudhary told Swami, "Swami the poor have been benefited and helped immensely by the hospital." Swami said, "The poor must be served.” He emphasized it again, “The poor must be served." Then there were 4-5 students from other colleges who had been trained in the SSSIHMS at Parthi. They were presented before Swami. Swami accepted cloves and water from them. He was told that some of them had won gold medals in Urology. Swami was not so impressed with those facts. He asked, "Are you going to serve? You need not serve here; wherever you are, you must serve. Service is important." He blessed all these young future doctors and exhorted them again that they should serve the society.

"The poor must be served. Medals are not important for Swami."
"Whenerever you may be, render service"

Swami often says that His Life is His Message and we echo many times, "Swami, our lives are your message." Do we realize the import of what we say? What it means to make our lives His message? The passion with which Swami was speaking of service had to be seen to be believed. For Him, it does not seem to matter what the profession is. The message is so clear and simple. Anyone can serve and that is what they must do, especially to the poor. The bhajan rings out, "Deen dukhiyo se prem karo mera Sai prasanna hoga." Swami was stating just that.

"Forget making me happy. If you want to be happy, serve. Serve till the breath lasts in you. Serve so that every sinew in your body is tingling with My Love," He seemed to say. Let us take these first few steps of love and serve our Lord in everyone around. As He has promised, we would be able to see Him and speak to Him everywhere and everytime.

Then Swami called Dr. Nilam Desai and asked her as to how things were going on in her department. He looked at her and with a sweet, loving smile asked, "Don't you go for daily jogging? No time?" There were smiles everywhere. One more observation is that whenever Swami cracks a joke, the way He does it is simply wonderful. It is so sweet and full of Love that no one is ever offended. He ensures that all laugh along with Him and nobody feels that someone is laughing at them. Ah! Indeed His Life is His Message. We must learn from the day to day behaviour of our Lord. Swami then enquired about all the work going on and she said, "Swami everything is fine because of you." Swami smiled and placed His hand on her head and blessed her.

"Go jogging daily!...How is everything?"
"Swami all is fine because of you."

The doctors prayed to Swami to speak and He gently refused. They asked Him again and the discourse table came in His view. He quickly said a sweet but firm ‘no’. He had different plans and said that He would go around the hall to grant everyone the joy of His darshan. There were almost gleeful shouts at this decision! Swami went around slowly, taking letters and even speaking to some of the people along the way.

Accepting letters and giving blessings!!
Swami decides to go around and bless all assembled.

Then Swami decided to go to the adjacent hall where people had gathered for a Narayan Seva. Swami entered the hall and with a touch converted the food to Prasadam.  He blessed all the people there as everyone prayerfully prostrated to Him. As Swami went to the car, the discipline that had lasted till now broke, as devotion poured forth.

Entering the adjacent building.
Swami blessing the prasadam to be distributed.
A sumptuous meal indeed.
Narayana Seva blessed by Swami

Swami sweetly kept smiling and blessed all as they tried to catch a glimpse or touch His feet. After a 45 minute stay, Swami left leaving behind hearts filled with love, joy and inspiration. He was again escorted by the motorcycle team back to Mandir. Reaching there, He granted photos to the escort team and filled their cup of joy too to the brim.

All crowd around for a single glance of His.
The escort back to mandir.

10th August - Drama by devotees of Karimnagar District



Thousands of devotees from the district of Karimnagar had arrived in Puttaparthi as part of their annual pilgrimage. They had filled the Kulwant hall and awaited Swami’s arrival with great excitement. Swami came at about 3:30pm and slowly gave His sacred Darshan. He alighted from the car and sat in the portico enjoying the Veda chants for a while. Then He asked for the programme to begin. The lamp that Swami lit to mark the beginning of the evening programme was very special. It was a replica of the Sarva Dharma Stoopa, about a foot in height, made fully of silver. Swami lit this beautiful lamp and then many elderly devotees went up to Him and offered roses. Swami blessed all of them.

The programme was a Telugu skit named, “Chaduvu” (studies). The storyline was very simple. A headmaster is running a school very successfully based entirely on Swami’s concept of Educare. Two parents arrive with their wards.
Swami blesses the programme and the elders.

While one wants admission for his child so that he becomes a successful money maker, the other wants to discontinue his son’s studies in the same school because it was not teaching him the “true” knowledge (about the world, making money, etc.) Like Prahalada educating his father, the children speak to their fathers and the nobility of their thoughts and grandeur of their vision floors them. The headmaster also quips in with Swami’s teachings and explains the futility of education becoming a commercial industry.

Swami sat, fully engrossed in the drama, especially the part where the children convince their fathers. Swami was very appreciative and seemed deeply touched. The beautiful aspect of the drama was that when it came to discussing education, it did not concentrate much on the negative aspects. It only spoke of the golden age that would be possible if one were to follow the ideals of Rama, Krishna, Raja Shibi and Harishchandra. The description of the glory of these noble men made an impression on anyone who could understand Telugu. Everyone felt at least a tinge of that nobility in their own thoughts and hearts.

"Acharya Devo Bhava"
"Education is not a commercial industry."



Please permit a small but very relevant digression at this point. The Convocation drama put on every year on 22nd of November is very special because Swami Himself directs the boys doing it. Swami has never appreciated the concept of the hero, a good man, transforming the villain. He always wanted the hero to be the perfect man who transforms and inspires good men to even greater heights – there were no villains in His dramas. The message is so clear. If you want goodness and nobility, think, speak and discuss about goodness and nobility. The grander your thoughts, the grander will be your words and grander will follow the deeds.

Today, we discuss and concentrate upon negativity and expect positive outcomes! What foolishness! Whatever be our motive for discussing what is wrong in the world or in our lives, it leads only to those kinds of feelings. Whenever glorious and noble thoughts are discussed or portrayed, glorious and noble will be the feelings and thoughts evoked in all present. That's why we see Swami always insisting on idealism to be portrayed always. We have a part to play in building up the "atmosphere" around us. Is our contribution negative or is it positive vibes that we add?


Returning back to the drama, it concluded with a transformation of all the actors’ hearts. Everyone agreed that education is meant for more than just a living. As the final dialogues of the drama were enacted, Swami called the little boy who had advised his father. He went up to Swami who created a beautiful gold chain for him. He personally put it around his neck and patted the boy lovingly on his cheeks.

Swami blesses the ideal son in the drama.
A gold chain for him too......

He called all the members who had participated in the programme and allowed them to take Padanamaskar.  He told them that the drama was very well done. Then they prayed that a music programme was also ready and Swami told them to put that on too. The songs began and were sung with great enthusiasm and gusto. As the songs were on, Swami went into the interview room and arranged for some clothes to be distributed, personally handing over the white cloth pieces to the men and sarees to the ladies who had performed songs and qawwalis. All were so thrilled at this gesture of His. Then He specially called the people playing the harmonium and tabla and gave them clothes too. He also called the main actors of the drama and told them to sit close by in the front and then fulfilling all the participants’ dreams He walked down to pose for photos. Coming back on the stage, Swami asked for the Prasadam to be brought and distributed, retiring to the interview room at about 5:15 pm. Later Swami attended the bhajan hall for bhajans till 5:50pm. Swami then received Aarthi and retired.

Swami calls everyone and blesses them......
...and poses for a group photo also.

12th August - Higher Secondary School Drama: "Living for each Other''


The afternoon of 12 August, was a real roller coaster ride for the students of the 12th class of the Higher Secondary School. The ride had actually started the previous evening, as they sat with a huge card to seek Swami’s permission for putting up a programme. Swami saw the card from the car window but did not tell anything to the boys. The future of the programme thus hung delicately in the balance – an uncomfortable uncertainty, but an uncertainty that He wants us to love!


So today, when the school boys received news that they should be ready by 2:30 pm, they were gleeful. But come 2:30 pm, the Mandir still wore a deserted look. Uncertainty seemed to have raised its head again. There were hushed talks of a programme by the devotees from Canada. The optimists and pessimists alike had a field day promoting their own theories. In the end, there was a sense of happy resignation. The boys seem to say: We are ready with the drama. Let Swami do what He wants. That is best.

Living with Swami is a continuous learning – learning for the ‘drama of life’. Whenever we put our efforts for this ‘drama’ the ups and downs are so numerous that finally we sit back in happy resignation and say, “We are ready with our efforts. Let Swami do as He pleases. That is the best.” Then we realize that we have grown – wiser and happier.

Swami came out for darshan at 3:35 pm. It was a beautiful surprise when instead of the car, Swami came in the chair-sofa!
Swami presents a delightful surprise on the day of uncertainties!

There was a wave of applause even before any programme began. As people rejoiced, Swami seems to appear so much more beautiful. And unlike the air of superiority cast by the mortal beauties of the world, Swami’s beauty makes everyone who come in its light more beautiful and sublime. The glow on His face reflects as a glow on the faces of all those who see Him. Swami went around and patiently collected letters from almost anyone who had one to offer. He blessed all the birthday boys and then moved along the lines of the primary school kids. As He neared the interview room, He saw that there were school boys seated in the bhajan hall. He went in and enquired into the details of the programme and with a smile playing on His lips added the beautiful twist to the tale of uncertainty when He said, “I will see the drama at 4 o' clock.”

At sharp 4:00 pm, Swami came out and immediately asked for the drama to begin. A huge card had been prepared specially for the occasion. It was shown to Swami and He blessed it after going through it thoroughly.

The special card prepared for the occasion.....
....opens up to reveal all the feelings of the boys.

The drama began with a satirical description of ‘present day man’ and ‘futuristic man’. The two keep arguing, with ‘present day man’ mistaking progress to just running around in circles, while ‘futuristic man’ thinks that he is progressing every moment when in reality he is running in the same place. There is then the dramatic entry of a white ethereal being on the stage. This is ‘The Conscience’ who comes out of the depths (from where man has buried it) whenever the heart is touched. It does not prick us as we like to believe; it only expands our Consciousness to a level where we feel very uncomfortable with our narrow mindedness.

The "present" man argues with the "future" man.
"Oh ye cruel humanity."


The 'Conscience’, while convincing the men of their foolishness powerfully portrays his lesson with the case of a man who falls down from illness in a busy street. There is none to help him and he bemoans, “Oh God! Are you not there? How cruel is humanity!” The scene shifts as ‘The Conscience’ takes him back in time in his life to periods when he made other people cry out those very same words. It shows him that the whole world, nay the Universe, is nothing but Reaction, Reflection and Resound.

“Why did you not come before and tell us this?”

“I was there all the while. But you did not call me.”

“Did we call you now? Why did you come on your own?”“You did call me. Whenever you feel the slightest tinge of Love in your heart, that is a call to me. Love and Expansiveness is my nature.”

The drama concluded with ‘The Conscience’ leading all of them to God - Swami in this case. A qawwali formed the fitting finale to this thought provoking presentation. As the song concluded, ‘The Conscience’ went to God to intercede on ‘Man’s’ behalf for a group photo and Swami told them to be seated.

"You called me when you felt Love"

Then there was a wonderful stillness as the boys sat watching Swami and Swami sat watching them. He called one or two boys and spoke to them. Then, He asked for the chair to be taken down. As all the boys crowded around Him, Swami raised His right hand in Abhayahasta. It was a superb group picture as Swami also sat posing with His hand in the benedictory pose.

Swami then came on stage for a while and after went into the interview room. There were bhajans at 5:00 pm after which Swami received Aarthi. As He was going back, a copy of the group photo was given to Him and He handed it over to the boy who had come to offer Him a rose. Then He retired into Yajur Mandir.

14 August – Swami Attends Institute Students’ Drama Rehearsal

Today was one day when everything moved by instinct and intuition. It did not move as per anybody's plan - or shall we say it moved as per His plan! In the bhajan hall arrangements had been made for Swami to inaugurate an innovative telemedicine launch whereby doctors in Bangalore and Puttaparthi can treat patients in Chennai and Bengal. The computer, cameras and the presentation - all awaited His arrival in prayerful breath. But as mentioned, this day was a day that took many breaths away!

Swami came out at about 3:40 pm and cut short the darshan rounds when He took a detour after the ladies side. He went straight into the interview room and then expressed a desire to see the rehearsal of the drama for the Independence Day. There was a lot of scurrying among the boys as they discovered that many of the actors were either in Mandir or in the hostel. Quick calls were made and messengers dispatched towards all possible "actor-resting" spots. Swami started to move towards the auditorium. He was kind in the sense that He first went for a small drive before entering the Institute premises. Swami knows His boys the best! As He came to the auditorium entrance, the principal, vice chancellor and controller for exams were all there to receive Him. He went into the auditorium and sat in the centre waiting for the rehearsal to begin. A lot of noise emanated from the backstage and Swami just sat patiently for about 5 minutes. When there was some semblance of order, the rehearsal began.
Welcomed by panting and gasping boys.

The first scene to be depicted was that of Rama proclaiming His love for the mother and motherland being the greatest: "Janani Janmabhoomischa Swargaadapi Gaariyasi." Swami was fully absorbed in the scene. He enquired into the roles of various characters, all of whom were in white dress! He identified characters based on their dialogues and for Him it didn't seem to matter that the enactment lacked lights, costumes, music and settings. He just immediately connected with whatever was enacted on the stage. He also asked why Hanuman was carrying a small mace and not a big one. After that, the scene of Shivaji being blessed by the darshan of the Mother was enacted. It was innovatively done with a horde of Veda chanting brahmins and drum beating warriors. Once again the actors were all in whites but their passion carried the scene and it was as if we were reliving that historic moment when Shivaji picks up the sword to valiantly defend his motherland.

Janani Janmabhoomischa Swargaadapi Gariyasi
Shivaji offers worship to the Mother.

Then was a scene from the life of Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The "Kesari" newspaper which Tilak had started has been branded as negative and has been banned by the British regime. But Tilak celebrates that his paper has finally received its due of attention. Then was a scene from the life of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose.

Subash Chandra Bose confronts the racist teacher.
Swami watches - fully engrossed.

As the 'white' teacher condemns the Indians and emphasizes the "white man's burden" that has been thrust upon him, Bose responds with a tight slap. Swami later mentioned that the slap must resound and all must hear it! The scene of the martyrdom of Lala Lajpat Rai was also depicted later on. Thus Swami sat watching till about 4:50 pm. After that, blessing all the boys and accepting letters from many of them, He made His way to the car. Everyone was thrilled at this unexpected shower of Love and Grace. Swami returned to Mandir and there was the bhajan session after which Swami left.

Lala Lajpat Rai falls under the British lathi blows.
The actors who are done with acting onstage are happy to be off it!!

The final surprise of the day came in the late evening when it was informed to the students that Swami would prefer a music presentation over the drama on Independence Day. Living with Swami is a constant learning experience and the students displayed this remarkably as they just jettisoned the drama and went about enthusiastically preparing for a musical evening tomorrow.

15th August Independence Day Celebrations: Three Eminent Speakers; A Divine Discourse by Bhagavan; Drama by Bengal Youth "Ab tumhare Hawale watan Saathiyo."

Swami arrived for the afternoon session on the Independence Day of India at about 3:55pm. He went around for the darshan round scanning the stage that had been set for a drama (Pun intended!). He first went into the interview room. After a while, the vice chancellor came out and announced the evening programme. There would be three speakers – Prof.  G. Venkataraman, Sri S.V.Giri and Sri V.Srinivasan. Their talks would be followed by a music programme and the final event would be a drama by the Sai Youth from the state of West Bengal. Swami arrived as the speeches began. The elderly and learned speakers spoke on the significance of Swaaraajya (rule by the higher Self) and 'In'dependence (meaning being dependent on the ‘indweller’). They exhorted the important role the youth had to play in ensuring the arrival of Sai-Rajya in India and then in the world. Each spoke short and crisp and by 5:00pm the speeches had concluded.

Prof.G.Venkatraman speaks on Swaaraajya.
SriS.V.Giri exhorts to the youth to serve the motherland.

As the speakers concluded their speeches, Swami asked for the singers. The music group was just assembling when Swami suddenly motioned for His mike and the discourse table. This was a bolt from the blue (a bolt from The Orange actually!). None had been prepared for this and even the translator was a little surprised. Quickly grabbing the most easily accessible pen and a scratch pad he went to Swami. Swami sat waiting for the discourse table to arrive. The music group was ready with songs and the Bengal youth were ready with their drama. But are we ready for Swami's drama when He decides to stage it? The simple Truth of Swami's dramas is that in them, we are not reduced to mere spectators but transformed into active participants. How willing we are is entirely up to us.

The table and mike arrived and Swami rose to speak. And what a discourse it was! Ganga Pravaaham or the ceaseless flow of the heavenly Ganges. The translator was converted into a student taking notes as Swami launched into an effortless yet powerful, gushing flow. He gave free vent to His words and His 'emotions'. Swami spoke non stop for 25 minutes, without pause or hesitation. It was spontaneity and absolute free flow. There was a passion in His voice - a passion that in itself was enough to shame most of us into a physical and mental silence at the total lack of Love for our country. It is not a cliche that we say Swami is Perfection. If anyone had a question, "What is patriotism?” he/she should have seen Swami thundering. It is a very frank and honest confession that no amount of explanation or writing will ever do justice to even a fraction of the feelings and thoughts that Swami aroused as He spoke that evening. Given below is a brief transcription of the Discourse.



Swami's Independence Day Discourse

One sees the name written over all the speakers here (ie audio speakers made by the company Bose) - Bose but not a mention of his name has been made today. People keep saying that He died in an accident. That is wrong. He never met with any accident. He was the greatest. He authored a book, "My India" and that was later translated into English. He was married and his daughter was Lalita Bose. She in fact came to Parthi and followed Swami everywhere, whether it was Ooty, Kodaikanal or Madurai. She always kept Swami's name on her lips and sang bhajans and songs. She often lamented, "My father was a patriotic Indian. I am so proud of Bharat; but today the unity has been shattered, there is no unity among people." Lalita approached her father and sought permission, "I wish to go to Puttaparthi. My Swami is there." She came to Parthi and then even to Whitefield.

Bose was very strong and powerful, in body, mind and in spiritual splendour. He always desired that India must be foremost, pure and grand. There is none equal to him in wanting the progress of the nation. Other prominent leaders at that time were actually jealous of him and they did everything to keep him away. They say that he died in an accident. At that time he was actually in a steamer. There still exist such people in Bharat but the pity is that they all just keep speaking and refrain from action.

Swami risis to speak on Bose.

No one acts. Everyone delivers speeches. I feel a stabbing pain that there is not a single Bose today. Tell me is there any one? One Bose is enough. Bose truly understood the plight of India. (At this point Swami was very emotional. One wondered at Swami's passion. Oh! If we feel that way! Just once at least......)

Swatantra (freedom) as it is called does not relate to the body or the mind. It is in reality Swaatantra where Swaa means the Atma or Self. When you follow the Atma, there is nothing else left to be achieved. There is no use of just rejoicing on this day without even realizing the meaning of Swaatantra. Bose knew what it meant. The patriotic fervour that he displayed is worthy of emulation. Without the patriotic spirit one is more dead than alive. It was only Bose who fought for Swaatantra. All others had selfish agendas. They were the ones who divided people. Swaatantra makes you realize that the country is ONE because ALL ARE ONE. 'Mamaivamsho Jeeva Loke Jeeva Bhoota Sanatanaha' - that is what Krishna says.

Today people eat, drink and make merry. There are so many 'rich' people. But they are unable to give a handful to a beggar. These rich people are actually living in abject poverty. You keep saying brothers and sisters, but none keeps that relationship. No one here is as great as Bose. Bose too had met me. He came up to Bukkapatnam and was unable to come to Parthi. I went myself to Bukkapatnam. When He saw me, he held Me and cried, "You are doing so much at such a young age itself. You are working for the emancipation of mankind itself." He had so much pure feelings.

The country is as great as one's Mother. It is a land of Kshama (forbearance). Today all try to earn more and more money. But not a single one strives to earn Prema.

Swaarajya is related to Swaa - Atma not swaartha - selfishness.

All those who spoke, spoke only of the world. None speaks of the Atma. Swaa is mistaken for Swaartha (selfishness). Swaa is Swaatantra. Love all, Serve all and help everyone. The Atma is unchangeable. Have Atma Vishwaasam (Self Confidence).

None of you asked me to speak. It was my love for Bose that made me speak so. Such people must be born again in Bharat. Never forget Bose. Even on the speakers his name is there. Sarojini Naidu (The Nightingale of India) was another great soul. They are all being forgotten. Such glorious personalities are not to be forgotten.

As Swami sat down concluding His Discourse, His voice had become hoarse with what we humans would call as emotion. The first thing He said to the boy next to Him was, "My voice became hoarse. Do you think all would have heard what I said?"

Oh Swami! Today we have technology by our side, we feel like saying. The whole discourse has been recorded and it can be cleaned so that each and every word is heard clearly. No problem. Everyone would definitely have heard or will definitely hear whatever you said. Some words may have been clouded but the message was very clear! In spite of all this, that is really a question to ponder about - "Do you think all would have heard what I said?" Have we heard? Have we heard what He has said over the decades - even when His voice was so sweet and clear?

It was then that Prof. Anil Kumar the translator requested Swami whether he could speak in English for the benefit of the non-Telugu audience. Swami gladly consented and he translated it but not before issuing the disclaimer that no amount of translation could ever match what Swami had spoken. That was really true and anybody who could understand Telugu would know why he said so; anyone who didn't understand Telugu too would know why he said so! For today, one could just feel what Swami was communicating. The language of the Heart is too easy, powerful and universal for anyone not to understand.

After that Swami asked the boys to sing. The music group began with a soulful rendering of Vande Maataram. It sounded so inspiring - that too after Swami's discourse. Every drop of blood coursing through the veins of all assembled must have flowed at a lively pace. Swami was quite emotional and He kept beat for the song. Next there was a patriotic song. As that song gained momentum, the devotees from Bengal who had gathered began to wave the Tricolour in rhythm. It was a superb sight - filled with patriotic fervour and nationalistic feelings. There was another song on Lord Rama. Wanting to make everyone happy, Swami asked them to conclude early. The final song was full of swing and enthusiasm. As the song ended, Swami indicated to the Bengal youth to begin their programme.

The flag waving added to the patriotic fervour.....
....and to the rhythm and visual beauty too.

The final presentation of the evening was by the youth of Bengal - a drama entitled, "Ab tumhare Hawale watan Saathiyo." or 'We now' surrender to You.' The presentation began with the Independence Day celebrations where some members of the youth start a discussion. Suddenly a mysterious being in "fancy dress" arrives. Announcing himself as Time, he tries to make the youth aware of how the eternal values have degenerated in the present age.

The motherland with her illustrious sons.

To his aid come the heroes of Bharat - Swami Vivekananda, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, Guruji Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi. Now there was something that happened so coincidentally to the 'scientific' mind and so miraculously for the natural mind. As Bose stepped down to speak, the first statement that issued from his lips was, "Is there nobody who is selfless enough to live for the Motherland?" As he mirrored whatever Swami had said about him in the discourse, one could feel goosebumps tingling the skin. Thereafter, it was seen that Bose seemed to speak the most. The other glorious leaders spoke only once - at most twice. Did these youth prepare the drama after Swami's discourse? That could not be possible for it had been pre-recorded! One had to just admire the skill and intelligence of The Script Writer for the visual reinforcement of the audio wisdom that had been received minutes ago!

"Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached." -Vivekananda
"All that the country needs is people of selflessness." - Bose


"Tread the right path even if you are alone on it." - Tagore
"They alone are people of God who serve the rejected and forlorn." - Gandhi

The whole presentation was interspersed with graceful thematic dances. The messages delivered were mostly in song form and the dance did great good to the message delivery. The music was so beautiful and apt to the feelings and emotions that had to be aroused in each scene. The youth were made aware that only young men and women are capable of restoring the declining human values and they are made to take up this responsibility.

"Human Values are the only way out for redemption."
The dances that lit up the evening with burts of energy.
"The nation is now in your hands."
We salute our glorious leaders.

"Strive for that and even if the whole world deserts you, walk the Path alone fearlessly. Arise and awake now and stop not till the goal is achieved", is the message that is given to them. At the end, Time succeeds in motivating them and introduces them to the greatest Hero - our dear Swami. A loud applause rented the hall - so loud that it drowned all the other sounds. Meanwhile, Swami called the youth who were acting and created Vibhuti for all of them.

Swami creates Vibhuti for all actors.
Divine gift of Grace.



Some broke down in front of Swami and He so sweetly told them, "Ay! Do not cry....don't cry." Swami was also in a state of supreme happiness. Not that He isn't always, but He does not display it always. Many times we look to God and hope that all the apparent reality is just a drama. It looked like Swami today was looking at us and hoping that this apparent drama is The Reality!

After the drama, Swami called all the actors to sit around His chair for group photos. They all happily obliged. As they settled around Him, He rose up and gave the most charming smile. After the photo session, Swami spoke to all the youth who crowded around Him. They all seemed to be enveloped in a cloud of joy. Swami also gifted them a copy of the group photo that had been taken just moments before. It was 6:30pm when Swami received Aarthi. As He went back into the car too, He raised His right hand in benediction to all.


The final group picture with all actors.

18 August: ‘Yoga Mandala' programme from Vijaywada devotees

Swami came out for darshan at about 3:35 pm on August 18. Thousands of devotees from Vijaywada had thronged to Puttaparthi for seeing Him. The programme by the ‘Yoga Mandala’ had been scheduled. There were pink scarves of these devotees seen everywhere in the hall. By 4:00 pm Swami came out to the stage and blessed the programme to begin. The chief co-ordinator, who seemed to be the Guruji for all the people assembled with Swami being the Sadguru (Supreme Preceptor), went up to Swami and offered his salutations. A roar of applause went around the hall when he prostrated to Him. He showed Swami the programme schedule and offered a rose.

The yoga Mandala guruji offers pranaams
The dancer offers a rose.

Then two girls went up the stage and offered roses to mark the beginning of the programme. First there were two songs to which "koolattam" was performed. One was a bhajan on Krishna. After these dances, there were group Bharatanatyam dances. This was followed by a dance welcoming Shirdi Baba in a procession.

"Koolattam" by the girls.
Shirdi Sai in DwarkaMai with devotees.

The song depicted the scene from Shirdi Baba’s life wherein the devotees cry out to Baba when He leaves His body to save a devotee. Finally, Swami Himself asked as to when would the yoga performers arrive. The dance which incorporated in it many difficult Asanas (yogic postures) was also performed. The grand finale was in the form of a human pyramid which offered its salute to Swami.

The grand "Chavadi" procession depicted.
The devotees cry out for Sai's return.

Swami blessed all of them. One of the co-ordinators and a small girl went up the stage and once again offered a rose as a token of gratitude. Swami waved His hand and materialised a beautiful gold chain for the little girl and He Himself put it around her neck. Then He went into the interview room after which there was bhajans.

An offering of gratitude.
A golden chain for the little girl.

21 August – Anniversary of the School of Business Management, Accounting and Finance

The 21st Anniversary of the birth of the School of Business Management Accounting and Finance (SBMAF) was on August 21, 2007. As per Swami’s request, the students of the MBA programme displayed their dedication and Love for Swami as they gave up the drama they had prepared. Swami wanted two speakers in the afternoon.

The afternoon arrived and the stage had been set. Swami completed His darshan rounds and went into the bhajan hall. He came out and sat on the stage. The VC made a few introductory comments on the significance of the day. The first speaker of the afternoon was the Principal and the dean of SBMAF, Prof. U.S. Rao. He spoke with gratitude on how Swami had made the MBA course so special and unique - one of its kind in the world. Swami was touched with his short but sweet speech. He patted him lovingly on His head. For Swami, age is no bar at all. If one loves Him like a child, then He treats him like a child too. He is just Pure Reflection, Resound and Reaction. Swami also gave him a vibhuti packet to keep.

Discarding the car, Swami comes in the wheelchair.
Swami blesses the deam on the Business School - Prof.U.S.Rao

The next speaker was Sri Ameya Deshpandey - a research scholar of the Sri Sathya Sai University. He spoke wonderfully well with the maturity of a Sai student who had been deeply touched by Swami. Structuring his speech on the popular song, "Hain Aankh Vo Jo Shyam Ka Darshan Kiya Kare", he narrated incidents on what a Sai Student is - and what Swami makes him/her into. Being a student of Sathya Sai University is not enough. One must strive to be a Sai Student too! His mellifluous voice won him Swami's emotional appreciation and the crowd's enthusiastic one. Liberally sprinkled with experiences from the lives of Sai students, the speech demonstrated why Swami means everything to His students.

Sri.Ameya Deshpandey delivers his musical speech.
Swami blesses Ameya with an emotional pat on the cheek.

Once a student, forever a student till He makes us the Master! There may be miles that separate us from Him, but He is always near and dear - guiding and comforting us. As He says, "You may leave me and go, but once I have accepted you, I will never give you up. You are mine forever." No lover in the history of the Cosmos can ever be like the Lord - so selfless and sacrificing. All the incidents narrated brought out these facts. At the end of the speech, Swami blessed the speaker beautifully and slipped a vibhuti packet into his pocket!

The final speaker was Sri Subhash Subramanyam. His speech was another masterpiece in terms of the sublime feelings that were conveyed. When Swami's students make public speeches in His presence, there is something very paradoxical. It is neither meant for the public, nor is it a speech.  Very often, it becomes a private conversation that we are able to hear on the speakers! As we listen to them express their love for Swami, we are touched at how Swami has touched their lives. That was the story of Subhash's speech. As he sang melodiously and conveyed his love and gratitude to Swami, one could not help becoming a bit emotional and Swami too was very deeply moved. At the end of his speech, Swami profusely blessed him and gently dropped a vibhuti packet into his pocket.

Sri.Subash Subramanyam delivers his talk.
Deja vu as Swami blesses Subash with the same treatment.

Then Swami was requested to deliver His divine discourse. Swami said that He was so overwhelmed by what the boys had spoken that He was unable to speak. He asked for songs to be sung. The students sang their hearts out for Him which was again a beautiful experience in itself. After that Swami received Aarthi and left.

22 August – Bhagavan’s Discourse

Swami was so happy with brothers Amey Deshpandey and Subhash Subramanyam who spoke yesterday, that He called all the students for morning Darshan to Sai Kulwant Hall and promised that He would address them. All had assembled by 7:15 am. Swami came out at about 8:00 am without the car, to the delight of everyone.

Close darshan for one and all ....... the Porte is de"porte"d!!

He went around the whole hall collecting letters. He sat on the stage and told the Vice Chancellor to speak on the reason of the day's occasion. Sri Anil Gokak, the Vice Chancellor, spoke about the boys who had made Swami so happy.

Swami instructs the Vice Chancellor.
The Vice Chancellor delivers the introductory talk.

Then he continued to speak on the University. After his speech, Swami called out for the two students. He materialized gold chains for both of them and put it around their necks. He patted them on their cheeks and blessed them very lovingly. He spoke to them for a while too.

A gold chain for Sri.Ameya Deshpandey....
....and another one for Sri.Subash Subramanyam.

Then He rose up to address His dear children. It was such a beautiful sight. Swami was smiling and seemed so excited to speak. His enthusiasm was just bubbling and bursting forth. His voice sounded like music to the ears as He began. Given below is a summary -

1) Today is supposed to be a day dedicated for the management students. But business is something that goes on everywhere. All the senses in the human body too are constantly carrying out business.

2) It would be wrong to compare the business done in India with that done in other foreign countries. It is different scenario here. Never compare and never stretch out your hand and ask anything of them. Elsewhere the basis of business is only power and domination.  Only the cost is taken into account. It is of paramount importance to consider the country and culture too. Culture is to follow the traditional path that has been laid from times immemorial.

3) Culture can be inculcated only when there is discrimination. Without that, culture becomes perverted. Discrimination is the first step in Self-Realization. Discrimination leads to confidence and also to self satisfaction.

4) When I was small, a 70 year old communist by name of Hanumantappa came to me and said, "Swami you write poems so beautifully. Please write a poem on Communism too." Swami wrote the poem as a lullaby. (Swami sang out the lullaby. The lullaby predicted the fall of Hitler at the hands of the red armies.) Sure enough, the next day itself saw the downfall of Hitler at the hands of the Russians. Then Hanumantappa held Swami's feet and said that it was God who spoke, otherwise such a coincidence was not possible!



"Do not change the Satya Sai Education system."

5) I had composed songs on the fashion of those days too. It was funny the way people would keep a French-cut like beard and moustache. A few hairs in the centre and they would think that they look handsome. Keeping a ‘moustache’, they would just leave a small portion in the centre! The same was true even of clothes. The fashion then was the bell-bottom pants. It would be tight on the top and hang out wide and loose at the bottom. Then came the age of the parallel pants. Now finally people have come to senses and they wear normal pants.

6) Today the education system is being changed constantly and that is not good. From times immemorial, we have been using earthen pots for keeping food and other materials. In the recent times there has been a proliferation of plastics. And see what the result is. Everything is being choked and food kept in plastics turns into poison. That is what will happen if you try for quick changes from the traditional ways. So do not try to change the Sathya Sai University type of education. It will ensure a bright future for all.

7) Help ever and hurt never. You spoil the present by unnecessarily worrying about the past and the future. Present is the omnipresent. Right now you have a comfortable living and your mind is also steady. So be in the present. Even parents of children cannot know the mind. They too teach only of the past and the future. Less luggage, more comfort, make travel a pleasure. Don't carry the past in your mind. Present is the most important. Even in a class, you have to be present. Else they will mark you absent and you lose out!


8) Today wherever you see, you see conflict. There is no unity, no purity - only enmity. Enmity was the cause for Bose leaving India. Utter selfishness caused that. We need good people like Subhash Chandra Bose. The teachers too are very good here. They want the students to stay here and work for their welfare.

9) Why go abroad? Instead of going there and earning 10,000 Rs, stay back here and earn 1,000 Rs. That is far greater. There is nothing great or special in going away. Half of what you earn, you will have to spend for rent itself! You will be made to pay for everything - even water. But it is not so here. You can comfortably eat and drink. Why do you invite trouble by going abroad? I never went abroad. People may immediately say that I went to Africa, but that was only for a short time.

10) In the African forests, one could see a herd of elephants. Their ears are so huge like fans. When they swing them, mosquitoes are thrown far away! There are also zebras, giraffes. They are so happy and living harmoniously. They harm you only if you harm them. There were also 10 lions with the cubs. When Swami fed them fruits, they accepted them. They wanted more and I told them that I would be back the next day with more. Yad Bhaavam Tad Bhavati. Animals react as you treat them. Even snakes don't harm anyone. They just slither away if you leave them alone.

"Bring a good name for the Institute."

11) These two boys who spoke and sang so well made me very happy. Be good boys always. Gold may lose its value but never goodness. Have the feeling, "I am from a very good University." Keep the Institute flag flying high. For that keep good company and have self confidence. Dhruva, Prahalada and Radha succeeded only because of confidence and good thoughts. Prahalada was thrown from hilltops, into oceans, trampled by elephants and bitten by snakes. But Lord Narayana was always there guarding him. One with faith in God will never have failure in life. Strengthen your faith. Faith will lead to Love and that Love is the Atma. All you have to do is to trust God. He will take care.

12) You know your parents. Even if thousands of people tell you that they are not your parents, you will not be affected. That must be your faith in God too. These two boys are here are gold medallists. They always put in a lot of effort.

13) When Ramadas was deep in debt, he told Rama,"I am struggling here. I made a necklace worth 10,000 varahas (currency in those days) for you. But you just walk around parading it and I am in trouble.” Later he repented, "Oh Rama! That was my weakness. I am so sorry that I criticised you." Rama never deserted him. Two boys appeared out of nowhere and paid off the debt that hung over his head. By Swami's grace, all of you will be 100% successful. The confidence of the foreigners is something to be appreciated. They come here leaving everything and they adjust to all the difficulties.  Remember, wherever you are - in the forest, on the hill, in the city or in the sea, faith in God will rescue you. Have that confidence.

14) Students, you are good and like pure gold. Clouds just seem to appear in between. Don't get carried away by them. All your study is of any use only if you are steady. Those two boys are so good. Likewise all of you are good. Their music was melodious and all enjoyed it. They are virtuous, strong and well behaved. They are valued wherever they go. Such boys are needed. Such boys must stay with us.

15) Preserve all I said in your mind. There is nothing great about amassing wealth. You cannot eat money. Money will come and go. Morality is most important. Bose visited many countries but he never gave up his patriotism. Do not spoil the national culture.

Hmmm.....Swami must have put you all to a lot of strain. (“No.. Swami” echoed back everyone very loudly) Be Happy.

At the end of the discourse, Swami asked for songs. The students sang, "Humko Tumse Pyaar kitna". That song seemed to have such a rich flavour of Love this day. One could feel the Love in the air and the gratitude in the hearts. The "bond" of Love is so liberating! Swami called the two students and gifted them with white cloth pieces and a white shirt. Then he received aarthi and left at about 9:50 am. He also agreed that two other students could speak in the evening too!

And so according to the agreement (!), there were two speakers scheduled for the evening. Swami arrived without the car, increasing the devotee’s mounting joy. This has been becoming a quite regular feature these days and everyone seems so happy at the change when the Porte is de'porte'd! Swami went around collecting letters and granting close darshan to all. He came onto the stage after a short visit to the interview room. The first speaker was Lokesh Aswani, a student of the final year in the MBA programme. He spoke of experiences with Swami.
"Be Happy"

The second speaker was Prof. Anantaraman. As they say of great speakers, he did not speak of glorious things; he spoke what everyone knew in a glorious way! It was such a refreshing speech and it displayed the man's mastery over the English language. He spoke of Swami's Water, Educare and hospital projects, but it was in a new light and everyone appreciated it. At the end of his speech, Swami materialised vibhuti for him. Then He went into bhajan hall for bhajans after which He received Aarthi and left.

23 August: A Student and Staff Member Give Speeches

In the afternoon of August 23 two more speeches were scheduled. Swami completed His darshan rounds and sat on stage after a brief visit to the interview room. The Vice-Chancellor introduced the two speakers and invited them to the dais. The first speaker was Sathyabrata Paul from the final year MBA class. His speech was a mixture of songs and words! He spoke and sang out his feelings for Swami. After his speech of 25 minutes, Swami blessed him with a gold chain and Padanamaskar.
Mr.Satyabrata Paul gives vent to his feelings
........and Swami responds with a beautiful chain!!

The second speaker was Sri Rangarajan from the School of Business Management, Accounting and Finance. He spoke on the "roar of the lion" - the clarion call of the Avatar as He spends time in the human frame in the world. He narrated many experiences and instances where Swami silently and in a very casual manner, either said something, or did something, which was a resounding wake up call for alert minds - and would have alerted the minds that were asleep. The straightforward manner and easy style of his talking made refreshing hearing and the message was straight from the heart. After his speech, Swami blessed him with Padanamaskar. Then Swami went into the bhajan hall for bhajans. Prasadam was distributed after which Swami retired after Aarthi.

Offering his obeisances to his Lord.
Mr.Sri Rangarajan talks about the "lion's roar."

24 August: 'Varalakshmi Vratam'; Books and Publications Trust 6th Anniversary

The 6th anniversary (5 years completion) of the 'new' Book Trust building was on August 23, 2007. Swami promised the students and staff working that He would visit them the next day (August 24) and bless them. The Varalakshmi Vratam was also scheduled to be held today. At about 8:20 am Swami came out in the sofa chair. There was an entire procession leading Him. There were ladies dressed in blue silks filling up the entire front section of the Kulwant hall.

The procession in front of Swami.
Swami graces the Varalakshmi Vratam.

He slowly moved through the central path and took a detour at the middle of the marble block and turned towards the stage. On the stage He lit the lamp to mark the beginning of the Vratham ritual. He sat for about three minutes and then said, "Come let us go."

The main shrine tastefully decorated.
Lighting the lamp to mark the beginning of the ceremony.

Swami then went straight to the Book Trust building as He had promised. As He got down from the car, the first thing He asked was, "Where is the lift?" (The Lord had never been to the first floor of this building before). Swami was taken into the lift and as He arrived in the first floor, He had a smile dancing on His lips. The Veda chanting with the Poorna Kumbham began.

Welcomed with the PoornaKumbham at the Book Trust building.
Salutations of gratitude as Swami moves towards the entrance.

Swami was taken into the building amidst rows of the employees who were excited and delighted at the prospects of Swami in their midst. The table had been kept for Him and in front of it was the lamp which Swami lit. Then, He asked Mr. Rajan, Convenor of the Books and Publications Trust, to speak. After his short speech on how everything had been going on prosperously and perfectly by Swami's grace, he asked Swami to address all who had gathered. Now, as Swami’s mike was placed on the table, there was a new translator! Swami permitted Sri Srinivasulu, a former student of the University working in the Book Trust, to make the translation. Given below is the entire text of the discourse that lasted about 30 minutes.

Unbelievably close and personal with Swami!!
Sri.Rajan convener of Book Trust delivers the opening address.

"All those students who are working here are discharging their duties with steadfastness and devotion. It is because of them that this Book Stall has developed. It is not enough if you merely bring out books, you should put into practice what is there in the books. You should understand and assimilate all the teachings that are contained in the books and practise them. Pustaka (book), Mastaka (head) should be in harmony.

What the world needs today is service. We should love everybody. Love All Serve All. This is what we are supposed to do. Whatever work we may do, we should do it with the feeling that we are doing the work of God. There is no place in this world where God is not present. He is all-pervasive. Never doubt that God is here and is not there. He is everywhere. God is in you, with you, above you, below you and around you. Whatever work you do, whatever happens is only due to the Will of God, and not by your own effort. (Showing His handkerchief) Here you see a cloth. This cloth is woven with a bundle of threads. The threads are made out of cotton. So, the process is - first cotton, thread and then, thirdly, cloth. Similarly, you are not one person but three. The one you think you are, the one others think you are and the one you really are.

There are three processes involved in writing a book – the person who writes, the people who read and the person who prints it. Do not lay importance on just bringing out books. The books we bring out should broaden the vision of the people. We should not give room to narrow-mindedness. The books should help people develop broad feelings. We should publish books which are essential for everybody. But money is not important, morality is important. Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows. We should develop morality. What is the use of writing and reading books without putting them into practice? We should be able to practice at least one principle. There may be many items in the plate, but by merely repeating the names of those items, will our hunger be satiated. Take at least one item and eat. In the same manner there are many books. People are writing about the divinity of Swami in many books.


But are you putting into practice at least one principle contained in them? No. What is the use of reading books if you do not practice? You may listen to ten teachings, but at least one of them you should be able to practice. Only then will we derive the necessary strength to carry on our lives.

Our Rajan is putting in lot of efforts to develop the Book Trust. He is doing much more than what is expected of a person of his age. Students are also cooperating and working in the right direction to make it conducive for the smooth functioning of the organisation. You may take into consideration any workplace, progress is possible only when there is cooperation. Cooperation should be such that there should be relationship between heart to heart. We should understand thoroughly whatever work we are doing in the first instance.

All are one, be alike to everyone. All should work with unity. One may write the book, another may print it and yet another may bind the book. But there should be cooperation and unity between all the departments. Only when all work in unity can we get the desired result. When can you develop unity? You can develop unity when there is purity. How can you develop purity? If there are any negative feelings in the mind, purity is not possible.

First of all, there should be unity. Where there is unity, there is purity. Where there is purity, divinity will manifest. So, first of all develop unity and purity. Then you will attain the grace of divinity. If you want to attain divinity, first of all you should develop unity and purity. Therefore, I exhort you to develop unity and work together – persons who are writing and those who are printing them.

What I see is not the Pustaka (book) that you print, I see your Mastaka (head). Our Rajan brings so many things to Me that are printed by the Trust. But I am not satisfied with any of them. I see the purity of heart of the person who has written the book. Hence, purify your heart in the first instance. A cooked dish will be tasty only when the vessel in which it is prepared is clean. Cleanliness of the vessel is very important. In the same manner, purify your heart. Any number of changes may take place in the world, but the heart should not change. Here when I refer to the heart, it does not mean physical heart. I am referring to the spiritual heart. Spiritual heart means divinity. Divinity is referred to as Atma. God has no specific form, but He is all-pervasive. He is in you, with you, below you, above you and around you. The Atma is present wherever you see.

But when there are passing clouds you will not be able to visualise the Atma. Moon is always present in the sky, but you will not be able to see the moon when it is covered by clouds. You cannot deny the presence of the moon because it is covered by clouds. If you want to see the moon, you have to wait for some time. You can see the moon, once the clouds move away. The Veda declares, Chandrama Manaso Jataha Chaksho Suryo Ajayata (the moon was born out of the mind and the sun out of the eyes of the Supreme Being). The Atma is shining like moon in the sky of our heart. But sometimes, it is covered by the clouds of thoughts and desires. In some seasons, you find thick clouds. When there are thick clouds, you will not be able to see the moon. But do not deny the existence of moon just because you are unable to see. In the same manner, God is present in the heart of everyone. You are unable to see the Atma because of your thoughts and desires. So, you should exercise control over your desires. Less luggage more comfort makes travel a pleasure.

You can experience immense happiness if you reduce the luggage of your desires. It is because of desires, you are unable to see the Atma. Therefore, reduce your desires. This is referred to as Vairagya in Vedanta. What is meant by Vairagya? It is reducing your desires. You should not have more and more desires. Our body grows every day. But our life-span decreases day by day. As the body grows, our life-span also decreases.


Hence, it will be very beneficial to us if we reduce our desires. You can be always happy and cheerful when you reduce your desires. You may read any number of books and listen to many sacred stories, but first and foremost you must reduce your desires. Only then can you find benefit out of them. Everyone has desires, but some are necessary and some are not. When we wake up in the morning what is that we do? We get up from the bed with a lot of desires.

Oh man! You struggle hard in life merely for the sake of filling your belly. You acquire myriad types of knowledge from various fields. Examine and enquire for yourself what great happiness you have achieved by spending all the time from dawn to dusk in acquiring worldly knowledge and earning wealth while forgetting God. (Telugu Poem)

Sri. Srinivasulu is blessed to translate the discourse.

Forgetting God whatever you may do is a mere waste of time. You should always keep God as your goal. God is not present in a far off land. He is present everywhere – in you, with you, below you, above you and around you. Hence, we should never forget God. People may say anything, you may face any number of difficulties, but you should never forget God. Only when you have such pure, unsullied and steady devotion can you be called a true devotee. You cannot call yourself a devotee if you do not have steadiness of mind. Your devotion should be steady like an ocean which never reduces in quantity. On the one hand, the water gets evaporated from the ocean and on the other hand, rivers merge in it, but still the ocean maintains all its characteristics. Our heart should be filled with devotion like an ocean. We should not entertain the waves of desires and malign it. Any number of waves may arise, but the ocean maintains its pristine state. Hence, keep your heart always pure, steady and selfless. Our Rajan is putting in a lot of effort. He is bringing about many changes in the publication of books. For the 80th Birthday, many good books were brought out.

Never entertain any desires. Whatever you do, do it as an offering to God. Sarva Karma Bhagavad Preetyartham (do all actions to please God). That is the sign of true devotion. Do not give rise to differences like this is my work, that is Swami’s work and yet another work pertains to public. Think all work is God’s work. One who writes the book, one who prints and one who reads the book, all are one. All are one. Never entertain any differences. Only when you do not have differences, can you develop steady devotion. Your devotion should always be steady, it should not waver moment to moment. When you have a wavering mind, everything will keep changing. Do not give scope to a wavering mind. Desires and thoughts may arise, but we should utilise our power of discrimination. Is it good or bad? Is it right or wrong? When your conscience tells something is right, follow it. Always follow your conscience. It is like a traffic signal. Follow it conscientiously. When your conscience tells something is right, follow it scrupulously, irrespective of what others say. Let people say whatever they want, but we should remain steady in our mind.

Greatness does not lie in bringing out books, but we should understand the essence contained in the books. We should bear in mind the essence in the books. Without matter, it cannot be called a book. Without any subject, you cannot get matter. What type of subjects should you choose. You should choose those subjects which are related to the heart. If you do not go by the dictates of the heart, you will not be successful.

An author should write good books which are beneficial to one and all. We should not print unnecessary things. There are many books brought out in the outside world which give rise to worldly desires. What is happening to all those books? Nobody is reading them. Whatever subject that is pleasing to the heart should be the subject matter of books. They are true and eternal. We should perform actions without deviating from the path of Sathya (truth) and Dharma (righteousness). Sathya and Dharma are not different from each other. Sathyannasti Paro Dharma (There is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth). Sathya and Dharma are one and the same. Without Dharma there cannot be Sathya and without Sathya, there cannot be Dharma. They are interdependent and like mirror images. We can achieve anything when we have Sathya and Dharma on our side.

More than the Pustaka, I see the Mastaka of the author

We should always keep Sathya and Dharma as our goal. Then we will certainly achieve our goal. Now, I cannot explain in detail any further due to time constraint. I wanted to tell you something related to publication of books and nothing else. We should publish only good books. Good books that are beneficial to one and all. You have heard Bhagavan’s Discourses, read many books, at least from now onwards put them into practice."

After the discourse, Swami was taken to a room inside where an elegant dining place had been arranged for Him. He ate very little. He said, “I am not hungry. But since you offer to me, I accept." And ate just one or two spoonfuls of the offering. Then He went into the multimedia room where a short documentary on the Book Trust was aired. Swami sat watching the whole thing with rapt attention.

Blessing the offerings.
Swami enters the multimedia room where a short documentary was aired.

After the 8 minutes, Swami said that it was good. He granted padanamaskar and showered His blessings after accepting letters from all the boys working for the Book Trust. He then went around all the other rooms and even to the balcony. As He went around the balcony, all the devotees who had assembled below delighted at this unexpected shower of Grace. Then visiting the other rooms, Swami wended His way back to the lift through rows of people. He also had a look at the latest books and CDs and DVDs. Then He received Aarthi and went into the lift. Huge crowds had gathered below to have a glimpse of Him. Swami then went back to Mandir. There the Varalakshmi Pooja had almost concluded. Swami went around once and then receiving Aarthi, retired into Yajur Mandir.

Browsing through the latest books....
The unexpected visit to the balcony where blessings to devotees followed.

In the evening, there were two speakers scheduled. The first was Prof G. Venkataraman. He spoke on the Institutions Swami established that people do not seem to notice so much - the Mandir and  Sanathana Sarathi. Speaking on the work done by the Book Trust in bringing out Sanatana Sarathi, the erudite speaker brilliantly wove the story of the way the Book Trust began in Puttaparthi. In the early days, Prof Kasturi would knock on Swami's door every month for new articles for Sanatana Sarathi! He then spoke of the new age media to spread Swami's message viz. the internet and digital radio.

Swami blesses Prof.G.Venkatraman before his speech.
The Professor speaks on Swami's "institutions"

The next speaker was the new Telugu lecturer in the Institute -Sri Veerabhadraiah. He spoke with such vigour that all were floored. He spoke very wittily and the next hour passed so swiftly. In course of his speech when he spoke of how Swami had blessed him once when he was playing the Veena, Swami immediately told him, "Play Veena for me here." Everyone was awe struck at the Lord's spontaneity. The speaker was delighted beyond measure and that delight manifested in added enthusiasm and fiery words. He told Swami that he would be ready soon.

Swami blesses the lecturer, Sri.Veerabharaiah.

After his speech, Swami asked for bhajans to be sung outside itself. But just before they could begin, Swami called out to the two American brothers studying in the higher secondary school. He asked them to chant the Rudram. They chanted the first part of it with perfect intonations and synchronisation. Swami seemed very pleased. He materialised Vibhuti for both of them and personally packed it in paper packets and put it in their pockets. Bhajans were full of gusto and spirit as Swami was seated right there for all to see. After the bhajans, Swami retired.

The two American brothers chant Rudram at His bidding.
Swami blesses them with Vibhuti after the chanting.

25 August – Dances Drama “Krishna Kripa" by Bal Vikas Students of Kerala

The Saturday evening saw the Sai Kulwant Hall rapidly filling up. Devotees by the thousands had arrived from Kerala with a much larger tide being expected the next day on the eve of Onam. Swami once again discarded the car to come amongst the devotees. Necks craned everywhere to have a darshan of Him in His full majesty. Ah! The devotees must be truly happy at this unexpected sign of Grace whereby He comes out without the car. Though we all have heard of the phrase, "Knock and the door shall be opened to you", we never realized that it held true for car doors too! And so it was, as Swami went through the hungering devotees, all felt satiated. Swami continued taking a round even in the inner portico. Then after a short break into the interview room, He came and sat on the stage.

Birthday blessings for the fortunate boys.
Portico blessings to the teachers.

The programme was a dance drama entitled "Krishna Kripa" by the Balvikas students of Calicut and Malappuram districts in Kerala. It was saturated with dances by little children. It began when little Krishna and a tiny dancer came up to Swami to offer roses. Swami lovingly patted them on their cheeks and blessed them after accepting their roses. 

Krishna with Sai Krishna.
Radha is not to be left far behind!!

There was a colourful opening sequence after which the drama began. Sudama, the childhood playmate of Sri Krishna was a spiritual millionaire and so his material poverty hardly touched him. But when his wife pleads on behalf of their children to request the Lord to intercede, He sets forth to Mathura with a handful of beaten rice as a gift from his wife. His entire journey is saturated with thoughts of the Lord and he reminiscences incidents from their childhood when he had hidden from Krishna the grams that Gurumata had given them for the evening.

"Don't worry. Father will return soon with food."
"Oh my child! I will tell you the story of Krishna."

As he reaches the palace, Krishna comes running out and embraces His beloved friend. He washes his feet and is overjoyed at the "poor" offering of the beaten rice which is rich in Love. Days pass and finally it is time for the friends to pass.

The bosom friends meet.
Sudama is treated with respect worthy of a king.

Sudama leaves with a heavy heart totally forgetting the purpose for which he had come in the first place. On his return, he is greeted by his wife and children who are rolling in prosperity. The Lord had blessed them. Interwoven into the play were more dances in the traditional Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam styles. The synchronisation and grace of the children were beautiful. As the drama neared completion, God called Sudama and blessed him with gold even in his real life apart from the dramatic life! Swami materialised a beautiful chain and put it around his neck.

Sudama's family is enriched - spiritually and hence materialistically.
Sudama is made richer by a gold chain from the Lord!

After the 40 minutes drama concluded, there was great applause and Swami stood up from the chair and walked down to pose for group photos. He specially called the teacher who had trained the children too to come for the group photo. Then, blessing all of them with padanamaskar, Swami went back on stage. Bhajans began along with Prasadam distribution. After five bhajans, Swami asked for Aarthi. A print of the group photo was given to Swami and He gave it to one of the actors. Accepting Aarthi, Swami retired for the day.

26 August: A Medley of Music Programmes

One day before before Onam saw a huge onrush of devotees from Kerala. The evening had been slotted for music programmes which Swami had approved. Continuing the flow of Grace, Swami came out without the car. Once again, the Darshans have become relaxing yet charging. It is not that they are not so when Swami comes in the car; but when the car carries the Lord, there seems to be a lot of strain to have a glimpse of the Lord. Now, the thirsting eyes can drink to their fulfillment.

Swami went into the interview room. The governor of Nagaland, His excellency Sri K.Sankaranarayanan had come to pay his respects to Swami. Swami spoke to him lovingly for a few minutes and after that, came out and sat on stage. He also went around the portico blessing the people who were seated there. He blessed all the students from Kerala who were seated in front with cards carrying the traditional Kerala symbols like the Pookalam and the Kathakali mask.

Swami blesses the Onam card......
....and another card.

There were balvikas students also sitting in the front. Swami seemed very happy that they were seated there for singing bhajans. Then, turning the chair so that He could face the musicians as they performed, Swami asked for the programme to begin. The first performance was by a playback singer from Kerala, Smt. Ambili. She sang some popular songs like Bho Shambho, Kurum Undrumullai and Satyam Shivam Sundaram. She was accompanied on the drums by master percussionist Shivamani's brother. Swami gave all the performers padanamaskar and blessings after the 25 minutes programme. In the meantime, Swami could not help seeing the little children seated in a very disciplined manner for singing bhajans. He kept looking at them and smiling at them.

The next was a programme by Prof. Ranganatha Sharma - an excellent Carnatic singer. He sang many of Tyagaraja's krithis. In between the programme Swami went into the interview room. The singer continued with the same fervour. After about ten minutes, Swami came out again and sat for the remainder of the songs. Swami kept seeing the cards that the students had made. In a very mischievous manner, He told them to face the cards the other way. They seemed surprised and did not understand why Swami was saying so. Well Swami too didn't seem to have any specific reason! When we say that nothing is impossible for God, why do we assume that it is impossible for Him to do something that really is not significant.

Smt.Ambili sings devotional songs.
Prof.Ranganatha Sharma sings Tyagaraja krithis.

After the professor, there was a little surprise packet. Swami called the new Telugu lecturer in the Institute - Sri Veerabhadraiah -  and asked him to perform on the Veena! As he was getting ready, Swami distributed white safari pieces to all the performers and to the ladies He gave silk sarees. Then the Veena recital began with the popular bhajan, Ganesha Sharanam. Thyagaraja krithis seem to be everyone's favourite. (That’s what happens when someone or something becomes dear to God. They automatically become dear to the whole world.) He also played a few other bhajans. Swami blessed him and the Music College students who accompanied him with white cloth pieces and Padanamaskar.

Then Swami asked the children to begin singing bhajans. As the bhajans went on Swami observed a little blind boy playing the harmonium in full gusto. Swami had in fact blessed this same boy with a gold chain during the Visu celebrations earlier in the year. Swami called him up to the front and looked at him with such compassion and then pulled his cheeks. He blessed him, renewed his already soaring spirits and then sent him back to his seat. The boy now began to pump at the harmonium with redoubled energy.

Sri.Veerabhadraiah delights everyone with the Veena.
Special blessings for a special child as Swami pulls his cheeks.

Thus the bhajans went on for a while. Until about 5:50 pm, Swami signaled for Aarthi and then left.

27 August – Onam Celebrations

Today morning the devotional hordes from God's own land had arrived at the haven of peace. On Onam day, the Keralites believe that their king Bali comes out of His abode to grant them Darshan and joy. All awaited the arrival of Swami. At 8:30am, Swami came out without the car. There was a huge procession consisting of a band, children holding lighted earthen lamps in their hands and a contingent of Veda chanting children. Bringing up the rear of the procession was our dear Swami. There was the traditional Panchavadyam being played by students from the Institute. Swami crossed the ladies side and then moved across the gents side. When He came to the front, He saw the huge 'floor'al decoration which consisted of multicoloured flowers. He slowly moved along the students of the Primary school and then turned to the portico.

And then it happened. Mr.G.K. Raman, a long standing devotee of Swami, collapsed in his place. Mr. Raman was the Trust convener in Tamil Nadu and the director of Sundaram finance. He had suffered a massive heart attack and the heart had stopped as he glimpsed Swami. Swami immediately enquired as to what had happened and came close to where he lay prostrate on the floor. He was told what had happened. Mr. Raman had arrived to the mandir in the morning looking very tired. He had not had a proper sleep in the night. When asked as to why he should not take some rest in the morning, He said, "I must have Swami's darshan. Then I will go. Swami will come at 8:30. Till then I will sit." It was in these circumstances that he collapsed when Swami came.

Doctors - the best in their fields from the SSSIHMS - came there immediately. They tried very hard, pumping at his heart and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Swami sat watching the whole seen quite steadily. The Veda chanting continued, the mandir was agog with devotees and yet the portico was in a state of freeze. The next ten minutes saw the doctors try everything they could. The pulse would return weakly and at one point, Mr. Raman also weakly moved the eyelids possibly saw Swami. Swami then asked for a glass of water to be brought. He gave it to Mr. Raman's son to offer  for his father. Then Swami went into the interview room.

File photo of Swami with G.K.Raman and his wife

While the body was shifted to the General Hospital, Swami asked the students to start bhajans. It was during the bhajans that Swami was 'informed' that he had passed away. Truly blessed indeed is Mr. Raman that on the holy Onam day, as the Vedas were being chanted, he breathed his last in the presence of Swami. And it happened so quickly. The statements he made before that moment seem specially significant. As it is said, a person's death is an indicator of the kind of life he lived. Blessed indeed was Mr. Raman that he had such a holy end. The pious soul must have found fulfillment at the feet of its Master.

Death is such an awe-inspiring phenomenon. It is a powerful reminder of the temporary nature of everything that we see around. In its wake, the problems that seem to torment us, differences that we promote, negative feelings that we harbour - all just melt away into relative insignificance. The importance of just thinking of the Lord and doing His work alone hits very hard into our innermost being. All else but the Love of God, that we achieve in life, are just absolutely worthless. The lonely journey becomes a beautiful sojourn of solitude only if our lives have been saturated with love for God and service to Him.

After the bhajans, Swami received Aarthi and left. The discourse and speeches that were scheduled were cancelled. Swami might not have spoken, but this Onam day, He conveyed to all who were "listening", a wonderful example of the kind of noble life one must lead.


In the evening, Swami came out without the car once again. He completed the full darshan round. As He neared the front part of the hall, He went up the stage directly from the centre path to the stage. He went for a quick round around the portico and then into the interview room. Coming out, He asked for the Veda chanting to cease and the programme to begin. The drama scheduled today was "Tyagaraja" by the students of Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Aluva.

Reading a prayer as He passes by the Vedam group.
The children from Vidya Vihar offer their Pranaams.

The drama was full of songs from the great saint's life. It showed how as a child, Tyagaraja submitted to his Guru. From then on his entire life becomes a song for the Lord - a divine symphony.  When the king offers him treasures to sing his glory, Tyagaraja responds that he is already in the employment of The Emperor. Though living in dire poverty, he enjoyed the spiritual affluence that very few can boast of. His house is visited by the Lord when material poverty gets out of hand and there is not a morsel to eat. There he gets a darshan of his beloved Lord Rama. Having lived a life of fulfillment in the Love of Rama, Tyagaraja finally merges back into his Lord.

Made for each other - Thyagaraja and Rama.
"My bliss is in the treasure of Rama's name. "

Throughout the drama, Swami was enthralled whenever a krithi came up. It seemed as though He was listening to the saint singing live. He kept beat for every song and as each song started Swami would tell the Kerala Organisation president something about Tyagaraja - the travail he was going through, his love for God, his sense of contentment with the Lord's name alone.

Tyagaraja and the Kerala poet enthrall the audience.
The Ultimate gift to the pure soul.

After the drama, Swami walked down to pose for group photos with all children. He spoke to all of them. He asked many of them their names. They all requested Swami to visit their school in Kerala. Swami was so happy with them, that He asked for bhajans to be started and went into the interview room. He came out with sarees and white cloth pieces and personally distributed them to the children. Then He blessed the prasadam and ensured that each child received it while bhajans were going on. At the end of bhajans, the group photo was given to Swami and as He displayed the photo for all to see, there was a loud round of claps. At about 5:35 pm, he received Aarthi and sat till the last word was sung. Then He blessed all and retired for the day.

Everyone seems to be a Tyagaraja for Sai Rama's feet!
Swami showers His benediction on all actors.

Source: - Heart2Heart Team