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Images from 1st Day [9th August, 2006]

 Video clip: Athi Rudra Maha Yagna-Inaugural day, with
clips from both morning and evening.

Streaming video:
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9th - 20th August 06

Divine Discourse day 1

Report from first day:   A - B

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More Photos - 1stday of Yajna
: ATI RUDRA MAHA YAJNAM 1st day Detailed Report & Discourse highlights & more Photos

Om Sri Sairam to Sai Family,
Rakhi Poornima wishes to all my Sai sisters. The atmosphere in Puttaparthi, the abode of loving lord is fully charged as part of the commencement of much awaited Ati Rudra Yagnam, the highest and ultimate form of worship to Lord Shiva. How lucky we are to witness this Yagna in the immediate presence of Lord Sai Shiva himself….. This day is a golden day in each one of our lives, the day for which we have been waiting for hundreds of births.. the day conferred to those noble ones, who prayed and prayed and just prayed to Lord Shiva..
We have heard of and might have witnessed many sacred rituals, Yagnas, but this particular Yagna is a special one as it is being conducted in the Abode of peace, Prasanthi Nilayam, in the immediate presence of Lord of this Kali Age, who out of His Immense compassion has descended in a human form to restore Dharma and teach us to be human…. This Yagna, is not an ordinary one….. It is a Yagna conducted aiming Peace and tranquility in this world, the world which is in total confusion, disturbed. In a world in which PEACE is broken into pieces…in a world, whose people are MILEs away from a SMILE… and above all, this Yagna is directed by the director of the Universe….
To witness this ONCE IN A LIFE TIME ritual, thousands of devotees thronged to Prasanthi Nilayam. Swamy came in the morning and Swamy had few surprises,after darshan around 9am He came out for street darshan, amidst cheers from thousands of devotees who didn’t have the opportunity to have a close darshan inside the hall…..
All the devotees were looking forward to the afternoon darshan when the actual Yagna was supposed to commense… the queues started very early around 11am and all the devotees were made to sit in the hot sun, after a long gap, in the vacant place next to Ganesha, reminding the days when Swamy used to walk freely and there used to be packed house darshans… the devotees were let in around 1pm and no tokens were picked.
Kulwant hall was jam packed and the whole balcony of East Prasanthi was filled with ladies. The Indian music band was ready at Swamy’s residence and around 2:30pm amidst Mangala Vadyas, and as the 132 preists who were chosen for the Yagna walked in chanting Vedas, Swamy’s car followed slowly and drove in to Kulwanth Hall… There were 11 Homa gundams (the place where the sacrificial fire will be lit) were prepared under a beautifully built Mandap right across the dias. After a complete round, Swamy came walking on the stage and was seated in His thorne..Mr.Vinay the youth coordinator for Karnataka state and the fortunate one to be picked by Swamy to oversee the preparations of this Yagna…came forward to Swamy… As he was explaining the programme list to Swamy, He materialized a golden bracelet to him…
The programme started with a talk by Mr.Vinay about the importance of this Yagna and how hard they worked to make it possible.. It seems Swamy used to tell the minutest things to be done for this Yagna… when Swamy called the head preist for an interview, it seems the priest told Swamy that his Yagna will make Shiva very happy … Swamy then replies…”Iam always happy.. this is an Yagna for bestowing Peace in the world” a very important statement reassuring that Swamy is none other than Shiva Himself…
After the head priest finished his talk Swamy rose from His seat…. Every one thought He would go to the Yagna place to bless it.. .but Swamy always likes suprising devotees and His surprises always bring smiles on our faces… and this time instead of getting down from the dias, as we all thought, He asked to bring the Discourse table and the mike….. The happiness of we devotees knew no bounds…We couldn’t believe what was going on…..There were notice boards all over ashram giving the timings and details of the pujas to be conducted on particular dates and according to the notice Swamy’s discourse was on 20th very unusual for Swamy to give the date of discourse in advance….We all were surprised… Is Swamy going to speak?… Wow…. Its been a looooooong time since we heard His voice, even though we can see Him every day, didn’t listen to his voice for long… There was curiosity in every one…. How will He give the discourse…. Standing or sitting?…. How will He sound like?.. Weak or Normal… Will He speak about Yagna?.. will He finish with a bhajan?… bla…
He rose up…... amidst claps and cheers….Devotees were shouting, rasing their hands… thanking Swamy for this double BOON… Suddenly there was pin drop silence.. what next?.. A sweet verse… or Prema Swaroopulara…. Swamy raises His hands adjusts the mike… two boys slightly raising on their knees, with one hand resting on Swamy’s back… Swamy adjusted his throat PREMA SWAROOPULARA…a big applause…. He starts.. “Due to rapid modernization.. People are no longer attached to our culture Indians have forgotten the values.. Gata Jeevudagu patin batikinchi yemu gelche Savitri Bhrata Sadvi kade Savitri, the great lady, who brought back her dead husband into life after successfully confronting Lord Yama (the god of Death), is she not an Indian?…In which country will you see a woman who brought back her dead husband to life?…Tana Sathya Mahimache Davagni challarchi chandramati Bharateeya Vanita kade… (Damayanthi who estinguished the fire with the power of her truth, was she not an Indian Woman? Sita who bravely entered into the fire.. was she not an Indian? This land of Bharat, is a Karma Bhoomi, Punya Bhoomi…. A sacred land… That’s the reason why Shiva was born in this holy land..akhila desala kidi upadhyaee kade…. This land of Bharat is the teacher to the whole world… Born in such a sacred land, even Indians are not behaving like human beings..
“All the parents should teach their children to learn Vedas and understand their importance. Those are the FORTUNATE ones who learn Vedas and remaining are the most UNFORTUNATE ONES… Swamy then called two overseas boys who are in Swamy’s school and asked them to chant Vedas, After they chanted a hymn, Swamy interferes and continues…. “These boys are studying in our institute… Recently there were devotees from Iraq and Iran who visited to Puttaparthi village… Even today there are few Iran devotees living in puttaparthi and who chant Vedas like any person..
Understand the essence of Vedas..out of the four Vedas Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Adharvana Veda, Rig Veda is very important…
He again asks the boys to chant another Hymn..Swamy continues “the essence of Vedas is LOVE ALL SERVE ALL.. HELP EVER HURT NEVER…

This Yagna is not a simple ritual.. this is being conducted for Loka Kshema( for wellbeing of the world)… Today’s world there is no peace There are Yagnas conducted at many places…. Any one can do Yagnas, but none can match this particular Yagna being conducted in Prasanthi Nilayam… those who participated in this Yagna and those who turn their entire concentration on this Yagna are the BLESSED ONES….(He also gave some technical details and some calculations about this Yagna which unfortunately I don’t remember)

Appreciating Mr.Vinay.
Swamy then turned to Mr.Vinay, who was sitting next to the table.. this boy Vinay has worked very hard for this Yagna to be successful.. this yagna is a very expensive affair… Many people came forward to donate rice, ghee etc..but he very politely denied all… He just said.. for me Swamy is enough.. He will take care.. That’s TRUE DEVOTION… He and his wife participated very actively for this Yagna..They are married for 10 years…I (Swamy) even asked Vinay, if he wants a son.. He said.. I want only YOU Swamy… Swamy continued… I have never seen such a devotion
Swamy continued” I never charge any money for anything.. In Sathya Sai Organisation there is NO VALUE for money… Education is free of cost… from class one to PHd the education is absolutely free…even in general hospital and in the super speciality hospital there is no charge what so ever… Swamy continued “For a open heart surgery one has to spend 3 to 4 hundred thousand rupees.. how can a common man afford the price?.. what will happen to them if they don’t have the money for operation? In our hospital a patient walks in with plain clothes and walks out with brand new ones… This is the speciality of our hospital added Swamy..
(The above discourse was based on memory…pls read theofficial version)
It was 4:15 pm by then and Swamy sang Hari Bhajana Bina Sukha Santhi Nahin bhajan… His voice sounded very strong…After the bhajan He was about to sit down but stood again and continued… May all of you be blessed with happy life, healthy life..long life and divine life….(loud applauds)
Swamy spoke for 45 minutes… After which the Yagna commenced while Swamywatched it from the dias...
It was such a blessed day for all of us … made us very very happy…According to sources. Tomorrow morning (10th aug) Swamy would be installing Shiva Lingam which is a part of the Ati rudraYagna…

After the programme Prasadam was distributed to all the devotees and interestingly even to the devotees who were out side the whole.
After the first day of the Yagna…. It rained in Puttaparthi, signifying the blessings of the Gods in the heavens showering their love and grace on this Holy Land
Swamy Sata Koti Pranams for this DIVINE BOON…
BLESS all those who made it to the Yagna
DOUBLY BLESS those who feel they are little bit UNLUCKY for not being the LUCKY ones who witnessed this Moment of this Yuga….
Swamy in your DIVINE DICTIONARY… there is no word like UNLUCKY.. Just knowing your Omnipresence and Omniscience is the Luckiest Luck…..
Bless us all Swamy…… May your blessings be always with you….
Jai Sai Ram
satish Naik  [SBOI Group member]



Prasanthi Bulletin

August 9, 2006

This morning Bhagawan came for darshan at 7:10 AM. The priests of the Athi Rudra Maha Yajnam were seated in the Bhajan Hall. Swami went in to the Bhajan Hall and interacted with them. We could hear them chanting mantras for quite a while. Before Bhajans Swami went for a drive upto Gokulam and returned.

In the afternoon, there was a lot of excitement and anticipation in the air as today would mark the beginning of the Athi Rudra Maha Yajnam. The Kulwant hall was tastefully decorated and a pandal with 11 Yajnakundams (sacrificial pits) had been put up. The pandal was almost entirely made of "coconut tree items". It was supported by pillars which had a huge pot at the base and a first tier of coconuts. The second tier consisted of arecanut bundles, followed by holy ferns and then coconut leaves decorations. The leaves had also been intricately interwoven to form a fabric sheltering the whole pandal. Yellow coconuts with little yellow arecanuts hanging below adorned the whole pandal. The holy water from the rivers of Bharat had been placed in one corner and the vessels numbered more than 100. The main stage had also been decorated with flowers and a flower arch had been placed over the Ganesha idol. A metre high Lingam surrounded by three smaller Lingams had been placed.

Swami came out of the Yajur Mandiram at 2:35 pm. The car was led by a procession of 132 Rithwicks (the pundits to perform the Yajnam) and other people holding different paraphernalia. Swami got down in front of the pandal next to the steps leading to the main stage. He sat on the sofa smiling and listening to the chants by the students. At 3:00 pm He told Shri Vinay Kumar, the chief organiser, to begin the proceedings. Firstly there was a song entitled "Athi Rudra Maha Yajna Purusha Sai". At 3:05 pm Shri Vinay Kumar spoke. He related as to how when Swami was told that the Yajnam was being performed for Rudra's joy and satisfaction (Trupthi), Swami said, "But I am always joyous and satisfied!" Then Swami had continued to say that people often mistake Rudra to be an angry God with fiery eyes, but 'Do I look angry? I am full of love'. He said that our great fortune was that Rudra Himself had decided to perform the Athi Rudra Maha Yajnam. (when 11 priests chant the Rudram and Chamakam 11 times around 11 sacrificial fires for 11 days- a total of 14641 chants- it becomes an Athi Rudra Maha Yajnam).

Shri Lakshminarayanan, one of the organisers of the yagnam, was the next speaker. He was followed by the Pradhamacharya (head priest), Shri. Nanjunda Dixit. He said that Swami was the force behind everything as without His will even a blade of grass could not move. He also said that the Lingam would be installed as an object of focus and that God is in fact One.

He concluded his speech and bowed to Swami. As the Athi Rudra Maha Yajnam preliminaries were about to start, Swami sprang a pleasant surprise on all of us. He got up and began to move towards the microphone. Sensing an imminent discourse, the table and His mikes were quickly brought. Given below is the summary of the Divine discourse -

" Embodiments of Love. With the introduction of the English language, love for one's own language has gone down. There is no refinement and culture. Human Values are fast disappearing. This Bharat is a land of merit, sacrifice and purity. Men and women of highest character have treaded on this soil and made it holy. Savitri revived her dead husband by sheer power of her chastity while with the same power Chandramati could put out a fire. Sita came out unscathed from the fire only because she did not even look once at Ravana. Do you find such people anywhere else? No woman here ever confronts her husband. Bharat is the teacher for all nations. Where else will Shiva take birth?

Remember God will not manifest by mere rites. God responds to those with virtues and a pure heart. God is in all people and all material. Eashwara Sarva Bhootanaam. (picking the kerchief)This cloth is made of threads and that in turn is made of cotton. God is the basis for everything and is not ephemeral. Body and the mind are gifts of God no doubt, but do not carry on the sojourn of life making them your basis. Anything you do, do it as an offering to God. Attain God with Love and Truth. Rudram has two parts- the namakam and the chamakam. While the latter desires, the former denies. What is the significance? One must desire the good and deny the bad.

Vedas today have been neglected. Veda is the richest of all. It makes no differences of caste and creed. (At this point Swami called out two students who were from USA and Lithuania and told them to chant the Sri Suktam.) Swami's decision is that everyone in all the countries must chant the Vedas. It is not to be limited to the Brahmins and India alone. There are people from places like Iran here who chant the Vedas. Veda is the relief and remedy for all and not only for getting power or children. Fortunate are those who learn the Vedas and unfortunate are those, who, having learnt it, do not make efforts to spread and teach it to others. I am sending my students as my emissaries to spread this knowledge. (Swami now made the two students chant the Rudram) Do not neglect the Vedas. They contain the mysteries of nature in all totality.

Rudra is often mistaken as Shiva. Rudra is the essence of all the 4 Vedas. Yajnam or sacrifice means to sacrifice the fruits of action- not running away from home and responsibilities in the name of sacrifice. Why were you born? Not to eat, sleep and roam. You must help ever and hurt never. Do not hurt or use harsh words against anyone. To criticize is the worst sin.

Today's education is useless. The manifestation of divinity within is possible only by Educare. Educare makes patent what is latent. You can get Educare from God and God alone. And God is one. Jewels are many but gold is one. Cows are of many colours but milk is one. The truth is one but the wise call it by many names. We need an open heart to understand the unity in Divinity. Do not praise one God and criticize another. This message is not for the youth alone but for all. God's name is more powerful than even the mightiest of bombs. It will annihilate all the bad. Athi Rudra Maha Yajnam will uphold righteousness. Everyone can do it.

Vinay Kumar and his wife have given up all desires and they want only Swami. Vinay is the youth leader. Leaders like him are needed. Today there is a lack of leaders. Everywhere it is only money and business. But here everything is free. Education and hospitals - People come as patients with torn clothes and go back with new ones. All the seva dal members and students must render service. Then Swami's grace will be ensured.

(Swami then sang 'Hari Bhajan Bina')

Athi Rudra Maha Yajnam is noble and sacred. Those who perform it are blessed. The key is to do it with unity. This will lead to purity and then to divinity. The 6 vices are your enemies. Keep them away. You are all embodiments of the ATMA. Be happy, healthy peaceful and spiritual. But one cannot be happy without devotion. Immerse yourself in devotion and not the deep ocean (of Samsara).

Swami then sat down and the Athi Rudra Maha Yajnam began at 4:30 pm. It began with the Ganapati pooja and the Sadguru Prarthana. "Bhadram karne" and "Na Karmana" were vigorously followed by all. Then the Sai Gayathri was chanted and the Sankalpa and Pravara were done (where the space and time co-ordinates of the Yajnam were mentioned.) Swami in the meanwhile had the prasadam distributed to all people including the pundits. Then a cow and calf were brought and worshipped as part of the Godaan or the gifting of the cow. At about 5:00 pm Swami got up and went into the interview room. After a short while, He left for Yajur Mandiram. The Athi Rudra Maha Yajnam continued in all elaboration. The installation of the Kalasha and the Vaasthu Rakhoghna homam were also performed. The peetham (base of the lingam) was unveiled and it was about a foot high and completely silver. The Bimba Shuddhi pooja to wipe out all the mistakes committed while the lingam was sculpted was then performed. The Lingam was treated as a living God. Water, fruits and flowers were offered to it. The abhishekam was done with milk and water. After all the elaborate rituals, at about 5:45 pm, they began to prepare the "bed" for Rudra. As if to act as a natural air conditioner, it rained for the next 3 minutes! The Shayyadheevasa ('sleeping' of the Lord) was performed. The Lingam was literally placed in a cozy bed with fruits, flowers and incense. Lullaby was sung and music played in 5 ragas as the two chamargrahas (Fan bearers) gently fanned the Lord. Sentries - Indra on the East, Agni (S.E), Yama (S),Nirariti (SW), Varuna (W), Vayu (NW), Kubera (N), Shiva (NE), Brahma (above) and Ananta(below)- were posted to ensure a peaceful rest to the Lord! Offerings in gold and silver were made before the Deepam (100 wick lamp) was waved. As the Lord retired, Aarthi was sung and the eventful evening came to a close at 6:45 pm.

Images from the first day of the Yagnam are available at the Book Trust site. During the Ati Rudra Maha Yagnam, Radio Sai will be broadcasting special half-hour capsules daily: The schedule page lists this programme as "Sounds from the Ati Rudra Maha Yagnam being conducted at Prasanthi Nilayam."

Yajna Programme Schedule & Radio Broadcast




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