Sai Baba Of India
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8th August

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The central white marble area of the Sai Kulwant Hall had been made ready for the Ati Rudra Maha Yagnam commencing tomorrow, with eleven sacrificial pits roughly three feet high constructed with bricks. This morning, Bhagawan came for darshan at 7.50 am. and during His Darshan round in the car, spoke to the Karnataka Youth co-ordinator and the organiser of the Yagnam at the centre of the Yagnam area. Continuing His darshan round, instead of alighting near the interview room door, Bhagawan chose to alight from the car near the rear door of the Bhajan Hall. Interacting briefly with some of the devotees seated there, Swami walked upto the stage and sat there. Some more discussions with the organiser of the Yagnam followed for the next fiftenn minutes, and Swami also spoke a few words with a senior Bioscience professor of the Institute, about an International Symposium on the Frontier areas in the Chemical and Biological Sciences hosted jointly by the Chemistry and Bioscience Departments of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. While walking to the interview room, Swami once again came along the Eastern side of the stage. He spoke to some of the delegates for the Symposium, took their letters and blessed them.

During the Ati Rudra Maha Yagnam, Radio Sai will be broadcasting special half-hour capsules daily, and four hour long videos will also be prepared for Saicast. We will provide text versions of these capsules here.

For the last few days, Swami has been sitting onstage in the evenings and interacting with the students. Here is a description from one of the students:

He is the cynosure of all eyes and yet He sits calm and natural. He smiles drawing some symbols in the air. Now He suddenly seems to be talking to Himself and the next moment He looks deep into someone's eye. A devotee is sitting metres away - yet he realizes that Swami has granted him a special look. He looks up to confirm and Swami continues to look into his eyes. The devotees' eyes communicate to Him in the language that they know - tear blobs run down the cheek, a huge smiles blossoms on his face and the heart overflows. A casual glance from Him at the Veda chanting group and the chants go up a few notches higher in their pitch. He just smiles and then turns towards a few boys in the first row. All of them stretch out their hands (holding letters) till the last sinew is strained. Then He closes His eyes and seems lost. The hands relax and as Swami suddenly seems to come out of His reverie, the hands stretch out again. He beckons to them and they rush to Him. As the first boy tries to tell Him something, He says, "Don't worry." The next boy wants to tell something personal to Him and before even the words form, Swami says, "I know, I know." To the next boy He asks, "Where do you come from?" He satisfies all in His own way. Every devotee has an experience to carry home - and all He seems to be doing is sitting there! Really, it is educare to sit in The Presence.

August 4, 2006

This morning was the celebration of the Varalakshmi Vratam - a ritual popular in South India, performed by ladies. The Sai Kulwant Hall had been tastefully decorated with golden cloth on the pillars. The stage was full of floral decorations. The centrepiece onstage was a beautiful idol of Devi. The entire front half of the hall was occupied with the ladies participating in the Varalakshmi Vratam puja. There were more than 1500 participants this year, dressed in identical rose coloured sarees. Plates and baskets of puja material were placed in front of each participant.

Bhagawan came for morning darshan at 7.30. After a full darshan round in the car, Swami entered the interview room. In just a minute or two, He came out walking and proceeded to the stage area and walked down the centre ramp. Interacting with a few participants seated in the front rows, Bhagawan sat once again on His chair and went around for a full darshan round in the chair. Once He returned to the stage area, the puja began after
the organisers were blessed by Bhagawan. For the next 30 minutes, Bhagawan sat onstage with the priest on His left side conducting the proceedings. Then, at 8.20, Swami called some devotees for interviews while the puja continued.

The puja concluded in an hour, with the narration of the traditional story of Charumathi and the exchange of auspicious articles by the participants. At nine o'clock, Bhagawan came onstage, accepted Arati and retired for the morning. An announcement was made, that all the participants were to have Lunch at the South Indian Canteen as Swami's prasadam.



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