6th July Today witnessed the Ashadi Ekadasi celebrations at Prasanthi Nilayam. A very auspicious day especially for the Maharashtrians. Ashadi Ekadasi is more of a religious procession festival and is celebrated during the months of June- July (Aashaadh Shukla paksha). People consider the two eleventh days, "Ekadashi", of every month to be of special importance. But the eleventh day (bright) of Ashadh is known as the great Ekadashi or Mahaekadashi. This Mahaekadashi is also known as Shayani Ekadashi, because on this day Vishnu falls asleep to wake up four months later on Prabodhini Ekadashi in the Kartik month. This period is known as Chaturmas and coincides with the rainy season. Ashadi Ekadashi’ is one of the major festivals celebrated in the state of Maharashtra in India in worship of Lord Vithoba or ‘Vitthala’ as He is lovingly addressed by his devotees.
The devotees from the states of Maharashtra and Goa thronged Prasanthi Nilayam to celebrate Ashadi Ekadashi at the lotus feet of their Lord Sai Vitthala. Ashadi has come…with the typical Maharashtra flavour… devotees from Maharashtra….they sung, danced and made everybody happy including their Vitthala, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The beautiful and enchanting dance program by the devotees from Maharashtra was one of the main highlight of the day. Also students from the Shri Sathya Sai higher learning institute performed dances. Swami sat on the dais and watched the performances of various artists after the evening bhajans and Aarthi Swami retired to His abode. Also, the Ekadasi prasadam was distributed to all devotees today. The program of celebrations will also continue tomorrow with more cultural and spiritual programs by the Maharashtra and Goa devotees. We’ll bring you detailed report & photos as they become available. _ SBOI