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Alanis Morsissette  (won several Grammy awards in 1996, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year.)

song: BABA

i've seen them kneel
with baited breath for the ritual
i've watched this experience raise
them to pseudo higher levels
i've watched them leave their families
in pursuit of your nirvana
i've seen them coming to line up
from switzerland to america

how long will this take baba
how long have we been sleeping
do you see me hanging on to
every word you say
how soon will I be holy
how much will this cost guru
how much longer 'til you
completely absolve me

i've seen them give their drugs up
in place of makeshift altars
i've heard them chanting
kali kali frantically
i've heard them rotely repeat your
teachings with elitism
i've seen them boasting robes and
foreign sandalwood beads
i've seen them overlooking god in
their own essence
i've seen their upward glances
in hopes of instant salvation
i've seen their righteousness
mixed without loving compassion
i've watched you smile as
the students bow to kiss your feet

give me strength all knowing one
how long 'til enlightenment
how much longer 'til you
completely absolve me
Album: Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (1998)

"I firmly believe that the only reason why I'm on this planet, the only reason why I live, breathe and exist is that it's my duty to be as honest as possible in my art. It's my goal to confront people with myself, my personality, and I do it as radically as possible."
- Alanis Morsissette
Morissette won several Grammy awards in 1996, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year.

Morissette (b. June 1, 1974, Ottawa, Canada) was one of the most unlikely stars of the mid-'90s. A former child actress turned dance-pop diva, Morissette transformed herself into a confessional alternative artist.

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Parthi Update 

Mahashivaratri updates

March 10: Yesterday evening too Swami gave a discourse. And in the discourse Swami talked about a lady called "Karuna Subhaamma" who was like god mother to Swami and took care of Swami. Swami narrated an incident, she would make five kinds of breakfast each day for Swami because she doesn't know which one Swami will like and Swami use to test her by rejecting all the breakfast she brought, just to see if he could make her angry. Swami said that she never got angry and was always smiling. Swami talked about many such incidents. Most of the devotees are leaving Puttaparthi after the shivarathri festival. Puttaparthi is back to its calm self.

March 9th, 2005 Morning

The mikes for the Bhajan singers were switched off at 7.00 p.m. last evening. After that we had a half an hour Bhajan singing slots for different groups, ranging from students to Sevadals, from India as well as abroad; to staff of various Sai Institutions. The whole night witnessed wonderful and soul lifting Bhajans.

Anytime after 12.00 a.m., we were expecting Swami's arrival in Kulwant Hall. However, Swami came out at 6.25 a.m. for Darshan. He sat down on the sofa and Bhajans went on with renewed vigour. After a while, we saw Swami drinking a lot of water. Every few minutes He would drink a glass of water.

For those of us who have been here on earlier Sivaratris, it was clear that Bhagawan was going through the Lingodbhavam Phenomena! All eyes were fixed on His Form, for any moment could be the Holy moment! We could see Swami going through the Divine process of bringing forth the Lingam. Bhagawan had been giving some instructions to brothers Nitin and Ramakrishna. Suddenly, the Golf Cart drove into position. It was 6.55 a.m. Bhagawan got up, took Aarti and proceeded towards the Golf Cart.

The Prasadam had not yet been shifted and Aarti was already over. Before we could think of anything, Swami was sitting in the Golf Cart that sped away to PC. A few minutes later as all devotees and the crowds waited in suspense, Prof. Anil Kumar made an announcement that Prasadam Distribution would take place now.

This time we had Puliyohara and Laddus for Prasadam. The distribution went on until 9.00 a.m. All received the Prasadam and went happily towards their homes.

March 9th, 2005 Evening

Swami came out for Darshan at 3.30 p.m. He got down the Golf Cart and sat down on the sofa placed at the centre of the dais. There were two speakers for the evening. The first one was Sri Ajit Popat who spoke for 45 minutes. The theme of his talk was the three great boons of Manushatvam, Mumkshatvam and Mahapurusha Samshrayaha (Birth as a human being, desire for liberation and company of holy men) which is very rarely available to any individual. Sri Ajit Popat also touched upon the aspect of Faith, and Stewardship.

The second speaker was Prof. G. Venkataraman who spoke for half an hour on the journey from Manushatvam to Daivatvam. Most surprisingly after the two talks, Bhagawan decided to Bless us all with His Divine Discourse. This was totally unexpected! Bhagawan spoke for an hour and ten minutes taking us through the memories of His earlier days. His focus was on the great devotion of Karnam Subbamma. He also described the final moments of Karnam Subbamma and those of His own Father and explained how once a word given would definitely be kept up by Bhagawan.

He said - Sathya Sai is not the one who will break the given word. His name itself is Sathya!! Bhagawan also took us through His life in Kamalapuram, the various poems composed by Him in His younger days etc. He concluded His Discourse at 6.25 p.m. The last five minutes of His Discourse were delivered sitting on the sofa. Prasadam distribution began along with Bhajans. This Sivaratri was surely different from all the ones we had in the earlier years. Three Discourses, several talks by learned senior members of the Sai Family and His beautiful extended Darshan - all these made this year's Sivaratri very memorable for all of us!

Mahashivaratri 2005 - the morning inside Nilayam

Om Sri Sai Ram

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Sai,

Complete unforeseen and quite unusual Swami granted His Divine Discourse today in the morning. He told that Shiva is not matted hair; Shiva is “Universal Cosmic Consciousness“ and that “Universal Cosmic Consciousness“ is Love. So every moment is Shivaratri, is auspicious.

Swami then talked on “unity“, that there is one God only. We should strengthen this unity, that is the goal in front of us. Finally He told that God is positive only and there are positive and also negative human beings. He asked to which sort we would belong to. The crowd screamed: “positive!“

Bhagavan replied by asking how it could be that all of us were doing so many differences when being so positive – because of “positive is unity“ and “God is positive only“.

Furthermore our Beloved Lord mentioned one more important thing belonging to our behaviors. “When food and other habits are perfect, there will be no differences“.

(His Discourse came to the end at 9.15 am by songs of His students until 10 am.)


Afternoon Darshan

Dear Ones

Sai Ram

Swami granted a second Divine Discourse (on Sathya and Dharma which are lost completely in Bharat) in the afternoon (8.3.05) - just finished.

(Discourse) Has came to an sudden end: By addressing the students He announced that He may come back into Sai Kulwant Hall by Brahma Muhurta and see who is a true Devotee and has sung the Glory of God with a joyous face

Posted by Jay Sai Ram - 08.03.2005


Lingam ??? - 09.03.2005

Sri Sai Ram

Today (9.3.05) Swami was coming at 6.15 am to Sai Kulwant Hall and during sitting in His sofa He kept drinking a lot of water. Then water started coming out of His mouth and our Lord left the Hall for His House very fast.

Seems to be that He is doing what has to be done - “inside”. Another holy and loveful lecture.

Jay Sai Ram

Om Sri Sai Ram

Dear Ones,
within this JSR is forwading some private impressions sent by a Lady Devotee from Parthi. Sure that Your Sai Hearts (searching for sathyam) will enjoy the Love Lines.

Jay Sai Ram

Private observations of Mahashivaratri 2005 in Prasanthi Nilayam:

In the morning of March 8th, we were surprised to see that Swami gave a discourse! There were talks also before His, and then plenty of mantras & bhajans by the boys afterwards, as well as the distribution of sweets afterwards. Usually,  the students do bhajans in the morning and Swami gives a discourse in the evening. Because Swami did everything in the morning itself, we thought maybe the only thing that would happen in the evening would be the start of Akhanda  Bhajan! Swami also looked weak as He has lately, slow when walking those few steps from car to chair and again from chair back to the car.

There was an announcement that Akhand Bhjan would commence with the blessings of Swami, at 6 PM that  evening.

In the evening of March 8th, Swami arrived around 3 PM. There were two or three long talks and then Swami’s discourse again! Near the end of the discourse, Swami suddenly slid back into the chair. It was like He could no longer  stand up. He continued the discourse for some more minutes, with the table microphone being hand held (below the level of the table) by an assistant by Swami's side.

After Swami's discourse, Swami remained sitting and bhajans began. I believe it was around 5 PM (one hour early)! After maybe 20 or 30 minutes of bhajans, Swami tried to get up from the chair. His first two attempts failed but He finally lifted Himself up, with the assistance of two boys on either side of him. Lately he has really a lot of trouble getting up after sitting for a long time. After arising, as usual He stayed standing in one place for several minutes, then took several small steps, looking like it was very difficult, pausing a long time between each step. Finally He agreed to the requests of His assistants,  and they brought the chair He had been sitting in (which had wheels on it) and He sat down. The chair was wheeled the short distance to the golf cart, where Swami was practically physically lifted up by the two boys and placed in the cart. Swami left the hall and bhajans continued throughout the night.

Swami arrived in the morning about 6 AM. There was tension around as Swami started to display some of the signs of Lingodbhava. He started drinking more and more water, with assistants running back and forth to the interview room, brining more glasses of water. Some water was poured from a thermos, maybe cooled. Swami started wiping His face and neck with His kerchief a lot, as if becoming very warm. He started coughing and clutching His throat with the kerchief. Suddenly, he threw up a large amount of water.

That was the wakeup call for the already anxious assistants. They consulted with Swami who finally called for arathi. Arathi was preformed. Swami slowly got up and was helped by His assistants on both sides, holding His arms and hands, as Swami very slowly and weakly made His way to the golf cart. Swami was already bending over and looked very uncomfortable. As soon as Swami sat in the golf cart, in an instant the car went in race car mode and sped off the fastest we ever saw that car go! Even then, Swami was bending over and looked like the lingam would be born right there on the car! But the car went mighty fast and soon Swami had disappeared into the Poornachandra.

There was confusion for a few minutes as people wondered to stay or was it all over, should they just leave? Then an announcement was made that everyone should remain there for distribution of Prasad. Soon college boys were brining in the numerous containers of yellow rice and sweet laddus, and Prasad was distributed to all.

Afterwards, several people approached me complaining why did people pray for Swami to stop the public display of Lingodbhava? He would anyway do it in private - as the spontaneous formation of the lingam could not be suppressed - so He would anyway suffer, whether in front of the public or not. He has been doing it all these years to give us the Grace of beholding it, but only due to the pressure of the prayers of many people, He agreed not to do it in public this time. If Swami anyway wants to give us this Grace, who are we to demand otherwise? That was only the personal opinion of the few people who approached me.

Thus ended another new and different Maha Sivarathri, with no public lingodbhava taking place.

Posted by Jay Sai Ram - 09.03.2005


(Prashanthi Bulletin)

February 6th to 9th 2005

For the past few days, we were hardly able to have Darshan of Bhagawan, for He was so busy with the preparations for the February 10th function. After all, He was getting His children married - a spiritual marriage, to usher them into a new phase of their life!

Sunday morning, the 6th of February did not witness Bhagawan's arrival in the Sai Kulwant Hall. What could be the reason? We were all getting worried. But later we came to know that Swami was out in the Poornachandra Hall, guiding and overseeing the preparations, packing of gifts etc. for the fortunate couples who would be Blessed with all these mementoes on the 10th.

Our students who are currently working in the Central Trust and Book Trust offices, lovingly called the CTBT boys were bestowed by Swami with the chance of helping in this grand programme. The staff and students of Anantapur were also very lucky to be Blessed with the opportunity of helping in organizing the function.

On the evening of 6th too, Swami just came out only for the Bhajans. He came at 5.10 p.m. and took Aarti and returned at 5.35 p.m. So you can imagine how involved and busy Swami has been with regard to this programme.

On Monday, the 7th, Swami came out for morning Darshan at around 8.45 a.m. In the evening, He was out by 3.15 p.m. but He went into the interview room as soon as He came and was inside until the Bhajans began.

Tuesday, the 8th of February, turned out to be similar to the previous day. However, Mr. Shivraj Patil - the Home Minister of India - had come for Swami's Darshan and Swami spent a long time with him in the interview room.

Yesterday, on the 9th, Swami came out at 7.45 a.m. for Darshan. To the delight of the devotees seated in the Hall, Swami sat down on the sofa. The Bio-Science department has organized a National Workshop on "Recent Trends in Bio-Technology" at the Institute. This is a three day workshop that began yesterday. The total participants run to almost 60. Most of them being gents, they were seated in the upper Portico, in the faculty block.

At around 8.00 a.m., Dr. Krupanidhi, the Head of the Bio-Sciences Department, prayed to Swami for departing to the College to commence the Workshop. Bhagawan gave His consent and all the participants got up and started moving out. However, one of them made bold and came closer to Swami from the side and sought His Blessings. Looking at this, the others too were wise enough to not lose their life time chance! One by one, all of them queued up to seek Bhagawan's Blessings. Some bowed down while some others offered their letters. Swami had a smile for each one of them!

In the evening, as we all entered the Kulwant Hall, we could see rows of red coloured plastic basket chairs arranged in neat rows right at the front, both on the Ladies and on the Gents side. All the lucky couples were seated on these chairs. Gents on the Gents side, and Ladies on the other side. Most of the faces were familiar to us, as all these were revered elders who had left all their worldly possessions and positions aside and had settled down in Prasanthinilayam for years , offering their Loving services to Bhagawan! And here was Swami showering all His Love and appreciation for them!

Swami came out for Darshan very soon. He was out by 3.00 p.m. and taking a short turn between the chairs, the Golf Cart proceeded towards the interview room. The next few hours, the Mandir was like a busy factory workshop with our CTBT boys running from here to there, carrying items inside the interview room and shifting some items outside.

At 3.25 p.m. Swami came out of the interview room and went into the Bhajan Hall. The Anantapur staff was inside, arranging all the gifts to be distributed. Swami spent some time inside the Bhajan Hall giving instructions. Then began an endless distribution of gifts to the lucky couples! On the Ladies side, Anantapur sisters went around not just distributing but even making the women wear bangles, earrings, etc. Grand silk saris were then distributed to all the brides. On the Gents side, the CTBT boys were busy distributing Dhotis with Angavastram (upper garment).

This went on for quite a long time. The total number of couples chosen for this occasion were around 280. After the clothes, the special silk threads to be tied around the head was given to all. This was followed by beautiful colorful garlands - not flowers but the plastic zari ones, usually used on such occasions...

All around the Kulwant Hall, we could see banners with "Bheema Ratha Santhi" written on them. This was the title given to the celebration to be held tomorrow. When we asked some of the elders, there were different interpretations of the title. Some said that Bheema stood for Shiva and therefore it is an offering to Lord Shiva. Yet others said that Bheema stood for strength and Ratha meant the human body; hence, the prayer is for giving strength to the body. The general idea was that it was a celebration meant for the overall welfare of the old couples. (More of this in the ensuing Discourse given by Bhagawan)

Bhajans started at 5.00 p.m. and by 5.30 p.m. Swami took Aarti. We could see Prof. Anil Kumar running towards the Bhajan Hall to make an announcement. Swami had called him a little while ago into the interview room and had given him instructions about the announcement to be made.

Prof. Anil Kumar announced that the 'Bheema Ratha Santhi' will commence tomorrow at 8.00 a.m. with all the couples coming in a procession from the Pedda Venkamma Raju Kalyana Mantapam in Puttaparthi village. They will be preceded by Veda chanting and cultural dances of a traditional type and all of them will enter the Sai Kulwant Hall through the main Gopuram Entrance.

After they all settle down in Sai Kulwant Hall, the marriage ceremony will begin. All relatives of the couples are also welcome. The special wedding feast will begin from this evening itself and will continue till tomorrow evening. For the couples coming from outside Parthi, special accommodation has been arranged. After the wedding tomorrow, there will be a wedding banquet for the couples, their relatives and all the devotees present here! This is Bhagawan's Blessings of Love!!

Believe it or not, Swami was so particular to hear the announcement and make sure that everything was conveyed that He came outside after the Aarti and stood near the Golf Cart until the announcements were made both in Telugu and in English. Only after the long announcements were given, Swami got inside the Golf Cart and retired to the Poornachandra Auditorium. That is perfection. No detail is too small for Him!!

The distribution of gifts was just completed by then. As we walked out of the Kulwant Hall, the bridegrooms jubilantly got up from their chairs and walked past us with Swami's 'Gift Bag' full of loving mementoes! We could see the joy and cheer on their faces!! What a unique Blessing. Where else in the world would we find a ritual, conducted to honour old people and pay our gratitude to them?

February 10th 2005 (Morning)

The special day had finally dawned. By 7.00 a.m. we all arrived at the Kulwant Hall. The entire space was blocked for the ceremony. Therefore, all students packed themselves tightly near the car garage, where the old students sit.

As we sat down on our mats, we gazed around the Hall and looked at the wonderful decorations everywhere. Beautiful brass vertical flower vases adorned the dais, with colourful and fresh flowers shooting forth from them. The centre of the dais had a very beautiful getup with a white backdrop and colourful flower decorations on it. The Kulwant Hall area, almost 50% of it on both the Gents and Ladies side was set apart for the marriage function.

The arrangement was fantastic! Elegant enclosures were made for each couple, with low level (maybe just 1 or 1 ½ feet high) brass railings serving as a curtain stand. Silk curtains were fixed on these brass stands. The top opening of these stands also served as a flower vase and had bright red coloured Dahlias and Zinnias inserted into them. At every corner of these stands, a plantain trunk was tied to the stand - giving the entire Hall the typical auspicious and sacred look of any marriage hall!

In these small elegant enclosures, were placed two bright red coloured plastic bucket chairs for the bride and the bridegroom and a low teapoy in front of the chair to serve as the working table for the marriage. We gazed around to see the other decorations. The inner portico was decked up just like it is done during Bhagawan's Birthday celebrations. Full of pearl garlands and other colourful hangings! Rich floral garlands were covering the chandelier lights at the base of the portico in the usual decorative patterns!

To sum it up, the entire Hall looked like a beautiful Wedding Hall awaiting the arrival of the brides and the bridegrooms.

At 7.10 a.m., Sevadal people began their task of arranging circular steel plates on the teapoy kept in every enclosure. At 7.15 a.m., the core Vedam group began their chanting of the Vedam. Bhagawan had started from Poornachandra for Darshan. The learned Pundits who had come from Andhra Pradesh for conducting the marriage were inside the Bhajan Hall and they too started chanting Vedam. As the Golf Cart went amidst the various enclosures, the Sevadal and some of our students were arranging two small steel cups inside every plate. This was possibly for the Turmeric and Kum-kum. A red coloured velvet bag with several Pooja items inside, was then placed on each table.

Bhagawan went by the teapoys watching keenly all the items being placed on them. He took a full round of the Hall and came to the middle of the Inner Portico. The sofa was placed outside at the centre of the dais and on either side of the sofa, were a dozen enclosures for the most lucky couples who would be seated just next to Bhagawan for their marriage! Swami did not get down from the Golf Cart but kept sitting inside, listening to the Vedic Chants. After a while, the Vedic pundits who were inside the Bhajan Hall came out and went towards Swami to seek His instructions and Blessings.

As this was going on in the inner portico, outside, a beautiful framed photograph of Swami was placed on each teapoy for worship. Next came the Akshatalu (sacred yellow rice) that was generously poured into each plate for a lot would be needed during the marriage ceremony! At 7.30 a.m. the Golf Cart went into reverse gear and went towards the interview room. Swami got down and went inside the interview room. Still half an hour more for the procession of the couples to begin from the Pedda Venkamma Kalyana Mantapam?.

Betel leaves were placed in each plate - a part of any auspicious ritual in South India. The whole Hall was bustling with activity as a number of Sevadal and students kept running around arranging the items, some of them checking and the others shifting the materials. Swami came out of the interview room at 8.10 a.m. or so. He stood just outside the interview room with brother Nitin Acharya and Mr. C. Sreenivas on either side, waiting for the arrival of the couples.

At 8.20 a.m., we saw the devotees running to the back of the Kulwant Hall and peeping over the wall. Simultaneously, the sound of the Nada Swaram reached our ears and it rose to a crescendo as the procession came closer and entered the Kulwant Hall. What a grand procession! What do we see? The special Pundits coming in a group, with the chief Pundit and his wife leading them, along with the Poorna Kumbham. They were followed by a group of Vedam students from our College. Then came the core Nadaswaram team, followed by the Anantapur students' Band and then the Anantapur students' Nadaswaram.

And there we find the Lambadis dancing away to glory!! The main dancer had a huge pot on her head. The Women folk were dressed in bright red, with white bangle like rings, covering their full hand. An assortment of ornaments covered their face and head. The Gents wore orange and pink turbans and one of them was rotating a green cloth in the air, possibly indicating a change of steps in the dance. These Lambadi folk took the centre of the Hall for their performance. As the dance went on in full vigour, the couples made their grand entry into the Hall! What a sight to see all our grandmas coming in with bright red silk saris and grandpas with Dhotis and an Angavastram on their shoulders, All of them had silk thread headbands and a garland around their neck.

The proceedings were very well organized. Every couple was assisted by an Anantapur sister who would be like a facilitator for that couple during the entire ceremony. All the Anantapur sisters were wearing light pink saris to match the grandeur of the occasion! Each couple waded through the maze of enclosures, finding their way to their final destination. As they sat down on their chairs, a mineral water bottle was placed on each teapoy. How thoughtful of the organizers! Being aged they would feel thirsty and the same water could also be used for the rituals.

By 8.45 a.m. all the couples were seated on their chairs - 275 in all. All the while, Swami was standing and watching with Love, His children taking their seats! Normally, the parents of the daughter would be ecstatic at getting their daughter wedded and the parents of the son would be joyous to receive their daughter-in-law. Here was a special case, where Bhagawan was the Divine Father and Mother to both the Bride and the Bridegroom!! How happy and Blissful He would Be!!

The Vedam Pundits started the ceremony. As they knew only Telugu, Prof. Anil Kumar was very kind enough to become their translator in providing instructions to the couples about the rituals to be performed. However, having got the mike into his hands, he took over the Telugu part too! The ceremony began with the Ganapati Prarthana (Worship). The couples were asked to worship the small Ganesha placed on their teapoys with Akshatam. As the Sankalpam (Vow) was chanted, the couples repeated their Gotra (Lineage) and Nakshatra (Birth Star) in their minds and performed Aachamanam (a ritual) with water.

At this point, Prof. Anil Kumar translated the 'statement of purpose' of this function as stated by the Rithwik (Vedic Pundit). This function was being performed to bestow upon the couples a long, healthy, spiritual life. It was directed towards establishing the unity of all religions through collective prayers at His Lotus Feet, for the ultimate goal of peace in the entire world!

By this time, Swami had gone inside the interview room and the Worship continued outside. The next event was the worship of the Raksha Bandhan (sacred protective thread). It was 8.55 a.m. The couples worshipped the Raksha Bandhan with Dhoopam (Incense Stick) and Deepam (Lamp). Jaggery was offered as Naivedyam (offering). As per the instructions, the Gents were to tie this on the left wrist of the brides and the women had to tie this on the right wrists of the bridegrooms! It was real joy watching them do this. Humour too was part of the game! Some had already tied it on the wrong wrists (confusion between right and left wrist) and they immediately untied it and placed it on the correct wrist!

The Mantras were chanted, describing the location of planet earth in the galaxy of various Lokaas (worlds). The Mantras went on to state that this ceremony at Bhagawan's Lotus feet would draw upon the couples Divine Blessings for the previous 10 generations and the subsequent 10 generations. It would be even more powerful than the Aswamedha Yajna!!

Then came the very interesting part of the marriage; the oath taking ceremony! Normally in any marriage the bridegroom and the bride vow to stand by each other in the three Purusharthas (goals) of life, namely - Dharma (Righteousness), Artha (Wealth) and Kama (Desire). However, in this spiritual marriage, as per Bhagawan's instructions, the Vedic Pundits made the couples take the fourth vow too - that of Moksha. Bhagawan said that Moksha (Liberation) too should be uniformly available to all. Hence, the bridegroom and the bride chanted as follows:

Dharmecha, Arthecha, Kamecha, Mokshecha Aham Evam Eesham/Eenam Naati Charami. Naati Charami is chanted thrice which means "I will stand by, I will stand by, I will stand by!!"

When we heard all these significances and inner meanings, we were so thrilled to realize that our culture has probed so deeply into all possible aspects of human life on earth. Marriage is such a great and sacred Institution that serves as the fabric of society and is in fact the Royal path to liberation as stated by Bhagawan Himself. Marriage is such a sacred bond between a man and a woman, who are supposed to stand by each other in all ups and downs of their lives, assisting each other and prodding each other to move forward on their spiritual journey, to ultimately reach His Lotus Feet. Unfortunately, marriage is understood by youth today in such a narrow and perverted sense. Bhagawan is truly re-educating the world about all these great and noble ancient Truths!!

Prof. Anil Kumar again took over and explained to the couples that by taking this vow, they would be now moving into a new phase of their life with rejuvenated enthusiasm, and were expected to put in all their best in fulfilling Swami's expectations. By now it was 9.10 a.m. The Pundits declared that the auspicious moment was coming closer and closer! The couples were asked to hold the cumin seeds and jaggery in their hands for the next ritual. As the Mantras were chanted, the couples were supposed to place these cumin seeds and jaggery on each others' heads. Again it was a sight to see this being performed! For most of them, the cumin seeds and jaggery would fall down and they would repeatedly make attempts to place them on each others' heads!

By now Swami had come out of the interview room. He came to the dais and then what do we see? The ocean of Love and Compassion! He started walking to each couple on the dais and handed over the Mangala Sutra to each bridegroom with all His Blessings. Prof. Anil Kumar announced that Bhagawan would distribute Mangala Sutra personally, to each couple. He said that these were the most fortunate couples in the entire Universe to have God Himself Blessing them with the Wedding Chain! We thought that Swami would distribute the Mangala Sutras to the couples on the dais and then the rest would be given by some other senior members.

But how mistaken we were! The Compassionate Lord got down the dais and went forward to the first row of couples. My! Was He going to walk all along? The senior members prayed to Swami and He sat down on a wheel chair placed over there. From that point, the wheelchair was taken along every aisle and Swami distributed the Mangala Sutras to each and every couple. It was a sight for the Gods to see! No eye could remain dry! We were all moved by His Love and Grace! Who can stop the Divine Mother from showering Her Love on Her son and daughter!

Believe it or not, this distribution went on and on as Swami moved from couple to couple Blessing them with the sacred chain. Meanwhile, some more boxes arrived outside. The Professors and the senior authorities of the Institute were marching forward with trays containing honey colored boxes. They started handing over a box to each couple. Prof. Anil Kumar announced that the Merciful Lord was now Blessing the couples with watches. We saw the couples opening the boxes in all delight. Wow! A beautiful watch for the bridegroom and one for the bride! Prof. Anil Kumar announced that Swami had given them these watches with so much of Love and they should immediately wear these, and that is what all of them did!

The Anantapur sisters started playing the Nadaswaram. The Mangala Sutram distribution was still going on. Prof. Anil Kumar standing in the centre of the Hall in front of the dais and opposite to the Vedic Pundit team, was using this time very well, by translating some wonderful explanations given by the Vedic Pundits. He said that elsewhere, marriages are performed bearing the welfare of the couple in mind, but here the marriages were being performed with the objective of Loka Kalyanam. (Universal Welfare)! Here every couple was being worshipped as Laxmi-Narayana Swaroopa (embodiment of Divinity).

The Vedic Pundits were praising these couples saying that these couples had showered their Blessings on so many other people in the past and now they were receiving the Blessings from Bhagawan Himself for all their good actions. The couples were asked to worship the Mangala Sutras as Goddess Gowri Herself. Here in our case the Goddess Gowri was none other than Eswaramma Gowri - the Divine Mother of our Bhagawan who had gifted the Lord to the Universe!

It was 9.50 a.m., almost 40 minutes since the time Swami started distributing the Mangala Sutrams. It was almost coming to a close and the Worship of the sacred chain began. Oh! there was more to come! Every couple was now gifted with a silver idol of Lakshmi-Narayana to be worshipped by them. This was given to them in a small red coloured box wrapped in colour paper! The couples were overjoyed as gift after gifts were poured into their arms by our dear Lord!

Bhagawan instructed the core Vedam group of students and staff to start chanting - starting with Sri Suktam. At 10.00 a.m. the final chanting of Mantras for the worship of the Mangala Sutra was in progress. Finally at 10.05 a.m. the most auspicious moment arrived! Amidst Nadaswaram, Band, Vedam chanting and loud claps, the bridegrooms tied the Mangala Sutras around the necks of their wives! Cameras clicked, smiles burst forth, and the entire atmosphere was charged with a sense of thrill and joy! The spiritual marriage was through!

The next ritual was Talambralu. This is a ritual where the bride and the bridegroom are supposed to hold Akshatalu - yellow rice in their hands and pour them over each others heads. All couples were asked to do this. Swami was personally supervising this event. He wanted the couples to perform this over and over again and He was deriving so much joy watching them!

He started walking on the dais again, Blessing each couple by showering them with the sacred rice. But that Blessing was not free! Swami would ask each couple to repeat the ritual in front of Him. With slight embarrassment and smiles, they would pour yellow rice on each others' heads and then Swami would shower the yellow rice on them! We could see Love emanating from Swami's face and He was thoroughly enjoying the event of His children's' marriage!

It was 10.15 a.m. Swami finally sat down on the sofa placed in the centre of the dais. Mind you, this was the first time He sat on the sofa, since He came out at 7.15 a.m. That is our Swami! How He involves Himself and conducts the entire event! The Lambadis took their turn to please Bhagawan. They started dancing with full vigour and ecstasy. For your information, the Lambadis are tribal people who originally belong to Rajasthan. Around 300 years back they migrated to Southern India and settled down in the outskirts of the villages. Therefore, their dance and their attire predominantly reflects the Rajasthani style.

At 10.20 a.m. the garland exchanging ceremony began. This was truly a great sight! We are sure that all couples would have been reminded of their marriage years back when they would have exchanged garlands in a similar manner in front of their family deity idol. Least would they have expected to do the same years later, right in the physical presence of their almighty Lord!! What a piece of luck and good fortune!

The final ritual was the wearing of toe rings, which is again a very important part of the marriage ceremony in India. The husbands put these toe rings onto the toes of their wives, assisted by the Anantapur sisters. The final icing on the cake was a photograph of the couple taken earlier for the occassion, merged along with Swami's photo and laminated as a memory for all of them. The couples received this photograph with reverence and gratitude.

At 10.25 a.m. the Vedic Pundits started chanting the concluding Mantras for the ceremony. By 10.30 a.m. the wedding came to a close. Prof. Anil Kumar made the happy announcement that the Wedding Banquet was ready. All the brides and bridegrooms would first proceed to the canteen followed by their relatives and then all the devotes too would be served the special Lunch!!

Thus the grand ceremony came to a grand end leaving all of us overjoyed! The couples were saturated with Bhagawan's Love and Bliss! They were in the seventh heaven of delight! All of them proceeded towards the canteen to partake of the sacred Prasadam.

February 10th 2005 (Evening)

In the evening, Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 4.00 p.m. He took a full round in the Golf Cart and got down on the dais and moved towards the sofa. It was 4.05 p.m. and Swami called Prof. Sudhir Bhaskar and Prof. Anil Kumar and told them something. They ran immediately and arranged the mike. Somebody would possibly give a talk - we thought. But Swami again called them and told them something more. This time the communication was clear. Bhagawan was going to Bless us with His Divine Discourse. What a surprise! The table was immediately arranged and the mike was placed on the table for Swami.

In the Kulwant Hall, the chairs were arranged as it was done yesterday, with all the Gents and Ladies seated on them, just like the Reception programme in any Wedding. At 4.11 p.m., the Vedam chanting stopped. Bhagawan began the Discourse.

Bhagawan concluded His Discourse at 5.11 p.m. He then called the three birthday boys seated in the first row and Blessed each one of them with Akshatas. After they returned to their seats, Swami playfully waved His Hands and out came a gold chain with a locket! Swami held it in His hand and asked them, "Where did it come from?" One of the boys dared to go in front and replied something. Swami called him in front and to his amazement, Bhagawan slipped the chain around his neck. As usual, a perfect fit. It just went over his head and onto his ears, after which the boy took over and wore it around his neck. He was thrilled!

Prof. Anil Kumar, then, as per the instructions of Bhagawan, invited the singer for the evening, Smt. Sudha Raghunathan to offer her songs in the Divine Presence. He announced that Smt. Sudha Raghunathan was a 'Padma Shri' and her family were devotees of Bhagawan from the last 60 years. In fact, Swami had saved this singer in her childhood and that is how, Bhagawan got the name "Jodi Adipalli Somappaya Namah", which appears in the Ashtotra Shata Naamavali of Bhagawan.

In case you are not familiar with the above story - here it is.... Long ago in 1958, the parents of Smt. Sudha Ragunathan had come to participate in Bhagawan's Birthday celebrations at Prasanthinilayam. As they were returning after the Birthday celebrations, on the way, the child took seriously ill. The parents were very worried and were praying to Swami to provide some solution. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a villager appeared over there with two more men. The villager asked the mother to hand over the child to him and said that he would cure him. The mother was perplexed, but finding no other way out, she acceded to his request.

The villager took the child into his arms and then after a while, returned the child to the mother. Lo and Behold! The child was perfectly fine. The parents wept with gratitude and asked the villager who he was. To this the village man replied, "I am Jodi Adipalli Somappa". Months later, when the parents returned to Parthi, they narrated this story to Bhagawan. Swami smiled and confirmed that it was none other than He, who had appeared as Jodi Adipalli Somappa.

Years later, when Prof. Kasturi once asked Swami as to why He had given Himself that name, Bhagawan replied, "Jodi means 'Couple' - the 'Divine Couple'; Adi Palli means the 'The Eternal Village' and Soma means 'Sa + Uma' the One with Uma as His Consort". Thus He came to be known as Jodi Adipalli Somappa.

Smt. Sudha Raghunathan came forward and took Swami's Blessings! Again Swami waved His Hand and here was another gold chain for the singer. She was dazed. She had not even begun and there she was already Blessed! She settled down on the dais with her accompanying artistes. For the next 50 minutes, we had such beautiful rendering of classical songs that lightened our hearts and lifted our souls! If the marriage in the morning, transported the couples into a spiritual world, these songs in the evening ushered all of us into a world full of spiritual Bliss and joy!

Song after song flew from her mouth as the Ganges, and flooded the Kulwant Hall with its potent meaning and vibrating tunes. She started with a song on Narayana:

1)Sriman Narayana Sriman Narayana ...
2) Brochevaarevarura Ninuvina Raghuvaraa...

As she kept us busy hearing to these songs, the couples were kept busy with hot coffee served sugarless (very thoughtful of the organizers to consider the age of the couples and ailments like diabetes etc.). Sugar was offered separately to those who wanted it. 'Marie' Biscuits went along with the coffee. Meanwhile the melodious music from the singer continued:

3)Sita Kalyana, Rama Kalyana, Vaibhogame....
4)Adisidala Yashoda Jagadodarana....
5)Korai Onrum Illai Malai Murti Kanna...
6)Pyare Darsana Deejo Tuma Bina Rahyo Na Jaye....

When she sang songs 4 and 6, it was wonderful to see Swami also singing along with her. In fact, song 6 which is a Meera Bhajan was very lucky to have the Lord singing it fully line after line!

7)Bho Shambho Shiva Shambho Svayam Bho....
8)More To Giridhara Gopala Dusaro Na Koi...
9)Man Ki Ankhein Kholo Sairam...

The song on Swami, praying Him to open the eyes of our minds was a befitting close to the day's programme. For was this not the true purpose of all our endeavours in life? The song ended with fast beats that found all the devotees clapping along with the song. Swami stood up and was swaying to the beat. Our hearts too were swaying to the melodious rhythm and beat.

Smt. Sudha Raghunathan got up and went to Swami to take His Blessings. The other accompanying artistes too went forward and sought Bhagawan's Blessings. Aarti commenced and Swami turned and moved towards the inner Portico to the Golf Cart stationed over there. Slowly the Golf Cart made its way towards the Poornachandra Auditorium. A new milestone in the saga of the Avataar. A new meaning was communicated to all of humanity and a new initiative was set into force to revive our ancient practices and highlight the importance of the role played by senior citizens in our lives and the need for expressing gratitude to them.


2nd and 3rd February 2005

On the 3rd evening, Swami came out for Darshan at 3.15 p.m. He went inside the interview room and came out for Bhajans at 5.00 p.m. Bhajans continued for twenty minutes after which Arati was offered to Bhagawan. Then He left for Poornachandra Auditorium. By then the devotees and students had started dispersing. Within a few minutes, there was a lot of activity near Swami’s residence. Suddenly Swami’s car emerged out of the Poornachandra Auditorium. Students, teachers and a few devotees who were fortunate to be there had a glimpse of Bhagawan. The car came out of the Gopuram gate and meandered its way through a beeline of devotees standing on either side of the road to the College premises. Swami’s car stopped near the Institute’s library. Swami spoke for some time with the Institute’s Vice Chancellor and returned to the Mandir. Again the students and teachers had a fulfilling Darshan as Bhagawan waved to them from the car.

This evening (03-02-05), Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 3.45 p.m. As soon as He came closer to the sofa, Bhagawan spoke to a professor and instructed him to pass on a message to somebody on the other side of the dais. Swami sat down on the sofa and after a few minutes asked the Vedam chanting to be stopped. Sri A.V.S. Raju, Chairman of the Nagarjuna Constructions Limited was asked by Bhagawan to render his poetic compositions to the large gathering. He has presented his poems in Telugu a number of times in the Divine Presence. He composes poems extensively, spontaneously and the list runs to thousands. For the next half an hour, Sri Raju engaged the audience to a mellifluous rendering of graceful poetry. Swami then called for the Bhajan students. They took their place in the front row and the Bhajans started at 4.30 p.m. At 5.00 p.m. Swami retired for the day after He was offered Arati.

4th February 2005

These days Prasanthi Nilayam is witnessing a large influx of devotees. About 6,000 devotees had come from Vizianagaram district, Andhra Pradesh. They presented a variety of cultural programmes with emphasis on folk arts. On the 3rd night, they went round the thoroughfares of Puttaparthi displaying these art forms, singing in unison the glory of the Lord. The rich tradition of Bharat was vibrant in these people. The devotees also performed Sri Sathya Sai Vratam in one of the common halls of the Ashram. Bhagawan satisfied the yearnings of these devotees with Divine Darshan and also an opportunity to put up a dance drama in His presence.

In the morning, Swami came out for Darshan at 7.50 a.m. and went back to the Poornachandra Auditorium at 8.00 a.m. Everyone thought that Swami would possibly come back only for Bhajans. Suddenly, Swami came out at 8.30 a.m. and as the golf cart came half way through the Sai Kulwant Hall, it took a left turn and went outside the main gate. All were taken in by surprise! Who can ever gauge the ways of the Lord! Swami went in the golf cart along the road beside the South Indian canteen. Hundreds of devotees who stood in the queue had a wonderful glimpse of Bhagawan. Swami went round the Poornachandra Auditorium and again entered Sai Kulwant Hall to be in the Bhajan Hall right in time!

This evening again, Swami came out at sharp 3.45. The golf cart took a turn at the centre of the Sai Kulwant Hall towards the dais. As the golf cart reached the centre of the Hall, Swami looked at the four children standing with a flag in their hands in front of the backdrop of the dance drama. Another two children standing on either end of the backdrop carried a long banner with an ‘offering message’ written on it. Swami got down from the golf cart at the centre of the dais, climbed up the steps and sat down on the sofa. Instantly there was a loud applause from the huge gathering of devotees from Vizianagaram who had occupied every inch of space in the Hall. At 3.55 p.m. the Vedam chanting stopped. Two young girl dancers came forward and offered rose flowers to Bhagawan. Swami blessed the roses and gave them back.

As the girls were retracing their steps, Bhagawan lovingly, but immediately cautioned them about the steps as they were facing the Lord while going back. Then Bhagawan consented for the programme to be started. What followed was an interesting dance drama on the theme of unity of religions. The backdrop of water gurgling through rocks and pebbles in sylvan surroundings formed a beautiful stage setting to the dance drama. The storyline is as follows: A poor sculptor was passing through a jungle when he came across a beautiful black stone. He thought of sculpting an idol out of it. As he started to chisel, he heard the sound of Pranava from the stone. He was astonished to hear sound emanating from the stone. At that moment, a few Hindu priests happened to pass through that way. They asked him to carve a beautiful idol of Lord Krishna out of it. Then came, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians one after the other. When the representatives of the respective religions came, the sculptor could hear a sound indicative of their religions. All of them expressed their wish to make an idol of their chosen deities. He was baffled and could not decide on his next step. They coaxed and commanded the sculptor to submit to their demands. A scuffle broke out between them, one jostling the other in trying to put forth their demand. Each one was claiming the superiority of their religion.

After a few minutes of clashes, light dawned on them through little girls coming in with lighted candles and then followed a song describing the eternal truths of life as revealed by Bhagawan. All religions are one. Every religion teaches us noble things. If the mind is good, then which religion is bad?

“There is only one religion, the Religion of Love.

There is only one caste, the Caste of Humanity.

There is only one language, the Language of the Heart.

There is only one God, He is Omnipresent.”

The culmination of the dance drama came with the declaration that the essence of all religions is the Religion of Love. This was followed by a song, Manava Jati, Prema Matamu, Sai Daivamu … All the children assembled in an orderly group half way from the dais. Bhagawan raised both His hands and blessed them profusely! He then moved towards the interview room.

This was a commendable performance by the 74 Bal Vikas students from Vizianagaram district. It was also their first performance in the Divine presence. Then the Bhajan singers from the district led the Bhajans. Prasadam was distributed to all on this occasion. Meanwhile, the students continued the Bhajan singing from the Bhajan Hall. It was a long session which went on till 5.20 p.m., at the end of which Arati was offered to Bhagawan.




Sairam. This evening, Swami came out for Darshan at 3.15 p.m. He went inside the interview room and came out only for the Bhajans at 5.00 p.m. However, Bhajans concluded early at 5.20 p.m. Swami took Aarti and proceeded towards the Poornachandra Auditorium.

Swami’s Golf Cart turned into the grill gate at the entrance of the PC. All devotees and we too started dispersing. However, some of us stood in the Hall discussing about some academic matters. Lucky were those who were delayed for some reason or the other! Within a few minutes, we heard a lot of hush-hush! We turned and saw all people running towards the middle of the Kulwant Hall. Bhagawan was likely to go out somewhere.

We hurriedly came and stood adjacent to the pathway with many others peeping over our shoulders. Within seconds we saw Swami coming out of the Poornachandra Entrance and getting into the Silver Coloured Benz car. The car proceeded towards us in a royal mien. We were straining to see Swami’s face but the glare on the windshield of the car prevented us from having clear Darshan. The car stopped for a while in the Kulwant Hall near the turning towards the Gopuram. Swami was expecting the Vice Chancellor to be available at the Institute. Instructions were given and the car went along further, with devotees getting a brief glance at Bhagawan now and then, through the windshield.

The moment students got a clue that Swami was visiting the Institute, all of them made a dash to the College. The Athletic spirit manifested itself in full in every student as he ran to the College premises. As the main gate near the Ganesha Entrance was closed, students and many others took the other exit from the Ashram, near the General Hospital. In a few minutes Swami had entered the College grounds.

The Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar had miraculously stationed themselves there in time! Well, you may be wondering what could be the reason for Swami’s visit to the College. Let us reveal the secret to you now. Very soon, two new building complex will be coming up in front of our Institute Library. Possibly, as the rumour goes, these buildings will look just like the Library building – circular in shape and will form a trio along with the Library. Once it is ready, some departments are likely to be shifted over there. Well, the actual details are not known yet.

It was in this context that Swami had come to the College. The car parked in the empty ground that was already prepared since quite a few days, in front of the Library. Swami remained seated inside the car. The Vice-Chancellor came forward and started talking to Swami with a plan of the Building in his hand. It was nice to watch the dialogue between the Divine Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor. High Level Meeting indeed! After around 10 minutes of discussion, the Vice-Chancellor got into the car next to Swami and they proceeded back towards the Mandir.

All students and teachers were standing along the side of the road and Bhagawan was waving to them as the car passed by slowly.

We eagerly await the commencement of the construction of these buildings as a part of the Institute’s celebration of the 80th year Festival of the Divine Advent!


This evening, Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 3.45 p.m. By 3.50 p.m. He was walking on the dais. As soon as He came closer to the sofa, Bhagawan spoke to Prof. Sudhir Bhaskar and instructed him to pass on some message to somebody. Prof. Sudhir Bhaskar ran to the other side of the dais and communicated the message to someone over there. We could not see who it was. Maybe, some speaker for this evening, we thought. But we did not know who it would be.

Swami sat down on the sofa and after a few minutes asked the Vedam chanting to be stopped. And whom do we see coming over to the Podium? Sri A.V.S. Raju Garu - Chairman of the Nagarjuna Constructions Limited. You would know him better as the popular poet! He has presented his poems a number of times in the Divine Presence of Bhagawan. He composes poems extensively, spontaneously and the list runs to thousands. It has already crossed a ten thousand!! In his own words he says that just as other devotees are Blessed with rings, chains or Vibhuti; Bhagawan has Blessed him with the gift of poetry!

The next half an hour was a gushing waterfall of Raju Garu’s poetry which we are sure that Telugu speaking audience would have enjoyed thoroughly. Swami then called for the Bhajan students. They took their place in the front row and the Bhajans began at 4.30 p.m. At 5.00 p.m. Swami took Aarti and retired for the day.


This morning was a working day and therefore we were not there in the Mandir to witness the wonderful time that the devotees had. After coming for the normal Darshan at 7.50 a.m., Swami went back to the Poornachandra Auditorium at 8.00 a.m. Devotees thought that Swami may possibly come back only for Bhajans. Therefore, most of them had gone out for a while. Suddenly, Swami comes in at 8.30 a.m. and as the Golf Cart came half way through the Sai Kulwant Hall, it took a left turn and went outside the main gate. All were taken for a real surprise!

Who can ever gauge the mysterious ways of the Lord! Perhaps the thousands of devotees from Vizianagaram, who had assembled at Prasanthinilayam since two days, were praying sincerely from their hearts for a closer glimpse of Bhagawan. Swami went in the Golf Cart along the road beside the South Indian Canteen. Hundreds of devotees who stood in the queues had a wonderful glimpse of Bhagawan. A lovely Darshan, but a lovely opportunity for the security people too! How could they stop the hundreds of devotees from pouring forth their love and devotion by rushing forward – just to catch a closer glimpse or maybe pass a letter into His loving hands or just shed tears of joy standing face to face with God! For them it would be just once in a life time opportunity!

The old students who were there in the Mandir came to the aid of the security men. They all formed a chain around the Golf Cart and facilitated the movement of the Cart further along the path amidst the tidal waves of devotion!

Bhagawan went around the Poornachandra Auditorium and again entered the Sai Kulwant Hall to be in the Bhajan Hall right in time! What a Leela of the Lord! He alone knows how to delight His devotees. Truly, businessmen ought to take clues from Him in the art of ‘Customer Delight’. However, here it is all free and just Love to Love!!

This evening again, Swami came out just like yesterday evening, at sharp 3.45 p.m. The Golf Cart took a turn at the centre of the Kulwant Hall towards the dais. As the Golf Cart reached the centre of the Hall, Swami looked at the four children standing with a flag in their hands in front of the backdrop presenting a scene of a gushing waterfall! Yet another two children standing at either end of the backdrop carried a long banner with an ‘offering message’ written on it.

Yes, there was to be a presentation this evening by the Balvikas children of Vizianagaram. By the way, almost six thousand devotes from Vizianagaram District which is close to Visakhapatnam, have come to Prasanthinilayam to celebrate the 80th Year of the Avatar. They have been here for the last two or three days and this evening was their slot for the presentation.

Swami climbed down the Golf Cart at the centre of the dais, climbed up the steps and sat down on the sofa. Instantly there was loud applause – real loud as the Kulwant Hall was almost fully packed with the Vizianagaram devotees! At 3.55 p.m. the Vedam chanting stopped. Two young girl dancers came forward and offered a rose to Bhagawan. Swami Blessed the roses and gave it back to them.

As the girls moved back facing Swami, our Loving Bhagawan immediately cautioned them about the steps, which He does every time when children come to offer Him a card or a rose and go back, walking backwards but facing Him. That is Divine Sensitivity! Bhagawan gave the command to begin the programme.

The presentation – a dance drama in Telugu, was titled “Sarva Matama Sarame Sai Matamu” – “The essence of all religions is the Sai religion”. The scene began with a sculptor carving a rock. As he goes about his sculpting work, he hears the Omkaram sound emanating from the rock. He is surprised. He is also in a dilemma as he is not able to understand the significance of this. In the next scene a group of dancers come in along with two Krishna adorers. They tell the sculptor to sculpt an idol of Krishna as Omkaram was the symbol of the Divine Lord Krishna. This is followed by a dance including a short Raas with a little Krishna standing in front of the rock.

In the next scene, the sculptor continues with his work of carving an idol of Krishna, but now suddenly the chants of the Koran are heard from the rock. What should he do now – he is puzzled. The Muslims from the village come in and ask him to build a mosque over there. A short Qawali follows.

By now you would know what was to come next! Yes, it was the Christian devotees from the village listening to the bell sounds coming from the rock. This was followed by the Buddhist monks and the Zoroastrians. In each case, the concerned deity or saint would appear in front of the rock. The rock would part into two and he would appear in front, for that scene.

By this time, the sculptor is fully confused and does not know what to do. All the villagers come into the forefront, there begins a fight amongst them – each one claiming his ownership over the rock. After a few minutes of clashes with a song in the background, light dawns on them through little girls coming in with lighted candles and then follows a song describing the eternal truths of life revealed by Bhagawan. All religions are one. Every religion teaches us noble things. If the mind is good, then which religion is bad and so on….

The culmination comes with the declaration that the highest religion is the religion of humanity. Manava Dharmamu. At this point a Sarva Dharma Stupa is seen standing behind the rock, signifying the unity of all religions. The grand finale is a song with the lyrics, Manava Jati, Prema Matamu, Sai Daivamu….

The presentation came to a close amidst loud claps. The Vizianagaram devotees were overjoyed witnessing their own district children performing in the Divine Presence. It was 4.30 p.m. Bhagawan asked the concerned in-charge, “Is it over?” He nodded and Swami gave a broad smile and got up from the sofa. All the children had assembled in a neat group half way from the dais. Bhagawan raised both His hands and Blessed them profusely! He then moved towards the interview room while the Vizianagaram devotee Bhajan singers started singing Bhajans. Swami instructed Prasadam to be distributed. Basin Laddus were offered to all.

Meanwhile, students rushed inside the Bhajan Hall and our Bhajan boys took over the singing. We had a long Bhajan session until 5.20 p.m. Then Bhagawan took Aarti and retired for the day.

By the way, for the last two or three days, we have been seeing some village women in their tribal dresses sitting for Darshan on the Ladies side, right at the front. We were wondering who they could be. They were so conscious by their attire! On enquiry, we found that they were the Lambadis (a particular sect of Tribal folk from the state of Andhra Pradesh). They have come here from Warangal and are likely to be part of the celebrations on the 10th of February. Oh! That reminds us, we have not told you anything about the 10th function. So here we go…

You may recall that on 21-12-2005, Bhagawan had asked Prof. Anil Kumar around 3.50 p.m. in the evening, to address the audience in Sai Kulwant Hall. Swami also gave him some instructions regarding the content of his talk. Following are the relevant excerpts of that talk as per our earlier update:

Then came the actual crux of the talk. Prof. Anil Kumar said that there are so many old people in Prasanthinilayam. They have retired from worldly life but Bhagawan has re-tyred them!! In fact, Prasanthinilayam is one place where you will find maximum number of re-tyred people working and offering their services selflessly. Bhagawan is taking care of all of them.

In His Mercy and Compassion, Bhagawan has decided to Bless all these couples in a very grand way. All the couples in Prasanthinilayam, whose husbands are above 70 and 75 years of age, are requested to register their names in the office and be present here by January 10th. After the commencement of Uttarayana (Sankranti), the celebration will take place. Bhagawan will perform the Shastipoorti ceremony for these couples (Re-Marriage). This is a ritual where the senior couples will be re-married in a ceremonious manner (just as it is done in the regular marriage) to mark the entry into a new phase of their life. This is a spiritual marriage for the couple!!

There will be no dearth of the gifts that are going to be showered on them by Bhagawan. Gold ornaments, silk saris and dhotis and what not…This is the Love and Compassion of the Lord. When young people run to Swami, Swami runs to shower His Grace on the old people who are unable to walk. The timing too is so appropriate as this year is dedicated to old people.

Prof. Anil Kumar concluded his talk and took his seat next to Swami. The next speaker was the Vice Chancellor, Sri S.V. Giri. Sri Giri Garu also expressed his joy and gratitude at this most benedictory act of Bhagawan. Old age is the time when people have physical and mental problems. This is the period when they need support. Bhagawan conducting this ceremony is symbolic of that support and concern for them!!

Today, in the world, old people are ignored. In many families, sons leave their parents to be on their own, without any hesitation. With nuclear families proliferating rapidly old age homes have become the need of the hour. Old people, though may not be deprived of financial assistance, are thirsty for emotional and psychological support. At such times, Bhagawan’s Blessing in the form of this ceremony has come as a Divine assurance of His Love and Concern. Even if there is nobody else, God is always there to take care of all of us. The talk concluded at 5.15 p.m. There were a few Bhajans after which Bhagawan retired to PC.

Thus the 80th year of the Avataar is going to commence in such a sacred and wonderful way by way of _expression of gratitude to the septuagenarians who have moulded and shaped the generation of today!!

So, it is this function that is tentatively fixed on the 10th of February. A lot of groundwork has been done by the organizers in identifying the eligible couples, other preparations etc. The Lambadi women whom we were talking about, usually participate in marriage functions by performing a typical folk dance ahead of the marriage procession. This is a common practice in the Telengana and Rayalseema areas of Andhra Pradesh. That is possibly the reason why they are here.

We all are eagerly looking forward to that event and hope that Swami will give us some minor role to play as He deems fit, in the preparations.

We will get back to you with details of the celebration. Till then…Goodbye.




Sairam. Today being Martyr’s Day, let us all silently bow our heads in fond memory and honour of our dear freedom fighters who laid down their lives to bring us the freedom that we literally take for granted now. Let our hearts cry out for them and let us express our gratitude to them by upholding and continuing their efforts in leading Bharath from Physical Independence to the Svarajya that Swami talks about – the true Inner In-Dependence – that will make us free eternally!


We begin this update by paying our sincere respects to the great soul Saint Thyagaraja who, having captured the Heart of Sri Ramachandra Himself, has established a permanent seat in the hearts of all those seekers of Truth, on the path of devotion, especially through the channel of music. Yes, today is the Thyagaraja Aradhana Day – the 158th anniversary of Saint Thyagaraja – the great Saint composer, singer and musician from Tanjavur – being celebrated all around the country.


If that is so, would it not be celebrated in Prasanthinilayam, where the Ishta Devata – the very Diety of Thyagaraja lives in flesh and blood as our most Beloved Sri Sai Rama! The Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music, staff and students have been putting in a lot of effort for this very day. As we entered the Sai Kulwant Hall at 7.00 a.m., we found a beautiful portrait of Saint Thyagaraja adorning the dais on the left side of our Ganeshaji (i.e. towards the Ladies side). In the centre, right in front of Ganeshaji, and to the right of the portrait of Saint Thyagaraja, was a beautiful photograph of Sri Rama, placed on a platform and decked with flowers. A thick Jasmine garland with intermittently woven Marigold flowers enhanced the beauty of the painting of Saint Thyagaraja! A simple cut-out of coconut trees were placed, resting against each pillar on either side of Swami’s sofa, in the centre of the dais.


At sharp 7.15 a.m., the Omkaram of the Vedam group broke the silence in the Hall with music from the speakers overlapping the chants. This is the way it goes on everyday. The Darshan Music continues until the Golf Cart reaches the turning to the interview room. Then the Music stops and the Vedam continues. Swami took a full Darshan round, Blessing many on the way and taking letters from a number of devotees and students.


As the Cart glided by, Swami looked at one student and smiled – saying, “Everyday….Will you give letter everyday?” Hearing those few words from Bhagawan’s mouth, filled all of us with joy! Adharam Madhuram, Vachanam Madhuram, Madhuradhipate Akhilam Madhuram!! Everything that He does, everything about Him is so Sweeeeet!!


It is very nice to observe Swami taking letters from devotees. Whereas some are able to kneel down and reach out to Swami’s Hands, some others are not able to do so. In such cases, Swami just stretches His Hand a little or signals with His eye, and immediately our most sharp and witty brothers moving with Swami, take the letters from the concerned devotees and hand them over to Swami. How sharp and quick they have to be! We are always filled with wonder at the dedication and sincerity with which they serve Bhagawan. They need to be at His wavelength all the time!! Definitely not an easy task!!


At 7.25 a.m., Swami was out from the Golf Cart stationed near the interview room. Oh! Would Swami go away inside, we wondred. But there He was, walking along the dais, with a smile on His face and looking so fresh, so beautiful! There is something about Bhagawan, you know, which can never be described! He looks so new, fresh, Divinely attractive – just as a Magnet drawing all of us close to Him!


The Principal of the Mirpuri College of Music, Prof. P. Krishnamoorthy Garu, who was sitting along with the students in the first row in front of the dais, got up and went to Swami to offer the rose and pray for the programme. Swami Blessed him profusely and spoke to him for a few seconds. The Principal came and sat down, signaling all the other teachers of the Music college and the boys to get ready.


Swami too appeared very eager to listen to the Keertanas of His most beloved Tyagaiah. He walked briskly and sat down on the sofa, followed with an immediate signal to stop the Vedic chanting. The presentation began with a rendering in Telugu about the significance of this occasion. This was followed by a brief talk by Prof. P. Krishnamoorthy Garu who spoke, sitting in his place itself. He gave a short but informative and insightful talk glorifying the doyen of Carnatic Classical Music – Saint Thyagaraja. He said:


Saint Thyagaraja born in the year 1767, left his mortal coil 158 years ago on this very day. He was a Divine Musician with unique qualities that made him a composer par-excellence of South Indian Music. His steadfast and consuming devotion to his favourate Divine Form of Sri Rama elevated him to a sublime state. Though faced with ordeals throughout his family life, Thyagaraja lost himself in devotion to Rama. His very breath was Rama. The Chakras in his frail body vibrated with the Sapta Swaras and his heart beat with rhythm and ecstasy of his musical creations!


For Thyagaraja, the very physical Form of Sri Rama was the embodiment of all music. He sang a Keertana in the Arabhi Raga – “Nada Sudharasambilanu Nara Kruthiyaye….”; meaning: The Nectar of Naada, which is the basis of all the Vedas, Puranas, Agamas and Sastras, has taken human form in Sri Rama!


The Seven Swaras have become the Seven Bells of His Bow; the Ragas have become the Bow itself; the Styles in singing – Dura, Naya and Desya have become the three strings of the bow, the Steady Rhythmic Pace has become the Arrow and the Melodious Variations of Musical Art have verily become His Speech!!


Saint Thyagaraja proclaimed, “Rama, the body that does not float on the ocean of ineffable Bliss of Brahman called Sangeeta Jnana, which abides in all the Vedas, is a burden to this earth. “Ananda Sagara Meedani Dehamu Bhoomi Baramu….” Thyagaraja was a Nadayogi, Atmajnani and a ‘Vairagya Mahapurusha’. His songs are the essence of the Upanishads, Gita, Ramayana and the Bhagavatam. Therefore, they are called Tyagopanishad.


Rama was to Thyagaraja a child, a hero, most dearest and nearest, a master, a friend and Parabrahman Himself! Rama, moved by the deep anguish of His devotee, appeared before Thyagaraja and assured him of Moksha (Liberation). Thyagaraja himself sings about this vision in the Raga Sahana – “Giripai Nelakonna Ramuni Guri Thappaka Ganti”, meaning “Unerringly, I have seen Rama who is installed on the hill. My body was thrilled, tears of joy rolled down my cheeks and I merely mumbled, unable to give _expression to my thoughts!”


Lord Rama did grant him Moksha as promised on this Bahula Panchami day, 158 years ago. On this occasion, his Samadhi is worshipped at Thiruvaiyaru, by all Musicians, lovers of Music and Bhaktas, as a musical tribute. Saint Thyagaraja’s name will shine till the Sapta Swaras exist on this earth!


Prof. P. Krishnamoorthy Garu concluded his talk by saying that these young musicians (students of Swami’s Music College) were most privileged to sing the compositions of the great composer in the very Divine Presence of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. “Dorakuna Ituvanti Seva….”. He prayed to Bhagawan to Bless these young artistes with a glorious musical career.


At 7.35 a.m., the first song commenced, making an offering to Lord Ganesha. Subsequently, Keertana after Keertana filled and charged the air with a spiritual current that sent out waves of devotion and love spreading all over the Hall, engulfing every heart that came its way and moving outwards, stretching out till the horizons! They sung in all 15 Keertanas of Saint Thyagaraja. They were:



1)      Sri Ganapati Nee Sevimpa Raray – Rag Saurashtra

2)      Melukovaiyaa Mammeluko Rama – Rag Bhouli

3)      Sadinchane O ManasaSamayaniki Tagu Mataladane – Rag Arabhi

4)      Orajupuchu Chedi Nyayama – Rag Kannada Gowla

5)      Narayan Hari Narayan Hari Narayan Hari – Rag Yamuna Kalyani

6)      Yendaro Mahanubhavulu Andareeki Vandanamulu – Rag Sriragam

7)      Maru Balka Kunna Vemira – Rag Sriranjani

8)      Nitya Sopane – Rag Pantuvarali


All along, Swami seemed to be lost in the Love for Saint Thyagaraja. How nice it would be if we too could sing with such purity and love for the Lord to win His heart as Tyagaiah did!


Bhagawan was keeping beat with His hands. One Hand on His lap and the other on the armrest of the sofa, with fingers tapping in sync with the lilting beats of the Keertanas! A soft smile on His face – Mandasmita Mukha – as they describe Him! We wondered how fortunate we were! Did Thyagaraja himself get such an opportunity. He cried out with so much of devotion to the Lord but with all that He could just win a few glimpses of the Divine Form! Here we were just listening to those soul- stirring outpourings, and feasting on His Divine Form non-stop! What a Blessing!!


The next song was the most favorite Bhajan cum Thyagaraja Keertana, often sung by Swami: Rama Kodanda Rama Rama Pattabhi Rama Kalyana Rama Raghava……sung in Rag Bhairavi. They sang in the classical style and towards the end, the entire audience clapped with gusto along with the Mrudangam and the symbals.


Even before we realized, it was 8.35 a.m. More than an hour since the music presentation began. Bhagawan got up and moved towards the interview room. He asked the group to continue their performance. The boys continued singing some more Keertanas like:



10)        Ksheerasagara Aparimita – Rag Ananda Bhairavi

11)        Nee Daya Raada – Rag Vasantha Bhairavi

12)        Sarasa Sama Dana Vedanta Chatura – Rag Kapi Narayani

13)        Brova Ba Rama Raghu Rama

14)        Taleyaledu Rama Bhakti Margamu



Finally, at 8.55 a.m. they concluded the music presentation, as is usually done, with the Mangalam Jaya Mangalam Nitya Shubha Mangalam.


At 9.00 a.m., Bhajans commenced. The Bhajan singers assembled outside and sat next to the Music College singers, to continue with the Bhajans. Half way through, instructions came for Prasadam Distribution. As the Prasadam was being distributed, Swami came out of the interview room and walked again onto the dais. The Principal and the teachers of the Music College went forward to seek Bhagawan’s Blessings. Swami Blessed all of them and spoke to a few. He was very happy and was showering lot of Love and joy on all of them. Next, the student singers and participants too went forward with roses in their hands. They also received a downpour of Love from Bhagawan!


Swami came walking further and crossed all the way to the other side of the dais. The Golf Cart stationed itself near the rear end of the Main Portico. Swami was smiling and walking. He talked to a few VIP’s seated in the Portico. As He approached the Golf Cart, the Principal of the Music College went closer with the Aarti. Again Swami spoke to him for quite some time. It was clear that Swami was appreciating the effort and was also encouraging them to do better, and the Principal was praying to Swami for Blessing the students with a bright future enabling them to brighten the wonderful culture and traditions of our country with their music!


Swami took Aarti and retired to the Poornachandra Auditorium. The Keertanas were still ringing in our ears for they had left an indelible impression in our hearts, reminding us of what our great Bharath stood for, of what life stood for and inspiring us to seek for the ultimate goal of merging at the Lotus Feet of Thyagaraja’s Hero – our Hero and the Hero of the whole world – Sri Sathya Sai Rama!!


In the evening, Swami came out for Darshan at 3.00 p.m. He got down near the front steps of the dais and climbed onto the Marble slab. He sat on the sofa for a few minutes and at 3.15 p.m. He got up and went walking, catching the brass railings on the dais, towards the interview room. As He walked past the portrait of Saint Thyagaraja, He looked at it keenly for quite some time. Maybe He went back in time to live those moments with His beloved devotee again! At 3.25 p.m., He went into the interview room. He came out at 4.10 p.m. and started Bhajans inside the Bhajan hall. We had a long Bhajan session this evening until 4.50 p.m. Then Swami took Aarti and retired to His Abode.


We’ll get back to you again next week.





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