July 11th to 22nd, 2006
After the Guru Purnima celebrations on
11th July, there were many international groups from various
countries awaiting the opportunity to present their programmes
The Indonesian devotees were the first to put up a
skit on ‘being a Star in God’s Skies and a Flower in His Garden’. They
portrayed child Dhruva as an ideal who epitomised the 5 Ds of Devotion,
Dedication, Duty, Discrimination
and Determination. These formed the 5 parts of a star
that can guide the world like the pole star or Dhruva Nakshatra.
Bhagawan was immensely pleased with their programme and this reflected
when He spoke about the programme later in the evening in the Bhajan hall.
Next was the turn of the devotees from Canada. It
was a programme on the growth of the only Sathya Sai School in Canada .
Portraying the miracle of how the garland on Bhagawan’s picture grew 75
inches on the 75th Birthday, they explained that ever since its inception,
the school has seen abundance of His love and grace. Their programme was
entitled, “The Power of ONE” and it starred a grandmother in 2070 AD
reliving and recapitulating her days at the Canadian Sathya Sai School .
This programme too made Bhagawan so happy that He descended down amidst
the children to pose for a photo session. It was a beautiful sight to see
Bhagawan surrounded by a sea of 'little hearts'.
An International Conference on “Next Generation
Information Technologies for Societal Advancement and Integration” was
conducted by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (DMACS) of
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning from 15th to 17th July 2006.
The Inaugural address of the Conference was delivered by Mr. Rajeeva Ratna
Shah, Member Secretary, Planning Commission, Government of India. After
the keynote address, speakers from the corporate world, visiting faculty
to the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and also a few of
the alumni of the Institute, who are working in reputed companies and in
Bhagawan’s Institutions addressed the session. The sessions of the
Conference were held in the Institute Auditorium and more than 300
delegates were attended. As part of this international conference, the
students had put up a play entitled, “From I to We to HE” in Sai Kulwant
hall on 15th July, in the immediate Divine Presence. This thematic play on
the importance of revolution of the spirit, highlighted that revolution is
a “physical“ one as it improved power and efficiency while the IT
revolution is “mental“... but, mere networking is of no consequence
without human connectivity. “We are all networked, but are we
connected?” So in a logical sence, a revolution of the spirit is due
and is happening in Prasanthi Nilayam.
There has been interesting news from the sports
front also. The construction is in progress for a new indoor stadium,
being built opposite to the senior boys' hostel. The bhoomi pooja
had been performed on the auspicious Aashadi Ekadasi day, in the immediate
Divine Presence and ever since Bhagawan has been evincing keen interest in
its progress and more so in the construction of a new palatial stable for
Sai Gita Bhagawan's pet elephant). Sai Gita has now been temporarily
housed in a shed behind the planetarium and her home is fast coming up
next to the planetarium. The progress board in front of the indoor stadium
says: ‘Days to completion: 106’ and the countdown has begun. The entire
place has been levelled and is bustling with activity round the clock.
On the 19th, Bhagawan came out at 3:45 p.m. and
there was a musical concert by the students, who sang on the glory of Lord
Rama and importance of Rama Nama (Lord's Name) in carnatic style. Bhagawan
was immersed in this and this was evident as He was swaying to the tunes
of the renderings. A lucky student from the music college was blessed by
Bhagawan to play sitar and the boy performed with such finesse and
deftness, that Bhagawan materialised a chain with a pendant for the boy.
The Bhajans were held outside and Bahgawan sat through the entire sesssion
till 5:35 p.m. before retiring to His Abode, Yajur Mandiram after
receiving Managa Arathi.
On the 22nd, devotees from Japan had been
graciously permitted by Bhagawan to put up a programme. The programme
began with a traditional dance by tiny tots wielding a percussion
instrument consisting of a plate and stick. They danced gracefully making
few charming acrobatic moves. Then a short skit on the true story of how
the Veda chanting spread all over Japan was performed. Three students were
portrayed as being Bhagawan’s instruments in doing so. The lead character,
a Japanese youth wanting to desperately learn the Vedas in the drama, was
called by Bhagawan, halfway through the drama. Bhagawan materialised a
ring for him and there was thunderous applause. The icing on the cake came
when all the Japanese began to chant the Mahanarayanopanishad,
Ganapathi Atharvashirsham and the Shanti Mantra with
such clarity of diction that everyone sat spellbound. So pleased with the
Veda chanting, Bhagawan asked two overseas students studying in Higher
Secondary School and Music College respectively to chant Srisuktam.
The Japanese were allowed to sing few Bhajans who sang both in Sanskrit
and Japanese. It was indeed a thrilling experience for devotees from Japan
and a memorable week in His Divine Presence.