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July 23, 2008

Devotees from Italy had filled up the marble block as they had been granted permission to perform in the divine presence. The whole choir was seated on the floor. There were two violins, a flute and a clarinet players on the ladies side on chairs. Mirroring them in position on the gents side were a violin, an accordion, a guitar and tambourine players. Swami arrived for darshan at about 5:20 pm. And when He came, there were gasps! He had come on the special golden chair that He had used for Guru Poornima. Since it is at a nice height, all the devotees benefit from a wonderful darshan. Swami moved to the stage and asked for the programme to begin. The programme was presented as an offering of devotional songs from Italy. As Swami sat, the offerings were made to Him. A little boy took and gave Him the Italian flag. Swami blessed the conductor of the programme and asked them to start.

There was that little boy, maybe 8-9 years of age, who began the programme with Vedic chanting. As he completed it, Swami was all smiles. He called the boy and asked him as to whom had he learnt the chanting from. He blessed him and sent him back The next item also was by this boy who played a solo guitar piece. It was followed by a short piano recital and then the singing began. It started with a rapid "Om Sri Ganesha", followed by an emotional song addressing Swami as the mother. A soulful song entitled, "Oh My Sun" was next and it gave way to a high pitched and quickly changing song entitled, "Flying with God". The "Tarantella Divina" or the divine dance was ushered in next and "Longing for Sathya Sai" gave them an opportunity to pour out their feelings for Him. Swami noticed that the gentleman sitting right in front had no mike before him. He asked, "Won't he sing?" There was merriment and that devotee was immensely touched. He needed no mike after that encouraging statement! Two more songs later, they concluded. But Swami wanted them to continue. He asked for one more song which they sang whole heartedly and full throatedly. They seemed to be in a sort of pleasurable trouble when Swami asked them to sing another. They began to repeat a song and as they concluded, Swami asked, "One more?" They continued with the encore and then finally they told Swami that they were done!

He then told them to sing bhajans. They began to sing and Swami blessed chocolates to be distributed among them. The conductor put aside her stand and took a harmonium and began playing it. Today also happened to be the 13th anniversary of the Sri Sathya Sai Junior Boys Hostel. So the children had brought a model of the school hostel to be blessed by Swami. Swami, however, did not seem to notice them. He concluded the bhajans, received Aarthi and went into the interview room. Whenever God "denies" something, it is only because He has something greater and grander to gift us. The children appeared a little downcast but a lot more determined. They sat with the model at the Lord's door awaiting His arrival. What happened next is something that will remain etched in the memories of all present for a long time to come.

Swami came out of the interview room and seeing the boys, called them. They went to Him with the model and trays of chocolates and goodies. Swami was impressed with the model. But the perfectionist that He is, He asked them, "Turn the model around...". He examined all the sides and, His students that they are, they had made it very well. Atleast Swami seemed to be very happy with the model being perfect on all the six sides, yes top and bottom included! Then He blessed the trays of chocolates and goodies. And in that instant, it seemed HE DECIDED. He took a few "gold coins" chocolates and began distributing them to the VIPs there. Then, He moved to the ladies side and began distributing coins one by one to the devotees. He saw the ladies sitting on wheelchairs. He moved towards them and began to give each of them "golden" coins with His own hand. He moved along the lines distributing coins. He moved back to the shutters area also where there were ladies on wheel chairs. He gave coins to all of them on priority basis. Their joy knew no bounds. They would not have imagined in their wildest dreams of this happening to them. But thats the way with God. He may not give you what you expect at times, but at other times, He gives that which we don't even dare to imagine! Some of the women raised up their babies for Swami to bless. Swami gently touched the babies on their foreheads.

He went around this way distributing among the ladies till the gold coins ran out! He stretched out His hand and the tray was empty. A satisfied smile blossomed on His face and there were thrilled faces all around He slowly came back to the center where the Italian group was seated. He called and had a set of photographs taken with the youngest member of their group who had recited Vedam and played a guitar solo, and asked the students to sing Bhajans. The bhajans began and none need to say that they sang with gusto. Swami blessed all the birthday boys and boys with trays too. He threw some chocolates to the members of the Italian choir. He just sat there smiling so blissfully and there was just joy and joy everywhere. AT about 7:15 pm, Swami received Aarthi for the second time and then retired to the Yajur Mandir.

 Pictures of the event-
July 23, 2008:  Song & Music Program by Italian Devotees

July 22, 2008

There was the next scheduled session of the conference in the morning. This morning, the Bhajans began in Sai Kulwant Hall at 9 o'clock, and Swami arrived in His chair at 9.50 am. He took a small darshan round and then came onstage. He saw that the delgates had all collected their letters into bundles and the lead gent and lady were holding them. Swami called two students and told them to take the huge bundles of letters and place them on the stage. Then, He called out for the Thailand school boys who had played the violin concert a few days ago. Dr. Jhum Sai gathered and got some of them onstage. Swami distributed watches to them and they were thrilled and overjoyed. As Swami had promised, they asked Swami, "Swami photographs." At this time, one photographer immediately went up to Swami and handed over all the copies of the photos. They were all happy to receive them from the divine hands. Then, Swami sat onstage for a few minutes and interacted with the conference organisers. Then He moved to the interview room and called in a few lady delegates for an interview. Once He emerged from the interview, He came onstage and accepted Arati before returning to His residence at 11 o'clock.

The final session of the conference got underway in the evening when Swami came onstage just before five o'clock. The three speakers for the session were Dr. Narendra Reddy, Sri Nimish Pandya and Dr. Michael Goldstein. Once the speakers summed up the conference proceedings and outlined the course of future action, Bhagawan delivered His benedictory message, which is available here.

At the end of His Discourse, He went to the interview room briefly, and returned with Dr. Goldstein in tow. Swami took the lingam that He had given to Dr. Goldstein last evening and displayed it to everyone. He then created vibhuti and sprinkled it on the lingam, and it was the perfect Abhishekam. He again created some more of the holy Vibhuti and asked Dr. Goldstein to immediately put all of it into his mouth. He announced that He's giving the lingam to Dr. Goldstein for him to distribute the water from washing the lingam to those who are unwell. There was thunderous claps and joyous shouts of Jaijaikars as Swami said that. He then asked for the evening's cultural programme to begin.

Children from the Sri Sai Vidya Vihar, Alwaye, Kerala, presented an hour-long dance drama on Bhaktha Jayadeva. The drama began with a wonderful ballet between Krishna and Radha. Then a teacher arrives on the scene and starts narrating to the children, the story of Jayadeva. The Lord literally composes the verses for Jayadeva who is lost in His glory alone. When the ruler of the land, Lakshmana Sena tries to harass the poet, the Lord is always present, rescuing and glorifying the devotee. There was also a scene of the great devotion of Padmavathi towards her husband Jayadeva. When the queen fools her telling that Jayadeva is dead, she immediately drops down dead in sorrow. Jayadeva's sorrowful, yet devotional hymn rushes to the very gates of heaven and drags the Lord down to shower mercy and resurrect Padmavathi. The final scene was about how the Lord comes down as a scholar to subject Jayadeva to the final test. But the all humble saint submits completely and the Lord Krishna is lost in his love. The drama concluded with a final song.

Swami's face was covered in smiles watching the small children make their presentation. During the scene when the wife dies, all the ladies in the front were in tears at the nobility of the woman. The pleadings to Lord Krishna, were all directed to Sai Krishna and Swami too reflected the same sentiments. As they concluded, He got up from the stage and walked down to take group photographs with them. He walked down the steps and all the children came towards Him to receive Him. After a while, He also sat on the chair and posed for photographs with them. He called the actor who played the role of Jayadeva and gifted her a clock embedded in a laminated photograph. He later gave one of that to each of the participants as they came up one by one, while prasadam was distributed to all the devotees. He also threw a couple of sweets to some of the drama participants. It was 8 o'clock when Swami accepted Arati, blessed everyone and returned to His residence.

Pictures of the event -July 20-22, 2008: Report & Photos:  Divine Discourse and Music Programme -Sri Sathya Sai World Education Conference - Golden Lingam Photos

July 21, 2008

In the morning, all the delegates were seated in the Kulwant hall and all were eager as Swami's discourse had been scheduled. Swami arrived for darshan at 10:45 am. Very quickly, He came to the stage and wanted the proceedings to begin. There were four speeches scheduled before His discourse. The first to speak was Dr. Tom Scovill. After a 15 minute speech, there was a very interesting talk by Dr. B.G. Pitre. He spoke on the techniques and impact of Sathya Sai Education, with illustrative anecdotes. The next was Dr. Dalton de Souza Amorim. Finally, Mr. Srirangarajan from the Sri Sathya Sai University delivered his talk which revolved around the four E's of educare - experience, example, empowerment and ennoblement. After the talks, Swami said that He would deliver His discourse in the evening. Swami thus accepted Aarthi and retired to Yajur Mandir at noon.

The delegates for the conference gathered at various venues in the Ashram for their respective post-lunch sessions and returned to the Sai Kulwant Hall for the afternoon plenary session. Swami arrived in His chair and moved to the interview room after four o'clock. At 4.30 pm, the speeches for the afternoon commenced. Mr. Victor Krishna Kanu, who arrived on stage in a wheel chair, was the first to be invited to speak. He roared like an African lion that he is, saying that it is time to move ahead into action. He powerfully impressed on all that being born in a time with the Avatar was no little thing. Swami was visibly moved with his "roars". He blessed him at the end of his short speech. Then, Mr. Jeremy Hoffer, spoke on his experiences as a teacher in the SSE programme. Mr. M. K. Kaw spoke on the functioning procedures at the Sri Sathya Sai International Centre at Delhi and finally, Sri Sanjay Mahalingam spoke on how the goal of educare is to gift one with absolute silence within. Bhagawan then graciously consented to speak to the delegates. A list of questions was handed over to him and He asked for the mikes and began His discourse, which is available here.

The students sang Bhajans for 10 minutes after Swami's Discourse while the delegates moved out from the centre of Sai Kulwant Hall to make way for the devotees from the CIS (former USSR) who were to make a musical presentation.Bhagawan returned to the stage after a brief visit to the interview room and the music program began with a brief introduction. Songs from Russia, Georgia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and so on kept the packed hall enthralled with their catchy tunes and lively beat. The joy and enthusiasm radiating from the faces of these devotees was very infectious. Everyone had a smile and some of them were even almost laughing aloud! It was really a very divine atmosphere and the joy radiating from the Lord and devotees combined to spread a thrill everywhere. After their half-hour programme, Swami asked them to sing one more song, so they sang the popular "Kalinka" and had the audience clapping all through. Then as all the organisers came around Swami, He spoke to them. All of a sudden, waving His hand, Swami materialised a huge golden Lingam. The lingam was awesome by its sheer size alone! He handed it over to Dr. Goldstein with some instructions. He asked for a cover and wrapped the lingam in the cover. He told him to perform the Abhishekam or the holy bath for the diety. Promising further instructions later, Swami displayed the lingam for all the eager devotees to have a look at. There were gasps and shrieks.It is true that in highest happiness, man does not know how to react. The mixture of spontaneous reactions was something that must have been seen and heard to be truly experienced! Blessing all the devotees, Swami accepted Aarati and returned to His residence at 7.30 pm while prasadam was distributed.

Pictures of the event -July 20-22, 2008: Report & Photos:  Divine Discourse and Music Programme -Sri Sathya Sai World Education Conference - Golden Lingam Photos

July 20, 2008

At about 11 am there was a sudden hustle outside Yajur Mandir. Swami was going to the Poornachandra auditorium to inaugurate the Vidya Jyoti exhibition that had been erected there. A dash of Rangolis (symmetric drawings with colour powder on the floor) adorned a large portion of the auditorium floor and children from various nationalities held flowers to welcome the Lord. Swami entered the grand entrance and lit the lamp to mark the opening. He went around the various sections of the exhibition. There was an elaborate and well made documentary on the various facets of Educare and Swami sat through the entire video of about 20 mins. Then the different sections made were based on the different regions of the world and the Sai system of education that was being run and propagated there. Swami spent about 40 minutes in the exhibition and blessing all the participants and watching brief clips at different points, He went back to Yajur Mandir at about 11:50 am.

In the evening, the opening ceremony of the Sri Sathya Sai education conference was scheduled. Swami arrived in the chair and took a detour to the stage between the seated ladies and gents delegates. A very interesting episode occurred. All the delegate letters had been bundled into a huge package and the devotee sitting right in the front offered it to Swami. Swami looked at it and it appeared as if He wanted to take it. But at the last minute, He blessed it and the package remained in the devotees hands. however as Swami came on the stage, He told the student beside HIm, "Go down, take that package and keep it" There was an applause of joy and thrill at this act of Grace. Swami lit the lamp to mark the inauguration of the conference Then there were opening addresses by Dr. Michael Goldstein and Mr. V. Srinivasan. After their speeches, Swami asked for His mikes and began His Divine Discourse which is available here.

After His Discourse, as Swami went for a short break into the interview room, the stage was set for the Sai Symphony orchestra. As all the members of the orchestra were ready, Swami arrived and asked it to begin. Conducted by Michael Koehler from Germany, the orchestra consisted of violins, violas, cellos, bass, clarinets, saxophones, oboes, bassoons, flutes, trumpets, trombones, French horns, percussions alongside a tuba, a timpani and a keyboard - a wide array indeed! Representing 21 countries, the musicians just let themselves to be ruled by their heartfelt feelings. The program consisted of Romantic music pieces of the great western classical masters. They played Shostakovich festive overture, Ottorino Respighi, Felix Mendelssohn and some more pieces. As they completed, Swami blessed them and asked for tetrapaks of mango juice to be given to all. He also blessed prasadam to be distributed. He then received Aarthi and left.

Pictures of the event -July 20-22, 2008: Report & Photos:  Divine Discourse and Music Programme -Sri Sathya Sai World Education Conference - Golden Lingam Photos


Ashadhi Ekadashi celebrations 2008 & Bhagawan visit to Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences

July 18, 2008

Thousands thronged to the holy hamlet of Puttaparthi to be with their dear Guru on the occasion of Guru Poornima. Kulwant hall was brimming with people everywhere. The students from all the campuses too had arrived and what greater good fortune for a student than being with his/her Guru on this occasion. The sun had risen quite early in the morning and was shining bright already. Maybe he too wished to glimpse at the Sadguru from the heavens! Resplendent in a golden yellow robe, the sun of every heart rose at 8:50am. Unlike the heavenly star, the sweet Lord seemed to bring in waves of cool calm with His arrival. A special Golden coloured chair was His chariot today and He was lead in the procession by His baby elephant which was bedecked in festival finery.

Swami moved slowly through the throngs and a "Mexican wave" of joy moved through the crowd, the crests of the wave coinciding with His position in the hall, as everyone craned to gift their eyes with the heavenly sight. There was exuberance and joy everywhere. Swami, in sharp contrast to the reactions of the devotees, was the epitome of calm and He had a stoic smile as He gently moved through the surging and swelling crowds. He was centre of calm in the devotional storm. Completing a full round, He moved to the portico. A huge cake adorned the veranda. The cake was thickly covered with icing. But the 'icing' on the icing was a lovely model of Lord Rama embracing his dearmost Hanuman. Swami lit the candle on the cake and also cut it. There was another cake too which Swami cut and blessed. Then He moved to the stage. The moment He was on stage, the magic and joy of spontaneity was experienced by all in the hall- seeing Him so majestic and powerful, yet so dainty and sweet, the crowd burst in rapturous clapping so spontaneously and seeing His devotees oozing with joy and enthusiasm, Swami raised both HIs hands in the ultimate act of Grace and benediction- all so spontaneously. That divine smile now danced on His lips. He sat for a while listening to the Vedam chanting along with the Nadaswaram and Panchavadyam performed by the students. He also kept beat with the music as the boys continued playing.

It was the that Sri Shivraj Patil, the Union Home Minister, presented a book to Bhagawan for release. This tome on the Bhagawad Gita was written by him and was made available in English, Hindi, Marathi and other languages. Swami was very eager in blessing the book. Bhagawan then asked Prof Anil Kumar to announce the details of the book and then Sri Shivraj Patil was asked to address the gathering. In his short speech, Sri Patil thanked Bhagawan for inspiring the book. As he completed his speech, Swami asked for a pen. Then He took the book and signed on its first page. It seemed very appropriate. The Bhagwad Gita is an immortal treasure trove of wisdom that has inspired countless aspirants on the path to ultimate realization. And the teacher there is the Lord himself in the form of Krishna. To be released on Guru Poornima by that same Krishna is a blessing that could not have got better for Sri Shivraj Patil.

After releasing the book, Swami asked for His mikes to be brought. Today was indeed a supremely blessed one for the best possible event was taking place. The Guru addressing all! Swami began with a long Telugu poem which the translator did not get the opportunity to translate. Then the discourse proceeded:

"It is the power of Love that makes everything possible. All the names are God's names. But the Truth is Aham Brahmasmi. The universe derives from and dissolves into the Truth. There is no place without Truth and God is the cause for everything in the universe.

Shivraj Patil here has written this Gita text after poring over various texts and grasping this essence. There are many who write books but this one is very special for it has been written from the heart. Whenever, I visited him, he used to get it corrected and verified by me. And since it has arisen of his heart, the essence of the Gita is present in it.

Guru Poornima is not just a day when you pay respects to the elders by giving them some money. "Gurur Brahma, gurur Vishnu, gurur devo maheshwara; Guru sakshath parabrahma tasmai sri gurave namaha". In that sense, God is the only Guru. Poornima is the moon that is full without any defects or black spots. With a pure heart, whatever is said, comes true. And whatever comes from the heart is the true word of the Guru.

Once in their childhood, when the Pandavas and Kauravas were engaged in a ball game, the ball fell into a well and the children began to weep. Drona, his wife and son Ashwattama were passing by that way. Drona, the master, shot an arrow to the ball. Then successively, he shot arrows one behind the other and made a rope out of the arrows and pulled out the ball for them. Such was his greatness. Ekalavya wanted to become his disciple too but Drona refused to take him as one stating that he would not teach hunters. So the lad made a clay idol of Drona and mastered the art of archery. Once when Drona and all the princes were in the forest, a dog started barking and creating a disturbance. Very soon, its mouth had been rendered shut by many arrows shot with great precision! All wondered who had done so and it was discovered that Ekalavya was the one responsible. At this time, Arjuna grew very jealous. How can there be anyone else who is so skilled? On inquiry, when Ekalavya said that his guru was Drona, Arjuna was angry too! The art of shooting by mere hearing was something his Guru had promised to teach him alone. He wanted his guru Drona to ask as a Gurudakshina (gift of gratitude to the Guru), the shooting thumb of Ekalavya! This stemmed from his ego that he was the best archer in the world. Drona did so to please Arjuna and Ekalavya lost his thumb and thus his career too.

The guru may ask anything, but the true Guru is one who resides in the heart and gives instructions from there. The Bhagawad Gita is the teaching of the heart. Though Shivraj Patil read a lot, he had a lot of doubts. Finally he wrote what his heart felt. He did not follow any other text or teaching. It was Swadhyaya (the delving into the soul or Atma) that gave joy and clarity. Just remove the feelings of I and mine, ego and possessiveness, and the Atma Tatwa stands revealed. Many make attempts to know the Self. To do that first drop the I. That is also symbolised by the Christian Cross. The Cross stands for the fact that when 'I' is crossed, Jesus is liberated. Also, one must give up possessiveness.

Shivraj Patil has been coming to me for 30 years now. Chavan and Patil came together to Swami. Patil was first made a minister in Mumbai and then He moved to Delhi. He became the speaker. But he never asked Swami for anything. He has achieved a good name in the government too. They have full confidence in him. One must always have three things- Self confidence, Self-sacrifice and Self-satisfaction. And for all these 3, faith is absolutely essential. And Love of course! Demons have faith in God, but they hat God! Just reading and speaking is not enough. What you do practiocally counts. See first and develop faith and then follow. That will finally lead to Self-realization and that is Poornima- being spotless in thought, word and deed.

Share with all whatever you know. This applies to the teachers and students alike. Teachers and students are like the positive and negative respectively. Whatever you experience, tell your parents. Have a close relationship with your mother and father. One who pleases parents will have progress on all fronts. God will be with them always. The last shloka of Gita states that where there is Arjuna (devotee) with Krishna (God), there will be ultimate victory and fulfillment.

Today Shivraj Patilhas given you a book with beautiful ideas and sentiments. That is why he has satisfaction and the book is respected. BUt you see boys reading all sorts of novels these days. They will hold a big spiritual book and concealed in it will be a novel! Such bad books must not be kept in our libraries. Even if they are kept, our boys will not even glance at them. Have sacred hearts and that will lead you to The secret place. Boys are all very good, but due to the age some thoughts do come. Be resistant at such times. All of you too must write books. We have one student.....whats his name? (after conferring a while with some people around), Ah yes! Hungary government has called him.... He is Gowrishankar. He is going to Hungary for the paper that he has published. Anybody and everybody doesn't get called like that. (Swami blessed the lecturer Sri.Gowrishankar on stage and told him to earn a good name for his parents and the Institute.)

Whatever you learn, you must spread it to some people. You should go everywhere and tell everyone about what you have learnt here in our Institute. There are two girls in the Anantapur campus to. Having excelled in English and Physics, they are being financed for a trip to USA. All of you should earn such a good name."

Concluding His discourse, Swami called two students from the bhajan group and told them to sing Shiva bhajans. And then again He told them "Sing shankar bhajans". Mysterious and indeed unfathomable are the ways of God. Maybe a mere coincidence but still worth noting is the fact that while on His left sat Shivaraj Patil, on His left was Gowrishankar! The boys told Swami that they had prepared some songs for the occasion. Swami agreed and told them to sing two songs. Two songs later, Swami asked for the aarthi to be performed and retired to Yajur Mandir.

In the afternoon, there was no scheduled programme as such. But with Swami, its always loving His uncertainty! Swami arrived at about 5:10 pm in the same chair as the morning! This time, like the evening sun, He was in the orange robe. He took a full darshan round and moved to the stage. The Malladi brothers were seated there and Swami played His first stroke of loving uncertainty. He called them and told them to sing! They did not have their accompanying artistes. So the students were called to accompany them on the harmonium, tabla and mridangam. They began with a song on the glory and grandeur of the guru. Then in their usual panache and wonderful style, they went about singing other songs.

The highlight of the evening was the song, "Nagumomu". If all the feelings that coursed through all the people including Swami during that 15 minute period that the song lasted is to be captured, either 1 trillion words are needed or just one suffices - Bliss! The skill of the throat when it combines with the magical composition of a literary genius and most importantly with the streams of devotion in the heart - sheer bliss is the inevitable result. Swami was very frequently singing along with the singers. As the song moved through its ups and downs of scale and moods, Swami seemed to reflect every thing. At one point, the singers were at the heights of both, devotion and pitch, like a glistening dew drop on the lotus petal, a tear seemed to form in His eye! Simultaneously, there were wet eyes at many places in the hall. The Malladi brothers went about the vocal gymnastics and thrilled everyone. There was not a single moment when Swami sat 'still'. He was all the while moving His hands or swaying - and it is the highest of achievements to "move" the Lord! In this case Swami was literally and figuratively moved. Very few manage to replicate the technical genius of the uneducated Thyagaraja but it is only a magical few who bring alive the devotion to Rama that he embodied. Any amount of description cannot do justice to those mesmerising moments in His presence.

Swami asked for shawls to be brought and very lovingly honoured the singers who had brought so much of Love for God in the hearts of thousands. To intensely Love God is indeed a blessing from Him but indeed it is a greater boon to bring out Love for God in hearts of others too and the brothers were doing just that. After receiving shawls and Love, the concert continued for some more time. 3 songs later, Swami asked for Aarthi and then as prasadam was being distributed, Swami retired.

2008_guru_purnima_in_prasanthi_nilayam here to read a report and see pictures of the Gurupoornima celebrations.:

 July 19th, 2008: Guru Purnima Celebrations, 18 Jul 2008, Report & Images

16th July 2008: There was a mobile medicare van parked in front of Yajur Mandir at about 8:30am. It was part of the ongoing efforts by the Mumbai Sai organisation to provide better medical facilities to inaccessible places. The van is part of a team of ten vans which will serve as a mobile dispensary and a preliminary diagnostic 'vehicle'! A novel idea, first initiated by the Sathya Sai Organisations, Tamil Nadu had been implemented by Maharashtra too. About 4-5 hospitals had agreed to give treatment free of cost to the tune of 1 hospital bed to the SSSO, Mumbai as a philanthropic measure and the medical vans would find the suffering needy to benefit from that gesture. The organisation would pay for the post operative care! A very good example of society serving society.

At about 9:10am, Swami came out of Yajur mandir. He seemed to be a little surprised at the vehicle standing to the left! He went close to it and the poeple there explained to Him about the concept and utility of the vehicle. The vehicles had been given away by the Maharashtra CM in a special ceremony held a few weeks back. The van has all the items and utilities required for the doctor to engage in primary health care. Swami saw the vehicle through the front door and then again went to the rear and peered through that door too. He inquired about the procedure in which it would be operated. Blessing everyone who had assembled there in connection with the van, Swami proceeded to Kulwant hall for the darshan and bhajans that had already begun. At 9:30 am, He received Aarthi and then moved back to Yajur Mandir.

In the evening there was a concert scheduled to be performed by Falguni Mitra. A foremost exponent of Dhrupad, the authentic and respected form of Hindusthani Classical music, Pandit Falguni Mitra was initiated into music by his father, Sangeetacharya Pandit. Shib Mitra at the tender age of four and a half. Swami arrived for darshan and after taking a detour after the ladies side, moved to the portico. He then took a round in the bhajans hall and after a visit to the interview room, Swami came onstge for the programme.

All the artistes bowed down to Swami and sought His blessings. The programme today was in an entirely different flavour compared to the one yesterday. While the previous one thrilled with its pace and pitch, today's was a unique blend of power and profundity! The concert began with Ganesha Vandana and was follwed by a wonderful piece in the raag Bhimpalas. Gifted with a deep, melodious voice, Falguni Mitra has inspired a reformation to the unique art-form of Dhrupad singing through successful innovations in its melodic structure and rhythmic variations. True to his reputation, he sang a song on the "colour-play",as he put it, of the gopikas and gopalas of Brindavan with Krishna, in that famed style. He slowly weaved his melodies and one really needed a highly refined and cultured mind to appreciate this high form of music. He sang a song on the victorious return of Rama to Ayodhya and capped up the performance with an excellent rendering of the song, "Chalo Man Ganga Jamuna Teer." Swami too sang along with him for parts of the song.

At the end of it, Swami materialised a ring for the pandit and girted him a shawl. His wife, who was on the harmonium, received a saree from Swami. The other members of the team too were similarly blessed either with a shawl. Finally, Swami posed with them for group photos and after that was over, HE lovingly blessed panditji and His wife by placing His hand on their heads. Aarthi was then performed after which Swami retired.
July 14, 2008

The morning of Ashaadi Ekadasi dawned with a dash of colour and a rush of energy in the abode of highest peace. It had been announced yesterday evening that the morning programme would begin at 9:00 am. At 8:50 am, Swami arrived f
Ashaadi Ekadasi  at Prasanthi Nilayam 2008rom the Yajur Mandir. The usual Vedic chanting started, but very soon it was replaced by songs that had been specially composed for the occasion of Ashaadi Ekadasi. The song was full of vigour and life and the audience began to clap rhythmically with it. Specially dressed men stood in the centre blowing conches heralding Swami's entry into the mandir premises. Swami moved on the chair and went through the whole hall granting the joy of close darshan on this auspicious morning. Well, any morning when one can have a beautiful darshan of the Lord becomes holy and auspicious! Passing through the students area, He blessed all the boys holding trays and celebrating birthdays.

From the portico as He came on to the stage, there were many VIPs and MLAs seeking His blessings. He was smiles to everyone and was radiating joy and peace as He came on stage. The stage had been decorated very grandly with a beautiful idol of Vitthala adorning the centre. Swami looked at the whole stage and moved to the gents side corner to light the lamp. A gentle blue wax candle was given to Him and He slowly lit all the six wicks in the lamp and a round of applause rent the hall. The programme began with the arrival of the traditional Varakaris. Every year, thousands of pilgrims walk all the way to the banks of the mighty Chandrabhaga river, to the "mother's home" - Pandharpur and pray to Vitthala. Now Puttaparthi has become the "mother's home" and dear Sai- the Lord as the pilgrims conclude their walking pilgrimage in His divine presence on the Ashaadi Ekadasi day. ( "Co-incidentally" Pandharpur translates into English as 'white field' !!) The dance was the folk type and was marked by the energy and quick movements demanding lot of stamina. Before the dance actually began, a garland of Tulsi leaves and dry fruits were brought up to Swami for blessings. The dance consisted of many human pyramid formations. Each pyramid that came up was more intricate and tougher to form than the previous one. There was a formation of steps and the lotus formation too. The dance received a lot of appreciation and it was after the dance that the main programme of the morning began.

The programme was by the Bal Vikas children from the Pune district of Maharashtra. Entitled "Atma Ramayana", it was based on the inner significance of the Ramayana as Swami has said it. The actors playing the part of Rama, Lakshmana, Sugriva and the squirrel who helps a 'tiny' bit in bridge building, came up to the stage offering the card and flow
ers to Swami. Swami blessed them and then the enactment began. It began with all the great poets who had written the Ramayana - sage Valmiki, Kamban, Tulsidas, Thyagaraja - arriving to the present where a Bal Vikas teacher is discussing the Ramayana with the children. The whole story of Ramayana was weaved by these great saints and landmark events were depicted on stage. The narration starts with a joyous dance at the prospect of Rama being made the king of Ayodhya. Then the quenn Kaikeyi, under the influence of her maid Manthara tells Dasharatha to banish Rama into exile for 14 years and asks for the coronation of Bharatha. Everyone is shocked and worried - all except Rama, the epitome of calm and composure. Sita and Lakshmana follow Rama to the forest. In the forest, the episode of Sita's kidnapping by Ravana was depicted after she is enticed by her desire for a golden deer. It was brought out powerfully that in life too, once Kama (desire) overpowers, Rama (God) leaves! Sita pining for the golden deer, ends up getting the golden city (Lanka) itself, but ends up losing Rama. She is sad and despondent. Stated another way, as long as the Rama tattwa (spirit of Godliness) exists, Ravana tattwa(the negatives) cannot enter. The special smoke and lighting effects as Ravan tries to cross the famous "Lakshman Rekha" were impressive.

The Eagle king Jatayu fights valiantly to help Sita and in the process loses his own life. That act of bravery and selfless love wins Jatayu the supreme merit of having his last rites performed by Rama himself - a merit that even the great Dasharatha was not fortunate enough to get, though he was Rama's father. Rama and Lakshmana then meet Hanuman and Sugriva. Vali, who stands for body attachment, is slain by Rama and then the search for Sita begins. Hanuman meets mother Sita after crossing the Indian ocean. Hanuman's flight across the ocean was also creatively depicted. There he gives courage to Sita and strikes terror in the hearts of all the demons at Lanka. He returns triumphantly and very soon the bridge to Lanka is built. The episode of the squirrel contributing a few grains of sand to the bridge was also shown. The special message was very clear. The world judges a person by the fruits or the results the person produces. God judges not and He sees only the efforts made. Efforts, not results, plea
se Him! The drama concluded with the coronation of Rama and a grand dance to celebrate that.

As the drama concluded, all the participants came into a final mass gathering. 143 girls and 81 boys fromed a huge mass of children in all colours and forms! Swami was very happy and He blessed all of them. The Ramayana is such a powerful story that one does not need a fantastic script or great acting skills. The story simply narrated in itself inspires and brings feelings of devotion and love from within. It is small wonder then that He holds the Ramayana so dear to His heart. Swami told all the children that He would come down for group photos. The sight of so many children sitting around Him must be seen to be believed! He called the little squirrel and spoke to 'it' asking for the name and place! Even in this yuga, the Lord seemed to be appreciating the efforts rather than the size of the role played! Swami created a chain for the lad who played the role of Rama in the forest. He then told all the children to come and sit close so that good pictures could be taken. Then He moved to the front where He called of for Rama, Lakshmana and Sita and posed for pictures with them. Then He asked one of the photographers, "Call Pattabhi Rama also." So the crowned and decked Rama, Lakshmana and Sita too came and were blessed with photos with Him. After the photo session, Swami said that He would stand up and bless all. As Swami rose, there was an uproarious applause. Swami beamed and blessed all. Then slowly, He walked up the way on to the stage.

As He sat on the stage, He called the main organiser and spoke to him about the children - how they had practiced, how they had put in the efforts and how many days it had taken. Swami was told that everything had come out so wonderfully sheerly through His Grace alone. Swami spoke quite a lot and it was very evident that He was very happy. He called Sita onstage and asked,"Are you a boy?" The lad blushed and the redness on his face travelled very soon to His face too! He asked his name and patted him on the cheeks. He blessed prasadam to be distributed and in fact He himself distributed it to some of the actors who were nearby. Then Aarthi was taken and Swami, (after a very long period of time now), raised both His hands in loving benediction to all the children. In between all this, He also granted interviews to some people and the artistes of yesterday's programme. Going back to the car, it was about 11:10 am when He finally retired for the morning.

In the afternoon, Swami arrived at about 4:30 pm. He moved through the ladies side on the chair and then cut through the central stage area and went straight to the interview room. At 5:00 pm, He came out and sat on the stage. After a short while of Veda chanting, He raised His hand to signal it to a stop. A musical dance ballet entitled, "Tripura Rahasyam" was to be presented in the divine presence by the Balvikas students and Gurus of the Mumbai organisation. The lead actors and dancers came on stage and presented Swmai with the card and flowers and sought His blessings for the success of the programme. Swami blessed them and the programme began.

The Tripura Rahasyam literally means, "beyond the trinity". It is a great work, among the favourites of Sri Ramana Maharshi, expounding the traditional teachings where a steadily self aware Sadguru imparts knowledge about inner perception, enabling the disciple to share the same state. For his part, however, the disciple must be eager, have full zeal to know and have unqualified faith in the Guru's guidance. The programme began with a dance for the veneration of Goddess Sri Tripura. The goddess, regarded as the pure unsullied Intelligence manifests in ten forms then. Each form was welcomed with the appropriate musical chants. Covering the entire aspects of the manifest and unmanifest, the ten forms are very interesting, atleast from an academic point of view. They are - Dhoomaavathi, Tripura Sundari, Bhuvaneshwari, Tripura Bhairavi, Maha Kali, Tara, Matangi, Chinnamastha, Bagala Mukhi and Kamalathmika.

This knowledge had been first imparted by Lord Dattatreya, considered as the ultimate Guru, an embodiment of the holy trinity, to the great sage Parashurama. The great knowledge was imparted through parables. The story of princess Hemalekha's sound advice to the prince Hemachuda was depicted very creatively. The fickle mind, thoughts, the senses and the vices were all "humanized" and built up as a single family with the relationships between them subtly hinting towards the actual relationships existing as they arise in humans. There are heavy conflicts within the family and this ruins the intellect and ultimately makes one ignorant. And ignorance is the root cause of all the problems - far from being the bliss that it is so often mis-associated with in a common proverb! Another story of the brothers Rukmangada and Hemangada was also depicted. They use widom to save themselves from being devoured by the demon of doubt.

By way of these parables in dreams and visions, Lord Dattatreya resolves the doubts of Manav - the representative of humanity. Everything begins with Virakti(disgust of material possessions) leading to Vairagya (detachment) which finally leads to Viveka (discrimination). But for all this, the Grace of the Lord is paramount. The programme concluded with the manifestation of the Devi in all her glory and grandeur on the chariot when all the sages viz. Sanaka, Vasishta, Pulasthya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrigu, Athri, Angiras, Prachetasa, Narada, Cyavana, Vamadeva, Vishwamitra, Goutama, Sukra, Parashara, Vyasa, Kanva, Kashyapa, Daksha, Sumanthu, Shanka, Likhita and Devala, and the Gods of the trinity pray for her! As the final song began, Swami called the protagonist and created a golden chain for him. In the meantime, everyone came into the final formation and Swami said that He would move down and bless the children with group photos.

Swami went down and like bees swarming around sources of nectar, the children came all over Swami. Swami was so happy! He went through the children and posed for pictures twice or thrice. He spoke to many and took letters from many more. He asked the names from some of the children. He saw 'Hemalakha' and asked 'her', "Where is your husband?", much to the merriment of everyone around. Once again, for the second time today, He rose from the chair and holding on to the children, posed for group photos. He moved back on to the stage and as He sat there, He kept selecting diads to come up and pose with Him. He picked similarly costumed people to come up. A "demon" told Swami that he wanted to go on stage to pose with Him. Swami told him to put on his crown and then come on the stage! After a very joy filled and eventful session, Swami asked for bhajans to begin. After a while He went into the interview room. Soon, He came out, received Aarthi and retired to Yajur Mandir at about 6:40 pm.

Sunday, July 13, 2008:
As part of the Ashadi Ekadasi function, the introductory honours had been gifted to Sri.Kunal Ganjawalla and his wife Gayatri Ganjawalla. Swami had agreed to a concert by the musical couple and the whole stage had been set and k
ept ready for them. Swami came out at about 3:45pm and in the car took a round in the Kulwant hall. Swami is called "Nitya Nootana" meaning the ever new. No two days are ever similar in the things He does. Today, He took the route via the portico from the gents side and then moved to the ladies side again. From there He went back towards Yajur Mandir and via the passage between the Yajur Mandir and the Kulwant Hall, He drove out! He went for a darshan granting ride in Puttaparthi and then returned to the mandir.

This time, He came straight to the portico and then soon onto the stage. He called the artistes of the day and asked them to begin. The veda chanting came to a halt and the artistes sought His blessings. The first song by Sri.Kunal was on Lord Ganesha and it was an auspicious beginning. He and his wife kept alternating between themselves in the songs and it was a treat for the ears and more so for the eyes - the music was so good and Swami's reactions and responses to the songs were so sweet and full of Love. When Gayathri began the song "Thumak Chalat Ramachandra" after saying that it reminds her of the beautiful days when Swami would come glidingly walking down for darshan, Swami seemed to get overwhelmed. He began singing along with her. In fact at one point, when the singer stopped singing to allow the flute to play a piece, Swami continued singing and was a
Join group saibabaofindia - "SBOI" Be a part of a growing Sai online communitypparently surprised as to why the singing had stopped! He looked at the singer and gave vigorous rhythm on His lap indicating her to begin singing. Kunal then sang the song, "Sainath Tere Hazaro Haath" from the movie Shirdi Ke Sai Baba. Being a very popular song, the members of the audience too began to sing along with him. At the end of that song, Swami looked at the artistes and lipped, "Very very happy!"- and that was exactly the feeling shown on the faces of the artistes too for what can be greater reward than being able to make the Lord happy. A Meera bhajan followed next and the audience lapped it up as it went through the highs and lows of pitches and loudness! As the songs continued, Swami called Kunal and made some enquiries of him. Then taking leave for a few minutes, Swami went into the interview room. He returned soon and sat on the stage. One other lady too sang the song,"Oh Rama! Nee nama yenta ruchira" and Swami sat swaying to it and enjoying it. Really, the only tunes the Lord dances to are the tunes of Love from the heart.


Every action of Swami has so much of meaning to some people. It may appear that it means nothing for the world, but it definitely means the world to somebody! Knowing the story in the background sometimes helps one in appreciating the actions He does. And in today's case, having met the artistes and got a chance to interact with them, the writer is able to enjoy and share some of these stories. Some time back, Swami had appeared in the dream of Kunal's sister telling her that Gayatri must sing the bhajan -"Sri Venkatesha Saishwara" - and very soon she began that bhajan. It appeared as if Swami had been waiting for that bhajan. As soon as it concluded, Swami called Kunal and began waving His palm. At this juncture, it is necessary to reveal another part of the story in flashback. As Gayatri put it, "It was our dream that we get married in His presence. It did not happen that way, but He knows every desire in the heart!" Swami created a golden chain and instead of putting around Kunal's neck, gave it to him and told him to tie it around his wife's neck! Then immediately, He materialised a ring and gave it to the wife to put it on the finger of the husband! Both man and wife broke down. Showers of Grace and showers of tears are often synonymous. And thats what happened on stage as Swami fulfilled a deep desire in the devotees' hearts without them even telling Him physically. Seeing them in tears, Swami also momentarily was overcome with emotion. He presented sarees to the ladies and shawls to the gents.

As this shower of Love came to a pause, Swami asked Kunal to sing a bhajan. He started, "Bolo bolo Sab mil bolo"- a bhajan which urges everyone to sing out the name of the Lord. Having witnessed all that happened on the stage, nobody needed any urging, only an excuse was needed, to sing out the divine name! The bhajan had a whole hearted and vociferous following. At the end of that, Swami told the artistes that He would come to centrestage and pose with them for photographs. They were all thrilled and overjoyed. When Swami wants to make you feel special, He goes all out to do so. As the pictures were being taken, Swami looked at the lad shooting the video and told him, "Move your fingers! Don't block the video!" everyone smiled in merriment. Then, Swami spoke to almost every member of the performing troupe. He blessed the prasadam to be distributed to all. Then as Aarthi began, He called Prof. Anil Kumar and told him to announce the next day's programme He also blessed a couple of books that the state president of Maharashtra presented to Him. After Aarthi, giving the abhayahastha blessings to all, Swami retired to Yajur Mandir.

July 12, 2008

A new Gastro-intestinal (GI) endoscopy department had been furnished and kept ready for opening with Swami's blessings today. Swami too had graciously consented to inaugurate the new department blessing the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences with His divine presence! Everyone thought that Swami would go to the hospital in the morning, but that did not materialize. At about 2:45 pm, message from Swami came that He would be blessing the SSSIHMS at 3:30 pm. Everyone immediately swung into action and in a matter of minutes, everything was readied for the divine visit.

Escorted by flag-bearing bike riders, Swami arrived to the south entrance of the hospital at about 3:40 pm. He had sent a delegation of 6 guests too as an advance party and they were also waiting in readiness for Him. As soon as He descended from the car, many roses exchanged hands and Swami blessed all the heads of the various offices. The Veda chanting began and lead the procession of which Swami formed the "completion" at the end! The central corridor of the SSSIHMS had been lined by nurses, ward boys and helpers in the hospital. Swami moved through the corridor and He seemed so happy looking at all the people who were serving Him so lovingly and selflessly. What followed next were Abhayahastas galore as Swami kept glancing to His right and left blessing everyone seated reverentially there. The GI exhibition was on the way and as Swami passed by it, He displayed a lot of interest in visiting it.

He entered the new GI endoscopy department and the bhajans began there. He spoke to and blessed the doctors and devotees who had been directly responsible in setting up the department. Then moving inside to the area of the main altar, He lit the lamp. Each and every wick in the lamp received its share of attention and Swami lit up each one. Then He was taken into the upper GI endoscopy room where the doctors had thoughtfully and creatively arranged a demonstration of the capabilities of the department. A small flower bud with its stem had been placed in a long roll of white cloth to simulate a cyst/tumour in the digestive system. As Swami sat seeing the demonstration, the doctors inserted the endoscopic camera tube and showed the proceedings on the TV screen. They then literally nipped the makeshift cyst "in the bud"! Swami saw that and as the flower bud was put in a jar and presented to Him, He asked whether the tumours would be that size. The doctor replied that these outgrowths vary in size from a minute dot to the size of a ball also sometimes! Swami blessed the doctors and seemed impressed! The same thing happened in the next lower GI endoscopy room too. The equipment had been connected not only to the TV screen but to a computer too so that the processor gave the doctors far greater diagnosis and analysis ability. This was shown to Swami and there too He asked a few practical questions. The doctors found great joy in answering them and said, "Swami, this department is a fruition of your Grace on us."

Whenever Swami listens to either the doctors or students or the scientists or primary school children, it brings to mind the mother and child analogy. The mother knows everything that the child knows and in fact much more too. In spite of that, whenever the child gurgles or recites its little rhymes, the mother listens with all appreciation and wonder. That is not an indication of the mother's ignorance, but a powerful reminder of Her great love for the child!

Swami was next taken to the GI-endoscopy ICU room. The various facilities there and the conveniences for the patients were shown to Swami. Swami was very happy with all that and said that there was no need to show him all the little details and that they should proceed and make the patients comfortable and happy. He trusts His doctors. His faith and Trust in man is so much more than man's faith and Trust in either Him or himself too! And that's what makes Swami so special and divine. Blessing everyone who had gathered, Swami moved out of the department. On the way out, He passed by Veda chanting staff and He pored over each and every face that was flexing with the twirls and turns of the Vedic hymns. Outside the department, a very warm and devoted assemblage of devotees formed a reception for Swami. Swami then went to the GI exhibition that He had noticed during His entry.

In the beginning, there was a small video presentation on how endoscopy actually worked. After that, Swami was given a "guided" tour of the various afflictions that tormented the human digestive tract and Swami listened with all interest. At one point when the explaining lady spoke of some problems, Swami said, "That comes due to hurry and more importantly - worry. If worry is avoided, many problems will disappear!" A wonderful banquet had also been kept ready for Swami. When Swami was requested to have something, He said, "No! Not now. The devotees will be waiting there!" Though He was in the heart of the SSSIHMS, He had not forgotten the devotees in the Kulwant hall. He completed a full round in the exhibition. At the end of it, many of the doctors took padanamaskar. He was then requested to bless the ongoing orthopedic conference with His presence. He agreed and the conference hall was on the way itself.

Swami's entrance into the conference room was in the middle of a presentation. But when the Lord arrives, everything comes to a standstill. He lit up the conference, literally and figuratively, when He went to the lamp placed in the corner and lit all the wicks. A few distinguished doctors were to receive citations and they were indeed fortunate to receive them from the divine hands. Swami was literally surrounded by the doctors and in midst of that too, He materialised a ring for one of the doctors. At this point, the whole assembly came down to its knees in humble prayer. All the delegates came to the aisle and knelt down on either sides with a prayer that Swami traverse that path. Swami obliged happily and very soon all the discipline seemed to vanish as devotion took the driver's seat. Swami moved gently through the eager beavers and blessed them all. All were thrilled at this act of Grace. As Swami exited the hall, there was an orthopedic endoscopy device too. As Dr. Sundaresh demonstrated with a dummy bone in a cast as to how the instrument could be used, Swami looked on. But by now, the people around Swami were swarming and the mass of devotees around Him was swelling to huge proportions. Swami started moving a little quicker now.

As Swami moved out to the main corridor and back towards the side door, people took all the vantage points available to have a glimpse of Him. By now, news of the Lord's presence in the hospital had spread all around and doctors, nurses, helpers, patients and relatives alike gathered in a hurry to see their sweet Lord. Swami was all smiles and blessings as He moved out. Some of the sisters from the dietary services had books and cards blessed. They tried to invite Swami to the dietary department too. Swami very sweetly told them that He had to rush back to the mandir too as devotees were waiting there. Aarthi was taken as Swami came out and entered the car. Before leaving, Swami waved out to all who had gathered around the car and it was such a wonderful and poignant moment for everyone. Swami was then escorted back to the mandir.

July 7, 2008

Distribution of items of livelihood to the needy & A forty-minute cultural presentation by Balvikas children from AnantapurMen and Machines filled the central blocks of the Kulwant hall today. The devotees from the Anantapur district had arranged for the service activity wherein they would distribute implements to the needy to provide a source of livelihood. Many devotees from the surrounding villages and from other rural areas of Anantapur had gathered for the occasion. Swami had very graciously agreed to preside over the distribution. And so stood an impressive array of tools, machines and implements. Sewing machines, carpentry kits, sowers, tillers, insecticide sprayers, wet grinders, cycles, pushcarts, embroidery machines, handlooms and irons constituted this array. Swami came a bit early and went into the interview room.

Later, at about 3:55pm, He came onstage to begin the proceedings. The District President of the Sai Organisation began with an introductory talk in Telugu. Prof Anil Kumar gave a short introduction in English and Telugu, and what an introduction it was! He spoke of how Swami was an ideal to all the leaders for He, like a magnificent tree, had stood rooted at His home village and brought the whole world to HIm rather than travel around the world. "Anantapur," he said, "stands for the meaning 'every body'. Pura is the body and Ananta means infinite." As he was speaking of Swami's shower of Grace and Love, a steady drizzle began and soon it turned into a tremendous and wonderful shower. It began to beat down so much that the rain literally 'drowned' the professor's talk in volume. The thrill of joy surging in every soul assembled was such that very soon, the sound of the rain was drowned in the thunder of the applause. The professor then started to read out the names of the recipients and the implements they were being gifted. Sewing machines, bicycles, push-carts, grinding machines, electrical kits and other such items were duly passed on to the beneficiaries from the rural areas of the district. In the beginning as the various heads came to Swami to take padanamaskar, Swami created vibhuti for all of them and blessed them.

Each recipient had been chosen and all of them were gifted items of work at which they were skilled. It was indeed a very noble endeavour. Silently an economic revolution was on! Swami, with His spontaneous and loving action had created more than 500 jobs in an hour! A little common sense and some basic awareness of secondary and tertiary beneficiaries - and anyone will understand the magnificent entrepreneurial implications of this "simple" deed. And no big fuss made about it. "Instead of giving bread, teach a man how to make bread" was seen in its full meaning as Swami lovingly blessed the recipients as they came forward and placed a flower of gratitude at His feet. In about half an hour, the whole distribution was complete. After that, Swami permitted the children of Anantapur samithis to put up a cultural programme in his presence.

Four children came up to the front with roses, bouquets, cards and dry fruits. Swami was so happy seeing them and He spontaneously materialised a gold chain with a locket for one of the girls! Then the programme began. It was in Telugu and based on the vows of Swami to protect the vedas, the wise people, those who suffer, and all the devotees. A major portion of the programme was via various colourful and rhythmic dances. The music and composition were all very good and heart-warming. Swami saw the entire programme and as it concluded with a final formation, He blessed all of them with the Abhayahastha. Swami went into the interview room, and emerged after a few minutes to come down from the stage in His chair and distribute saris to the children who participated in the programme. The children sat in disciplined rows and Swami gifted each child with a beautiful violet saree. Once that was done, He asked whether all had received the saree. Then, with a smile of satisfaction, He looked at all the assembled children. He called them to come to Him and pose for group photographs! Again, in disciplined groups, the children came to Him and photos were taken. After Blessing the participants with group photos, the Balvikas children began bhajans. As bhajans went on, prasadam was distributed, and Swami accepted Arati at six o'clock.
July 6, 2008

Panels for an exhibition on Swami's teachings had been moved into the Poornachandra Auditorium and arranged there by the devotees from USA after Swami had sent word that He would bless the exhibits. Everyone and everything had been kept in perfect readiness in the morning. At about 9:05 am, Swami came out of Yajur Mandir. He moved into Sai Kulwant Hall and that too in the chair. Being a Sunday, the hall was quite filled, almost up to its Usa zone1 program at Prasanthi Nilayam 5th July - Sai Baba Of Indiacapacity. Moving gently, He completed a full darshan round, collecting letters and speaking to many. After that, Swami granted a few interviews and then moved into the bhajan hall for the remaining bhajans. At about 9:55 am, Swami
received aarthi and retired.

In the evening, Swami arrived for darshan rounds after 4:45 pm. He took a detour after the ladies side and after a few minutes in the portico, entered the bhajan hall. The bhajan hall had been filled up by the senior-most students of the Institute, the 2nd year post graduates. They had come with a focused agenda of inviting Swami to visit the hostel as it had been long since He had done so. When Swami entered the bhajan hall, a few students got up on their knees and prayed to Him for an opportunity to speak and sing for Him. Swami agreed and told them very sweetly, "There is still time for that. Be ready. I will come" Then in the chair, Swami began to move towards the Yajur Mandir. Then, as He moved for the second time through the ladies side, they exulted They were on cloud nine it seemed. At the same time, it looked at though the cloud nine had decided to come "down to earth". The skies darkened and huge drops began pelting down. Swami reached the ladies side end of the Kulwant hall and immediately a huge colourful umbrella was brought for Him. For all the devotees who had gathered near the western gates of Yajur mandir, it was a lovely sight.

On an evening when everything looked dull and gray, Swami's orange robe topped with His scented mop of hair lent a dash of vibrant colour to the scene. To "top" it was the multi coloured umbrella, open wide and full. The sweet fragrance of rain on earth wafted in the air as the breeze caressed and played with His abundant curls and locks. Swami looked so magnificent and grand - an emperor nonpareil in this world! He came out of the western gate and the devotees were thrilled to say the least. Blessing all of them, He moved into the Poornachandra Auditorium. The meaning of the statement, "God's delays are not His denials" would have come to light for the US devotees who had been waiting patiently and lovingly. Swami moved in and many roses were offered. When the lit candle was given to Him, He lit all the wicks of the traditional lamp that had been placed there.

Then began a sort of "guided tour" for Swami! He went around all the panels that had been placed and looked intently at them. He was the perfect observer, asking questions about the message and the pictures on display. A few members of the visiting group got the great wonderful opportunity to explain to the Lord! Every here and there were seated youth members with placards on the section to follow Swami read each and everyone of these and also spoke to some of the lads. Swami spent almost 15 minutes going around the exhibits. After completing that, Swami came to the devotees group that had assembled in a disciplined manner in the auditorium. He called out the little children and began asking names. He asked one of them, "Which class?" The boy seemed bewildered till an adult said,
"Which grade are you in?" He answered, "Swami I have completed my 2nd." "Why did you come here?", He asked another kid. "To sing for you Swami" was the answer. He sent back the kid after rewarding him with a sort of handshake and a pat on his cheeks. He was smiling and was very happy with them. Blessing all with abhayahastha and many with Paadanamaskar, Swami sat in the car and started for a second time towards Kulwant hall.

This time, He went for a complete round in the hall and those that had missed a close darshan some time back were rewarded for their patience. He entered the bhajan hall and asked for the assembled 2nd PG students to begin their programme. The programme consisted of songs and short talks. The talks were in different languages and were nostalgic speeches on the wonderful times when Swami visited the hostel. Two students recounted their stories and Swami too became overcome with emotion. He too seemed to be nostalgic. One of the students said, "Swami, we are your dunnapotas forever."
Swami - What is meant by dunnapota?
Boy - Swami, male buffaloes.
Swami - Why only male? Not female?
Even amidst all the boys, Swami had his children at Anantapur too in mind! He then said, that all were good and none were dunnapotas. The songs were the popular ones and a few qawwalis were also embedded. It was like a game show at time. Swami was given a list of songs and the boys said, "Swami tell us whichever song you like, we will sing it out for you." And so, Swami kept picking songs and they were rendered. The programme was interspersed with persistent pleading to Swami to visit the hostel! Swami asked where the hostel was and He said that one must never refer to it as your hostel or my hostel. It is always "ours"! Letters and cards were given. Finally, the boys showed Him a video clipping on a laptop of His previous visit to the hostel! Finally, one of the students came up to Swami and said, "Swami, it has been very long since you have come to hostel We will do whatever you want. Tell us what to do and when you will come please." Swami said, "I will tell. Wait. There is a programme tomorrow. After Tuesday, I will tell." Blessing all the students, Swami received Aarthi and retired to Yajur Mandir.

July 5, 2008

Swami had graciously agreed for a music programme by the devotees of the zone 1 of USA. The men women and children were seated in the marbled block in front of the stage with their characteristic blue scarves. Swami came for darshan at about 4:50 pm. Like He did on the past three days, once again, Swami took a detour from the ladies' side straight to the stage. He immediately told the Veda chanting to be stopped and then asked the devotees about the programme.

A few men came up to Him and showed the programme schedule. The women and children representatives too came to Him with roses and offerings. He blessed them all and spoke to them. The programme was introduced with a heart to heart talk with Swami. The speaker on the mike said, "Swami, to finish the required course to graduate from the attachment to the world, for nine months, our centers in USA have collectively studied the true flowers of non violence, sense control, forbearance, penance, peace, meditation and Truth." As he spoke, Swami looked intently at him and kept nodding. The first song was entitled, "Who am I". It was followed by a song in Spanish.

The songs were simple in their tunes and rich in their meaning. Each song had a small introductory talk which was very apt and Swami listened and appreciated each of them. Swami also seemed particularly impressed with the person playing the violin in the first line. In fact His gaze went on him for quite a number of times during the programme. There were more songs on the divine romance between Swami and His devotees. The only prayer embedded in every song was, "Swami let our Love for you grow stronger with every passing moment." Swami often says, "The Lord knows what you need. You do not have to ask Him for anything." It is so true that any prayer we make may not be "appropriate" in a sense. When we pray for either wealth, material comfort, good health, more time - anything - for either ourselves or for others, how do we know that it is for the Good? God is all wise and it is nothing great to admit that His wisdom is absolute and complete compared to our tiny minds and brains. It is better to just Trust and Love Him with all our hearts. In this context, the prayer, "Swami let our Love for you grow stronger with every passing moment" becomes perfect. For there is absolutely nothing wrong or bad about loving God and though anything we pray for may not be good for us in the long run, Loving God more intensely is always beneficial, irrespective of time and circumstances!

The final song was the realization that, "I am God! I am no different from God." As the song concluded, so did the programme. Swami asked them to sing bhajans and they began. One particular bhajan was, "Sai Mata Pita". A line in it goes, "Mujhe Shakti do....Mujhe Bhakti do" culminating in "Mujhe Mukti do" As the first two lines were being sung, Swami kept mouthing the word, "Mukti do." It was a nice sight to see Him smilingly do so. He then looked at the violinist and told him to accompany on the violin for the bhajans too. As if awakened from a divine stupor, the devotee began to play for the rest of the bhajans. After a few bhajans, Swami asked His boys to sing bhajans. After two more bhajans, with a quick sideward glance and a lovely smile, He said, "Shlokam". The next bhajan was "Sree Raghunandana" and it was rendered beautifully with a prelude chant or "sloka" as it is called. After that, Swami asked for the Aarthi to be taken. He called the violin player and spoke to Him and ended with a loving pat on his cheeks. Then He retired to Yajur Mandir. On the way, He spoke to the Principal and a few teachers from the Anatapur college too.
June 26 and 27, 2008

The holy Thursday was to play host to the Sundara Kanda of the Ramayana. In the morning, the laksharchana by the devotees gathered in Sai Kulwant began at 7.30 am, with the chant of the Sri Sathya Sai Ashtothara Sahasranamavali. Bhagawan arrived at 8.40 am while the chanting was in progress and sat onstage for a while. It was such a wonderful feeling that all present at the moment in the hall would have experienced- to sing Swami's names in Swami's presence! He then moved to the Bhajan Hall and then to the interview room. The chanting concluded at 9.10 am and Bhagawan arrived in the Bhajan Hall for the Bhajans to start. He moved to the interview room for a few minutes, then returned to the Bhajan Hall, sat there for half an hour and accepted Arati at 10 am before returning to His residence.

Swami returned in His chair to Sai Kulwant Hall at 4.10 pm and moved to the interview room. After a round of the Bhajan Hall and the verandah after a few minutes, He came onstage at 4.45 pm and sat there for 45 minutes while the Vedam went on. As has become the norm, as soon as He comes on stage the priests offer to Him a garland of lotuses and also get blessed flowers to be offered to the diety for the day. The vedam went on and the priests also kept chanting the shlokas from the Sundara Kanda. As Swami sat listening, He called a few students and spoke to them, smiling and cracking jokes. When Swami cracks jokes, it is such a beautiful sight. The smile on His face broadens till it seems to cover the entire face. Then the lips open and a whole hearted laughter gently rocks His body. Its such a beautiful sight to see that any onlooker cannot help but smile and laugh out on his/her own too. A great devotee had termed this beauty of Swami as omni-felicity. At the same time, He felicitates so many. Everyone sitting feels that a wave of His hand or a smile from His lips is for them too! Swami then called more students and collected letters from them. Today He seemd so intent on the Veda chanting going on for quite some time. It was almost 5:15 pm when He asked for the speaker to be introduced.

The speech for the day was on the Sundara Kandam by Dr. Mylavaram Srinivasa Rao garu from Guntur in Telugu. The entire Kanda was on the glory of Hanuman. Hanuman is the champion is all fields related to the body, mind or soul. The speaker highlighted these wonderful qualities of Hanuman in a very poetic way. The Sundara Kanda is one which is a repository of so many secrets and so many beautiful episodes - thus the name. The talk was a delight for the Telugu understanding audience - for the others, it was quite musical to hear to too! And so he held the audience spell-bound for 90 minutes. After that, lost in the glory of Hanuman's love and devotion to Rama, the speaker went on. Seeing the audience getting restless, Swami gently reminded the speaker of the time! Swami's communication skills are something that all must emulate. He says, "Do not speak the unpleasant Truth." But He always speaks the Truth and the way He speaks is so wonderful that nobody is ever hurt. His words are the sweetest and most wonderful. The speaker concluded and Swami immediately received aarthi and retired for the evening.

The concluding Laksharchana was with the chanting of Sri Lalitha Sahasranama on Friday, the 27th of June. All the devotees chanted "Aum Sri Matre Namah" as the Sahasranama went on from 7.30 to 8.25 am. The scholar who chanted the Sahasranama spoke a few words extolling the compassion of the mother, then concluded the morning session for the Bhajans to begin as usual at 9 o'clock in the Bhajan Hall.

The afternoon session began with Bhagawan arriving in His chair at 3.45 pm. Moving to the interview room after a few minutes onstage, He emerged at 4.15 and moving to the verandah. All the priests were called to the mandir portico. Swami wanted to distribute special clothes for the priests to wear for tomorrow's function. As they sat in two rows, Swami moved gracefully amidst them handing over each of them a yellow bundle and gifting each with the opportunity to touch or kiss His feet. Then, telling the priests to proceed with the Poojas as usual, He came onstage and sat for a while with the Vedam chanting going on. Out of the blue, Swami called up two American brothers from among the students to chant Vedam onstage. They were taken aback but with His touch, regained composure and chanted the Vedas with aplomb. Swami told everyone to stop chanting and listen to them as they went about flawlessly! The Mother's heart sweeled with pride as the amazed priests watched the lads in admiration. Swami then blessed them and sent them back. He asked for Sathya, an Iranian boy from the Primary School to be brought to mandir! Quick messages were passed and the little boy of 9 years was picked up from the playground, quickly washed up and brought to the mandir! As He came, Swami asked him whether he could chant vedas. That tiny child too chanted the MedhaSuktam with as much proficiency as anyone else. When, at Swami's behest, the boy told on mike that he was a 9 year old from Iran, there was loud applause. Swami was very happy and He told him to sit in the front.

The programme of the speech commenced at five o'clock. The Yuddha Kandam was narrated with gusto in Telugu by Sahasravadhani Garikipati Narasimha Rao garu till six o'clock. He spoke with a speed that had been hitherto unknown during the saptaha. In between the speech however, Swami said with a smile, "He is speaking so fast." Oratorially, the speaker was a marvel. But Swami always has in mind every devotee in the hall - and many cannot follow such rapid Telugu. Credit to the speaker for translating parts of his speech into English too. At one point, trying to explain a point in greater detail, the speaker spoke of the India - Pakistan cricket matches. Swami, with a mischievous glimmer in His eye asked the Iranian Sathya, "Will you go to Pakistan?" The boy did not understand at first, but on getting the import, nodded his head vigourously to say no. The speech concluded and Swami asked for the bhajans to be sung. Prasadam was blessed to be distributed to all. Swami asked for aarthi and today it was amazing sight About 5-6 Aarthis were waved in unison- they also by coincidence seemed to be in perfect sync with each other. A head priest also came very close top Swami and performed Aarthi as he would to the idols! Swami smiled beautifully at him and told him to be at a little distance! Then He retired for the evening.

June 24 and 25, 2008

As the Mangalavaram (literally translates as auspicious day / Tuesday) dawned in Prashanti Nilayam, the chanting of the holy Vishnu Sahasranaama started in the mandir. All the devotees who had assembled offered the holy akshatha grains to a picture of Swami's cosmic form that had been so efficiently distributed to all of them. At about 8:45 am, Swami came for darshan in the chair. He cut to the interview room after the ladies side. The bhajans began at 9 as usual and then a beautiful incident took place. Swami came in for bhajans and noticed that a student was seated in front with a bowl of Akshatha grains as it was his birthday. Swami called him and blessed him profusely. The magical moment came when the student asked for paadanamaskar and Swami consented. There was a sudden momentary silence as the bhajan that was on concluded. As the student placed his head on the Lotus feet, the next bhajan began - Sathya Sai Paadaambujam, Bhajore Manasa Nirantaram. (Oh mind! Dwell incessantly on the Lotus feet of Sathya Sai) A thrill went through all who were witness to the poignant scene and the student must have been overwhelmed for he stayed down on His feet for more than 10 seconds. Swami was smiling so sweetly at this "coincidence"! The bhajans concluded and Swami left after receiving Aarthi.
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In the evening, Swami arrived at about 4:30 pm. He completed the darshan rounds and came onstage. There , He called a boy and took his letter. Opening it, Swami saw that the letter was a full page long. He made a face of mock anger and then asked, "Why do you write so much? Write a few lines - that'll suffice!" The boy returned with a smile on his face. He was so happy that Swami spoke to him that maybe that advice went unheard! Immediately, Swami called another boy to take the letter. This time, as He slowly opened it, all watched with bated breath! Swami Himself seemed to open it with an expectant anticipation. Seeing that the letter consisted only of a few lines, He smiled and so did everyone around. With this, He went around the upper stage and then via the inner portico, went into the interview room. He returned to the stage from the interview room to start the proceedings at 5.15 pm. Today's speaker was Sri S. Ranganath garu from Bangalore, who spoke in English about the Aranya Kanda for 45 minutes, noting various points of interest in Valmiki's poetry. Today's talk was more of a Sanskrit scholars' delight with the erudite speaker outlining the beautiful grammar and perfect language employed by the sage Valmiki. He also drew out examples from the works of various modern and contemporary writers where they had been influenced and inspired by the Ramayana. Therefore, he stated, this epic has great relevance irrespective of the age or era! At the end of his talk, Swami saw that one of the students was clicking photos prolifically. He asked him whether there was film in the camera. The student, on his knees, cheekily pulled out the memory chip from the camera, showed it to Swami and said, "No film Swami!" Swami smiled and asked for the bhajans to begin. The bhajans began and today they were all specific to the episodes and the characters of the Aranya Kanda. After bhajans, Swami enquired whether any prasadam was available! When it was being checked, He said that prasadam may be distributed the next day. Smilingly He asked for Aarthi and then left.

25th June was the day dedicated for the Kishkindha Kanda. Swami arrived in the evening a little earlier than all the students had arrived. He completed His darshan rounds on the ladies side. There was a huge empty space as the students had not yet filed in. He took a detour and then cut across the marble blocks. He spoke to the two sevadal lads who were seated near the pillar as part of the security measures to
ensure that no one rushes upto Swami to touch His feet and so on. They were taken aback but nevertheless filled with joy as Swami spoke to them. The speaker scheduled for the evening was Dr. Thangirala Venkata Subbarao from Bangalore. Swami then went into the interview room. Coming out, He took a round around the stage and inner portico and once again went into the interview room. From there, He spoke a while with the bhajan singers and then came out of the bhajan hall too. Swami came out and then after a while of Veda chanting, He asked for the speaker to be introduced. The speaker offered his obeisance to Swami and began the talk.

He detailed at length on the Ramayan story from the point where Hanuman meets with the two princes Rama
and Lakshmana till the point where Hanuman stands ready on the shores of the ocean, ready for take off to Lanka. The killing of Vali at the hands of Rama and the wonderful dialogue that followed was narrated. Vali asks Rama as to was it fair on His part to kill him in that manner from behind. Rama replies, "Oh Vali! I never challenged you in a fight. I am on a hunt and I hunted you like any hunter would do a wild animal. Your deeds show that you are indeed a wild animal as you have eyed the wife of another and treated your own brother very badly. As for the enmity, though you are not my direct enemy, you are the enemy of my friend Sugriva, and so you become my enemy too!" Vali himself repents to his words and begs Rama's forgiveness. Rama's crystal clear understanding of Sathya and Dharma was highlighted. At one point, the speaker said that just like the forest in Ramayana had been transformed by the penance of the sages, Puttaparthi had been transformed by penance of Swami. At this point, Swami burst out laughing! With a smile, He said, "I never did any penance of any sort.!" All those who saw it smiled and nodded back at Him.

There exists a misnomer among many that Swami is a great spiritual seeker who has loads of penance backing Him. He is not a spiritual seeker but the One who is spiritually sought; does not need penance to back Him, but He is the one who backs all the penance of the world! The mind may make comparisons between Him and sages, but the heart will say that the only apt comparison will be between Him and Rama for both are incomparable and that is the similarity between them!!

After the speech completed in about 50 minutes, there was a loud applause and the speaker was blessed by Swami. Swami then asked for bhajans to be sung. The instructions were that only Hanuman bhajans be sung. The first bhajan to begin was "Rama Lakshmana Jaanaki". Now this bhajan is special because, the lead is always "Rama Lakshmana Janaki" while the follow is always, "Jai bolo Hanuman ki". As soon as the first line was sung, Swami sang out aloud, "Jai bolo Hanuman Ki". Apparently, it seemed that the Lord was reminding all
about the special nature of the bhajan. Well, a little deeper view and the Lord was showing mankind another beautiful aspect. In the divine romance, the devotee always keeps singing and thinking of the Lord while the Lord thinks and sings about the devotees. As all assembled kept singing the Lord's name, the Lord was singing the devotee's name! It was indeed an awe inspiring and thrilling sight! After four bhajans, Swami asked for the Aarthi and then left.

June 22 and 23, 2008

Sai Kulwant hall appeared in a different light altogether. It looked as if the legendary "Rama Rajyam" had descended on earth. Sorry! Correction please - not just looked that way, Raama Rajyam has indeed descended! Sai Rama speaks a lot on Rama. More than anything else, as He describes the qualities of the Lord then and the way Rama conducted himself, one is always reminded of the daily activities of Swami Himself.

The stage had been occupied by three beautiful statues - Rama, Lakshmana and Sita. Hanuman was conspicuous by his absence. It came to be known that these were only like a standby The actual idols would be brought in a procession in the afternoon! In the afternoon, the Yajur Mandir was bustling with activity. A gaily decorated procession stood in readiness to escort the two Ramas from different Yugas! Swami came out at about 4:30 pm and the procession started. The grandly decorated palanquin bearing the idols of the Lord was being carried by priests chanting hymns and mantras in praise and glory of the "perfect man" of the Treta age. The Sanathana Dharma is so glorious and grand. While in many places, God is reduced to a mere book, idol or picture, the Sanathana Dharma, uplifts everything - idols, pictures and everything to the level of God! The "GajaNade" as it is called is the traditional elephant walk that the priests simulated while carrying the idols. This meant that Rama seated atop the palanquin would have felt as though He is seated on an elephant! The movements were such and the priests undulated and gracefully twisted their bodies to exactly replicate that wal
k. Swami in the meanwhile, sat just at the threshold of the Kulwant hall entrance from Yajur Mandir and said that He would prefer to wait for the idols to be taken in procession completely and then begin His darshan round. That was so sweet and understanding of Swami. Imagine the state of mind of people if both Swami and Rama came for darshan together! The two eyes are not enough to drink in the beauty and glory of both forms at the same time. What does one do when the tastiest of dishes and the best of desserts are placed simultaneously in front for the feast! So, as Swami sat sweetly allowing the palanquin to proceed. All the assembled devotees had a wonderful darshan of Rama, Lakshmana, Seeta and Hanuman. Towards the later part of the procession, the "HamsaNade" or the gait of the majestic swan was adopted and the palanquin proceeded and came to a halt at the stage.

Then sweet Swami began His darshan rounds. It was double delight. For those not yet spiritually evolved to see the Lord in the idols, here was the same Lord in flesh and blood. The thought that the Avatar was in our midst in flesh and blood, heightened by the presence of the idols atop the palanquin made hairs stand on their ends at the great good fortune all of us privileged to enjoy being contemporaries of Swami. Swami glided through the hall in the chair and was all smiles towards the assembled devotees. He went through the gents side and then came to the students section of the hall. Blessing the birthday boys and collecting letters from many, Swami went on stage. There He lit the lamp that had been placed and so the "Srimad Ramayana Sudha Pravachana Saptaham" had been officially declared open! The Kalashasthapana and Shodashopachara pooja to the idols were performed and everyone awaited for the next part of the programme to begin looking at Swami. Swami sat listening to Vedic chants as He gently fondled and played with a yellow rose bud in His hand. He opened up the petals slowly. It was so symbolic of what He was doing to all the children seated in front of Him. The come to Him as buds and with His touch, He makes them bloom into fully blossomed flowers.

At 4.45, Bhagawan, seated onstage, asked for the programme to commence. A learned scholar, Sri. Vidwan Nidumamidi Srikanta Rao, spoke in Telugu for about 45 minutes, introducing the Ramayana Saptaham, stating that each day, one Kandam of the Ramayanam would be expounded by a scholar, till the last day, which would be dedicated to the Pattabhishekam or Coronation ceremony. The scholar then spoke about the first part of the Ramayanam, the Bala Kandam and the inner significance of many events narrated there. As he went about the narration of the events of the planned coronation the intilal exploits of the young princes, Swami listen appreciatively with rapt attention. At the end of his talk, Swami looked at the bhajan group and signalled them to begin with a hint word, "Shlokam". And so began "Shree Raghavam", the aalap for the bhajan "Shree Raghunandana". Bhajans continued after that and everyone clapped and sang enthusiastically. All the bhajans were on Rama with special emphasis on the initial phases of Rama's life- to the events of Baala Kanda in particular! Prasadam was distributed while the bhajans went on. Bhagawan accepted Arati at 6.10 pm before returning to His residence.

The afternoon of 23rd too began on the same auspicious note as Swami came for darshan. Today however, Swami cut to the stage after the ladies side. Bhagawan arrived for evening darshan at 4 pm, and after sitting onstage for a few minutes, moved to the interview room. He emerged after half an hour to move around the stage area and the verandah, going back onstage and starting the proceedings at 5 pm. Today's talk was on the Ayodhya kandam. The scholar speaking on it today was Sri Malla Pragada Sriman Narayana Moorthy from Guntur. He spoke very beautifully on the inner significance. Ayodhya means, "Where no one wins". This part of the Ramayana, expounded the scholar, was the portion where everyone- King Dasharatha, the queens, all the four brothers and everyone in the family loses. Yet all of them lose so that Dharma can win. And that was the significance of that Kanda. It also highlights the beautiful congruence between Sathya and Dharma. Like the two feet which are perfectly in sync and make movement possible, only when Sathya and Dharma are in sync is progress possible.

Swami was very moved at many instances during the narration. The speaker too spoke very powerfully on the Ayodhya Kanda and the entire audience listened in rapt attention. After the stirring hour long Telugu speech by Mallapragada Srimannarayana Murthy garu, bhajans commenced at 6 pm. Swami too sang the lead for some of the bhajans and that only catalysed a more devotional and enthusiastic singing by everyone assembled! After bhajans for half an hour, Swami received Aarthi and left.


June 15, 2008

"The greatest fruition of any talent is, it being offered to the Lord", said a wise man once. He must have been really wise because that is exactly what even our Swami says. When on one occasion in Trayee Brindavan a teacher said, "Talent is a gift of God", Swami corrected him telling, "No! Talent is God." And so, it can be easily understood why each and every bit of talent latent in anyone tries its best to become patent in front of the Lord. The talent bustling in the students of the University is no exception to this!

Today, the students were all ready and geared up with a Bhangra dance programme to present before Swami. The bhajan hall was filled with students in their costumes awaiting the command to go out and dance to their and Lord's hearts content! Swami came for darshan at about 4:10 pm and drove straight out of the main gate into the Puttaparthi township. He came back and then went straight to the bhajan hall even without going for the complete darshan round. In the bhajan hall, He collected letters and spoke to the participants. When Swami enquires into the details of the programme, it is definitely not His inquisitiveness to know about the programme. What is there that He does not know? It is only an enthusing dose of Love and affection that charges the participants to give better than their best for the programme. After the short interaction, Swami told the boys to go and start the programme. He too moved to the stage.

As soon as Swami asked for the Veda chanting to be stopped, two students came to Swami with card and the planned programme proceedings. Swami blessed them and they took the much sought after Paadanamaskar. The programme began with a Nagar Sankeertan where the holy Guru Granth Sahib was carried in a procession of singing Sikhs. Two comperes held the show together with the teachings of Guru Nanak and the other Sikh gurus. One of the comperes was a disciple of the Sikh gurus while the other was a disciple of Swami! So beautiful comparisons and blend in the teachings were brought about. The atmosphere in a Gurudwara was also very well depicted and the sheer numbers of the participants - 64 in all - was enough to make all feel as if they were seated in the heart of Punjab. There was a singer and an accompanying person who provided the audio for the entire programme. But that was only the audio over the PA system. The chorus of the 64 students energetically exercising their lungs in the heights of excitement and feverish devotion was so loud that at times it overpowered the blast of the Bose speakers hanging high above in the hall.

Bhangra is a dance with a lot of colour, energy and life. The swirling turbans added the colour, the boys gave the energy and a sweetly smiling and engrossed Swami lent Life to the performance. The tempo and rhythm went on building up as is the wont of a Bhangra performance. Huge formations, criss crosses and human pyramids came up. Various instruments and tools used in Punjab were on display too. Swirling wheels, wooden stretches, poles and bare hands and legs combined in an amazing array of sequences to add spice to the fervour of the dances. Many of the more visually attractive steps and items were performed right in front of Swami, close to the stage. Once the dance concluded, all of them came right up in the front and collected in front of Swami. Swami was all smiles as He watched them.

Any art form needs patronage to survive and more importantly thrive. Who can give better patronage than the mother? And what more loving mother than the Divine Mother? Swami said that He would come down to be with all the boys. And what more, He stood up and walked down the stage. All the students thronged around Him. Like a lotus surrounded by buzzing bees, Swami blossomed as cameras clicked and videos whirred. He told all of them more than once, "Very very good programme." When in a burst of emotion, the boys thundered, "Swami we Love you.", He smiled and whispered back, "I love you too." One was reminded of the statement, "In the depths of silence, the voice of God is heard." And here, in the deafening enthusiasm of the boys too, the sweet mellifluous voice, "I love you too" was heard so well. Clearly, the silence in that statement refers to something deeper than mere absence of sound! It is more a 'sound' state of perfect harmony with oneself - the way one is when in the Presence of Swami.

Swami spoke to the boys as He posed for pictures and went up back on the stage. He took letters from a few other boys. He also called and spoke to some of the freshers. The end result of the interaction was 64 beaming faces after receiving the divine outpouring and so many other happy faces after witnessing the divine outpour! Swami then moved into the bhajan hall for the bhajans. At about 6:10 pm He received Aarthi and left.
June 8, 2008

The academic year at Parthi has a beginning and an end like any other academic year in any other place. But unlike any other place in any other part of the globe, the way it begins and ends is so divine and thus unique. The year ends with the Lord telling the students to return home and spread His love and joy to all there. The year begins with the students receiving Him with all their love and joy! And so today, when the joyous news travelled very soon that Swami would be leaving Brindavan early in the morning and after a few scheduled halts on the way, would arrive to Parthi by 11 am, it turned out to be the actual opening day of the Parthi campus of the Sri Sathya Sai University for what is the University without Sri Sathya Sai!

Entering the premises of the Sai Kulwant hall, one could observe a huge gathering and one wondered as to where on earth from did so many people come to Parthi from. A gala procession had been arranged from the gopuram gate to welcome Swami. En route, Swami had made stops at Muddenahalli and Bagepalli to bless the people there. It took more than 20-25 minutes for His car to navigate the last 4-5 kms from the super specialities hospital to the mandir - this gives an idea of how slowly Swami travelled so that His devotees thirsting to see Him may fulfill their desire. As the car reached the Gopuram gate, so many things began in a synchronised manner. The welcome song went on air through the speakers beginning with an enthusiastic "Jai Bolo Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai." A procession of orange clad students began with the high pitched chanting of the Vedas. There were a set of students doing vigorous bhangra dance on both sides of the car. The 8th and 9th class students held and waved balloons and flags to signal the colour and gaiety of the occasion. Handfuls of flower petals were devotionally offered on to the Merecedes Benz that had the privileged fortune of being the vehicle of choice for the Lord.

Swami took a complete darshan round and as throngs of thrilled devotees "rose to the occasion", Swami flashed beautiful smiles to all around. He went to the portico near the interview room and there asked for the Aarthi to be offered. Before that roses were offered and blessings sought. A devotional fervour replaced the gay atmosphere as the Aarthi began. As Swami moved towards the ladies side, the headmistress of the primary school, performed a traditional Aarthi and "warded off the evil eye" with a coconut! Swami smiled through the ritual and the entered the Yajur Mandir. He retired at about 12:00.

In the evening, Swami arrived to the Vedic chantings at about 5:20 pm. Much to everyone's delight, He had decided to come out in the chair. So the summer showers which began in the month of April and continued in full flow through the stay at Brindavan had been extended into the fresh academic year as well! Swami was in those, "I will accept everyone's letter" moods. With a gentle smile he slowly moved through the ladies side. It was reminiscent of the times when Swami would come walking slowly down the path. As He moved along the path, He slowly alternated His attention and "eye-span" to the left for a while and then to the right as everyone vied and pined for His attention. There was a lot of excitement as He moved through the students. The freshers were being exposed for the first time to an introductory taste of what it means being His students. Swami completed a round through the gents side and then as He moved in the front through the students, He collected letters and blessed the birthday boys. The bhajans began at 5:30 pm, when Swami reached the birthday students seated in front.

When there is a lot of joy and fervour waiting to burst forth, the bhajans act as a wonderful release! And adding to the existing enthusiasm, Swami came straight out to the front of the stage and sat there. The difference in excitement levels when one can see Swami and when one cannot could be easily made out from the tempo of the clapping that went on inside the bhajan hall in sharp contrast to the doubled speed one that went on in the Kulwant hall! Swami made a face indicated that the beats were going awry! He also clapped and set the beat so that the exuberance at seeing Him doesn't disrupt the tempo of the bhajans. As He sat outside for 4 bhajans, He called a student and took his letter. The joy of that student knew no bounds and he returned to place, lighter in the hand and in the heart too!

Swami then went into the bhajan hall for the rest of the bhajans. It was 6:10 pm when He received Aarthi and retired for the day.

May 6, 2008  -

Also read: Excerpts of Bhagawan's  Divine Discourse at Brindavan

It was a very very special occasion in Puttaparthi for more than one reason. Foremost of them all was the fact that Swami was physically present in Puttaparthi for Eashwaramma Day after a gap of more than 20 years. Swami had been to Brindavan for about a week and had returned to Parthi. The question doing rounds was,
"Why did Swami go suddenly to Brindavan for such a short break?" As the sun rose to usher in a beautiful morning on the 6th, it became evident that the question should have been, "Why did Swami leave Brindavan so suddenly?", for which the answer seemed to be, "To be at Puttaparthi for the day commemorating His beloved Divine mother."

The past few days saw a lot of activity gearing up for Eashwaramma Day which is also celebrated as Mother's Day in Sai families the world over. Swami had expressed His wish to Grace the Samadhi (holy mausoleum) of Mother Eashwaramma on the occasion. The narrow alley leading up to the Samadhi had been cleaned and paved on either sides with decorations and Seva Dal volunteers. All the shops were closed as the owners all lined up along the lane to glimpse their beloved Lord who would be Gracing their lane after such a long gap. The Samadhi too wore a festive look with festoons and buntings suspended everywhere. A huge portrait of the blessed Mother adorned the wall in the Samadhi and there were multicoloured flowers everywhere.

At about 9am Swami set out to the Samadhi. Swami was received at the beginning of the Samadhi road by a procession consisting of students chanting the Vedas and ladies carrying holy items of worship. Swami drove gently into the Samadhi premises and then came out of the car. The path leading into the samadhi had been filled with flowers on a red carpet. The students' bhajan group had assembled and they continuously were singing bhajans which highlighted the grandeur of mothering the Avatar of the age. In the chair, Swami went in. Once inside, He first told the priest to light the lamps that had been placed there. As they were lit, Swami the MaryadaPurusha as always, moved to the 'gents' side of the Samadhi as all the ladies moved on to the side where Mother Eashwaramma's remains had been buried. Swami then handed over a silk Dhoti and a silk saree to be placed on the Samadhi. All the elders and seniors t
hen paid their respects to the divine parents. Swami sat watching as one by one, the elders came forward and placed garlands and silk clothes. As per tradition, the priest also placed a leaf with sweetened rice and tamarind rice and ladoos (a sweet) on the samadhi. Swami kept watching all the proceedings with a glisten in His eye and once in a while, He seemed to be overwhelmed with the sweet emotion of maternal Love and affection. There were kids who were four to five generations down the line from the Divine Mother prancing about the Samadhi. In their childlike innocence, they were blissfully unaware of the gravity of the proceedings going on. A smile flowered on His face as He saw them. Their parents tried to restrain them and that made Him smile even more. As time passed, Swami sat there, the diamond of the Ratnakara clan, nonchalantly watching everything that was going on. He was like the calm in the centre of a storm. Some members of the family came up to Him and sought blessings which He liberally showered. The proceedings inside went on for about 15-20 minutes. The priest then brought sweet pongal, tamarind rice and laddoos for Swami to bless as prasadam to be distributed to all.

He looked at the photographer who had been shooting pictures and told Him to cover photos of the ladies assembled too! He guided the priest on what had to be done to the last detail. Swami was personally so involved in everything that went on. Finally, He told the priest to take Aarthi. After that, He came out and the procession began once again from the Samadhi to the mandir. Swami entered the mandir to the joyful salutes of everyone present. The visit to the Samadhi had been made into a private affair for obvious reasons that it would be unable to hold the crowds surging in it. And so everyone were assembled in the mandir thirsting for His darshan. Swami did not disappoint anyone. On arrival, He took a complete round and granted darshan. He then came to the stage which had been aptly decorated for the occasion. There was a huge portrait of Mother Eashwaramma and Swami sat on the ladies side of the stage. There was a distribution scheduled. Swami went into the bhajan hall briefly to oversee the sarees and other clothes coming in. He gave instructions as to how the distribution should go on. Then going on to the stage once again, He asked for the prasadam to be brought. In His presence, everyone was served tasty Pongal, Tamarind rice and laddoos. Swami specially instructed that two leaves must be given to all as the food would slip through if only one leaf was given. As soon as the food was served, Swami kept gazing intently at the leaves of the Primary school students. When an Institute student in the front row tried adjusting his leaf, Swami signalled to him saying, "Food is coming - be patient", much to the mirth and merriment of all there!

Eswaramma Day Divine Discourse

He told the children to begin eating and the primary school children, as obedient as ever, immediately put His command into action. As they ate mouthfuls, Swami seemed overcome with motherly Love. When a lady from the security came up to the children to ask them for a second helping, it looked just like a mother feeding her children. Seeing this, Swami was overcome with emotion. It was such a beautiful scene made more poignant with Swami adding His 'emotion' if we may be allowed that usage. The distribution went on smoothly and there was joy and satisfaction everywhere. All the while, as Swami sat outside, bhajans related to the divine Mother were on. Whenever the word,'Eashwaramma' came up in the bhajans, Swami would be touched - an ideal for children the world over. How many are there that feel so much even at the mere mention of one's mother's name? The Lord is an ideal in every aspect of Life and it was so touching and inspiring to see the demonatration of His love and reverence for the mother. Swami then received Aarthi and left for the Yajur Mandir. It was then announced that there would be a public meeting at 4 pm.

In the afternoon, Swami arrived shortly after 4 pm. He came onstage as the Vedam chanting went on. He sat for a few minutes listening to the chantings. Then He began to call students who had letters with them, one by one to the stage. He took letters and spoke to a few of them. He called on primary school student who hailed from Iran and asked him whether he knew the Veda being chanted. With utmost confidence, the boy chanted and Swami was very pleased. He told out loud,"That boy is from Iran and he chants so well." After a few minutes, Swami called Prof. G. Venkataraman and asked him to speak. The ways of the Lord are indeed mysterious and inscrutable. No one knew that Swami had instructed the dynamic professor, currently the director of Radio Sai Global Harmony, to speak in Telugu. In his inimitable frankness and direct style, GV as he is popularly called, started his speech in Telugu. A short while and six sweet sentences later, he requested Swami permission to speak in English as he had been better equipped with it. Swami smiled sweetly and allowed him to do so. He dilated on length on how Swami was educating the modern youth with the eternal message of Mathru Devo Bhava, revering the mother as God. After a 20 minute speech he took leave. Swami then looked around and seemed to ask, "Who will speak next?" The students in the front said, "Swami, you must speak." A blushing sort of smile came on His face and then He asked for the mike.

As the mike was placed before Him, He sat silent for about half a minute. That was such a beautiful period of complete silence. It was followed by a more beautiful period where there was a honeylike flow of His words. He began by asking "What can I speak of the mother? Where can I begin?" He spoke a bit on the last days of mother Easwaramma and emphasised that though the bodies may come and go, love is eternal. The mother is always with the child for love is immortal and permanent. HE exhorted the students to serve their parents as they would serve God. He told all as to how one can serve and please the parents. He also spoke at length on how it is the same God that resides in all. One must always speak softly and sweetly. He talked about the universality and greatness of the Vedas. Everyone, irrespective of caste, religion, nationality or sex can learn and chant it. He called out the primary school boy from Iran, Sathya, a Muslim by birth, and asked him to chant different mantras. The boy did so with elan and correctness of elucidation. Swami was very pleased with his chanting and created a gold chain with a Ganesha pendant for him. Swami continued saying that it was God and God alone who can give peace and happiness. And that too, one must always sing His name and glory.

Swami has said many times, "My boys are my voice!" Today, it was literally given shape as Swami started to sing the bhajan, "Bhajan bina sukh shanti nahi" and told the boys to lead the entire bhajan. Swami joined in the lead once in a while! At the end of the wonderful evening, Swami blessed the prasadam to be distributed, received Aarthi and retired for the day.


Eswaramma Day Divine Discourse

May 2, 2008

Bhagawan gave a Divine Discourse at Brindavan this evening. Swami started with the poem

"Khanda khandaantara khyaatinaarjinchina mahaneeyulanu ganna maatru bhoomi"

He continued by saying -

The Vedas taught one to revere ones parents- "Maatrudevobhav, Pitrudevobhava, Achaarya devobhava." But today all these are not to be seen or practiced by any one any where. Every one is running behind money and the desires are becoming limitless. Today even as all the foreigners themselves are speaking of control of senses and ceiling on desires, we Indians are not doing this. There is nothing wrong in having desires but they must be in limit. Everything is getting polluted - the 5 elements themselves are being polluted. When the basic 5 elements responsible for man's sustenance are polluted how can we expect man to be good?

Nowadays people look good outwardly, while inwardly they have poisoned minds. This is not good. Who is man? He is nothing but the embodiment of divinity. When he is traversing in wickedness how can you call him a man? Nowadays people are proud of their children getting high degrees. What is the use of degrees? They are only leading to money-mindedness devoid of love and truth. Every one is learning to put a smile on the face where as inside they are completely poisoned. When you practice truth and learn to love every one, then alone peace will descend. If you want peace develop love. People resort to untruth for even small things. They get angry over silly matters. All this leads to violence. True humanness is nothing but desirelessness.

In today's generation we do not love our parents who gave us birth and toiled their lives to make us what we are. But we readily love some outsider who comes in to our life more than our parents. Is this true love? No.... No .... People are searching for peace outside whereas it is present within us. Rituals do not confer peace. First we should see to it that there is no conflict or turbulence in our heart. All the conflicts that we are seeing today are because of wickedness in the human heart. We do not find a true friend today. Even best friends fight with each other. People are behind money and amassing wealth. Whats all this finally for? You have come empty handed into this world and you will go back the same way. Money comes and goes whereas morality comes and grows. Devoid of morality man is nothing but a demon. Everyone is seen in terms of money while the values like gratitude and respect are dying day by day. For all these problems there is only one remedy. That is God's name. When you think of Him all miseries will melt away. God is the one who punishes, He is the one who praises, protects, loves ... He is everything. Difficulties, pleasures, pain, every thing is God's gift. If you think of God constantly all the miseries will turn into happiness. Pleasure is nothing but an interval between two pains. The cause of all is the mind. Mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts. Do not hurt any one. Try to love every one. Because "Vishvam Vishnu swaroopam." (The world is but a form of God).

Results of hurting or helping someone will come only later. As you eat so is the belch. If you eat a cucumber will you get a belch of a mango? No! In the same way, because of desires alone, all the suffering comes. The results of your actions will depend on what you do. The whole creation works on cause and effect. As you sow so you reap. If you ask anyone "who are you?" They will say I am so and so. But if you ask God "who are you?" He will say I am I - Aham brahmasmi. Whomever you ridicule it reaches God. If we control our thoughts, every thing will be in place. Either good or bad - all depends on our thoughts. If you believe everything is God then can love criticize love? No, it cannot. Even as animals love each other, can not men love one another?

Keep love and truth as the two main principles of your life. God is the only saviour and true love can be obtained only from him. That is why he is called as apathbhandava. (A friend in times of distress). Look at a young married couple. When they are newly married and walking on the road, if husband happens to see a thorn he will quickly go and remove it. After some more time the same husband will say,"Look and walk. There is a thorn." After some more time he will say, "Are you blind? Can't you see the thorn there?"

This is what worldly love is all about - temporary in nature. Love of the heart is what is important, not of the body. Here so many people are assembled and were participating in bhajans. Will everybody's prayer reach God? some one or two prayers would reach Him. And that one or two prayers are enough to protect every one. This is what Gurunanak said when he was asked about the efficacy of bhajans. The arrival of politics are creating divisions every where. Every home has 4 parties. Participate in bhajans with whole heartedness.

Swami started to sing Hari bhajana bina sukha shanti nahin. Then after He repeated japa dhyana bina samyoga nahin, He asked, What is true meditation? Merging your heart with God ..that is true meditation. Bodies are many but there is only one atma. God is like the Sun who provides light for everyone. Peace is nothing but the union of love and truth. Don't run after passing thoughts. Hold onto the eternal God - kill the I, the ego within you. This what is symbolized by the cross.

Then Swami sang Rama Rama Rama Sita.


7th April 2008 (Ugadi )
Om Sairam dearest Sai Family,
Wishing all the noble souls of our beloved Sai World a very happy Telugu New Year UGADI as it is called in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and Gudi padva in Maharashtra and Sindhi community also celebrates this day with festivity and gaiety.. According to the epics this was the day when Brahma decided to script this world, It was on this day when Rama chose to be coronate, it was this holy day when Sri Krishna decided to leave His body and this day marked the beginning of Kali age and it was this day when our Lord of this Kali Age, decided to bless us with His divine darshan morning and evening in His car chair.


It is a typical April atmosphere in Parthi. Very less people in the streets of Puttaparthi during the afternoons, many shops being closed, The huge tree facing Ganesha is shedding leaves, the fresh smell of neem flowers…Students of Swami’s school are on summer vacations.. Home Sick students have already left Parthi and Sai Sick students enjoying this EXTENDED divine opportunity, many rumours running around about Swami’s probable visits to His summer abode and what not…
This Ugadi according to lunar calendar will be called Sarvadhari.. Sarva Meaning everything, Dhari.. The one who has taken upon Himself.. A universal cosmic form who is none other than our Beloved Lord.. who is verily universal, cosmic and loving..
Last year was named Sarvajit.. the one who has conquered everything.. True to the name He has won the hearts of millions Puttaparthi witnessed many Human values centric programmes, the world youth conference and to be precise everyday was a great lesson learned. And its all His love and grace that is binding us with this universal principle of love..
For the past week or so Swami has been blessing us with His car chair darshan and today was no exception. Surprisingly the hall was only half full till 8am and Swami blessed us with His divine darshan at 8:45am. With His beautiful smile, Majestic look, He entered the hall amidst chanting of Sai Gayatri by His students.. Swami looked at every one with the world’s most beautiful smile, keenly listening to every one’s prayers, requests and complaints…
Swami blessed some gents by accepting letters and the car chair was now right infront of the dias.. the students who had a musical programme for this morning, started the same even while Swami was still doing the darshan rounds.. Swami instead of going on to the dias, preferred to be wheeled on His exit path.. He made a full round again towards the ladies’ side.. every one were thrilled in joy and especially elderly ladies’ seated on that side were taken back by Swami’s kind gesture.. many of whom wouldn’t have seen Swami so open and close and what a day it was for them.Every one thought Swami would go back to his physical abode but surprising all He took a right turn and again back to His entry path.. Everyone were more happy and surprised when Swami came again towards the gents’s side and took a full round before He settled on the dias later on immersed in the sweet music rendered by His own chosen children..
There were some short plays and commentaries by students in various languages..Many students were excellent in their commentaries and all of them asked Swami to bless this world with prosperity and plenty to which Swami nodded in positive and it was a treat to watch this one to one conversation with Swami and His chosen ones.
To all of us who are in Sai Fold, every day is a new day, every second is sanctified by His glorious name and if there is anything that were are lacking in is putting our noble thoughts into actions. Only when we realize how lucky and fortunate we are to be born during this time when Lord of the Lords is around in Human form.

During the Ugadi festival there is one important part that every one looks forward to and that is Panchaga sravanam.. Predicting the future done by experts in astrology and numerology..
And Students were not less than any learned priest and two students after bowing to Swami started their PANCHANGA SRAVANAM..
Swami got more curious at this stage.. The Lord who has scripted the world was keen to know what this so called Panchangam has to say about His world..
They concluded that this year will be a year of good harvest even though some part of the state would be devoid of proper rains. It will be a good year for farmers who are growing Wheat and other dry fruits. His glory will be sung every where and there would be a positive change in the approach of the people.and above all they concluded this year will be a very good one two which Swami looked sweetly probably blessing SO BE
Another important part of this Panchanga Sravanam is reading the individual sun signs… After telling two sun signs the students said why tell about every one’s sun signs lets see what Swami’s sun sign has to say for this new year, for which Swami got more curious again giving the look as if saying “LET ME SEE WHAT MY BOYS HAVE FOR ME THIS YEAR” They concluded Swami’s sun sign has the following Adayam (Profit) 11, Vyayam (Expenditure) 8, Pujyatha (Fame) 3, Avamanam ( blame) 1 and the two boys at the end concluded that this year Swami’s sun sign is very good to which Swami gave a look as if saying “If you say so”….
One of the boys now asked the other one what should be done to gain God’s blessings to which the other boy replied chant the glory of Lord Lets start this year by offering prayers at the Lord of the Lords Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and nothing can harm us and everything can be changed by His grace.. Swami was so impressed with the two boys that He called them on the stage.. After a small circular wave of His right hand, there came a dazzling golden chain and Swami slowly slipped around a boy’s neck as we all joined our hands for the kind gesture.. Swami spoke to the two boys for more than 5 minutes posed for photos…
After 10 minutes the programme ended and Swami asked the boys next to Him to bring the holy water .. There came a huge silver bowl with Tulasi water I suppose.. Swami was wheeled down the dias and Swami Slowly sprinkled the holy water on the students… after few minutes Swami called upon the temple preist to sprinkle the holy water on all of us and this was very special Ugadi with the holy water…

As Prasad was distributed Swami asked for Arathi and thus ended a beautiful Ugadi Morning in the immediate presence of our beloved Lord…

7th April Afternoon darshan:
This after noon as we all waited for the arrival of our beloved Lord, Swami blessed us with His divine darshan at 4:45. He came again in His chair car amidst veda chanting and loud applauds.. There were all smiles and it was a treat to watch Swami for almost a week now in His chair car ….
After taking a full round, Swami went into the interview room. Swami called upon a family for interview and after about 30 minutes, Swami came out on to the dias.. This evening there was a musical programme and after about 1 hour Swami blessed the Prasad to be distributed and as we all were hoping for a Divine Discourse Swami signaled for Arathi thus ending this beautiful and auspicious day of Ugadi.. Let this day mark the dawn of Sainess in our hearts… smiles on our faces .. one devotee next to me was saying to another devotee what happened to Swami why is He not giving divine discourse?.. He didn’t speak on His birthday last year and again on Ugadi which is a big festival.. the uncle replied that’s because we are NOT listening to His divine discourses we are just HEARING.. How true!mere hearing is not enough.. we have to practice each word of Swami and lets hope that urge of listening and practicing will germinate in our hearts and as Swami said, don’t wait for the GOLDEN AGE to come as it wont come unless your noble thoughts are put into action ….that day is the dawn of Golden Age.. that day is the day for which Swami has been looking forward to .. how soon we bring that day is in our hands and He is always there to guide us..
Bless us all dear Lord, to be your darling children, to be your instruments, to be your CHOSEN instruments..
With humble pranams at His lotus feet of our loving Lord….
R.Satish Naik… reporting from the Abode of Highest peace.. Prasanthi Nilayam…

April 7, 2008 Report from Sai

It is that time of the year when the sun's rays are increasing in intensity, going from mellow to hot. The crops have been harvested and the fruits of the harvest are making their way to the marketplaces. Mangoes, called "the king of fruits" in India, are in season once again. The ripe smell of jackfruit is filling the air. Shrubs and trees are bursting into their flowering best. Everything is fresh and new. It looks and smells like spring. The cool springtime breeze is wafting through the air carrying the fragrance of the fluttering flowers. The birds are chirping their charming chants and there is greenery as far as the eye can see. The sweet scent of the soil, the butterflies fluttering by, the symphony of the birds and bees, the swaying of the flowers and trees - everything around arouses a sense of sublime harmony. Hail the festival of Yugadi - the festival of bounty and Grace.

The new year had arrived and the Kulwant hall had been tastefully decorated. The students had gathered in the marble block and the Ugadi programme was ready. Message came from Swami that as soon as He came out, the programme must begin. At about 9 am just at the conclusion of the Rahu Kaalam, Swami arrived, so fresh and beautiful, on the chair. The air was rented with the chants of the Sai Gayathri and the atmosphere was charged to electrifying levels in an instant. As Swami glided down the aisles granting darshan and joy, a special song composed to welcome the "Sarvadharin" year filled the hall. The joyous song seemed to fill all the hearts in the hall too. Swami looked so beautiful. A gentle breeze began to blow.The sweet smile on that enchanting face; the curls swirling in the gentle breeze, the tender hands swaying to the beat of an ethereal melody and those soft feet that are the refuge of the entire mankind - how sweet our Lord is.......

Swami was on the rounds when the students got up and began the narration. They explained in English, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi the significance of the day. Apart from being Ugadi, the day was also celebration time as Gudi Padwa and Cheti Chand. As these were explained, Swami continued to move around and bless everyone who had so eagerly assembled to begin the new year with a glimpse of their dear Lord. Very appropriately, the song began, "Yenta Bhagyamo", referring to the great good fortune of gathering at His feet on the holy occasion. Swami sat enjoying the songs and each time a smile blossomed on His face, it reflected on the faces of everyone assembled. The next part of the programme was the traditional "Panchanga Shravanam" where the almanac is read out to see what the coming year has in store for all. The two students as learned brahmins got up. They discussed the coming year in a very scholarly manner. Much to Swami's amusement, they even began to see what each sign of the almanac portended to the people under its rule! They discussed the meaning of the Panchangam. Swami so beautifully has said that if we take care of the Pancha Angas (the five limbs and five senses), nothing in the Panchangam can affect us. As the discussion progressed on the influence of the planets which were both positive and negative, the significance of the Ugadi Pachchadi was highlighted. This is a kind of broth that is taken as sacred prasadam. It is very unique in its composition. It is made with jaggery, tamarind, raw mangoes, chillies, salt, neem and water. It has a component of all the 6 tastes namely- salty, sweet, sour, spicy, bitter and pungent. It is symbolic of the fact that whatever the new year brings, it will be accepted with equality and equanimity. It concluded with the statement, "When we have the God's Anugraha (Grace), what can the Navagraha (nine planets) ever do to harm us?" There was a very joyous and thunderous applause. Swami called one of the pandits and created a beautiful gold chain for him and the soul stirring song, "Karuniso Ranga" (Shower compassion on us Krishna) struck a rich melodious chord.

Being a new year day, the significance and importance of time was highlighted. An incident was also narrated. Swami, while gifting watches to His students once said, "See, this outer box is the body. The inner plastic cover is the mind and deep within is the watch - the most precious one with Swami in it. Treasure the watch and do not give undue importance to the box and cover. Also WATCH has T as the central letter and so it becomes very important to watch over our thoughts. it is our thinking that determines everything.

Many times when we feel that, "bad things" are happening to us, it only shows the weak nature of our faith. For instance, let us consider that something bad has happened to us. This can mean only two things:-
1) My God is not powerful enough to protect and shield me from that calamity.
2) My God is powerful, but He does not Love me enough to protect me.
If we have that firm faith and conviction that, my God is the most powerful and loves me infinitely everything becomes so simple. In spite of being so loving and powerful, if something that I think is bad for me is happening, then God must want this. Why? Because, though unaware about it, it is for my good. Out of a billion possible events that can occur to us, the sweet and kind Lord handpicks the best possible one for each and everyone of us to experience. Like swallowing the Ugadi Pachchadi without a smile or a grimace, so too must we accept the various experiences of life as God's prasadam. That attitude and way of thinking is the correct one for that is the Truth. And when we do that, the much awaited Golden Age will dawn on mankind.

The songs continued and Swami seemed to enjoy every moment of it. In between, Swami called out to one of the boys assisting him and asked him to make some arrangements. Those who saw that were wondering what Swami was saying. Using the traditional art of lip reading, the message understood was as if He seemed to say something about pouring water! A song on the sweetness of His name and glories was followed by a discussion on the fact that noble deeds make the day holy and not that a holy day is for doing noble deeds. As Swami so beautifully says, "the flow of time can never be stopped. It continues relentlessly and continuously. But it is not correct to keep saying that this is a bad time and we will wait for a good time. The Yugas or time periods change only with the change in Dharma, not with the mere passage of time. The wicked demon Hiranyakasipu and the purehearted Prahlada both lived in the selfsame chronological Yuga; the same Yuga saw Dharmaja, the personification of Righteousness and Santhi, as well as the arch-cheat, Duryodhana. So, Dharma is what makes the Yuga or time into good or bad for each; one can always be in the Kritha Yuga, if only one has all the four qualities of Dharma. It is the conduct of man that makes or mars history and changes the Golden Age to the Iron Age or vice versa."

As seven songs concluded, Swami seemed to tell the programme to stop, but then seemed to change His mind. It becomes very easy to enjoy the grandeur and the beauty of every action of Swami in retrospect. But as Swami was doing this, all wondered as to what was happening. BUt the programme continued. There was a beautiful Hindi introduction on the beauty and glory of namasmarana or chanting of the Lord's name. It was followed by a song by saint Mirabai, "Baso More Nainan me Nandalaal." That song was completed and then what happened next was something so divine and unexpected. And these kinds of uncertainities of the Lord, who will not love?

The song that began was, "Barso Re" which was a prayer to the Lord to rain His blessings on all. As it started, Swami asked for a big silver container to be brought from inside. In it was the holy Ganges water! Swami descended from the stage and began to shower the water on the devotees and people assembled in the hall! It was so thrilling. Goose bumps erupted on every inch of the skin and the whole hall erupted in joy. The joy was common but its expression varied from frenzied shouts to serene meditative stances. As the summer showers continued, people were lost in a devotional ecstacy. After a while, symbolically blessing all, Swami told the priest to go around showering the consecrated water on everyone assembled. Then with the smile of an innocent child that had surprised everyone, Swami sat on the stage enjoying the song. He was gently swaying and a smile danced on His lips. He was radiating happiness all the while and everyone assembled had no choice but to be happy! Surely the people must have thought this to be a coincidence that the song acted as a "theme song" for Swami to shower His bountiful Love and Grace. One of the students immediately rose up and in the mike exulted at this great good fortune wherein Swami, like always, instantly responded to the prayer to shower Grace on all!

For all the people assembled, there could not have been a better way to begin the new year. They say that the first day of the year determines what the whole year goes on like. If that is true, (and with God, it has to be!), the whole year we have to prepare ourselves to be drenched in His Love and Grace! Glory be to the Lord! Swami then blessed prasadam to be distributed to all. Moving into the verandah, Swami received Aarthi and it was about 11 am when Swami retired to Yajur Mandir.

April 4, 2008

The sweltering summer has arrived at Puttaparthi. The breeze blowing also seems to be carrying heat waves along with it. The summer vacations have been declared and the impact of this declaration is seen very prominently in the mandir. The students' number has greatly dwindled. That is of some cheer to the devotees as they have some more of the "prominent" places available for them to occupy! There are still some who have decided to put away the summer heat at the "heat of the moment" decisions to evacuate Puttaparthi at the earliest. So though the mandir seems quite empty, it is full of people braving many things simultaneously to see their beloved Lord.

In these hot conditions too, Swami makes His "warmth" felt to one and all alike! As if as a bonus gift to those who have either cancelled or postponed their summer trips to stay with Him, Swami over the last three days has been coming on the chair and the car has been unused for the period. The same script everyday in terms of the route that Swami takes but so many different and touching stories along the way. There is such an eager anticipation as Swami gets ready to set out for the darshan rounds. The question in the mind is whether its the chair or the car! And the last three days, this question has been answered by thrilled, "Oohs" and "Aahs" as Swami has always chosen the former.

Swami starts down from the ladies side and moves down gently. He is in no hurry at all and He seems to be taking letters from everyone! Letters are so symbolic of desires! The more He takes, the more there seem to remain to be taken! But over these days, the profusion of letters being given and the overwhelming Love with which they are being accepted has been such that on the 4th, the letters' number seems to have reduced. Well, it is also a common practice, especially among the students, to compose letters to their dear Lord whenever there seems to be a good chance to hand it over to Him. So from the students' side, there are always letters flowing. The Primary School block is comparitively so empty. Instead of the twittering and talking thousands, there are only a few tens left. But these tiny tots rush down towards the rear end of the block to have a close glimpse of Him as He passes by and then rush back to their places in the front of the block to get another darshan when He comes to the front! He knows all this and yet, so sweetly, He chooses to be surprised when He sees them again for the second time. His expression says, "Hey! Did I not see you there at the back a few minutes back?"

It is a bonanza time for all the devotees too. When He comes in the car, the people sitting on the driver's side crane their necks to have a glimpse of His divine locks atleast. But now, it is such a wonderful and fulfilling feeling to see His in all His grandeur. He looks to both the sides and takes letters from both the sides. Many of the devotees bend and get the opportunity to take Paadanamaskar. The effect of the hot cuddapah slabs below and the scorching roof above seems to just fade away with the cooling and refreshing presence of Swami so close. The heat may seem to make it the worst of times but His warmth makes it the best of times. Indeed blessed are those being able to enjoy the bliss of this proximity that He has decided to shower.

As He moves through the herd of eagerly crowding students, He blesses many. A few words here, a tap on the shoulder there; acceptance of a letter or a shower of the holy akshata grains. The final result of all these is the same - a glowing smile on the face. He completes the darshan rounds and then extends it into a round in the bhajan hall and the veranda too! Everyone is happy and the waves of Joy wash out the sweltering heat. The bhajans begin and there is lot of gusto and enthusiasm. Swami exchanges a few words with the singers in the bhajan hall. It is around 6:15 pm on an average when He retires.

Beautiful indeed are these days.......

March 24, 2008

His holiness, Sri Sri Ravishankar had expressed a desire to meet Swami. Swami had permitted him to come in the morning at around 10:00 am. The perfect host that He is, Swami was out at 9:45 am and the bhajans were on in the
morning. Swami sat for the bhajans and the singing went on. At about 10:10 am, Swami saw outside. All the devotees were singing with the joy of His presence amidst them which is a special privilege in the morning these days. He called for the car. As He was sitting in the car, Sri Ravishankar arrived. Swami went in the car and slowly made rounds amidst the devotees who had been sitting and singing bhajans for so long. Today Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of the Art of Living Foundation had an audience with Sai Baba  in the morning. There was a loud applause as Swami moved among the devotees. As Shirdi Baba, Swami had said, "Shraddha (faith) and Saburi (perseverance) are the two qualities most endearing to the Lord." And today, Swami went around proving that those qualities are still held very dear by the Lord. He completed the round and came back to the portico when Sri Ravishankar rose from his chair to prostrate to Swami. Swami stopped him and told him to go into the interview room. The interview lasted about 45 minutes after which Sri Sri Ravishankar left. Swami went into the bhajan hall and after the bhajan asked for Aarthi. He sat for the complete Aarthi and retired for the morning at about 11:05 am.

Today evening, was to be the concluding programme by the states of Bihar and Jharkhand for the festive Holi fastival. The central marble block had been kept empty and it was flanked on both sides by singers ready to express their love and devotion to Swami. Children waited behind the backdrop of the Sri Sathya Sai Village Integrated Programme or the SSSVIP as it is popularly called. Swami came for darshan at about 5:20 pm. He took a detour after the ladies side and came straight on the stage. As He sat, He seemed to signal to the Vedam group to stop, but as the tempo and pitch was dying, He looked and told them to continue! Then, He decided to come down and move around in the chair. He went towards the Primary School children and the amplitude of the Veda chants went up immediately by several decibels! Swami seemed to enjoy that. After all "Veda Poshana" was one of the primary goals of the Avatar. It is but natural that the Vedic chants receive a boost when the Avatar comes near! From the Primary School side, Swami moved towards the ladies who were seated in the front. He spoke to a few of them inquiring into the details of the programme that they were about to put up. Then Swami went through the students on the gents side. He blessed all the boys sitting with trays and collected letters. He completed a round around the students and moved back on to the stage.

He then asked for the programme to begin. The first part was a garland of songs in Hindi. The five songs sung were all preceded by a short commentary in English on the meaning and significance of the song. Swami sat tapping His right hand to the rhythm of the songs. After the songs two lads came front and offered roses to Swami. The next programme was a short Hindi drama on the SSSVIP. It was the story of the transformation of a lad who aims to become a big shot in life - a VIP. He thinks only of himself. He is not selfish but he feels that a single person cannot do much to transform the world. Persuaded by a friend of his, when he goes for the Grama Seva, he is very touched at the scenes he witnesses. A true incident where a whole village gets burnt down due to an unexpected fire was depicted. The Sai Youth then help rebuild the village in every way - physically, morally and spiritually. Today that village stands out as an ideal for all villages. The protagonist of the story decides that only that life is worth living that is spent in service to others not because it redeems the world but because it redeems and gives ultimate joy to the server! He is an example of the members of the youth brigade being touched and transformed by Swami's love and message. The drama concluded with a song of gratitude to Swami expressing the beauty of the bond that exists between Swami and every devotee.

Swami blessed all the participants and had prasadam distributed. It was 7:10 pm by the time Swami received Aarti and retired to Yajur Mandir.
Photos:  22nd 23rd & 24th March from Prasanthi Nilayam

March 22, 2008

This afternoon, the stage had been set for a song and dance program by the devotees of Bihar and Jharkhand. On both the gents' and ladies' sides, there were groups of singers with various accompaniments ready to sing on the grandeur and colour of Holi. It will not be out of place to add a small note on Holi here. The festival of colours as it is popularly known is celebrated with great vigour and merriment in India especially in the northern states. Holi takes place over two days in the later part of February or March.

On the first day bonfires are lit at night to signify burning the demoness Holika, the sister of demon Hiranyakashipu who tried very hard in vain to kill his God-loving son Prahalada. His sister had the boon that fires would not be able to touch her. But when she sat in a pyre with Prahalada on her lap, he emerged unscathed while she was reduced to ashes. On the second day, known as Dhulhendi, people spend the day throwing colored powder and water at each other. The spring season, during which the weather changes, is believed to cause viral fever and cold. Thus, the playful throwing of the colored powders has a medicinal significance: the colors are traditionally made of Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, Bilva and other medicinal herbs prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors. Basically, it is the celebration of the victory of Love for God over all the elements and forces in the universe.

holi_photos_23rd_march_prasanthi_nilayam.htmSwami arrived at Sai Kulwant Hall at 4.45 pm, welcomed by small children bearing lamps on either side of the path in the ladies side. The whole hall had been transformed into a palette of multiple of colours. Balloons of various hues and colours had been innovatively used to lend a rich splash and dash of colours in the hall. Swami completed a full darshan round and reached the stage. Swami came out to the stage and there was a cheer. The programme commenced, with a dance by children while a song on Gayatri was being sung. The Gayatri was sung very soulfully and powerfully in the king of ragas - Darbari. Then were songs for the occasion of "Pavitra Holi" as they termed it. This was the general trend of the programme. The songs continued on the beauty and joy that the festive Holi brings and very aptly, the children danced in rhythm to the songs. Each song had a short note of introduction in English. They also requested Swami to visit Bihar and Jharkhand. The songs were unique in the sense that the counter notes were sung very wonderfully along with the main tunes, the way it is done in western classical music. There was a song on the impact of Swami's education system and especially the Sri Sathya Sai Village integration Programme. The glory of Grama Seva was extolled beautifully in this song. The Shivaashtakam was also sang and it charged the entire atmosphere with a feeling of wonder and awe at the magnificence and sheer power of the Lord Shiva. The musical offerings continued for the next 45 minutes. At the end, Bhagawan blessed the performers with group photographs and as a bonus for them, asked them to sing bhajans. They responded very joyously to Swami's command. Fifteen minutes of their Bhajans followed, till Swami accepted Arati and returned to His residence.

March 15, 2008

Today evening, as the bhajans began at 5:00 pm, Swami came out for darshan on the chair. He slowly moved from the ladies on to the gents side. He seemed a little sedate today and He gently kept looking at everyone who had gathered. Letters were collected and then Swami went into the interview room. Very shortly however, the bhajans were halted. Students from the University had written the national GATE examination for the various Sciences. The results were out and the students had performed very well. The nationwide second rank in Physics and various other ranks had been secured. Swami decided to bless these students specially.

There is a very important difference between the ways that humans judge something and the way God does the same. People judge others from the results they produce. Whether its in music or business, arts or sciences, the person is judged purely on the basis of the results he/she obtains. But with God, its so different. God is interested only in the efforts that have been put in to achieve the results. If the efforts are 100% and in full sincerity, He is happy irrespective of the result. And that is why it is said that all are equal for God. We may all be different in terms of our talents and skills and thus vary in the results we produce. But we are equal in the fact that we all can put in our 100%. And that is all that God is concerned about. Has this person put in the effort? The result comes nowhere in the picture for God. Only the humans judge by result.

Swami came on stage and a podium was set up for the vice chancellor to announce the results. As the VC went about the announcement, there was a loud and cheerful applause for all the candidates. The boy who had secured the top rank was presented before Swami. Swami created a chain for him and put it around his neck. He then posed with him for a photograph. After that, Swami called all the students who had cleared the exam to come on stage. Swami was so happy and like a proud mother began speaking to all the students. There was no distinction for Him based on the ranks. He was just so happy with everyone. He asked for watches to be brought from inside. He personally began to hand over watches for each and every student who had made Him so happy and proud. It was such a beautiful scene. Swami was blessing and praising the students telling that they were wonderful. The students were bowing to Him and saying that it had nothing to do with their intelligence and that it was sheer Grace that they had done so well. As Swami completed the distribution of watches, one of the students expressed his desire to speak on the occasion. Swami agreed and the student was oozing with gratitude for Swami. He stated emphatically that it was SHEERLY Swami's grace that they had achieved good results. After his speech, all the students gathered around Swami. Swami asked many of them about their future plans.

Very soon Prof. Anil Kumar was called and Swami made him speak. He spoke very highly of the students talking about the multi faceted activities that they carry out. After that, he began mentioning each student by his name and also spoke of the various other activities that he did in the hostel and the Institute. Swami was many times moved into almost tears. It is such a beautiful feeling to be owned by the Lord. Even the tiniest joy that we are able to give Him comes back to us manifold. Please God and the world is pleased they say. That statement found fulfillment today. Make Swami your whole world and you become the whole world for Swami. After blessing all the students, Swami called for all the teachers. He posed for a huge group photo with all the teachers and blessed all of them too. He then slowly made His way towards the interview room. Bhajans and aarthi followed after which Swami retired for the day.

March 14, 2008

All the students from the III year undergraduate class along with the batch from the Mirpuri College of Music who were passing out had assembled in the marble block, ready with their gratitude programme. At 5:00pm, like every other day, the bhajans began. This had been happening for the last few days that the students were praying for the opportunity to present their programme before Swami. Very often, we think that noble indeed are those who offer their gratitude to the Lord. Little do we realize that it is also a blessing from God that we feel gratitude welling in our beings are get the chance to express it to God. To have gratitude is really a great boon from the Lord and gratitude speaks in a language that only the heart wholly comprehends. As Cicero put it, "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others." And that is because Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance and chaos into a beautiful harmony.
Sai Baba gifting a student with a chain - 14th March 2008 - SBOI - Sai Baba Of India

As the bhajans continued, Swami came out at about 5:10 pm. He gave darshan on the chair but He cut through into the bhajan hall after completing the ladies side. After a while, the message was that bhajans would stop and that Swami was coming out to see the gratitude programme. Everyone was happy - the students because the opportunity for which they had been pining for had materialized and the devotees because this meant Swami's darshan for an hour at least! The students began with Aumkaaram and a prayer to Lord Ganesha. After that, it was a sheer flow of the heart. In the various languages the boys expressed the inexpressible experiences with their dear Lord. As the different songs were sung, boys came forward with roses and a sheet containing the lyrics of the song being sung. A very famous story by Swami where a person tries to paint the whole world green because his guru had instructed him to see only green was enacted. The Guru then advises him thus, "Oh fool! Instead of wasting so much money, if you had brought yourself a pair of green glasses, the problem is solved. Change your vision and everything will be fine."

There was also a dance. One boy said, " Swami whatever I know of dancing is only because of you. Today, when I am able to teach some Bal Vikas students to dance in Your presence, I feel fulfilled." After they danced for the popular devotional song, "Dandaalayya", Swami called the dancers and spoke to them. Towards the end, one of the students was blessed with a chain from Swami. After the final song, Swami said that He would grant group pictures to all the students. The students grabbed at the privileged opportunity and as they went on stage in small groups, Swami thrilled all their hearts with smiles and Grace filled interactions. After all the groups were completed, one of the students asked Swami whether teachers too could have a group picture and Swami readily agreed. It was a wonderful sight to see the Guru with all the teachers and He also seemed immensely happy to be amidst them He granted paadanamaskar to all of them and spoke to them too. He called the students who were in colourful costumes Swami blessed prasadam to be distributed to all. Then receiving Aarthi and raising His hands in benediction, Swami retired for the day.

March 6 and 7, 2008

The whole of Prashanti Nilayam seemed to have a very serene yet powerful aura about it. This is that time of the year when so many subtle changes begin to appear in the otherwise steady state Parthi. A kind of an austere aura enveloped the atmosphere and there were mystical and powerful vibrations in the air. Everyone seemed to be charged with some mysterious energy and there was bubbling enthusiasm everywhere. Very early in the morning itself, even the birds and bees seemed to prepare for the holy night. The fragrance of incense pervaded the air and all the temples within the Nilayam were the locii of intense devotion. People began to file into the Kulwant Hall with the great desire of having a glimpse of their Sai Shiva on this very special day. A novel and huge LED screen had been erected near the Ganesh temple so that the darshan-hungry devotees, not able to pack themselves into the hall, could be satiated. It measured 14 ft by 30 ft and was perfectly visible even in the broadest of daylights!

In the morning, everyone waited for the Lord to arrive but for reasons best known to Him, Swami did not come out. From 10:45 am itself, devotees began to queue up for the afternoon and evening session. The emptiness from not having Swami's darshan in the morning had intensified everyone's desire and will to see Him. At about 4:30 pm, a wave of applause burst forth and seemed to travel through the length and breadth of the NIlayam. Swami had not only come, He had arrived on a special high chair that had been specially designed so that all could see Him even from a distance. Like every Shivarathri, Bhagawan exuded a halo of sheer power and Grace as He moved gently through the surging and revitalized assemblage. The energy and Joy that He radiated sent people into raptures. There were people wherever the eye could see. The balconies and lanes outside the hall and every inch of space in the hall had been taken up. Swami did not collect any letter or speak to anyone. A gentle smile danced on His lips and He conferred benign blessings of bounty and beauty to all as He passed by. He reached the stage and took up His place behind the discourse table. He beckoned the vedam to stop after a while and then the All India President, Sri. V.Srininvasan addressed the august gathering. Explaining the significance of Shivarathri, he reminded everyone of the great good fortune to be in Swami's presence on the day when all the sages and saints are in intense penance.
After him, Swami rose to speak. And a mere sight of that was enough to erupt goose bumps on every body assembled. The chair was new and so a it was a little difficult for Swami to stand. But He just rose unmindful of any suffering or pain and as He began with the nectarine poem, it was an experience to be felt and cherished. Given below is a summary of Swami's discourse:-
Sai Baba Photos  - Mahashivaratri 2008

Today, right from the morning till night, people always run behind money. Money seems to be everything in the world today and everyone is asking for money. Is there anyone who asks for God with the same fervent intensity. It is only God who can give peace and happiness. That is why it is stressed that one must engage in bhajans and singing God's glories always.

Love is ONE and though it is one it is expressed in many ways between mother and son, husband and wife and between friends. Take for instance the demise of Mr.Shourie. Many came to see him. There were the police too standing guard there. But what happened there was that fire merged into fire, water back with water and air back with air. All the elements returned to their original state. Nothing but ash is left there. Everything returned to nothingness. Gone back to the source. That is the Truth that all must realise.

There was a certain Yogi who had learnt various forms of knowledge - the Vedas, the Shastras, the Upanishads, the Puranas and Itihasas. He heard the sound of the cosmic damaruka. (the drum that Shiva holds) There is great power in the beat of the damaruka. It is the one that destroys and burns. There is only one Truth. Brahma Satya, JagannMitya. The world is all illusory. Today as I look around I see only two forms. Those are the forms of Eashwaramma and PeddaVenkamma Raju, the parents of this body. Even as I came out for darshan, they were there dressed in yellow. Yellow is a very auspicious colour It represents Vaikuntam. They were telling me that they were waiting for me to return to them. Swami sees yellow everywhere. All of you are in yellow now. Carry this yellowness with you always. Bhagawan wanted to also bring forth the lingam which is golden yellow in colour. But as I came out, all the children and the devotees were all praying, "Swami do not do so. We cannot bear to see you in pain." They want me to be with them in a very relaxed and tension free manner.

The nature of Bhagawan is mysterious and un-understandable. Once He has decided, His sankalpa will happen. Why should the Truth remain shadowed? Itis the nature of the human mind to keep changing and not Sai's nature. (At this point Swami sang the Telugu song "Tandava Keli Salpeni" . He explained that it was only Shiva had the beat, "Dhimiki Dhimiki" and none else.)

Whenever we have difficulties, we cry out to God. Once Shiva and Parvati were passing over a hill when they saw a man on a tree about to fall. Shiva told Parvati to save him while she told that Shiva should save him. They agreed that if he calls out, "Appa"(Father) then Shiva would go to his aid and if he called ,"Amma"(Mother) then Parvati would rush to rescue him. As he fell, the man screamed,"Ayyo"( meaning" woe upon me") ! That is the fate of man today. When you are in trouble you must always remember Amma or Appa. Your parents are your Gods. The mother bore you for 9 months and father took all the trouble to bring you up. Worship your parents as God - remember that for this world, Mother is Parvati and father is Parameshwara. The amma(mother) of Eashwara(God) is Eashwaramma.

Photos & Report : Mahashivaratri 2008  Pictures from Prasanthi Nilayam &   Sai Shiva 18 Photo wallpapers download

The Avatar came as a trinity. The first was Shirdi Sai, the second is Parthi Sai and the third will be Prema Sai. The complete unity among all will be achieved when Prema Sai comes. Today there is absolutely no Unity. There are only differences and fragmentation. When Prema comes, there will be Unity. The Caste, Culture and Country should all be one. When I had visited East Africa, the prime minister there, Idi Amin asked me, "Where do you come from?" I did not say Andhra Pradesh. I said India. There should be no such division based on states.Today Andra will be broken for telangana. tomorrow there will be a demand and break up for Rayalseema too. These things should not happen. Similarly Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada - such divisions are bad. There is only one country - India.

(Swami narrated about the Unity that existed between the 3 wives of King Dasharatha- Kousalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra and the unity between Rama and his brothers as an example. ) All the disunity is due to selfishness. A fish is better than selfish. Be and remain united always. Bharathi means Bha- God and Rathi- intense love for. He is a true person of Bharat who has intense Love for God. The only way to attain joy and peace in this world is by singing bhajans. Never give up that.Bhajan Bina Sukh Shanti Nahi.
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With that bhajan, Swami kindled the night-long vigil of bhajan singing. He sat for the first bhajan that was singing. It was not a surprise as it turned out to be,"Dhimiki Dhimiki Dhim". After that, Swami slowly moved back to Yajur Mandir. It was about 7:30 pm and Swami retired.

The next morning, it was about 7:10 am when along with the rising sun, the light and apple of every eye arrived into the Kulwant hall. Again, Swami chose to come on the chair. He gently coursed through the ladies side. As He came to the marble block, a plea was made to Him to bless the prasadam to be distributed in the orning. Swami went to the main gate where the idols of Rama, Lakshmana and Seeta are and blessed all the huge vessels holding the prasadam. He then came back and moved through the gents side granting darshan. He sat on stage listening to bhajans being sung. Needless to say, His presence brought a boost to the tempo and rhythm of the bhajans. Swami sat for more than half an hour and that seemed to be the most fruitful portion of the holy songs being sung. After that, Swami asked for the Aarthi to be taken. He Himself lit the Aarthi (a rarity nowadays).After the Aarthi, the prasadam distribution began. Swami just sat silently watching. His eyes travelled almost over every soul sitting in the hall. Meanwhile, outside, the devotees were having a joyful time watching Swami on the giant screen. A lady even exclaimed, "I got the first line to see Swami in front of the screen!" Swami continued to sit and just kept seeing all around the hall. Prasadam distribution- laddoos and pulihora (tamarind rice)- went on smoothly and quickly. Brahmaarpanam was chanted, not once but twice as the tiny tots from Primary School outdid their senior brothers from the Institute. All the senses were in a state of bliss. As the prasadam was a delight to the tongues, the ears heard the devotional strains, eyes beheld the beautiful form of Swami, there was a divine aroma in the air and the feeling on the whole was so charging. After a while, Swami slowly went back to Yajur Mandir.

In the evening, Swami came out at about 5:00 pm. The hall was still jam packed. Swami's darshan is something that you can never have too much of. Each time you see Him, you feel like seeing Him more and more. And today, it seemed that Swami too had decided that His devotees can never have enough of His darshan. He completed His darshan rounds and then came out again on the chair. He slowly moved through the gents side and from there to the ladies side. Every face had a joyous look and every palm folded in deepest reverence as Swami went about blessing everyone. Thrilling all the hearts with the beauty, auspiciousness and Grace of His darshan, Swami went back to the stage. The bhajans for the evening were on in full flow. Swami had decided to make the evening into another very special one. He called out to Mr.Ajit Popat and asked him to speak. He spoke in his well known enthusiastic way and spoke about how all of us should always be happy. He also mentioned on the importance of keeping good health. And then as he concluded, Swami filled everyone's cup of joy to the brim as He said that HE would speak. Sitting in the chair, Swami began the discourse the summary of which is presented below:-

Birth,bondage and liberation; everything is a result of action. All must attempt to recognize the actions done from dawn to dusk. As is the action, so is the result. Good actions give good intellect. Actions prompted by bad thoughts give bad results. You must have seen bats. They keep flying in the air like all other birds. They also rest on trees. But its posture is upside down. Did anyone tie it that way? No. But its karma is like that. Similarly when man does bad deeds and has bad thoughts, he reaps bad consequences. We just cannot escape the reactions of our actions. Just like a correct answer in the examination yields good marks and a wrong answer yields no marks, the way of life is also such. It is the foremost responsibility of man to do good deeds. Whenever any action is done, think, "I am MAN". Question whether what you are about to do is human or bestial. Otherwise, why God, People themselves will question, criticize and punish you. There is no need to go till God, the actions themselves will confer the consequences.

Maha Shivarathri First Divine Discourse, 06th Mar 2008
Maha Shivarathri Second Divine Discourse, 07th Mar 2008


Sai Baba Photos  - Mahashivaratri 2008Photos & Report : Mahashivaratri 2008  Pictures from
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Again, among the different birds, when some of them call out, people throw stones at them. But the cuckoo and the nightingale are welcomed. Our speech too determines the reactions we receive. Help ever hurt never. Many times, we knowingly hurt people. To do it knowingly is the worst of sins. Man has a mind. It can be set on the right path or the wrong path. "Mana Eve Manushyanaam Kaaranam Bandha Mokshayoho". Accusing others, blindly following people and hurting - these are not the qualities that are natural to man. Man should be free of these and help his fellowmen. When animals themselves help men, there is nothing great about helping your fellowmen. Do human actions based on human values. Follow God's command. Not any external God. Follow the God within. "Daivam Maanusha Roopena" - God is in human form. Just obey His command. You may have intimate friends. But do not follow them. Follow only God's command. Do not hurt anyone in thought, word or deed. Irrespective of caste, community or culture, be a good human being. If this humaneness is forgotten, all spiritual penance is useless. Do acts to please God. That is the fulfillment of human life. "Jantunaam Nara Janma Durlabham." - among all the creatures, human life is the most fortunate one. So do not waste this life by speaking untruth, doing injustice and having bad feelings.

It is important to be good, do good and see good. Today you smile having bad looks and vision. That is not proper. There must be harmony of thoughts, words and deeds. If there is no unity in the first place, there can be no purity. If anyone criticizes, think that it is for your good only. Everything is for the good. Be smiling always. That does not mean that you laugh unnecessarily. Have good thoughts. Let any property be lost but not humanness. True good health means developing good thoughts.

Do not eat everything that you come across. Whatever you eat, offer it unto God and then only eat it. Have pure saatwik food. Remember, whatever you offer, will come back to you. You cannot get good from wrong activities. Good food alone will give good health and then alone will good thoughts arise. Once a beggar went to a house and the lady there told him, "Have a bath and come. I will serve you food." He replied, "Govindeti sadaa snaanam." (Govinda's name is the holy bath) She then said, "The Govinda's name itself will be good food for you. Have it!" If bath is Govinda the food is also Govinda. Do not have double standards. Sometimes, we have very bad thoughts. The remedy for that is good company.
Satsangatve Nissangatvam
Nissangatve Nirmohatvam
Nirmohatve Nischalatatvam
Nischalatatve Jeevan Mukti.
You cannot call yourself good if you have habits like drinking, smoking or eating non vegetarian. They should be totally absent. Human life is very sacred. It is a gift of past merit. Though you will get company in liquor houses and bars, you will never get good thoughts there. Give up jealousy, anger and ego. Have gratitude to those who have done even the most miniscule help to you. Then you will be successful. We get so much help and betray even those who help us. Have gratitude even for the most simple help. Else all is vain. Treat even enemies with Love and respect. Then the reaction, reflection and resound will be good. You need not worship God. your goodness will support you. You are the witness for the mind, the foolishness is the witness for a fool.

Follow the right path according to your heart. Self -satisfaction is very important. That will prepare you for Self- sacrifice. Dear students, develop good thoughts. There is no use of reading big books. People think that you are reading the Mahabharata while on the sly you are reading all nasty things. You are Vidyarthi. Seek the knowledge of the Self. Do everything for Atma Trupti or Self satisfaction. First and foremost develop tolerance and give up anger. At this age, you have sacred hearts. It is not neede that you please the world. It is enough that you please God. If you want happiness, the only way is to sing God's glory. ( Bhajan Bina Sukh Shanti Nahi)

It was Guru Nanak who emphasised the importance of bhajans. When we sing together, atleast one heart will go to God and that is enough. God will be ecstatic when you sing His praises. Everyday there are nights, but the night you think of God is Shivarathri. Do bhajans now.

As Swami commanded, the bhajans began. It was quite late already and everyone were so happy at this unexpected bounty. Swami then received Aarthi and retired

March 5, 2008

A dance ballet had been planned by the students of the Institute for the Shivarathri celebrations. Swami, planted a pleasant surprise for all when after completing His darshan rounds, He sent instructions that the ballet be performed this evening itself! All the bhajan singers were seated not in the bhajan hall but in the marble block of the Kulwant hall. The bhajans began and Swami came outside and sat on the stage much to the thrill of all the devotees assembled. But as Swami sat for the bhajans, all the while He was enquiring whether the dancers were ready. Since the dance involved elaborate make up and costumes, it was taking time for the students to get ready.

In the meanwhile, as the Bhajans went on in the Sai Kulwant Hall, Swami visited the Bhajan Hall twice and interacted with the performers who were getting ready there. He asked about the various roles in the dance. He blessed all of them to perform the dance. With blessings abounding on them and smiles adorning their faces, the dancers made their way to the Kulwant hall. Swami too arrived on the stage. The marble block was cleared of student occupation. As Swami watched on, a huge 25 x 12 feet backdrop was brought in. It was a very innovative and creative painting of Lord Shiva consuming the deadly Haalahala poison to save the world from total destruction.

The half-hour dance programme in Telugu depicted the Puranic episode of the churning of the Ocean, with Lord Shiva consuming the poison to save the world. The ocean is churned with the devas on one side and the asuras on the other. The serpent king Vasuki is the rope. When the mountain is sinking into the ocean, Lord Vishnu assumes the form of a huge tortoise and holds up the mountain. This is the famous Kurma Avatar. This was so gracefully and beautifully depicted. The celestial sage Narada was the narrator for the entire episode and that role was played by the lead dancer. Various things emanate from the ocean. They are evenly distributed among the Devas and the Asuras (the gods and demons). The Mohini form that Lord Vishnu assumes to ensure that the immoral demons do not become immortal by drinking the nectar that comes as the final item from the churning. The whole dance was wonderfully choreographed and the thrill of the entire Puranic story was experienced by everyone in the audience. Swami too seemed so happy at the effort. He was engrossed watching the dance all the while.

At the end of the programme, Swami came down from the stage to grant group photographs. He interacted with the students. All the students literally mobbed Him and there was joy all around. Swami said that He was extremely happy with the dance that had been put up and He also told all the dancers to come up with more such creative dances. The dancers submitted that everything was sheerly His Grace alone. Swami posed for group photos and collected letters from the dancers. The entire troupe got the chance to do paadanamaskar. After blessing the prasadam to be distributed and receiving Aarthi, Swami left for His residence at around 6.40 pm.

March 2, 2008

This evening, the youth, who had arrived from Hyderabad with the intention of inviting Swami to that wonderful bubbling city, had been permitted to put up a programme in front of Swami. Swami came for darshan at about 5:05 pm and He alighted near the interview room after completing His darshan rounds. He immediately came out and took a small round on the stage granting beautiful darshan to all who had gathered. The He went in to the interview room for about 10 minutes. He sent word for the programme to be started and the youth began their presentation with the Omkar.

They began with a welcome song on how fortunate they were to be able to offer their salutations in His Divine presence. The song had a slow waltzing melody in the beginning and then it picked up momentum and speed as they called out to Swami as their father. It turned out to be a real welcome song for as they completed singing it, Swami same out of the interview room on to the stage. There were commentary pieces in between the song explaining the gist of the song. There was a song on how sweet and beautiful is Swami's name, form and everything associated with Him. As Swami sat swaying gently to the tunes, it was really a sight for the Gods to behold and we simple mortals were being supremely blessed with that opportunity. It is such a great boon that we are able to see and enjoy His majestic form. On one occasion, speaking to a person who was a chain smoker, Swami had said, "If you do not give up this bad habit, I will not think of you and I will ensure that you too do not think of me!" Even the fact that we are able to think of Swami is His Grace and blessings that we ought to be grateful for.

The songs continued. The commentator said, "Swami if we look at you, it's enough, we'll forget the world." Swami nodded and seemed to say,"Oh yes! Why not?" Everyone smiled and the songs continued. There were songs dripping with gratitude for His compassion and Love. "The eyes never tire seeing you and get addicted to your Graceful form. The ears ache to hear your sweet voice. The temples of our minds are complete only due to your form being installed." There was another song that described the glories of the ten Avatars that Lord Vishnu assumed to protect the world. The songs began to gather momentum and the enthusiasm remained on the high that it always was on. Swami kept responding and emoting to the noble feelings and thoughts being expressed in the songs. As a fast paced song on the ideal way for the individual to conduct oneself concluded, Swami called the violinist and materialized a gold chain for him. He was naturally overwhelmed as he delicately touched His Feet and accepted the gift of grace. The songs continued. Requesting the Lord never to forget them, the devotees sang out a composition by Swami Himself unto Him. From Him, for Him unto Him! There was a very innovative composition that incorporated in it popular bhajans, "Govind Krishna Jai", "Prema Muditha" and "Shivaya Parameshwaraya". It was a devotional outpouring where the devotees said that their only refuge was His Feet. All those seated in the hall were washed pure and joyous by this spontaneous flow of devotional songs and the silent shower of Love seen from the twinkle in Sai's eyes.The concluding song was a patriotic one with a march beat.

As they concluded, Swami called the harmonium player cum singer who had performed exceedingly well. He had a slight difficulty standing due to a twisted back. Swami showered all Love on him and materialized a gold chain for him. He put it around His neck and granted paadanamaskar. After that, Swami stood up and walked down to the group that had clustered by now. He spoke to them and almost satiated everyone's pangs to have a few precious words of "Sambhaashan" with Him. He posed for group photos and then after that, went into the interview room. He came back with white cloth pieces and personally handed them over to each and every participant. As the Aarthi went on, Swami granted the two handed Abhayahastham to the devotees and they shouted Jaijaikars at the end of the Aarthi. Leaving everyone in this blissful frame of mind Swami retired to Yajur Mandir after blessing the prasadam to be distributed.

March 1, 2008

The first day of the new month had dawned and there was a huge gathering of devotees from Hyderabad who had come with the single pointed motive of inviting Swami to their city. Swami came for darshan at a time that was considered early by many as per the current "schedule". Swami came out at 3:15 pm and the hall was almost bereft of any students. Seeing all the Hyderabad devotees seated, Swami asked them to sit in front on the raised marble enclosure where the Institute professors and teachers usually sit. He then turned and drove out. He returned in a very short while and then went for the darshan rounds. After completing it, He alighted in the portico and then went into the interview room. He took some members of the "visiting Hyderabad team", if we may call it so, for an interview.

As the interview proceeded, word arrived that Swami had permitted the II PG students, the outgoing batch from the Parthi campus to put up their gratitude programme. So outside, all the students began to take their positions and waited eagerly for Swami to arrive. Swami completed the interviews and came out at about 5:15 pm. In spite of the long session inside, Swami was looking so fresh and cheery. As soon as He sat on the stage, He asked where Krishna was. A boy who was donning Krishna's role as part of the program came walking out majestically from behind. Swami asked him to be seated in front of the marble block. Then He asked for Sudama(Krishna's friend). Sudama came forward and received a blessing on His head and then Swami asked for them to begin.

The programme began with a visitor in heaven where he is introduced to the three major departments - the prayer and petition receiving department, the blessing packaging and processing department and the Gratitude receiving department. For a change, the third department is the MOST BUSY! And that is because gratitude has been pouring forth in plenty from the students of Swami! At this point, students carrying pictures of each boy with Swami on decorated hearts, came to Swami as Swami blessed them all, holding and viewing a few of them. The children then began to attempt to express the rich myriad feelings and emotions that were coursing through them. Many students spoke their heart out. Orators, poets and singers seem to be made this day by the minute as each student used different methods and means to express the same sentiments of Love. The first song was a beautiful melody in Telugu which stated that the Love received from Swami in this stay was more than enough for births together and there remained no other desire in the boys' hearts. They offered gratitude to Swami for having guided them to take their first few steps in Life. Comparing Swami to the Gardener who has nourished them in His Nursery, they prayed that spread the fragrance of His Love to all who come in touch with them. The songs were very soulful and one could see tears streaming down many a face as they realized the apparently bitter truth of physical separation from someone who has been a Mother, Father, Teacher and Friend rolled into one. For Swami's students instead of the mother, father and Guru being God, God becomes the Father, Mother and Guru.

There was a small dance sequence for a song composed by Swami Himself. The gist of the song was that irrespective of what you do, whether you wear ochre robes, smear the holy ash, turn rosary beads or even visit Puttaparthi, the only way to get sanctified is by imbibing Love and compassion for all. The students recollected memories of how some boys had not eaten for 2 days as Swami was not speaking with them. Swami then told the teachers that they must be fed and then it came to be known that even Swami had not eaten for the past two days! There was not a single dry eye as this was narrated. If we just sit back and think of how Swami has beautifully moulded our lives, nay has become our very lives itself, there will not be a single moment when our eyes are dry. Life without God is full of tears. Life with God is also full of them - only that they are tears of Love and Gratitude this time. Why is it that these tears flow down when we see Swami? When there is someone so beautiful in our eyes, where is the place for the tears to remain! A student then narrated of how he, an almost failure in academics, was resurrected by Swami. When his brother asked Swami in an interview, "Swami will this boy ever change?", Swami had emphatically replied, "When Valmiki himself transformed, will this boy not change? Tell him that Swami has called with Love, He will come to me!" As he narrated this, the boy broke down and Swami too appeared quite emotional as he blessed the boy. To highlight the experience of friendship with Swami, the Krishna-Sudama episode was enacted. Swami seemed to become nostalgic as the play was enacted and He was touched.

As emphasised before, the gratitude programmes are events that can never be adequately captured in words. The beautiful and emotion filled evening concluded with a energy filled song addressing Swami as the heartbeat of each and every child. There was Love and grace and magic in the sweet evening air as the fragrance of gratitude wafted scenting everything in its wake. As the programme concluded, Swami came walking down the stage to pose for pictures with His dear children. What ensued next was the loving exchange of words and feelings. After spending time with them, Swami blessed prasadam to be distributed to all. He then retired to Yajur Mandir.


February 26, 2008

There was a small sea of turbans in Kulwant hall as devotees from the Nilgiris and Ooty had been given permission by Swami to put up a programme that they had come prepared with. A huge backdrop with the Sai mandir in Ooty adorning it had been raised. The participants in today's programme were all members of the Badaga tribe living in the Nilgiris. Swami came out for darshan and as He went through the Kulwant hall, His eyes seemed glued to the "visitors" from the blue mountains.

He went around and then got down in the portico. He came straight out and asked for the programme to begin. There was an eager anticipation on His face. The elders came to Him and offered roses and other items for blessings. He blessed them all and then the programme began. the scheduled programme was the drama - Markandeya in traditional tribal art form. There was a narrative in the beginning that explained the whole drama in detail. Then the drama began with a dancing Lord Ganesha. It was like a complete dance drama and the dance consisted of only a few very simple steps. Swami seemed to watch the drama in all attention. The narrative was in loud singing form in Tamil accompanied by some basic percussion. The manner in which Markandeya's parents long for a son was depicted very elaborately and for almost 20 minutes after the drama started, Markandeya had not made his appearance. Swami was many times explaining the happenings to the boys seated next to Him. Truly, Swami is the greatest patron of folk arts and rural skills and talents. Many times, the depictions may not seem "up to the mark" for a sophisticated mind, but they communicate the eternal values and are a strong binding force in the communities and the villages - the qualities that Swami likes most about any presentation.

photos_sathya_sai_ooty_centre_260208Swami was very moved when Lord Shiva appeared from the Linga to annihilate death itself and save his devotee Markandeya. As the drama concluded and the actors bowed to Swami, He called the actor who played the role of Markandeya and created a 108 beads japamala for him. After that, the floodgates opened. Swami said that He would go down the stage and interact with the devotees. He got up from the chair and walked down. He blessed all the actors and told them to cluster around Him so that all would come well in the group picture. Everyone were so simple minded that they did not seem to understand what to do. They were overwhelmed by His presence. Everyone was diving at His feet and looking at His face. Swami asked for sarees to be brought. On the chair, He then went to the ladies side and distributed it to all the Ooty devotees. There was a huge onrush to receive the divine gift. Almost everyone got paadanamaskar. He then gifted all the gents with dhoties. He sat watching as the distribution went on. He spoke quite a lot with many of the devotees. He also said that He would visit them all soon. Conferring joy on all Swami received Aarthi and left.

February 24, 2008

The 3rd year Undergraduate students from the Brindavan campus of the Institute had arrived to Parthi in keeping with a very noble and holy tradition - the Gratitude programme. Studying in Swami's college is such a boon and the blessings that shower upon the students is in such abundance that when its time to step out of the Institute portals an overwhelming feeling fills the being of every student. As he/she nostalgically recalls the beautiful way in which Swami has been with him/her, guiding, guarding and sharing all the joys and sorrows, a smile steaks across the face and a tear courses down the cheek. The multifarious meanings and feelings carried by that single word - Swami - become evident and the impending parting from the physical proximity of dear Bhagawan makes the heart feel as it has never felt before. The summation and external expression of all these feelings, thoughts and emotions is the Gratitude programme. The word "programme" has been used by the force of sheer habit. It is more of a personal and heartfelt conversation between the Lord and a devotee, a Mother and her child, a Guru and his dear disciple.
Sai Baba blessing a student (paticipant) with a gold chain - 24th Feb 2008 - Sai Kulwant Hall

The students sat waiting for Swami to arrive. Swami came out at about 5:15 pm and everyone sat up alert. Swami went around for the darshan rounds and then as He came out of the car in the portico, He exchanged a few words with the warden of the Brindavan hostel. Then He came out and sat on the stage and asked for the students to begin. What took place over the next 40 minutes or so was the free flow of Love from both sides. The children just poured forth their Love and Gratitude and the Mother for once was at the receiving end! Songs of gratitude, love and remembrances filled the air as the boys sang out in unison. As they say, there are no barriers of language for Love. In fact, the different languages, like the various flowers in a bouquet, filled up the atmosphere with their own sweet scented fragrances as boys from the Kasmir to Kanyakumari, Assam to Gujrat attempted to put into words the grandeur and bliss of their Love filled experience with their Swami. Hindi, English, Telugu, Tulu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Nepali were some of the flowers presented in the evening's beautiful bouquet.

There was a particular popular song which said, "Whatever the child ever feels, Oh mother, you know it even before that feeling has been felt right?" The boy sang it out soulfully and everyone watched this unfolding of Love with smiles of admiration. Stories of how Swami filled those desolate lonely hours with joy and mirth; of how He stood by His children in the most challenging of times; of how though He was physically far away, He cherished them in His heart and of how they felt Him with them every time they needed Him were regaled. Some of the students had lost their parents early in life and Swami had filled that void with His Love and Grace. There were also portions where the students celebrated the Truth that Swami was always there for them.There was a depiction from the Ramayana adding physical colour to an emotionally colourful evening.

It is indeed a very difficult task to capture what exactly happened in "programmes" such as these because many times, nay most of the times, it is a conversation between Swami and the child. The evening ended on a note of pangs of separation from the Lord as the students prayed to Swami to come to Brindavan. So strong was the pining and desperate the pangs of separation that Swami's eyes seemed to well up with tears. He said, "I will come. I will definitely come. Am also waiting to come." Banners in Telugu and English opened up. To the boy who so soulfully and poetically had expressed the drought in Brindavan due to Swami's physical absence, Swami materialized a beautiful gold chain. He called out for Rama and Lakshmana and using their support walked down the stage. He then came down from the stage and posed for what we may call family photographs. He received letters by the dozens and almost every boy got a chance to take padanamaskar. Swami went on stage and again posed for photos with small groups of boys. As Prasadam - laddoos - were brought, Swami personally distributed the sweet to each boy. Those laddoos must have been the sweetest for they were dripping with His Love and were gifted with His smile! Swami the gave the same to all the teachers from Brindavan who had accompanied the boys to Parthi. After saturating all hearts with joy and bliss divine, Swami received Aarthi and retired for the day.


February 13, 2008

The whole of Prashanti Nilayam seemed to have donned red vestures. The devotees from Indonesia, China and Malaysia had all gathered to celebrate the holy Chinese New Year in Swami's physical presence. The preparations had been made on a grand scale. A colourful and cheerful procession had been arranged to lead Swami from His residence to the Kulwant hall. A beautiful and ornate altar with Buddha had been made on the stage to mark the occasion.

The minute Swami came out of Yajur Mandir, there was an explosion almost! Oriental trumpet blasts and Chinese drum bongs reverberated in the whole hall as two stately lions sprang up majestically forming the pilot of the welcome procession for the Lord. Lamps and the devotees' hearts alike lit up. Very soon a thrill of joy and surge of devotion coursed through the whole assembly as it came to be known that Swami was coming on the chair. One could not have hoped to welcome the New Year in a better fashion. Swami seemed to continue exactly where He had left off yesterday! He was beaming and the smiles were spread all around. As He completed the ladies side and moved on to the gents side, the welcoming procession with the lions reached the central marble block.

Swami went around the densely packed gents side and as necks craned to glimpse Him, His right hand went up frequently in benediction to all. Taking a round of the portico, Swami came on the stage and lit the candles to be placed in the specially decorated altar. Sitting on the ladies side of the stage, He asked for the programme to begin. The Veda chanting ceased and the drum beating reached a new crescendo. The lions came up front and displayed the famous acrobatics of the renowned lion dance. They
sai_baba_photos_chinese_new_year_2008 ended with a stretched out standing salute to Swami and were accorded a huge round of applause. A whole lot of traditional items were presented to Swami and He very smilingly blessed each one. The first item of the evening was a performance by a lady on a very ancient Chinese traditional instrument. She came up to Swami and offered a rose with her salutations. Then she began. The instrument was very rich and filling all by itself. The melody seemed to transport everyone into some ancient Chinese empire - say to the decked corridors of the Ming dynasty! The sight to behold was also so rich, filling and colourful. Swami sat - an Emperor on His throne- and all around the tapestry, lamps and festoons built up a vibrant court hall.

On an earlier Chinese New Year, Swami had asked, "Where are the Chinese?" The Truth was that though Malaysian and Indonesian Buddhists had gathered, the Chinese devotees were almost non existent. So the announcer said and proclaimed, "Now we have an original Chinese quintet performing for us." The five of them offered their salutations to Swami and then began playing on the instruments. Two looked like modifications of the violin. There was a Xylophone like instrument and the tambourine They played popular Sanskrit and Chinese bhajans and received Swami's and the crowd's appreciation in turn.

The final and major programme of the evening was a drama depicting the ancient values of the Chinese culture. But before that, there was a short talk which highlighted all the service activities that were being undertaken in the respective Sai Samithis of the different regions. Commendable service had been rendered in village service, education and health. A PowerPoint presentation was also made depicting the various facets of the above mentioned service activities. At the end of the speech, a book was brought up to Swami and Swami most lovingly and graciously signed it! After that, the drama began.

The drama began with the discussion between a mother and her son. The mother is inspiring the son with stories from the Chinese culture that show the efficacy and power of service done to parents. There was the story of the boy who would run to comfort his mother who was scared of the thunderstorms. Even after her death, whenever the lad heard thunder, he would rush up to his mother's favourite spot and speak to her and console her! This went on till one day, his mother is really there telling him that she is no longer scared of the thunderstorms! There were stories of valour and bravery. The most touching one however was one which had occurred very recently in a samithi. One son, in trying to save his mother from an accidental gas cylinder explosion, gets hurt badly and is in deep coma. All the doctors have given up hopes of recovery of any sort. At this time, all the devotees from the samithi, led by his mother gather at the hospital and sing out bhajans to Swami. The boy, to the stupefaction of all the doctors, recovers in record time! And this was an incident that occurred very recently! There were also stories to show that those who care for their parents are placed automatically under the Lord's protective umbrella.

As the drama concluded with a grand flood of colour, Swami seemed so happy. The final formation was full of energy and enthusiasm. It looked marvellous and other worldly. Swami came down the stage and waded directly into the actors. He saw the boy who had almost sacrificed his life for his mother. He waved His hand and materialised a chain for him. Soon afterwards, He materialized another chain for another "ideal son" of the drama. He spoke to many of them and blessed them. He moved through their entire group and they were all so thrilled and happy. They began chanting, "We love you Baba! We love you Baba!" Swami smilingly looked at them and kept telling, "I love you too!" The Truth of the statement that God is a pure mirror who just reflects our feelings was easily understood by all those who witnessed this loving spectacle. He granted group photos and almost everyone had the chance to touch His feet. He went back on stage and then blessed the prasadam to be distributed to all. He then asked for bhajans and needless to say, the volume and tempo of the bhajans sung were sky high. Swami kept rhythm tapping His hands. After 15 minutes of sheer enthusiastic ecstasy, Swami received Aarthi, blessed all with the Abhayahastha and retired for the day.


February 12, 2008

A bedecked Kulwant hall awaited Swami's arrival in the afternoon today as the entire marble block was filled up by Buddhist monks. These monks have now made it an annual ritual to visit Puttaparthi at the beginning of their new year to pray in the Divine presence. On the ladies side, the Buddhist devotees wore their most colourful dresses to appear as a splash of rich colour to their dear Lord.

Swami came out for darshan at about 5:25 pm. He went for a complete round in the car and as He passed by the marble blocks, His entire attention seemed to be on the monks who had gathered. He came out straight and as He sat on the stage, He asked for the chantings to begin. A girl and a lad stood up with mikes in their hands. They sported huge smiles, delighted at this opportunity to speak in front of Swami and Swami too reciprocated with smiles. The Vedic chants ceased to give way to sister chants that were about to begin. Before that however, a plethora of traditional items were taken to Swami for His blessings. He blessed each and everyone of the items with utmost joy and beautiful smiles.

The children started to compere. They explained the importance of each traditional and sacred item. Then they revealed the significance of the chants that would be chanted. There was something called the medicine Buddha Mantra. This was a prayer to Swami to heal Himself. Swami sat with a charming smile that seemed to say, "I am perfectly fine! But, you pray as your heart desires and I shall respond!" The chantings were accompanied by some sort of Chinese trumpets, drums and cymbals. The deep throated chants cast a kind of different mood in a place that has been the recipient of high pitched Vedic chants over the years. There was also the chanting of the "White Tara Mantra". The chantings went on and at some critical junctures, jasmine flowers were thrown up in the air and bells rang out adding rhythm to the procedure. The specially made, "Bhagawan Baba Eternal Mantra" was also chanted.

In between, the two young comperes kept the show alive and understandable explaining the general purport and import of the proceedings being carried out. Towards the end, the monks got baskets full of talismans blessed by Swami after which they went about distibuting them to everyone assembled. Swami also blessed the prasadam specially packed for the occasion to be distributed to all. He was all smiles and blessings towards the monks and specially towards the lad who was anchoring, if that word can be used, the proceedings.

After that, Swami received Aarthi and as He left for the car, He conferred the divine Abhayahastha on all. Then He retired for the evening.

February 10, 2008

This evening, Swami had permitted the devotees from Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh to put up a programme. Everyone sat in readiness for Swami to arrive. Swami came at about 5:35 pm and in the car He went around slowly blessing everyone assembled with the gift of His darshan. He alighted near the interview room and came out on the stage and just seeing Him there, a thrill seemed to course through the crowd and they expressed it by clapping out loud. Swami took His seat towards the ladies side of the stage and then began the initial formalities.

To a viewer who always sits and sees the programmes as they happen, the initial rose offerings and card showing seem like "formalities" as even the writer here put it. But these are opportunities of a lifetime for the people concerned. In that short moment, every time, more than just a rose or card is exchanged! What goes on there is best understood by a heart that has longed for God and received His never failing Grace when that longing intensifies. The devotees came forward and received His blessings. The main actors of the drama about to be put up also came forward and made their offerings. A special silver lamp was brought forward and Swami lit it to mark the auspicious beginning of the programme.

The drama began with the entry of King Krishnadevaraya into his court with his nine gems - poets and musicians of great acclaim. They begin a discussion on how their kingdom is blessed as God has chosen to be born there. The discussion that prevailed in Telugu was so full of alluding alliterations, funny puns and rich poetry that even those with a faint acquaintance of Telugu were able to enjoy the musical flow and the sounds of the language. Many of Swami's rich Telugu poetic compositions were presented as the King kept throwing one challenge after another at the poets.

For instance, when the king asks a poet to compose a poem with four words that are rhyming but have no apparent connection, the poet comes up with a thought provoking poem about the human body which is a repository of diseases. Having such a ephemeral body, foolish man, why do you not seek the permanent and ever blissful lord? When the question as to what can be offered to the lord comes up, the answer is that we are incapable of giving anything to the Lord who has in fact given everything to us. The best we can do is to offer the Love that we have been gifted by Him in our hearts back to Him. Some of the poems were a sheer connoisseur's delight as they were entirely composed of single letters - "ka" and "la"! While it was the sheer brilliance of poetry for the ones with knowledge of pristine pure Telugu, it was musical for all the others! Everyone enjoyed it all the same. There was also the famous, "Ye Aav Ra Ba Va" by Tenali Ramakrishna which is a statement containing the same meaning word from five languages and yet making complete sense as a sentence on its own too! As Swami narrates it, it literally means, "Which cow brother in law?" But broken further, Ye in Marathi, Aav in Hindi, Ra in Telugu, Ba in Kannada and Va in Tamil - all mean "come"! The king himself, not be left behind conjured poetic magic with the poems he
recited .

The grand finale came as all the courtiers jointly sing the glories of Swami and the king feels bad that he is unable to be with the Lord who is gracing his own land. At that time, the shiva lingam in the royal darbar hall turns and in it is Swami - come to grant darshan for the pining king! The entire drama had been tastefully laced with songs apt for the topics being discussed and these in turn had been well tuned for dances. The dances and songs took place as though in the royal assembly hall itself. Throughout the drama, Swami seemed so involved that every time a thumping statement was made, He would nod vehemently and each time an emotion coursed through the king or the courtiers, it seemed to pass through Him too. As the drama concluded, Swami called the king, Krishnadevaraya, to come forward and created a chain with a beautiful Shirdi Sai Baba pendant for him. He put it around his neck even as the final dance sequence was on.

As the first programme, an offering of Love by the devotees unto their Lord, concluded, the second programme - the shower of Love by the Lord - began. Swami sat tapping His hands rhythmically for the concluding song and as that got over, He smilingly blessed all of them. They then brought a jhoola on which they invited Swami to sit. Swami agreed and went down the stage. He posed for pictures with all of them And then it happened - a dam seemed to burst somewhere and there was a flood of tears all around. The children were crying profusely calling out, "Swami ... Swami..." It was such a spontaneous outburst and it built up in momentum and volume. Swami was looking all around and the Mother amidst hundreds of her children was trying to tell everyone why they must not cry. He wiped the tears of some of the children and He too shed tears along with them. The scene was the most touching and it reminded one of what happens in life. All of us cry for various things. But when we cry for Swami, He is there to wipe our tears and share in our sorrows and joys alike.

Swami then got up from the chair and walking upto the jhoola (swing), sat on it. He was beaming smiles drinking deep of the devotion of all His children from Adilabad. Almost every member of the troupe took the opportunity of Paadanamaskar. After about ten minutes with all of them, Swami went back on stage. It was about 7:20 pm and all thought that surely He would now receive aarthi. But the Lord asked for His mike to be brought. The next ten minutes were a shower of pure grace and Love as Swami directly addressed the devotees without any translation. He said that He was very happy with the programme that Adilabad devotees had put up. The acting and dialogue delivery were all from the heart. The king Krishnadevaraya, acted very well. Swami had never seen such a performance in Prashanti Nilayam ever before. Such dramas must be encouraged and be shown to people everywhere. Swami's heart had been won and the devotees have given immense joy to Swami.

Any praise or appreciation anyone would have wanted to shower became totally superfluous as Swami literally sang out the glory of their devotion and happiness. He concluded by saying that one must never give up singing bhajans for that alone is the thing that confers joy. He sang, "Hari bhajana bina" which everyone followed enthusiastically. As this concluded, Swami asked them to continue singing bhajans. Then were brought out sarees and white safari pieces! And the white cloth pieces were in two sizes to cater to the elders and the children! As the bhajans went on, Swami called everyone one at a time and gifted the sarees and safari pieces along with the prized padanamaskar. Swami called the director and the script writer - an alumnus of the Institute, Sri Ranganatha Raju - and blessed them specially.

The combination of talent and humility is the most potent one to win the Lord's heart. The drama had demonstrated both these virtues in abundant measure and Swami visibly was extremely pleased with the effort. He stayed till 8:05 pm blessing all of the participants! He then left leaving everone with joy and devotion lingering in their beings.


January 28, 2008

It was to be a special day for the youth who had arrived from Delhi. Swami had agreed for their song programme entitled, "Prema Arpan". The marble blocks had been occupied partly by the Delhi youth and they waited patiently with a prayer on their lips. Swami arrived for darshan at about 5:15 pm. He went for the complete round and then alighted near the interview room. He came out and took His place on stage. He was beaming smiles and that gave hints of how beautiful an evening it was going to be. He saw the singers seated right in the front and like a child asked,"Are you going to sing?!" When the reply was an affirmative, He asked them to begin.

Two lads went up on stage with a card and rose. After obtaining personal blessings on behalf of the whole group, they returned to their places and the songs began. The first one described Swami as being everything for everyone. Pervading everything, Swami brings joy to all. Two more songs followed which were oozing with description of His magnificence and glory. All the songs were set to lively tunes and the selection of the instruments being played was very unique and interesting. These were all achieved however with one keyboard. But well as Swami had said once about a music teacher from school who plays the harmonium, "He can play all the instruments in the world!" It was to their credit that though an almost confusing array of instruments are available as choices on the modern keyboards, they chose the most apt ones which added the right flavour to the songs.

The fourth song was a Qawwali for which a few members of the group went on their knees to sing it with the traditional clapping and swaying of bodies. Swami was a bit amused at the sight of the different swinging actions being performed in front of Him. He once even jokingly asked them to sit down and sing! A few songs later, Swami asked them whether they were through and they replied that there was one more song. Call it a coincidence or a small miracle, but there is one observation that the regular attender of music programmes in Parthi can make if a little attentive - many times a group of singers perform and somehow as they sing their penultimate song, Swami seems to ask them, "Is it over?" The invariable reply is, "Swami one more!" And then He nods in agreement. This little drama that takes place on such a regular basis is so full of meaning. For one, it is direct proof of Swami's omniscience and if this if fully grasped, it becomes evident that the performance is superfluous as far as Swami listening to it is concerned but He still does it out of His Love for His children. At times when He has surprised His students to perform suddenly out of the blues, that question acts as a balm that the test is nearing its close while everyone in the audience are amazed as they think, "These students are marvellous. Swami asked them to sing and they are so ready. They could go on like this for hours but they stop because Swami says so." Little do they know of Swami's motherly pride and affection that is behind that innocent question. On other occasions when there is a line up of singers and performers of the highest calibre waiting to perform for Him, that question is a gentle way of ensuring that all get a chance to present their devotions without getting "hurt" in the human way that they did not get the chance to dish out all their wares!

The last song was the adaptation of the bhajan, "Aana Hi Padega" which the youth sang inviting Swami to Delhi. At the end of it Swami blessed the youth with the abhayahasta. He called all the singers ahead and materialized vibhuti for them. Then He asked for white safari pieces to be presented to all the performers. After that, He went into the interview room for a short while. He returned with sarees for all the ladies who had also been sitting as a group. To their great joy, Swami asked them too to sing. They sang a few bhajans after which Swami asked, "Mana Pillalu Ekkada? (Where are our children?)" The students came out in a flood and then they began to sing bhajans with the traditional Aalaaps. After four bhajans by them, Swami received Aarthi, blessed prasadam to be given to all and retired for the day.

January 25, 2008

Today afternoon, the members of the Eshwaramma Women's Welfare Trust had arrived at Yajur Mandir to seek Swami's blessings for a new project that had been taken up -- solar cookers. In Puttaparthi and the neighbouring villages, the only thing that comes close to the abundance of God's Grace is the sun's rays! So it was a really good idea to make available for the farmers solar cookers so that they could cook in the fields itself.

Everything was arranged. Some items had been placed for cooking too as a demonstration of the utility of the devices. A dish-antenna like device was also placed to direct the sun's rays onto a completely black pressure cooker. Swami came out of Yajur Mandir at about 3:45 pm. He was all smiles as He saw all the apparatus placed around. As He went near the cookers, many dishes were presented to Him for His inspection. Pulav and Upma were the foremost among the dishes showed to Him. He seemed amazed at the fact that Upma (an Indian dish) could be made so simply. When He was told that the farmer can go ahead with the ploughing of his field as his food cooked in the sun, He seemed impressed.

When He was told to taste some of the dishes, He agreed to pop in a few groundnuts that had been roasted by the sun. The first one, as He popped it up, hit His chin and lost the opportunity to land into His mouth. The second one too was similarly ill fated! He took the third one and placed it into His mouth and ate it. Then He blessed the ladies involved in the project and inquired into how the cookers were being made and designed. Before, going for darshan, Swami also blessed a member of the Central trust staff with vibhuti for his ailing aunt.

January 23, 2008

This evening was one of those special ones in which Swami used His "uncertainty" card (if we may call it so) to everyone's delight. Swami had come for the darshan rounds in the evening after the bhajans began. He completed His full round and went into the bhajan hall. At about 5:45pm, the Aarthi was taken and everyone waited for the final glimpse as Swami would sit in the car and leave. But well, it was to be a different story! Swami had decided to gift every heart throbbing in the Kulwant hall with a memory to be cherished in it's inner most recesses.

Swami instead of getting into the car, came out via the portico and through the teachers block. It seemed like He was on the lookout for the slightest excuse to bless anyone! (Well,that's how God is always, though the human eyes may not be able to see that all the time. It is on days like this that with supreme compassion, God decides to reveal that to mankind.) He called all the XII standard computer-science students who had come with their computer-science projects. He sat patiently leafing through each and every project. He enquired into the finer details, pointed out a few errors, made comments on the photographs that had been chosen for the dedication page and asked some of the boys about the way they had gone about doing their project. Well, people in the planning commission who have charted the five year plan projects for the nation would not have felt the sense of achievement that these boys would have felt and that showed on all their faces. And Swami too viewed the projects with an intensity that He would have had, say, while going through the plans of the Water Supply Project or the Hospital projects. And that is not because the projects are of great importance; it's because for Him, His children are the dearest! How many times has He not declared that they are His own property.

After going through all the projects, Swami then blessed all the birthday boys who had been waiting for days for His blessings. He sprinkled the holy Akshata grains on some and accepted letters from all. To one boy, He picked the chocolates in his tray and put it into his pocket. As this was completed, one of the boys went up to Swami and told Him that in all their computer projects, Mr.Venkateshvar Prusty had assisted and guided them. Swami was so happy and He called out for that particular school teacher. He created a beautiful gold chain with a pendant and put it around his neck. Everyone clapped in joy and it was such a thunderous ovation that one would have felt that even people receiving Bharat Ratna would not have been applauded for so loudly. Well, being Swami's Ratna (jewel) is a much greater blessing than being a Bharat Ratna!

Swami then looked at all the boys and asked, "Bhajanam Aayinda". (Did you finish food?). This question often leads to many results. If boys say yes, then Swami may ask, "Then what else are you waiting for? Leave!" If they answer no, then Swami may say in an almost apologetic tone, "Oh! Go then and have it now!" So when Swami asked that, the boys answered with a sheepish smile. Then Swami played another uncertainty card. He said, "Do bhajans then." This command brought about a forward surge as the boys sat up till His feet almost, climbing up the marble steps. It was as if the very thought of doing bhajans takes one closer to Swami! Then began the mass bhajans or shall we say the bhajans by the masses? Swami sat smiling at everyone as the bhajans went on. The second bhajan, "Sai Hamara" had vigorous clapping and the bhajan "Vahe guru" scaled such speeds that it became tough even to keep clapping! To cope with the speed, the clapping speed was halved to the lower rhythm! Swami in the meantime began to take letters from many boys. He was smiling so much and that was being reflected on all the faces around too.

After 4 bhajans, Swami asked for Aarthi and for the second time, Aarthi was done. At the end of it, someone in the crowd shouted aloud, "Jai Bolo Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba ki." and it was welcomed with a very vociferous and love filled "JAI" from everyone. After that, things went a bit "pell mell" as Swami started to speak somethings and all the boys up front went crowding on the railings to catch the melody of those words. Many boys took padanamaskar and gave letters. Then, with the huge smile still playing on His face, Swami retired for the day.

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