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A devotee's Report:5th Sep. 2006 Onam Report - excerpts from Swami's discourse

Official Onam report from

 Onam day discourse- "...Embodiments of Love!
The people of Kerala celebrate the Onam festival today. Onam is very sacred, holy and divine...."
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Vedic Procession leading Bhagawan to the hall on this auspicious day of Thiru Onam

Bhagawan's arrival
"Niraparayum Nilavilakkum"
Bhagawan blessing one of the participants before the program

Balvikas students from Kerala during their skit, "Sai Tips to Fly High"

Balvikas students from Kerala during their skit, "Sai Tips to Fly High"
Balvikas students from Kerala during their skit, "Sai Tips to Fly High" Balvikas students from Kerala during their skit, "Sai Tips to Fly High"
Balvikas students from Kerala during their skit, "Sai Tips to Fly High" Bhagawan
Bhagawan accepting the Mangala Aarathi after the morning program Panchavadhyam
Shri Mukundan, State President of Kerala, during his talk Bhagawan
Shri Veerendhra Kumar M.P. delivering his speech
Justice Shri Sreedharan, Loka Ayukth, Kerala during his speech in the Divine Presence
Bhagawan during His Divine Discourse
Sri Sathya Sai Vidyapeeth, Srisailam Students putting up a skit titled "Baktha Pranasyathi
Sri Sathya Sai Vidyapeeth, Srisailam Students putting up a skit titled "Baktha Pranasyathi"

Sri Sathya Sai Vidyapeeth, Srisailam Students putting up a skit titled "Baktha Pranasyathi"
Om Sairam to saifamily all over the world,
As the state of Kerala and thousands of Keralites, living else where celebrated the Holy festival of Kerala, few thousands were much more luckier to celebrate the festival in the immediate presence of Swamy, who is verily Lord Vishnu, Vamana Murthy.
The origin of Onam:
Thiru Onam is celebrated in the second half of August ( the Chingam month of Kollam Era) when the August monsoon rains come to an end and the summer heat gives way to the pleasant warmth of the Kerala autumn. Anthropologists see in Onam a great fertility rate, the ceremony of Thanksgiving for a plentiful harvest. For Keralites Onam is the celebration of the return of Mahabali, their once beloved king.
Onam or Thiruonam originated as a joyous annual reminiscence of the golden rule of King Mahabali, a mythical king, who ruled Kerala a very long time ago. It recalls the sacrifice of the great king, his true devotion to God, his human pride and his ultimate redemption. This king once ruled over the Keralites during the Golden Age before caste existed, "when all men were equal, when no one was poor, when there was neither theft nor dread of thieves" (Maveli natu vanitum kalam... Manusharellam onnu pole ... ).

The Grand Boat Race
One of the main attractions of Onam, is the 'Vallamkali' or boat races of Karuvatta, Payippad, Aranmula and Kottayam. Hundreds of oarsmen row traditional boats to the rhythm of drums and cymbals. These long graceful Snake Boats called 'Chundans' are named after their exceedingly long hulls and high sterns that resemble the raised hood of a cobra.
Then there are 'Odis', the small and swift raiding crafts adorned with gold tasseled silk umbrellas, the 'Churulans' with their elaborately curled prows and sterns, and the 'Veppus', a kind of cook-boat. This traditional village rivalry on watercrafts reminds one of ancient naval warfare.

Thousands throng the banks to cheer and watch the breathtaking show of muscle power, rowing skills and rapid rhythm. These boats - all pitted against their own kind - rip through the backwaters of Kerala in a tussle of speed.
Onam is for All
Although this festival has its origin in Hindu mythology, Onam is for all people of all class and creed. Hindus, Muslims and Christians, the wealthy and the downtrodden, all celebrate Onam with equal fervor. The secular character of Onam is peculiar to this land where unity had always coexisted with diversity, especially during festivals, when people come together to celebrate life's unlimited joys.

Now back to Puttaparthi: Past three days, we witnessed beautiful plays by Balvikas children of Kerala representing from different zones. This is probably unique occasion when so many plays were permitted and interestingly from the same state, clearly showing how much love Swamy has for the state of Kerala and its people.
This morning, Swamy came out for darshan around 7:30 as students came in procession chanting Vedas. Swamy came on the dias and as against the custom there was a drama by the balvikas students and just when we all felt that there won’t be Divine discourse this Onam, Prof.Anil Kumar announced that Swamy would deliver Onam message in the afternoon
The afternoon session started at 3pm after Swamy finished His rounds, the president of Sathya Sai Organisation, Kerala, gave a brief account of all the developmental activities taken up by the Sai family in Kerala.
Two speakers were blessed to share their thoughts this afternoon , that first one being Mr.Veerendra Kumar a member of Parliament and Managing Director of Matrubhoomi, national daily in Malayalam and another speaker former chief justice of Gujarath.
After the talk, it was the turn of our beloved Swamy, ready to give the much awaited Onam Day message which is always special to Keralites and Swamy leaves no stone unturned to praise the great people of that holy land.
Excerpts from the Discourse:
Vishwa mandu vibhudu velugondu chundunu
God’s radiance is present all over the world.
Viswa Vibhuni Mytri Vidadeeya Ranidi
The relations between the creator and creationr is unseparable
Vinudu Bharateeya veera Sutudu
Listen o brave son of holy India
Today is auspicious, sacred, divine festival of Onam for Keralites. There are so many meanings for Onam. Never see this festival in its physical level, by wearing new clothes and preparing delicious food.The whole family rejoices this festival. Many people go to the temples. People prefer to go to Krishna temple in large numbers. Some even read sacred texts like Ramayana. So Onam is to celebrated by chanting the name of lord.
The Great Emperor Bali:
Earlier this land(Kerala) was ruled by an emperor by name Bali. The emperor took care of his people with utmost care. People were very happy under his rule. He even encouraged his people to perform Yagnas and bear all the expenses. On such an occasion, there came LordVishnu, as Vamana (a dwarf preist). As Vamana was coming to the stage, carrying an umbrella all the people assembled they were mesmerized by His radiance and attitude.Looking at Vamana and his charm the daughter of Bali , thought, who is this man? I wish I had a husband like him. As people were wondering who He was, Vamana went on the stage. Emperor Bali, bowing at Him, asked “what is that brought you here? What is that you want? Vamana, replied, I don’t want anything, I just want 3 foot steps. Emperor Bali was surprised, is that what you want? Yes granted. I can afford it.
With one step Vamana could occupy the whole sky, the second step He occupied the whole earth. Whre is the place for third feet?. Bali, with a big smile said, put the third one on my head. As soon as Vamana kept the feet on the head, Bali went down to the Patala Loka (into the earth).
The king was great man. He was very disciplined and also true human, but he had a lit bit of ego. God can Tolerate anything but he will never tolerate anger and ego. What is this ego? Is this because of the body, mind , position. NO.It’s an evil tendency within.
God has given you Truth, righteousness peace and non violence. Develop this. All these 5 are present every where. Ego, anger, jealousy are animal qualities. How can you be called as human if you have these qualities?. Adhere to truth. Truth is God. Love is God. This body is like an iron box. There are most precious things inside. The iron box is not important. This body is bound to fall one day. May be in childhood, adult stage or in old age. Don’t follow this body which is temporary. Sathya, dhrama Prema shanthi and Ahimsa are your true friends.
Even if you ask a millionaire.. You have everything,do you have peace? He will say No. Today there is no PEACE any where its all PIECES… where is this peace?.Its within you. Without truth, righteousness, peace, love all your education, positions bear no importance. When you kill the ego you will be a true human being.
Kerala people are Noble souls:
“Even today, Kerala is highly sacred, with abundance and plenty, greenery all over and peace. People of kerala have no worries at all. They have very few wordly desires. Even today they are living in perfect harmony. Kerala people are very pious,unpolluted and sacred..(loud applause). Inspite of a busy schedule they make it to temples and don’t forget to put vibhuti on their forehead. Even then, interestingly,its ruled by communist government… Its not CommuNIST… CommuNEST…
People of Kerala always pray for world’ peace. That is why they are GREAT and NOBLE. The people of Kerala liked Emperor Bali a lot. Seeing their love he promised that he will visit Kerala once in a year..and that’s on this Onam day, he comes on this earth.
Be with Good Company:
For any one Character is very important. Have a good company. Tell me your company I will tell you what you are. Always be with good company. Then only you will be good.
You say Iam a HINDU.. what does this stand for:
H Humanity
I Individuality
N Nationality
D devotion
U Unity.
Where there is Unity, there is Divinity. I am Human being, I should behave like human being.Today, where ever you go, its only money that matters. Its all money money… every where.What is this money? Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows. There fore develop Morality. This is seen more in Kerala. Money is important.. but People of Kerala don’t crave much for money.
Students, try to get a good name.For this the food you eat is also important.
Today every thing is polluted, food, air, water, hand.. all are highly polluted. We should try to make all these pure. When you attain the state of purity you will attain human qualities. Convert the purity into divinity.. There fore UNITY, PURITY AND DIVINITY…
Since ancient times, Indian is considred as land of sacrifice, spirituality. But today it’s a land of pleasure (Bhoga Bhoomi).. what is tyaga, sacrifice, its not running away from family and responsibilities.. shed all your desires and that is true tyaga. Then only our heart will be as white as a white cloth. God likes pure heart. He has no other desires.
Try for individual peace first. Then only the whole world will be in peace. If there is no peace with in you, how can the world be in peace. Students, pray for world peace. India is a great country. But today, due to westernization, there is no values. Always be happy and joyful. Never have castor oil face (expressionless face).Always smile and make others smile. Have a broadmind. Then only you will be happy. HAPPINESS IS UNION WITH GOD. Say hello to everyone and be cheerful.. Don’t say Good bye and runaway from others.. instead be a GOOD BOY.
I don’t want to speak much and trouble you as the boys are waiting to perform a play ..
Time is very important.. time waste is life waste.. SO NEVER WASTE TIME….. So saying Swamy took His chair, ending a 40 mins of divine message full of Atma Gnana (supreme wisdom)
With Lots of Sai Love to all

Jai Sai Ram
satish Naik

The Onam celebrations this year were marked by piety and gaiety. Devotees from the state of Kerala gathered in huge numbers to celebrate the sacred festival in the Divine Presence. The entire mandir complex was beautifully decorated with colourful buntings, and the spotless white clothes with golden embroidered attire of the Keralites lent added charm to the place.

The festivities started on the evening of 3rd with a drama titled ‘Bhakthi and Vibhakthi’ presented by the Bal Vikas children of Calicut District. The drama portrayed God’s love for His devotees and how He came to their rescue when their safety or dignity was at stake. And also how Bhakthi (Devotion) is greater than Vibhakthi (Grammatical accuracy or Scholarship). The drama revolved around the lives of great devotees of Sri Guruvayurappa (Lord Krishna worshipped as a child in the ancient temple at Guruvayur in Kerala) like Sri Poonthanam Nambudiri, Sri Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri and Manjula. The story of young Manjula is particularly inspiring. Manjula was very devoted to Lord Guruvayurappan and would daily offer a flower garland to adorn His idol in the temple. But, one day, she was late in bringing the garland and by the time she arrived at the temple, the doors had already been closed. She was filled with sorrow at this, but Poonthanam Nambudiri advises her that the Lord is omnipresent and is immanent in every object in the universe. He points to a stone near a banyan tree at the eastern gate of the temple and tells her to place the garland around the stone. Manjula takes his advice to heart and with great devotion did as she was told. The next day, devotees were witness to a great miracle as that same garland was noticed by the chief priest around the neck of the temple idol the next morning. This incident thrilled the hearts of everyone as it showed how the Lord responds to the pure and sacred feelings of His devotees.

The morning of 4th witnessed the offering of love to Bhagawan in the form of music. Sri Sankaran Namboothiri, a child prodigy in his earlier years, and now a famous exponent of Carnatic music, rendered classical music interspersed with Sai Bhajans. The singer enthralled everyone with melodious and soul-stirring songs for more than an hour. In the evening, the students of Sri Sai Vidya Vihar, Alwaye presented a drama titled ‘Mathru Devo Bhava, Pithru Devo Bhava’. These lines taken from the Taithreya Upanishad state that one should revere one’s parents as God. The drama depicted the story of transformation of Pundareeka, a legendary devotee of Lord Vittal due to whose prayer the famous Panduranga Vittal temple at Pandharpur in Maharashtra came into existence. The drama effectively brought home the message that loving service to one’s parents is not only the highest form of spiritual exercise but also closest to God’s heart. The participants were blessed with photographs by Bhagawan. Following the drama, there was a vocal recital by Prof. Vayyankara Madhusoodanan.

On the morning of 5th September, the sacred day of Onam, Bhagawan was welcomed in to Sai Kulwant Hall in a procession led by small children dressed in traditional Kerala costume carrying lamps in their hands, young men attired in the typical ‘vedam’ orange silk dhoti and white ‘angavastram’ holding Poornakumbham in their hands, and the Naadaswaram music troupe. The ‘Panchavadyam’ and Vedic chanting by students were going on simultaneously. Soon after Bhagawan was seated on the dais, the youth members sang a welcome song. Following this, there was a musical presentation by the Bal Vikas children titled ‘Sai Tips to Fly High’. The presentation beautifully depicted the importance of cultivating human values in the present day context through many scenes. The opening scene showed a spiritual aspirant approaching a Guru for clarifying his doubts. The first question put forth by the student is – “How and why was the universe created?” for which the Guru replies that in the beginning there was the Word; the Word was with God and the Word was God. From God then arose the five elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth consequently in that order. Then evolved the plants, animals, and finally came man. The next step in evolution is ‘superman’. This ‘superman’ is not the one who possesses extraordinary physical strength, but the one who overcome all mental weaknesses, practices human values and is always absorbed in spiritual bliss. And to help us in this endeavour, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has laid down guidelines on human values, which is a treasure house of wisdom. It is now our responsibility to internalize these values, practice them in our daily life and benefit thereby.

For the next 50 minutes or so, the presentation, interspersed with catchy songs, briefly dwelt on various teachings of Bhagawan like importance of time, love of God, respect for parents, sacrifice, control over one’s tongue, prayer and peace. It concluded with the famous quote of Bhagawan as the solution for world peace:

“If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in character.
If there is beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home.
When there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.
When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.”

After the presentation, there were Bhajans sung by the Kerala devotees. The morning programme concluded with Arati to Bhagawan.

The evening programme commenced at 3.00 pm. Prof. Mukundan, the State President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization, Kerala spoke a few words of introduction. After offering salutations to Bhagawan on behalf of everyone, he briefly mentioned the various Seva projects undertaken by the Organization in all the districts of Kerala. For instance, the Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorneshwari project was started with the noble intention of providing free food; another project for providing necessary material for school children, and adoption of some schools by the Seva Organization; the Youth have undertaken a project to provide housing to hundreds of homeless people, while the Mahila Vibhag (Women’s Wing) has undertaken a Mother & Child Welfare Programme in many villages and towns. The District Collector had formally expressed his appreciation to the Organization for the rescue and relief work undertaken by it in the Quilon District which was affected by the tsunami in December 2004, Prof. Mukundan reported. In conclusion, he expressed his gratitude to Bhagawan for His guidance and for transforming the state of Kerala in to a ‘Sai Samrajya’ (Kingdom of Sai). He then introduced the guest speakers for the day.

The first speaker was Sri Virendra Kumar, Member of Parliament from the constituency of Calicut and Director of Press Trust of India (PTI). He said that it is a custom that during Onam, all the members of the family gather at their ancestral house, wear new clothes, partake of tasty dishes and spend their time full of happiness, love and with a sense of unity and belongingness. And that’s why all the devotees from Kerala have congregated at Prasanthi Nilayam, at the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan, their Divine Father and Mother. At this, the whole hall reverberated with thunderous applause affirming the sentiment expressed by the speaker.

The second speaker for the day was Justice Sreedharan. Justice Sreedharan served as the Chief Justice in the High Courts at Punjab & Haryana and later in Gujarat. Post retirement, he is serving as Loka Ayuktha, an important office that checks corrupt practices in Government bodies. During his speech, Sri Sreedharan mentioned how Bhagawan unfailingly came to his rescue during many crises and solved them all in answer to his prayers. He said that before performing any act, one should pose two questions – “Will it cause harm to anyone?” and “Will Swami approve of it?” Only if the answer for both the questions is ‘yes’ must one proceed to act. He concluded his speech by imploring everyone to live by the ideals espoused by Bhagawan and make the country a better place to live in.

After the two speakers, Bhagawan graciously delivered His discourse. He said that the body can be compared to an iron safe and the human values within are the precious jewels meant to be safeguarded. If not for the human values, the body is worthless. Bhagawan then went on to explain the legend behind the celebration of Onam. Emperor Bali ruled over the land now called Kerala. He ruled over his subjects very lovingly and righteously, and there was happiness, plenty and prosperity all over the kingdom. But there was one blemish in Bali’s character, he was slightly egoistic. God can tolerate anything but the two evil qualities of ego and anger, Bhagawan said. So, the Lord had to incarnate as Vamana and vanquish Bali’s ego, and send him to the netherworld. Though Bali was knowledgeable and virtuous, his ego led to his downfall. So, Bhagawan said, one must give up the evil qualities of ego, anger, jealousy, etc. and cultivate the human values of Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi, Prema and Ahimsa befitting one’s human stature.

Following the discourse, the students of Sri Sathya Sai Vidyapeeth, Srisailam presented a drama entitled “Na Me Bhaktha Pranashyati”. The drama portrayed the life of Saint Sakkubai, who was born in the land of Maharashtra. She was an ardent devotee of Lord Panduranga Vittal, but her husband did not approve of her worship. However, despite the stiff resistance from her husband she never wavered from her path of devotion. Lord Vittal is so pleased by her devotion that on one occasion He even revives her from the dead. Once, when Sakkubai gave her husband the slip to have darshan of Lord Vittal at Pandharpur on the sacred day of Ekadashi along with the disciples of Saint Kabir, Lord Vittal takes her place at home so that her husband would not notice her absence, and thus saves her from earning her husband’s wrath. In the end, her devotion bears fruit, for her husband too is granted the darshan of Lord Vittal and thereby is transformed from an agnostic into a believer.

After the drama, Sri Vishnu Bhat rendered a soulful song in Kannada. Bhagawan then accepted arati and retired to His residence thus concluding the grand three day Onam celebrations. The thousands who traveled the far distance from their homes in Kerala just to be with their Lord on this sacred occasion returned with their hearts full of the love and joy that only the Divine can confer. His message to the people of Kerala to always uphold the five human values will enthuse them to serve the Lord with greater dedication and thus put that message into practice.

Jai Sai Ram!



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