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 Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva Group 2006

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"30th Sep. ...Swami then headed towards East Prashanti where all of Swami's vehicles had been parked, including the Golden Chariot.Our dear Sai first approached the convertible red mini and blessed the vehicle with His divine touch. Puja was performed to the toy looking car by breaking the coconut in front of it. Swami then proceeded to all the other cars. One of the UK Grama Seva brothers was fortunate to witness the proceeding at very close proximity as he'd been given the unique privilege of taking photographs...." read more

24th Sep - 25th Sep - 26th Sep - 27th Sep 28th Sep - 29th Sep - 30th Sep  - 1st Oct.

Arrival: 24th September 2006.

With the Divine Grace of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Heart Valve Bank (HVB) Gram Seva Group arrived early at 9am on 24th September 2006. The group consisted of 19 youths from across the U.K. lead by Sri Ajit Popat (Puppet)

Afternoon Darshan:

The group eagerly awaited the arrival of Baba for first afternoon darshan. For many of the youth who had previously attended the Grama Seva function, it seemed like returning back home. Swami arrived at 3pm for Darshan and did the complete round in His silver car. Swami graciously gave darshan with a lovely smile to one and all present in Sai Kulwant Hall.

As soon as Swami’s car approached the portico, He signalled to couple of people to come to the car, this also included the UK Grama Seva group leader Sri Ajit Popat (Puppet).Swami spent most of the time in the interview room, coming out only for a couple of brief moments.

Just before 5pm Swami emerged from the Interview room and entered the Mandir to listen to lovely devotion songs (bhajans) sung by the Students. Swami took aarti and entered the His divine abode just after 5:30pm

Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva Group 2006 25th September 2006

Morning Darshan.

On this auspicious Monday morning the group met to pray together in one of the rooms in the ashram, which was temporary converted into a prayer room. The early morning session started 5.10am with 21 Omkaars followed by the Suprabhatam. The group leader gave a beautiful on talk on various spiritual topics and read the thought of the day.

Swami came out to give darshan at 7.50am this morning. His car moved amongst the sisters and brothers who were eagerly awaiting Swami’s darshan. All who had the chance to see Swami in the car witnessed a smile on Swami’s face. Soon after, Swami entered the interview room and came out later to bless gifts, which were to be distributed to the sisters from the Anantapur Campus.

Afternoon Darshan

Due to Dashera celebrations starting tomorrow, the crowds in Prashanti Nilayam seemed to be increasing quite considerably. Our dear Swami has been very kind to all those who have come to Prashanti by granting them the blessing of darshan from his car. Swami entered Sai Kulwant hall at 3:40pm and then continued into the interview room. Swami signalled to the boys from inside the interview room to distribute gifts to some of the students present in Sai Kulwant hall.

The lovely devotional songs (bhajans) began at 5.20pm, which continued till 5:40pm; Swami took aarti and returned back to His divine abode.

Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva Group 2006 26th September 2006

Morning Darshan:

Today, the holy and auspicious celebrations of Dassera began by commencementt of the Veda Saptha Purusha Yagna. It also marked the start of Grama Seva 2006. The Sai Kulwant hall was buzzing with the auspicious sounds of Nadaswaram and Veda chanting. This continued as our beloved Lord arrived for darshan. The way in which Sai Kulwant Hall had been adorned was a treat for all our eyes, and this added to the joy of all the devotees present.

At 7:50am. Swami came out to give darshan in His car to all the sisters and brothers assembled in Sai Kulwant Hall. The Vedic chanting continued with Ganesh Atharva Shirsham, Sri Suktam, Durga Suktam and Medha Suktam.

At 8:50am, Swami signalled to the Vedam boys to commence the Vedic chanting whilst encircling the Mandir. The UK Grama Seva group were extremely fortunate to participate in these proceedings. Upon completion of the "pradakshina" around the Mandir everyone made their way quickly into the Poornachandra Hall.

The atmosphere within the Poornachandra hall was permeated with divine vedic chanting by lots of priests who had arrived especially to perform the yagnam. They were accompanied by students, who were also chanting Vedas in unison. As soon as Swami entered the stage, the priests began to light the holy fire for the Yagnam. Swami blessed the burning flames as the Yagnam commenced. As the chanting of Sri Suktam, Durga Suktam and the Rudram continue, Swami watched the proceedings very intently.

Thereafter, Swami gave instructions to commence the Grama Seva. This in itself is a huge task, undertaken solely by Swami’s students. This year was no exception. The sisters from Anantapur Campus had began preparing the food consisting of Pulihora Rice and Ladoo, at 10:00pm the night before and this continued until the early hours of the morning. This will be routine until Gram Seva finishes. This year 700 students had taken part in the distribution of the sarees, dhotis and food packets.

The UK Grama Seva group were privileged and blessed to carry out the Seva at the Super Specialty hospital. As their vehicles left the Prashanti gates, chants of "Jai Bolo, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba ki Jai" could be heard. The Seva work began with Vedic chanting along the roads within the hospital quarters. The hospital consisted of 400 households, who were given Swami’s prasadam.

Afternoon Darshan

Swami came at 3:30pm and went straight outside through the Ram Darbaar. Having returned a while later, Swami was about to go into the interview room, when He called Sri Ajit Popat (Puppet) and asked him "Where are your friends", to which Mr Popat (Puppet) pointed to the UK Grama Seva Boys who were sitting in the Sai Kulwant hall. Swami smiled and replied ‘Very happy’. Swami also told Sri Ajit Popat (Puppet) that the village where Grama seva will be taking place tomorrow, the roads are not good. This was later confirmed by the Grama Seva leader. Swami also gave instructions to distribute prashadam in the form of apples. Bhajans started at 4.30pm and Swami took aarti and left for the divine abode around 5pm.

Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva Group 2006 27th September 2006

Morning Darshan

Today Swami blessed all the sisters and brothers assembled in Sai Kulwant Hall with His darshan at 8:45am. He also spoke to Sri Ajit Popat (Puppet) on the Veranda for almost 5 minutes.

A few minutes later, Swami signalled to the Vedam & Grama Seva boys to begin the ‘Pradakshina’ (circling of the mandir) and head towards the Poornachandra hall to continue with the Yagnam. As the Grama Seva boys completed their round, they were surprised to see Swami standing at the edge of the Verandah. The boys were blessed with darshan of the smiling Lord. Swami stood there patiently until the last boy completed his pradakshina. Swami remained in the interview room until 11.00am and then proceeded to the Poornachandra Hall where he stayed for a further 20 minutes.

The UK group were accompanied by Swami’s students to a village called Bedapalli Tanda, which was situated about 8km from Puttaparthi. The village consisted of approximately 150 houses.

The boys were warmly welcomed by many smiling faces as they entered the village. The villagers were also extremely happy to receive Swami’s love in the form of food & clothing. As the prashadam was distributed, the people in the village reciprocated Swami’s love and expressed their gratitude to Baba by doing pranams and saying "Sai Ram".

Many young children ran behind the distribution trucks and cars in the hope of receiving a ladoo or two! The UK team later joined another team to help with the Seva to the upper part of Bedapalli Tanda village.

It was truly a wonderful sight to witness such selfless service, which can only flow from Swami’s students.

Afternoon Darshan

Swami arrived in His car at 4pm. After giving wonderful darshan to all the assembled brothers and sisters, He entered the interview room.

As Swami came out of the interview room, all the primary school children started singing Vedam (Ganesha Atharva Shirsham) and it was indeed wonderful to hear such young children create such divine vibrations.

Swami walked towards the chair placed for Him on the Portico and slowly sat down. This gesture received a thunderous applause, such is the kindness of our Divine mother. Swami also blessed a few of the birthday boys.

Swami then asked Professor S. V. Giri (former vice chancellor) to give a talk, which lasted for 35 minutes. His talk touched on some personal experiences and explanations around the nine day festival of Navaratri.

Thereafter, our Dear Lord Sai surprised all those gathered by standing up to give His divine discourse! Swami spoke of many aspects of Sadhana including the Nine Steps of Devotion. Swami also reminded us of the power of ‘Soham’, which refers to ‘I’ am ‘I’"Aham Brahmasmi" I am Brahman.

In addition, Swami asked everyone present what festival is this? The audience responded by shouting out "Dashera". Swami spoke of the importance of doing Namasmaran and avoiding bad company and that there is only love in Bhagawan, for Love is His Property. Swami ended his divine discourse 50 mins later with the bhajan ‘Prema Mudhit Manse Kaho Ram Ram Ram’. This was followed by bhajans sung by the students and the distribution of prashadam to all those present. Swami took aarti and returned to His divine abode at 6.45pm.

Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva Group 2006 28th September 2006

Morning Darshan

On this holy auspicious day of Brahaspati Vaar, dedicated to the Guru (Thursday), the Nadaswaram music began at 8am to welcome the arrival of Swami.

To the delight of all the devotees, Swami came out to give the darshan at 9:25am. Swami was in a wonderful mood, this was displayed by the fact that He stopped his car a number of times to take letters from devotees and also stopped in the darshan line to speak to few devotees.

Swami also spoke to various people on the Veranda whilst blessing the prasadam, which was to be distributed immediately afterwards. The Vedam boys received instructions from Swami to commence the walk to the Yagna in the Poornachandra Hall in the usual manner, by encircling the Mandir. Our Dear Sai stood in the middle whilst all the students and the UK Grama Seva boys also walked around the mandir.

The Grama Seva trucks and cars began the journey at 10:30 shouting "Bolo Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba ji ki JAI!" The joy of traveling in the vehicles whilst singing devotional songs was the most beautiful feeling one can have! As we drove past the villages on our way to Mahilasamundram, all the children stood on the main roads with gleaming faces, shouting Sai Ram Sai Ram as they waved to all the boys.

Mahilasamundram village has approximately 400-500 houses with a population in the region of 2000. The villagers prepared our welcome with so much love. The entrance of every house was washed and decorated with colourful rangoli (decorative flower paintings).

All the Grama Seva boys reciprocated their love towards the villagers for the welcome by working very hard in the hot heat with selfless love. It was a most heart warming scene to look at! We are extremely grateful to Swami for allowing us to witness and be part of the wonderful experience

Jai Sai Ram!

Afternoon Darshan

Swami came out for darshan at 4pm and allowed both the sisters and brothers to receive His darshan.

The UK Grama Seva group were fortunate to receive eye contact from Swami as his car passed by for darshan. Swami was looking as fresh and radiant as ever. Swami took letters from few devotees and proceeded towards the veranda. Swami went into the interview room at 4:15pm

To the surprise and happiness of all present, Swami came out of the interview room 10 minutes later and sat down in the chair on the portico. Immediately Swami instructed the Vedam boys to chant the Sri Suktam. Within few minutes Swami stopped the Vedam chanting in order for Sri Anil Kumar to announce the speakers for the day.

Sri Ajit Popat (Puppet), the Managing Trustee of the Heart Valve Bank, was the first speaker. Sri Ajit Popat (Puppet) spoke for more than 30 minutes in his usual impact full manner.

The theme for his talk was three fold Knowledge without Action, Action without Love and Life with Swami’s grace. He spoke of His immense gratitude towards Swami for allowing him and the UK Grama Seva boys to participate in this year’s activities. He also said "Grama Seva is Ram Seva" and narrated his experience while performing the Grama Seva. Swami was enjoying the talk immensely and also smiled at various points during the talk. As Sri Ajit Popat (Puppet) completed his talk, Swami also briefly clapped in His sweet divine manner.

The second speaker of the day was Sri V. Srinivas. Sri Srinivas spoke regarding the Navaratri festival. He explained in detail the different ways the festival is celebrated throughout India. He mentioned the significance of the Vijaya Dashmi day (the 10th day), the victory of good over evil and that victory is GOD. He mentioned that this day is very auspicious to start something new. Sri Srinivas concluded his talk by requesting Swami to bless the audience with His divine discourse.

Swami immediately answered his prayers by standing up to begin His discourse. The Sai Kulwant Hall was filled with a thunderous applause. Swami spoke in detail about Education and Intellect. At one point, Swami mentioned the importance of Purity and that He himself does not consume polluted water, food or air. In fact, Swami made a very beautiful statement. The air that Swami breathes is a reflection of the prayers of all His devotees. He continued by saying Swami has no problems. Not even in dreams. He is full of joy. However, He feels bad only when His devotees are waiting for darshan. Swami said Be happy as Happiness is union with GOD.

The Pandvas did not worry as they had Krishna with them; Swami said you have Sai Baba. At this point everyone clapped. If you keep your parents happy Sai Baba will be happy.

Swami continued His Divine Discourse for 40 minutes. Swami ended His Discourse with the bhajan ‘Hari Bhajan Bina Sukh Shanti Nahi’ Swami indicated for the prashadam to be distributed and the Students sung lovely devotional songs. Swami took aarti and returned to His Divine Abode.

Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva Group 2006 29th September 2006

Morning Darshan

Everyday is a festival day in Prashanti Nilayam (The Supreme Abode of Peace), and today was no exception. The usual Ashram routines of Suprabhatam and Nagar Sankritan continued as it has been for decades; however the Dasera festivities added to the holiness of the place.

Our Dear Lord Sai blessed the eagerly awaiting devotees by giving His Divine Darshan at 8:15am. Swami’s face was radiating with extreme brilliance as He gave Darshan to all. Swami’s joyous mood was pleasing to all (especially) those who managed to give a letter or speak to Him. Swami fulfilled the wishes of all by sitting on the portico immediately after darshan. Swami remained on the Chair for 15 minutes and stood up to walk back to the interview room, this action of Swami pleased all (loud claps!)

The UK Grama Seva group were given instructions to visit a village called Pedaballi Tada (colony), which is located 25km from Puttaparthy.

Swami’s message of Love can be seen to be reaching out to the world, as the villagers were waiting with broad smiles for the arrival of the Grama Seva groups. The one unique quality of all India villagers is their hospitality and love towards all visitors. They regard visitors as GOD! At this village the residents offered the group beds to sit on whilst the boys were awaiting for more food stock. It is only Swami’s Love that can bring the humanity together.

Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva Group 2006 – 30th September 2006

Morning Darshan:

Today is Durga Ashtami (the 8th day of the Navaratri function). Today
throughout India people do Aayudha Puja (Worshiping of Vehicles and
instruments). Swami also carries out this ceremony every year.

Swami arrived for darshan at 8:20am, Vedams were chanted for the arrival
of the Veda Purusha Himself! Swami did the full round of darshan and
blessed everyone on this auspicious day. Swami's car stopped at the
edge of the veranda, at which point Baba walked to the portico. Swami
then headed towards East Prashanti where all of Swami's vehicles had
been parked, including the Golden Chariot.

Our dear Sai first approached the convertible red mini and blessed the
vehicle with His divine touch. Puja was performed to the toy-looking car
by breaking the coconut in front of it. Swami then proceeded to all the
other cars. One of the UK Grama Seva brothers was fortunate to witness
the proceeding at very close proximity as he'd been given the unique
privilege of taking photographs.

Swami then returned to the veranda where He blessed the Grama Seva
Prashadam and gave instructions for Raam Seva to begin.

All the Vedam and Grama Seva boys followed the normal routine of
circling the Mandir, whilst Swami sat in his chair and looked at every
boy as he went pass.

As Dr. Gokak mentioned in his talk yesterday, the two villages Swami
visited are His eyes. With this thought the UK Grama Seva Group visited
a village called Cherolapalli. This village is about 12 km from
Puttaparthi. This village is regarded as one of the poorest in the

The trip to this village was a real eye-opener. The villagers lived in
small confined spaces with very bare essentials. They livelihood was
based upon subsistence farming and breeding live stock. One particular
lady villager stated that `We are happy with Swami's prashadam
alone, there was no need for the clothing". It became evident very
quickly that Swami's love was enough to sustain them through their
difficult times.

It was heart breaking to witness villagers living in such conditions.
One brother asked a villager…'Where are the shops in your
village?', and he immediately replied…'Sir, where is the money
to buy anything here?'

Even the toughest man would shed a tear, seeing such plight of these
poor villagers. Swami is there only hope.

Afternoon Darshan:

Swami came out for darshan at 3.30pm this afternoon and immediately left
through the Raam Darbar gates. Swami returned at 4.10pm, giving darshan
on the ladies side and then proceeding to the veranda. To the delight of
all present in the Sai Kulwant Hall, Swami walked across the veranda
towards the East Prashanti side and spoke to a few devotees. Swami
called a few lady devotees, one of which had a new born baby who was
extremely fortunate to be blessed by the Lord of Lords. Swami also
showered His blessings on the baby by materialising a gold chain and
allowing the baby to be placed at is divine Lotus feet. Swami then sat
on the portico listening to Vedam, whilst he blessed each birthday
student in turn.

Swami then slowly made His way to the interview room until 5pm and
thereafter attended bhajans in the Mandir. Swami took aarti and retired
to his supreme abode at 5.30pm.


Sai Kingdom (UK) Grama Seva Group 2006 – 1st October 2006

Morning Darshan

Swami arrived at 8.45am. Today was the day the Maharashtra Sevadals were leaving Prashanti. Swami's car stopped to take a bundle of letters from them and blessed them by rolling down His window and giving them His Abhayhasta (blessing with raised hands).

Swami made his way to the Veranda and walked to the portico chair. Swami stopped the Vedams and asked just the Primary school children to continue reciting by themselves. Thereafter, Swami stood up and walked into the interview room. At which point, the Vedam and Grama Seva boys left for Gram Seva

Today, Gram Seva was conducted at Kodapaganipalli village, where the boys received an enthusiastic welcome. The villagers had decorated the streets with colourful rangolis (ground patterns) and welcome messages. Gram Seva began as usual by chanting Vedam and Bhajans around the village. The local children and energetic musicians also accompanied the boys.

The feeling amongst the UK Gram Seva boys was tinged with sadness, as it was their last day for Gram Seva. However, the boys were full of gratitude to Swami for allowing them to participate in this unique service activity. A particularly touching incident was when one elderly lady, who upon receiving the saree prashadam, was overcome with memories of when her eyesight was restored at Swami's Super Speciality Hospital .

Click here for photos http://uk.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/ukgramasevagroup/album?.dir=/d82dscd

Afternoon Darshan

Swami emerged from His residence at 3.40pm and gave darshan to the large crowds that had gathered on this auspicious ninth day of Navratri.

Swami called Brother Sanjay Mahalingam and asked him to address the gathering and to specifically talk about Rama Tatva (Essence of Rama). He started his talk by speaking about Vairagya (detachment) and Devotion, making some poignant observations by using various anecdotes from Swami's Chinna Katha. He then moved on to the subject of the impermanence of the material world and the importance of seeking that which is real. He finally spoke about surrender, before requesting Swami's permission to conclude his talk. Swami then asked him to continue and he resumed by reciting shlokas from the second chapter of the Bhagwat Gita discussing the qualities of an enlightened man.

Swami then called Dr Ravi Kumar to the dias, who spoke about the importance of developing faith before divinity can be experienced. He gave a personal account of how Swami cancelled his father's cancer due to his strong faith in God. He developed the theme of having unshakable faith in God who will then take care of his welfare (and farewell!).

Swami then blessed the audience with His divine discourse. He began with a Telegu poem describing the sweetness in the name of Rama. Swami then spoke extensively on the Rama Katha. He concluded with how the values extolled in the Rama Katha have diminished today. He gave examples of men and women interacting in public, which marked the arrival of the Kaliyug. Finally, he reiterated the eternal truth that Happiness is Union with God. Swami ended the discourse with a melodious Rama bhajan in Telegu.

Thereafter, Swami signalled the student to sing bhajans. After the first bhajan, Swami stood up and took Aarti before returning to Hi residence at 6.40pm




Jai Sai Ram!
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