Source: photos, text etc. Our most humble thanks
to all our Sai friends and fellow devotees for Sai Baba photos & textual matter, particularly
to www. sssbpt.org - www. radiosai ,Heart2Heart Team (Prasanthi Diary) , Sri Sathya Sai Media
Foundation for darshans & photo material and all the
other official & public domain sources - Also, Various Sai
Baba groups ,Forums & individuals etc. In addition, submitted articles, Darshan account,
photos & Sai news by respective Sai devotees from all over the globe & SBOI group
members to Group Saibabaofindia & www.Saibabaofindia.com website.
Submit Sai news &
Photos: mail to:
Text & photo source: Heart2Heart Team (Prasanthi Diary),
sssbpt.org - radiosai.org - Sri Sathya Sai Media Foundation -
h2hsai.org- saibabaofindia.com & SBOI group.
For the last couple of days, Bhagavan has been granting long darshans in the
evenings, pausing during His darshan rounds to interact with many devotees on the
way. This evening, He also materialized vibhuti for some gentlemen in the Eastern
side of Sai Kulwant Hall. Later, when He came to the verandah, He interacted with
the team from the University Grants Commission which is visiting the University
here, and materialized rings for two of them. Spending some time in the interview
room and some time outside onstage, it was half-past six when Swami accepted Arati.
Once He entered His car, only to emerge once again, move to the interview room
again, and then return to His residence after ten minutes.
Om Sairam dearest Sai family,
The birthday of our beloved Lord was celebrated grandly at the Abode of our beloved Lord Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Puttaparthi, the holy abode which witnessed the birth of the Lord of this Kali age was blessed again to celebrate the 84th Birthday. Thousands thronged to this holy land and words are not enough to express the happiness among those people who were blessed to be born in the surroundings of this holy land..
It is a matter of pride happiness and contentment for all of us here and thousands come to Puttaparthi to wish the Lord of the Lords, the Lord who has neither a beginning nor an
end. that Swami who is eternal and immortal it is only His immense grace and love for us that He allows us to celebrate 23November every year as His birthday..
Puttaparthi and its surrounding were jam packed. .All the streets were full and there was hardly any place even to stand.. The gents line touched Hanuman temple and people were standing in the lines since 2am in the morning. Inside it was the same scene. Stringent security arrangements were made for the big day and the mandir was beautifully decorated.
Inside the Sai Kulwanth hall it was just beautiful.
here was a big arch like thing on which 84th birthday celebrations
was written.. It was announced yesterday that the birthday programme would start at 9:30am. Every
one were eagerly waiting for our beloved Lord on His (body's) birthday. It was 9am and the
Prasanthi Campus boys, primary school children with their bag pipers and Anantapur campus sisters
with their full fledged band and vedam chanting boys were eagerly waiting for the Lord by His
Around 10am the long wait was worth while when our beloved Lord
gave His most divine darshan which also commemorates 84 years of the Advent. The Band from all the
campuses came in first, later the vedam boys and then Swami clad in a beautiful white robe seated
on a golden colour car chair blessed those lucky souls who could make it to the Sai Kulwanth
Hall.. As soon as Swami entered the hall, two little girls, bit shy, offered rose to our Swami and
Swami moved forward to bless all the ladies' seated there. Then it was turn of sisters from
Anantapur, who were watching Swami with tears in eyes, Swami very sweetly smiled back
...continue reading with more photos
On the auspicious 22nd November morning, at the end
of an hour long inspiring
Divine Discourse , Bhagawan, praising His students, asked
them to sing a song in unison! And they sang the famous song of Divine Romance, a
student composition: “Hum Ko Thum Se Pyaar Kithna…” After the song Bhagawan said, His
hunger was satiated. The
Convocation Drama for the year 2009
that was staged on the 21st evenings was a
pointer towards the Sathya Sai Model of Education, a model the world needs in the
present times. …And on the heels of this Drama came the 28th Annual Convocation.
The 28th Annual Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University was held on the 22nd
November 2009, in a glittering ceremony that had its grandeur, richly deserved for
the yeomen service the University has been rendering in the field of education for
more than a quarter century.
This prestigious institution that is undoubtedly the one of its kind that has won
attention and accolades for simple reason that it promotes value education with
spiritual orientation helping in engendering students whom Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai
Baba prefers to address as future ambassadors, has thousands of such students in its
alumni list who are engaged in relentless service activities in different part of
the world, following the invaluable inputs that they received before leaving the
portals of this great institution....Continue reading with photos & picture
In the evening, Swami came for darshan at 5.10 pm and after His round of the hall,
He blessed a cake presented by the Hospital staff on the 18th anniversary of the
Super Speciality Hospital here. He moved to the bhajan hall where the "Little Champs", the singers for the evening were seated and then to the interview room. He
emerged from there to take a round of the verandah and sit onstage, talking to the
Maharashtra Chief Minister there and calling up singer Smt. Bombay Jayashree to give
a performance at 6.20 pm. After her half-hour performance, Swami blessed her and the
accompanists with clothes and called up the five children who were to sing next.
These children had sung before Bhagavan at Hadshi on His Maharashtra trip last month .
After they sang for 50 minutes one by one, He asked for some songs with Swaras, and
the two boys obliged. He then blessed them with shawls and the girls with sarees,
interacting with them and listening to two more song by all of them together.
This evening, the students of the Sri Sathya Sai University presented their
Convocation drama. Bhagavan arrived for darshan at ten minutes to five and came to
the bhajan hall where the students were seated in costumes. Interacting with them
for a few minutes, He moved down the aisle and up the verandah to go to the
interview room. From there, He emerged to come onstage and begin the presentation at
a quarter to six. The hour-long drama 'Vidyaamrutam' brought out Swami's ideal of
providing education free of cost, against all odds.
Swami blessed the participants
with group photos and clothes at the conclusion, He had blessed the protagonist of
the play with a chain during the drama itself. He asked for some songs to be sung,
so the students sang a bhajan and a group song before Swami accepted Arati. He
interacted with the students for some time even after Arati and it was past 7.30 pm
when He returned to His residence. An announcement was made about the 28th
Convocation of the University which is to be held tomorrow morning. Continue reading with photos & picture
This morning, Bhagavan came for darshan an hour after the nine o'clock bhajans
began. He moved to the bhajan hall after three rounds of the ladies' side of Sai
Kulwant hall selecting ladies for saree distribution, sending them to the bhajan
hall. In the Bhajan hall, He gave sarees to the ladies gathered there. The students
of the music college got a cake blessed since it was the anniversary of the
inauguration of their institution. It was half-past eleven when He accepted Arati
onstage after the distribution.
In the evening, the students of Sri Sathya Sai Primary School presented a drama on
the story of Mother Sita. Swami was welcomed into Sai Kulwant Hall at 5.10 pm with
the bagpipes band of the Primary School along with students dancing and chanting
Vedam. Once Bhagavan reached the stage after His darshan round, a brief round of
distribution of mementos was done on behalf of Eswaramma Womens' Welfare Trust. The
fast-paced forty-minute Primary School drama commenced at 5.40 pm. After the drama,
Swami called up the participants onstage to have group photographs with them and
sent them prasadam. The bagpipes band then performed a couple of pieces before Swami
accepted Arati and returned to His residence at a quarter to seven. Continue reading with photos & picture
November 19th has been celebrated as Ladies' Day by Bhagavan and all
activities are done by ladies on this day. Smt. P. Susheela began the day by
chanting the Suprabhatam at half-past five and the Vedam chanting before the
Nagarasankirtan was also by Swami's girl students as on earlier years. The
programme in Sai Kulwant hall began ten minutes after nine with Swami being
welcomed by a procession consisting of the Anantapur brass band and Vedam
chanting students. After His darshan round Swami lit a lamp onstage just
There were two speakers, with an introductory speech by Mrs. Chetana Raju.
Mrs. Sharon Sandwiess of the USA and Mrs. Harriet Tay-Agbozo of Ghana spoke of
their experiences with Bhagavan. The speeches were followed by five-minute
dances by children from the Sai schools of India, Indonesia, Mexico, Fiji,
Thailand and South Africa. After their presentation, Swami went among the
participants and gifted them with photo frames. It was 11.15 when He came back
onstage and asked for bhajans by the ladies to begin. Ten minutes later, He
accepted Arati and left for His residence after blessing the giant cake placed
In the evening, Swami came for darshan at 4.45 pm, led by Vedam chanting
students and the Primary school bagpipes band, flanked by small girls bearing
welcoming plates with lamps. The programme commenced at five o'clock with
choirs by devotees from Greece and Holland. The music was followed by a 70
minute Telugu drama 'Draupadi Charitra' by devotees from Hyderabad. After the
drama, Swami blessed "Draupadi" with a chain and went down for group
photographs. He then called them up one by one to the stage to receive photo
frames. It was past seven o'clock when Swami left for His residence after
Arati. Sri Ashok Singhal of the VHP and Malayalam film star Sri Mohanlal were
also among the congregation. Continue reading with photos & picture
I Care -"Life on wheels"... -
18th November 2009 Posted at 14:00:00 Hrs. IST on 18 Nov 2009
After the traditional Rathotsavam in the morning, the packed Sai Kulwant Hall had to
endure a long wait in the evening.
It was penance for the capacity crowd that waited
for four long hours. The long wait finally found fulfillment when Bhagawan came out
at 6:40 for a complete round, feasting the eyes, filling and fulfilling thousands of
hearts, minds and souls with bliss unlimited. Continue reading with photos & picture
Ratotsavam in Prasanthi Nilayam comes as a forerunner to the grand Birthday
Celebrations of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. ..And ever since its inception many
years ago, this festivity has been a fixed schedule for the
18th November. For so many years, this day had been tagged
with another big event, Narayana Seva, en mass for the villagers in and around
Puttaparthi, where in Bhagawan would present Himself through and through, along with
hundreds of University students and sevadal volunteers, held at the Vidyagiri Sports
Stadium....continue reading... with latest photos
Last evening, Bhagavan had blessed the intra-mural captains of all the campuses of
the Sai educational institutions at His residence after the bhajans. He had also
asked for a Burrakatha presentation this evening. Accordingly, the Burrakatha
students were ready in their costumes in the bhajan hall when Swami came for darshan
at 5.30 pm today as the bhajans went on. Once He reached the stage after His darshan
round, He asked for the Burrakatha to begin, and the Burrakatha group went onstage
to commence their hour-long presentation on Mother Eswaramma and Karnam Subbamma at
ten minutes to six. Swami also sat onstage watching them, and accepted Arati
immediately after the programme.
This evening, the youth from Tamil Nadu presented their drama. Bhagavan came for
darshan at 5.50 pm and after His darshan round, began their 45-minute drama entitled
After the drama, some small girls who took part in it came
up to Him with a card, and He blessed one of them with a chain. Clothes were sent
for all the participants and Swami went down from the stage for group photographs.
Even after He returned to the stage, He continued to interact with them till 7.15,
when He asked for two bhajans to be sung with alap and then accepted Arati at
He then visited the interview room for a short while
before returning to His residence in the chair itself.
Read more details of Sri Sathya Sai Youth Pilgrimage 2009 13th to 15th Nov.
The youth from the state
of Tamil Nadu were jubilant after a successful music programme the
previous day. A music programme is usually considered a success when
it enthralls the audience and they respond in a thrilled manner. In
Prashanthi however, it is a success when the Lord beams with joy.
And on those occasions when the programme achieves both, it is
definitely a success!
The youth had all reasons to cheer and that day, Swami had permitted
them to stage a drama entitled, "Sathya Kathalu" which punned on the
word Sathya meaning, "True stories" or "Stories of Sathya (our
Swami)". The backdrop and actors were all ready by 3:30 p.m. itself
and the Sunday crowd in the hall joined them as they awaited the
Lord. The Veda chanting which began at 4:00 p.m. ceased at 5:00 p.m.
and in the silence that prevailed, one could sense the prayers of
the participants for His arrival.
Swami arrived for
darshan at 5:50 p.m. He was in a new chair and as always He
looked beautiful! Moving through the ladies side, He arrived at the
centre where He spoke to some of the participants as to the name and
theme of the drama. Then, He moved to the gents’ side and completed
the darshan rounds gliding past the students from the
University and schools.
Arriving on stage, He sat
for a while listening to the Veda chanting. Then looking at one of
the students in the first line He seemed to confirm, "Drama?" The
boy nodded in agreement. Swami asked for the Veda chanting to halt
so that the programme could begin. The initial offering of flowers
and cards was made and Swami blessed them. Then calling the State
President of Tamil Nadu, Swami asked him to get the programme
started with an announcement.
introduced the programme and it began with the great freedom
fighter, Subramanya Bharathi arriving eagerly to see the development
in his homeland, Tamil Nadu. [He is known as Mahakavi
Bharathi, meaning, ‘the Great Poet Bharathi’ as he is celebrated as
one of India's greatest poets. Bharathi was prolific and adept in
both prose and poetry forms. His compositions helped rally the
masses to support the Indian independence movement in South India.]
So on the stage Bharathi
is accompanied by the celestial sage Narada. The drama depicted true
stories of transformation in three villages of the state.
The first episode was in
Karisangal where the Sai Youth abolish the stigma of untouchability
and bring love and harmony in the society, winning the hearts of all
in the village. The second episode depicted how the youth brought
about harmony in the village of Malliankuppam torn apart by communal
and caste segregation by the sheer power of Love.
The final episode was thrilling for all to watch. Set in the village
of Melakavetti, it depicted the fate of a poor person struck with
paralysis. Everyone had given up on Subbayya and had reached a stage
of cursing his wretched existence. The youth took up his case and
nursed him daily with love and empathy. This inspired the villagers
to come up with a proposal wherein one family of the village would
take care of Subbayya for one day in a month. Slowly, that village
transformed into an ideal Sai village.
The climax of the story
came when Subbayya gets a dream of Swami massaging him all over and
the next day, during bhajans, he is completely rid of his
paralysis! Witnessing the tidal wave of the Sai movement overcoming
all obstacles and achieving the dreams he treasured in his poems,
Bharathi is thrilled and overjoyed.
Swami seemed very happy
and pleased with the drama. His body seemed to quiver with emotion
at the devotion exhibited by the youth tending to Subbayya. And when
the bhajan, "Deena Dukhiyon Se Prem Karo" began at that
very moment, many eyes turned moist in the hall. It was such a
powerful message that to please Swami, one has to love and serve the
sick and the forlorn. Seeing Swami emote is such an inspiring and
powerful experience. When the characters in the drama nursed
Subbayya and the bhajan was on, the mood of service
pervaded the entire hall.
Swami's strong reactions
when He seemed so touched at the marvellous service would have
sprung the feeling in every heart that, "I too must do this in my
own way and please the Lord!" The drama on stage inspires one to do
well in the drama called life. Swami does not speak anything but the
message is powerfully driven into every heart.
As the drama concluded, there was a final song during which all the
children and youth who were part of the drama made a formation in
the front. There were two triads of girls who had acted in the
drama. One of them belonged to the so called "untouchables" who had
been touched by Him. Swami called them to the stage. The Lord asked
them their names and the girls after telling Him the names, asked
Him, "Swami please come to Chennai."
Swami - When should I come to Chennai?
Girls - Come whenever you want Swami.
Swami- I will come right away. Will you take me with you?
girls had no response and Swami smiled.
He created a small golden necklace for one of the girls and put it
round her neck. She was so lost and happy. Swami also adjusted it so
that the pendant came in front. He asked for sarees to be brought
and personally distributed them to the girls. Then He agreed to
their request of padanamaskar after which He told them all
to go down.
He asked for safari cloth
pieces to be distributed to all the participants and personally
checked to ensure that all had received. Finally, Swami moved down
the stage to pose with the children for a photograph. He guided the
photographers to various points to ensure that all had been covered
and He spoke to the participants as He moved up the stage.
Arriving on the stage, He
asked two students, "How was the song in the drama?" The students
were appreciative of it and Swami told the State President and youth
leader, "These boys are also singers. They sing very well in a good
voice." He then asked them to sing two alaapbhajans.
There was enthusiastic following for the bhajans. After the
bhajans, He received aarthi.
There was a gleam of joy
in His eyes and blessed indeed are these youth for they granted Him
so much joy. And this joy was not just the successful presentation
of the drama but the tremendous service activity they had done in
the villages of their state. Swami granted them abhayahastha
at least 5-6 times and that spoke of the happiness He had
experienced. Blessing everyone once again, Swami moved to the car
and retired for the day as prasadam was distributed.
The staff and their families from the Bangalore Super Speciality Hospital plan to
come every month in batches for Bhagavan's darshan. This weekend, the first batch of
120 members had come and were seated inside the bhajan hall for evening darshan.
Swami came for darshan at ten minutes to five and after His darshan round, came into
the bhajan hall as the bhajans went on in the Sai Kulwant Hall. He spent more than
half an hour with the group, moving among them down the hall several times and later
sitting in front of the hall to interact informally.
After a short visit to the interview room from where He sent prasadam for the group,
He moved to the stage area. The Tamil Nadu Youth who are on a Parthi pilgrimage then
presented a half-hour music programme. Concluding the session with several bhajans,
Swami interacted with several members of the youth group even after the Arati,
returning to His residence at a quarter to seven.
14, 2009 – Music Programme by Tamil Nadu Sai Youth
Children's Day is
celebrated in India on November 14, the birthday of India's first
Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, as a tribute to his love of
children. He was very fond of children and believed that children are
the future of the nation. But in Puttaparthi and with Swami, everyday
is Children's Day for that is what it becomes when the Universal
Mother descends to foster and tend Her children.
The youth from the state of Tamil Nadu had sought Swami's permission
to put up a music programme and once that had been granted, they were
ready in all eagerness. By 4:00 p.m., a portion of the marbled blocks
had been occupied by these youth and everyone waited for Swami to
Swami came for darshan
at ten minutes to five and completed the darshan round. There
was another programme before the music programme. The staff and their
families from the Bangalore Super Speciality Hospital plan to come
every month in batches for Bhagavan's darshan and the first
batch of 120 members had come and were seated inside the Bhajan Hall
for evening darshan. They had arrived as Swami's guests and
Swami had agreed to grant them a group interview.
The next half an hour or so turned out to be Childrens' Day for all
these people assembled inside the Bhajan Hall and Swami moved up and
down the aisles and 'paths made on request' granting namaskar
and talking to them. Thus granting joy to all of them, Swami moved out
of the Bhajan Hall into the interview room.
He sent word that all mikes
should be kept ready and the youth should begin their programme. Even
as they began the Aumkaram, Swami arrived on the stage and received
the initial offerings of the flower and the card. The songs were
strung together with a commentary and all of the songs were in Tamil.
They were in different ragas and composed by many a great person. A
very young violinist, maybe 12 years of age, was prominent in the
front of the performing group.
Every song was appreciated
with loud clapping by the members of the audience. Once the songs were
over, Swami permitted them to sing bhajans. As this went on,
some of the youth presented Swami with their "Bhajan-Vikas"
certificates which had been awarded to them for successful completion
of Bal Vikas training along with training for the pursuit of music in
general and bhajans in particular. Swami blessed the
Another set of boys showed
Swami the hard copy of the July 30th issue of an e-newsletter named, "Bhajanamrutham".
Swami blessed it and keenly listened to all that they explained about
it. Swami also called and spoke to another member of the group, this
boy requested Swami for a group photograph and Swami said, "Not now."
Swami then blessed everyone and asked for aarthi to begin. It
was 6:50 p.m. when Swami finally moved into Yajur Mandir.
Also read the article below - Posted at 08:00:00
Hrs. IST on 15 Nov 2009
"Becoming a Flute in His Hands"
(The writer has done his MBA degree from the Sri Sathya Sai
University, and is currently serving at the Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana Trust, Sahayak
Division, in Prasanti Nilayam)
"Be like a flute: a hollow reed straight, light, with no substance to hinder His
breath. Then He will come and pick you up from the ground. He will breathe divine
music through you, playing upon you with delicate touch."
Bhagawan has always likened His ideal devotee to a flute that has no identity of its
own, but is completely His.
In case of Raviteja, an accomplished flautist and a former student of Bhagawan, the
Creator not only blessed him with a flute in his hand, but also to play the
melodious instrument in His proximity -- he is a member of the music group in
The talented musician and former student had the great fortune of accompanying
Bhagawan on His trip to Pune and Mumbai, and has shared his 'divine' experiences....continue reading with
This morning, some cows to be donated to the Mantralayam temple were brought to Sai
Kulwant Hall. When Bhagavan came for darshan during the bhajans, He blessed some of
the cows. Later, after He came out of the interview room, the cows again came
forward and Swami went down to bless them in the centre of the hall.
This evening, He came for darshan in the car at a quarter to five and moved out
to go to the college auditorium for watching the rehearsal of the Convocation drama
by the students. Returning at 6.15, He moved to the interview room and bhajan hall,
coming to the stage area after 6.30 to accept Arati.
November 12, 2009 – Bhagavan Visits the Institute Auditorium for
The temple town of
Mantralayam in Andhra Pradesh had been seriously affected in the
recent floods. The temple of Sri Raghavendra along with all its
property had been submerged. One devotee wanted to make a
contribution of cows to the Goshala at Mantralayam and he
prayed to Swami to bless the endeavour. Swami had graciously agreed.
He arrived for
darshan a little after 9:00 a.m. and as He reached the centre
of the hall, He moved straight down to where a few representative
cows had arrived. He had a look at the cows and went ahead with the
darshan session. There were interviews which He granted
after which He moved to the stage. From there, He moved down the Sai
Kulwant Hall once again and towards the cows. He presented the cows
to various recipients and was them for 15-20 minutes. After blessing
the entire effort, He retired after receiving aarthi in the
Swami had promised the
boys the previous day evening that He would come to see the
rehearsal of the Convocation drama. All the actors, set boys,
backstage helpers and costume boys had assembled in the Institute
auditorium by 3:45 p.m. and everyone awaited Swami's arrival.
Waiting for Swami at the auditorium, one cannot help but notice the
many changes that the landscape nearby has undergone.
A new enclosure has been
made for the peacocks. The lawns have been beautifully trimmed and a
waterfall has been added. The greenery on the earth below was
complimented by the blue skies filled with fluffy clouds. It was
also fascinating to see a few red ants in their perpetual hurry,
collecting food for the hard days to come!
Swami came out of Yajur
Mandir at 4:45 p.m. and headed straight towards the Institute. By
4:55 p.m., He was at the auditorium and was received by the Vice
Chancellor, Principal and the Wardens of the Brindavan and
Puttaparthi University hostels. As He alighted from the car, He gave
vibhuti to the Vice Chancellor, Registrar and the Controller. Then
He moved into the auditorium.
All the backstage boys
were ready, the actors in semi-costumes and everyone else associated
with the drama were on chairs. Swami sat in the centre and asked for
the rehearsal to begin. There were two narrators who began the drama
and even as they were speaking, Swami asked, "Where are the actors?"
When Swami sees a drama rehearsal, He conveys His comments and
compliments directly sometimes and sometimes in a subtle manner. It
is upto the students to grasp what He says and implement them. The
next 50 minutes saw Swami in conversation many times with the warden
of the Brindavan campus, giving Him feedback about the drama.
The drama began. As the
first scene went on, there were children in the background pouring
water to potted plants. They were just miming with an empty bucket
and mug and Swami asked, "What are they pouring? There is no water
at all!" The scenes progressed and as the hero sings a song in
Hindi, Swami asked whether the translation of the song would be
Swami was informed that
there were verses in Telugu and songs in Hindi but all translations
appeared in the dialogues in English that followed. Swami watched
with an intensity of an avid director. During a scene when Lord
Krishna puts some food into his mouth, Swami smiled at said,
"Krishna should appear as if He is hungry for food." (thindipothudu
was the exact word He used!)
The drama concluded and
all the boys gathered at His feet, and Bhagavan began to pour
feedback. "The drama should be more inspiring. It should inspire the
public who are watching it with noble feelings. Feelings should
arise spontaneously. And when you present all the goodness that
Swami has done, people should also feel like emulating that."
To a student who was
donning the role of the demon king Hiranyakashyapu, Swami said, "You
must be more vigorous and powerful in your actions and delivery.
More rage and loudness has to be assumed." On the whole, about the
drama He said, "Too many times the word money appears and there is
emphasis on business deals." He wanted the tenor of the drama
changed a bit and He was very insistent that a powerful message be
conveyed through it.
He blessed all the actors
and had a look at the costumes too. Speaking about Rukmini, the
consort of Lord Krishna, He said, "She was not involved at all. She
too must speak and be involved in the scene." The boys were all
thrilled at this involvement from Swami. It inspires everyone to be
involved to the same level and intensity.
Swami was happy with the
efforts that had been put in. Having given joy and valuable feedback
to all the boys, Swami moved out of the auditorium. Aarthi
was given and outside the auditorium, the new band leader requested
Swami permission to play the slow march tune.
Swami agreed and so the
University brass band began to play as Swami moved out. It was
almost 6:15 p.m. as Swami moved out of the Institute premises.
Bhajans were on in the Mandir and after a couple of bhajans,
Swami received aarthi and retired at 6:45 p.m.
The Akhanda bhajan continued throughout the night and the loudspeakers were switched
on at eight o'clock this morning. Swami came to the bhajan hall at a quarter to ten.
He moved down the aisle, sat for some time outside on the Sai Kulwant Hall stage
area, and returned to the Bhajan hall, remaining there till half-past twelve! He
went to Yajur Mandir and returned at half-past five. Once again He moved down the
aisle and sat for a while outside, then returned to the bhajan hall before six
Even after six o'clock, He kept indicating for bhajans
to be sung, till He finally asked for the Arati ten minutes later. Prasadam of
tamarind rice and sweet rice was then distributed to all on leaf plates even as
Swami watched. He then interacted with some of the lady teachers who lead bhajans,
gave them sarees, then gave sarees to some of the married men from the bhajan group
for their wives. The interaction continued for more than half an hour, and it was
7.10 pm when Bhagavan returned to Yajur Mandir, blessing the devotees on the way.
Last evening, the Karnataka Education Minister was here for Swami's darshan. The
24-hour Global Akhanda bhajan began this evening at six o'clock. Today was also
Bhagavan's birthday by the Telugu calendar. While He came for darshan at 4.20 pm,
Swami called up several ladies and sent them to the bhajan hall. He moved twice
around the ladies' side doing this selection before completing His darshan round.
Coming to the Bhajan Hall, Swami distributed sarees to all the ladies, more than
fifty of them. He then moved to the verandah and later to the stage area as the
Vedic chanting went on.
At half-past five, He came into the packed bhajan hall readied for the Akhanda
bhajan. Interacting with some of the teachers and students there, He moved down the
aisle and sat there till nearly six o'clock when He asked for the bhajan to begin
and lit the 24-hour lamp. At half-past six, He returned to His residence, only to
return to the bhajan hall at a quarter to eight. Once again He blessed the singers
in the bhajan hall with His presence, moving down the aisle and taking a round of
the Sai Kulwant Hall also. Finally, it was a quarter to nine when He returned to
Yajur Mandir. From nine o'clock, the bhajan continued without microphones.
7-8, 2009 – Global Akhanda Bhajans
The first major event in
Prashanti Nilayam after Swami's memorable visit to Hadshi and Mumbai
was the global akhanda bhajans. The 24-hour long bhajan
programme has a long and interesting history. Like the springs that
grown into mighty rivers, it too began in a simple, humble fashion and
Swami was its chief architect. Read the first hand witness account of
how Akhanda Bhajans began in 1945 from H2H Archives
Presently this is a global
event and devotees from more than 170 countries sing bhajans
in many tongues. The whole earth witnesses the spread of holy powerful
vibrations and the Sun, in its journey from the east to west,
witnesses love pouring forth for the Universal Lord! Needless to say,
Prashanti Nilayam is the epicentre of this spiritual seismic activity
that measures a full 10 on the spiritually "Richter" scale!
The evening of November 7
happened to be the day chosen for this year's akhanda bhajans.
Swami arrived for darshan at 4:30 p.m. As He moved through
the ladies' side, He seemed to be picking up a few ladies and telling
them to assemble in the Bhajan Hall. As He completed that side, He
took a detour towards the Mandir and once again moved through the
ladies side, selecting some more lucky souls. Satisfied with the
selection, Swami moved to the gents’ side and took a complete round.
He blessed the birthday boys and took a round in the portico too. He
sat on the stage for a while and then went into the Bhajan Hall and
blessed all the ladies assembled there with beautiful sarees!
The distribution took about
20 minutes after which, at about 5:10 p.m., Swami came out and sat
listening to the Vedic chants. On His way out, Prof. Anil Kumar went
near Him and regaled Him for some time and after that told Him
something that seemed to touch Him a lot. Having sat out for some
time, Swami went into the Bhajan Hall to enthuse those seated there in
almost cramping positions so that they could see Him during the
bhajans. He took a round in the hall and accepted many letters
too. Coming out, He moved through the upper portico into the interview
At 5:50 p.m., Swami was
back in the Bhajan Hall waiting for the ticking clock to signal 6:00
p.m. At sharp 6, Swami lit the lamp placed in the centre of the hall
and with that the Aumkaram began. The boys started the Ganesh
bhajan and predictably, the second bhajan by the
girls was Akhanda Jyoti Jalao. The bhajans then
The hall outside presented a beautiful sight with all the lights being
switched on. And the sight of all the boys and girls singing
bhajans in unison thrilled anyone concerned about the future, for
it is very rare to find youth today singing God's glory and aiming for
higher pursuits of life. At about 6:40 p.m., Swami moved out of the
Bhajan Hall, towards His residence. He went in the chair itself and
all those singing in the ladies' side were happy for this bonus
darshan. By 7:00 p.m., many started moving out of the hall and
maybe they too planned to retire for the night. Quite a number however
carried on the vigil with bhajans.
At 7:45 p.m. came the
adrenaline rush for those who had continued to stay in the Mandir.
Swami came out of the Residence and moved into the Sai Kulwant Hall.
There were just 8-10 lines on the ladies side and gents' side too and
all jumped in joy at this special darshan. Swami moved
straight to the Bhajan Hall and sat for the bhajans. Few
minutes later, He moved through the Bhajan Hall and then to the
portico. He came down the slope on the eastern side of the Mandir
where the alumni sit.
Taking a turn He made a
full round in the students' area and accepted the hundreds of letters
that were offered. Passing via the Primary School sitting area, Swami
moved back into the Mandir. In the Mandir, Swami continued to sit for
the bhajans. It was such an act of solidarity if we may call
it so! Swami seemed to be saying, "Whether anyone stays or not, I will
be there for you, with you, in you; loving and guiding you." Swami
stayed till 8:45 p.m.! Even when He left, it was because He wanted the
children to go and have dinner - fuel for the night long vigil!
There is a section of
people who take it as a special privilege to sing His glories when all
others are asleep. The youth group from Hyderabad is an example. They
arrive in the late hours of the night and remind people of God,
'awakening' many of them with their powerful and enthusiastic
bhajans! Different groups of devotees take up 45 minutes slots
and ensure that the name is continuously sung. We cannot help but
remember an episode from one of the earlier Akhanda
bhajans. This was narrated by Mr. Eradi, from Kerala who
currently to sings in the Mandir.
In those initial days,
there were just 4-5 singers from among the gents and ladies. They had
a real difficult time sustaining the lead singing throughout the
night. They were then wondering as to whether this practice was
practically feasible for if anything happened to one of the singers,
it would place tremendous strain on the others. At that time Swami
told them, "You just wait. In times to come my students will line up
to sing bhajans waiting for a chance to sing for me." That
was in a time when Swami had not even set up a college! That is
Avataric planning and execution!
The morning saw Swami
arrive for darshan in the car as it was raining quite
heavily. Once again, the rains arrived just as they always do whenever
there is any celebration in the Nilayam. Swami completed a round in
the car and entered the Bhajan Hall. After a while, He moved through
the Bhajan Hall and arrived on the stage to grant darshan to
all in the hall.
Swami sat outside for about
20 minutes and went into the Bhajan Hall where He sat for bhajans
almost till 12:30 p.m.! As He sat for bhajans, and kept
telling the students, both the boys and girls, "Go for lunch! Take
some rest. Sing in batches." But none seemed to listen to Him (Who
will leave the Divine Presence for food and rest? Maybe this is one
Divine disobedience that is permitted!). As if helpless that none
would go for food or rest till He left, Swami retired to Yajur Mandir
at 12:30 p.m.
By 4:20 p.m., tractors
arrived to the Mandir carrying the prasadam to be distributed
after the bhajans concluded. It was after 5 p.m. that Swami
arrived for darshan. As He neared the centre of the hall, He
was requested to bless the prasadam that had been placed
behind the Rama, Lakshmana, Sita statues area of Sai Kulwant Hall.
Swami moved down the marbled blocks and blessed all the vessels
containing the prasadam. Then He moved up and back into the
Bhajan Hall. Sitting for some bhajans, Swami began to move
inside the hall too.
Coming out, He moved to the
stage and sat outside for about 10 minutes before moving to the
interview room. By 5:50 p.m., He was back in the Bhajan Hall. Being
the last few bhajans, they gathered a lot of gusto and tempo.
Swami's presence there bolstered the enthusiasm and
decibel levels. As
every year, the "who will have the last bhajan" began between the boys
and girls! And Swami seemed to enjoy this "competition" as even at the
stroke of six when the girls finished the bhajan, He asked
the boys to continue. The girls would have thought that He was being
partial but then after the boys finished the bhajan, He told
the girls to continue.
It was great joy and
fervour when the bhajans continued. Swami did not stop there
and bhajans went on till almost 6:15 p.m.! By then, it did
not matter anymore as to who would have the last bhajan.
Swami then received aarthi and needless to say, the clapping
reached deafening levels.
After the aarthi,
leaves were distributed for the prasadam to follow. Swami
seemed to encourage all to eat well! After a loud Brahmaarpanam
prayer, the boys began to feast! Then, He called out for all the
Anantapur ex-students and singers who were married. As they assembled
at His lotus feet, Swami distributed sarees to all of them. They were
positively and pleasantly shocked!
After that, He asked as to
who among the gents' side had also been married and He blessed them
too with sarees for their wives. He teased a few boys saying, "No
wife, no sarees!" It was then that He called for Jayamma Madam,
formerly the Principal and the Warden of the Anantapur Campus of the
University. He told her that all the children in the hall were gold.
She got a ring blessed by Swami. Swami then began to narrate about the
devotion of Jayamma and her late husband.
He also praised the
devotion of her father, Mr. Vitthal Rao. As this was going on, the
Primary School students too began to chant the prayer from outside. It
was very loud and Swami smiled as He said, "Competition!" He saw the
empty leaves of a few students in the front and asked for them to be
refilled with food. Granting this supreme joy that comes with Divine
intimacy, Swami retired to Yajur Mandir at 7:00 p.m.
After returning from His Maharashtra visit, Bhagavan has been coming for darshan
after half-past five as the evening bhajans go on. This evening, after Arati,
prasadam was distributed to all. As Swami got into His car to return to His
residence, He blessed the group of people who co-ordinated the Maharashtra visit and
gave them vibhuti prasadam.
"...Welcoming the Lord back to Prasanthi is never an ordinary occasion, rather is a
momentous occasion to reconnet, for Prasanthi or Puttaparthi can never bear the
pangs of separation from ‘her’ Beloved. This is the history of her very existence
and the existence is the Divine Being Himself, but for whose presence the spiritual
township goes barren.
This time the ‘gap’ was just less than a week, precisely six days, and Prasanthi was
ever jubilant with floating devotees making life active. Watching over the
activities at Pune and Mumbai, Prasanthi has been updating the events of her Beloved
and eagerly awaiting the day, 2nd November to dawn faster.
Roads were yet again spruced up to welcome the Lord, with banners and flower
decorations heralding the “Advent” of the Divine. Linking to Mumbai news updates
were pouring in hinting at the exact hour of Divine arrival. Entire Airport vicinity
was spruced up ...Continue
reading -view photos
"...the Mumbai venue was packed with a capacity crowd of over 25000 gathered at the Jamboori
Maidan for Bhagawan’s darshan. Bhagawan entered the stage around 11.10 a.m. and remained there
for about 30-35 minutes when bhajans were held while the capacity crowd was feasting their eyes
with Bhagawan’s Darshan. Bhagawan left the venue after receiving Mangala Arathi at 11:45 a.m.
From the Jamboori Maidan Bhagawn proceeded to "Varsha", the official residence of Chief Minister
Ashok Chavan at Malabar Hill, Mumbai followed by that of Jayant Patil, the State Home
"Be like a flute: a hollow reed straight, light, with no substance to
hinder His breath. Then He will come and pick you up from the ground.
He will breathe divine music through you, playing upon you with
Bhagawan has always likened His ideal devotee to a flute that has no
identity of its own, but is completely His.
In case of Raviteja, an accomplished flautist and a former student of
Bhagawan, the Creator not only blessed him with a flute in his hand,
but also to play the melodious instrument in His proximity -- he is a
member of the music group in Prashanti Nilayam.
The talented musician and former student had the great fortune of
accompanying Bhagawan on His trip to Pune and Mumbai, and has shared
his 'divine' experiences.
The whole adventure began on October 4, 2009.
Evening bhajans were on at Prasanthi Nilayam, and the mellifluous
voices of Swami’s students were enthralling the devotees and had
filled the whole atmosphere with divine vibrations.
Swami was sitting inside the interview room of the Mandir -- just as
He sits in the 'inner room' of His devotee's hridaya mandir (hearts).
Suddenly Harish, who escorts Bhagawan in the Mandir, came running
towards our bhajan group and signalled in my direction to sit outside
the interview room.
Excited and afraid, I immediately stopped playing the flute and sat in
the Mandir's portico wondering what would happen. I even considered if
I should call my family as well for the interview.
After a while, Harish came back and indicated the number four with his
fingers. I was confused by what that meant.
However, our bhajan group member Prabhakar, who was sitting right
behind me, said, “Sir, Swami is calling the four of us into the
That is when I realised that four of us -- Prabhakar, Arvind Sai,
Nishikanth and me (all members of the bhajan group) -- had been asked
to sit outside the interview room, and not just me.
Swami watched us as each of us entered the interview room and
spontaneously burst into a beautiful smile to greet us. We quietly sat
at His lotus feet with our eyes fixed on His 'Sundara Vadanam'
Suddenly, Swami drew out notes of Rs 500 and gave two of them to each
Then with a twinkle in His eye and with a tinge excitement in His
sweet and soft voice, He said, “Stitch new clothes for yourselves. We
are going to Pune. They have built a new temple there on 200 acres of
land on top of a hill. I will take you in the flight, direct from
Puttaparthi to Pune."
Needless to say, we were very thrilled with this wonderful
announcement and immediately began with the preparations towards
Swami’s trip to Pune.
In the days that followed, Swami selected a total of 28 students, most
of them being “music boys”. This was a clear indication to us that
there may be a few music programmes scheduled for us in the trip.
So we, the music boys, began drawing up lists of devotional songs that
we could present when Swami asked. The process was not simple -- it
involved long practice sessions and intense discussions, mingled with,
no doubt, some apprehension and excitement.
As October 28, the day of our flight, approached closer, we spent most
of our waking hours in practising our songs, harder and harder.
We compiled many song lists by juggling the songs, the order of songs
and the style of singing to suit the different kinds of audiences and
locations. Above all, our priority was that the songs should be liked
by our beloved Swami.
We also drew up a tentative order of songs that we could render in
case we were asked to present a musical session on the spot.
Additionally, since we were on our way to 'Sri Sathya Sai Panduranga
Kshetra' in Hadshi, we asked one of our brothers to write a song
dedicated to the new mandir in Telugu. We set the tunes for the lyrics
written and were ready to present it too at the earliest opportunity
given to us.
Swami and we reached Hadshi on October 28.
We learned that a concert had been organised for the same evening
where well-known singers Kavita Krishnamurthy and Nitin Mukesh would
be singing among others. We anticipated that Swami would ask us to
perform soon after their programme ended, but that did not happen.
The next morning, Swami inaugurated three temples at Panduranga
Kshetra, and blessed with a discourse in the evening. We expected to
be called for a programme that evening, however Swami decided
We continued to practise our songs every evening, expecting to be
called for a programme anytime.
Also, we were praying for an opportunity for some private moments with
Swami when we could offer some of the songs.
We stayed in Hadshi for almost three days, and were asked only to sing
bhajans on different occasions.
The morning of October 30 is very memorable for all of us, when we
were rushed to the stage before Swami arrived and were asked to start
Swami arrived and sat on the stage for almost 45 minutes, as all of us
sat next to Him offering our heart-felt bhajans at His lotus feet with
With a cool breeze wafting by, with thousands of devotees partaking
the bliss of the nectarine bhajans and with Swami showering His love
and grace on all, it was indeed a very satisfying morning.
In the evening of October 30, child participants from the television
show Little Champs presented a programme, and we again waited for
Swami's call. But I assume we were not destined to perform in Hadshi
However, in the night, Swami sent a message to us saying that we
should be ready with a music programme on November 1 to be presented
at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai. Swami had also specified that we were to
present only classical songs and ones that contained ample “sargams".
As soon as we received this message, out excitement rose high and we
decided to practise the songs the next morning before we left for
Mumbai. Meanwhile, we compiled the final list songs that we would
render and began our practice. However, with the tight schedule on
31st morning, we did not have sufficient time to practise all the
On October 31, we reached Mumbai in the afternoon, and Swami gave
darshan at the NSE grounds, Goregaon, for over 50,000 devotees that
evening. Bollywood singer of fame, Sonu Nigam, performed at the
darshan and Swami liked his performance, and also presented him with a
Even then, we were expecting Swami to look at us and signal at us to
perform right then. But this did not happen.
As students of Swami, we have learnt a significant lesson: One must
always be ready to do anything that Swami wants, at any time. Swami
may suddenly ask someone to speak, to sing a song or a bhajan,
regardless of the situation or occasion.
If you shied away or offered excuses, you would have missed an
opportunity of your life time to please God. After all, we are living
only to please Him.
From then on, we were always prepared to present the programme, just
waiting for His call. We carried our musical instruments everywhere
Swami went, expecting Him to ask us for a bhajan session or music
At every spare moment that we got in Mumbai, we practised our
notations, working on our song presentation techniques and were
constantly involved in discussions on ways to improve ourselves. At
the same time, we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our stay in the
On the night of October 31, we sat together for a thorough rehearsal –
to fix the loose ends, finalise the improvisations and to finetune our
renditions for the programme scheduled on November 1. Our practice
session went late into the night as we thoroughly rehearsed every
We were excited, and also tensed; in fact we had a chilling sensation
down the spine.
The programme was just 24 hours away, and we were anxious about
performing in the presence of God, and thousands of His devotees in an
The true cause of the anxiety was not the performance, but about
meeting the expectations of His devotees as being 'Sri Sathya Sai
As we were representing ourselves as Swami’s students, we just could
not afford to be anything less than the best.
On November 1 morning, Swami called our group member Aswath Narayan
during breakfast session, and reminded us to be ready.
That morning, Swami gave darshan at Jamboorie Maidan, Worli, and
proceeded to the Maharashtra chief minister’s bungalow. Swami then
went Sri Gokul Das’s house, which is located near Brabourne Stadium,
from where we were taken for a brief sightseeing tour covering the key
places in Mumbai.
We were then taken to a nearby hotel for freshening up and were later
brought to the Brabourne Stadium for the evening darshan at about 5
The stadium was packed with over 20,000 devotees eagerly waiting for
Swami’s darshan. After reaching the venue, we went up the stage to
arrange our instruments and microphones for the performance, after
which we came down to sit in the places allotted for us.
Devotees from Mumbai were rendering bhajans, and the whole atmosphere
was charged with excitement as Swami was expected to arrive any
Swami came at about 6 pm and went up on the stage. As soon as He sat
on His chair, Swami asked one of the organisers to announce that
students of the Sri Sathya Sai University would be presenting a music
We got up to take Swami’s blessings. As a prelude to the performance,
Swami asked us to sing two bhajans before we began with the classical
Accordingly, we began with the bhajans -- and this not only charged
the atmosphere but also gave us a shot of confidence we needed.
Sri Ravi Kumar began with the classical session with the song 'Deva
Namo Deva', followed by Sri Sai Krishna's song in Hansdhwani Raga and
'Shiva Shankari' by Aswath Narayan in Darbari Kanada Raga.
The singers got completely immersed in their songs, which touched all
the notes perfectly. The microphones and the open stadium enhanced the
sweetness and majesty of their voices, while the entire audience was
lifted to a reverie.
To our and the audience' elation, Swami too clapped in appreciation
after each song.
Every singer and every instrumentalist rose to the occasion and there
was perfect harmony in every rendition.
After presenting five songs, we paused for Swami’s reaction. As if to
say He was extremely happy, Swami said “Sing one more song... ”
looking in the direction of Sri Aswath Narayan and Sri Srinivasan.
The two singers presented a Thillana in Ahir Bhairavi raga together.
The fast pace, the rhythmic complexities, and the melodious
improvisations in this Thillana left everybody in the audience
After this, Swami looked at all of us and said sweetly, “This time all
of you sing together.”
Ravi Kumar then started the Qawali 'Tere Dar Pe Jo Bhi Aaya…” (O Sai
Baba, you have answered the prayers of every person who has knocked
your door...) and was joined by the other singers and instrumentalists
The lyrics of Qawali, the purport of which is 'O Sai Baba, you have
answered the prayers of every person who has knocked your door', was
most suited on the occasion.
Swami too seemed to be emotional and was filled with happiness.
Needless to say, the audience was ecstatic and kept tab with the
After we had presented seven songs in total, Swami said “Enough”, and
we all went up to Swami to surrender ourselves at His lotus feet in
gratitude to the wonderful opportunity He had given us.
Swami was smiling all through and repeatedly said, “Chaala Baagundi”
(Very nice in Telugu). He then blessed us with clothes and group
The next morning we left for Puttaparthi after a happy lunch.
As I look back now at the whole adventure that began on October 4,
everything that happened seems perfect.
The whole music group is extremely satisfied, as we feel we have
offered our best to God, and God too seemed very pleased with our
Every talent is a gift from God. However the talent gets its true
worth only when it is offered back to Him with humility and devotion.
And when God Himself expresses His satisfaction with the offering,
what else does a musician need?
That, in itself, is the fruit and fulfillment of the talent.
(The writer has done his MBA degree from the Sri Sathya Sai
University, and is currently serving at the Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana
Trust, Sahayak Division, in Prasanti Nilayam)