Posted at 13:30 Hrs. on 27th Oct 2009
Imagine God passing through the breathtaking engineering marvel, the four lane track
Bandra-Worli Sea Link (photo below) in the financial capital of India, Mumbai…And He receives a
“Guard of Honour” from hundreds and thousands of tiny tots holding colourful
balloons, arrayed on either side, at a completely ‘sealed for traffic’ 4.7 kilometer
long epitome of engineering excellence. This is not an utopian writing, but a
seeming reality when God in human, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is embarking on a
week-long visit to Pune and Mumbai.
This fortnight’s story dominates the confirmed buzz that had been around for some
time. The Big News is all about Bhagawan’s scheduled Divine Visit to Pune and
Mumbai. The buzz it was initially slowly turned to a confirmed story though there
were no official communiqué or any press release.
Bhagawan with a selected band of twenty four students along with a set of senior
devotees would be flying to Pune on the 28th Oct to stay over there for three days,
until the 31st October, before travelling further to Mumbai for the second leg of
the visit. Bhagawan is expected to bless and inaugurate Sri Sathya Sai Panduranga
Kshetra, a triune temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Lord Vittala and Bhagawan Shirdi
Sai at Hadshi Village near the picturesque hill station, Lonavala, in Pune.
…And for the Mumbaikars, it has been a decade long wait for Bhagawan to yet again
set His Holy Feet in the city. The last Divine Visit was in the year 2000, exactly a
decade ago, when Bhagawan set out on a trip coupling His twin visits, to the
Financial Capital with that of the National Capital, Delhi.
Pune is being decorated like a blushing bride…
To take a peep into the developments in Pune over the high-profile Divine Visit, we
have the first input from Ms. Julie Chowdhuri, reporting on the anticipation and
exuberance in the Peshwa City, welcoming the big occasion. She writes, “…Pune is
being decorated like a blushing bride to receive her Lord.”
Pune, also referred to as Punya Nagari, is suddenly overcome with new splendour!
There’s expectation, there’s excitement, there’s merriment, and a flurry of
activities. Each and every devotee is fervently awaiting His arrival; even the soil
of this Peshwa city is awaiting the touch of His cherished Lotus Feet.
Day and night have merged into one; the hours are filled with planning, re-planning,
coordinating, writing, designing, practising bhajans, decorating, deciding, and
praying to Bhagawan to make our dreams come true!
Pune is being decorated like a blushing bride to receive her Lord. A drive to Sri
Sathya Sai Panduranga Kshetra, Hadshi Village, where Beloved Bhagawan will stay for
the three days of His visit in Pune, makes one feel like the flowers of a myriad
colours are blooming more, the leaves on the trees are swaying with happiness, the
sun is shining more softly, the birds are singing more sweetly, the breeze is
sighing with more joy and love, and everywhere there’s a feeling – ‘Is it really
going to happen?!’.
The Jadhavs have been blessed with the right location for hosting our Beloved Lord.
Nature, in its pristine glory, surrounds the Kshetra, which, once touched by
Bhagawan’s tender Lotus Feet, will then be counted as one among all the other sacred
spots around the world. Space, air, fire, water and earth have come together here to
make this a wondrously sylvan place. The Kshetra is surrounded by hills and valleys,
and also a beautiful crystal clear lake. Creator and His creation…
One loves to have Bhagawan’s Darshan, wherever it may be, but more so here, where
Mother Nature reigns supreme…
In the city, huge hoardings, welcoming Beloved Bhagawan, are sprouting up in all
areas. People are reading them, awestruck. City newspapers have announced His Divine
Arrival, and there are sweet whispers all around. Even Pune airport is eagerly
awaiting the flying chariot of the Lord of the Universe…
The excitement is palpable, and everyone is willing October 28 to dawn faster…!
Jadhavs, destined, privileged Divine hosts in the city of Pune had been interviewed
by a group of men from Mumbai led by Mr. Chandrasekhar of ChemburDust. The man who
bought and dedicated acres of land to build this amazing temple with sprawling
lawns, looked so simple merging with the labourers around, writes Chandrasekhar at
his first meeting with the man behind the mission. Our cunning Metro-mind emitted
signals of disbelief. And demanded his visiting card, for a micro-due diligence,
adds Chandra at the simple demeanor of this ‘simpleton’ devotee of the Lord.
After acquiring the huge acres of land in Hadshi in 2002, he sought Bhagawan for
guidance to build a temple; Bhagawan was gracious enough; He Himself named it as
Panduranga Kshetra while approving the plan of the structures.
By July 2003 the temple was completed with huge sprawling lawn overlooking the
expanse of water down below, as though in perennial 'house arrest' by Pauna dam.
When looked around, it looked like Nature was in her bridal make-up in Hadshi... Sri
Sathya Sai Pandurang Kshetra.
In Mar 2004, the Jadhavs invoked Bhagawan to inaugurate the triune temple. But, our
Good Lord had one explicit lesson for the onlookers, those who watching over, a
lesson of Patience coupled with perseverance…Faith that reciprocates with Divine
Grace; Another combo pack that could singularly elevate a human soul to greater
And here is a simpleton who built an amazing temple with crores and waited.
Listening to Divine Whispers "Wait, Wait" as Mantra and turning the entire 'waiting'
itself as 'Tapasya'. And the Tapasya shall be yielding the fruits, after six long
years, precisely in the year 2009…More Precisely on 28th Oct at 11:30 a.m. when
Bhagawan will be sanctifying the triune temple installing the deities.
…And how the financial capital of India is warming up to welcome the Lord? While
moving on to capture the delightful moments, where hundreds and thousands of
sevadals and devotees are working day-in and day-out, Chandrasekhar writes catching
the ambience: “It goes to prove that Yugas may change but when Love incarnates the
excitement and celebration cannot be different. For, bliss has no variants...No
And Baba said "Yes"!
"I am coming to Mumbai on 31st Oct”. On hearing this, the blessed city went into
raptures. And the Sai centres got super-active.
For some, it is as though God responded to the oft-repeated slogan of our Ganpathi
"Pudcha Varsha Lavkar yaa". And here He comes "Lavkar" before next Ganapathi.
For some with high 'Ram memory', it is like Rama coming to Ayodhya…and for the
"Krishna Conscious", it is like Krishna coming to Madhura.
Everyone exercises his right to own Him. Poor Lord shows up in every heart by
default as Krishna did once with all Gopikas. Each one claims to be 'Sole
Proprietor". And He is in perennial dispute with many claimants. Case adjourned in
many Yugas... yet not resolved.
So Baba comes to Mumbai. Yes. It is a cosmic event! One darshan is enough to format
our heartdisks and reboot our system and transport us to Divine Domains!!
We wanted to describe the event and our poor repertoire went dry. So we went back to
Baba's own rich narration in "Ram Katha Rasa Vahini" describing the celebration in
Ayodhya on Rama's return, that enables us to visualize our own Mumbai when our good
"It is as though the City of Mumbai turned Ayodhya preparing for home coming of Lord
Rama after long time. Just to see if there are any commonalities between the
celebration then and now, we delved deep into Rama Katha Rasa Vahini for some sound
bytes on Ayodhya celebrations.
"As the Ocean heaves up in joy at the sight of the autumn moon the vast populace
heaved a breath of joy at the sight of Rama "chandra", the moon. Their excitement
reached the sky. The Mothers ...in ecstatic delight and forgot themselves, caught in
the flood of happiness....
Even the most ascetic among the sages couldn’t restrain his tears at the happy
reunion with Rama."
"The vedic scholars showered their blessings in traditional formulae; Live
victoriously for hundreds of years”. The citizens were overjoyed at the sight of the
entourage of Rama.
Rama admired the faith and devotion of the people of the city."
Thanks to Swami's own narration of how Ayodhya was on His return, we are so happy to
use the same description fitting so accurately our situation now in the city of
It goes to prove that Yugas may change but when Love incarnates the excitement and
celebration cannot be different. For, bliss has no variants...No version updates...”
Dharmakshetra, the Lotus shaped Divine Abode at Andheri East in Mumbai will be again
fortunate to house the Divine in physical frame. It has been a long wait for her,
decade long precisely. Hectic preparations are underway round the clock and the
sanctum sanctorum of Dharmakshetra has been painted and spruced up for the big
Maharashtra has been having its constant presence in Prasanthi Nilayam, especially
during the last one decade with many a programme get organized and staged at the
auspices of Sathya Sai Organisations. Back in Maharashtra it has been activities
galore. The stupendous village work (Grama Seva) undertaken by the devotees of
Maharashtra in the last couple of years, particularly in the field of educare,
sociocare and medicare under the Village Integrated programme has been quite
impressive touching many lives. Three more ambulances have been added to the already
existing eighteen mobile medicare vans that are already pressed into service. The
Mobile Medicare project which was launched in June, 2008 with Bhagawan's blessings
has provided free medical aid to over four lakh patients, free of cost and is
creating a tremendous impact in spreading Swami's message of love, all over the
villages in Maharashtra.
Everything Bhagawan does is a treat to watch if one has the inner eyes to observe
and the heart to follow; and once one is tuned, there come lessons galore to imbibe
and practise. The perfect Master that He is, He never leaves any stone unturned.
Every programme during the visit is being planned meticulously and those whom He
wishes to confer Grace upon will eventually be drawn by Him, says a commoner
commenting on the preparations for the visit.
Two programmes have been chalked out for the public in Mumbai. On 31st October,
Bhagawan is expected to grant darshan to the accompaniment of bhajans at NSE
Exhibition Grounds in Goregaon (East) around 4 p.m. This ground is situated in North
Mumbai and has a capacity of 30000 people with an inbuilt central air-conditioned
system. The other programme is scheduled to be held in South Mumbai at Gandhi
Maidan, (Jamboree Maidan), B.D.D. Chawls, Worli Naka at 10.00 a.m. on 1st November,
Bhagawan’s itinerary also includes visits of Indulal Shah’s residence at Khar West,
Mumbai and Chief Minister’s Ashok Chavan’s Bungalow at Napean Sea Road, Greater
Mumbai. Indulal Shah is the former World Chairman of Sri Sathya Sai Seva
Bhagawan's car will also grace the new Bandra-Worli sea link where balloons will be
released by the Balvikas children of Mumbai. South Mumbai being the financial hub
many of the top businessmen and corporate leaders are expected to capitalize the
occasion seeking Divine Blessings at both the venues in Mumbai.
Back in Prasanthi, the fortnight began with end semester exams for the University
and School students and as such the beginning days were quiet in the Mandir. The
Festival of Lights, Deepavali used to be a regular celebration during earlier days
when Bhagawan would invariably deliver His Divine Discourse followed by glittering
fire work display in the lawns opposite Poornachandra, the space that later blessed
to become the site for His Abode, Yajur Mandiram.
Though not celebrated as a festival anymore clearly dotting the Prasanthi Calendar
like many other regular festivals, the Diwali touch was very much in the air as
Bhagawan glided through the surge of devotees on the auspicious
evening granting His beautiful darshan. Acknowledging the auspicious colourful
occasion, Bhagawan blessed thousands of married women with boxfuls of diyas or
lamps, a tradition dates back to yore, with much of symbolic
significance and auspiciousness. …And back in His Divine Abode, it was festive time,
as family members of the physical frame gathered at His residence to celebrate the
occasion with the Grandsire who is verily the Grandsire of entire creation…
19th October marked the advent of Gujarathi New Year and celebrating the occasion
large number of devotees from the state turned up to Prasanthi. Two interesting
programmes were staged by the devotees from the state – Santoor and Jaltarang
recitals by Sarvasree Shyamkumar Bhosle and Hemant Bhosle respectively. This was
followed by a Dance Drama titled “Sai Bhaja Govindam” on the life of Philosopher
Saint, the proponent of Advaita Philosophy, Adi Shankaracharya.
The fortnight had some dignitary visit too with the Union Civil Aviation Minister
Sri Praful Patel and legendary Indian Cricketer Sunil Gavaskar leading the pack,
followed by two Chief Ministerial visits, led by Sri Ashok Chavan of Maharashtra and
the new incumbent in Andhra Pradesh Sri K. Rosaiah. While Maharashtra
Chief Minister’s visit was linked to Bhagawan’s visit to Maharashtra, the
high-profile visit of Rosaiah evoked greater enthusiasm as the new Chief Minister
accompanied by scores of Khadi-clad congressmen including some of his cabinet
colleagues made a beeline seeking His Blessings. Bhagawan blessed the Chief Minister
with an interview that lasted for fifteen minutes.
The fortnight’s Rose Beneficiaries were Sri M. Ramachandran of Gas Division, Sri M.
Mahalingam, Sri Ramesh Chandra Gupta, Sri Butchi Venkaiah, Sri A. Narayanarao Reddy,
Sri Butchi Babu, all from South Indian Canteen, Sri Premchand, Sri Sathyanarayana
Raju, Sri Gyanchand Luthra, Sri Thambi, Sri Laxmaiah, all from the Shopping Centre,
Sri Diwakar Moongi of North Indian Canteen and Ashok Kumar Dixit of Ice Cream Shop.
The fortnight has been experiencing good rush of devotees as shuffling crowds allied
with group visits from Mumbai, Pune, Gujarat, Manipur apart from many tiny groups
made it giving Prasanthi a thick feeling.
It’s winter vacation time for students of the University and Higher Secondary and
Primary Schools. Weather also seemed to be ready for a change over as Prasanthi has
been experiencing the touch of wintry chill for the
last couple of days. Is it that
our Beloved Bhagawan giving a free trial of the anticipated weather at the
picturesque hill station in Pune to His chosen entourage numbering over thirty
before they embark on a winter trip to Pune and Mumbai?
The week that is coming up evinces greater interest as it turns out to be a
privileged one wherein it will be filled with exciting schedules for the Lord in
Pune and Mumbai. During Bhagawan’s previous visit to the city of Mumbai,
Sreedharan wrote, reporting for Rediff Special, catching the pulse from the public,
reflecting the upbeat mood, quoting one of his friends, commenting on Bhagawan: "He
is the vocal edition of all those self-help books you get!"
How best Mumbai would capitalize this rarity of blessing at a time when the
frequency of such visits has almost come to a naught? As time rolls along, story
will further unravel…Now it is Mumbai Beats all over!!!
20:00 Hrs. on 13th Oct 2009
Ever since Bhagawan’s return from Kodaikanal in the summer month of April, every
week dotted some programmes until the recent week that went past without anything
special. After the hectic Dasara and Grama Seva, the week that gone past was at the
reminiscing end, recalling those fondful memories of moments of the Lord and His
chosen Army working in tandem in a Mission, the greater impact of which is far from
the myopic vision of the ordinary.
Festivals, functions and cultural programmes are supplementary, serving the devotees
in His Mission, often resulting in HIS greater participation, granting additional
darshan sessions. What comes first and foremost is His presence, His darshan and the
week had it in abundance, including maximum number of morning darshans.
Nature’s fury that hit the state in the form of alarming floods, inundating precious
lives to nought, leaving horrifying tales of loss of properties, has earned due
share of concern from the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations. The organisation
privileged to bear the Name of The Lord walking the earth walking His talk was the
first one plunging into service activities in most of the affected areas, often
touching the hearts, in its effort to heal the wounds following His dictum, Love All
…And beyond the gates of Prasanthi Nilayam the men from the organisation
representing the “God Owned Land” got into action swiftly. It was still raining in
Kurnool, at night, at 11 p.m. and the Youth from Parthi were pondering over the
possibility of “Walking His Talk” and by 12 midnight they earned clarity to go
ahead, pressing themselves into service. By early morning 5, when the first bell
indicating Suprabhatam in Prasanthi Nilayam had rung, the Youth Brigade in
Puttaparthi was still awake, ready with a stall to collect material for the
affected. Posters about the aid campaigns were pasted across the township alerting
people to reach out the needy; needless to say that they were the first ones to
react to this worst case scenario.
In all, nine trucks, five big ones and 4 mini ones were sent by the Youth, collected
from the hostels, Staff Quarters of Sri Sathya Sai University, both the Hospitals
and not the least from the villagers. Rice, essentials like tumblers, plates, soaps,
towels, clothes, both new and old, bed sheets, milk packets, water bags, milk
breads, biscuits and essential cookery items were collected and carried to the flood
A statistical analysis reveals that 800 bags of rice, a general contribution by
many, 300 tumblers, 300 plates, 150 soaps and 30 towels collected from Sri Sathya
Sai Junior Hostel, 650 bed sheets from the Youth of Puttaparthi, truck load of
clothes, both old and new, 20 boxes of Good Life Milk, 20,000 water bags, 4000 milk
breads, 1500 biscuit packets, 500 packets of pickles made into quarter kg each, 300
sets of utensils with plates having capacity to cook of 1kg rice were collected by a
group of 40 Youth from Parthi just within a day time before closing the stall in the
evening at 5 p.m.
In a stretch of 15 kilometer road, the Youth Brigade with guidance from MRO and
Sarpanch (village head) distributed these items in eight villages, namely, famous
"temple town" Mantralaya, Nadikharivadi, Jolapuram, Gangavaram, Peddakothali,
Chinnakothali and Nagala Dhinne. Estimating the requirements based on the guidance
received from the Mandal Revenue Officer, apart from Rice Bags ranging from 15-25
kgs, a set containing a saree, kidswear, plates and utensils, bed sheet was
distributed in these villages. To avoid any exploitation by the victims with
reference to fake identity, Bhagawan’s photographs were distributed in advance;,
nine different sets of photographs for nine areas, covering the stretch of 15 kms,
as proof of identity and upon producing the photographs, victims were identified and
distributed. As the photographs were collected back at the time of distribution,
duplication expected out of fake identity could be avoided, said a youth member, who
organized the entire service activity.
…And as they reached the destination, thousands were running after the vehicles
literally clamoring for essentials. For the suffering class any amount of help would
be insufficient, as the flood had taken away everything they have earned over a life
time, leaving those alive with no other option than to start new.
Dignitary visit during the week included the Governor of Rajasthan, Sri Shilendra
Kumar Singh, former Election Commissioner Sri T.N.Seshan and former Chief Justice of
Jharkhand, M. Karpaga Vinayagam, currently Chairman, Appellate Tribunal for
Electricity, New Delhi.
It was exam time for the students of the University and Schools that would end a day
after Diwali, scheduled for 17th October, before the winter vacation starts.
The week’s Rose Beneficiaries were, Mr. Pedda Reddy, care taker of legendary Sai
Geetha and the new incumbent Sathya Geetha, Mr. Sridhar, Mr. Parthasarathi, Mr. Prem
Puri, Mr. Venkat Reddy, Mr. Sudhakar and Mr. Sugavanam, all from Sri Sathya Sai
Sadhana Trust, Sahayak Division.
In a week when the state alongwith neighbouring Karnataka got caught at the
receiving end facing the wrath of nature’s fury, Prasanthi Nilayam remained silent
without any schedules and programmes, with The Lord in physical, the Eternal Witness
prompting hearts and minds to reach out the bereaved and the affected,
in a Divine Act of consoling the souls. Adding to this
Divine promptings came cancellation of Some of the scheduled Parthi Yatras to
Prasanthi Nilayam , diverting man power to the flood affected areas pressing into
service. Noble gesture, worth emulating.
The week began with the grand finale of the Veda Purush Saptaaha Jnaana Yajna
followed by the ten day long Karma Yajna, Sri Sathya Sai Grama Seva.
In a glittering ceremony marked with religious fervour, the seven day long Dasara
Jnana Saptaha Yajnam concluded on 28th morning with Bhagawan receiving Poornahuthi
as Yajna Purusha, witnessed by thousands in a jam-packed Poornachandra Auditorium.
Bhagawan who presided over the Yajna blessed the occasion while the final offerings
were being made into the pit amidst the holy Vedic Chantings.
This was followed by the final lap of Grama Seva 2009, wherein women students from
the Anantapur Campus of Sri Sathya Sai University along with staff members from the
University and Primary School distributed Prasadam to all inmates at their door step
inside the ashram, marking the end of ten days of Karma Yajna, started on the 19th
2nd October is celebrated all over India as Gandhi Jayanthi. Falling on friday and a
national holiday, the weekend became a holiday pacakage for many with a Saturday
followed by national weekly holiday Sunday following. …And Prasanthi felt the onrush
with surge of devotees capitalizing the three day package joined by a huge chunk of
over 2000 youth from Kerala joining in a Parthi Yatra adding up to the regular
Bringing back the past glory of ancient civilizations seemed to be a task Bhagawan
has set as a mission and one could see clear indicators or progress in this area
with various groups presenting thematic cultural presentations representing the
great cultural heritage and glory of Bharat. This week witnessed two such
presentations, on the illustrious life and realization of two of the greatest sons
of Bharat, Philosopher Saints, Adi Shankaracharya and Saint Tulsidas.top
Devotees from Region 5 came in a group and they had the illustrious life story of
Adi Shankara to present as an offering at His Feet. Unknotting series of events from
the celebrated life of the Saint Philosopher, the Japanese sent home the message
propagated by Adi Shankara, the doctrine of Advaita as often supported and preached
by Bhagawan in many of His Divine Discourses. The group had a mix of devotees
numbering over 400 from countries namely, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei
and Taiwan. It took them long schedules of hectic, dedicated preparation to get
ready for the presentation that included tongue-twisting Sanskrit Slokas as part of
From the story of Adi Shankara to the Story of Philosopher Saint, Sant Tulsidas, who
was the exponent of Bhakti Marga. Two thousand strong youth from Kerala came on a
Parthi Yatra and put up a programme, a dance drama on the illustrious life of
Tulsidas, whose work Ramacharita Manas is considered to be one of the foremost
treatises on the life of Lord Rama, which is recommended as a remedy for various
malefic influences. His story was the story of transition from infatuation to
worldly pleasure to pure unsullied love for the Divine, Lord Rama.
The real drama started after the presentation wherein Bhagawan spent considerable
time with the cast chatting up with them blessing them profusely, granting coveted
photo sessions separately calling out various characters onstage.
Finally came the big Sunday…and the Sunday was a special day for Sri Sathya Sai
General Hospital. Saturday being the 53rd Anniversary of the hospital, Bhagawan
blessed the hospital on the weekend holiday to make it a Holy Day in the annals of
the illustrious institution.
Bhagawan reached the hospital at around 11:00 a.m. for a traditional Poornakumbha
Swagatam (welcome) and Veda Chanting. Bhagawan spent over 90 minutes moving around
the hospital and conversing with the medicos and paramedical staff blessing them
profusely. Delivering the welcome address, the Superintendent of the Hospital, Air
Vice-Marshal Dr. Vinod Kumar Verma thanked Bhagawan profusely for the wonderful
gesture of Divine Benediction. He later introduced the youngest doctor from the
hospital, Dr. Sameer Nandan who made a brief speech in Telugu. This was followed by
a Divine Chatter, blessing the medicos and paramedical staff profusely, talking
individually, asking, listening followed by Divine Assurances.
The Week's Rose Beneficiaries were Mr. Avinash Agarwal, SSSST, Publications
Division, Mr. C.S.Krishna Swamy, Mr. Adi Sesha Reddy, Dr. Lakshmikantha Reddy, Dr.
Krishna Murthy, Mr. Narayana Reddy and Mr. Narasimhan, all from SSSST-Sahayak
Apart from the Kerala Youth contingent and the Region 5 group from Japan, there were
small group visits during the week which included 110 members from South Central
Railway, 108 devotees from Karur Samithi, Tamil Nadu and 54 member group of Samithi
Conveners from Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Andhra Pradesh. After the Dasara and
Grama Seva students from Brindavan and Ananatapur Campuses have returned Whitefield
and Anantapur respectively.
The weekend was marked with a lengthy Bhajan session lasted for more than two hours.
Bhagawan spent most of the time inside interview room granting interviews. The week
moved passing the baton to the fresh one...