|First signs of morning darshan were evident with Sevadal and Police guards taking positions outside the Divine Abode awaiting the Lord to usher in. Bhagawan came out at 7:40 am for a complete round to the accompaniment of Vedam Chanting. Ascending the verandah Bhagawan proceeded to the Bhajan Hall wherein Chief Priest offered Arathi as per His instructions, while Vedam Chanting was still continuing outside.
After spending sometime inside the Bhajan Hall Bhagawan went into the Interview Room. Coming out of the Interview Room after about ten minutes He interacted with selected devotees before going for a round of Ganesha through the dais to get back into the interview room blessing a senior devotee and family with a ten minute Interview that lasted at 8:30 am.
With the first bhajan, “Pasupathi Thanaya…” rendered the air, Bhagawan came out of the Interview Room. Blessing two of the faculty members from the University with Padanamaskars, He proceeded to the dais to preside over the Bhajans. Arathi was offered at 9:25 am before Bhagawan retired to Yajur Mandiram.
EVENING DARSHAN : The holy knot between Lord Ram and Mother Sita was tied yet again to precision in the Divine Presence as directed by Bhagawan Himself!!!
Having ‘missed’ the climactic scene (as Bhagawan moved into the interview room at the climactic juncture) of Rama attempting to string the bow and in the process breaking the legendary “Shivadhanus” to earn Sita’s hand, Bhagawan upon returning after five minutes, directed the climactic scene on His own by sending barrage of instructions to set the scene to perfection.
What followed was another half-an-hour drama after the original drama, Sita Kalyanam, wherein the most auspicious scene was enacted to perfection with Bhagawan witnessing the same. Bringing nostalgic memoirs of the Treta Age and the epochal happening, Bhagawan directed each and event related to the event to precision as per His satisfaction. .
As per His instructions the “Shivadhanus” was brought to the front followed by the entire cast for the scene. With once again Sita garlanding Rama, Bhagawan sent the State President of the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation to bless the couple with Akshatas. He further instructed him to circumambulate the "Holy Couple' followed by practically “tying the knot” between the holy couple. As Veda chanting had been going on in the background Bhagawan asked the other characters in the drama, elders, including Janaka and Vishwamithra to shower the couple on special throne facing Bhagawan.
As the children were grouping themselves as instructed by Bhagawan for a photo session, special Rama bhajans rendered the air recalling the glorious Rama Saga. At 8:20 pm Bhagawan climbed down the stairs to pose for a coveted photo session that lasted for almost ten minutes.
Arathi was offered at 8:30 pm and as everyone expected Bhagawan to retire, Bhagawan was still in a reminiscent mood, giving further instructions asking the cast to array in twin lines facing Him. As they were made to stand in twin lines, both boys and girls on either side of the pathway leading from the dais, Bhagawan raised His twin Abhaya Hasta blessing the children from Mithila, the birthplace of Holy Mother Sita. Special clothes were distributed to the entire cast and prasadam for the devotees before Bhagawan retired to Yajur Mandira at 8:50 pm.
Earlier, Bhagawan ushered in at 6:30 pm to take a detour directly coming on to the dais. As the Veda chanting continued for ten minutes Bhagawan nodded for the proceedings to begin. A barrage of blessings followed before the commencement of half-an-hour music offering that lasted till 7:20 pm..
The Drama Sita Kalyanam was an enactment of the Rama and Lakshmana landing in Mithila along with their preceptor Vishwamithra finally ending up to the holy marriage between Lord Sri Rama and Mother Sita. The drama was enacted by Balvikas children from Mithila, the birthplace of Mother Sita.
Prasanthi This Fortnight... ending 28th Feb 2010
Posted at 16:00 IST on Mar 2, 2010
Sun God’s rare privilege of scorching at his best over Parthi during the summer months of March, April and May is no news at all. In this edition of 2010, the God of Light advanced his entry by a fortnight, making it immediately after Sivarathri. Post Sivarathri days have been simmering with temperature rising up to nearly 39-40 degrees, at times. And the unprecedented stream of devotees continued ever since the Sivarathri days with groups, big and small, making it to Prasanthi Nilayam one after the other.
The fortnight after Sivarathri has been eventful with Prasanthi embracing Divinity’s “uncertainty” more than any time before. The fortnight had glorious “one-week-full” of morning darshans followed by evening darshans everyday, except for the first day of the fortnight, Monday, 15 Feb when The Lord decided to stay indoors, leaving a “blank-day” in Prasanthi Nilayam after many years. Evenings have otherwise been blessed with glittering darshans with The Lord coming out “oddly late” at times, transgressing “man-made” schedules, often prolonging the sessions beyond the veil of twilight.
Chinese New Year set the trend of morning darshans as Bhagawan glided into the Sai Kulwant Hall with a ‘surprise entry’ after half-past seven on the 17th February blessing the concourse of devotees. While the normal Vedic chanting continued in usual pace, Bhagawan blessed 36 High Lamas of Tibetan Order from Sera Jhe Monastery in Mysore to chant Tibetan Mantras for 20 minutes before the commencement of bhajans.
A total of about 930 Chinese devotees from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong participated in the Chinese New Year celebrations held in Prasanthi Nilayam on the 6th and 7th day of Chinese New Year i.e., 19th and 20th February 2010.
The theme chosen for this year’s celebration was “Family Harmony – Peace & Prosperity”. Sai Kulwant had a riot of colours with “Chinese Red” made it domineering, marking the festive entry in style. There were also colourful hoardings on the theme of the New Year celebrations.
19th evening was marked with traditional Chinese offering, chanting of various mantras by the Tibetan High Lamas intertwined by Buddhist rituals. The second day of the festivity was marked with a speech by Billy Fong from Malaysia, Zonal Coordinator for Chinese New Year followed by two cultural programmes, a Burra Katha and a Dance Drama entitled “Unity is Divinity”.
Tibetan High Lamas, the spiritually charged souls from Sera Jhe Monastery in Mysore who have been regularly featuring the Chinese New Year celebrations in Prasanthi Nilayam over the years had the taste of Divinity with Bhagawan preferred to interact with them.
Bhagawan had question galore ‘clarifying’: If the sanyasi knew how to chant the Vedas?...What food they had in Puttaparthi?…The type of food they traditionally have?…Where the lamas dined the previous evening, and if they enjoyed the food at the western canteen?...Composit ion of group? 20 teachers, 1 lama, 15 sanyasis? etc… Swami also enquired about the afternoon chanting and requested that the monks now chant the same prayer as they would in the afternoon. The monks chanted for approximately half-an-hour.
Swami too gave His blessings for Tibetan Buddhist Mantra Offering for World Peace programme.
…And in the afternoon the Sai Kulwant Hall reverberated with the chanting of “Om Mani Padme Hung” followed by the chanting of the ‘Praise on the twelve exemplary deeds of the Lord Buddha’, which was chanted in the “voice of the Yama”.
On the 20th morning again Bhagawan blessed the monks interacting with them. Upon entering the portico, Bhagawan spoke to Sai Keet, the master of ceremony, and his elder brother, Joon Faii, sons of Capt. Ong from Singapore, Organiser of the 19th Feb programme. Bhagawan conversed with the brothers for a short while before manifesting a gold chain with a pendant of Lord Hanuman for the younger brother. Bhagawan in His inmitable style emphasised that it meant strength, with a mock roar accompanied by hand gestures.
Once seated on the verandah, Bhagawan once again spent a long while speaking to Lama Sangye and Sai Keet. Subsequently, Swami proceeded to the interview room to send a minder with a sample in hand, out to the sanyasis, to enquire if they were permitted to wear white woolen shawls. Bhagawan also sent egg-shaped chocolate prasadam and Vibhuti packets to be distributed to the monks. When the Divine gifts had been properly accorded, Bhagawan told the monks that the shawls could be worn in the evenings when the weather was cooler.
Thereafter the monks were called into the bhajan hall to have a look around of the same. Ever the gracious host, Bhagawan personally conducted a tour of the bhajan hall. Swami began with a history of the bhajan hall and the Sai Kulwant Hall, before explaining in detail about the Ten Avatars adorning the ceiling of the hall. He went on describing the sculpture on the ceiling, an elephant, but when viewed from the opposite direction is a bull, while fondly reminiscing on Sai Gita. Lord Krishna and Arjuna in the epic Bhagavad Gita and the battle between the forces of good and bad (Pandavas and Kauravas), etc. also came for mention during the Divinely guided tour. Pointing to the plastic cover wherein Bhagawan’s message was printed, Bhagawan pointing at the same repeated it after “Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray”.
Throughout the tour of the hall, Bhagawan frequently instructed that the monks were to have a full lunch at Shanti Bhavan before their long trip back to the Monastery in Mysore. Moreover, Swami invited them to visit Chaitanya Jyothi for a private tour, specially instructing them to see the Tibetan Painting (Thanka) of Swami offered in 2009, before returning. After more than an hour and a half of playing host, Swami blessed the sanyasis yet again before retiring.
Ever since Bhagawan invited Staff and relatives from Bangalore Hospitals to come on Parthi Yatras, there is newly found enthusiasm in the fraternity and the same has resulted in forming a Sathya Sai Samithi over there, as advised and blessed by Bhagawan. A batch of over 140 members, staff and relatives from the Hospital Samithi was in Prasanthi seeking Divine Blessings on the 21st Feb, Sunday. Bhagawan blessed the contingent spending almost ten minutes inside the bhajan hall during evening darshan.
Taking a cue from the Bangalore staff, the staff and relatives from the Super Speciality Hospital, Prasanthigram Samithi, under the banner, “Sai Sameepyam” also paid a group visit to Prasanthi Nilayam, on 27th and 28th Feb, staying inside Prasanthi Nilayam as guests of Bhagawan enjoying proximity (sameepyam). The guests were given special accommodation and food facility as per the special instructions from Bhagawan. 114 members from the Samithi attended the two day Yatra and Bhagawan spent half-an-hour, moving amidst, guiding, conselling and blsessing the contingent, on the 28th evening.
Come March and there starts a barrage of gratitude programmes by the grateful students of Sri Sathya Sai University and Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School. These programmes are expressions of greater love and affection towards Mother Sai for His benevolence in marking and moulding them to become worthy instruments.
2010 version of the Gratitude Series began with the Higher Secondary Batch, both X and XII standard students presenting a programme on the 24th February evening in the Divine Presence.
The programme was a summation of miracle stories happened in many a life depicting Bhagawan as the One behind their lives moulding them into worthy instruments. Miracle stories interwoven with songs of Divine Romance made it a special evening, especially after the boys were tested by Bhagawan’s taste of Uncertainty.
On the scheduled evening when these children were ready to perform, Bhagawan came out at around 5:50 pm for a complete round…It took longer time for Bhagawan to reach on the dais as He chose to speak and bless selected senior devotees and some staff members before making Himself at the dais. Even as the boys were waiting, Bhagawan sat on stage listening to the Vedam till 6:45 pm before calling for Arathi. And upon Arathi came His Divine nod for the boys to pour out with their offering of gratitude.
Similar story for the girls section of Higher Secondary Wing! On the 27th evening the girls were ready with their repertoire and Bhagawan, while blessing the troupe glancing over them during the darshan rounds, settled on the dais as bhajans were on…Upon Arathi, while retiring, the merciful Divine Parent acceding to their prayers settled at the Primary Block to listen to the girls singing for an “exclusive private session” often interacting with many girls.
Bhagawan asked the girls to begin their programme even as He sat in the western corner of the veranda, almost on the slope. The girls began to sing out their hearts in Telugu, Hindi and English, the gist of all their songs being, "Swami, You are our everything; without You, we are nothing and with You by our side, there is nothing that we cannot achieve; We seek You and nothing else." The power and thrill of singing in unison could be felt by all in the hall. They had no mikes to amplify their voice, but their hearts amplified their rich feelings as Swami sat listening. This was followed by students’ offering various things, including soft velvety foot mat, specially made for Bhagawan. With His permission, some of them raised His feet to place the ‘mat’ under. The joy and satisfaction writ on their face was indicative of their love and yearning for Bhagawan. Many of the girls were blessed with opportunities to interact with Him in person. Some had letters in hand, some wanted guidance and some others sought clarifications. Bhagawan also blessed pens and refills for the set of girls appearing the ensuing examination.
A group of 175 Australian Sai Youth had been blessed to have a cultural programme in the Divine Presence on the 25th evening. “Mother of Mine – Mother Divine” was essentially a reflection Bhagawan’s own message to humanity, a clarion call to the world at large to emulate Him respecting and loving one’s own Mother.
Over 3300 devotees from the northern tip of Andhra Pradesh, Adilabad, have come on a Parthi Yatra camping in Prasanthi for three full days. On the last day, 26th Feb evening, they staged a dance drama with an innovative theme bringing to fore the Poet in Sri Sathya Sai. “Kavim Kavinam” was a portrayal of Young Sathya, the Divine Poet “par-excellence” whose compositions were brought to the fore in the presentation with the help of illustrious poet Karunasri and singer Ghantasala along with author-biographer Prof. N. Kasturi.
A group of alumni comprising of 130 boys were in Prasanthi having two-day discussions on would be contribution in terms of service during the ensuing 85th Birthday Celebrations.
The Sayeeshwara Lingam that was sanctified during the Ati Rudra Mahayajna in 2006 is being worshipped every day in the bhajan hall as part of the daily rituals. A new silver base had been prepared and the same was installed on the new base in the Divine Presence on the 25th evening in the bhajan hall.
As construction for the new dormitories is in progress Bhagawan made couple of round of inspection passing by the site, blessing hundreds of labourers enroute.
Veteran VHP leader Ashok Singhal, ace Drummer Anandan Sivamani were some of the celebrity devotees visited Prasanthi Nilayam during the fortnight.
Some of Rose Beneficiaries during the fortnight were: Capt. Sharma, Director, Sri Sathya Sai Airport, Sri CM Prakash, Manager, Sanathana Sarathi Press, Sri TG Mohan Kumar, Sanathana Sarathi, Capt. Pradhan, Security Officer, Sri Kameshwar Rao, PRO, Mr. Ramalingam, in-charge, IT Centre, Mr. Parameshwaran, Mr. Damodaran, both from Overseas Accomodation Office, Mr. Raghavendra, SSSIHMS, Bangalore, Mr. Gollapudi Ramdas, Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital etc.
Fresh batch of Sevadals from Maharashtra took over Prasanthi Service on the 28th afternoon, replacing the Madhya Pradesh batch that had been on duty during the second half of February.