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Then & Now
A day in Ashram


The moon was at its perfect round spreading its cool over minds that were agitated by the world and by the worldly…and, at dawn when the Sun slowly emerged from the eastern horizon beaming its brilliant splendour over Prasanthi Nilayam, it was those thousands with one prayer and one attention invoking the Guru of all gurus nay the Lord of all gods against the backdrop of Omkar, Suprabhatam and Vedic chants that set the stage and tone for the Guru Purnima celebrations at Prasanthi Nilayam.

The day was Pournami in the month of Ashada in the vernacular calendar, 2nd July as per Anglican Calendar, most auspicious for the spiritual seeker, the day dedicated to Sadguru. Sai Kulwant Hall was beautifully decorated with floral buntings and colourful lightings and more than that, by the mere presence of those thousands with prayerful hearts…invoking the Lord. And came He… into the assembly of devotees at 6:50 a.m. to the accompaniment of Panchavadyam, and Vedic chants by the students of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. Bhagawan profusely blessed the devotees by going a full round in the Sai Kulwant Hall before settling Himself on the specially decorated dais.

This day was dedicated to the Guru and in the physical presence of the Sadguru, students from the Institute sung in praise of Guru…glory of Sadguru…Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

On this occasion twenty two physically challenged persons from the district of Anantapur were blessed by Bhagawan with specially made tricycles.

Before the nectarous divine discourse by Bhagawan, two senior devotees, Sri Indulal Shah, former President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations (Overseas) and Dr. Michael Goldstein, Chairman, Prasanthi Council (overseeing body for Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations for many countries) shared their thoughts with the devotees. Sri Indulal Shah in his short but authoritative speech exhorted the gathering of devotees to ask themselves three questions...What is unique about Swami?...Why have we come here?...Whether Bhagawan’s teachings have influenced our lives? God does not come in human form very often; but when it happens it is for a profound reason…he reiterated to the audience. How to express our gratitude to this highest manifestation of divinity?...Only by making a strong commitment to put into practice His teachings in our daily life…Truly in His image of love, serve one and all…said Sri Shah before concluding his speech.

Dr. Goldstein started his speech with an inspiring anecdote that happened many years back at His divine Lotus Feet. In his own words…“Many years ago I had the good fortune to be seated at Swami’s Divine Lotus Feet…and I was there as a child. He was gazing out of the window, and He seemed to be looking at a great distance…not at the trees and the people in the buildings outside…but beyond this world...light years away. …Innocently as a child I had the temerity to ask Swami, ‘Swami, will you permit me to see the world thru’ your eyes?’ Swami looked at me and He smiled lovingly like the Divine Mother and Father that He is. …And He said, ‘If I let you see, you will not want to do job, you will not want your home, your will not want your family, you will not want your body.’ How many times has Bhagawan instructed us that we are not these bodies, that we are not these minds, we are the Divine Indweller who resides in our spiritual hearts…Many times Swami has instructed us to understand that the body is merely a vehicle for the Divine Indweller” said Dr. Goldstein. …He concluded his speech with the following statement: “I witnessed Bhagawan Baba’s omnipresence. I witnessed Bhagawan Baba’s various miracles, the spiritual transformation of people everywhere thru’ His love…Truly I witnessed the Power of God”.

Bhagawan showered His nectarous divine discourse urging devotees to develop love. He said when you call Me ‘Sai’ wholeheartedly with love, I will at once respond to your prayers. Referring to those physically challenged persons to whom tricycles were distributed Bhagawan said that He was deeply moved on seeing Sevadals physically lifting and putting them in the cycles. Bhagawan added that one should have love and sympathy for such physically challenged brethren.

As per Bhagawan’s instructions Sri K. Chakravarthi, Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust conveyed a special message from Bhagawan to devotees.

Devotees should aspire only for Bhagawan’s love…they should pray only for Bhagawan’s love and nothing else ...And that prayer is granted to us. Swami assures us that all our prayers are subsumed under that prayer and His benediction of love to us is the only message He says that we should all carry today. Let Swami give us this steadfastness to pray only for the divine love of Bhagawan.

Before the Divine Discourse Sri K. Chakravarthi, Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust conveyed the following message to the office bearers of Sri Sathya Sai Organisational Units and devotees in general.

“We are all aware that by the will and grace of Bhagawan His message of Love, Peace and Harmony is spreading to different parts of this country and to different parts of the world. …And countless devotees experience the transformative part of the divine love of Bhagawan and also witness the transformation that is taking place in their own lives and in the lives of others. …But, however, there are many persons who take the holy name of Bhagawan and use it for their narrow business and commercial pursuits. It takes the form of use of the name of Bhagawan and His photos and make it as a part of their business entities, giving an impression that these entities are part of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations or that they have been specially blessed by Bhagawan. In order that well meaning devotees exercise prudent, caution, discernment etc. and also to caution these devotees from falling prey to that, it is necessary that the Sri Sathya Sai Organisations in this country and other countries periodically bring to the notice of the devotees that they have not been in anyway specially blessed by Swami. Under a statute known as the Emblems and Names Prevention of Improper use Act 1950, Government of India notified certain national names and emblems, included them in the schedule to the Act, so that such names and emblems are protected and ensured that they are not commercially exploited. Taking note of the universality of Bhagawan and His Trust, the Government of India had recently notified and included the name of Bhagawan as Sri Sathya Sai and the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and the emblems, and no one therefore is entitled under the Act to continue to use these name or these symbols; violation of this is punishable under the Act. Therefore, it is necessary that the various Sri Sathya Sai Organisational Units here and abroad to take note of it and the devotees are advised not to lend credence to any such spurious claims.”