Odisha has had a long and loving relationship with Prasanthi Nilayam with Bhagawan having a special soft corner for Sevadal from the state. The youth and Balvikas from the state had come on a special pilgrimage in which they have volunteered to be of additional service in the way of ashram cleaning and other chores. They also held inspiring sessions participating in singing and lectures by Ashram elders.
This morning they held a rath yatra for Bhagawan from Shivalayam (His birthplace) to the Vidyagiri arch. The Rath was led by 108 women carrying Poorna Kumbams (sacred pots), a group of conch blowers and Mridangam (percussion) artists among other devotees representing the folk culture of the state.
In the evening the students of Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Baripada, Odisha presented a Dance Drama entitled Konark. The state president Sri P. Jagannath Prasad Rao introduced the days programme. The dance drama started with adorable little athletic kids dressed in yellow dhotis, pink vests and orange turbans with feathers sticking out from their heads playing conches and making pyramid formations with great dexterity.
This was followed by a choreography of little girls dressed in red and white who after a few steps freeze into stone even as a few tourists arrive to the Konark temple.
These stones came back to life and explain to the tourists their history, the story of King Narasinghadev who conceived a temple shaped as a gigantic chariot to the Sun God, Surya, with twelve pairs of exquisitely ornamental wheels pulled by seven horses, the story of the 1200 highly skilled sculptors who took 12 years to complete it but were at their wits end to install the Kalasam atop the temple, the story of Dharma, the brave 12 year old son of the chief sculptor who accomplishes the task and jumps to his death to save the reputation of the clan.
The skit was succeeded by a devotional music programme by the Sai Youth of Odisha entitled, "Sai Symphony". Starting with a Stotram, "Pathri grama samudbhootam", they continued with "Ram Bhajan Kar Mann", "Sai Teri Yaad Mahasukhdayee", "Sai Divya Roopam" and "Aditya Deva" before concluding with "Allah Tu".
The programme was followed by Bhajans. Sarees and clothes were offered to the participants. Prasadam was distributed to all.