Fri, Dec 31, 2010: It's year ending 2010 and as has been the practice over the years, the alumni of SSSIHL have come back once again to the hallowed portals presenting themselves to their Beloved Swami. Year endings often mean introspection of the activities during the year, and here, the grateful students seemed to have done their 'home work' well to present their progress report to Bhagawan. They have come in good numbers and presented a dance drama entitled "Your Message is Our Life", a sequel to the previous year's presentation entitled "An Eternal Bond of Love"!
Earlier, Bhagawan came in His car at 1810 hrs., to go for a full round of Darshan. Upon coming on stage at 1820 hrs. He blessed the alumni to commence the evening's further proceedings.
How best to live a worthy life that has already been sanctified by Bhagawan with His bounteous blessings, entitling them with the title Sai Students? The presentation in the evening was an answer to this question. Continuing from the previous year's story that depicted the story of Karthik, the persona representing an ideal Sai student, the presentation for the evening carried the story-line forward coining actual stories from the lives of alumni.
Story moved from the medical camp at Whitefield to Bhagawan's revelation done in 1976 where He spelt out His future mission, through a materialised medallion, involving His students. Impressed at the revelations, Karthik was pumped up, yet was worried about 'something' that was holding him back from taking a big leap to follow His teachings. When opportunity came in his way, when the call was irresistible, Karthik responded and took home a destitute child, turning the orphan under his loving care. Karthik was joined by a couple of more Sai students.
The story of Sai Anandam, an orphanage for destitute children, the coming up of Sri Sathya Sai Jagruti Vidya Mandir, the newly dedicated project "Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini" and the coming up of a hospital meeting the need of the hour, serving the villagers etc. were depicted showing how Sai students are making waves in the society spreading His message, Love All Serve All.
The one-hour presentation ended with a message of Oneness of All Creation with a call to merge in Him to become One!
Bhagawan moved down the dais to pose for a photo session. Accepting Mangala Arathi at 1935 hrs. Bhagawan left for Yajur Mandiram at 1940 hrs. Prasadam was distributed to the entire audience.
Thu, Dec 30, 2010: This evening, the Penultimate day of the Calendar Year, scripted one of the shortest Darshan sessions.
Emerging at 1810 hrs. Bhagawan came for a half round, to take a detour from the ladies' end, coming on stage at 1815 hrs. Bhagawan sat for a couple of bhajans and accepted Mangala Arathi at 1820 hrs.
Moving past the lower verandah, Bhagawan drove past the gents' side, completing the earlier 'incomplete' round. Passing the Dashavatar gate, the Toyota Porte AP02 N9000 sped past Puttaparthi precincts carrying The Lord for an evening round through the Divine Valley.
Praying for their turn of annual 'celebration' in the Divine presence, former students of Bhagawan (men) are filing in to Prasanthi in large numbers. New Year eve is expected to have the alumni celebrating in the Divine presence.
Wed, Dec 29, 2010: This morning, emerging at 0830 hrs. Bhagawan went to the Super Speciality Hospital at Prasanthigram. Returning to Ashram at 0935 hrs. Bhagawan came into the Sai Kulwant from the Yajur Mandiram end at 0940 hrs. for a full round darshan.
Coming on stage at 0950 hrs. Bhagawan sat for a couple of bhajans before Arathi was offered at 1000 hrs. Bhagawan retired to Yajur Mandiram after 1010 hrs.
In the evening, Bhagawan arrived at 1827 hrs. for a complete round of Darshan. Coming on stage at 1835 hrs. Bhagawan sat through for the next forty minutes. Blessing birthday boys, blessing some others with Vibhuti prasadam, blessing some greetings from the hostel Bhagawan accepted Mangala Arathi at 1920 hrs. before leaving for Yajur Mandiram at 1915 hrs. Blessed prasadam was distributed to all and Bhagawan blessed the concourse with Abhayahasta before leaving the dais.
Mon, Dec 27, 2010:The grand finale of the three day Christmas celebrations witnessed little children from around the world taking the centre-stage singing and enacting the glory of Jesus and Sathya Sai. When two programmes, an International Children Choir and a Musical Play, that were scheduled for the previous evening got postponed as ‘willed’ by Bhagawan, this 'fresh-week' evening found a ‘combined programme’, setting a grand finale for the Christmas 2010 celebrations.
Bhagawan arrived just after 1820 hrs. and the hall was full. Covering the ladies' end Bhagawan's car took a detour moving out, only to return after ninety minutes.
Coming on stage, initial blessings followed before the commencement of the programme. John Behner, International Christmas Committee Coordinator along with Alma Badings, the Choir Conductor from the Netherlands and the Drama Director Victoria Hargreaves from the US took blessings.
The Programme entitled ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ was an enactment of the life of Jesus Christ. Set against the backdrop of a Christian home in the thick of Christmas celebrations, the presentation was centred around a little boy, Billy, who, having lost faith, was disinterested in the whole of the festive affair.
His Family got into prayer mode seeking Swami’s intervention and in response came Billy’s Guardian Angel and the Spirit of the Past, taking the boy to Bethlehem to the times of Jesus.
The boy was to witness the most sacred of the lives, that of Jesus! The Spirit of the Past took him to the lively scenes prior to the birth of Jesus, Baby Jesus in the Manger and his growing up into a man teachings and preachings as a guiding star. The boy was overjoyed, having witnessed the ‘life of the past master’. Adding to his joy, Spirit of the Present joined Billy introducing him to his Guardian Angel. …And it was time for the big ‘initiation’.
Guardian Angel shared with the little one about Sathya Sai Baba and His Teachings. Leading the boy unto the precincts of Prasanthi Nilayam, he was given further enlightenment on “unity in diversity” and “Fatherhood of God”.
Finally the ‘dream run’ ended and Billy woke up to the Christmas morning. Faith was restored and Billy was transformed! ...and Billy vowed to Love and Serve everyone. Drama ended with Billy praying to the Lord to "bless us, bless everyone!"
The thirty three minute presentation was laced with choir songs n between describing the glory of the Heavenly Father and His messenger son! Crew consisted of children from South Africa, the US along with a couple of Scottish and Russian speaking children.
Soon after the presentation Bhagawan moved down the dais to pose with the children. Coming on stage, Bhagawan accepted Mangala Arathi. "Samastha Lokaaha..." was repeated yet again for a second time at His special instance and blessing the concourse Bhagawan left the dais, retiring to Yajur Mandiram just after 2100 hrs. Prasadam was distributed to the entire audience.
Earlier in the morning, as part of the Christmas celebrations, a Multi-Faith Worship Programme was organised at the double decker building, next to the Book Centre. Titled as "We Are One", the programme had representation from all major religions, namely, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism and Zoroastrianism etc. Presided over by Fr. Charles Ogada of Nigeria, donning the mantle of Master of Ceremonies, the programme that had good turnout of devotees had light meditation session, Universal Prayer, Holy Communion and Prasad distribution.
Sun, Dec 26, 2010: International Children gave a 'biblical welcome' to Bhagawan this evening, at 1910 hrs. leading Him in a procession to the Sai Kulwant Hall. Children in colourful costumes, representing various biblical characters, led the procession to the accompaniment of soft tunes of traditional Christmas songs.
Coming into the hall Bhagawan went for a complete round, blessing the 'biblical characters' moving at a slow pace. Many of them were carrying various Christmas paraphernalias that were blessed by Bhagawan while on the move.
Coming on stage at 1930 hrs. Bhagawan sat on for next forty five minutes. Most of the time Bhagawan was busy with the "day's mail" from devotees while bhajans went on in the background. At 1955 hrs. Bhagawan accepted Mangala Arathi and continued with 'devotees' mail' for some more time, till 2015 hrs. when Bhagawan left the dais, leaving for Yajur Mandiram. Before leaving Bhagawan asked for an encore of "Samastha Loakaaha...".
Blessed prasadam was distributed to the entire audience. Bhagawan was seen tossing Vibhuti packets to many in between, a delightful scene for the devotees, watching The Lord in action! He even interacted with Christmas Committee Coordinator John Behner blessing him with Vibhuti Prasadam.
Sat, Dec 25, 2010: In Parthi every event and every festivity is defined with Bhagawan being the centre-point. 'His Presence' is the big thing and every festivity gets its due importance only when He makes Himself available for the occasion.
Following the Christmas Eve when the Christmas day dawned the focus of attention was unto Him and in His anticipated presence. In the evening there was high expectation in the air and Sai Kulwant was ready with festive exuberance to receive the Lord! Apart from the official Christmas 2010 schedule by SSSSO, Overseas, an Italian Orchestra was also scheduled for the eventful evening.
In the Sai Kulwant Hall, every inch of available space was packed with devotees. Leading to the schedule, bhajans played soulful tunes clocking to the "Divine Hour".
At 1850 hrs. the Divine Carrier, Toyota Porte AP02N9000 appeared at the entrance, carrying The Lord clad in yellow. First round of darshan was followed by another 'bonus' round and the surge of devotees was ecstatic. Many who missed His 'catchy' glance in the first round ensured one in the second round. Primary School children were up on their feet, holding aloft their Christmas Greetings, trying to win Divine attention.
Coming on to the Verandah through the western slope at the gents' side, Bhagawan, upon alighting, went for a round of upper verandah and was seen blessing many, tossing Vibhuti packets. Soon Bhagawan blessed an array of Christmas cakes before coming on to the dais at 1920 hrs.
Evening proceedings began with International Christmas Committee Chairman John Behner addressing the assembly. Thanking Bhagawan for His bounteous love, offering Christmas greetings to one and all, Behner introduced the two speakers for the evening. The speakers were Kirsten Pruzan, a Danish Journalist and Cass Smith, a musician andPsychological Therapist from the US.
Ms. Pruzan spoke gracefully, sharing her personal experience of the 'Divine Pull' that brought her to Parthi for the first time. Elaborating on the omnipresence shown by Swami at her Danish home, she narrated a wonderful experience wherein her husband, Prof. Pruzan, was saved by Bhagawan, from being taken as a hostage after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, while returning from Parthi.
Cass Smith spoke of His Love quoting Samuel Sandweiss from his famous book, Sai Baba, The Holy Man and Psychiatrist. A musician by himself, Smith strummed his guitar to produce three gems of musical pieces, concluding with the his popular song, "I keep feeling your love...". He also narrated a wonderful experience, that happened at Brindavan, sharing how Bhagawan miraculously cured him of an 'ear-mishap'.
A "Christmas in Sai Love" was the theme for the concert by a group of Italians led by Sonja Venturi along with Sergio Vigagni, Evige Fontana, Dalliah Gutman, Bruno Pratico etc. and a set of musical scorers. As they took over after receiving Divine Blessings, music flowed with bhajans tuned in western style echoing the Sai Kulwant Hall. Beginning with three Omkars, salutations to Lord Ganesha and Twameva Matha, Sonja Venturi produced a scintillating Mukunda Murari, styled in west, to the amusement of Bhagawan and the capacity audience. Audience clapped after every song as the Italians went on singing for the next fifty minutes. A beethoven medley, a couple of italian numbers, White Christmas etc. were followed by a combined song, 'Happy Christmas', as grand finale. The whole programme was organised by senior Italian devotees Luigi Ferrante and Anna Bruno.
Post the musical session, Bhagawan called the singers and musicians on stage, one after one, showering blessings. A second round of blessing ensued when the four ladies in the group were again called on stage, one after one, to receive prasadam from the Divine Hands. A group of tiny tots from Italy also came on stage receiving prasadam from the Divine Hands. In the meanwhile, Prasadam went for distribution to the audience.
As Bhagawan sat through, one of the ashram photographers went up to Bhagawan showing Him Christmas decorations in print. Being the Senior Hostel Anniversary, a group of students from the Senior Hostel also went up to Bhagawan showing Him images of the 'decorated hostel'.
Mangala Arathi was offered at 2120 hrs. and Bhagawan retired to Yajur Mandiram at 2130 hrs.
Fri, Dec 24, 2010: Today is Christmas Eve, the night before Christmas, the night that heralds the Advent of Jesus Christ. For those seekers of Jesus, those seekers of Truth who knows "Sathya", this is the occasion to rejoice 'the advent'; for them who are missing the action, physically in Prasanthi, it will be difficult to fill the void of not being in Prasanthi and it is time for sheer nostalgia!
Christmas Eve in Prasanthi Nilayam is distinctive over the years with a unique choir comprising representation of 'United Nations' singing His glory in presence of The One Who could be called the 'Creator' or 'Originator' of Christmas. The Overseas Choir has been a part of the Christmas celebrations for over a decade ever since Bhagawan given the mantle to a former US School Teacher by name Sylvia Alden to conduct the show.
Dressed up in pristine white, over 750 choristers, 216 gents and 556 ladies, with over fifty musicians among them, had occupied the centre-block of the Mandir well in advance of the commencement of the proceedings in the scheduled evening.
An early entry and Bhagawan was in the midst at 1800 hrs., arrived in His car. Moving on, blessing the concourse, Bhagawan was seen tossing Vibhuti packets to devotees at random.
Coming on to the dais Bhagawan blessed some of the seniors from the Christmas group, including John Behner, with Vibhuti prasadam. Bhajans continued until 1830 hrs. when Bhagawan blessed John Behner before lighting the lamp officially inaugurating the programme. The Choir Conductor Sylvia Alden turned up on stage and after a few minutes of interaction, Bhagawan 'green-signalled' the Conductor to commence the Choir.
Three perfect Omkars from over 750 western choristers followed by Ganesha invocation, "Ganaanaam Twa..." and the Choir was on! Bhagawan sat through listening to the choristers singing the glory of the Lord and after forty minutes, with the 12th hymn completed, Bhagawan asked for Mangala Arathi.
Blessed Prasadam was distributed in between and post Arathi, in a most unexpected move, Bhagawan moved down the aisle posing for photographs with the group. The Choristers were ecstatic as Bhagawan allowed them to converge in a semi-circle around Him, being the centre-point, and hundreds of faces were beaming the joy of being in close proximity.
At 1920 hrs. Bhagawan got into His car retiring to Yajur Mandiram.
Thu, Dec 23, 2010: For the first time this year, ever since winter broke its silence to make it to Parthi in early November, this morning the township recorded the lowest temperature, hit by intense cold weather; but for the determined and devoted bunch of 'Christmas Pilgrims', it seemed, weather was of no concern. Daring the 'onslaught' they were up and had their tasks cut, practising to perfect their throats for the morrow, The Christmas Eve! ...And these practice sessions go on and on, during the day, with 'His Glory' being rehearsed almost incessantly.
Today's 'Live Darshan Story' begins with Bhagawan's entry into the hall at 1850 hrs. in His car. Coming on stage in five minutes, Bhagawan sat through the session for the next almost half-an-hour. Soon after coming on stage Bhagawan beckoned the birthday boys, blessing them one after one, as they made a beeline unto Him.
When it comes to Bhagawan, everyone and everything wants to have His attention. Christmas decorators from South Africa should be a happy lot as Bhagawan has been quite observant of the aesthetic decorations done in the Sai Kulwant Hall. This evening, with the bhajans on, Bhagawan was scanning through the hall on either side watching over the 'added glow'.
Concluding the session Bhagawan accepted Mangala Arathi at 1920 hrs. Before leaving the dais, Bhagawan tossed Vibhuti Packets to three of the 'frontbenchers', men behind the cameras, blessing them with Padanamaskar.
Blessing the assembly with Abhayahasta, both gents and ladies, Bhagawan left for Yajur Mandiram after 1927 hrs.
Wed, Dec 22, 2010: Prasanthi's current schedule of Vedam for an hour followed by Bhajans, in the evening, serve as wake-up calls for the 'sleeping' human minds, invoking the 'highest boon' amongst them granting Divine Darshan. When He shows up every day in the thick of such soul-stirring sessions, shepherding Himself as Twilight's Divine Beauty, this priceless sight does take the convergence of devotees into a high realm of excitement, granting them a faint touch of ethereal bliss!
This evening, Bhagawan came in at 1845 hrs. As He entered the gents' side, excitement ran through as a particular set of devotees greeted the Lord with continuous "Jaikars'. Bhagawan sped past the side completing the round in ten minutes.
Coming on stage at 1855 hrs. Bhagawan sat through the next twenty minutes calling for Mangala Arathi at 1915 hrs.
It was complete silence all over after the Arathi and His right palm went up moving in circular, one of physical Divinity's unique gestures; Bhagawan repeated the act a couple of more times.
As He was leaving the dais, excitement ran through once again with the gents' side, as they greeted The Lord with continuous claps. The excitement fever was so contagious that it spread into the ladies' side as they took over with shrieky voicing, greeting Bhagawan.
Bhagawan left for Yajur Mandiram at 1925 hrs. and, as His car went speeding past, the section gave an encore of shrieky greetings, explicit signs of devotional ecstasy!
With the Christmas Day just three days apart, first trace of decorations have already shown up in the Sai Kulwant Hall adding to the twilight's beauty. After the Arathi, as Bhagawan sat through for sometime, He was seen glancing over the lighting decorations in the hall. The Divine Abode "Yajur Mandiram" also has been decked up with floral decor coupled with silver lightings.
Tue, Dec 21, 2010: Today, Bhagawan arrived at 1925 hrs. for a quick round of Darshan. Coming on stage in ten minutes, at 1935 hrs., Bhagawan accepted Mangala Arathi in a couple of minutes. Asking for an encore of "Samastha Lokaaha..." Bhagawan blessed the concourse with Abhayahasta before leaving the dais to retire to Yajur Mandiram at 1945 hrs., in His car. While the Universal Prayer followed by Shanti Mantra were being chanted, Bhagawan, with His typical hand gestures, was seen joining the en mass chanting.
Mon, Dec 20, 2010: As the Christmas week dawned in Prasanthi, there is heightened enthusiasm around and overseas troupes, with diverse tasks assigned amongst them, keep the momentum going, often sleeping late, rising early and raising to the target to make it a grand show in the Divine Presence.
Christmas decor that is the most glittering part of Prasanthi Christmas is showing up at every vantage positions, done by the decorators for the year from South Africa. And with Prasanthi counting down to the Christmas Day, one could expect added glow and grandeur in the coming days.
Coming in at 1855 hrs. Bhagawan was quite attentive, swaying from sides to side attending with atmost patience and compassion. Primary School Girls, including the the tiny tots, earned His attention and Bhagawan blessed a couple of them with Vibhuti packets. As He 'strode through' to the gents' side, He had an enlivened audience awaiting, where passion and devotion often seen crossing the thin line of discipline; no matter, His compassion was overriding and many received blessings as He moved past slowly.
Birthday boys, Bhajan and Vedam boys, all got His attention before Bhagawan spent awhile at the Primary Block, that made a special appearance claiming their sunday 'dues'. An 'extra-length' of darshan into the ladies' side ensued before Bhagawan came on to the Verandah granting serial blessings to many.
It was 1925 hrs. and Bhagawan came on stage and became busy with the day's bunch of letters.
Mangala Arathi was offered at 1943 hrs. Post Arathi, Bhagawan continued with the letters for some more time, disposing off the bunch on His lap. He raised His head allowing His gaze to fall upon the students. Beckoning one of them with a question on His lips Bhagawan blessed the boy before blessing the concourse with Abhayahastha. Excitement ran through the gents' side as they clapped and shouted 'jaikars' and a hundred hands went up, explicit sign of excitement.
Bhagawan left the dais to retire to Yajur Mandiram past 2000 hrs., in His car.
Sat, Dec 18, 2010: This evening Bhagawan arrived at 1847 hrs. to a soul-stirring Shiva bhajan. He began 'His Journey" tossing up Vibhuti packets unto a couple of 'little hearts', occupying the front row. Conversing with some in between Bhagawan moved past the ladies 'end to take a diversion.
Blessing a group of ladies specially seated, Bhagawan moved past going for the usual 'extra length' into the ladies' side.
Coming on to the Verandah, Bhagawan accepted the 'invocations' by the 1997 Batch of SSSIHL which was praying for a get-together with Bhagawan, 'Prema Bandham".
A group of dignitaries attended the three day "Computing Workshop" at DMACS of SSSIHL was seated on either side in the Verandah. Bhagawan interacted with some of them while blessing many with Padanamaskar.
Before taking a detour leading into the bhajan hall, Bhagawan, with a Divinely mischievous pose, was seen tossing Vibhuti packets to a couple of senior devotees.
Stage was set for the scheduled "Prema Bandham". Bhagawan entered the bhajan hall through the rear entrance and a group of approximately 250 were present in the hall that included Alumni and their immediate family members. The door turned closed ensuing an exclusive session inside.
Inside, Bhagawan intimately interacted with some of the alumni enquiring about their welfare, family etc. Blessing the privileged assembly Bhagawan made two full rounds all along the length of the hall. He also blessed and cut a special cake meant for the occasion. The session lasted for half-an-hour.
It was 1935 hrs. and Bhagawan emerged out. The entire "Prema Bandham" batch followed Bhagawan through the rear entrance, merging in the assembly. Bhajans that were on at a low tone all along, facilitating the session inside, picked up turning louder.
Bhagawan got into attending the day's bunch of letters and in the meanwhile blessed prasadam went for distribution.
After a fifteen minutes' session on stage, Bhagawan accepted Mangala Arathi at 1955 hrs., before leaving for Yajur Mandiram at 2000 hrs. in His car.
Fri, Dec 17, 2010: Today is Vaikunta Ekadashi or more precisely as Prasanthi recalls, Amrita Ekadashi. This auspicious festivity had its heyday in Prasanthi during early sixties when Bhagawan, in His youthful days, celebrated the same on the sandy riverbed of Chitravathi. Legend on the festivity talks about opening of the heavenly door, leading one to the Abode of Lord Vishnu, to Vaikunta! While awaiting His darshan on this day, one wonders, Is there any better world one need to think about than being in Prasanthi sighting the beauty of His Divine physical frame?
Those who have witnessed, heard or read on the greater significance of the occasion would undoubtedly acknowledge the importance of Divine Darshan on this very day.
…And this evening Prasanthi’s darshan house was full. Adding to the floating 'crowd' of devotees was a huge group of over 3400 from the north-eastern Andhra district of Srikakulam. The group was ready with a cultural presentation and the centre block had the 'stage' ready with a backdrop.
Bhagawan arrived at 1830 hrs. Devotional frenzy that has been with the gents' side over the days seemed to have shifted over to the opposite end this evening. As Bhagawan moved past, there was a bit of jostling around at the ladies' side and sevadal volunteers were trying to calm the 'excitement' down. As Bhagawan approached the Primary School, little children got enthused resulting in a crescendo in tiny little voices singing bhajans.
Bhagawan came on stage at 1850 hrs. and soon He nodded for the programme to commence. District President of SSSSO with his poetic exploitation, hailed Bhagawan, thanking Him profusely for the opportunity. The President also elaborated on the major initiatives happening in the district under the auspices of SSSSO.
The programme for the evening was "Murali Madhavam", a dance drama by the Youth and Balvikas of SSSSO, Srikakulam District. The drama depicted the story of a flute maker who, with all out devotion and dedication made a special flute for Bhagawan Sri Krishna. At the crucial time when Bhagawan refused to accept the flute, excusing Himself with the words that He has forgotten the art of playing, the flute maker was grief-stricken. Rewarding His devotee for his unflinching devotion and dedication Bhagawan appeared to the flute maker telling him that, he (the flute maker) is his real flute whom he had been preparing for many births. Bhagawan blessed Sulu, the flute maker, with Vishwaroopa Darshanam.
Interspersed with series of dances, the one hour presentation turned out to be a visual treat, rich with melodious music and colourful costumes. After the one-hour presentation safari pieces were distributed to the drama crew. Blessed prasadam, sweets, also went for distribution. At 2015 hrs. Bhagawan accepted Mangala Arathi.
The crew was devotedly waiting at the front block anticipating Him amidst. ...And the Lord could not resist. After a brief pause post Arathi, Bhagawan moved down, posing with the crew. Bhagawan chose to interact with some and also lit the Akhanda Jyothi which would travel back to the district. From the past five years the district has been blessed with this good fortune of carrying the Akhanda Jyothi from Prasanthi. These Akhanda Jyothis would be placed in different centres/temples for the benefit of devotees.
At 2030 hrs. Bhagawan left for Yajur Mandiram in His car.
"Prema Bandham", the bond of love, that began with the 1996 batch of SSSIHL students in August this year, is going to have its second 'get-together' during this week-end. The 1997 batch of SSSIHL along with immediate families are filing in to Prasanthi and one could expect yet another close session between Bhagawan and 'His Properties'.
Thu, Dec 16, 2010: It's Thursday again and there was an extra tinge of auspiciousness around. The hall was fully packed and there were thousands lined up outside, awaiting the lordly entry.
Bhagawan arrived at dot seven. His full round of darshan witnessed a frenzy of devotional ecstasy, with devotees at the gents side making waves of excitement, trying to catch the Divine form 'passing by' proper.
Bhagawan slowed down at the birthday boys for a while; moving on, He blessed the Primay School children.
Cutting through the Verandah, conferring blessing upon many, Bhagawan arrived on stage at 1920 hrs. Some of the participants of the ongoing 'Computing Workshop' earned His attention as He glided past them.
Bhajans turned louder and Bhagawan glancing at the assembly, started giving finger beats, occasionally mixing up with His 'all-knowing', inimitable hand gesticulations. The session continued for a good twenty-five minutes that witnessed a number of fast paced bhajans.
Mangala Arathi was offered at 1945 hrs. and Bhagawan, blessing the concourse with Abhayahastha, left the dais retiring to Yajur Mandiram in His car, at 1955 hrs.
Wed, Dec 15, 2010: Adding another page to His glorious Darshan Saga, this evening Bhagawan emerged at 1905 hrs., granting darshan to a packed assembly of devotees.
With tens and thousands riveted on the orange clad form drifting amongst, Bhagawan ensured a slow darshan round, blessing the mass of devotees with His unsullied presence. Occasionally He paused, interacting and blessing, and was even seen raising His benedictory palm, once, while on the move. Slowing further down, Bhagawan blessed the birthday beneficiaries before interacting with a student at the bhajan block. Moving into the ladies'side, Bhagawan passed by the Easwaramma School Children, blessing the birthday kids.
Completing the round, coming on to the Verandah, Bhagawan continued His blessing spree, listening and interacting with many. Compassionate Lord He is, Bhagawan accepted letters from every outstretched hand.
Bhagawan came on stage at 1935 hrs. and bhajans got into full swing. Some of the visiting dignitaries attending ongoing workshop on "Scientific Computing" got to interact with Bhagawan before He assumed the Seat of Divine.
As bhajans continued Bhagawan went on glancing through today's bunch of letters from devotees.
At 1950 hrs. Bhagawan asked for Mangala Arathi. Continuing with the letters for some more time, Bhagawan paused for some seconds in between, blossoming the 'Beauty of His Divine Smile' at His students.
A brief interaction with a student followed, after which Bhagawan left the dais to move into the Interview Room.
Emerging at 2010 hrs. Bhagawan got into His car, retiring to Yajur Mandiram.
Meanwhile, Christmas decorations started showing up in and around Prasanthi. In the evening, the Mandir and the Yajur Mandiram surroundings were artistically lit up with colourful decorations. This year, devotees from South Africa have been assigned with the honour of decorating the 'House of Divinity', for Christmas 2010.
Tue, Dec 14, 2010: For the Prasanthi travellers, sighting His beauteous form emerging out, moving amongst and casting His benedictory glance is the exercise of annulling of the void within. His immediate Divine presence, panacea that Prasanthi offers, can be rightfully termed as the filler of the void of spirituality. Those who travel to Prasanthi would vouch for it, for, they return filling the void with the vivid, with a vivid picture of the beauteous form!
Tuesday was up quite early listening to the Christmas troupe singing, practising to perfect their final show. With the festive season up, Hallelujah, the song in praise of God keeps echoing in Prasanthi during the day, as the tranquil voices of hundreds of practising choristers stream into the air, reminding one of the imminence of the advent of Little Jesus.
...And beginning the day's darshan story, Bhagawan arrived at 1820 hrs. Interacting and blessing some in between, Bhagawan completed a full round of darshan. At the end of the round Bhagawan blessed faculties and research scholars from the Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science (DMACS) at Prasanthi Nilayam Campus. The Dept. is hosting an International Workshop on Scientific Computing during the week. Bhagawan graciously blessed the workshop related folders, badges etc.
Finishing an 'extra length' of darshan at the ladies' end, Bhagawan came onto the Verandah and there began blessings galore, as one after the other many tried their luck with The Divine. He conversed in detail with some, blessing some with Padanamaskar and Vibhuti Prasadam. Cutting across the Veradanh, to everyone pleasant surprise, Bhagawan went for a reverse round of gents' side. The 'crowd' went into a frenzy with many trying to get a closer glimpse. Some got onto their knees, some on to their feet and hundreds of hands went up, folded in reverence, greeting Bhagawan for His special benediction!
Taking a detour after the gents' side, Bhagawan came onstage and bhajans turned 'high-pitched'. Sitting with devotees' letters, Bhagawan turned into the priest, nodding for Mangala Arathi, at 1900 hrs. Even after the Arathi, Bhagawan continued to browse through the letters. In between He called one of the boys, whispering something into his ear. Session continued with Bhagawan attending to the letters and it was absolute silence all over, except for occasional coughing from the assembly. Bhagawan called a couple of more boys, blessed them with interaction and Vibhuti Prasadam before winding up the session at 1910 hrs., not before raising His blessed palm in Abhayahasta.
At 1915 hrs. Bhagawan got into His car retiring to Yajur Mandiram.
Sun, Dec 12, 2010: On this week-end evening in Prasanthi Nilayam, Bhagawan arrived at 1835 hrs. amidst bhajans, blessing a packed audience. Christmas season is up and the Primary children had some christmas theme related greetings wishing The Lord. As Bhagawan moved on, His benedictory glance switched from side to side, benedictory palm went up at intervals, Vibhuti packets went flinging from His hands a couple of times, all varied faces of His supreme compassion!
Slowing down at the students' block blessing the birthday beneficiaries, Bhagawan moved further into the Primary school block before moving for an 'extra length' in to the ladies' side.
The day had something special for the Primary school children. Bhagawan chose to spend close to half-an-hour at the block distributing special gifts to the tiny tots.
Winding up the special session, Bhagawan came on stage at 1920 hrs. and bhajans went into high crescendo.
At 1930 hrs. Bhagawan nodded for Mangala Arathi. Blessed prasadam was distributed to all before Bhagawan returned to Yajur Mandiram at 1935 hrs.
Sat, Dec 11, 2010: When Friday, 10th December missed the beauty of Divine Darshan, it was Saturday's turn to make amends. As if ensuring His Divine entry, there was a scheduled programme for the evening by a Parthi Yatra group from Medak district of Andhra Pradesh.
Bhagawan arrived at 1815 hrs. As He moved from the ladies' side, through the centre-path to the gents' side, finally into the students' block, many received His blessings. The assembly also had the men and women in orange scarf, from Medak, greeting the Lord on an evening that was most benevolently earmarked for them.
Coming on to the Verandah, Bhagawan interacted and blessed many, enroute the dais.
At 18:45 hrs., Bhagawan came on stage and bhajans continued with devotional fervour. As is His wont these days, swiftly Bhagawan got into attending to devotees' letters.
In five minutes, turning and nodding at the organisers, Bhagawan indicated for the commencement of the programme. With the green signal coming from The Lord, the organisers made a bee-line unto the dais seeking blessings. Seniors were followed by tiny tots in costumes. As each one of the participating children came on stage and earned a coveted Padanamaskar, devoted public burst into roaring applause in appreciation of their great good fortune.
The programme for the evening was entitiled "Sambhavami Yuge Yuge...", a dance drama on the life of the Avatar of the age.
It was 45 minutes non-stop dance, with Balvikas children from the district illustrating the life of Sathya Sai Avatar, dancing to meaningful songs. The programme began with a dance depicting the Lord of Kailash and His Divine family, marking the beginning of the story of Sai Avatars. A small dancing episode of the Lord of Shirdi preceded the big story of the Advent of Lord Sathya Sai. Evolution of Little Sathya into the contemporary Avatar, His Divine Mission etc., were illustrated, with children in a mix of coloured costumes coming to the fore, taking their turns, dancing to the story-line.
Concluding the programme children came in disciplined lines, converging at the centre, invoking Bhagawan in their midst. Bhagawan paused for a while and once the children were settled, swiftly He clilmed down the dais to pose for group photograph. Subsequently, Bhagawan moved amongst the group, granting them the privilege of watching Him from a closer angle.
Returning on stage Bhagawan headed towards the interview room. He spent quite sometime in, interacting with some senior devotees. Upon returning Bhagawan accepted Mangala Arathi at 2030 hrs. Blessed prasadam for all and clothe pieces, safari and sarees for participating boys and girls, were distributed simultaneously, with Bhgawan watching over the proceedings.
It was time for the curtains to come down and Bhagawan left the dais to board His car, retiring to Yajur Mandiram at 2040 hrs. Click Here for the report with images.
Thu, Dec 09, 2010:Of the many things that Prasanthi accepts as a loving offering at her Beloved Lord’s Lotus Feet, music takes an upper hand. Music is Divine, unarguably the most potent weapon to win the heart of Divinity!
Today, on the Thursday evening, in line with the announcement on the previous night, a western devotional music concert by renowned singer of fame Dana Gillespie, famous world over in the genre of blues, was in the offing. Granting Divine Darshan Bhagawan emerged at 1830 hrs. coming into the Sai Kulwant Hall. Interacting with the singer for a while, Bhagawan glid past the pathway blessing the evening’s assembly. Being Thursday, primary school children were in full attendance. Taking turns, some of them, earned direct blessings before Bhagawan moved further into the ladies’ side for an 'extra length' granting closer darshan.
Ascending the Verandah after the rounds, Bhagawan moved into the Interview Room for a brief pause. Emerging out and moving through the upper Verandah, Bhagawan blessed many seniors before coming on stage at 1855 hrs. from the right of Ganesha.
In another five minutes Bhagawan indicated for the bhajans to stop and the stage was set for the musical programme. Singer Dana Gillespie, attired in typical Indian style, draped in a blue golden embroiled saree, came on stage seeking 'invoking benediction' before the commencement of the programme.
Adorning the centre-stage along side Bhagawan, the singer started off with a simple sarvadharma bhajan “Salaam Alaikkum…” with her booming yet melodious voice resounding in the spacious Sai Kulwant Hall. Six more songs followed that included a piece she had sung fifteen years ago , on the 70th Birthday evening, that was followed by a bhajan “Sai Rama Bolo…Govinda Rama Bolo…”sung with elan. Narrating the background story of another piece, "Play The Game, Be Happy", the graceful singer explained that the piece was based on an Interview Room conversation with Bhagawan. Utilising an opportunity granted by The Lord, the singer had posed a "million dollar question" unto Bhagawan concerning life as to 'what is the purpose? what is the meaning? ... of life?' and pat came His reply: "Play The Game; Be Happy!", and thus a beautiful, meaningful song.
The singer, with her typical dancing movements spicing up with her devotional touch and exhibited with emotive expressions, sang meaningful lines, regaling the evening’s audience drawing round of applause at the end of each song. Each of the song was preceded with introductory remarks explaining the background story. It was indeed her soul communion with the Highest Soul through the medium of music, in the immediate presence of The Mighty Divine!
At the end of the forty minute programme, as a token of Divine appreciation, Bhagawan presented a beautiful memento, a replica of a Phoenix bird, to Ms. Gillespie. (The Phoenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and the Chinese).
Bhagawan interacted with the singer for a while before blessing her with Padanamaskar. The memento that glows in the dark with special lighting inside was displayed to the singer at the instance of Bhagawan, and the audience, watching the golden moments, turned ecstatic. The singer with humililty and devotion stood gracefully watching The Lord, receiving His blessings.
One bhajan by the students followed before Bhagawan indicating for Mangala Arathi at 1945 hrs. Blessing the concourse with Abhayahastha, ladies and gents separately, Bhagawan moved off the dais at 1950 hrs. As Bhagawan approached His car, a group of faculties and research scholars from the Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science of SSSIHL, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus sought Divine blessings. Bhagawan spent awhile with them glancing through the brochure, listening to their explanations. At 2000 hrs. Bhagawan got into His car driving back to Yajur Mandiram. Click Here for the report with video and images.
Wed, Dec 08, 2010: Overcast conditions gave way to bright sunny rays, presenting a beautiful dawn on Wednesday morning, giving respite from the chilly weather that hit the township early during the week. The day got along with the usual hustle and bustle with everyone stayed focussed on an yet another glorious evening session anticipating The Lord in their midst.
In the thick of soul-stirring bhajans, Prasanthi's most potent weapon invoking Santhi, at 2000 hrs. there was a hustle & bustle in the assembly, the first indication serving as a pre-cursor for the Lordly Entry. ...And with that the lights turned on flashing brilliance all over, bhajans got into a higher gear and thousands of hearts, minds and souls stayed tuned to the western gates ready to catch the precious glimpse!
The appointed time arrived at 2018 hrs. when Bhagawan made it into the assembly. Entering in, Bhagawan interacted with the western singer of fame, Dana Gillespie before gliding past to move on, blessing many en route. As Bhagawan entered into the gents' side, the assembly got enlivened with everyone vying to get a closer look, many attempting to hand over letters directly unto Him. The Lord of compassion drifted through, casting His glance most affectionately, imparting subtle blessings to the entire assemblage. A full round of darshan ensued, at the end of which, Bhagawan blessed the birthday boys from the Institute and School, tiny tots from the Easwaramma English Medium School before moving into the ladies' side for a 'extra length' of darshan.
Coming on to the Verandah, Bhagawan had a barrage of blessings, with one after one many were vying to get a closer glimpse, attention and interaction. Bhagawan was patient enough to attend to everyone, seen reading some of the letters with meticulous attention.
At 2040 hrs. Bhagawan came on stage from the right of Ganesha. Blessing the latest edition of Sanathana Sarathi in Telugu, Bhagawan spent awhile flipping through the 40 pages of the same, listening to the explanations by the Editor of the journal. Subsequently Bhagawan interacted with a small group representing Asian Development Bank before coming on to the centre-stage.
Assuming the 'Seat Of The Divine', Bhagawan got into attending to devotees' letters while bhajans went on in the backdrop. The session continued with a series of fast paced bhajans before Bhagawan calling for Mangala Arathi at 2120 hrs.
Upon the end of the session, Bhagawan posed for a while glancing at the bhajan troupe, waving His blessed palm in His typical fashion, as if acknowledging the mini-akhanda bhajan that lasted for almost four hours.
The session was not over yet. Bhagawan called for the Chief Functionary of the ashram, whispered something into his ear. Soon, Prof. Anil Kumar was called on stage and there was an announcement to be made. The announcement was all about a programme scheduled for the next evening, a musical concert by renowned western singer, Dana Gillespie. With the announcement aired, there was a moment of lighter vein involving Bhagawan and it turned out to be an occasion for the assembly to cheer, relish, on yet another Divine Act. The singer's name was mispronounced as Gillepsie instead of Gillespie, and Bhagawan, the perfectionist, asked the Professor to announce it correctly. Everyone laughed in ligher vein, enjoing the Divine Act and Bhagawan too joined them blossoming a smile on His beautiful face.
Bhagawan moved off the dais at 2130 hrs., to get into His car, returning to Yajur Mandiram.
Tue, Dec 07, 2010: The day started with mild showers in the early hours bringing down the chill in the air and making the weather even more pleasant during the day. Bhagawan arrived for Darshan at 1955hrs. Bhagawan interacted with many devotees during the Darshan round including an international group which took His permission to return. He blessed the coordinators with Padanamaskar and Vibuthi. Bhagawan came onto the stage with Bhajans in progress and spent a considerable time reading the letters. Bhagawan called for Arati at 2030hrs. After the Arati, Bhagawan sat silently for some time to let the assembly experience the Prasanthi. Bhagawan interacted with a student before retiring to Yajur Mandiram in His Car. Soon after, there was another mild shower as if to accentuate the day's events with "inverted commas" of rain drops!
Mon, Dec 06, 2010: With the commencement of winter, Prasanthi Nilayam is experiencing extremely pleasant weather during the day and a slight chill during the nights. Bhagawan arrived for Darshan at 1915hrs. Bhagawan accepted many letters from devotees and interacted with a few of them before coming on to the stage. With Bhajans in progress, Bhagawan perused the letters and as He was reading found one with no content on it. He waved the letter in front of the students with a smile as if to say make your mind like this, absent of any desire. Bhagawan called for Arati at 2000hrs. This day being the Ninth anniversary of inauguration of Finance and Accounts office of the Central Trust, an occasion to commemorate Bhagawan's physical presence at the office, the students working in the Trust had assembled together to seek His blessings on the occasion. Bhagawan interacted with the students before cutting the cake en-route to Yajur Mandiram.
Sun, Dec 05, 2010: After the grand programme on 23rd evening, the same "Prema Pravaham" team reassembled for another multifaceted performance this evening. Bhagawan arrived for Darshan at 1800hrs. Encircling the Sai Kulwant Hall, Bhagawan accepted many letters and blessed many children and elders with Vibuthi. He also interacted with a few members of the assembly including a couple of sevadal volunteers immersing them in bliss. Coming on to the stage, Bhagawan beckoned a select number of participants to the stage to perform the concert. The students started with a classical piece on Lord Ganesh, Gajavadana Karuna Sadana... followed by the famous Janula Madhya Tirugade Jagapathi. They followed up the act with many wonderful compositions in Telugu including a good number of songs by Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao, a tribute the great devotee would have relished on his 88th Birth Anniversary. Calling upon one of the students, Bhagawan created a chain to roaring applause from the assembly. It seemed a fitting testimonial to both their love for Bhagawan and the deservedness of the student to accept this invaluable gift. Bhagawan felicitated all the participants with commemorative plates. Inspired the students sang three more songs before Bhagawan called for Arati at 1915hrs. Bhagawan blessed a few Birthday boys before retiring to Yajur Mandiram after a short halt at the interview room. Click Here for the report with video and images.
Sat, Dec 04, 2010: Even before the return of most of the devotees who came for Birthday, new groups have started coming for Darshan. The Sai Kulwant hall was packed to capacity with huge groups from West Bengal and Hyderabad and many other smaller groups who had arrived for the weekend. The Hyderabad group has come after completing a Nava Sutralu Yajnam to propitiate the Lord through all nine forms of devotion. Bhagawan arrived for Darshan at 1815hrs. With an increase in groups, there was so many more letters for Bhagawan to read during the Bhajans. Bhagawan accepted Arati at 1930hrs. The attention which the students missed during the Bhajans was gained after Arati. Bhagawan called out to the Birthday boys and blessed them one by one. One student also showed His Master, some of the sketches of Bhagawan he had made in his spare time. Students prayed to Bhagawan for permission to perform a music programme in His Divine Presence on Sunday Evening which He graciously consented. Bhagawan blessed the assembly with Abhayahasta before retiring to Yajur Mandir at 1950hrs.
Fri, Dec 03, 2010:This morning, Bhagawan went out in the car at 1105hrs. Inspecting the various institutions of His en route, Bhagawan re-entered the ashram through the new gate in the west end and inspected the newly constructed Sai Bhakta Nivas Halls before returning to Yajur Mandiram at 1200.
In the evening, Bhagawan arrived for Darshan at 1825hrs. After completing a round of the Sai Kulwant Hall, Bhagawan came onto the stage welcomed by Bhajans. Bhagawan accepted Arati at 1905hrs and returned through a longer route, interacting with many devotees on the way.
Thu, Dec 02, 2010: Bhagawan arrived for Darshan at 1845hrs. After Sri Easwaramma High School, it was now the turn of Sri Sathya Sai Primary School to come for Darshan today. (Thursdays and Sundays being "their days"). Bhagawan blessed many children with Vibuthi and Akshatas and inspected their cards. Bhagawan also released a book en-capturing the conversations of Bhagawan with students .After completing a round of the Sai Kulwant Hall, Bhagawan came onto the stage welcomed by Bhajans. After about 20 minutes of letter reading, He gave his undivided attention to the "Bhajan boys", instantly raising the mood of the Bhajans. Bhagawan accepted Arati at 1935hrs.
Wed, Dec 01, 2010: Senior students and Alumni of the University working in Bhagawan's institutions brought in the Christmas month with a music programme. Dressed in colourful kurtas gifted by Bhagawan Himself, they eagerly awaited the Lord's arrival. Bhagawan arrived for Darshan at 1855hrs. Wednesday (along with Saturday) being the day for Darshan of Sri Easwaramma High School students, Bhagawan gave His special attention to them and blessed many children with Vibuthi. After completing a round of the Sai Kulwant Hall, Bhagawan came onto the stage and immediately beckoned the singers to come on stage to perform. On Bhagawan's instruction the students appropriately started the programme with the famous Sri Thyagaraja composition, "Endaro Mahanubhavulu" which means "I salute all the great men before me". The programme went into many genres including Qawwali and group songs to conclude with a Mysore Vasudevacharya composition, " Brocheva...", a beautiful song of prayer to Lord Rama. Bhagawan accepted Arati at 2030hrs. Click here for the Programme Report with Video.