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Then & Now
A day in Ashram


Gurupurnima at Prasanthi Nilayam

Thousands of devotees from all parts of India and other parts of the world gathered at Prasanthi Nilayam to celebrate the holy festival of Guru Purmina, the day dedicated to the Teacher of all Teachers, in the immediate Divine presence of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, with devotional fervour. Bhagawan arrived in the fully packed Sai Kulwant Hall at 7:30 a.m. to the accompaniment of Nadaswaram, Panchavadyam and Veda chanting. After blessing the devotees who had occupied every inch of space available inside and outside Sai Kulwant Hall, Bhagawan took His seat on the dais specially decorated for the occasion. Bhagawan gave an illuminating Divine Discourse which was preceded by inspiring speeches by Sri V. Srinivasan, All India President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Dr. G. Venkataraman, Former Vice Chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Sri Anil Vinayak Gokak, Vice Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning and a student of II year M.B.A., Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.

Bhagawan in His Divine Discourse spoke on the significance of Karma Phala (result of action). He reiterated that one has to face the consequences of one’s actions and only God’s grace can nullify the effects of Karma. So one should make sincere efforts to earn the grace of God.

The first speaker Sri Srinivasan stressed on the significance of Guru Purnima Celebrations, when we pay our homage to the Teacher of all teachers, for all that He has taught. He said Guru Purnima is the day when the Moon is full and our hearts are full, when we receive transcendental vibrations from the Sadguru,. He is teaching universal love that encompasses the whole of humanity…love that makes the impossible possible…love which raises the bar of human excellence…protecting the faithful…and all that we need is to develop Faith in Him, he added.

The next speaker Prof. G. Venkataraman gave a philosophical talk highlighting the significance of festivals, the roles of Guru and Sadguru and its importance in the present times when the world is marred with strife and conflicts. He said, Gurus come and go, they educate and elevate, but it is a very rare occasion when the Guru of all gurus come and blesses humanity. Dispelling the wrong notion that Guru imparts wisdom, Prof. Venkataraman, quoting Bhagawan mentioned that the role of a Guru is to scrub and clean our hearts to see that it shines forth with the Wisdom that is latent in it…and what the Sadguru does is creating a thirst, a yearning for God. He urged the devotees not to limit Bhagawan to the physical frame, but to look inward to see the indweller in our hearts. All religions say there is only one God and He is omnipresent. Let this day remind all of us these ancient truths encapsulated in our holy scriptures, Prof. Venkataraman reiterated. This is the time when we must remember God, at a time when the world is torn with strife and conflict, plunged into grief; we must give up hate, greed and develop love for God. This is the day when one should reflect, not merely celebrate…reflect on the Teachings of the Divine which have been imparted from times immemorial… to go back to God…as He wants us just as we want Him…Together God and Man can make this world bloom.

While acknowledging thanks to Bhagawan for the opportunity granted to share his thoughts with fellow devotees on the auspicious occasion, the student narrated incidents from the stories told by Sri Ramakrishna and anecdotes from Sage Narada’s life to stress the importance of power of God’s name. The student, echoing the greater significance of the physical proximity of Bhagawan that is granted to devotees, particularly to students, urged the gathering that it is the duty of each and every devotee that he or she imbibes the teachings of Bhagawan and put the same into practice in everyday life. Quoting one of the recent Divine Discourses, he reminded that God is not residing in Kailasa or Vaikuntha but is the indweller of all hearts…one has to look deep inside to understand and realize the Supreme Truth: "I am I".

The last speaker was Mr. Anil Vinayak Gokak, Vice Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning who in his enlightening speech gave a glimpse of the role of Bhagawan as the Supreme Guru. ‘Gu’ is Gunatheetha and ‘Ru’ is Rupa Varjitha; Formless and Attributeless. The difference between Guru and Teacher is that the teacher imparts knowledge whereas the Guru imparts impulses hich are transformational in nature. Mr. Gokak also stressed on the significance of the festival Guru Purnima: The full moon has the symbolic value both for the Guru and Sishya. The cool light of the full moon symbolises the fully illuminated mind of the Guru. Guru illuminates the path of divinity. For the Sishya full moon symbolises his inner awakening and his inner awakening reaches higher levels and in turn he expresses his gratitude to the Guru for the inner awakening that takes place as a result of transmission of impulses by the Guru. He urged the devotees to review, to introspect as to where one stands and the extent of progress one has made in their spiritual journey.

After the end of His Divine discourse, Bhagawan has formally released the 5th Volume of His Biography, Sathyam Sivam Sundaram.

In the afternoon, students from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus enthralled one and all by bringing the Life Story of Rama through mellifluous rendering of Ramakatha in the immediate Divine Presence of Sai Rama.