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Published on Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 1300 Hrs. IST

Prasanthi Nilayam assumes the greatest significance when it comes to celebrating the festival of Sri Krishna Janmashtami. It is the celebration of the birth of an Avatar in presence of another Avatar and thus the special tag of significance. This year, Sri Krishna Janmashtami was celebrated at Prasanthi Nilayam on 2nd September in the immediate Divine Presence of Bhagawan.

An all Krishna Bhajan session, Gokulam procession of cows and quadrupeds followed by a scintillating musical session comprising of special Krishnashtami renderings marked the celebrations this year in the immediate Divine presence.

Emerging at 1758 hrs., Bhagawan moved into the hall blessing the "Gokulam Procession" of cows and quadrupeds including Sathya Gita, savouring golden moments of Gokuldham in the Dwapara Yuga. Reminiscing the scene and actions that happened over 5000 years ago, during the previous age, Prasanthi was feasting the Advent of the Love Avatar who shepherded men and animals and the entire creation with His all conquering love.

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Moving unto the quadrupeds, Bhagawan spent sometime in the middle, feeding the 'special guests' for the evening before blessing and releasing a couple of white pigeons, symbolising universal peace. The procession had cows, calves, rabbits, deers, pigeons apart from Jolly, the hostel Labrador dog and the little Sathya Gita, the elephant. As Bhagawan moved amidst the gaily decorated cows and the boys dressed with colourful headbands, it was as if the joyous times that  Bhagawan Krishna had sported amongst cowherd boys of Brindavan were being relived. Earlier, Bhagawan was received at the venue by senior functionaries from Sri Sathya Sai Bhakta Sahayaka Sangh that runs the Sri Sathya Sai Gokulam along with a contingent of staffers, students from the Institute and Higher Secondary School. A special musical band comprising of saxophone, clarinet, thavil drum etc. rom the Institute was also present adding flavour to the occasion.

Completing a full round of darshan after blessing many ‘card holders’ from the Institute and the Primary Wing, Bhagawan came onstage at 1840 hrs and instantly, the bhajan troupe switched over to special Krishnashtami hyms to the accompaniment of scintillating musical score. As the songs continued, 'Krishna and Balrama' came onto the stage with a 'potful' of chocolates seeking blessings from the Lord in physical.

Starting with Krishna Vandana, singing Madhurashtakam, the students went on singing melodiously to the accompaniment of  musical score paying homage to Lord Krishna on the auspicious occasion of Lord's birthday, so that "Krishnam Vande Jagatgurum" became the echo of every heart. The Vandana Sloka was followed by Pandurangashtakam, to continue with a collection of group songs, in Kannada, Telugu and Hindi before ending up with a Hindustani masterpiece.

It was 1915 hrs. and Bhagawan accepted Mangala Arathi. The session continued for some more time as the special musical band was blessed to play to the tunes of a couple of bhajans, “Madhura Mohana….” followed by “Govinda Krishna Jai…” . As prasadam distribution went on, Bhagawan called "Krishna and Balarama' onstage, interacting with them for some time. Blessing the "Divine Characters' with Vibhuti Prasadam and Paadanamaskaar, Bhagawan moved off the dais, retiring to Yajur Mandiram at 1940 hrs.

Earlier, as He was ushered in, a fleet of children from the Anantapur Campus and Primary school was awaiting the Lord with special greetings, seeking blessings on the special occasion. Blessing the children spending sometime around, gliding past, Bhagawan moved on to bless the Gokulam Procession. Similarly at the end of His round, He had a bunch of boys, from the Institute and Primary school seeking similar blessings.