What stands out in Prasanthi when one looks at it from a week‘s perspective? It is undoubtedly the rare glimpse of His hallowed physical presence, popular by the term Divine Darshan, the ‘presence’ that sends out unquantified vibrations in its most subtle form that our worldly bleak vision often fails to perceive. Where perception of each individual always varies with varied degree of understanding, there can be an unqualified optimism supporting the above.
Power packed lens that reflects images of expressive devotional ecstasy stands testimony to the fact that, when He glides through the surge of devotees every heart pounds, every mind sings, some with a prayer story and some with the beauty of stillness, dazing at Him, often yearning for an eye-to-eye and the beauteous smile that emanates from Him, that is His ‘trademark’. ..And the magnanimous Lord whose physical frame operates in His Mission with a Vision in the precincts of Prasanthi does serve a silent reminder to one and all who are destined to come to Him, destined to hear Him and tuned to Him…a reminder of the greater import of the greatest boon conferred upon the humanity – His Darshan! He reminds us of His own quote given long ago on the significance of His Darshan…
My walking amongst you is a gift yearned for by the Gods of the Highest Heaven and here you are receiving this grace. Be grateful. But also remember that to whom much is given - from him much will be demanded”.
He is marked and His moves are keenly followed…a keen observer who follows Him and His actions with meticulous attention would end up deriving joy in defining His moves that suits to his perception. On the final day of the Ranga Reddy Parthi Yatra Programme, when “Sangeeta Vibhavari”, the musical session was on there was an interesting anecdote that captured the interest and imagination of many who were seated in close vicinity. Bhagawan, who is ever playful, was holding a trifoliate leaves of the basil (tulsi) for quite long time, almost playing around with the same; He would often raise it as if studying the same curiously to drop the same unto His lap in the next, breaking into a uncanny smile as if acknowledging the audience of their curiosity. And what did He do with it to end this mini drama? The script was with Him and He did it with perfection to the merriment of the curious onlookers…Simple, He put the same in His mouth and nibbled it! And the curious onlookers acknowledged breaking into spontaneous smiles. These are rare gems that should be enjoyed without doing much of decoding exercise. However one could easily take home a message - to be as pristine like a Tulsi leaf and be remain near and dear to The Lord!
When He comes out He grants darshan to the thousands congregates in the SaI Kulwant Hall, a definite happening. But, in the unexpected hours when He comes out to move around, He grants ‘out of turn’ darshans to many – so called lucky - and the script would go lengthy if one starts explaining the feeling of the many who receives such blessing. On the 30th morning, a morning when He did not come out granting darshan, there was a sudden panic and furor outside…as the Lord had decided to come out for a round. He moved out of His Abode at 11:30 to ‘take a stroll’ within the ashram campus. Lucky many got His glimpse and in between when He reached the North Block area, He glanced through the windowpane sliding the same down apparently blessing a group of US Youth who were having rehearsal sessions for an ensuing programme in His Divine Presence. …And they felt filled and fulfilled as it gave a boost to their preparations. Could this be termed - a coincidence? He has His Divine Roadmap and He follows His route…none would know, none wound understand His route…we are fellow pilgrims following the Master, following Him suit, aiming at our destination.
The week began with the final programme by the Parthi Yatra contingent from Ranga Reddy District. The usual practice, symbolic of service to the poor, distribution of implements to the needy from various parts of the districts was organized giving away essential items to eighty five selected ones that would earn them livelihood. “Sangeeta Vibhavari”, a short but lively musical bouquet at His Feet that followed the distribution had a string of devotional numbers covering varied themes sung in vernacular with a surge of feeling wooing the public to devotional heights.
“United Sai America” as they preferred to call it, Region 4 combined with Region 7 of the International Sai Organisation invented an innovative concept introducing the cultural diversity of the vast country, United States of America. Adopting the illustrious character of Narada, sending him on a ‘fact finding mission” to the United States, the Adults and Young Adults coupled with tiny tots from the region brought out an effective display calling upon The Lord to set His Feet in the United States and bless the nation. It was an apt exhibition of Unity in Diversity and the Youth from the region seemed to have found an innovative way to impress upon the Lord for the big happening, the Divine Visit to the United States of America!…and to turn this utopian to a reality, the Young Adults seemed have a set in motion a mission to change the United States of America into United Sai America!
Varalakshmi Pooja, propitiating the Goddess of Plenty and Prosperity was observed with devotional fervour on the 31st July in the immediate Divine Presence. Thousand five hundred women participated in the function held in the Sai Kulwant Hall that was blessed by the silent, yet filling presence of Bhagawan. A scintillating devotional rendering by well known carnatic vocalist cum playback singer Anuradha Sriram charged the hall thrilling the audience and enchanting the Divine. Matching the perfect ambience set up by the hallowed presence of Bhagawan, the celebrated singer matched her class with elan rendering a diverse collection of devotional numbers that lasted for seventy minutes. Singing both Carnatic and Hindustani, Mrs. Anuradha often crossed the language barrier rendering pieces from Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and even from Marati. The singer was rewarded with a materialized chain and sari while the accompanists were blessed with sari and safari pieces.
The convention that started last week, offering a rose to Bhagawan by senior devotees continued during the week. This week’s beneficiaries included, Prof. Ramamurthy, a veteran professor from the Dept. of Business and Financial Management, Sri Sathya Sai University, Mr. Kavi Kumar Venkateswarlu, formerly Editor, Sanathana Sarathi, Telugu, Mr. Kolkar, who had been the ‘bell toller’ in the ashram for many years and whom Bhagawan would affectionately call ‘Topi’ for his typical Maharashtrian headware, Mr. Panth, in-charge, Shanti Bhavan Guest House, Mr. Sundaram, a longtime servant from the Maintenance Department, Mr. Lakshmi Narayana, Public Relations Officer and Mr. Deendayal Naidu, formely with Sanathana Sarathi section of the erstwhile Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust and currently working as in-charge, Double Decker Auditorium.
Dignitaries visited during the week included well known jurist and former judge of the Supreme Court, Hon’ble Justice (Retd.) Mr. V.R. Krishna Iyer, popular Cine Director from Tamil Mr. Suresh Krishna, Vice President of the Indian Medical Council, Dr P.C. Kesavankutty Nayar, Kodaikanal Municipal Chairman, Mohammad Ibrahim etc. Mr. Mohammad Ibrahim is a staunch follower of Bhagawan who would frequent to Sai Shruti in Kodaikanal regularly for Bhagawan’s darshan during Bhagawan’s stay there in April.
As the week fades away there are more groups awaiting their turn to perform in the Divine Presence. Groups from Region 1, 7 and 9, all from the Us, are in the waiting list followed by a group from Canada, a strong contingent from the from Region 94 covering the United Arab Emirates, a U.K. Youth Sadhana Camp 2009 contingent lead by Ajit Poppat, 320 strong Youth contingent from the Indian State of Himachal Pradesh etc…all camping anticipating a fruitful week ahead.
The week ended with a long waiting for the Lord on Sunday evening; Bhagawan came just seven minutes before six and sat for few bhajans before calling for Arathi.
Prasanthi has regular spiritual routines with fixed timings; the day breaks with 21 Aumkars at 5:20 a.m. followed by Veda Chanting and Nagar Sankirtans…Bhajan sessions have been a fixed schedule for many years and joining in this list of sadhana is the regular one hour Veda Chanting in the morning and evening, as introduced last week.
In Prasanthi Rudram vibrates, Bhajans follow suit and His darshan pulsates every heart to devotional heights and Prasanthi moves on with her quiet happenings…!!!