Published on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 1330 Hrs. IST
Nov 19, 2010: Annual Ladies' Day 2010 turned out to be a noon affair when Bhagawan was ushered into the hall by the Anantapur and Primary School Band just after 12 noon today. The Chief Guest for the occasion, Her Excellency, The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil along with other dignitaries, His Excellency ESL Narasimhan, Governor of Andhra Pradesh, His Excellency Sri Shivraj Patil, Governor of Punjab, etc., Hon'ble State Tourism, Information & PR Minister Smt. J. Geeta Reddy accompanied Bhagawan into the hall.
The programme commenced with lighting of the lamp by the Divine Hands. Smt. Chetana Raju, Managing Trustee of Easwaramma Women Welfare Trust in her introductory speech, spoke about the evolution of the Easwaramma Women Welfare Trust that was founded in 2005. She spoke in detail about the various service activities done by the Trust, attributing the success story to Bhagawan's grace and guidance.
Smt. Mallika Srinivasan, Director of Amalgations Group and CEO of TAFE India Ltd. who spoke next made a mention of the chaotic world outside suggesting His Love to be the perfect antidote for all adverse situations. Talking on women power, the speaker mentioned on the achievements of Smt. Pratibha Patil who rose to the highest office of the country. Smt. Srinivasan's speech was a blend of Bhagawan's Divine Teachings, current scenario around the world while attempting to successfully portray the story of Women Welfare Programme initiated by Bhagawan.
Smt J. Geeta Reddy, followed next who spoke with elegance, grace and beauty submitting herself at His Lotus Feet. Referring to the introduction made of her as Minister from the State, Smt. Geeta Reddy said, despite her ministerial portifolio, she is in His presence as an ordinary devotee, not as a Minister. Spelling out His touch of grace and love in her life, the speaker declared in no uncertain terms that her life has been greately touched by the Divine grace of Bhagawan. Calling political life a tough call, she said, by His Grace anything and everything is possible and she has been the recepient of His grace all through her life. Giving a brief intro on Bhagawan and Mother Easwaramma's selfless ambitions, calliing on the President, the speaker, in an emotionally charged tone said that, this is our Bhagawan who has been sacrificing His life for the past 85 long years for the sake of humanity, living His life as His Message. Smt. Geeta Reddy spoke without a prepared text.
President Smt. Pratibha Patil who spoke next, while extending her warmest greeting to the august assembly made a reference to the late Indian Prime Minister, Smt. Indira Gandhi as an epitome of women empowerment, whose birthday, incidentally, the nation is celebrating this day. Mentioning on the programme of women empowerment initiated in Prasanthi Nilayam, Smt. Pratibha Patil expressed her appreciation in the progressive views of the role of women as envisioned by the Trust. Citing some of the steps initiated by herself to enhance women's empowerment, the President spoke on the various national schemes where women could be counted and considered to make their lives better. The President ended her speech by quoting Smt. Indira Gandhi that there were two categories of people, the first category worked hard selflessly, and the second category took the entire credit without contributing to the cause. It is better to group ourselves in the first category since there was hardly any competition in that front.
Vote of thanks by Mrs. Hyma Reddy, USA followed after which Balvikas children from Tamil Nadu made a brief dance drama presentation entitiled "Mahishasura Mardhini". Upon the end of the programme, Mangala Arathi was offered to Bhagawan at 1305 hrs. National Anthem followed after which Bhagawan retired to the interview room granting an interview to the President.
Before moving into the interview room Bhagawan graciously cut the colourful Ladies' Day cake, a dedicated offering by the devotees from Italy.
Earlier Her Excellency, The President of India arrived at the Sri Sathya Sai Airport in a specially chartered Indian Air Force Aircraft at 11:40 hrs., and was received by the Governor of Andhra Pradesh Sri ESL Narasimhan and other dignitaries.
In the Evening:
As is the wont during the annual Ladies' Day over the years, womenfolk seemed to have not left any stone unturned to make their day a grand affair, today, in Prasanthi Nilayam.
Sai Kulwant was lit up to resplended beauty, ever ready to welcome The Lord in her midst and in the background scored soul-filling bhajans sung with high devotional fervour.
Bhagawan was royally ushered into the hall at 1910 hrs. by the Brass Band of Anantapur Campus.
Two cultural programmes were in the offing, the first programme, a short dance programme by the students of Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Hyderabad followed by a Vocal Concert by the popular Carnatic Vocalist of South India, Smt. Sudha Raghunathan.
Presenting an absorbing session with scintillating dance and music, tiny tots in colourful costumes enthralled the audience for the first ten minutes before leaving the stage for the main programme for the evening.
Carnatic is so dear to the Divine Heart that the talented singer who figured in the "Jodi Adippalli Somappa" episode of Bhagawan's 108 Name Story, (Namavali), revelled with some of the selective numbers making it an apt offering at the Feet of the Lord, who appeared to her in childhood, as "Jodi Adippalli Somappa", bestowing saving grace!
Beginning the concert with "Vatapi Ganapathim...", she went on singing "Jagadodhdharana...", "Bandureethi Kolu...", popular carnatic numbers intermittently singing some Meera Bhajans bringing variety. Producing a highly vibrant "Bho Shambho Shiva Shambho Swayambho...", sung with great elan building a crescendo, the gifted singer regaled in His presence filling the hall with high devotional vibrations, before ending up with "Brahmamokkade..." as asked by Bhagawan.
The forty-five minute programme was followed by ten minute session, with Bhagawan giving away sarees and dhothis to the artistes and accompanists respectively. A short bhajan session followed, with two aalaap bhajans, sung by the students at His instance, before the offering of Mangala Arathi at 2050 hrs.
Bhagawan spent sometime inside before retiring to Yajur Mandiram, well beyond 2100 hrs.
Italian chocolates and Prasadam were distritubuted to the august assembly.