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Experience by Devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba

  Source: http://www.kanarasaraswat.org/Articles/MyTripToPuttaparthi.htm
Kanara Saraswat Association web site

Kanara Saraswat Association Magazine - June 1999

Author: Dipali V.Chittar

For a long time I had heard about the place Prashanti Nilayam the Puttaparthi village in Andhra Pradesh, the abode of Sri Sathya Sai Baba but never got a chance to visit it. This February I got a golden opportunity to travel down to Puttaparthi on the eve of Mahashivaratri. This trip proved to be a fond remembrance to cherish down the memory lane.

We travelled to this holy place on the 12th February. After the long train journey and a short bus ride we arrived at Prashanti Nilayam and sat in the mandir to await the darshan of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Thousands of devotees from all over the world thronged the place. Amongst the people there was only one religion, that of love. The divine feeling of humanity had enveloped all of us together in that site. It was a spiritual experience to behold the Lord in all His glory in the robes of Sri Sathya Sai Baba and to take His darshan.

The highlight of our three days visit was the grandeur of Mahashivratri. This day was celebrated with great pomp in Prashanti Nilayam. Colourful buntings and banners fluttered from every corner of the Sai Kulwant Hall. There was a festive atmosphere in the air. The dawn of this auspicious day was welcomed with soulful bhajans and devotional songs. The hall was packed to capacity by people who were actively participating with the Godís name on their lips.

In the evening, Bhagwan gave an hour long discourse on the essence of love and the compassion for fellow beings and the divinity of the all- pervading spirit. He stressed the people to reap the harvest of love in the field of their heart. The greatest duty of undertaking service activities in the villages and slum areas to provide the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter to the poor and needy. His Holiness hinted that the practice of lingodbhava, emergence of atmalinga from within, which He would on every Mahashivratri, had been discontinued due to the stampede and chaos caused in the crowd. This practice which had been stopped since 1970 was expected to occur this year at the appropriate time. The significance of beholding this magnificent event is attaining the highest formó Moksha.

After the discourse the bhajans continued. The entire night was spent in observing Akhand Bhajans by the students of the Puttaparthi and Anantpur colleges and sung in chorus by the devotees. That starlit night drenched in the glory of the Lord and His spirit, echoing the warm music and composition, set against the backdrop of the pious Prashanti Nilayam was a night to remember. In the early hours of the morning Bhagwan entered the hall and took His seat. After a few minutes we witnessed the splendorous moment of our lives when the atmaling emerged from His within sparkling and glittering and Bhagwan held it high up in the air for every one to see.

It was a moment which cannot be described or expressed. It can only be felt and realized. People were crying tears of joy on seeing this experience of a lifetime. In the discourse that followed Bhagwan said that the people present in the hall who witnessed the emergence of the atmalinga were the fortunate ones who were freed from the shackles of rebirth and attained Moksha. Sri Sathya Sai Baba then gave an enlighening speech by addressing us as the embodiments of love and talked at length about our true dharma of selflessness and forgiveness for the people around us. He advised the people to practise his preachings and uphold the value of our culture.

I took back with me this magnificent experience to treasure for a lifetime invoking the emotions of spiritual bliss and the selfless love of the Lord for his creations.

Copyright © Kanara Saraswat Association Magazine, June 1999.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner.

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