Saraswat Association web site
Kanara Saraswat Association Magazine
- June 1999
MY TRIP TO
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
Association Magazine, June 1999.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner.