Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Reports of events from the Sai Baba Ashrams


Swami's Visit to Hostel

Swami had been to the hsotel yesterday.  Here is a summary of the visit.Swami had been upset with the boys for the past one week. The boys started praying regularly and one evening they surrounded Swami as asked his pardon. Swami said that he would talk later and went inside. The next evening (Friday), He called the warden, VC and co into the interview room.

He enquired as to what the boys were doing. The Warden tried to explain to Swami, but before he could finish, Swami explained that as His knees were hurting very badly, He was not able to sit outside for very long. He explained that He has no problem in walking or sitting, but the problem was when He was getting up. He also said that, that was the reason He stands for a while when he gets up. After Swami explained His "problem", the warden could not ask anything of Swami. He was too stunned. It required quite a bit of prodding from Swami Himself to make the warden ask Him to bless the hostel with a visit. Swami agreed readily to come on Sunday.

As we had aniticipated a proposed visit on the 9th anyway, some of the programs were already ready. The main programs on the agenda were, relay speeches (boys get up from the gathering and speak spontaneously), a kavi sammelanam, bhajan quiz, and some solo songs followed by a discourse. If after the discourse, Swami asked for more, a Burra Katha recital and a Ramdas bhajan recital were also planned. A class wise group photo session also was on the cards if Swami consented. Swami was very happy with the plans and was very excited about the kavi sammelan.The only difference this time was that, instead of making Swami sit on the jhoola (as usual) and then make him get up for  the diacourse, A small i feet high pedestal was made for Swami. The jhoola was dispensed with  and was replaced by a comfy chair. The pedestal was an extended pedestal from which Swami could give His discourse also. All the steps in the hostel that would be used by Swami were also modified so that the height was less. The whole thing was of course in the hostel quadrangle. The thing that was never discussed was the dinner menu! Whenever Swami visists the hostel, it is a standard menu (lemon rice, puri, channa curry, fruit salad, papad, rice, rasam etc...)

Swami had also invited the school students and the institute teachers and no one else.Swami arrived at 3.00 pm on Sunday. (A new flight of steps had been erected at the entrance for Swami). Swami came in His BMW car. He stood for some time after he got down before He got on to the steps. All the teachers of both hostel were at the entrance with a rose in each hand to welcome Swami, We had actually lined  up on either side of the carpet leading  to the quadrangle. Swami blessed all the roses. The procession was lead by Vedam chanting. Swami was recived by the boys with the song "Swagatham Karthe Tera Sai Hum..."

Swami proceeded slowly to His chair at the  front of the quadrangle. The stage (in the quadrangle) had been covered up with a screen. A beautiful painting of a small girl in Prayer adorned the space behind Swami's chair. The chair was kept facing all the boys (usually, swami's jhoola faces the stage and all boys also sit facing the stage. Onlysome boys get to sit in fromt of the jhoola). As soon as Swami was seated, the band leader (DJ Das) started the proceedings with a small speech announcing the pieces the band would be playing for Him. The band  played two bhajans, Rama Kodana Rama and  Sathay Dharmamu Shanthi Premala to. They also played a usual band piece (superman). This was supposed to be followed by relay speeches, but Swami wanted to listen to the poets first! There were about twelve boys selected to recite their compositions in front  of Swami. They were in different languages  - English, Telugu, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Bengali Marathi, Kannada nad even in French! A poen by a student of the IIIBsc class in English about young Sathya was very good. The french poem was by young boy of the 11th class.

All through the program Swami looked very very preoccupied. He did not even look at the boys when they finished and offered their salutations. He seemed lost... This was followed by a Ramdas bhajan recital by our hostel accountant Sooryanarayana. It was very very good. He had selected a good set of bhajans depicting the life of the saint and his experiences with God. Swami still looked lost... This was followed by a set of relay speeches by various boys on various langauges. All of them were very short and very good. Most of them spoke about touching incidents in their lives. The first boy explaind how Swami ha willed away his mother's sickness and averted a major and risky operation. Another boys spoke about how Swami saved him from certain death by drowning (the incident happed on the day of Ganesha immersion. On that morning, the boys who would be immersing the idols had gone to the pond behind Sai Geetha's shed. As they were practising, this boy slipped and fell deep and got caught in the sands at the bottom. Had he not been rescued on time, he would have been in danger. The most amazing thing  is that not a drop of water had enterd his lungs!) Another boy poured out his feelings of gratitude in telugu. One boy shared an experince of a small bal vikas student in Mumbai. This small child was seated along with other children to welcome Swami during one of his visits many years ago. All other children were holdin groses in their hands. As this child was  very small he was not allowed t sit in the front. The child also wanted to give a rose to Swami and was holding one anyway.

As Swami crossed the child He accpeted the offering. He also held it in His hands for the entire  three hours He was there!  There were about six speakers in all. This was followed by a bhajan quiz. By the way, all these performances were not on any prepared stage. The boys got up and spoke from where they were seated. For the quiz, four teams were chosen from the outgoing batches. The teams were aptly named Bhava, Raga, Tala. There was also a staff team comprising of Dr. Vijay Kumar, Prof. Rama Moorthy, Sri Gowri Shankar and co. In the first round the temas were given two words and they were required to give seven bhajans starting with that word. All of them dif a good job. (the words were Shiva Shiva, Rama etc.). In the second round the teams were given a raga and were asked to sing five bhajan in the same raga (Mohanam, Shivaranjanai were amoung the questions) In the third round, each team was allowed to listen to a small piece of a bhajan sung in foreign language. They were required to identify the bhajan.

In the fourth round the Teams were given a bhajan and each member of  the team was supposed to sing a line of the bhajan which was to be followed by other members. They were of course required to sing according to the raga and thala! The last round was an open round wherein any team could give the answer to the questions asked (like buzzer rounds). The questions were like "Can you givetwo bhajans on differen Gods, but in the same tune", "Name a bhajan that is sung in two different tunes". An open question to all the audience was "Name atleast 11 bhajan sung by Swami after His  discourses" The bhajan quiz was followed by a two solo songs by the boys and a qawalli. I forget the songs now. The tim was already around 5.15 and Swami had already sent word to the mandir that they can finish bhajans and give arathi. Since Swami was ready to sit for more time, Three boys performed a dying art form of Andhra - Burra Katha. This art from has been dear to Swami and they had practiced for almost a year expecting to perform in front of Swami. They recited stories from the ramayana, especially about Hanuman. It was very very good and appreciated by all. Swami still looked lost... As the burra katha was getting over, Swami got up to leave! Everyone was shocked. All boys literally forced Swami to speak for some time. After a lot of persuasion Swami agreed. His podium was brought and Swami  started his discourse. Swami started his discourse by saying that He had been in bliss for the past few hours and all the boys had made Him very very happy by their performances. He was so happy that He did not want to speak and did no tknow what to speak!

Swami spoke about Vivekananda and his relationship with Ramakrishna. He explaind how it took vivekananda almost six years to understands and trust ramakrishna. Swami naratted the story of how vivekananda hid some coins under the bed of Ramakrishna only to be found by ramakrishna even as he sat on the bed! Swami said that, as youngsters, it is common to have wavering mind, but one must control it at a young age. He also said that one  must welcome tests from God as they are his taste. The tests from God help one to progress faster. He said that students today are very afraid of tests whereas people of yester years would pray for such tests. He aslo said that one must give God something to get something in return. He explained this with an example. If you go to bank and tell the cashier "You have so mush money. Why dont you give me some" The cashier will refuse flatly. You need to have an account, a deposit and even then you have to give him a properly signed check to recive money. Swami said that we have deposit Love forGod, obtain the check of attachment and sign it with Love to obtain money.Swami concluded His short discourse by about 6.10 pm. He then proceeded to the dining hall was dinner was awaiting all. Swami waited until the hall  was full, blessed the food on His table and after the boys cahnted prayers, Left. As Swami was looking tired, nobody felt bad that Swami did not enter the kitchen as He normally does. Thus ended a memorable day in the history of this blessed hostel.

Source: [Hyderabadcityyouth]

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