Report on Ashadi Ekadasi, 29th
Ashadi has come…with
the typical Maharashtra flavour…29th June 2004 was again a day
marked for devotees from Maharashtra….they sung, danced and made
everybody happy including their Vittala, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai
In fact this is the day, when lakhs and lakhs of Varkaris from all
parts of the country, especially from the state of Maharashtra
throng the spiritual capital of the state, Pandarpur to have
darshan and blessings of their chosen deity Vittal Rakumai.
Bhagawan was accorded a traditional welcome to the beautifully
decorated Sai Kulwant Hall at around 7:30 a.m. to the
accompaniment of Vedic chants by students of Sri Sathya Sai
Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam. There was riot of
flowers in the dais set for Bhagawan as it was beautifully
bedecked with flowers of various hues…and a statue of Lord Vittal
adorned the dais. An invocation song by the Maharashtra Choir and
the subsequent arrival of ‘Varkaris’ dancing in ecstasy
(symbolically signifying the ‘Dindi Yatra’ that happens every year
during this period in Maharashtra) surcharged the atmosphere with
divine vibrations. This was reminiscent of those days when two of
the greatest saints of Maharashtra, Sant Jnaneshwar and Sant
Tukkaram set out for Pandarpur with their hearts resonating with
…Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari and mind fully engrossed in spiritual
ecstasy. This time Varkaris from 22 districts of Maharashtra
participated in this Dindi Yatra from Dharmavaram to Prasanthi
It was a fine blend of old and new, devotion and perspective of
yore, and the so called devotion and confusion of the present
times that set the stage for the morning presentation entitled
“The Divine Verdict”. The programme clearly depicted the modern
man’s confused mindset to choose the right path to attain Godhood.
Whether one should follow the Dwaita (worshipping the form)
path?.... Is not Adwaita (worshipping the formless) proclaimed by
Adi Shankara the proper path?....then what about
Visishtadwaita…which defines your relationship with God?...Yes…we
are a confused lot…and the Bal Vikas and Youth Wing from
Maharashtra had something definite to say about it. At the climax
they invited the jury of experts to the Divine Appellate Court.
St. Francis of Assissi, Sant Kabir Das, Saint Thyagaraja, Guru
Nanak, Narsi Mehta, Sant Jnaneshwar all of them gave their version
and with them joined the preceptors of three different paths,
Madhwacharya, Adi Shankaracharya and Ramanujacharya. …still no
consensus on the contentious issue and it was left to the Ultimate
Divine…Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. …the curtain came to a close
when Bhagawan’s Message was aired to the august gathering.
‘The Supreme Verdict’ commands us to look inward rather than
concentrating on mundane illusory world which is unreal. To
understand the Atmic Principle that the Supreme Divinity is
present in every atom of the universe, and true devotion to
Bhagawan is to recognize this Truth first in our own selves and
then through Saguna Bhakti (worship with form) moving on to
Nirguna Bhakti (formless worship) and thus establish eternal
relationship with the only One.
Bhagawan blessed the participants with a photograph session which
was followed by bhajans by Maharashtra devotees. Prasadam was
distributed and Mangala Aarathi was offered to Bhagawan in the
In the afternoon the Bal Vikas and Youth Wing of Mumbai gave an
illuminating presentation on the life and teachings of the
illustrious Sufi Saint Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti of Ajmer.
As the Musical Drama unfolded to its climax, it was his message of
love, humanity and brotherhood, which even won over his enemies,
was lingering in the mind of the audience.
The Musical Drama came to a close at 5:00 p.m. with Magala Aarathi
offered to Bhagawan.