Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Reports of events from the Sai Baba Ashrams


A Report on Ashaadi Ekadashi at Prasanthi Nilayam on 29th June, 2004

The Bal Vikas and the Youth Wing of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Maharashtra and Goa gave a memorable performance in the Divine Presence of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Kulwant Hall Prasanthi Nilayam. Approximately five hundred devotees participated in this programme.

Bhagavan Baba arrived at the Sai Kulwant Hall at 7.25 am. The hall wore a festive look. Banners which displayed the messages "God is always within you", "God and You are one", "God is immanent in you", "To see yourself turn inward", "All are the embodiments of the Divine" etc, were artistically done by the Youth of Maharashtra.

On Bhagavan's arrival at the Sai Kulwant Hall, He raised both His Hands in the "Abhaya Hasta" form to the entire gathering. It was surprising to note this gesture from Bhagavan Baba since His Hands movement was restricted during the last few months. Nevertheless, the devotees who were assembled there were ecstatic on seeing their Lord showered Blessings on them. It was really a wonderful sight for everyone.

The programme commenced with the Invocation Song  chanted by Ajit Kadkade in his melodious voice. The entire hall was immersed in the chanting of the name of "Panduranga Vithala", who the people of Maharashtra revere as their deity. Mr. Indulal Shah (Ex Chairman, World Council, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations ) was seated next to Bhagavan Baba.

Actually, the programme started on the evening of 25th June, 2004 from Dharmavaram with the traditional spiritual invocations by the Warkaris covering a distance of about 45 kms. This "Dindi Procession" by the Warkaris culminated on the evening of 28th June, 2004, seeking the Divine Darshan of Sai Vithala at Prasanthi Nilayam.

The youth also rendered service in the villages through Grama Seva, Narayan Seva, Medical Camps etc. A Sai Katha Sankirtan for participants of Seva Dindi in the midst of Akhanda Namasmarana and Bhajan were also organized.

The Balvikas children gave a scintillating performance. The significance of the Ashaadi and Dindi commentary was followed by the traditional Dindi Dance which set the tempo of this Bollywood like performance. The play was titled " The Supreme Verdict" and the theme was based on Swami's messages which followed.

The highlight of this programme was to deliver the direct message of Bhagavan that "Divinity was present not only in each and every one but also in every atom of the Universe, and true devotion of the Lord was to recognize this Truth first in their own selves and then through Saguna Bhakti (worshipping the form) move onto Nirguna Bhakti (worshipping the omnipresent formless) in a spirit of devotion and surrender".

The colorful outfits wore by the performers gave a professional look to the entire show. The musical background was rapturous. A song "Kal Ho Na Ho" had a catchy tune. It was a chart buster, since everyone was humming it afterward.

Bhagavan Baba was very happy with the skillful display by the Bal Vikas children. At the end of the play, Bhagavan Baba commented to the Bal Vikas children "Very nice....very nice". He was very happy with the entire show. Thereafter, He blessed the special Prasad, called some children and handed over this special Prasad to be distributed to everyone. This Prasad is made out of - Rajgiri - a cereal common in Maharashtra which is blended with jaggery paste, and then cut into oblong pieces. Rajgiri is considered to be an auspicious sacred food to be taken on the occasion of Ashaadi Ekadashi.

A photo session with Bhagavan Baba was also held. Bhajans continued after the photo session. Ajit Kadkade, Richa Sharma, Uma Bolangdy and others sang a few bhajans which transported all of us, including Bhagavan Baba, into a state of bliss.

The entire programme lasted about two hours which ended around 9.25 a.m. The love showered by Bhagavan Baba on the Bal Vikas children left a deep impression in our hearts.

In the afternoon around 3.25 pm there was another superlative performance by the Bal Vikas children of Navi Mumbai. A musical drama titled "Garibun Nawaz" was enacted at the Sai Kulwant Hall once again to a full capacity crowd. This play was based on the life of  the Great Sufi Saint of Ajmer "Khawaja Moynuddin Chisti" also known as 'Garibun Nawaz" whose message to mankind is very similar to the message of our dear beloved Bhagavan. At the end of the play a Bal Vikas child was presented a golden medallion/coin by Bhagavan Baba. Bhagavan Baba once again called for the photo session after the programme culminated .

At around 5.05 p.m. with the waving of the camphor, the Aarti was done by the State President of Maharashtra, Shri Ramesh Sawant and a few Bal Vikas Children. Baba then retired to His room. Thus ended the eventful day for the devotees and the performers who would cherish the memories of this day forever.

The entire programme was conducted under the loving care of Smt. Kamala Pandya & Shri Nimish Pandya and their dedicated team. Kudos to this dedicated team and the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation of Maharashtra & Goa for their selfless contributions which have produced excellent performances in the Divine Presence of Bhagavan Baba year  after year.

There was also an exhibition conducted by the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation of Maharashtra depicting the core message of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on "Parenting for Bal Vikas". This programme was held in an exhibition hall next to the Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publication Trust near the Shopping Complex in Prasanthi Nilayam. Bhagavan has oft repeated that Education is like a bicycle. The rider is the student, the Parents and Bal Vikas Guru represent the front and the back wheel of the bicycle. If the bicycle has to move all them must co-operate and further this movement. It is indeed the need of the hour for all parents to pause for a while and understand that the Home is the birthplace of Value Education. Once the seeds are sown in the home by the parents, the Bal Vikas Class provides the right environment for the flowering of the seeds into healthy saplings. The Bal Vikas Guru like the gardener, tends the sapling so that it bears beautiful fruits and flowers and spreads its fragrance in the world around.

Jai Sai Ram.

Deepak Bharwani

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