Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Report on Guru Poornima Celebrations 2004

“Acharya Devo Bhava” declare the Upanishads, “Respect your preceptor as God”. It is our great fortune that we have the Supreme Lord, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Himself as our Sadguru in our midst, to guide us on the spiritual path. Guru Poornima, also known as Vyasa Poornima, is an occasion to remember the ancient sages who have given us the legacy of the Vedas and other scriptures, and laid down spiritual guidelines to help us on our journey towards God. Though Guru Poornima was on the 2nd of July, the festivities began much earlier, on the evening of 30th June.

30th June, Evening programme

The Bal-Vikas children of Rajasthan staged a dance-drama on the theme – ‘Dashavatar,’ the glorious story of the ten Avatars (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu who protected the world from the clutches of the evil forces and directed it on the path of Dharma (righteousness). The drama held the audience captivated for close to an hour’s duration with its pleasing music and excellent dance choreography. The evening came to a close with mangalarati offered to the Avatar of the Age, our dear Lord Sai.

30th June, Evening : Bhagawan granting photographs to the participants of the play - Dashavatar

1st July, Evening programme

The Bal-Vikas children from Haryana and Chandigarh presented a play – ‘The Power of Devotion.’ The play brilliantly captured the power of steady devotion to God as exemplified in the lives of Dhruva, Markandeya and Prahlada. Though very young of age, by dint of their earnestness, they won the everlasting Grace and Love of the Lord. The presentation concluded on the note that in this modern age when evil is so rampant in the world, the Sri Sathya Sai Bal-Vikas movement will produce many such true devotees of the Lord who can restore the practice of the fundamental values of Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-violence.

1st July, Evening : A scene from the play - The Power of Devotion

2nd July, Morning programme

On the day of Guru Purnima, Bhagawan arrived in the Sai Kulwant Hall at 6:50 a.m., welcomed by Vedic chants and Panchavadyam music. After Bhagawan was seated, the students of Bhagawan’s institutions sang stotrams (prayers) and songs offering their obeisance to Bhagawan, their Lord, God and Master. After the programme, Bhagawan graciously presented 22 physically-challenged persons with specially-made tricycles and shawls. These fortunate recipients of His grace from the Anantapur district can now pursue their studies or vocations without having to depend on others.

2nd July, Morning : Physically-challenged persons receiving tricycles in the Divine Presence

Two eminent devotees were blessed to address the gathering before Bhagawan’s Discourse- Sri Indulal Shah and Dr. Michael Goldstein. The first speaker reminded the audience of their great fortune of being in the presence of Divinity in human form, which is indeed a rare blessing. Quoting from Vishwamitra nadi and Suka Nadi granths (ancient prophetic writings by the sages Vishwamitra and Suka), he said that human minds can grasp only a fraction of His glory and hence, rather than attempting to understand or explain the Avatar, we should seek to benefit from His teachings and redeem our lives. The second speaker began his talk by narrating an incident. Once the speaker saw Bhagawan looking out of the window and innocently he asked, “Swami, can I see the world through your eyes?” Bhagawan smiled at him and replied “If you do so, you will not want your job, your family or even your body!” Bhagawan sees only Divinity in everything. Hence, we should follow Bhagawan’s example and realize that we are not the body, but the Atma, he said.

Following this, Bhagawan rose up to deliver the much awaited ‘Guru Poornima Sandesh.’ He began by exhorting everyone to cultivate Sahanam (forbearance), adherence to Truth and Love in their hearts. While physical love and attachments are aplenty in this world, true selfless Love is available only with the Divine. This love is not physical in nature, but ‘heart to heart’ and it this Love alone that protects us at all times. Bhagawan then declared that on this holy occasion of Guru Poornima, He was giving the most precious gift to everyone - the gift of His Divine Love. Without love, everything is but nought. Bhagawan concluded the discourse with the Bhajan - ‘Prema muditha manase kaho…’ Thereafter, Bhagawan had it announced that we must pray to Him only for His Love and not seek any other boons, for all other blessings are subsumed in the supreme gift of Love.

Bhagawan then accepted arati and the morning programme came to a happy conclusion.

2nd July, Evening programme

Bhagawan arrived in the Sai Kulwant Hall at 3.30 p.m. and the first programme was a play ‘God resides in all’ presented by the Bal-Vikas children from Nepal. The play depicted how two children were ostracized in the name of casteism by the village elders and how everybody is transformed when Lord Buddha appears before them and teaches them the lessons of love and equality. The play highlighted the main cause for unrest in today’s world - the inability of humans to see divinity in all living and non-living things. The Nepalese programme concluded with a dance entitled ‘Unity in Diversity’ that conveyed Bhagawan’s teachings through lilting music, graceful movements and colourful costumes.

2nd July, Evening : God resides in All by Bal-Vikas children of Nepal

Next to follow was a musical presentation by the Bal-Vikas children and members of Sai Study Group from Indonesia entitled ‘From Humanness to Divinity.’ The presentation sought to recapitulate Bhagawan’s teachings of Namasmarana (Chanting God’s name), Sense-control, Right-conduct, Love, Service and Unity. The efficacy of Namasmarana was beautifully depicted through a role play where Sage Narada seeks to understand the power of reciting God’s name, and Lord Vishnu directs him to go and ask a parrot, a cow, and a new-born prince to chant the holy name. When the parrot chants the holy name, it gives up its body and progressively takes higher births as a cow and then as a noble prince. The prince then narrates this truth to Narada and thus demonstrates the power of Namasmarana. Then, through dance and dialogue, the children portrayed how the message of Bhagawan comes as a lifeline at a time when the world is being tossed about by the stormy forces of evil. At the end of their presentation, Bhagawan granted photographs to the participants and blessed them. The evening programme concluded with arati.

3rd July, Evening programme

The Bal-Vikas children of the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh presented a programme entitled “Madhur Bhakti” based on an episode from the life of Lord Krishna. The Gopikas, his companions during his childhood at Brindavan, are unable to bear the long separation from him when He departs to the city of Mathura. So, Krishna sends Uddhava, his close friend, who is learned in the path of Jnana (Wisdom), to placate them. But, Uddhava who had set out to teach the Gopikas to go beyond the attachment to the Form, returns defeated when he sees their selfless love and one-pointed devotion towards Krishna. The programme ended with a prayer entreating Lord Sai Krishna to instill such pure love and devotion towards Him in our hearts too.

3rd July, Evening : Madhur Bhakthi - a play by Bal-Vikas children of Madhya Pradesh & Chattisgarh

The students of the Anantapur campus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning presented a music programme of Krithis (compositions) of Saint Thyagaraja that were sung by Bhagawan and also some of Bhagawan’s own compositions. They reminisced those olden days during the 1960s, when Bhagawan used to sing Bhajans and krithis in the mandir and immerse the devotees in ecstasy with His divinely sweet voice. The students also sang some scintillating ‘thillanas’ in various ragas.

4th July, Morning programme

The students of the Brindavan campus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning presented, “Sai Katha” depicting some significant instances from Bhagawan’s childhood. They started with the incident when Sri Kondama Raju, the grandfather of Bhagawan’s physical frame, gets a dream in which Sathyabhama, the consort of Lord Sri Krishna, asks him to build a shelter for her. Thus, the Sathyamma temple came to be constructed in the village of Puttaparthi and stands there even to this day. In the next hour or so, the students enacted many episodes that demonstrated how Bhagawan, even from a very young age, was engaged in the task of protecting His devotees and conferring Ananda (Bliss) on them.

4th July, Evening programme

The Bal-Vikas children from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal staged a dance-drama on the theme – ‘Ganga Avataran,’ the enchanting mythological story of the descent of the River Ganga from the heavens through the herculean efforts of King Bhagiratha. The story drove home the important lessons of the ‘3Ps’ that Bhagawan always stresses on – Purity, Patience and Perseverance and also the need to preserve and maintain the cleanliness and sanctity of the life-giving waters of the Ganges.

4th July, Evening : A scene from the play - Ganga Avataran

5th July, Evening programme

The Bal-Vikas children from Region-9 of USA presented a play – ‘Bloom where you are planted’ that depicted the lives of three great American personalities who lived their lives in accordance with the five human values of Truth, Right-conduct, Peace, Love and Non-violence. Their hearts were filled with compassion towards the suffering, which took the form of selfless service to their fellow-beings. The first of them was a lady named Sojourner Truth who was born a slave, but freed herself and later worked for the redemption of other slaves. The next episode was from the life of Abraham Lincoln who, though born in a poor family, rose to become the President of the United States of America by sheer hard work and self-confidence. He was exceptionally known for his honesty and for abolishing slavery in America. The third person was Eleanor Roosevelt who worked tirelessly to better the living conditions of the working class, especially during the Great Depression. The programme concluded with a song praying to Bhagawan for constant guidance. Bhagawan graciously granted photographs to the participants and distributed prasadam to them. After accepting arati, Bhagawan retired to His residence.

5th July, Evening : A scene from the play - Bloom where you are planted

Thus, the six day-long Guru Poornima celebrations came to a conclusion leaving everyone richer in love, devotion and wisdom.

Jai Sai Ram!

Source: http://www.srisathyasai.org.in/pages/Gurupurnima_04_report.htm

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