Prashanti Diary - A chronicle of Heaven on Earth
On Sunday, July 25,
2004, the High School boys celebrated their Hostel Anniversary Day
by putting up a play entitled,
“Sai Prem”. The boys had a couple of days earlier shown Swami a
handcrafted model of their Hostel Building and had obtained His
permission to stage a play in His Divine presence on Sunday.
Showing Him a handcrafted model of
their hostel building
“Sai Prem”, a
drama in 4 parts, drew upon real life stories of how Swami had
difference in the lives of the students. He had either helped them
at critical moments in their lives or had transformed them
irrevocably and put them on the God-ward path putting their
wayward ways behind them. They also dramatized one of Swami’s
Krishna playing hide and seek with
The story, ‘The Winning Smile’, depicts the story
of how Krishna won over a demon easily by His smile and played
with the it (who had actually come to attack
the camp) when it was His turn to guard his companions in a dense
forest. The other companions who had guarded the camp in turn
earlier, however, had to fight hard to fend the demon off; thus
demonstrating that love conquers all, under all circumstances. The
drama had soul touching songs and also a lively “bhangra dance”
that kept the audience engrossed and engaged.
A lively Bhangra dance by the High
School Students on July 25
On 27th July Swami
stood in the front of the verandah and talked to many students and
accepted their letters. He then blessed 2 student speakers.
Darshan from the middle verandah on
The students spoke
movingly and feelingly about their love for Swami and their
gratitude for all that He has done for them. Following this, Swami
asked Sri T. Ravikumar, a lecturer from the Brindavan campus to
speak to the audience.
Sri Ravi Kumar addressing the crowd
on July 27th
Sri Ravikumar, just
a few moments earlier, had his new pair of glasses blessed by
Bhagavan. Speaking before the crowd, he explained how twice his
eyes had been burned by acid falling in them during the course of
his Ph.D. work. Not only his eyesight but both his eyes had been
destroyed on both occasions. Swami, out of His love, had restored
his eyes both times!
Receiving a violin from the Lord
On July 28th,
Swami’s benevolence was manifest, once again, when He had two
brand new violins brought and handed them over to the Music
College and Institute boys. With child-like enthusiasm He had the
violins taken out of their cases and personally inspected both
before handing them over to the surprised but elated students. It
did not stop there. He had the students immediately play a song
for Him with their brand new violins; waiting while the brand-new
violins were being tuned and waxed and then listening with rapt
attention while the students serenaded Him with a couple of songs.
He then blessed three student speakers; two from the college (one
of whom spoke in Telugu) and the other from the High School.
High School speaker on July 28th
All of them
recounted absorbing stories either from Swami’s life or from their
personal experiences with Him to enthrall the crowd. This was
followed by Sri Anil Kumar, always a great crowd favorite, who
reiterated and reemphasized the points the students had made and
also added a few experiences of his own.
A violin concert on July 29 just for
July 29th saw a
violin concert by the students. With the addition of two more
violins, a violin quartet now performed for Him. Swami’s love
really knows no bounds. Even without their asking, His love had
responded by giving them the additional violins they required. The
enthused students performed like professional artistes or even
better, as they played with their hearts to express their deep
love and gratitude to Bhagavan for His touching and thoughtful
Blessing the Birthday Boys on July
July 30th, Bhagavan came to Sai Kulwant Hall amidst the Veda
Chants. After blessing the “birthday boys”, He gave permission for
three student to speak. Again the boys spoke about their
Sai Maa, and Her incomparable love
and care for them. These are all ordinary boys, who become
extraordinary public speakers when talking about the one and true
love of their young lives – their Beloved Swami.
Lighting the lamp to inaugurate the
Festival on Indian Culture and Spirituality
A two-day festival
on Indian Culture and Spirituality was celebrated in Prashanti
Nilayam, organized by the Women’s Wing of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva
Organization. The festival was inaugurated by Bhagavan on the
morning of July 31st, by lighting a ceremonial lamp. The whole of
Sai Kulwant Hall was tastefully decorated with a rural motif.
Mrs Sylvia addressing the audience
on July 31st
the festival, Swami blessed four lady speakers to address the
gathering. The first speaker, Dr. Rajeshwari Patel, Reader in
English, in the Ananthapur Campus, spoke of the universality of
Indian Culture. She
said that the Vedas are the earliest
body of spiritual literature and the most spiritual; as they deal
with the superiority of the Spirit.
Sanathana Dharma does not promote dogma but is primarily
experiential in nature, where “success’ is defined by the stage
when he is able to say, “I have seen God”. The second speaker, Ms.
Nandini, a Sri Lankan diplomat and Human Rights lawyer, spoke of
her Buddhist back-ground and said she was able to understand the
true meaning of all of the Buddha’s teachings only from Bhagavan
and that His teachings show the universality of all religions. She
asserted that she had found nirvana
at His Divine lotus feet. The third speaker, Mrs. Sylvia,
Vice-President, Region 6, USA, referring to her Christian
back-ground said she had found it difficult to fear God and love
Him at the same time! She spoke of a great emptiness and yearning
till she came to Swami.
Priya Sisters in Concert
Describing Bhagavan as total, complete and
unconditional love, she said that millions were
attracted to Him because of the universality of His teachings and
not for His religion. The last speaker of the morning was Dr. Zeba
Bashiruddin, Professor of English, Ananthapur Campus, who spoke
about the one God and His many aspects.
Chains for both the sisters
evening of July 31st, saw a scintillating performance of
Carnatic Music by the Priya Sisters.
Swami was deeply engrossed in their music and simultaneously
created two chains for both the sisters to show His appreciation.
He also gave clothes to all the artistes. The concert was a nice
way to bring this memorable month of July to a close.
Veena Concert on August 1
The morning of the
second day of the Festival of Indian Culture and Spirituality on
August 1, 2004, started with a violin concert by Mrs. Padma
Krishnamurthy, lecturer in Music at the Music College. She was
accompanied by Sri Anant Rao on the Mridangam and Sri Sai Dutt on
August 1 Panel Discussion on Mother
violin concert was followed by a panel discussion on: “Mother Sita
- the ideals and values she stood for”. The panel consisted of
four faculty members from the Anantapur campus of the Sri Sathya
Sai Institute of Higher Learning. The panel was moderated by Mrs.
Chetana, an alumnus of the Ananthapur College. The panel examined
Can Sita still be a role model for the modern, educated woman?
What makes Mother Sita dear to everyone? How is Her life related
to the values Bhagavan exhorts us to follow? The panel also
examined issues like – While Sri Rama is considered the embodiment
of Dharma, what is the role of Sita
and Her place in all this?
had researched the topic thoroughly and the discussion was of a
very high order. Bhagavan manifested a ring for one of the faculty
members and talked with all of the panel members at the conclusion
of the discussion. ( Watch out for the broadcast of the panel
discussion on Radio Sai, very soon)
Sita going to the forest
came to a close in the afternoon of August 1, 2004, with a drama
by the Bala Vikas children of the Sri
Sathya Sai Seva Organization of Habsiguda, Hyderabad District,
Andhra Pradesh. The theme of the drama entitled “Saadhvimani
Sita”, presented very vividly the virtues embodied in Mother Sita.
When Sri Rama sends her to the forest, she does not say even one
word against Sri Rama. She brings up her sons Lava and Kusa, with
the sole intention of eventually handing them over to their
Lava and Kusa in Sage Valmikis
As a dutiful mother
she brings up her sons under the direct tutelage of Valmiki, thus
providing moral exhortation and spiritual illumination to the
young ones. Mother Sita’s love, devotion and self-esteem is the
confluence that keeps us in constant awareness that pain and gain
are the two sides of the life-coin and we should fix all our
thoughts on the Lord and make our lives pious and purposeful.
Swami with the children after the
What pleasant and
unforgettable days! Each day was a veritable feast for the eyes,
ears and the soul. Everyone was blessed- the organizers, the
participants and the audience- not only to be a part of all this,
but also to bask in His Divine Presence. After all it is only in
His happiness that we find our own!
E-Magazine, August 15, 2004