Tamil New Year Day and Vishu
Celebrations at Brindavan, 11-14 April, 2004
India is a land of
rich and diverse cultures. The varied traditions and forms of
dance and music, drama and literature from different regions of
the country all form part of the proud heritage of this land.
And the uniqueness of the festivities at the Lotus Feet of
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is that one gets to see different
facets of Indian culture and also those from all over the world.
from the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala celebrated their New Year
Day with their Lord at the Brindavan Ashram in Bangalore. The
celebrations, held between 11-14th of April, coincided with a
state level conference of the youth wing of the Sri Sathya Sai
Seva Organisation, Kerala. About 3000 youth delegates, both men
and women, attended the conference and were addressed by some of
the students and staff members of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of
Higher Learning as well as senior members of the Seva
session of the conference was held on the morning of 11th April in
the Sai Ramesh Krishan Hall. After the delegates welcomed Bhagawan
into their midst with songs, Prof. Mukundan, the President of the
Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Kerala addressed the gathering.
He reminded the youth of the reason that they had all gathered at
the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan – to taste His Love and to have to
glimpse of His glory so that they may undergo a transformation in
their attitudes and outlook. He was followed by Sri Sanjay
Mahalingam, a student of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher
Learning, who spoke on the importance of holding on to the Lord’s
Feet. He said that when the fisherman casts his net into the sea,
it is the fish that swim close to his feet that never get caught
in the net. Similarly, when the Lord casts His net of Maya
(Illusion), there can be no safer place than at His Lotus Feet.
Bhagawan then began
His Divine Discourse by saying that it is foolish to search for
God when He is present
He said that it is most important to understand and develop the
confidence that God is always working for our welfare. He said
that it is He who grants us the devotion and the strength, and
when God is sparing no effort to work for our good, we must also
perform actions that please God. He also said that everyone must
aspire for darshan, sparshan and sambhashan with God and also
elaborated on the benefits of these three types of blessings.
After the Discourse,
the delegates adjourned to the Sai Krishan Kalyana Mantapam for
the subsequent sessions of the conference. In the evening, the
youth of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, presented
a drama titled, “The Ultimate Solution”. The drama depicted how
the practice of the human values enunciated by Bhagawan is the
only answer to the various ills that beset modern day society.
the morning of 12th April, Bhagawan graciously granted darshan and
also sat for a few bhajans. The evening session witnessed a music
programme by renowned artistes from Kerala.
morning, on the occasion of the Tamil New Year Day, singers from
the Sundaram Bhajan group (Sundaram is Bhagawan’s residence at
Chennai) led Bhajans in the Sai Ramesh Krishan Hall. The evening
began with a sweet welcome speech in Sanskrit by a young boy which
was simultaneously translated into English. This was followed by a
music programme by the Sundaram Bhajan singers, in which they
exhibited their virtuosity in different styles of music ranging
from Carnatic and light classical music to qawaali and even
The following day,
14th April was ‘Vishu’, the Kerala New Year Day, and in the
evening there was a concert by
a music troupe from Kerala. They began with the melodious
Navaragamalika varnam “Valachi Vachi”, with the violin and the
flute as the lead instruments. They followed it up with the famous
piece, “Vatapi Ganapathim” and a detailed exposition of the
Thyagaraja kirthana, “Nagumomu”. The highlight of the programme
was the taniavartanam (exposition of
the taala or rhythm by the
percussionists) involving nine instruments which included even the
panchavadyam instruments unique to
the state of Kerala. Bhagawan joined the audience in applauding
the artistes at the end of this thrilling performance. The concert
concluded with the Bhajan, “Deva Devottama Deena Samrakshaka”.
the stage and feted the musicians by presenting them with clothes.
Then there followed some enchanting moments when Bhagawan
commanded one of the musicians to sing a kirtana, while He stood
in front of him and even joined him in singing “Jagadodharana”, a
composition by Saint Purandaradasa.
At the end of the
festivities, which left everyone with so many pleasant memories,
if there was one thing that stood out as one looked back, it was
the exemplary discipline exhibited by the Kerala youth. They
chanted the Sai Gayathri as they waited for Bhagawan’s darshan in
the Sai Ramesh Krishan Hall, and also before every workshop
session in the Kalyana Mantapam. The orderly manner in which the
three thousand strong contingent queued for darshan and also filed
out of the hall after the programmes was indeed worthy of praise
and a measure of how well the youth have absorbed Bhagawan’s
message of duty, devotion and discipline.
Jai Sai Ram!
E-Magazine, 1st May 2004