Prashanthi Bulletin -
November 14th - 17th, 2005
November 17th, 2005
Eighty lucky couples will get married in the Divine Presence
this morning at Sai Kulwant Hall as part of the 80th Birthday
celebrations. It is 7.00 a.m. Let's proceed to the Sai Kulwant
Hall and witness the happenings.
The Sai Kulwant Hall is decorated like a wedding hall with
colourful flowers. It is a very unique decoration that we are
seeing for the first time in Kulwant Hall and it looks gorgeous.
Using merely wooden poles and bamboos, the front part of the
Kulwant Hall is divided into three huge Kalayana Mandapams. The
poles and bamboos are fully wrapped with matted coconut leaves
and erected a few feet apart from each other. At the corners are
the main pillars of the Kulwant Hall decked with Plantain
leaves. All along the boundaries of this structure are colourful
flower decorations. The top is left open. It provides a perfect
environment for a wedding ceremony.
The 80 marriage parties are seated in the front part of the Hall
where usually the Primary School, Higher Secondary School and
the Institute students sit. Incidentally, the students are not
present for this occassion as they are having their classes. The
stage area is also decorated very lavishly with floral buntings
and bouquets. Portraits of Rama and Sita, the Divine couple, are
seen amidst a colourful framework resting against each of the
two main pillars on the stage. Lord Rama on one side and Mother
Sita on the other pillar. The central part is decorated like a
giant Kalasham, with flowers again.
Bhagawan arrives in the Hall amidst Nadaswaram music and Vedam
chanting at 7.30 am. He proceeds to the dais in the car and sits
there in the car itself for nearly half an hour. Young boys are
vigorously doing Chakkabhajan dance just outside the Lotus gates
of the Sai Kulwant Hall. The Vedam group is seated adjacent to
the car. Then Bhagawan comes out of the car in the detachable
chair and proceeds to go around the Hall, up to the very end of
the area where the couples are seated. No doubt, there is great
excitement and thrill all around. While He is going around, He
asks for the sacred Mangalasutras to be brought to Him, and
starts distributing them to the grooms personally. After some
twenty minutes of this, Bhagawan comes onstage, and then
proceeds to distribute some more items, to the brides now. This
time, the brides come up to Him, take Padanamaskar (a lifetime
chance for them) and receive the packets (full of gifts) from
His hands. This distribution goes on till 8.50 a.m., and then
the priests start the chants for the sacred occasion after a
sentence or two of introductory remarks.
The next half an hour witnesses the actual ceremonies - first
the sacred vows by the couples, the "Kanyadanam", the tying of
the Mangalasutras, the "Talambralu" ceremony where the bride and
groom pour sacred yellow rice over each other's head, the
wearing of the "Kankanam" or symbolic bangle, exchanging of
garlands and finally the tying of the knot on the couples'
garments. As all this goes on, Bhagawan is watching with keen
interest and claps enthusiastically at the tying of the
Mangalasutras which He has given with His own hands. The
"Talambralu" ceremony also provides some comic relief, with some
of the couples emptying the entire platter of rice on each
After the ceremonies are over, the priests continue to chant
along with the Nadaswaram music, and the distribution of
articles begins. The Love of the Lord has no bounds and when the
Lord plays the role of the Mother, one can imagine how it would
be! Item after item is brought to Bhagawan for Blessings, and is
then distributed to the couples. Watches, Steel Vessels, Puja
items, what not! And to crown it all, Bhagawan goes around the
couples in the Hall once again! His chair is manoeuvered amidst
all the couples enabling Him to Bless them with Akshatas -
sacred yellow rice - with His own hands,. After Bhagawan comes
back onstage, He asks Prof Anil Kumar to announce that the
wedding feast will be served in the Canteen, for the couple and
their immediate family. Thus, making the occasion a truly
memorable one, Bhagawan returns to His Poornachandra residence
at 10.10 am.
In the evening, Swami comes out at 3.30 p.m. We are very lucky
as unlike every evening, He does not stop to get down at the
interview room, but comes forward and moves onto the dais. The
car halts on the dais. Oh! Is it going to be car Darshan again,
we wonder! But to our delight, after a while the most awaited
moment arrives. The door of the car on Swami's side slides open
with the press of a button. The chair moves out and the Lovely
Form of our Lord fills all thirsty eyes in the Kulwant Hall.
The Hall is crowded and all sit drinking in the Divine Love and
Grace. Swami sits for a long time. At 4.30 p.m. He signals to
Dr. Goldstein, ? the Chairman of the Prashanti Council that
manages the International Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations, to
come closer. Dr. Goldstein runs and kneels down next to Swami's
chair. For the next 20 to 25 minutes, we witness a very
wonderful interaction between the Lord and His devotee. Swami
asks him so many questions and Dr. Goldstein answers with so
many words and gestures. Then Dr. Goldstein asks something and
Swami answers. Nobody knows what the dialogue is, but still it
gives so much joy to just observe our Lord interacting in such
an involved way. Whatever He does is beautiful. Is it not said
"Adharam Madhuram, Vadanam Madhuram ... Madhuradhipateh Akhilam
At 4.50 p.m. Swami asks for Bhajans to commence from the Kulwant
Hall itself. The Bhajan boys come jumping in from different
corners and within seconds the Ganesha Bhajan begins. Swami
continues to sit through the Bhajans. At 5.25 p.m. He takes
Aarti and retires.
Well, coming to some developments around Prashanti Nilayam.
Beautiful decorative entrances are being set up at both the
gates of Eswaramma School, which we presume will be the entry
points for the devotees to go inside the Shanti Vedika stadium
on 23rd . At almost all the gates across the road, on the
inside, small shelters have been erected. Some are small ones
like beach umbrellas, which can provide shade to two seated
people. The other type of shelter is like the buffet counters
that are set up - all with colourful frills at the bottom and
beautiful coverings on the top. This possibly could again serve
as enquiry counters or maybe Prasadam distribution counters.
Wires running all along the road from the Mandir towards the
Hostel connect several horns that provide a good audio service
to all public on the road. They may be planning to use it for
announcements. Right now, devotional songs on Swami are being
played on it. Tomorrow is the Rathotsavam festival. No
announcements were made this evening, but we presume it will
begin sometime after 8.00 a.m.
Temporary sheds at the rear end of the Ashram are filling up
with the Indian delegates of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva
Organisations for the World Conference. Some of the Indian
delegates are being hosted in the Institute Building also. The
musicians and other artistes are being hosted in the Music
College building. The crowd is swelling exponentially and
accommodation inside the Ashram is extremely tight. Another
interesting development is that, since the day of the Akhanda
Bhajans, a "cold wave" seems to have swept over Parthi!
November 16th, 2005
This evening, Bhagawan entered Kulwant Hall at 3.40 p.m. Taking
a full round of the Hall, He entered the interview room. After a
few minutes, we heard loud applause on the Ladies side. Soon, we
came to know that Swami had come to the Bhajan Hall walking from
the interview room and had sat in the Bhajan Hall throne for a
while. Few minutes later, Swami came out onto the Ladies side
sitting on the chair, and spoke to them for quite some time.
Prof. Anil Kumar was summoned and Bhagawan gave him
instructions. He came onto the dais and took his position behind
the mike. He made an announcement that tomorrow there would be a
mass marriage conducted in the Divine Presence at 9.00 a.m. The
couples have been selected very carefully and belong to the
not-well-to-do segment of the nearby villages. Now, these
couples were privileged to receive the Blessed Clothes from
Swami's Hands. Prof. Anil Kumar got ready to announce the names
of the recipients. The coordinators from the ladies side came
forward with all the items and placed them next to Swami.
Meanwhile, Bhagawan asked the Vedam group to start chanting
Vedam. Naadaswaram music was also played on the Public Address
system. It was a perfect ambience for distributing clothes to
the brides and bridegrooms.
Swami asked the ladies to leave all the items and go back. He
called two of the overseas students to come forward and chant
Vedam, standing next to Him. Prof. Anil Kumar was waiting to
announce the names, but Swami had His own plans. He wanted to
Bless each of His children personally. Who can stop the Divine
Mother from showering Her Love on Her children? Swami asked the
chair to be taken down to where the couples were seated. The
brides were seated on one side and the bridegrooms were seated
next to the Vedam group on the gents side. Swami went right
amidst them. Few students came over with the trays containing
expensive silk saris and Dhotis. Swami started distributing the
clothes to each one of them personally. He moved between the
rows and smiled and Blessed each one of the recipients. This
went on till 4.35 p.m.
Subsequently, Swami came and sat down on the dais. For the next
half an hour, we had the best Darshan that we ever had in the
past few days. Swami sat over there smiling all the while
radiating so much of Love and Bliss that permeated into each one
of us raising our souls unto Him! Suddenly, Swami called Sri
Vedanarayana who is the leader of the Vedam chanting group.
Swami spoke a few words with him and then smiling at him, He
created a ring. Sri Vedanarayana ran forward, close to Swami?s
chair and Bhagawan slipped the ring onto his finger amidst loud
applause. The outpouring of His Love continued further. He
called the Birthday boys for Blessings. It was a long time since
Swami had Blessed the Birthday boys. There was a long queue ?
almost a dozen of them. Each one came forward and received
Bhagawan?s Blessings. He Blessed all the items in the tray and
also sprinkled Akshatam (yellow rice) on their head, smiling all
the while. All were overjoyed.
Having drenched us in His Grace and Love, Swami moved inside at
5.10 p.m. Bhajans began and Swami sat inside the Bhajan Hall. He
retired after 2 or 3 Bhajans. Bhajans continued until 5.35 p.m.
and concluded with Aarti.
November 15th, 2005
This morning, Swami came out for Bhajans at 9.30 am. He sat for
a few bhajans and retired after taking Aarti. In the evening,
Swami was out for Darshan by half past three. Again at 4.00 p.m.
He got into the car and proceeded to the Shanti Vedika stadium.
After He returned, He sat onstage till the bhajans began at 5
pm. Then Bhagawan sat in the Bhajan Hall for a few bhajans.
Arati was offered at 5.20 pm and thereafter Bhagawan retired to
November 14th, 2005
This morning Bhagawan did not come out for Darshan. But He was
very busy inside Poornachandra Hall. All the students
participating in the Convocation Drama were called to the PC
Hall for a rehearsal in the Divine Presence. They were all
present in the Hall by 7.30 a.m. Swami came onto the stage and
then proceeded to sit in the D-circle at 9.15 a.m. The rehearsal
began. Swami sat through the entire play giving valuable and
subtle guidance now and then which was immediately noted down by
the coordinators. After the drama rehearsal was over, Swami
spent a lot of time talking to the various participants and
giving them immense joy and happiness. One student from
Brindavan Campus was Blessed with a three diamond ring. A few
dialogues had to be added to provide clarity and some fine
tuning in the acting was suggested. What a great opportunity to
be guided and corrected by the Divine Director Himself! It was
almost 11.00 a.m. when the actors came out of the Poornachandra
Hall and returned to their respective Hostels with hearts
overflowing with joy.
In the evening, Bhagawan came out for Darshan at around 3.45
p.m. To our great delight, He sat outside for a short 15 minutes
and then proceeded towards the interview room. At 4.45 p.m. He
came out and got into the car and went for His daily survey trip
to the Shanti Vedika grounds. A huge platform is coming up at
the bottom of the statues of Lord Shiva and Jesus, across the
Ladies side gallery, which will serve as a stage for some
wonderful performance on the 23rd of November.
As Bhagawan was taking a round in the grounds, the Brass Band
group of the college was just completing their practice session.
Watching Swami coming towards them, they immediately started
playing the Band. Swami's car moved slowly across the group
enabling Bhagawan to watch and hear them. This was the first
time in this academic year that Swami had Blessed the Band
Group. Swami returned to the Mandir by 5.10 p.m. He went into
the Bhajan Hall and retired by 5.30 p.m.