Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Reports of events from the Sai Baba Ashrams


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 others' heads!

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 Madhuram"!

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 His abode.

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.

Source: http://radiosai.org/pages/PB.htm


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