Prashanthi Bulletin July
18th - 19th, 2005
July 19th, 2005
This morning, Swami came and gave Darshan in the car at 8
o'clock. After a full round, He went into the interview room
for a few minutes. Then, He proceeded in the car to one of
the sheds in the Northern part of the Ashram, which has been
converted into a small-scale industry centre for indigent
women under the auspices of the Eswaramma Womens' Welfare
Trust. There, Bhagawan inaugurated the premises and went
around all the booths where manufacture of various goods
like paper-bags, snacks, papads, pickles, and so on are to
In the evening, Swami came to Sai Kulwant Hall at 3.15 p.m.
At 3.30 p.m. Swami came to the College campus. The Music
boys were ready for the session, but surprisingly, as soon
as the car reached the College gate, it took a turn towards
the Primary School. We thought that Swami may Bless the
Primary School children this evening. But once again to our
surprise, the car took a 180 degree turn and returned to the
Mandir and again took a round inside the Mandir Premises!
All the students who had come running from the Mandir, once
again made a dash to the Mandir! A real good exercise for
all students! Swami’s Leelas give so much joy and happiness
to all of us!
After Bhagawan returned, we had a Music Presentation in the
Mandir this evening. The vocalists were Vidushi Sumitra Guha
- Hindustani Vocal and Smt. Bombay Jayashri - Carnatic
Vocal. They rendered a number of Meera Bhajans, Sai Bhajans
and some Carnatic pieces. They were followed at 5.10 p.m. by
Begum Parveen Sultana on Swami’s command. She filled our
ears with her melodius "Nanda Nandana Giridhari" and
"Sakhiri Mein Giridhara Ke Ranga Lagi".
Swami Blessed all the participants with silk saris. At 5.40
p.m. Bhagawan retired for the day after receiving Aarti.
July 18th, 2005
Today witnessed the Ashadi Ekadashi celebrations at
Prashanthi Nilayam. A very auspicious day especially for the
Three days earlier, a team of 300 devotees from Mumbai city
had landed at Dharmavaram. From there, they started a
procession, ‘Dindi’ as they call it. They started walking
all the way from Dharmavaram to Parthi amidst Bhajans,
Abhangs, dances and chanting of the name of the Lord. The
highlight of the Dindi was the carrying of the Palaki
(palanquin) with the Padukas of our dear Sai Vitthala.
This practice has been going on for the past 5 years from
2000. This has its roots in Alandi and Dehu, the native land
of the great saints, Sant Jnaneshwar and Sant Tukaram of
Maharashtra. In their times, 15 days prior to Ashadi
Ekadashi, both these saints would set out on a Paada Yatra
(walking on foot) to Pandharpur. They would reach there
exactly on Ashadi Ekadashi to offer their obeisance to Lord
Vitthala. Later, their devotees followed suite. The current
practice is that huge groups of devotees from the native
towns of all the famous saints of Maharashtra commence their
procession (Dindi), culminating the same on Ashadi Ekadashi
The procession from Dharmavaram had another unique feature.
There was a second ‘special group’ of 150 members, who
performed a different type of procession. They visited all
the villages en-route to Parthi from Dharmavaram, doing
Grama Seva. They conducted medical camps in the villages,
fixed tubelights and fans in the village schools and also
gave away Amruta Kalasham – 1008 of them. Amruta Kalasham is
a service pack – a bag containing 9 most essential food
items required for a family, adequate for a weeks time.
Both these groups reached Parthi yesterday evening. Swami
had come to the Institute Auditorium for the Music Programme
Rehearsal. He came at 3.30 p.m. and was here until 5.00 p.m.
As His car left the college campus, the procession too
crossed the College gate and proceeded to the Mandir. What
timing! It was as though Swami was leading their procession
to the Mandir Himself! Bhagawan has His own ways of Blessing
For this Ashadi Ekadashi, the theme was ‘God – the only
friend’. The Sai Kulwant Hall was decorated elegantly for
the function. The main pillars were draped with flowing
multi-coloured crepe cloth from the lotus structure right
until the bottom. The dais too was bedecked with floral
decorations. A grand flower curtain covered the Ganesha at
the rear of the dais. On this flower curtain was a huge cut
out of Lord Vitthala with His beloved Tukaram. The balcony
was also covered with curtains of flowers and looked very
Coming to the centre of the Hall, the performance area, the
whole place looked like a film city. There were cameras,
light reflectors…… Along the top, there were a number of
banners advertising the latest film releases. Some of them
were ‘The Protector’, Kingdom of Heaven – from the Director
of Cosmos’, ‘The Moving Force – the Sai Avatar – Episode
II’, Satyam Shivam Sundaram – the Divine Page’, ‘The Eternal
Witness’…..and so on. At the bottom of the banners a print
On the pillars there were cutouts that had ‘Dost – the only
Friend’ written on them. All this made it clear to us that
this morning’s programme had something to do with a film
actor and his life. That was precisely what it was. But
let’s start from the beginning. By the way, there were
wonderful floral decorations at the Gopuram side Entrance
and even at the Gate leading to the Poornachandra.
At sharp 9.00 a.m., as announced the previous day, the
lights in Kulwant Hall went on and our dear Lord arrived in
the Porte car. As the car passed by the centre of the Hall,
Swami stopped and all the children decked in dance costumes
crowded around the car window. Swami spoke to them for a
while. The Vedam was being chanted this morning by a special
group of Pundits from Maharashtra.
At 9.10 a.m. Swami was seated on the dais. The office
bearers and the coordinators offered their Pranaams and
flower bouquets. The Swagatam song followed. The Vedic
Pundits took Blessings from Swami. At 9.20 a.m. a set of
four men blew the conch and the bugle heralding the arrival
of the Dindi Palaki. The Palaki with Bhagawan’s Padukas was
brought amidst vibrant songs and dance. A Tulasi garland was
offered to Swami marking the culmination of the Dindi. This
was followed by a folk dance by the Mumbai youth.
At 9.30 a.m., the Balvikas children of Mumbai and Goa, the
Youth Wing and the students of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Mandir –
Dharmakshetra, commenced the long awaited programme for the
morning, titled – ‘God – the only Friend’.
The play went on till 10.25 a.m. To give you a brief
overview of the play…..It talks about a very famous film
actor Amit Kumar who is at the peak of his career. He has
won several laurels, the latest being the best actor award
for his film ‘Maya Bazaar’. To add feathers on his cap, he
also bags the best costumes designer, best dialogue writer
and a number of other awards for the same movie.
In his award acceptance speech, he acknowledges all his
fans, his wife and many others and then only as an after
thought, he mentions God in his list. The story goes on with
Amit Kumar acting in another movie called – ‘Dost-the only
Friend’. The mahurat of the shooting begins with prayers to
the Lord and all that, but once again, God is left behind
and forgotten conveniently.
As one may expect, the movie ‘Dost-the only Friend’ turns
out to be a super flop in India. This brings Amit Kumar down
with a crash. The producers are at his neck for recovering
their money. All his so called fans turn their back. As
usual these adversities bring Amit to God. The rest of the
play is a dialogue between God, played by a young boy and
The highlight of their conversations is that though we think
that we are doing everything all the while, it is truly God
who is the doer. In fact, we are just a witness to what He
does. God explains to Amit, how it was He who enabled Amit
to deliver the right dialogues, design the best costumes……
Amit too agrees that whenever he got into the acting mode,
he always felt that there was somebody within him who was
running the show. When he sat to design the costumes, there
was a clear flow of thoughts and ideas that came from within
spontaneously. God even goes to the extent of re-enacting a
scene from his film, exactly the way Amit did, to prove to
him that He was always with him and within him.
Amit gets convinced of the reality in no time! (If only such
things could happen so quickly in the real world!) Well,
when God is pleased with you, problems vanish into thin air.
Guess what! His film, ‘Dost-the only Friend’, becomes a box
office hit in other countries. In fact, the film gets
nominated for the International Film Awards in France.
Needless to say, Amit again wins the award, but this time
the celebration has a different touch. Just before accepting
the award, Amit makes a powerful speech, acknowledging the
true doer within him. He gives all the credit to the Lord,
resident within him and humbly accepts himself as God’s
An attractive part of the play, apart from the wonderful
sets and the catchy songs, was a huge cut out of Swami with
His hand on the shoulder of a young boy indicating the theme
– ‘God – the only Friend’.
The play was followed by Vitthala Bhajans and Prasadam
distribution. Swami retired to the Poornachandra at 10.40
In the evening, Swami came out at 3.30 p.m. At 4.10 p.m. the
Vedam chanting stopped. The Sri Sathya Sai Seva organization
from Nagpur was ready with a Ballet ‘Krishna Uddhava’.
This was in continuation of the theme of God being the only
true friend of man. The scene started with describing the
Nava Vidha Bhakti, and Lord Krishna pining to meet His
childhood friend Uddhava. The rest of the play is a
flashback, as Lord Krishna tells Uddhava all about his
childhood and their friendship.
Uddhava is portrayed as a role model of a true friend of
God. Even as a baby, he receives the Blessings of Lord
Narada who foresees the role to be played by Uddhava as the
best friend of Lord Krishna. Friendship with the Lord is
extolled as the best path for reaching God in Kaliyuga.
Some of the very good scenes were the Govardana Giri
episode. The sets were very good and they had made a cut-out
of the hills which actually go up, pulled by a rope, and
child Krishna along with the cowherds take shelter under the
mountain. In due course, Uddhava is made the Prime Minister
of Mathura. The scene following this is the visit of Uddhava
to the Gopikas. Lord Krishna deliberately sends Uddhava to
the Gopikas to make him realize the essence of true Bhakti
Lord Krishna describes their meeting as the confluence of
two rivers. The Jnana of Uddhava merges with the Bhakti and
Love of the Gopikas, each one enriching the other.
The final scene depicts the Uddhava Gita, the knowledge
received by Uddhava from Lord Krishna about the Truths of
life. Lord Krishna explains to Uddhava that man can truly
give nothing in charity for nothing actually belongs to him.
There is no separate hell in any place. Excess of Tamo Guna
itself is hell……….
Uddhava, sensing that the final moments of the Avatar’s
sojourn had come, cries out to the Lord not to leave him.
But Lord Krishna convinces Uddhava that he still had a role
to play in this world. He exhorts Uddhava to chant His name,
hear His story, visit Him not in temples but in the hearts
of His devotees and spread His Love.
The fantastic, heart-moving play concluded at 5.20 p.m.
Prasadam was distributed to all. Bhajans were sung by the
devotees from Maharashtra. Later, Swami went into the Bhajan
Hall. All the students rushed into the Hall for the Bhajans.
At 5.50 p.m., our students took over the Bhajan singing.
Aarti was offered at 6.00 p.m. Bhagawan slowly proceeded in
the car to the Poornachandra. All the devotees were
extremely happy with His wonderful Darshan and Blessings.