Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Reports of events from the Sai Baba Ashrams


Prashanthi Bulletin - November 20th - 21st, 2005

November 21st, 2005

36 hours more for the Golden Day to dawn. The hourly countdown begins! This morning Bhagawan gives Darshan at 8.00 a.m. The decorations in the Mandir is being progressively toned up to reach a crescendo by 23rd. Today the main pillars of the Kulwant Hall are all draped with a sky blue colour cloth and above it thick creepers of beautiful roses (decorative ones) go winding up spirally. They look very attractive. The Sarva Dharma Stupa in front of the PC and the garden along with the compound walls are all lighted up. The entrance to the Shanti Vedika ground near the gymnasium where a huge Chinese type entrance gate has been built is also decorated with colourful cloth banners giving it the typical Chinese look. The various statutes in the Shanti Vedika are lighted with powerful focus lights and look very grand in the evening. Many more series lightings and other decorative lights have been added in the stadium, especially on the hill. The Ad Block building and the Sanatana Samskruti Museum are fully illuminated with pink colour light and look like heavenly objects at night! All this makes Parthi look like some dreamland!

Swami takes a full round, comes onto the dais and interacts with Mr. Leonardo Gutter for a while. At 8.15 a.m. Swami moves towards the front of the interview room, and goes in at 8.25 a.m. granting an audience to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister who arrived yesterday. Bhajans begin at 9.00 a.m. and during the Bhajans, Swami comes out and enters the dais from the interview room side and takes a full round moving out at the other end. All are able to catch a glimpse of the Lord. Aarti is offered at 9.40 a.m.

In the evening, Swami comes out at 3.30 p.m. The artistes of the Sai Symphony Orchestra are all making arrangements for the special 80th Birthday offering. Swami goes straight to the interview room after taking a full round. Over there, He calls a few gents and asks them to call their wives. Many Ladies assemble near the interview room. Not satisfied with that, Swami goes in His chair towards the Ladies side and starts moving along the pathway. As He moves along, He points out to some ladies here and there and asks them to go towards the interview room. It is amazing to see Swami going all along the pathway towards the PC entrance and then sideways towards the centre of the Kulwant Hall. Then to everyone's delight He even takes a turn and goes right until the rear end of the Kulwant Hall near the gateway. The delegates sitting there are simply thrilled.

The hall is so crowded that we manage to see all this only on the close circuit television. In a way it gives us better viewing. There is immense Bliss on everyone's face. Swami goes back to the interview room and then starts the mega 'sari distribution'. He starts giving beautiful silk saris - red color ones - to all the ladies. It takes a long time but Swami is giving all His time for them. Each one feels that Swami is going out of the way to make her happy. That is the Love of our dear Lord!

But then the Divine Mother is not yet satisfied. He once again starts out on a ride on the ladies side in His chair, and the students follow Him with the saris. What follows next is a fantastic Leela of the Lord. As He passes along the pathway, so many Ladies stretch out their hands to receive the sari. But Swami delivers it to the correct hands! At times, we see Swami talking to somebody, chiding somebody for asking. At other times, He selects somebody sitting somewhere in the third or fourth row and then flings the sari into her hands. Watching the wonderful way in which Swami manages all this, even the devotees start clapping and smiling as they view this on the television.

Swami again moves on until the middle of the Kulwant Hall. He looks so much at rest; He transcends time and therefore we never see any hurry or anxiety on our Lord's face. So slowly, He moves along filling each soul with Bliss. The saris may fill some hands but His Grace and Love saturates each heart and gets manifested in the smiles on all faces and tears in some eyes. Having reached the centre of the Hall, Swami now starts coming back passing along the centre pathway between the artistes of the Sai Symphony seated over there. He talks to a few, Blesses a few and smiles at some. After a long time, He turns back and reaches the interview room.

We now get prepared for the orchestra. But the bountiful Mother's Love knows no limit. Some children of His have been missed out somewhere. How can He be happy? He again goes out towards the Ladies side, this time concentrating on the area adjacent to the interview room on the ladies side. He distributes some saris over there and finally comes back and goes inside the interview room. A thousand mothers love is seen and experienced by all today. What compassion and what Grace!

Finally at 5.00 p.m. Swami comes out and asks the Orchestra to commence. The Set Designer, an Italian by name Mr. Victor Togliani, presents the programme card to Bhagawan. Swami talks to him and sees all the details in the card. Then Swami calls the conductor of the orchestra, Mr. Klaus Maurer from Switzerland. Swami talks to him and even before the programme commences, materializes a ring to his surprise and slips it on his finger. There is loud applause.

The orchestra commences at 5.05 p.m. The instruments playing in the Orchestra are the Violins, Viola, Cello Bass, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoons, Flute, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Keyboard Harp, Percussion and the Timpani. There are 53 musicians from 20 different countries. They begin with a composition from Johannes Brahms of Hungary, a piece which captures the spirit of the Hungarian people. This is followed by compositions from Gioacchino Rossini of Italy, Franz Liszt of Hungary, Georges Bizet and Charles Gounod of France, the 40th Symphony of Mozart, George Enescu of Romania and finally a piece from Franz Von Suppe, an Italian composer.

Each piece is received with very loud applause from the devotees. Though the gathering is predominantly Indian, they still seem to cherish and enjoy the Western classical music very much. The programme goes on till 6.10 p.m. The best part is Swami's involvement. He keeps looking at all the artists as they play and at the end of each presentation, He smiles and acknowledges with Abhaya Hasta. He does this for every piece. Finally, He calls the conductor and praises him a lot. Bhagawan very generously agrees for a group photograph. After the photos, He spends a long time interacting with the artists. The Designer Victor Togliani also gets a ring and so does a Trombone player Mr. Andrija Bosanas from Croatia.

It is 6.20 p.m. Prasadam is distributed to all and Swami retires for the day. We see the Trombone player ecstatic and jumping around with joy. All hearts are bubbling with Bliss and the artistes are left spellbound in His Love.

November 20th, 2005

The Hall is decorated with a new style. Yesterday's decoration is gone and is replaced with a new one. There are huge banners with the text - 8th World Conference. The dais is decorated beautifully. A floral arch circumscribes our Lord Ganesha in the centre of the dais. The two pillars on either side of Swami's chair are covered fully with garlands of flowers. A huge Toranam (garland) of flowers runs right along the full length of the roof on which the gopurams are located. Apart from the red Chinese Lamps which have now become a part of every festival in Kulwant Hall, there are other Chinese Decorative pieces hanging from the roof of the Hall. The windows of the Mandir in the Portico are bedecked with roses that look very natural though made of paper.

At sharp 8.00 a.m. Bhagawan makes a grand entry into the Kulwant Hall in the Porte. He takes a full round and alights from the car to sit on the dais. He lights the lamp with the candle offered to Him by Sri Indulal Shah Garu - the former Chairman of the International Sai Seva Organisation. Sri Indubhai presents the programme card to Swami who goes through it very meticulously. This is followed by a talk by Sri Indubhai.

Sri Indulal Shah remarks how the seed sown by Swami in 1968 during the first World Conference has now become a fruit laden tree. He declares with joy that today there are delegates come over here from more than 180 countries. There are 5000 Sai Centres in India itself and around 2200 Centres overseas. He reminds all that this Conference is the time to take stock of the past and draft plans for the future. After an inspiring talk he concludes saying that this age is not just an age of Information Technology but ought to be one of Transformation Technology. The www should not just represent the world wide web but must stand for work - worship - wisdom.

Sri Indu Bhai is followed by Sri V. Srinivasan, the All India President of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation. He highlights the fact that in the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, all that Swami looks for is Love, not wealth, status or position. Here the stress is on quality and not quantity. He explains to all the delegates the reason for having the theme of this conference as Unity-Purity-Divinity. He stresses that we must start with the individual and reach out to the world. This can be done only through Unity-Purity-Divinity. He concludes his brief talk by expressing his gratitude to Bhagawan for providing all the conveniences to the delegates of the Conference.

It is 8.35 a.m. and Dr. Goldstein, the Chairman of the Prashanti Council that oversees the activities of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations around the world, takes over the stage. He delivers a very scholarly and insightful talk. Subsequently Swami interacts with him for quite some time and also releases some book and goes through it in detail. After this Swami asks Mr. Leonardo Gutter from Argentina to address the gathering. This gentleman, the Zonal chairman for the Sai Organisation in Latin America, comes forward and speaks straight from the heart touching all our hearts. He reiterates what he has experienced in his life stating that Swami will never disappoint His devotees.

He says that he travels extensively throughout Latin America and there are around 300 Sai Centres in this region. Even the nation of Cuba has more than 1000 devotees of Swami. Incidentally, even the son of Fidel Castro has become a Sai devotee owing to the positive influence of the Sai Devotees and their activities in Cuba. He narrates a few of his personal experiences. On one occasion, He was travelling to a different country and midway he was at Miami airport. Suddenly he finds that his purse is missing - all with the credit cards, money, passport. He is shocked. He runs all around, but in vain. He gets very anxious and finally recalls what Swami says. Bhagawan says, pray until either you get tired or God gives in touched by your intense prayers. Therefore, with no option left, he locks himself inside a bathroom in the airport and cries out to Bhagawan. After half an hour or so, he comes out. Right at the entrance, he finds a lady waiting for him with a purse, asking him, "Is this yours?" This is the power of the Lord and His response to our prayers.

On another occasion, he had met with an accident in which he injured his nose. Not wanting to delay his trip to Parthi and preferring to suffer in the Lord's Presence, He comes over to Parthi. While flying he catches a severe cold and it is terrible pain to blow a fractured nose. Somehow he reaches Parthi. One day, Swami calls him for an interview and in the course of the interview; Swami holds his nose and shakes it vigorously. He has not told Swami anything about the nose and he is frightened that he would not be able to bear the pain as Swami holds it tightly. But to his amazement, after Swami leaves his nose, it is perfectly fine. The fracture is gone and so has the cold too. This is the Love and Protection of the Lord.

On yet another occasion, he had prayed to Swami to materialize a watch for him. The one he had, always ran slow or fast and he was not happy with it. He also prayed so, to clarify some of his doubts. As he sleeps with these thoughts, Swami comes in his dream and says that He will take away his watch as he is not happy with it. Awakened by this powerful dream, he gets up and looks out for his watch near his bed. He is shocked to find it missing. The next day, Swami calls him for an interview and he sits just next to Swami's chair. Bhagawan creates a watch and holds it in His Hands. Expecting that it is for him, he moves forward but Swami gives it to the student sitting behind him. However, finally before he leaves for Latin America, Swami does materialize a watch for him and also says that it is endowed with a special power. If he gets any bad thought, the watch would stop working.

After this talk that thrilled all present, we have Bhajans. It is 9.10 a.m. Prasadam is distributed to all - Soan Papdi but with a chocolate flavour. Swami receives Aarti at 9.35 a.m. and retires for the morning. Prof. Anil Kumar makes an announcement that this evening at 4.30 p.m. there will be an International Choir by 140 members hailing from 70 nations.

In the evening, Swami comes out at 4.00 p.m. As the chair rolls out of the car, the Vedam Group is chanting Narayana Suktam followed by Mantra Pushpam. Swami signals for the Vedam to stop. Mr. Victor Krishna Kanu from Zambia and another gentleman come to Swami and offer some books to Him - possibly some new releases. Swami goes through the books and interacts with them for a while. Subsequently, He gives a green signal for the Choir to begin.

Before we proceed further with the Choir, we would like to update you with some more additions to the decorations being done here. Wherever you go in Parthi, whether inside the Ashram or outside, you will find huge 'bigger than life size' portraits of Swami - the screen printed type. They look fantastic. In the Shanti Vedika grounds, the stage being built for the Music Performance is slowly coming to a finish. It looks majestic. It has a huge giant bloomed lotus as the background. Still some more finishing touches are being given to it. The pathway in the middle of the ground on which Swami's car is going to glide along has been set up very well. Short fencing on either side with small focus lamps at the ground level illuminate the whole path at night and it looks just like a runway awaiting the landing of an aircraft. Along the railings above the galleries, between the multinational flags, we find huge posters of Bhagawan - almost 20 feet x 15 feet or so. They have beautiful photos of Swami and His most pithy messages.

Back in the Mandir all the delegates and students-staff are being provided with lovely hand fans. A cream colour fan with a violet colour handle. On it is written - Love All Serve All, along with the Sarva Dharma symbol and other designs. Looks very elegant and attractive. Good idea, whoever thought of it! Yes, now coming back to the Sai International Choir, they start with a bang, singing - 'Swami we celebrate Your Birthday'. There is loud applause. They sing many more, like - 'We are merging in the Light of Sai', 'Celebrate Swami on this Holy Day', 'Sai Mother let me be Yours and Yours alone'. They conclude with 'We wish You a Happy Birthday'! All devotees start clapping to the beat. The performance is very good and is very well received by the audience. It is 5.00 p.m. They appear to be through but Swami asks them to continue. They are overjoyed and they sing some more.

At 5.10 p.m. Swami goes inside and Bhajan commences in the Bhajan hall. By 5.30 p.m. Swami takes Aarti and retires for the day. As we return from the Mandir, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Y.S. Rajasekara Reddy arrives with a long convoy.

There will be no live Telecast of Swami's Birthday Programme. However, after the programme, on the same day it will be put in our video streaming site www.saicast.org and also on Sanskar TV Channel around 9 o clock on 23rd night. Timings may vary, but there will be a scrolling message in Sanskar, please look for it. On 24th Night, it will be telecast on Zee Jagran channel.

Again on Sunday, the 27th, there will an one hour programme on Sanskar and on Jagran on Saturday, the 26th.

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


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