Prashanthi Bullettin -
November 23rd, 2005
November 23rd, 2005
The Golden day has arrived - Bhagawan's 80th Birthday.
Nature has joined all of us in offering our Pranaams to our
Beloved Lord. Aakasha -– the sky is filled with different
shades of grey clouds that look like clusters of flowers to
be offered at His Lotus Feet. Vayu -– the Lord of air is
blowing coolly providing natural air-conditioning for the
township of Parthi. Agni -– Surya Bhagawan is a little slow
in arriving at the venue -– thankfully! Aapaha -– Water is
showering her love on all assembled in the stadium in the
form of a light soft drizzle. It feels like pearls of love
being showered on us. Mother Earth is looking majestic, with
a broad red carpet waiting to receive the car with the Lord
on her. Even the rest of the stadium where devotees and
students are sitting is spread with a beautiful netted green
cloth that is specially meant for such seating purposes.
This makes the whole ground look green with a red carpet
running all along the length in the centre.
A number of flags are tied on the Hanuman hilltop, to the
railings. Beautiful garlands of white and pink balloons are
tied across the gents and ladies galleries and all along the
railings on the top of the stadium galleries. On the way to
the Hanuman top, long vertical pillars of pink and white
balloons are reaching up into the sky. The live projection
of the proceedings is being seen on two giant LED screens,
one on top of the cricket pavilion and the other on the
ladies gallery side. Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma's Santoor is
playing softly on the PA system. The soft music, the light
drizzle, the cool air and the excitement in the atmosphere,
the multitude of people waiting eagerly – all these create
the perfect ambience for the entry of our beloved Lord.
Devotees however are trying to intensify their prayers
pleading with Rain God to postpone his offering for a while.
On the giant screen, right now, the video of Swami's earlier
Birthday celebrations is being shown. It is lovely to watch
Swami of the earlier years running around so fast that all
around are struggling to keep pace with Him. The Helicopter
Darshan of the 50th Birthday takes us down memory lane.
The Mahabubnagar Seva volunteers are busy serving water to
all the devotees - the task which they have taken up as an
offering to Swami. However, hardly anybody asks for it as
everybody's thirst is only for His Divine Darshan now.
Minutes are ticking by and the golden moment is coming
closer and closer. Crowds are still pouring in. The stadium
is already jam-packed, but still multitudes come in and
somehow find their place - like sugar dissolving in milk.
It is 7.45 a.m. and the procession has begun from the
Primary School end of the stadium. A big group of Vedam
chanting students lead the procession. They are followed by
a dance troupe. Behind them we see Swami in a new car. The
top of the car is open, but Swami is hidden from our view.
Only His face is seen. He is wearing a white robe. A student
is holding an orange umbrella above Swami to prevent the
drizzle from wetting His robe. As the procession begins,
several Sevadals posted at different points in the ground,
release huge flower rockets. These are not crackers but
colourful paper strips sealed under pressure. When released,
they burst forth into the air like a jet spray of flowers.
These flower rockets fill the entire ground. Massive
crackers are burst that release colourful sparkles into the
sky. Of course the colours are not seen as it is day time.
The fireworks are being blasted from the college grounds
where an entire firework display team has been continuously
working on it for the past three days. The experience is
Blissful. A spring of joy bursts forth in our hearts as the
rockets burst forth into the sky.
On reaching the stage, Swami gets out of the car and walks
onto the lift. The lift goes up and Bhagawan goes walking
onto the stage. All this while a melodious song is being
played on the system…... 'Ananda Baraso Hey Managala
Mayee...'…It reverberates in the entire stadium. Hundreds of
balloons burst into the sky. The curtain on the stage is yet
closed and after a while the screen rolls up. Suddenly the
stage comes into our view. Exquisitely decorated with
bunches and bunches of colourful flowers, it houses a huge
Silver Throne at the centre. On the throne is seated the
Lord of the Universe in all His Glory!
It is 8.00 a.m. All of a sudden, the sky clears and the Sun
God makes a special appearance, literally touching the Lotus
Feet of Bhagawan. Another song starts playing on the
speakers. The whole place is flooded with the warmth of the
sun. How beautiful it is to see Mother Nature participating
in this celebration performing her unique dance. Hardly a
few minutes pass and the sun vanishes as though it had never
come out at all. A mild drizzle continues that stops and
starts intermittently. As Nature performs her medley,
another dance gets going on the stage on the Ladies Gallery.
The Amala Shankar dance troupe bursts forth into artistic
movements representing their Pranaams to Bhagawan.
Next, Sai Kumar (a Telugu Movie star) and Sunil Gavaskar
(the famous Indian cricketer) start compering the show from
the stage. As this goes on, teams from all major nations of
the world, march on the road in front of the stage and halt
for a while performing some small feat in front of Bhagawan.
Sai Kumar and Sunil Gavaskar offer their obeisance on behalf
of all assembled and describe the glory of the occasion and
of our Lord. Sunil Gavaskar appeals to all to heed the
message of Bhagawan and play the game of life with Unity,
Purity and Divinity. He then presents the galaxy of
cricketers who have come to offer their respects to
Bhagawan. Before the cricketers march in, Sunil introduces
Major Rathore, the Olympic medal winner, who makes the first
offering to Bhagawan. It is an insignia that symbolizes
global peace and harmony. Subsequently, all the cricketers
including Sachin Tendulkar come onto the stage and offer
bouquets to Swami. Sachin takes the mike and offers his
Pranaams to Swami saying that it is a great privilege to be
here for His 80th Birthday and he is greatly honoured. Swami
calls him close and speaks to him.
V.V.S. Laxman, Murali Karthik, R.P. Singh, Jaiprakash Yadav,
Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and others join Sachin in
offering flower bouquets to Swami. After doing so, they all
sit on either side of Swami. Next Major Rathore comes down
the stage and starts running along the path leading to the
stage and then onto the hilltop. From the road leading to
the hilltop, the Global peace insignia is hoisted by
Rathore. The insignia goes up to the Hanuman top. It is 8.20
a.m. as the white disc with a golden border bearing the
numbers 8 and 0 in red, in the centre goes up. Inside the
zero is the picture of the globe.
As the insignia reaches the Hanuman hilltop, immediately a
giant banner (screen) rolls down along the hill slope below
the Hanuman, right until the foot of the hill. On it are
inscribed the words: May there be peace and unity and love
in the whole world. Parallely, volunteers sitting on the top
of the slope, release long strips of silver and gold shining
cloth that roll down the slope like a running river. It
creates a very good effect. A number of them are released on
the rock slope.
After this a few more top artistes including Manno and party
come onto the stage and start singing songs in praise of
Bhagawan and wishing Him a Happy Birthday. However, at 8.30
a.m. Swami asks for the mike to be arranged.
Sri Indulal Shah comes in first, offers his Pranaams to
Swami and gives a talk. He glorifies Swami saying that He
has changed the face of the whole world in 80 years. The era
of peace has been ushered in by Bhagawan. Prasanthi Nilayam
has now become the centre for the redemption of the entire
world. He is followed by Dr. Goldstein. Dr. Goldstein adores
Bhagawan as our dear Father and Mother. He is the Kali Yuga
Avataar. However, he says that more important than all these
celebrations, is the need to focus on Bhagawan’s Message and
follow His Guidelines.
He compares Swami to the super magnet saying that we are
like pieces of iron that get attracted to Him. While being
crucified Jesus cries out to the Lord, “Why have You
forsaken me?” But we must ask ourselves as to why have we
forsaken Him. Once when Dr. Goldstein asked Swami to give
him a glimpse of how the world looks like through Swami's
eyes, Bhagawan told him that if He would do that, Dr.
Goldstein would not want anything after that -– his wealth,
status, family, wife and not even his body. Dr. Goldstein
urged all the devotees to ask themselves, Who is Sai and who
Swami has come to this earth to save us. He exactly gives us
what we need. We have come from Him and we need to return to
Him. The body and the mind are mere instruments that are
made available to us to serve the Lord. Anything good should
be attributed to the Lord. Anything bad is due to our
mistake. He concluded stressing on the need to avoid
negativity in life. Swami always says,–"Be Happy". May our
selfless Love shine forever brilliantly. Dr. Goldstein prays
to Bhagawan to deliver His Divine Message.
The highlights of Swami’s Discourse: 8.52 a.m.
Premaswarupulara, without Truth,
Righteousness, Love and Peace, everything is useless. Be it
charity, good actions, exalted position or any other thing.
Man is born to be peaceful. There are so many people with
high positions and great designations. But what is the use?
Have they been able to improve the position of the poor
people? Everybody does Show Work, not Social Work. Man will
enjoy Truth, Peace and Love if he is compassionate.
We must help our fellowmen. All face difficulties in life.
But we must consider joy and sorrow alike. In order to
progress in life, we must develop a sense of equanimity.
Without Samaanatva (a sense of equality), how can there be
Samaaja (society)? There is pain embedded in pleasure. But
today man gets very disturbed even with the slightest
difficulty. If you ask any common man, he will say that he
has got all the comforts, wealth and money, but he has no
peace. How do you expect to get mental, peace? We always ask
everybody – who are you, but we never put the question to
ourselves - who am I? Once you know your reality, you will
be free from all difficulties.
We have no right to call ourselves humans without practicing
human values. God does not expect you to keep worshipping
Him all the while. He wants you to work and set an ideal for
the community. Man is actually Divine. Jiva is negative and
Divinity is positive. Both together form man. One must do
Atma Chintana to understand this. Once you do Self enquiry,
I will manifest in you. The Cosmic Principle is present in
all. You do not need to exclusively search for God. He is in
You all are forms of Atma, not merely the body. The
indweller is permanent. It has no bondage or liberation. Can
anyone say, ‘My Atma is dead? No, this is not possible. Even
after this body made up of five senses perishes, the Self
continues to exist. Without an object, there can be no
reflection. There is no separate sun for India and America.
It is the same sun that is seen in both places but the time
varies. So too, existence is the same everywhere.
Remember, if you are in conflict with somebody else, you are
actually in conflict with yourself. You may think that the
other person has lost against you but in reality you
yourself have lost. Never differentiate between each other.
Who are you? Some may say - I am the body. How long will it
last? Body is like a water bubble, it can burst any minute.
Others may say - I am the mind. What is the mind? It is
merely a bundle of desires. It can give way any time. It is
monkey mind. You must not be a monkey mind, you must have a
Think that I am God in human form. Leave aside the body and
consider yourself as God. You are ready to worship a statue
that has been built by you but you are not ready to worship
your own Self within. Have Atma Vishvasam - Self confidence.
You go to Tirupati and say that Lord Venkateswara is my
family deity. Somebody else goes to Ayodhya and says that
Lord Rama is my family deity. All are one. Consider God as
one, and then only you will get peace. Desires may be many,
but the reality behind them is one. Good and Bad are also
two different words, but in essence they are one. Today, you
may call somebody as good, tomorrow as bad. All these are
Human life is very precious. Do not consider yourself as
simple human beings. You may have different names and forms
but the Self is the same. Do not go merely by the form.
Understand the spirit behind the form.
Unless the husk is removed from the rice it will keep
growing again. This is the reason for birth and death.
Remove the husk and make it into rice grains, then it will
not sprout again. Idli, Dosa, Puliyora, Sakar Pongal are all
rice preparations. Rice is the same but it is the mode of
cooking that makes the difference. This cooking or
refinement is called Sanskara. It is the transformation
Man is getting spoilt because of his materialistic vision.
He has to transform this vision on his own. God has bestowed
everything on man in a very pure form. You are spoiling them
using your mind. Therefore annihilate or withdraw the mind.
Then all will be fine. You all are sacred, but the clouds of
desires appear and spoil you. However, these clouds will
pass away. Once it is cleared, you can see the sun.
In childhood, we while away our time playing. In youth, we
get deluded on account of our age and ego. In old age we
keep repenting for all that we could not achieve. At the end
we may have experienced everything but there is no peace.
The stages of your life may change, but you are one and the
same. Change your vision (Drushti). Do not try to change
Srushti (creation). That is God's domain. He can do anything
if He wishes.
Just as Muslims chant "Allah Ho Akbar" which means "You are
our only refuge", so too Hindus must say, "I want only God".
But today no one wants Divine, all go for Deep Wine.
At this point Swami narrates the story of the devotee who
kept changing the object of his worship. He starts with
Shiva, Rama, then Krishna and finally Devi. He gets some
satisfaction with each one but then slowly starts losing
interest. Finally, when the devotee tries to stop the
fragrance of the incense sticks lighted for Devi from going
towards the other photos locked inside the cupboard, Devi
manifests Herself and chides him for being so fickle minded.
She asks the devotee as to what is the guarantee that he
will continue to worship Her? Never change your mind like
To be good, merely undertaking acts of
charity is not enough. Surrender to God. Then only you will
be happy. Desires make the mind go astray. You may ask
whether there is any witness for all this. Is there anyone
who embodies all this? I alone am the witness to this. I
have absolutely no desires. I can go anytime I want. I can
materialize anything that I want.
Never desire for fleeting things. Ask for that which is
eternal. Today we may hold high positions. But this will
hold good only till our retirement. The innate Divinity has
no retirement at all. Love is the undercurrent, Truth is the
spoken word. Preserve both. Remain in Love always. Do not
limit your Love only to your family and relatives. All are
Divine. I always Discourse on only this Message. That is the
very purpose of My addressing such large gatherings. I am
very happy that you all have listened to My Message. I have
received the Love of so many of you who have come here. I
know you all have come for Me. Practice the teachings given
by Me, then I will be even more Happy!
Do not make your Love physical. Let it always be Divine. I
have spoken a lot and given you strain. All is God's work.
Do all your actions with this feeling. That is enough. It
will make Me happy. On this auspicious occasion, I am
Blessing you all with My Love. May you all have a long,
healthy, peaceful and happy life!
It is 9.50 a.m. Swami sits down on the throne. He sips some
water. A huge cake is brought onto the stage in a trolley.
Bhagawan cuts the cake and there is loud applause. He also
lights the candle on the cake. After this, the cricketers
stand up next to Swami. But Swami keeps sitting. He sits
silently waving His Hand, with Bliss pouring out from His
Being and reaching out to the multitudes. Twenty minutes
pass by. It is 10.10 a.m. Some sweets are brought and Swami
personally distributes the sweets to all the cricketers.
Finally, Aarti is offered. Immediately huge blasts, showers
of crackers and melodious songs fill the air. Swami gets
down from the throne and sits on His chair. Slowly, He comes
onto the lift, descends and gets into the car.
He is now in the Toyota Porte which glides along the central
red pathway and we manage to catch a glimpse of Him again.
Prof. Anil Kumar makes two announcements. Evening programme
begins in the Hill View Stadium at 5.00 p.m. and Prasadam
will be distributed along with lunch at the free food
In the evening we assemble in the Shanti Vedika grounds on
the green mats by 3.45 p.m. The programme is scheduled to
begin at 5.00 p.m. The clouds are still hanging heavily in
the sky and the possibility of a heavy downpour cannot be
ruled out. However, devotees throng in oblivious of these
possibilities. A light drizzle continues as we await Swami's
arrival to the stadium. An elegant tent like shelter has
been set up on the stage to protect the artistes from the
drizzle. It is 4.25 p.m. Crowds are still pouring in. Videos
of earlier celebrations are being projected on the giant
screens to keep the public engaged.
It is 4.50 p.m. and the procession begins. Colourful dances
with vibrant music lead the presentation. Dance troupes
hailing from different states of India exhibit their
cultural items as they proceed along the central red
pathway. The band teams from the Primary School and the
Institute come behind these dances. The last contingent of
the convoy is a Bhangra dance troupe from the Higher
Secondary School. A wonderful song in Telugu is being played
on the system. 'Puttina Roju Sai Puttina Roju; Satyam
Dharmam Shanti Premalaku Panduga Roju, Happy Birthday to You
Bhagawan Sri Sai Ram'. Swami is wearing a yellow coloured
robe. At sharp 5.00 p.m., He reaches the dais. The chair
rolls out of the Toyota Porte and moves onto the lift in
front of the dais. Up goes the lift and Swami enters the
stage. When the curtain parts, we see Bhagawan sitting on an
exquisite silver throne that has an umbrella extending from
it - also in silver, like a chariot. The throne has a green
velvet cushion contrasting with Swami's yellow robe.
Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and other artistes seek His
Blessings. It is 5.10 p.m. Actor Sai Kumar starts the
compering. He glorifies the Sai Avataar highlighting the
yeoman service rendered by Bhagawan to humanity. He then
welcomes the first artiste to take over the stage. It is
none other than Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and his son Rahul
Sharma. Panditji offers his Koti Pranaams to Swami.
The stage has been brightly lit. The lotus petals in the
background are beautifully illuminated with a rose coloured
light. Above the stage on a metal structure, a number of
lights are arranged to add colour to the show. Pandit Shiv
Kumar Sharma has performed even on Swami's 60th and 70th
Birthday. He considers this as his greatest fortune.
Melodious Santoor charges the air in the stadium. After a
scintillating performance, he concludes his fascinating
piece with "Baba We Love You"’ chorus. The whole stadium
breaks into applause.
The next artiste is Ustad Amjad Ali Khan on the Sarod with
his sons Amaan and Ayaan. The clock strikes 5.30 as they
take over the stage. His first piece is titled 'Truth' and
is specially composed for Bhagawan's Birthday. The second
piece is 'Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram'. The audience receives
the performance very well.
The backdrop on the dais where Swami is seated is visible
clearly to us. There are pillars dividing the backdrop into
arches with floral decorations on the top of the arches. The
opening leading to the backstage has been made up very
professionally with silk and flowers.
The next artiste is Begum Parveen Sultana - the queen of
Hindustani Classical Music. She has had the privilege of
performing on most of Swami's Birthdays. She sings her
common hit songs, 'Sai Tero Maya Aparampaar', 'Payoji Mene
Nama Ratan Dhan Payo' and 'Sai Ram Sai Ram Sumiran Karo'. As
she concludes, the evening light gets dimmer. All the
decorative lights in the stadium come on. Above the hill we
find cute coconut trees made of just lights. The Ad Block
and Museum on the hill are illuminated with colours that
keep changing from time to time. Looks majestic!
At 6.10 p.m. the Laser Show commences. The green Laser beams
emanate from the top of the stage on the Ladies Gallery side
and stretch out across the stadium creating all sorts of
patterns and shapes. The show goes on accompanied by the
music from ‘Mission Impossible’. All the people are thrilled
and start clapping. As this show goes on, the other lights
are put off.
At 6.15 p.m. Sai Kumar welcomes Smt. Kavita Krishnamurthy
and her husband Dr. L. Subramanian onto the stage. The first
item is 'Vataapi Ganapatim Bhaje' on the violin by Dr. L.
Subramanian. Swami keeps beat with His hand as the tune is
played. This is followed by a Birthday song specially
composed for the occasion. The uniqueness here is that 80
students from the Sri Sathya Sai University join the
artistes in chorus. The song goes something like this -
"Baba we seek Your Blessings, Bhagawan Satya Sai Baba ...
You are the Guiding Light ... Happy Birthday to You".
At 6.40 p.m. Swami goes backstage for a while. Meanwhile,
the singer Dana Gillespie, very well known to all Sai
devotees, takes over the stage. Sai Kumar requests all the
people to be seated saying that Swami will come onto the
stage in a while. He asks the people not to be worried about
the drizzle as by Swami's Grace nothing would happen to
anybody. Dana Gillespie begins her presentation at 6.50 p.m.
She sings two pieces - 'The Rose of my Heart' and 'The
The final performance is by Richa Sharma who sings a Bhajan
in her unique style. The moment she completes her
performance, the lights in the stadium go dim and the Laser
show begins once again. This time there are many more laser
beams spreading across the stadium from even the Hanuman
hill top. Thousands of beams spread crazily across the
grounds but with flawless precision. Some beams stop
abruptly in mid air with a dot while others form patterns on
whatever they strike. Loud music with heart throbbing beats
fill the air. Suddenly from nowhere, rockets spring into the
skies and burst forth with colourful stars. The rockets were
blasted off from the college campus and also from the Ad
Block Hills. For the next 15 minutes or so we all are
gripped with awe and wonder.
The display of fireworks is too spectacular. The frequency
with which they are shot into the sky and their bursting
forth into clusters of colourful sparks - red, green, gold,
silver…all this leave us wonderstruck. Soon the sky is full
of smoke but then piercing this smoke the rockets go through
and emerge with bright sparks. We literally feel that we are
watching the Big Bang. It looks as though galaxies after
galaxies are exploding and imploding, thus giving birth to
All the while, Bhagawan keeps watching the display in the
sky, possibly laughing at our wonder and surprise at this
seemingly great display. After all for Him, this would be
something like lighting a small match stick. For He is the
One who is the source of the Big Bang. He is the power in
all these crackers and also the splendour inherent in their
After this brilliant presentation of fireworks, all the
artistes came down from the stage, walk upto the Shanti
Vedika dais and go on to meet Bhagawan. The screen comes
down. But we can see Swami interacting with them for a long
time. At 7.30 p.m. Bhagawan's chair rolls onto the lift. As
Swami descends in the lift, He Blesses all with His Abhaya
Hasta. He then gets into the car. As the car starts its
journey towards the Mandir, once again there is a short
display of crackers in the night sky.
All this while, another song specially chosen for the
occasion is being played on the system. Aashayen.... As the
Toyota Porte glides along the pathway, we catch our last
glimpse of His beautiful face on this holy day.
Surprisingly, the drizzle that is on all this while suddenly
stops. It seems as though Mother Nature has put on her A/c
so long as the programme is on – for the audience. The
moment the programme is over and the audience starts
leaving, she promptly switches off the A/c. Another
important point is that even though there is a drizzle all
along, it is so beautiful. It is neither too light nor too
heavy. The drops fall on us like dew drops and settle down
like pearls on our faces and body. It is Bhagawan's way of
Prasadam distribution!! We feel as though Swami has cleansed
all our bodies and minds and given us a fresh lease of life.
As the car moves out of the stadium, the crowds start
dispersing to their destinations. Expressing gratitude to
Bhagawan for having given us an opportunity to witness such
a grand event we also pay our silent gratitude to the
coordinators of this mega event who have planned every bit
of it so meticulously. There were hundreds of things to be
planned and executed. All of it went on with clockwork
precision and with no lapses whatsoever. It is all due to
His Love and Grace.
Let us all surrender ourselves at the Lotus Feet of this
compassionate Lord and as a mark of our Love for Him, let us
all make every possible attempt to follow His Message and
Teachings to redeem our lives and to bring that lovely smile
on His face.
November 22nd, 2005
We enter the Mandir this morning and find a totally new set
of decorations, each one more breathtaking than the other.
Today there are floral Toranams in grand designs hanging
from the balcony of the Portico and also from the roof of
the first floor. Inside the balcony on the first floor, huge
floral arches having a mix of red and yellow flowers have
been placed on either side of the dais.
Lord Ganesha is surrounded with a grand floral arch filled
with pure white roses and a thick bunch of red roses at the
centre. The background is provided with green leaves. The
two pillars on the stage on either side of Swami's Chair and
also the two pillars facing the stage are decorated
exquisitely with broad green leaves and light rose-coloured
huge petal-like flowers. These are wound spirally on the
pillars like a creeper and give a very grand appearance.
Balls of roses of different colors hang from the top roof of
the Portico. All along the railings of the Kulwant Hall
colourful umbrellas have been fixed in the typical Kerala
Outside the Mandir, the Parthi township has been transformed
into a dream world. The entire road from the Mandir leading
to the Hostel and beyond is decorated with series lighting
on the stadium side of the road. Yesterday, we also saw the
Laser Beams reaching out into the sky from the Hanuman
hilltop. There is going to be a laser show on the 23rd
night. There is series lighting all along the path leading
to the Hanuman top. Series lighting is also spread across
the hillock itself and right on the top there are some
coconut trees created with lights, some sparklers (effect
created by lights). The stadium looks just out of the world.
Huge speakers are placed for the Music Programme. High
wattage stage lights illuminate the entire ground at night.
The pathway that has been made for Swami in the middle of
the stadium ground is now covered with a red carpet. Looks
royal and befits the occasion.
Swami comes out for Darshan at 9.15 a.m. after the
commencement of the Bhajans. He takes a full round and goes
inside the Bhajan Hall. Hardly a few minutes pass by and He
comes out again and gets into the car. The car proceeds not
towards PC but towards the Shanti Vedika grounds. Possibly
the final supervision round? Bhajans go on. After a long
wait, Swami returns only at 10.00 a.m. But He goes straight
to PC. There He gets down from the car and moves into the
new building to supervise the Hall where the Governing Body
members for the Convocation procession, will be assembling
in the afternoon. After a few minutes of supervision, He
comes out and goes inside PC.
We assume that He has retired but that is not the case. The
car again parks itself outside the PC door. At 10.30 a.m.
Swami again comes out, gets into the car and drives to the
Kulwant Hall. He goes inside the Bhajan Hall. But again a
few minutes later He comes out and sits outside the
interview room talking to some VIP's seated over there.
Bhajans go on uninterrupted. At 10.50 a.m. He asks Aarti to
be given and retires for the morning.
It is afternoon. The Convocation of the Sri Sathya Sai
Institute of Higher Learning is scheduled to start at 2.45
p.m. as per the announcement made in the morning. The Hall
is jam packed and there are people all over the Ashram and
even on the road outside, yet waiting to come in and maybe
at least have a glimpse of the Lord from some corner. The
Alike students have just transformed the dais into an Indra
Loka (the world of the Gods). The floral arch in the centre
has been enhanced with a Simha Dwaram (typical temple type
entrance gate) in the centre. The openings on either side of
the dais are covered with a floral curtain, literally looks
like a floral wall, again with a Simha Dwaram in the middle
for enabling movement from the inner Portico. Silver Coated
Podiums are placed on either side and 3 Thrones have been
placed for the Revered Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and the
At sharp 2.35 p.m. the Band begins at the PC gate. This time
a very unique feature of the Convocation is that all the
College students of the three campuses are not wearing just
sashes but they are wearing a full fledged gown and a cap -
the normal Convocation costume. The Post Graduate students
have a maroon gown with yellow border while the
Undergraduates have a light blue gown. The front part of the
Kulwant Hall is filled with all these students and it gives
a majestic appearance.
2 wooden vases almost 5 feet high, are placed on either side
of the dais and are filled with colorful flowers. The band
is coming marching in. It takes a turn in the centre of the
Hall and proceeding towards the dais moves on to the gents
side of the Hall near the Krishna statue. The band is
followed by the Registrar and two student representatives of
the Institute holding the silver mace, conch and the discus
mast. They are followed by all the Governing Body members
and the other administrators who join the Convocation
Procession. Behind all of them comes the Toyota Porte, the
lucky car to join the procession. In it are seated our
beloved Bhagawan and His Excellency, T.N. Chaturvedi, the
Governor of Karnataka.
All the members stand next to their chairs and then Swami
emerges from the door at the centre of the floral curtain.
To our greatest delight, we see Swami walking and coming to
His Chair. Of course He is being assisted by the students.
Swami is all smiles. He asks the Governor to take his seat
and then sits down on the centre throne. The garlanding
ceremony takes place and is followed by the chanting of the
Convocation Vedam. They chant the full Mantra and sit down.
At the prayer of the Vice Chancellor, Swami stands up and
speaks into the mike, "I declare the Convocation open".
Next is the turn of the Vice Chancellor to speak. He
introduces the Chief Guest, Sri T.N. Chaturvedi and then
furnishes the audience with the highlights of the Institute,
the achievements in the past one year and also the future
plans. He stresses on the necessity of Value Based education
especially in the current scenario. He talks about the
ancient Gurukula system and its immense benefits. He also
talks about the primacy of the role of the teacher in any
education system. He states that education must be balanced
and should be based on spirituality. He quotes from Swami
Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi while elaborating on this
He then substantiates on the topic of Educare saying that
education and educare are like the two wings of a bird. He
explains the role of Grama Seva in our curriculum. He also
gives the significance of the compulsory residential system
that is followed here. He calls the Mandir as the temple of
worship, the Institute as the temple of learning and the
Hostel as the temple of Living. He says that the students of
Bhagawan are very lucky to witness a spiritual revolution
along with technological revolutions. He concludes saying
that Swami is like a Divine Magnet and the graduating
students are doubly lucky to receive their degrees on the
auspicious occasion of the 80th year of the Avataar. He
appeals to the students to be the torch bearers of the
ongoing spiritual revolution.
It is 3.05 p.m. All students rise to take the Convocation
pledge. This is followed by the Gold Medals awarding
ceremony. This time, Swami gives the medals sitting on the
throne. Swami talks to a number of the medal winners and
Blesses them profusely. It is 3.30 p.m. by the time all the
medals are awarded. It is now time for the Governor's
Convocation address. The Governor delivers a very scholarly
and insightful talk, quoting extensively from Swami's
As he concludes his talk, Swami also claps and tells him,
'Very nice'. It is 3.55 p.m. Swami gets up to deliver His
Divine Message. The highlights of Swami's Discourse:
The end of education is Truth.
Education without Truth is no education at all, it is merely
secular. There are so many educated people today. What are
they all doing? There is no iota of selflessness in them.
But education is going on as usual. True education is
spiritual education. That alone points us to God. Secular
education is only for a living. The end of education is
character. Without character, everything else is useless.
Today, we have distanced ourselves from this goal.
The heart will become pure only when we give up selfishness.
We must focus on the 'Self'. This must lead to 'Help' and
finally to 'Sacrifice'. The true Self is Atma - Chaitanya
Shakti. Every human has this power. Eswara Sarva Bhutaanaam.
Mere education cannot make a person a human being. Study for
character, not merely for money. However, today's world
appreciates only people with status and position and does
not give any weightage to character. Such people are not
human beings at all. Even animals are better. They have a
reason and a season. But human brings do not seem to have
any. Satya and Dharma are the foundation for a good
character. Satyam Naasti Paro Dharmaha. Here both get
united. There is no higher Dharma then Truth itself. Satya
is the foundation and Dharma is the building. These two are
very important. Put together, they give rise to Prema.
Ask anybody at random and they will say that they have
everything in life but no peace of mind. One you have peace,
you will not face any difficulties. The human birth is so
valuable. It is only because of great merits in the past
that one is born as a human being. Without Satya and Dharma,
man is not a man; he is a demon or an animal. In the word
'Manava', Ma means 'attached', 'Na' means 'not' and 'Va'
means 'to live'. To live a life without attachment is
Manava. To gain peace, we must discard the pieces of
materialism collected in the world. We must strive to
acquire the freedom of oneness.
Swami then goes on to narrate the story of Ubhaya
Bharati and Mandala Mishra. How Sankaracharya has an
argument with Mandala Mishra and Ubhaya Bharati, the wife of
Mandala Mishra becomes the judge. Finally, she declares
Sankara as the winner and accepts Sanyasa herself as per her
pledge. Sanyasa = Shun all Aashas (desires).
For students Brahmacharya (celibacy)
is most important. When you come to Swami, you say that you
do not want anything else, you want only devotion; but once
you leave the boundaries of this place, desires overwhelm
you in bounty.
Sthaana Balam is very important. The story of Rama and
Lakshmana is very well known. At one point in the forest,
Lakshamana starts behaving in a very strange way and starts
talking against Rama. Later Lord Rama reveals to Sita that
this is on account of the bad vibrations in that place as it
was inhabited by a demoness. Therefore, we must be very
selective of where we live.
Your qualities will depend on your friendship. As your
friends, so will you be. Good company is very important. Be
friendly to all but once you identify bad qualities in
somebody, be away from them. There is no inherent fault
within anybody. It is all the effect of company, which is
more pronounced in this Yuga - the Kalaha Yuga.
Today, bad books and novels are also on the rise. This
promotes more evil and bad qualities. It looks as though
students read good books but they actually read dirty books.
Even well educated people do this. The publishers and
authors have no concern at all about the impact that this
can have on the minds of the youth. So long as you do not
engage in self-enquiry you will continue to cherish bad
company. One's conduct must be very good. What is the use of
mere high designation and high pay? How long will it last?
Money earned by bad means will get wasted away by bad means.
We must be cautioned in this regard. Many students talk
sweetly but their action is poisonous.
Earlier the Guru used to mould the disciple and the disciple
had great regard for the Guru. Today, the disciple betrays
the one who has sheltered him and given him food. There are
six qualities that a student must possess - good mind,
steadfastness, adherence to duty, devotion?. Without these,
he is not a student but a stupid. Leave such stupid people
Love is the greatest education. Today we need good students
and that is the purpose with which I have started this
educational Institution. In our Institute Library, there are
no bad books at all. Our students will never entertain bad
thoughts. They set a good example even to their family
members, advising even their mothers not to eat Rajasic
food. When food and head in combination take us in the wrong
direction, we forget God. We must eat a lot of vegetables as
they are very good for a healthy body and mind.
Today, all people praise Sai students. Even if our students
act in a wrong way, people themselves will correct them
saying, "See, you are a student of Swami's Hostel. How can
you eat such food?' Never give scope to anybody to correct
you. Some students who are very devoted when here get
transformed into bad students once they go outside. However,
these are very few in number. Majority of them are very
good. Especially, the students who have now joined the
College and Hostel are very good. Sai students should adhere
to the rules and be an ideal for all.
It is 4.45 p.m. and Swami brings His Divine Discourse to a
close. All arise for the National Anthem. At 4.50 p.m. the
procession begins its return to PC. Prof. Anil Kumar makes
an announcement about the evening drama in PC and also
announces that the Birthday Celebration will commence
tomorrow in the Hill View Stadium at 8.00 a.m. Swami also
moves to the car and proceeds towards PC.
All of us go into the Poornachandra Auditorium. After a long
wait, the Music starts playing on the sound system. At 6.20
p.m. the dignitaries come out from inside the PC and take
their seats in the D-Circle. We have the Finance Minister of
A.P., Sri Rosaiah Garu, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Sri
Vilas Rao Deshmukh and H.E. Sri T.N. Chaturvedi.
The drama to be presented by the students of the Sri Sathya
Sai Institute of Higher Learning is titled 'Prem Ki Jyoti' -
'The Light of Love'. The drama depicts the story of
Viswakarma Constructions. This well known construction
company has just been awarded the contract for building a
Sarva Dharma temple. But now the dilemma is whether to build
this massive temple in Jyotir Gram which will cause a number
of people to be displaced or to build it on the Devagiri
Hills which will incur a significant additional expenditure
to the company. One of the employees, Praneet, asks his
collegues to pray for a solution. He narrates the story of
Vibheeshana surrendering to Lord Rama saying that they too
must surrender to the Lord in a similar way. He says, 'Let
us not look at God and say that we have a problem, but let
us look into the problem and sat that we have God with us'.
Many events then start occuring, miraculously facilitating
their noble task.
The drama has a dance and some songs too. It ends with a
group song when all the participants are to come to Parthi
to be a part of the 80th Birthday celebrations. This gives a
very happy end to the drama. There is loud applause from the
devotees and the actors sing a nice Birthday song for Swami.
Swami goes up onto the stage and sits in their midst for a
nice photograph. He interacts with all the actors and slowly
moves backstage as Aarti goes on. The drama makes a strong
impact on the audience. It is a short and sweet play with a
powerful message. It is 7.35 p.m. and we all hurry back to