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Reports of events from the Sai Baba Ashrams

Buddha Purnima - 23rd May, 2005

The day of Vaisakh Purnima is considered most sacred by Buddhists all over the world. This day is significant for three reasons. It was on this day that Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born as Prince Siddhartha at Lumbini in Nepal in 560 B.C. It is also the day when He attained enlightenment at Gaya in India, after years of search and enquiry into the causes and remedy for sorrow in the world. Thereafter, Siddhartha came to be known as Buddha, or the Enlightened one. He preached that desires are at the root of all sorrow and hence advocated the path of right conduct and the right use of senses as the way to enlightenment. He attained Nirvana (Unity with the Absolute) in 480 B.C., again on the day of Vaisakh Purnima. This auspicious day is observed as Buddha Purnima with reverence and piety by believers in the Far East countries and in Sri Lanka and India as well.

The Buddha Purnima celebrations at Brindavan (Bhagawan's ashram at Whitefield, Bangalore) this year was jointly organized by devotees from Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Taiwan. On the morning of 23rd May, Bhagawan granted Darshan in the Sai Ramesh Krishan Hall, with a procession of temple dancers from Sri Lanka welcoming Him into the hall. Thereafter, there were bhajans, with devotees from Sri Lanka leading the singing. In the afternoon, three distinguished members of the Sai family from Sri Lanka addressed the gathering. The first speaker was Colonel Jayasuriya, deputy leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Sri Lanka. Colonel Jayasuriya observed that the precepts of Non-violence and Peace that were preached by Lord Buddha more than 2500 years ago are now being rejuvenated and propagated all over the world by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Commenting on the present situation of terror and turmoil prevalent in various parts of the world, he prayed to Bhagawan that the world needed Him in these troubled times. He offered his gratitude to Bhagawan for undertaking the laudable task of reforming young minds and guiding them towards leading a life dedicated to service of society and adherence to the five human values. Sri Munasinghe, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, who spoke next, said that devotees of Bhagawan must be grateful to Him, for, when the world is being torn asunder by hatred and violence, they are able to experience such happiness and peace in His Divine Presence. Ms. Mala Sabaratnam, a prominent business leader in Sri Lanka, narrated how Bhagawan had purged her heart of hatred and filled it with love and understanding for her fellow beings. She recalled the words from the Dhammapada preached by Lord Buddha, "Hatred cannot be appeased by hatred, but by Love", and said that this very same teaching was now ingrained in her heart by the grace of Lord Sai.

After the talks by the distinguished guests, Bhagawan, in His munificence, responded to the prayers of the devotees and granted His Divine Message. He said that God is one, though He may called by different names. We must not limit Him to the physical form, but realize that Allah, Krishna, Jesus, Buddha are all manifestations of the same Divine principle. He dwelt on the significance of self enquiry and said that every man, when he is born, cries "Koham", (Who am I?). This enquiry must persist until he attains the realization "Soham" (I am That).

After Bhagawan's Discourse, the venue shifted to the Sai Krishan Kalyana Mantapam adjacent to the Sai Ramesh Krishan Hall, where devotees were treated to a dazzling cultural feast, the Dalada Maligawa Perahara. The Dalada Maligawa Perahara is a traditional pageant that is performed in the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka, to commemorate the installation of the holy tooth relic of Lord Gautama Buddha in the temple of Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. The ceremony is a very elaborate one with vigorous dances to the accompaniment of a variety of percussion instruments. Every year, the pageant that welcomed the tooth relic into Kandy is ceremoniously re-enacted. The ceremony in its present form dates back to circa 1750 A.D. This dance ceremony was performed at the Kalyana Mantapam thrilling one and all with its colour and vibrancy. At the end of the performance, Bhagawan blessed all the artistes and permitted them to stand for photographs with Him. The ceremonies drew to a close with Arati being offered to Bhagawan. Thereafter, Bhagawan retired to His Trayee Brindavan residence.

Jai Sai Ram!

Source: http://www.srisathyasai.org.in/pages/buddha_purnima_05_report.htm


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