Report on Dasara 2005 in
"This Prasanthi Nilayam
is the Nilayam of Nithya Shanthi - of the
peace that cannot be disturbed - because it is based on deep
discrimination and on unshakable renunciation of attachment
to sense objects. To be here on this sacred day is indeed a
great piece of good fortune. Thousands of aspirants and
seekers have assembled here and those who have come into
this auspicious company have to make the best use of this
chance. Instead of celebrating this Dasara festival in
feasting and catering to the frailties of the senses, I am
happy that you have determined to spend it in holy
thoughts". This is a piece of Divine Coucelling given by
Bhagawan during the Dasara Festivity four decades ago, in
the year 1965 and these above lines herald the significance
of this grant festivity called Dasara or 'Devi Navarathri'.
And over the years millions of devotees have witnessed this
festivity at Prasanthi Nilayam with the Lord in His physical
frame accepting the offering of Poornahuthi as
Veda Purusha, rarest of the good fortune bestowed upon
by the 'Greater Heaven'.
The legend has it that Dasara signifies the victory of
Devas over Asuras, i.e., Righteousness over the
forces of evil. Vouching for this mythical belief, thousands
have gathered at Prasanthi Nilayam to celebrate the
festivity in the very Divine Presence of Bhagawan, Beloved
Mother Sai. In fact this year's celebrations came as a fresh
spiritual breeze, cooling down the turbulent minds with His
nectarine Divine Discourses that served as 'feast for the
The celebrations began on 6th
October with "Kalasa-sthapanam" in the Bhajan Hall of
the Prasanthi Mandir followed by the beginning of Veda
Purusha Saptah Jnana Yajna in the Poornachandra
Auditorium, which was filled to capacity.
Bhagavan presided over the Yajna as Veda Purusha
while the ritwiks lighted the sacred homam
creating fire by friction, by rubbing two sticks from
churning of two wooden pieces. The homam was carried
on by pundits chanting Vedic mantras and making offerings of
ghee to the sacred fire.
Besides the homam, there were pundits engaged in
performing Suryanamaskar, reading holy epics, the
Ramayana and the Bhagavata, worshipping thousand lingas
of Lord Siva, worship to Lord Ganesha and the Hindu Trinity
and other rituals related to the Yajna.
While these rituals continued for a week, Prasanthi Vidhwaan
Mahasabha, an assembly of learned in the Divine Presence to
share spiritual knowledge was the major attraction of the
evening sessions. Senior devotees, Faculty Members and
Students from the three campuses of Sri Sathya Sai Institute
of Higher Learning shared their thoughts in the Divine
Presence which were followed by illuminating Divine
Discourses on five days in which Bhagawan enlightened the
devotees gathered on various spiritual topics with incidents
from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and from His Divine Visit
to Rishikesh etc.
11th October was Durgashtami and Ayudha Puja was performed
on this morning in the Divine Presence at Sai Kulwant Hall.
On Vijaya Dashami day, 12th
October thousands of devotees gathered in the Poornachandra
Auditorium to witness the completion of week long Yajna
with Poornahuti. Bhagawan who presided over the
Yajna as Yajna Purusha blessed the occasion, the
pundits and the devotees gathered by sprinkling the water
sanctified by the Yajna going round the jam-packed
Poornachandra Auditorium to the delight of one and all.
Prasadam was distributed at the end of the programme.
In the afternoon students from Brindavan Campus of Sri
Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning staged a Drama
titled "Bhakta Surdas". It was a moving presentation on the
life of poet saint Surdas and depicting his unflinching
devotion to Lord Sri Krishna. Devotion was in the air as the
drama unfolded the mystery as to how with single-pointed
devotion one could win the heart of the Lord. Melodious
songs coupled with soul lifting music and dance sequences
made the presentation nostalgic and memorable. Indeed a
fitting grand finale to the week long Dasara festivities.
Sri Sathya Sai Grama Seva
"If you pour spirituality into the ears of those who
are tortured by hunger, it will not be assimilated. First
satisfy the hunger. "Give them God in the form of food; Give
them God in the form of clothes; Give them food in the form
of Peace to those afflicted with anxiety; Give God in the
form of medicine to those suffering from ill-health; Give
God in whatever form which will assuage fear, pain and
sorrow. It is only when this is done that spirituality can
soak into the heart", said Bhagawan. Further, in His
discourse of 16th February in 1992 He opened His mind in
unequivocal terms that "Grama Seva is Rama Seva. You
need not strive for salvation as a separate goal. Service to
village will itself ensure mukti (liberation). Bear
this truth in mind and act upto it in your daily life."
It was a new 'mantra'. And He enjoined upon His students ?
His sole property ? to march forward in their purity as
ambassadors of peace and love to the villages with food and
clothes ? the first of His lessons in Practical
Vedanta, the adwaita philosophy in practice. The
programme launched in October 2000 has come to stay as an
annual feature ? a practice to be carried out throughout
their life wherever they go. This year's Grama Seva was
planned to cover 150 villages in the three Mandals of
Puttaparthi, Kothacheruvu and Bukkaptanam forming the unit
that was called earlier as Puttaparthi Taluka.
It was indeed a hectic week for the students of all the
three campuses who were ordained to carry out the task of
reaching out the villagers with His food and cloth packets
of Love. This lucky lot with minds fresh and enthused and
hearts vibrant and expanded set out with "Sairam" on their
lips?went to the door steps?and conquered.
It was not the sweets, food packet or clothes that were
distributed that mattered, but the feeling behind the
action, that was the message of this Grama Seva which
Bhagawan has been stressing, all through, to reach out the
needy with His Divine Love, true to His saying, Grama Seva
is Rama Seva? Jana Seva is Janardhana Seva.
Students from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher
Learning, Anantapur Campus for women and senior girl
students from Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School with
faculty members and staff from both the campuses engaged in
packing the food and cloth materials while boys from both
Prasanthi Nilayam and Brindavan Campuses along with faculty
members and staff would go out everyday to various villages
with meticulous plan to carry out the task within the
schedule. The last day of the Grama Seva activities, on the
Vijaya Dashami day, students from the Anantapur Campus
distributed sweets, food packets and clothes to the inmates
Indeed, an act worth emulating and one would wonder whether
the Gods of highest heaven would be watching this "White
Army" of students who were immensely lucky and privileged to
carry out the task at the direct command of God walking on
Excerpts from Bhagawan's Divine Discourses:
Talking all the day aimlessly, eating three times a day,
breathing continuously day in and day out; do you think
these are spiritual practices? Do you think being lost in
deep sleep is a spiritual practice? Is this the purpose of
Divinity is present in all beings. Elders always advise that
we must think of God every morning and night so as to make
our hearts sacred. God is in everything ? in mankind, in
insects, birds, - in all beings. To see God who is
everywhere, does one need to meditate?
God cannot be experienced by merely following spiritual
practices. All Sadhana that we undertake is only for Chitta
Shuddhi ? cleansing the mind, purifying the mind. Purity of
heart has to be attained. We think that fasting and
observing vows takes us closer to God. This is a false
notion. God is always there everywhere. To see and
experience this omnipresent God, one must have Chitta
Just as a utensil when washed again and again becomes
shining, so too by persistent spiritual practice, the heart
starts shining with Divine effulgence. Once the heart
becomes sacred, Divinity can be seen and experienced. This
is the way to see God, not by mere meditation.
We must convince ourselves that God is in all beings. But
nobody is doing that. Whomsoever we see is verily God. I am
present in everybody but not attached to anybody. Gopikas
alone understood this Truth. The Cosmic Self is Divine but
is seen as the individual self.
Whomsoever we come across, be it a businessman or a farmer,
we must consider them as God only, not as a farmer or a
businessman. God is present in all forms serving you. From
today onwards, have this strong faith and you too will see
Once you please God, everything will be added on to you. You
think that I am God, but you too are God. We all are forms
of God. Think like this and you will see God alone. Yad
Bhavam Tad Bhavati.
Truth is One. Now the question may arise that if the
individual self is verily the Cosmic Self, then why do we
die? It is because we have not yet realized our Cosmic Self.
I am You ? You am I. Tat Tvam Asi.
Ekam Eva Adviteeyam Brahma. God is Only One, Not Two.
Recognition of this Truth will give you the experience.
Strongly hold on to the Truth that you and God are one.
Differences arise only in our mind. God is not separate from
us. He is in you. I am ONE, without the second! No Two. This
Truth is made apparent gradually to seekers. Once you
strongly hold on to the Truth that God and you are one, He
will manifest in you.
Ten ones make ten. Therefore, 'one' is most important. 'Ten'
is not the reality. 'ONE' is the reality. You can add any
number of zeroes to 'One' and increase the number value, but
zeroes by themselves have no value. 'ONE' is the Hero!!
All forms are Sai Baba only. Go by this Oneness alone.
Whatever Bhagawan is telling is the Truth of Truth. Have
full faith in this Truth. All scriptures talk of this same
Truth. Once this Truth is known, there will be no doubts. Do
not accuse anybody or blame anybody. Never entertain any
doubts. Doubt means duality. There is no 'He' and 'I'. All
is 'I' only.
Oneness is the Truth of Truths. If you cannot experience
this, give it up but never argue that God is two. Ekatvam
Sama Jeevatvam. Never have the view of separateness. For
worldly purpose we may consider many numbers but in essence
we are one. Today you may not understand this clearly, but
slowly it will become clear. Truth is One and not Two! Look
at this kerchief, there may be many yarns / threads but the
cloth is one.
God has no desires, no mistakes. All that we perceive is in
our own mind. Enta Maatrame Evvaru Teluchino Anta Maatrame
Neevu. God manifests only to the extent to which each one
We can transform anything in this world but not the mind.
God alone can change the mind. One may be able to bend and
straighten a tree but never the mind. Therefore, surrender
to Him. Mano Moolam Idam Jagath. Strong faith in God is very
God is not a specific Form. It is a power. This power can
bring about any type of change. Atma is one and the same in
all, just like the current which remains the same whether it
is A/C or D/C. Mind cannot be changed either by Mantra,
Yantra or Tantra. God's Will alone can change the mind.
God is only One. He can do anything, anytime anywhere. He
can go anywhere. Ekam Eva Adviteeyam Brahma. God is
changeless ? Only One ? whether you call Him Rama, Krishna
or Sai Baba.
God's Will is most powerful. If He Wills anything can
happen. God's Mind is steady and strong. We may sometimes
think that we have changed God's Mind but this can never be
true. The Universal Mind can Will anything and bring about
any change. The Lord if He wishes can give His Darshan at
one instant to everybody, simultaneously.
Today, you all have known the secrets of Divinity. Once you
know these secrets, you will be able to know the whole
After this Swami went on to narrate the story of His visit
to Rishikesh and how He had met Purushottamananda and
Sivananda over there. He spent the next half an hour or so
on this topic and gave a graphic description of the yearning
of these great saints for Bhagawan. He concluded with the
passing away of Purushottamananda in the cave and mentioned
that at that time, the whole cave was full of Vibhuti.
Later, the disciples of Purushottamananda came to Parthi to
visit Bhagawan and witness their Guru in Swami as they had
the firm conviction that their Guru had merged in Bhagawan
to which Swami also agreed.
In conclusion, Swami said that was the yearning that these
sages and saints have for Bhagawan; and you have this type
Was it a caution to remind us of His True Reality and our
great opportunity and intensify our yearning for Him?