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Reports of events from the Sai Baba Ashrams


Sri Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations 27th August 2005

Sri Krishna Jansmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, the Avatar of the Dwapara Age. Many are the saints of this land who have dedicated their life to the adoration and veneration of Lord Krishna. Tulsidas, Meerabai, Chaitanya Deva and Purandaradasa poured out their devotion to Lord Krishna in the form of songs which remain popular in Bharat even to this day. The story of His life and His leelas (Divine sport) has enchanted the people of Bharat for millennia, for it tells us about God's pure love for His devotees. Krishnashtami is a festival whose celebration is marked by fun and gaiety that recalls the joy experienced by the gopalas (cowherds) in the company of Krishna during His childhood days at Brindavan.

At Prasanthi Nilayam, this experience is enhanced by the presence of the same Lord Krishna who has come again as our beloved Bhagawan Sai Krishna. On the morning of 27th, students of Bhagawan's university, dressed up as gopalas and each Sri Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations 2005leading a cow, arrived in a procession at the Sai Kulwant Hall amidst singing of Bhajans and chanting of Vedic hymns. Sai Geeta, the elephant, too was led, richly caparisoned, into the hall. To the delight of all who had gathered there, Bhagawan lovingly fed Sai Geeta with fruits. After these joyful festivities in the morning, Bhagawan retired to His residence.

In the afternoon, after a programme of devotional songs and stotrams (hymns) by students, Bhagawan blessed two speakers to address the gathering. The first speaker was Dr. M. Sainath, a lecturer in the Department of Physics, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. Dr. Sainath began by recalling how Bhagawan had once outlined the three stages an aspirant passes through on his path to Self Realization. In the first stage, the devotee says to the Lord, 'Dasoham', I am Your servant. As he progresses, the syllable 'Da' drops off, and he says 'Soham', I am That. Ultimately, he reaches that Supreme state when even the notion of duality is extinguished and all that remains is 'Aham', I am I. Sri Sainath said that on the spiritual path, the role of the Master is that of turning the focus of the disciple towards the goal. A bale of cotton placed in the sun does not ignite by itself. It is only when the rays ofSri Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations 2005 the sun are focused on the cotton by a magnifying glass that it can be lit. In a similar manner, the Master, by showering His Grace, lights the lamp of Wisdom in our hearts. He gave the example of a disciple of Sant Tukaram, who prayed to him to reveal how he could always abide in a state of bliss and peace. Tukaram looked deeply into the disciple's eyes and then said, "Son, do you know that you have but a week to live?" The disciple was all in a tizzy on hearing this and rushed home. For the first two days, he was agitated, thinking of all the things he was yet to accomplish in his life. But, soon he was able to turn his mind towards the contemplation of God, and by the seventh day he had entered a state of deep peace and surrender. He came to Sant Tukaram who asked him to narrate what he had undergone in the past week. The disciple told him that now he had no thoughts of the world, instead his mind was now focused on God. Tukaram then revealed to him that it was to teach him the secret of equanimity that he played out this little drama. Dr. Sainath said that we now have amidst us that very same Krishna who had taught Arjuna the Bhagavad Gita, the song celestial which is the panacea for all ills suffered by mankind today, and we must make full use of this opportunity to be in the company of the universal teacher to realize our own divinity.

Sri Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations 2005Sri Shashank Shah, currently pursuing his M.Phil in Management at Bhagawan's university, who spoke next, drew a number of interesting parallels between the lives of Sri Krishna and the Avatar of the Kali age, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He narrated a charming incident from the epic poem Bhagavatam that records the story of Lord Krishna's life, where Sage Garga, a devotee of Lord Vishnu, prepared kheer, a dish said to be dear to Lord Vishnu, and offered it to Him. The child Krishna, sneaked in as the sage was praying and consumed the kheer. The sage was outraged and complained to Mother Yashoda. Yashoda admonished Krishna not to disturb the sage in that manner. The sage again sat down to dedicate the kheer to Lord Vishnu and again it was Krishna who partook of it. Sage Garga asked Krishna why He was behaving so strangely; then Krishna then revealed to the sage that He was none other than Lord Vishnu Himself, and granted him the celestial Vishwarupa Darshan, the vision of the Cosmic Form of Lord Vishnu. This incident finds a parallel in the life of Bhagawan. A devotee who had the privilege of sleeping at the door of Bhagawan's quarters in the Prasanthi Mandir, noticed an ethereal light coming out of Bhagawan's room one night. He looked in and what he saw left him dumbfounded. He saw Bhagawan in the posture of Seshasayee, the reclining posture of Lord Vishnu, surrounded by seven fires. He was left dazed by what he had seen. The next morning, the day of Vaikuntha Ekadashi, held very scared by worshippers of Lord Vishnu, Bhagawan confirmed the truth of what he had seen by revealing to him that the seven fires he had seen were none other than the Saptarishis, the seven great sages.

After the talks by Dr. Sainath and Sri Shashank Shah, bhajans were sung and arati was offered to Bhagawan before He retired to His residence.

Jai Sai Ram!

Source: http://srisathyasai.org.in/pages/janmashtami_05_report.htm


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