Prashanti Diary - Chronicles of
Heaven on Earth.
A Special Report from Swami's Abode in Brindavan - April-May 2006
was a pleasing time, it was a heavenly time, but all good things
had to come to an end. After a very special and enchanting
15-day stay in Kodaikanal, Swami left this place of enchanting
beauty on April 23rd and emplaned for His summer residence of
Brindavan, in the suburbs of Whitefield, Bangalore. There is so
much to share with you about the wonderful happenings in Kodai
Kanal that we have decided to have a series of articles on Kodai
Kanal entitled "With The Lord In The Mountains" starting from
the next issue. In every issue from July, you will get a drop of
the Divine Nectar that was Swami's visit to Kodai. Also if you
have not seen the photo Album of this issue, we have some
enchanting snaps of Bhagawan in Kodai Kanal and this time the
Photo Album is really unique because it is dynamic. We will be
changing the Photo Album with a fresh set of nine pictures
everyday almost till the end of June. So you are going to get
immersed with Sai in the sylvan surroundings of Kodai Hills. For
now, we continue to report on His activities during His stay in
Brindavan after He returned from Kodai Kanal.
sooner did He settle in, and then it was time for a celebration.
"Trayee Brindavan", Swami's Divine Abode in Brindavan had been
inaugurated on April 26th, 1984; so it was time for a special
remembrance - the celebration of its 22nd anniversary.
26TH: "TRAYEE DAY" CELEBRATIONS IN BRINDAVAN, BANGALORE
The Morning Programme
Every year, this anniversary is traditionally celebrated with
great fervour with bhajans and Narayan Seva on
April 26th if Swami is resident in Brindavan.
The morning started as usual, with the Divine darshan.
The entire dais had been well decorated with floral garlands and
wreaths even at such short notice as Swami had only returned a
couple of days earlier from Kodaikanal. The early morning
celebrations started on an auspicious note with Mangala
Vadhyam (Nadaswaram music) by a bunch of dedicated
musicians in front of Trayee Brindavan. The public were treated
to a delightful mix of bhajans sung by the Institute
students who had sacrificed their holidays and elected to spend
it with the Lord. After about an hour of bhajans,
mangala arathi was taken and prasadam was
distributed to one and all.
The Nadaswaram Music
The Divine Darshan
But the morning's festivities did not end there. More was on the
agenda, which however most of the public did not get to see. As
Swami was returning to His residence, the Bangalore Seva Dal
obtained His blessings to do Narayana Seva
(distribution of prasadam - a sumptuous plate of
sambar rice and sakarra pongal ? sweet rice - to
the underprivileged) and vastra dhanam (giving of
clothes to the needy) to benefit about 400 persons from the
Prasadam for the crowd
Another tradition that is not normally visible to the public is
that on this day the students and some of the staff resident in
Brindavan decorate a portion of the garden in front of the
Divine Abode. Swami usually spends some time viewing these
decorations when He returns after the morning darshan,
and also poses for photographs with the boys who had laboured
through the previous night to win His approval.
the theme varies. This year the theme was "Garden of
Love" ? a specially decorated chair was laid for Swami
in the centre and a circular "garden" was laid around it
with a decorated entrance and a back-drop.
entered this circular garden, cut a cake that the boys
had prepared for Him and posed for the coveted
photographs. Thus the morning celebrations came to a
The Afternoon Programme
afternoon, a programme of devotional songs was presented
by the mahilas (ladies) of the Brindavan Bhajan
This bhajan group has a hoary history and was started
in December 1968, soon after Swami's return from East Africa,
and they started singing bhajans under the mango tree
inside Swami's residence at that time. Later on Ugadi day ?
March 19, 1969, the official Brindavan Bhajan Group, started
bhajan singing ? on Thursdays and Sundays when Swami is
resident in Brindavan. When Swami is not physically in
Brindavan, the bhajans are sung on Sundays. Presently
the Brindavan Group consists of 100 singers and accompanists,
out of which 57 are ladies and the other 43 are gents.
ladies' programme, containing songs of praise to
Swami in many Indian languages, started with an
obeisance to Mother Easwaramma with the Hindi song
Janam Diya. This song offers salutations to
Mother Easwaramma for conferring on us the boon of
the Sai Avathar.
was followed by a Kannada song called Prema
Swaroopa Hey Jagannatha. This song goes thus ?
"Oh! Embodiment of Love; salutations to You. You are
the Lord of the temple of our hearts; we are like
the dust of Your Holy Feet. Relieve us Sai Krishna
from the bondage of birth and death".
Kantrinile Varum Geetam, a Tamil song expressed
the sentiment - What in this world has the power to
melt a stone, to breathe life into a dying tree and
to mesmerize all the birds and beasts. Only the
divine music from Sai Krishna's flute can inspire
The Ladies Bhajan
Saans Saans Mein a Hindi song exhorted the Lord to help
us remember Him with every breath; the Sanskrit Dheera
Sameera Yamuna Theere expressed a prayer to keep us away
from all that keeps us away from You; singing the glory of Sai
with the Malayalam Brindavanathille Sai which says that
Your enchanting darshan as Brindavana Sai Krishna makes
us forget ourselves.
in Marathi asks dear Swami to let Your beautiful
form be ever affixed in our hearts and Your sacred
name for ever be on our lips.
Srihari Vaasamu (in Telugu) said that Trayee
Brindavan is the sacred abode of Sai Srihari,
chanting Your divine Name is incomparable to any
The ladies finally
expressed gratitude to Swami in Hindi with Kaise
Bataayein ? Bhagavan, how can we express our
good fortune for we are here with You dear Lord.
Innumerable are our follies, but Your mercy exceeds
them all. None so high or low, we are all one in the
Kingdom of Sai. We express our gratitude Swami, for
accepting us at Your Lotus Feet.
Singing bhajans for
After this arathi was taken and the formal programme in
Sai Ramesh Hall concluded with the distribution of prasadam.
the evening's programme was not yet over! Two years
ago, on April 26th, 2004, Swami graciously acceding
to the prayers of the devotees had permitted
Deepalankara of Trayee Brindavan, i.e. nearly a
lakh (100,000) candles were lit all over the
ashram campus ? in front of Trayee, Sai Ramesh
Hall, the Kalyana Mantap, the space in front of the
two Hostels, the Guest Houses as well as the
pathways along the Residential Blocks.
that occasion hundreds of devotees participated in
the lighting of the candles with great love and
reverence, and Swami also responded by driving
around Trayee, showering His Grace on one and all.
continuing with that tradition, this year too, later in the
evening after the Sun had gone down, "Sai Akhanda Jyothi"
was alight with thousands of candles ? in and around Trayee and
all around the Ashram complex. All the devotees ? both
men and women ? participated in lighting the candles. The entire
Ashram campus was aglow with the light from the
thousands of candles and also the multi-coloured electric light
bulbs. All who had the fortune to be present and witness the
grand spectacle of the illuminated Brindavan felt that this was
indeed the "Bhooloka Vaikuntham" or Heaven on Earth!
The Lights in Sai
Lights in front of the
Swami came out in the balcony late during the evening and sat
for a few minutes witnessing the lights from all sides and
giving a special darshan to all those who were waiting
for Him after lighting the jyothis.
April 27TH 2006: A STUDENT SPEAKS
TO THE CROWD
was the first Thursday after Swami had returned from Kodaikanal.
An expectant crowd had collected to sing bhajans and
spend this holy day in the divine presence. After listening to
the bhajan singing for a few minutes Swami blessed Sri
Sanjay Mahalingam, a student pursuing his Ph.D. in Management in
the Prashanti Nilayam campus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of
Higher Learning (SSSIHL) to address the crowd.
addressing the crowd
Singing "Paiyo ji
maine ram rathan..."
Sri Sanjay opined that only God can give us true, absolute and
unsullied love. The love that knows only to say "Yes, Yes, Yes".
He said that to seek God is the only purpose of life and to
attain God is the culmination of life. A wise man has only one
desire to become one with God. Raising the question "Who is
God?" - he answered that the only God that ever exists is our
own, true self. We should hence pursue who we are till we attain
the realization that we are the subject and not the object.
Quoting extensively from the shastras, Sri Sanjay
showed that all problems stem from false identification with the
After this brief but well received speech, Swami blessed some of
the students of the Sai Mirpuri College of Music to sing some
Meera bhajans. The boys sang three haunting bhajans
for the crowd: Mere to Giridhar Gopal, Payoji maine
Ram rathan dhan payo, and Krishna, Krishna darshan dijo
aaj pyaare. They ended this concert with the popular group
song Hum ko tumse pyar hai.
MAY 2ND: A DIVINE DISCOURSE
Unexpected and inexplicable are the ways of the Lord. Seeing the
devotion with which the people of Bangalore had received Him on
his return to the city, the Lord felt moved to address them. So
an announcement was made a day prior that Swami would be
addressing everyone on the evening of May 2nd at 4 PM. A very
big crowd had collected to listen to this unexpected but very
welcome benedictory message from our dear Lord.
first blessed Sri Sanjay Sahni, Principal of the
Brindavan campus of the SSSIHL, to address the crowd
prior to His Divine Discourse.
Sanjay Sahni said that coming to Bhagavan is like a
homecoming. The greatest adventure in life is to
seek God, and the greatest fulfilment in life is to
attain Him. Just as we mark our progress in a
journey by the milestones we pass, in the spiritual
journey of life too we have several milestones,
milestones that Bhagavan has beautifully elaborated
as Salokyam,Sameepyam, Saroopyam
means divine. Hence Salokyam refers to the
divine loka (planet). Sri Sahni said that
once the late Dr. Hislop asked Swami what the 14
lokas are. Swami replied that the 14 lokas
are the 14 levels of thought ? 7 levels of thought
towards the divine and 7 levels of thought away from
addressing the crowd
Sri Sahni further added, "If we think of Bhagavan, we are in
His presence. How much of our thoughts we give to Him? In the
beginning even 10 minutes may take a lot of effort, but with
persistent practise soon our thoughts flow naturally towards Him".
He then said that the next stage is Sameepyam or
proximity of the Lord. If you want to have sannidhi
(nearness) of the Lord, you must participate in His mission. The
third stage is Saroopyam, the stage of dearness to the
Lord when you acquire His characteristics. This was the stage
reached by Bharatha, who contemplated so deeply on the Lord when
Sri Rama was in exile for 14 years, that He looked just like Him
and the people of Ayodhya could not differentiate between them.
In conclusion, Sri Sanjay said that even Saroopyam is
duality. The last stage is Sayujyam or merger with the
Lord. This final stage is attained only with the Lord's Grace.
Swami in His Divine
Discourse chose to speak on a topic dear to His Heart ?
the 4 Human Values of Sathya, Dharma,
Shanti and Prema. He said that the
result of attaining high levels of education, the value
of noble and charitable acts and the reward for all
kinds of good deeds all come to naught if man is bereft
of these 4 human values of Truth, Right Conduct, Peace
and Love. These 4 values are the pillars which support
the mansion of Sanathana Dharma (the Perennial
Philosophy), He asserted.
He next touched upon the
meaning of the descent of the Avatar. The
descent of God is the act of coming down to the world
with love for man, and He becomes one with him. God
comes down to earth in order to set ideals for mankind
and to lead them on the righteous path. And to achieve
oneness with man He chooses to come down in a human
form. For any achievement in the world, wealth and
property is required as nothing can be accomplished
without worldly instruments and implements. God however,
is beyond the desires of the body and the mind and free
of qualities like anger. Everything He does and says is
only for the redemption of man.
The Divine Discourse
Swami next emphasized that all of us are divine. He said, "If
somebody asks ? Who are you? ? then you have to answer, "I am I"
and not with the name given to the body". He further said
that except for the entity 'I' in everyone, everything else is
imaginary. God resides in all and He is the one that has become
the many. The 'I' exists in everyone; society itself is a
conglomeration of individuals; the individual is God and God
alone and hence society itself has emerged from God. He said
that God is in our own heart and by practising the 4 human
values, we can recognize God. First and foremost we have to
understand that we are God. Till we attain this divine
experience, we will be unable to give up body identification.
a cautionary note, Swami said that God Himself has prescribed
limits for every man. In this world everything is limited and it
is only when we cross these limits that we undergo difficulties.
It is because of a lack of control that we have no limits for
our desires. He exhorted all to reduce sensual desires and to
cultivate patience and courage. "Whatever may change, Truth
will never change", He said. He further added that Truth
and Love are both within you. So by developing Love we will
always be peaceful. Swami ended His discourse by singing the
bhajan - "Prema mudhitha manasa kaho?."
MAY 6th: EASWARAMMA DAY
The Morning Programme ? Bhajans By
The Bala Vikas Children and Narayan Seva
Traditionally, Easwaramma Day celebrations in Brindavan are
essentially a children's activity. Leading up to the special
day, the Bala Vikas children belonging to the Education Wing of
the Sri Sathya Sai Organizations of the Bangalore Urban District
enjoyed a variety of activities in their centres like a Sports
Meet and other cultural functions. On May 6th, however, about 60
children (both boys and girls) were blessed with the coveted
opportunity of singing bhajans in the divine presence
of Swami on the morning of May 6th, 2006.
The picture of Swami's
parents on the dais
The Bal Vikas boys
waiting for Swami
Apart from the singers, about 500 children from the different
Bala Vikas units of Bangalore had also assembled in Sai Ramesh
Hall to sing along with main singers and celebrate this special
day commemorating Mother Easwaramma. 200 Bala Vikas Gurus from
Bangalore and other districts of the state of Karnataka also
attended the programme. Needless to say the parents and other
family members of all these children and about 5000 devotees
were also present and this expectant crowd sat waiting patiently
to have the special darshan of the Lord on this holy
day. The dais was specially decorated with floral garlands and
pictures of Swami's Parents were also placed on the dais and
decorated with garlands.
The children sang about 28
bhajans in the morning. The bhajans
were very well selected and rehearsed and the young
children sang with aplomb and enthusiasm. The girls lead
the morning program with the bhajan Gowri Nandana
Gajanana and the boys followed with Sri Sai
Natha Guru Govinda.
Then as Swami entered Sai
Ramesh Hall, both the boys and the girls sang Dhanya
Ho Easwaramba in unison. Bhajans followed
in quick succession with the boys and the girls
alternating - Jai Jai Janani Sai Janani,
Jai Hari Bol Jai Sita Ram, Govinda Krishna Jai,
Bhola Bhandari Baba, and Namah Parvati
Patale Hara Hara quickly reverberated through the
Hall without anyone realizing the passage of time. Other
bhajans like Rasavilola Nanadala,
Sathyam Gnanam Anantam Brahma, Sundara Vadani,
Sai Humara Hum Sai Ke quickly followed and soon
about 16 bhajans had been sung.
The BV Girls sing for
At this time, Swami asked the leaders how
many bhajans were left as His eyes were drawn by the
preparation activity along the side of the Hall where the
morning's Narayan Seva was going to take place after
the conclusion of the bhajan singing. After all, the
activity most dear to His Heart is to bring succour to the poor
and the suffering. So clearly He wanted to be there among the
poor bringing joy and happiness to them.
The children continued singing. Bhajans
like Ayodhya ke Sita Ram, Radhe Shyam GopalaRadhika
Jivana, Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya, Dhim
Dhim Dhimi Dhimi, Shivaya Namah Shiva and Dum
Dum Dum Dum Dhamaru Bhaje were sung with ?lan and
enthusiasm by all the kids. Finally the kids completed their
28th bhajan ? Chitta Chora Yashoda Ke Bal and Swami
rose gracefully from His seat. He profusely blessed the boys and
girls on both the sides of the aisle and slowly got down from
the stage and proceeded towards the Kalyana Mantap
entrance where the poor had assembled to be blessed by Him.
had gathered early in the morning and were waiting
patiently, for it was also their day. The
unfortunate, the destitute, those living on the
fringes of society with nothing much to call their
own except perhaps the clothes on their backs, their
homes on the pavement with the sky as the roof on
their heads, had as their sole friend only the Lord
they waited patiently, alongside Sai Ramesh Hall
while the Bala Vikas children were singing
bhajans, waiting patiently for the Lord to
become free for they knew that He would then bestow
His grace on them, bearing uncomplainingly the Sun
beating down mercilessly on their backs - for on
this day they were going to be blessed by the Lord
Swami with the people
He likes best
And then suddenly without much fanfare the Lord was amidst them.
Quickly He blessed the food that was going to be served to them
- consecrating it as prasadam ? a wholesome South
Indian fare of sambar (thick lentil soup) rice cooked
with vegetables; and also curd (yogurt) rice. He waited
and continuously cast His beneficent gaze on all while the
seva dal lovingly served these Narayanas, seated in rows
with the ladies on one side and the gents on the other.
Blessing the clothes
Placing the chain
around the baby's neck
After the food service was well underway, Swami enquired about
the clothes that were going to be distributed ? dhotis
for the gents and saris for the ladies. He personally inspected
and approved the clothes and blessed that they also be
distributed to all.
While the clothes were being distributed He also went around
them and blessed everyone. He made a chain for a baby that was
lying on its mother's lap and instructed that the chain be
placed around its neck, a talisman that would afford lifelong
protection to the young one.
A gent with his dhoti
This distribution of food and clothing is a tradition in
Bangalore on Easwaramma day and the word of this event is spread
far and wide. But as always happens, there are a lot of people
who hear about this late, so do not come in time to be
accommodated in the premises before Swami's arrival. While Swami
was blessing everyone assembled in the Ashram premises, a good
crowd had also collected outside at the gate and were milling
around eager to go in ? for a glimpse of the Lord, and also to
have His prasadam of food and clothing. And the ever
so-patient seva dal volunteers let them in also later
and served all of them till everyone was satisfied. Mother
Easwaramma surely would have been very pleased at their selfless
service! All the Bala Vikas children assembled there also
partook of the prasadam later.
The Evening Programme ? The Divine
Discourse And A Bala Vikas Drama
Swami arrived in the evening to the melodious sounds of the
bhajans by the Institute boys. Starting with Sundara Sundara
Vinayaka, the boys sang a bhajan next in honour of the
Divine Mother ? Easwaraamba Priya Tanayaa. These were
followed by Raghuk ula bhooshanaa, Giridhaari laal
Shyama Gopal, Raama Raama Jaya Raghu kula and
Allah Ho Tum. After the end of this bhajan, Swami signalled
for Sri Sanjay Mahalingam, who had addressed the crowd a few
days earlier to speak again this evening.
Sanjay Mahalingam chose to talk this evening about
divine love and its manifestation. He said that
beauty, fame, wealth, knowledge of the Vedas,
proficiency in poetry and prose, all are of no avail
if your mind does not dwell on the Lotus Feet of the
Lord! He said, "Pure love for God is immortal,
transcendental and eternal. Once divine love is
realized, the heart seeks nothing else; it seeks
only love, love, love!"
also recounted a story of how once Swami asked him
about his future plans after his completion of his
MBA. Sri Sanjay replied, "Swami, Your wish is my
command". To this Swami replied that He was his
servant. Naturally Sanjay replied, "No Swami, I
am Your servant". Swami then explained, "I
always think about you all. My only wish is your
joy. And I am always thinking how I can make all of
you happier. Are you also always thinking of me and
ask what does Swami want? Hence I am your servant".
Sri Sanjay ended his speech by exhorting everyone to
love God with all our heart, mind and soul so we can
be claimants of our own heritage.
Sri Sanjay Mahalingam
talking to the crowd
After Sri Mahalingam's talk Swami gave His divine discourse. He
said that man comes out of his mother's womb not with a garland
of pearls, rubies or precious stones but with one heavy garland
that Brahma gives and that is the garland of the consequences of
our good and bad actions (karma) done in previous
lives. Hence in our lives we have to discriminate between the
good and bad.
can find fulfilment in human life if we utilize the 5 elements
in the right way. This world is called prapancha (a
conglomerate of the 5 elements) of sabda (word),
sparsa (touch), rupa (form), rasa
(taste), and gandha (smell) and these should not be
used in an unholy way. We should only perform good deeds with
the 5 senses.
Swami said that human life
is given to conquer illusion (Ma ? Maya, Na
? not, and Va ? to conduct). At birth, one is
free from impurity, but with growth desires also
increase. There should be a limit on desires, but man
today is crossing all limits without regard of
Indian principles are
noble, but today we are trying to emulate the
Westerners. In India, a woman is placed on a pedestal.
There is no love higher than a mother's love. When we
love our mothers we achieve great power. Mothers should
be well cared for in their old age. Today the children
are sending their mothers to old age homes; remember
tomorrow you will also be sent there by your own
Humanity can blossom only
when there is truth and love. Today everyone thinks in a
mean way, not a cultured way. We must always think what
is good for the society and the country. Culture emerges
from the heart. Many great souls have made sacrifices to
foster Bharatiya culture like Savitri, Draupadi,
Sitadevi and Damayanthi. They looked like ordinary
ladies but had great divine power.
The Divine discourse
Truth and divine love are changeless. Love
with desire is like a passing cloud, whereas divine love is
eternal. Hence keep love as foremost in your life. Truth should
be your ideal. You attain sacredness and your life will become
Swami also recounted in detail the story of Ishwar Chandra
Vidyasagar. Born in poor circumstances, through hard work he
obtained a good education and later got a very good paying job.
He then wanted to buy his mother new clothes to wear. She agreed
to wear the sari only after two of her desires are fulfilled.
She asked Vidyasagar to build a small school for the children of
the village and then to dig a well so the women did not have to
walk long distances to fetch water. Vidyasagar fulfilled his
mother's wishes. Later Vidyasagar became very famous and
thousands flocked to hear him speak.
Once he was travelling to
another place to give a speech. In his coach was a
Government officer. After reaching the destination, the
officer started looking for a porter to carry his
luggage but did not find any. Vidyasagar volunteered to
carry the same and even refused to accept the money for
carrying the luggage telling the officer that he did it
as an act of service. The same officer felt contrite
when he later found out that the same person on the
stage and the person who carried his luggage was
Vidyasagar himself. Swami again reiterated that we
should always do service to others, and not receive
service from others.
Accordingly, said Swami,
Sathya Sai also fulfilled Mother Easwaramma's 3 desires
and had a school, a hospital and a well built in
Puttaparthi. These have now become a University, a Super
Speciality Hospital and a Water project.
Arathi at the end of
conclusion, He said that making mothers happy is the duty of all
children. Hence on this Easwaramma Day, cultivate the principle
of helping others and find joy and fulfilment in your lives.
little while later, everyone assembled in Sai Krishan Kalyana
Mantap for a drama entitled Bhaktha Sudama presented by
the Bala Vikas children of Bangalore. This is a well known story
from the Bhagavatham recounting an incident from Krishna's
childhood. The story begins with Sudama (one of Lord Krishna's
playmates at the ashram of their guru) eating Sri Krishna's
share of beaten rice when they were in the forest tending cows.
Years later, Sudama (also known as Kuchela) remains a poor man,
barely making ends meet. His wife asks him to go to Krishna who
is rich and a king and ask him for help. She also gives Kuchela
a handful of coarse beaten rice to give as an offering to
Sudama eats Krishna's
Sudama with honour in His court
Krishna receives His childhood friend with great honour and
seats him and washes his feet. Though a king, He eats with great
relish the poor fare sent by Sudama's wife. Krishna takes good
care of Sudama and the friends spend a lot of time recounting
the old days. Soon it is time for Sudama to leave and in his
happiness he forgets to ask Krishna for help. Sadly he walks
back home wondering what he would tell his wife. When he reaches
the place where his humble hut stood, he now finds in its place
a big mansion and his wife and children are living in abundant
prosperity. Krishna had eaten the beaten rice and showered His
grace. Unknowing to Sudama, He had made him prosperous. Such is
the way of the Lord.
The whole play was well
enacted in Kannada, the local language in Bangalore and
contained a lot of meaningful and soul stirring songs.
Not knowing Kannada, your correspondent requested the
Co-ordinator for a detailed English synopsis of the
drama so we could fully bring the pleasure shared by the
audience for the benefit of the thousands of readers
worldwide also. Unfortunately, she was unable to comply
with our request in time.
[Heart2Heart requests all
people who put up programs in regional languages to
please provide us a detailed English language synopsis
of the programme. We all try to please Swami but His joy
is only in the joy that the audience feels when they
witness the glory of God that is portrayed in the drama.
Help us share the same joy, enjoyed by the audience
witnessing the drama in Swami's divine presence, with
our readers and devotees world-wide also by this
thoughtful gesture of providing us with a decent
Swami with the
children at the end of the play
MAY 9TH AND 11TH: PRAVEEN SULTANA
SINGS IN SAI RAMESH HALL
May 9th, seeing Ms. Praveen Sultana, the doyenne of Hindustani
Music seated amidst the crowd, Swami asked her if she would like
to sing to the crowd. Naturally being very delighted at this
unexpected blessing, Ms. Sultana sang Meera bhajans.
But Ms. Sultana being one of the topmost performing artistes in
the country was used to singing with the best accompaniments.
Swami asked the students of the Sai Mirpuri College of Music to
accompany her. The students (Sri Sanket Modi on the harmonium,
Sri Shivakumar on the tabla and Sri Niranjan on the
mridangam) were absolutely thrilled to be playing for a
singer with such a world-wide reputation. Ms. Sultana then sang
4 Meera bhajans in her own inimitable style for the
benefit of the audience ? Sakhi ri main to Govind ke guna
gaoo (O friend let me sing of the qualities of my Govind);
Main to lino Govind mole (I have bought my beloved
Govind); Payoji maine Ram rathan dhan (I have attained
the incomparable wealth of Rama) and finally Mere to
Giridhar Gopal (Beloved Krishna is mine).
Begum Parveen Sultana
in concert in front of Swami...
Sanket Modi receiving
the 11th, Swami again blessed Ms. Praveen Sultana to sing to the
devotees gathered in Sai Ramesh Hall. Choosing to sing the
classical Hindustani ragas ? she first sang the
raga Hamsadvani followed by the raga Bhairavi which
included a bhajan to the Goddess Mahisasuramardini. She
then concluded her short concert with the Meera bhajan Bhaja
Mana, Nanda Nandana Giridhari.
After the concert Swami asked her if the accompaniments
especially the harmonium were good. She replied that it was very
good (a good harmonium accompaniment is very necessary for her
to keep time). Swami beamed like a proud mother on hearing this
signal praise of his students performing well in such a setting.
He immediately called Sri Sanket Modi, a Music College Diploma
student, and manifested a navarathna (nine-gem) ring
for him. Truly if you sing solely for the Lord, worldly
recognition will follow of its own accord without any seeking.
MAY 13 & 14th VESAK 2006 - BUDDHA
POORNIMA CELEBRATIONS IN BRINDAVAN
The First Day
Day, 2006, the 2550th anniversary of the
triple-event of the Birth, the Enlightenment and the
Death of Siddhartha - also known as Gautama Buddha,
was celebrated in millions of homes in all the lands
where Buddhism is practised with the lighting of
lamps and elaborately sculpted decorative lanterns,
both in homes and in the public streets, the
erection of colourful depictions of events from the
life of the Holy One and the offering of dana
- charity ? and of course going to the temples to
offer obeisance and seek the Buddha's Blessing on
this the most auspicious of days for the practising
important Buddhist festival has also been celebrated
in Whitefield for more than 10 years for Swami is
usually resident in Brindavan when the Buddha
Poornima or the full moon night in the month of
May rolls around.
The decorated altar at
Sai Ramesh Hall
Every year one of the Buddhist countries acts as the chief host
for this event of great significance to Buddhists. Last year Sri
Lanka was the host and this year it was the turn of Region 41
South East Asia comprising the countries of Malaysia, Singapore,
Indonesia and Brunei.
Planning for this mega event started right after the
Maha-Sivarathri festival when Bhagavan approved and blessed the
proposed Buddha Poornima Programme. A total of 14
countries responded and came to Brindavan ? Japan, Sri Lanka,
Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong and many
Buddhists also came from the countries of UK, USA and South
Africa (in addition to the devotees from the 4 host countries) ?
as early as the 8th of May. In addition 8 Buddhist monks from
Sri Lanka and Indonesia also participated in this memorable
Some of the Buddhist
monks who attended the celebration
The Chinese lanterns
on the ceiling
the 11th, the devotees started to put up the decorations inside
the Ashram premises, including Sai Ramesh Hall, the Kalyana
Mantapam and of course ? Trayee Brindavan, Bhagavan's
residence. Some speciality decorative items ? like the red
Chinese lanterns from Taiwan which added a touch of grandeur
when hung from the ceiling - were brought from their own
countries by the devotees, but in most cases items were bought
locally. When the lights were fully lit it was a sight for the
Gods to see. The wonderful decorations and the entire campus
looked like it had been transformed into a Buddhist country with
its many banners displaying the teachings of the Buddha and
Swami, the different flags, and the Chinese lanterns. In a
corner of the dais an elaborate and intricately decorated altar
was set up along with pictures of Shirdi Baba and Sathya Baba.
The Nanyang School
A view of the
dignitaries on the stage
the morning of the 13th, Bhagavan was led by 12 children from
the Nanyang School of Medan, Indonesia in their beautiful red
attire and playing beautiful music for the Lord, from His
residence to the dais of Sai Ramesh Hall. A lot of dignitaries
attended the day's festivities. Seated on the dais along with
Swami were the Sri Lankan Opposition leader Sri Kuru Jayasuriya,
the Governor of the State of Karnataka Sri T. N. Chaturvedi and
the Governor of the State of Maharashtra Sri S.M Krishna. Also
gracing the occasion by their presence were ? Sri Rohitha
Bogollagama, Sri Lankan Minister for Enterprise Development and
Investment Promotion, the Sri Lankan Ambassador to India, the
Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Sri Lanka, heads of
several industrial groups and prominent citizens of Bangalore
who are long time devotees of Swami.
Swami was welcomed with bouquets by the leaders of all the
countries hosting the program. Swami then inaugurated this great
event by pressing a switch which lit up the entire podium and
the Buddhist altars to clapping from the assembled crowd. The
celebrations were set on its way by a beautiful rendering of a
few bhajans by singers from the host countries. Both
the ladies and the gents sang very well and Bhagavan kept beat
with the songs. After the bhajans had uplifted the
entire congregation, there were a couple of speeches by
well-known Buddhist devotees to round off the morning program.
function by pressing the switch
Dr. Art Ong Jumsai
First was an inspiring address by Dr. Art Ong Jumsai, an eminent
educationist, a former Member of Parliament and an eminent
scientist having worked for the space Agency NASA during the
heady days of the moon landing. Dr Jumsai stressed on the loving
kindness, the ahimsa and the compassion of Lord Buddha.
To the delight of the crowd he also related the story of the
Sathya Sai School in Thailand, where 95% of the students are
Buddhists and which was recently acknowledged as the "best
Buddhist school" in Thailand. Dr Jumsai said that the reason for
this achievement was that the students did a lot of seva
at the Buddhist temple next door ?serving food during festivals,
washing plates, cleaning the temple and also arranging
discussions on the various aspects of human values. They also
had a water project to supply clean water to the community
around the school and provided free medical treatment for the
nearby villagers at the school's clinic. Terming 'educare' as
the discovery of the Buddha within; he outlined 3 steps in
Buddhism to achieve this. The first step is Sila or
control of the senses. The second step is Meditation and the
students wake up at 4:30 AM to do the Jyothi meditation
as laid down by Bhagavan. And the third step in Buddhism is
Panya - inner wisdom or understanding of the truth of the
true nature of man being the Atma, using the human values of
Love and Non-Violence.
to speak was Sir Bradman Weerakom from Sri Lanka who
was the Secretary to the Government and served 7
Prime ministers in Sri Lanka. Sri Weerakom chose to
speak on the contribution of Buddhism towards Global
said, "The road to peace as expressed in
Buddhism needs to have two pathways. The first is
the cultivation of the right mental attitudes. The
second is the resolution through right effort of the
underlying material conditions which give rise to
conflict; whether of poverty, or under-development
or alienation or exclusion. Improving the human
condition so that the poor and the deprived in our
societies are provided with the basic necessities of
life ? like food, drinking water, health facilities
and education for the children, which Bhagavan has
engaged in so resolutely, is in total fulfilment of
this second pathway, so complementary and so
essential to building, sustaining and strengthening
Sir Bradman obtaining
After the arathi, all the delegates were directed to
the Kalyana Mantap where a sumptuous lunch was arranged
for all the 1100 Buddhist delegates by Bhagavan.
A luncheon picture
partaking Swami's prasadam
All the delegates were seated (ladies on one side and the gents
on the other) for the luncheon which was served in the
traditional manner on banana leaves. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed
the lunch which was lovingly served by the seva dals
and some of Swami's students. This concluded the morning
The ladies who sang
The singers on the
The evening programme started around 4 PM. Welcoming Swami
everyday to Sai Ramesh hall were the bhajan singers
drawn from the host countries who sang a number of Sanskrit
bhajans singing the praise of the Lord. We need to commend
these bhajan singers. They had practised a wide
repertoire of Indian bhajans just for Swami's sake.
Both the ladies and the gents sang very well and at times Swami
sat for as much as a half-hour listening attentively to the
bhajans before He would bless the day's programme to start.
And a listener would not have been able to tell the difference
from the usual bhajan rendition, such was their level
of practise and a reflection of their level of dedication.
a short while of bhajan singing, Swami blessed the
programme to start. The first to speak in the
evening was Dr. Narendra Reddy from Los Angeles,
California. Dr. Reddy serves as a member of the
Prashanti Council and co-ordinates its medical
programmes (like medical camps in different
countries or the sending of medical teams and
supplies to areas affected by natural disasters like
the recent tsunami in the region).
Reddy touched upon and amplified the views expressed
by the two speakers in the morning and especially
addressed the devotees on the significance of this
joyous day. He also mentioned the catholicity of the
teachings of the Buddha and its relevance to all of
Dr Reddy talking to
Speaking next was Brother Phoa Krishnaputra, of Medan,
Indonesia, who chose to talk about how with His Grace we can
achieve anything. Fortunate in having a loving wife and healthy
successful children, he followed a prosperous career with
plantation companies and reached the highest level of
management. Still there was something niggling deep inside his
mind, and he was searching for a cure for his aching heart. He
next recounted the story of his life and how he happened to come
to India on a pilgrimage to the Buddhist holy places and was
lead to Swami; he also recounted Swami's help and guidance in
helping him establish a Sai Centre and a school in Indonesia.
getting Swami's blessing before addressing the crowd
Swami blesses the book
After these two speeches, Swami graciously blessed a book
entitled "Personal Interactions with Baba My Father' by Dr (Mrs)
Vasantha Jayasuriya, wife of Sri Jayasuriya, a former Minister
of Sri Lanka. Swami was also kind enough to release a copy of
the Buddha Poornima issue of the Sai Marga magazine. Sri
Jayasuriya also extended an invitation to Swami to visit Sri
Lanka. After this Swami got up slowly to give His Divine
Discourse, while the students scurried hurriedly to set up the
discourse table and mike for Him.
Swami started His divine
discourse by delineating in detail on the life of the
Buddha. He mentioned how the Buddha's parents ?
Shudhodhana and Mayadevi ? performed penance for many
years to have an heir to rule the kingdom.
As soon as the son
Siddhartha was born, the mother Mayadevi gave up the
body and the boy was brought up by the King's second
wife Goutami. At the time of birth, the King's
astrologers predicted that the boy would not rule the
kingdom. To prevent this untoward happening, the king
shielded the boy by keeping him in the palace itself and
isolating him from outside influences. At the age of 20,
Siddhartha was married to Yashodhara and they in turn
had a son.
The Divine Discourse
One night there was a sudden transformation in the mind of
Siddhartha and he left the palace after caressing his son,
Rahul. Siddhartha went to the forest to contemplate and had to
undergo a lot of hardship and difficulties. His parents were
also suffering from a sense of separation. Swami also added that
Siddhartha's anguish came in the way of his self-realization.
town a person gave him a talisman for protection,
telling Siddhartha that the anguish actually is from
within. (Swami waved His hand and materialised the
talisman to the astonished gasps of the audience).
The person put the talisman on Siddhartha's neck and
all the anguish vanishes (Swami later in His
Discourse also added that the talisman disappeared
when the Buddha died).
Siddhartha started doing penance, very long penance.
He started questioning ? Who am I? Am I the body? Am
I the mind? Finally he reached the conclusion that
"I am I". This is also the principle of Aham
Brahmasmi ? I AM God; and Tat Twam Asi
? Thou Art That. Thus, said Swami, Buddha went on
enquiring into the truth and reached the true
realization that I AM I.
Swami further said that today's meditation, penance, japa,
or yoga gives only momentary satisfaction and is a
waste of time. The primary duty of man is to find fulfilment in
life. "Without wasting time in meditation, do social work",
said Swami, "and recognise the divinity in everyone. That is
true meditation". He further said, "Every man therefore
has to recognise the Truth that I am God, I am God. Every man
identifies himself with the Atma. Buddha was the person who had
recognised the unity in multiplicity and there was a total
transformation in his life when he recognised the unity".
did the Buddha teach?" asked Swami. Answering the question
He said that he went on teaching that there is only one
principle in everyone. The truth is one, though it may be called
by different names. Similarly Krishna also declared - Everybody
is part and parcel of Myself. You are My Own reflection. You are
not different from Me, said Swami. He further added that every
reaction, reflection and resound is one and the same. The Buddha
also taught that we should not get angry with anyone. We should
not harm others. We should not find fault with others. There is
only one principle ? eternal, pure and wise. And all of you are
Buddhas. And when you understand this truth you see unity
everywhere. And so we have to unite our hearts and recognise the
spirit of unity. When mind finds and experiences this unity,
then man's life finds fulfilment.
After this arathi was taken; and the devotees were
asked to assemble in the Ramesh Krishan Kalyana Mantap for the
cultural programme to follow.
The Kwan Yin Dance
...And Side View
First the 12 children from the Nanyang School of Medan,
Indonesia presented a unique dance called "The Thousand Hand
Kwan Yin" dance. The Nanyang Modern Indonesian School of Medan,
Indonesia, is one of the educational institutions where the 'Sri
Sathya Sai Education in Human Values' is being implemented in
the teaching curricula.
Kwan Yin is the Goddess of Mercy and is revered in Indonesia.
The small children dressed in their gold suits gave a very well
co-ordinated dance that won loud applause from the crowd. When
they stood in a line and moved their heads and hands it looked
like they had moulded into one single body. The message conveyed
by these synchronised dance movements was that as human beings
we are obliged to spread the loving kindness (metta)
and helping hands in order to attain global peace and harmony.
Following this short dance programme was a drama by the youth of
The courtroom Scene
from the drama
A scene from the
The drama was based on the life and teachings of the Lord
Shakyamuni Buddha whose teachings emphasized the need for all of
us to realize the divinity within and to follow the path of
Truth and Righteousness by mastering our five senses. The
opening scene was set in the Supreme Court where all had
gathered to hear the case of the Government against the
Inter-Faith council on the charge that God does not exist. If
the Government proves its case without a doubt all references to
God in schools and Government policies have to be removed. In an
action packed sequence sparking with hard-hitting and well
rendered dialogues, the defence attorney wins the case when he
proves that the mere presence of evil in the world does not
imply that God does not exist.
made the argument that just as darkness is the absence of light,
so too evil reflects the absence of goodness and is a human
foible. God is something that can only be experienced and cannot
be perceived by the five senses; just as the fact that though we
cannot see and feel Oxygen we still continue to breathe. The
drama also depicted a scene from the life of the Buddha (wherein
He accepted a pomegranate from a poor woman but did not accept
gold and precious stones from a king - looking just to the
motivation behind the gift rather than its worldly value) to
emphasize that we need to purify our minds and hearts if we are
to attain Nirvana - the final goal of life according to
Buddhism. Swami talked with all the youth who had put up the
play before He retired for the night.
The Second Day
On the second day Swami
came out of Trayee at 9:10 AM and gave darshan
to the assembled devotees at Sai Ramesh Hall.
After a few bhajans,
the Bala Vikas children of Indonesia presented a
traditional Indonesian dance, called the "Welcome
dance", a custom in the area of North Sumatra, Indonesia
? in welcoming distinguished guests during festive
occasions by the young Sumatran ladies.
The Bala Vikas students
aged between 9 to 14 years performed the dance to the
delight of the crowd. Following this was a repeat of the
Kwan Yin dance from the previous day but now before the
larger Sai Ramesh Hall audience. Again the young ladies
won the applause of the crowd with their synchronised
This was followed by an entertaining and absorbing Chinese choir
presented by Malaysia. All the songs were in Chinese - joyful
songs sung in praise of God; songs that expressed that we should
experience the joy, love and grace of Bhagavan Baba. The songs
were vibrant, expressive, and full of love.
Chinese choir - Ladies
Chinese Choir - Gents
the tunes were unfamiliar and the words
incomprehensible - everyone found empathy and unity
with the sentiments that were joyfully expressed by
the energetic choir.
close of the presentation, Swami called Bro. Stanley
Cherry, a vocal teacher in Malaysia and the choir
conductor and motivator, up to the dais and
materialised a golden chain much to the joy of all
the members of the choir and the devotees present.
A Chain For the
Following this Swami blessed the food and the clothes that would
be distributed by the Buddhist devotees as part of Narayan Seva
and vastra danam. The poor people were all seated in
orderly rows and the overseas devotees enthusiastically
distributed food to all. In all about 800 people were given food
and clothing to conclude the morning programme.
Swami blessing the
Narayan Seva by the
the evening the darshan started at 4:20 PM and Swami was again
greeted by an inspiring rendition of bhajans by the
singers from the overseas devotees. After a few bhajans,
Swami gave His blessings for the evening programme to start. The
first item was a short rendition by 2 gents on what was termed
as 'Sri Lankan Drums'. These 2 percussionists gave a short but
resounding and controlled display that picked up pace very fast
so that at times it seemed that their fingers were just a blur
playing fast staccato music on the rawhide skin.
Sri Lankan Drums
The final dance item
The finale item of the two day celebration was a dance put up by
the Bal Vikas of Indonesia to the tune of the bhajan
"Sai Bhajan Bina Sukh Shanti Nahi". This traditional Indonesian
dance form is called "Mainang Kuala Deli". It is an
entertainment dance performed by the youth in North Sumatra, to
share their joy and happiness. Certainly their joy was
contagious and everyone went home uplifted and happy at the
conclusion of this two day festival of Buddha Poornima.
MAY 16TH: A SITAR CONCERT
When we all came to Sai Ramesh Hall in the afternoon, we noticed
that a plush carpet had been laid out in the first block right
in front of the dais. All of us immediately suspected that a
musical concert was in the offing and we were not disappointed.
Slated to play this day was Sri Prabeer Bhattachary, a noted
sitar exponent from Kolkata.
Sri Prabeer Bhattacharya
is a disciple of the great Pandit Deepak Choudhary (Pt.
Deepak Choudhary himself is a disciple of Pt. Ravi
Shankar). Sri Prabeer had about 17 years of training
under his teacher and his playing style is notable for
its range of emotions and speed. A rigorous daily
practise regimen of 12 hours had made him a maestro of
the sitar. Accompanying him this evening were
accomplished artists Sri Rajendra Nakoe on the tabla
and Sri Srinivas on the mridangam.
Sri Prabeer started his
concert with Raag Megh or a raga
celebrating the rainy season. (A raag is a
combination of certain swaras or notes. In
Hindustani music we have seven swaras ? Sa,
Re, Ga, Ma, Pa,
Dha, Ni analogous to the Western Do, Re,
Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti). Thus Raag Megh has the
swaras Sa Re Ma Pa Ni Sa on the ascending and the
swaras Sa Ni Pa Ma Re Sa on the descending.
Bhattacharya on the sitar
He followed the Raag
Megh with Raag Hamsadhwani Malika (or the
raga that creates a happy mood) that had the
raga Bahar admixed with it. This Raag
has on the ascending the swaras Sa Re Ga Pa Ni
Sa and on the descending it has the swaras Sa
Ni Pa Ga Re Sa.
The last item was the
raag Bhairavi that had a jugalbandhi (i.e.
The tabla and the mridangam played in turn).
This raag has on the ascending: Sa Re Ga Ma Pa
Dh Ni Sa; and on the descending: Sa Ni Dh
Pa Ma Ga Re Sa.
The concert in
Our readers might also be pleased to know that this young
artiste Sri Prabheer Bhattacharya is also a Visiting Professor
at the Sai Mirpuri College of Music and spends a couple of
months every year sharing his immense talent and skill with the
young and eager students.
MAY 19TH -
21ST: A 3-DAY KERALA YOUTH SADHANA CAMP
sadhana camp was held for the Sai youth, students,
teachers, doctors and paramedical professionals of Kerala on the
19th, 20th and 21st of May, 2006. About 1800 participants (which
includes 300 doctors and paramedics) attended the camp from all
the 14 districts of Kerala.
This was the fourth Youth Camp in as many years, riding high on
the crest of the phenomenal success of the earlier meetings.
Youth of the state of Kerala drawn by the all- attractive love
of Swami, came in phenomenal numbers to spend three exclusive
days at the Lotus Feet, three days of love speaking its
universal language, making use of their summer vacations from
schools and colleges or else leave from their employers.
Lady participants at
A view of the Gents
They put up lightly with physical hardship and inconvenience
suffused with devotional fervour and the contagious enthusiasm
and response to the love that Bhagawan showered on them; for in
this Avatar the Lord has chosen the youth of the world to be the
instruments through which He will accomplish His Mission of
was a very tightly packed three-day programme. They would come
early and take their allotted seats in Sai Ramesh Hall, both for
the morning and the evening darshan. Speeches and Music
Programmes were planned in Sai Kulwant Hall in the Divine
Presence on all the three days. Additionally, after about an
hour's break for breakfast after the morning darshan,
the numerous participants would meet in the Sai Ramesh Krishan
Kalyana Mantap for "classes" where the staff and some chosen
graduate students of the SSSIHL, or a few elderly devotees would
speak to them. They would then break for lunch at around 1:00 PM
and again re-assemble at 2:00 PM in the Kalyana Mantap for one
more "session" before re-assembling again in Sai Ramesh Hall for
the afternoon's darshan and activities. We bring you a
report on all the numerous speeches and talks, so you too can
also get a flavour of the blessings received by the Kerala Youth
during these three days. This has made our report a little long
but we hope you will understand our indulgence and appreciate
the motivation behind it.
The First Day
led by the Kerala Bhajan group, Bhagavan came
to the stage at 8.50 AM. Bhagavan was welcomed to the
richly decorated auditorium with the accompaniment of
Nadaswaram. Apart from the floral decoration to
the dais, there hung on both sides the traditional
Kerala Villakku - the oil lamp, but with a
modern touch of having small electric bulbs in place of
wicks fed by oil.
The Kerala Bhajan Group
had 10 gents (5 lead and 5 followers) and 10 women
(again 5 for the lead and 5 followers) drawn from across
the State. The vocals were ably accompanied by the
Harmonium, the tabla, the Violin and a Timer
Instrument. The Bhajan group had the signal
honour of welcoming Swami to the Hall for every
darshan, and they responded magnificently to the
The Gents' Bhajan
Starting with Vigna Vinasaka, they moved into
Sathya Sai Rama and Prema Swaroopini. Jaya
Krishna Kunja Bihari and Shiva Shiva Shiva Shiva
quickly followed. The sarva dharma bhajan Rahiman
Rahiman was next, followed by Gangadhara Hara and
Gana Gana Neela, at which point Bhagavan gave the
signal for the morning programme to start.
Swami inaugurates the
conference by pressing a remote button
Dr Koushik Narayan
presents the book for release
Prof. E. Mukundan, State President of the Sathya Sai Seva
Organisations of Kerala, in his introductory remarks thanked
Bhagavan for the glorious opportunity of holding the Sadhana
Camp in the Divine Presence for the fourth consecutive year.
first programme was the release of a book entitled "Helpline on the Sathya Sai Path" ? a book of
questions and answers by Sri B. N. Narasimha Murthy,
Warden of SSSIHL hostel at Brindavan, compiled by
Dr. Koushik Narayan - a member of the Kerala Youth
book is based on the questions and doubts raised by
the Sai Youth of Kerala in the previous three youth
camps. Bhagavan graciously accepted the book and
blessed it with His Divine Signature.
the State President, Sri Mukundan, introduced the
two speakers of the morning ? two Hon. Judges of the
High Court of Kerala ? Justice Thottathil B.
Radhakrishnan and Justice Padmanabhan Nair.
The book that was
released by the Divine Hands
Justice Thottathil Radhakrishnan said that his
desire as a student to participate in the Summer
Course on Spirituality and Indian Culture held at
Brindavan came alive that day with the youth of
Kerala. With Swami's permission, he narrated how he
was saved from the disaster of the recent
tsunami, without even knowledge of the
family had been to the Andamans; the giant waves of
the tsunami had hit the shore a few minutes
after they had disembarked from the ship, and the
ship was washed away. They did not even know of this
unfortunate turn of events, and came to know of the
disaster only on returning home.
advised the youth to remain committed to the
motherland, as mother and motherland are greater
than even the Heavens. He added that India's wish to
be a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic
republic would be fulfilled in full only if the five
human values of the Sai Philosophy are put into
speaks to the participants
Justice Padmanabhan Nair expressed his fortune at
having been able to come to Swami for the first time
and speak in the Divine Presence. He also added that
the educational, medical and water projects of
Bhagavan are one of their kinds in the world and are
pristine examples for humanity.
for us to emulate those ideals and practise it in
our own small way. The youth are fortunate to be at
the Lotus Feet of the greatest Master and Mentor.
added that we have to put this opportunity to the
best use for individual and social transformation.
Bhagavan materialized vibhuti for both the
Nair receives vibhuti
musical offering by Sri Madhu Balakrishnan, the
renowned Malayalam playback singer, was the next
item. He chose to sing popular Malayalam devotional
songs; there were also a couple of songs on Swami.
Starting with Maha Ganapathim, he launched
into the Malayalam Oru Yugam followed by
Mahadeva Shiva Shambho and Radha Than
Premam. This was followed by the keertanam
- Dasa Dasa and the Malayalam Karuna Chei
a couple more devotional songs, he ended with a
composition on Swami entitled Ellam Ennikende.
Sri T.S. Radhakrishnan accompanied the vocalist on
the harmonium, Sri Rajesh on the flute, Sri Selvam
on the tabla and Sri Shankar on the
mridangam. The session concluded with
Mangala Arathi at 10 AM.
Sri Madhu Balakrishnan
sings for all
Then the participants proceeded to the "Sadhana
session" at the Sai Krishan Kalyana Mandapam, where the
teachers of the SSSIHL and other elders addressed them.
The first speaker was Sri B. N. Narasimha Murthy, Warden of the
Brindavan campus. The revealing message was the recent
declaration by Bhagavan, "The one who loves this beautiful
form of Sai is My Jeeva-prajna; the one who works relentlessly
for me in My Jeeva-prajna." He narrated many experiences to
illustrate the Infinite Love of Bhagavan. If the youth hold on
to Swami's Feet, all their desires will be fulfilled and they
will attain inner peace.
The next speaker was Dr.
Narendranath Reddy, the Chairman of the International
Medical Committee of the Prashanti Council. Once Swami
told him in response to a doubt, "If you have
intense longing for me in your heart, it means that you
The next speaker, Dr. T.
Ravikumar, a faculty member of the Dept. of Chemistry,
SSSIHL, narrated many experiences to demonstrate the
various ways of Bhagavan in reforming His devotee. He
also narrated how Swami cancelled his father's cancer.
The post-lunch session at
the Kalyana Mandapam had a lecture by, Sri Vijay Menon,
a consultant and trainer of Human Resource Development
and a member of the Sai Youth Wing of Kerala.
Speaking in Malayalam, he
said that only a self-ignited value system orientation
can lead us to Swami. Swami gives us both material and
spiritual gains. It is for us to decide what we want.
Sri Vijay Menon
adresses the participants in the Kalyana Mantap
the evening session at Sai Ramesh Hall, the Bhajan Group
welcomed Bhagavan again. This time the group could sing about 10
bhajans (which included Jay Ganaraya,
Radhey Govinda Hare, Rama Hare Sai Krishna Hare,
Shivaya Nama Shivaya and a few others) in the divine
presence before He asked the afternoon programme to start.
Bhagavan blessed four
members of the Kerala Youth wing to speak. The programme
commenced with Veda chanting by the numerous Sai Youth
The first speaker of the
afternoon, Sri Vijay Menon highlighted Indian culture to
be so deep that even mighty kings sought refuge in its
saintly wisdom for protection.
Along with the growth of
science, ignorance has also increased thus the effect
gets balanced out so that no real effect is felt. We
must be personifications of a value and virtue system as
taught by Gandhiji. It is ultimately the dharmic
consciousness that finally matters.
Vedam Chanting before
the start of the programme
The second speaker was Kum. Nadiya, the Mahila Youth In-charge
of Chalappram Samithi, Kozhikode. She described the benefits
that she derived out of active participation in the Sai
Organisation. She thanked Bhagavan for the unique chance that
the youth have obtained, to be the instruments of individual and
Kum. Nadiya receiving
His blessings before speaking
Kum Anjali addresses
The third speaker was Dr. Koushik Narayan, State Gents'
Coordinator of Education, Kerala. He elaborated upon the impact
of the previous three Sadhana camps on the Sai youth of
Kerala. Today's youth are attracted only to the petty and
transient pleasures of life; they do not bother about matters of
greater significance. It is in this context that the Sri Sathya
Sai Seva Organisation, Kerala gives them the ultimate experience
of Divinity Itself. He also narrated a touching incident as to
how Swami came to a group of young Sevadals in the
guise of a young boy.
The fourth speaker, Kum. Anjali Ajay, explained how Swami helped
her throughout her academic and personal life. She also shared
the Sai activities that she participated in and the benefits she
derived out of them.
was followed by a speech by Dr. Anand Mohan, State
In-charge of the Medical Cell. He said that Swami is
the Apoorvavaidya who cures the malady of
desire, delusion and attachment.
principles of health care as elucidated by Bhagavan
? globalisation of health care, decommercialisation
of medicine, human values in medical practice - have
demonstrated to the world that health is primarily a
materialization of these concepts through the Super
Speciality Hospitals, General Hospitals and the
medical centres and camps held all over the world is
unparalleled and unprecedented in human history; and
perhaps may be unrepeatable in future. Swami has
shown to the world that when Universal Love
manifests, miracles occur.
Dr. Anand Mohan talks
about health care
This was followed by a musical presentation by Sri Madhu
Balakrishnan again, at the end of which Swami materialized a
golden ring for the singer.
The Second Day
the second day morning, amidst bhajans led by the
Kerala Bhajan group, Bhagavan came to Sai Ramesh Hall at 8.20
AM. The Bhajan Group welcomed Him with three bhajans ?
Vinayaka Vinayaka, Keshava Madhava, and O Baba
Sai Baba, before He signalled for the morning programme to
The State President
introduced the speaker of the morning session Dr.
Ramachandran Nair, the revered Vice Chancellor of the
University of Kerala.
He exhorted the youth to
make the best use of knowledge by integrating the
resources of man, material and money in a very positive
manner. This leads to the prosperity of the nation.
Sincerity, commitment, devotion, love and affection are
very important in this regard.
The present generation is
missing the inheritance of wisdom and the blessings of
the previous generation. The youth have to develop the
qualities of leadership, communication skills ? verbal,
written and body language, ability to motivate oneself
and others and above all, creativity. At the end of the
speech, Swami materialized a golden chain for Dr Nair.
A gold chain for Dr
Nair after his speech
A Carnatic musical offering by
Sri Harihara Subramanyam followed. The young promising
artist was previously a Bal Vikas student. Most of
the krithis were preceded by a soul-stirring
viruthams. Starting with Vattapi Ganapathim,
he next sang Karunai Daivame, and then
Eppovaruvaro. He concluded with a special composition
on Swami called Sai Sai Sairama. The programme
concluded with Mangala Arathi at 9.10 AM.
Dr. Deepak Anand, a faculty
member of SSSIHL, addressed the first morning session at the
Kalyanamandapam. He advised to dedicate all the impurities
of our heart at the Lotus Feet of Swami and remain ever
focused on Him. He will accept them and transform them into
Divine Love. Then only can we merge in the Supreme Divine
Sri Harihara Subramaniam
sings with feeling
The second session was by Sri
G. Srirangarajan, a faculty member of SSSIHL. The human body
along with its talents and potentials is Swami's
prasadam to us; our duty is to return it as
naivedyam to the Swami in all in the form of service.
This constitutes the "Prasadam-Naivedyam cycle."
The next speaker was Prof.
Sanjay Sahni, Principal of the Brindavan campus of the
SSSIHL. He stressed on the importance of sense-control and
mind-control. The two golden injunctions on this path are ?
talk less, have minimum connections.
In the post-lunch session at
the Kalyana Mandapam, Dr. Ramachandran Nair, revered Vice
Chancellor of the University of Kerala addressed the camp
participants. He said that evil qualities easily conquer us;
on the other hand, it is difficult to cultivate virtues.
Just because the path of evil
is easy, one cannot afford to accept it; one must take the
effort to cultivate virtues. In today's world, only Sai's
glory can bring about transformation; all the mega Seva
Projects of Bhagavan are role models for humanity to follow.
State President Mukundan
co-ordinating the sessions in the kalyana mantap
In the evening at Sai
Ramesh Hall, Swami came as the Youth of Kerala rendered
mellifluous bhajans. The bhajans included
Hari Sri Ganapathi Om, Jaya Jaya Rama Janaki
Rama, Sarva Dharma Priya Deva and a couple
The programme commenced
with Veda chanting by the Sai Youth of Kerala. The State
President introduced the two youth speakers of the
afternoon and the dignitary, Sri Radhakrishnan, Hon.
Vice Chancellor, Sri Sankaracharya Sanskrit University,
Kalady, Kerala, who also addressed the gathering.
The Ladies' Bhajan
Sri Manoj receives Swami's
blessings before his speech
Kum Divya shares her views
The first speaker Sri Manoj shared the lessons that he learnt at
the previous Sadhana camps. He said that knowledge must be
attained not by learning the pusthaka (the book) by
rote, but by exercising the faculty of masthaka (the
head) that the Lord has bestowed upon us. He added that the
youth must possess the head of Sankaracharya, the heart of the
Buddha and the hands of Janaka Maharaja. He elaborated upon the
benefits that he derived upon participating in the Grama
Seva and concluded by saying, "Living with God is
education. Living for God is devotion. Living in God is true
The second speaker Kum. Divya appealed to the youths to become
like a flute in the hands of the Lord. The flute is straight and
hollow; if we are also like that, the Lord will take us into His
Hands, fill His Breath into us and will play His melodious music
through us that will delight the world. She also elaborated upon
the benefits of selfless seva. She also thanked Swami
for the unique opportunity bestowed upon the Sai Youth of
Radhakrishnan, the revered Vice Chancellor, began by
saying that Bhagavan's very presence infused
confidence in the devotees. He commented that the
decadence of human values in all walks of life that
we see today might be compared to the battle of
Bhagavan Baba is doing to the world what Krishna did
for Arjuna. He exhorted all to go beyond the
religious level, and rise to spirituality. Being
religious alone, one sometimes gets entangled in
rituals, on the other hand, spirituality infuses in
us the greatest confidence.
projects have established education and health to be
service activities and not commercial activities.
Life is not a problem to be solved, but a harmony to
be enjoyed; this is possible by adhering to Swami's
teachings of Love and Compassion.
talks to the youth in the
Carnatic musical offering by Sri Harihara Subramanyam, the same
artiste who had sung in the morning also, followed this speech.
In the afternoon, he sang the Thyagaraja
KirthiManavyalakinchara, followed by Muralimanohara
and NeerajaDalanayana. He concluded with Swagatam
Krishna. At the end, Bhagavan materialized a golden ring
for the musician. The programme ended with mangala arathi.
Thereafter, Sri Radhakrishnan, Hon. Vice Chancellor, Sri
Sankaracharya Sanskrit University, Kalady, Kerala, addressed the
participants at the Kalyana Mandapam. The purpose of all
sadhana is to ensure optimum use of all resources, by
putting a ceiling on desires. One has to go by the way of
Shreyas, not Preyas.
The Third Day
the third day morning, Bhagavan came to Sai Ramesh Hall amidst
bhajans by the Sai Youth. Starting with Pashupati
Thanaya, they sang two more bhajans ? Hey Madhava hey
and Devi Sai Ma, before Swami blessed the
programme to start.
speaker for the morning session in Sai Ramesh Hall
was Sri Jyothilal IAS, Executive Director, Rural
Water Supply and Sanitation Project, Govt. of
Kerala. He narrated his transformation from
IAS to SAI. In today's
world he said, IAS implies ?
I first, Any other
person next, Service last. However,
SAI implies - Service
first, Any other person next,
I last. He narrated how, as a boy
of eight years, he escaped from the face of death
due to an attack of meningitis.
not Swami's devotee then, but his father had prayed
to his family deity Shiva and his mother had prayed
to her family deity Shakthi. Bhagavan, the
Shivashakthi Swaroopa came to his help,
even without his knowledge. Meningitis is notorious
to produce residual intellectual defects, but in his
case, the opposite occurred. He developed a
particular determination, began to study harder and
studied in the IIT and completed his IAS ? the dream
aspirations of intelligent students.
Sri Jyotilal shares
narrated many instances to show how Swami helped him to solve
various problems related to his profession and saved him from
many dangers. He concluded by advising the youth to utilize
fully the excellent opportunity at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan.
Bhagavan materialized vibuthi for the speaker.
What followed next was a
devotional musical offering by Sri Kavalam Sreekumar and
Sri T. S. Radhakrishnan. In addition to compositions of
Bhadrachalam Ramdas and Meerabai, there were songs on
Bhagavan composed in Malayalam. Kavalam started with the
song Vinayaka Vinayaka and followed it with the
Malayalam Vaanii Swari Sai.
Sri T. S. Radhakrishnan
then sang the song Anda kat a ham. Sri Kavalam
Sreekumar then sang a Bhadrachalam composition entitled
Rama Jogi Mandu and a Meera bhajan Man Re
Parsi. Sri T.S. Radhakrishnan then sang the last
song of the morning called Aavinam Kudi. They
were ably accompanied on the flute by Sri Rajesh and by
Sri Selvam on the tabla.
Sri Kavalam Sreekumar
(on the left) and Sri Radhakrishnan sing for Swami
The morning programme in Sai Ramesh Hall then concluded with
The first speaker of the
sadhana class in the Kalyana mandapam was Sri
N. Dhakappa, State President of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva
Organization of Karnataka. He narrated a few personal
experiences revealing the Omnipresence, Omnipotence and
Omniscience of Swami. He added that the best sadhana
for the Kali Age is to involve ourselves actively in the
activities of the Sai Organisation.
The second session was by
Sri B. N. Narasimha Murthy, Warden of the Brindavan
Campus. He gave the four golden guidelines in the path
of spiritual evolution ?
"Look back and thank
Look ahead and trust God
Look around and serve God
Look inside and see God."
Sri Dhakappa inspires
the Youth in the Kalyana Mantap
also narrated many experiences from his personal life to
demonstrate these statements.
The third session was by Sri Sanjay Mahalingam, a research
scholar at the SSSIHL. He said that the only way of liberation
is to experience the pure love within. The most important step
in this regard is to conquer the three kinds of attachment ?
worldly, intellectual and spiritual.
In the last session of the
morning, Sri B. N. Narasimha Murthy clarified many of
the doubts raised by the participants of the Sadhana
In the afternoon, Sri
Ruchir Desai, faculty member of the Dept. of Commerce,
addressed the participants. He stressed that the key
element of transformation is a change in attitude. He
also narrated an experience to show Swami answers to
even a flash of thought in the devotee's mind. He also
answered many of the questions of the participants.
In the evening in Sai
Ramesh Hall, Swami came to the stage, as the Kerala
Bhajan Group was singing bhajans. He walked
among the Sai Youth, graciously accepted their letters
and materialized vibuthi for some of them.
All the while, the
bhajan singers continued singing their bhajans. In
all they sang 11 bhajans which included
Gajanana Gajanana, Radha Ke Natavarlal,
Sai Baba Tera Naam, Bolo Jai Jai Kar,
Mrityunjayaya Nama Om, Hara Shiva Shankara,
and Rasa Vilola Nandalala.
Swami is pleased at
the progress of the conference
Bhagavan is all His Mercy and Compassion then delivered the
Divine Valedictory Discourse for the Youth Camp. Starting with a
small padhyam (a poem), He said,
"He is present in
all beings as peace; All names are His; He is Sat
Chit Ananda Swarupa; He is Truth, Auspiciousness and
Beauty (Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram)". Swami also
said, "I am extremely pleased at the happiness
you have experienced in the last 3 days. These 3
days passed off beautifully as 3 minutes. Your
hearts are sacred filled with devotion, joy and
steadfastness. Such meetings should be held f or the
welfare of society."
Touching next on the
importance of good company, Swami said that only the
Self is present in all beings. Plain paper has no smell
but takes the smell of whatever is wrapped in it like
vegetables, fruits or dry fish. Likewise, the heart is
pure, selfless and steady. However, due to the company
it gets polluted. So avoid bad company, be in the
company of people with sacred thoughts, get a good name,
and lead a good life. He said that the Buddha also
exhorted "Buddham Charanam Gacchami, Sathyam
Charanam Gacchami" ? take refuge in Dharma,
take refuge in Sathya.
Swami also said that there
is only one God, and He resides in everyone. Just as
there are many kinds of sweets, but sugar is one, so too
the Atma is one though there are many names and
forms. When you think that whatever happens to you is
for the good then all good things happen to you.
The Divine Discourse
Addressing the Kerala youth, Swami said ? Be courageous. Acquire
truth and love. Your activities and songs of these past 3 days
are very good and beautiful. Whatever you do with love always
bears fruit. If you close your eyes and call upon Rama, filling
your heart with joy ? then you can see Rama yourself. God has no
desires. God always loves. Being in society, have the attitude
that you are serving God through society. Everything is God.
There is nothing in the world that is not God.
further said that always be with the feeling of oneness that I
AM I. After the body goes, what remains ultimately is the I.
Only the I is eternal. He concluded the discourse by stating
there is only one bondage between Swami and you and that is
love. He also added that your Love is reflected in Me and I (am
reflected) in your love. "I accept your love and shower my
love on you. Live with joy and happiness".
concluded with the bhajan "Prema Mudita?"
A devotional song by Sri
Kavalam Sreekumar followed the divine discourse to
conclude the valedictory function of a memorable 3-day
sadhana camp. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity for all the participants for Swami's love
was manifest throughout. Though they had to put up with
many physical inconveniences, it was all unforgotten as
they were completely drenched by His divine love. Swami
even provided free food for all the participants during
their stay in Brindavan. Truly, love is the only bondage
between God and His devotees!
[Heart2Heart would like to
gratefully acknowledge that the State President of the
Kerala Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, provided to us the
brief summaries of the speeches given by the youth,
staff, students and elders to the participants of the
Partaking of Swami's
A NOTE ON THE TRAYEE SESSIONS
report on Swami's stay in Brindavan will be
incomplete without mention of the "famous" Trayee
Sessions. Right after the evening programme the
students who have elected to spend their holidays
with the Divine, the University staff still on the
Ashram and a few chosen elders are invited
into Swami's home - Trayee Brindavan.
a unique privilege and an honour that everyone
cherishes. The wait is full of anxiety ? Will He
invite us in today? - and when the signal is given,
the boys scramble to get a vantage position next to
the Lord Himself, and the Lord is seated
majestically on His swing at one end of the room
waiting for the boys.
Swami speaks while the
two sessions are alike except to say that Swami is always at His
informal best. Some sessions are serious with usually an elder
or a staff member or a chosen student giving a speech and Swami
sometimes adding a few comments of His own. Sometimes Swami
chooses to speak Himself (with the Brindavan Warden translating)
- either amplifying or reiterating His comments that He may
perhaps have made in a public discourse earlier or else making
points that He feels need to be told to the boys. Some sessions
are just hilarious wherein He asks those who do not normally
lead the bhajans to sing and as you can imagine it
gives ample scope for merriment.
times He just converses with the boys or the elders
asking and enquiring, cracking a few jokes but
always delivering a message of spiritual import even
in the most light-hearted banter. And in an
understated fashion His divinity manifests at times,
as for example, when He gently corrects a fact in a
story that a boy is relating thus revealing His
course, no summer's 'Trayee Session' story is
complete without a mention of the eye-popping
manifestations that He so casually accomplishes ?
bringing forth Lord Rama's ring, Mother Sita's
chudamani and so on just to motivate the boys
along the spiritual path. And sometimes He just
talks to the boys like the Father that He is telling
them that He loves them and that He is preparing
them for the roles that they have to play in the
future to bring about a transformation in society.
And the sessions usually begin and end with the
taking of letters ? the fervent appeal to the Lord
that is a unique privilege available to all of us.
Reading a letter from
a young one
And of course, the most generous Lord always sends us all off
from His abode with His prasadam - either a sweet or a
mango, yet another small way to show how much He loves all of
us. And it is this very love for all of us for that has brought
Him down to earth to redeem humanity.
is a unique 'race' that happens at the end of every
programme in Brindavan. As the arathi song
is getting over, and the strains of "Om Shanti
Shanti Shanti" are fading, a few Seva Dals
hurry to roll some barricades from one end of the
Hall and put them in place before the deity of Lord
Ganesha in the front of the Hall under the dais. And
simultaneously a few enterprising ladies also hurry
in a similar fashion. They have a narrow window of
opportunity - just the time that it takes the Seva
Dal to roll the barricades down - to go up to Lord
Ganesha and take His padanamaskar before He
becomes "unavailable". And soon it is a scramble.
And the seva dal does have a problem on his
tries to shoo the ladies away so he could put the
barricades in place. While the ladies in front try
to obey him (as they have already taken Lord
Ganesha's blessings) the ladies from behind are
unwilling to give ground in their attempts to reach
His feet. I wonder what Lord Ganesha, sitting
serenely in His place, thinks about all this
confusion that happens right at His Lotus Feet.
Putting the barricades
While this story has its bit of humour; it is also a powerful
commentary at the same time. The Avatar has been with
us for 80 years and the 'window of opportunity' is fast
narrowing. Are we also hustling to reach His Lotus Feet and hold
on to Them before the barricades are in place and He becomes
unavailable? Do we have the same urgency to intensify our
sadhana so that we attain Him and realize the purpose of
our life? Or are we taking a laissez-faire attitude thinking
there is always tomorrow and wasting yet another day, yet
another year, and yet another lifetime!
Think about it. Swami's airplane is getting ready to take off.
Have we 'earned' our boarding passes yet!
till next time; Jai Sai Ram.
- Heart2Heart Team.
Radio Sai E-Magzzine June 2006