Report on Mahashivarathri
Celebrations: 26th & 27th February, 2006
Lord Shiva is
one of the chief gods in the Hindu pantheon. The day previous to
the new moon is observed as Shivarathri and considered
auspicious for worship of Lord Shiva. But the Shivarathri in the
Magha month of the Hindu calendar is celebrated as Maha
Shivarathri and people throng temples and observe night long
vigil engaged in
singing Bhajans, chanting hymns and performing worship to Lord
Shiva. At Prasanthi Nilayam, this festival assumes more
significance in the physical presence of the very embodiment of
Shiva-Shakti Swaroopa, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
On the occasion
of Mahashivarathri, Bhagawan felicitated five long-standing
devotees for their invaluable contribution and dedicated service
in Bhagawan's institutions and service projects, and gifted them
each with a new car. The fortunate ones were –
A.Ramakrishna, Former Vice-President of L&T, ECC Division.
During his tenure, the reputed construction
company executed a number of projects on behalf of Sri Sathya
Sai Central Trust, most significantly, the water supply projects
in the drought prone districts of Anantapur, Medak and
Mahabubnagar in Andhra Pradesh and the metropolitan city of
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, as well as the two Super Speciality
R.Kondala Rao, Technical consultant to the Government of Andhra
Pradesh, for the water supply projects undertaken by Bhagawan.
K.Chakravarthi, IAS (Retd.) who was the first Registrar of Sri
Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, and is presently the
Secretary of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust.
G.Venkataraman, a renowned scientist and former Vice-Chancellor
of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. Presently, he is
the Vice-Chairman of the overseas wing of Sri Sathya Sai
Organisation, and also the in-charge of Radio Sai Global
Harmony, the ashram radio service.
K.R.Paramahamsa, IAS (Retd.), who has held various positions in
Bhagawan's institutions and who is presently in charge of the
‘Deena Janoddharana Pathakamu', the home for destitute children
established by Bhagawan.
26th morning, after the felicitation ceremony, the
students of Bhagawan's educational institutions sang stotrams
(hymns) and songs in praise of their Lord Sai Shiva. The morning
programme concluded with Arati.
In the evening,
after granting Darshan at 4 p.m., Bhagawan distributed white
safari suiting material and calculators to all the students.
Following this, Bhagawan went back to Poornachandra and returned
at 5.15 p.m. Once Bhagawan was seated on the dais, He commanded
the students to start Bhajans. However, after a few minutes,
Bhagawan indicated the Bhajans to stop and permitted Sri
A.V.S.Raju to read out a selection from his anthology of poems
composed on Bhagawan. At 6.30 p.m., Bhagawan rose to give His
started His discourse with a poem that described the
omnipresence of God and irony inherent in the various modes of
worship offered to Him. Bhagawan said that while the whole
Universe is in God, how can one build a temple for Him? What
name can one give to Him who resides in all beings? What need is
there to perform Abhishekam (ceremonial bath) to Him when all
the oceans find refuge in Him? The entire universe is a
manifestation of the five elements which in turn have originated
from the Divine. While these elements are subject to change and
destruction, God alone is immutable and eternal. One must
realize that everyone is divine and should not be deluded by
bodily attachment to one's spouse, children and even one's
enemies. One should respect them as embodiments of the Divine.
Bhagawan concluded His discourse with the Bhajan – "Prema
Muditha Man Se Kaho…" and soon retired to His residence.
Bhajans continued through the night and the next morning,
Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant Hall at 6.20 a.m. After going
around the hall granting Darshan to everyone, He took His seat
on the dais. Around 6.45 a.m .or so, one could sense that
something was in the offing as Bhagawan was showing signs of
physical pain and restlessness – indications that there may be
‘Lingodbhavam'. The pace of the Bhajans kept increasing every
minute in anticipation, but it was not until 8.25 a.m. that a
beautiful golden lingam emerged from Bhagawan's mouth. Then out
of immense love and compassion, He moved amidst devotees holding
the lingam so that everyone could have a close glimpse of it.
Bhagawan presented Sri K.R.Paramahamsa and his wife with the
keys of a brand new car. Bhagawan
sent word for the boys who are the beneficiaries of the Deena
Janodharana Pathakamu; all 60 of them at once surrounded
Bhagawan and what took place
the next 25 minutes was an outpouring of love that brought tears
to everyone's eyes. Bhagawan spoke to them and assured them that
He would take care of all of them and they should study well and
lead happy, spiritual and healthy lives. They in turn replied
that they were no longer orphans or destitute children for
Bhagawan was looking after them and showering so much love on
them. Some of them spoke, chanted Vedic hymns and sang songs
expressing their love and gratitude to Bhagawan. Bhagawan also
praised Sri K.R.Paramahamsa and his wife Smt. Gita Paramahamsa
for their dedication in looking after their every need and
bringing them up so well.
Celebrations concluded with Mangala Arati and everyone was