Maha Shivaratrhi Celebrations
CHRONICLES OF HEAVEN ON EARTH
SPECIAL REPORT FROM BRINDAVAN
most of you are probably aware, Swami stayed in His "Trayee
Brindavan" home in Whitefield, Bangalore continuously from
January 20th, 2006 and returned to Parthi only on February 18th.
As this chronicle covers His sojourn there for this period, it
was suggested that perhaps this month's chronicle be relabelled
as "Brindavan Diary". But as prashanti - the peace that
passeth all understanding - in the fullest sense of the term is
extant only where He stays, we decided to let the
remain unchanged and we hope that you concur with our view that
prashanti is more a state of the mind and heart and not
just a mere geographical term.
And while we type these words, we are also reminded of an
incident that occurred just before the 75th birthday in the year
2000, which we will recall even at the risk of digressing from
the main theme. As most of you know, once every five years all
the Ashram buildings get re-painted. Hence all the buildings in
the Ashram had just been given a new coat. From where Swami was
standing on the veranda, He could see how the name on the East
Prashanti Blocks had just been painted in big bright red
letters. He read it out loud - "East Prashanti " and then
turning to the students remarked in Telugu, "Prashanti ki
direction undaa?" - Does prashanti have a
direction also? It is very clear in what sense He is referring
to the term prashanti!
Going back to the main story, soon after Swami arrived in
Brindavan, the Brindavan boys welcomed Him with a well prepared
programme "Hridaya pushpam". One of the hallmarks of
the integrated system of education prevalent in the Sri Sathya
Sai Institutions is effective time management. The boys put up a
creditable programme and also performed well on their mid-term
exams starting the next day. This time-management quality of
course is so useful in today's demanding world where one always
has to do multi-tasking while simultaneously resolving
conflicting and demanding priorities.
JAN 29, 2006 :
HRIDAY PUSHPAM - A PROGRAMME BY THE BRINDAVAN BOYS
in Brindavan are always special. On each Sunday the devotees of
Bangalore start the bhajans in the morning and it is
continued the whole day up to the point when Bhagavan enters the
Hall again in the afternoon, and ends only when He signals for
arathi at the end of the afternoon darshan.
This gives an opportunity for the devotees to be immersed in
devotional singing the entire day. Sundays are also special as
some of the devotees from Puttaparthi also come down for the day
and there is a full house in Sai Ramesh Hall.
After Swami arrived in Sai Ramesh Hall in the afternoon, He
signalled to the boys to start their programme. His Excellency,
the Governor of Karnataka, Sri T.N. Chaturvedi was also present
that day, as he had come to Brindavan to seek Bhagavan's grace.
Readers of this column may recall that Sri Chaturvedi was the
chief guest at the Institute's Convocation on November 22nd last
year. (To read the convocation report again,
The programme "Hrudaya Pushpam" (the flower of the
heart) by the students was a mix of soulful group songs
interspersed with speeches. The songs varying from Hindi, Telugu
and English lifted the entire atmosphere and also lit up a
beautiful smile on Bhagavan's face. In between each song the
students stood up to express their love, narrate their
experiences, and thank Bhagavan for the wonderful opportunity.
Sreejith expressed his love for Swami in 4 different languages -
Bengali, Hindi, Malayalam, and English and thanked Him for being
his only solace and for helping us to be in bliss whenever He is
near us. Asutosh Jha prayed to the Lord to make us true
instruments in His hands and remember Him always come what
may.Nishant Verma related how Bhagavan once cured him of his
paralytic attack. He said that our every breath and heart-beat
speaks only one thing - "Swami we can't live without You."
Akshay Kamath said that the small squirrel that helped build the
Ramasetu (bridge across Sri Lanka) and the flute of
Lord Krishna are immortalised. It is similarly our duty also to
become immortalised as His instruments.
Giridhar feelingly prayed to Him that we realize the
beautiful relationship we share - that we live for
You and You alone. Vivek Thacker speaking in Hindi
expressed his love through a poem (a shaire)
which conveyed that our relationship is deeper than
Another speaker expressed that before man realises
that desires are not going to reap him any fruit, he
ends his term on earth. But we are lucky that our
Lord Sai has shown us the reality and has told us
that He is our only motive.
The last speaker expressed his gratitude to Swami
for He gave him life. He was a still-born baby when
he came out of his mother's womb and only when his
grand-mother put the baby on Swami's altar and also
applied some vibhuti did the baby come to
life. He called Swami his true mother for She gave
Wonderful also were the songs that they sang that day. The songs
included "Maa Prana Daivam", "Kaise jiyoon", "Every
moment of my life", "O maa O maa", "Sai Matha
Biddalam", "I keep feeling", "O Nesthama",
and "There is something special in your love". The last
song was "Maa Jeevana adhaarama", meaning the very
basis of our life is our Lord! The programme ended at about 6:30
PM after which there were bhajans followed by
FEB 5TH: BHAKTI
SAGAR - A STUDENT PROGRAMME ON BHAKTI
The following Sunday again
saw another programme offered by the students
immediately after the end of their exams week. The
presentation that the students had planned was to
highlight the profundity of the great teachings on
Navavidha bhakti or the nine-fold path of devotion,
on which Swami has talked about on many, many occasions.
After Swami had taken His
place on the dais, He signalled to the boys who were
holding an oversized card to come up to Him. After
seeing the card the boys had prepared, He blessed them
and asked them to start the programme.
The programme followed a
similar format to the previous programme in which a
speaker first expounded on a quality of bhakti
and this was immediately followed by a song. Thus
alternating between a speech and a song, the boys
explained some of the major aspects of the ninefold path
of bhakti to everyone's appreciation.
first speaker talked of Shravanam, the foremost step of
devotion giving the example of Parishith's exemplary devotion.
This was followed by the song "Saptaswara". The second
speaker highlighted the Keertanam aspect of Bhakthi,
referring to saints like Meerabhai, Purandara Dasa etc. The song
that followed was "Ram Bhajana Karo Mann". A small talk
on Vishnusmaranam was followed by the Tamil song
"Easwaramba". Padasevanam or worship of the Lotus Feet
next aspect to be discussed. Vandanam or salutation was
followed by the song "Vande Janani Vidyadayini" a song
extolling and saluting Mother Saraswati. Referring to Hanuman as
the best example of Dasyam (servitude), the speaker
quoted several events from the life of Hanuman including the
famous one wherein when Mother Sita gives him a pearl necklace,
Hanuman bites each pearl and throws them away after putting them
to his ear as he could not hear them say "Ram, Ram". This
engaging program ended with a rousing Qawali, "Shirdiwale Sai
Baba" to which the entire audience joined in clapping and
the end of the program, prasadam was distributed to
all. Swami also blessed all the students and the devotees
profusely with His beneficent gaze for a long time before He
retired to Trayee Brindavan.
FEB 6TH: CHINESE
NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS IN SAI RAMESH HALL
After a hiatus of a few years, Swami graciously permitted the
celebration of the Chinese New Year in His Divine Presence.
Accordingly, about 200 people of Chinese origin, hailing from
Hong Kong , Singapore and Indonesia assembled in Brindavan
during the first week of February. Putting up with myriad
difficulties (due to limited infrastructural facilities in
Brindavan) they nevertheless bridged barriers of distance and
temporal difficulties to come together as one unit through
intense practice and present a seamless Chinese New Year program
on the morning of February 6th.
Sai Ramesh Hall is decorated for the Chinese
The Chinese Lunar New Year was actually on January 29th.
However, the New Year is celebrated over a period of 15 days and
the 8th day is specially marked for honouring the parents. Hence
in this year of the Dog, on Feb 6th - the 8th day after the New
Year, the Chinese gathered at His Lotus Feet to show their
filial love to our beloved Divine Father and Mother Sai.
The entire Sai Ramesh Hall was decked out with intricate floral
patterns with large helpings of the auspicious Chinese colour of
red. The program began on a pounding note when Bhagavan was
escorted from His home in Trayee Brindavan to Sai Ramesh Hall to
the resonant sounds of drums with a pair of lion dancers and
dolls leading the procession. When He reached Sai Ramesh Hall,
Swami was given a traditional Chinese welcome before He ascended
After Swami had taken His seat on the dais, the lion dancers
gave a vibrant display of their art. Devotees from Parthi are
familiar with the lion dance since the students have performed
it during the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet on January 11th
this year and also earlier. However, for most of the devotees in
Karnataka, this was the first time and they watched it with
wonderment and joy.The lion dance has an important place in
Chinese culture and is traditionally performed to inaugurate
important events like starting new businesses or other social
events. It is also believed that this traditionally brings good
luck to the people and the pounding drums drive away all the bad
luck and evil in their lives.Additionally the association with
the lion's strength and character (like courage and fearlessness
in all situations) is supposed to bring good fortune and
prosperity in the coming New Year and help achieve success in
the ultimate goal of life.
After Swami was welcomed with roses and presented with the day's
agenda for His blessings, the programme started with different
couples presenting in turn the following items to our divine
parent: Chinese tea, two types of Chinese cakes - Nian Gao
and Fa Gao, Mandarin oranges, a pair of scrolls, and
red packets (Hang Baos) containing sweets as gifts to
Swami accepted each present with grace and dignity. It was very
touching to see Him pick mandarin oranges from both the
gentleman and the lady presenting it to Him and lovingly
stacking the oranges delicately in His lap to the delight of the
congregation. Swami also spent a lot of time going over the
photographs of seva done by our brothers and sisters after the
recent devastating tsunami in the region.
While all the presentation ceremony was going on, there were
many in the crowd who wondered - is there a special significance
in these gifts? We did not have to wait long for an answer, for
the presentation ceremony was followed by a drama elaborating on
the significance of the Chinese New Year traditions and culture.
Using a back-drop of Malay and an Indian family visiting their
Chinese friends on the occasion of the Chinese New Year, the
Chinese traditions were performed and explained to their young
sons. Thus we learnt that pairs of oranges are presented as a
mark of respect and also as a symbol of wealth - to wish people
good health and that all matters in their life will run
Chinese tea is offered to guests during the Chinese New Year and
also on festive occasions for good health and longevity. Two
types of cakes are offered to guests during the New Year. The
moon shaped Nian Gao cake which is a New Year cake and the Fa
Gao cake for prosperity. A pair of scrolls is offered to guests
with inscriptions in Chinese letters to wish good luck, fortune
and peace in their lives like - "Wish you a happy, prosperous
New Year" or "May all your wishes come true in this New Year".
New Year scrolls being shown to Swami
And finally, through the medium of the drama they explained the
significance of the red packets or "Hong Bao". They are given on
all auspicious occasions (like Birthdays and weddings also) and
not just on the New Year. The red envelope is decorated with
Chinese characters for luck and is usually given with money
inside it for luck and wealth. It is a Chinese practise to give
an even amount of money as a gift rather the custom of an odd
amount prevalent elsewhere. However the red packets given to
Swami (and later distributed as prasad to the devotees)
contained sweets and not money!
The Hong Bao or the red packets of Prasadam
being explained in the drama
Arathi brings the Chinese New Year program
After the short drama there was a chanting of the six-syllable
mantra Om Mane Padme Hum, which means that by the
practise of a path which is an indivisible union of method and
wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind
into the pure exalted body, speech and mind of a Buddha.
Following this, Lunar New year songs and Chinese and Sanskrit
bhajans were sung by the devotees before mangala
arathi was taken to signify the end of a memorable morning
of celebration. Heart to Heart would also like to take this
opportunity to say "Xiang Nian Kuai Le" or Happy New
Year in Mandarin to our readers all over the globe.
FEB 12: KAVI
SAMMELAN - A POETRY READING PROGRAMME IN SAI RAMESH HALL
the third Sunday in a row, the Brindavan students offered a
unique programme for our Lord. A bunch of budding poets - 15 in
number, sat arrayed in front of Him, all ready to read their
poems of love and gratitude that they had penned in 13 different
After Swami had entered Sai Ramesh Hall around 5:00 PM and given
His darshan to all, He signalled to the boys to start. Two boys
immediately went up to Him and showed Him a card seeking His
blessings and presented the programme to Him. The programme
started with a brief introduction by 2 students in both Hindi
and English (where they addressed Swami as the poet of all the
poets) and then the presentation was underway.
The poets were all dressed for the occasion in the traditional
costumes of the states where they hailed from. Each poet got up
in turn and stood in front of Swami and recited His offering to
Him with feeling
and love. The first poet rendered his poem in the grandhika
style of Telugu and in flowing language described the glory and
grandeur of the Avatar. This was followed by a poem in Hindi
delivered in classical style and referred to the great good
fortune of the residents of Brindavan and the contemporaries of
the Avatar and to rejoice in His boundless grace. This was
followed by a poem in Kannada highlighting a famous sloka
from the Bhagavad Gita on Nishkama karma "Karmanyevadhikarasche
ma phaleshu kadachana" which means that you have the right
to work but not to the fruits thereof.
The Nepali poem that followed next praised our Lord Sai as the
greatest gift that mankind can ever hope to receive. This was
followed in turn by a poem in English which extolled the glory
of Sai's mission and the role of His students who are His only
The Tamil poem that was next resonated well with the large Tamil
speaking audience that was present that day in Sai Ramesh Hall.
The poem raised the question as to how we can adequately
describe Him when we fail to even comprehend Him? These were
followed by more poems in Marathi, Malayalam, Tulu, Gujarati,
Oriya, Bengali, and again in Nepali and Telugu all expressing in
one form or other their love for Him and their gratitude for
what He has done for them.
the end of their programme Swami was immensely pleased. All the
poets were also thrilled at Swami's pleasure, for they live only
to please Him. Slowly Swami got up from His chair and asked all
the students to come up to Him. Our students don't need a second
invite and immediately swarmed up to Him and milled all around
Him for He was rewarding them with the rare and much coveted
group photograph. Swami posed with them for long till the
photographers were also well satisfied, and then in His
inimitable style started joking with the boys. He called the boy
who had narrated a poem in Gujarati and said "pagadiwala
marriage ko jata" - the turbaned fellow is getting married.
Swami also showed His omnipresence to the Hindi poet by telling
him the exact name of the place in Bihar where he hailed from
and blessed him profusely. Thus He gave a lot of joy to all with
a word here and a smile there. The programme ended with the song
"Hum ko tumse pyar hai"- Swami we all love You!!
Swami raised His Hand and blessed everyone before He slowly
wended His way back to His home in Trayee Brindavan.
FEB 10TH TO 14TH: A YAGNAM
CONDUCTED IN SAI KRISHAN KALYANA MANTAP
With the blessings of Bhagavan the following pujas and
chantings were conducted in Sai Krishan Kalyana Mantap every
morning starting from the 10th of February for five days.
Bhagavan came to the Kalyana Mantap (Marriage Hall) to bless the
priests on the first day and the priests recited the following
everyday over the next 5 days:
1. Ganapathi puja
3. Surya Mandalarchanam
6. Mahasouram Parayanam
7. 108 Suyra namaskarams with Tricha and Aruna mantrams
8. Surya Sahara Naamarchanam
10. Nirajanam and Mantra Pushpa
fifth day, February 14th a more elaborate ritual was
done for the Poorna Ahuti (the final
ceremony). A small fire pit was erected in the
centre of the kalyana mantap for the
yagnam or the fire sacrifice. The yagnam
started in the morning around 8 AM in Sai Krishan
However, we were all waiting in Sai Ramesh Hall for
Swami's Darshan, when around 9:15 AM all the
devotees were requested to go to the kalyana
mantap. Swami arrived in the kalyana mantap
just a little before 10:00 AM and took His
When the ritualistic prayers connected with
the yagnam were over, Swami blessed the couple that had
conducted the yagnam and also materialised a gold chain
for the lady and asked the husband to tie it around the neck of
his wife. Swami also distributed clothes to the Brahmin priests
who had conducted the prayers over these 5 days.
Blessing the couple that conducted the
Distributing clothes to the Brahmin Priests
next asked the priest to recite certain Vedic slokas.
After that He also consigned traditional offerings wrapped in a
red cloth and gold coins and other precious offerings also into
the fire to bring the sacrifice to a close.
Consigning precious offerings to the fire...
Blessing the devotees with sanctified
After that came a ritual that everyone looks
forward to. Swami walked around the Hall sprinkling akshada
(turmeric coated rice) on everyone in both the ladies side as
well as the gents' side. He then sat for some time giving
everyone the bliss of His darshan while bhajans
Then after taking of arathi He again
blessed the couple that had conducted the yagnam and
also posed for photographs with the family before leaving for
The managala arathi being taken ...
Sumptuous prasadam being distributed to one
sumptuous lunch prasadam of tamarind rice, curd rice
and sweet rice was quickly and efficiently distributed to all
the devotees at the end of the ceremony through multiple
counters arranged in all corners of Sai Ramesh Hall.
MANY VISITORS SEEK
When Swami is in Brindavan, because of its close proximity to
the metropolitan city of Bangalore, there is a steady stream of
visitors who come to seek Swami's blessings. Even though Swami
was in Brindavan in February, not the normal time when He
usually comes to Brindavan, there was more than the usual quota
of VIPS seeking an audience with the Lord. We are not aware of
everyone who came to see the Lord during His stay there, but we
were able to take the pictures of the few who came during the
public darshan or bhajan time or were sitting
in Sai Ramesh Hall while awaiting the Lord.
February 2nd, the Karnataka State Chief Minister designate Sri
H.D. Kumaraswamy and the Deputy Chief Minister designate Sri
B.S. Yediyurappa came to seek Swami's blessings before taking
the oath of office the next day. Swami received them warmly and
gave them an audience in the interview room.
Sunday, February 5th, the Ashram also had another very
distinguished visitor. The Vice-President of the country Sri
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who had landed in the HAL airport in
Bangalore that afternoon, came to Sai Ramesh Hall accompanied by
the Governor Sri T.N. Chaturvedi later in the evening close to 6
PM. They sat through the students' programme on Bhakti Sagar
(reported above) and were later blessed with an audience with
Swami inside Trayee Brindavan.
the evening of February 8th, Sri Sri Sri Ravishankar, of the Art
of Living Foundation came to have an audience with Bhagavan.
most of you know the Art of Living Foundation was
celebrating their silver jubilee in the Garden City on February
17th, 18th and the 19th. Swami gave an audience to Sri Sri Sri
Ravishankar later in the interview room.
Taking advantage of the proximity of Brindavan, all the 850
students of Swami's school in Muddenhalli which is just 56
kilometres from Brindavan came by buses to have Swami's Darshan
on February 13th.
The ever merciful Lord, who normally sits on the dais in the
evening for the bhajans, chose to come down from the
dais and give these boys the bliss of His darshan from
FEB 18TH: SWAMI
LEAVES FOR PARTHI
was an idyllic time in Brindavan. The weather was perfect, and
Swami was at His amiable best. All the devotees of Karnataka and
the students of Brindavan who were pining for the Lord drank
their fill to their heart's content during the few days that He
Unexpectedly on the morning of February 18th, just after the
conclusion of the morning darshan, Swami waited for the
arathi to be completed. Then He raised both His hands
and blessed everyone on both the Ladies and the Gents' side.
Then turning to the Ladies in the first row He announced, "I am
going to Parthi."
And right after the darshan there was a scramble. Bags
were hurriedly packed, taxis were booked, bus tickets had to be
arranged, breakfast had to be eaten in a hurry and soon there
was a steady stream of humanity taking the long dusty road back
Swami left His abode in Brindavan exactly at 1:00 PM on the road
home back to Parthi, where He arrived around 4:30 PM and was
received with full honours.
FEB 20TH: A PROGRAMME BY THE PARTHI
After Swami had settled down in Parthi, the
third year undergraduate class of the Institute welcomed and
felicitated Him with a well-prepared programme on the 20th of
February on the theme of EDUCARE, to express their love and
gratitude to Him for His benevolence while they were students in
the Institute. Labelled as a "gratitude programme", the
graduating class from the undergraduate programme, the
programme and the High School traditionally present these
programmes in the month of February just prior to their annual
examinations in March. It is a time for emotional farewells, for
fond reminiscences, for fervent prayers and sorrowful
leave-taking from the physical presence of Bhagavan, Who has
been their Divine Mother, Father and Friend since their joining
Swami came unexpectedly early that evening, just before 3 PM.
Most of the 64 undergraduate boys taking part in the programme
were seated in the Bhajan Hall and Swami spent a few minutes
chatting with them prior to the programme.
Swami questioned them about the theme and immediately the boys
showed Swami the card they had prepared depicting a pond with a
lotus in the centre and some leaves around. The boys explained
to Swami that they were like the pond and that He was like the
beautiful lotus in the centre of their lives! Swami went on to
explain the subtleties and intricate details of various stories
selected by the boys. When the boys were asked by Swami "Where
is Sita?" on seeing a boy dressed as Rama, the entire Hall was
filled with laughter.
The boys immediately took
the cue and narrated briefly the story from the Ramayana
that was to be depicted. Swami went on to explain that
Rama was the caretaker of all and that Bharatha was the
ruler of Ayodhya. The boys in reply said that Swami was
the caretaker of all. Swami then said that He would come
for the programme and asked the boys to get ready and
assemble everything outside.
The programme began in the Divine presence at around
3:20 PM . The various aspects of Educare: E-Education,
D-Duty and Devotion, U-Understanding, C-Compassion,
A-Action, R-Reverence, and ultimately E-Enlightenment
were depicted as individual characters who explained the
importance of each value through instances from Swami's
life, various parables and stories from mythology.
The importance of Swami's
free education system was highlighted through an
incident where a graduate was asked in an interview what
he had received from Swami (the interviewer was
referring to the many rings, watches, pendants etc that
Swami manifests as gifts for those He wills).
speaker explaining one of the values of Educare
boy replied that Swami had given him the most important gem that
had made him what he was - the gift of free quality education
and more importantly, self-confidence!
Duty and devotion was portrayed through a small skit depicting
the story from the Ramayana where Bharatha on being unsuccessful
in convincing Rama to return back to Ayodhya, then reverentially
asks Him for His sandals and with great devotion takes it back
to Ayodhya to fulfil his duty of ruling the kingdom in Lord
Speakers next spoke about how their hostel life had taught them
the importance of understanding and oneness.
Compassion was highlighted by the story of Siddhartha (Gautama
Buddha) saving the swan. A contemporary story was related next
of a benevolent Australian who agreed to pay the medical school
fees for a poor boy who had undergone a major heart surgery in
Swami?s hospital after reading about his story in the Healing
Touch section of Heart2Heart.
Nishkama Karma - action without expecting the fruits
thereof - was highlighted by a story from Swami's
Chinna Katha, wherein a boy is sent by the
father to buy fruits for the puja.
boy however, comes back empty handed and explains
that the fruits meant for the prayer had been given
by him to a beggar boy who had not eaten in days.
The father is impressed by the son's act and
declares that he has imbibed the good values of
Bharat and had earned the true fruit of action.
boy comes back empty-handed for the puja
Reverence was highlighted by the Mahabharatha story where
Yudhistira removed his armour and crown, walked across the
battle-field and sought the blessings of his grandfather
Moved by this reverence, Bheeshma blessed Yudhistira to be
victorious even though he was arrayed against him on the
battle-field. The boys also presented that by following Swami's
teachings, one could achieve enlightenment.
an unusual twist, there was a blindfolded boy sitting dejected
on a stone to convey that without these values life is not worth
living. In the end, after all the values had been touched upon,
in a dramatic gesture the boy removes the blind-fold to signify
that he has acquired all the values and then thanks Swami on
behalf of everyone for giving us these values that are so vital
The whole presentation was
interspersed with songs between these skits and
speeches. Many soul-stirring songs were sung that day,
"Maa Prana Daivam",
"Hum Tere Hain Sai","Dil Yehi Kehta Hai",
"Marichithi Vemo", "Yenta
Manchi Teepi", and "Duniya Tere Bina Kuch
singing of group songs after every speech or skit
each new song would start, a rose would be presented to Swami by
one boy while another group of 2 boys would present Him the
words to the song written in neat calligraphic handwriting.
rose for the Lord before every song
Lyrics to the song being sung is given to the Lord
Swami spent some time talking to all these boys who went up to
Him at the start of each song, and also blessed them by putting
His hand on their heads.
At the end, there was
multi-lingual rally wherein 8 boys gave a very short
speech for just a minute or two in duration, in eight
different languages, on the theme of Motherly Love.
The languages they spoke
in were Tamil, Tulu, Kannada, Lithuanian, Nepali,
Manipuri, Hindi and Telugu.
The program was over just
a little before 5:00 PM after which arathi was
taken before Bhagavan went back to His Poornachandra
Speaking about Swami's motherly love in Lithuanian
FEB 23rd: A
PROGRAM BY THE 10TH AND 12TH CLASS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Not to be left behind, the
10th and the 12th Class of the High School - the
graduating class - had also prepared a programme to
express their gratitude to Swami for all that He had
done for them during their stay here.
The programme started with
the students singing songs of gratitude and love, after
they had their programme card blessed by Swami.
This was followed by some
of the students expressing their feelings for all the
grace Swami had showered on them.
Among these, some of the
students narrated their personal experience of how Swami
had saved their lives or the lives of their family
members on numerous occasions.
Students showing their card to Swami
Jeemut expressed how
Swami had saved the life of his grandmother.
Swami was returning to Parthi from Brindavan and
as was the prevailing custom and is even now,
Swami broke a few coconuts before embarking on
the journey. Swami called a boy and whispered
something in his ear. The boy nodded his head
and got up and started scanning the students.
Spotting my father, he signalled him to go up to
the dais as Swami was calling him. My father
rushed and knelt before Swami. Picking up a
broken coconut, Swami handed it to my father.
Immediately after darshan, my father rang up my
grandfather in Assam and enquired about his
mother?s health. My father was shocked to know
that my grandmother was suffering from severe
gastric ulcer for a month! My grandfather had
not told my father thinking that he would be
disturbed. Surrendering completely to God, my
father took the coconut, cut it into miniscule
pieces and with the Lord?s form in his heart and
a prayer on his lips, dropped it into the letter
box after addressing it to my grandfather in
Jeemut talking about Swami saving his grandmother's
Fortunately, due to Swami?s grace, the envelope arrived just
in time, when my grand mother?s condition was getting
critical. Partaking of the remedy given by the greatest
doctor, my grandmother was cured within a week, with no sign
of the gastric ulcer remaining what so ever! The disease had
disappeared completely without a trace! Swami had shown yet
again that when man?s hands fold in a sincere prayer, God?s
open to shower his blessings. "
Bali of the tenth standard talked about how his
brother got into a medicine rack kept by his mother
who was a medical practitioner and happened to rub
some transparent liquid into his eyes. Being a
Friday Islamic holiday in the town of Tahalla, Libya
in North Africa, there were unavoidable delays in
getting the young child to the hospital.
they finally reached the hospital, staff gave the
desperate parents the bad news that the liquid had
not spared the young child's eyes and he would
probably be blind for life. Day and night the
parents prayed to Swami but each day saw the sight
However, on the 11th day, when the dressing was
removed they found that the eyes had been spared due
to Swami's grace and the child can see even today
without the use of spectacles!
Tarun Bali talking about his brother's vision...
Kamal Chand of Std XII related how Swami had saved his father
from not receiving a scratch in a motor cycle accident while the
photograph of Swami in his pocket was torn to pieces.
Kamal Chand talking to the audience.....
Sugeet narrating his experience...
S.Sugeet of the Xth class related how when his mother met with
an accident and was lying seriously wounded in the countryside,
a competent doctor arrived out of nowhere and provided timely
medical treatment that saved his mother's life. He said that the
unknown doctor who disappeared after giving the treatment was
none other than our beloved Swami.
Jeffrey Erhard also of the
Xth class related,
"I would like to
narrate an experience that changed the course of my
life. For my first few years of schooling I was
studying in the United States. My mother tried to
teach me to read but I just could not catch on. I
remember that it was like a torture just to read a
few sentences. Eventually I was tested and it was
discovered that I was dyslexic. Many different
remedies were tried but nothing seemed to help. In
my third standard I was very frustrated and somehow
wanted to read. I remember clearly that I took an
easy to read children's book and hid under a table
so that I can concentrate. I struggled through 2 or
3 pages word by word and finally gave up. In my
fourth standard we were here in Prashanti Nilayam.
One day when I was sitting in the Mandir for
darshan, Swami came out and on his rounds glided up
to me and pressed mysteriously on my head. I began
to read. At first my mother did not believe me when
I told her that I was reading. But when she realized
that I really was reading, she knew Swami had
changed my life ".
Jeffrey Earhard talking about Swami's
influence in his life
Though out the programme,
the students pleased Bhagavan with some heartrending
songs in English, Hindi & Telugu which were leavened in
between the speeches. The various songs sung by the
students were -
"Kya Kush Naseeb
Jo Sai Ko Paale (Hindi)", " Pyaare Sai
Hamaare (Hindi)", "Dandaalaya Dandaalaya
(Telugu)", " Smile your ever loving smile
", "We want to be with you Oh Lord!", "
Kannula Mundara (Telugu)", "Teri Hai Zameen
Tera Aasmaan (Hindi)", and " Dil Yehi
Kahataa Hai Maa (Hindi)".
students sing for Swami
The boys presented roses and the script of the songs. Swami
lovingly accepted and spoke to the students & blessed them
Swami blessing the students
beautiful card for Swami
students also made beautiful greeting cards which were
appreciated by the loving Lord.
The programme concluded
with the students thanking Swami in various languages
such as Gujarati, Marathi, Nepali, Malayalam, Tamil,
Hindi, Telugu and English.
In view of their coming
Board Exams, Swami also blessed Vibhuthi packets and the
pens with which they would write their board
Getting vibhuti blessed by Swami
Pleased by their effort,
Swami blessed them with an unexpected Divine Discourse
emphasizing the path that a student must follow in his
life. He said,
"It is very nice
to know that so many of you have been here from
Primary School and have studied till your 12th
class. It is very heartening to note that you have
secured good marks and a good name. But in the
Primary School your heart was full of compassion,
love, feelings of caring and sharing. There was a
feeling of brotherhood. But once you come to Higher
Secondary School your behaviour and actions
deteriorate. They become cheap and mean.
Your words are full of
devotion and make all happy. But some of you have
taken to the wrong path fostering a perverted mind.
Think for yourself, how your minds are.
life is a combination of Manas, Buddhi, Chitta, Ahamkara and
the Body. These five are most essential for liberation.
Above all, the mind must not be polluted. You must never
expect for that which does not belong to you. Be cautious
with those things that do not belong to you.
Whatever you do, do it as
an offering to Swami, to please Him. Tell yourself - this is
not mine. Who am I? From the microcosm to the macrocosm,
everything is Divine. From the mosquito to the elephant, all
are Divine! The characters keep changing just as in a drama,
but all roles are played by Him alone. All words and songs
are His. Only the attire is different. Whatever is said and
seen is all Divine.
The whole Viswa is
Viswarupa. Therefore, we must have Viswa Prema. Only then
you can see God and be God. Differences and anger make you
an animal. Animals do fight between themselves. But should
we also fight like that? Whatever you do, it should be like
gold. God is Hiranyagarbha. What is the specialty of gold?
It remains as gold even if mixed with mud. You all are
golden. But you have joined with the mud. To purify you all,
noble people have to come and clean you. But you all
entertain doubts. Why do doubts come? It comes because of
the feeling of difference. I am different and you are
Special Blessings To A Fortunate One
At one point in His Divine
Discourse, Swami beckoned to one student sitting in the
first line to stand up. Pointing to him, Swami said, "I
know everything about everybody. But I act as though I
do not know."
I know everything about everyone
Swami manifests a ring for a student
in the middle of His discourse
narrated the story of another student who had lost his
mother when he was a young child. Since then, Swami had
taken care of this boy and today he was doing his post
graduate studies in Swami's college. Bhagavan then
signalled for the boy and he came to Swami. This boy
happens to be the band leader and our readers must have
seen his picture along with that of the band every time
they play on festive occasions. Bhagavan patted him and
later materialized a green diamond ring and slid it onto
his finger, saying that green stands for Kshema
said, "See, I know all about this boy's family. My
true property is Love. I Love all, those whom I see and
even those whom I do not. Even at times when I appear
angry it is just that I am pretending to be angry.
Iswara Sarva Bhootaanaam. It is with this Love that God
takes care of this entire Universe. "
FEB 24TH: A
THANKSGIVING PRESENTATION BY THE SECOND YEAR POST GRADUATE
Can one describe the relation between a flower and the
fragrance, the ocean and its waves, the Lord and His children?
To express their love and gratitude to their beloved Lord, the
final year post graduate students offered at the Lotus Feet of
their Master a bouquet of songs. The boys were part of the
programme from the MSc, MBA, MA, M.Tech, and the final year
Diploma students of the Music College.
Bhagavan requested the Vice Chancellor to introduce the
programme for the evening. He stressed on the need for the
passing out students to keep two aspects ever in their mind. One
is the 'spiritual vision' and the second is 'social service'. He
said that they were now entering the phase of 'active
participation' in Bhagavan Baba's Master Plan and Mission .
3.45 p.m. the students began their offering. Two students took a
beautiful card to Swami. The card was a heart-shaped nest with a
mother hen feeding its little chicks. After the "card-boys" were
blessed 4 boys took a lovely cake to be cut by Swami which the
boys had baked themselves. The words on the icing of the cake
read 'I in You, You in me. So we begin, so we end.' As the
programme began with a prayer to Lord Ganesha, an ornamental
sheet containing the list of songs was presented to Swami.
cake prepared for Swami
card of a mother hen and her chicks prepared
by the students for Swami
This programme too followed the same format as all the previous
programmes. The songs were interspersed with short speeches
expressing their love towards Swami.
boys singing the group songs
Presenting a rose and the lyrics to Swami
Among the songs that they sang were "Jhil Mil Jhil Mil
Khilte Taare", " Maa Jeevana Aadhaarama Maa Hrudaya
Sangeetama ", " We Love You Swami ", "Sathya
Dharmamu Shanti Premalato Nee Nitya Jeevana Yatra Saaginchu",
"O Maa Sai Maa", "Enta Premayo Swamiki Enta Premayo
Satya Sai Bhagawanuki Enta Premayo", "Ye Bandhan To
Pyaar Ka Bandhana Hai Janmo Kaa Sangama Hai", and"O
Nestamaa Priyamaina Bandhamaa". The mellifluous sounds of a
pair of violins playing in the background lifted the songs to
In all about 25 boys expressed their gratitude in 12
languages - English, Kannada, Hindi, Telugu, Bengali,
Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Konkani, Tamil, Sourashtra
The themes of these little
speeches varied from thanking Swami for the education He
had given, poetic expression of love and gratitude,
nostalgic memories of yesteryears in the primary school,
to promising Swami that they would lead their lives by
practising Swami's teachings. The last speech - in
Telugu - adored the glory and beauty of Swami's words.
The song following this,
expressed the prayer of the students that Swami should
speak to them. Bhagavan blessed the boys and answered
their prayers by giving them a discourse.
expression of gratitude
It was 4.50 p.m. when Swami stood up
and began His discourse. He said,
"To live in this world you
need secular education (Hemataaraka Vidya). For the
life thereafter you need spiritual education (Brahma
Vidya). Even with all great degrees like MA and MBA,
with all wealth, affluence and property, and with
all name and fame; man is not able to win over the
Worldly knowledge will only
help in living a comfortable life. What great thing
do we gain by merely studying? Chaavu Leni Chaduvu
Chaduvavalayu.. one must study that which leads
beyond death. All worldly education is like bulbs
and fans (negative) whereas spiritual education is
the current (positive).
Man forgets and is ignorant of the
inner current (there is static current even in your hair)
and runs after the outer current. Along with secular
education, spiritual education should also be acquired. Mere
secular education cannot even make an ant move. Once you
control your five senses nobody can be greater than you.
Everything is contained within man. All is contained in the
Viswa Rupa - Cosmic Form. Without realizing this truth
undertaking any amount of spiritual pursuit is in vain. All
our descriptions of Divinity are waverings of our mind. It
has nothing to do with Godhood. That is why Tyagaraja said -
'Who can ever describe You O Lord?'
When bad thoughts enter your mind,
replace them with good thoughts. If you practise this, you
will become virtuous. All great people have achieved their
greatness in this manner. Can anything happen without God's
The human being is the one with a
single desire not the one with multiple desires. Jantu Naam
Nara Janma Durlabham. Human birth is very rare and precious.
Do not entertain bad feelings like hatred, jealousy, anger
towards anybody. To be truly human, one must control the
bestial qualities. However fragrant the flower may be, when
it is mixed with dirt it will smell foul.
What is Manasu? 'Ma' means 'I', 'Na'
means 'No' or 'remove'. Therefore, remove the ' I' feeling
and then 'Su' remains. 'Su' stands for Sugandham -
fragrance. Born as a human being, belonging to the human
race, if we go by 'Ma' and 'Ma' alone it will lead to Maya.
Therefore remove the Ma - 'I' feeling and then Sugandham
will come into your life. Su symbolises Sugandhaswarupa,
Supriya, Sunandamaya, Sukhaswarupa.....
Good and bad belong to you. God has
no role to play in this. He is the very embodiment of Love
and Peace. Under any circumstances, be peaceful. You will
surely find peace in your vicinity."
Swami concluded His discourse by singing the
bhajan Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Shanti Nahin.
After a few bhajans by the boys, Swami took arati
and retired for the day.
FEB 25: AN
ENCHANTING EVENING OF PROGRAMMES
was quite an evening, on the day before Sivarathri. After Swami
came into Sai Kulwant Hall, He sent a lot of boys scurrying over
to Poornachandra. It soon became clear why - when they came back
carrying a couple of watermelons each from Poornachandra for
distribution in Sai Kulwant Hall.
Bringing the watermelons from Poornachandra
was quite a sight to see the boys bring the watermelons two at a
time and give it to the crowd and then run back again for more.
It reminded all of us of Lord Rama's monkey army that helped Him
build a bridge across the ocean to Lanka by bringing a stone
each and dropping it into the ocean.
the evening was not over yet. Swami then called Sri
AVS Raju, an elderly devotee of long standing. He is
the author of many books of poetry on Swami and
Swami blessed him by releasing some more books that
he had written on this auspicious day.
later gave him permission to read his poetry to the
crowd and he sat right beside the Lord and read his
Telugu poems of praise of the Lord. Though many in
the crowd did not understand the words, the feelings
of devotion came through and were appreciated by
AVS Raju reading his poetry
But the evening was still
not over. Swami then called Sri Ajit Poppat a devotee
from London and asked him to speak to the crowd. Mr.
Poppat started off by asking the question - 'What is
discipline? Is it just sitting silently or speaking
softly and so on, or is it something more profound.'
He then devoted the rest
of his speech to addressing this question. Speaking in a
mixture of English, Hindi with a smattering of Gujarati,
and quoting Sanskrit verses often, Mr. Ajit in his
humorous style drew upon his experiences with Swami to
get his important message across. He said that we are
not animals or birds but humans and even more - we are
Sai Bhaktas. We should always listen to the inner voice
and lead a life in light of Swami's teachings so we can
be considered disciplined and true devotees of the Lord.
It was an enchanting
evening and a precursor of the exciting promises that
the morrow - Maha Sivarathri day - had in store for one
Ajit Poppat addressing the crowd
FEB 26TH AND 27TH:
MAHA SIVARATHRI CELEBRATIONS IN SAI KULWANT HALL
The Morning Programme on February
Maha Sivarathri, the night devoted to Lord Siva, is celebrated
over a couple of days in Parthi, as we have a night long
Akhanda Bhajan session that lasts for over 12 hours. On the
morning of Sivarathri day, the Institute boys traditionally sing
Siva stotrams and songs in praise of the glory of Lord
Siva to usher in the day in an auspicious and fitting manner.
Swami being welcomed by nadaswaram music
February 26th, Mahasivarathri Day, dawned to an eager, expectant
crowd in Sai Kulwant Hall - a crowd fully saturated with fervent
and devotional feelings on this Holy Day. The entire Sai Kulwant
Hall was fully decorated with festoons decorating the roof and
floral decorations adorning the fa?ade of Sai Kulwant Hall.
Swami entered Sai Kulwant Hall around 8:30 in the morning and
was welcomed by the Institute Nadaswaram and the
Pancha Vadyam group in the traditional Indian custom. After
He had taken His place on the dais, the Vedam chanting continued
for some time.
There was an air of hushed expectancy in the Hall. Earlier in
the morning 4 spanking new red cars that had also been adorned
with floral decorations, had been driven into Sai Kulwant Hall
and it was quite obvious that Swami was going to be presenting
it to some chosen devotees.
Soon the mystery was cleared. Swami called Sri Sanjay Sahni,
Principal of the Brindavan Campus, and gave him some
instructions. Sri Sanjay Sahni then announced that Swami was
going to felicitate 4 long term devotees who had rendered yeoman
service to the organization.
The first was Sri A. Ramakrishna. Sri Ramakrishna, now retired,
was the Vice-President of ECC (a part of the Larsen & Toubro
Group). ECC was the chief construction company that had executed
many of Swami's social projects. Notable among them were the
water projects in Anantapur, Medak and Mehboobnagar districts.
The Chennai water project and the East and West Godavari water
projects were also executed by them. They were also instrumental
in constructing the Super-speciality Hospitals in Puttaparthi
and Brindavan, the Chaitanya Jyothi Museum and the Sai Kulwant
Hall. When his name was announced, Sri Ramakrishna came up to
Him and was garlanded by another devotee standing next to Swami.
Swami then personally handed over the keys of the car which had
been driven and was now parked in front of the dais. Sri
Ramakrishna thanked Swami profusely for providing him the chance
to participate in the divine mission and also said that ever
since his group had been of service to Swami, it had grown by
leaps and bounds. He further said that Swami was doing all the
work and giving him all the credit. Swami then personally
escorted Sri Ramakrishna to the car and asked him to seat
himself beside the driver and was ceremoniously driven a short
was Sri Kondal Rao, Senior Technical Consultant to
Govt. of Andhra Pradesh for the Sri Sathya Sai Water
Supply Project, and also the Chief Engineer
supervising the Chennai Water Supply Project. Mr.
Kondal Rao had been closely working with L&T in the
execution of these projects. Sri Kondal Rao in the
true spirit of dedicated service worked night and
day in the execution of the projects over the years.
Kondal Rao was overwhelmed by Swami's Grace and fell
at His feet and took padanamaskar. Swami
then commanded Sri Kondal Rao to get into the new
car and profusely blessed him for all his service to
Kondal Rao being gifted with a new car
other two who were similarly honoured were our very
own - Sri K. Chakravarthi, Secretary of the Central
Trust and Dr. G. Venkataraman, Director of the
Prashanti Digital Studio and Radio Sai Global
Harmony. Sri Chakravarthi, joined the Indian
Administrative Service (Andhra Pradesh Cadre) in
1960; He worked as the Collector of the Anantapur
District and held various positions including
Finance Secretary (projects), Commissioner of
Relief, and Commissioner of Commercial Taxes.
left the IAS in 1981 to become the first Registrar
of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
and ably nurtured the fledgling institute in its
initial years. Currently he is the Secretary of the
Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and is one of the
busiest men in the organization working long hours
each day handling all his myriad responsibilities.
Chakravarthi getting Swami's blessings
Venkataraman, who surely needs no introduction to
our readers, had a very illustrious career in public
service and research and is a former Vice-Chancellor
of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.
He also served at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
in Mumbai and the Indira Gandhi Atomic Research
Centre in Kalpakkam.
the Founder Director of ANURAG, a unit of DRDO -
Defence Research and Development Organization. He is
the recipient of the Sir C. V. Raman Centenary
Award, Indira Gandhi Award and the Padma Shri Award
from the Government of India. He has authored many
books including 'Journey into Light: Life and
Science of C. V. Raman'. He currently teaches at the
Institute besides running the Prashanti Digital
Studio and Radio Sai.
Venkataraman being honored for his contributions
After all the four had been honoured thus and
presented with their gifts of a car, Swami posed for photographs
with them. First He posed with Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Kondal
Rao and praised both of them profusely for their contribution.
Kondal Rao on the left and Sri Ramakrishna
G. Venkatraman on the left and Sri K. Chakravarthi
Next He posed with Sri K. Chakravarthi and Dr. Venkataraman and
listed all their achievements over the years to the boys seated
in front of Him.
After this heart-warming ceremony was over, it was the turn of
the Institute boys to sing songs in praise of our Lord Shiva
Himself. About 9 singers of the Institute sang the following
songs and stotrams that was a fitting finale to the ceremony we
had just witnessed.
Ashwath Narayan singing Shiva Shankari
Amey Deshpande and Guru Prasad
singing Om Namah Shivaya
The songs that they had selected were "Chidananda Roopaha
Shivoham Shivoham", "Bilva stotram", "Lingashtakam",
"Vishwanaataashtakam", "Neela kandara deva", "Sada
Shiva Bhajamyaham", "Shiva Shiva Shiva Shiva Yanaraada",
"Shiva Shankari", and the last song was a well rendered
duet "Om Namah Shivaya". The boys were ably backed by 3
key-boards, 2 violins, 1 flute, 1 tabla, and 1 harmonium.
tiny tots of the Primary School had made many cards and
handicrafts especially for Bhagavan on this auspicious day.
Swami with His immense love and grace asked them to bring it to
Him and talked with all the little ones who had toiled hard to
prepare these gifts for Him.
Tiny Tots from the Primary School show
their handicrafts to Swami
Cutting the cake
Swami finally cut the cakes prepared by many groups in the
Ashram before He went home to Poornachandra. Prasadam
was also distributed to all the devotees.
The Evening Programme on February
The Sivarathri evening programme is one that most of the
devotees look forward to all year, especially after Swami
resumed the lingodhbhavam (bringing out the lingam from
within Him) a few years ago. The queues to get into Sai Kulwant
Hall started forming early so as to get a vantage position to
witness this unique, divine event.
Cloths for a safari suit being distributed
Calculators are taken for being blessed before
Swami was welcomed again in the evening by the same Institute
Nadaswaram band as in the morning. After His arrival
trays containing blue boxes and white safari cloth pieces were
brought out and kept for distribution. Swami instructed the boys
to begin the distribution of the cloths and the blue coloured
boxes that were actually calculators with a musical alarm clock.
sat and kept watching the distribution occasionally
giving the boys some instructions. After some time
to everyone's surprise, Swami got into His car and
went towards Poornachandra and later went out again
for a short while, leaving all the devotees
going to have the Sivarathri discourse? Is there
going to be a lingodhbhavam? We just have
to love His uncertainty - as He keeps repeating
often! After about half an hour He returned again to
Sai Kulwant Hall. After Swami came walking to the
veranda, He raised His right Hand and gave the
Abhaya Hasta Blessings to one and all.
Abhaya Hasta blessing on Sivarathri evening
P. Susheela, a famour playback singer took her place near the
veranda. Swami asked the Institute boys to start with a Ganesha
Bhajan. Then, Smt. P. Susheela sang two Bhajans -
"Esawramba Priya Tanaya
Sai Narayana" and "Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam".
After these two bhajans the boys continued and we
thought the all night Akhanda Bhajan was well underway.
However, a few minutes after 6:00 PM, Swami stopped the
bhajan singing and asked Sri AVS Raju to share his poems
with the audience as he had done the previous day.
read some of his Telugu poems for about 20-25 minutes.
Then Swami stood up and to
everyone's delight and began His nectarine Sivarathri
discourse around 6:30 PM. He said,
Universe is in Him. Can you build a temple for Him?
When He resides in all beings, what name can you
give Him? When all the oceans find refuge in Him,
can you give Him a bath? He is not merely Iswara; He
is the Iswara of the whole Universe. Prapancha is a
combination of the five elements. 'Pra' means
expression or manifestation or blossoming. 'Pancha'
stands for the five elements. There are the five
elements - earth, water, fire, air and ether. There
are also the five senses - Shabda (sound), Sparsha
(touch), Rupa (sight), Rasa (taste) and Gandha
(smell). The five life breaths are Prana, Apana,
Vyana, Udana and Samana. The Lord is the basis for
the expression of all these. Is any among these
permanent? No, only Brahma Tatva is eternal. What is
Brahma - that which represents these five elements.
the foundation of the Universe. There can exist neither
Nature nor world without Love. The world is sustained by the
Love that is distributed in the five elements. Forgetting
Love, following any mode of worship is in vain. The five
elements express their power through the human life.
Good and bad are all in your
thoughts. Correct your thoughts. If there is any element of
hatred, feel ashamed of it. If you are attracted by anybody,
it is because of attachment. Understand that it is God who
attracts. All forms are His. You have none but one true
enemy and that is your own mind.
You are the origin of everything. You
are all Embodiments of Love. None of you is separate. There
is no second at all. There is nothing like a 6th element.
Your Love represents the Divine Form. Brahma (God) is not
away from you. To think that He is away is Bhrama
(Delusion). Action (Karma) is also Divine. Never accuse or
criticize God. All is God.
Doubts and imaginations rob us of our
Bliss. Never entertain any doubts. It is like poison. You
get doubts about your wife, children..... all this is
useless. Why don't you doubt yourself? Then you will feel so
ashamed. Even if doubts come, brush them aside. You can
develop strong faith only when you remove all doubts. Doubts
can be dangerous and can sometimes prove fatal.
Love God and it will transform your
hate towards others also into love. Therefore, develop Love.
When all of you enjoy supreme Bliss, it is Sivaratri for Me.
My Blessings to all of you. Sing the glory of God all night.
Do Naama Smarana whole heartedly. Then you will attain
was very late, almost 8 PM when Bhagavan retired for the
evening. It had been a hectic and an enjoyable day for all. A
lot of devotees stayed behind to spend the entire night singing
His Glory in compliance with Swami's command.
The Morning Programme on February
Swami came early around 6:30 AM to Sai Kulwant Hall. After He
had sat down in His seat, he commanded that the air-coolers be
brought closer to His chair. A few minutes later, one of the
boys serving Swami also brought many flasks of water. An excited
buzz went around the Hall. Is there going to be a lingodh
bhavam this morning?
After Swami sat down in His seat, He commanded that the vessels
containing the prasadam (Pulihora or Tamarind
rice and Sakkara Pongal or Sweet Rice) to be
distributed at the end of the Akhanda Bhajan be stacked
on the veranda. The boys not only brought the serving vessels
but also the huge vessels that contained the remaining
prasadam and stacked them all next to the Lord Himself.
Soon Swami began drinking copious quantities of water. The
lingering suspicions became a certainty, for as noticed in
previous years, He drinks a lot of water before the emergence of
the lingam. The expectations of the crowd were heightened and
they started singing bhajans with renewed vigour and
Soon Swami's physical discomforts also increased. He
occasionally burped as if bringing out the lingam but
it was not time yet for the emanation of the lingam.
Just as a mother has to undergo birth pangs, Swami undergoes
severe physical discomfort in order to manifest the lingam
so that man may realise that behind Creation there IS
a Creator who is Supreme. It is this Supreme One alone who can
grant permanent Bliss, and man must strive to achieve Purity
because that is the only gateway to God and Bliss.
boys attending to Him tried their best to alleviate His physical
discomforts. Added to it were the fervent prayers of all who
could not bear to see our beloved Swami in agony.
Swami requested that "Om Namah Shivaya" be chanted. The
chanting went on uninterrupted and soon picked up a fervent
pace. Swami continued drinking more and more water.
earlier times, the Lingam that emanated from Swami used
to be of crystal etc. These days, however, the lingam
is of pure gold, shining with incredible lustre. Can anyone have
so much gold inside one?s body? Wherefrom does all that gold
come? Swami says that the gold forms in Him from the five
elements present in subtle form.
Initially, the gold exists inside as liquid or molten gold. For
gold to exist in the liquid state, it must be at very a high
temperature. At such temperatures, the stomach of normal mortals
would be completely burnt but not so in the case of the Avatar.
pace of the chanting increased. Bhajans
with a fast beat were now sung and the atmosphere in
Sai Kulwant Hall was electric.
tension was palpable and everyone was mouthing
silent, fervent prayers in the heart. Just before
8:30 AM, Swami nodded gently, as if to say that the
lingam is now formed and ready to emerge.
The atmosphere is
Soon Swami bent His Head down and opened His mouth wide, and an
incredibly big golden lingam - as big as an ostrich egg -
emerged out into the world.
big gold lingam has finally emerged!
lingam is placed on a bed of flowers on a silver
The agony (of being unable to see Swami's physical discomfort)
and the ecstasy (of the emergence of the gold lingam) of the
Lingodbhavam were experienced in full by all. Swami, after
holding up the lingam for all to see, placed the lingam in a bed
of flowers on a silver plate.
Swami though visibly tired physically was not done
yet. He was fully aware that not all had witnessed
clearly this momentous event, due to the huge crowd.
expressed and carried out His desire to go around
Sai Kulwant Hall and show the lingam to all
personally. Such is His love for all of us!
shows the lingam to the devotees
this day was not over yet. Soon a red car was driven
in front of the veranda and we knew it was going to
be gifted to some eminent devotee. Swami then called
Sri Paramahamsa and his wife to the front of the
couple run the Deenajanodharana Pathakamu -
Swami's orphanage. Sri Paramahamsa was honoured by
being garlanded and the car keys were handed over to
him. Swami was also kind enough to pose for pictures
with the couple in front of the car.
Swami poses for a photo with the Paramahamsas
then asked that all the children of the orphanage be brought to
Him. They all came post-haste in obedience to the Lord's
command. Swami first asked them to do some Veda chanting, which
they did quite creditably to everyone's joy and appreciation.
Swami then had chocolates distributed to all the little kids.
Swami then talked to all of them with a mike in His hand and
said that they were not orphans for He was their mother and
father. He said that they should redeem their lives and live up
to all His expectations. He also said that Rs 100,000 had been
deposited in their names and the full amount would be given to
them when they are ready (after graduation) to enter the world.
Swami said that He not only provided them with education but
also with all the other needs like food, clothing, etc. that
they needed. It was a touching, poignant moment when time itself
stood still and oneness was experienced as a common emotional
bond. And there was not a single dry eye in the entire Hall,
boys sing for their Mother and Father
boy thanking Him for all that He has done for them
The boys of the orphanage then sang a few Telugu songs for Him.
A couple of them were even bold and confident enough to thank
Him for all that He had done for them in English! They said that
before they came to the Ashram, their lives were
drifting. Now they had love and purpose in their lives through
Bhagavan's Grace and they were determined to fully utilise the
After this ceremony, at Swami's command, prasadam was
distributed to all the devotees. He supervised the distribution
of the prasadam for some time and then asked that
arathi be taken before He retired back to Poornachandra.
Wherever we are, this is what we must remember on this
Sivarathri day. Firstly, we all have come from the Creator and
thus are born as the Embodiments of Divine Purity. That is what
Lingodbhavam really ought to call to our mind.
Secondly, though we start off pure ? as Swami says, children are
always pure, at least at the start ? desires soon invade us and
contaminate the Mind as much as possible.
However, we must resist this and try to purify the Mind by
burning the desires, and Vibhuti or sacred ash is the
symbol of this ultimate burning of desires. Vibhuti
Abhishekam thus ought to remind us of the need to first
limit desires and then burn them entirely.
might miss observing other functions but Sivarathri
must be taken very seriously because it is all about becoming
Pure and then truly become one with God.
we bring to a close this rather long edition of this month's
chronicle of events. It has been an exhilarating time for all.
And the future looks if anything even more exciting, for really
inexplicable are Swami's Leelas.
till next time, all of us at Heart2Heart wish you the very best.
Jai Sai Ram!
- Heart2Heart Team