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Reports of events from the Sai Baba Ashrams


Prashanthi Bullettin - January 11th, 2006

Sports Meet....


January 11th, 2006

The long awaited Sports day dawns, bringing to fruition the tireless efforts of all students of Bhagawan. The students have just one objective in mind – to please their Lord. Bhagawan too reciprocates with the same intensity. Even last evening, with just a night to go for the Sports Meet, Swami had come out for a round. He first went to the College Auditorium, sat there for a few minutes. The participants, who were taken by surprise, started donning their costumes immediately.

However, after a few minutes, Swami said that He would come back again and proceeded towards the Shanti Vedika stadium. There, He took a full round watching the rehearsals going on and returned to Mandir in time for Bhajans. After Aarti an announcement was made that the Sports Meet would begin the next day morning in Shanti Vedika grounds at 8.00 a.m.

This morning, even as the students assembled for the March Past in the grounds at 7.00 a.m., the galleries and stands were full to their capacity. The weather was very pleasant – neither too cold nor hot. Flags of various Nations adorned the gallery tops – just as it had been done for the Birthday Celebrations.

At 7.45 a.m. Music was played on the Public Address system starting with the Vedic chanting of Ganaanaam Tva. Bhagawan made His entry at sharp 8.00 a.m. At 8.05 a.m., the Brass Band of the Anantapur Campus was heard playing at the rear end of the Shanti Vedika grounds welcoming Bhagawan at the entry point near the Primary School. A few seconds later, the Escorts students were seen leading the procession. Behind them, were all the captains of various squads offering their salute to their Divine Chancellor.

Swami was sitting in the special car – which He used for the Birthday – the Mercedes sports convertible. As the car moved ahead on the road along the Ladies side, the Institute Brass Band took over with the Slow March welcoming Bhagawan. Behind the Slow Marching boys and in front of Swami’s car were the Lions of Prasanthi marching majestically. (The Lion dance had been performed earlier by the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus a few years back. The same coaches from Singapore were back again to train the students in this Chinese art form of dance). Leading the pack of lions were the three huge flags exhibiting the Institute logo and the Silver Jubilee insignia.

At 8.15 a.m. the Vice Chancellor welcomed Bhagawan as the car entered into the D-circle in front of the stage. After a while, Bhagawan emerged in His yellow robe looking radiant and got onto the lift. Brother Satyajit was next to Swami, helping Him to move onto the lift. As the lift rose up, more and more of Swami’s physical Form could be seen by the audience and then there He was standing on the stage.

Bhagawan lit the ceremonial lamp and went walking to take His Chair at the center of the stage. After Swami sat down on the Chair, three young boys and three girls from the Primary School – tiny tots – were seen walking past the ground towards Swami with Bouquets and cards in their hands. As they approached Swami on the stage, Bhagawan very lovingly received all their offerings.

At 8.25 a.m. the March Past began. The waterfall from the Hanuman statue was shining in the morning sunlight in the rear. Dear Sai Gita who actually led the entire procession during the welcome, stood next to the Shamiyana set up for the students at the Hostel end. She stood there decked gorgeously with all her ornaments and was grazing away to glory, thanks to the lush green grass on the cricket stadium!

The March Past went on as usual – starting with most colourful squads from the Primary School, followed by the Anantapur Campus of the Institute and the Anantapur Junior College. Then came the Higher Secondary School boys with their bright coloured T-shirts culminating with the Brindavan and Parthi men students. The final squad to sign off was the Athletic squad consisting of all medal winners, wearing white pants with tucked in red coloured shirts.

After all the squads had assembled on the grounds, the Institute Flag was brought in ceremoniously with a special marching team. After the Physical Directors of the Brindavan and Parthi campuses respectively, tied the flag to the pole, one of them went over to the stage and handed over the remote button to Bhagawan. Swami pressed the remote switch and hoisted the flag on its mast. Then we had the oath taking ceremony. The Institute captain administered the oath to all the students.

The next item was the torch lighting ceremony. Swami lit the torch which was carried by pairs of students in a relay to the mountain top. Meanwhile, Swami stood up from the chair to release the white pigeons and the balloons. In the background, one could see the peacock – the mascot for the Sports Meet this year, carrying the torch to the top of the hill. Once the peacock reached the hill top, the main torch of the Sports Meet was lit. It was 8.45 a.m. when the squads dispersed, giving way to the Prasanthi Nilayam campus to begin its presentation.

At 9.00 a.m. the Parthi Campus made its entry in a grand manner with a huge structure – a rotating pillar with Duty, Devotion, Discipline, Purity, Patience, Perseverance, written on its various sides. Right at the top was a swan around whose neck was a disc with the numbers 25 shining on it, marking the Silver Jubilee of the Institute. On either sides of this structure, were the cutouts with Swami’s photographs on them. Between all these were giant models – 15 feet high and around 15 kgs in weight - of ‘Sai Students’ dressed up as Vedam chanting students, some in whites and some in the Convocation dress. These models were specially designed and built for this occasion by professionals from Mangalore and they were designed on the lines of the Rama Leela festival held in the North. The uniqueness of these statues was that they were very light in weight and a single student could easily lift a model on his head and move around.

After they all took their position, the Opening Ceremony song began. Groups of students danced to the tune depicting a mix of the East and the West, symbolizing a blend of spiritual and secular knowledge that is the hallmark of the Institute. The second item was one of the main items of the Campus. The Lion dance. 30 lions barged into the ground dancing vigorously and exhibited a number of stunts on tables, poles and even did bamboo walking. The next item was a display of Rhythm on poles done by the School students, followed by another eycatching item – the Giant Wheels. Two Giant Wheels, 35 feet in height were mounted just in front of the ladies gallery to the left of the stage. Students performed wonderful feats on these revolving wheels.

Subsequently came the Gymnasts displaying their mettle, performing all types of jumps – over fire, through rings and finally even over a Maruti Van! Following this were the drummers playing their rhythmic beats on 25 Chinese drums that were specially flown in from Singapore for this event. The impact was very good and the Giant Flags displaying their show in the background added to the beauty.

The Delta Force came in next. Tough guys working unitedly to show what can be done with huge logs of wood, displayed synchronized movements ending with the real tough guys climbing upon the logs held vertically. Then came in another round of the Giant Wheels with the students exhibiting their skills further, performing head stands right at the top. Acrobatics by the School children was the next item. A brief dance by Lord Shiva who actually passed on the science of Yoga to humanity, was followed by wonderful Asanas performed in a very coordinated and harmonious manner.

The final item of the Prasanthi Nilayam campus was a Fun on the Run game involving a number of competitive games between two teams. Shooting balloons with catapults, basketing balls after running through an obstacle course, pyramid formation and so on. The presentation came to a close with all staff and students coming into a closing ceremony formation with a special closing song being played in the background.

At 10.00 a.m., the Anantapur students began their presentation. The theme of their presentation was Unity-Purity-Divinity. They began with a dance followed by wonderful, breathtaking Asanas performed atop moving Jeeps. Following this was a butterfly dance - a mass item with a hundred plus girls with butterfly wings that turned shining silver and bright gold as they changed sides. It looked very good. After this, there was another mass dance item using rings covered with shining pink material. By 10.25 a.m. they concluded their very crisp and gripping presentation and moved on for the Closing Ceremony.

Around 10.30 a.m. Swami took Aarti and retired for the morning.

In the evening, Swami arrived in the ground at 4.05 p.m. The Escorts on the bikes led Bhagawan’s Porte car. Swami was in His orange robe. The leading bike held the flag bearing the Silver Jubilee logo with the two wings of Sathya and Dharma. The second in line held the flag with the Institute logo having a blue background specially designed for the Silver Jubilee celebrations.

As Bhagawan’s car approached the dais, the Primary School gymnasts in orange suits welcomed Swami with a crawl on their hands. By 4.15 p.m. Swami ascended the dais using the lift. Two young Primary School girls decked in green and two boys in yellow marched across the grounds to offer their bouquets and card to Bhagawan. After Swami received their offerings, the presentation began with a dance to the song – Prasanthi Vaasa Swagatam, Puttaparthi Purisha Swagatam, Susswagatam….

Following this was a dance by young boys dressed as Vanaras. There were a hundred plus boys, all Vanaras dancing to a fast beat song. In the course of the song, Lord Rama and Lakshmana come in and the monkeys help them building the bridge across the ocean. It was very well depicted.

Then it was the turn of the gymnasts to display their solid talent. No doubt they stole the show. Then there were mass dances, one of them by girls dressed in blue looking like waves interspersed with other girls holding silver and gold coloured rings. It looked very attractive. As this item got over, the Roller Skates boys rolled in and performed a number of feats in front of the dais. Then came the malkhamb drill on tall vertical poles erected on the ground. This too was very well planned and executed by the young boys.

A few more dances by large numbers of girls and then we had drills on the ropes again by the boys. They performed extremely well, displaying their skills on the ropes. At 5.10 p.m. all the children entered together like a wave offering their Pranaams to Swami.

At 5.20 p.m. the children of the Deenajanodarana Pathakam made a 15 minute brief presentation showing a war between good and bad symbolized by white and black dresses symbolically presented on a giant chessboard.

At 5.35 p.m., the Brindavan students commenced their presentation. The opening spectacular item was the Dragon dance followed by Martial Arts. Almost all the students participated in the Martial Arts item displaying various forms of this art. They presented the mace fight, war with sword and shield, Karate, Nan Chaku, Spears and even stick fights. All this went on synchronized with music in the background. They concluded with the breathtaking items like braking pots, blazing tiles, etc.

At 5.55 p.m. all the Brindavan students came forward towards the dais to offer their gratitude to Bhagawan. Swami took Aarti and retired by 6.00 p.m. Thus the curtain closed on this year’s Annual Sports and Cultural Meet.

Source: http://radiosai.org/pages/PB.htm


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