Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Reports of events from the Sai Baba Ashrams


Prashanthi Bullettin - February 6th, 2006

Chinese New Year Celebrations at Brindavan....


February 6th, 2006

The Chinese Lunar New Year was celebrated by devotees in Brindavan on the 6th of February. The Sai Ramesh Hall was beautifully decorated in Red to usher in the Lunar New Year. As is the normal routine, Bhajans began at 9:30 a.m. by the devotees from China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. At 9:45 a.m., Swami emerged from the Trayee Brindavan gates, led by a procession of two lions performing the lion dance to the beat of the drummers. There were also two people with masks, dressed as dolls, dancing along with the lions holding typical Chinese hand-fans. Swami was escorted to the Sai Ramesh Hall by a few children and a couple of families. Swami then went up and down the whole length of Sai Ramesh Hall in His chair along the central aisle, giving the devotees His most coveted Darshan from closer quarters. He also filled the hearts of the Chinese devotees with joy as he went around them a couple of times accepting their letters and offerings of love.

He took the elevator on the gent's side up to the stage. All in all, Darshan was for around 20 minutes. Chinese Bhajans started and thereafter the Group presented Swami with presents like Chinese Tea, Chinese Cake, Mandarin Oranges, Chinese Scrolls which had magical characters inscribed on them to usher good luck and fortune and sweets in Red Packets. These Items signify Prosperity, Peace, Harmony, and Good Health for the Coming Year. Swami was making a lot of queries on the Chinese Scrolls. Swami went through the scroll for nearly 5 to 10 minutes!

After this ceremony, Swami listened to a few Chinese New Year group songs and even Bhajans which had their lyrics in Mandarin, though they borrowed tunes of familiar Bhajans sung here. They also chanted the mantra "Om Mani Padmey Hum" several times. These songs and chants were punctuated by a short fifteen minute skit that revealed the inner significance of the New Year celebrations that span a period of fifteen days starting from the 6th of February.

Devotees from Singapore too got an opportunity to sing a few Bhajans towards the end, after which Arati was offered and Prasadam (red packets, of course!) were distributed. Swami retired to Trayee at around 11 a.m.

Bhajans started at 5 p.m. in the evening. Bhagawan walked in by the curtained entrance at 5.25 p.m. He gave blessings while holding on to the railings and then sat down. Bhajans continued till 6.10 p.m. Swami then stood up for Arati, giving Blessings for the whole duration of the Arati. He then sat down and waved several times before being wheeled out.

As for the usual schedule here at Brindavan, it goes like this .. Every morning, Bhajans start at 9.30 a.m. whether Swami comes out or not. Bhajans usually continue until either indication comes to stop and take Arati or Swami comes out. Usually Swami comes out sooner or later, more often later. Typically, Bhajans go on till well past 10.30 a.m., at times even after 11 o clock. Whenever Swami comes, He sits for long sessions of 45 minutes and even more.

In the evenings too, the same pattern follows. Bhajans start at 5.00 p.m. Swami usually comes out anytime during the Bhajans. Some days, He has come out at 6.05 p.m. too, just as everybody, and especially the singers, almost give up hope of having His Darshan and He then sits till after 6.30 p.m. On two such occasions, He made Mr. Ajit Popat of the UK speak to the devotees. On two consecutive Sundays, we had the students putting up song and speech programmes. Every session, Swami comes walking for Bhajans and invariably, goes back walking, i.e. from the door at the rear of the stage to His Chair on the dais and back the same way after Bhajans.

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


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