Report on Sri Rama Navami
Celebrations: 7th April, 2006
The festival of
Sri Rama Navami is the day when we celebrate the advent of Lord
Sri Rama, the Avatar (divine incarnation) of the Tretha Yuga.
The glories of Lord Rama are described in the immortal epic
‘Ramayana’ that is revered by millions as a source of
inspiration and devotion. Lord Rama and His consort Sita are
venerated as the embodiments of Dharma (righteousness) worthy of
emulation by all mankind. The eternal values enshrined in the
Ramayana have not lost their relevance even to this day, and
will remain so for all time to come, for, they have been laid
down by God Himself. The same ideals have now manifested again
in our midst as our dear Lord Sai Rama.
The Rama Navami
celebrations at Prasanthi Nilayam on the morning of 7th April
began with a Veena recital by the students of the Sri Sathya Sai
Mirpuri College of Music, Prasanthi Nilayam. The students
delighted the audience with their rendition of krithis
(devotional songs) composed by Saint Thyagaraja, who was a great
devotee of Lord Rama. Following this, students of the Hindustani
classical music stream from this college sang excerpts from the
Tulsi Ramayana, the version of Ramayana composed by Saint
Tulsidas, which is very popular in northern parts of India.
Later, students from Bhagawan’s university sang devotional songs
in praise of Lord Rama.
the afternoon, Bhagawan blessed Sri Anil V. Gokak,
Vice-Chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning to
address the gathering of devotees in Sai Kulwant Hall. He
observed that the story of Lord Rama is not only venerated in
India but also in many other countries such as Burma, Malaysia,
Indonesia and Thailand, as also the Caribbean islands where
Indians had emigrated to more than two centuries ago, and
preserve the tradition of worship of Lord Rama even to this day.
He said that at the spiritual level, Ramayana conveys many
profound lessons. Lord Rama represents the Atma, the Self in
all, while Mother Sita represents Jnana (Spiritual wisdom). Sita
is enchanted by the sight of the golden deer and it is her
desire to possess that deer that leads to her being abducted by
the demon Ravana and thus being separated from Lord Rama. This
symbolizes the mind being led astray by the lures of the world,
and thus losing the joy of divine communion. He concluded his
talk with a prayer to Bhagawan to strengthen our minds so that
it can transcend the mundane and aspire for the spiritual.
The talk by Sri
Gokak was followed by a talk by Sri Ajit Popat, an ardent
devotee from London, United Kingdom. He
began by saying that his numerous experiences with Bhagawan have
convinced him that the same divinity that had descended as Lord
Rama in the Tretha Era has now come amidst us as Lord Sai Rama
in this Kali Era. The miraculous stories of Bhagawan are so
numerous that it would require millions of Sage Valmikis to
record them and millions of Lavas and Kushas to narrate it (Lava
and Kusha were the twin sons of Lord Rama, who learnt the
Ramayana from Sage Valmiki and even as young children undertook
the sacred task of propagating the Ramayana so that all mankind
may derive the bliss of listening to the glories of Lord Rama).
He stressed the need to bring back Rama Rajya (the golden reign
of Lord Rama) by installing Him in the Heart. It is not enough
to merely perform worship of the Lord, it is equally important
to do His work.
work is performed as worship, wisdom will dawn in our hearts, he
graciously granted His Divine Discourse. He said that although
the Ramayana took place thousands of years ago, it is still
revered by one and all. The Ramayana demonstrates the importance
of maintaining unity of thought, word and deed and said this is
the highest Dharma. One should base one’s life on Sathya (Truth)
and practice Dharma (Righteousness). If not, one is not
deserving of the title of ‘man’. The root cause of misery in the
present day is giving in to falsehood, He said. He concluded the
Discourse with the songs, “Rama Nama ani mithai idigo randi
Bhakthulaara …”, and “Rama Rama Rama Sita …”.
departed for Kodaikanal with an entourage consisting of a few
students of His educational institutions, and some fortunate
devotees on the morning of 9th April by chartered flight. He
arrived at Sai Shruti, Bhagawan’s residence at Kodaikanal, at 4
p.m. the same day.
Jai Sai Ram!
Images from Sri Rama Navami