January 1st 2005
It was the dawn of the New Year marking the beginning of the celebrations of the 80th year of the advent of the Sathya Sai Avatar.
The Sai Kulwant Hall was beautifully decorated with floral buntings and banners on the pillars, windows and the Mandir walls, marked
with the slogan "80 Years of LOVE IN ACTION - BHAGAWAN SRI SATYA SAI BABA". The banner had a lemon yellow background with bright red
and deep blue coloured letters on it. It looked very attractive and elegant. And there came the Lord at 7.15 am in the new Golf Cart.
He came and took his seat on the center of the dais.
The programme began with a talk by Sri Indulal Shah, Former Chairman, World Council, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations and
currently International Advisor of the Organisation and Member of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. He began his talk saying
that the devotees should be what Hanuman was to Lord Rama and the Gopikas to Lord Krishna. The life of the devotees should
be an ideal to carry the message of Sai. He also said that the devotees should not lose any opportunity to share their Love
with fellow men. They need to understand, practice and propagate Sri Sathya Sai Educare. They must undertake the Grama Seva
activities with added fervour and above all incessantly indulge in Namasmarana of the Lord. He said that over the next 365 days,
hundreds of districts from India and over 2000 Centres across the globe, will be a part of the festive celebrations at Prasanthinilayam.
He then prayed to Bhagawan to permit the presentation of two programmes at the Divine Feet.
The first programme which started at 7.30 am - National Music Presentation, was a set of group songs by Indians from all over the country
who had specially gathered at Prasanthinilayam for the occasion. They sang 6 songs - 3 in Hindi and 3 in Telugu on the theme - "Sai Our
Divine Destiny". This was followed at 8.00 am by an International Choir presented by the overseas devotees. Devotees from many countries
had gathered and sang 8 songs in English and other foreign languages. All the while, Swami was giving a Blissful smile and waving His
hands in the air, seemingly looking into eternity, often closing His eyes and then reopening them! All of us gathered there were
literally transported to another world on the auspicious New Year day.
Thereafter, Swami blessed a group of youth from the USA to sing some songs. They sang a few songs and Bhajans. The morning programme came to a close at 9.30 am with Prasadam Distribution and Aarti to Bhagawan.
The evening programme commenced at 3.10 p.m. with the arrival of Bhagawan once again in the new Golf Cart. Swami came and sat on the sofa at the centre of the dais. The old students of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthinilayam and Brindavan Campus, were blessed by Swami to put up their programme in the Divine Presence. A group of the senior old students presented Bhagawan with flowers and the programme card. Swami also released some audio cassettes of the Bhajans recorded by the old students.
Bhagawan Blessed the Vice Chancellor to introduce the programme. The VC said that the Bhakti Marga through Bhajans, the Karma Marga through Grama Seva and other allied service activities and the Jnana Marga through the chanting of the Vedam - all three found their fulfillment at the abode of the Lord at His Lotus Feet.
At around 3.20 pm the programme commenced. There were 18 songs in Hindi, Sanskrit and Telugu. Students from very senior batches had come and participated in the programme. To name a few stalwart singers - - Sonam, V. Kumar, Kote, Ajnish, Vijay Sai and many others who sang their hearts out, filled with devotion to their dearest Mother Sai. When Bhagawan Blessed them before starting the programme, He remarked that with Him there are no old or current students. All are just students!! (forever!!)
Bhagawan once again was full of ethereal smiles!! Closing His eyes and waving His hands, sometimes giving the beat with His fingers, He reciprocated to the devotion pregnant in their songs!
Thereafter, our brothers from the Institute Band got an opportunity to play their tunes for Swami. They were praying since morning for this chance and finally Swami blessed them to go ahead. They had totally lost the hope that Swami would permit them. But when one leaves the expectation and learns to accept, the Lord rewards and so did He! They played 8 tunes - some Bhajan tunes and the other typical and popular band tunes. Swami called the band leader and materialized a gold bracelet for him. While the band boys played their tunes, Prasadam and New Year Diaries were distributed to the students and staff.
At 5.15 pm, Swami blessed Mr. Ajit Popat from London to address the gathering. Mr. Popat spoke for half an hour. He spoke about the inner significance of the word "Happy" in the term "Happy New Year" that Bhagawan had explained to him.
H - Holy
A - Awareness
P - Patience
P - Purity
Y - Yogi.
He said that only when we put this meaning of the word Happy and Swami's teachings into practice can we really call it a Happy New Year. He also mentioned that people feel that so many thousands of people have died in the Tsunami disaster, but what is Swami doing about it. However, we must understand that had it not been for Swami's Grace, instead of mere thousands, lakhs would have perished. We always see what has happened but we never know what could have happened but was averted. The Lord works quietly; taking no credit for all that He has done and is doing since time immemorial! It is only man who is not discharging his duties appropriately and creating chaos, confusion and corruption. Consequently, Nature is getting imbalanced, thereby resulting in such catastrophes.
The programme came to a close with Aarti to Bhagawan at 5.50 pm. Thus ended the first day of this very eventful and epoch making year.
We wish you all a very Happy and a Holy New year. Come, be a part of the celebrations of the 80th year of the advent of the Avatar -in person or in spirit, for such an opportunity will not come again in aeons to come...
January 2nd 2005
This morning, Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 7.40 a.m. in the new Golf Cart. Meanwhile, at 7.30 a.m., the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy arrived with his big team. They had arrived at Parthi last night itself for some inauguration associated with the Tourism Ministry of A.P. Their cars halted at the main gate of the Mandir near the Rama Statue. From there, Sri Y. S. R. Reddy and the other dignitaries came walking into the Mandir and proceeded straight towards the main Portico.
Ten minutes later, Bhagawan came into the Hall for Darshan. He took a full round and proceeded towards the interview room. The Chief Minister was taken in for an interview by the Lord. The interview went on for about half an hour. This was the first visit of Sri Y. S. R. Reddy to Swami.
In the evening, Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 3.40 p.m. He took a full round of the Kulwant Hall in the Golf Cart, and came and settled down on the Sofa. Most of our old students were seated next to the Vedam group as Swami had given an indication that He would possibly interact with them. Many others who were scheduled to leave by 4.00 p.m. were seated near the Krishna Statue.
Swami asked for the programme to be put up by the old students. We do not know whether they were prepared for this or not, but they all positioned themselves behind the mikes and for the next one hour we had soul stirring and mellifluous music soothing our ears. All the stalwarts who sang yesterday were present again and some who came late squeezed in 'stealthily' as Swami was closing His 'eyes' lost in Bliss!!
Andari Baduvvaiyya Bhadrachala Ramaiyya, Tana Ke Tambure Me Jo Sason Ke Tar Bole, O Ma Sai Ma Tu Kitni Achhi Hai, Om Namah Sivaya...Teen Shabdo Mein Shrushti Sare Samaye, Enta Hai Enta Hai Ee Naadu, Radhika Krishna Radhika Tava Hrudaye Keshava, Tera Ramji Karenge Beda Paar, Krishna Nee Begane Baro and many more scintillating Ragas and Taalas filled the air with elevating feelings. This was followed by a number of Bhajans. Throughout, Swami was lost in the songs! We drank in the ecstasy overflowing from His Blissful smile and swayed to the beats of His Divine Hands!!
At 5.10 p.m., Bhagawan instructed the Vice Chancellor about something. A little while later, watches were distributed by the Vice Chancellor to the group of singers! Prasadam was distributed to all in the Kulwant Hall. The Prasadam was a delicious Laddu packed inside a beautiful, attractive box with the same print of "80 Years of Love in Action' on it. This was organized and arranged by the Sai Students.
Bhagawan took Aarti at 5.20 p.m. and retired for the day filling the hearts of the Sai Students to the brim and even spilling over! When He gives it is much much more than what one could possibly expect!! That is the compassion and Love of our Beloved Mother Sai. Can He withhold Himself when His children come back to Him? His Love was just pouring out!!
We'll get back to you with reports on the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet Celebrations on the 11th of January.