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For the last few days, Swami has been coming at around 3.00 p.m. to the Mandir and going to the interview room. He would come out at around 4.40 p.m. to the Bhajan hall. The students have been praying that Bhagawan should visit the hostel and bless the newly renovated Dining Hall and the new Altar. For this, various plans were made to invite Swami. And Swami, in His infinite love listened to all their pleas.
One of the first attempts was to show an album with photographs of the new Dining Hall to Bhagawan. Bhagawan saw the album with interest and boys prayed, "Please come to Hostel, Swami." Swami said, "But no one is there in the Hostel? Not even a watchman! All of you are here. What will I go there and do?!" Everyone in the Bhajan Hall was smiling at Swami's innocently loving reply.
The next day the students made a big card with photographs of the new slope made at the Hostel entrance. A new slope has been constructed at the Hostel entrance so that Swami's car can go straight inside till the Dining Hall. He need not get down and walk. The card was shown and Swami saw it. "Please come to Hostel, Swami." Swami said, "Where is the Hostel? Someone, please give me the address! Two years are over, no one has called Me to the hostel!!" Again all of us were smiling at the affectionate innocence in the Lord's reply.
The third day, the boys hit upon a novel idea. They video recorded the Hostel car getting into the Hostel through the new slope and going upto the Dining Hall. It was a three minute video. They took a laptop to the Bhajan hall and sat in front. Swami came and asked, "What is that?" He saw the full 3 minute video and then asked one of the Primary school teachers, "Do you have a slope in your Hostel? See these college Hostel boys have a slope." All the students were happy that Swami had acknowledged the new idea. But He did not answer in the affirmative as to when He would come to the Hostel. Meanwhile ardent prayers are being made in the Hostel for Swami's Divine visit.
March 1st 2005
The 12th class girl students of the Primary School presented their gratitude programme in the Sai Kulwant Hall. Swami came quite early and went to the interview room. He came out at 4.30 p.m. and for nearly 45 minutes listened to the songs sung by the girls. Thereafter He asked the boys of the Institute to sing. They sang very nicely and at the end again prayed to Swami "Please come to Hostel, Swami". He said "Yes, I will come, I will come." But He did not give any other details. After Bhajans at around 5.35 p.m. Swami retired for the day.
March 2nd, 2005
Swami came early and went to the interview room. Then at around 4.40 p.m., He came out and sat in the portico. He asked one of the students to perform a dance. The student is a trained dancer and has danced in the Divine presence a number of times before. He danced for 3 songs Chinni Krishna Murlidhara, Ram Ram Ram Sita and then he with another student danced for the song Kanula Mundara. Swami was very happy. He then asked for the Bhajans to commence. He retired for the day at 5.20 p.m.
March 3rd, 2005
Today, the devotees from the Nilgiri Hills (Ooty) presented traditional tribal folk dances in the Divine Presence. Swami came at around 3.00 p.m. and sat outside in the Portico and permitted the programme to commence. First, a group of men presented a folk dance. This was followed by a group of women. The interesting thing was that a number of them both men and women were quite old in age, may be over 60 years but they all participated whole heartedly with total devotion and love for Bhagawan. Swami responded to their love. He was watching the programme with such keen interest! At the end of each item, Swami would bless them with His Abhaya Hasta. The scene was wonderful and awe inspiring!
These tribal people who stay in some far off tribal villages in the Nilgiri Hills, who are so orthodox about their traditions, customs and beliefs, have so much of love and devotion for Bhagawan, who might have possibly visited their villages once many decades ago. They are so sincere in their commitment to the Lord and had traveled all the way to Prasanthinilayam to participate in the celebrations of the 80th year of the Advent of the Avatar.
Thereafter Swami asked a few students of the Institute to present their dance. They were prepared with several pieces. Five of them presented a 5 minute group dance on the theme of patriotism. Swami was very happy and He called one of them and materialised a chain for him and Himself put it around the neck of the student. The student was overwhelmed at this act of Divine Grace and Love. Thereafter Bhagawan instructed brother Nitin Acharya about something. Two minutes later, 5 glasses of cool fruit juice were brought from the interview room for these 5 dancers. Bhagawan was playing the role of a perfect Mother! Thereafter two of those students presented one more dance, on the song Bho Shambho, Shiva Shambho Svayambho.
Subsequently, Swami went into the interview room. At 5.00 p.m., He came to the Bhajan Hall and sat till 5.30. Aarti was offered and He retired for the day at 5.30. p.m.
March 4th, 2005
This evening, Swami went straight into the interview room after Darshan. He came out at 4.25 p.m. and sat down on the sofa placed in the centre of the stage. The Music College students were ready with a special programme this evening. The presentation was titled "Ananda Dhwani". Ananda means joy and Dhwani means sound. The piece presented on the Sitar was a composition of Sri Deepak Choudhury and was prepared and conducted by Sri P. Bhattacharya and Sri Jayantu Sarkar who are currently serving as visiting faculty in the Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music.
The first part of the programme was based on the theme of "Ananda Dhwani" which is based on two Ragas - Hamsa Dhwani and Anandi Kalyani. Raga and Time Theory have a significant role in the Hindustani System of Music. There are special Ragas suited to be played during day, night and some during specific seasons. The Ragas played this evening represented the four seasons. Rag 'Shudda Sarang' represents the Summer, Rag 'Miya Malhar' the Rainy Season, Rag 'Sree' the Winter Season, and Raga 'Bahar Basant' depicts the Spring Season.
The second part of the programme was a Saraswati Prarthana based on the Rag 'Bhagya Sree' and another composition based on Rag 'Maj Khamaj'. This Rag is an expression of welcome to one and all.
The Sitar recital started at 4.30 p.m. and went on till 5.15 p.m. There were four students playing on the Sitar and a pair of singers accompanying them. There were several solo pieces on the Tabla and the Mrudangam. The entire programme was very enthralling and received loud applause from all present.
At 5.15 p.m., Bhagawan got up and Blessed the participants. The Golf Cart came to the centre of the Kulwant Hall in front of the dais. Swami moved towards the Golf Cart, all the participants came close and Swami Blessed them and also spoke to a number of them. Bhagawan retired for the day.
March 5th, 2005
This evening, Swami came out for Darshan around 3.00 p.m. He sat on the sofa for quite a while amidst Vedic Chants. At 3.40 p.m., He got up and proceeded into the interview room. However, a few minutes later, He came out and got into the Golf Cart and retired to the Poornachandra Auditorium. Bhajans commenced at 5.00 p.m. and Aarti at 5.30 p.m.
March 6th, 2005 (Morning)
Bhagawan came to the Mandir very early this morning - by 6.45 am. At 7.05 a.m. Swami was standing on the dais listening to the Vedic Chants. He stood for a long while giving His Divine Darshan to one and all. After a while, Swami sat down on the sofa placed in the middle of the dais. He accepted letters from a number of boys. Then He signaled to the College Birthday boys and Blessed them. There were almost a dozen of them moving in a single file to get individual attention from Swami. Next it was the turn of the birthday boys from the Primary School. Tiny tots came marching forward with bright red and pink roses in their hands. They all crowded around their Divine Mother. It was a wonderful sight!
At 7.40 a.m. Swami called one of the main dancers from the Institute. He is brother Ganesh, who after completing his Post Graduation in Physics, is currently pursuing his Diploma in Indian Culture and Philosophy at the Institute. As you have already read, for the past few days, Swami is giving a number of opportunities for these dancers to express their talent.
All the arts - fine arts and performing arts - have taken their birth from the Divine Source and find their fulfillment in Him. Bhagawan is giving an opportunity to these young students to sanctify their talent by offering it at the Divine Lotus Feet!
In the first piece, brother Ganesh danced to the famous Khanda Khandantara poem sung by Swami in praise of the Motherland. The next piece was a series of dance steps (Mudras) accompanying the chanting of Narayana Suktam a very novel idea! However, after a few lines, Swami called him and gave him some instructions.
Five more students got up in their dance attire and joined brother Ganesh. They performed a dance to the song Chandana Charchita - Jayadeva's composition. This was followed by the dance they had performed in this year's Convocation Drama.
As the presentation concluded there was loud applause. Bhagawan called brother Ganesh and materialized a green diamond ring for him! It was 8.00 a.m. Swami signaled to the Bhajan boys. They started singing group songs. For the next 15 minutes we had Rama Neela Megha Shyama, Shiva Shiva Shiva Shiva Anaraada, Tumhi Ho Maata Pitaa Tumhi Ho, and Itni Shakti Hamein Dena Daata.
At 8.15 a.m. Bhajans began. Simultaneously, Prasadam distribution also started. Bright pink-red apples were served to all the students and staff.
At 8.30 a.m., Swami received Aarti and retired for the morning.
Sivaratri falls on the 8th of March - Tuesday. We all look forward to having a very auspicious and sacred Sivaratri in the Divine Presence of our Sai Shiva. As of now crowds are not so heavy. We will get back to you with the details of Sivaratri celebrations.