March 26th, 2005
On March 26th, devotees from Bihar had assembled at Prasanthinilayam to celebrate Holi in the Divine Presence. It was the first time that an official celebration for Holi was granted by Bhagawan.
In the afternoon, we entered Sai Kulwant Hall to find silver and gold shining paper strips decorating the centre of the Hall at the level of the dome. Banners with the message of Holi adored several pillars. Holi – the festival of Love and Joy…and so on. Devotees from Bihar and Jharkand were seated awaiting Bhagawan’s Darshan. Several balloons were tied in the shape of a big inverted ‘V’ acting as a border for a deep blue screen with cutouts of a flute and several hands representing Lord Krishna and the Gopalas. This served as the backdrop for the actors who were to put up the afternoon show. They were all seated in front of the backdrop at the rear end of the Hall near the lions, along the Darshan path.
Swami came out at 3.15 p.m., cut across the centre of the Hall and proceeded straight into the interview room. At 3.35 p.m. He came out and sat down on the sofa amidst chants of Anandavalli. Marigold garlands adorned the brass railings in front of Swami’s chair. At 3.50 p.m. the Vedam chanting stopped. The youth of Bihar entered the performing area. In the first scene, they explained the significance of Holi through the episode of Holika. Then came the actual celebration with all colours! The youth dressed in spotless whites threw colours on each other and into the air with gusto and joy! It was the first time we saw Holi being celebrated with colours in the Divine Presence. Swami was watching all the celebration with a smile on His face!
he rest of the play went on to convey that Holi signifies burning of the Asuric (demonic) tendencies in man. It stands for destruction of prejudice, selfish motives and the Rajasic and Tamasic traits in man. It advocates the strengthening of Love for God through resolving all differences. The play ended at 4.15 p.m. with the song ‘Sai Naamamu Dorake Kada…’ This was followed by group photographs and Bhajans. At 5.15 p.m. Swami took Aarti and retired for the day.
April 1st-4th, 2005
Students had their last exam on the 31st of March and today was the first day of their summer vacation. Swami did not come out for morning Darshan but in the afternoon He came out at 3.00 p.m. and sat outside for nearly one hour. Today most of the students were leaving for their home towns for vacation by the 5.30 p.m. train. Therefore, they had wonderful Darshan. It was like a parting gift for the boys! Subsequently, Swami went into the interview room and came out later for Bhajans.
On the 2nd, Swami came out for Darshan at 8.00 a.m. and went straight into the interview room. Later He came out for Bhajans and sat in the Bhajan Hall for around 20 minutes. In the afternoon, He was out by 3.10 p.m. but again went straight into the interview room. He came out for Bhajans at 4.50 p.m. and sat for about half an hour.
3rd April 2005 saw Swami coming out at 7.30 a.m. The interview room was once again more fortunate than us! We could have Darshan during the Bhajans for half an hour. In the afternoon, Darshan was at 3.30 p.m. As usual, He came out of the interview room only for Bhajans at 4.45 p.m. He retired at 5.20 p.m.
On the 4th Swami came out in the morning at 9.05 a.m. after the Bhajans had started. He entered the Bhajan Hall and sat down on the chair. However, after a while, He got up and boarded the Golf Cart and went around the Ashram. He returned at 9.28 a.m. for Aarti and sat down in the Bhajan Hall. After the Aarti He raised both in Hands in Abhaya Hasta pose Blessing all of us. He appeared very pleased! Mysterious are the ways of the Lord!
Many of the afternoons, Swami would come into the Bhajan Hall and spend a few minutes talking to students. On one of the occasions, He asked the boys who all had been to Kodaikanal. On another occasion, He materialized a ring for one student. Therefore, these sessions have become very valuable and students wait eagerly for 4.00 p.m. when they are allowed into the Bhajan Hall. The moment the signal is given, they rush in like a tsunami into the Hall!!
April 7th, 2005
Bhagawan came out for Darshan in the afternoon at 3.05 p.m. He sat down on the sofa placed on the dais amidst the chanting of Mahanarayanopanishad. Most of the boys have left for their summer vacations. Brindavan and Parthi put together, there are around 100 plus students who have stayed back, braving the hot summer, to be with their Lord!
It was 3.50 p.m. when Swami called for Sri Narasimhamoorthy Garu who had just arrived in the morning to Parthi. Bhagawan commanded him to share his thoughts with the audience. Narasimhamoorthy Garu spoke about the evolution of the Vedic thought in India , which took place in four stages. In the first stage, the Veda Mantras praise the various entities of the Creation / Universe. In the second stage, they speak about perceiving the Lord within oneself. In the third stage, they exclaim ‘Ekam Sath Vipraha Bahuda Vadanti’, ‘Antar Bahischa Tat Sarvam….’ In the final and fourth stage, the thought evolves to the highest level of Advaita. ‘Ekam Sat Sarva Bhootantaratma’. It talks about perceiving Unity in Diversity.
The rest of his talk was centered on the life and experiences of Dr. Alreja, an ardent devotee of Bhagawan who came to Swami way back in 1965 and who till now serves at His Lotus Feet in the General Hospital at Parthi. Mr. Narasimhamoorthy shared several interesting episodes related to Swami from the life of Dr. Alreja, listening to which, we were all struck with wonder and awe! He concluded his talk at 4.20 p.m.
His talk was followed by another talk from a student of the I M.Sc. class – Sai Giridhar. Brother Sai Giridhar shared his thoughts about the lessons he had learnt at the Lotus Feet and especially about the learning experience that he had gone through putting up several programmes in the Kulwant Hal in the Divine Presence. He delivered a very scholarly talk that was appreciated by all. He concluded at 4.35 p.m. Swami was very pleased and spoke to him for some time and their dialogue culminated in the materialization of a unique ring for him!
At 4.45 p.m. Bhajans began and at 5.00 p.m. Swami stood up for Aarti.
April 8th, 2005
This morning, Swami came out for Darshan at 7.30 a.m. The Golf Cart took a full round and came onto the dais. Swami sat in the cart for quite some time and at 7.50 a.m., He got down and walked to the sofa placed towards the centre of the dais. He sat down on the sofa until 8.15 a.m. and then went into the interview room.
In the afternoon, He came out at 3.40 p.m. Once again, the Golf Cart stationed itself on the dais and Swami sat there for some time. Later, He got down and walked across the dais slowly and proceeded towards the interview room.
April 9th, 2005
We wish you all a very Happy Ugadi. As we entered the Kulwant Hall this morning, we found it shining with brightly colored decorations. The huge red Chinese lamps, floral decorations on the dome and around Ganesha….. Naadaswaram was being played to welcome Bhagawan. At 7.40 a.m., Swami came out in the Golf Cart. He took a full round Blessing everybody with His Darshan and by 7.50 a.m. He was seated on the sofa placed at the centre of the dais.
Vedam was going on in full swing. The Hyderabad youth were seated in front next to the Vedam group. They were ready with a special programme for the occasion. Swami called one Primary School student and asked him to chant Vedam. The lucky boy stood face to face with Bhagawan and kept chanting Vedam for a long time. Swami was looking straight into his eyes with so much of Love and Grace. What a great opportunity to sing His Glory right in front of Him looking into His eyes!! After a while, Swami spoke to him and Blessed him with a gold chain!!
At 8.15 a.m. our former Vice-chancellor, Sri S.V. Giri was summoned by Bhagawan to speak to all of us. Sri S.V. Giri began his talk with a recap of the events in the last year and the various difficulties that the world had faced. In this context, he drew attention to the ever growing need for human values in life. He spoke about the relationship between the Vyashti and the Samashti and how one should make an attempt to see Parameshti (the Lord) through Samashti (society). Subsequently, he elaborated on the eternal truths expounded in the Shiksha Valli saying that mere chanting is not adequate and one should understand and internalize the meaning of the Vedas.
At 8.35 a.m. the Hyderabad party began their programme with Swami’s Blessings. It began with a Panchanga Pundit (Almanac Scholar) reading the almanac – which is commonly called the ‘Panchanga Shravanam’. The Pundit began with reading out the name of the coming year – the ‘Parthiva Naama Samvatsaram’ and prayed that it should become the Parthi Naama Samvatsaram. He reminded the people of their good fortune to be witness to the Holy 80 th year of the Avatar. He demonstrated with some calculations how various aspects of this year total up to the number of 80, symbolic of the 80 th year of the Avatar.
He then read out the positions of various stars and constellations and briefly explained their significance. He concluded saying that though the science of Panchanga, conventionally is understood as the science of stars and planets and their implications for the world; it truly means the Pancha Angas and using the same to be happy and make others happy. His final punch line drew loud applause. He said that all these Grahas (planets) and their influence can have no impact on us in the powerful presence of Swami’s Anugraha (Grace)!!
The Panchanga Shravanam was followed by a music programme by the Hyderabad youth. As expected it was full of vigor! They had selected very good songs, some being new and the rest a collection of songs sung on earlier occasions by them in the Divine Presence. One member delivered connecting commentary between the songs with his soothing and mellifluous Telugu. It was 9.40 a.m. by the time the programme concluded. Swami was fully absorbed in the programme and so were we. The final song was ‘Sai Maata Biddale Mein Andaram’ a very popular song sung by all of us. It was a grand closing for the programme!
This was followed by a photograph session and Prasadam distribution (neatly packed Vobbatus – Sweet Puris). Swami took Aarti at 9.50 a.m. and retired to the Poornachandra Auditorium.
At 3.15 p.m. Swami was out again to delight all of us with His Divine Darshan. He took a full round and then sat down on the sofa. Swami was enquiring about speakers for the afternoon. He called Sri Sanjay Sahni, the Principal of the Brindavan Campus of our Institute. Sri Sanjay Sahni began his impromptu talk at 3.25 p.m. As usual, he stole the hearts of the audience with his expressive delivery, poignant illustrations and scholarly insights.
He began with the description of God as the One who embodies Time, transcends Time, and from whose womb Time is born! He stressed on the great significance of the current time when we are fortunate to be the contemporaries of the Avatar! Jantu Naam Nara Janma Durlabham – he explained the importance of the human birth and how it must be spent in service of others.
He categorized people into four stages of growth. The first being the money minded. These people work merely for the sake of monetary benefits. They are ready to do just anything for the sake of money! The second category of people is the careerist. These people have only the three P’s in mind. Pay, Prospects and Promotion! The next category is the Professionals. These people put in a lot of effort to excel in their field of work and try to achieve perfection in whatever they do. Still higher is the service-minded. This category of people work for their self-satisfaction. Yet however, there are traces of selfishness even in them. The highest category is the visionary.
He then went on to describe the unsullied and pure Love of Bhagawan, through various illustrations. He recalled the episode at Kodaikanal where students and staff were helping in clearing the ground for making a new Bhajan Hall. Watching this even the hawkers who earned their livelihood, selling trinkets on the road along the lake, prayed to Swami to give them an opportunity to participate in this service. They offered to continue the work when the students and staff would go for taking rest in the afternoon. That was their Love for Swami!
He then went on to describe how during the Narayana Seva in the Hill View Stadium, Bhagawan watching the VIII class students sitting in the Mandir with no work allotted to them, had personally guided them to help in serving water to the people. He did not want anybody to be left out from the service activities.
He also spoke about the inspiring message given by Bhagawan in the Bhajan Hall to the staff before the commencement of the first Grama Seva. Swami was so moved by the episode of the mother poisoning herself and her children. This amply demonstrated that God was no alien entity sitting in the heavens above but was part of humanity suffering every bit along with them.
He concluded with Kabir’s Doha (verse) which says that when we come to the world, we cry and the world laughs. But let us conduct ourselves in such a way that when we go, the world cries and we laugh – for we have finally reached our destination!
It was 4.05 p.m. and Bhagawan signalled for the Discourse Table to be arranged. For the next hour and a half Swami blessed all of us with His Divine Message. He concluded with the Bhajan – Rama Rama Rama Sita…..
It was 5.25 p.m. and the Hyderabad group (not the morning team but a different one) presented their music programme. This went on till ten past six. Prasadam was distributed for the body as the songs satiated the souls!
Pocket calendars were distributed to all. The uniqueness was that it was a Parthiva Samvatsara calendar that goes from April 2005 to March 2006! The past year has come to a close. The New Year – Parthiva Year has begun!
Bhagawan took Aarti and retired for the day.
April 10th, 2005
Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 8.40 a.m. As He took a full round of the Hall, He collected letters from many devotees and from almost all the students. As He approached the Vedam group, Swami asked for the Golf Cart to be taken a little back. He spotted one boy in the third line. Swami called him and took his letter. The joy on the face of the student was indescribable. Bhagawan had reversed the Golf Cart just to collect his letter!! Swami then went into the interview room with a devotee family. Bhajans started and went on till 10.00 a.m. when Swami took Aarti and retired.
In the afternoon, Swami was out by 3.15 p.m. He got down from the Golf Cart and sat down on the sofa and spent half an hour listening to the Vedic chants and receiving letters from students. At 3.50 p.m. He got up and walked into the interview room. He went into the Bhajan Hall by 4.50 p.m. and spent some time talking to the boys inside the Bhajan Hall. Bhajans started a little while later and went on till 5.35 p.m.
The Kerala youth are already pouring in, in great numbers for the Youth Camp as part of the Vishu celebrations. Swami spoke to the Kerala State - Sai Samithi President, Sri Mukundan about the programme arrangements. Several members were also called into the interview room. Therefore, the next few days are likely to be very eventful with Swami showering all His Love on the Kerala Youth and devotees. We’ll get back to you with the details.
April 11th, 2005
This morning, Swami came out for Darshan at 7.40 a.m. The Sai Youth from Kerala filled the Kulwant Hall with bright orange scarves printed with the words ‘Sai Youth’. 1300 young men and women from Kerala are participating in this Youth Conference the theme of which is “Able and Noble instruments of Bhagawan”.
As Swami took a full round in the Golf Cart, He observed the youth sitting far away in the back blocks. Swami called the Kerala State President, Mr. Mukundan and asked him to bring the youth and make them sit forward. Swami was so keen to give them a close place that He Himself signaled to the youth to come forward. Needless to say, they were delighted and came rushing forward! Bhagawan repeated the same even with the sisters sitting on the Ladies side.
It was a wonderful way to begin the camp. Swami had Blessed them with His first shower of Love! This broke the ice and all the youth were eagerly waiting for Swami to interact with them further. By 7.50 a.m. Swami was sitting on the sofa placed at the centre of the dais. After 5 minutes, the Vedam stopped. Sri Mukundan went over to the mike and made a few introductory remarks.
He declared the theme of the Youth Conference as ‘Noble and Able Instruments of Swami’. Referring to the Loving act of Bhagawan in calling the youth to sit in front, Sri Mukundan recalled Swami saying, ‘Take one step towards Me and I shall take a 100 towards you’. But this step should be in the right direction, he added. He described Love as the acronym – LOVE. ‘L’ for Light of Sai, ‘O’ for Oneness with Sai, ‘V’ for Vision of Sai and ‘E’ for Energy of Sai.
The three most important features of a good instrument, Mr. Mukundan said, were being sharp, strong and straight. He said that as youth, not only should we remember ‘ABC – Always Be Careful’ but should also keep in mind ‘DEFG – Don’t Ever Forget God’. He recalled how once Swami while speaking to some devotees asked them what gift He should give them. Then Swami Himself said that there could be no greater gift than He coming down here to be with us!!
At 8.05 a.m. Hon. Justice Radhakrishnan from Kerala took over the stage and spoke a few words. He was followed by Sri Raghavendran in Malayalam. At 8.15 a.m. Bhagawan was so gracious and Loving that He asked for the Discourse Table to be set up. He had decided to Bless the Inaugural Session of the Conference with His Divine Message!
Bhagawan concluded the Discourse at 8.50 a.m. Bhajans began and Prasadam was distributed to all. At 9.15 a.m. Swami stood up and went towards the interview room. Bhajans went on in full swing. At 9.40 a.m. Swami took Aarti and retired.
In the afternoon, Bhagawan Blessed all with His Darshan at 2.30 p.m. The ladies presented a bouquet of songs at Swami’s Lotus Feet. This went on till 3.35 p.m. after which the Gents from Kerala commenced Bhajans. They sang light devotional songs as well as Bhajans. At 4.10 p.m. Swami stood up and walked into the interview room asking the singers to continue their songs.
What followed was a most inspiring session. In fact, this Vishu celebration and the Youth Camp has been a unique Music Treat for all of us. Even before the Kerala Youth arrived at Parthi, Swami had told the students in the Bhajan Hall that the Kerala Youth sing very well. Every session, Swami would start the songs and ask them to continue for hours. However, each time they rose up to meet the Divine challenge!
Almost every person seated in the front row was a great singer! They had such a vast database of songs – Tyagaraja Kritis, Light Devotional Songs, Malayalam songs, Bhajans sung in Carnatic style and what not…Each song was vibrant with feelings and had wonderful beats that kept all of us tapping and swaying to the music! Truly, the Land of Kerala is Blessed with immense talent and devotion – a wonderful combination!
The singers kept up the tempo till 4.35 p.m. when Swami went into the Bhajan Hall. There, He asked the students to start the normal Bhajans! At 5.00 p.m. Aarti was given and Bhagawan proceeded towards the Poornachandra Auditorium.
April 12th, 2005
Swami was out at 7.40 a.m. this morning. The Golf Cart parked near the dais and Swami kept sitting inside the Cart for quite some time. At 8.05 a.m. , He got down and went walking towards the sofa. There was a brief interaction with Sri Mukundan and at 8.15 Swami sat down. There were two speakers from gents side and two from ladies side for the morning. They shared their joy and thrill to be part of this unique Youth Camp. They were followed by an elderly Balvikas Guru who delivered a very wise and insightful talk giving wonderful tips to the Youth Camp participants.
At 8.40 a.m. Carnatic Music Recital filled the air with soul stirring vibrations and went on till 9.20 when Aarti was given.
In the afternoon, Darshan was at 2.50 p.m. By 3.00 p.m. Swami was seated, Vedam stopped and the youth presented a drama titled – Uthisthata Jagratha – Arise Awake. The play portrayed several scenes from the life of Swami Vivekananda – depicted as flashbacks in the course of a grandfather advising his grandson who had come from USA to India – his homeland for the first time. The play ended at 3.35 p.m. The participants came forward to have photographs with Swami. Bhagawan was very happy and spoke to each one of them asking their names.
A very touching incident occurred at this point. One young person prayed to Swami asking for something. He kept pointing at Swami’s sofa. Swami asked him again what he wanted. He again pointed at the sofa. Swami looked to Sri Mukundan and brother Nitin. On prodding him further, the youth hesitantly prayed to Swami asking for His kerchief kept on the sofa! We were wondering what would happen next! Instantly, with a Loving smile, Bhagawan took the kerchief and gave it to him. With equal speed, brother Nitin removed a kerchief from his pocket and placed it on Swami’s Chair. What a lovely transaction of Love!!
After the photographs, the participants settled down in front of the dais. Bhagawan signaled for the Music programme to commence. There was one man who sang so well that we never realized the passage of time. You will be stunned to know that the programme which started at 3.40 p.m. went on till 5.25 p.m. In the course of his singing, Bhagawan called him in front and materialized a gold chain for him and placed it in his hands! The delighted singer went back to his seat more energized to thrill us further with his unique songs and Carnatic style Bhajans and Marathi Abhangas. Swami got up at 5.00 p.m. and went inside the interview room but asked him to continue singing. Irrespective of Swami’s physical absence, the tempo remained as high as ever!
Prof. Anil Kumar seated in the first row on the dais was a source of great inspiration to all the singers. He gave them such wonderful verbal and non-verbal feedback that they were encouraged to give their best! At 5.25 p.m. Swami came out, took Aarti and retired for the day, leaving us charged with the devotion soaked songs coming from hearts charged with His Grace!
April 13th, 2005
Darshan was at 7.25 a.m. Swami took a full round in the Golf Cart and then walked towards the sofa. This morning too there were two Gent speakers and two Lady speakers. As the Gent speakers came forward to offer their rose to Swami, Sri Mukundan signaled to them to wait until Swami sat down on the sofa. Watching this, Swami immediately told Mr. Mukundan to allow them to come forward. Swami exclaimed in Tamil – Neengal Chuma Irango…..They have come from so far – why do you stop them?
The second speaker got a chain from Swami and then Bhagawan called for the first speaker again who was seated on the dais and created a ring for him. Their delight knew no bounds. After the Lady speakers, Swami called for the Discourse mikes. This was a delightful surprise to all. It was 8.00 a.m. Bhagawan concluded His Message at 8.40 a.m. and Swami asked for the music programme to begin. As the participants were getting ready, the main singers in front looked for a bottle of water to wet their throats. Observing this, before the bottle of water could reach them from behind, Swami told brother Nitin to give them His glass of water. By then, the bottle had arrived but Swami offered His glass of water!
The singers would not miss this great opportunity at any cost. One of them came forward with a glass and brother Nitin poured out the sacred water from the silver tumbler into their glass! What luck! Each one took a sip of the Prasadam. But that was not the end of it. There was some water left in the silver tumbler. Bhagawan asked for it and He drank that remaining water! Normally, we take the remaining water as Prasadam; here it was just the reverse! That is the pure Love of the Lord!
The singers were again at their best. A couple of devotional songs and Bhajans kept us all engrossed. At 9.25 a.m. Swami got up and went inside the interview room. Bhajans continued as usual! At 9.50 a.m. Aarti was given to Swami.
In the afternoon, Bhagawan was out in the Kulwant Hall by 3.15 p.m. He cut short and went straight to the interview room. His Excellency Sri Narayan Datt Tiwari – the Chief Minister of Uttaranchal had come for Bhagawan’s Darshan. Swami spoke to him for some time in the portico and then came out and sat down on the sofa. It was 3.25 p.m. Vedam chanting stopped and a new set of singers from Kerala held the stage today with their Carnatic classical expertise! Bhagawan sat there till 4.15 p.m. Sri N.D. Tiwari was seated behind on a chair along with the Vice Chancellor. All of us were lost in the soul lifting, heart throbbing songs and Bhajans. They also sang some Tukaram Abhangas. Immersed in the music, we hardly felt the scorching heat piercing into the Hall through the roof sheets on the top. This indeed was the experience everyday!
At 4.15 p.m. Swami went in and Blessed the Chief Minister with an interview. Even after Swami went in, the music continued as per His command. At 5.15 p.m. the Bhajan group from Kerala took over. By now Swami had come out and was seated again. They sang for 5 minutes and at 5.20 p.m. Aarti was given. The person who gave Aarti had a wonderful chance as Swami sat throughout the Aarti looking at him! Only at the end, Bhagawan got up and walked towards the Golf Cart. As the cart glided away towards PC, the Naadaswaram and Panchavadyam alternately made their entry into our ears. Today was the eve of the Tamil New Year and Vishu. The sacred music was heralding the holy day!
April 14th, 2005
First of all, we wish all our Malayalam and Tamil brothers a very very Happy New Year! As we entered the Mandir this morning, Naadaswaram and Panchavadyam were heard reverberating in the Hall. At sharp 7.30 a.m. all the lights in Kulwant Hall went on and our dear Lord made a grand entry. The Mandir was decorated with banners containing Swami’s sayings. At the Gopuram side gate, a big banner was hanging offering the Pranaams of the Tamilnadu Seva Samithi at His Lotus Feet. At the entrance to Poorna Chandra
Auditorium, another banner read – Swami We Love You.
Colouful umbrellas stood erect along the outer wall of the Darshan Hall – typical Kerala artwork! At 7.45 a.m. Swami was on the dais, Blessing the Kerala and the Tamilnadu State Sai Samithi presidents. The Vedam group was instructed to stop chanting. Singers from Kerala began their scintillating music. After a while, the Sundaram Bhajan group took over with their Bhajans. Swami was standing all the while holding the railings and giving wonderful Darshan to all the devotees!
He sat down only after 10 minutes. Bhajans went on till 8.15 a.m. Bhagawan called Mr. Ramani and asked him about the programme. Mr. G.K. Raman (former MD of Sundaram Finance Limited) was the first speaker. He prayed to Bhagawan for a peaceful new year without any major tragedies and then specifically addressed the Kerala Youth stressing on the importance of character. Practice of Truth, Integrity and Honesty, he said was the only way to become a good human being. Finally, he offered gratitude to Bhagawan on behalf of all the Chennaites for the gift of life saving water bestowed by Him on the city!
The next speaker was a Lawyer practicing in Chennai High Court since 1983. He began with a very good anecdote. When Vibheeshana surrenders to Lord Rama, Rama asks all the members present in the meeting to express their view. Whereas everybody vociferously put forth their views, Anjaneya keeps silent all the while. Finally Lord Rama asks Hanuman to give his opinion. Hanuman says that he had nothing to speak because he was not a scholar. But still he would speak in order to demonstrate to the world that when the Lord commands even a monkey becomes capable of speaking!! The speaker said that he too felt like Hanuman today in the Divine Presence!
The speaker recalled his unique privilege of being a student of the first set of Balvikas students in Madras in 1969. He also happened to belong to the first batch of Sevadal and the first batch of the Balvikas Gurus in Madras . Swami had performed his Upanayanam (sacred thread ceremony) when he was just 10 years old. Bhagawan had then asked him the meaning of Upanayanam. Swami said that Upa means ‘near’ and Nayanam means ‘eye’. Therefore Upanayanam means one is taken near the eye of wisdom!
Bhagawan had cautioned him that even if he would not be able to perform Sandhyavandanam everyday, he must never give up chanting of the Gayatri. Gayatri Mantra can be chanted at anytime, Swami had said. It can be chanted while bathing – this would become an Abhisheka to the Goddess. It can be chanted while eating too.
In 1985, Swami had given his family an interview where Bhagawan asked him what job he was in. When he told Swami that he was a loyar, Bhagawan smilingly told him – Be a loyar and not a liar! He recalled some more teachings of Swami that have helped him extensively in his life.
It was 8.30 a.m. and Sri Mukundan came forward. Bhagawan commanded him to speak to the audience. Sri Mukundan shared the joyous feelings of the Kerala Youth with Bhagawan and said that they had resolved that after they reach Kerala, after a week, they would start doing Grama Seva in each and every village of Kerala . He prayed to Bhagawan to give them the strength to undertake this massive Labour of Love!
He recalled an instance where some devotees traveling with Swami, looking at the evening sky exclaimed – what a beautiful sky it is! To this Bhagawan told them that they were so lost in the painting and they were forgetting the Painter Himself! Never forget the Creator! Creator is more important than Creation!
Once as Swami was approaching the students, they immediately cleared the way for Swami. Looking at this, Swami had said, “What is the use of making this way. Make a way in your heart for Me!” In yet another episode, Swami was supervising the drama troupe just before their performance. He asked all the students who was the director. All said ‘no’ and finally the teacher in charge said that he was only the assistant director because Swami Himself was the actual Director. To this, Bhagawan replied that the Avataar needs no assistant directors. He needs only instruments!
Praying to Swami to Bless all the 1300 youth from Kerala, to become able and noble instruments in His Divine Mission, Mr. Mukundan concluded his inspiring talk. It was 8.40 a.m. The Sundaram Group started singing Bhajans. At 9.00 a.m. Bhagawan received Aarti and retired for the morning.
In the afternoon, Swami came out at 2.50 p.m. He cut across the Hall and came onto the dais. He spoke to Mr. Ramani enquiring about the afternoon programme. Three members from the Sundaram Group came forward with a card. Brother Hariharan (MBA: 1999-2001) was also a part of them. They started their programme at 3.00 p.m. and it went on non-stop till 4.45 p.m. In the course of the programme, Swami called one of the singers and materialized a ring for him. The latter half was a set of songs by ladies from Chennai Samithi. Throughout, Swami was very much involved and kept beat with His fingers. In fact, when the Ladies sang the song – Jhoole Na Jhoole Sai Gopala, Swami laughed and asked – Do you want Me to Sleep? At the end, the Sundaram Group members got a wonderful group photo with Bhagawan. Swami spoke to many of them. Aarti was performed. As the Golf Cart moved towards PC, once again Naadaswaram and Panchavadyam music filled the Hall, this time, marking the close of the New Year celebrations!
The past four days were truly filled with great devotion and noble feelings. Time ticked away so fast and Bhagawan gave Himself totally to saturate the devotees and the Youth with His Love and Grace! Ramanavami is fast approaching and we hope to have a wonderful time with our Sai Rama. We’ll get back to you with the Ramanavami news!