May 8th 2005
Youth from all over the state of Karnataka had gathered at Brindavan to have a seva camp and rally. In the morning, the Sai Ramesh Krishen hall was overflowing with devotees and the youth delegates. The hall wore a festive look, with floral decorations all over the stage area. All were eager to have the first darshan of Bhagawan after His return from Kodaikanal.
At 8.20 am, the first signs of Bhagawan's arrival were seen - the chandeliers around the stage were switched on. Soon after, we could hear Nadaswaram players welcoming the Lord. Then Swami came walking down the road from His Trayee residence, and walked into the hall from the first entrance on the ladies' side, accompanied by a Brindavan lecturer and Dr. Padmanabhan of Bangalore. As He entered, the students started a welcome song: "Swagatam... karte tera Sai hum." Swami walked over to the lift on the left side of the stage, went up to His chair at the centre of the stage. Meanwhile, the sevadals had started their bhajans after the welcome song. Swami sat onstage keeping time to the bhajans for half an hour. Then, He asked for the golf cart to be brought. Getting down from the stage from the gents' side lift, Swami boarded the golf cart and went on a full round of the hall, to the delight of all the devotees. While bhajans went on, He moved slowly down the centre aisle, and back to the front of the hall along the path on the gents' side, taking around ten minutes in all. Bhagawan left the hall, but bhajans continued, as is the practice at Brindavan on Sundays. The bhajans usually go on till the evening, when Bhagawan receives Arati.
After Bhagawan left the darshan area, the Sai youth who had gathered for their camp formed a procession and went around Bhagawan's Trayee Brindavan residence as is done during Nagar Sankirtan. Mini-trucks with banners reading "Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation Grama Seva" were waiting for the participants, who then left for their village service activities.
In the afternoon, all were waiting for Swami to arrive, singing bhajans like "Aao Aao Nandalala". Bhagawan walked in at 4.40 pm, following the same path as He did in the morning. He sat for the bhajans for another half hour. As He took Arati, He signalled for prasadam to be distributed, and laddus were brought out from behind the stage. As the laddus were being distributed and the Arati was drawing to a close, Bhagawan walked towards the rear of the stage and returned to Trayee from there.
April 19th to May 7th, at Kodaikanal
On April 19th, Bhagawan landed at 1.15 pm at Madurai less than an hour after taking off from Prasanthi Nilayam Airport. From there, Bhagawan and his party of guests and students proceeded straight to a location at the foothills of the Western Ghats where they stopped and had snacks. Then they drove up the mountain road to Kodaikanal, reaching there at 7.30 pm.
At Kodaikanal, Bhagawan would come out of His Sai Sruthi residence for giving darshan to devotees at around 9 am and for bhajan at around 3.45 pm. His darshan route used to be to walk down the porch, get into the golf cart, ride down to the ladies' side, then to the gents' side, take a turn, and return in the opposite direction back to Sai Sruthi. Bhajans were in the bhajan hall next to Sai Sruthi, and Bhagawan would walk down there in the evenings. Though it rained frequently at Kodai, darshans were not interrupted by rain. Once or twice it rained during the evening bhajans, and devotees couldn't gather in the bhajan hall, but were instead gathered in the covered area beyond. Swami went up to the portico to give darshan to them on that occasion.
Bhagawan spends a lot of time with the students He takes with Him to Kodai, and has all His meals with them. The students had informal sessions with Bhagawan after breakfast and afternoon tiffin, and before lunch and dinner. In the evening sessions, there were some speeches also.
On April 21st, Bhagawan went to His hilltop bungalow for afternoon tiffin with His entourage. They spent ninety minutes there, and students sang some songs. There were no bhajans that evening at Sai Sruthi.
April 26th was Trayee day - the anniversary of the opening of Trayee Brindavan, Bhagawan's residence at Bangalore. Sai Sruthi was decorated for the occasion, and Narayana seva and Vastra danam were conducted in the complex adjacent to Sai Sruthi after morning darshan.
On April 29th, Bhagawan asked Mr. Ajit Popat of London to speak after evening bhajan in the bhajan hall. On the 30th also Mr. Popat spoke, and his speech was followed by Bhagawan's Divine Discourse. Bhagawan spoke about the correct use of the senses, and narrated stories from the Ramayana. Dr. Deepak Anand, a student from Prasanthi Nilayam, spoke the next day after bhajan.
On May 3rd, after morning darshan, Bhagawan went on a drive with all the members of His party, in a convoy of fifteen vehicles. They drove to various spots of natural beauty in Kodai, like Pillar Rock, Coaker's Walk, Upper Lake View Point and Green Valley View. On other days, Bhagawan also sent the students who accompanied Him for boating, horse riding and shopping expeditions. While sending them shopping, He specifically told them to buy things from the itinerant Tibetan refugee merchants also, saying that in that way those poor people would get a livelihood.
May 6th was Eshwaramba day, and Balvikas students and teachers had gathered at Kodai. Swami distributed saris for the teachers and pens for the students. Narayana seva was conducted, and all were served with vegetable rice, sweet rice and another sweet. The poor were given blankets, rugs, saris and dhoties. That afternoon, Bhagawan with His party went for tiffin to the house of Mr. V. Srinivasan, All India President of the Sathya Sai Organisation. In the evening, after bhajans, Mr. V. Srinivasan spoke, followed by Bhagawan's Divine Discourse. Swami spoke of the need to respect one's parents, and the need to earn their love and grace. He mentioned how Ramakrishna Paramahamsa grew in spiritual stature due to the influence of his mother. "Mother is God, God is Mother", said Bhagawan. After Bhagawan's Discourse, Balvikas children from Madurai staged a play in English, Nachiketa of the Kali Yuga. This play was also staged in the bhajan hall, and was enjoyed by all.
On May 7th, after breakfast, Swami and His party left for Madurai by road at 8.45. Swami reached Madurai before the rest of His party. There, He gave darshan at His centre there, Ananda Nilayam, and also visited the residence of some devotees. After that, Swami and His party proceeded to the airport, and their chartered flight to Bangalore took off at 3.45 pm. After reaching Bangalore at 4.30, Bhagawan and His party first visited the residence of a devotee, and then proceeded to Brindavan, reaching there around 8.15 pm.