Index of earlier Bulletins
November 17th, 2005
Eighty lucky couples will get married in the Divine Presence this morning at
Sai Kulwant Hall as part of the 80th Birthday celebrations. It is 7.00
a.m. Let's proceed to the Sai Kulwant Hall and witness the happenings.
The Sai Kulwant Hall is decorated like a wedding hall with colourful
flowers. It is a very unique decoration that we are seeing for the first
time in Kulwant Hall and it looks gorgeous. Using merely wooden poles
and bamboos, the front part of the Kulwant Hall is divided into three
huge Kalayana Mandapams. The poles and bamboos are fully wrapped with
matted coconut leaves and erected a few feet apart from each other. At
the corners are the main pillars of the Kulwant Hall decked with
Plantain leaves. All along the boundaries of this structure are
colourful flower decorations. The top is left open. It provides a
perfect environment for a wedding ceremony.
The 80 marriage parties are seated in the front part of the Hall where
usually the Primary School, Higher Secondary School and the Institute
students sit. Incidentally, the students are not present for this
occassion as they are having their classes. The stage area is also
decorated very lavishly with floral buntings and bouquets. Portraits of
Rama and Sita, the Divine couple, are seen amidst a colourful framework
resting against each of the two main pillars on the stage. Lord Rama on
one side and Mother Sita on the other pillar. The central part is
decorated like a giant Kalasham, with flowers again.
Bhagawan arrives in the Hall amidst Nadaswaram music and Vedam chanting
at 7.30 am. He proceeds to the dais in the car and sits there in the car
itself for nearly half an hour. Young boys are vigorously doing
Chakkabhajan dance just outside the Lotus gates of the Sai Kulwant Hall.
The Vedam group is seated adjacent to the car. Then Bhagawan comes out
of the car in the detachable chair and proceeds to go around the Hall,
up to the very end of the area where the couples are seated. No doubt,
there is great excitement and thrill all around. While He is going
around, He asks for the sacred Mangalasutras to be brought to Him, and
starts distributing them to the grooms personally. After some twenty
minutes of this, Bhagawan comes onstage, and then proceeds to distribute
some more items, to the brides now. This time, the brides come up to
Him, take Padanamaskar (a lifetime chance for them) and receive the
packets (full of gifts) from His hands. This distribution goes on till
8.50 a.m., and then the priests start the chants for the sacred occasion
after a sentence or two of introductory remarks.
The next half an hour witnesses the actual ceremonies - first the sacred
vows by the couples, the "Kanyadanam", the tying of the Mangalasutras,
the "Talambralu" ceremony where the bride and groom pour sacred yellow
rice over each other's head, the wearing of the "Kankanam" or symbolic
bangle, exchanging of garlands and finally the tying of the knot on the
couples' garments. As all this goes on, Bhagawan is watching with keen
interest and claps enthusiastically at the tying of the Mangalasutras
which He has given with His own hands. The "Talambralu" ceremony also
provides some comic relief, with some of the couples emptying the entire
platter of rice on each others' heads!
After the ceremonies are over, the priests continue to chant along with
the Nadaswaram music, and the distribution of articles begins. The Love
of the Lord has no bounds and when the Lord plays the role of the
Mother, one can imagine how it would be! Item after item is brought to
Bhagawan for Blessings, and is then distributed to the couples. Watches,
Steel Vessels, Puja items, what not! And to crown it all, Bhagawan goes
around the couples in the Hall once again! His chair is manoeuvered
amidst all the couples enabling Him to Bless them with Akshatas - sacred
yellow rice - with His own hands,. After Bhagawan comes back onstage, He
asks Prof Anil Kumar to announce that the wedding feast will be served
in the Canteen, for the couple and their immediate family. Thus, making
the occasion a truly memorable one, Bhagawan returns to His
Poornachandra residence at 10.10 am.
In the evening, Swami comes out at 3.30 p.m. We are very lucky as unlike
every evening, He does not stop to get down at the interview room, but
comes forward and moves onto the dais. The car halts on the dais. Oh! Is
it going to be car Darshan again, we wonder! But to our delight, after a
while the most awaited moment arrives. The door of the car on Swami's
side slides open with the press of a button. The chair moves out and
the Lovely Form of our Lord fills all thirsty eyes in the Kulwant Hall.
The Hall is crowded and all sit drinking in the Divine Love and Grace.
Swami sits for a long time. At 4.30 p.m. He signals to Dr. Goldstein, –
the Chairman of the Prasanthi Council that manages the International Sri
Sathya Sai Seva Organizations, to come closer. Dr. Goldstein runs and
kneels down next to Swami's chair. For the next 20 to 25 minutes, we
witness a very wonderful interaction between the Lord and His devotee.
Swami asks him so many questions and Dr. Goldstein answers with so many
words and gestures. Then Dr. Goldstein asks something and Swami answers.
Nobody knows what the dialogue is, but still it gives so much joy
to just observe our Lord interacting in such an involved way. Whatever
He does is beautiful. Is it not said "Adharam Madhuram, Vadanam
Madhuram ... Madhuradhipateh Akhilam Madhuram"!
At 4.50 p.m. Swami asks for Bhajans to commence from the Kulwant Hall itself. The Bhajan boys come
jumping in from different corners and within seconds the Ganesha Bhajan
begins. Swami continues to sit through the Bhajans. At 5.25 p.m. He
takes Aarti and retires.
Well, coming to some developments around Prasanthi Nilayam. Beautiful
decorative entrances are being set up at both the gates of Eswaramma
School, which we presume will be the entry points for the devotees to go
inside the Shanti Vedika stadium on 23rd . At almost all the gates
across the road, on the inside, small shelters have been erected. Some
are small ones like beach umbrellas, which can provide shade to two seated people. The other
type of shelter is like the buffet counters that are set up - all with
colourful frills at the bottom and beautiful coverings on the top.
This possibly could again serve as enquiry counters or maybe Prasadam
Wires running all along the road from the Mandir towards the Hostel
connect several horns that provide a good audio service to all public on
the road. They may be planning to use it for announcements. Right now,
devotional songs on Swami are being played on it. Tomorrow is the
Rathotsavam festival. No announcements were made this evening, but we
presume it will begin sometime after 8.00 a.m.
Temporary sheds at the rear end of the Ashram are filling up with
the Indian delegates
of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations for the World Conference. Some of the Indian delegates
hosted in the Institute Building also. The musicians
and other artistes are being hosted in the Music College building. The crowd is swelling
exponentially and accommodation inside the Ashram is extremely tight.
Another interesting development is that, since the day of the Akhanda
Bhajans, a "cold wave" seems to have swept over Parthi!
November 16th, 2005
This evening, Bhagawan entered Kulwant Hall at 3.40 p.m. Taking a full
round of the Hall, He entered the interview room. After a few minutes,
we heard loud applause on the Ladies side. Soon, we came to know that
Swami had come to the Bhajan Hall walking from the interview room and
had sat in the Bhajan Hall throne for a while. Few minutes later, Swami
came out onto the Ladies side sitting on the chair, and spoke to them
for quite some time. Prof. Anil Kumar was summoned and Bhagawan gave him
instructions. He came onto the dais and took his position behind the
mike. He made an announcement that tomorrow there would be a mass
marriage conducted in the Divine Presence at 9.00 a.m. The couples have
been selected very carefully and belong to the not-well-to-do segment of
the nearby villages. Now, these couples were privileged to receive the
Blessed Clothes from Swami's Hands. Prof. Anil Kumar got ready to
announce the names of the recipients. The coordinators from the ladies
side came forward with all the items and placed them next to Swami.
Meanwhile, Bhagawan asked the Vedam group to start chanting Vedam.
Naadaswaram music was also played on the Public Address system. It was a
perfect ambience for distributing clothes to the brides and bridegrooms.
Swami asked the ladies to leave all the items and go back. He called two
of the overseas students to come forward and chant Vedam, standing next
to Him. Prof. Anil Kumar was waiting to announce the names, but Swami
had His own plans. He wanted to Bless each of His children personally.
Who can stop the Divine Mother from showering Her Love on Her children?
Swami asked the chair to be taken down to where the couples were seated.
The brides were seated on one side and the bridegrooms were seated next
to the Vedam group on the gents side. Swami went right amidst them. Few
students came over with the trays containing expensive silk saris and
Dhotis. Swami started distributing the clothes to each one of them
personally. He moved between the rows and smiled and Blessed each one of
the recipients. This went on till 4.35 p.m.
Subsequently, Swami came and sat down on the dais. For the next half an
hour, we had the best Darshan that we ever had in the past few days.
Swami sat over there smiling all the while radiating so much of Love and
Bliss that permeated into each one of us raising our souls unto Him!
Suddenly, Swami called Sri Vedanarayana who is the leader of the Vedam
chanting group. Swami spoke a few words with him and then smiling at
him, He created a ring. Sri Vedanarayana ran forward, close to Swami’s
chair and Bhagawan slipped the ring onto his finger amidst loud
applause. The outpouring of His Love continued further. He called the
Birthday boys for Blessings. It was a long time since Swami had Blessed
the Birthday boys. There was a long queue – almost a dozen of them. Each
one came forward and received Bhagawan’s Blessings. He Blessed all the
items in the tray and also sprinkled Akshatam (yellow rice) on their
head, smiling all the while. All were overjoyed.
Having drenched us in His Grace and Love, Swami moved inside at 5.10
p.m. Bhajans began and Swami sat inside the Bhajan Hall. He retired
after 2 or 3 Bhajans. Bhajans continued until 5.35 p.m. and concluded
November 15th, 2005
This morning, Swami came out for Bhajans at 9.30 am. He sat for a few bhajans and retired after
taking Aarti. In the evening, Swami was out for Darshan by
half past three. Again at 4.00 p.m. He got into the car and proceeded to
the Shanti Vedika stadium. After He returned, He sat onstage till the bhajans
began at 5 pm. Then Bhagawan sat in the Bhajan Hall for a few
bhajans. Arati was offered at 5.20 pm and thereafter Bhagawan retired
to His abode.
November 14th, 2005
This morning Bhagawan did not come out for Darshan. But He was
very busy inside Poornachandra Hall. All the students participating in
the Convocation Drama were called to the PC Hall for a rehearsal in the
Divine Presence. They were all present in the Hall by 7.30 a.m. Swami
came onto the stage and then proceeded to sit in the D-circle at 9.15
a.m. The rehearsal began. Swami sat through the entire play giving
valuable and subtle guidance now and then which was immediately noted
down by the coordinators. After the drama rehearsal was over, Swami
spent a lot of time talking to the various participants and giving them
immense joy and happiness. One student from Brindavan Campus was Blessed
with a three diamond ring. A few dialogues had to be added to provide
clarity and some fine tuning in the acting was suggested. What a great
opportunity to be guided and corrected by the Divine Director Himself!
It was almost 11.00 a.m. when the actors came out of the Poornachandra
Hall and returned to their respective Hostels with hearts overflowing
In the evening, Bhagawan came out for Darshan at around 3.45
p.m. To our great delight, He sat outside for a short 15 minutes and
then proceeded towards the interview room. At 4.45 p.m. He came out and
got into the car and went for His daily survey trip to the Shanti Vedika
grounds. A huge platform is coming
up at the bottom of the statues of Lord Shiva and Jesus, across the
Ladies side gallery, which will serve as a stage for some wonderful
performance on the 23rd of November.
As Bhagawan was taking a round in the grounds, the Brass Band group of
the college was just completing their practice session. Watching Swami
coming towards them, they immediately started playing the Band. Swami's
car moved slowly across the group enabling Bhagawan to watch and hear
them. This was the first time in this academic year that Swami had Blessed
the Band Group. Swami returned to the Mandir by 5.10 p.m. He went into
the Bhajan Hall and retired by 5.30 p.m.