Prasanthi Bulletin

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April 7th, 2006 - Sri Ram Navami Celebrations

This morning, our Lord Sai Rama came out for Darshan at 8:25 AM. As the car made its appearance in the Sai Kulwant Hall, what do we see? Not the grey coloured Porte car but a beautiful bright red coloured open shutter car with Swami seated in the front, easily visible to all. The car is a very small compact one. It is a Mini Cooper model, made by a company recently taken over by BMW and known for making sophisticated compact cars. As the car passed along, devotees were ecstatic as they could clearly see Swami without the usual glass shutters and light reflections on the window panes obscuring their vision. On the name plate was written merely the alphabets BABA.

The car took a full round and then stopped near the interview room. The car rolled out just like the Porte car but the maneuvering mechanism was not as smooth as that of the Toyota. The seat went up a little and then out and then down again. Swami then got up and walked to the dais and sat on the sofa.

The moment He sat down, the Primary School children, few of them who have stayed back during the vacations, came forward with a large card for Blessings. Subsequently, a group of Music College students went forward with their programme card. Swami had Blessed them the previous day to be ready with a Veena recital programme this morning.

At 8:40 AM, the Veena recital began with Mahaganapatim Bhajeham?.Then followed Enadaro Mahanubhavulu accompanied with vocal too. Swami gave some instructions and then came the song Brova Baa Rama. This was followed by Paluke Bangaara Mayana on Veena.

After this piece, there were some more Divine instructions and the focus shifted to another group of Music College students who are proficient in Hindustani Classical music. This group has now come to be identified as the Meera group by all, as they have been singing Meera Bhajans in the Divine Presence since a couple of weeks. The Meera group sang the Rama Katha song in Hindi elaborating on the various episodes in Lord Rama's life.

Following the Rama Katha one of the singers sang Payo Ji Meine Rama Ratana Dhana Payo. After this the usual Bhajan boys took over. We had a very melodious and soul stirring song sung by Sri Aswath Narayan - O Rama Nee Naama Emi Ruchi Raa...and then Jagadabhi Ramudu Sri Ramude...finally ending with the popular Lata Mangeshkar Bhajan - Ram Bhajan Kara Man...
Swami took Aarti at 9:50 AM and retired to His abode.

In the evening, Swami was out at 4:00 PM. He took a full round and got down near the interview room. To our delight, He then came out into the Kulwant Hall on His Porte Chair and took a round along the front row of boys and the Vedam group. He turned back near the old students group and they had a wonderful chance of offering their letters and prayers. Swami then called the Meera group boys inside the interview room, which He has been doing very frequently since the past few days. At around 5:00 PM, Swami came out and sat down on the dais.

He Blessed the Vice Chancellor to share his thoughts with the audience. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Anil Gokak spoke briefly for about ten minutes. He highlighted the spiritual symbolism of the story of Lord Rama as enunciated by Bhagawan Baba. He compared Rama to compassion and Lakshmana to Prema saying that, they both together gave Bliss - Ananda to all. He explained how Swami compares king Dasaratha to the ten senses, the four brothers to the four human values and Sita and Rama to Prakriti and Paramaatma.

The golden deer stands for the material world and its temptations. Finally, Ravana symbolizing Rajas and Kumbhakarna symbolizing Tamas are eliminated and Vibheeshana who manifested Satva was made victorious.

At 5:10 PM, Swami called Sri Ajit Popat, the well known devotee and orator from U.K. and asked him to speak a few words to mark the auspicious occasion. Sri Popat spoke for around 20 minutes. He stressed on the fact that we humans need no physical or mental 'make-up' to come to God. What we need is to make up our minds.

He stated that we must go with all the 'force' to the 'source' and we would get all the 'resources' that we need.

He reminded us that Lord Krishna commanded Arjuna to get up and fight, but merely as an instrument. That, he said, is the need of the day. What is required fundamentally in spirituality, the speaker opined was the quality of vigilance. To be aware that He is aware?..

He said that Bhagawan had advised him to follow the dictum 'Karishye Vachanam' to start with, even before attempting to follow 'Karishye Vachanam Tava'. That is to follow one's own words. This in fact was the main message of Lord Rama's life. To keep up one's word. Raghukula Reetie Sadaa Chali Aayee, Jaan Jaye Para Vachana Na Jaaye. He concluded stating that the word 'JOY' communicated a very strong message to all of us. It meant, Jesus first, Others next, and You last.

It was 5:30 PM and Swami on His own, signaled for the table to be brought. He stood up amidst applause and delivered His Divine Ramanavami message.

The highlights of His Divine Discourse are given below:

You all are essentially Divine. Since ancient times, Rama's story is being composed and shared by all. The story actually took place 1000s of years ago. But yet, His story is heard by one and all even today. Right from a beggar to a millionaire, they repeat Rama's name. There is no Bharatiya who does not repeat Lord Rama's name. You all are embodiments of My own Divinity, said Lord Rama.

Truth is the foundation of Dharma. Satyam Naasti Paro Dharmaha. Therefore, the first lesson is to always speak the Truth. Act as per the word given. One should speak only after ensuring the feasibility of the word to be translated into action. Dharma is not merely an act of charity. It must come from the heart and must be translated into action. Manas Ekam, Vachas Ekam, Karmanyekam Mahaatmanam. Lord Rama is an example of this. On the contrary, Manas Anyat, Vachas Anyat, Karman Anyat Duraatmanam. Ravana is an example of the latter. Rama stands for Satya and Ravana for Asatya.

Today, man is faced with a number of problems because of speaking untruth. Once, we speak untruth, we lose the quality of life. Truth is ever lasting. It is changeless. Students, you all must observe Truth from this age onwards so that you will become ideal citizens tomorrow. Offer all your actions to God and it will get transformed into Truth.

All innermost feelings are reflections of Truth. However, when they manifest through the tongue and other senses they become false. Therefore, senses are responsible for merit and demerit. Truth shows the direction, Dharma follows it and Prema experiences and tastes it. Once you taste this Love, you will never be able to cause Himsa (violence) to anybody. Himsa is not just hurting others. Not following one's given word is also violence - Himsa.

Mind is clouded by desires, just as the moon is covered with dark clouds. But do not feel sad. The moment the dark clouds clear away, the moon is seen. We must do Naamasmarana to blow away the clouds of desires covering our minds.

At this point, Swami narrated the story of how Lakshmana too once gets very evil thoughts. But then Lord Rama explains to him that it was because they were present in the forest where Shurpanaka had lived. It was those vibrations that were responsible for Lakshmana's bad thoughts.

Tell me your company and I shall tell you what you are. Never be in bad company. Always be in good company.

Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati. Many of us question as to why God cannot transform us. God never does anything. Your thought and action itself does everything and gives you feedback. If you eat a mango fruit you will invariably get only the belch of a mango fruit. You cannot get the belch of a neem fruit, having eaten a mango fruit.

One who thinks constantly can never be happy. We must transcend our thoughts. Bookish knowledge leads to allergy and all our energy is lost. At a higher level, one need not think, - Is it good or bad. Everything is good only. Whatever happens is for our good only. Live with this conviction.

Love all, never hate anybody. Some doubt God also. That is the greatest sin. When such bad thoughts come, consider them as enemies and brush them aside. Love will protect and nourish you. Live in love. You all are Embodiments of Love.

Pain and pleasure come in succession. We must learn to possess equanimity. This was the lesson that queen Sumitra taught queen Kausalya when Rama was to leave for the forest. Later, Lord Rama dissuades Sita from coming with Him to the forest saying that there would be many animals over there and Sita would not be able to face the challenges of a forest life. To this Mother Sita replies that the Lord Rama who holds the entire world in His Hands, can He not take care of me and protect me. Then why should I have any fear?

When Sita is abducted to Lanka, Lakshmana gets very furious and prays to his brother Rama to permit him to burn all those responsible for the abduction of Sita, to ashes. To this Lord Rama replies, "You and I need do nothing. Their own bad actions will burn them on their own".

Do not have the feeling of mine and thine. All belongs to God. What is yours? The body, the mind, the intellect? Nothing is yours. You may lose your body any moment. You are not able to control your own monkey mind. Therefore, say and feel 'I am I'. That is the right approach to life. This is the key teaching of Lord Rama.

How can anyone dislike Lord Rama? He hated none, hurted none. It is impossible to have bad consequences for good actions. Once we control our senses, everything will be rectified.

Ramayana is not just a story. It happens in each one of our lives. It is a thought process in our mind. The one who always smiles can never be put to hurt by anybody. Never put up a castor oil face saying that exams have come. It is better if examinations of life are advanced. This will enable us to write and pass soon and move to higher levels.

At 6:15 PM, Swami sat down on the sofa and sang the song - Rama Naamamu Mithai Idigo Randi Bhaktulaara. As the students too did not know this song, Swami sang line by line and made us repeat every line, literally teaching us the song like a music teacher. He then continued the Discourse sitting on the sofa.

Normally sweets are very tasty, but they are poisonous to the stomach. But Rama Naama is a sweet which will never spoil the stomach.

Rama's name is eternal. It has no age bar. It is transcendental. Never give up this nectarine name. Modern students do not pay heed to this name of Lord Rama. It is their bad luck. Even Meera sang - I have got this precious pearl. Can I ever drop it and lose it?

What we need today is not expansion of the physical heart, but transformation of the spiritual heart. Be in search of the path that can accommodate as many people as possible.

Tomorrow all of you will be leaving for your hometowns. Keep all that you have learnt here in your mind. Never make your parents feel sorry. Make them happy. If you are happy they too will be happy. This is your duty. Khana, Pina, Sona and Marna will automatically happen. The main purpose of our being born is to make our parents happy. Be good ideals. Then alone will you gain the fulfillment of being students of the Sri Sathya Sai Educational Institutions.

It was 6:25 PM and Swami concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, Rama Rama Rama Sita...

Laddu Prasadam was distributed to all and Swami got back into the Porte and retired for the day.

You can see an illustrated version of happenings at Prasanthi Nilayam in the Prasanthi Diary of our monthly e-Journal Heart to Heart.

The previous issue of Prasanthi Bulletin is available here.

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