Prasanthi Bulletin

January 9th 2005

Bhagawan came for Darshan at around 3.00 p.m. and as He reached the Gents side where the boys sit, He asked Sri Padmanabhan to take an abrupt turn there itself between the students and the Mandir Staff. The Golf Cart reached the dais, and Bhagawan got down and sat on the sofa. Vedam was going on and after a while Swami called brother Prusty and gave him some instructions. Brother Prusty took a few boys with him and disappeared somewhere! We were wondering what it could be.After some time, boys started getting bundles and bundles of cloth packets onto the dais. Bhagawan asked them to leave all the packets on the dais, spread out in front of Ganeshaji!

When the whole place was full of cloth packs, Bhagawan called Prof. Anil Kumar and asked him to make an announcement. Prof. Anil Kumar went over to the mike with a beaming smile and with all gusto announced that Bhagawan was going to Bless all the Post Graduate students with Safari Cloth! Swami was not satisfied with the announcement. He indicated something and then Prof. Anil Kumar mentioned all the classes of the I and IIPG - M.Sc., M.A., MBA, MBA(F), M.Tech ....

Still Bhagawan wanted something more. He called the Parthi Hostel Warden, Dr. Siva Sankara Sai and gave him some instructions. Accordingly, the Warden went over to the mike and addressed the gathering with a brief talk. He offered his Pranams to Bhagawan and spoke about how Swami was the inspiration behind all the activities of the Sports Meet. Bhagawan, in spite of all His discomfort was coming to the grounds to charge the students and pump them up with enthusiasm! The Warden expressed gratitude on behalf of all the students for all the Love and Grace being showered by the Lord. And then he added that above all this, today Bhagawan had decided to Bless all the students with Safari Cloth. He announced that all the I and II Year PG students may come one by one and receive the tokens of His Love.

What followed was an amazing event. Swami asked the Warden to call out the names. All the boys were seated in a random order. So there came the acid test for the Warden! Would he remember all the names in a random order and the class too? Well, he scored a fantastic O Grade!! He kept calling name after name and even mentioned the class of the boy! As the name was called out, the student would come over to the dais and receive the Safari cloth from brother Prusty who was sitting next to the sofa hidden from our view. We could just see a hand coming out near the sofa and our student collecting the Safari! Bhagawan would look at the student and also Bless at times!! Well, this was a very unique way of distributing the Safari cloth pieces. Every student had the rarest opportunity of his name being called out in front of the Lord Himself and drawing the vision of Beloved Swami towards him!! A lifetime chance!!

Slowly, the speed increased as there were so many boys. Some senior students were smart enough to stand behind the Warden and assist him in calling out the names like the 'Prompter' in a drama. After the I and II PG students were through, Swami asked the Warden to continue. So then came the III UG students. They too were Blessed. Then came the II UG followed by the I UG boys. My!! It appeared as though there was an Akshay Patram hidden in the dais. They kept taking and the Safaris kept appearing!! How could we forget that we were seated right in the presence of the Infinite and the Cosmic Kalpavriksha!

As the distribution was in progress, word reached the Hostel and the grounds and all the boys came running and panting to receive their drops of Love. When the Prasanthi Nilayam campus was about to come to a close, Mr. Narasimhamoorthy, the Warden of the Brindavan Hostel, came in and took his seat next to Bhagawan. The Brindavan students too were assembling inside the Kulwant Hall. Swami then asked the Brindavan Hostel Warden to continue the innings! Sri Narasimhamoorthy Garu too scored very well in calling out the names of all students impromptu!

The entire proceedings were over by 4.30 p.m. Hearts full and overjoyed, the boys moved out towards the Hostel for their individual practice sessions. What an expression of Love and what timing for the distribution of these tokens of Grace! This brought in an additional surge of energy and power in all the students inspiring them to give in their last bit too, as an offering at the Lotus Feet. We discovered how Bhagawan,through all these events was teaching us the art of manifesting all our hidden potential gifted to us by the Lord and making an offering of the same back to Him. As Prof. G. Venkataraman puts it, it is the P-N cycle. All talents and skills that we possess are gifts of God bestowed on us. They are like the Prasadam given to us by the Lord. This Prasadam should in turn be offered as Naivedyam back unto Him. Only then will the cycle of Love be complete!

January 10th 2005

This morning, there was to be a combined march-past practice with all the three Campuses participating. Around 8.00 a.m., Bhagawan came to the grounds in the Silver Benz car driven by brother Satyajit. The car was parked and Bhagawan continued to remain seated inside. The command was given for the march-past to begin. Swami sat in the car and watched the entire proceedings right from marching, flag hoisting, oath-taking to the lighting of the Torch and the Mascot - Garuda - going up the hill! It took about half an hour. As this came to a close, the Anantapur students zoomed in with their bikes to present a few stunts in His Divine Presence. Swami watched the bike stunts for a few minutes before He asked brother Satyajit to start the return journey to the Mandir.

January 11th 2005

The Great Day finally dawned! Early in the morning, soothing music and holy chants were being played on the stadium speaker stacks and were charging the entire place with their holy vibrations. We woke up to that wonderful music. Some got up at 4.30 a.m. while some boys like the Maintenance boys came in to catch some sleep at that early hour!

Sports Meet is an experience by itself, in which all of the students learn so many things. There were many coaches literally staying and moving along with the students. They too were struck by the commitment and dedication shown by all the students in preparing this grand offering to the Lord!!

Well, coming back to the 11th morning celebrations, powerful Vedic Chants from the Anant CD (a CD brought out by the Parthi students containing Vedic Chants by students of different batches compiled together) were enveloping the entire stadium! The whole ground was pulsating with the intonations of the chants piercing the cool morning air! At 7.35 a.m. Bhagawan made a royal entry into the grounds in the Lamborghini, driven by brother Satyajit seated behind Swami. As you may know, the Lamborghini has Bhagawan's sofa in front with the chauffeur's seat fixed behind. That enabled all the devotees to have a lovely Darshan of Swami and that too in His White Robe!! That was a bonus!!

Swami's vehicle was of course led by the Escorts team comprising of students from all the campuses, the Anantapur and Prasanthi Nilayam bands, the Brindavan boys on horses, the slow-march boys and even Sai Gita who had taken a short cut and just come in from the side of the stage.

Swami ascended the dais standing on the lift. He sat on the sofa placed at the centre. A beautiful floral arch adorned the centre of the backdrop on the stage, with a beautifully carved Nataraja (in thermocol) on the top of the floral arch. Seated on the dais along with Bhagawan were the Vice-Chancellor Sri S.V. Giri, Prof. G. Venkataraman, Sri V. Srinivasan, Sri Naganand, Dr. Geeta Reddy and others. But most importantly and what will interest all of us most, was Major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore - the winner of the Silver Medal in Shooting in the recently held Olympics, seated in the first row. That really surprised all of us. How lucky he was to reach such great heights in sports and then come to the Lotus Feet of the Highest One who made all that possible for him!!

The march-past began and the children fro the Primary school in their most colorful dresses, shining and bright, filled the ground with cheer and delight. Marching in perfect coordination and harmony, these colourful tykes looked like hundreds of multi-coloured roses in the Divine Garden, blossoming with joy and happiness! This was followed by the Anantapur students, the School boys and then the Brindavan Campus finally concluding with the Parthi campus and the last squad being the Athletic squad.

This was followed by the Oath taking ceremony and then the Torch was lit. The torch that was used to mark the beginning of the Sports Meet this time was presented by the Olympic Champions of Greece and it is a copy of the same Torch that was used to commence the Olympic Games this year in Athens. They had offered this torch to Bhagawan to be used by the students on the Sports Meet Day! It's a lovely sleek silver coloured torch that is fired with gas.

The Torch song was played ... the Music Group students as usual has been slogging out for more than a week, with continuous nights-out to give shape and birth to the Torch Song, Closing Ceremony song and this time even the song for the Shiva Tandavam Dance. The final outcome was needless to say - par excellence!

The Garuda Mascot took off, gliding up the hill and with scientific precision triggered off the spark at the end of the rope that in turn lights the huge Torch Cup on the top of the Hill. Subsequently the Marching squads dispersed and the Anantapur students took up the grounds for their presentation.

Their presentation was titled "Dharma Margame Sai Margamu" - "The path of Dharama is the Path of Sai". They had a mix of several items that included Martial Arts, Sword Fighting, Fencing, etc... and concluded with stunts on motorbikes. In between, they had some cultural dances etc. The stunts on bikes had several formations on the bikes, Criss-crosses, Ramp Jumps, Jumps through Fire and even human ramp jumps over 16 students! It was a very spectacular display of courage and adventure!

Coming in after the Anantapur Campus were the children from Deenajanoddharana Pathakam, who were stationed on a moving vehicle platform. Their play was staged on this platform as it stood in front of the dais. The presentation was a series of stage magic tricks but portrayed to communicate the teachings of Bhagawan, through the lyrics of the accompanying song and pre-recorded commentary.

Meanwhile, a Micro-light aircraft flew across the light blue sky with a long banner trailing behind it and written on it was "Happy 80th Birthday". The Brindavan Campus as it normally does, had made its grand entry in the high skies. We are sure our Brindavan brothers would have several stories to share about the efforts that went in to make all these wonders happen. Their events included Celestial Rhythms, Creative Expressions, Plankrobatics (a medley of exercises on wooden planksby the united effort of 120 gymnasts) and Reverse Bungee Jumping.

The Brindavan Presentation was titled "A Journey from I to we... and we to He". The Celestial Rhythms was a breathtaking display of grit and grandeur on a grid at an awesome height of 80 feet. The students, as they were raised into the sky by the huge crane, formed a beautiful pattern of 80, welcoming the 80th year of the advent of the Avataar! The formations on the aerial grid were interspersed with the other events like 'Creative Expressions' which involved various formations on small hollow metal cubes that were independent entities but were arranged together in different permutations and combinations to deliver an enchanting display of beauty and symmetry.

The Brindavan programme came to a close at around 9.30 a.m. Bhagawan retired for the morning. In the evening, Swami was back again in the silver Benz Car by around 3.00 p.m. The stadium was packed to capacity.

The evening presentation began with the Primary School children who were at their best as usual! They started their presentation with a Shiva Tandava dance. A grand mix of bright colours, dances, gymnastics.... Suddenly different colours would spring up from nowhere and various objects would emerge from their hidden places, making the dances so thrilling and exciting - giving delight to one and all!!

The Primary School presentation was over by 4.00 p.m. and the Prasanthi Nilayam students took their positions. In the limelight was the 22 feet high Nataraja 2-D idol, wheeled on a 16' x 16' trolley, into its position on the ground. As the trolley turned, bringing the brilliantly shining, golden coloured, Nataraja into the view of all those seated in the grounds, there was thunderous applause!

The theme of the Parthi programme was Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer. "He is the Grace of Shiva Tandava, the command of Roller Skates, the agility of the Gymnasts,the courage of the Carabiners and the harmony of the Waves."

The presentation began with the Opening Ceremony boys running in with their flags and a team of Vedic Pundits moving in, in a ceremonious way chanting Vedic hymns. This set the mood for the Shiva Tandava dance. The dancers sprung onto the ground from behind the Nataraja and took their positions. What followed was a beautiful dance, the highlight of which was Lord Shiva and Parvati dancing on a 6 foot high stage, in front of the massive golden Nataraja. It was a sight to see! The costumes boys had spared no effort in dressing them up so well that many people later were asking whether Parvati was a boy or a girl student!

Next was the carabining event, which had students moving down ropes at tremendous speeds from about 80 feet above the ground along a distance of about 600 feet, performing various stunts like yoga postures, tent-pegging, etc. To draw attention of the entire audience, they started with a colourful explosion up on the hill. As all eyes turned towards them, the carabiners began their descent!

This was followed by gymnasts on mini trampolines doing various stunts like dunking a basketball while doing a somersault. Then there were the Prasanthi wheels with synchronized movements. The Gun drill focused on perfect synchronization as the boys performed various movements with their guns. As the boys made their movements one after the other in rapidsuccession, a lovely wave effect was produced which was very well appreciated.

On display next was a synchronized set of moves by over 70 boys of the Higher Secondary School with sticks, which was followed by U-ramp stunts on roller-blades and skateboards done for the first time in India. The U-ramp measuring 24 feet by 10 feet was designed and fabricated by our maintenance crew in record time! The highlights of this program were a 16 foot drop into the ramp, a front somersault on the quarter pipe and a stupendous leap over a Maruti Van off a ramp. The jump was fantastic and even drew applause from Bhagawan Himself!

Then came a School mass event set to wonderful music and the boys made various wave formations. Then, the Brindavan students were back again with their mighty crane to perform what is called reverse Bungee jumping!

Bhagawan was sharing the thrill that all the VIPs had on the stage! He was telling them about the event and how it works. The performers went over to Bhagawan to offer their gratitude in the form of a bouquet. Swami Blessed all of them.

Finally, the Closing Ceremony song was played. Swami sat throughout the song. As it was coming to a close, the dancers who played the role of Shiva, Parvati and Karthikeya ascended the steps right at the front of the dais and came over to Bhagawan to offer the Card of Gratitude on behalf of the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus! Swami lovingly welcomed them, received the Card and gave them a beautiful photograph! Bhagawan got up and proceeded to the lift. At this point, the Closing Ceremony song came to a close. Immediately, Swami asked for the song to be played again! What a Blessing for the composers and singers of this song - to be sought to be heard by Bhagawan Himself again!

Swami got into the Benz Car and proceeded to the Mandir. At the Mandir, several boys had gathered to witness the car glide away into the Poornachandra premises.

The Annual Sports and Cultural Meet 2005 thus came to a close, leaving all with a sense of fulfillment and joy! As the thousands of devotees, like huge waves, moved out of the Shanti Vedika Grounds, the Golden Nataraja stood there blazing in the evening sun, as proof of the unchanging, eternal reality! All may come and go, but He remains!!

The 80th year of "Love in Action" had finally begun in a grand way! May the rest of the year witness several such spectacular and soul stirring events that hail the advent of the Lord and spread His Glory far and wide!!

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.