January 23rd to 25th 2005
The past three days have been quite uneventful at the Mandir. Sorry, uneventful is a very wrong word to use in relation to Bhagawan. He comes for Darshan and goes away into the interview room and so we may feel that there is nothing special happening. But there could be nothing farther away from the truth. Every wave of His Hand during Darshan may be answering so many queries, a single nod of His Head may be soothing so many hearts, one Look of His and thousands in that direction are filled with inexplicable joy! What appears as normal Darshan to us is filled with mysterious events and happenings that draw hundreds of His devotees closer to Him. Therefore, we first apologize for using the word uneventful. Let us put it this way: for the past three days, there were no special programmes in Sai Kulwant Hall, nothing visibly happening that we could relate to you.
On 23rd morning, Swami came out only for Bhajans. However, in the evening, Swami came out for Darshan at around 3.15 p.m. and sat outside after a long gap of several days, giving all of us wonderful Darshan for full one hour. That came as a downpour on the desert like dry hearts of ours owing to the recent drought!!
On 24th morning again, surprisingly, Bhagawan came out early in the morning at 7.15 a.m. There were very few people even in the Portico as all were used to Swami's arrival after 8.30 a.m. These are His wonderful ways! He definitely keeps us on our toes!! In the evening, Swami came out by 3.15 p.m. but disappeared immediately into the interview room, only to emerge out for the Bhajans.
On the 25th morning, Bhagawan did not come out for Darshan, but in the evening, He came out at 4.40 p.m. He sat outside and asked the Bhajan boys to start Bhajans. We had lovely Bhajans till 5.30 p.m. and once again it was a feast to our eyes to watch Him sitting on the sofa and keeping beat to the soul stirring Bhajans!
January 26th 2005
January 26th is celebrated as Republic Day in India. After the Flag Hoisting ceremony at the Institute and schools, the students arrived at the Mandir by 7.30 am. Swami came out at 7.55 a.m. As He came and got down on the dais, He spoke to brother Nitin about something. We saw brother Nitin moving towards the Bhajan Hall and then Swami was continuously looking towards the Poornachandra Hall. We thought that Swami was expecting some guest. There was news that the First Lady of Kazakhstan was arriving at Parthi for having Bhagawan's Darshan.
Several minutes passed by and Swami kept enquiring about something. We were wondering why the guest was not arriving and were concerned to see Swami standing and waiting for the arrival. How important that person could be for Swami to wait so long. Then Swami again called brother Nitin Acharya and signaled towards the boys. Still, we were not clear what was happening.
Finally, the VIP arrived and we could see the delight on Bhagawan's face. Boxes of Perk Chocolates were brought in by the boys into the Portico. So that was what our Divine Mother was waiting for! For our Divine Mother, showering Her Love on Her children is what gives the greatest joy. We thought that Swami was waiting for some VIP - Very Important Person. Little did we know that He was waiting for the VIP - Very Important Prasadam!!
The chocolates were distributed to all the students. Then came Wafers that were distributed to all devotees. Swami was sitting and observing the entire process, giving some instructions and guidance here and there to ensure perfect logistics and delivery! Bhajans started at 8.25 a.m. and went on till 9.15 a.m. By then the distribution of Prasadam was through. All had the sweet chocolates and wafers in their pockets but their attention was on the source of all sweetness - our dear Lord sitting on the sofa with a gentle sway that kept beat with the Bhajans!
In the evening, Swami came out at 3.15 p.m. He got down and came towards the sofa. Would He sit down or would He turn and go back into the interview room? To our delight, He sat down on the sofa amidst loud applause. He spoke to the Warden and then the Vice-Chancellor. It was obvious that Swami was looking for some student to give a talk. The lucky student was Sri Jagadish Chandra, a student from the II M.Sc.(Physics) class. Bhagawan called him forward and spoke to him. Meanwhile, the mike and the podium were kept in place. Brother Jagadish went over to the stage and delivered an inspiring talk filled with patriotic feelings, reminding us about our obligation to our sacred Nation and evoking tides of Love for our dear Motherland!
Following him, brother Sudhindran, who is part of the Vedam Chanting core group, was called upon by Bhagawan to translate the Sri Suktam for all of us. The rest of the core group chanted two lines at a time followed by a vivid translation and an occasional explanation about the inner significance of the Vedic utterances. The entire Sri Suktam was chanted in this manner. After brother Sudhindran completed his talk, brother Shashank Shah, who has completed his MBA Course and is now pursuing his M.Phil. at our Institute, was Blessed by Swami to share his thoughts with the audience.
Brother Shashank spoke at length, detailing the major landmarks in the life of our dear Bhagawan, starting right from His declaration to the world about His Avataarhood, until the latest Chennai Water Project commissioned coinciding with the 79th Birthday celebrations of Bhagawan. Incidentally, the video describing the Chennai Water Project in detail, produced by the Prasanthi Digital Studios, is available for viewing at www.saicast.org .... Brother Shashank completed his talk at 5.05 p.m. Swami called him closer and materialized a gold ring with a green diamond for him and slipped it onto his finger. The student was filled with great joy and gratitude at this spontaneous Love of Bhagawan!!
January 27th 2005
This morning, Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 7.45 a.m. The First Lady of Kazakhstan Her Excellency Sara Alpysovna Nazarbayeva had arrived yesterday night. Bhagawan gave her and her party an audience. The First Lady also visited the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning with her party members at 11.00 a.m. She went around the various departments and the A.I. Lab, followed by a special session, where the VC gave a talk supported by a video film, explaining the salient features of the Value Based Education offered at the Institute.
In the evening, Swami came out at 3.00 p.m. He first took a group of devotees into the interview room. After a long while, the door opened, but then the First lady of Kazakhstan went in with her team. It was close to 5.00 p.m. when Bhagawan came out and went into the Bhajan Hall. Bhajans began at 5.00 p.m. and at 5.30 p.m. Bhagawan took Aarti and retired to the PoornaChandra. Even as we were moving out of the Sai Kulwant Hall, the convoy of the First Lady of Kazakhstan left the Mandir to make a visit to the Chaitanya Jyothi Museum.
January 28th 2005
This morning, Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 7.15 a.m. The team from Kazakhstan was once gain privileged to have an Interview with the Lord that went on till 8.20 a.m. Subsequently, Swami came and sat outside on the sofa. The Kulwant Hall was filled with thousands of devotees from Anantapur District. Around 6000 of them had arrived at Parthi as their part in the 80th Year Celebrations of the advent of Bhagawan. Ladies and Gents wearing badges sat eagerly to have Darshan of the Lord. After Swami sat down, Prof. Anil Kumar took over the mike. There was to be distribution of Sewing Machines and Wet Grinders to the needy people from Anantapur. This was an offering by the devotees of Anantapur to the Sai installed in the hearts of these poor and needy people!
As their names were called out, the candidates, most of them being women and a few men, came over to the front of the dais, bowed down to Swami and received their tokens of Love. This was indeed a very fulfilling event and it was even more meaningful for those who realized that it was not just a sewing machine or a wet grinder that was being offered to the needy but it was a source of income - a source of livelihood for them that would change their whole lives!! Around 100 of them were benefited by these gifts.
At 8.50 a.m., Bhajans were sung by the devotees of Anantapur. This went on till 9.15 a.m. when Swami took Aarti and retired to the PoornaChandra.
In the evening, Swami was out for Darshan by 3.00 p.m. The Anantapur devotees had their backdrop ready for the cultural programme to be presented by them. Swami got down from the Golf Cart and went inside the interview room. He came out only at 3.50 p.m. He walked to the centre of the dais and sat down on the sofa.
The dance drama to be presented by the Anantapur Samithi children was titled, "Anantha Varadayee Sri Sathya Sai" - "The Bestower of Infinite Boons - Sri Sathya Sai". The dance drama was presented in modules; each module starting with a commentary by a small boy who would come forward and speak in Telugu, with a mock mike. Of course, the commentary and songs were all prerecorded. This would be followed by a dance, the lyrics of which talked about the theme of that module.
The best part of the play was the backdrop, yet one more innovative idea springing up in the Sai Kulwant Hall presentations. All the backdrops, a dozen or more of them, were huge screen printings on canvas, but were all on a continuous canvas sheet. The whole sheet was rolled up on an axle and was rolled down one after the other as the scene would begin. This kept the backdrop firm and tight enough between the two axles, and the rolling was a very easy and smooth way to bring in the next scene!! Hats off to this creative idea being implemented for the first time by the Anantapur Samithi organizers.
The first module spoke about the Lord as the one who bestows infinite boons on humanity. The second module was on the Educational Institutions started by Swami. The backdrop was a beautiful photograph of the Administrative Block of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning and on top was written - Om Sri Sai Vidya Dayine Namaha - Sai the Bestower of Vidya (Knowledge). Towards the end of the dance for this module, we had young boys coming in with small banners in their hands exhibiting the photographs of the various educational institutions started by Swami, the ones at Parthi, Bukkapatnam, Kothacheruvu, Anantapur, etc.
The third module was on the Super Specialty Hospitals. The scene at the back had this written on the top - Om Sri Sai Arogyapradaya Namaha - Sai the Bestower of Health. This was followed by Om Sri Sai Deenajana Poshanaya Namaha - Sai the Caretaker of the Poor and the Needy - which talked about the Deenajanodarana Pathakam - the orphanage started by Swami. The fifth module was - Om Sri Sai Annavastradaya Namaha - Sai the Bestower of Food and Clothes. This covered the Grama Seva, construction of Kalyana Mantapams in villages and other services to the poor and needy.
The sixth module, needless to say was - Om Sri Sai Jeevadharaya Namaha - Sai the Support of our Life - depicting the Water Project Gift of Bhagawan. The first backdrop for this module was a lone villager sitting on a dry parched land with huge cracks that mercilessly cracked the hearts of these poor folk. Then came in a make shift well, that was fully dry and a tree with no leaves. Following the dance, came the next scene of Swami's Water Project Tanks, and a group of girls rushing in with blue saris in their hands making wave like patterns! Sai Ganga had gushed in to save the thirsty villagers!!
The final scene was a dance with the backdrop reading - Om Sri Sai Jagad Rakshakaya Namaha - Sai the Protector of the Universe! The dance drama came to a close at 4.30 p.m. All the participants assembled in front of the dais. Swami got up from the sofa and got down the steps to Bless them with group by group photographs amidst loud applause. The organizers too, both Ladies and Gents were lucky to manage a photograph with Swami.
As Swami went and sat down on the sofa, classical songs filled the air of Sai Kulwant Hall. Both the men and women rendered three songs. Bhagawan signaled for the Aarti. It was 4.55 p.m. when our dear Lord, having satisfied all the devotees from Anantapur by giving them an opportunity to perform in His Presence and saturating their hearts with Bliss and Joy, retired to His residence. Day after day is ticking by as we approach the 80th Birthday of our Beloved Bhagawan. Let us see what comes next in His Agenda!