February 2nd 2005
This evening, Swami came out for Darshan at 3.15 p.m. He went inside the interview room and came out only for the Bhajans at 5.00 p.m. However, Bhajans concluded early at 5.20 p.m. Swami took Aarti and proceeded towards the Poornachandra Auditorium.
Swami's Golf Cart turned into the grill gate at the entrance of the PC. All started dispersing. However, some of us stood in the Hall discussing some academic matters. Lucky were those who were delayed for some reason or the other! Within a few minutes, we heard a lot of hush-hush! We turned and saw all people running towards the middle of the Kulwant Hall. Bhagawan was likely to go out somewhere.
We hurriedly came and stood adjacent to the pathway with many others peeping over our shoulders. Within seconds we saw Swami coming out of the Poornachandra Entrance and getting into the Silver coloured Benz car. The car proceeded towards us in a royal mien. We were straining to see Swami's face but the glare on the windshield of the car prevented us from having clear Darshan. The car stopped for a while in the Kulwant Hall near the turning towards the Gopuram. Swami was expecting the Vice Chancellor to be available at the Institute. Instructions were given and the car went along further, with devotees getting a brief glance at Bhagawan now and then, through the windshield.
The moment students got a clue that Swami was visiting the Institute, all of them made a dash to the College. The Athletic spirit manifested itself in full in every student as he ran to the College premises. As the main gate near the Ganesha Entrance was closed, students and many others took the other exit from the Ashram, near the General Hospital. In a few minutes Swami had entered the College grounds.
The Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar had miraculously stationed themselves there in time! Well, you may be wondering what could be the reason for Swami's visit to the College. Let us reveal the secret to you now. Very soon, two new building complexes will be coming up in front of the Institute Library. Possibly, these buildings will look just like the Library building - circular in shape and will form a trio along with the Library. Once these are ready, some departments are likely to be shifted over there. Well, the actual details are not known yet.
It was in this context that Swami had come to the College. The car parked in the empty ground that was already prepared quite a few days back, in front of the Library. Swami remained seated inside the car. The Vice-Chancellor came forward and started talking to Swami with a plan of the building in his hand. It was nice to watch the dialogue between the Divine Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor. High Level Meeting indeed! After around 10 minutes of discussion, the Vice-Chancellor got into the car next to Swami and they proceeded back towards the Mandir.
All students and teachers were standing along the side of the road and Bhagawan was waving to them as the car passed by slowly.
We eagerly await the commencement of the construction of these buildings as a part of the Institute's celebration of the 80th year Festival of the Divine Advent!
February 3rd 2005
This evening, Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 3.45 p.m. By 3.50 p.m. He was walking on the dais. As soon as He came close to the sofa, Bhagawan spoke to Prof. Sudhir Bhaskar and instructed him to pass on some message to somebody. Prof. Sudhir Bhaskar ran to the other side of the dais and communicated the message to someone over there. We could not see who it was. Maybe, some speaker for this evening, we thought. But we did not know who it would be.
Swami sat down on the sofa and after a few minutes asked the Vedam chanting to be stopped. And whom do we see coming over to the Podium? Sri A.V.S. Raju Garu - Chairman of the Nagarjuna Constructions Limited. You would know him better as the popular poet! He has presented his poems a number of times in the Divine Presence of Bhagawan. He composes poems extensively, spontaneously and the list runs to thousands. It has already crossed a ten thousand!! In his own words he says that just as other devotees are Blessed with rings, chains or Vibhuti; Bhagawan has Blessed him with the gift of poetry!
The next half an hour was a gushing waterfall of Raju Garu's poetry which we are sure that Telugu speaking audience would have enjoyed thoroughly. Swami then called for the Bhajan students. They took their place in the front row and the Bhajans began at 4.30 p.m. At 5.00 p.m. Swami took Aarti and retired for the day.
February 4th 2005
After coming for the normal Darshan at 7.50 a.m., Swami went back to the Poornachandra Auditorium at 8.00 a.m. Devotees thought that Swami may possibly come back only for Bhajans. Therefore, most of them had gone out for a while. Suddenly, Swami came in at 8.30 a.m. and as the Golf Cart came half way through the Sai Kulwant Hall, it took a left turn and went outside the main gate. All were taken for a real surprise!
Who can ever gauge the mysterious ways of the Lord! Perhaps the thousands of devotees from Vizianagaram, who had assembled at Prasanthinilayam for the last two days, were praying sincerely from their hearts for a closer glimpse of Bhagawan. Swami went in the Golf Cart along the road beside the South Indian Canteen. Hundreds of devotees who stood in the queues there had a wonderful glimpse of Bhagawan. A lovely Darshan, but a lovely opportunity for the security people too! How could they stop the hundreds of devotees from pouring forth their love and devotion by rushing forward - just to catch a closer glimpse or maybe pass a letter into His loving hands or just shed tears of joy standing face to face with God! For them it would be just once in a life time opportunity!
The old students who were there in the Mandir came to the aid of the security men. They all formed a chain around the Golf Cart and facilitated the movement of the Cart further along the path amidst the tidal waves of devotion!
Bhagawan went around the Poornachandra Auditorium and again entered the Sai Kulwant Hall to be in the Bhajan Hall right in time! What a Leela of the Lord! He alone knows how to delight His devotees. Truly, businessmen ought to take clues from Him in the art of 'Customer Delight'. However, here it is all free and just Love to Love!!
This evening again, Swami came out just like yesterday evening, at sharp 3.45 p.m. The Golf Cart took a turn at the centre of the Kulwant Hall towards the dais. As the Golf Cart reached the centre of the Hall, Swami looked at the four children standing with a flag in their hands in front of the backdrop presenting a scene of a gushing waterfall! Two more children standing at either end of the backdrop carried a long banner with an 'offering message' written on it.
Yes, there was to be a presentation this evening by the Balvikas children of Vizianagaram. By the way, almost six thousand devotees from Vizianagaram District which is close to Visakhapatnam, have come to Prasanthinilayam to celebrate the 80th Year of the Avatar. They have been here for the last two or three days and this evening was their slot for the presentation.
Swami climbed down the Golf Cart at the centre of the dais, climbed up the steps and sat down on the sofa. Instantly there was loud applause - real loud as the Kulwant Hall was almost fully packed with the Vizianagaram devotees! At 3.55 p.m. the Vedam chanting stopped. Two young girl dancers came forward and offered roses to Bhagawan. Swami Blessed the roses and returned them to the girls.
As the girls moved back facing Swami, our Loving Bhagawan immediately cautioned them about the steps, which He does every time when children come to offer Him a card or a rose and go back, walking backwards but facing Him. That is Divine Sensitivity! Bhagawan gave the command to begin the programme.
The presentation - a dance drama in Telugu - was titled “Sarva Mata Sarame Sai Matamu” - “The essence of all religions is the Sai religion. The first scene began with a sculptor carving a rock. As he goes about his sculpting work, he hears the Omkaram sound emanating from the rock. He is surprised. He is also in a dilemma as he is not able to understand the significance of this. In the next scene a group of dancers come in along with two Krishna adorers. They tell the sculptor to sculpt an idol of Krishna as Omkaram was the symbol of the Divine Lord Krishna. This is followed by a dance including a short Raas with a little Krishna standing in front of the rock.
In the next scene, the sculptor continues with his work of carving an idol of Krishna, but now suddenly the chants of the Koran are heard from the rock. What should he do now - he is puzzled. The Muslims from the village come in and ask him to build a mosque over there. A short Qawwali follows.
By now you would know what was to come next! Yes, it was the Christian devotees from the village listening to the bell sounds coming from the rock. This was followed by the Buddhist monks and the Zoroastrians. In each case, the concerned deity or saint would appear in front of the rock. The rock would part into two and he would appear in front, for that scene.
By this time, the sculptor is fully confused and does not know what to do. All the villagers come into the forefront, there begins a fight amongst them - each one claiming his ownership over the rock. After a few minutes of clashes with a song in the background, light dawns on them through little girls coming in with lighted candles and then follows a song describing the eternal truths of life revealed by Bhagawan. All religions are one. Every religion teaches us noble things. If the mind is good, then which religion is bad .... and so on.
The culmination comes with the declaration that the highest religion is the religion of humanity. Manava Dharmamu. At this point a Sarva Dharma Stupa is seen standing behind the rock, signifying the unity of all religions. The grand finale is a song with the lyrics, Manava Jati, Prema Matamu, Sai Daivamu.
The presentation came to a close amidst loud claps. The Vizianagaram devotees were overjoyed witnessing their own district children performing in the Divine Presence. It was 4.30 p.m. Bhagawan asked the concerned in-charge, “Is it over?” He nodded and Swami gave a broad smile and got up from the sofa. All the children had assembled in a neat group half way from the dais. Bhagawan raised both His hands and Blessed them profusely! He then moved towards the interview room while the Vizianagaram devotee Bhajan singers started singing Bhajans. Swami instructed Prasadam to be distributed. Besan Laddus were offered to all.
Meanwhile, students rushed inside the Bhajan Hall and our Bhajan boys took over the singing. We had a long Bhajan session until 5.20 p.m. Then Bhagawan took Aarti and retired for the day.
By the way, for the last two or three days, we have been seeing some village women in their tribal dresses sitting for Darshan on the Ladies side, right at the front. We were wondering who they could be. They were so conspicuous by their attire! On enquiry, we found that they were the Lambadis (a particular sect of Tribal folk from the state of Andhra Pradesh). They have come here from Warangal and are likely to be part of the celebrations on the 10th of February. Oh! That reminds us, we have not told you anything about the function on the 10th ! So here we go ...
On 21st December 2004, Bhagawan had asked Prof. Anil Kumar around 3.50 p.m. in the evening, to address the audience in Sai Kulwant Hall. Swami also gave him some instructions regarding the content of his talk. Following are the relevant excerpts of that talk :
Prof. Anil Kumar said that there are so many old people in Prasanthinilayam. They have retired from worldly life but Bhagawan has re-tyred them!! In fact, Prasanthinilayam is one place where you will find maximum number of re-tyred people working and offering their services selflessly. Bhagawan is taking care of all of them.
In His Mercy and Compassion, Bhagawan has decided to Bless all these couples in a very grand way. All the couples in Prasanthinilayam, whose husbands are above 70 and 75 years of age, are requested to register their names in the office and be present here by January 10th. After the commencement of Uttarayana (Sankranti), the celebration will take place. Bhagawan will perform the Shastipoorti ceremony for these couples (Re-Marriage). This is a ritual where the senior couples will be re-married in a ceremonious manner (just as it is done in the regular marriage) to mark the entry into a new phase of their life. This is a spiritual marriage for the couple!!
There will be no dearth of the gifts that are going to be showered on them by Bhagawan. Gold ornaments, silk saris and dhotis and what not! This is the Love and Compassion of the Lord. When young people run to Swami, Swami runs to shower His Grace on the old people who are unable to walk. The timing too is so appropriate as this year is dedicated to old people.
Prof. Anil Kumar concluded his talk and took his seat next to Swami. The next speaker was the Vice Chancellor, Sri S.V. Giri. Sri Giri Garu also expressed his joy and gratitude at this most benedictory act of Bhagawan. Old age is the time when people have physical and mental problems. This is the period when they need support. Bhagawan conducting this ceremony is symbolic of that support and concern for them!!
Today, in the world, old people are ignored. In many families, sons leave their parents to be on their own, without any hesitation. With nuclear families proliferating rapidly old age homes have become the need of the hour. Old people, though may not be deprived of financial assistance, are thirsty for emotional and psychological support. At such times, Bhagawan’s Blessing in the form of this ceremony has come as a Divine assurance of His Love and Concern. Even if there is nobody else, God is always there to take care of all of us.
Thus the 80th year of the Avataar is going to commence in such a sacred and wonderful way by way of expression of gratitude to the septuagenarians who have moulded and shaped the generation of today!!
So, it is this function that is tentatively fixed on the 10th of February. A lot of groundwork has been done by the organizers in identifying the eligible couples, other preparations etc. The Lambadi women whom we were talking about, usually participate in marriage functions by performing a typical folk dance ahead of the marriage procession. This is a common practice in the Telengana and Rayalseema areas of Andhra Pradesh. That is possibly the reason why they are here.
We all are eagerly looking forward to that event and hope that Swami will give us some minor role to play as He deems fit, in the preparations.