March 17th, 2005
This morning, Swami came out for Darshan but went back to PC soon after. Then He returned for Bhajans at 9.00 a.m. In the evening, Swami called some of the boys who had secured the highest rank in the GATE examinations, for an interview. For most of them, this was their first interview and one can imagine their joy and wonder when they shared their experience with all of us after the Bhajans.
Swami spoke to each one of the boys whom He had called for the interview. They got an opportunity to have a personal audience with Bhagawan! Swami created a green diamond ring for brother Naresh, the All India Topper. The most touching part of the interview was when our compassionate Lord told the boys that though He had honoured them the previous day, He was not satisfied with it. He wanted to shower more Love on them!! The boys prayed that they were most grateful for the torrent of Love and Grace showered by Bhagawan. But His Love knows no limits! He wanted to give them still more!
March 18th, 2005
This morning, there was no Darshan. In the evening, Swami came out at 3.05 p.m. Brother Naresh was seated in front. Swami signaled to him to call his parents who had just arrived from their home town in the morning. The family was blessed with an interview! Bhajans followed at 5.00 p.m. and Swami then retired for the day.
March 19th, 2005
Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 3.15 p.m. Bhagawan came onto the dais and spoke to Prof. Anil Kumar. It appeared to be about some programme for the evening. Soon, some school boys moved forward and showed Bhagawan a beautiful card! Swami blessed the card and spoke again to Prof. Anil Kumar. The mike was placed in position and the podium too. So we were waiting for the announcement. But, to our surprise, Swami went walking into the interview room.
He came out at 4.00 p.m. and sat down on the sofa placed at the centre of the dais. Vedam chanting stopped. Prof. Anil Kumar made an announcement that the XI class School students would be presenting a Burrakatha (folk-song). The theme was the story of Bhadrachala Ramadas (a great devotee of Lord Rama).
Three mikes were arranged in front of the dais, just in front of the Vedam chanting core group. Three students dressed in the traditional Burra Katha style, with Dhotis, Turbans, Moustache and accompanied by music instruments came to the front. They sought Bhagawan’s blessings and started their presentation. After a while, as is the tradition, three boys came with Marigold garlands to garland the singers.
They entered from the interview room side and came in front of Swami. When Swami saw them, He asked them to wait for it was too early to garland the singers. They were just singing the opening verses. The all knowing Lord, is aware of all the intricacies of folk art. After a few minutes, Swami signaled them to garland the singers. The three boys sang with all their hearts, sharing the glory of the great Bhadrachala Ramadasa. The presentation concluded at 4.30 p.m.
All the Gate rankers were seated in the first row. Swami looked to their side and all of them came forward and gave their letters to Swami. Swami accepted their letters. Some more boys went forward and prayed to Swami regarding some personal matters. After a while, Bhagawan called the main singer of the Burrakatha and materialized a gold chain for him. The boy bent down reverentially and Swami very lovingly placed the chain around his neck! There was loud applause.
This was followed by group songs. As the cool tunes of the songs filled the hot air in the Hall, the Burrakatha boys and their accompanying music team were blessed with the opportunity of group photos with Bhagawan! More than a dozen birthday boys were waiting expectantly for Swami to look towards them. The moment Swami turned to them and nodded, all of them made a beeline to seek Blessings from Bhagawan. Each one was Blessed and most of them had some word from Swami! Bhagawan was smiling with so much Love, suffusing them with His Grace!
Bhajans began at 4.55 p.m. and Swami took Aarti at 5.25 p.m. and retired to PC.
March 20th, 2005
Swami came out for Darshan at 3.00 p.m. This evening there was going to be a Kavi Sammelan in the Sai Kulwant Hall. The great poets were all seated in the first few rows, in front of Swami. These great poets had come from different parts of India and some even from overseas. Guess who these poets were!!! Our brothers from different classes, right from I UG to II PG!!!
Swami came and sat down on the sofa. He was speaking to Prof. Anil Kumar, brother Nitin and the boys about something. Few minutes later, some boys went towards the Poornachandra Hall to fetch some items. After a while, they returned with 20 white plastic bucket chairs. Swami wanted the poets to sit on the chairs. In a Kavi Sammelan, how can the poets sit down on the floor? That is our Swami!! Even the smallest task must be performed with utmost perfection and attention to the details!!
Believe it or not, for the next 45 minutes, Swami talked to the boys and brother Nitin and He personally supervised the arrangement of the chairs in a semicircular fashion! However, the afternoon sun was scorching and it showed no mercy on the students seated inside the Kulwant Hall. The sun was shining brightly just on the area where the chairs were placed. So, once again, Swami got the chairs shifted. This went on for quite some time until Bhagawan was fully satisfied. In the process, Swami gave an opportunity to many brothers to talk to Him and observe and learn several lessons from His actions!
At 4.00 p.m. , the Vedam chanting halted. Prof. Anil Kumar made his announcement. Some students of the Institute, who were poets in the making, would share their poetic thoughts in the Divine Presence. He read out the names of each of the student-poets and the language of their expression. As their names were called out, the student-poets came and took their chairs.
In all there were 18 poets and two anchors. Poems were recited in twelve different languages – Telugu, English, Hindi, Oriya, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Tulu, Marathi, Nepalese, Assamese and Lithuanian. Two students from the PG section compered the show very well. They would give an introduction to each poet and also give a brief idea about the poem to be recited by them.
We all had a nice time. Though, of course most of us could understand only the English, Hindi and Telugu poems, even the other languages were very indicative of the feelings and more so the stylish rendering by the poets made a great impact and kept us all gripped with attention.
The Kavi Sammelan went on for 45 minutes. At 4.45 p.m. , the Music Group started singing group songs. They began with O Sai Maa…All the poets moved forward and formed a group in front of Swami’s chair. Brother Nitin and some others went into the interview room and came out with trays filled with long, slender, vertical, grey coloured packets. They were special pens. Swami distributed these pens to all the poets.
Surprisingly, even after all the poets received the pen from Bhagawan’s Hands, Swami kept on giving the pens even to other boys. Love His uncertainty!! One would never have dreamt of such a unique Blessing for all the students!! For the next 45 minutes and more, Swami kept giving these pens to each and every student of both the Institute and the School.
The total strength comes to more than 700 boys. You will be amazed to know that He handed each pen personally with His own Hand to every student. To add to that, there was a Blissful smile on His face for each boy! What a lifetime chance! It took some time for the boys to realize that Swami was calling all of them. The moment His plan became clear, all the boys moved forwards and a long line formed in front of the dais.
The pen was a specially designed one. When it is clicked open, a small light glows inside the transparent cover. It was a torch pen! All boys started testing their torch-pens and it was a treat to see the delight on their faces. Cameras clicked continuously from different hands, as each student received his token of Love! It was indeed a memorable day for all of us. The Divine Mother had saturated our hearts with joy and thrill!
Swami took Aarti at 5.25 p.m. and retired to the Poornachandra Auditorium.
March 21- 24th, 2005
The last four days have been seeing the same pattern. Swami comes out for Darshan somewhere between 3.00 p.m. and 3.15 p.m. He gives wonderful Darshan from the Golf Cart, taking a full round of the Sai Kulwant Hall and receiving letters from devotees and students. After this, He goes into the interview room with a group of devotees. He stays inside almost until 4.30 p.m.
Anytime after 4.30 p.m. , Swami comes out into the Bhajan Hall and spends some time talking to students and other devotees. This is followed by Bhajans and Aarti.
Tomorrow, we hope that there will be something special in Kulwant Hall. Tomorrow is a doubly Blessed day! It happens to be Good Friday and the festival of Holi too. So maybe we could add the two and call it a Holy Friday!! The XII class students have prepared some group songs which they are likely to present in the morning. In the evening, the II PG students – the Kulwant Hall Programme Core Team is busy preparing a crash presentation (amidst their examination preparations), to befit the occasion tomorrow. However, let us see what His plan is, for He is always full of surprises!!
March 25th 2005 (Morning)
Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 7.50 a.m. Being a holiday; the Kulwant Hall was more packed than normal days. The Golf Cart came along the usual path and we had wonderful Darshan of our smiling and Blissful Lord. As the Golf Cart passed the Birthday boys, Swami blessed all of them and took their letters.
The Cart came onto the dais and parked. Bhagawan got down and stood on the dais for a long time. Purusha Suktam was going on in the background and the Purusha was standing in front of us in all His Glory! There was a Blissful smile on Swami’s face, the morning sun gleamed through His hairs like streaks of lightning amidst the dark clouds and His orange robe was spreading a hue of saffron all around! It was a Divine sight!
Here was Christ Consciousness with us again, reminding us of the eternal existence of Lord Jesus on this sacred occasion of Good Friday! Swami enquired from the boys about the programme for the morning. The XII class boys came forward and told Swami about their programme. They also presented a huge programme card to Swami.
At 8.15 a.m. Swami signaled the Vedam boys to make way for the programme. Prof. Anil Kumar was summoned to make an announcement. The XII class boys, with their costumes came out of the Bhajan Hall and took their seats in front of the dais. Watching all this, the Primary School children came running forward to catch front row seats, for a better viewing of the programme.
After all this preparation, Swami sat down on the sofa. The announcement was made. The XII class boys were going to make a presentation titled ‘Sai Message’. The first module was an interactive Q&A session – but non-verbal. Yes, it was Dumb Charades! A student would come forward and enact the chosen message of Bhagawan. Immediately a number of hands would go up and one of them would give the answer. Messages like ‘Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray’, ‘Bird with Me and the wings with you…’ etc. were depicted in this module.
The next part was identifying personalities through non-verbal depiction. Great personalities like Sabari,Jatayu, Kuchela and Sravan Kumar were enacted through scenes from their life and boys very correctly identified each one of them. There was loud applause and the audience was enjoying the programme thoroughly. This was followed by a song on the Love of Mother Sai.
The next round was a set of questions on major incidents in the life of Swami. For example, the significance of the date 23 rd Nov, 1990 (Answer – Declaration of construction of Super Specialty Hospital), devotees who were resurrected by Bhagawan (Answer – Karanam Subamma, Kuppam Radhakrishnan and Sir Walter Cowan), the School Prayer composed by Bhagawan (Aha Lava Tara…), significance of the loss of the collar pin given to Swami in Bellary and so on…..
The song, Teri Hai Zameen Tera Aasamaan followed. In the next module, a very interesting one, the boys spoke about the significance of Bhava, Raga and Tala in singing Bhajans. But apart from that Swami has also pointed out three most important aspects that must be followed while singing Bhajans. One is a feeling of faith, second – one pointed concentration and third – understanding of the meaning of the Bhajans. In line with this, the anchorers would give the English translation of some Bhajan and the students were expected to identify and sing the Bhajan. This clicked very well!
The final module was a set of skits depicting profound messages delivered by Bhagawan. One of them was the role of rules, regulations and discipline in life. This was depicted using the analogy of a cricket game. Team of players came forward and started playing cricket in front of the dais (of course without actually bowling!). In the first scene, the game goes on very well and all are thrilled. In the next scene they show the same game being played without respect for any rules. The batsman does whatever he wants, the umpire is busy attending to his cell phone and a chanawala (a hawker) comes selling chana right on the pitch during the game. Utter chaos!!
Through this example, the boys very tactfully depicted how rules and discipline are vital even for an ordinary game like cricket. Then what about the game of life? Unless there is discipline and respect for laws of creation, life has no purpose at all. Bhagawan was fully involved right from the beginning. He was watching the entire presentation with rapt attention!
The final skit was that of Munshi Premchand and his two sons. The story is often told by Bhagawan. The elder son falls at his father’s feet before departing and seeks his blessings, while the younger son just bids goodbye. Premchand did not mind the younger son failing to show respect for him but was worried about the future of this son with such an attitude in life. As we all know, the elder son who saluted his father became a judge in the court and received salutes from everybody while the younger son who refused to salute his father became a peon in the same court and had to salute everybody throughout his life!! Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati!! (As you think, so you become)
The final song was ‘Tere Sang Hum Rahne Ki Aaj Khushi Manate Hein….’ It was 9.00 a.m. and they wound up. Swami was very happy. A photograph session followed, wherein all the XII class boys got photos with Swami in groups of 5 to 6. Finally, the anchors came forward and prayed to Swami for a photograph with the teachers. Swami was very happy and nodded, giving His consent. The School Principal, the Hostel Warden and all the teachers soon assembled around Bhagawan and had a good group photograph. The Hall broke into applause!
Chocobars were distributed to the XII class boys. Many of them were leaving for their vacations this morning as their exams had just concluded. Swami blessed all of them and asked them to come back safe and sound – with a pure mind. He enquired whether all had received the Prasadam. At 9.20 a.m. Bhagawan got up and took Aarti. He stood for a while watching all His children. The Love of the Divine Mother would not allow Swami to move away! He stood there for some time and then slowly moved towards the Golf Cart. Aarti was given and Swami retired to the Auditorium.
March 25th 2005 (Evening)
In the evening, Swami was out by 3.25 p.m. The Golf Cart cut across the students and the Gents section and directly approached the centre steps of the dais. Bhagawan got down and ascended the dais. Swami beckoned brother Ramakrishna to bring a chair. The chair was placed behind the sofa close to the Ganesha idol. A senior devotee was made to sit there. Next, Swami called the Vice-Chancellor and made him sit next to the devotee. After a while, Mr. T.N.Seshan, former Chief Election Commissioner, Govt of India, occupied the third chair next to the VC. Bhagawan sat down on the sofa and invited the former VC, Sri S.V. Giri to sit next to Him. The stage was set for the evening programme!! Next, Swami called the students seated in front and enquired about the programme.
At 3.30 p.m , Vedam chanting stopped and the presentation began. A student dressed as a Christian stood up and offered his prayers to Jesus. Joseph as he was called, had two sons Jeffrey and Marius, who are truly two Christian students – one from USA and the other from Lithuania ( Europe ). The first module was a discussion between Joseph and his friend Aravind – a Hindu. They discuss the significance of Good Friday. This was the day when Jesus – our Lord was nailed to the Cross. But is it a solemn occasion? Depends on how we perceive it. In fact, Jesus taught three most important lessons to humanity on this day.
The infinite Love that God has for man
- Death is the dress of life
- Body is the temple of the Lord
Joseph recalls the story of how Jesus, when he sees sheep being sold and money lenders exchanging money in the temple premises, feels pained and threatens them asking them how they could pollute the Abode of His Father. To this, the people over there question his authority and ask him to prove his deservedness to make such a statement by showing a miracle. Jesus replies – Break down this temple and I shall build it in three days again. Normally, we wonder why Jesus made this statement and never did any such thing in reality. However, every word of his had an inner meaning. On Good Friday, Jesus was nailed to the cross and three days later, He resurrected himself! Therefore, the temple he was referring to was not the one built with bricks and mortar but the human body. In fact, the very same Christ Consciousness is with us today! The song – Jesus is alive today – He is Sathya Sai today – reverberated in the Hall to everyone’s delight!
Swami also says, “Deho Devalayo Prokto Jeevah Devo Sanatanaha’. Body is indeed the temple of the Lord and the indweller is God Himself! All religions preach the same message. At this point, Joseph calls Jeffery and Marius who chant the Purusha Suktam conveying the above message. A loud applause from the audience fills the air. Lord Jesus taught the lesson of sacrifice. He condemned the philosophy of ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. Instead, he advocated the noble idea of a smile in return for a frown and love for hatred. Even as he was being tortured on the cross he called out to the Lord – O God – forgive them for they know not what they do!!
Conveying the essence of sacrifice as the undercurrent of an ideal life, the boys sang the song, ‘Madhuban Khushbu Deta Hai…’. The next module was on Holi. Presented by another pair of students, they took us through the story of Holika, the sister of Hiranyakasipu. In one of his attempts to put an end to the life of Prahalada, the father asks Holika to help him. Holika had the boon of being untouched by fire. Therefore, she takes young Prahalada in her arms and sits on a burning pyre. By Divine Grace, Prahalada remains totally safe and Holika gets reduced to ashes. Marking this occasion and paying tribute to the faith of Prahalada, Holi is celebrated all over the country.
The anchors explained how Swami talks of the nine types of devotion as the nine colours of devotion. They went on to elaborate each type starting with Sravanam, Keertanam and so on until Atma Nivedanam, giving examples of saints and sages who actually practiced each of these. They stressed on the fact that faith is the undercurrent of each of these nine types of devotion. Quoting Swami, they said, “Nammaka Cheddinavaru Unnaru Kani….” There may be people who have brought ruin to themselves without having faith, but there is nobody who having faith is ever brought to ruin!!
A song followed – Kya Khush Naseeba Wo Sai Ko Pa Le …The next module was a presentation in Telugu. The best Telugu speaking students participated in this dialogue based skit. The scene is the heavens where an award for the best parent of the age is being decided. Several eminent personalities participate in this competition. We have Dasaratha (father of Rama), Nanda (father of Krishna ), Dronacharya (Guru of the Pandavas and the Kauravas), Indra the king of the Gods. All of them present their case and try to outwit the other. Narada, played by our dancer brother Ganesh, moderates the entire discussion. Some time later, Yama comes in and makes the announcement that this award has already been given to somebody on planet earth.
All are furious! Narada tries to console them but to no avail. How could some insignificant person on earth get this award when so many noble heavenly personalities are present here? Finally, Lord Vishnu himself comes and reveals the secret to them. He says that the infinite Lord Himself has come onto the earth and taken a form. This Form, indeed, is the Divine Parent of every child in this universe. He is the best Father, the best Mother, the best friend and the Best Guru one could ever have! The scene concludes with all these eminent members offering the award – a huge card made by them to Swami. Swami smiled and blessed them. This module was very good, with its rich Telugu poetry and colourful costumes!
The last part of the presentation was a dance sharing the joy with one and all. Five students danced to the popular song of Rehman - Dhim Ta Da Re Tani Dheem ….Dheem Ta Na Dhere Na…The dance came out very well and Swami also appreciated them at the end. The presentation concluded with the song – Dil Yehi Kehta Hai Maa Sang Rahe Har Dam Yahaan…
Swami smiled and blessed all the participants. The X class students were also waiting to sing some group songs. Swami permitted them to offer their songs too. As they sang songs, Swami called an elderly devotee from Netherlands , who helps in training our Institute band students. In fact, he shared his views about Good Friday and Swami’s teachings in the first module of the presentation. Bhagawan called him and spoke to him for quite some time. Swami materialized a three diamond ring and put it on his finger.
Then, Swami called the mythological characters and spoke to them. Swami spotted brother Ganesha dressed as Narada and asked him why he did not participate in the dance. Bhagawan wanted him to join in the dance again. Immediately, the costumes boys came forward and helped to remove his wig and ornaments. Meanwhile, the CD was played and once again the boys danced to Rehman’s song. It was 4.50 p.m. and Swami said that all boys were tired after their performance. He asked for the Bhajans to start.
As the Bhajans went on, all the boys were blessed with group photographs. All of them got wonderful photographs. Swami stood up and posed for them. At 5.05 p.m. , Swami stood up, took Aarti and retired for the day. Both morning and evening, He had filled the hearts of the students and devotees alike with so much joy and love. So many students got an opportunity to express their talent and love for Swami. So many got photographs that would be their lifetime memory! So much was given in a day – so silently! Is that not what the Father of Jesus stands for? Suffer silently and give yourself away for the joy and love of others!
Tomorrow happens to be the Bihar New Year day coinciding with Holi. The devotees from Bihar may put up a programme both in the morning and evening. We will get you those details in our next update. Till then….