Index of earlier Bulletins
December 25th, 2005
It has been a long time since we have brought you an update from
Parthi. Since Birthday, Swami has been spending most of His Mandir Time
inside the interview room. Every evening, He is out for Darshan by 3.15
p.m. and goes straight inside the interview room calling a few lucky
devotees into the room. However, the students eagerly await the clock to
strike 4.00 when they rush into the Bhajan Hall, each one trying to
reach first and capture a vantage point near the throne, where Swami
sits for the Bhajans. Very often, Swami comes into the Bhajan Hall a few
minutes or sometimes even half an hour before the Bhajans commence at
5.00 p.m. This time slot is exclusively for the students and it has been
a source of great joy and thrill for everybody inside the Bhajan Hall.
Swami speaks to the boys seated in the front, at times calls for some
students or staff members and speaks to them. Of late, He has been
enquiring a lot about the Sports Meet activities that have already begun
with full force. Incidentally, this Annual Sports and Cultural Meet in
Jan 2006 will be the first major event marking the 25th Year - the
Silver Jubilee Year - of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
(1981 to 2006). A number of events are being planned out by all the three
campuses of the Institute to celebrate this Meet. However, adhering to explicit command
from Bhagawan, this time, no adventurous items like motor bike stunts or
aero sports are being presented for the Sports Meet. Most of the events are display of
physical prowess and cultural items.
Some interesting events occurred in the last few days. We bring you a
brief on these. One evening, very soon after the Birthday celebrations,
Swami called all the students and staff inside the Poornachandra
Auditorium, in the evening after Bhajans. There was a video presentation
of the series made by Smt. Anjali Devi, a famous actress of the yester
years and a devotee - well known for her TV series "Shirdi Sai Parthi Sai Divya Katha".
This time she has produced a film on the Chinna Kathas - short stories
written by Bhagawan. Three three episodes were shown, projected on a large
screen in the presence of Swami. It was well appreciated by all.
Incidentally, all the scenes have been shot in the premises of the
Chaitanya Jyoti Museum and other spots in and around Parthi.
Again, on December 15th, a similar thing happens. Out of the blue, one
evening all students and staff are called inside the Poornachandra Hall. This time, they
all watch a very poignant movie along with Swami. This is a recent Hindi
movie titled ‘"Iqbal"’ and is about a deaf and dumb young man who is a
great cricket fan. His cherished desire is to join the Indian
cricket team. The movie beautifully tracks his relentless pursuit in
achieving his goal. Swami sits for half the movie and then retires. The
others continue to see the rest of it.
And then just three days back, Swami distributed T-shirts to all the
students and staff of the School and Institute. The young school
children are given different coloured T-shirts while the Institute
students get pink coloured half sleeve T-shirts. This has become
the standard uniform now for all the Sports event practice sessions.
Another event was the visit of the devotees from the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.
On December 5th, the last day of ther stay, Bhagawan called all of them into the
Poornachandra Auditorium. There, He witnessed a short cultural programme by them, heard
their bhajans and also spoke to them.
Well, let us now come to the present. We wish all of you a very happy
and holy Christmas. However, the weather in Parthi, in no way
indicates the oncoming of Christmas. Surprisingly, the chilly winter
seems to be past now and even the nights are quite warm. Many Christmas
trees decorate the shops and hotels on the streets.
Bhagawan always keeps us on our toes and we never know when He would
take us by surprise. Bhagawan comes out this morning by seven o'clock!
The Sai Kulwant Hall is decorated
beautifully with stars hanging all around. Silver stars, bells and other
decorative items make the hall look majestic. Two Christmas trees adorn
the stage on either side of Ganesha. They are sparkling with cottony
snow, colourful boxes of gifts and stars. The pillars on the dais
and in the front half of the Kulwant Hall are wrapped with shining gold
covering. In front of the dais, across the railings, on one side, are
figures of Joseph and Mother Mary at the Manger, watching with awe their
Child and our Saviour! At the other end are statues of the three wise
men following the holy star. The Portico in the first floor of the
Mandir is decorated with white cloud shaped sets giving a feel of snow
all over. On the balcony behind the three domes are two angels blessing
all seated below.
After His Darshan round, Swami comes out of His car and cuts the cake kept next to the
interview room. A number of overseas devotees are standing all around,
watching the Lord Blessing their offering. Soon, all the students rush
in and take their places. The devotees are also seated, waiting eagerly
to catch a glimpse of their Lord. Swami comes out onto the dais and sits
in the centre. There is loud applause from all as this has become a very
rare sight these days. When He comes out, everybody tries to grab a
glimpse for we never know when we would get it again.
It is 7.15 a.m. and Swami stops the Vedam chanting. The young primary
school boys march in with their violins for making a presentation. The
next five minutes is their offering of sweet music to the Lord. After
this, the Institute Brass Band takes over. The band leader comes forward
with a colourful card holding a huge Christmas Candle. Swami keenly
watches the card and asks him something. The band leader takes Namaskar
and Swami Blesses him. The band commences its presentation, filling the
Hall with scintillating beats and notes. They play for around 20
minutes, carrying the audience along with lovely Carol music.
It is 7.45 a.m. and time for the students to sing Carols which they have
been rehearsing for the past one week. The drums and keyboards are all
in place. The commentary begins. Two students, one a very young boy from
the School and another from the College, compere the show taking us 2000
years back to the times of Jesus, His Birth and His sacred life. Moving down
memory lane, we come to the recent times and
herald the advent of the Holy Father - our beloved Bhagawan. A number of
popular carols keep all clapping and swaying to the beat. "All night long
I shall burn my Christmas candle...", "Rudolf the red nosed reindeer..." and so on.……
8.20 a.m. and the music programme comes to a close. Bhagawan watches all
the instrumentalists sitting down and after a while asks for the Vedam
to begin again. Meanwhile Prasadam distribution starts. Dairy milk
chocolates for all students and sugar candies for all devotees. As the
distribution is in progress, Swami decides to go inside. The chair is
turned and moved towards the interview room, but to our delight, He
speaks to somebody over there and returns to the dais and continues
sitting. A few more minutes pass by and then suddenly there is loud
applause. We see Swami standing up from His chair, holding the railings.
We are filled with joy and thrill to see His full Form after so many days!
Even as our hearts are full of joy, they burst open further as we see
Bhagawan walking towards the staff block away from the interview room.
The two students hold Him on either side and Swami walks quite swiftly
taking a turn to go inside the Portico. He climbs up the slope and
enters the Portico and walks right into the interview room. The Hall is
full of claps and the heart is full of joy. The Vedam team joins in the
celebration by chanting Mantra Pushpam at a very high pitch. As Swami
emerges on the interview room side, the Primary School children also
join the Vedam chanting.
Bhagawan enters the interview room. After a while He comes out of the
room, walking again. He moves forward so that all of us can have His
Darshan! Then He sits down on the chair. It is 8.50 a.m. The car moves
into position to receive the chair. Aarti is offered and Swami retires
for the morning. An announcement is made that in the evening at 4.00
p.m. there would be a programme by the overseas devotees entitled
"Spirit of Christmas".
In the evening, at 3.40 p.m., the car arrives near the PC entrance. The front part
of the Hall opposite to the dais is filled with all overseas devotees
ready to make their presentation. The Hall is packed to its brim. Swami
takes a full round and then reaches the interview room. There, He
alights from the car and then asks to be assisted to stand up. The
moment Swami stands up, there is loud applause in the Hall. To add to
our delight, He starts walking slowly towards the centre of the dais. He
stands over there holding the railings for some time, before He sits
down on the chair.
At 3.55 p.m., He Blesses the Vedam group to conclude the chanting. Two
young children offer the programme card to Swami. This is followed by
Carol singing by the young children from overseas. The conductor comes forward and seeks Bhagawan's Blessings.
They start with a
Ganesha song and then a Telugu song succeeded by other carols. This goes
on till 4.30 p.m. Then comes the much awaited Carol singing by the
adults from overseas. The conductor for this choir also seeks Bhagawan's
Blessings. Swami speaks to her for a while.
For the next half an hour, the Hall is filled with soothing music and
singing, carrying us away to a world of peace and happiness. The
melodious Carols, the beautiful form of Bhagawan seated in front of our
eyes with a lovely smile on His face, transports us into a totally
different dimension! After a few songs, the conductor prays to Swami
asking whether they should continue or not. Each time, Swami smiles and
gives His consent to continue. Finally at 5.05 p.m. Bhagawan asks them
to sing Bhajans.
As the Bhajans are going on, Swami asks the students to distribute
Prasadam to all the overseas devotees. They are showered with a number
of chocolates and wafers. The little children start munching away to
glory! As all this goes on, Swami calls one of the adults, a young man,
and speaks to him for quite some time. After a very lively conversation
between them, Swami materializes a pendant for him. The man is overjoyed!
Bhajans go on. Again after a while, Swami calls another gentleman,
speaks to him for a while. The man is ecstatic! He too gets a chain at
the end of the dialogue. Swami calls him inside the railings, next to
His chair and ties the chain around his neck. The Hall is filled with
A few more Bhajans by the overseas adults and then once again a third
gentleman is summoned. All clap and start singing loudly. This devotee
too gets immense Blessings and a ring to top it all. When God gives, He
gives in bountiful measure! Finally it is 5.45 p.m. when Swami again stands amidst
loud clapping. He starts walking towards the portico on the side
opposite to the interview room. Taking few steps at a time, He converses
with a number of devotees adjacent to Him. Meanwhile, Aarti is offered
by the Pujari and a number of overseas coordinators. Bhagawan sits down
on the chair and receives the full Aarti.
Subsequently, He moves once again onto the dais and towards the
interview room. On the other side, He stops near a devotee and speaks to
him for a long time. The conversation concludes with the creation of a
ring for him! As He moves across the
dais, He looks at the overseas devotees assembled in front of Him and
says, "I am Happy". He says this twice. Then Swami asks them, "Are you
happy?" Some of them who are able to hear say, "Yes!" Swami again asks,–
"Are you all happy?" By then everybody understands what Swami is asking
and there is a loud roar - "Yes Swami!!" All of them start clapping and
the drummer starts playing the drums to indicate their joy and thrill!
It is twilight. The chandeliers shine brightly in the Hall reflecting
their light in the stars and the other decorations all around. All
hearts are full and the Porte car glides along the path to the
Lord's abode. Christmas 2005 draws the curtain down on yet another
November 25th, 2005
Even after the completion of the Birthday there were still so many
countries that had cultural programmes prepared that Swami on November
25th permitted two programmes to be held in Sai Kulwant Hall - a Russian
Language Choir and a Balvikas drama by children from Singapore.
About 280 devotees (out of a total group strength of 1300) from the
Russian speaking countries of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tadzhikistan, Turkmenistan,
Uzbekistan, and Ukraine gave a concert in the Russian language entitled
"Sathya Sai Baba, Our Hearts are singing for you."
The group of men and women, who were all dressed alike for their
opportunity of a lifetime to sing in His Divine presence, sang the
following songs in Russian: "Glory to God", "Our souls are full of
luminous light", "God is your best friend, God is love", "There is
nothing better than Swami coming to us", "Our dearest Sai", "In the
luminous light", "Sounds of flute", "Evening Bells", "Sathya Sai
Baba, our hearts are singing for you" and finally "Kalinka".
Their palpable devotion and singing from the heart had everybody
clapping their hands and keeping tune. Though the songs were in an unknown
tongue, still it found resonance with everyone through the language of
the heart. Swami was happy with their performance and also acceded to their prayer
for a group photograph with Him.
Following the Russian language choir, the Bal Vikas students from
Singapore presented an offering to Bhagavan entitled
"Atma Nivedanam" based on the story of Bhaktha Pothana, a great poet
and devotee of Lord Rama whose life is exemplary of total surrender to God.
The programme began with a musical performance known as Dikir Barat, a
time-honoured Malay art form in which a group of performers sit and sing
with synchronized body and hand movements.
The play itself was performed in many parts. The first scene highlights
Pothana's attitude of selfless love and service when he gives his own
food away to a hungry man. In the next scene Lord Rama entrusts Pothana
with the sacred task of composing the Bhagavatham in Telugu. This scene
also shows the Gajendra moksham episode.
The third scene shows the stark contrast between the divine Pothana and
his worldly brother-in-law Srinatha. It also depicts Prahlada's great
devotion and surrender to the Lord. In the next scene, Mother Sita
showers grace on Pothana and Srinatha's pride is humbled.
After this scene, Arati was offered and thus officially the Birthday
celebration had come to an end.