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Guru Purnima Celebrations, 18 Jul 2008, Report & Images

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant hall at 8.50 am on this Gurupoornima morning resplendent in a yellow robe, in a special gold-coloure
Join group saibabaofindia - "SBOI" Be a part of a growing Sai online communityd chair, preceded by His baby elephant which was bedecked in festival finery. After a full round of the Hall, He came to the veranda and blessed the Gurupoornima cake arrayed there. When He came onstage, He blessed the congregation with both hands and sat for a while listening to the Vedam chanting along with the Nadaswaram and Panchavadyam performed by the students. Sri Shivraj Patil, the Union Home Minister, presented a book to Bhagawan for release. This tome on the Bhagawad Gita was written by him and was made available in English, Hindi, Marathi and other languages. Bhagawan asked Prof Anil Kumar to announce the details of the book and then Sri Shivraj Patil was asked to address the gathering. In his short speech, Sri Patil thanked Bhagawan for inspiring the book. Swami then indicated that His mics be brought.
Bhagawan spoke for nearly an hour, seated onstage, outlining the story of Ekalavya and commending Sri Shivraj Patil on his book. He then mentioned that one of the lecturers of the Sai University was going to Hungary for a presentation, and that He wished that in this way, the ideals of the Sai
University be propagated in all countries. The students sang a couple of songs after Swami's Discourse as prasadam was distributed. Bhagawan accepted Arati and returned to His residence in the chair after eleven o'clock after listening to a few more minutes to the students' Panchavadyam troupe. In the evening, Bhagawan arrived at 5.10 pm, once again in the gold-coloured chair. After His darshan round, when He reached the verandah, He asked the Malladi brothers to sing. Some of the students and staff accompanied them on harmonium, tabla and mridangam. The stage was prepared and their concert began at 5.25 pm. Bhagawan Blessed the singers with shawls and clothes, and the accompanists received clothes too. Swami accepted Arati at 6.40 pm and moved slowly towards His residence in the chair, interacting with many devotees on the way, while prasadam was distributed.

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Guru Purnima

Sathya Sai Baba’s mission is holy in essence and holistic in approach and this mission has ever been focussed in promoting individual as well as societal transformation. What could be aptly described as a spiritual and cultural renaissance was the most happening thing under His Divine Mission and every festivity and event in Prasanthi Nilayam consciously or subconsciously is aimed at attaining this end result. With primitive age old customs and traditions no longer getting due attention and are engaged in a hard-fought battle for survival, Prasanthi Nilayam very often witnesses festivities celebrated in the very presence of the Promoter of Cultural and Spiritual Renaissance of the modern age, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and there unfolds the most subtle significance of each and every festivity.

The Sanskrit meaning of the term Guru is a person having great knowledge, wisdom and authority in a given area and used the same to guide others. ‘Gu’ is darkness and ‘Ru’ is light and thus the term gets the finer meaning as the one who dispels darkness. Where else one could turn his attention to remove the veil of ignorance, darkness than the preceptor of all preceptors, Sathya Sai Baba? Guru Purnima has always been a festival with foremost reckoning in Prasanthi Nilayam.

Who is a Guru? He is the Divine dispeller of the darkness within you. The Divine Trinity have been described as Guru. This implies that the Divine should be regarded as the supreme preceptor who can destroy the darkness of ignorance. Forgetting this basic truth, people run after men wearing ochre robe who profess to impart a mantra and stretch their palm for money. This is not what is meant by Guru. Install God in your heart. The vibrations that emanate from the heart will elevate you spiritually and confer Divine Wisdom. – Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai

Moon connotes the mind and on a perfect moon day mind is believed to be regaling in cool and calm composure. When the moon’s perfection coincides with the Sun’s transition heralding the advent of the month of Ashada based on the vernacular calendar, it marks the arrival of Guru Purnima, with a silent reminder to man of the salient need to pay respect and obeisance to Teacher or Guru.

18th July 2008, Prasanthi Nilayam was filled to capacity and bore a festive look. Gliding past from the Ashadi backdrop that has been there for the past four days, Prasanthi got into a higher gear with the festival with a greater significance arrived and with it a bout of attached events. On the serene and beautiful morning that was supposedly spotless with sun shining bright, it was He, The Sun of all the suns came out emerging from His Divine Abode in sparkling yellow robe, dot at 8:50 a.m. Regaled entire Prasanthi and the thousands thronged to have a glimpse of the Lord when the Lord made His way through to the thousands with a beaming smile on His beautiful face completing a full round before coming on to the dais after cutting the cake specially made for the occasion.

The morning proceedings began with an introductory speech by Prof. Anil Kumar who thanked Bhagawan for His greater magnanimity conferring the chosen blessings on multitudes. Referring to the lakhs and lakhs of devotees around the world who could not make it to Prasanthi Nilayam, he hoped that Bhagawan’s blessings would be there for the entire world. The Chief Guest for the morning session was Hon’ble Home Minister of India, Sri Shivaraj Patil who was seated next to Bhagawan on the dais. Inviting Sri Shivaraj Patil to address the gathering, he mentioned about Mr. Patil’s book on Bhagavad Gita that was just released by Bhagawan, that Sri Shivaraj Patil has extensively studied the Gita to write his own book on the celestial song and the book was already written in various other languages.

Offering pranams at His Divine Lotus Feet and to the devotees assembled the minister said: Bhagawan inspires, guides, encourages and blesses all of us, and whatever is done or achieved is done only with His inspiration, encouragement and blessings, making an indirect reference to his composition on Bhagavad Gita. He does it at times covertly and otherwise overtly. He said: Bhagavad Gita would not have seen the light without His inspiration. Talking about Bhagavad Gita’s significance, He said, Bhagavad Gita teaches one to live in the world righteously, fighting the battle to realize the purpose of life. Touching the point to reach out the masses affectively the minister highlighted the importance of such works to be written and translated into various languages. With a prayer on his lips to bless the entire humanity and the cosmos in entirety, the minister concluded his inspiration speech.


The whole universe emerges out of the principle of Truth and merges back into Truth. Upon investigation one cannot find a single space without Truth. Truth is omnipresent and for all actions Truth is the primal cause, said Bhagawan commencing His Divine Discourse.

Switching over to Shivaraj Patil’s latest composition on Bhagavad Gita, He said, the composition is especially significant as the minister would show the script to Bhagawan for His Divine guidance and guidelines. The book is Bhagavad Gita in essence; the essence of Bhagavad Gita imprinted in his heart was translated and passed into paper.

Gurupurnima is not as one thinks an occasion to show adoration and veneration to the elders, preceptors and celibates. Reciting the famous Guru Manthra, Gurur Brahma…Gurur Visnu, Gurur Devo Maheshwara…Bhagawan said, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara are the real gurus and as such God is the Guru and remembering God with adoration, veneration with a spotless mind signifies the real meaning of Guru Purnima. Bhagawan went in detail into Ekalavya’s story narrating the Preceptor – Disciple relationship. In spite of knowing that he would not be able to use all the skills that he has learnt at the feet of his master, through his dedication, concentration reverence and love for his guru Dronacharya, when it came to offering Guru Dakshina, he never ever hesitated even a bit, to offer his thumb, without which his skills would be of any use. The feeling of “I” and “Mine” are to be cut to know the essence of Bhagavad Gita. Any investigation would be futile without removing the feeling of “I” and “Mine” and one would not be successful in knowing the Atma Tathwa without achieving the same. He referred to the holy cross as the finest example as a most useful weapon to reach out Jesus, the Godhood. Bhagavad Gita has three important messages, namely, Self Confidence, Self Sacrifice and Self Realisation. Bhagavad Gita is the very breath of God. The celestial song may not have subtle explanations, but, one is sure to find many answers to his various questions.

Referring to the last sloka in Bhagavad Gita, Yatra yogeshwara Krishno yatra Partho dhanur dharaha. Tatra shreer vijayo bhutir dhruvo nithir mathir mamaha, Bhagawan said, the essence of Gita lies in same.

One may be reading so many books, but it comes to no use until and unless one tries to put the same into practical life. Students and teachers should not only read and recapitulate, but, also should practise and share the knowledge with others. Students in Prasanthi are good and have sacred hearts. Sacred Hearts would lead to Secret Place that is Destiny, added Bhagawan. He called out a faculty from the Department of Physics who have been invited by the Govt. of Hungary for a presentation and said other students also should emulate such fine examples and achieve distinction. Whatever one has learnt as a student in the portals of Sathya Sai University and at the Feet of Bhagawan should be shared with students from other universities.

Yes, full moon is spotless, said Bhagawan and commencing the Divine Discourse He said, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara are to be revered and worshipped. Worship God with a spotless mind was essence of the message of Bhagawan on Guru Purnima Day.

Way back in 1964, during the Guru Purnima Divine Discourse, Bhagawan said:

Being Guru Pournima Day, I am reminded of a lady at Shirdi, an old devotee called Radhabai Desh¬mukh, who was worshipping Me in My previous Sariram. She wanted initiation into a Mantra and fasted for three full days, in order to persuade Me to do it. Shyama came running and announced she was very exhaus¬ted. She was brought to Dwarakamayi. Baba asked her what she wanted and wanted her to explain what she meant by Guru. She repeated the sloka, “Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheshwarah, Gurusaakshaath Parabrahma Thasmai Sree Gurave Namah". Then, Baba asked her, "If the Guru is all that, what other Mantra do you expect him to give? Why should He give you the name of any other Form of God? Then He told her,” This is the Gurusthanam as well as Devasthanam for you. My Name is enough for you. Go." Some people may ask: “If we are immersed in Namasmarana, what is to happen to our lives and to those who are dependent on us?" But I tell them, “They are not dependent on you; when you depend on the Lord, they too are His responsibility. Why should you carry your luggage on your head, once you have boarded the train? Sit down in comfort. The train will take you, along with the luggage." If you get immersed in Namasmarana, the Lord will provide not Annam, but Amritam.

You too have secured the Presence not merely of the Guru but of God. You are in Bhagavatsannidh¬yam, (in the immediate Divine Presence) not just satsangam. How lucky you are! Make the best use of this golden chance."

Does it not sound significant to all of us who are hearing the Divine in physical? We need to dig out, we need to introspect, meditate to know the Truth, to realise the Truth.

Let’s sing in chorus…

The light of wisdom within me shines brighter today because of you.
The knowledge of the first light has been fanned by you
I have within me all the Truth that is, and is to be
I am unaware of all that is
With You, O Great One, I shall realize the Truth;
With gratitude, I honour Your Name, which is many;

With humility, I bow to Thy Form, which is changing;
With trust, I merge my mind with Thine, to become the One Mind;
With Thee as my Guide, Teacher, Guru, I know
I will come to know my true self, the One Self of all
Your name is Sathya, You are Truth
The Truth that I am…

Musical Twilight

Music is the inner or universal language of God, and God’s love for music is no secret. Soulful music awakens the inner heart as it embodies the absolute supreme. We have umpteen instances where godly passion for Music melted the Divine in various forms. Bhagawan Himself used to sing carnatic vocals in His youthful days and He has always been encouraging musicians from various parts of the world who found it a rare blessing to perform in His Divine Presence. Music is as powerful as Love and when Love for God and Music come together, Divine has to manifest. …What Prasanthi Nilayam witnessed on the Guru Purnima evening was heavenly indeed with the famous duo Malladi Brothers sang their hearts out with a bout of carnatic compositions that turned the auspicious twilight into a most memorable one.

The concert started off with a Guru Dhyana Slokam of Saint Thayagaraja, in Guruleka Ragam and Gowrimanohari Thalam. The second rendition was Sujana Jeevana of St. Thayagaraja in Khamas and Roopakam. Next to come was Evarani in Devamrithavarshini Ragam and Adi Talam. Through this famous composition Thyagaraja expounds on the greatness of the name of Lord Rama as Bhagawan says, ``Ra'' is the Jeevakshara of “Om Namo Narayana'', while “Ma” is the Jeevakshara of “Om Namasivaya”. Entha Vedukondura in Saraswathi Manohara Ragam and Adi Thalam was the next, followed by Nagumomu (nagumOmu ganalEni nAjAli telisi nannu brOvaga rAdA shrI raghuvara nI) in Abheri and Adi that lasted for a scintillating fifteen minutes leaving one and all spell bound. With Bhagawan watching from a very close quarter, the duo immersed completely in rendition and the entire hall in pin drop silence it was the Goddess of Music who was prevailing over the Lord in Physical who was seen in rapt attention. The famous English poem written by Maharishi Aurobindo declaring that the Lord has descended on earth, with a direct reference to Bhagawan’s Advent was composed beautifully by the duo to sing in His Divine Presence as an apt offering at His Feet on the auspicious evening. Sai Namasmaranam in Dwijawanthi and Adi followed by Slokams in Telugu Sama, Kedaragowla, Sindhu Bhairavi and Hindola were also rendered followed by Santhamuleka in Sama Ragam to end the evening programme with the famous Venkatachalanilayam of Saint Purandharadasa.

To savour the sweetness of music in fullness, one need to have a taste for it and it was sure that those who understand the language of God and the language of music would have definitely found it a most memorable twilight with the duo brought their mesmerizing touch to bring the feelings poured out by the eighteenth century music exponent St. Thyagaraja in a in a most effective way that made Bhagawan to sit through in full attention and the devotees spell bound. During a brief chat with our reporting team, the duo said, singing for God is always a very special moment and they cherish each and every moment of such opportunities. It was Bhagawan’s greater magnanimity that got them the chance to sing for Him on the auspicious evening and they were indebted to Him. Referring to composition on Bhagawan, they said, the lyric was taken from our monthly journal Sanathana Sarathi and composed to the occasion especially for Bhagawan as an offering at His Lotus Feet.

Indeed, Music is the Inner Language of God! He is Music Divine!

Read more Gurupoornima update from Sai Students Darshan18th July 2008 click here