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Buddha Poornima in Prasanthi Nilayam

Watch the Live Video Webcast of the Buddha Poornima Celebrations at Prasanthi Nilayam, on (Saturday)25th May 2013 - Sairam


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Watch the Live Video Webcast of the Buddha Poornima Celebrations at Prasanthi Nilayam at 5:30 p.m. (IST) - 14 May 2014



Video Webcast of the Buddha Poornima Celebrations, Day 3 at Prasanthi Nilayam at 5:30 p.m. (IST) - 15 May 2014



16 May 2014: 14 May was celebrated as Vaisakha Pournami, the day that marks the birth, enlightenment and Parinirvana of Lord Buddha. Celebrating the holy occasion, devotees from Region 4 & 5 of Sri Sathya Sai Organisations – Worldwide, comprising of countries Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, China and Taiwan organized a 2-day programme here in Prasanthi Nilayam. The theme for the year’s celebration is “The Master Lives On…”


Buddha Purnima in Prasanthi Nilayam…


On 14 May evening, being the first day of the three-day celebrations, the programme commenced with lighting of the lamp by the hands of  Dr VK
Raveendran along with Bro Billy Fong, Chairman for Region 4 and National Coordinator for Malaysia respectively. After a brief spell of invocatory Veda chanting, devotees from the region rendered traditional holy Buddhist recitation beginning the proceedings.


Buddha Purnima in Prasanthi Nilayam…


A welcome speech by Dr VK Raveendran followed next, who in brief explained the import of the Buddha Purnima celebrations. Recalling the story of Emperor Ashoka who, after winning many bloody battles, costing many precious lives, finally got into transform embracing Buddhism as his way, Dr Raveendran briefly explained the three essential steps involved in Buddhism, namely, Self-Control, Meditation and Inner Vision. He then introduced the two speakers for the session.


Buddha Purnima in Prasanthi Nilayam…


The first speaker Mr Praneth from Sri Lanka, an a exponent of Buddhist teachings, also active in Bhagawan’s EHV programme, spoke of Buddhism with reference to Bhagawan’s teachings, explaining the Eight Fold Path pronounced by Lord Buddha.


Buddha Purnima in Prasanthi Nilayam…


Brother Billy Fong, Central Coordinator, Malaysia spoke of Bhagawan and the supreme importance of carrying out Sadhana at individual, family and societal levels as per the pronouncement by the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations.


Buddha Purnima in Prasanthi Nilayam…


International Bhajans continued that ended with Mangala Arathi at 1900 hrs.


Buddha Purnima in Prasanthi Nilayam…


On 15 May evening, the second and final day of this year’s Buddha Purnima celebrations the programme commenced with an introductory talk by Dr VK Raveendran, who introduced the venerable speakers from the Tibetan Monastry, Hubli, Karnataka.  The two speakers were Venerable Aaron Lobsang Thardodh and Venerable Gesha (Dr) Lobsang Lhundup.


Buddha Purnima in Prasanthi Nilayam…


Venerable Aaron is a specialist in Nalanda philosophy. His objective is to apply Nalanda logic in modern environments, envisioning a resurrected learning space for Nalanda University in the 21st century. Guest Senior Monk Venerable Gesha belongs to the Vajrayana Buddhist Order, known widely as the Order headed by His Holiness The Dalai Lama.


Buddha Purnima in Prasanthi Nilayam…


Venerable Aaron, who spoke in English, divulged briefly on the theme ‘Love’, as to how humans could be different from other creatures, exhibiting their inherent potential – LOVE, the best medicine for all ailments.

Venerable Gesha chose to speak in Tibetan, translated into English by Venerable Aaron. The venerable monk’s  speech was on the enlightened life of Siddhartha turned Buddha and Buddha’s main principle of Non-dualism.


Buddha Purnima in Prasanthi Nilayam…


The Sai Youth of Malaysia then presented a drama entitled THE MASTER LIVES ON, a depiction of the story of a dynamic Sai Youth, whose charming life came crashing down on the fateful day 24 April 2011, when The Master, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai chose to leave His mortal frame, an irreparable shock to the Sai Fraternity.


Anand, the protagonist, who was until then active with service activities turned mute, inactive, a pale shadow of his until then enthusiastic self. Feeling deep void within, Anand was, despite efforts by his fellow Sai Youth, unable to cope with the situation. He simply failed to come to terms with the physical absence of Beloved Bhagawan, Whom he assertively called ‘The Rock’ of his life. He would often argue, “i do not want Him everywhere…i want Him to be SOMEWHERE…”


Buddha Purnima in Prasanthi Nilayam…


The presentation, drawing parallels from Ananda, the cousin turned foremost disciple of Lord Buddha, whose plight at the time of Buddha’s final moments were not different, portrayed the revival of Anand, whom, not incidentally, but with His Divine forevision, Bhagawan Himself had called ‘Ananda…’ during his final personal visit to Prasanthi Nilayam, just before Bhagawan’s physical departure. The presentation depicted a resurrected Anand at the end,  thanks to his Sai breathren and a series of ‘miraculous happenings in his life, showing the Master’s unceasing presence… and thus the Saga goes on… as The Master Lives On… The beautiful presentation ended with the bhajan ‘Buddham Sharanam Gachchami…”

Bhajans by the devotees from Region 4 continued before students took over and ended with Bhagawan’s Thursday Special “Life Is My Form…Truth Is My Breath…” Mangala Arathi was offered at 1910 hrs.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II


Becoming Buddha - ...Buddha Poornima ten years ago...


It was the day of Buddha Poornima ten years ago. Baba was then not in Prasanthi Nilayam or in Bangalore but in the tranquil hill station of Kodai Kanal – the serene spot admist dark forests, tucked away in the Upper Palani Hills in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Baba being in Kodai Kanal in 2003 was of course nothing new as many a summer of the Divine had been spent in this green valley; right from 1986 Baba often came here with a group of students and elders to the delight of the inhabitants of this hilly little town.

But the 2003 Kodai Kanal experience was exceptional for reasons more than one. First, it was a most unexpected trip; generally Baba would visit Kodai Kanal in April and return by the first week of May or on rare occasions the week after. But that year Baba started His journey to Sai Shruti, His abode in Kodai Kanal, in the middle of May.

sathya sai baba with buddha statue

And second, it was an extremely short trip – just a week or so, while all Kodai visits were for atleast a fortnight or so.

However, the most unique thing about this trip is that the celebration of Buddha Poornima happened that year in this most pristine and peaceful locale that on one side has this beautiful lake that was covered with sparkling white lotuses, and the other side were these huge, long and majestic silver oak trees as if always straight, firm and forward in their journey to greater heights, and when you look to the third corner your eyes are filled with the kaleidoscopic beauty of this motley colour of blossoms – purple, magenta, maroon, yellow and so on, perhaps covering all hues of human emotions.

So it is in this lovely setting that the Lord decided to celebrate Buddha Poornima that year. And the most exquisite part of this festival that year that only a few privileged were fortunate to witness is this:

That morning as Baba was speaking to the boys inside Sai Shruti, He started elaborating on the pure nature of The Buddha, how He attained enlightenment and how He exemplified so many sterling virtues. Even as Baba was talking thus His palm suddenly moved in the air, caught that empty space, and immediately closed. And the next instant when the closed divine fist opened, all the boys could only gasp in awe!

What Baba was holding in His hand now was such a marvelously done miniature Buddha, red and resplendent.

Swami then asked, “Tell me, what is this made of?”

“Swami, plaster of paris”

“Swami, sand”

“Swami, clay”

Baba dismissed all the answers and then revealed, “This is made up of the Lumbini mud – the sacred soil where The Buddha was born.”

And then Baba went to narrate the various austerities that Buddha engaged in, the rigorous spiritual disciplines that this holy one pursued on His path towards Nirvana – enlightenment, and as Baba was explaining thus at one point He paused and with a sudden firmness He said, “Anyone who contemplates on The Buddha, can attain Moksha (or liberation).”

Well, this is what happened a decade ago and Baba left us with something to ponder over for lifetimes. So who truly is The Buddha? And what is Moksha?


Baba in one discourse explained:

“Buddha is not a personal name. A Buddha is one who is spiritually enlightened, mentally awakened and who has realised the Supreme Truth. He is one who practises unity of thought, word and action. His heart is ever full of compassion and love. He is unaffected by the vicissitudes of life. Sakhyamuni, The Buddha, was a muni (sage) in the Sakya clan.”

And in the Buddha Poornima Discourse of 2000 Baba clearly clarified all doubts about liberation. He said:

“People have strange ideas about liberation, imagining that it involves going to heaven and having eternal existence there. That is not the meaning of liberation; it truly means achieving selfless love that is constant, unabating, and total. This is the state that one must seek to attain; it is only when this state is reached that one is truly liberated. In the name of liberation, seekers are trying out all sorts of spiritual paths. All such exercises can at best confer temporary satisfaction. The path of Pure Love alone can truly get you there and confer permanent Bliss.

On every occasion of Buddha Poornima, Baba stressed on how this festival should be celebrated and what should be our focus as we gleefully participate in this festival. In 2006 Baba said:

“The same divine principle of love is present in all of you. When you take to the path of love, you will become Buddha yourself.

“Today is Buddha Poornima. Poornima means full moon. The underlying message of Buddha Poornima is that the mind should shine with total purity like full moon; it should unite with its source i.e., the Atma which is pure and effulgent. There is no darkness on the full moon night. On this auspicious day of Buddha Poornima, we should attain full purity of the mind.”

Baba often says that purity is the essence of all sadhana. And Buddha's life after enlightenment shone with this splendour of pure character. If there is anything that we should take home in our lives and into our hearts on this festival it is this determination to withstand any ordeal, resist any temptation and overcome any obstacle that tests our levels of purity, and strive with Buddha-like dogged perseverance to attain that peace and happiness which is permanent, transcendental and most fulfilling.

- Team Radio Sai

source: Radiosai.org


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