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Ladies' Day 2009

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Ladies' Day 2009 in the Divine Presence - Morning Programme - 19th Nov 2009
Posted at 01:30:00 Hrs. IST on 20 Nov 2009
Source: sssbpt.org -  web-layout & design saibabaofindia.com 

International Ladies’ Day is the occasion when Prasanthi Nilayam gets the pristine touch of the Motherhood principle, as women from various parts of the globe gather to attend the festivity in the immediate Divine presence.

As women from all over the world assembled at Prasanthi Nilayam in colurful garbs to celebrate the 14th Ladies’ Day in the midst of their Mother Sai early on Thursday morning, Sai Kulwant Hall was already glittering in anticipation of the festivity and fervour to come. Women, who represent the virtues of faith, fortitude, and wisdom, gathered to offer their selves to Mother Sai, who is the epitome of all virtues.

Reflecting an aesthetic beauty matching the grandeur of the occasion, Sai Kulwant Hall was a scene of gracefulness on the morning of November 19.


What could have been a better backdrop than the rising sun to celebrate the glory of the Goddess who has the face of a million Suns? With flowers dressed around reflecting various hues and freshness, the dais for the Lord had the regal touch, a perfect setting to host the Divine Mother encased in human frame. Festoons, buntings and special Chinese lanterns added glitter to the packed Sai Kulwant Hall under which multitudes of women beyond the barriers of language, nationality and religions gathered.


Bhagawan glided into the hall at 9.15 am and was accorded a traditional welcome led by the Brass Band of the Anantapur Campus of the Sri Sathya Sai University, followed by another group of girl students chanting Vedic hymns.

The programme got off to a start with Bhagawan lighting a lamp on the dais officially commencing the function.

Ms. Chetana Raju, who takes care of the women's welfare activities under the Eeshwaramma Trust and had also co-ordinated the Thursday’s events, announced the days’ programme to the multitudes. She also spoke of the great fortune all of us had to be in the presence of the Lord in the physical form and that the human endeavour must be to reach the final goal, Sathya Sai.
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Lost in the mundane and mediocre lives, how many of us are ready to undergo rigours of sleepless nights to attain the reality, for emancipation from the bondage of the trivial and temporary, asked Ms. Raju.

"Every seeker of Truth is called upon to make a monastic cell in his own heart and to retire in it every day… and Swami guides," she said, stressing on the importance of being with Bhagawan.


"Swami is a deeply valued experience that goes beyond the theological definitions of the world: He is one of the most fascinating human experiences," said the speaker calling Prasanthi Nilayam as the most contemporary place of worship with warmth and friendship extended to every participant, regardless of his or her credentials of any nature.


The speaker concluded her speech with a prayer to Bhagawan that may all the rigours of our sleepless nights be mingled with the understanding, love and care that He has been showering on us for decades and that someday we are be able to capture them all in our souls…


Following the address, Ms. Sharon Sandweiss of USA, a school teacher, advisor and coordinator for the Sri Sathya Sai Young Adult Programme in California and editor of Sai World, a newsletter for Sai Children and Youth, surrendered herself to Bhagawan's Lotus Feet before expressing her thoughts.

Offering her heartfelt gratitude to Bhagawan for His compassion and motherly love, Ms Sandweiss thanked the wonderful opportunity bestowed upon her. The speaker narrated beautiful anecdotes from her own life that had transformed her and snippets of her conversations with Bhagawan.


The speaker then went on to describe how Bhagawan’s presence had changed her family's life forever. She said that she was amazed at the sea change in her husband since he had first met Sai Baba in India. She said Sai Baba had spared her a life of despair by entering her life and called Bhagawan the Living Presence in their lives.


"We may stumble and fall, but remember problems are our teachers and Sai is with us…," said the speaker, narrating how meat was excluded from the family menu forever with the help of His unseen hand.

Bhagawan is the source and not the force, she said.

Recalling a revelation made by Bhagawan in the interview room in connection with an incident, the speaker quoted Bhagawan telling them that “…if it was not for Him, everything would be lost”.

Talking about the importance of Ladies’ Day, she said, "We are all members of same family; when we serve our family with love, we sanctify our lives; when we uphold justice, we justify our lives; when we support the suffering women in the world, we dignify our lives; when we preserve and protect mother earth, we will purify our lives and when we offer everything to our Lord, we will glorify our lives," said the speaker concluding her emotional rhetoric before offering her salutations to Bhagawan.


The third speaker was Mrs. Harriet Tay-Agbozo from Ghana, who has been teaching in Ghana from 1975 onwards and has been an active faculty member of Sai Education, Ghana.

Mrs. Harriet, in her short speech proudly declared that joining the Education in Human Values programme was a the best decision she had taken as it had given her a clear vision on life, and an understanding as to who she was and who she is. Seeing Swami as Sathya Sai and Sai Jesus, she recalled many miracles of transformation and healing.


She also narrated how Bhagawan saved her husband and brought him back from near death situation to life. "I would pray to Bhagawan and He has always responded," she said.

This was followed by a global ethnic dance presentation by Sri Sathya Sai Schools from various countries that included India, Mexico, South Africa, Indonesia, Fiji and Thailand.

The Indian troupe, which was the first to perform, presented a traditional Indian dance praising the all-pervading cosmic principle Lord Sai. This was followed by dances by children from Indonesia and Southern Mexico, a country where the sphere of education is completely taken care by women so that it remains spiritual and worldly.


Children from Fiji Islands offered a traditional dance, followed by the children of Sri Sathya Sai School, Thailand, who presented a classical dance based on ancient mythology. The last dance was by South African children, who performed a Zulu dance followed by three special bhajans by the same troupe.

The climax was a perfect example of unity in diversity as children from all countries performed together.

Bhagawan blessed the whole contingent with a coveted photo session that was followed by giving away of gift items. Bhagawan spent some time with the group of children, and interacted with many of them who hailed from around the world.

Before retiring to Yajur Mandiram, Bhagawan graciously cut the Ladies’ Day special cake prepared by a special group from Italy

Before retiring to Yajur Mandiram, Bhagawan graciously cut the Ladies’ Day special cake prepared by a special group from Italy. Arathi was offered to the Lord at 11.30 am.




Ladies' Day 2009 in the Divine Presence -Evening Programme
 - 19th Nov 2009

While the morning session witnessed lovely children from around the world joining hands singing Unity in Diversity, the evening session had the crowning jewel of pristine womanhood awaiting the turn to live her life through, yet again, to showcase what an Indian Woman is, in the immediate Divine Presence.

The stage was set for a musical drama entitled, “Panchali Charitamu”, the life of Draupadi, famously known by her demonym Panchali.

The story ran through the entire Mahabharata, focus being Panchali and her battle for modesty and righteousness.
While the preparations were on for Panchali’s Swayamvar (the ancient Indian practice of choosing a life partner, among a list of suitors by a girl) to an apprehensive Panchali, who raised reservations at accepting five husbands, Krishna counseled her advising to stick to the path of righteousness, the righteous path of woman, with sincerity.

Thenceforth, it was story of Panchali’s travails, wails that turned to no avail. When the Pancha Pandavas were invited to play the game of dice, as per the Kshatriya traditions Yudhishtira could not refuse and had to accept the invitation.

Shakuni who was designated to play representing the Kauravas was a past master while Yudhishtira was a novice and he started losing from the beginning. He lost his wealth, jewels and all possessions. He then lost his part of the kingdom. Finally, after having lost everything in gambling, only Pandavas, were there sitting with sullen faces with their heads down in shame and sadness.

Upon Shakuni’s suggestion, the Pandavas had to put themselves at stake which subsequently they lost becoming slaves by themselves. Having left with nothing, other than their better half, Panchali, the Pandavas had to finally yield to the pressure to lose her as well to deposit her at the hands of the wicked Kauravas.

Draupadi was humiliated by the wicked Kauravas and her modesty was at stake. An emotional Draupadi wages a lone battle calling out Krishna to spare her from despair.

Though Dhritarashtra, the reigning king was saddened at the turn of events, he was helpless and sought for apology.
When the final game of dice was also lost, Pandavas were asked to leave in exile.


Bhagawan Sri Krishna, who came out to help a wailing Draupadi at a time when her modesty was at stake, wanted to prove yet again that He was with the Pandavas. In a pre-planned game Duryodhana sent Sage Durvasa along with his disciples to the hermitage of the Pandavas asking for food. Pandavas had no option that to call out their eternal friend Krishna.

When Durvasa arrived that day, there was no food left to serve him, and the Pandavas were very anxious as to their fate should they fail to feed such a venerable sage. While Durvasa and his disciples were away bathing at the river, Draupadi prayed to Lord Krishna for help. Krishna immediately appeared before Draupadi saying he was extremely hungry, and asked her for food. Draupadi grew exasperated and said she had prayed to Krishna precisely because she had no food left to give. Krishna then told her to bring the Akshaya Patra to Him. When she did, He partook of the lone grain of rice and piece of vegetable that He found stuck to the vessel and announced that He was satisfied by the "meal". This satiated the hunger of Durvasa and his disciples, as the satisfaction of Krishna.

When the Kauravas failed to stick to Bhagawan Krishna’s plans for an amicable settlement to the property issue, war became imminent and the entire Kaurava clan was annihilated in the epic battle followed as a consequence.

Bhima’s exuberant exhibition of satisfaction at the killing of Dussasana, a revenge he had taken upon when Panchali’s modesty was threatened, was depicted well, a lesson to the traitors of modesty of woman for all time.

Ashwathama who in an irrepressible act of revenge killed the entire progeny of the Pandavas, wiping off the entire clan save the Pancha Pandavas, was let off at the mercy and wise counseling of Panchali, who advocated that killing would not serve the purpose.


Finally, when Krishna having finished in earthly mission, vanished from the physical plane, Pandavas understood the folly of a life without Krishna and started their final journey…and on the way, Panchali dropped herself down…

It was a fine portrayal of the crowning glory of Indian womanhood, organized by the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

Panchali was at her best with natural emotional acting and Bhagawan sat through the entire session of more than ninety minutes watching the epic, re-enacted in Prasanthi Nilayam.

Immensely pleased with the performance, Bhagawan materialized a chain for the girl who enacted the role of Panchali. Coming down the aisle, Bhagawan posed for photographs. Each and every participant, numbering sixty were called on to the dais to receive special gift from Bhagawan.

Earlier, Bhagawan came into the Sai Kulwant Hall just before five for a complete round culminating at the dais. It was a marathon sitting for the Lord, for more than two hours, feasting thousands of eyes.

The first programme for the evening was a Musical Offering by the Greek Choir. …And the splendorous evening was made into a musical delight by the magical tunes weaved by Christos Kotsmonis, a professional playing the traditional Buzuki for over forty five years.


As he tuned his music on the instrument accompanied by two guitarists, the chorus sang in praise of greater heaven. They had three songs for the evening, Intelligible Sun of Justice by Odysseus Elytis, Around the islands of Aegean Sea, Joy to the Eyes that Cry for Someone Else in Pain and finally the famous “Tuu Pyaar Ka Saagar Hey…”, a composition by Sathya Sai Students.

Buzuki is a long-necked plucked lute of Greece, resembling mandolin. The buzuki has a round wooden body, with metal strings arranged in three or four double courses over a fretted fingerboard. The musician plucks the strings over the sound hole with a plectrum held in the right hand, while pressing on the strings on the fingerboard with the fingers of the left hand. It is also played in a variety of musical genres throughout the world, including jazz, bluegrass, rock and folk music.

This was followed by a European Choir conducted by Alma Badings, from The Netherlands, a familiar face in Prasanthi during the Christmas season.


Also read:

Blessed Blissful Twilight - 18th November 2009
Posted at 14:00:00 Hrs. IST on 18 Nov 2009

"I care - Life On Wheels" - Rehearsal session - 18th November 2009
After the traditional Rathotsavam in the morning, the packed Sai Kulwant Hall had to endure a long wait in the evening. It was penance for the capacity crowd that waited for four long hours. The long wait finally found fulfillment when Bhagawan came out at 6:40 for a complete round, feasting the eyes, filling and fulfilling thousands of hearts, minds and souls with bliss unlimited.
Continue reading with photos & picture slides



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Also read
Posted at 15:50:00 Hrs. IST on 18 Nov 2009

Ratotsavam in Prasanthi Nilayam comes as a forerunner to the grand Birthday Celebrations of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. ..And ever since its inception many years ago, this festivity has been a fixed schedule for the
Ratotsavam in Prasanthi Nilayam comes as a forerunner to the grand Birthday Celebrations of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba...
18th November. For so many years, this day had been tagged with another big event, Narayana Seva, en mass for the villagers in and around Puttaparthi, where in Bhagawan would present Himself through and through, along with hundreds of University students and sevadal volunteers, held at the Vidyagiri Sports Stadium....continue reading... with latest photos


Eye witness account from Puttaparthi submitted to SBOI-Group

Update Ladies' Day


Om Sairam dearest family,
The 84th birthday celebrations of our beloved Lord Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba had a grand start with the yearly Rathotsavam. The Venugopal Swami ratham which is taken in procession every year was blessed by Swami personally on 18th morning. Swami came out of Gopuram gate and blessed the chariot..
All the people were eagerly awaiting for the ladies' day celebrations which is celebrated on 19th November every year remembering the blessed Mother Eswaramma for her sacrifice and motherhood.
This year's Ladies' day had an extra attraction even in the morning. Swami out of His immense mercy blessed the august gathering at 9:20am. This morning while Swami came in His car chair, Sister Chetana
and Mrs.Ratanlal accompanied Swami..
Introducing the programme, Sis Chetana thanked Swami for granting the boon of celebrating Ladies' day in His immediate presence.
This morning two speakers were blessed to speak before Swami which was followed by a fantastic dance programme by overseas children.
The first speaker was Mrs. Sharon Sandwiess, a very well known name in the Sai family. She shared how her husband who first came to Swami in 1972 got so much transformed. After returning home from India Mr.Sandwiess was so happy and told the whole family that he has seen God and later on she explained how the whole family transformed into
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The second speaker was Mrs. Harriet Agbozo of Ghana in her mesmerising African accent shared the miraculous saving of her husband from a very severe health problem and she thanked Swami for the kindness.
Mrs.Agbozo who also happens to be a EHV teacher in Ghana asked Swami to visit the whole of Africa and fill every one's hearts with joy and happiness.
After the talks it was the turn of little children from India, Indonesia, Mexico, Fiji islands, Thailand and South Africa to steal the show.
The first dance sequence was from the Indian children, depicting the service activities taken up by Swami.


The little girl in the group was exceptionally good in the dance and was fortunate to be blessed by Swami with a golden chain.
Later it was the turn of Indonesia, Fiji and Thailand sai school children. The masterpiece of this morning's programme was the dance by the children from South Africa. The whole atmosphere in the hall changed when the music was played. The Zulu dance had a very fast beat where in brother Karthigesan played the drums. The song seemed bit FASTER for Puttaparthi standards, but the dance was celestial. The dress in particular was so neat and the children danced with lot of confidence and devotion. These are the children who come from Malagazi ( a poor area dominated by blacks) near Isipingo, Durban. These are the children who, without Swami's grace would not have heard or seen Swami.. They are the ones who were handpicked for their intense devotion to Swami and regular attendance to Bal Vikas sessions conducted on Sundays. Financially they are very poor but spiritually
they are the richest that they made it to the Abode of our beloved Lord. Words of praise are also due to Mrs. Michelle Singh (malagazi center) for the intense training and also Mrs. Manormani Govender (phoenix center) for co-ordinating dance movements and brother Kriss of serendipity. The songs chosen were a bit disco type reminding the Hindi movie songs of Bappilahari in late 80s. but there was so much of devotion and love in those children and Swami enjoyed the dance to His heart content.


South Africa is such a country which has maximum number of Sai Devotees out side India and the kind of EHV teachers the country has is world-class and there are four Sai Schools giving quality education to the children of this beautiful country.
There are thousands of devotees who come to Parthi every year, but never they had any programme in Swami's presence and let us hope this will be a new beginning for more activities from SA.
A brother once shared an incident that happened in late 90s. Swami came walking towards a big group from South Africa and asked His most FAMOUS question WHERE ARE YOU FROM? in no time the reply came South Africa and Swami with a smile asked but where are the Africans? 99% of South Africans who come to Swami are all of Indian Origin and Swami's wish to see the AFRICANS was fructified today with the presence of those 12 little sweet children.
After the programme, Swami came down the stage and spend more than 30 minutes with the children giving them gifts, padanamaskar and speaking to them so lovingly..and very sure, those momentous moments with our Lord will be cherished by those CHOSEN ones, and who knows, they might be the leaders of tomorrow, whom Swami decided to appoint..
The morning programme came to end just after 11 and it was one of the most beautiful SAI mornings, a sweet morning with our Lord, by our Lord..
In the morning Prof. Anil Kumar announced that there would be a drama in telugu titled "Draupati Charitra". Swami blessed the august gathering with His divine darshan while the primary school bagpiper band took the lead. Little girls from Swami's primary school were standing with lamps on either side of Swami's path welcoming our Lord..


There was a choir by devotees from Greece and later it was the turn of Draupati Charitra drama.. Excellently done and written. It was performed by devotees (mostly children) of Andhra Pradesh. Draupati is the wife of five Pandavas and the drama depicted as how she ended up being the wife of five Pandavas. When you think of Draupati the first tragic incident that comes to our mind is the Draupati Vastraparanam. King Dharma Raju had this weak ness of gambling. In the gamble with Duryodhana and Dusasana, he promises to give away Draupati if he loses the gamble. Shakuni, the mastermind behind the Kauravas makes sure King Dharma Raju loses.
When it happens, Dussasana catch holds of Draupati's saree and tries to handle her physically by pulling her saree. Then Draupati cries and prays loudly to Lord Krishna and then Lord Krishna enters the scene and as Dussasana removes her saree, Lord Krishna with His power sends more saree and at the end Dussasana gets tired pulling the never ending sarees and Draupati thanks Krishna for saving her..


This particular scene is very well known and in hundreds of mythological movies in different languages, depending on the creativity and skill of the director this particular scene of Krishna sending unlimited sarees with His hand was perfectly shown. It was very interesting to see how this will be shown in Sai Kulwanth hall and if you have to believe me, this scene was THE BEST surpassing all the technology that is used in cinemas. Just before this scene happens, the way Draupati acted to save herself from the evil men was so touching. The dialogue delivery brought tears in every one and some where in the heart, there was some pain as how cruel the Kauravas were to insult a woman in front of her husbands and other ministers of the kingdom.
Back to the drama.. As the sentimental scene was in progress The Krishna character very quickly climbed over the iron rods and was ready for the scene to come. There was one more man just below the Krishna Character with sarees nicely folded so that it fits the area between Krishna's index finger and the thumb. Below in the drama, suddenly the lights in Sai Kulwanth hall go off except the lights in the dias and there were some special effect lights placed on the characters and then the saree episode starts. There was a very tiny string in Dussasana's hands and as he pulled it hard, the man sitting below Krishna made sure the sarees went within the small space between His fingers and Draupati was in between them... Every one clapped in excitement as Krishna seated on the top send all the sarees to save Draupati.. It was a very well done drama and first of its kind SPECIAL EFFECTS and our Lord Sai Krishna couldn't stop appreciating this particular scene and not to forget the heart breaking acting of the girl who did the Draupati role. Swami called her and blessed her with a golden chain and it was the second materialisation of the day..


Swami, like in the morning came down the stage to take group photos with the children and it was so nice to see Swami spending so much time with the children..
Puttaparthi is all geared up for the Birthday celebrations.. The birthday crowd is still expected. Surprisingly there are so many police men in the whole Puttaparthi. In the ashram every feet you will find Policemen with AK 47s. Many devotees were saying why so much security.. but the Police have their own reasons..
Let us all pray that the whole event goes on peacefully. Hope unlike last year, every one will have chance to get into the ashram to see our Lord and wish Him happy birthday..
With Pranams at the lotus feet of our beloved Lord... submitted to