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Sai Baba Photos & darshan news updates - November 2008
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Inauguration of the Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust Annexe Building


Sunday, November 30, 2008 The morning dawned with a lot of hectic activity for the members of the Sri Sathya Sai Book trust as Swami had promised to inaugurate their new e-commerce cum storage building. The building stood in all its majesty and grandeur just by the Supermarket stores area and it was now being readied and bedecked for the grand beginning of its life of service to the Lord. And as everything stood ready by 8:30 awaiting the arrival of Swami, the Yajur Mandir area seemed too peaceful to show any indications of Swami coming out.

It was about 9:25am when Swami came out of the Yajur mandir and proceeded for darshan in the chair itself. As He moved down the gentle slope through the ladies side, eager heads popped up and hands holding letters stretched out in thrilled anticipation. Swami collected letters and also spoke to a few ladies. In fact, right in the beginning, a couple of ladies got up to show Swami a newborn babe! Swami sweetly looked at the baby and blessed it. Moving through the gents side which was a little empty, because of the natural lull after a heavy season, Swami collected a lot of letters. There might be a lull in terms of quantity of people but with Swami there is never a lull in the intensity with which the people long and crave for Him.

Gently gliding through the students' area, He blessed all the students holding trays. Many made good of the opportunity to touch His tender lotus feet and He seemed to be in a gracefully obliging mood for that today. Bhajans were on and Swami moved into the interview room granting a couple of interviews. After that, He moved into the bhajan hall where He sat for about 2-3 bhajans. Then, receiving Aarthi, Swami left for Yajur Mandir. He was moving in the car via the ladies side when something interesting happened near the big gate that leads from Kulwant hall to Yajur Mandir.

A little boy with both his legs fractured had been brought by his mother in a wheelchair and he was seated praying to Swami. Seeing him, Swami lowered the window glass and enquired about him. Later, much to the delight of everyone around, the car door opened! Swami asked for the child to be brought near and then slowly patted the legs in the cast! It was such a humbling sight - an answer to the mythical question that emperor Akbar once asked of his favourite minister Birbal, "Why does God descend himself to save mankind? Cannot He send any of His many attendants?" - God's love knows no reason and season; it simply gives without a second thought. As Swami gently touched the toes of the child and the cast too, He alone knows all the transformations and healing going on through that transmuting touch.

Swami then reached the Yajur Mandir entrance where the Convenor of the Books and Publications Trust offered his salutations and pleaded with Him to grace the new e-commerce cum storage building with the touch of His lotus feet. Swami's word is the greatest bond in the Universe. once He says it, it is as good as done. Swami had promised earlier and He said that in a few minutes He would be arriving at the building to inaugurate it. The good news travelled fast and far and soon devotees were headed towards today's "special" building. Meanwhile, it was the final day for the security guards who change once every month. At the end of this great month long opportunity, they too cluster around Swami to bid goodbye. The problem of bidding goodbye to God/Love is that though we may leave Him physically, we keep carrying Him in our hearts! And that ensures that a goodbye is actually never a goodbye! Swami lovingly posed for photos with them and blessed them.

Soon, Swami too was at the special "Annexe" building as it was named on the commemorative stone slab. As He got out of the car, He depressed a switch that parted the curtains in front of the slab to reveal the purpose and nature of the building. Then as the heads of the various departments of the Trust and the Convenor welcomed Swami, the Vedic chanting with the Poornakumbham and the welcome song filled the air. Swami cut the ribbon to mark the formal opening of the building and also lit the lamp sending out a profound message of what He expected the "building" as a physical entity to achieve - lighting up lives and giving more people the joy of participating in His mission of Love. Quickly He moved through some of the rooms in the building. Roses galore were offered to Him and He smilingly accepted all of them. He was taken through the storage area where huge racks stood empty. Surely these will be full and brimming very soon for thats how it always is with Swami - He enters into lives when they are empty and once He does it fullness automatically enters too!

Swami went via the lift to the first floor where there was a nice little balcony. Swami came into the balcony and had a look at the view from there. Soon after that, Swami descended, blessing all the people who had gathered along the way. Coming out of the building, He seemed to have another look at the stone slab. As He slowly entered the car, "kala jamuns"- the prasadam- were brought to Him for blessings. He blessed them and then, receiving Aarthi, Swami left for His residence.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sai Baba News: 24th Nov 2008  WWW.SAIBABAOFINDIA.COM - sai_baba_latest_darshan_news_photos_updates


Monday, November 24, 2008
Exemplary Devotion and Dedication of Ramadas

In the packed Prasanthi Calendar, where every day is a festive day, one often gets to see the thrust being given for nation’s cultural and spiritual renaissance. In the very recent Divine Discourses delivered on the Convocation day that was followed by the one on 23rd November, Bhagawan repeated yet again His oft made references regarding the richness and greatness of Bharat. …And Bharat has the richest reservoir of spiritual wealth and with this comes an array of great men and women who had contributed yeomen services to the nation’s cultural and spiritual build.

Fresh from the festive mood, Prasanthi’s tale of celebration was on. Every year, 24th November does not pass empty without a cultural show and so was the case this year as well, with the tiny tots from the state of Tamil Nadu was ready with a Musical Drama on the devoted life of one of the well-known carnatic music composers of South India during 17th century, Bhadrachala Ramadas.

Bhadrachala Ramadas was one of the well-known Carnatic music composers of South India during 17th century. Born in 1620 A.D., Ramadas lived during the pre-trinity period, before the times of Thyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Sastri. His father was Linganna Murthy and mother Kamamba, who named him Gopanna. But later, he became famous by the name Ramadas due to his unconditional devotion for Lord Rama. His unflinching devotion and total surrender to Lord Rama earned him the name of Ramadas, meaning a devout servant o Lord Sri Rama.

The Musical Drama performed in the Divine presence on the twilight of 24th November was a portrayal of Ramadas’s total surrender and devotion to Lord Sri Rama.

The story-line:

One day, while visiting Bhadrachalam for a `Jatara` (fair), Ramadas noticed the damaged condition of the temple there. Moreover, the place was very significant as it is believed that Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana stayed near the Parnasala there during his exile. So, he collected money for renovating and reconstructing the temple. But all his assets finished and he needed more money to complete the works. Then the villagers requested him to spend the money of revenue collection for the purpose and they would repay him the amount after harvesting crops. He did accordingly and spent hundred thousand rupees of the revenue without the permission of Abul Hasan Qutb Shah. Just before the completion of the construction of the temple, one night Bhadrachala Ramadas had a dream in which Lord Rama asked him to have a holy dip in the Godavari River. So, he did the same and found the holi Sudarshana Chakra in the river without much difficulty. He also bought new jewels for the icon of Rama in that temple.

In the earlier period of him as Tahsildar, Bhadrachala Ramadas submitted all the money of collected from revenue to the state treasury. But later, he started to invest a part of it in building and renovating the Rama shrine and temples. This resulted in the arrest of Ramadas by the officials of the Nawab and he was kept at the fort of Golconda. He was in the prison for almost 12 years. During his stay in prison, Ramadas composed most of his soul-stirring songs. In those dark days, he constantly prayed to his favourite deity Lord Rama and begged for his help. He believed that nothing can harm him and he had nothing to fear during this punishment period or after that because he is under the care of Lord Rama.

There is a strange story regarding his relief from the jail. It is said that being pleased with his devotion, Lord Rama and Lakshmana in the disguise of two employees of Ramadas went to the palace of the Golconda ruler Tana Shah. They paid him the entire amount which was Ramadas Ramadas owed and also received a receipt for the same from the ruler. The extraordinary magnetism of the two youths and their sudden disappearance after paying the money made Tana Shah believe that they were indeed Rama and Lakshmana whom Ramadas had constantly been worshipping. So, he personally went to Ramadas to release him and also explained about the incident. Tana Shah then gave him a lot of money and placed him in a palanquin and sent this great devotee of Rama to Bhadrachalam to continue his noble work of temple reconstruction.

It is said that Ramadas later got `darshan` of his Lord Rama and so he is considered yet as one of the foremost among the galaxy of Rama devotees. Many devotional songs composed by him are sung now also in many parts of the country, especially in South India.

His greater devotion to Lord Sri Rama and the devoted pain that he underwent with his unwavering faith in His master in rebuilding the house of the Lord earned him the name Bhadrachala Ramadas, a name that is synonymous with pristine love and dedication to the Divine.

37 Balvikas Children, including a tiny little girl of just 3 years from the state assisted by a team of dedicated devotees put up a most impressive display in the Divine Presence, all with one intention of making their Beloved Bhagawan happy. No fruition comes without pain and these adversities come always with a greater message of His testing and reassurance that He is with us. Mrs. Soundarya Krishnamurthy, State Mahila co-ordinator had the inspirational tale of dedication and co-operation that made the presentation a grand success. The main character who was to act as Ramadas had an appendicitis operation just five days before the final rehearsal scheduled for 12th November. And when the children were about to board the bus, it was lashing rains all over, and come encouragement from the devoted parents, who dared the rains to bring the children in time, that Bhagawan would take care and they should proceed. From the language front, it would be interesting to note that all these children, of tamil speaking origin without any base or knowledge in telugu, were narrated the song sequences to get the best of emotions each character entailed and they excelled. The drama interspersed with many a keerthan sung in melodious tunes was a treat to the eye and ears in the presence of the greatest joy man could ever decipher, Divinity’s physical presence.

A prayer submitted during Dasara celebrations this year finally fructified…and the children got a life opportunity in the Divine Presence. …And the Lord was pleased. Coming down the ramp, Bhagawan granted a coveted photo session for the children….a cherished possession to carry back home which would speak of a tale of Divine Love.

All the updates & Photos - Happy Birthday Sai Baba - 23 November



Video: Celebrations on the Birthday morning


Celebrating the Divine Advent

The term birthday has greater connotations of profundity when it is used with reference to a sublime spiritual persona. And when this spiritual persona in reference is incidentally Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, we need to take a refreshed look at the term birthday. For Him who has made the characteristic and profound declarations about His coming on to planet earth, it is obvious that the most apt term to be used to commemorate His coming is ‘Divine Advent’.

The Birthday of Bhagawan is always a very special occasion in any calendar year in Prasanthi Nilayam. But with each passing year, the Birthday festival is growing in grandeur, splendour, magnificence and majesty. People from all parts of the globe swarm like bees to this spiritual capital to witness the grand birthday festivity. This year, the festivities had begun as early as 10th November with Bhagavata Saptaham and Sahasra Poorna Chandra Shanti Mahotsavam. Devotees who were present in Prasanthi Nilayam during these days would have experienced the Divinity of Bhagawan in full measure. One can say that the rain god was at Bhagawan’s beck and call. On the 16th of November (2nd day of Sahasra Poorna Chandra Shanti Mahotsavam Yajna), there was heavy rain, but on the 17th there was not even a drop of rain. Similarly, on the 22nd, there was heavy downpour, the roads were flooded, and there was slush everywhere. On the 23rd, there was not even a trace of rain. On the contrary, the sun had come out shining brightly. It was as if the Sun god was offering his obeisance to Bhagawan. Yes, the Birthday of Bhagawan is a moment to cherish for the gods of the highest heavens. After the Birthday function, when this report is being made, there is a possibility of rain lurking in the sky.

But, albeit all these anticlimaxes, Prasanthi Nilayam was basking in glory for her rare privilege of housing the Avatar of the age and as the Day approached, the day that was etched in the history of time in bold and gold, it was joy of anticipation every where.

Ushering into the day all have been waiting for, Prasanthi had the hustle and bustle in the wee hours when every single devotee wished to occupy a slot in the Sai Kulwant Hall, the venue of the Birthday celebrations. Much before the eastern sunny rays splashed over the spiritual township, the throng of devotees were up from bed with just one thing in mind and thousands of hearts blossomed into ecstatic joy of anticipation of beholding the sight of the Avatar yet again coming out granting the rarest of the boons, a birthday Darshan!

A beautiful arch with the lettering 83rd Birthday of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was seen richly decorated with flowers and other paraphernalia of decorations. The dais too was a treat to the eye with magnificent flower decorations. Video cameras were stationed at important points to catch all the live action. Pressmen had cramped every available space in the exclusive gallery allotted to them with their scribble pads. Lensmen too had taken their positions in their allotted places.


Welcoming the Lord in white was a pageantry comprising the University Brass Brand, both Men and Women in their gleaming uniforms, the Bagpipers from the Primary, both by Boys and Girls, and the Vedam Group with Poornakumbham. This glittering cavalcade forming the pageantry welcoming Bhagawan stole the show when the Lord in white came out of His Divine Abode just after 9:35 a.m. Bhagawan who came in His special chair moved through the throng of devotees for a complete round while Sri Rudra Prasna was heard reaching its crescendo in the background.

As Bhagawan came to the dais, the brass band, both the boys’ and girls’ played Happy Birthday song with the audience keeping beat to the song. After this sonorous tunes were played by the brass band of boys and girls followed by the primary school bands. Then Bhagawan went to the portico of the Mandir to cut cakes lovingly brought by students of various educational institutions, staff of hospitals and the institutions in the Mandir. After a while, Bhagawan again came to the dais and signalled to the students to start Bhajans. Even songs like “Sri Raghavam Dasarathmaja Aprameyam ...”, “Namo Sathya Sai Baba ...”, “Manishini Madhavuni Chese Mahine Swargamuga Marche Sathya Sai Bhagawan Ki Enta Premayo, Enta Premayo …” This song has a profound meaning, which is worth mentioning in this context: “The love of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for humanity is incomparable and indescribable that He is transforming humans into divine and earth into heaven …” After these songs and Bhajans, Arati was offered to Bhagawan at 10.55 a.m.

What entailed on this auspicious morning was very clear. It was His Divine Darshan that was foremost in the agenda of every devotee the benevolent Lord was magnanimous to bestow the boon, as He chose to sit on the dais for a long time, in resplendent white. The Karnataka Governor His Excellency Rameshwar Thakur was present on the dais paying obeisance to Bhagawan while Sunil Gavaskar was seen presenting a cricket memorabilia, a bat signed by the members of the 1983 World Cup Winning Team. ...and a miniscule of the world was present to behold the sight of the Lord walking on earth on His chosen date with destiny..


The evening programme commenced with Bhagawan arriving from His residence at 5.40 pm. Once He reached the stage, He asked Prof Anil Kumar to speak a few words in Telugu and to introduce the speakers for the evening. Sri. V. Srinivasan, All India President of the Sai Organisations spoke first, and was followed at 6.15 pm by Sri. Ajit Popat of the UK.

All the updates & Photos - Happy Birthday Sai Baba - 23 November

Click here: 83rd SAI BABA BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS 15 -23rd Nov.



VIDEO: "...highlights of the Convocation Day 2008  November 22, 2008.


Saturday, November 22 2008  Convocation 2008  (source: published by
Sri Sathya Sai University – Alma Mater for Ambassadors of Peace…

The 27th Annual Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University was held on the 22nd November 2006, in a glittering ceremony that had its grandeur, richly deserved for the yeomen service it has been rendering in the field of education for a quarter century. This prestigious institution that is undoubtedly the one of its kind that has won attention and accolades for simple reason that it promotes value education with spiritual orientation helping in engendering students whom Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba prefers to address as future ambassadors, has thousands of such students in its alumni list who are engaged in relentless service activities in different part of the world, following the invaluable inputs that they received before leaving the portals of this great institution.

Sai Kulwant Hall, the venue of the XXVII Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University was tastefully decorated with flowers of various hues. A beautiful arch decked with flowers bearing the letters XXVII Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University welcomed Bhagawan into the Hall. Another arch bearing the same lettering embossed in gold was placed near the gate facing the dais. A backlit panel bearing the letters XXVII Convocation … with serial lights of various colours was placed just the dais. The dais had virtually a bower with flowers in the background in the shape of an arch. Roses arranged in the shape of a Kalasam were placed on either side of the dais. On the dais were neatly arranged chairs for Bhagawan, the Chief Guest, the Vice Chancellor, Members of the Governing Body and Members of the Institute Trust. The regal convocation procession began at 3.50 p.m. led by the students of Institute Brass Band. They were followed by two students on either side holding the scepter with the Institute insignia embossed on it. The Registrar of the University carried the ceremonial mace. Members of the Governing Body and Members of the Institute Trust followed them. Bhagawan the Chancellor of the University came to the Hall in a red robe. At the outset, Prof. Vishwanath Pandit, the Vice Chancellor of the University garlanded the Chief Guest Prof. G. Venkataraman. He also welcomed the prominent guest from the UGC, the Vice Chairman of University Grants Commission, Prof. Moolchand Sharma. The proceedings began with the customary Vedic chant which has a lofty meaning to consider the mother, father, preceptor and guest as God and hold them in high esteem. The Vice Chancellor then requested the Chancellor, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to declare the convocation open. The convocation was declared open by Bhagawan exactly at 4 p.m.

The Vice Chancellor in his speech welcomed the Chief Guest and Members of the Governing Body and Members of the Institute Trust to the XXVII Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University. The Vice Chancellor then introduced the Chief Guest Prof. G. Venkataraman. Prof. Venkataraman, educated at the University of Madras, had an illustrious career. He has rendered yeoman service to the nation, starting his career at the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC). He also held the position of Director, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In recognition of his services, he was elected President of Indian Physicist Association. He was also conferred Padma Shri by the Government of India. Above all he has been a humble devotee of Bhagawan and was also the Vice Chancellor of the University. Prof. Pandit said that this was the 17th Birthday of Bhagawan as he had come to serve Bhagawan in the year 1992. He pointed out that this University was declared as the crest jewel of all universities by NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council). We have to be grateful to Bhagawan for giving this University to the world, he said.

Then the Vice Chancellor announced the achievement of the students of the University:

8 students have cleared the CSIR examination.

42 students have passed the GATE examination with a student securing the top rank.

Sri Sathya Sai Grama Seva and the spectacular sports events every year showcases the calibre of the students. He said 3 lakh residents in 150 villages were covered by students in the Grama Seva held this year. 437 students received their degrees this year, 20 students were decorated with gold medals by Bhagawan this year. 5 students had completed their doctoral dissertations from the departments of Mathematics, Physics, Finance (2 students) and Economics.

The candidates for the various degrees were then presented to the Chancellor. The principal of the Sri Sathya Sai University then administered the oath to the students: “I hereby solemnly declare and promise that if admitted to the degree for which I have been duly recommended, I will conduct myself which befits as a member of Sri Sathya Sai University …” The various gold medalists were as follows: List of Gold Medallists

Chief Guest’s Key-note address:

The Chief Guest of the Convocation Prof. G.V. Venkataraman began his convocation address by expressing his gratitude to Bhagawan for being conferred the honour of the Chief Guest of the 27th Convocation. Prof. Venkataraman congratulated the grandaunts not for only for their degrees, but also for being the students of Bhagawan. Many years ago Prof. V.K. Gokak declared that this university has the good fortune of having Bhagawan as the Chancellor of the University who is also the Chancellor of the universe. He said, when Bhagawan established the Sri Sathya Sai Arts and Science College in 1968 for women in Anantapur, He made the first move for a Kali Yuga Gurukulam. The seed had sprouted into a sapling with the establishment of Sri Sathya Sai Arts and Science College in the year 1969 in Brindavan. He said that Bhagawan takes care of the minute details of the University right from its management to its finance to examination. While students learn from teachers how to earn a living, Bhagawan teaches the students how to live, the learned speaker said. In the early days at Brindavan, the students rose as early as 4 a.m. and took care of activities like milking the cows, even ploughing the fields, feeding cattle and whitewashing walls. Prof. Venkataraman then narrated an interesting incident of those days when this college was affiliated to Bangalore University wherein a student was awarded 7 gold medals. In the convocation function when the medals were about to be given, the student requested the chancellor of the University that he wanted the medals to be given in his hand as he wanted his Guru to confer the medals. As soon as the convocation function was over, he rushed to Brindavan and offered the medals to Bhagawan so that he could be decorated by Bhagawan for his achievement.

He also related an incident which amply showed the love of students for Bhagawan’s physical proximity. When in 1975, the Brindavan college was growing and the hostel was relatively small for the students. So, Bhagawan wanted to build a spacious hostel near the sports ground. All preparations were being made by Col. Joga Rao. A day before the ground breaking ceremony, Bhagawan came to hostel. Then a student gave a letter to Bhagawan. After Bhagawan read the contents of the letter asked the student whether He could ask the warden to read the letter for the benefit of others. The student readily agreed. He had expressed his anguish at being separated from Bhagawan. He had written, “Why was Bhagawan so upset that He was distancing them from Him?” Bhagawan was moved by the sincere prayer of this boy and He immediately changed the plan to construct the hostel at that place. Instead the hostel was built close to His residence. After a few years Bhagawan built a college and hostel in Prasanthi Nilayam when it was considered impossible to have college in such a remote place, but Bhagawan established a University itself. He said, Bhagawan would visit the hostel and institute frequently and discoursed on Atma Vidya (education of the Self). Bhagawan even used to visit the stadium and witness the matches. Once in the course of a volleyball match, Bhagawan said to the teachers and senior students present there that once the server serves the ball, his teammates would at any cost ensure that the ball does not touch the ground on their side. In a similar way, the teachers should maintain that students do not slacken in their efforts.

Bhagawan used to take the students along with him to Kodaikanal in the summer months. On an Easwaramma Day, Prof Venkataraman said, Bhagawan had suddenly gone out in his car and came back after one and a half hour. The students thought that Bhagawan had gone for a ride, but Bhagawan revealed to His students that He had gone to distribute blankets to poor people who could not come to the Sai Sruti Ashram when the distribution was done. He said this showed Bhagawan’s care and concern for the poor and needy.

The erudite speaker said that the current economic meltdown is due to uninhibited consumerism without any regard to moral values. He said that Bhagawan has been emphasising a lot on moral values in business to MBA students in His talks. He referred to a Bhagawan’s Discourse when Bhagawan said that Mother Yashoda had butter in one hand and a stick on another hand to catch Krishna. Similarly Bhagawan draws students with education. Like Mother Yashoda, He does not have a stick, but imparts Atma Vidya to His students. He also narrated an incident when He took upon Himself the injury the students were to suffer while doing a stunt on lorries. The learned speaker said that such is the concern of Bhagawan for His students.

Prof. Venkataraman then related what Bhagawan had told in one of His Discourses during Kodaikanal visit in 2007. “The students as long as they are here, behave well, but when they go out how they would conduct themselves is My concern. This is what worries Me. If they behave well that is enough gratitude for Me.” Does any chancellor bestow so much love? That God is here playing innumerable roles being the revered Chancellor the universe. As Sadguru, He is steering the students to the moral path in His Gurukulam, opined Prof. Venkataraman. He concluded His speech by saying that he did not speak about students because the world knows about it, but wanted to tell the secret behind it.

After Prof. Venkataraman’s speech, Bhagawan delivered His Divine Discourse, the excerpts of which follows:

The Divine Benedictory Address

Bharat is the motherland of many noble souls who earned great reputation in all the continents of the world. This is the land of many valorous people who could vanquish the enemies in the battlefield. This is the land of many learned people who taught the Vedas and other sacred scriptures to the people of other countries. But, unfortunately, the Bharatiyas today have forgotten the principles of spirituality and are taking to wrong path. (Telugu Poem)

Boys and Girls!
It is your responsibility to uphold the glory of this country Bharat. This country Bharat is highly reputed and is the land of plenty and prosperity. In spite of many foreign invasions, this country has prospered. The real beauty in this land is observance of forbearance. There is no greater feeling than the feeling that one has towards one’s own mother. This country Bharat is known for women of chastity. Savitri could bring her dead husband back to life. Do you find such chaste women in any other country? This is also the birthplace of Damayanti. Mother Sita came out of blazing fire unscathed to prove her chastity. Today everyone seems to succumb to silly problems. People seem to have forgotten their responsibilities. Just as a mighty elephant submits to the dictates of the mahout, the Bharatiyas are unaware of their own strength and are aping others. Truth and righteousness have been the guiding principles of Bharat. Since these twin principles are forgotten by the Bharatiyas they are suffering.

Man should declare that I am a human being not an animal. When he declares that he is a human being, he should have human qualities and not animal qualities. Where there is love, there is no chance for hatred or enmity. The dog loves its puppies and the birds love their young ones, but modern man does not love his fellowmen. Today there is no unity in Bharat. Where there is unity, there is purity, where there is purity, there is divinity.

Man should develop faith in the Self. But man today lacks Self-confidence. Self-confidence leads to self-satisfaction, self-satisfaction leads to self-realisation.

Human quality is still prevalent in Bharat. In other countries there are so many problems. Today even countries like U.S.A. and Japan are envious of Bharat.

Today the food is polluted, water is polluted, even air is polluted. Bharat faces no such pollution problems.

Man is verily God. But man is not able to know his true nature. Education leads to only argumentation. Modern education is not conferring the knowledge of the Self. Parents spend lakhs and lakhs to send their children abroad for studies. But they return totally spoiled. There is no need to go abroad. What is available in Bharat is not available elsewhere. The greatness of Bharat is beyond estimation. The kind of fortune that you find is Bharat is not found anywhere.

There are many people who invite Bhagavan to foreign land. They are prepared to bring aeroplanes to take Bhagawan with them. I do not want these comforts, I want only devotion.

There are no enemies of Bhagawan. Bhagawan loves everyone. But His pure divine love is often misunderstood.

If your desires are fulfilled, you are sure to be spoiled. So, Bhagawan is training youngsters here with all limitations. Students have great love for Bhagawan. As Bhagawan leaves this place elsewhere, they bid farewell with tears. He is an intelligent man who helps those who have harmed them. That is true human quality. Whomsoever you meet, consider him as God. God is in human form. Rama, Sita, Hanuman, all were humans. All are divine. Names may be different, but the principle of Atma is the same in all.

It is necessary to develop equal-mindedness at this young age. You may think it is difficult, but in reality it is easy. You will not experience in spite of doing Yajnas and rituals. In the outside world, there are only pieces. Peace is within you.

You call yourself as humans and behave like an animal. Evil qualities like greed, avarice, hatred are animal qualities. Be a human with fellow human beings. Do not hate anyone. Till this moment, Swami has no hated anyone. Bhagawan is full of love. Bhagawan may be at a distant place, but divine love is drawing people like magnet. He is not angry with anybody. He is always happy. Bhagawan always smiles. Swami wants us to be blissful. Swami has not sent any invitation to anyone, but thousands have gathered here. It is only your love for Bhagawan that has drawn you here. When Bhagawan goes in the streets, shopkeepers come running out of their shops to have His Darshan. On this sacred day, one has to develop love primarily. Very soon the world will be united under one roof. Nobody would say, I am from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and so on. Everybody would call themselves a Bharatiya. We do not belong to any party. We have only the party of love. You may go anywhere, you will respected and honoured if you have the party of love. Love is selfless. A true man is one without an iota of selfishness. Every human being has love. There is no greater quality than love. Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the beings of all the worlds be happy!). This should be our prayer if we want the world to be peaceful. This is the message of Bhagawan today.

Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, “Hari Bhajana Bina Sukha Santhi Nahin …”

The grand convocation function concluded with the singing of National Anthem by all at 6.15 p.m.

In the evening at 6.30 pm. students of Sri Sathya Sai University presented a play "Divya Premashrayam", in the Poornachandra Auditorium. The Drama entails the tenets of His essential teachings to serve the society in the name of the Lord. This presentation interspersed with scenes from the epics and lives of the greats bringing greater effectiveness sending out the message of service to the society. Songs set to melodious music added flavour go the glittering presentation that was watched by Bhagawan, the Chief Guest, the UGC Vice Chairman, The Vice Chancellor, scores of other dignitaries, students and staff from the university and devotees in general. A grand finale to the glittering Convocation of the unique Institution, Sri Sathya Sai University

Friday, November 21,2008 

Prasanthi Nilayam is warming up to celebrate the 83rd year of His Divine Advent and as a prelude to the D-Day comes the annual convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University. After a joyous ride for three festive days during the Sahasra Poorna Chandra Darshana Mahotsavam followed by a grand Ladies’ Day festivity, the focus of attention is on the 27th Annual Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University to be held on 22nd November in Sai Kulwant Hall.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ladies' day at Prasanthi Nilayam began with the traditional Suprabhatam being sung by Smt. P. Susheela just before 5.30 am. The vedam chanting around the Mandir was also by the ladies. Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant Hall at 9.30 am in a procession led by the girls bands of the Anantapur campus of the Sri Sathya Sai University and the Primary School, along with Vedam chanting students, as a welcome song was aired. Fifteen minutes later, when Bhagawan reached the stage, the programme for the day began with a ten-minute introduction by Mrs. Chetana Raju. The two speakers of the morning were Dr. (Mrs) Ankhi Mukherjee, former student of the Sri Sathya Sai University and Lecturer in the Universty of Oxford and Mrs. Sylvia Alden, who is a member of the Central Council of the Sai Organisation in the USA with a Masters in Special Education. After their talks, the materials kept in the centre of Sai Kulwant Hall were distributed to the needy. Solar LED lanterns, water purifiers, rugs and other items useful for the rural folk were passed on to the recipients drawn from various parts of Anantapur district. After prasadam distribution, Bhagawan accepted Arati at 11.10 before returning to His residence.

In the evening, once again Bhagawan was ushered into Sai Kulwant Hall in a procession, with another welcome song played over the speakers, at 5 pm. When He reached the Mandir, He moved to the Bhajan Hall where the children from the Primary school were ready in costumes for their programme this evening. After a brief interaction with them, Swami came onstage and started the programme for the evening. Smt. Sunitha and troupe presented devotional songs for an hour and Bhagawan blessed them with clothes before the programme by the Primary School children began at 6.20 pm. Their 70 minute dance-drama brought out the glory of Sai down the ages from Krita Yuga till the present, with video projections on the back-drop adding to the narrative. Swami was very pleased with their performance and went down among them for group photographs before returning to His residence after Arati at 7.40 pm.


Rathoutsav- Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - Sai Baba Darshan

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The traditional Rathotsavam in which the idols of Rama Lakshmana Sita along with Venugopala Swami are taken from the Mandir to the Kalyanamantapam in Puttaparthi was held this morning. Bhagawan arrived at Sai Kulwant Hall after blessing the baby elephant Gita near His residence and after a darshan round in His chair, went inside a few
18th Nov. click to enlarge

All the updates & Photos - Happy Birthday Sai Baba - 23 November



minutes before 9.30 am. The procession led by Vedam chanting students began soon after, and as they came near the stage, Bhagawan arrived there to send them to the Gopuram gate. He then moved to the Gopuram gate to see off the procession and then returned to the Mandir and asked for Bhajans to begin a few minutes before 10 o'clock. At 10.30, He accepted Arati and returned to His residence.

New Pictorial : Day 1
Sahasra Chandra Darshanam Yagnam Mahotsavam



18th Nov. 08
Rathotsavam Photo (left)



Pictorial : Pilgrim & Preparations      
17th Nov. 08

Also read another update from concluding day : "...and the day was golden..."

  Evening update:
A Celestial Wedding and twilight music extravaganza


Monday, November 17 2008    Om Sai Ram dear Sai Family,

Words can't explain the kind of bliss that thousands of devotees witnessed during the last day of Sahasra Poorna Chandra Darshana Shanthi Mahotsavam. Apart from the many thousands, there were many Swami ji's belonging to various temples, spiritual organisations and Institutions. The atmosphere was totally Divine and why not - it was the day to thank the DIVINE for coming to His world, and witnessing 1000 full moons in this BODY. People started coming in as early as 5am into the stadium. The security staff were all alert and everyone wanted this DREAM day to be a very grand one in typical Swami's style.  All the VVIPS one could think of were present in Puttaparthi apart from many other dignitaries. And while we all were waiting for Swami, Prof.Anil Kumar and Nagaphani Sharma rendered some beautiful poems praising our beloved Swami's compassion and love.
It was around 9am when Sri Jayendra Saraswathi from Kanchi Peetham arrived int the stadium followed by Swami Shivakumara from Sri Siddaganga muth, Karnataka, followed Sri Sakthiamma Swami from Sri Narayani Pitham and others At 9:45 am the most auspicious time, a profoundly memorable moment in our lives, that moment which is undoubtedly a result of years and years of sadhana, that moment of glory, which made every one jump in joy and that moment of joy which took us to Samadhi state came when the Lord of the Lords clad in bright golden yellow robe, seated in the golden coloured Mobile Throne appeared. He sat in Supreme Bliss looking at all of us majestically from His Golden Chariot as it entered into the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View stadium amidst Veda chantings with 3 huge elephants leading the procession followed by students chanting Vedas. The priests and all the Swamiji's on the dais watched the Greatest Avatar the man kind has every witnessed. Thousands in the stadium were wiping their eyes, to take away the tears of joy and have a good view of the MATCHLESS Lord whom we very rarely see in His Golden Chariot.

Swami's chariot which had small tyres was pulled by Sevadals, (they might have done lot of meritorious deeds in their past lives to be chosen
for this once in a life time chance), and the chariot took its time and it was just beautiful to watch Swami in His golden chariot seated all alone,
blessing all the devotees seated on either side, watching all the  arrangements in the stadium and a sweet smile in appreciation.

The Chariot slowly came closer to the dias, all the primary school kids seated right across the dais were in full swing with their characteristic full throated Veda chanting. Swami sweetly looked at them appreciating their devotion and blessed them from the Golden Chariot. As the Golden Chariot came closer to the dais, He was slowly wheeled on to the dais and all the Spiritual heads looked at Him, some of them were here for the first time and we could see the bliss on their faces and a first hand experience of what our Swami is and what we devotees mean to Swami and the love He has for us. The Chariot stopped in front of the dais and Swami transferred on to the dais. He then proceeded to see the vedic activities taking place by the priests and Swami visited each and every Yagna Kunda and blessed the rituals while witnessing the poornahuthi thus ending the Most memorable Event which the Man kind has ever witnessed so far. Swami then came forward and all the Swamiji's were seated on either side of Swami. It was a treat to watch this particular scene where the Avatar of this Kali age with Swamijis from distinguished Spiritual organisations (Muths) in India on either side. Sri Shiva Kumara Swami from Sri Siddaganga Muth Spoke in kannada thanking Swami for this opportunity and asked the humanity to uphold the Indian culture and Dharma. The Swamiji who is a centurion was seated next to our beloved Swami and Swami had a sweet smile when He exchanged words with Him. It was around 10:45am and Arathi was given to Swami and taking leave from all the blessed souls, Swami left to His Physical Abode in His usual Porte car thus marking the end of a magnificent, never before SAI morning and there were smiles and just smiles on every one's faces... and any particular reason for that broad smile??? Its the reflection of Love we have for Swami and if you are smiling or there are any tears in your eyes while reading this report.. its all Swami and His love being reflected on you.....Will we have another holy day like this.. probably yes if Swami blesses us...  Prasadam was distributed to all the approximate150,000 devotees (the chosen souls) and we all left for our homes with our families hoping to come back again at 5pm for a cultural programme by Ms.Mahalakshmi Iyer and Troupe and hopefully a divine discourse from the 1000 full moon Swami... while others headed to the Bangalore International Airport to get back to their countries after their 3 or 4 day after having witnessed one of the most important days in the history of the universe.
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...and the day was Golden

When the almighty Lord decided to script His own story for a descend down to planet earth, He had everything fell in place and in that was written in gold – 17th November 2008, and the day was indeed golden.

Inducing nostalgic memoirs of the epochal scene way back in 1997, Prasanthi witnessed yet another grand spectacle, Golden Chariot Procession coinciding with the grand finale of the three day long Sahasra Poornachandra Darshana Mahotsavam.

The atmosphere around was electrifying as thousands of hearts and minds woke up to a morning that promised much, with greater expectation of beholding yet another Divine Sport!

As time ticked to the scheduled hour, it was expectation in the air with greater enthusiasm, as all eyes ready to gaze on the Lord of thousand moons coming in a regal procession on the golden chariot. Adding to this expectancy came through the mike mellifluous poetic rendering by Madugula Nagaphani Sharma who rendered the air that was intermittently translated by Prof. Anil Kumar, boosting the air of expectancy. The tempo was further enhanced with the song Sarvam Sai Mayam Jagamantha Sai that was followed by yet another audio on Sai Mahatmyam.

Surya Koti Samaprabha the brilliance of one crore (10 million) suns. As said in the Sloka (verse) Vakrutanda Mahakaya Surya Koti Samaprabha …Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba shone with the brilliance of millions of suns when He entered the stadium at 9.40 a.m. in a glowing yellow robe sitting majestically on the brilliant Suvarna Ratham (golden chariot). It was a sight to behold for everyone, not only for the mortals, but also for the gods of the highest heavens. An attempt to describe such a sight as the brilliance of millions of suns only shows our shallowness, it defies all descriptions.

Bhagawan was heralded into the Hill View Stadium in a long procession consisting of two huge elephants, Institute Brass Band playing sonorous tunes, Bhagawan’s beloved elephant Sathya Geeta and a big contingent of about 150 Veda chanting students in ochre dhotis and angavastrams. As Bhagawan neared the Yajna Vedika, like the previous two days of the Yajna, there was a booming display of pyrotechnics. A Swagatam song (welcome song) rent the air ushering Him into the Yajna Vedika.

Upon entering the Yajna Vedhi after a 20 mts. chariot ride, Bhagawan was traditionally and religiously welcomed with Poornakumbham by family members and senior devotees.

Earlier the proceedings for the final day began at 6:30 a.m. with ganapathi pooja and special sankalpa for the homam. Rithwicks in groups gathered around the 10 homa kundas offering ghee and boiled rice with the accompaniment of vedic chanting, that went on for almost 2 hours.

After Bhagawan entered the Yajna Vedika, this being the concluding day, 17th November 2008, Lakshminarayana Poornahuti was performed for the Yajna. The priests chanted sacred Vedic Mantras in unison, Veda chanting students chanted Sri Rudra Prasna, Purusha Suktam, Sri Suktam and Durga Suktam as Bhagawan was giving Darshan to devotees from the Vedika. He went to each side of the Vedika to bless the vast multitudes of devotees with His Darshan. One could see a huge concourse of devotees literally filling every inch of space in the stadium. Precious materials were offered in each of the 10 Yajna Kundas. Bhagawan blessed them before they were offered in the Yajna Kunda. Final offerings were done in each of the Yajna Kundas with ghee (clarified butter) and fruits.

There was a wide array of Mathadipathis (heads of Maths) from different Maths of India. These luminaries are the heads of prominent Maths in India. They had come to grace this auspicious function by their presence and also shared the dais with Bhagawan. They were: Sri Sri Sri Dr. Shivakumara Swamigalu, Head of Sri Siddaganga Math, Tumkur is a nonagenarian and also spoke a few words on this occasion, Sri Jagadguru Madhwacharya Mahasamsthana Pejawara Mathadeesha H.H. Sri Vishwesha Tirtha, Sri Sri Sri 1008 Sri Sushameendra Thirtha Sri Padulavaru, Sri Jagadguru Kanchi Kamakoti Peetadhipathi Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, Jagadguru Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Mahaswamiji, Suttur Math, Sri Sri Rangapriya Mahadesika Sri Sri and Sri Sakthiamma, Sripuruam, Golden Temple, Sri Narayani Pitham. Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji graced this occasion on 16th November. Sri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Chief Minister of Maharashtra also shared the dais with Bhagawan and sought His blessings. This most auspicious and holy function concluded with Jaikars – Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ki Jai and offer of Arati to Bhagawan at 11.00 a.m.

After the Poornahuthi Bhagawan appeared at the front of the Vedika followed by distinguished guests who arrayed on either side of Bhagawan granting a rare spectacle for the multitudes gathered all over the stadium. For the devotees who have been waiting from early hours it was indeed a sight to behold with the yellow clad Lord of thousand moons granting darshan on the most auspicious day. Adding fervour to the grand spectacle came the helicopter drizzling holy water blessing the multitudes from heaven followed by a shower of hues rejoicing the grandeur and beauty of this earthly carnival. It was indeed a golden day to rejoice!!!

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A Celestial Wedding and twilight music extravaganza

Rukmini Kalyanam

The afternoon function for this day, 17th evening, was held at Sai Kulwant Hall. Bhagawan came to the Hall at 5.25 p.m. and went round the Hall to the delight of the huge gathering. The Sankaracharya of Puri was present on the dais on this occasion. The arrangement of idols for this evening’s programme, Rukmini Kalyanam (marriage of Rukmini with Lord Krishna) was Lord Krishna’s idol placed on a pedestal on one side, decorated in all splendour and His consorts Rukmini, Sathyabhama on another pedestal, on the other side. The celestial wedding was performed in the traditional manner with all its piety. The priests continuously chanted Vedic Mantras as the divine marriage was being performed. The Mangalasutrams (Mangalasutram means an auspicious thread or cord or gold necklace) for the celestial wedding was first shown by a priest to the entire audience on either side. Then the gold necklaces were placed on the arm of Lord Krishna. After some time, the necklaces were removed and worn round the neck of Rukmini and Sathyabhama. Thus, the ceremonial wedding was performed to the thunderous applause of devotees. Flower garlands were exchanged between the idols of Sri Krishna and Rukmini and Sathyabhama.

After this, there was a brief period of chanting of Sama Veda by the priests. Mahamangala Arati was offered to the idols at the end of this ceremony. The priests chanted Vedic Mantras religiously standing in front of Sai Krishna. Bhagavan blessed the priests with mementoes. He then materialised a gold chain for the head priest of the Yajna, Sri Lakshminarayana Somayaji. Bhagawan went amidst the priests of the Yajna. When Bhagawan came back to the dais, the Sankaracharya of Puri paid his obeisance to Bhagawan.


Ms. Mahalakshmi Iyer’s Concert
There were two concerts for the evening session, the first of them was by Ms. Mahalakshmi Iyer & Troupe, the second was by Malladi Brothers. Ms. Mahalakshmi Iyer sang her songs in the Hindustani classical style of music. She began her performance with a Marathi song, a song dedicated to Lord Ganesha and Guru (preceptor). It was a Tukaram Abhang (is a form of devotional poetry sung in praise of the Hindu God Vitthala also known as Vithoba. Abhangs were first sung by Tukaram in his native language, Marathi). Her second song, a Mira Bhajan was sung with deep feelings of devotion. The lyrics of the song ran thus, “Whatever anyone may, I have given my heart to Lord Krishna. My mind which was hitherto in slumber was suddenly woken up after hearing the name of the Sadguru. Her third song was a composition for occasion, Sahasra Poorna Chandra Darshana Mahotsavam, the meaning of which was, “As long as there is water in the Ganges, may the Lord Sathya Sai live!). Whatever the world may say, I should always love and worship You. I should always cling on to Your Lotus Feet.” “Rama Ka Gun Gan Kariye …” was the next song. The song, Bhaje Murliyan …was enjoyed by one and all. The song, “Damadam Mast Kalandar …” enlivened interest in the audience. One could see the audience joyfully clapping to the song. At the end of Ms. Mahalakshmi Iyer’s concert, Bhagawan gave clothes to her and her accompanying artistes.

Malladi Brothers’ Brief Performance
The Carnatic music duo Malladi Brothers along with their father who performed on the evening of 16th were given another chance on this evening too. Starting their performance with “Radha Sameta Krishna …”, they followed it up with a livelier song, “Shambo Mahadeva ...” in Panthuvarali raga. This song won the plaudits of the audience in good measure. Prasadam was distributed to all the devotees in the end. The Arati for this memorable day was offered at 8.10 p.m. Thus, concluded the grand and glorious Sahasra Poorna Chandra Darshana Mahotsavam festival which will ever remain etched in the hearts of everyone at Prasanthi Nilayam.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008 Lord had a special invitee and from the heavens rained droplets; drizzles dripped in the wee hours bathing Prasanthi as if showing gratitude; unwilling to budge from the sight that was heavenly , she went on showering herself, making merry of the boon bestowed upon…

Yes, rain god forced her entry into Prasanthi and was unwilling to desist. The day 2 of the Yajna had a dizzying start due to the sudden rains, but things fell in place soon when lashing rains subdued to cooling drizzles retaining the charming freshness and adding to this freshness arrived Bhagawan at 9:30 a.m.

While spirit beyond the platform was bit dampened due to the intermittent rain, the dais was yet again a scene for bustling actions. The morning rituals included Yagasaala Suddhi and Pratah Kaladharanam. A group of priests were engaged in Sarva Veda Shakha Parayanams while another set of Rithwiks were engaged in Navagraha Parayanam and Maha Mrithyunjaya Japam.

Two main rituals for the second day of the Yajna were Satharudra Abhishekam and Maha Mrithyunjaya Homam. Satharudra Abhishekham was performed to the Sayeeshwara Lingam that was consecrated during the Ati Rudra Maha Yajna held in the year 2006. Abhishekham was done to the linga with milk, curds, clarified butter, turmeric paste, sugar, vibhuthi (holy ash), coconut water etc. Maha Rudrabhishekam is performed invoking greater benediction from Lord Rudra. As each of these items were offered under strict religious discipline with accompaniment of vedic mantras, the Linga that was charged by the Divine hands during the Atirudra was shining in splendour evoking nostalgic memoirs.

Maha Mrithyunjaya Homam was done invoking immortality for all living beings. The two hour long homam was done by the Chief Priest for the Yajnam. With the accompaniment of holy chants and Bhagawan presiding over, Poornahuthi was offered to the Yajna Purusha. Oblations including vastra, phala etc. along with a golden chain materialised by Bhagawan were offered to the holy fire followed by Mangala Arathi.

These are the spiritual exercises that entail detailed scriptural procedures to follow in precision and the blessedness that it brings goes not for any limited sect, but for the universe at large, ensuring greater benediction for world harmony.

Earlier, His Holiness Parama Pujya Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji, the Pontiff of Avadhoota Datta Peetham at Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Ashrama in Mysore came on stage paying obeisance to Bhagawan. After spending sometime with Bhagawan and watching the Poornahuthi proceedings, the Swamiji left the stage while proceedings were still on.

The Yajna Vedhi was indeed a sight of greater benediction with 150 priests sitting around chanting vedic mantras and performing rituals along with 150 boys chanting Rudram. With weather taking its toll showering rain drops from heavens beyond the sky, and Bhagawan in His majesty showing up with His pristine presence, two elephants taking guard on either side of the platform raising trunks in reverence reminding one of the kingly days, the sight was absolutely dazzling and spiritually elevating. Gods of the highest heaven would also be watching this heavenly sight through the holes of heaven,

if there be, when Yajna Vedhi was virtually transformed into a virtual heaven…and they seemed to be singing to the fraternity on planet earth…

This is the house, the house of the Lord!
We wish the best for you!
This is the house, the house of the Lord!
We wish the best for you!

Bhagawan who came at 9:30 a.m. spent an hour on the platform, at times watching the rituals, often moving around blessing the pundits and students onstage and the devotees who dared to show up in spite of intermittent rains. Managala Arathi was offered at 10:30 before Bhagawan retired to His Divine Abode.

World may watch this Divine cosmic drama without entreating much into the greater import it entails. But, anything that happens at His instance has a greater meaning and it is aimed at Loka Kalyaanam, for the benefit of world at large!

Evening 16th Nov. 2008 :

The week long Bhagavata Saptaha came to a grand conclusion on 16th November 2008. On this evening, Bhagawan came to Sai Kulwant Hall at 4.40 p.m. Needless the say, the number of devotees have swelled to enormous proportions. As Bhagawan came to the dais, the priests started abhishekam (ceremonial sacred bath) of the idols of Lord Krishna and Rukmani and Sathyabhama (the consorts of Lord Krishna). The abhishekam was done with religious fervour, chanting of Vedas by students and priests. As the ceremonial bathing of the idols with milk, curd, honey, diluted sandal paste, tender coconut and Kumkum continued in the traditional way, the students chanted Sri Rudram, Purusha Suktam, Sri Suktam, Bhu Suktam and Narayana Upanishad from the Vedas. After each ceremonial bathing with water, the idols were dried with soft cloth and arati was offered to the Lord. Lord Krishna with His consorts was garlanded with different types of garlands. If it was Tulasi (basil) garland one time, it was a fragrant rose garland next time. With such scrupulousness and devotion, the entire ritual was performed. An LED screen placed at the eastern side of the Hall, gave a view of the entire landscape of the proceedings. After completing the abhishekams, elaborate decoration was done on the idols. It was sight to watch the Lord and His consorts adorned with jewels and gems of exquisite beauty and diadems on the head.

After this, it was the turn of Sahasraavadhani Medasani Mohan, another erudite scholar to conclude the proceedings of the Bhagavata Saptaham. He dilated at length on Sri Krishna Leela, right from the Lord’s birth to His killing of demons and the childhood pranks of Krishna. His narration started from Sri Krishna’s birth in the jail and how he heard an akashvani (audition from the sky), which foretold his end. He continued with how the river parted when Vasudeva was carrying the child Krishna to rescue it from the tyrant Kamsa and the killing of Poothana. He gave a beautiful analogy by saying that Lord Krishna had all the traits of previous Avatars like Matsya, Kurma, Varaha just like human beings inherit the traits of their previous births. The butter stealing episode of Krishna too found a mention in the speaker’s inimitable style. At the end of his didactic speech, Bhagawan blessed the speaker with clothes and materialised a chain for him.


If it was the mellifluous rendition of Priya sisters yesterday, it was the beautiful compositions and their singing in ornate style by Malladi Brothers from Vijayawada today. All their songs were sung in Carnatic classical style. Bhagawan released a DVD “Sai Naada Jhari” sung by the brothers. As it was being released, a song from the album, Sai Namasmaranam Sada Rupa Dhyanam was played on the public address system. Their father who also happens to be their Guru gave a lead to the songs in the form of verse in a melodious manner.

The first song Sri Raghuvara Sugunalaya …sung in Bhairavi raga was preceded by a Sanskrit verse and Telugu verse by their father in Mohana raga. The next song Janulamadhya Tirugadhe Jagapati …was sung in Khamas raga. One song followed the other in quick succession. Janaki Ramana Dasaratha Nandana sung in Kaapi raga was the next Carnatic classical song. The next song was the famous Ramadas Kirtana, Takkuveni Manaku Ramudu Okkadundu Varaku ... sung in Suryakamti raga, Capu Tala had a spellbinding effect on the audience. Disathu Me Sarva Sukhadayi …, a Sanskrit song was the next one sung in Sankara Bharanam raga.

It is worth mentioning here a Telugu poem sung by their father: “Dear Lord, in times of misery and difficulty, I have been fortunate to receive Thy grace without Thy knowledge. So, I have now become a thief. Oh Easwara, it is my humble prayer, please catch hold of me and do not let go off Thy hold.” This was sung in Tilang raga.

Now it was the song for the occasion, Sathya Paritraana, Dharma Paala, Santhi Varada, Prema Swarupa Sai…” This raga “Sai Chandrika” needs special mention here as it was invented by Malladi Brothers themselves. Sai Chandrika is the derivative of Kokila Priya Raga, which is the 11th raga in the list of 72 Mela Kartha Ragas (fundamental ragas) in the Carnatic School of Music. Since it is the 83rd Birthday of Bhagawan, the 11th raga in Carnatic music, i.e., 83 subtracted by 72 Mela Kartha Ragas was chosen as the raga for this song. Their next composition was Sai Namamamrutham Sai Charitamathulitam sung in Yama Kalyani raga. Another composition for this occasion was sung by their father – Sahasra Chandra Darshanam …The raga for this song was Madyhyamavathi. They capped their performance with the famous Mangalam song Rama Chandraya Janaka …Then Bhagawan blessed the singers and the accompanying artistes with clothes. Mangalarati for the day was offered at 7.45 p.m. to Bhagawan.


updates: 15th Nov.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The venue for the three-day Sahasra Chandra Darshana Mahotsava Yagnam commencing this morning is the extended Shanthi Vedika Stage at the Vidyagiri Stadium. Seating for the vast gathering has been arranged on the ground in addition to the galleries by spreading green matting. Giant LED screens and strategically placed TV monitors helped all to have a ring-side view of the proceedings. At 7.45, the priests began the chants. Bhagawan arrived at 8.45 and was welcomed onstage with the Poorna Kumbham amidst chanting by the priests and the students. After spending more than 90 minutes going around the different parts of the stage and blessing the entire congregation, Swami accepted Arati and returned to Yajur Mandir.
-   click on the link to read all about : Sahasra Chandra Darshana Mahotsava Yagnam with photos
Friday, November 14, 2008

Bhagawan arrived at 4 o'clock this evening in His chair to Sai Kulwant Hall. The priests who were to conduct the Sahasra Chandra Darshana Mahotsavam ceremony from tomorrow were seated in front of the stage. Clothes and other ceremonial materials for them were brought out. After Swami's blessings, Sri Adikesavulu Naidu, chairman of the Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam, distributed the items to the more than 120 priests. The Bhagavatha Saptaham speech for today began after the distribution at 5.15 pm. Dr. K. Ramanujacharya narrated the stories of Dhruva and the churning of the ocean, bringing out the inner meanings of the Puranic stories. As the speaker concluded at 6.30 pm, Bhagawan blessed him with a chain before accepting Arati and returning to His residence in the car. An announcement was made about the programme commencing tomorrow at 7.30 am in the Vidyagiri Stadium. The priests moved to the stadium, where they completed preliminary rituals onstage. is readying to carry video web streams of the highlights of the ceremonies over the next three days.
Thursday, November  13, 2008 

Prasanthi Nilayam is gearing up to have a date with destiny, as the epoch making event, Sahasra Poorna Chandra Darshana Shanti Mahotsavam is scheduled to get underway on the 15th November on a grand scale. The festivity is scheduled to have a formal beginning with the commencement on the 14th evening with a group of 170-200 learned priests entering the specially erected Yajna Vedhi in the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium. The festivity would continue for three days to have a grand finale on the 17th in the Divine Presence and will be attended by devotees from all around the world.
The preparations are in full swing in the Hill View stadium with a 56 ft Yajna Vedhi being completed at the Shanti Vedhika. This extended portion is a temporary build that has a permanent base built with granite walls and laden with sands, protruding to the front as an extension to the existing Shanti Vedhika structure. There are 12 homa kundas evenly marked on this extended platform. This extension is being done in such a way that the existing structure is left in tact underneath, well covered by this newly erected platform…

Apart from the venue, Yajna Vedhi, all the statues adorning the huge Hill View Stadium have been repainted to resplendence; all the roads leading to the venue have been resurfaced, a huge arch is being done on the road leading to the stadium and bamboo barricades are being done in the stadium for proper crowd control.

Prasanthi Digital studio teaming up with the students of Sri Sathya Sai University is gearing up to provide deferred telecast and video streaming of highlights everyday for the benefit of viewers across the world. Two huge LCD screens are projected in the stadium to facilitate a better view of the proceedings to the massive crowd expected to attend the function. Closed Circuit TV transmission will be provided in Sai Kulwant Hall adding on to their effort to reach out devotees with better coverage.

Video:  Sahasra Chandra Darshanam Yagnam Mahotsavam: watch a 2 -minute trailer streaming video by Radio Sai offering glimpses of the preparations currently underway for this glorious event.

Hundreds of extra hands, ranging from masons to welders & carpenters, painters to sculptors, technicians to engineers are being pressed into service, and hundreds and thousands of extra sevadals from different states have been already deployed to meet the emerging festive demand, Prasanthi Nilayam, the global spiritual town housing the supreme divinity is doubly ensuring not to leave any stones unturned and thus making the event a momentous one! Above report courtesy:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008  Yesterday and today, the Bhagavatha Saptaham continued with scholarly talks by Sahasravadhani Garikipati Narasimha Rao garu and Tribhasha Sahasravadhani V. Padmakar garu respectively. Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant hall after five o'clock and began the proceedings with the puja by the Tirupati priests for a few moments followed by the speech in Telugu for around an hour. Yesterday's topics were the prayers of Kunti and Parikshit along with the episode of the Varaha Avatar. Today's speech dwelt on Prahlada's story. Swami blessed both the speakers with chains before accepting Arati and returning to His residence. This evening, an announcement was made after Arati about concluding of the two-week village service programme by the students with the distribution taking place at Prasanthi Nilayam tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 11 2008

All good things in life come in pairs they say. We referred to the Akhanda Bhajans as the "Kalpavriksha Day". It seemed as if that too comes in pairs! As part of the grand yet sublime celebrations for the Sahasra Poorna Chandra Darshanam Yajnam(SPCDY) the Bhagawatha Parayanam was to begin on the 10th. The Bhagawatham is the collection of the leelas and mahimas of Lord Mahavishnu with special emphasis on His glories as Lord Krishna. King Pareekshith had been cursed to meet death in 7 days and he made the correct choice to listen to the Srimad Bhagawatham in the last week of his life. Death approached him but it was immortality that embraced him as he was freed forever from the tyranny of the flesh. The power of this is such because as Swami says, the Name equals the Form. What then do we say when the name and form come together? Cutting the suspense, what was the "Kalpavriksha Day" part 2 all about? Well it was something that many of the westerners, the ladies actually, will cherish throughout their lives. Lets go through the beautiful day without hurrying, in the order in which the events unfolded for this is the best order - hasn't it been ordained by Swami Himself?

The idol of Sri Venugopalaswami (Lord Krishna) had been installed and decorated with all jewels and flowers at the centre stage. There were priests attending on to the Lord in idol form at all times. At about 10:30 am, Swami arrived for the installation and first Aarthi that was performed in Kulwant hall. The hall was empty as the morning session had just concluded and everyone had given up the thought of Swami coming out in the morning. But well, as He came, many of the students who were still around, rushed in and were lucky to witness what happened. Since the hall was almost devoid of the full strength Seva dal volunteers, the gates were quickly closed to prevent the excited and charged devotees from rushing in. Swami blessed all the priests all those on stage seemed to be intent on just falling prostrate at His feet. The priests and organizers are all part of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam. Receiving Aarthi and blessing all the priests, Swami made another round to the Vidyagiri stadium where the work now has taken on a feverish pace and one can already feel the magnificence and grandeur of the upcoming event. From there, Swami drove back to the Yajur Mandir.
  Day 2    

Come the evening and Swami came out for darshan as usual - only today it would not be that usual! Swami's darshan is never the same or "usual" in the way we use the term. New and refreshing things keep happening. It is only on a few fortunate occasions that we come to know what is happening or at least what happened! Today, Swami completed the darshan rounds and all expected Him to come on the stage. What does the Lord do instead? He moves to the ladies side for a second round and in what seems like a random choice, starts picking up ladies and tells them to move towards bhajan hall.

"Is it an interview? But...wait. An interview will not be for 30 people! And Swami is simply picking up people from everywhere? The only thing common among all of them (other than their Love and devotion to Him of course) was that they were all westerners or shall we say non-Indians."

Swami then went into the bhajan hall and the ladies sat, overwhelmed and happy. Swami spoke to a few of them as to where they had come from. Then He said, "Two Russian ladies...they run behind Swami's car always... call them." These two ladies have been so persistent and tireless in their pursuit of God that not only the all-knowing one but almost all those in Parthi for quite some time know them! They were immediately brought to His presence and Swami gifted them a smile. He moved up and down the aisle and gave a command, "Call all the foreigners." As people hurried to put His command into action, He gently moved around the hall bringing tears from many eyes. To those lost in the Love of God,(and who is not? Many who have claimed and even paraded themselves as atheists have sobbed and wept in front of Him as children for apparently no reason whatsoever.) there seem to be tears always. When they cannot see their Lord, their tears speak of their agony and when they see Him, it is the tears again that speak of the unspeakable joy. Tears! Those salty droplets that carry with them the sweetest of feelings!

When the bhajan hall ladies' side was filled to its capacity, Swami began the distribution. Distribution? Of what? When the Bhagawatha Parayanam begins, it is customary to do Vasthradaanam (distribution of clothes). Boxes of brown silk sarees were opened and lovingly Swami began to distribute these to the ladies who had assembled. As He gave away the sarees, many of the ladies spoke to Him in their native tongues. There was so much that each wanted to tell Him and there seemed to be so little time. To top it all, this opportunity had arrived as a pleasant bolt in the blues and no one seemed prepared with what they wanted to tell Him. And that shows the importance of living every moment of life occupied with those thoughts and feelings that we cherish the most for at such sudden times, only they surface in the mind and get rendered out by the tongue. Swami's response to the multitude of languages being showered on Him was in a language that all know and understand - that of the heart. His smile seemed to have a magical calming effect on all and His Abhayahastha seemed a satisfactory enough answer to all the travails and tribulations of every heart.

There were mothers with their babies, grandmothers who had difficulty standing such that Swami had chairs arranged for them to sit and young women beginning their journey of Life receiving the gifts of Love from His hands. Swami advised one of the women to eat well and have porridge and milk. To another He enquired whether she was happy and she replied loudly, "Very happy Swami. Very, very, very happy." All the babies inside were blessed and the mothers were so pleased with that. Swami went on this way for about 1 whole hour and it was only after He had personally distributed sarees to everyone inside (that is at least 250 of them) that He moved back into the interview room. In that one hour, He had spread happiness to various parts of the globe even with His physical frame as the grateful and joyous recipients spread it through word of mouth and the scientific technology of the cell phone and the internet. As Swami moved out of the bhajan hall, one of the boys there told Him, "Swami how you shower so much Ananda on all!" Swami just seemed to shrug it away for what seems as extraordinary for us is so natural for Him. And it was so apt also. The story of Krishna is sweetest when He is doing His divine leelas as a child among the Gopikas. Sai Krishna seems to have gopikas from all the nations of the world and what we witnessed before the Bhagawatha Parayanam was the ceaseless flow of love that exists between Sai Krishna and His Gopikas, the Lord and His beloved devotees. Practicals even before the theory class if we can call it so!

Swami then quickly moved to the stage where the Saptaham was to commence. The priests did a brief ceremony and Swami moved across the stage to observe the Idol. After a short introduction in Telugu, Brahmasri Dr. Nagaphani Sharma took the stage with his Bhagavatha narration. Interspersed with songs and poems, the scholar described the glory of Sai in mellifluous Telugu for an hour. The speaker, an orator par excellence, had a mridangams and harmonium supporting him as he spoke and sang. Swami seemed very happy and touched with his rendition. So lost was he in the glories of Sai, that it truly became a Sai Bhagawatham Parayanam. Swami blessed him profusely and patted him while posing for pictures with him. Then as He moved into the car, He raised both His hands in a smiling benediction for all. There were gasps of delight from everyone who saw the beautiful scene. It was 7:30pm when Swami retired into Yajur mandir.

The 11th of November saw a sort of repeat of the previous day in the sense that Swami came out at the same 10:30am or so and after a brief stint with the installed idols, made His way to the grounds. The grand stage looked wonderful once the supporting scaffolding was removed. It looked so inviting that it will not be a surprise if very soon Swami ascends the stage once again to do the final checks. Swami then moved back into Yajur mandir.

The evening saw the continuation of the talks on the Bhagawatham. Swami came for darshan at about 5:15pm and took the detour that the narrow passage after the Primary school block afforded Him. He came on stage and the priests did the brief ceremony. Swami blessed one of the priests to introduce the speaker of the day. He did so with such force and vigour beginning with the glory of Lord Sai that one who doesn't understand could have very much mistaken him to be the speaker of the evening! The speaker today was Garikapati Narasimha Rao, a renowned scholar and excellent orator. He spoke to an enthralled crowd for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Though the speaker was excellent and flawless in his rendition, it was only Swami's presence that kept the entire crowd in order. There is the scientific law of entropy that states that with passage of time, the randomness or disorderliness increases unless energy is spent to maintain order. But in the Divine presence, this law gets reversed. With passage of time, more and more orderliness sets in and perfect unity and harmony gets achieved at that too apparently effortlessly! But that just speaks of Swami as the greatest generator of godly energy! This got demonstrated when Swami went briefly into the interview room. People started getting up and relaxing their muscles and moving around a bit maybe to refresh the blood circulation in their tired legs! Some even began to get up and file out. Five minutes later, Swami arrived and then it was all back to perfect order! It must be said that the speaker did a really fantastic job and narrated the Bhagawatham from Pareekshith's curse and dilemma till the Varaha Avatar of Lord Vishnu. The talk was peppered with examples from day to day life and sprinkled liberally with humour. For instance, the speaker said that worries were like Government buses - they arrive 5-6 in a row and after that for the next 3-4 hours there are none! So when in worry remember that trouble free days are coming soon. Its a pity that each language has its own unique specialty that cannot be properly translated into other languages! It suffices to say that it was a Telugu person's delight to hear Sri Narasimha Garu.

At the end of his speech, at about 6:45pm, Swami materialised a beautiful gold necklace for him and lovingly put it around his neck. He also blessed him with silk clothes - dhoti and angavastram. The Aarthi to Swami and the idols were simultaneously performed and Swami blessing everyone retired for the day.

Akanda-bhajans-2008 SAI BABA

Monday, November 10, 2008

This evening, the seven day Bhagavatha Saptaham got underway at Prasanthi Nilayam. In the morning, Swami came to Sai Kulwant Hall at 10.30 and the icon of Venugopala Swami kept onstage was consecrated with Pujas by the priests from Tirupati. Swami then went to the Stadium before returning to Yajur Mandir. In the evening, Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant Hall at 5.10 pm, and after a full round of Sai Kulwant Hall in His chair, once again moved through the ladies' side, picking up ladies and telling them to be seated on the verandah. When He reached the mandir, He asked these ladies to move to the Bhajan Hall. He entered the Bhajan Hall and interacted with them, and asked for some more ladies to be called. Soon, all the ladies from overseas were making a beeline for the Bhajan Hall. Bhagawan blessed more than 250 of them with sarees, granting them padanamaskar and a moment of interaction, for nearly an hour. He then came onstage, where the Saptaham was to commence. The priests did a brief ceremony and Swami moved across the stage to observe the Idol. After a short introduction in Telugu, Brahmasri Dr. Nagaphani Sharma took the stage with his Bhagavatha narration. Interspersed with songs and poems, the scholar described the glory of Sai in mellifluous Telugu for an hour. After the oration, it was 7.30 pm when Swami accepted Arati and returned to His residence.

Saturday, November 8, 2008  & Sunday, November 9, 2008  "Akhanda Bhajans"

Photos: Saturday, November 8, 2008 & Sunday, November 9, 2008 "Akhanda Bhajans"
 Saturday, November 8, 2009
  Sunday, November 9, 2008 "Akhanda Bhajans"    

Saturday, November 8, 2008  & Sunday, November 9, 2008  "Akhanda Bhajans"
If at all we get a chance to rise and travel with the sun along its perennially westward journey, we will find that the second weekend in the winter month of November is something very special. As the sunset time gets due, the primeval sound - the Omkara - resounds marking the beginning of the 24 hour long Akhanda Bhajans. As we move along westward into the later time zones of the world, more and more nations join this activity of devotion, peace and love till a point when the whole world is reverberating with the divine name. This practice which began as a small stream of singing at a senior devotee's house in Bangalore has today gathered momentum into a massive river of devotion worldwide surging towards the tranquil ocean that the Lord is.

It was about 5pm IST when Swami entered the Kulwant hall for the darshan rounds. He took the detour after the Primary School blaock to enter the Bhajan Hall where a lovely large lamp had been prepared. This is the lamp that Swami would light to mark the beginning of the global Akhanda Bhajan. Swami inspected it and He was shown the various fittings that would be added on soon to the lamp to make it taller and grander. He also examined the wicks and satisfied that all was fine, moved out to the stage.

What happened there was something so special that maybe we could also term today as the "Kalpavriksha Day"! Swami sat out listening to the Veda chanting that was on. The Rudram was soon completed and the Purushasuktam was beginning. Swami called the Vedam tutorial teacher and in a spurt told him that Swami's wish was that all learn the Purushasuktam as well. He, on his part, assured Swami that all the students and staff would begin efforts in earnest towards that direction. Swami then called the boy in front who was holding up a tray. He spoke to him and blessed him by sprinkling the holy Akshatha grains on his head. As is the practice, when Swami calls one of the boys with the tray, it is assumed that He has called the other "tray boys" too. So, one by one, the boys started to move to Swami and Swami blessed them all. He spoke a few words to some, listened to a lot of words from many(!) and granted the twin joys of an Akshatha shower and a padanamaskar to all. The grace-hungry are a huge number and even Swami seemed a bit startled as about 25-30 boys came upto Him with trays! Though He jocularly asked once, "How many boys!!?", He ensured that every boy returned with a heart full of satisfaction and joy.

Then began the part two of the "Kalpavriksha Day" celebrations as we have chosen to term it! Swami called one of the boys in the front who was holding a letter. He took the letter and went through it and spoke a few words of advice to him. Another boy meanwhile decide to play his chances and moved to Swami along with the first boy and he too gave a letter. Swami simply smiled at him and took his letter and spoke to him too. Emboldened by this response another boy and then yet another moved to Swami. And again from His side, it was the same response. With smiles on their faces, the boys slowly made sort of a line that was headed to the Lord and Swami too noticed that from the corner of His eye and merely smiled. And so from 5:20pm till almost 6:00 pm, boys kept moving to Swami handing over their letters of gratitude, love, prayers and petitions and Swami satisfied each and everyone. The whole block now resembled a river that was flowing on to become a waterfall as all the boys converged to join the stream that was headed towards Swami and bliss! As the time became 5:55pm, the boy sitting next to Swami "reminded" Him that He was due to light the lamp at 6:00pm. At that time, Swami sweetly said, "Only 5 minutes left now." That acted as a prod for all to go quickly to Him and offer letters. It was seconds before 6:00pm that Swami moved into the bhajan hall and gently lit the beautiful lamp as the Aumkaram began.

Swami sat for about an hour listening and keeping beat for the bhajans. The boys and girls, as usual, alternated in singing the bhajans. It was about 7pm when Swami left for Yajur mandir.

The 9th morning saw Swami coming out for darshan at about 9:20 am after a plethora of "Aao" bhajans as they are called had been sung. These are bhajans which request and plead with the Lord to come and bless all with His darshan. Swami cut through after the Primary school block. However, He moved to the stage and sat outside and everyone assembled in the hall had beautiful darshan. Singing the name as we see the form is a sublimely uplifting experience. And that experience was conferred on the thousands gathered in Kulwant hall. Soon after that, Swami moved into the bhajan hall where there were quite a few people who had spent the whole night singing the divine glories of God. He sat through 6-7 bhajans after which He very sweetly excused Himself! He then left for the Institute Auditorium where the students were rehearsing for the Convocation drama.

Swami takes keen interest especially in the Convocation drama and though it is performed in His presence on the 22nd of November, He sees through every aspect of the drama right from the script writing to the acting and costumes. As always, the devotees from Kulwant hall and other places in Puttaparthi made a beeline towards the car to glimpse their beloved Lord as He drove by. Swami was welcomed into the auditorium by the Vice Chancellor, the principal and the controller of examinations. All the boys lined up the path through which Swami entered. Swami signaled to them to go on stage and begin the drama.

It is on an apologetic note that the updating on the sequence of the drama and Swami's specific reactions have to be reserved to preserve the suspense of the drama! However some points can be divulged. Swami watched the drama with rapt attention. Speaking to the warden who sat beside Him, Swami enquired into the various roles and characters on stage. There was a scene from the Ramayana which was very apt to the situation and it evoked very positive response from Swami. He was absolutely touched. All the various songs that were part of the drama were sung live by the students. Swami gave feedback on the drama to the warden and asked for it to be trimmed at certain points to make it crisp. After watching for 50 minutes, Swami blessed all and said that it was time to leave. As Swami moved towards the car, all the students crowded around Him and sought blessings. Chocolates were blessed to be distributed to all. As He came out of the auditorium, the Institute brass band struck up the National Anthem. It was played beautifully and listening to that, Swami left for the mandir and moved into Yajur mandir.

Meanwhile the bhajans continued in the mandir and as the evening drew close, more and more people thronged the mandir premises. The prasadam to be distributed at the end of the bhajan session was also carried in or wheeled into the Kulwant hall. The rows of vessels holding tamarind rice and the laddoos were placed neatly at the Northern end of the hall. It was about 4:45pm, when Swami came out once again. He moved through the ladies and then took a detour towards the Northern gate where all the prasadam had been kept. He blessed them and then surveyed all the preparations done for the distribution. Turning back, He moved towards the mandir again and near the gents side took another detour. Now this detour was something that pleased all the gents as it meant that Swami was coming towards them. After a gap of many days, Swami was going through this path and naturally there was a rejoicing. Swami took a complete round as if rewarding all for whatever efforts they had put in for the Akhanda bhajan.

The evening was characterized by Swami moving in and out of the bhajan hall. He moved through the central aisle in the bhajan hall and also through the upper and lower porticos in the mandir. He sat out for a while collecting a few letters and granting darshan. Nobody could have complained of not having darshan. The tempo and enthusiasm levels of the bhajans went up as the conclusion time arrived. At about 5:55pm, Swami asked a pair of boys in the front to sing the Sree Raghavam aalaap bhajan. Everyone expected that with that bhajan the 24 hour session would culminate. But sensing another minute and an opportunity remaining, the girls began in full speed, "Namah Parvati Pataye Hara Hara". Swami saw that and smiled. After a while, He told the boys with puckered lips that the girls took the opportunity and they are concluding. A total of more than 400 bhajans had been sung and according to one student, the exact number stands at 424! With that bhajan, Aarthi began.

The last stanza where the tempo picks up was marked by resounding clapping and vociferous singing. Swami also asked all to sing the "Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavanthu" is a very loud voice and all were only too happy to oblige. Swami then sprinkled water over the vessels holding the prasadam and blessed them to be distributed. When a boy started serving the boys immediately, Swami told him that ladies must be first and so the prasadam must be kept on the other side for serving to the ladies! The prayer, "Bhrahmaarpanam" was then done after which everyone began to eat in the divine presence on the divine command.

Swami then moved out of the bhajan hall and surveyed the food being served to the Primary school children. They too began to chant the prayer and so sweetly at that too! It was a high pitched one and Swami sat sweetly swaying to the chants. As they completed, Swami told them all to begin eating. Then He slowly moved through the ladies side and blessed the Anantapur students who were seated there. Finally, leaving all with full hearts and quickly filling bellies(!) Swami retired into Yajur mandir.

Thursday, November 6, 2008:

A lot of Rudram chanting and learning is going on in Puttaparthi and all around the globe too. Thats what happens when anything receives patronage from God Himself! Today, Swami added something very special to the "incentives list" of this "patronage package". It was the fulfillment of a promise that had been made at the very beginning of the Rudram tutorials - Swami had said," I will personally give prizes to those who learn the Rudram well." As per His command, 150 members from the staff and students of the Sathya Sai university and the Central Trust who were well versed in the Rudram, sat in the mandir portico by 8:00 am.

Swami had said that He would distribute dhoties and angavastrams to all of them. There was an air of eager anticipation and the atmosphere seemed charged. But come 9:00 am, the bhajans began. Grama Seva, that had already begun few days back, was continuing and all the other students left for serving their respective villages. The bhajans also concluded eventually and the special 150 people a few hours ago were the only 150 people now. At about 11:30 am, giving added emphasis and meaning to the statement, "God's delays are not His denials", Swami came out of Yajur Mandir in the car. The cream of the Veda chanting students comprised the 150 seated and so there was a literal Vedic blast of the Rudram. There were no mikes, but the spirited spirits of the energetic youth pining for the Lord more than compensated for that.
  Click to enlarge

Thursday, November 6, 2008



Swami came to the portico and then had the Dhoties brought. To the delightful amazement of all, Swami was gifting His very own brand new silk dhoties to all! Everyone felt a surge of thrill and as the Rudram chants continued to eclipse any other sound vibrations in the vicinity, Swami began to call the boys one by one and hand delivered the bundles of silken joy. As He was distributing, He opened up many of them and asked as to where the Angavastrams (the cloth put on the upper half of the body) were. He commanded that the Angavastrams too be distributed to those that had already received the dhoties from His hands. The distribution went on for about 20 minutes after which Swami sat listening to the chants. It was a really vibrant  feeling to see the Lord amidst the divine chants. As Swami was moving to the car, there was another chant- this time in English as all cried out, "Thank you Swami!" And then, in the perfect silence that ensued after that, Swami said in His sweet gentle voice, "I have the right to give and you have the right to take. Why the thank you?" As He beamed a smile to the joyous gathering, smiles were beamed back at Him and shouts of "Jai Bolo Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ki Jai" rented the air.

From the Kulwant hall, Swami moved to the Vidyagiri stadium to check the progress of the stage being built along with the galleries being extended and the kitchen and bathrooms for the priests.

In the evening, Swami arrived at about 4:50 pm for the darshan round. As the bhajans were on, Swami came out and sat on the stage. So many students had letters and they were showing it to Him. Swami, in the middle of HIs rhythm tapping, signaled to the boys to put down their letters. But none seemed to obey. They held out with greater desperation and eagerness! After about 10 minutes, Swami called one boy and taking his letter, opened it. It was an A4 sized paper and both sides had been filled with writing. Swami had a shocked expression as He asked, "Why such big letters? Keep writing like mad people. Write only two or three lines enough!" Blessing the boy nevertheless(!) He once again told towards all the students, "I will not take letters if you write such big ones!" After a while, one more student was called and Swami opened it. It was again a huge one! Swami gave that, "see-I-told-you" look and signaled that He would not take letters. At this point, some of them dropped open the letters to show Swami that theirs were small letters! Swami just smiled and after a while, He went back into the bhajan hall.


Monday, November 3, 2008:

The Grama Seva programme began on the first of November. Bhagawan arrived at 10.40 am as the Bhajans went on, and went for a drive. When He returned after half an hour the students circumambulated the Mandir and left for the Village Service. Yesterday and today, Bhagawan did not come for morning darshan. So, the students left for grama seva at 8.30 and 9.00 am respectively, In the evenings, Bhagawan has been coming a few minutes before the Bhajans begin at five o'clock, sitting for a few minutes onstage, and then moving inside. This morning He also visited the Hillview Stadium a few minutes before 11 o'clock.


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