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Also read: Onam with the Lord 2008 - updates with photos, videos...& more

Onam- 2008 Discourse   -  Onam Celebrations, 11-12 Aug 2008, Videos
Darshan account  -

Om Sairam dearest Sai Family,

The atmosphere in Puttaparthi and surrounding areas is looking serene, the climate is cool, beautiful green pea nut crops spread everywhere, thanks to the timely rains, there is water and just water everywhere with the back drop of sweetly singing Cuckoo bird (a Indian bird which looks like a crow but has a very sweet voice and sings only during rainy season), farmers busy in their respective fields hoping for a better harvest this year, children playing in the waters in the small pits and as a whole this drought hit area is now looking like the beautiful Kerala... Thousands of devotees from Kerala, left their respective places to celebrate their most important festival in the immediate presence of our beloved Lord... the most auspicious and holy festival of beautiful Kerala, ONAM was celebrated in the immediate presence of Swami with utmost devotion and faith. The mandir was beautifully decorated on the holy occasion. There was a huge black colored lamp about 6 feet height placed in front of Ganesha. the Kulwanth hall was beautifully decorated and there were two small hut like things made of sticks, on either side of the dais, just above the two bronze lions, giving us a feeling as if they were caged in those tiny and beautiful huts..

This morning Swami blessed the huge gathering with His divine darshan at 9:45am amidst Veda chant and music played by devotees of Kerala. This morning Swami blessed famous play back singer from Kerala Sri Kolam Sri Kumar and party to sing in His immediate presence After scintillating music session the morning darshan came to an end at 10:45am. It was announced that in the afternoon Swami would bless the august gathering with His divine discourse and a drama entitled Savitri by the students of Balvikas, Kerala.
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Onam Photos &  videos

Being Onam, devotees from Kerala were given preference and were allowed to get into the hall before other devotees could go in. At 4pm the Veda coaching class started which under the divine command had started 4 days ago. All of us joined as two students repeated a small line and we in turn repeated the same twice. At 4:10 pm, Swami lovingly entered into the Sai Kulwanth hall in the mobile throne, His face as fresh and bubbly like an Apple from Beautiful Himachal Pradesh, the beautiful 24X7 smile which is a treat to watch, looking lovingly at maximum number of devotees in that limited time, with His naked eye, accepting letters, speaking to some. Every one has some problem or other, some body's health is not so good, some body's children are not getting married, some one is having a very bad marriage, some parent lost their beloved child, some one is praying for a better job, for a better career what not.. you name the problem and it is there in Kulwanth Hall. For every one, Swami, the ONLY hope. As He passes by we tend to forget all our worldly problems, dip in the ocean of bliss. Swami rarely speaks to any one, but every body's face is lit as if they got an answer, an assurance for their problem and the conversation was all H2H, eye to eye and it is the world's most wonderful WONDER...

Swami took a full round this afternoon and came on to the dais. This afternoon, a young boy from Kerala, was blessed to speak in the immediate presence of Swami and the boy thanked Swami for all His grace and love which He is showering on people of Kerala and the Sai School in particular.

Onam Celebrations, 10-12 Aug 2008, Images and Report by sssbpt.org
Now all eyes were on Swami. The time was getting closer and closer for us to hear the nectarine Voice directly from the source. Swami signaled to bring the discourse table and in no time every thing was set. Prof.Anil Kumar stands next to Swami, with a book and pen, keenly observing Swami. Swami unlike the recent past, preferred to stand and deliver His divine discourse and the devotees joined their hands in praise of Swami.. There was pin drop silence all over, Prof. Anil Kumar getting more alert now, what will the Divine Master say, a beautiful verse or Prema Swaroopulara..



Swami started with a beautiful telugu verse, told the importance of Onam and story behind it.. Regarding paying a visit to Kerala, Swami gave a CONDITIONS APPLY** kind of statement about His visit, Swami said, Every one call me to their respective places, many times, people from Kerala also called me to come to Kerala, I never say NO to any one, I always say, I will definitely come and today also I'm saying I will come to Kerala**(He didn't mention in which form and when). Swami was all praise for Keralites. He said, they are very devoted and sincere a very big statement and a BIG responsibility for Keralites to live up to His expectations..

Onam Photos &  videos

Below is some excerpts from the divine discourse (ONAM) all based on memory and not a official release..

click here to read the full and officially released Onam- Discourse

Khanda Khandantara khyati narginchina mahaneeyulanu kanna mathru bhoomi,

(India is a land which gave birth to many noble souls, who were renowned in all the continents)

Paschathya veerula para drolinchiyu, swatantramunu kanna samara bhoomi

(Driving away the foreign invaders from their land, this land has gained independence)

Sangeetha Sahithya sastreeya vidyalandu, dhee shakthi choopina punya bhoomi

(this land has shown scholarly excellence in the field of Music and literature)

Itti Bharata bhoomi yandu janana mundi

(being born in such a holy land)

Bharatha mata dharma bhagyambu kapada bhadya tantayu meede bala balika lara

(to protect the spiritual riches of this holy India, it is the responsibility of you Boys and girls)

India is not an ordinary country. Bha-Rath means love for God. In spite of this India is facing lot of difficulties. Don't be afraid of any difficulties. One should have self confidence and immense faith in God. Time waste is life waste. Don't crave for worldly education. Science may fetch you some money but will not lead you to God. Spirituality is the path you should adhere to. Control your senses and keep the mind in check. Develop intellect, have pure mind and serve your mother land. all your education should help the society. only then your education will have any value. develop morality. struggle hard to know the truth. Who is your true mother? Dharma is your mother, Sathya is your father. when you have both you will have Shanthi. Shanthi will give love and where there is LOVE there is no scope for hatred (non-violence). today there is no love among siblings. Love is not to be seen any where. Even in a tiny ant there is love. When ants go in a row, when they meet another ant they share love. Even insects have love. it is very sad that human beings don't have love. Love for individual is useless. have love for the society.

Swami later told the story of emperor Bali: Bali doesn't just mean mere sacrifice. He has sacrificed everything. it is good fortune of Kerala that you have an emperor like Bali. Bali was conducting a huge Yagna. Vamana, the dwarf comes to the yagna. He was only 3 feet tall. Bali goes to him and asks, O sage what do you want. Vamana replies, Emperor Bali I don't want any money, I just want only 3 foot steps of land. Emperor Bali was surprised and said ok to his request. The first step of Vamana covered the whole earth and the second step covered the whole sky and there was no place for the third foot. Vamana asks where is the place for the third foot. Emperor Bali removes His crown and asks to put His feet on his head. If you see it spiritually, He is giving up his ego. All the people who came for the Yagna were crying. They couldn't believe that their emperor is no more. They prayed to Vamana, Swami can't we have our Emperor back, to which Vamana replied Bali will come to Kerala once a year and it is this day when Vamana comes to Kerala and is celebrated as Onam.( personally I enjoyed to hear this story behind this festival from Vamana murthy Himself and Swami told this in a very beautiful style which no one can match)

Onam Celebrations, 10-12 Aug 2008, Images and Report by sssbpt.org

Swami later continued, Vamana came to confer liberation to Emperor Bali. This is a very holy festival in Kerala. Keralites celebrate this festival with utmost devotion. They don't even celebrate their own birthdays like this festival.

KERALITES ASK SWAMI TO COME THERE. I WILL COME.. I NEVER SAY I WONT COME TO ANY ONE.. I WILL CERTAINLY COME. It is a state of scholarly excellence. It is a state of God .There is sincerity and devotion in Kerala. There is no one who dont sing the glory of God in Kerala.

Swami later told the story of Savitri, the noble woman who brought back her dead husband to life.

Savitri is wife of Sathyavantha. She stands for truth. She could bring back her dead husband to life. She followed Yama where ever He went. After 6 days of severe fight, she could bring back her dead husband to life. Only in India such a thing can happen. Savitri was a role model for womanhood.

Swami later said a few words of appreciation to the students of Kerala who performed dramas. Swami said, yesterdays€™s drama was very good. Kerala always maintains high standards in their plays. The dialogue delivery, the music, action and even the dress are very nice. Keep up the high standards for years to come..

As the children were ready to perform the drama Savitri, Swami said, let us enjoy the play which will commence now and thus ended His 45 minutes divine discourse€¦..

Later the students performed the drama Savitri.. As Swami said, it was just perfect, point to point..

Unlike some dramas which are performed in Parthi, there was no beating round the bush, the drama was very short, straight and full of praise to the artists and behind the curtain staff for their hard work.

Swami was very happy with the performances and Swami asked the boys to distribute clothes to the students in the drama and after few bhajans and prasadam distribution, arathi was given to Swami around 6:30 pm thus ending yet another beautiful day in my Prashanthi diary..

(hope by now every one have noticed and noted the change in the last part of the arathi.. it is SAMSTHA LOKA SUKHINO BHAVANTHU instead of LOKA SAMASTHA SUKHINO BHAVANTHU..)

With humble pranams at the lotus feet of our beloved Lord.

Submitted to
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Onam Celebrations, 10-12 Aug 2008, Images and Report

 courtesy: sssbpt.org
Onam Celebrations
'Dasavataram', a Dance Drama by Balvikas Children of Kerala
September 10, 2008

Onam is definitely the most joyous and precious occasion for the Keralites irrespective of caste, creed or religion. The festival marks the annual visit of Mahabali to his erstwhile kingdom, reminding the reign of equality and justice.

It is customary for all Keralites to be at their ancestral homes with their parents to celebrate the festivity. The devotees of Bhagawan Baba flock to Prashanthi Nilayam in thousands to celebrate Onam in the Divine Presence.

Onam celebrations this year began in the evening of 10th September as Bhagawan came to the Sai Kulwant Hall amidst Veda chanting. Sacred notes of the Mangalavadya Nadaswaram announced the commencement of the celebrations. There was a dance drama entitled “Dasavataram” by the Bal vikas children of Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. The children enacted various episodes from the Dasavataram, particularly Narasimha, Vamana, Rama, Krishna and Buddha. The programme concluded with bhajans and Mangala Aarathi to Bhagawan.

'Rama - The Embodiment of Love', a Skit by students of Sri Sai Vidya Vihar, and Balvikas Children of Kerala
September 11, 2008

The celebrations for the second day commenced in the evening of 11th September. Bhagawan was received to Sai Kulwant hall with Veda and Nadaswaram at 3:30 PM. As Bhagawan occupied the dais, He instructed the students to start the Veda class; they dealt with the second and third Anuvakams of the Namakam.

What followed was a drama by the students of Sri Sai Vidya Vihar, Alwaye and the Bal Vikas children of Eranakulam, entitled “Rama – the embodiment of Love”. It was a bouquet of various incidents from the life of the Avatar, taken from Bhagawan’s Discourses. The opening scene demonstrated the love between Rama and His brothers. It went on to depict the surrender of Sugreeva, Vibheeshana and Hanuman.

Bhagawan was pleased with the performance and blessed the participants with the most coveted group photo. Vastram was distributed to all.

Next offering was Sampradaya Bhajan by Sri Padmakumar. All devotees joined the fast tempo songs clapping their hands enthusiastically. The programme concluded with Mangala Aarathi.

Even as Aarathi was over, Bhagawan spent some time in the dais and interacted with the participants of the drama. He remarked that the children had put in their best effort; that was why they could bring about such a wonderful performance. He particularly congratulated children who enacted the roles of Rama, Lakshmana and Hanuman. Bhagawan added that the dialogue, music and costumes were also excellent. He told the children that He would come to Kerala and their school. Bhagawan said; He knew that children were very anxious as to how the drama would come out and they had been working tirelessly since morning. Now that everything turned out fine they could go back and take rest. Bhagawan blessed the chilren with Abhayahastha.

Procession and Music Concert
September 12, 2008

12th September was the Thiruvonam day. The Sai Kulwant hall was bedecked to the occasion with the festoons made of Kuruthola (Tender coconut leaves). The stage was aesthetically decorated with fresh flowers and ornamental umbrellas (Muthukkuda) adorned the periphery of the auditorium. A traditional Pookkalam (floral design) was arranged in front of the dais along with Nirapara, Nilavilakku (step lamp), Onathappan (onam deity) and other auspicious offerings like flowers and fruits. (Nirapara is a full measure of paddy heaped for ceremonial offerings; a traditional measuring container would be filled to the brim with paddy and decorated with ‘Thengin Pookula’ (tender coconut flowers).

Bhagawn made His grand entry at 9:35 a.m. and was traditionally received with Poornakumbham, accompanied by a colorful procession consisting of band, Veda group and thalapoli (Thalappoli, a ceremonial procession, is a significant item in most of the festivals in Kerala In this ritual, women or young girls carry thalam, which literally means plate, in their hands. Thalam is filled with rice, flowers and a lighted lamp. Thalappoli is considered a symbol of prosperity).

As Bhagawan made entry into the hall, auspicious notes of Nadaswaram and Panchavadyam filled the ambience. After granting darshan to one and all Bhagawan occupied the dais and inaugurated the function by lighting the sacred lamp. After a few moments Panchavadyam (orchestra of five instruments, is basically a temple art form has evolved in Kerala) and Nadaswaram (one of the most popular classical instruments of South India) gave way to Thayambaka by students (Thayambaka is a type of solo chenda performance that developed in the South Indian state of Kerala, in which the main player at the centre improvises rhythmically on the beats of half-a-dozen or a few more chenda and Ilathaalam players around) – initially in a low tempo progressively increasing to a thunderous climax!
As Veda chanting continued, Bhagawan permitted to commence the music programme by receiving the offering of flowers from the singers. The singers of the session were Sri Kavalam Sreekumar, Sri Pranavam Sankaran Namboodiri and Sri Yogesh Sharma.

After invoking Ganesha and Guru with Vandana Shlokas, the music programme began with a Malayalam composition expressing the devotees love and longing for Bhagawan. Compositions of Thyagaraja, Purandaradasa and Meerabhai followed. The programme concluded with a traditional hymn – ‘Narayanam Bhaje Narayanam” – to which all devotees joined in chorus.

Mangala Aarathi followed. To the surprise and joy of all Bhagawan asked the Institute boys to sing a couple of Bhajans. Before returning to the Yajur Mandiram, Bhagawan instructed the State President of Kerala to announce that there would be Divine Discourse and drama in the evening.

Speech, Divine Discourse and "Savitri - The Embodiment of Shakthi", a skit by Balvikas Children
September 12, 2008

In the evening at 4 p.m. even before Bhagawani arrived the Veda class by the Institute students commenced, covering the fourth and fifth Anuvakams of Namakam. Bhagawan graciously arrived into the Sai Kulwant Hall as the class was in progress, granting Darshan to all.

The first item of the evening was a brief speech by Master Abith, a student of the Sri Sathya Sai Vidyapeeth, Sreesailam, Quilandi near Calicut. He began by sharing the good fortune of the devotees in the opportunity to celebrate Onam in the Divine presence of Sai Vamana. He recounted and experience of how Sai Gayathri saved one of his teachers, as he fell into a well during a Seva activity. He also shared how Vibhoothi saved the life of a cow of the Gokulam from the fatal foot and mouth disease. He concluded by sharing his love and gratitude to Bhagawan on behalf of all students and staff of Sri Sathya Sai Vidyapeeth and all Sai devotees of Kerala.

After the brief narrative, Bhagawan graciously delivered the Onam discourse, with introductory verse as the glory of Bharath. Having been born in Bharath, one has to live up to its glory. Today’s education and technology is promoting a mad race after money, but Bhagawan reminded, Money comes and goes; morality comes and grows. One has to cultivate spiritual outlook and self confidence to realize the true meaning and purpose of life. Truth is the father of the whole world and Dharma is the mother. Then only can Shanthi and Prema prevail in the world. Bhagawan escorted the devotees to imbibe the virtue of sacrifice from Emperor Bali. Bhagawan congratulated the Bal Vikas children of Kerala for putting up excellent cultural programmes; Bhagawan also acknowledged the dedicated efforts of Mahilas in preparing them. Bhagawan reminded the devotees to keep up the standard set by them. He also urged them to watch the drama on Savitri (that was to follow) carefully and imbibe values of courage and confidence.

The next item was a dance drama entitled “Savithri – the embodiment of Shakthi”, by the Bal Vikas children of Alappuzha district. The drama depicted how Savithri recovered her dead husband from Yamadharma through her penance out of chastity and courage. The powerful dialogues and dramatic situation left the audience glued to the drama. The befitting conclusion was a beautiful, vibrant dance depicting Adi Parasakthi as Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi, followed by all participants paying their salutations to Mother Sai. Bhagawan blessed all participants and Vasthram was gifted to all children as a token of Bhagawan’s grace.

Bhajans by the Institute students followed. The programme for the evening concluded with Mangala Aarathi to Bhagawan.


Current: Onam with the Lord - updates with photos, videos...& more

 click here to read the full and offically released Onam- Discourse