January 3, 2010 – Special Blessing for Sai University Alumni

This day was the official “final” day for the alumni who had gathered at Prashanti Nilayam. Emotions had run very high the previous day evening to the extent that discipline gave front seat to pining devotion. On Jan 3rd, that seemed to have calmed a bit and though many alumni had already left Puttaparthi, quite a few were still staying on for a final darshan. It was at about 4:50 p.m. that Swami arrived for darshan. He moved through the ladies’ side and when He came in between the students, He asked for a path to be made. He cut through between the students and moved to the front. Turning then towards the Primary School block, Swami moved to the interview room.

He called one member of the alumni for an interview along with his wife. The interview lasted about ten minutes and in the meanwhile bhajans had begun. Swami arrived on the stage and sat for the bhajans. He kept looking to His far right where the alumni were seated. Then, calling a student by His side He told him to call all the “old boys” to join the students for bhajans! A tidal wave of devotion and energy seemed to sweep the hall as they arrived and quickly sat along with the students. Next, Swami told them to sing bhajans!

This was a bonus! The singers and instrumentalists from among them quickly got up and came forward to occupy the privileged positions. Then the first bhajan was sung by the alumnus Ajnish whose popular album "O Sai Maa" is present in almost every devotee's music collection. It had been years since he had darshan and the pining to see the Lord and the joy of seeing Him were both echoed in his soulful bhajan.

As he sang, Swami kept seeing him. Even as he completed singing, Swami called him and spoke to him. What was once a regular routine was on that day for him the opportunity of a lifetime. He had no words to say and Swami further struck him dumb as He began to wave His palm in circles. He materialized a beautiful golden chain with a pendant and Ajnish broke down, unable to bear the gush of joy that was surging from within. 

Swami lovingly put the chain around his neck and sent him back. The blessed singer continued to sob in joy and the bhajans went on. Now Swami told one of the students to sing the Aalaap bhajan, "Sri Raghavam…". That was done as per His command. Swami seemed a little dissatisfied and after the bhajan called the singer and told him something.

The same bhajan was sung once more! An encore! Only that, it appeared as if Swami wanted an encore not because it was superlative but because some corrections had to be incorporated. Whatever be the reason, everyone enjoyed this divine play. After that bhajan, Swami asked two more singers to sing Aalaap bhajans and it was a delight to hear so many special bhajans rendered at the same time in the Divine Presence. 

In the meanwhile, Swami called two school students who were holding a huge card to invite Him to the practise sessions for the Sports Meet. Swami saw through the card in full detail. It had small dolls representing various items that the Prashanti Nilayam campus had planned to put up. Soon the bhajans concluded and Swami was given aarthi. After the aarthi, Swami raised both His hands in abhayahastha to everyone and then retired.

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