December 31, 2009 – Drama by the Alumni of Sri Sathya Sai University

The alumni of the Sri Sathya Sai University had congregated in Prasanthi Nilayam at the lotus feet of their Divine Chancellor in the last week of December to bid farewell to 2009 and welcome 2010. Nearly 1500 alumni from various batches had gathered and Swami graciously granted them accommodation in what the students know as the "old hostel".

Not only the alumni, their families too descended to the holy hamlet of Prasanthi Nilayam and the last day of the year was reserved for a drama in the Sai Kulwant Hall by the alumni. There was a black backdrop which on closer inspection turned out to be a huge LED screen. So, that was a 'moving' backdrop for the drama!

Shortly after 5:00 p.m., Swami arrived. As He moved across the LED screen, He asked the boys there about the actors involved in the drama. They told Him that they were all seated in the Bhajan Hall. Swami then completed the darshan round and moved into the Bhajan Hall. Even as He did that, all the alumni and the current students adjusted and relocated themselves to get a better view of the play.

Swami interacted with the actors in the Bhajan Hall for a while, enquiring into the roles of the various characters. He then told them to move out and start the presentation. He soon arrived on stage and then all the actors walked across and stood behind the backdrop ready to start their drama. First the lead characters of the drama walked up to Swami, sought His blessings and then presentation began.

It started with a clip wherein Swami's hand descends to hold the hand of a child and the LED announced the name, "Idiye Prema Bandhamu (This is the bond of Love)". Swami was instantly almost in tears as He called the student by His side and said, "Did you see how My hand reached out to his?" The drama was made very innovatively and was thus very interesting.

Lord Ganesha, who sits in the portico of the Mandir behind Swami, and Lord Hanuman, who stands tall on the Vidyagiri hill, attempt to make a compilation of His stories with His students. Many other Gods and demigods too join them in their venture as they too are overwhelmed with the Love story between the Lord and His students.

Their narratives took the audience through various incidents that were so moving like the one where Swami called a student to the Mandir and rid him of a terrible asthma by Himself taking over the ailment. Another one was where a student saved money, by refraining from putting his clothes to the washerman, to contribute for Swami's hospital project. All the episodes were beautifully backed by apt videos on the screen behind. Swami was deeply touched. 

The drama brought nostalgia to every student who was seated in the hall. It brought to mind what a former vice chancellor of the University, Prof. Sampat, had requested Swami, "If I am born again, I want to be your student!" Towards the end, Lord Ganesha and Hanuman realize that the experiences are simply too many to compile into a book. They give up the idea but are so happy that they had this beautiful experience of recounting everything. They then go into the audience collecting letters from the alumni to hand them over to Swami as an act of gratitude!

Swami accepted the letters which had been put into a decorated box. Once the drama concluded with a final formation, Swami said that He would move down and grant group photos. Groups and clusters were formed around Swami and the Lord posed with all of them. He spoke to many of them and almost all had the chance to touch His lotus feet.

After this, Swami moved up the stage and all the actors clustered close to the stage. Swami told that the drama was very good and He was very happy. Blessing them, He asked for aarthi, and prasadam distribution followed. In the meanwhile, the warden of the Prashanti Nilayam campus asked Swami whether the students could sing for Him on the New Years Day. Swami agreed. Blessing everyone, Swami retired to Yajur Mandir.

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