April 9, 2009 – A Dance Programme by the Students
The academic year of the Sri Sathya Sai University and Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School ended on March 31. Many boys left for their homes to spend time with their parents, but a substantial number stayed back as Bhagavan was still in Prasanthi Nilayam. They did not want to lose any opportunity of being with Him, and to make best use of their time the boys started preparing programmes to present before their beloved Lord.
On April 8, Swami had seen the members of the dance group, dressed up and ready to perform. However, Bhagavan told them to perform on the next day, as it was a Thursday. And on April 9, when Swami emerged from His residence at 4.10 p.m., He appeared eager to watch His children’s performance. Swami moved slowly and gently through the entire hall and after completing the darshan rounds, He moved towards the interview room. But when He saw the colourfully-attired students in the Bhajan Hall, He went near them. All the dancers thronged around Him and many had letters with them. Swami began to collect their letters and spoke to a few of them. He asked them as to what the evening's performance was all about. Seeing the uniformity of their dresses, Swami even enquired as to how they managed to get so many symmetrical dresses. He had with Him a vibhuti packet, which He gave to the lead dancer who had trained all the boys and asked him, "How many days did you need?" Three days, was the answer. Swami seemed happy and He promised them that He would definitely see their dance, and then moved on the stage via the veranda.
The Veda chanting was on and Swami sat on stage listening to it. After a while, Swami moved to the interview room. On His way, He told the dancers in the Bhajan Hall to move out, take their positions and be ready. The marble block was now cleared for the dancers. Soon, Swami arrived and asked for the programme to begin. There were two compeers, one speaking in Telugu and the other in English. As the one in English was speaking, "...thank you for this opportunity Swami...", Swami asked, "What did you say?" The boy repeated it, and both, him and Swami, exchanged meaningful smiles.
The first piece was of Swami chanting the poem, Khanda Khandantara, to which the boys moved and depicted gracefully. The poem was repeated twice and Swami seemed to ask as to why it was being repeated. The boys continued, and Swami also began to lip sing the words of the poem when it was on for the second time. "Well dear Swami, that is the reason why it is being repeated," would definitely have been the reply in every dancer's mind for it was so beautiful to see Swami chant a few lines to which they were dancing. The poem ends with Swami addressing all the devotees reminding them of their duty. As that part came, Swami pointed towards all the devotees who had gathered.
That was followed by five more pieces. Most of them were on Lord Rama and were composed and sung by the students themselves. There was a good variety and mix in the type of songs chosen and Swami was clearly happy. The themes of the songs were also so beautiful and different that everyone in the hall enjoyed the performance. As it concluded, all the dancers moved up to Swami. He called the lead dancer and asked him whether they had eaten anything before coming. He replied in an affirmative, and Swami smiled saying, "It would have all got digested by now." He seemed impressed by the fact that they had all prepared it in just three days. He also had a few comments on the wide and flowing dhotis of one of the dancers, and the boys assured that it would be rectified the next time. It is so wonderful to see Swami's attention to detail and His overflowing love for the children, and so it is little surprise that many of them decide to spend their vacation in His physical Presence.
The lead dancer asked Swami for a group photo. Swami replied, "All are the same old dancers. Why photo again?" He had nothing to reply and just returned to his place. Then Swami smiled and said, "Make a parting and sit as two groups. I will come in the centre." Wow! How beautiful was that! Swami slowly moved down and posed for photos with his dear children. Then, as the bhajans began, Swami moved into the interview room. After a while, He came out again and sat listening to the singing. Three more bhajans later, He received aarthi and left.
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