Volume 8 - Issue 06
JUNE 2010
Other Articles

 

THE KODAI FESTIVAL 2009

Day Eight

Puttaparthi is where the Lord was born and where He continues to stay for almost the entire year conferring love, support and solace to devotees day in and day out who throng in thousands to this sacred town. However, when summer arrives on most occasions, the Lord generally decides to move to His ashram in Bangalore or often to ‘Sai Shruti’ in Kodai Kanal so that the devotees are saved from the dry and zapping heat of Puttaparthi. For the devotees who now collect in Brindavan or in Kodai Kanal it is the coming of the special ‘Sai Season’ which brings with it so many beautiful blessings.

The Kodai sojourn especially is very unique and fascinating, and it is for this reason that Kodai Kanal is often described as the Lord’s playground. Though Swami has skipped visiting this holy hill station on a few summers, He did visit there in 2009.

So what was the story in 2009? How did it unfold? Now we bring you the account of the eighth day of this sublime divine odyssey.

Earlier Episodes of this Series

 
                  Day Six                                  Day Seven
 

The eighth day of Kodai 2009 started off on a normal note, that is to say, with wonderful morning darshan and concurrent bhajans by the boys. 



 

After the bhajan session was over, there was a lot of speculation whether there would be any “special” program for the day. By late afternoon, it became clear that a visit to the local residence of late Mr. G.K. Raman was very much likely.

Here it is necessary to mention something about Mr. G. K. Raman, now alas no more who played a prominent role in Swami’s visits to Kodai in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Mr. Raman, belonged to the world of finance, and for years was connected with Sundaram Finance in Chennai, where he rose to become the Chairman and Managing Director. For many years, he was connected with the Sri Sathya Sai Trust activities in the state of Tamil Nadu and from 2000 he served as the convenor of this Trust; his predecessor was another distinguished devotee Mr. Arjun Raja who passed away in Jan 3, 2008.

 

Mr. Arjun Raja and Mr. Raman addressing the assembly in Sai Kulwant Hall in the year 2004 when a group of about three thousand devotees from Chennai came specially to thank Swami for finally bringing Krishna water to the water starved city of Madras.

It should also be mentioned that as the State Convenor, Mr. Raman took special pains in organising the Athirudram Yajnam in Chennai in January 2007, at which time, by the way, there was a Citizens Conclave where gratitude was expressed to Swami by a galaxy of prominent politicians that included several Chief Ministers and a couple of Central Ministers as well.

Mr. Raman was deeply involved in making all the arrangements for the Yajna as well as the trip.

 

Tall, with a cherubic face and an imposing personality, Mr. Raman loved jokes and had a characteristic hearty laugh, all of which made him very popular of course. From 2003 onwards, whenever Swami visited Kodai, Mr. Raman would move to a lakeside bungalow that was part of an estate that belonged to Sundaram Finance, and was available for its top management to use as a vacation house, when they visited Kodai for the holidays. This house was very close to Sai Sruthi, which enabled Mr. Raman to spend a lot of time at Swami’s Ashram overseeing many activities.

 

Swami first paid a visit to Mr. Raman’s house in Kodai in 2003. On that occasion, however, He kept it as a private visit in the sense that He did not take the members of His large group along with Him; only four senior members of the party, all professors, accompanied Bhagavan.

This was a real bonanza for the Raman family in the sense they literally had Swami all to themselves, being blessed with an experience of a lifetime. Just before Swami sat down for lunch, with just one wave of His hand, He materialised two chains, one for Mrs. Raman and the other for Mr. Raman’s daughter-in-law!

Thereafter, whenever Swami went to Kodai, one could be sure that there would be a visit to Mr. Raman’s house, sometime or the other, and that was the way it always proved to be.

For a number of years, whenever Mr. Raman visited Prashanti, he had to go to the accommodation office every time to get a room. Soon after He returned from Kodai in 2007, Swami most graciously asked the Office to allot a permanent accommodation to Mr. Raman, which was then done. After getting the room in shape to suit his requirements, Mr. Raman came, with Swami’s blessings, in late August, to do housewarming as they say.

 

The big day was August 27, and that morning, he came for darshan as usual, and sat in the veranda right next to Dr. Raghav Reddy. That spot is a kind of special seating one might say, with only a few places, as a result of which only a few are allowed to occupy.

It was Mr. Raman’s idea to have Swami’s darshan, take His blessings, go to his flat, and have his wife prepare some special food offering as naivedyam for Swami that he would offer later when Swami has His lunch.

As Swami came for darshan and entered the Sai Kulwant Hall, Mr. Raman joined his palms, offered praanams and excitedly said, “See, Swami has come!” Slowly, Swami came along His regular route, and shortly before Swami turned to go up the veranda, Mr. Rama again offered pranaams with palms joined.

Swami then came up the slope to the veranda and even as He was doing so, Mr. Raman just slumped and fell on the left side on Dr. Reddy. Meanwhile, Swami was by Mr. Raman’s side, while a whole bunch of doctors including Mr. Raman’s son Dr. Krishna Raman rushed and felt his pulse; there was none.

It appeared that Mr. Raman had suffered cardiac arrest. Placing him flat on the ground, doctors tried to revive him, even as Swami was watching from nearby. Suddenly Mr. Raman gasped when Swami called out three times “Raman, ...Raman,.....Raman.” He opened his eyes and saw Swami. His eyes then closed, and it was all over. Arrangements were then made to take the body to the hospital and prepare it for the long journey to Madras for the last rites and other ceremonies.  

 

Months had passed and Swami was in Kodai again, and Dr. Krishna Raman also was there. Once Swami arrived, Dr. Raman wanted to go to Chennai and bring his mother too so that she also could enjoy the bliss of divine darshans.

And for this, he sought Swami’s permission which the Lord readily gave. Once Dr. Raman returned to Kodai with his mother, Swami eagerly enquired with him about her and then so lovingly He Himself mentioned that He would be visiting their house.

Needless to say Dr. Raman was overjoyed and the next day after making all the necessary arrangements he prayed to Swami to bless their house with His divine visit and compassionate that He is, Swami the next moment asked for the car.

 

 


 

Thus, by 4 p.m. or so when Swami’s party made the short ride to the adjacent cottage, everything was in readiness. In many respects, this visit was rather like the earlier one in 2007, with of course one major difference – Mr. Raman was not there.

However, his son Krishna played host exactly as his father would have, and the visit was so successful that there was a sudden and impromptu photo session, with everyone having a chance to be next to Swami and have his photo taken!

Altogether, it was a nice outing for all, and Mrs. Raman was visibly moved by the compassionate gesture of Swami to take so much trouble and come to their house, just as He would have if Mr. Raman had been alive.

After the return, it was evening bhajans as usual, nice of course as always.

After bhajans, while the general crowd dissolved, the boys and Swami had a small interactive session which was dominated by songs that the boys sang specially for Swami, sometimes based on His own selection.

 

What a wonderful blessing it is to be asked by Swami: “Hey boys, why don’t you sing that Meera song?” or something like that.After bhajans, everybody had a wonderful dinner. As D-day was fast approaching, the Kodai days took on a special meaning. Sweet experiences now but soon to be experienced only as sweet memories!

 

So, that is how Day Eight of Kodai 2009 was yet another unforgettable day. In the next episode we shall offer you the account of Day Nine.

 
                  Day Six                                  Day Seven
 

 

- Heart2Heart Team

What are your impressions about this article? Please share your feedback by writing to [email protected] Do not forget to mention your name and country.

 
Go to Radio Sai
Go to Publications Division Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana Trust
Go to Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust
counter for wordpress