July 13, 2010 –

Soulful Drama and Heartfelt Singing by Devotees from Russian Speaking Countries

Superlatives are used in a language when something too wonderful for words takes place. This gives a fair estimate to the readers. But what does one do when a superlative filled narrative is immediately succeeded by something that is simply of the same level if not better? It is a better idea to sound clichéd than try to be different in one’s narrative.

There was a hint in the previous update that the coordinator for the Russian speaking countries prayed to Swami for another programme. It had indeed been the case and Swami had permitted these God-crazed Russians (please note that the term ‘Russians’ here refers to all the devotees from Russian speaking countries and not only the inhabitants of current Russia) another opportunity to present a programme in the Divine Presence.

The stage had been set in Sai Kulwant Hall for a little skit and some singing. A slight drizzle began and it developed into a steady rain. It was at 5:15 p.m. that Swami arrived for darshan and since it was raining, a yellow umbrella was held over Swami’s chair. The minute Swami noticed this He made a sweet frown and told that He needed no umbrella. If people make a hue for such small sprinklings, what would happen when they would witness what He had planned to shower that day? Swami soon entered the hall and moved through the ladies’ side.

At the centre, He collected letters from the participants who were seated in front of the backdrop which carried a sample of scenic Russia. Completing the darshan rounds as He came near the students, there were many who got the Shirdi Sai Satcharitra Parayanam books blessed by Him. The week long reading of the Shirdi Sai story is done as a sadhana by many in the hostel during the appropriate period and Swami seemed to be appreciative of it as He blessed all of them along with the card they had made.

He traversed through the veranda and then came out onto the stage. He sat for quite a while reading letters as the Veda chanting went on. Wherever familiar, the Russians too joined whole heartedly in the chanting. It was at 6:05 p.m. that Swami asked for the chanting to stop and the programme to begin.

As far as the Divine smiles are concerned, Swami seemed to take over from where He had left off the previous evening. Broad smiles greeted the men and women who went up to Him and made floral offerings. Swami asked them which country they had come from. Then, as the announcement was on, two kids - a boy and a girl - moved towards Swami with what looked like some special bread and other eats from these countries.

As they walked slowly in a disciplined manner to Him, He seemed so eager to bless them. Twice He beckoned them to come unto Him and as they neared Him, He blessed them and granted padanamaskar. Then the programme began.

The drama had a simple yet moving theme. It traced the journey of a young Russian man who travels to different countries in the quest for songs of God. He comes across different people of varied cultures among these Russian speaking countries. He hears songs from Kazakhstan to Ukraine and is surprised to find mention of Sathya Sai or Sai Baba in all of the songs.

The people tell him that the Lord almighty has descended in all Love and Compassion at Puttaparthi. The man is excited and thrilled. He arrives to Puttaparthi and is joyous on having Swami’s darshan. His joy knows no bounds when all the people he had met in the different countries are all assembled in Prashanti Nilayam.

There seemed to be almost no acting at all in the drama for every word spoken and every expression made seemed like an honest outpouring from the heart. It looked so spontaneous and beautiful and if someone had said that these people made this drama only about 20 minutes ago, we would have all believed it.

It was more like the people from different countries were coming forward to bring out the innermost recesses of their hearts in the Divine Presence. Swami’s beautiful smiles during the programme were enchanting and enamouring. 

As the drama concluded in about 15 minutes, the children came forward and got ready to sing. Another wonderful session of singing followed and though they were kids, their singing was very matured and beautiful. It was really sublime and each of the children sang songs in different tongues, but all embodying Love for God.

In fifteen minutes, they were done with the singing when Swami called one of the boys and asked him what his name was. Vladmir was the answer and Swami asked him what he liked. There was no answer and the boy sat gazing deeply into those mesmerising eyes. Swami waved His hand and materialized a golden ring for the lad and flashing a broad smile slipped it into his ring finger.

Swami now told the student beside Him to get something. Out came a beautiful photo frame with lights. Swami called the boy and gifted him that frame. Then He told him to call all the other children too. He gifted all of them with similar photo frames. Even as He gifted them, He enquired from many of them where they had come from and whether they played any instruments.

He permitted a few ladies to begin singing and then seemed to be engrossed in making plans on what He wanted to bestow. Swami got white safari pieces for the adult members of the group on the gents’ side. He gifted the ladies with sarees and there was a sense of fulfillment and joy on every face.

Once the ladies’ singing concluded Swami asked the men to sing bhajans. At the end of two bhajans, He called those singers and presented them with safari pieces saying, “Get shirt and pant stitched from these!”

The ladies took over the bhajan singing and it was so wonderful to see these people sing. Yes, ‘see them sing’ because it was with all enthusiasm and great joy. It seemed like each and everyone was aware that they were singing in The Presence. That wisdom was expressed as great love and devotion.

Even as Swami was distributing aarthi was done. But even after the aarthi, Swami continued with the distribution and looking at the ladies told them to sing bhajans. Ah! Their joy knew no bounds. The singing began and Swami was simply so beautiful. All those who witnessed that day will rewind and play those memories over and over again for it was a festival of devotion and Grace.

A second aarthi was performed. Swami called the coordinator of the Russian group and gifted him a safari piece. Meanwhile the photo of Swami placing the ring for Vladimir was given to Swami; He had a look at the picture and then calling Vladmir gifted it to Him. There was applause.

Swami also turned to the coordinator and asked, “What was that boy’s name once again?” “Vladimir, Swami” was the answer and Swami smiled. Time had flown and at the end of another blissful session, Swami turned towards the Residence at 7:15 p.m. It will be no exaggeration to say that we must all be grateful to these ‘Russians’ for they gave so much joy to our dear Lord.

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