April 19, 2010 – First Darshan after the Divine Delhi-Shimla Tour

April 19 and Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is back at home - in Puttaparthi. After a ten day long trip where His Love flowed North - to Delhi and Simla (the details of which will follow soon), Swami was received the previous day with great joy and celebration at the Prasanthi Nilayam airport. Even as His car which had been almost covered with flower petals drove into the Sai Kulwant Hall, a song of welcome filled the air and the students sang their hearts out.

Even in the middle of a hot summer, when it is vacation time, there were at least four to five thousand people welcoming Swami. The crew members of the Airbus A-320 that ferried Swami to Puttaparthi were so overwhelmed that they made it a point to rush to Sai Kulwant Hall for Darshan. Swami moved towards the interview room in the car and received aarthi. He gifted the roses that had been offered to Him to the pilots and the crew members who were standing nearby.

So April 19 was to be the first darshan after a long hiatus when He would be arriving again on the chair. Much to the delight of everyone present, Swami arrived for darshan in the morning as the bhajans were on. It was at about 10:15 a.m. and taking a detour after the ladies' side, He went into the interview room. After a while there was aarthi and He returned to His Residence.

The evening turned out to be a slightly different one. There are many countries in the world that follow a summer time and a winter time - daylight saving time as it is called. In Puttaparthi too, Swami does something similar. The hot sun makes it an ordeal for the devotees to sit in the hall and so Swami permits a delayed start for the bhajans. From that day onwards the Veda chanting was to begin at 4:30 p.m. and the bhajans at 5:30 p.m. Swami arrived shortly after 5:00 p.m. as the Veda chanting went on.

It was so beautiful to see the orange form once again, adorning the gigantic Sai Kulwant Hall. Swami passed through the ladies' side and continued what He has been doing for decades now - collecting letters and showering grace. As He arrived to the place where all the primary school kids were seated, He spoke to some of them. One of the kids told Him something and was rewarded with a loving pat on his cheeks. He moved through the gents' side and then through the students too.

Now, a research scholar got up on his knees to show Swami some pictures. Here we pause the narration and go to a flashback to garner some details that will make the current narrative interesting. It also gives a glimpse of the ways in which Swami works.

This research scholar had been to the Himalayas the previous year. There, when he visited the Vasisht Gufa (cave), he heard about an incident. Swami had posed for a picture with Swami Purushotamananda. The venerable saint had passed away and now his disciple is the caretaker of the cave there. The disciple told the research scholar as to how that picture had been lost.

Since the research scholar was planning another trip there this year too, he had procured that same photograph and got it laminated. Swami had blessed him and the photograph before the Delhi trip. And that day, he had got a picture of the disciple happily posing with the framed photo that had been restored to him.

Even as the research scholar rose, Swami said, "Purushotamanada's picture?" There was joy writ large on his face as he said, "Yes Swami! I gave it to the disciple as You directed. He was very happy." Swami blessed the research scholar with padanamaskar and moved on. He then moved to the stage. The Veda chanting was on and Swami sat listening to them.

Even as He sat, He began to participate in the chanting too. The Shivopasana mantra was on and as the chants of the Hiranaya Lingam came, Swami pointed towards the interview room saying, "There is a lingam there!" It was so thrilling for all to see. He continued to chant after that. He saw that there was a student holding a couple of pencil sketches of Him. Calling him, Swami saw the sketches and made a few observations too! Then blessing him with padanamaskar, He sent him back.

As it became 5:45 p.m., Swami asked for the priest. When he came, He told him,"Wait till 6:00 p.m. and then take aarthi." When the clock struck 6:00 p.m., Swami immediately looked at the priest and asked for aarthi! So, aarthi was taken and thus there were no bhajans that evening. Swami accepted the rose which an elder offered and then moved towards Yajur Mandir.

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