June 19, 2010 – Drama by Sai Youth from Saroornagar, Hyderabad

It was to be a special day for the devotees from the Saroornagar Samithi in Hyderabad. In what can be considered a rare privilege, at 2 p.m. on June 19, they received a confirmation that their samithi could perform their programme in the Divine Presence. They would be performing on the same piece of real estate that had been the platform for innumerable national and international programmes! The backdrop had been erected and the children were ready in costumes.

The schedule in the Mandir begins with Veda chanting at 4:30 p.m. and at 5:30 p.m. the baton of spiritual activities is passed on to the bhajan singers. For the most of second and third week of June Swami arrived after 6:00 p.m. and the session sometimes went up to 7:45 p.m.! It was the same on that day too. The clock showed 6:20 as Swami arrived for darshan.

In the center of the hall, in front of the backdrop were students holding up the banner announcing the programme for the evening, “Dorakuna Ituvanti Seva” which literally translates into “Will we ever get a service opportunity like this?” Swami completed the darshan rounds and then came towards the stage.

Instead of moving towards the stage, Swami turned and moved in the opposite direction. The children from the newly formed Easwaramma English Medium School were seated and Swami went towards them. That movement transformed into another complete darshan round on the ladies' side and needless to say, all the ladies were so happy.

Any bonus is always welcome. After that round, Swami arrived onto the stage. He sat listening to the Veda chanting for a while and read through a huge pile of letters on His lap.

At 6:55 p.m., Swami asked for the chanting to stop and the programme to begin. The initial offerings were made. Now, here is an anecdote. A lady came forward and offered the Poornakumbham to Swami and He blessed it. She asked Swami for permission to take padanamaskar. Swami agreed. Now the lady seemed to be in a fix for how could she take it when the Poornakumbham was in her hand?

She did not want to place it down for it was too holy. So what does she do? She looks at one of the students and asks him to hold it for her! Being trained in the Sathya Sai University, the student just looks down and avoids all eye contact! And Swami is observing all this! The security guard came to her rescue and held it for her as she took namaskar.

Then a little girl came up to Swami with a rose in hand. It looked like she wanted to place it on Swami's feet but Swami said there was no need to. Now the little girl seemed to be in a fix because all that she had been trained to was to keep the rose at his feet. Using her memory of what her 'aunty' had done, the little girl promptly walked to the security guard and gave the rose to him! Swami simply burst out laughing and everyone around too had a hearty laugh. Then the presentation began.

The drama was based on a real life episode and centered around the youth in a village who would spend most of the day in religious activities. The elders admonish the youth for their careless attitude and for not striving for proper employment. When a verbal altercation builds up, the Sai youth of Saroornagar enter as emissaries of peace.

Highlighting the need for the noble ideals and practices of the village youth, they also promise vocational training and employment thus appeasing the elders. The rest of the drama focused on the experiences of the youth as they bask in Sai's love and care at the Sathya Sai Seva Sudha in Saroornagar.

The drama was interspersed with beautiful thematic dances, by both Balvikas and the Youth, though dialogues dominated the major part. Swami's attention was divided between the drama and the letters on His lap. He was reading and seeing at the same time. When the final formation was made, Swami sat still seeing it.

Presently a group of men and women began to chant the "Aditya Hridayam", originally recited by Sage Agasthya to Lord Rama on the battlefield before he fought with Ravana. Swami began to tap His hand in rhythm and after a few minutes indicated that He would go down.

Moving down, Swami posed for group photos as the children sat around Him in a disciplined manner. It was 8:10 p.m. when Swami received aarthi and moved towards Yajur Mandir after blessing everyone.

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