March 20, 2010 – Day Four of Bhagavatha Sapthaham

The fourth day of the Bhagavatha Saptaham indicated the arrival of the half-way mark in the Bhagawatham as per the time restraints. And so, it was time for the most glorious among the Dashavatars - Rama and Krishna to make their entry in the narrative. Accordingly, the decorations and the stage set up too had been changed.

Now, there was a green-yellow backdrop on which the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu had been arranged. It was such a beautiful sight.  Soon Maharaj sat on the "Vyas Peeth" and then began with his traditional namasankirtan. And then, the nectarous story of Lord Sri Rama was expounded as part of the ten incarnations apart from other tales.

Also narrated was the story of the child Prahalada who defied all odds and death many times due to his steadfast hold on Hari's name! He completed his narration at the  scheduled time of 10:30, after this bhajans continued for another fifteen minutes and then arathi was offered at 10:45, as there was no physical Divine Darshan.

The evening session began with the summaries of the talks presented the previous day evening as well as that day morning. Then, at 4:30 p.m., Sri Rituraj Maharaj took centrestage. After the namasankirtan, he continued with the story of Sri Rama.

The protection of the sacrificial fires of Vishwamitra, the holy wedding with mother Sita, the kidnapping of Sita by Ravana and the valiant efforts of Jatayu, the friendship with Sugriva and the final clash with Ravana were all narrated in some detail. It was sometime when he was narrating the annihilation of Ravana that Swami arrived for darshan!

He took a detour after the ladies' side and moved to the stage. At the "picture corner" Swami seemed engrossed looking at the different paintings that had been put up there. Then He arrived on stage as Maharaj began to narrate the wonderful story of Krishna's birth. Swami was so moved at that point when he said that the Yamuna raised herself in waves to touch the feet of the infant Krishna. After another half an hour or so, the commentary concluded and Swami blessed the Maharaj once again. And then, He called the student singers!

It was to be an evening unforgettable! As the Maharaj concluded his discourse with the birth of Lord Krishna and the celebrations at Gokul at this wonderful event, Swami smiled and blessed him. Like a child approaching the mother, Sri Rituraj went to Swami seeking blessings, hungry for Love, and like a mother Swami patted him lovingly on his cheeks. Everyone rejoiced at this beautiful and tender moment. Then Swami asked for the students who were to sing that evening.

After the sudden manner in which Swami had called the performers to the stage the previous day, a carpet had been laid out on the stage and mikes kept ready for them. They slowly filed in to the stage and Swami saw that the number of singers, commentators and accompanying artists were too many.

And then, the playful Sai Krishna told one of the singers (whose name too happens to be Sai Krishna!) that the space on stage was not sufficient and that they could sit down and sing! Ah! Indeed wonderful and playful are the ways of God. The chaos that reigned the previous day was recreated that day - only this time the shift was from the stage to off it!

Soon all the singers were in position and the programme began. It was a collection of Swami's beautiful poems through the ages related to Krishna and the love of the Gopikas, especially Radha, for Krishna. After a flowery and heartfelt introduction, the first padyam was sung.

Immediately, it struck the right chords. Everyone in the audience and Swami were instantly involved in it. Swami was almost in tears as He seemed to remember that great devotee of the bygone era. Then came a poem sung by Swami.

It was such a thrilling experience to hear Swami's pristine golden voice and His beautiful poetry in His inimitable style and speed.

Thus Swami too became part of the programme as the audience burst into a delighted applause as the poem was rendered.

The programme then moved to the rich feelings that the Gopikas entertained towards Krishna and how they pined for Him in His absence.

When Uddhava arrives at Gokul with a message from Krishna, the gopikas speak to him through the bees and the trees and confess their mad love for beloved Krishna.

There was also a special mention of the Gopika, Suguna, did not realise the burning of her fingers when she saw Krishna in the flame of her lamp.

Finally, attention was drawn to the special love of Radha for whom the adhar (basis) of life was aradh (worship) of Krishna. She represents Prakruti and Krishna is Paramatma. The poems that Swami composed on their relationship brought out this truth beautifully.

Swami was involved in the programme throughout. It was such a poignant scene. As the students were singing out how the Gopikas, Radha in particular, pined for the Lord and cried for Him, it seemed as if the Lord was pining and crying for His devotees! Ah! God is indeed a pure mirror, reflecting the feelings of the devotees, only in a more concentrated measure. "Take one step towards Me and I will take a thousand towards you!" - the truth of this statement rang out as the programme progressed.

At the end, Swami signaled to ask "Is it over?" When the answer was an affirmative, He immediately asked for the aarthi to begin. It looked as if Swami wanted to leave the darshan hall with the thoughts of the purest of His devotees. During the aarthi, He blessed prasadam to be distributed. Then, blessing everyone, He retired for the day.

Dear reader, how do you like this section? Does it help or inspire you in anyway? Please share your reflections with us by writing to [email protected]g mentioning your name and country.
Thank you for your time.

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