March 23, 2010 – Day Seven of Bhagavatha Sapthaham

In the morning of March 23, Sri Rituraj Maharaj described the grand wedding of Rukmini with Lord Krishna. And from there he moved to the story of Satrajit, who was one of the kinsmen of Krishna. Next was the interesting story of Bhaumasura or Narakasura. Then came the sublime story of Sri Krishna Tulabharam, and finally, it was the story of Hanuman and his incessant devotion to Lord Rama. For a detailed summary of that morning talk, go here.

It was at almost 10:30 a.m. that Swami came out for darshan that morning! He took a detour after the ladies' side and moved into the interview room. On the way, He had a detailed look at the board which had the "pictures for the day".  It was interesting to note that Swami did not take anyone for interviews and as Sri Rituraj Maharaj later recalled, "Am sure Bhagavan was listening to me speak! Ah, what a blessing! It is greater than liberation! Even if I get liberation, I will not get this joy!"

It was 11 a.m. when Swami moved to the stage and sat listening to the young (The Maharaj is only 26 years old!) speaker exhorting everyone passionately to love God. Ten minutes later, he concluded and Swami called him and showered blessings and love. He told him that everyone were so happy with everything that he was speaking. He had words of praise even for the music accompanying troupe and they made the best of it by moving to the stage and taking padanamaskar.

Swami then turned around and had a look at a new magnificent backdrop that had been erected. It portrayed Swami as the Cosmic Master around whom the whole Universe revolved. There was also a beautiful wooden statue of the Vishwaroopa darshan that Lord Krishna showed Arjuna on the battlefield. Seeing all of these, Swami retired for the morning.

That day’s evening session was the last one as far as the Bhagawatha Saptaham was concerned. This session was dedicated to the beautiful story of friendship with the Lord. The session began with the summary presentation of the previous evening's speech and that morning's talk. At 4:30 p.m., Sri Rituraj Maharaj began and it was shortly after 5:00 p.m. that Swami arrived for darshan. It turned out to be another "detour day" as Swami cut through towards the stage after crossing the ladies' side.

By 5:10 p.m., He was on the stage and Maharaj had just begun the narrative where Sudama is leaving for Dwarka. What followed next was a session filled with nostalgia - for Swami of course!

As the love of Sudama and his true friendship was being described, Swami seemed lost in that pure "Saakhyam". Time and again Swami has said that the penultimate step before the final merger into God is the step of Saakhyam or Divine friendship. And truly, Sudama was in this stage.

 

He goes to Dwarka and asks for the Lord saying that he is a friend. When the guards inform Sri Krishna about this, He gets up and rushes in a hurry. His crown falls off and the robes are in disarray.

As the description of the hurry of the Lord was made, Sai Krishna was so moved. There were tears everywhere in the hall. The narrator too had tears streaming down the cheeks as everyone joined in this celebration of Divine Love. The feelings and current of devotion that surged in the hall were so powerful.

The beautiful days that Sudama spent in Divine company were so graphic in their description that everyone had been transported to Dwarka and Swami seemed to feel the joy that had coursed through Him when He had been Krishna. It was moving, thrilling and devotion-evoking to say the least.

The tale and the Parayanam concluded at 5:50 p.m. and Swami asked the students whether they had anything ready to present.

The ever-ready students started the programme. The first song was with the famous, "Aananda Baalude" alaap and went on to the song, "Manishini Madhuvuni" which highlighted the similarities between Swami and the other Avatars.

The next song, "Hai Mein Nain Heen Tum Nayana" challenged the Lord, "You leave my hand and run away and call yourself strong! If You are really strong, leave from my heart where I have bound You!" It was oozing with devotion and sure enough many eyes turned moist even as it was rendered.

Two more songs later, Swami asked for aarthi. As aarthi was taken, Swami blessed oranges for distribution. He told Maharaj that He would speak to him and blessed him. By 6:15 p.m., Swami was back to Yajur Mandir.

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