June 28, 2009 – Parthi Yatra of East and West Godavari Beneficiaries – Day Two

The grateful inhabitants of the hills of East Godavari district continued their “Parthi Yatra” (pilgrimage to Puttaparthi) with another evening filled with Love and devotion. Ladies who were to be recipients of sewing machines were seated in the centre of Sai Kulwant Hall alongside one volunteer. Swami arrived at 4:35 p.m. and moved into the ladies side.

. As Swami passed through the centre, He asked one of the ladies as to what the drama was about. She did not have an idea about it and Swami moved on. After completing the gents’ side, He moved towards the interview room via the eastern entrance to the Mandir portico and all the former students of Swami’s University who sit there had a wonderful opportunity of darshan, sparshan and sambashan. Swami arrived on the stage at 5:15 p.m. and immediately asked a student seated nearby as to where the drama for the day was! When the student told Him that a distribution was scheduled first, Swami asked for that event to begin.

The coordinators offered their obeisances to Swami and began to read out the names of the beneficiaries and the villages they hailed from. As this was done, each recipient beneficiary rose and offered salutations to Swami from his/her place and sat in the allocated positions. Volunteers presented them with their sewing machines. The whole event was complete in a matter of minutes and Swami was visibly impressed with the efficiency and professionalism with which it was conducted. He also told the coordinator, "The distribution was very good and done well." It is a well known saying about self-reliance, "Instead of giving a man a fish, teach him how to fish." Here the sevadals members had gone a step ahead and also gifted the people with a "fishing rod" as many of the tribals had begun to earn their livelihood by stitching, which seemed "tailor made" for them!

The next part of the programme was a musical drama entitled, "Uppongi Poyindi Godavari." The kids performing the drama moved upto Swami and made the initial offerings. Swami blessed them and after a couple of sevadals offered flowers to Swami, the drama began. The opening was with a lilting song which transported one to the waters of the river Godavari and literally made one feel the fresh and cool breeze against one's face.

The drama was about the meeting between two tribals and a Sai volunteer in Prashanthi Nilayam. The tribals recount the innumerable blessings that Swami has so lovingly bestowed upon them and state that they have arrived at Prashanthi to express their gratitude, for what else could they do? Swami was engrossed in the drama throughout and one could see the different emotions move across His face during the course of the drama.

It also depicted two incidents where Swami moved amidst the tribals of Godavari. The first one was in Kodada where Swami arrived and promised the tribals pure water to drink. Today, at exactly the spot depicted by Him, there stand the taps of the Sathya Sai Drinking Water Project. The other incident occured at Rampachodavaram in a village called Sripuram where Swami appeared and provided materials to an old woman for reconstructing her home! Before that, He had blessed the same woman and cured her fever. He even had tea at that village!

We see our Lord seated on the chair, giving darshans and enjoying bhajans. Our Swami, in the meanwhile, is traversing the globe and providing support and succour to the needy millions. Hasn't He declared, "If you need Me, you deserve Me?” Listening to these experiences, a thrill ran through one's being and Swami also seemed so moved as the tribals poured forth their love and gratitude to Him. The entire drama was populated with melodious and devotion filled song. When the song stated, "Touching the holy soil of Prashanthi, our lives have been sanctified…."

Swami appeared very moved and He smiled at the students sitting nearby. A Burrakatha was also presented by tiny tots. Swami was appreciative of it and as it concluded, He looked at the three University students who had done the previous few Burrakathas and seemed to say, "Did you see how well they did it?" The drama soon concluded and Swami asked for bhajans. The students were about to begin singing when Swami indicated that He wanted the tribal people to sing. Swami moved into the interview room as the girls from Godavari district began to sing bhajans and songs.

When He came out, there were white cloth pieces and sarees that were brought out. Swami asked for the person who was heading all the work being done. When the person moved to Swami, He materialized a gold ring for him. The ring appeared a little tight and when he told that to Swami, the Lord smiled and immediately materialized another ring on the spot for him! He also told him to keep the first ring with him. The director of the drama, Mr. Prakash Rao requested, "Swami, so much has been done in these areas. If by your Grace, coffee plantations are cultivated, there will be good livelihood for the tribals." Swami assured him that coffee plantations would definitely arrive in those hilly areas.

Swami then moved down the ramp and granted the privilege of group photos to all the participants of the drama. He materialized a ring to another active worker of the organization on His rounds! Then, moving into the children, Swami interacted with a few of them. He also blessed the sarees and white cloth pieces to be distributed to all of them. He sat witnessing the distribution in front of tribals below the stage for quite some time. Moving up the stage, He blessed the prasadam to be distributed.

One of the photographers handed Him a picture of the "dual-ringed" Sevadal worker being blessed by Him! Swami called him and handed over the photo to him even as he exulted in joy. Swami then asked for the aarthi but He continued to sit even after the aarthi was complete. He told the coordinator that He was very happy. Watching the scene before His eyes, He felt great joy He said. Sitting like that for about five minutes, it appeared as though Swami was leaving very reluctantly.

Blessed indeed are these innocent tribals that they have so completely won over the Lord's heart. Swami retired at about 7:10 p.m! After that, Mr. Balaraju, the Minister for Tribal Welfare, who had witnessed the evening's programme, rose from his seat; he was a thrilled man. He said that he wanted to know more about the project which had made such an unbelievable impact on the tribal people. He seemed annoyed that the people in his ministry had not updated him about such wonderful work. To top it all, he promised that he would work to get coffee plantations in the hilly regions, and do his little bit for the magnificent project. Indeed wonderful are the ways of the Lord. Co-incidences are indeed miracles where God chooses to be anonymous!

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