DHTML Menu, (c)2004 Apycom
  Volume 3 - Issue 10
OCTOBER 2005

Search :
 
 


PRASHANTI DIARY

Chronicles of Heaven on Earth


Aug 27, 2005 : Krishnashtami Celebrations in Sai Kulwant Hall

THE MORNING PROGRAMME - KRISHNASTAMI

The day of Krishnashtami dawned with a cool, holy and serene atmosphere. The entire hall was well decorated to celebrate the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. A lot of activities were squeezed into this morning's programme.

After the lapse of a couple of years, Swami permitted a procession of decorated cows, a traditional feature of the Krishnashtami celebrations, to start from the Gokulam to Sai Kulwant Hall, a distance of over a kilometre. A few selected students dressed up as cowherds were leading the cows. These students (laconically termed as "cowboys") had been practising for a couple of days the art of gently leading cows by the noose without causing any pain to the cow. Leading the procession was our dear Sai Gita, Swami's pet elephant, looking majestic after being decked out in all her finery. With a keen eye and sense of occasion, Sai Gita really relishes this role as "procession leader" and zealously guards her position of seva to Swami. Sai Gita was accompanied by the Nadaswaram Group and the Vedam chanting boys. After the Vedam Boys came the Bhajan Boys and then the line of the blessed cows tended by two "cowboys" each. Needless to say that this unique procession gave great joy to the denizens of the town of Puttaparthi as it traversed the main street of town from the Gokulam to Sai Kulwant Hall (SKH).


While this unique and colourful procession was vending its way to SKH, Swami had already given Darshan in SKH and had gone on in His car to the next agenda of the morning - Bhoomi Puja or ‘earth breaking ceremony’ of a Lakshmi temple coming up next to the Gayathri temple in the Ashram. Under a canopy on the selected site, a priest had prepared the selected ground for the consecration ceremony.

After Swami arrived, He blessed the puja materials and also some cement that would go into the construction of the temple. A good crowd that had collected at this site were thus doubly blessed - having not only Swami's divine Darshan but were also witness to this sacred and unique temple consecration ceremony.

 


After He had finished with this ceremony, Swami's car returned to SKH to find the Gokulam procession already waiting for Him. Swami blessed bananas, apples and other assorted fruit so that they could be fed to the cows.

Never one to miss an opportunity, Sai Gita went up to the dais trumpeting loudly in ecstasy so she could be fed by the divine hand. And the Ocean of Compassion obliged, feeding her apples to her heart's content.

 



While this love feast was going on between Swami and His pet elephant, the Ashram received an important visitor - Sheikh Nahayan, Minister of Education of the UAE. The Sheikh had landed at Puttaparthi airport in a chartered jet and was received at the airport by two members of the Central Trust.

He was driven down from the airport (in Swami's car) straight to Sai Kulwant Hall with the 10 or so members of his party. Swami gave his entire group a personal audience that lasted for more than an hour and it was late - after 10:45 AM - that Swami finally retired to Poornachandra.

 

THE EVENING PROGRAMME - KRISHNASTAMI

The evening programme featured talks by 2 speakers, after a short music programme. They music programme began with the sloka Vasudevasutam Devam….following this we had Brahma Kadagina Padamu, Adharam Madhuram, Chella Gaalilo, Madhura Mohana Ghana Shyama….

The first speaker of the evening was Dr. M. Sainath, lecturer in the Department of Physics and the second speaker was Sri Shashank Shah, a II Year M.Phil. student in the School of Business Management .

Dr. M. Sainath spoke about the journey from the gross to the subtle, from the world without, to the world within and from the force to the Source. He elaborated on the evolutionary path of humans as expounded by Bhagavan. He said that we begin as animals devoid of any discrimination or wisdom and then move on to the devil who is steeped in infatuation and sensual pleasures. Finally we evolve to the human being who adheres to Truth and Dharma.

He narrated a beautiful story from the life of Tukaram to illustrate the transitoriness of human life.In response to a disciple's query on the Saint's calm demeanour, saint Tukaram informed the disciple that he had only 7 more days to live. After the initial shock had worn off, the disciple accepted in full measure the inevitability of death and also attained calmness in contemplating the Lord, and being devoid of all worldly connections. Saint Tukaram then told him that he was always aware of the transience of human existence and hence was always in peace and calm.


Dr. Sainath also related many of his other experiences with Swami to exemplify His role as the Guru and also how he used the same incident to give different teachings to different people.

Sri Shashank Shah spoke next on the commonality between the Poorna Avatars - Krishna and Swami. Starting from Krishna leelas right from His birth all the way up to the big battle of Mahabharatha, he compared the similar lives of these different Avatars and used these parallels to state that they are one and the same - Sai Krishna.

Sri Shashank also narrated the famous "Don't Shoot" incident from Sathyam Shivam Sundaram and interestingly, Swami interrupted him during the talk and mentioned the location where Swami was staying during the time of that particular incident.

Sept 1: Krishnashtami Drama by the Post Graduate Students of the SSSIHL

In celebration of Krishnashtami, the graduate students of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL) presented a drama using several incidents from the life of the Avatar.

Using the Janmastami celebrations as a background, the drama depicted a group of devotees gathered in front of Lord Krishna's temple. During prasadam distribution, the priest recollects the glory of Lord Krishna and narrates the Govardhan incident.


In this incident, the child Krishna chides his parents and elders for worshipping Lord Indra and instead convinces them to worship the Govardhana Hill. This naturally infuriates Lord Indra and he sends down incessant rains. In order to save the villagers, Krishna lifts the Govardhan Hill with His little finger.

The next incident they depict is that of Arjuna and Duryodhana, both coming to ask Lord Krishna for His help in the upcoming war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The Lord is asleep and Duryodhana waits for Him at the head, while Arjuna waits at His feet for the Lord to wake up.

The Lord arbitrates that Arjuna would have the first choice, as the Lord saw him first when He woke up. Arjuna then picks his choice of the options - He picks the Lord Himself, leaving all His armies to go to Duryodhana. Needless to say Duryodhana is very happy at this outcome, but the moral is clear. With the Lord beside you all obstacles can be surmounted.

To illustrate how the Lord always comes to the devotee's rescue, they next related the story of Romarishi, a story that Swami Himself has oft times narrated in His discourses. The Pandavas in their travels during their 14 years' exile come one day famished and exhausted into a forest. Looking for food, Bheema notices a fruit and shakes it from the tree but is unable to lift, or even move the fruit.

Meantime Romarishi, who is making the fruit grow through his tapas (penance), senses that someone has intentionally shaken the fruit from the tree, is enraged and vows vengeance.

Krishna appears before the Pandavas and promises to protect them. Seeking out Romarishi, He is talking with them when the Pandavas appear on the scene. Krishna then falls on the feet of the Pandavas. Seeing this Romarishi also seeks their benediction and thus the Pandavas are saved from his anger.

The drama ends with the students depicting that the Lord Who promised that He would come back when Dharma is in crisis in Dwapara Yuga has now come down as Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Kali Yuga. His way is not the destruction of evil, but the transformation of the lost ones.

Sept 3rd & 4th: Sai International Conference On Ideal Healthcare For All

On Sept 3rd and 4th a big group of 900 medical personnel from a total of 27 countries, gathered in Sai Kulwant Hall for an international medical conference on the theme "Sai Ideal Healthcare For All" . The conference was well organised and was very fruitful. A detailed report is featured as this month's cover story.

Sept 7 & 9: Ganesha Chaturthi Celebration

On the morning of Sept 7, there was a simple but serene Ganesha Chaturthi celebration in Sai Kulwant Hall. After giving Darshan Swami sat down and listened to the Vedam chanting for a few minutes. Then the boys sang some Ganesha Stotrams like Mudaakaratha Modakam, Sree Mahaganapathy Stothram, Shree Ganesha Stothram, Pandurangashtakam, and Sai Mahadeva.

Though a departure from previous years, in the sense there was no divine discourse, still the joyous singing filled everyone's hearts to the brim with joy on this holy day. The students had an eventful morning as they do worship in their hostel in the morning to Ganeshas that they have made from earth before coming to SKH.

 

 

Three days after this event, on the evening of Sept 9th, is a programme that the students look forward to all year - the Ganesha Immersion Day.

On this (usually the third or the fifth third day after Ganesh Chaturthi) the Ganeshas that the students and other different groups have fashioned from bio-degradable materials are brought in a colourful and exuberant procession to Sai Kulwant Hall on floats so that they could be blessed by Lord Sainatha Himself.

 

 

 

 

Many and varied are the Ganeshas that are on display. The boys really channel their energies and let their creative juices flow in full measure to make an eye-catching, attractive and enchanting Ganesha. All different groups vie in a friendly fashion to make their version more attractive and their float more unique so that they stand out.

Using a background of varying themes some fashion their Ganesha as a charioteer, some as a musician in a float of musical instruments, the Hospital staff show Ganesha as a healer, some use floral motifs, but each and every float is a work of art representing the many hours of sustained co-operative effort of a group of boys.

 

 

 



The floats all line up in Sai Kulwant Hall so Swami can drive by and see them all. After Swami has seen all the floats, He takes His seat on the dais and then calls the different groups to come up one by one and take His blessings. Each group comes up in order before Him, singing bhajans all the while, and He blesses one and all patiently, always with divine smile. They circumambulate the temple and then go back to their floats.

Then the floats leave the SKH premises one by one, to the raucous shouts of 'Ganapathi Bappa Morya'. The boys then take the floats to a deep tank just outside the city where they are immersed and thus the Ganeshas fashioned out of earth are dissolved and 'return back home'.

 

Swami waited patiently for these boys to come back after the immersion ceremony and then started the bhajans and the distribution of prasadam to one and all so that these boys would not be left out. Only the Lord pays such thoughtful attention to all these details. Hence it is said that living with God is true education.

Sept 8: Distribution of Clothes to the Ashram Workers

On the afternoon of Sept 8 was organised a function that is dear to the Lord's heart - giving clothes to the workers who are employed in different capacities in the Ashram - as cooks, gardeners, cleaners and so on. The Ashram owes a lot to all these unsung and unheralded people who quietly serve one and all.

These workers were seated in the centre of Sai Kulwant Hall with the gents on one side and the ladies on the other. After Swami gave Darshan, He made a gesture that only He is capable of. He had His chair brought to the centre of Sai Kulwant Hall so that it was stationed right amidst all these dedicated devotees who have been serving the ashram so well.

Swami interacting and blessings the workers - gardeners, cooks, cleaners, etc. of the ashram

After going around these workers giving His blessings, He asked that a mike be brought. He then asked these workers who wished to do so to come up and speak a few words. Quite a few overcame their initial shyness and stood up in front of all and spoke well since they spoke from their heart. All expressed their gratitude to Swami and some related how He had come to their family's rescue time and time again. A few expressed their gratitude by singing Bhajans to which the audience enthusiastically joined.

Swami then distributed a pack consisting of a trouser and a shirt to the gents and sarees to the ladies. All received a watch from the Divine Hands. Many wept copious tears on receiving this token gift from the divine hands.

Swami distributing clothes to the workers and giving them an opportunity to express their feelings

Truly, the Lord only gives, gives, and gives.

This brings to an end this month's instalment of these chronicles. So till next time, all of us at Heart 2 Heart wish all of you the very best.

- Heart 2 Heart Team



 
You can write to us at [email protected]
Vol 3 Issue 10 - October 2005
Optimized for Netscape and Firefox. Best viewed in Internet Explorer - 1024 x 768 resolution.