April 12 and 13, 2009 – Tamil New Year and Vishu Celebrations
Devotees from Tamil Nadu and Kerala arrived at Prasanthi Nilayam for celebrating the Tamil New Year and Vishu respectively on the second week of April, and on the evening of April 12 they had received permission for their first programme. Bhagavan came for darshan at 5.30 p.m. Taking a complete round of the packed hall, Swami came onto the stage and asked for the programme to begin. It was about 5.45 p.m.
It was a musical presentation where two members of the Kerala Sai Youth, trained in Carnatic music, performed. Swami sat listening to their songs as they sang popular devotionals like Bho Shambho. They sang a couple of Malayalam songs too, and after about five songs, Swami asked them whether they had completed their planned quota. When they replied in the affirmative, Swami asked the students to sing bhajans. During this period, Swami went into the interview room and returned with clothes, which He wanted to give to the artists. He called all the five members of the troupe onstage during the aarthi and distributed His gifts to them. They all sought padanamaskar which He gladly allowed them to do. After the aarthi, as Swami moved towards the car, He called a student and asked if the "Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavanthu" prayer had been chanted. The boy replied in affirmative. Swami then moved along and also blessed the Governor of Rajasthan, Mr. S. K. Singh and former Election Commissioner of India Mr. T. N. Seshan, both of whom were also at Prasanthi Nilayam over the weekend.
On the next day, that is, April 13, the children from the Kollam district (Quilon) of Kerala had been permitted to put up a drama entitled, "Madhuram Gayati" in the divine presence. The backdrop and sets were in place and the children were decked-up and ready. The costumes and makeup were as realistic as it can get. In fact, so natural was the dressing and finish that one forgot if there was any make up at all! The characters looked as if they had been picked from the bygone Dwapara Yuga and brought into the Sai Yuga, right into the Sai Kulwant Hall. As they say, a more overwhelming response than a thunderous ovation is a pin drop silence. The fact that no one even noticed to say, "Good costumes and makeup" in itself was a compliment!
It was at about 5:30 p.m. that Swami arrived for darshan. Swami took a complete round looking at the sets as He passed by them. Reaching the stage, Swami asked for the children to begin. Two little Radha-Krishna couples moved to Swami and made offerings to Him. He asked them, ever so sweetly, as to what their names were. All the four girls answered. They also gave Him a long peacock feather, which Swami accepted with a slightly amused look. The drama then began as the children returned backstage.
The drama depicted the pure Love that the gopikas, Radha in particular, had for Lord Krishna. It opened with the childhood pranks of the charming little angel of Brindavan, wherein He steals butter from houses. The gopikas complain to Yashoda about Krishna, but when she takes the stick to punish Him, they all plead on His behalf, telling her not to beat Him. They are all lost in the beauty and divinity of His pranks. Krishna grows up, and so does the love between Him and the gopikas.
Radha is possessive of Him, and though she loves Him with all her heart, Krishna seems to ignore her. Torn with sorrow, Radha undergoes a deep soul searching when she realises that there exists only Radha and Krishna in the whole Universe. Everyone and everything other than Krishna is the embodiment of Radha, she realises. Then, she appreciates the expansiveness of Krishna's love. The truth of her discovery is verified when Krishna comes to her and tells her that in all times to come, Radha and Krishna will be inseparable. When Akrura, much to the pain and sorrow of the gopikas, arrives and takes away Krishna and Balarama to Mathura, it is Radha who assuages the grief of all the other gopikas. She cheers them saying that Krishna could never leave them, and then all of them perform the Rasa dance again with the Krishna of their hearts.
Swami was very happy with the play. Love is something that always moves the Lord, for there is no difference between the Lord and Love. He smiled so radiantly when the scene of the gopikas and Krishna playfully bantering was depicted. He was also absorbed in the scene when Radha expresses her anguish to her dear friend. When the children came forward at the end of the drama with lighted lamps, it presented a beautiful sight. Swami said that the lighted lamps be placed behind, away from everyone so that they cause no accidents. Then He called the children to come forward. Moving down the stage, Swami sweetly posed for group pictures with them. He asked many of them their names and patted them appreciatively on their cheeks. Then, He slowly made His way to the stage and asked for aarthi. During the aarthi, He asked for sarees to be brought and distributed to the children. The children were delighted and Swami kept watching them joyfully. It was tough to make out whether it was Swami who was smiling as He saw the children, or was it the other way round! Blessing everyone, Swami retired to His residence at 7 p.m.
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.
Dear reader, do you like this section? Does it help you? What improvements do you suggest to make it more informative and inspiring for you? Please tells us at [email protected].