ONAM (2008)CELEBRATIONS IN PRASHANTHI NILAYAM,

Saturday, 13 September, 2008 11:54 AM
From: Satish Naik

Om Sairam dearest Sai Family,

The atmosphere in Puttaparthi and surrounding areas is looking serene, the climate is cool, beautiful green pea nut crops spread everywhere, thanks to the timely rains, there is water and just water everywhere with the back drop of sweetly singing Cuckoo bird (a Indian bird which looks like a crow but has a very sweet voice and sings only during rainy season), farmers busy in their respective fields hoping for a better harvest this year, children playing in the waters in the small pits and as a whole this drought hit area is now looking like the beautiful Kerala.. Thousands of devotees from Kerala, left their respective places to celebrate their most important festival in the immediate presence of our beloved Lord... the most auspicious and holy festival of beautiful Kerala, ONAM was celebrated in the immediate presence of Swami with utmost devotion and faith. The mandir was beautifully decorated on the holy occasion. There was a huge black colored lamp about 6 feet height placed in front of Ganesha. the Kulwanth hall was beautifully decorated and there were two small hut like things made of sticks, on either side of the dais, just above the two bronze lions, giving us a feeling as if they were caged in those tiny and beautiful huts..

This morning Swami blessed the huge gathering with His divine darshan at 9:45am amidst veda chant and music played by devotees of Kerala. This morning Swami blessed famous play back singer from Kerala Sri Kolam Sri Kumar and party to sing in His immediate presence After scintillating music session the morning darshan came to an end at 10:45am. It was announced that in the afternoon Swami would bless the august gathering with His divine discourse and a drama entitled Savitri by the students of Balvikas, Kerala.

Being Onam, devotees from Kerala were given preference and were allowed to get into the hall before other devotees could go in. At 4pm the Veda coaching class started which under the
divine command had started 4 days ago. All of us joined as two students repeated a small line and we in turn repeated the same twice. At 4:10 pm, Swami lovingly entered into the Sai Kulwanth hall in the mobile throne, His face as fresh and bubbly like an Apple from Beautiful Himachal Pradesh, the beautiful 24X7 smile which is a treat to watch, looking lovingly at maximum number of devotees in that limited time, with His naked eye, accepting letters, speaking to some. Every one has some problem or other, some body's health is not so good, some body's children are not getting married, some one is having a very bad marriage, some parent lost their beloved child, some one is praying for a better job, for a better career what not.. you name the problem and it is there in Kulwanth Hall. For every one, Swami, the ONLY hope. As He passes by we tend to forget all our worldly problems, dip in the ocean of bliss. Swami rarely speaks to any one, but every body's face is lit as if they got an answer, an assurance for their problem and the conversation was all H2H, eye to eye and it is the world's most wonderful WONDER...

Swami took a full round this afternoon and came on to the dais. This afternoon, a young boy from Kerala, was blessed to speak in the immediate presence of Swami and the boy thanked Swami for all His grace and love which He is showering on people of Kerala and the Sai School in particular.

Now all eyes were on Swami. The time was getting closer and closer for us to hear the nectarine Voice directly from the source. Swami signaled to bring the discourse table and in no time every thing was set. Prof. Anil Kumar stands next to Swami, with a book and pen, keenly observing Swami. Swami unlike the recent past, preferred to stand and deliver His divine discourse and the devotees joined their hands in praise of Swami.. There was pin drop silence all over, Prof. Anil Kumar getting more alert now, what will the Divine Master say, a beautiful verse or Prema Swaroopulara. .

Swami started with a beautiful telugu verse, told the importance of Onam and story behind it.. Regarding paying a visit to Kerala, Swami gave a CONDITIONS APPLY** kind of statement about His visit, Swami said, Every one call me to their respective places, many times, people from Kerala also called me to come to Kerala, I never say NO to any one, I always say, I will definitely come and today also Iam saying I will come to Kerala**(He didnt mention in which form and when). Swami was all praise for Keralites. He said, they are very devoted and sincere a very big statement and a BIG responsibility for Keralites to live upto His expectations. .

Below is some excerpts from the divine discourse all based on memory and not a official release..

Khanda Khandantara khyati narginchina mahaneeyulanu kanna mathru bhoomi,

(India is a land which gave birth to many noble souls, who were renowned in all the continents)

Paschathya veerula para drolinchiyu, swatantramunu kanna samara bhoomi

(Driving away the foreign invaders from their land, this land has gained independence)

Sangeetha Sahithya sastreeya vidyalandu, dhee shakthi choopina punya bhoomi

(this land has shown scholarly excellence in the field of Music and literature)

Itti Bharata bhoomi yandu janana mundi

(being born in such a holy land)

Bharatha mata dharma bhagyambu kapada bhadya tantayu meede bala balika lara

(to protect the spiritual riches of this holy India, it is the responsibility of you Boys and girls)

India is not an ordinary country. Bha-Rath means love for God. Inspite of this India is facing lot of difficulties. Don't be afraid of any difficulties. One should have self confidence and immense faith in God. Time waste is life waste. Don’t crave for worldly education. Science may fetch you some money but will not lead you to God. Spirituality is the path you should adhere to. Control your senses and keep the mind in check. Develop intellect, have pure mind and serve your mother land. all your education should help the society. only then your education will have any value. develop morality. struggle hard to know the truth. Who is your true mother? Dharma is your mother, Sathya is your father. when you have both you will have  Shanthi. Shanthi will give love and where there is LOVE there is no scope for hatred (non-violence) . today there is no love among siblings. Love is not to be seen any where. Even in a tiny ant there is love. When ants go in a row, when they meet another ant they share love. Even insects have love. it is very sad that human beings don’t have love. Love for individual is useless. have love for the society.

Swami later told the story of emperor Bali: Bali doesnt just mean mere sacrifice. He has sacrificed everything. it is good fortune of Kerala that you have an emperor like Bali. Bali was conducting a huge Yagna. Vamana, the dwarf comes to the yagna. He was only 3 feet tall.

Bali goes to him and asks, O sage what do you want. Vamana replies, Emperor Bali I dont want any money, I just want only 3 foot steps of land. Emperor Bali was surprised and said ok to his request. The first step of Vamana covered the whole earth and the second step covered the whole sky and there was no place for the third foot. Vamana asks where is the place for the third foot. Emperor Bali removes His crown and asks to put His feet on his head. If you see it spiritually, He is giving up his ego. All the people who came for the Yagna were crying. They couldn’t believe that their emperor is no more. They prayed to Vamana, Swami can't we have our Emperor back, to which Vamana replied Bali will come to Kerala once a year and it is this day when Vamana comes to Kerala and is celebrated as Onam.( personally I enjoyed to hear this story behind this festival from Vamana murthy Himself and Swami told this in a very beautifulstyle which no one can match)

Swami later continued, Vamana came to confer liberation to Emperor Bali. This is a very holy festival in Kerala. Keralites celebrate this festival with utmost devotion. They don't even
celebrate their own birthdays like this festival.

KERALITES ASK SWAMI TO COME THERE. I WILL COME.. I NEVER SAY I WONT COME TO ANY ONE.. I WILL CERTAINLY COME. It is a state of scholarly excellence. It is a state of God .There is sincerity and devotion in Kerala. There is no one who don’t sing the glory of God in Kerala.

Swami later told the story of Savitri, the noble woman who brought back her dead husband to life.

Savitri is wife of Sathyavantha. She stands for truth. She could bring back her dead husband to life. She followed Yama where ever He went. After 6 days of severe fight, she could bring back her dead husband to life. Only in India such a thing can happen.Savtri was a role model for womanhood.

Swami later said a few words of appreciation to the students of Kerala who performed dramas. Swami said, yesterday’s drama was very good. Kerala always maintains high standards in their plays. The dialogue delivery, the music, action and even the dress are very nice. Keep up the high standards for years to come..

As the children were ready to perfom the drama Savitri, Swami said, let us enjoy the play which will commence now and thus ended His 45 minutes divine discourse…..

Later the students performed the drama Savitri.. As Swami said, it was just perfect, point to point..

Unlike some dramas which are performed in Parthi, there was no beating round the bush, the drama was very short, straight and full of praise to the artists and behind the curtain staff for their hard work.

Swami was very happy with the performances and Swami asked the boys to distribute clothes to the students in the drama and after few bhajans and prasadam distribution, arathi was given to Swami around 6:30 pm thus ending yet another beautiful day in my Prashanthi diary..

(Hope by now every one have noticed and noted the change in the last part of the arathi.. it is SAMSTHA LOKA SUKHINO BHAVANTHU instead of LOKA SAMASTHA SUKHINO BHAVANTHU..)

With humble pranams at the lotus feet of our beloved Lord.

R. Satish Naik

Puttaparthi

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