PARTHI NEWS

Digital Art of Shirdi Baba which is done in Photoshop software with the help of DIGITAL PEN (a drawing instrument attached with computer) by Kouwshik from Colombo.


Prasanthi Update - 31st August

In the evening of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust Anniversary, Swami came at around 3:45 PM and went into Bhajan Hall and after taking a round inside Swami blessed everyone seated inside. Then Swami lit the lamp and cut a Wonderful Cake. Swami then spoke most beautifully on various issues. Some important points are given below :

1. Everyone should come out of the feeling of I and Mine. The Mind cannot be controlled easily, but once we are aware of our divinity, mind can be diverted into Good thoughts and Actions.

2. We are solely and fully responsible for everyone of our thoughts and actions. No external influence is responsible as all these are within us.

3. It is not ego to keep repeating that I AM GOD as long as we understand what it means, because once we feel the oneness with the Divine Lord we will always be careful and aware of our Actions and Deeds.

4. Real Meditation is doing God's work and Real happiness is having His Divine Darshan.

5. Cultivate Love for all. Once we cultivate the feeling that God resides in all and everyone, the feeling of Hatred will not develop and there will be Peace and Harmony everywhere and it will lead to establishment of Dharma

6.Any work we undertake is God's work. No work is Different, Everything is SAI'S WORK.

When the Students present told Swami that everyone was "Extremely Grateful", Swami said "Do not use the word grateful. When Grace is there will be gratefulness. Without His Grace everything is meaningless and like Grass. Grass can be cut but not Grace"

Then everyone present sang songs and after a Speech by a Central Trust Member, Swami took Mangala Aarthi and retired to Yajur Mandiram.

Courtesy: KM Tuesday 2 September, 2008 10:49 AM


Prasanthi Update - August 31st

Sent by a Dear Sai Brother from Prasanthi Nilayam :

September 2nd is the Anniversary of the Sathya Sai Central Trust. In the past many Years, Swami's Students who are working currently in the various Departments the Sathya Sai Central trust have been gathering at Swami's Divine Lotus feet to celebrate this anniversary day and also offer their gratitude to Swami for blessing them with the opportunity to serve Swami.

This year as the Anniversary day is on Tuesday and it would have been very difficult for the people from Brindavan and Whitefield Hospitals to come to Prasanthi Nilayam as it is a working day, Swami then most wonderfully agreed to have the Celebrations today i.e., 31st August.

Swami also wonderfully agreed to speak to everyone. Swami also arranged for a Special and Delicious Lunch in the South Indian for all His Students who are now part of the Central Trust. All the people are gathering in the Bhajan hall in the evening for Swami to speak.

Om Sai Ram.

Courtesy: KM 31.08.2008


Prasanthi Update - August 26th Programme - Sri Sathya Sai Kavacham by Tamilnadu Youth

Sent by Dear Sai Brother Shri.Vidyasagar from Prasanthi Nilayam :

As announced yesterday, the youth from Tamil Nadu were all set to put up a drama, Sathya Sai Kavacham, in the divine presence. Swami came out in the chair. The car seems to have been completely abandoned for quite some time now. There were times when Swami's arrival in the chair sent shivers of pleasant surprise through everyone assembled. Now it has become part of the routine and people are shocked if He uses the car! Talk about familiarity! Many times, we miss grand and glorious things happening in our presence merely by getting used to it! The secret to happiness and peace lies in living the present moment fully and looking forward to every moment as if it is a new one for indeed it is a new one!

Moving through the ladies side, Swami reached the centre of the hall where He took a detour towards the interview room. The Primary school children were arriving in great hurry and Swami seemed to enjoy them rushing in. Anyway, rushing for God is a noble quality worth of emulation by anyone! Swami granted interviews to various devotees till 5:15pm. He then came out and wanted the drama to begin. The initial offerings of the card and flowers were made. Once the Veda chanting stopped, flexible and foldable props erupted on the stage and created appropriate settings for the scenes to begin.

The storyline was very similar to many dramas put before but the presentation style was different and nice. The drama begins with a dialogue between Narada and Kali (the demigod in charge of the present age). Kali exults over his power and influence. Narada laughs at him and challenges him to influence a simple person. Kali uses all his powers to tempt that person into taking money - by ensuring that he loses his job, pressures from the family growing and finally with his mother falling very sick. But the person never yields and Kali surrenders as the hero's mother is alloted a bed in a Super Speciality hospital under the Trust's hospital collaboration scheme. Wondering where on earth does the lad get his sustenance and determination from, Kali discovers the power of the Sathya Sai kavacham (shield). He too desires to come to Parthi to see Swami and gives up his crown of ego.

Swami seemed very involved in the drama. He was very touched when the hero held on to his principles in the face of very stiff challenges. Swami was moved seeing the hero torn between options and was pleased to see him select the correct one over the easy one.

As the drama concluded, Swami called one of the participants and told Him that He would move down for group photographs. He moved down and the boys clustered around Him. He materialised a gold chain for the Narada of the drama. He kept saying, "Romba Santosham" and His smile and beaming face conveyed the same to those who did not understand Tamil or could not catch those words. He moved up the stage and then brought Safari cloth pieces from inside. As Aarthi was performed and prasadam was distributed, He personally distributed white cloth pieces to each and every member of the performing troupe. The boys were all joy at this shower of Grace.

Icing up this cake of Grace, Swami asked the boys to sing some bhajans. The mikes were quickly transported to the youth from TN and they began singing. Swami kept rhythm as two bhajans were sung and everyone joyfully clapped and followed. After those bhajans, Aarthi was performed for a second time. Everyone seemed so happy because very rare are the days when Swami receives Aarthi twice. Swami raised both His hands in benediction and Love and told all the participants that He was very happy. Then He retired.

Om Sai Ram

Courtesy: KM 27.08.2008


Prasanthi Update - August 25th - Tamil Nadu Youth Programme

Sent by Dear Sai Brother Shri.Vidyasagar from Prasanthi Nilayam :

More than 4000 members of the youth brigade from Tamil Nadu had arrived at Prashanti Nilayam. It has become part and parcel of the activities of each and every state in India to have atleast one pilgrimage to Puttaparthi wherein all can recharge their fatigued spiritual batteries and continue all the other activities thereafter with renewed vigour and energy.

Swami had very graciously consented for a music programme by them. An so, by 3:30pm, all of them were seated in neat rows and columns in Kulwant hall. The rest of Kulwant hall resembled an ocean as all these devotees were in deep blue scarves.

Swami arrived for darshan and took a complete round of the ladies side. He cut through between the seated rows of singers and moved towards the interview room. Coming on the stage, He sat listening to the chants. Then He wanted to go around. Taking a round around the stage area, He moved to the portico. Via the portico, He went over to the ladies side. now this was a bonus that none had dreamt about. This turned out to be the darshan round that had been cut short in its "official version"!

As He moved through the students into the gents side, the sea of humanity from Chennai experienced high tides as people bobbed up and down to glimpse the orange form. Taking letters and raising His hands in blessings many times, Swami moved back into the portico and then finally returned back on stage. Then He called all the card boys and birthday boys and blessed them. The cards were actually made for the occasion of Janmashtami and Swami seemed to make fun of the fact that He was being shown cards whose "expiry date" was gone!

He then told the Vedic chants to stop and asked for the programme to begin. The programme schedule was shown to Swami by a member of the youth - a former student of the University Swami recognised him instantly! No wonder it is said that once you become His student, you never cease to be one. The programme consisted of devotional songs that the youth had prepared. The original plan was that the girls would sing their share of songs and then the boys would present what they had prepared. But with Swami, one has to be ready for everything.

As soon as the girls finished the first song in praise of Lord Ganesha, He called one of the boys and told him that they should sing in an alternating manner. This needed some quick adjustments as all the songs had part of the music pre-recorded on CD and the tracks had to be shuffled all over so that the boys and girls could alternate. But as with the Lord always, when He asks for something, He also gives the strength and intelligence needed to achieve it. And so the necessary changes were quickly made and the song programme continued as He willed it!

There were two little kids playing the mridangam and violin respectively, and they did it like professionals. Swami seemed very impressed by them. Most of the songs were in Tamil and one or two were in Malayalam, a sister language for Tamil, too. The girls especially were wonderful in their singing as they reeled counters and chords in the songs that they sang.

As they concluded about 8 songs, Swami asked the students to sing a few bhajans. Nowadays it has become Swami's favourite bhajan-couple and so those were the bhajans sung - Ram Hare Hare Ram bolo and Sri Raghunandana.

After those two bhajans, Swami sent word for the All India president of the Sathya Sai organisation and had it announced that there would be a drama by the Tamil Nadu youth today! Then receiving Aarthi, Swami retired for the day. Om Sai Ram

Courtesy: KM 27.08.2008


Prasanthi Update - Janmastami Celebrations

The day dawned to usher in the birthday of the most mischievous avatar of the Lord - Krishna. The Kulwant hall was brimming with people Many devotees who were supposed to leave had decided to stay back to witness the splendour of the Krishna avatar with their dear Sai Krishna. So full was Prashanti Nilayam that the main gate carried a notice," Sairam! No accommodation available inside." Well there was dearth of accommodation in the ashram but no dearth of accommodative people! People had settled in the corridors of the Southern blocks and had spread sheets and mats wherever there was a little free sheltered space. It has been some time since the Nilayam has been so full but well, maybe now its high time we start getting accustomed to such crowds.

The red rays of the early morning sun turned golden and began to filter and flow into the Kulwant hall lighting up the central area especially. Krishna Gita, the elephant, the Gokulam cows, deer, peacocks, doves and rabbits accompanied by the students too had arrived to the mandir in procession. They too had been bedecked and some of them appeared to be in bridal finery. It was at this moment that the sweet Lord too arrived covered in the golden yellow robe!
There was an applause of thrill as He entered the Kulwant hall. We have only heard about the beauty of Lord Krishna in the pitambara (yellow dress) but we are indeed blessed to see Him in the splendid yellow robe! HE moved slowly down the aisle and a sweet smile adorned His beaming face. He blessed all as He arrived.

As He neared Krishna Gita, she stretched out her little trunk to touch Him. Smiling to Himself, Swami slowly waded into the confluence from the animal world. He fed the cows with bananas. There was a suckling calf. Today it was blessed to receive milk from two mothers as Swami too fed it with milk from a feeding bottle. Gently moving amidst the animals, He ensured that everyone was fed at least something in His divine presence. Two whit pigeons had the special privilege of being released into the free skies from His divine hands. As the pigeons soared skywards, the decibel levels in the hall also soared as people joyously clapped at the happy sight. Moving ahead, Swami lovingly fondled a baby deer that was brought up to Him. He fed the mother of that deer with a biscuit which she quickly gobbled. He not only blessed the animals but their caretakers too.

Many of the members of the Sathya Sai Gokulam offered roses to Swami. It was as if a bouquet of roses had been presented to Him. He patiently and lovingly accepted all of them and then moving through the students, He went up the stage. It was then that two children decked as Krishna and Balarama went on stage. Swami blessed them and the sweets they offered to Him.

Swami sat listening to the chants that were on. He sat that way for about 20-25 minutes. In between, He told the caretakers to take all the animals away, back to their lovely homes that He so lovingly has gifted them. It is really wonderful how much concern Swami has for the animals. Normally any of us feel that though the animals do not know, it is their privilege to be in Swami's presence. However, on the smooth marbled floors of Kulwant hall, the animals find it a little tough to get a grip. It was not so before when the hall had concrete floors and before that when there was sand. So Swami sends back the animals as soon as possible so that they remain on firm footing!

Once the animals left, Swami asked the students to put up their programme. The card was shown to Him and the programme started with a group song, the Pandurangashtakam. Since it is a popular one, even the children from the Primary school joined in the singing. After that, two students sang the song, "Govardhana Giridhara" in all its majesty and grandeur.. This was followed by a novel programme.

A group of students at the Institute have been working hard at picking up playing the flute. All these students with their teacher, put up 1 15 minute recital in His presence. Swami kept tapping in beat as they played on the flute. And therein lies the beauty of being a student! Any talent that one has or any skill that one acquires, one gets the wonderful opportunity to present before the supreme Lord Himself! After they finished their presentation, it was back to songs.

A Telugu song recounting the leelas of Lord Krishna as a child was sung and Swami was so involved in the song. He seemed to be drinking in every word of the song and appeared very touched at times. As that song was completed, Swami decided that it was best that all leave in that frame of mind. He asked for the Aarthi.

As the Aarthi was nearing conclusion, Swami called the students who had arrived with a cake. He cut the cake and naturally so for was it not His birthday? Many Krishnashtami cards had been made by students from the Institute, school and primary school too. Swami called them all and began to slowly and patiently go through the works of art that His children had designed. Some were huge, others were three dimensional structures, some others were fine carvings while some others were simple sketches and paintings depicting the episodes in the life of Krishna. But all of them were prayers addressed to Swami.

As Swami was going through these cards, the "Krishna" and "Balarama" moved up on stage again and offered chocolates to Swami for giving the Primary school children who had made the cards. Swami seemed to like the idea and He gave a chocolate to every child who came to Him.

In this manner, Swami spent more than 20 minutes seeing and blessing the cards with their creators. Then raising both His hands in benediction, He retired for the morning.

Om Sai Ram

Courtesy KM 26.08.2008


Prasanthi Update - Krishna Janmastami Celebrations

Heartiest Janmastami Greetings to each and everyone of our Sai Brothers and Sisters. Prayers to Our Divine Lord that His Divine Grace and Blessings be always with each and everyone of you.

In Kulwant hall Swami's Elephant Sathya Gheetha was decorated in the most wonderful manner along with the other animals and were waiting for Swami on this most sacred day.

Swami came for Darshan in a wonderful Yellow Dress. The Programme was small and brief and Swami's Students sang some wonderful songs and after that Prasadam was distributed to everyone. It was around 11.15 am when the programme ended.

Everyone is waiting for the Evening programme.

Om Sai Ram

Courtesy: KM 24.08.2008


Prasanthi Update - August 22nd

Sent by Dear Sai Brother Vidayasagar from Prasanthi Nilayam :

Devotees seem to be coming in huge numbers to Parthi nowadays. Its not that devotees were less in numbers anytime before. Its just that, now they come as groups. The concept of Unity seems to be getting stronger with each passing day. For instance a 2500 strong contingent had arrived from Vishakapatnam and had also been permitted to put up their programme today evening. From His side, Swami too encourages group sadhana. Even physically, He seems to give more attention when the devotees are in groups. He speaks to the group, gives them opportunities to present their programmes and distributes gifts of grace. Very subtly but surely the message sent across is this, "Unity is strength; Unity is divinity."

Swami arrived at about 4:10pm itself. But He took a straight path to the interview room.. The stage was all set for the drama to begin. The actual drama began, however, at only 5:15pm. But in the hour that passed by, any absorbed observer could not have helped notice two other dramas going on- one of bhakti and the other of Karma. The hall was packed and all the devotees with yellow scarves sat in prayer and devotion waiting for the Lord to come. It was a hot evening. As the popular fact about Puttaparthi goes, "There are three seasons in Parthi - hot, hotter and hottest!" So though the wrath of the summer has passed by, it is still hot at times in Parthi, with the humidity too being high as it is the monsoon season.

Giving relief to the Bhakti of the devotees was the Karma of the selfless sevadal volunteers as they went about relentlessly supplying ambrosial and cool drinking water to them. This silent Yajna went on continuously as many a parched throat was slaked with nectarine water. It was symbolic of all that Swami has achieved through His mammoth projects - injecting into His people the enthusiasm for energetic service; the softness of heart to be touched by suffering of any kind.

Swami came out at about 5:05pm and after listening to the Vedic chants for a while, asked them to stop and beckoned the Vishakapatnam group begin the programme. The office bearers first came and symbolically offered the programme unto His feet. A silver lamp made its way up the stage and soon it was lit by the Lord. This is another practise that is gaining ground especially among the different districts of Andhra Pradesh. A lamp is lit by Swami at Parthi and its "light" is taken back to the respective places signifying Swami's entry into their homelands. And so it was only after the lamp was lit and Padukas blessed that the actual participants moved upto Swami and offered flowers. Soon the drama began.

The drama opened with Karnam Subamma calling out to Krishna and little Sathya responding to her asking her why she had called. He reminds her of the wonderful Brindavan days that He has come to recreate - those days of leelas when He as Krishna had danced with the gopikas. Then too, like now, He was the favourite of everyone. All wanted to spend time with Him and no one felt their day complete without Him being a part of it. As a tiny tot, Krishna showed Mother Yasoda that the entire Universe is in Him - the same boon that the little Sathya bestowed on Subamma.

The episode of Krishna merrily dancing on the hoods of the vicious serpent Kaliya as He subdued him was wonderfully depicted and the episode of Swami swallowing the poisoned vadas and in turn consuming the hatred and anger of people who tried to poison Him was brought up as a comparision. Krishna also performs the miracle of lifting the mountain Govardhana to spare the people of Gokulam, who had placed all their faith in Him, from the ire of Lord Indra. When Subamma asks little Sathya whether He would do a similar thing even now, He replies, "Then I lifted only one mountain- symbolic of achieving the impossible. This time I shall do many more." He then allows her a sneak peek into the future where He accomplishes "lifting the Govardhanas" of health care, educare and socio-care.

Throughout the drama, Swami was very moved and it appeared as if He was reminded of the Love that exists between Him and Subamma and that which exists between Him and Yashoda, if there is any difference between them that is! He seemed overwhelmed on many occasions and here and there kept nostalgically remembering the episodes and even told some of them to the people by His side. The crowning moment for the drama came towards the end. Both Subamma and Yashoda express their desires to see their dear little ones gently swinging in a jhoola. At this point both Krishna and Sathya came to Swami and pleaded with Him to fulfill that desire! Swami agreed and as the final dance was on itself, Swami moved down from the stage and near the big swing that had been placed in the centre of the performance area. The dancers went about merrily dancing till Swami told them to stop and pose with Him by His side.

And so all the children came crowding around. Slowly all the people associated with the dram also came to Swami They surrounded Him from all sides as the flashes were fired and tapes rolled. Most of the children began to break down into uncontrollable tears. There were expressions of Love and uncontrollable joy. The urge to fall full at His feet was also uncontrollable. In short, everything about the final formation and photo session was uncontrollable!

And thats how it is with the Lord - everything beyond limits and boundaries! Swami created two gold chains simultaneously and gifted one to Krishna and the other to Subamma. He was surrounded on all sides by the children and children seemed to be everywhere. And everyone seemed to have only one objective- to fall at His feet. Soon, Swami waded out of the surging waves of children and as He moved towards the stage, He asked for sarees and white safari pieces. He gifted two beautiful sarees to Yashoda and Subamma. He also asked for sarees to be distributed to all the other children. For the boys side, He gave T-shirts to all the kids and to the elder boys, He gifted Safari pieces. In the meanwhile, He also sent word for Krishna and Sathya. He told Krishna, "Call your mother also." The innocent 'Krishna' instead of calling 'Yasoda', called her mother from the audience. And the mother of Sathya also came to Swami in the same fashion. Swami posed for a picture with them. The mothers broke down and almost lay at His feet. Swami told them to rise and blessed them.

Swami continued the giving with pens that were also brought out. To many of the children, He Himself distributed. After that was done, Swami went back on stage. Everyone were so happy and Swami was the only reason for that. Swami said that the drama was very well scripted and presented. After a short visit to the interview room, Swami received Aarthi and retired for the evening.

Om Sai Ram

Courtesy: KM 23.08.2008


Prasanthi Update - A Special evening - 19th August

Sent by a Dear Sai Brother from Prasanthi Nilayam :

August 19th was an wonderful evening for all to remember. At about 4:15pm, Swami came for the darshan rounds. A big gaping space was left on the ladies side and Swami seemed tempted to go straight to the interview room after the ladies side. He cut through the detour and did the same. But unfortunately, God is bound by Love and devotion! Just as fire cant help burning and water can help but wet things, God cannot just help but shower His grace. As He has said in such reassuring words, "If you need me, you deserve me." These days especially, the gents side gets starved of close darshan whenever Swami cuts to the interview room after the ladies side. And so, it was no surprise that Swami decided to feed them all with a feast today! Before going into the interview room however, Swami was accompanied by the senior teachers from the School of Business Management of the University. They prayed for His Blessings and Grace for the MBA anniversary day which falls on the 21st of August. Swami interacted with them for about 5 minutes and blessing them with loving words and Padanamaskar, Swami went into the interview room.

After a short while, Swami came out slowly to the stage from the gents side via the portico. He came front till the railings and then sat there gently swaying to the tunes of the Vedic chants. It is such a satisfying feeling to have the great Lord Himself "swaying to the tunes" of your chants! And that too with a smile dancing on those lovely lips. With a sweeping glance, He graced everyone in the hall. He suddenly beckoned to His left and to the pleasant amazement of everyone, He came down the cetral ramp and began moving around the students. He began His rounds where He had left off during the previous trip! Slowly moving into the gents side, He began to ask for and collect letters. It is a great joy for all when Swami begins such rounds.

It was a beautiful and touching sight as people rejoiced at His close proximity. He moved over to the students' side where there were letters galore awaiting His attention. Each and every letter got the attention it deserved. The birthday boys and boys with trays were blessed. He passed by the Veda group and was soon engaged by a group of boys who also prayed for MBA day celebrations. Swami interacted with them and then moving further along the boys, materialized a gold chain for one of them. Thus having completed the rounds, He was headed towards the interview room. But then, a subtle movement of His eyes indicated that He wanted to Grace the ladies too with a bonus darshan round. And so, it was round 2 for the women.

Swami moved along the corridors and continued taking letters. Completing that, He moved along the students back towards the bhajan hall. Not leaving anything incomplete, He took a round in the bhajan hall too! Then He topped it by moving through the upper portico. Surely not only the darshan-thirsty, but also the darshan-greedy would have been satiated today. It was 5:30 pm when the bhajans began and they continued till 6:00 pm when Aarthi was taken.

A Wonderful, Divine and Joyous Day for everyone to remember and Cherish.

Om Sai Ram

Courtesy: KM posted on 20.08.2008

Prasanthi Update - August 15th Programme

Varalakshmi Vratam was observed on Friday at Prasanthi Nilayam. The Ladies who were doing the Pooja occupied the Front rows in Kulwanth Hall. The Various Rituals started after Swami arrived at around 9.45 AM After about 45 Minutes, Swami gave wonderful Darshan to all by going around Kulwanth Hall, After the Pooja concluded at around 10.45, Swami accepted Mangala Aarthi and after about 15 Minutes went back to Yajur Mandiram.

The evening programme included a wonderful Music Programme by Smt.Sunitha who is a Nandi Award winner. The Wonderful Programme which was for about 50 minutes started at around 5.15 PM. Swami gave a wonderful chain to Smt.Sunitha and clothes to the other artists. After a Few Bhajans, Swami accepted Mangala Aarthi and left for Yajur Mandiram at around 6.45 PM bringing the days programme to a close.

Om Sai Ram

Courtesy: KM posted on 16.08.2008


Detailed Update of the Programme in Kulwanth Hall on 14th August'2008 :

Sent by a Dear Sai Brother from Prasanthi Nilayam :

India and Pakistan, countries which were Siamese twins at birth, were separated by a political cesarean operation. And so it happens that while India celebrates its rebirth as a free nation on the 15th of August every year, its separated twin, Pakistan, does so on the 14th of the same month. Whatever be the date, it is indeed in "august" company that the celebrations occur! 15th of August 2008 had both celebrations, of the national Independence and the Varalakshmi Vratam. Swami never allows anyone to go disappointed. And thus, Swami instructed the students to put up their traditional I-day drama on the 14th evening itself so that the very elaborate preparations that had gone into the Vratam could continue into fruition the next day.

The stage was set and all the boys in their costumes were seated in the bhajan hall. Swami moved along the lines as He came out for darshan and then as He reached the central block, He looked admiringly at the simple yet elegant backdrop that had been constructed with the Indian tricolour on it. He cut through the central area and moved straight into the bhajan hall. All the actors were waiting. Swami seems to be fascinated by good colourful costumes. And like a child, He seemed so happy seeing the 'various colours' of the boys! He was 'introduced' to Gandhiji, Subash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh. He looked at a bearded person sitting nearby and asked him what he was doing. He turned out to be Harishchandra and his wife Chandramati too was nearby in a blue saree! Swami was also very happy to see Krishna and Arjuna figure in the scheme of things. He enquired into the duration of the programme. 1 hour was the answer. Similarly, Vasishta and Vishwamitra were introduced to Him. Swami blessed all the actors and told them that He would soon be out to witness their programme.

As per His word, He soon came out and asked for the Veda chanting to give way to the programme. Krishna and Arjuna came up to Him and offered roses. Swami appeared very touched seeing Krishna in all splendour. The programme started with the Sootradhaari or compere introducing the drama. Then all of a sudden, he asked, "Why are you proud to be an Indian?" Everyone were taken by surprise. A few tense moments passed when it seemed that no one wanted to voice an answer! Then a hand went up and a student rose saying, "There are many reasons why I am proud to be an Indian. But the greatest and the most heartfelt is because God has taken birth here over and over again through the ages!" The crowd burst into a joyful applause and Swami was very touched. He called the student and told him to announce that the programme was being done by the 2nd year post graduate boys and he did as asked. The programme continued with another student, a lad from the 8th standard getting up and stating that he too was proud to be with the avatar and for the reason that Bharat has such a glorious culture. Swami was deeply touched to see the fire in the belly of that child.

The drama was weaved into a fine brocade of a story by the threads of little known individual patriots who gave their all for the sake of Poorna Swaraj. The story coursed alongside the lives of two young men who dedicate their lives for the freedom struggle under the leadership of the Mahatma, Gandhiji.. They rise against the British non-violently, trusting the power of their immortal spirit rather than relying on the strength of the mortal body. They receive the blows rained by the British joyfully knowing that each blow that seemed to crush their body actually developed their resolve to be free into an indomitable and unbreakable one. They go to jail and there too experience the joy of Unity and oneness as people of all religions and strata in society rub shoulders, united in the common cause of freeing Mother India from the fetters of foreign rule. Gandhiji motivates them by his mere words which are laced with Truth.

The episode of Sathya Harishchandra was depicted very aptly at this point. Being a king, Harishchandra is reduced to a poor undertaker at the cemetery. His legendary adherence to Truth is seen as he refuses to be bound by bodily attachments and bury his own son for free. His wife pleads and the king's heart bleeds. But he remains firm in his resolve to be on the path of Truth. As Swami saw the episode of Harishchandra, He became very emotional. It seemed as if His heart too bled and tears were shed at the memory of a person who always adhered to the path of Truth and righteousness. Especially when Chandramati, the wife, pleaded for the son, the divine mother that He is, Swami felt the pangs of another mother's heart.

When the protagonist of the play loses his son to police brutality, he is a broken man. With tears he goes to his Guru, Sri Aurobindo. His brother and comrade too is there and he is just unable to understand why people meekly receive blows and think that it is bravery to be non-violent. Did not the Lord Krishna in the Bhagwad Gita too urge Arjuna to rise in arms? The Guru clears all the doubts by taking both the disciples through the Bhagwad Gita. The Krishna Arjuna dialogue ensues and message becomes very clear. Krishna, though apparently urged Arjuna to wage war, wanted him to actually give up body attachment. And war was the means of doing it then for Arjuna did not want to fight because he thought he was killing his own people. Non violence was the means now for the revolutionaries wanted to fight because they thought they were killing enemies! Whatever be the means, the end must be to annihilate body consciousness and then alone can one be truly free.

Towards the end, the heroes, Gandhiji, Bhagat Singh and Subash Chandra Bose made their brief but very inspiring appearances. Patriotic songs were liberally sprinkled all over the drama and all the singing was being done live. Rather than using recorded tracks, the boys wanted to get immersed in the feelings of the day and occasion and sing the songs live. It had the desired effect as each song touched the people in some deep recess of the heart. There were no spectators or audience today as all felt one with the feelings of patriotism and true love being depicted at the centre. The drama concluded with all the students coming forward in the crescent formation. Then in military style, one by one, they all stepped out of line, stated loudly and proudly what the Bharata Bhagya Vidhata, Swami, had done for them and then stepped back in line. As this concluded, it was so clear for all in the hall that if at all there is a True Patriot, then He sat right before them robed in the saffron of sacrifice! This final portion elicited a lot of applause from everyone.

Swami called all the actors to Him. He was very happy and He congratulated everyone. A 'muslim' from the drama was called onstage and Swami spoke a few words with him. He however commented that the Bhagwad Gita was the greatest treasure from India and more time should have been spent on dilating its teachings. He then moved down to the performance area to grant the students the privilege of group photos with Him. He materialised a beautiful and thick gold chain for the student who played the role of Krishna.

A point to be noted here is that Swami always seems to gift those actors who do positive roles, however small their actual roles may be. It is not that He is not rewarding talent and making a bias or anything of that sort. Swami believes that the only way to spread goodness and 'Godness' in the world is by embodying those qualities. Whenever the students put up a drama in front of Him, they involve themselves so deeply in their roles so that they can do their best. It is but natural that the ones who get so involved in the roles that are divine, Krishna in this case, really embody that divine spirit, even if its for a short duration. Swami rewards that noble effort and feeling.

Swami accepted all the letters the boys had to offer. He moved back on stage slowly and then very patiently and lovingly posed for group photos with all the boys. He Himself called on the groups. "Krishna and Arjuna", "Bose and Gandhi", "Harishchandra and Chandramati", "the sepoys", "the red clothes sepoys" (British soldiers), and son on He would call and they would go on stage to pose for photographs with Him. He blessed lush red apples to be distributed to one and all. As if that were not enough, He personally distributed watches to each and every member of the 130 strong team that had made the presentation. As this distribution went on, each student interacted with Swami in his own way and Swami responded to every one of them and made them feel special. One of the students gave a golden ring to Swami and requested Him to put it on his finger. Swami smiled and obliged. All the students prayed that Swami visit the hostel and Swami said, "I will come".

Then Swami asked for bhajans to be sung as He continued to distribute watches ensuring that He missed no one. The bhajans began and after two bhajans of vociferous and enthused singing, Swami received Aarthi. It was past 7:00 pm when He retired to Yajur Mandir.

Om Sai Ram

Courtesy: KM posted on 16.08.2008


Prasanthi Update - August 14th Programme in Kulwanth Hall

On 14th August there was a Wonderful Presentation by the final year Post Graduate students of Sri Sathya Sai University. It has been a tradition now that every year on August 15th the Students put up a Programme on the theme of India's Independence.

But since 15th August has been set aside for Varalakshmi Vratham Pooja in Kulwant hall, Swami graciously agreed for the students programme on 14th evening.

The Actors were ready with their costumes and assembled in the bhajan hall by 4pm. Swami came around 4.45 and first went and spent sometime with them. He enquired about the characters and also commented on the dresses positively. Swami then went into the interview room for sometime and then came out to watch the programme.

Taking us all from the Independence struggle era to stories from Dwapara yuga, the wonderful Drama enacted highlighted the fact that INDIA stands for :

I Individual Character
N National Unity
D Devotion in Diversity
I integrity of thought word and deed
A athmic realization

Stories from Arjuna's life to Gandhijis' life, the Drama wonderfully took us back to different ages where time and again great people have lived up to the Great Indian Values and Truths like How Sathya Harishchandra stood for Truth. The Entire Drama was wonderful, Thrilling and very touching too.

Swami was extremely happy and at the end of the program He gave to the Students Wrist watches and took Photos with them and everyone was Blessed and happy beyond words.

Om Sai Ram

Courtesy: KM posted on 15.08.2008


Prasanthi Update - August 13th Programme

Every day spent in the presence of the Lord is something special to be remembered. Every day and in fact every moment, the Lord touches hearts, cleanses minds and uplifts spirits. On occasions when we get 'lucky' we see, hear or atleast get to know how the dear Lord did these things. This Wednesday, turned out to be special not because Swami did anything that He does not always do, but because anyone with a little alertness could observe and admire what He did!

Swami came for darshan at about 4:05 pm. The students' blocks appeared a little barren, what with the boys taking time off to practice for a drama to be put up in His presence the next day. Swami moved slowly through the ladies section of the hall and then as He neared the central area, thousands of fingers on the gents side were crossed as all watched in anticipation whether Swami would proceed straight or take the now famous "square cut" detour.

The sigh of joy and relief was almost audible as Swami moved through the central area into the gents side. He collected letters and blessed the ones assembled. He spoke to the youth members from West Bengal who had assembled. HE blessed the programme that they had come ready with.. Moving through the students, He blessed some of the boys holding trays and also collected letters from the boys. Then, Swami moved into the interview room after blessing Sri Rasagothra who was seated on a chair in the portico.

After a few minutes, Swami came out and to the stage. He sat there as the Veda chanting went on. He called the boys who were holding trays. He blessed them by showering the sacred akshatha grains on their heads. To one student who went up, He said, "I blessed you in the lines right?" Another boy was so engrossed in Him and lost in the joy of receiving the 'rice shower' that he forgot that he had a letter for Him in the tray. Swami Himself reminded him to give the letter! He blessed about 14 students thus.

Then He saw two boys seated with a tray full of "sacred threads". He called them and blessed them too. After a few more minutes, He went via the interview room to the ladies side. He moved slowly through them, speaking to many of them, giving padanamaskar and taking letters. He came once again towards the central blocks. But then, He asked to go back to where the youth from Bengal were seated. He spoke to them for some time and then even created a gold chain for one of the ladies. Then moving slowly along all the ladies seated on the mandir side also, Swami went into the interview room. Bhajans began at 5:10 pm and Mangala Aarthi was taken at 6:00pm. Om Sai Ram

Courtesy: KM - 14.08.2008

Photos from Prasanthi Nilayam - August 13th Programme


Prasanthi Update - August 5th- Hrudaya Tarang by Himachal Pradesh Youth

Thursday, 7 August, 2008 9:36 AM

The marbled blocks in the mandir today wore a festive look. It had been occupied by the youth from Himachal Pradesh, clad in creamish Sherwanis with a maroonish dupatta. They were seated neatly in four rows and then there were also the men in red scarves from the same state. The ladies side also had devotees from Himachal sitting in a separate area. They were to present a musical entitled "Hrudaya Tarang"- a collection of Himachali folk songs and qawwalis.

Swami arrived in the chair and as He neared the devotees in the centre of the hall, He asked, "Himachal Pradesh?" As they nodded and answered in all eagerness, Swami's face too seemed to light up. In fact, twice He asked the devotees whether they were from Himachal Pradesh. He went into the interview room for a short while and then came out. He sat listening for the Veda chanting for a while and soon asked for the youth to begin the programme. After the customary flower was offered to Swami, the programme began.

The third row of youth went up on their knees while the fourth row stood up. The first song was in praise of Lord Shiva, the emperor of the snow covered kingdoms of Kailash! The second song was a song of dedication by the youth of Himachal Pradesh which is also called Dev Bhoomi(Land of the Lord).. Both the songs had a wonderful and soulful Aalaap which was sung so beautifully by the lead singer playing the harmonium. Just as the Aalaap filled the soul with sweetness sublime, the song, once it began, filled the mind with melody musical and the body with energy, bold and beautiful! The thirst for God was almost visible on the faces of the youth as they moved in perfect rhythm and the harmonious movements made the entire area look like a colourful, gently fluttering brocade. Their body language was such that it looked like with His name on their lips and the deep contemplation of His form in their hearts, they were promising to spread His message with their sterling character and exemplary conduct.

The third song was a qawwali full of heartfelt prayers to the Lord for spiritual upliftment in the sojourn of life through the path leading to Parthi, the abode of the avatar of the age. "Lord, we are not in search of worldly companions or fellow travellers in this journey, but only you, who are our only solace and refuge", was the repeated refrain of the song. As they let their feelings flow in a free torrent towards Him, Swami reciprocated with sweet smiles and a rhythmic sway and clapping on the lap throughout. The fourth song was a qawwali of total surrender to Swami. The final song was on the glory of Sai as He marches ahead inspiring millions to strive for the welfare and emancipation of the world. As they completed, Swami asked them to sing one more song. They immediately began another song, not in the original "schedule".

As they were singing, Swami asked the student sitting beside Him,"What is the meaning of that line?" The answer came, "Swami they want to be at your Lotus feet always!" Swami smiled and nodded. At many points during the programme, Swami kept speaking a few words here and there. One was not able to make out the exact things He spoke about, but anyone could easily see that He seemed to be enjoying Himself and was very happy with the songs (with the "dances" too!) As the programme concluded, Swami called the lead singer who was playing the harmonium and created a gold chain with a pendant for him. The lad playing the tabla came up to Swami and offered gratitude to Swami on behalf of all the youth. Swami asked for special sweets to be brought and distributed to all the participants. Then, He called Mr..S.V.Giri, the ex Vice Chancellor of the Sathya Sai University, and told him to distribute safari pieces to all of the participants. He also ensured that all of them had received the sweets and the cloth pieces. The concern was very evident, as He told a student to distribute in the far corners too and asked another student to find out personally whether everyone had received the gifts of Grace.

Then, turning around, Swami said, "Get prasadam." Vibhuti packets were brought from the interview room and distributed to the participants. They sought permission to sing bhajans and they were granted that. After a few bhajans, Swami asked for the students to sing a bhajan. They began with the Aalaap, "Allahu Akbar", a sarvadharma bhajan. Swami was drawn into it and He to began to lip the words of the song. What a supreme joy it is to see Swami singing to your "tunes"! It is an overwhelming and humbling feeling at the same time! As that bhajan concluded, Swami asked for Aarthi. A few lads from the HP youth group moved up to Swami and spoke to Him. Swami patted each on eof them lovingly on their cheek. One of them seemed to be following Christ's dictum. When Swami patted him on one cheek, he had the 'cheek' to show his other cheek too! Swami obliged him by lovingly patting his other cheek also. Blessing everyone Swami left for Yajur Mandir

Meanwhile, it was announced that a special farewell ceremony for the Vice Chancellor of the Institute had been arranged by Swami in th Poornachandra Auditorium for 10am tomorrow. Om Sai Ram

Cpurtesy - KM - 07.08.2008


New Vice Chancellor for SSSU

Thursday, 7 August, 2008 9:32 AM


Wednesday was yet another great day in the History of Sri Sathya Sai University. The Vice Chancellore Shri.A V Gokak stepped down and Prof .Viswanath Pandit, who was till now the Head of Department of Economics in SSSU was appointed the new Vice Chancellore .There was a function organized in Poornachandra Auditorium and Swami also spoke. After Shri.Gokak's speech Swami gave His Divine Discourse where Swami wonderfully said that he is at all times with each and everyone of us and that there are No Goodbyes at all only Welcomes. Swami said that each and everyone should remember that they are Divine in Nature and the names are used only for identifying with the Body. It is a wonderful 45 Minute Discourse. Om Sai Ram

Courtesy: KM - 07.08.2008


PUPPETS FROM THE UK

(for the past week or so, I had a special privilege to accompany the UK youth group and here is some of the darshan updates for my dear sai family)

Om sairam dearest Sai Family,

Many elders in India say, Life is a Puppet show and the puppeteer is none other than Lord Himself. Every thing in our life happens according to His will and the string is always in His hands. Very few of us realise this truth and the person whom we can refer to at this juncture is Mr.Ajit Poppat, who very rightly and truly calls himself and addresses himself as PUPPET..

This particular Puppet is very disciplined and very hardworking and a humble servant of our beloved Lord, who has taken the responsibility to take the Sathya Sai Mission to leaps and bounds..

To do so, in the early hours of Monday,29th July 2008, 173 Puppets (children) of Sai Kingdom (United Kingdom) the chosen souls landed in the holy land of Puttaparthi, the Puppeteer’s land on a 9 day Sadhana Camp. A camp planned by the PUPETEER Himself, with some chosen puppets, this time from the UK, probably to tighten some strings which other wise were going the other way, a DIVINE CHANCE to mould one self, and a rare opportunity to experience the SUPREME BLISS, that bliss one can experience only in the immediate presence of our beloved Lord.

After seeing the whole group for the first time, I was so thrilled and happy. Every one of them seemed very fortunate and they were pretty well aware that they were there on the Divine Invitation. Many of them wearing a cosmopolitan look, yet very humble and simple. Many of them would have been living a lavish life, with all the comforts the WORLDLY WORLD could provide, yet some lacuna in their hearts. They all came to fill that VACCUM. The camps they had and the kind of speakers they were exposed to during non darshan hours was very well received by them..

One particular brother, whom I met, a young boy of Indian origin, said, I just can’t imagine how my life would have been without Swami. I would still come to India to visit my relatives, but it would have been a pure WORLDLY trip, with a visit to family members, and a week or two in a hill resort to an exotic location in India. Now that I am in Swami’s fold, I don’t think of any such trips and my only focus is SWAMI and just SWAMI..

This unique and spiritually uplifting camp comprised of workshops based on Swami’s teachings, bhajan sessions, yoga classes and spiritually motivating talks by guest speakers.

The excitement within the group could be felt by all those around! After all how can the intense yearning of the heart be contained? They were about to be reunited with the Master!! (in the physical sense). Swami came out for darshan at 4.35pm and the immense joy and bliss that the group experienced during their first darshan was beyond words! Swami took a full round of the Sai Kulwant hall in His chair and gave joy and bliss to one and all. Swami took the Aarthi and as He was leaving for His Divine Abode, Swami very graciously called Puppet (the leader of the UK Group) and enquired about the Group and showered His blessings.

Wednesday 30 July 2008

On the morning of the 30th at 5.00pm exactly, the group Sadhana began with 21 Omkaras, Suprabhatam, Spiritual session, Jyoti Meditation and Yoga Asanas, which was conducted by trained Yoga teacher a disciple of famous Yoga Icon Baba Ramdev . Thereafter, they all gathered in the Sai Kulwant Hall and were eagerly awaiting the arrival of our beloved Lord. However, Swami did not come out for darshan and the devotees enjoyed the bhajan session with the Aarthi being offered at 9.30 AM. In the afternoon, Swami came out at 4.30pm to bless all with his divine darshan. During darshan, Swami stopped and took letters from many of the ladies and also spoke to a member of the UK Sadhana Camp group. Swami left for his divine abode, Yajur Mandiram, just after 6.10pm.

Thursday 31 July 2008

The group left for Sai Kulwant Hall at 7.30am. During morning Darshan, Bhagawan called Puppet and enquired about the group.

On the afternoon of the 31st of July, the children of Sai Kingdom UK were blessed to offer a heartfelt programme at the Divine Lotus Feet of Bhagavan Baba. Swami entered Sai Kulwant Hall at 4.35pm. His effulgence and divine radiance could be seen from afar!! During darshan, Swami showered His Divine motherly love to one and all as He went around the entire hall bringing great joy to barren hearts! Swami spoke with Puppet and out of His infinite grace allowed the UK Sadhana Camp group to offer a garland of group songs at the Divine Lotus Feet. These group songs consisted of a Telugu Song, a Telugu-English song and three English Songs, which were created, composed and musically arranged by the group members with the assistance of three of Swami’s students, who were also part of the UK Sadhana Camp group. This was followed by Bhajans. Swami sat for a full hour looking at the group and blessing them all. In particular, an 82 year old English lady offered aarthi to Swami. Interestingly, Swami had commanded that she should accompany the group in July. Whilst she was offering the Aarthi, Swami was constantly smiling at her and raising his hands to bless her. Being our Divine Mother, Swami also sang most of the Aarthi with her, so as to make her comfortable! ! Furthermore, during Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu, Swami used his hands to gesture what the Shloka meant as He recited it out loud!!How lucky the world is that the Creator Himself is blessing His own creation to be happy and prosperous.. if there is any mishappening then it is not to blame Him but our selves as its all our BAD DEEDS which bring all the calamities and not the CURSE of God as many of us feel. Because GOD is ever loving and ever caring.. How can we explain the Divine Love of a million mothers? Seldom does Swami express such pure joy at physical level. Even after the aarthi had finished, Swami continued to sit in his chair and could not stop smiling at her and the group. What a sight to see! Swami then left for Yajur Mandiram at 6.10 pm.

Friday 1 August 2008

It was the morning of Friday 1st August and everyone was waiting anxiously for Swami to give His Divine Darshan. Bhajans began at 9.00am and whilst devotees were revelling in the joy of singing the glory of our beloved mother, our Swami brought immense joy to all as He entered the Sai Kulwant hall at 9.45am on his mobile throne!. Whilst Swami was giving darshan on the Verandah, he spoke to Puppet and enquired as to what the program was for the afternoon. He humbly responded that the group would like to offer a loving musical program but only if permitted by the Divine Will, which Swami was more than happy to do so and blessed the group!

SWAMY PREPONES HIS DARSHAN:

Afternoon darshan was beautiful. Swami looked as fresh as a newly blossomed rose! At 3.55pm, a message was received from Swami's Divine Abode, where Swami had sent instructions from the divine residence for the group to begin their programme at 5.00pm even if He Himself was not present. Swami's immense compassion was evident as He was concerned that the devotees would have to wait for a long time otherwise. The UK children of Sai were also informed that they should finish the program by 6.00pm. However, to their utter surprise Swami came for darshan at 4.15pm!! This was a classic example of when Swami says 'Love My Uncertainty' . The programme started with a vocal and instrumental offering by an English girl, who was physically challenged. As she played the Piano, we could see that Swami was extremely happy. The second offering was a set of group songs, which consisted of four English songs, which were followed by Bhajans. During this time, Swami interacted with Puppet and blessed the entire group. During the Bhajans, Swami signalled for her and her mother to come onto the veranda, where to the surprise of everyone, Swami materialised a bracelet for her and spent several minutes interacting with them. Swami was extremely happy and raised his hands in benediction many times. Swami took Aarthi and returned to his divine abode at 6.15pm

Saturday 2nd August 2008

This morning Swami did not come out to give Darshan .

In the afternoon, Swami arrived for Darshan at 4.40pm and immediately called the Italian group for an Interview, which lasted for 50mins. After which Swami emerged from the Interview room and entered the Mandir. Swami accepted the Aarthi and left for Yajur Mandiram at 6.00pm.

The same evening the group was addressed by Dr Anil Kumar, who is the Head of Cardiology at the Shree Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Whitefield. He spoke about the real need for Medicare and how the youth can help raise awareness within rural areas in India and other developing countries with regards to hygiene and other health preventive measures.

The nexy day Dr.Voleti, the famous cardiac surgeon cum photographer (btw his 108 magical moments CD is a treat to watch and a testimony for his photography skills) , gave a beautiful talk to the group. Dr.Voleti was a famous surgeon the USA and had lived a lavish life in a house which had only 7 bedroom house and he had about 7 cars to drive around still couldn’t find peace of mind... Even though he was born just 100 miles away from Parthi, he came to know about Swami only when he was 50 years old. He was of the opinion that Swami’s timing is impeccable. He came to Parthi, when some one told him that there is a hospital which is 100% free and that could be worth a try. The very firstday Swami calls him for interview and the first question of the Doctor to Swami was Swami! I have everthing, I WANT PEACE.. Swami’s answers are very simple and even a very fluent English speaker can’t give answers like Swami.. Swami just replied the doctor Remove “I” remove “WANT” and only PEACE remains..

Now the doctor lives in a very small apartment with only one car and he is the Happiest person on Earthi.

This afternoon 5th August Swami came for darshan at 4:30pm in His mobile Thorne and took a right turn infront of the stage skipping gents darshan lines..

As I type this email, a beautiful music programme by the Sai Youth of Himachal Pradesh is going..

This evening Prof.Anil Kumar is speaking to the UK group.

With humble pranams at the Lotus Feet of our beloved Lord

R.Satish Naik..

a puppet from the PUPPETEER'S ABODE...

JAI SAI RAM..

Date:05.08.2008


Prasanthi Update - Sunday Special

On Sunday Evening Devotees from Kuwait presented a Wonderful Programme in Kulwant Hall before Swami. The Programme was based on the theme Prayer and strong faith. It wonderfully highlighted the fact that God will never let us down if our Prayers are sincere and pure. The story was woven around a Muslim family and how Allah helps them during their times of dire need. With characters like a Christian father and a Hindu music teacher in the story,the Programme wondrrfully highlighted the fact that it does not matter to which God we pray to as all our Prayers reach the one Omnipresent Lord, Sai. Swami was very much involved in the programme and one could see Swami so very happy with the entire Programme. At the end of the Programme Swami materialised a wonderful Gold chain to a cute little girl. Later the same Drama group sang Bhajans and ended with Mangala Aarathi thereby ending a most wonderful and a Special Sunday for everyone. Om Sai Ram

Courtesy: KM 04.08.2008


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