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Friday, January 11, 2008

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sankranthi Discourse

A few excerpts from His discourse on Jan 15 morning:

Man doesn’t bring anything into this world by himself. All are obtained during his lifetime. Then why do you cry when losing the temporary possessions? Leave the world happily.

Everything is a gift of God. Vyashti (individual), Samashti (society), Prushti (strength), Parameshti (creator) and Srushti (creation). Srushti originated from Parameshti. For Samashti, Vyashti is important. These are all divine gifts

Do we shed a tear pining for God? No. But man cries when he loses material possessions. Man should not run after ephemeral objects.

Dark clouds might cover the sun. But you must be patient. The beauty of Bharat is tolerance. The sweetest of emotion is love for the mother. Bharatiyas have forgotten these aspects and are like an elephant that does not know its strength.

God manifests in human form to rescue man from his own ignorance. Every moment, you must think of God. Your true nature is divinity. Because you forget this, you experience suffering in the world. Difficulties or pleasures are not God-given. He confers only joy and bliss. Your feelings alone are responsible for your problems. Change your thoughts.

Today, you have sat in coat and tie. It’s all your imagination. Seeing you boys, even Anil Kumar wore black coat today (everyone laugh). This kind of imitation is going on everywhere in the world. It gives only momentary happiness.

Do not be possessive, be happy throughout. Life is full of joy. ‘Joy’ doesn’t refer to ice-cream; it relates to the heart. Experience the inner joy. So long as you are attached, you suffer. Before marriage, you walk on two legs, later on four legs. After getting a child, you have six legs and so on. All these are not God-given; they are the result of your thoughts and feelings.

Annual Sports Meet has got over. Who participated? It is you who did it. Since you participated enthusiastically, you enjoyed it. Everything in life is artificial. You must find the harmony between past, present and future. Yesterday, you enjoyed sports. Therefore, today you are happy. Tommorow, you have classes (all laugh). Your imagination results in these emotions.

Students, all that you see is untruth, passing clouds. Do not look behind. Face the challenges looking ahead. Distance yourself from imaginations that lead to worries. Do not worry about exams. Be prepared and brave. Do not feel sad about the result. Courage leads to achievement. Prushti is responsible for Srushti (creation and 5 elements). Here, you find the 6 evil traits. They are all within you. Why do you run after desires. Contain them. Restrain the vices within. Every trait that manifests outside is present within.

Students, you have studied a lot. With all the education, man doesn’t know his true nature. Education should lead to immortality, benefit the society. Teach and share the knowledge with the less privileged. Then, there is expansion. Have sense control in your behaviour.

People go abroad to earn fat salaries. We forget the ‘broad’ within and go abroad. Stay here and serve your parents. That’s true education.

Students, do not become a bookworm. It will spoil your health. Cinema has invaded empty minds today. You waste time collecting mean matter in papers. The papers are full of ads and cinema pictures. Lead an ideal human life. It is our true culture.

It’s not the intellect but discrimination that’s important. Your mother is wise and has brought you up with love. Respect your parents. Today, the children do not listen to their parents and say ‘shut up’. They get an artificial doll (wife) and forget their parents. You may love your wife, but do not forget to respect the words of your parents.

Remember the name of Lord. Never cease from chanting God’s name.

Posted by A Sai Student



Sankranthi Greetings

I walk across the street everyday hoping to find someone looking morose. For the last few weeks I’ve been unsuccessful for, people have taken Swami’s words seriously, “never put on a castor oil face”. Every day is a living experience in paradise here; it always was, but some occasions make them more apparent. Swami’s greetings to us this Sankranthi have been a blessing beyond measure.

Taking cue from Saturday’s drama which filled many hearts with love and joy, the following days were experiences in the same continuum. The next day was a chance for Brindavan boys to showcase their talent in a drama entitled “Saint Kabir”. Swami’s joy was in full flow as He came towards devotees and students many a time in chair, blessing and taking letters from everyone. The evening drama was scheduled to begin at 5 pm, but we were asked to be seated in Kulwant hall by 3.30 pm. Swami came at 4.30 pm and asked some teachers to distribute watches to all students. We got sports watch whereas the teachers were given gold plated watches by Swmai with His own hands. At 5.15, the drama began. Except for some excellent and jaw dropping sets, the drama was pretty ordinary. But the boys had won His heart for sure; He called the boy who acted as Kabir, materialized a ring and chain for Him. All the boys got group photographs. Looking at their beaming smiles, we knew that a month’s hard work and sincere efforts had paid off well.

While the boys were enjoying the gifts of Swami’s love, the girls couldn’t be left far behind. The next day, students of Anantpur campus presented a musical programme, singing devotional songs. I think this performance was one of their best over the years; they had a blend of Carnatic and Hindustani music with some excellent selection of songs. One could see Swami enjoying the tunes as He moved His hands often t the beats. At one point, He even sang the lines of a song. At the end, Swami called Anil Kumar and told him to announce about the next day’s programme. He said he would even speak to us.

January 15 happened to be Sankranthi as well as the valedictory function of our Annual Sports Meet. Since Swami had asked Mr. Anil Kumar to specially announce about this occasion, we knew the day would be exciting. All of us got up early and assembled in mandir by 7.30 am. The captains of different houses were wearing blazers, as they were going to receive prizes. They would march from Yajur mandir to Kulwant hall welcoming Swami. I was lucky to be part of this group and happened to be standing next to the door. The doors opened at 8.oo am, but Swami stayed inside. I could see some people bringing huge shining trophies out of His residence to be kept on the dais. As soon as Swami stepped out, the Institute band began to play and we marched ahead. Swami looked at each boy as He passed us. He went to the portico where the trophies and other prizes were kept and had a close look at each of them.

The programme began with a speech given by Vice Chancellor, which was followed by experiences of Sports Meet shared by one of the post graduate students of the University. The latter’s speech was excellent, brief and was acknowledged with a thunderous applause. Later, Swami called for His mike. As He saw Mr. Anil Kumar wearing a suit, He asked, “What are you wearing?” Sir replied, “Swami, this is suit.” Swami gave an amused smile and chided Him. (The discourse is covered in a separate post.)

After the discourse, He called the Warden and Principal of every campus and gave away trophies. It was surprising, since the trophies are generally collected by captains representing their campus. Later, some boys and girls came forward, taking turns to get the medals and certificates blessed. Swami held all the medals and showed it to all of us! He blessed all the certificates and made Anil Kumar announce as to the number of medals given in each campus. At the end, He asked us, “Are you happy?” the boys replied, “Swami, we are very happy.” He too remarked, “Very happy”. Swami returned back after aarati at 10 am.

By A Sai Student


Prasanthi Update - Conclusion of Sports Meet 2008

Sent by a Dear Sai Brother from Prasanthi Nilayam :

As The Drama of the Prasanthi Nilayam students was being staged in Kulwant hall, there were many problems to contend with, First of all, since the make up got delayed, all the actors were still in hostel where the make-up was going on and then Swami arrived in Kulwant hall. Swami was slightly impatient for the Drama to start soon and so immeditaly the First set of Actors were sent to Kulwanth Hall. The Drama had started but still the actors belonging to later scenes of the Drama were still in the hostel, waiting for the car to transport them to Kulwanth Hall, finally all of them were taken to Mandir by the time the second scene was on, and all finishing touch ups were given to them there. The problem was that there were totally 62 characters and the Bhajan hall in the Mandir was not enough to accomodate everyone for the make up.

Coming to the sets and props, as the scenes were on, there was a factory line behind, pinning, sticking and arranging the sets for the later scenes. Thus one drama was going on in front while one more was on behind! well, But as Always by HIS Divine Grace things seemed always ready at the appropriate moments. There was huge applause when the settings changed from forest scene to a beautiful Ravana's court. Then there was another round of applause for the next change of settings for Rama's Coronation scene. Of course, behind we were only wondering whether the right things were there in the right positions!

A grand finale:

A grand finale for the Sports and Cultural Meet was the Music Programme by the Anantapur Students on the 14th evening. All the songs were good, the singers excelling in their rendering of every song and lastely and wonderfully Swami created a Chain for the Principal of the Ananthapur Campus Dr. Dwaraka Rani Rao.

January 15th - Sports Meet Prize Distribution Ceremony:

Today Morning Swami distributed Campus cups to all the Three Campuses of the Institute by handing over them to the Principal and Warden of each campus, Swami also gave Cups to the Captains and Vice-captains of the Campuses. Swami also gave His Divine Blessings to all the Medals, Certificates and Small cups and gave His Divine message.

Swami's Divine Message - Excerpts :

1. Students should concentrate on Gaining Spiritual Education and not become Book worms

2. Each and every Student should treat their Parents with the Greatest Love and Respect.. Your Future will be totally unhappy and sad if you mistreat your Parents. Treat them with the Greatest Love and Respect and Be Happy.

3. Every Student should try to lead an ideal life and always think always about God. Try your Best to do Bhajans while and when you can do them. If are not able to sing Bhajans loudly, Do it inside with Sincerity and Purpose. Try to sing bhajans everyday and you will be happy always.

Swami Blessed the Prasadam which was given to all the Devotees Present in Kulwanth Hall. Swami left for Yajur Mandiram at 10.30 A.M

Om Sai Ram

Posted by KM on 15.01.2008


14 January Darshan Update

Om Sairam dear Sai Family,

With Swami’s blessings all is well here.. and Puttaparthi and her inhabitants are enjoying this year which is fully charged and there is no day without any surprises from Swami...

The annual Sports and Cultural programme by the students of Sathya Sai University was just fantastic and just when all of us who witnessed the games thought, can there be any other programme fantastic than this? there came another drama by the students of Prasanthi Nilayam campus on 12th January, who did a fantastic play potraying the Sundara kanda, the holy episode of Hanuman... Swami witnessed the play by sitting opposite to the dias...

The very next day was a drama by the students of White field campus who did yet another masterpiece on the life of Saint Kabir whose poems are full of wisdom and even to this day are sung with lot of devotion.. The characters were so well made that it made every one cry.. esp the Qawalis in the drama was fantastic.. I was watching the play standing in the lane way next to Kulwanth hall and here came one muslim woman her face covered in BURKHA, probably she was going towards the shopping center in the ashram and thought of stopping by to see Swami. She kept on standing and in no time she was in tears seeing the play. She was telling to her friend in urdu, did I not tell you... Sathya Sai Baba encourages all religions and He doesnt belong to any religion..

Looking at this minute but very important incident, I couldnt stop my tears rolling down..Such is the power of Swami, Such is His love and Compassion..

14 January 2008 (morning)

Our most compassionate Lord, made every one’s heart melt this morning.. We all were waiting for darshan and it was a long wait.. As the clock struck nine, the bhajans started.. All eyes were staring at the entrance, waiting for a signal for our Lord’s arrival. It was 9:30 and just when I thought the Arathi will be given, here came big group of Old folks.. the ladies, all above 60 some of Swami’s(body’s) age entered through the Main gate right across the dias and another large group of Old Men entered into the Kulwanth hall through the students gate.. The ladies were allowed to sit next to the path right across the dias and gents next to the students.. many were wondering as who they were. I enquired a old grand father as who he was and he said he belonged to a village next to Puttaparthi and they were all here because, Swami wants to distribute blankets to them...

I was moved by his statement and kind of Compassion our Lord has showered on those poor village people. By thier appearances every one looked very poor. Many of them of Swami’s age.. Iam sure, one shouldn't be surprised if some of them were Swami’s play mates.. There were few familiar faces from the village..

I thanked Swami for selecting such kind of people who are other wise forgotten by the modern generation. This part of the year is the coldest, and Swami knew it very well..

Mean while a word was sent from Swami’s residence, to continue the bhajans and all the chosen souls were asked to sit in such way that a small path is made in between the lines.. So it was clear that Swami was expected any moment and would distribute the blankets.. It was exactly 10 am and all the sevadals were in rapt attention at Swami’s residence signaling the arrival of our most beloved Lord.. Swami preferred to come in the Mobile throne.. No words could describe the happiness of the special guests. Who will be seeing Swami in close angles, after a long time, that Swami whom they felt has forgotten them.... that Swami whom they played with, spoke with and above all the One whom they kept very close to their hearts...

Swami slowly came into the hall, behind Swami were number of sevadals carrying blankets waiting for Swami’s signal.. Swami first stopped by the ladies’ side, the platform was set for Swami, Swami asked the boys to wheel Him in between the lines making it clear that He personally wanted to distribute the blankets...There were about 300 old women and Swami went almost to the middle of Sai Kulwanth Hall and after half hour of distribution, it was the mens’ turn..

Swami with His most beautiful smile came towards the gents side...gave blankets to each and every one.. To some He gave a very familiar smile as if Swami was saying.. ”Hello.. (meeting) after a long time”.. to some Swami was seen enquiring ”Bagunnava” (How are you?) and couple times it was the other way round, they were enquiring Swami’s well being.. after all they all are from the same village and grew with Swami..

It was a very sweet conversation.. many were touching His feet, some touching His hands and others watching this divine romance were in ecstasy.....

Swami went on to the dias and later moved in the bhajan Hall. Swami then came out of the bhajan hall and was seen speaking to the old man whom many of us would have seen, ringing the huge bell during arathi. Swami then blessed him with a blanket...The Bhajans lasted for nearly two hours as He accepted Arati at 10.50. While returning to His residence, Swami stopped near the Primary School students in His car for nearly 10 minutes.

Thus ended a beautiful morning which was like a REUNION for the elderly.. One elderly man was saying, I thought Swami forgot me and it has been almost 20 years since he hasn’t come to darshan but now he is confident that Swami has kept him in HIS hearts. With a child like smile, with no teeth around he said, now I can die peacefully and happily.. such was the happiness Swami filled into these old hearts....

14 January 2008 (afternoon darshan)

Swami came at 5:10 pm for darshan ....After successive plays by the boys it was the turn of The Anantapur campus girls to steal the show... they presented a beautiful musical programme in the evening. The Anantapur campus very rarely gets such a chance, and once the chance is given, they see that Swami never forgets their programme.. The audience witnessed one such memorable programme, with beautiful renderings which was a mix of classical and devotional songs with nice commentary in between the songs...for fifty minutes, Especially the second song Ravamma Mahalakshmi was so sweet and rhythmically sung that Swami was seen tapping His feet and hands. I could also feel the urge in their voice asking Swami to visit Anantapur campus which has not happened for quite some time now...

Swami was very impressed with the performance that during the programme He was saying words of appreciation....Swami then waved His right hand and after three small circular motions, there came a beautiful golden chain and Swami signaled the lead singer to come on to the dias and Swami gifted the DIVINE gift straight from the ”Divine Factory” to her for which she was in tears...

Swami then asked them to continue with bhajans..after about 20 minutes Swami asked the regular bhajan singers to start bhajans who started from the bhajan hall while Swami was immersed in the ocean of music, on the dias our hearts filled with joy singing the glory of the Lord,in His immediate presence... After fifteen minutes of their Bhajans, Bhagawan asked for Prof Anil Kumar. The ever vigilant Professor, announced amidst cheers that the Valedictory function of the Sports Festival would be held tomorrow at 8am in Sai Kulwanth hall and all the all round performers will be given trophies by Swami..

Swami again called Prof. Anil Kumar and asked to announce that Swami is going to give a divine discourse tomorrow ... which was received with loud applauds from the devotees assembled in Sai Kulwanth hall... Swami then accepted Arati and returned to His residence at 6.40 pm.

Thus ended yet another beautiful day in my Prasanthi diary.. a day full of Sai Love... Thank you dear Lord.. Thank You very much...

Reporting from Kaliyuga’s Mathura, Puttaparthi

R.Satish Naik...

15.01.2008


Sports Meet 2008

Sent by a Dear Sai Brother from the Abode of Divine Love :

The Annual Sports and Cultural meet 2008 was a great success in terms of the Wonderful displays of all the campuses. Swami's Divine Sankalpa and Love brought all of us together yet again to give our everything to Him and offer our talents at His feet.

The 11th January Programme went on very well, and Swami was extremely happy. Yesterday Swami distributed watches to all the boys right from primary to PG.

Coming to the cultural Programme as a part of the sports meet we have been having drama presentations by the Brindavan and Prasanthinilayam students for the last few years. This year, the Brindavan campus students had prepared a drama on Sant Kabir while the Parthi students were preparing for Bhaktha Anjaneya.

On 10th evening Swami came to see the rehearsal of Parthi drama and was extreemly happy with the theme and script. That day he told us that we can have it on 15th. usually, this has been the case, that, Brindavan and Parthi drama will be on 13th-14th or 14th-15th. The costumes department and the sets department were working simultaneously for both the drama and the 11th january programs. Hence, when Swami told that we can have on 15th, we were a bit relaxed because first the sports meet has to get over on 11th.

He has his own ways of testing and throwing up challenges. On 11th evening after the display of the events by the Parthi campus, Swami came down from stage, and just before leaving the stadium, called the Parthi Warden and Prof anil kumar. An announcement followed that stunned all of us. It was announced that the drama by parthy campus students on Anjaneya will be staged on 12th evening at 5pm!

We had to spring into action and by His grace, we were able to get things ready in a day's notice. On 12th, the Drama presentation went on well by Swami's Grace.

Om Sai Ram.

Posted on 14.01.2008 by KM


Sunday January 13. 2008

VEERYAANJANEYA - fitting finale

It’s 3 pm in the afternoon and all actors have assembled in the hostel dining hall for their make up. I could see that it was a marathon of sorts for the costume and make up boys who were busy shuttling between different actors as the number was pretty huge. Since it was also a mythological drama, it was all the more difficult to cover 48 characters in a span of 2 hours.

At 5 pm, the drama was scheduled to begin but many of us were still caught up in hostel. Swami promptly arrived at 5 pm and was greeted by an empty stage with 2 trees as sets for the first scene. He asked where the boys are. Someone told Him that the boys are coming and requested Him to begin the drama at 5.30 pm. Swami was upset. Meanwhile, an elder person requested Swami to bless and inaugurate the tennis court where an official match was to be held between India and Phillipines. This upset Him even more, as He was eagerly waiting for the drama. Some unfortunately fortunate teachers had the chance to listen to Swami’s music for 10-15 minutes. Finally, at 5.15 pm, the drama began. I was among the last batch of boys to arrive in mandir. As our car entered the gate, we could hear the introduction of drama. One senior brother remarked, “Hey, that’s your drama.” We rushed inside the bhajan mandir where all characters and make up boys were waiting. We sat there calmly rehearsing the dialogues and getting final make up touches. They were probably the most nervous, funny and stupid emotions I’ve felt in my life.

As I sat in inside the bhajan mandir, I could hear loud applause on many occasions. It gave us confidence that the drama was progressing well. I was in the final scene and when I entered the stage, I was marvelled by the sets, having seen them for the first time. As I mentioned before, the sets were ready only in the last minute. Everything went on well with Swami’s grace. After the finale song, Swami was in tears. He called for the scriptwriter of drama and materialized a chain for Him. Obviously, it was the script and dialogues that won His heart. Later, He got up and called Rama, Lakshmana, Sita and Hanuman. He asked each one of them, “What is your name? Where did you come from?” He materialized a ring for Lakshmana. Later, He sat down and called each group belonging to their particular scenes and sat for photographs. Everyone, right from the lead roles to the costumes and sets boys, got the opportunity to feel the divine touch and get nice photographs.

Each group would go and speak with Him a few words. One boy asked, “Swami, how is Your health?” Swami replied, “My health is very good. Your drama is extremely good!”

Some asked as to how was their scene, the sets, etc. He said He was very happy with everything. “I am very very happy” was the common reply to everybody.

The lights were bright, our smiles even brighter. Swami returned back to Yajur mandir after aarati at around 7 pm. It was a night filled with pleasant memories that many would cherish and hold in their hearts for decades to come.

By A Sai Student


VEERYAANJANEYA - Behind the scenes

The biggest smiles can be found in Kulwant Hall these days. And they are contagious too. So I suggest please do visit here as early as possible for, such blessed moments are rare to find.

Ratnahara Veeryaanjaneya (Brave Hanuman) was an event where the excitement, joy, and hard work of hundreds of students reached a pinnacle. It was the title of our drama given by Swami Himself when He asked Prof. Anil Kumar to announce in Hill View stadium on January 11 evening after the sports meet presentation. He called Mr Anil Kumar and told Him, “Announce that the boys are putting up a drama tomorrow evening. It has script, dialogues, acting, costumes and sets that has never been seen before.” That was indeed an apparent exaggeration, we felt, since we had a long way to go in preparing sets and fine tuning dialogues. Many mouths were gaping wide open in shock when the announcement was made.

After the sports meet, we assembled back in the college auditorium by 8 pm. Our teacher in charge briefed us of what exactly happened on the stage, which made Swami to prepone the drama from 15th to 12th. It seems He had mentioned about the drama to a few VIPs and told them to watch it on 15th. But many of them had planned to return back by 13th Jan. Realising this, Swami had decided on this step. But our Sir told us that, if Swami can choose to put us into soup, He will also make sure that we somehow come out of difficulties and succeed in our efforts. Besides, it was not the first time He was doing this.

By 8pm, our readiness was something like this : sets were 50 % complete, dialogues and acting needed to be refined by 20-30%. Besides, a new Rama and Lakshmana had to be found for the last scene since the original actors would not be able to change into new costumes for the scene on time. So we had 2 pairs of Rama-Lakshmana. We bravely went ahead with the preparations, knowing that our eyes would be rarely rest for the next 24 hours. You could find people practicing on all corners of the college. The drama troupe had 48 members. Back in the hostel, the number of people working on sets had more than doubled. Other boys in our hostel had realized our predicament and everybody came forward to help in any manner possible. All said, “This evening’s presentation by our campus was a big hit. Now, we’ll make sure no efforts are spared to make tommorow’s drama a superhit.” That was great bonding.

Between scenes we could catch forty winks; the boys slept on the steps, some in the foyer, some beside the stage itself. We returned back to the hostel at 3 am. The next day began pretty soon and we were back in auditorium by 8.30am. After a full rehearsal with the final drama CD (with dialogues and songs) that was made ready only last night, we proceeded to the Kulwant Hall for getting a feel of the stage. This time, the stage was facing Gopuram Gate (as opposite to the usual Portico), since Swami had insisted on this setting in the previous drama.

Even in Kulwant Hall, the boys didn’t waste time to nap in between scenes. Some leaned against the walls in upper portico whereas some were resting right inside the verandah. I really got as nice nap here before I was woken up to vacate and allow the sevadal people to clean the place. We had neither seen the sets nor our costumes, hence we were getting ready for a very suspense filled evening, both for the devotees and ourselves.

By A Sai Student


Friday, January 11, 2008
SPORTS MEET 2008: FEVER PITCH


Every day in Prasanthi Nilayam is unique, but few days stand out as exceptional and worth storing in the hard disk of our minds for eternity. Today is an event where a thousand hearts beat in unison to the Rhythm Divine. No amount of effort is spared by any student, whether a tiny tot or a post graduate, to ensure that the Heavenly smile lingers on His face for hours, soon getting etched in our memory as souvenirs for life.

Sports Meet 2008 also happens to be the last event for me as a Sai student and thus, it holds as much significance. Frankly, none of the programmes presented today were new; yet there were

The Morning Programme

All of us got up early and had breakfast as early as 6.00 am. At 5.30 itself, I could see the huge gathering of devotees assembled in the stadium from my window. We assembled for the march past by 7.30 am. The schedule in the morning was to begin with march past, followed by events of Anantpur and then Brindavan campus students.

At sharp 8 am, the escort procession began. First, it was the Anantpur campus Band which received Swami, later giving the baton to Institute brass band. The procession consisted of students in bikes, majestic horses and the slow march boys. As Swami came near the dais, I could see Him in a beautiful yellow robe arriving in white SAB sports car. Well, Swami always dresses to the occasion and it was a grand sight to behold.

As Swami went up to the dais, the march past began. The first to cross the dais were tiny tots from Primary school who were dressed in all sorts of colours, giving us an impression of a moving garden. They were followed by students from the University. After the march past and oath taking ceremony, the programes by Anantpur campus began.

The girls performed traditional Indian and Japanese dances in the beginning, which was later followed by a sports medley performed to the tune of Chak De India songs. These were pretty ordinary. Next came the bike stunts where many eyebrows went up. There was one stunt where a bike runs over the stomach of a student. After the student when the girl got up to thank Swami, we could see Him in tears. They were tears of joy that a typical mother feels when she sees her child performing for her. As I mentioned, no programme was new, not even the bike stunts, and we could even see Swami pointing out to the VIPs as to what would happen next. As some 18 girls lied down on the ground as obstacles for a ramp jump, Swami explained in detail to the people beside Him as to what was the stunt about!

After the Anantpur programmes, it was time for the Brindavan boys to show their skills. It began with show jump on horses by some students, followed by a mass display of acrobatics using planks and wheels. The last event was Celestial Rhythms where a group of boys perform various stunts on the grid 40 feet high above the ground. Apart from this item, there was little else interesting to come from the Brindavan students. But the fact that the boys had put in so much effort behind this event was enough to please the Lord. As he came down He blessed all the boys. It was 10 am when He returned back to Yajur mandir after aarati.

Evening Programme

The session was scheduled to begin at 3 pm. We weren’t expecting any grand entry from our Lord. Lo and Behold! He arrives in Merc wearing a rich red coloured robe! He used to wear this colour decades ago for our convocation. It was my little desire to see Him in red robe once. And there He is, ready to fulfill petty wishes of ours. Swami was escorted by a few primary school gymnasts wearing the costume of leopards, doing back somersaults.

The programme began with cultural items performed by the Primary school girls, like the Bharatnatyam and then a dance by seven year old kids wearing the mask of Ganesha. Swami was extremely happy seeing their dances. It was followed by gymnastics, stunts on poles and moncycles performed by boys. It was a grand spectacle to see so many boys and girls in a variety of colourful costumes.

After the Primary school, it was the turn of boys from Prasanthi Nilayam campus. Their programme began with an item called Conscious Dots where some 100 boys made formations with perfect synchronization. This was followed by Gymnastic performances. A group of boys on various trucks performed acrobatics and some of them held and balanced a couple of huge Chinese flags (about 30 feet high). There were stunts on ropes performed by the boys like the trapeze, free fall, etc. We could see the excitement on Swami’s face as He was explaining and commenting on every item to others around. Smiles refused to leave His face even for a second. There were other items like the martial arts, the gun drill, rollerblades, etc. Swami was even clapping for some of their performances. After the conclusion of their programme when the boys made a final formation, Swami raised His hand and clapped in appreciation. He blessed us with both hands. What more could we expect?

Yes, we need not expect anything more but He’s never short of surprises. As He came down from the stage after aarati, Swami asked our warden, “What about the drama?” Warden sir replied, “Swami, we are ready. Whenever you say, we’ll perform.” Perhaps, he was exaggerating. Swami said, “Okay, send the actors to Kulwant Hall immediately. I’ll come and watch the drama now.” The Warden was lost for words. He didn’t know what to say and looked around for cover. Yesterday, Swami had decided to see the drama on 15th. Swami saw His plight and said, “Fine, I’ll see the drama tomorrow evening”. Well, tomorrow evening has a packed schedule with the inauguration of Tennis court in indoor stadium and a match between India and Phillipines. One of the organizers went forward and requested Swami to have the drama tomorrow morning. Swami refused, “Drama should be in the evening.” He called Prof Anil Kumar and told Him to announce about it. Mr Anil Kumar announced in such highly elevating words about our drama that we are having butterflies in our stomach, doubtful that we can deserve this praise tomorrow.

Anyway, all’s well that ends well and we can surely say there were more than a thousand happy faces that left the stadium today.

By A Sai Student


Prasanthi Update - Evening Programme

Drama in Kulwanth Hall - Veera Anjaneyam

A Wonderful Drama about Sri Anjaneya or Lord Hanumantha was enacted by the Students in front of Our Divine Lord in the Evening in Sai Kulwant Hall . The Wonderful Drama showed some Wonderful Scenes from the Ramayana and focussed on the Devotion of Lord Hanuman to Lord Rama.

It wonderfully showed as to How Sri Tulsi Das was guided in writing the Ramayana was Sage who also explained to him the Great Meaning of Sundara Kanda.

The Beautiful Drama ended with all the Students in the Drama singing a Beautiful Song as an Offering at Swami's Lotus Feet.

The Programme was beautifully Conceived and Enacted by over 30 Students. The Dialogue of the Whole Drama was in English but the Wonderful Poems were in Telugu.

To the Delight of everyone Swami stood and took Photograhers with all the performers of the Drama. Swami also Blessed each and every Student who had worked behind the Scenes in setting up the Drama.

Bhagawan then Blessed the Divine Prasadam which was given to all the devotees Presentt Hall. After the Mangala Aarathi Swami left for Yajur Mandiram in the Mobile Chair.

Om Sai Ram

posted by KM 12.01.2008


Prasanthi Update - Annual Sports Meet - Evening Programme

Bhagawan arrived at the Hill View Stadium at around 3.15 P.M, Swami was in a Wonderful Maroon Colour Dress and everyone had a Very Wonderful.

The Children of the Sri Sathya Sai Primary School gave a Wonderful Programme of various Dances made up of some Wonderfully Coloured Costumes. Then there was a Wonderful Gymnastic Progrmme and acrobatics on Unicycles. The Programme was wonderful and Swami was smiling throughout.

The Programme of the Students of the Prasanthi Nilayam campus was wonderful and Drew Repeated applause from the Huge Crowd. The Programme included Acrobatics on Ropes and a Wonderful Gymnastic Presentation on Moving Vehicles, The Programme ended with a Martial Arts Display which was a Treat to watch.

Today Swami is inaugurating the Tennis Courts at the International Indoor Stadium and there will also be a Match between India and the Philipiness, There will also be a Drama by the Students of the Institute in Kulwanth Hall after the Tennis Programmes.

Om Sai Ram
 

posted by KM 12.01.2008


Prasanthi Update - Morning Programme of the Sports Meet 2008

Today, the 11th January is a Big Day for each and every Student in the School and all the Three Campuses of the Institute performs before their Divine Chancellor.

Today morning thousands of Devotees gathered in the majestic Hill View Stadium very early in the morning.

The Divine Chancellor of the Institute arrived in an Open Car at sharply 7:55 A.M. Swami was looking Resplendent in a Bright Yellow Robe . As like the past many Years, Swami was led into the Stadium by the 2 Marching bands of the Institute and the School followed by Students on Horseback. Then after Swami sat on the Dias, Next The Traditional March Past of the Schools and the Institute followed, After which Swami lit the Traditional Lamp to begin the Sports Meet.

The Girls of the Anantapur Campus of the SSIHL Started the Programme with some really wonderful Dances with Traditional Japanese costumes, Followed by a Programme with Hockey Sticks and they rounded off their Performance with a BriIliant and a Wonderful Display on Motorbikes

The Students of the Brindavan began their Programme with a Wonderful event of Horse Jumping followed by a Nice Programme of Rhythmic Dancing, The Highlight of their Programme was a Truly Amazing programme of various Acrobatics on Ropes which were hanging on a Huge Crane, It was a Wonderful Dare Devil Programme.

The event ended with Managala Aarthi and Swami left the Hill View Stadium at around 9:55 A.M

The Evening Programmes are Scheduled to begin at 3:00 P.M with Students from the Prasanthi Nilayam campus and the Children from the Primary School to take Part. It promises to be really wonderful.

Truly a Great Morning Programme in the Hill View Stadium.

Om Sai Ram

Posted by KM on 11-08-2007


Thursday, January 10, 2008
A Day Before The Big Event

Happiness is a mere euphemism to describe the feeling of a student when touched by Sai. But the Pursuit of this Happyness doesn’t require accumulation of wealth, talents, expertise. It requires making Sai happy. That’s exactly what makes us so fortunate to be here, so that we regularly find ways to make Him happy.

Sports Meet is one such occasion. In a span of 5 days, Swami has visited the stadium as many times to watch our practice sessions. He makes sure that all the programmes by every campus are ready to perfection before they are put up on January 11. Today morning, He came to the ground at 9.30 am, when our march past was in session. After the march past, boys from Prasanthi Nilayam campus showed Him an item of Rollerblades. Unfortunately, today was not their lucky day. Perhaps, the excitement of Swami’s presence made them commit many mistakes. Some boys tripped and fell after they attempted the ramp jump. Swami was concerned and asked if the boys had enough protective gear. The teacher called a skater near Swami and showed Him the arm guard, elbow guard etc worn, that would be enough to protect the boy from a fall. Swami was relieved, and expressed His happiness at the efforts put by boys and girls for the event.

Another programme that’s on top of some people’s minds is the Sports Meet drama. It’s been quite a while since Swami had first seen the drama invitation card. We’ve been waiting for Him to come and see our practice in the college auditorium, but everyday, He’d come to the stadium and return back to mandir without having a glance at us near the auditorium. We were pretty disappointed, some were even skeptical that drama would be cancelled. The duration of drama well exceeds 1 hour, so there were plans to scrap some dialogues.

Today evening, some drama boys sat with a card to invite Swami again. He looked at the card and merely nodded at them. The rest of us were practising in auditorium, not expecting His arrival. At 5 pm, we got the message that Swami might be coming here. We were happy and rushed to the entrance of our college to invite Swami. Yet, some of us doubting Thomases were thinking He would proceed straight to the ground. Even Swami’s driver shared our opinion as He was quietly driving Him straight in the direction of stadium when suddenly, Swami motioned Him to turn and enter the college! It was an ecstatic moment as we rushed inside and went backstage.

It was 5.30 when the drama began, and the scenes were pretty long, so I felt Swami might not see the entire drama. In the first scene where Tulsidas sings Rama’s praise, He made a comment that Tulsidas must keep moving on stage rather than sing while being seated. This further added to my fears, but only later did I realize, how wrong I was. As the drama progressed, there were scenes of Hanuman’s first meeting with Rama and of His decision to cross Lanka and send Lord’s message to Sita. By the way, I forgot to mention that the entire drama revolves around devotion of Hanuman towards Rama; the life of Hanuman is portrayed as the ideal example for every youth.

There is a scene where Hanuman meets Ravana in court. It’s probably the only scene that makes Swami laugh a lot unlike others where Swami would get emotional. He was enjoying the dialogue between Ravana and Hanuman. Our teacher later mentioned that the verses used in that scene were actually sung by Swami in His younger days. Or probably, He was remembering those glorious days of Threta Yuga.

Swami was moved to tears by the songs. During the convocation drama, He had mentioned that our dramas should have more songs. He was very much impressed with the script and dialogues and asked our teacher as to who had written them. The teacher replied “Swami, our boys have written it.” Swami said, “No , tell me who are the boys.” One of the script writers was seated close to Swami and He got up. Swami asked, “So you have written the story. What books did you refer?” The boy replied, “Swami, whatever You have taught me, I have written here.” He was pleased.

After the drama (it was 6.30 pm ), the actors came down and sat near Swami as He got ready to leave. He looked at a boy and asked “Lakshmana?” the boy replied “No Swami, I am Sita” Swami smiled “Oh Sita!” He told us, “Very nice script, very nice dialogues, very good acting and Swami too is very happy (Chaala Baagundi).” One teacher asked, “Swami, when should we put up the drama?” The Vice Chancellor who was present there asked “Are you ready?” The teacher said, “Swami we are ready for any day.” Swami said, “Then put up the drama on 15th.” January 15 happens to be the festival of Sankranti.

Swami couldn’t have made us happier. I’m sure tomorrow’s event will be a success as also the drama on January 15.There’s always this Divine Hand upon us to see it through. Touch wood!

Posted by A Sai Student


Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Sports Meet Frenzy


06/01/2008

It’s 5 am in the morning. While some boys are practicing a military drill, some are doing the same on ropes. Some flex their muscles for a fish dive or somersault while a sizable group of boys learn to get coordination on some brisk dance movements. All this is happening as the chilling breeze teases our spirits to the point of sickness. Yet, the boys brave themselves against all odds, for they are protected by the warmth of a Mother’s love.

Swami is the motivation, the sole reason for these efforts, whose happiness is the ultimate goal of every boy and girl performing on January 11. He knows that too well, for, even as early as December 26, Swami came right down to the stadium to watch our march past practice and enquire about the events.

The youth from Maharashtra & Goa had come in large numbers for Swami’s darshan. Thus, we missed the opportunity of having His physical presence for our practice sessions as He was busy attending to their programmes. The youth presented a collection of devotional songs on the first two days. Yesterday, they concluded their trip with a drama on Shivaji. The drama gave many insights into leadership and values that Swami so often explains to us. Swami was very happy with their play. He materialized a chain for “Shivaji” and sat for group photographs with the entire drama troupe.

Earlier in the morning, few of us sat with a card for getting Swami’s blessings and informing Him about our drama for the Sports Meet. As Swami came in car, He looked at the card and called the two boys. They said “Swami, we want to put up a drama for Sports Meet”. Swami looked at the cover of card which read “Dearest Bhagawan we seek thy blessings”. As he turned the cover, there were photographs of the actors with their real names and their roles. The two boys were surprised by the way He was looking so intently at the photographs and enquiring about the boys. One of the boys later said, “Swami we need you to come and see our practice and give us advice.” He replied, “Do you want to put up the drama today?” the boy was taken aback “No Swami, we are still practising”. He said “chaalu” and moved on.

Today, Swami came to see the march past practice at 9am. I’m sure it must’ve been difficult for Him to sit around us as none of us had bath due to the morning practice, but He didn’t seem to mind. After the march past, Anantpur Campus teachers requested Swami to see their events. He initially agreed, but when the girls began performing their first programme (boring as it seemed), Swami decided to return back to mandir

Posted by A Sai Student


Glimpses – Maharashtra Youth Parthi Yatra, 4th-6th Jan 2008

Sai Ram,

The Maharashtra youth parthi yatra was on 4th, 5th and 6th Jan 2008. Many from all the parts of Maharashtra were there.

Morning Darshans:

All the morning darshans were after the starting of the bhajans. On 4th the crowd was less thinking that Swami would not be there as He was sometimes not giving darshan in the mornings. But, He came to bless us all with His immense glory on 4th morning to see His kids coming all the way from Maharashtra. On 5th many devotees came thinking that Swami will be there in the morning because of the youth and He did come that too in His mobile chair much to the delight of all the devotees. We are very very happy to see Swami radiant in His glory giving us the best darshans in our life times. He even came on 6th morning also. Swami used to take Arthi after bhajans and used to leave for yajur mandir.

Afternoon Darshans:

These are feast to my eyes as I was all the 3 days placed in the first row just only by Swami’s grace, with no one between Swami and me, uninterrupted darshan even in those thousands of thousands of devotees, especially as Swami sat on the dias all the three days for some or other program for very long times, which is almost rare these days. Very very happy to have these darshans. The background music while Swani’s grand entry was from the cassette “Bliss” by unicorn music company (A fantastic instrumental CD/cassette that I always loved) leaving us in bliss with our lord’s darshan JMy eyes drank His glory from top to bottom and they are filled with the nectar of His love in the form of tears J His hands, feet and His beautiful face left us to remember the experiences through out our lives.

4th Jan afternoon darshan:

As it was Friday, Sai Lakshmi was welcomed in to His darbar with Sri Suktam by the vedic pundits. Padma pathraya thakshim as they say, our Lord came in most gracefully smiling, down the car, with His lotus eyes gleaming in the lights from the chandeliers. He looked as if He was descending down the heavens on to the earth when He got down from His porte car, slowly and beautifully with a nice smile that removes all the thoughts from the mind. The one before whom we cannot think of anything, the one before whom your all senses become still, the one before whom tears roll on from the eyes out of love, the one before whom you can be as you are…that SAI’s darshan is nayan anandakaram.

Maharashtra men youth started their enthralling program with “Mahashtra majhaa garja” song after they gave the program protocol to the Lord with roses. I envy these guys who can touch Swami’s feet. (Envy for a very right reason ; ) ) There are other songs that has taken our hearts like vitevari ubhavari, sohum-sai om and other songs. Swami looked very happy. He was moving His hands with the tune for many songs. After these, they sang a medley where they clubbed many bhajans one after the other with out breaks and in different tunes.

There is a village in Gachiroli area where the people are of tribal origin where sunlight hardly passes in to the village. They said that because of Bhagawan there was a great difference in their lives there and that He changed their lives in many ways. The people from this region did a dance called as “Rela” which is in their tradition from ages to express their happiness for all that Swami did for them. It was very nice.
After this the Goan brothers performed 2 differenent arthis in their Goan style. One was for Ganesha and another for Sri Datta Avathar. Both these arthis are arthis sung in the respective famous temples there in Goa.

Swami looked happy taking arthi. Saw Him twirling His locks in between beautifully and I tell you, it’s a sight that makes Gods and Demi-Gods envy us as so many people giving arthi is really beautiful. It was a great blessing to all of us who were watching it as many youth and the regular arthi pundit and some others were all giving arthi to bhagawan.

Love you bhagawan, for giving this opportunity to see the arthi seva going on to you. I am indeed blessed to see it from a very very close point to leave me blessed and in lifelong memories. Thank you so much Swami. As someone said in the program - “Swami you made us happy and we are very happy to be before you, but we would also like you to be happy with us Swami, please bless us, please bless us.” Its not that we love Swami its also important that How much Swami loves us, how much His grace is on us and so on. I wish He gives all those boons to make our lives mould in a way that makes Him happy.

Swami blessed those who gave arthi on that day. Some milk sweet which tastes like khoya was distributed for all in the hall that day.

5th Jan afternoon darshan:

All were ready with their programs on this afternoon – US devotees ( I think NRIs, not sure, because I saw many of them talking in telugu), Maharashtra ladies and also gents.

Maharashtra coordinator requested Swami for their program to be started Swami asked Him to wait and gave the permission to the US devotees J A small boy and a girl went to present the protocol for that day to Swami and lo and behold He created a chain for the boy kid. How blessed are these kids. Swami took time in dehooking the chain and He Himself has put it on the child. I don’t know how many sacred acts the kid would have performed in his previous births to get this best blessing from Bhagawan. The US devotees started their sarva dharma bhajans and slokas program. Swami heard a few and stopped them in between and gave the permission to the Maharashtra ladies youth to start a program on meerabai, a great devotee of the Sai’s Krishna Avatar. The program was talking about the meera and was with meera bhajans.

I cannot stop myself mentioning about something here. The US coordinator asked Swami His permission for their programs. I can see a lot of bliss on this guy’s face. He was seeing Swami with intense love and he was so much involved in watching Swami rather than watching the program J Lost in Swami’s bliss. Swami has thrown a rose on this person with His left hand while the person was sitting on to the right of Swami making him smile more, playful Sai Krishna J

Another thing is, I saw Swami pressing His hand cloth on His cheeks once, may be because of the sweat as it was slightly sultry that day. Immediately the student who came along with the mobile chair and who was sitting besides swami observed this and fixed a fan besides swami. He was very very careful in setting the right speed and also checked so many times whether the air is coming to swami or not and also at what level of Swami it was giving air etc., all the while keeping whatever he was doing, on a very low tone without grabbing any attention from any one. We need to learn a lot from this student, an example as to how to act before Swami whether He is present before us physically or not. Attentiveness, attentive towards whatever Swami is doing/talking and to make swami comfortable and happy in whatever thing it might be.

Once the meera bhajans started, It looked to me as if Swami went in to the meera’s era, as He got reminded of His beloved devotee meerabai.

His eyes were up and He was in deep thoughts for a while. Must have gone in to the memories of those days and in to the Krishna Avatar!

Then Swami gave permission to a singer called Mr. Raviraj, from Maharashtra. This person talked very briefly before he started. He said that he was getting emotional as Swami blessed him again with singing after 24 years..tooo long! (sabar ka phal meetha hotha hai J). He sang very beautifully. One thing I remember in particular was his song which is like, Swami your darshan in the early morning gives us lot of happiness and your evening darshan gives us lot of happiness and so on. It was nice. Swami gave this person Prasad with His own hands. (It was badusha, a sweet made of wheat/refined flour that day). Again even today there were so many arthis going on before Swami and it was a delight to the eyes.

Also, while going Swami blessed with His right hand on ourside, making us forget our sleep with intense happiness that day J

6th Jan afternoon:

Again a memorable day. There was a fantastic drama performed by the Maharashtra youth on Shivaji, a great king of Maharashtra. The drama started with a scene even before shivaji was born and showed how great and devoted was Shivaji’s mother “Jijau Bai” towards goddess Bhavani as well as towards the love to her motherland, that is, the maratha kingdom. There were 3 boys playing as Shivaji king at 3 different ages of Shivaji. It was a very very catchy program. I was pulling my attention to come out of it in between as I don’t want to miss seeing Swami during that time J Shivaji at last told that Sai only saved Him as Vittala (Maharashtrian’s highly devoted God) during a point of time. Swami became very very happy that even before the program finished he called the boy and created a chain for the boy. This Shivaji is the third boy, who acted as the grown-up/adult shivaji. He was very very happy with the drama and the boy. The boy was also very devoted and was very very involved in his role. Infact, he has put his sword before Swami as a token of respect to Gods or their elders as was the kings earlier J How nice! He asked Swami if he can take padanamaskar and I think he took 2/3 times all the time with Swami’s permission unlike others. How sweet is this kid, blessed is his life, blessed are his parents and all those in his ancestry and his future generations. He very sweetly requested Swami if He can take a few photos with the group to which Swami agreed and came down the stage. Bhaktha parayana – I felt that God can never say “No” to a real bhakta/devotee.

I felt while seeing and also heard from someone that Swami asked the concerned to give admission to all the 3 boys who played as shivaji in to His school!!!

The program ended with many arthis going on at a time making us all happy drenching us in an ocean of happiness.

I was very sad that the trip ended so soon. There are no more words to explain my agony or our agony to return back to this world again where we have to play our roles again with a lot of responsibilities that keep us away in the immediate physical presence of our beloved Sai Maharaj.

Om Sai Ram,

With pranams to the lotus feet of Sai,
Sailaja Krishna Mohan

Courtesy: Saibabanews 08.01.2008

Images of 04.01.2008 - Cultural Programs by youths from Maharashtra and Goa

Images of 05.01.2008 - Cultural Programs by youths from Maharashtra and Goa

Images of 06.01.2008 - Cultural Programs by youths from Maharashtra and Goa

 


Wednesday, January 2, 2008
NEW YEAR'S MESSAGE FROM SAI

As Swami asked for the mike to brought, an ex-student brother went up to Him and requested the Swami should speak to us while being seated as we didn’t want Him to strain Himself. Surprisingly, Swami agreed. Here are excerpts from the Divine discourse:

In this world, nothing is permanent. All that you see around is ephemeral. In search of the permanent and ever lasting, there is only path. Bhagawad Gita explains this essence – Realising that God is in all, in you , above you, below you, around you.

God pervades everything. Man doesn’t realize this and tries in vain to search around. As is the feeling, so you are. It’s a matter of “reflection, reaction and resound”

Thousands have assembled here. But the same God resides in everyone’s hearts. It’s not the physical heart but the spiritual heart. You must study to become immortal. Today’s learning is secular, obtained from teacher. It is artificial and leads men to arguments. But you must look at the fundamental basis. Education is temporary, Educare is eternal. Educare resides in your heart. It can be brought forth by your efforts.

Peace is within you. Love is also unseen, but resides in your heart. Similar is the case of non-violence and truth. Thus all these form Educare.

Today, there’s lack of truth. That’s why people go to courts. Even there, you find untruth. Truth is eternal. As is your feeling towards others, so is their reaction towards you. Today, there are conflicts because of lack of truth. Here, you find peace everywhere. The love and peace you find here is not present anywhere else. Pray to God for these two in life.

Students have come from various places. They did not find peace anywhere else except here. Love is the only property of Bhagawan. Keep smiling, do not put on a castor oil face. You should remain blissful at all times.

Pleasure is an interval between two pains. You are not one but three; what you think you are, what others think you are and what you really are. What others think you are refers to duality. You may read Pustaka (books) but if your mastaka (head) is not proper, it’s useless. Thus, educare is essential. Good and bad are within you. Its manifestation is a result of reflection, reaction and resound in your mind.

Students, you went around the world and came back here today. It is the good fortune given to you by Swami. How fortunate you are that after facing many difficulties, you have been able to come here with your families. If anyone asks you “where have you come from?” say “I’m from Prasanthi Nilayam”. Parthi follows you, it’s in you, around you wherever you go.

Religions are different, God is one. Jewels are many, gold is one. Cows may be different, but the milk is of same colour. Similarly, there’s variety among us, but the bliss that we experience is the same. Therefore, pray for this bliss> do not have individual differences. They are temporary.

This year, many physical changes will take place. But spiritually, there will be no change. There are conflicts, too many parties. Party has become “for tea”

Do not hurt anybody. That’s the principle followed by Swami. this body is 83 years old. It has never put anybody to any inconvenience or difficulty. Swami is truth, truth is Swami. Love all. It’s very simple and easy. In fact, it’s difficult to have enemity. Love leads to equality, equality leads to unity, which leads to purity and finally leads to divinity.

Relationships are sacred. You must not hit your wife, however angry you are. You can speak to her and solve the matter. You must all stand united. If you are united, you’ll experience Sai everywhere. Bhagawan is yours. All of you belong to him. Always speak the truth.

(Swami narrated an incident about a lady in Bangalore who won a court case because she adhered to truth) If you speak truth, you get marks. If you speak untruth, you get (bad) remarks.

From hotels to courts, there are conflicts everywhere. There’s selfishness and self interest today. All Sathya Sai students should lead ideal lives. When society praises our students, it makes Swami happy. Swami blesses that you should get a good name. Do not forget to chant Lord’s name. Strengthen your faith.

Swami concluded the discourse with the bhajan “Hari Bhajan bina sukh shanthi nahin..”

Posted by a Sai Student


Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Dear Swami, Happy 2008!!!

1/1/08

Smiles, smiles everywhere! The mood was upbeat with a lot of anticipation and excitement. We had all assembled in Kulwant hall by 7 am. Swami was expected to come at 8.30am. I sat in my place admiring the beautiful decorations above the portico. The alumni brothers were all seated in the front, some running here and there to make sure all arrangements are in place. They had all come with their families too.

Finally, at 8.30 am, we herald the New Year with the beautiful darshan of our lord. Lo and behold! Our Lord arrives in chair escorted by a procession of Vedam chanting and flag march by ex students. This darshan indeed seemed a special one, majestic with students holding a grand umbrella over Swami and waving peacock feathers around, as if welcoming an Emperor. Well, Swami is the king of our hearts and I can tell He was loving every moment of it just like us. It’s our great fortune to have such a nice darshan on the very first day of 2008. As He came by, some of us wished Him "Swami, happy new year".

Swami came to the portico and asked the programme to begin. Since yesterday there was a lot of confusion regarding the sequence of programmes as the present students too were ready with their programmes. This morning, Swami again changed the schedule and asked the Institute Band to perform first. After their pieces, out of the blue, Swami asked two elders to address the gathering. Later, He called an ex-student and asked him to speak. This brother was equally unprepared but spoke very well sharing two sweet experiences of his student days. Swami was very happy and materialized a chain for him. Later, there was a music programme where the alumni sang some songs, one of which was composed by our Lord way back in 1985! The morning session ended around 10.30 am.

Swami arrived in the evening at around 4.30pm. First, there was a bhangra programme by some ex-students who tried their best to dance in the limited space provided to them right before Swami. Swami was amused with their steps, but He blessed them all with padanamaskar. A Band programme followed, this time by ex-students who were part of the Band group in their student days. Swami was enjoying all of their pieces. For sometime, it felt like Swami had become the conductor as He was moving his Hand to the tunes more often than the Band leader himself! Soon after, there was a picture slideshow on a giant screen where old photos of swami with students were shown. Simultaneously, some ex-students narrated experiences from their student days with Swami. One of them narrated an incident where Swami had come to his rescue in his job. Swami took his form and worked in his office, while he went to a parents’ meet accompanying orphanage children.

Swami was extremely happy. He motioned for the alumni brothers to stop. It was His turn now to share His love and He motioned for the mike to brought over. I’ve mentioned about the discourse in my next post. At the end of the day, all I can say is, we couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to 2008. Thank you Swami.

Posted by a Sai Student


GOODBYE 2007

The end of 2007 couldn’t have been celebrated better than this. While the world is still coming to terms with increasing unrest and violence, Puttaparthi is a striking contrast of peace and love pervading all around. After all, the life in Parthi revolves around SAI.

Swami has been showering so much love on us these days. A few weeks ago, we were upset about the way He was apparently ignoring us, coming late. But Alas! Foolishness is our second nature, for we fail to see the love that envelops this place, regardless of His physical presence.

On the 27th, as part of the Christmas celebrations, there were a couple of programmes by devotees from South California. The elders sang carols while there was a short and sweet play on the childhood years of Jesus performed by children. Swami was very happy with the programme and He gifted clothes to the entire group.

For the next few days, Swami, though arriving late, would spent more time with us outside on the portico while the bhajans went on. He would call students and take letters.

On the New Year’s day, many alumni from the Sathya Sai University gather in Prasanthi Nilayam and offer a programme. Over the years, this day has gained increasing importance as the “Reconnect Day” for the Sai students as these alumni come from various parts of the world to reconnect with their golden past in Prasanthi Nilayam when they basked in His love.

Due to the preparations for the Annual Sports Meet of Institute on Jan 11, many students are not able to make it for darshan on time. But the students’ block never looked empty as it was occupied by hundreds of alumni brothers. On 31st evening, Swami came for darshan around 4.40 pm and went inside interview room. Soon, He came out in chair and went across the Ladies side blessing all devotees. Swami later came straight to the portico and sat before the students. He called the birthday boys and blessed them. These boys were indeed lucky as Swami spoke to most of them. To one boy, He asked “which class?” the boy replied “10th standard” Swami said “after 10th?” the boy replied “Swami, whatever you say” He spoke to another birthday boy and materialized a chain for Him. Swami could see that many ex-students were sitting there. He called one of them and asked what programme was being planned for the next day. All the while, Swami was looking very happy, like a proud mother to see Her children come home. He called one alumnus and scolded him for gaining a lot of weight. It was a sight to watch as Swami animatedly showed us his walking style with a huge tummy.

At around 6.15 pm, he asked for aarati to be given and went to Yajur Mandir. We knew the New Year would begin on a bright note.

Posted by a Sai Student
 

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