The ashram is gaily decorated, flags hanging from the Ganesh Temple, and from East Prashanti across the walkway to the darshan hall. Giant red balls hang from the celing, the porch is decorated, the darshan hall is full. Students sit in front of the garage area, and in front of the porch. Red, blue, violet, yellow, gold, green decorations hang from the ceiling and sway in the pleasant breeze. In the centre area where the perspex canopy is normally visible, streamers fill that entire area, silver, green, gold and red streamers sway in the breeze.
A feeling of peace and intimacy pervade me as I sit through the bhajans. Arunachal Shiva Om, the bhajans lift the energy and bring that feeling of home, here in Prashanti Nilayam.
I look over the assembled devotees, all drawn by that desire to see the Lord, to felicitate the Lord, to offer him their worship, their pranams, their love. I think of Church services I have attended over the years and try to compare being here in Prashanti Nilayam. It is incomparable, for grace flows into the Darshan Hall, non-stop.
The pigeons are resting on the chandeliers, I see both sparrows and finches (so my question from many days before is settled; there are finches here in Prashanti Nilayam).
I think back to the many darshans I have had on this trip; Christmas Day, New Years Day, the decorations, and wonder in awe at the sense of timelessness I often experience here, in Prashanti Nilayam. And I think to the future, to the unborn generations who will come here in Awe and give thanks for this Holy Ground, that the Lord has trod.
People come and people go. The bhajans continue. I rest in peace, drifting along with the bhajans, Sai Gopala Hare. A Seva Dal walks up and down and cajoles devotees to stay.
Swami comes, towards the end of the bhajans. He comes in the sedan-chair, the sunlight is brilliant upon his form, and waves of love pour off him as he enters the darshan Hall. I offer my love.
God is my best friend. There are many paths to the Divine, up that mountain towards blessedness, that path HE has come to restore. We may walk that path of devotion, of service, of bhajan or meditation, of practising Human Values, or the path of good character and integrity.
Wherever there is purity of thought, word and deed, there is God.
For me, that lingering sense of intimacy remains, that sense of closeness, that sense of oneness. There is such a gap between human love, which loves in order to satisfy needs or to give and get, and Swami’s thorough-going intimacy within. Swami is everywhere within us, his love drenches us within as he patiently waits for us to return to the heart, where his home is.
So I have two homes, here, this Holy Ground of Prashanti Nilayam, and the home of the Lord, in my heart. So do you, dear reader.
St Paul, in one of his letters to the nascent Christian Community wrote:
Always be happy in the Lord;
What I want is your happiness;
The Lord is always near
And that is my prayer for you, dear reader.
Sai Ram from a pleasant morning in Prashanti Nilayam.
11,2009 SPORTS DAY
ACCOUNT BY A DEVOTEE " ...students wearing jungle-green army trousers and grey
t-shirts come forward and perform some exercises. All the students from all the
campuses must be here. My attention keeps returning to the small white Swami, way
down there, clearly visible on the Throne Chair, in white..."
- Darshan News Sunday,
January 11, 2009: Bhagawan had come to the stadium in the mornings and in
the evenings over the last few days, and had seen all the items to be presented by
the students on the Sports Festival today. The morning programme commenced in the
Vidyagiri stadium with Bhagawan arriving in a white robe just before 8.30 am. As He
was escorted to the stage by the slow-march contingent, brass bands from Anantapur
and Prasanthi Nilayam played marching music. This morning, the march-past of the Sai
educational institutions with the torch-lighting ceremony was completed by 9.15 am.
The torch was carried up the Hanuman hill by this year's torch vehicle in the shape
of a majestic Lion. The Prasanthi Nilayam, Anantapur and Brindavan campuses then
completed their presentations in rapid succession by 11 o'clock, when Bhagawan
accepted Arati and returned to His residence.
Saturday, January 10,2009 Highlights from Puttaparthi with Photos - Prasanthi Nilayam : "...The ashram was gaily decorated overnight; upon entering the ashram, the Ganesh Temple is festooned with flags, and looking down the avenue beside East Prashanti, I see flags strewn between East Prashanti and the Darshan Hall. The darshan hall bears a festive look, all the poles supporting the ceiling have a reflective decoration, it looks a gold colour but when the sunlight hits the decorations, all colours flash from the decorations. The wrought iron railing atop the darshan hall wall has bunting along with red and green decorations..." Read More >>>
Friday, January 9, 2009 DARSHAN ACCOUNT BY A DEVOTEE WITH NEW PHOTOS"...The Seva Dal opened the Ganesh Gate after Swami passed by, and the road is nigh impassable. I thread my way through the crowd and stand on tip-toe, Swami is up there past the Bus Station, nearly at the top of the Hill. I ain’t gonna catch Him, I thought to myself. I take a few photos at the Ganesh Gate..." Read More >>>