Swami returned from Kodaikanal on May 18th, 2007 and four days later Sai Geetha bid farewell to everybody. Swami was with her in her last moments. In the cover story of this issue, we have a very detailed and revealing narration of the whole episode; do not miss it. After this the first major event in June happened in the first Sunday of the month.
Prahlada, Meerabai and Gajendra were all redeemed by the chanting of the Lord's Name. A short skit of Ajamila's story was enacted to drive home the lesson. Taken from the Bhagavatam, the story is about Ajamila who lead a very sinful life. As he is about to die and the messengers of the God of Death approach him, he calls out to his son Narayana. But, the messengers of Lord Narayana arrive on the spot and say that as per the command of the Supreme Lord, Ajamila is to be redeemed as he took the Lord's name in the last few moments of his life, whatever be his intentions.
A Telugu skit on another popular story was about a poor farmer. The venerable sage Narada refuses to believe that there could be someone greater than him in their devotion to Lord Narayana. So he sets out to scrutinize the Lord's choice - a poor farmer. He finds out that the farmer chants the Lord's Name only thrice the whole day in between his work. When he doubts the Lord's choice, Narayana tells Narada to go around carrying a pot full of oil, ensuring that not a drop of it falls out. Narada carries out the command but once done, Lord Narayana asks, "Tell me, how many times did you chant My Name as you carried out that task?" Narada says, "Oh Lord! How was that possible? I was fully concentrating only on the pot of oil." The Lord smiles," Oh Narada, that farmer thinks of me in spite of being engrossed in his work. What matters is the feeling. It is quality and not quantity that matters.”
He blessed the Poorna Kumbham and then was taken straight up the stage. The whole assembly stood up to receive Him and sat down only after Swami had indicated them to do so. The stage had been adorned with a huge banner stating, "Tamasoma Jyotir Gamaya." Meaning, ‘From darkness, lead me to light.”.
The Vice Chancellor first laid out the schedule for the morning. Swami then blessed two documents presented by Dr. Krupanidhi of the Biosciences Dept. and Prof. Venkatramaniah of the Physics Dept. The documents were part of the ongoing effort of the Institute to blend education with Swami's teachings and were entitled “Educare through Biosciences” and “Educare through Physics”, respectively. Shri G S Rangarajan from the School of Business Management, Accounting and Finance addressed the assembly next on what it meant to be students of the Avatar and exhorted that all must recognise this unique opportunity to realize the ultimate knowledge. The Vice Chancellor then prayed to Swami to bless all with His divine message
Much to everyone's delight, Bhagavan rose to address the
assembly. Here is a brief summary of the discourse -
Truth (Satya) is the fundamental changeless one. Where there is Satya, there alone peace exists. It is foolish to think that Truth is mere factual correctness. Bodies and names may be different, but the principle within is the same. You talk about Swami also in various ways. That too is just your imagination. The Truth is that you all are also God. Even the Buddha set out searching for Truth but concluded finally that "The Truth is within me" and was thus enlightened.
Swami concluded His discourse and the vote of thanks was offered by the Principal, Prof. U.S. Rao after which prasadam was distributed. It was 11 am by the time Swami left the dais and all the Institute staff surrounded Him to offer their gratitude before His car finally moved on.
Deenajanodhaarana Foundation Day Programme – June 20th, 2007
Swami would give them clothes, suitcases, blankets and would bless them with His kind words very often. During the period of construction of Sai Nagar, the home for these children, the boys and their widowed mothers were housed in specially allocated sheds and given some orientation.Volunteers started taking informal classes according to the age of the boys, until they were formally accepted in the upcoming school at Sai Nagar. There were in total 58 boys, the age ranging from 4 to 14 years. The mothers were ten in number.
Today, the Sathya Sai Nagar is an ideal of community living. It is more or less an example of a self-sustained, self-sufficient village. The children there have been excelling in all spheres of activity. They have been performing excellently well in the SSLC examinations and have also started putting up programmes for the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet of the Sri Sathya Sai Institutions. With enthusiastic participation in all the activities started by Swami, the children occupy a special place in Swami's heart. Every Thursday and Sunday, when they come for Darshan, Swami would pay special attention to them.
June 20 is the Foundation Day of this Deenajaodharana Pathakam. An elaborate programme had been organised and all the children had come early to the Mandir in all readiness. Swami came out about 3:30pm but He went into the interview room to speak to few people He had picked up from the portico. At about 4:35pm, the tempo and pitch of the Vedic chants went up indicating Swami's arrival after the completion of interviews. Swami had a peep into the bhajan hall where all the children were in costumes and told them all to go out and begin the programme. Swami too immediately came and occupied the stage. The programme began with Veda Chanting. Swami asked for the mike to be placed in the centre of the performing area and not in its traditional place next to His chair. After the chants, a little boy delivered a speech in English. And then, the invocation dance began. The dancers wore rich and bright costumes and the dance was paced to a melodious and fast rhythm.
Thereafter, started the main event of the evening's programme - the ‘Kavi Sammelan’. The children had come dressed up as various ancient and modern poets. The flow was designed in such a manner that each poet would praise some aspect of Swami's Love and Grace. The Vikatakavi, (humorist-poet) Tenali RamaKrishna was the person introducing the poets. First to take centrestage was Sage Valmiki. He envisioned Rama Rajya in the whole world beginning at Puttaparthi. He was followed by the great Kalidasa whose recital praised Swami as the Divine Mother who gifted him with His prodigious talent. The Telugu poet Nannayya praised Swami's cosmic form and His nature of transforming demonic qualities into the human and then into the Divine. Then the Telugu poet Pothana articulated the need for using the human birth in service of God. Interspersed between these poets were humorists specially nominated to add comic relief to the proceedings.
Humorous poems punning on words, playing with phrases and making powerful yet funny similes and comparisons, elicited hearty laughter from both Swami and the audience. The English poets, Tennyson and A. M. Modi were also brought to life. Though the English rendering was accented, it brought forth the tremendous enthusiasm and effort that the children had put in for the presentation and that touched Swami. When Kamavadhani Garu's (a vedic scholar who enjoyed Swami’s proximity for many years) name was announced, Swami became nostalgic and there was a small burst of emotion on His face. Along with Ganapathy Shastry Garu, he offered salutations in the form of Veda chanting. The Hindi poet Tulsidas and Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar brought the programme to a close with recitals from the Ramcharit Manas and Thirukkural.
As the programme concluded, Swami said that He was very happy. The children continued to sit in their places in a disciplined manner. Swami called the children to come onstage so that group pictures could be taken. The overjoyed children went to Swami, still in a disciplined manner, and group photos were taken.
After that, Swami asked for white cloth pieces and He distributed the dress material to each and every boy personally. The children were full of excitement and joy and expressed their deep sense of gratitude to Swami. The curtain fell on the beautiful evening when prasadam was distributed and Swami accepted Aarthi before getting into His car.
The very sight of the boys in pugarees (turbans) seemed to bring a broad smile on His face. Anybody in a different coloured pugaree and Swami would ask Him about it. The sight was one that was so filled with Love and Joy.
After about ten minutes, Swami told the boys to go out and get ready for the programme. Then He went into the interview room. Within the next five minutes, the stage was set for the performers and Swami came out to sit on stage. The programme began with a procession and Nagar Sankirtan. There was a lot of josh but the first song was more of a lilting type and the steps were gentle and swaying. The Guru Granth Sahib was brought to Swami and He blessed it. The Sikh trainers offered their salutations to Swami and with a pleased smile He blessed them.
The last few minutes were very energetic and enervating and the beats were at the fastest. As the programme came to an end, the audience seemed to ask for more. Swami immediately made His appreciation known with, "Bahut Achcha" meaning, “Very Good”. He agreed for group photos and the boys sat in neatly organized groups of five. After the group pictures, Swami called the trainers and asked them as to what their names were, where they came from, etc. And then, He materialized a gold chain for one of them who was absolutely thrilled. As Swami finished putting it around his neck, he took Swami's hand and put it on his head. There were smiles all around at this loving act of his! Then began a session that was to be a very memorable one for the participants. Swami asked for the break up of boys’ class wise.
Swami smiled at this. The loving exchange between Him and
His boys is something that must be seen to be believed. It becomes so
evident that He has given Himself entirely to them and the boys too just
reciprocate whatever He gives.
"How many boys from
Brindavan? (Boys who were in the Brindavan campus previous year)"
Things seem to be warming up for a wonderful new academic year at Parthi. With Guru Poornima, Aashaadi Ekadasi and the Youth Conference being scheduled for the month of July, we can surely look forward to wonderful events in the next month. Till then, thank you for being with us. Hope you could relive the events as we enjoyed covering them. Sairam.