REPORT ON SRI
RAMA NAVAMI CELEBRATIONS: 27th MARCH, 2007
One of the principle beliefs of
Sanathana Dharma is the concept of Avatarhood. An ‘Avatar’ is
defined as an incarnation (physical manifestation) of the
Supreme Being. The word ‘Avatar’ is derived from the Sanskrit
word ‘Avataranam’, which means ‘descent’, and usually implies
a deliberate descent of the Divine into the mortal realms to
reveal the Absolute Truth to humanity and remind them of their
true divine nature. The Supreme Divine Power took the name and
form of Lord Sri Rama and walked the earth during the Tretha
Yuga. Hence, Sri Rama Navami is celebrated all over India with
gaiety and religious fervour to mark the day when Lord Sri
Rama took birth.
Many devotees gathered at
Prasanthi Nilayam to offer their obeisance to Bhagawan Sri
Sathya Sai Baba, the same Lord Rama come again. On 27th
morning, Bhagawan granted Darshan at 8.50 a.m. Thereafter,
there were Bhajans in praise of Lord Rama and Sai Rama during
which time Bhagawan graciously distributed idols to many devotees in
the Bhajan Hall. At the end of the Bhajans, Bhagawan accepted
Arati and retired to His residence at 10.30 a.m.
In the afternoon, Bhagawan
arrived in Sai Kulwant Hall at 4.15 p.m. After He was seated
on the dais, He blessed Dr. G.Venkataraman to address the
gathering. Dr. Venkataraman is an eminent scientist who had
served in many capacities in the Government including the DRDO
(Defense Research and Development Organisation). He has
received many awards including the prestigious award
‘Padmashri’ from the President of India in 1991. After an
illustrious career as a scientist, he was blessed by Bhagawan
to be the fifth Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai University.
He is now serving Bhagawan by teaching in His University and
also heading the ashram radio service, Radio Sai Global
Dr. Venkataraman began his
speech by saying that the festival of Sri Rama Navami holds
special significance for him. He recollected that in the year
1996, Sri Rama Navami was celebrated in Brindavan. In the
evening, before His Divine Discourse, Bhagawan blessed him to
speak in His divine presence. Thereafter, Bhagawan delivered
His Discourse and the whole programme concluded at 5.15 p.m.
After the programme, Bhagawan called Dr. Venkataraman aside
and told him that He had brought the programme to an early
conclusion so that he could leave for Puttaparthi and reach
there before night fall as the next day he was to assume the
office of Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai University. Dr.
Venkataraman was deeply moved by Bhagawan’s love and concern
for him, where Bhagawan went to the extent of changing His
programme so that he will not be put to any inconvenience.
Dr. Venkataraman also narrated
an episode from Ramayana as told by Swami in the Summer Course
on Indian Culture and Spirituality in 1996. He said that
during the marriage ceremony of Sita and Rama, while Rama was
repeating the hymns being chanted by the priest, He did not
repeat a particular line in spite of being prodded by the
priest. The reason was that it involved taking a vow that He
would fulfill all the desires of His wife. Lord Rama said that
having been born in the royal lineage, His duty was first to
His subjects and therefore, the needs of His family and His
personal needs came only after that. Such was Lord Rama’s
ideal of selfless love and dedication to His Dharma. Dr.
Venkataraman then said that in our present times, our dear
Lord Sai Rama also gave up His family in order to dedicate
Himself completely to the task of uplift of humanity and
leading them on the spiritual path.
this, Sri S.V.Giri addressed the gathering. Sri Giri, IAS held
many important positions in the Government of Andhra Pradesh
and the Central Government before retiring as the Chief
Vigilance Commissioner. He later served as the sixth
Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai University, and is presently
involved in many service activities undertaken by Bhagawan.
Sri Giri quoted the first few lines of Ramayana where Valmiki
asks Sage Narada if there is or ever was a person who embodied
all the noble qualities and virtues in full measure, and
epitome of an ideal human being. Narada says that such men are
indeed rare to come by, but there was one who exactly fit the
above description and that was Sri Rama of the Ikshvaku
dynasty. And how fortunate we are that today we have the very
same Rama in our midst teaching and guiding us by the example
of His own life. Sri Giri then spoke briefly on how Bhagawan
was mobilising and motivating the students and the youth wing
of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations to undertake service
activities and thereby bringing about development of the
country and also spiritual transformation of youth.
Bhagawan then called upon Sri
Mohit, an undergraduate student to share his thoughts. Sri
Mohit then recalled an interesting incident that happened many
years ago when he was studying in the Sri Sathya Sai Primary
School. One day during Darshan, Bhagawan was speaking to them.
When pointing out to a student, He said, “This boy was Sugriva
in the Tretha Yuga, and you were all Vanaras (monkeys) who
assisted Me in My mission.” Sri Mohit expressed his gratitude
to Bhagawan for having kept him in His physical proximity
through the ages. After Sri Mohit concluded his short speech,
Bhagawan materialized a golden chain and lovingly put it
around his neck and blessed him.
Bhagawan then rose to deliver
His Divine Discourse. Bhagawan began with a Telugu verse that
describes the matchless sweetness of the name of Lord Rama.
Bhagawan said that in spite of the fact that many millennia
have passed since Tretha Yuga, the sweetness and power of the
name of Rama had not diminished a bit. Bhagawan then said that
one must not take Rama to be a human being, for He is an
incarnation of God and ‘Atma Rama’ - the Indweller of all the
beings. He then narrated many episodes from the Ramayana such
as the sacred marriage of Rama and Sita and also the events
that led to Rama being exiled into the forest for 14 years.
Bhagawan then declared that this sacred land of Bharat was
ruled by Rama; it is ‘Rama Rajya’, and hence it is ‘Shanti
Rajya’ and ‘Prema Rajya’, the land where peace and love reign
supreme. Bhagawan exhorted everyone to sing the name of Rama
at all times and thereby fill their lives with ecstasy and
bliss. The discourse concluded with the Bhajan - ‘Rama Kodanda
Photos of recent events