Bhagawan's Delhi - Shimla
A Photo Report Part 3
Previous: <<Part 2 Catching the mood of the ‘blushing bride‘, Shimla, while she was
gearing up to welcome her Lord, someone wrote:
Nestling in the foothills of the Himalayas,
The British called Shimla the "Queen of Hill Stations,"
Shimla, was the summer capital of India before independence,
Now this capital of Himachal Pradesh,
Is in the midst of joyful celebrations…
Shimla had a long wait, in fact, she endured it for a much longer
period of thirty-five years for her Lord to set His Feet in…and on
the destined day, 15th April 2010, when the Air Chariot carrying the
Lord touched the tarmac at Shimla Airport at around 1130 hrs., it
was her dream that came true…and for our Beloved Bhagawan, it was
His Divine Sankalpa!
After leaving the soil on the 5th April 1975, the next defined
moment was 15th April 2010. For Prof. Shyam Sunder, a retired
professor of Bioscience and a former Principal of Govt. College for
Women, Shimla, who retired as Director, Education, Himachal Pradesh,
and who has been the State President of Sri Sathya Sai Organisation
ever since its inception , it was a rare triple as He was
instrumental in spearheading the earlier two visits, and this one
came as a dream that turned true.
When her joy knew no bounds,
With gaiety, joy, humility and reverence she did celebrate,
That the Lord chose her for His Divine stay…
This celebrating mood was writ on many a face, thousands upon
thousands, who thronged to steal a glance of the Lord while He was
travelling from the Shimla Airport to the destined “Anand Vilas” at
nIt appeared as if entire Shimla township came to a standstill
celebrating His" Advent"! The stretch of 35 kilometers, from the
Shimla Airport to the newly built "Anand Vilas", the Divine Abode in
Shimla, thousands upon thousands lined up on the roadside, satiating
their lives' desire, stealing a rare glance of the Lord. There was a
riot of colours all along, with flowers and buntings welcoming the
Lord all over, with rangoli adorning the floor at every vantage
positions and thousands upon thousands vying for a glance, lined up
all along the way. There were devotees showering flowers, dusting
the ground that touched the "Feet of The Lord", many with moist
eyes, but all with their hearts full of Love! It appeared as if
entire Shimla township came to a standstill celebrating His"
The original convoy of around 15 to 20 vehicles multiplied into huge
proportions as devotees desired to join the caravan, crossing the
hundred mark and Bhagawan motored the entire stretch of 35 kms in
over 80 minutes, blessing the thousands on His way, to reach "Anand
Vilas" at 1250 hrs. Ceremonial religious welcome awaited the Lord at
His new Abode as a huge assembly of devotees was waiting with
prayerful hearts for His arrival.
…And came the destined moment, when The Lord, upon arrival,
sanctified the latest of His Abodes, by setting His Feet in!
Thereafter, Bhagawan moved onto the balcony at the first floor
granting Darshan to the devotees assembled inside.
Earlier, at the Shimla Airport, Bhagawan was welcomed by the
Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Ms. Urmila Singh along with scores of
On the first evening at the new Divine Abode, Bhagawan
emerged for darshan at quarter to six while bhajan was on. As
bhajans continued, Bhagawan sat through for almost an hour, blessing
the vast assemblage of devotees before accepting Arathi. Upon
accepting Arathi, Bhagawan retired for the day.
Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh and some
top police officials from the state were at Anand Vilas seeking
In Shimla, at Anand Vilas, what one witnessed and appreciated was
the highest reverence and devotion of the devotees that had been on
display. When The Lord emerged in the evening, granting darshan, one
could see thousands upon thousands of hands going up, in pure
devotional ecstasy, greeting The Lord. ...And as the assemblage
glued 'their' eyes on the beauteous form of the Lord, it was
nothing, but bliss of being in the immediate presence of the Lord
that was reflecting on each and every face. The huge darshan ground
outside Anand Vilas could easily accomodate thousands, almost the
capacity that the Sai Kulwant Hall of Prasanthi would hold.
In the twilight, this exquisite architectural marvel situated at
Pujarli in Shimla district was shining in splendour as a beacon of
Love and Peace. The building that was constructed in the most
hostile and harsh climatic conditions prevailing in the cold arid
zone in the high altitude mountain ecosystem was executed by Sai
Engineering Foundation, a voluntary organisation working for the
welfare of humanity without the distinction of caste, colour, creed,
region and religion. The construction work was ably supervised by
Sri Raj Kumar Verma, a long-time devotee and CEO of the Sai
Engineering Foundation, as an offering at His Divine Lotus Feet.
Devotees from various parts of the state would come in batches,
every weekend, to contribute their might in the construction work as
their loving offering to Bhagawan.
On the second day of
Bhagawan in Shimla, 16th April, Bhagawan emerged at 1100 hrs. while
bhajan was on. Upon emerging, granting Divine Darshan, Bhagawan went
straight to sanctify the Ganesh Temple at the entrance. After
sanctifying the temple, Bhagawan went to the school building that
has been operational from 2007 onwards, having classes upto standard
5. Upon sanctifying the same, He further proceeded to the hostel
adjacent to the school. At the hostel, Bhagawan was accorded a
ceremonial welcome by the children with "welcome" song. Inaugurating
the hostel building by pulling the ribbon string, Bhagawan sat for
some time listening to the children, who were singing, before
returning to "Anand Vilas" to accept Arathi at 12 noon.
Earlier, recordings of bhajans and devotional songs had been on at
"Anand Vilas" from 9 onwards until live bhajans began at 1040 hrs.
Union Minister for Steels, Veerabhadra Singh, who hails from the
state, was at "Anand Vilas" seeking Divine Blessings.
As Pujarli's exquisite architectural marvel, Anand Vilas, the Divine
Abode in Shimla is marvelling at her great good fortune, for a
mortal, whose search for his immortal identity has taken him to this
very picturesque location that has a widespread of panoramic canvas
with guardian hills around, for this mortal seeker, the sight at
Anand Vilas is verily the meeting of Prakruthi with Purusha, the
seeker and that which is sought!
As the penultimate evening (darshan session) before Bhagawan's
departure to Delhi arrived, there was greater expectation and
excitement in the air as the news of Bhagawan's departure was
flashed and confirmed by then. Bhagawan was ushered in at 1700 hrs.
granting Divine Darshan. At 1710 hrs. Bhagawan asked the Music
Troupe of students accompanied Him to have their maiden music
presentation during the trip. What followed was a half-an-hour
scintillating musical shower that lasted at 1745 hrs. The programme
had two carnatic pieces written by Saint Thyagaraja, one Quawwali,
followed by the popular devotional number, Mahapraana Deepam Shivam
Shivam...This was followed by a short stint of bhajans by the same
After 3-4 bhajans, Bhagawan moved into the newly constructed
Auditorium wherein children from Sri Sathya Sai School, Shimla and
Balvikas Children of Himachal Pradesh had a combined cultural
programme. The programme that started at 1815 hrs. continued till
1930 hrs. The presentation, a drama on Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was
followede by an array of dances depicting culture and tradition of
The second programme, "Sai Sanrachna" was a depiction of glimpses of
rich cultural and Divine heritage of Himachal Pradesh in the form of
music and dance. The programme that commenced with a Ganesh Stuthi,
invoking Lord Ganesha had nine songs depicting various cultural
traditions of the state. The second piece to follow was a Shiva
Stuthi followed by Duru Dance. The forth depiction was on Fairs and
Festivals of Himachal Pradesh, consisting of Nagada, Turi,
Narashinga etc. What followed next was a Shakti Dance, depicting
various mudras of five main Shakti Peetas of Himachal Pradesh
believed to have orginated from Maa Sati. This was followed by
Kinnuri Dance of tribals of Kinnore, celebrating Bhagawan's arrival
at Anand Vilas, describing the beauty and splendour of Sanga Valley
of Konnore. Lahaulspipi is supposedly a cold district of Himachal
Pradesh and the next dance was a tribal dance from Lahaulspipi
invoking Divine Grace of Bhagawan. Jamakra folk dance of Kangra
district followed before winding up with the familiar gratitude
song, Yentha Hai...Yentha Hai, thanking Bhagawan for His greater
The Union Steel Minister, Mr. Veerabhadra Singh, who was at the
Divine Abode for morning darshan continued to stay for evening
darshan as well. Another noted personality who was present during
the evening was AP Minister for FDC, Information Public Relations
and Trourism, Dr. (Mrs.) J.Geeta Reddy.
A photo exhibition, same that was held in Prasanthi Nilayam
commemorating the Golden Jubilee of Sanathana Sarathi, was held at
Pujarli from the 14th April to 17th April, on the sidelines of His
Divine Visit. An estimated 22000 devotees have attended the four day
The next morning, at Anand Vilas, Bhagawan emerged at 0845 hrs.
while bhajan was on. After one bhajan, Bhagawan accepted Arathi
before proceeding to the Airport at 0850 hrs. After an eighty-minute
drive, Bhagawan reached the Airport at 1020 hrs. and His flight for
Delhi took off at 1045 hrs. IST.
…And it was Delhi’s bonus fortune as she got an extended day with
Swami. Bhagawan's flight touched down at Indira Gandhi International
Airport at 12 noon and Bhagawan reached His Divine Abode, Sri Sathya
Sai International Centre at 1240 hrs.
As Bhagawan was set to return from the National Capital to the
Spiritual Capital, this previous evening prior to His departure to
Puttaparthi, Delhi earned the rare grace of having her "Divine
Guest" moving through landmark locations in the city, blessing the
city in general with His Divine Presence.
That evening, Bhagawan emerged at around 1800 hrs. and set Himself
out moving through the Delhi lanes, glancing and blessing the
environs of the Capital City. Bhagawan passed by many a lane
adjacent to the Rashtrapathi Bhavan, The Parliament House and even
went upto India Gate till Amar Jawan Jyothi (the flame of the
immortal warrior), Shanti Path, Supreme Court of India, Purana Qila
(Indraprastha) and many an embassy building, while moving through
the road leading to Connaught Place, New Delhi. The more than
half-an-hour "Divine Safari" was at a slow pace and no doubt, the
fortunate ones would be at the right place at the right time
receiving blessings that came most unaware.
In the meantime, bhajan was on at the International Centre and
Bhagawan upon returning, spoke to His boys who had just returned
from Shimla in a bus. Five minutes into the session, Bhagawan
accepted Arathi before retiring for the day.
Prominent personalities thronged to the centre included Ms. Ambika
Soni, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Government of
India, Young Parliamentarian and steel magnate Naveen Jindal,
Director of The Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, one of Delhi's most
important tourist destinations, Sri Rituraj Maharaj, the young
scholar who conducted Bhagavata Saptaaham in Prasanthi Nilayam
couple of months ago.
On the final morning, on 18th April 2010, Bhagawan blessed the Sai
Centre Committee members, Delhi Youth and Seva Dal volunteers who
had done a wonderful job throughout Bhagawan’s stay in Delhi.
Blessing them profusely, hearing State President's prayers to visit
Delhi every year, Bhagawan replied in Hindi: Zaroor Aaoonga, meaning
will definitely come. Before leaving, Bhagawan spent ten minutes
amidst devotees blessing them profusely. Arathis were offered at
Bhagawan's residence, then onstage and the final Arathi just before
departing, near the car. The Lord whose magnanimity and love
encompassed Delhi and its environs for seven full days has been
given an emotional farewell at the Centre. As the wheels rolled over
carrying The Mighty Lord, the "Farewell Song" was still heard,
mellifluously rendering the air, and many souls were trying to cover
up their emotion with those beauteous momentous moments filling the
vacuum created with His departure.
Bhagawan along with His entourage left for Indira Gandhi
International Airport at 1220 hrs. and His plane took off from Delhi
at 1345 hrs. for a two hour air ride that turned out to be a dream
musical flight with Divine!--------> (to be continued...)