2009 New Year Morning Darshan At Prashanti Nilayam, Sathya Sai Baba Ashram
Old And The New
- New Year Celebrations At Prashanti, 01 Jan 2009, Pictures
The darshan hall is quiet, the flag-bearers await Swami, the procession and band wait quietly outside Yajur Mandir. The darshan hall is chock-a-block full of waiting devotees. Primary school children enter the darshan hall, in their bright orange vests; parents wait for their children to pass and get a glimpse. Classes carrying New Year Cards and Greetings to Swami; some are quite large.
Silence; waiting for the Lord. My mind wanders and I wonder if Swami is waiting for Muhurtam, a most auspicious time for giving of grace, blessing and Love, Love, Love. At 9.45am, the procession enters the darshan hall – Flag bearers, students dressed as brahmins in ochre robes with white shawls enter next, chanting slokas, among all of that I hear the Sai Gayathri, and then Swami enters, dressed in white, in the gold throne chair, with umbrella following him.
A slow procession across the darshan hall, then across the very front of the porch, up to the veranda.
The porch cover is draped in bunting, green boughs and there is a floral arch atop with Happy New Year. Swami’s face is beaming, almost a radiant, golden face, he has a smile and moves slowly across the front of the porch to traverse the length of the veranda where cards and cakes are presented by the various classes and schools.
Swami then arrives at the front of the porch, where he lights two lamps; there is applause as Swami lights the lamps. The brahmin students continue to chant slokas. Swami turns and faces the darshan hall. Looking down the darshan hall, I can see men standing at the back, the crowd is impassable, there are men on the steps, men have climbed the iron fencing itself to obtain darshan.
Up the front, cameras flash. Students kneel in front of Swami; there is some conversation and the morning’s program is presented to Swami.
Enfin, the Brahmin students chant Shanti, Shanti Shantihi.
First is an orchestral presentation … orchestral music, trumpets, drums, electric piano, tuba, oompha, more drums, cymbals, it is grand to listen to. There is loud applause as the Music College students finish their numbers.
One student arises, takes padnamaskar and speaks. He talks about the difference Swami makes to this world, every sunrise, every day, every breath of wind, all of creation is graced by all of His love. His integrity, his grace and above all, His love, makes our lives pristine, pure and a holy offering. On behalf of all of us present, and devotees everywhere, he greets Swami on this auspicious new year day.
The violins play a catchy tune, and there is a song, very uplifting about the glory of Sai Baba. The next song is pure magic. It is a song to Sai Maa, with western backing, it grabs the very heart and soul and lifts the emotions, all of who you are up with each refrain to Sai Maa. Swami is reading the program. A pause; more of this marvellous song:
And that last Sai Maaaaaa just about blows the roof of the darshan hall. Marvellous.
The oboe plays a solo number; serenity pervades the darshan hall.
Students then sing a composition called Sai Prema Govinda, those voices are of the quality I recall of the great singers of classical ragas. They are fabulous voices. There is a twist, a very nice song with a strong catchy drum support about “Surrender to you, Sai Prema Maa”, and I realise its the same song, Sai Maa with a catchy rock beat behind it; they sing of the glories of Shirdi, the glories of Parthi. Then Sai Govinda, beloved of the Gopees.
Students approach Swami, kneel and offer the next part of the program to Swami. One of them gives a talk and towards the end of the talk, the electric piano starts up accompanied by flute, and a lovely song, the crowd sing along and clap, “Everybody loves Sai”. A very catchy song, sung bhajan style. Crowd joins in enthusiastically. Its a mixture of blues, rock, very appealing and parts of it remind me of Frank Sinatra singing! That causes me to pause a bit and ponder the skillbase of these students — they have certainly acquired a vast repertoire of musical ability; this reminds me of what Swami told me one day, “What I look for in people is capacity”.
Swami, wearing a white robe, is seated at the front of the darshan hall on the golden throne-chair, (I don’t think this one is a car seat, somehow) (although it could well be) … and he dabs his lips often, and keeps referring to the program. A troupe of students wearing gaily coloured headbands approach the front of the porch and begin dancing and singing Nacho, Nacho, Nandalala, and they move through several different types of dance as they sing; a Radhe-Gopala bhajan, and then Govinda Krishna Jai which everybody joins in, singing and clapping. They did it really well.
Another student gets up and gives a talk; students then approach Swami with bowls of prasadam which Swami blesses. Electric piano and flute lead the bhajans as the students begin to thread their way through the darshan distributing prasadam to all present.
And that was the morning darshan for New Year Day. The Lord Sai was captured prisoner by the love and devotion and presentations of the students and assembled devotees on this New Year’s Morn.
Courtesy: http://saieditor. com/spirit/
Thursday, January 1, 2009
The Sai Students – alumni of Prasanthi Nilayam and Brindavan – were ready to escort Bhagawan from His residence to Sai Kulwant Hall in a procession with flag marchers and Poornakumbham with Vedam. Swami arrived just before 10 am in a dazzling white robe seated on a golden chair, granting New Year darshan to the devotees who filled and surrounded Sai Kulwant Hall. When He reached the verandah, Bhagawan blessed the cakes there and came onstage to begin the programme arranged by the Sai Students. A band programme with symphonic and vocal accompaniment was followed by songs composed for the occasion by the Sai Students. The whole programme was interspersed with short speeches by the alumni, reliving their days with Sai. A bhajan medley formed the score for a short dance programme too. Swami blessed the participants who came up to Him one by one, and after prasadam was distributed, accepted Arati at 11.35 am.
Bhagawan arrived in the evening for darshan clad in a deep red robe. When He came onstage just before 5.30 pm, He blessed the brass band of the University to perform, and they played a couple of pieces with brief introductions. Songs by the students followed. Swami called up some of the alumni singers and asked them to sing, and they sang some of the group songs which used to be sung by the students in the mid-90s. After 45 minutes of music, Bhagawan delivered His Divine Message. Bhagawan’s emphasised the message of Advaita, stressing the point that there is nothing in this world which is not divine, and that we should conduct ourselves bearing this in mind. After speaking for more than 70 minutes, Bhagawan asked for Bhajans to begin at 7.25 pm. Prasadam was distributed, and Swami accepted Arati at 7.45 before returning to His residence.
- Happy New Year 2009 From The SathyaSaiBaba WordPress Blog
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