Sathya Sai Baba Declared ‘Ladies Day’ On November 19th 1995
NOV 19th 2005: LADIES DAY CELEBRATION IN PRASHANTI NILAYAM
The Morning Program
Ten years ago, on Nov 19, 1995, on the occasion of the 70th Birthday celebrations, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba magnanimously declared that the 19th of November will henceforth be celebrated as Ladies’ Day to highlight the sacred qualities of women and lay renewed emphasis of the quality of motherhood. Ever since, it has been the privilege of women to celebrate this day as Ladies’ Day in His Divine Presence at Prashanti Nilayam.
Yet another red letter day for Ladies dawned this year on Nov 19th. On this day all the Mandir activities starting from the morning Suprabhatham to the Nagarsankeertan are carried out exclusively by ladies.
As the devotees streamed into Sai Kulwant Hall, they were welcomed by elegant decorations that brought out the innate but most oft unnoticed beauty of the Hall. Floral decorations hung in an arc around the dais of the verandah. Intricately lit-up wooded carvings of the dasavataras (the 10 incarnations of Vishnu) were tastefully arranged around the verandah, lending a serene air to the atmosphere.
Large oversized banners, each with a portrait of Bhagavan and an inspirational quote, hung from strategic positions on the rafters. The dais had a beautiful picture of Easwaramma just behind the lion statue with an oil lamp that was waiting to be lit by Bhagavan.
A large picture of Mother Easwaramma was also hung from the back of the Hall so that she could benignly watch over the entire day’s proceedings.
Bhagavan was escorted into Sai Kulwant Hall by the Nadaswaram Band from the Anantapur Campus and by the girl-students of the Sri Sathya Sai Primary & Higher School dressed in Indian traditional attire chanting the Vedas. Swami inaugurated the Ladies Day function by formally lighting the lamp and then signaled for the festivities to start.
The Primary School Girls dressed in “Scottish style” skirts gave a spirited display of bagpipe music that thrilled the crowd, some of whom were hearing bagpipe music for the first time.
Bhagavan then released a Souvenir commemorating the 80th Year of Love in action, brought out by Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Trust, Prashanti Nilayam before the speeches for the day.
The first speaker was Smt. Mallika Srinivasan, an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, USA and Director of Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE). She said, “Bhagavan’s Omnipresence makes each one of our experiences unique and personal. As we each personally experience His grace we see Him in a variety of hues as a parent as a teacher, as a personal guide as a protector from danger as a corporate guru, as a friend and as God.
Swami we know You as our inner confidence. We realize You as our inner strength we feel You as the quiet witness of our being. When we determine to follow our hearts You are by our side. When we learn to care and share, You show us how and where. When we are compelled to face difficulties You give us compassion and courage. When we decide to become self reliant You place us on the path of Dharma.
On Ladies Day last year Bhagavan inaugurated the Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Project. And on the 19 th July this year He launched the mother and Child Programme. Give a man bread and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to farm and you feed him for life. The Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Project is powered by this idea of self reliance and sustainable development.
Through this programme women are trained in a variety of skills using locally available material to make products such as papads, snacks, wicks and tailored clothes. The products distributed through Bhagavan’s institutions act as a both a service to devotees and a source of income to those women whose livelihoods have hitherto depended on meagre seasonal earnings from subsistence farming.
The Mother and Child Programme has been initiated by Swami for the health and well being of mothers and their expectant children. “It is only by the strength of a mother’s will that a child can come up in life; hence she must be cared for.”
Smt. Geeta Ram, a school teacher from Washington D.C., speaking next, related enthralling incidents from her life showing Swami’s omnipresence and omnipotence. The first incident related to her family and her infant son who was raised on Glaxo baby food.
When a strike in the factory threatened the supply, she sent her husband to buy some scarce packets. On the way he saw a car that had broken down and helped the driver to push it to the side. The driver requested him to deliver a parcel for him. After he had come home, he realized that the parcel was addressed to his wife and contained 25 packets of the much needed Glaxo baby food. Their ardent prayers to Bhagavan had been answered in a dramatic fashion.
In another incident, Swami had given Mrs. Gita Ram a packet of Vibhuti in the interview room which she placed in her purse and forgot about it over time. A few months later, when she and her husband were attending a Music Concert in a New York theatre, she went to the Ladies Room during the intermission. A Hispanic Woman asked Mrs. Gita on finding out that she was an Indian, if she knew Sai Baba and then also asked her if she had some “white powder” with her.
Apparently Swami, in answer to her prayers to Lord Jesus to save her 8 year old daughter who had failure in both kidneys, had visited her in her dream and asked her to collect the white powder from an Indian lady and give it to her daughter. With a prayer Mrs Geeta Ram opened her purse and located the long forgotten Vibhuthi packet which she handed over to the Hispanic lady. Months later, Swami in an interview, told her, “The girl is fine. Both her kidneys are OK. No surgery!”
The third speaker for the morning was Smt. Chetana Raju, who spoke about Bhagavan’s mission and exhorted everyone to derive the maximum benefit of having the Lord in our midst. She said, “What is 80 years for the One who is ageless? What is 80 years of earthly existence for the One who is beyond time? What is 80 years for the One who is proclaimed by the Vedas as Sathya Brahman? And what is 80 years for Sri Sathya Sai who is existence eternal?”
We have been watching a profound transformation in the collective consciousness of the planet and beyond. It is a quantum leap in the evolution of consciousness and our only chance of survival as a race.
Six decades ago in 1940 when Bhagavan was Sathya then, at the age of 14, He declared I AM SAI BABA meaning ‘I Am Universal Mother and Universal Father.’ At that time Mother Easwaramma hardly knew that her little son was going to be recognized as Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba of the Universe in the years to come. Bhagavan said ‘My devotees are calling Me’ and He left the house. His parents and family had to sacrifice their little lad for the sake of humanity.
In 1947 when Bhagavan was 21, He declared His mission statements and said ‘I have a task to foster all mankind and ensure lives full of ananda. I have a vow; to lead all those who stray away from goodness back to goodness and save them. I am attached to the work that I love; to remove the sufferings of the poor and grant them what they lack’.”
At the end of Smt. Chetana’s speech, Sri Sathya SaiBaba, to the delight of all, consented to give His Divine Discourse. He said,
“In this cosmic drama, God alone is the director and also the actor. He is donning all the roles such as mother, father, husband, wife, daughter, son, etc. Someone says, ‘I have been blessed with a grandson today.’ The grandson is a manifestation of Brahma. Brahma alone assumes various names and forms in this world.
It is God who speaks through each one of you. You should have this firm conviction. If someone accuses you, think that God in that form is accusing you. When you develop such a spirit of oneness and tolerance, you will never be perturbed by censure and blame. Your mind will always remain in peace. Whatever may happen, accept it wholeheartedly as the Will of God. Have firm faith that it is God, and God alone who is the doer. Do not consider your fellow human beings as mere individuals. When you talk to someone, think that you are talking to God. When you do not see God in others and treat them as your own, you will be giving room to evil qualities like anger, jealousy, hatred, etc. Develop the spirit of oneness. Only then will your life be redeemed “.
Bhagavan next related in very loving tones the three promises that He had given to Mother Easwaramma (to provide drinking water for the village, to provide elementary healthcare in the village and a school for the children so that they would not need to walk to the nearest village) that had finally resulted in the Sri Sathya Sai Water Project, The Hospital Projects and a University in rural Andhra Pradesh. Satya Sai Baba concluded His Divine Discourse with the bhajan, “Prema Muditha Manase Kaho …”