Recent Events At Prashanti Nilayam – Sathya Sai Baba Ashram – June 2009

Recent Events At Prashanti Nilayam – Sathya Sai Baba Ashram – June 2009

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Sunday, June 28, 2009
This evening, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came at 4.35 pm for darshan, and moved to the interview room from the Eastern side of the Mandir. Ladies who were to be recipients of sewing machines were seated in the centre of Sai Kulwant Hall as part of the second day of the Godavari districts programmes. At 5.15 Swami came onstage and began the proceedings. After the sewing machine distribution, many devotees came up with items for blessings, and their dance drama began at 5.30. The hill folk paid tribute to their Lord in the fifty minute Telugu play featuring many songs and dances. Swami moved to the interview room and songs by the devotees commenced. The rural folk sang group songs in Telugu till Swami returned with clothes for the participants. Bhagavan blessed them with group photographs, prasadam and clothes were distributed as the students commenced bhajans. With Arati concluding at 7 o’clock, Swami sat onstage for a few minutes more interacting with the group leaders before retiring for the day.

Saturday, June 27, 2009
The hill people from the Agency areas of the East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh are at Prasanthi Nilayam on their Parthi Yatra. This evening, the Mandir was decorated with festoons and banners, and they presented a programme. Bhagavan came out from His residence by 3.50 pm, and after His darshan round sat onstage while the Vedam went on. At 4.30, He asked for the programme to begin, and many devotees came up to Him, getting many items blessed. After a short speech in Telugu by the leader of the group, there was a short rally by the members of the villages which were being served by the Seva Organisation. A series of traditional dances by the tribal folk followed. After the 75 minute programme, Swami went down from the stage and had group photographs with the participants. When He returned to the stage, bhajans by the devotees commenced and Prasadam was distributed. The students continued the bhajans as clothes were distributed to the participants. Swami accepted Arati at 6.15 pm and returned to His residence.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
This evening, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came for darshan at 5.30 pm while the bhajans went on. After His round of the Sai Kulwant Hall, He came onstage and sat for a while. At six o’clock, He asked for some bhajans with alaps, and accepted Arati ten minutes later before returning to His residence. The School of Business Management is hosting a three day Management Workshop on ‘Predictive Analytics’ at the Prasanthi Nilayam campus of the University beginning tomorrow.

Saturday, June 20, 2009 (Full Story With Images)
The Governor of Rajasthan Sri Shilendra Kumar Singh is here for a couple of days. This evening, Sri Ashok Singhal of the VHP along with the Shankaracharya of Sri Ramachandrapura Math of Gokarna were here for Bhagavan’s darshan. The second day of programmes by the Andhra youth consisted of distribution of material to the needy and group songs. Swami came for darshan at 4.30 pm, and when He came to the verandah after His darshan round, He blessed the group of Sai alumni working at the Barclays Bank who had won a prestigious award. He then came onstage to begin the proceedings at five o’clock. After a short speech, the names of the more than 100 beneficiaries were called out, and the needy were presented with implements for livelihood like electrician kits, wet grinders, sewing machines, plumber kits, computer education and so on. The distribution was followed by group songs for more than 45 minutes. Swami sent clothes for the participants, and went down from the stage for group photographs. After this He accepted arati at 6.15 p.m. and left for His residence in the car.

Friday, June 19, 2009 (Full Story With Images)
This evening, the Sai Youth from Andhra Pradesh presented a drama. Bhagavan arrived at 5.10 pm for darshan, and after His darshan round, came onstage to begin the programme at 5.30 pm. The drama ‘Prema Vahini’ brought out the transformative qualities of the Village Service programme incorporating dances and songs. After the drama, Bhagavan blessed the participants by calling up the children for group photos, then going down from the stage for group photos with all the participants. He also sent watches for the participants while bhajans went on and prasadam was being distributed. It was 7.15 when Swami accepted Arati and returned to His residence.

Thursday, June 18, 2009 (Full Story With Images)
Last evening, the Union Power Minister Sri. Sushil Kumar Shinde was at Prasanthi Nilayam for an audience with Bhagavan. This evening, Sai Schools from Gujarat presented their programmes in Sai Kulwant Hall. Swami came for darshan just before five o’clock and came onstage to begin the proceedings after a full round of the Hall and blessing the new students of Class I of the Primary School. Beginning with a dance in praise of Lord Ganesha, the children presented a half-hour drama “Samasta Loka Sukhino Bhavantu” on the theme of Love and Peace for universal well-being. Next was another half-hour musical skit “Yoga for Salvation”, demonstrating many Yogasanas and methods of Pranayama with tableaux depicting symbols of various religions. Bhagavan went down from the stage and blessed the performers with group photographs, interacting with them and giving them clothes for fifteen minutes. Prasadam was distributed as bhajans by the children went on. Two bhajans by them were followed by a bhajan by the students and arati at 6.45 pm.

Monday, June 15, 2009
In the last three darshan sessions, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has blessed three people with chains. On Sunday morning, He interacted for a while with the elders from the institutions at Muddenahalli and Alike, and blessed one of the gentlemen there with a chain. Later, that evening, just before accepting Arati, He called up a first-year student of the Brindavan campus who had earlier studied in the Music College here, and blessed him with a chain. And this evening, just before going to the interview room after sitting onstage for a while, Swami called up one of the students and after a short interaction, put a chain around his neck. It was 6 pm when Swami emerged from the interview room and came onstage to accept Arati.

Saturday, June 13, 2009 (Full Story With Images)
It was a beautiful and special Saturday at Prasanthi Nilayam. It was past 4:40 p.m. when Swami arrived for darshan on June 13, 2009. He took a complete round and then moved into the interview room for a short while. Soon, He went into the Bhajan Hall where the three students who were ready to perform a Bukkakatha, sat costumed and ready for His command to begin their performance. At about 5:15 p.m., Swami arrived on the stage and asked for the warden of the Brindavan campus to introduce the programme. The trio arrived and offering their salutations to Swami, took their positions. The theme for the day’s performance was the same as the one on Easwaramma Day, that is, on Mother Easwaramma. They performed for nearly an hour and delighted everyone with their soulful rendering. Swami was immensely pleased and at the end blessed them with white safari cloth pieces as prasadam. Bhagavan retired at about 6.40 p.m.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
“Everyday is a festival in Prashanti Nilayam,” said someone during the peak of the ‘programme season’ when as many as 15 programmes were put up in a single month. That statement held good even during the first tens days of June, in spite of there being no single programme put up in the Mandir; the days were special in their own inimitable way. There weren’t any festoons, backdrops, costumes and the other paraphernalia, which are usually associated with festivals. But the festivities came in the guise of more than 5000 people, who had gathered with devotion and Love for God to sing His praises. It indeed was festival time as that’s what had been happening at the Prasanthi Nilayam everyday since the beginning of the new academic year. Here is the description of one typical day of the past one week.

On June 10, 2009, Swami arrived just as the first bhajan had begun. The ladies’ side and the gents’ side were both almost full. It is so interesting the way people think and arrive at Puttaparthi. During the major festivals and the pilgrimage visits by devotees from the many Indian states and countries, the hall becomes full because of the sheer number of devotees that arrive. And during the “non-peak” days, news quickly travels that the Mandir is sparsely crowded and immediately devotees pour in to increase their probability of getting a close darshan. The net result – Prashanthi Nilayam is filled with devotees always!

Swami moved through the ladies side accepting letters and talking to a few of them. Moving into the students’ section, He faced a multitude of letters. A gentle smile seemed to come over His face. (An onlooker might even wonder as to what the students write in their letters to Him daily! But He knows every heart, and responds accordingly too!) There have been occasions when Swami has come for darshan before all the students had arrived from their places of study. On such days, the few who had arrived, rush to the rear side of the portico with their letters. Once, Swami passes that way, they move back to the front and (again) have another letter to offer to Him! One day Swami also indicated to a student and, to the merry laughter of those around, said, “You were sitting yonder. Now you have come here. You will return after I pass! Correct?” The boy sheepishly nodded a yes.

Swami collected a few letters and asked the people walking behind His chair to collect some more on His behalf. The same continued into the gents’ side too. After the darshan round, Swami moved on to the stage and sat for the bhajans. As always, the bhajans gain in volume and enthusiasm with Him around. Swami looked at all the people who had assembled and granted His attention to different sections of the hall during different phases of the bhajans. Almost everyone had that cherished feeling, “He saw me and I am blessed.” Sometimes, during the bhajans, people rise and leave – they either have a bus to catch, a duty/call to attend or any of the many reasons. Swami watches them leave with the same look as He watches those sitting and singing. The feeling of God being the Eternal Witness envelopes one during such moments and a silent joy surges in their beings. That feeling may culminate in a gentle smile on the Divine lips or at times with a stern look from Him and at other times with Swami going into a trance. Silently, He moulds, charges, transforms, guides, assures or commands but all the while a mass communion is on.

Swami sat for about an hour for bhajans that day. In between, it was sought from Him as to whether prasadam could be distributed. Swami told them to hold back till the aarthi. The students from the new M. Tech batch held a card for Him to see and a cake for Him to cut. Swami saw them and told them to wait. At the end of the bhajans, Swami also chanted the universal peace prayer, “Samastha Lokaha Sukhino Bhavanthu”. Then, He blessed the mangoes to be distributed to all and retired for the day.

Friday, June 5, 2009 (Full Story With Images)
This evening, Bhagawan came for darshan around 4.30 pm. After a round of the Sai Kulwant Hall, He sat onstage listening to the Vedam chanting for a while and then went into the interview room to emerge when the five o’clock bhajans began. As the bhajans went on, prasadam was being distributed, and the heavens opened up in a downpour. Swami noticed some devotees standing outside the front gate of the hall getting drenched in the rain, and instructed that they be brought into the sheltered area and be given prasadam. At the end of the bhajan, after accepting Arati, Swami Himself went all the way up to the gate to bless those devotees. He then returned to Yajur Mandir in the chair itself.

Thursday, June 4, 2009 (Full Story With Images)
Yesterday, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Principal of the campus and other teachers prayed to Bhagawan to bless the students and staff by coming to the college auditorium and addressing them, and Bhagawan had indicated that He would come. The students were busy preparing for the visit in the auditorium today when suddenly Swami arrived there at noon! He told them He’d come to see the arrangements, and that He would return at four o’clock. Accordingly, all were ready at the auditorium in the evening, and Bhagawan came there from Sai Kulwant Hall at 4.15 pm. A couple of books by the faculty were blessed by Bhagawan, and there were talks by the Vice-Chancellor and an MBA student. Swami then commenced His Divine Discours? at 4.55 pm, relayed live to the other two campuses of the University by web-conference video link.

Swami stressed on the need for students to realize that each and every living creature is the embodiment of God, and behave accordingly to Help Ever and Hurt Never, Loving All and Serving All. Students should not just close their eyes and think they are concentrating – they should help the society. After His 45 minute Discourse, He sang ‘Hari Bhajan Bina’ and immediately left for the Senior Students’ Hostel. There, He went into the dining Hall, and acceded to the prayers of the teachers there to bless the new room built for Swami. Moving through the entire complex, Swami moved back to the dining hall seeing the Ranganatha installed nearby on the way and blessing the students there. From the Hostel, He moved in the car to Sai Kulwant Hall where the bhajans were going on. Sitting onstage for a couple of bhajans while prasadam was distributed, Swami accepted Arati and returned to His residence around 6.30 pm.

Monday, June 1, 2009
This evening, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came to Sai Kulwant Hall in the car at 3.50 pm, and directly moved out through the main gate for a drive. Five minutes later, the Chief Minister of Karnataka Sri. B. S. Yeddyurappa accompanied by a few of his ministry colleagues arrived at the Mandir. Swami returned after fifteen minutes and granted an audience to the distinguished visitors, and they left before five o’clock. At around 5.15 pm, Swami came onstage while the bhajans went on, and accepted Arati after prasadam distribution around twenty minutes later.