HERE WE ARE?
!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BELOVED SWAMI !!!
Sairam. The experience that we all had this evening is unforgettable. We have never witnessed something like this ever before. We have been literally transported into some other world. We will now try to take you through a feel of this experience, though words will surely fail to do that.
We assemble in the Shanti Vedika grounds on the green mats by The programme is scheduled to begin at The clouds are still hanging heavily in the sky and the possibility of a heavy downpour cannot be ruled out. However, devotees throng in oblivious of these possibilities. A light drizzle continues as we await Swami's arrival to the stadium. An elegant tent like shelter has been set up on the stage to protect the artistes from the drizzle. It is Crowds are still pouring in. Videos of earlier celebrations are being projected on the giant screens to keep the public engaged.
It is and the procession begins. Colourful dances with vibrant music lead the presentation. Dance troupes hail from different states of
Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and other artistes seek His Blessings. It is Actor Sai Kumar starts the compering. He glorifies the Sai Avataar highlighting the yeoman service rendered by Bhagawan to humanity. He then welcomes the first artiste to take over the stage. It is none other than Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and his son Rahul Sharma. Panditji offers his Koti Pranaams to Swami.
The stage has been brightly lit. The lotus petals in the background are beautifully illuminated with a rose colour light. Above the stage on a metal structure, a number of lights are arranged to add colour to the show. Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma has performed even on Swami's 60th and 70th Birthday. He considers this as his greatest fortune. Melodious Santoor charges the air in the stadium. After a scintillating performance, he concludes his fascinating piece with ?Baba We Love You? chorus. The whole stadium breaks into applause.
The next artiste is Ustad Amjad Ali Khan on the Sarod with his sons Amaan and Ayaan. The clock strikes 5.30 as they take over the stage. His first piece is titled 'Truth' and is specially composed for Bhagawan's Birthday. The second piece is Ragupati Raghava Raja Ram. The audience receives the performance very well.
The backdrop on the dais where Swami is seated is visible clearly to us. There are pillars dividing the backdrop into arches with floral decorations on the top of the arches. The opening leading to the backstage has been made up very professionally with silk and flowers.
The next artiste is Begum Parveen Sultana - the queen of Hindustani Classical Music. She has had the privilege of performing on most of Swami's Birthdays. She sings her common hit songs ? Sai Tero Maya Aparampaar, Payoji Mene Nama Ratana Dhana Payo and Sai Ram Sai Ram Sumirana Karo. As she concludes, the evening light gets dimmer. All the decorative lights in the stadium come on. Above the hill we find cute coconut trees made of just lights. The Ad Block and Museum on the hill are illuminated with colours that keep changing from time to time. Looks majestic!
At the Laser Show commences. The green Laser beams emanate from the top of the stage on the Ladies Gallery side and stretch out across the stadium creating all sorts of patterns and shapes. The show goes on accompanied by the music from ?Mission Impossible?. All the people are thrilled and start clapping. As this show goes on, the other lights are put off.
At Sai Kumar welcomes Smt. Kavita Krishnamurthy and her husband Dr. L. Subramanian onto the stage. The first item is Vataapi Ganapatim Bhaje Ham on the violin by Dr. L. Subramanian. Swami keeps beat with His hand as the tune is played. This is followed by a Birthday song specially composed for the occasion. The uniqueness here is that 80 students from the
At Swami goes backstage for a while. Meanwhile, the singer Dana Gillespie, very well known to all Sai devotees, takes over the stage. Sai Kumar requests all the people to be seated saying that Swami will come onto the stage in a while. He asks the people not to be worried about the drizzle as by Swami?s Grace nothing would happen to anybody. Dana Gillespie begins her presentation at She sings two pieces ? The Rose of my Heart and The Promise.
The final performance is by Richa Sharma who sings a Bhajan in her unique style. The moment she completes her performance, the lights in the stadium go dim and the Laser show begins once again. This time there are many more laser beams spreading across the stadium from even the Hanuman hill top. Thousands of beams spread crazily across the grounds but with flawless precision. Some beams stop abruptly in mid air with a dot while others form patterns on whatever they strike. Loud music with heart throbbing beats fill the air. Suddenly from nowhere, rockets spring into the skies and burst forth with colourful stars. The rockets were blasted off from the college campus and also from the Ad Block Hills. For the next 15 minutes or so we all are gripped with awe and wonder.
The display of fireworks is too spectacular. The frequency with which they are shot into the sky and their bursting forth into clusters of colourful sparks ? red, green, gold, silver?all this leave us wonderstruck. Soon the sky is full of smoke but then piercing this smoke the rockets go through and emerge with bright sparks. We literally feel that we are watching the Big Bang. It looks as though galaxies after galaxies are exploding and imploding, thus giving birth to the Universe.
All the while, Bhagawan keeps watching the display in the sky, possibly laughing at our wonder and surprise at this seemingly great display. After all for Him, this would be something like lighting a small match stick. For He is the One who is the source of the Big Bang. He is the power in all these crackers and also the splendour inherent in their manifestation.
After this brilliant presentation of fireworks, all the artistes came down from the stage and walk upto the Shanti Vedika dais and go onto the dais towards Bhagawan. The screen comes down. But we can see Swami interacting with them for a long time. At Bhagawan?s chair rolls onto the lift. As Swami descends in the lift, just as He descended onto this earth 79 years back, He Blesses all with His Abhaya Hasta. He then gets into the car. As the car starts its journey towards the Mandir, once gain there is a short display of crackers in the night sky.
All this while, another song specially composed for the occasion is being played on the system. Aashayen Mile Dil Ki, Ummide Hasen Dil Ki?.As the Toyota Porte glides along the pathway, we catch our last glimpse of His beautiful face on this holy day.
Surprisingly, the drizzle that is on all this while suddenly stops. It seems as though Mother Nature has put on her A/c so long as the programme is on ? for the audience. The moment the programme is over and the audience starts leaving, she promptly switches off the A/c. Another important point is that even though there is a drizzle all along, it is so beautiful. It is neither too light nor too heavy. The drops fall on us like dew drops and settle down like pearls on our faces and body. It is Bhagawan?s way of Prasadam distribution!! We feel as though Swami has cleansed all our bodies and minds and given us a fresh lease of life.
As the car moves out of the stadium, the crowds start dispersing to their destinations. We return to the Hostel with a feeling of immense joy and fulfillment. Expressing gratitude to Bhagawan for having given us an opportunity to witness such a grand event we also pay our silent gratitude to the coordinators of this mega event who have planned every bit of it so meticulously. There were a hundred odd things to be planned and executed. All of it went on with clockwork precision and with no lapses whatsoever. It is all due to His Love and Grace.
Let us all surrender ourselves at the Lotus Feet of this compassionate Lord and as a mark of our Love for Him, let us all make every possible attempt to follow His Message and Teachings to redeem our lives and to bring that lovely smile on His face.
Shared by A Anantha Vijaya - Posted on 24.11.2005
Proceedings of XXIV Convocation of SSSIHL
Posted by Anantha Vijaya
Today being the second Saturday of the month of November, we know that it is time for the Global Akhanda Bhajans. The family of Dr. Padmanabhan, whom we often find walking behind Bhagawan at Brindavan Ashram, came into the Divine Fold of Bhagawan way back in 1944. A year later, to commemorate their entry under the Divine Umbrella, they had planned to have a long, non-stop Bhajan at their house in Bangalore. When they informed Swami about this, Bhagawan immediately responded saying that He would come over there to Bless the occasion.
The family was taken by surprise for they had never expected this. They hardly had made any arrangements and it was meant to be just a small family affair! They sent back a message informing Swami about this but even before their message could reach Bhagawan, they received a telegram stating that Swami had already started for Bangalore!! Rest is history?This is how the concept of Akhanda Bhajans began.
Years later, when the International Sri Sathya Sai Organization came into existence, the Akhanda Bhajans became a global affair. This evening at 6.00 p.m. Bhajans will commence at Prashanti Nilayam. Samithis in respective nations start the Bhajans at 6.00 p.m. according to their local time. Therefore, at some point, the sacred vibrations of Bhajans will envelope the entire globe, initiating a massive cleansing of the minds. Let us all actively participate in chanting the name of the Lord.
This evening, Swami came out at around 3.30 p.m. and proceeded to the grounds as He has been doing everyday. He returned at 4.10 p.m. and went straight into PC. We all sat in Kulwant Hall waiting eagerly for our Lord. The Bhajan Hall was packed to its full. At 5.45 p.m. the Toyota Porte glided into the Kulwant Hall. All the lights came on instantly, including the chandeliers and the series lighting across the roof of the Hall. The entire place was shining brilliantly welcoming our Lord.
Swami went straight into the Bhajan Hall. To everybody?s delight, Swami stood up from His chair and took a few steps to light the ceremonial lamp. There was loud applause. A few minutes later, the Omkaram began marking the commencement of the Akhanda Bhajans. Swami sat in the Bhajan Hall until 7.00 p.m. The mikes were kept on even after Swami retired and were put off only at 8.00 p.m.
This morning, Swami came out for Darshan at 9.40 a.m. He came and went inside the Interview Room. He called a few people inside and after a while proceeded to the Bhajan Hall. Bhajans had started at 9.00 a.m. itself. Swami retired to PC at 10.10 a.m. while Aarti was offered at 10.30 a.m. These days this occurrence is very common. Bhagawan retires to Poornachandra even as the Bhajans go on. After a while, when He retires to His room, usually ten to fifteen minutes later, Aarti is offered in the Bhajan Hall.
Sairam. This morning, Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 7.20 a.m. The mikes for the singers were put on at 6.00 a.m. itself. Bhagawan sat inside the Bhajan Hall for a while and then went into the interview room. There was a possibility that He would go to the Institute for watching the rehearsal of the Convocation Drama and also for inaugurating the new ?Humanities Block? that has been constructed in the College Campus. However, He went straight to PC at 8.30 a.m. and retired for the morning.
The cooks in the canteen are busy preparing the Prasadam for the Akhanda Bhajan. Puliyora (Tamarind Rice) and Sakar Pongal (Sweet Rice) which will be served to all this evening after Aarti. The crowds are huge and the Hall was packed yesterday evening. The main road outside the Ashram leading to Yenumulapally, along the Institute and the Hostel is being redone. The tar laying machines and equipments are working non-stop to get the roads ready in time for the Birthday. The Stadium is also busy with a number of Seva Dals engaged in decorating the ground.
In the evening, Bhagawan was out by 3.30 p.m. The Prasadam Coordination and arrangement task began at 4.00 p.m. with tractor loads of Puliyora and Sakar Pongal being delivered from the Canteen into the Kulwant Hall. Students were also passing on bowls of Prasadam across long human chains, shifting the vessels from the Canteen to the Mandir. By 5.15 p.m. all arrangements were completed. We were all set for the distribution. Swami sat inside the Bhajan Hall for most of the time and at sharp 6.00 p.m. Aarti was offered.
Few minutes later, signal was given to commence the Prasadam distribution. Swarms of students spread themselves across the dozens of bays in the Kulwant Hall, distributing Prasadam to the devotees. As the distribution was taking place, Swami came out in His chair, moved across the portico and proceeded towards the gents? side of the Kulwant Hall. He moved along the rows of students who were seated in neat bays receiving Prasadam. As He approached the Primary School boys, the young children who were waiting for His Presence, spontaneously started chanting Brahmarpanam Brahamahavir Mantra. Following this they partook the Prasadam. Watching this, Swami was overjoyed!! A good lesson for all of us. Well, that's the news as of now. We'll get back again with further details.
A Anantha Vijaya
Shared by A Anantha Vijaya - Posted on 14.11.2005