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Parthi Update

15-11-2004 

Today happens to be Ramadan. Morning Darshan was as usual. In the evening, General Vij came to have Bhagawan’s Darshan. Swami was out by 2.50 p.m. itself. The II PG students were ready with a presentation for the occasion of Ramadan. They were seated in the first row with their colourful Kurtas and caps on their heads, looking just like Muslim brothers. Swami spoke to them and also Blessed the foreign devotees and some village Muslims who were seated in front, as part of our programme. Bhagawan looked at an Iranian devotee and said “Ramadan, Ramadan”. 

As part of the presentation, in a unique endeavour, we had planned to include Muslim brothers from different countries present in the Mandir to join in performing the Namaaz along with Muslim brothers studying in our own College and School. 

Bhagawan went straight to the General and took him inside for an interview. From 3.10 p.m. to 4.10 p.m. Swami was inside talking to him. It was 4.25 p.m. when Swami came out and sat down on the sofa. The presentation began with chanting of the Koran and a student speaking in Urdu welcoming all his Muslim brothers. 

Let us give you a brief account of the presentation, as it will also highlight some points which many of us may not be aware of. They defined Islam as meaning ‘absolute surrender to God’. Islam teaches an individual how to lead an ideal life. There are five pillars on which the religion of Islam rests upon. They are Namaaz – Prayer, Haj – Pilgrimage, Rozaa – Fasting, Zakha – Charity and Faith in God. 

The play basically consisted of a Muslim family. The son raises several doubts regarding rituals and practices and the father and elders resolve their doubts. One question that comes up is why should a Muslim pray five times a day. Where is the time for it? The elder replies that when we receive anything from any person, we say ‘thank you’. But do we count the number of times we say thank you in a day. In that case, what about God who has given us everything in this world; should we not express our gratitude to Him? 

Another question that came up was, why should a Mulim go for Haj? God is everywhere, then where is the necessity to go to a particular place for worship. However, there is power in united worship. We see thousands of pilgrims moving in whites, in one direction, with the name of the Lord on their lips. Can there be a more sacred event than this? 

Then, they move on to give some basic facts about the festival. Ramadan happens to be the 9th month of the Lunar Calendar. Id-ul-fitr falls on the 1st day of the 10th month. This is the day when Angel Gabriel revealed the Koran to Prophet Mohammed. This is also the day when the month long fast of Ramadan is broken. Fasting again is meant for developing self-control which is the key to God-realization. Rozaa or fasting does not merely mean abstaining from food but also includes abstinence from slander and mud-slinging. 

There were a few skits, further expounding the inner significance of Ramadan, fasting and other rituals. Very good songs on Haj piligrimage, Grace of Allah, kept up the tempo of the play. The play concluded with a Hindu and a Christian also entering into the scene. They draw parallels between all the religions and show how the essence of all religions is the same. They are different paths leading to the same goal. 

A unique module in this play was the involvement of the local village Muslim brothers and also some of the Muslim devotees from Iran and Argentina who happened to be here. They were also seated in front in the students block. All of them performed Namaaz as part of the play (full four minutes!!). It was a unique sight to witness the Sai Kulwant Hall getting transformed into a Masjid with devotees offering Namaaz, but with a difference. Elsewhere it is to the formless God but here it was in the Presence of the Divine Incarnation!! It was a moment of great joy and thrill for all of us! 

Next, a young boy named Sathya from Iran was interviewed. This boy, hardly six years old was able to chant verses proficiently from the Koran! There was a loud applause from the audience! But then they did not know what was in store for them. After chanting the Koran, this young boy was asked whether he knew anything about the Vedas. Nodding his head, our dear Sathya started chanting the Narayanopanishad with perfect fluency!! It was just stunning! 

Swami was very very happy and He kept on smiling at the boy. Next, one devotee from Iran was interviewed, who shared his experiences with the audience in the Divine Presence. The first time he came to Swami, he was not convinced about his own religion. But then in the first Darshan, his wife heard the chanting of Koran in her ears and an inner voice asking her to read a particular passage in the holy text. Surprisingly, a devotee next to her, from Algeria, happened to have that very text and she opens the book randomly. Lo and behold, the very page mentioned to her comes up in front of her eyes. Since that day, they have become true Muslims and have learnt about their true religion through Swami’s teachings. 

Finally, the programme ended with the Qawalli – Shirdi Wale Sai Baba Aya He Tere Dar Pe Savari…The entire Kulwant Hall was clapping with full vigor and then Swami showered infinite Love on all the participants. He gave them photographs and said that they were very good boys. The young child from Iran became the hero of the day. Swami spoke to him, patted him a number of times and gave him a special individual photograph. 

Bhagawan signaled for sweets. One boy ran in with a box of sweets and Swami personally distributed sweets to all the student participants and also the Muslim brothers from the village and overseas. It was possibly a life time chance for them to receive Prasadam from Bhagawan’s Hands, that too on the holy day of Ramadan!! One could clearly see the joy and thrill on their faces!! 

Swami kept standing there for a long time. His Love and their devotion kept Him stuck at that place!! Slowly, He moved towards the Golf Cart and glided towards the Poornachandra Abode. A milestone had been achieved in the Divine journey of the Muslim community towards the embodiment of Allah!!

14-11-2004 

This evening, Akhanda Bhajans concluded at 6.00 p.m. with all the devotees participating with total enthusiasm, especially the last few Bhajans which are always the very fast ones with quick beats. 

Bhajans were conducted inside the Bhajan Hall only. Yesterday, Swami sat in the Bhajan Hall until 7.30 p.m. For the full night and the next day, we had a new scheme in place to sustain the enthusiasm and the vigour in singing Bhajans. Apart from the slots during regular Darshan time when Bhagawan would be in the Mandir and only the Bhajan boys would sing; the rest of the time was divided into slots of an hour and a half. 

Each slot was assigned to a separate class of the Institute. Some slots were given to Hospital staff, Mandir staff and so on. In this way, one group does not get over strained and the tempo is sustained. This scheme worked out very well and each group put in its best for they would hardly get to sing 6 Bhajans in the given slot, given that every alternate song is sung by our sisters. 

This morning, Swami came out by 7.00 a.m. for Darshan. Swami visited the Institute Auditorium in the Prius car to see the Convocation Drama rehearsal. Swami was very happy with the Drama, and looking at the Band boys waiting to play their tunes, Bhagawan said that He would come again and left for the Mandir. He spent almost an hour at the Institute. He returned to the Mandir at 10.00 a.m., had lunch and retired at 10.45 a.m. 

In the evening, Swami was out by 3.00 p.m. The Kulwant Hall was full for the occasion. At 6.00 p.m., as Aarti began, Bhagawan gave the signal for Prasadam Distribution to begin. From 3.30 p.m. itself, all the Prasadam were shifted from the Canteen to the Mandir premises, as is usually done. This time all were served Puliyora (Tamarind rice) and Ladoo Prasadam. The distribution was carried out in a very organized manner and within an hour or so all were served, and by 7.30 p.m. we wound up the entire show.

13-11-2004 

This morning marked the new year of the Gujaratis with the arrival of Bhagawan in the Sai Kulwant Hall at 7.05 a.m. Even as the Golf Cart entered the Ladies section of the hall, the Vedic chants faded away and in came a melodious rendering of a welcome song in Sanskrit by the sisters from Gujarat. It was very soothing and as the Golf Cart reached the Gents side, a Hindustani classical song began. This was all the more melodious. Good beat and when Swami’s name came in, all devotees started clapping to the beat. 

Swami took a slow round and got down in the inner portico and started walking slowly towards the dais. All were swaying to the lilting tunes and Swami too was keeping beat with His hands. As He approached the dais, the song came to a close. Swami was talking to Mr. Narasimhamoorthy, but He turned towards the sisters and asked them to continue. Well, you can imagine how joyful they would have been. 

They started the song once again and throughout, Swami stood near the sofa swaying to the Svaras and keeping beat with His hands. As the song concluded, Bhagawan sat down on the sofa. The State President went forward with a rose, followed by other office bearers. Formalities over, the main programme began. 

The voice over was given by our dear brother Sri Shaurya Sinh Gohil who completed his MBA from our Institute in 2001. He spoke with his magnetic voice in English and his successful attempt at Telugu was also received very well!! 

The presentation began with a traditional Garba type dance. It was an offering to Mother Jagadamba – a typical dance popular in Southern Gujarat. This was performed by the youth – again a very vigorous dance with sticks (as used in Ras Garba). It ended amidst a loud applause from all. 

The second item was a play by the youth entitled “Shantinagar – The Sai Gram”. The play was a story of real incidences observed by Sevadals while doing Grama Seva in the villages of Gujarat. It was a 35 minute play – simple but profound in its message. All hearts were churned and touched with the feelings portrayed in the play. 

Basically, it was about the transformation that the Seva Dals were instrumental in bringing about, in a remote village in Gujarat. Prior to their visit, people in this village lived a pitiable life, whiling away all their time in selling and consuming liquor. They had no idea of what a cultured life was all about. 

On their first visit, the Seva Dals meet with tremendous resistance, to the extent that they were pelted with stones and driven away from the village. But the Seva Dals do not give up and finally succeed in running a Medical Camp at the village. This is followed by frequent visits to the village and there is a gradual change in the villagers. One scene depicts the Seva Dal cleaning the dirty areas of the village along with the village folk. This stuns the local people as they realize that these Seva Dals have no selfish motive in their endeavour. Initially the village men were under the impression that these were members from some political party who had come as usual to exploit their poverty and weakness. 

Several interactions between the elders and the Seva Dals were portrayed very effectively communicating Bhagawan’s message. The dialogues were very well written. Finally even the elders of the village get transformed. This happens when two fathers see the Seva Dal volunteer conducting Bal Vikas classes for their children. They see their children chanting Sanskrit Slokas. The children are also taught how to take bath and the significance of hygiene. Looking at all this, the fathers feel embarrassed as the Seva Dals were doing the duty which they were supposed to do. 

The scene ends with the elders apologizing to the volunteers and all of them get together in the grand finale song. A very beautiful song – “Mana Seva Madhava Seva Hamara Mantra Hai”. The recording was professional. The play ended at 8.10 a.m. There was a loud applause. Swami called one of the actors who acted as the first villager to get transformed and materialized a ring for him. Then Bhagawan got up from the sofa and signaled to them to be where they were. For He had decided to go out to them!!  

Swami got down the steps and went into the group. He showered so much of Love and Grace and gave them group photographs. At 8.20 a.m. Bhajans commenced and so did the Prasadam Distribution (a cake of eight small packets of groundnut Chikki topped with almonds!). 

Bhajans too were very nice – full of Josh!! Swami sat for a long while and initially Swami Himself was clapping to the beat of the Bhajans with both His hands. Looking at this, the entire crowd of devotees also started clapping in full swing. By 9.15 p.m. Swami signaled for the Aarti. At that very moment, the men had just begun the Bhajan, “Allah Ho Akbar”. They stopped the Bhajan but Swami did not want to displease them. He continued sitting and asked them to sing. They were so thrilled! They sang the full Bhajan. 

Bhagawan took Aarti and retired for the morning. All were in full praise for the wonderful programme put up by the Gujarat youth and Balvikas. In fact, the floral decorations and other decorations in the Mandir were also marvelous. With a saturated heart we students and staff left for the Institute to get back to our world of academics. 

This evening, Akhanda Bhajans start at 6.00 p.m. 

12-11-2004 

Sairam. This morning, Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 7.00 a.m. He came and sat down on the sofa amidst Vedic chanting. Later Prasadam distribution commenced and subsequently Swami went into the interview room. Bhajans as usual at 9.00 a.m. In the evening, Swami was out by 3.00 p.m. itself. The devotees from Gujarat have arrived at Prasanthinilayam in big numbers to celebrate their New Year which falls tomorrow. 

This evening, the Balvikas children and the youth from Gujarat were ready with a programme. Swami had Blessed them in the morning to go ahead with their programme. Bhagawan took some devotees for an interview and came out at 4.00 p.m. He came and sat on the sofa that was placed in the middle of the dais for the presentation. 

The programme started at 4.05 p.m. The first item was a folk dance from Gujarat. But my! It was a very fast and rigorous dance that captured everybody’s heart. They danced to quick beats and every few seconds got into different formations. The background music was played on traditional drum and other instruments. 

The second item was a drama by the Balvikas children titled “Transformation”. The theme was the true purpose of education and the need for good teachers in the society. A good student changes himself but a good teacher can exercise his influence on hundreds of students. The play was basically about a School Headmaster who is a devotee of Swami and runs his school in line with Bhagawan’s principles and maintains Human Values as the undercurrent in all the classes. 

He inspires the students to study on their own without depending on private tuitions. He encourages his teachers to spare extra time even after the regular classes, to coach the students in subjects where they found some difficulty. 

In comes a private teacher, Mr. Nagappa who feels threatened by this headmaster as no students from this school come for his private tuitions. He comes to meet the headmaster and places his proposal for his consideration. The idea was to have a nexus and share question papers in advance to benefit the students and enable them to score well. The headmaster gives Mr. Nagappa a good lecture on ethics and asks him to leave the place. 

Mr. Nagappa feels insulted and arranges two young men to physically assault the headmaster. The headmaster discovers that this was the doing of Mr. Nagappa. But still he does not lodge any police complaint and even pardons one of the young men who comes and confesses his mistake to the headmaster. 

All this even touches the heart of Mr. Nagappa. He turns a new leaf in his life and comes to seek pardon from the headmaster. The drama concludes with Mr. Nagappa visiting the classes at this school and asking several questions to the students. In the process of answering the questions, the students expound several teachings of Bhagawan. In fact that was the strategy used in this drama. Through the headmaster and his students all teachings of Bhagawan relating to education were clearly highlighted. There were some songs too here and there to add to the variety. 

At 4.55 the drama concluded and the sisters from Gujarat started Bhajans. After a few Bhajans, Swami signaled for the Aarti. As Swami was about to move towards the golf cart, the actors and dancers came forward and Bhagawan gave them group photographs. By 5.15 p.m. Bhagawan retired to Poornachandra. All boys moved out of Kulwant Hall with great excitement for the most thrilling part of the day – Crackers!! Even as we type this update we can already hear rockets, bombs and flowerpots going zoooom

Just as Bhagawan was getting into the Golf Cart, Prof. Anil Kumar announced about the Global Akhanda Bhajans that are to begin tomorrow at 6.00 p.m. Let us all participate with total devotion and love in this annual offering at His Lotus Feet!

Sairam

Posted on 16-11-2004


08-11-2004 

This evening, Bhagawan was out very early. Even as we entered the Kulwant Hall, forget the Brindavan boys because they come only at 4.00 p.m. after their classes; Swami had already started the programme for the day. It was a Burra Katha on Swami’s life. Three boys dressed in the typical costume of Burra Katha singers, commenced their presentation on the area in front of Swami and the railings.

The lyrics of the songs and the tunes were very catchy. It talked about the early days of Swami, right from the time of His birth. The Telugu script was so powerful and so rhythmic that we all were literally swaying to the tunes. Prof. Anil Kumar was sitting right in front of Swami and he was so enamored by the programme that he kept on nodding his head in response. Swami was looking at him and feeling so happy. In fact Swami kept on looking at the singers throughout the presentation. He was absolutely one with them. Half way through, He told brother Prusty something. Brother Prusty went inside the interview room and brought Plastic covers with clothes for the singers.

The presentation ended at 4.15 p.m. amidst a very loud applause. Swami profusely Blessed the three singers and gave them the clothes. He then gave them photographs and stood holding the railings. The tunes were still playing in our ears and I’m sure many in the audience were thirsty for more. Swami asked the main singer to sing one more song and the boy readily did so. After that, Bhagawan went into the interview room. He called them inside the interview room and spent a long time with them, gave them watches and flooded them with His Love and Grace!

Friday the 12th happens to be Deepavali and then the coming Monday is Ramadan. The I and II PG students are preparing mega programs for both the occasions. On the other side, Swami has already initiated the Convocation Drama and Sri B.N. Narasimhamoorthy, the Warden of the Brindavan Campus is coordinating the drama under the Divine guidance.

Dear brother, I would like to share a thrilling experience that I had just a day before. It was 9.00 p.m. and I was going to the Music College to oversee the practice session of the I MBA boys who were preparing a programme for Deepavali. As I moved along the lane, just at the entrance of the Music College, I found one group of boys preparing for a Hari Katha. They were discussing some mythological stories from our scriptures. A little ahead, there was a team which was planning out the steps for the dance in the Convocation drama!

I move some more and there I find the I PG boys preparing a presentation on the theme “Prajnanam Brahma”. A little further and there were the MBA boys discussing the inner significance of Deepavali. They had compiled all the Discourses of Swami about the significance of Deepavali. I come back to the Hostel later and in C-Floor, II PG boys were busy unraveling the parallels between Islam and Bharatiya culture and discovering the symbolism in Ramadan. There in the Institute Auditorium the Convocation Drama boys were busy with their preparation!!

I just sat back for a while and wondered what I had just witnessed! Is this not a miracle of Bhagawan? Where else in the world can we find college students spending their time in such a holy and sacred way. What we find so difficult to achieve, Swami is able to do it with just one word of His. All He has to do is ask the Warden, “Emi Programmu?” and the entire chain reaction gets triggered!! This gives boys so much insight into the message of Bhagawan and goes a long way in moulding their understanding and reinforcing their convictions! All this goes on and they also study well and secure good grades! Truly this appears to be a great miracle that’s happening right under our nose and we are truly not aware of its great implications!!

Wishing you a very happy Deepavali and a Holy Ramadan, we take leave.

Sairam.


06-11-2004 

This evening, students of II UG Prasanthinilayam Campus put up a very good presentation on “Sri Kalahasti Mahima”. Sri Kalahasti is a very famous temple in Andhra Pradesh, near Tirupati – a well known pilgrim center. The boys had been practicing for this presentation since quite some time. The script had been written by one of our newly joined faculty member from the English Department. His name is Prof. Ramachandra Murthy. For your information, he is a famous film director and has directed more than a dozen Telugu films and has also scripted dialogues for quite a few films. He joined the English department of the Brindavan Campus last year and since this June he is part of the Prasanthinilayam Campus.

Swami had been making a lot of enquiries about this presentation since a few days. He was very particular to know how the students would portray the characters of the spider, snake and elephant. Again for your information, in the word Sri Kalahasti, ‘Sri’ stands for a spider, ‘Kala’ stands for snake and ‘Hasti’ stands for elephant. In fact, the name Sri Kalahasti  has come from these very beings whose devotion was acknowledged by Lord Siva Himself.

The story goes like this. The scene started with a sage who comes with his disciples to a Siva Lingam left abandoned in the forest. There he meets a hunter named Tinna who is a great devotee of Lord Siva. Tinna seeks guidance from the sage about the best way to reach Lord Siva. In this context the sage narrates the story of how a spider, a snake and an elephant had won the heart of Lord Siva. The story goes way back in time.

Once a group of spiders approach the Lingam. Among them one spider feels so sorry to witness the Lingam left open in the forest that it decides to cover the Lingam with it’s body. Meanwhile few snakes appear there, seeing which, the other spiders run away to save their lives. But this single spider holds on to the Lingam. Looking at this the snake fights with the spider and gets furious to see the insect covering the sacred body of their Lord.

The snake brushes the spider away and decides to cover the Lingam and protect it from the sun by spreading its hood over it. In the mean time some elephants come that way. Looking at them, the other snakes rush away fearing that they would be crushed under its feet. But one snake continues to spread its hood on the Lingam.

The elephant gets wild with the arrogance of the snake and crushes it under its feet. The snake in turn bites the elephant. Both of them claim their ownership over the Lingam and wish to take the privilege to protect the Lingam. Finally as all the three are on their death bed, each one realizes it’s folly and determines to end it’s narrow thinking.

At this instant Lord Siva manifests Himself and Blesses all of them with a new life. The Lord is so happy with them for each one of them was fighting just for the sake of proximity to the Lord. Each one had the pure intention of serving the Lord. Therefore, He Blesses them saying that this place would become a great pilgrim center and would be henceforth known as Sri Kalahasti in their honour.

The boys depicted the snakes, spiders and elephants in a very acceptable way by wearing overcoats with symbols of the same and some makeup on their foreheads. This was done because Swami was very particular that they should not deck themselves as true spiders and snakes leading to a sense of humour and diluting the whole message.

Hearing this story from the sage, Tinna gets inspired to offer himself to the Lord. He goes along with the other hunters to the Siva Lingam. Suddenly, he hears a voice saying, “I am hungry, feed me”. They realize that the voice is coming from the Lingam. Immediately, they rush out to get food for their Lord. Tinna gets animal meat and flesh and offers the same to the Lord – in all his innocence. As they pray to the Lord to partake their offerings, they find that the Lord does not respond. Tinna prays very hard and cries out to the Lord to accept his offerings. He wonders what lacunae could there be in his offering for which it is being rejected.

Finally, he decides to chant the name of the Lord thrice and if by the end of it, Siva would not partake of the offerings, he would put an end to his life. At that instant the food offered starts vanishing and Tinna feels so happy that the Lord is consuming the food. But then what do they see? One eye of the Siva Lingam starts bleeding!! There comes a cry, “Please help me. My eye is paining.” Tinna sends his co-hunters to go and collect some herbs. They disappear into the forest and over here the bleeding increases. Finally Tinna decides to cut off his own eye and offer it to the Lord.

Having done so, Tinna feels contended but then he finds the other eye of the Lingam also bleeding. Now he decides to cut off his second eye too. But then once both his eyes would be ripped out, how would he be able to place the eye in the correct position on the Lingam. In the actual story, the innocent Tinna keeps the toe of his leg on the eye of the Lingam as a mark and then cuts his second eye and places it over there. However, in the presentation, the boys avoided the act of Tinna keeping his leg on the Lingam, as it would be inappropriate in Bhagawan’s Presence.

When Tinna removes his second eye too, Lord Siva manifests Himself and blesses Tinna saying that He was pleased with his innocent and pure devotion for the Lord. He gives back both the eyes to Tinna.

Bhagawan was very happy with the presentation. Especially, the boy who played the role of Tinna performed so well, with such feelings that we realized it was not ‘acting’ but true genuine devotion. The audience gave them a loud applause and Swami got up from the sofa and came all the way down the steps onto the performing area and gave them photographs. He materialized a beautiful Navaratna ring for the boy who acted as Tinna.

Meanwhile the golf cart made its way down, close to Swami. Swami was at one end of the performing area and the cart was at the other end. In the middle the actors sat down in two neat rows. Swami went walking between them blessing each boy, patting him or tapping his head. It was a wonderful sight to watch!! Boys were kneeling on both sides and therefore the brothers who assist Swami were hidden. Hence, the scene was just like what we used to see in good old days, when Swami would walk between boys and give them so much joy and Love!!

Bhagawan got into the golf cart and retired to the Poornachandra. The devotion and love of Tinna for the Lord made its impact on every heart. With bubbling inspiration in our hearts, we all moved out of the Kulwant Hall. 

Posted on 10.11.2004


A CONCERT IN PUTTAPARTHI For SWAMI'S BIRTHDAY NOV.2005

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has graciously consented that a Western Symphony Orchestra (Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion) perform a concert in Prasanthi Nilayam

in November 2005 as part of the celebrations for Swami's 80th Birthday. The orchestra  will be led by Italian conductor Vincenzo Perrone.

Musicians wishing to be members of the orchestra are requested to an email to saisymphony@yahoo.com

Rehearsals will begin around November 16th in Prasanthi Nilayam. The concert repertoire will be announced well in advance to give musicians time to prepare their parts before arriving in India.

About the conductor for the SAI SYMPHONY: Italian conductor M VINCENZO

PERRONE is highly respected for his musicianship, artistry, and the positive and encouraging relationship he creates between himself and the musicians of the orchestra.

Perrone has been praised by many eminent musicians, including: Luciano Berio "I consider Vincenzo Perrone a magnificent musician and a magnificent instrumentista,"

Piero Farulli " Perrone is a major figure in the musical Italian panorama," and Carl Melles " Perrone is an extraordinary great musician and artist."

Maestro Perrone is conductor of the Symphonic Orchestra of Puglia and Basilicata. He teaches Musica da Camera and musica di fila at the school of music of the European Community (CEE).

Maestro Perrone has conducted the National Symphonic Orchestra of Ukraina, Symphonic Orchestra of Bulgaria, Orchestra of Transylvania (Rumania),

Orchestra H. Swarowsky of Milano, Philarmonic Orchestra of the Greek Theather of Taormina, Orchestra of Magna Grecia, and the Symphonic Orchestra of the
Province of Matera.

Maestro Perrone was also first clarinet of the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana.

Swami has also permitted us to perform a second concert, should it be possible, on Guru Poornima, July 21, 2005.

Any information you may need please contact UMBERTO FRASCATI coordinator also at ceciliaparisi@libero.itÊ
(Phone No.Ê+39 340 8900903).

Sai Love,

Umberto Frascati

Administrator

Prasanthi Symphony Orchestra Concert

Posted by Gerald Dominick on 03.11.2004


02-11-2004 

This evening, Swami came out for Darshan by 3.15 p.m. and went straight into the interview room. Brindavan students have their classes in the afternoon as usual, until 4.00 p.m. Therefore, we from Parthi were seated in the Kulwant Hall. In a short while, we saw a number of boys running into the Bhajan Hall and a lot of activity was going on there. Naturally, it had to be distribution of something. What could it be, we were wondering. Clothes? Pens?....At around 3.45 p.m. the distribution began. Guess what?? Tetra Packs – chilled, straight from the fridge!!

It was a new brand named ‘Miruna Yo’. It was a light Yoghurt Drink with Mixed fruit juice. The manufacturer is ‘Balan Natural Food (P) Ltd.’ from Bangalore and marketed by the same company from Hyderabad. Obviously, it appeared that the company was launching the product. What a noble way of launching!! Incidentally, the manufacturing date on all the packs was 20-10-2004. Does it strike a note? 20th of October is the Avataar Declaration day! 

Well, there was so much of commotion. Primary School children were there too and they were so excited!! In a short while all of us were sipping away to glory! Possibly it is the first time, as we remember that Tetra Packs have been given as Prasadam in the Sai Kulwant Hall. After drinking the juice, all started chanting Vedam even louder!!

Swami was standing near the interview room and guiding the distribution with great concern. That is His involvement! Has He ever touched, even once, any of the Prasadam that He distributes to all of us? We would have eaten hundreds of them but He has not touched even once! That is His selfless Love and Sacrifice!!

Bhagawan retired to Poornachandra by 4.45 p.m. Thereafter, Bhajans commenced at 5.00 p.m. and went on till 5.30 p.m.

The new building opposite Poornachandra Hall was made ready even before Dussera festival. But it has not yet been inaugurated. The building looks beautiful. Of course it’s a temple, the abode of the Lord and fits that description very well. It’s positioning on either sides of the Sarva Dharma Stoopa is so natural that it looks as though it has always been there and was meant to be there.

We have three photos of the completed temple. We are sure you would be very eager to have a look at them. But you will have to wait for our next mail for that. Till then hold your breath to witness the glorious abode!!

Sairam

01-11-2004 

This evening, Swami came out for Darshan as usual and sat down on the sofa. At 3.45 p.m., He asked Sri B.N. Narasimhamoorthy, the Warden of the Brindavan Campus Hostel, to give a talk. Sri B.N. Narasimhamoorthy, a very good orator as we know, kept us gripped in attention, with his most inspiring talk for around 45 minutes.

He started with the aspect of the Avataar and how He functions when He comes down on earth. Giving the example of Lord Sri Rama, he said that, at the end of 14 years of exile, when Rama was faced with the adverse situation of Mother Sita being kidnapped; He did not approach brother Bharatha for help – though this is what one would logically have done. Instead, He used most unexpectedly, monkeys as instruments to win over Lanka and bring back Mother Sita!! Such an event of monkeys being used as instruments had never occurred before.

Therefore, for Mahapurushas and Avataars, success comes merely by their Willpower (Sankalpa) and not by the efforts of their instruments. Instruments are used in their Mission only to Bless them and redeem them (to give them a chance)!! He said that the greatest miracle of Swami is ‘Achieving perfect success with imperfect instruments’.

He also shared the happenings of the morning. This morning, after Bhajans, Swami went in the ‘Prius Car’ to the Super Specialty Hospital. The Nurses Quarters that is under construction, is about to be completed. Bhagawan went over there to Bless the workers with clothes and Prasadam. Around 20 senior students also followed Swami in a van to help in the distribution of clothes to the hundreds of labourers.

Once Swami reached the site, He got down from the car and stood on the scorching ground, bare feet, for more than 15 minutes, Blessing all the workers and talking to some of them! That is His Love! There is no difference in His Love, whether it is a Prime Minister or a labourer!

Then as the distribution was going on, Swami enquired, “We are giving them cloth, but are we giving them stitching charges? Go and tell them that we will be giving them stitching charges too.”

Sri Narasimhamoorthy continued his talk saying that miracles are very natural in the Presence of Love. They just happen! No instruments are required for it. Quoting Prof. Gokak, the first Vice Chancellor of our University, he said that, as instruments, our only role is to make sure that we do not become obstacles in His work. We do not have to do anything else. Just let Him do everything!

Here, he narrated a very beautiful experience that happened during his tenure as the Warden of the Prasanthinilayam Hostel. This incident happened during the 60th Birthday celebrations of Bhagawan.

There was an Asthma patient named Narayan Sharma in the Hostel. This student happens to be the batch mate of Dr. Siva Sankar Sai – the current Warden of the Hostel. Narayan Sharma used to suffer from very severe attacks of Asthma. One morning, he became very serious and he had to be rushed to the hospital. By the time he was taken to the hospital, his body had become blue and was already cold. A lady doctor who was in charge, examined him and said that there was no hope of his surviving. They tried all means but in vain.

Sri Narasimhamoorthy said that he was shocked and did not know how to take this news to Swami. It was already 6.00 a.m. Meanwhile, Dr. Chary, the then Superintendent of the Hospital, came over and examined the patient. He declared the student dead. No pulse, no breath! But as the Warden was hesitant to go to Swami, Dr. Chary himself went and told Bhagawan about this case. Swami smiled and asked him not to worry as nothing would happen to the boy. Dr. Chary returned to the hospital amazed and once again checked the patient. Same status, no change!!

Now, Dr. Chary asked the Warden to go and pray to Swami. At 6.30 Sri Narasimhamoorthy went to the Mandir and submitted the case to Bhagawan. Swami again said, “Nothing will happen to him, he will be fine”. Saying so, Swami thrust a flask with hot coffee into the Warden’s hand and asked him to go and give the boy some coffee!!

Sri Narasimhamoorthy returned to the hospital with the flask in his hands. Seeing the flask, the doctors asked for whom it was. When the Warden said that it was meant for the patient, all of them were convinced that the Warden had lost his mind. There was the body on the bed, wrapped in a cloth, with no life and here was the Warden bringing hot coffee for him!!

As all of them prayed hard and watched. Slowly the feet of the boy started moving!! The lady doctor exclaimed and went to the boy. She held her fingers in front of his nose. Yes, there was slight breath! She whispered into his ears, “Boy, Swami has sent hot coffee for you, please have some.” There was no _expression on his face, but he opened his eyes. Slowly, the coffee was poured into his mouth.

Just at this time, Swami arrived at the Hospital and entered. Moving towards the boy, Swami asked him, “Aye! all of them told that you were dead, how come you are still alive?” Bhagawan then asked Dr. Chary, “How did you declare him dead?” Dr. Chary said, “Swami, there was no pulse, no breath. According to medical science, this is defined as death.”

Swami then asked, “In that case, how did he come back to life?” Dr. Chary exclaimed, “Swami, You can do anything!!” All were wonderstruck at this stunning miracle!

There were a number of boys who had gathered outside the hospital, hearing the news of the death of their classmate. Swami looked at them and told the Warden, “Go and tell them what happened here. They are very anxious.”

It was wonderful to listen to Sri Narasimhamoorthy, a personal witness to this wonderful incident, narrate the entire episode in full detail. Subsequently, he started speaking about Sunil Gavaskar. Sri Narasimhamoorthy has been blessed by Bhagawan to continue the ‘Satyam Sivam Sundaram’ the biography volumes of Bhagawan started by Prof. Kasturi. In this capacity, Sri Narasimhamoorthy has interviewed a number of very great and longstanding devotees. He said that it was a very revealing experience for him and their devotion truly humbled him.

In this context, he shared the interview he had with Sunil Gavaskar. He narrated all about his life, how Swami was the secret behind all his successes….You must surely listen to this talk on Sai Global Radio or on the net. It’s wonderful.

After Sri Narasimhamoorthy Garu’s talk, Swami signaled to Dr. Siva Sankar Sai, the current Warden of the Boys Hostel, to address the gathering. Dr. Siva Sankar Sai, hesitantly got up and then praying to Swami to speak through him, began his talk with Vedic chants.

Being a batchmate of Narayan Sharma, about whom Sri Narasimhamoorthy just spoke, Dr. Siva Sankar Sai added his own comments about the episode. He also spoke about the visit of Sunil Gavaskar to the Hostel and the talk given by him to the boys. During their visit, Swami had asked Sunil Gavaskar to speak to the boys about Bakri Id as it happened to be Bakri Id that day. Sunil humbly submitted to Swami that he was totally ignorant of this topic and therefore Swami should excuse him.

Bhagawan replied, “You just go and stand over there, I will speak”. Sunil did just that and for the next 10 to 15 minutes he spoke non-stop about Bakri Id and finally there was a thunderous applause!! Sunil says that to this day he does not know what he spoke on that day. On the other hand, Dr. Siva Sankar Sai who was among the audience that day, as a Research Scholar, recalled the wonderful talk given by Sunil Gavaskar!

It was very nice to hear such experiences being narrated from different people on different sides of the scene! Subsequently, Dr. Siva Sankar Sai shared an incident wherein a student who was very unwell in the Hostel was helped by Bhagawan in a very mysterious way.

The evening concluded with Bhajans. 

Posted on 04-11-2004


30-10-2004

Dear Brother

Sairam. On 29th October, the Grama Seva concluded satisfactorily. All the villages of the three Mandals of Puttaparthi, Kothacheruvu and Bukkapatnam, that come under the erstwhile Sri Sathya Sai Taluka, were covered in the Grama Seva.

Initially, the number of vehicles expected was less and therefore we  had thought that it would take a very long time. However, this time by Bhagawan's Grace, we had as many as 32 vehicles with us, including Canters and Tractors. That cut down the time estimates by more than half!!

On 30th morning, all the Drivers, Cleaners and others involved in  providing support services for the Grama Seva were Blessed with clothes, food and Prasadam. In the evening, the Brindavan students were ready with a presentation on the life of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. They had been preparing for this drama even as the Grama  Seva was going on! Time Management!

With Bhagawan's permission, they staged the drama in Kulwant Hall. The duration was around 40 minutes. It was very well enacted. The dialogues were in Hindi whereas the voice over was in English. They depicted the intense devotion that Ramakrishna had for Mother Kali, how he cried out everyday that he could not get Her Darshan and yet one more day was lost! Finally, he gets the Divine Darshan of Mother Kali. The next scene finds Ramakrishna praying for a true disciple  who could spread the message of Love and Devotion among the masses. Then Vivekananda comes in.

The interactions between the Master and the disciple were depicted  very well. One of the scenes was about the story that Swami narrates very often. It shows how Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was an ideal teacher and how he tailor made his teachings in accordance with the temperament of the disciple.

The story is about Vivekananda and another disciple traveling by boat, across the river to fetch some food for the Master. The first day, one disciple goes in the boat. As he is traveling in the boat, some of the people over there, start accusing Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, calling him a false saint. Hearing all these accusations, the disciple feels very dejected and he returns to the Ashram with a crestfallen face. Looking at him, Ramakrishna enquires about the cause for his sorrow.

The disciple narrates the happenings in the boat. Ramakrishna  Paramahamsa then chides the disciple for being so passive and encourages him to be more confident and firm with such people who insult his Guru. Vivekananda too listens to all this advise. The second day, it was the turn of Vivekananda to go and fetch food for the Master. Swami Vivekananda also encounters the same set of people. But as he listens to them insulting his Guru, he holds them by the collar and threatens to throw them into the river if they uttered another word about his Master. Immediately they all keep silent.

Vivekananda returns in a very joyful mood for having successfully  obeyed his Master's command. However, when he returns to the Ashram, Ramakrishna chides him for being so impatient and short tempered. At this point, Vivekananda gets confused and seeks clarification from Ramakrishna. Had he not advised the other disciple to be more confident and firm with the culprits?

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa then explains that his purpose was to shape each disciple according to his needs. The other disciple was very  submissive and timid and hence had to be cajoled to be more assertive and confident. Whereas, Vivekananda was already over confident and hence had to be toned down a little!!

Swami gives the analogy of an automobile tyre and says that when the  air is too much, we need to remove a little air and when it is less, we need to pump in more air. The automobile runs properly only when  there is correct amount of air in the tube!!

At the end of their presentation, they all stood together in a group.  Swami Himself got up from the sofa and came down to give them a group photograph. He materialized a ring for the student who acted as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. All boys were very happy. After this Swami took some devotees from the Mandir Portico into the interview room.

Bhajans commenced as usual at 5.00 p.m.


31-10-2004

This evening, Swami was out by 3.15 p.m. He came onto the dais and  sat down on the sofa. After a while Swami asked the Vedam chanting to be stopped and He gave a nod to the Anantapur Sisters. They were prepared with a bouquet of songs - all on Mother Goddess - in view of the just concluded Dussera festival. They started their presentation at 3.35 p.m.

They began with the chanting of Durga Suktam - Jata Vedase Sunavama -  but with music and beat in the background. It was very soothing to hear.  However, half way through, Swami signaled to them to move over  to the next song. They presented a number of songs on Chamundeshwari, Lakshmi - Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma, O Maa Sai Maa, Govinda Jaya  Gokula Vrinda Pavana Jaya Jaya Paramananda..

It was 4.05 p.m. and Swami suddenly asked the boys to sing group  songs. They were caught absolutely by surprise!! But the music group boys who are ever ready these days with their books and notes, took off with Kanula Mundara, Sai Mahadeva Mamu Kapadagarava, Aao Sab Milkar Gaye Ekta Ke geet Doharaye... It was a true `Crisis
Management'. 

Again at 4.25 p.m. after we had managed to somehow get through with a  few group songs, Swami smiled and asked one of the primary school boys to go and find out whether they had any group songs ready. The primary school children would not miss out on such a lovely  chance!! They too sang a Telugu song praising Swami as our father and mother, in the tune of our National Anthem. However, it was getting a  little too hard on our ears and Swami too knowing our plight, smiled  and stopped them half way through!! It was a very lovely evening. 

All were heartily smiling at Bhagawan's Leelas! We never know what He will do at which moment. That is why He asks us to be ever ready!  Bhagawan says that God is like a photographer. Any moment, He may click our photo. However, unlike a worldly photographer, He does not say `Cheers' giving us time to get ready for a pose. His is instant clicking and therefore we need to be ever ready!!

After all this, Bhagawan finally chose to have Bhajans!!

Till 5.00 p.m. we had wonderful Bhajans. The weather too was joining  us in praising the Lord. The black clouds hung low and a cool current of air enveloped the whole Kulwant Hall. Swami sat with a `Manda Haasa Vadana' a beautiful blissful smile on His face, throughout the Bhajans. At 5.00 p.m. He got up, took Aarti and retired for the day.

Regarding our schedule, the Institute classes will be commencing from  Tuesday onwards. We will be starting the second semester. Monday is a holiday as it is the Andhra Pradesh state formation day. Vacations  will commence after Swami's Birthday, mostly from the 24th of November onwards.

What else Swami has in His Master Plan for the next month, is not yet known to us. But slowly, we are sure; Swami will unveil His plan to all of us. Eagerly awaiting the 79th Birthday celebrations of our most Beloved Bhagawan, we move on from day to day!!


Food for Thought

"What is the secret of success?" asked the Sphinx.
"Push," said the Button.
"Never be led," said the Pencil.
"Always keep cool," said the Ice.
"Be up to date," said the Calendar.
"Make light of everything," said the Fire.
"Do a driving business," said the Hammer.
"Be sharp in your dealings," said the Knife.

Sairam
 

Posted on 02-11-2004


Dear Brother

Sairam. The Vedapurusha Himself encouraging chanting of Vedam as part of His Veda Samrakshana and Veda Poshana Mission!!

A primary School boy is Blessed!! A few photos.

    

Regards


Posted on 28.10.2004


Lovingly consented by Anantha of Mumbai

Courtesy: Saibaba News

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