…and the week was Godly!

July 06, 2009

Do not entertain even the slightest notion to run out of the world to have a glimpse of the Lord; those inquisitive minds are welcome; they can come, examine and experience the Divinity walking His talk, transforming and leading the world unto a Golden Age. Prasanthi Nilayam attracts the world with her spiritual aura that is unparalleled as the Lord prefers to walk the earth in this Holy Land.

With this unbridled influx of devotees come various cultures from across the globe, often resulting into a cultural renaissance in the immediate Divine Presence. Countries with varied religions, languages and cultures, all assemble here celebrating the bliss of the greatest boon, often bringing in regional and ethnical traditions, ending up broadening the horizons of human mind unto unparalleled levels of universal oneness.

 The week that is passing by had much in display, as the three day long Ashadi celebrations got underway on the 1st of July in the immediate Divine Presence. As had been the story over the years, the festivity brings nostalgic memories of the centuries old tradition, Vaarkari Sampradaya showcasing the legacy of the state with religious passion. Celebrating the joy of the religious occasion, thousands of devotees from Maharashtra thronged to Prasanthi Nilayam to rejoice the occasion in the Divine Presence of Bhagawan, Vittala in physical frame. …And there was a cultural ensemble depicting the great religious heritage of the Maratha region.

Not big names, but big themes were in store when the three day celebrations got underway on the 1st afternoon. After a solo performance on the 1st evening by Hindustani vocalist Kalapini Komkali, daughter of illustrious Pt. Kumar Gandharva, the 2nd evening was transformed into a glittering twilight when a group of percussionists took the centre stage, led by the well known tabla exponent, Pt. Suresh Talwarkar, weaving magic with music enrapturing the Divine and the thousands assembled witnessing the occasion.

Mumbai is supposedly the stronghold of the Bal Vikas movement and verily justifying the stature, the Organisation involves the tiny tots in presenting the time tested tradition of the state during Ashadi celebrations every year. The tiny tots belonged to the Bal Vikas from the state staged two programmes, titled Maharashtra Bhakti Gaatha and Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj. Showcasing the Great Maratha Spiritual Legacy, the children captured the limelight while disseminating greater messages from the life and story of the illustrious spirituals sons of the land. The nomadic persona, Sant Gajanan Maharaj and his life was a revelation to Prasanthi Nilayam as stories from his illustrious life suffused with greater teachings were unraveled introducing yet another great spiritual giant to the fraternity. “Gani Gana Ganath Bothey”, the mysterious mantra that used to be his eternal companion was heard resonating most mellifluously throughout the presentation, bringing in a soothing spiritual evolution revealing the truth that Ekoham Bahusyam, the One willed to become many...The Atma is one and one alone, that originated from the Paramatma

Through such programmes, the universal family in Prasanthi Nilayam comes to know of the varied cultures under the sun. Appreciating the traditional and cultural values of every other religion, region and country, the fraternity moves on, often broadening the horizons of human mind unto unparalleled levels of universal oneness.

Sri Sathya Sai University is a reservoir of abundant talent and often Bhagawan brings forth these talents showcasing their simplicity, dedication and devotion. On the first day of the Ashadi celebrations, at Bhagawan’s special instance, the students from the University presented some melodious moments, stealing the limelight, on a twilight that was doubly blessed by the subtle presence of Lord of Pandharpur, Vittal Rakhumai. When Bhagawan asked one of the student singer to sing a hindi devotional, he burst open with the famous Abhang on Lord Vittala, “"Yei Ho Vitthale Bhakta Jana Vatsale…." much to the delight of Bhagawan mesmerizing capacity ‘crowd’. The melody set to lively rhythm, suffused with greater devotion befitting the occasion, sang with elan was a treat to the ears taking one and all to a blissful world of greater devotion!

Bhagawan’s ways are mysterious and not always easy to comprehend. A group of over four hundred devotees from Region 5, Chicago, USA had been camping in Prasanthi Nilayam for a week and the group was blessed with an opportunity to sing on the 4th morning. But, Bhagawan who granted them the opportunity to sing preferred not to come out in the morning, but sent word that prasadam should be distributed to them. The group was happy for the opportunity received, though from a human level was ‘disappointed’ at missing out the physical frame. These are the greater lessons one needs to take back home while leaving the precincts of Prasanthi Nilayam, all with a positive frame of mind. This reminds one of the Hungarian Choir’s experiences when they failed to get a chance to perform, after extensive rehearsal sessions during their trip in the year 2008; again when they returned in February 2009, they had a double bonanza, an encore at the instance of the Divine!

God’s delays are not denials. This time the antidote came the very next day. On the evening on Sunday, 5th July, Bhagawan chose to come as early as at 4 p.m. to make a complete round, followed by another half round blessing scores of devotees. Then came the call and in no time the Chicago group was closeted with the Divine in the Bhajan Hall for an exclusive session! Each member of the group was called to Him and granted Paadanamaskar and Vibhuti Prasadam! The group was blessed with photo sessions and the group leader while receiving a hard copy of the group photo from Bhagawan expressed thanks, telling “Rombha Thanks” It was indeed Unique Graciousness of Lord in physical! His ways are indeed mysterious! One need to be ever ready to take His call!

On the sidelines of the Ashadi celebrations, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Maharashtra conducted medical camps in selected villages outside Puttaparthi Mandal treating over 4000 patients by medicos across seven disciplines. A veterinary camp was also held treating over 4000 cattles in the two day camp. Evoking nostalgic memories of the time tested tradition of Vaarkari Sampradaya, over 800 devotees walked from Dharmavaram to Prasanthi Nilayam covering forty six kilo meters to reach the abode on the 3rd afternoon to have Sai Vittala’s darshan!

The week that comes is the week of Guru Purnima. Much more can be expected as this is the occasion when an ensemble of the organizational office bearers comes to Prasanthi Nilayam from all over the world. With a Brazilian and an African Choir are practising, perfecting their skills before the final presentation, with a group of Tamil Nadu youth already in Prasanthi with another a set of presentation, with the official Guru Purnima celebrations expected, the week that comes would be equally glittering with much more of His presence in the offing. Adding to the swelling surge of devotees come the student contingents from Brindavan and Anantapur, joining the students from the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus for the Guru Purnima Celebrations.

As the week slowly passing by, still fresh and clear are the greater messages brought forth by the lovely children from the state of Maharashtra… Yes, the week was Godly!

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