Sai Ram ! To All !
Attached below is the report of 1st Jan 2003, celebrations in Puttaparthi.

With Highest Regards,

New Year Celebrations 2003 - Report


It is indeed a very rare and blessed opportunity to be in the presence of the Avatar of the Age on New Year Day and receive His Blessings for a holy and auspicious year ahead. 

As the stream of devotees entered the Sai Kulwant Hall the beautiful buntings and decorations gladdened their hearts and signified auspiciousness. The surging crowds seemed like an ocean in tide, eager to make the year full of Sai. The Veranda was delightfully adorned with all types of decorations and New Year Cakes of all shapes, sizes and colours. These were made by the overseas devotees, students of Swami's school and some of Swami's old students as well. 

At 7.00 am, a dash of orange appeared on the sea of white and everything as if came alive. The Lord who is all auspiciousness and love personified, came to grant His Darshan to the thousands who had assembled at His Lotus Feet. He floated slowly and softly, melting the hearts of one and all with the aura of His love and compassion. 

The massive Sai Kulwant Hall was not enough to accommodate the multitudes that had gathered and so there were many devotees waiting outside the Hall and many more on the galleries of East Prashanti Block. For the Lord, the deprived and suffering have always been the first priority, and so on His way to the gents side He walked straight out to His devotees who clamoured to catch the maximum of the nectarine love He was showering. As He did so, the thunder of claps from the devotees, a spontaneous reaction to His kind act of Pure Love, reached the skies. The 'Ashtotara Shata Namavali'-the 108 names of Lord Sai extols Him as 'Om Sri Sai Prem Moortaye Namah'- Salutations to the Lord Sai who is the Very Embodiment of Love Divine. And here we were, fortunate to see that Divine Love walking amongst us on two legs! 

Thereafter Swami blessed the old students of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, who had gathered from all parts of the country and the globe to serve the villages and to take the New Year Message of the Lord to the forlorn and deprived of the Society- Practically. Lord Sai Narayana was exceedingly pleased with their service done to the 'Daridra Narayanas'. He spoke to these students for some time and blessed them with the unique opportunity to express their love in the form of devotional songs that they were to perform later in the afternoon. 

Thereafter from 8.00 am to 9.00 am the current students of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning sang Bhajans heralding the new year with the Divine Name. Swami sat outside in the portico and at 9.00 am accepted the Aarti. Thereafter He indicated that Prasadam be distributed to the vast congregation of devotees that had gathered. Thereafter Bhagawan retired to Poornachandra - the abode of the Poornavatar.  


The Afternoon Program commenced at 1.45 p.m. when the Lord Sai once again came to shower the blessing of His Darshan on the those gathered in the fully packed Sai Kulwant Hall. Bhagawan came and sat on His chair on the dais and indicated that the program should commence. 

After placing salutations at the lotus feet of Bhagawan on behalf of all the devotees gathered, Dr. Sainath, a lecturer teaching in the Physics department of Bhagawan's Institute, gave a succinct introduction of the speakers blessed by Bhagawan to speak before His divine discourse. 

The first speaker for the day was Sri S.V.Giri, Vice Chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. Sri Giri spoke about the greatness of Prashanti Nilayam where lessons were taught by practice rather than precept. He then shared a few of the recent happenings in Prasanthi Nilayam. He spoke about Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam's, honourable President of India, visit as the Chief Guest for the Institute's 21st Convocation, held on November 22, 2002. Shri Giri recalled how Dr. Kalam had great praises for Bhagawan's Institute and its students. He was very impressed by the Divine environment where the students are moulded into men and women of character. The Divine presence and message had such an impact on him that on his way to New Delhi he said that he was a totally changed man and that now, there was greater spiritual perspective to his life. After reaching New Delhi, Dr. Kalam sent a cheque to Swami along with a letter in which he mentioned - 'My physical mother is no more and so I offer the first 2 months of my salary as President of India to my Divine Mother Sai. Please accept the same.' 

The next speaker for the day was Prof. G.Venkatraman, Former Vice Chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. Prof Venkatraman said that Swami's message was very simple indeed. Swami asks His devotees to do just 2 things: Think of Him and dedicate all their work to Him.  

Prof. Venkataraman explained this with the help of a wonderful story wherein a devotee of the Lord would say Krishnarpanam while using cow dung to clean the house. The cow dung would appear on Krishna idol in the local temple, much to the infuriation of the temple priest. He found and spanked her with a stick, but to his horror found that the idol in the temple had taken the beatings and had fallen down. The learned speaker elucidated that by this, the Lord showed that He looks for a heart full of devotion before accepting an offering, rather than what is being offered. 

The last speaker for the day was Sri Chakravarty, Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. Sri Chakravarty spoke about the Chennai Water Supply Project which was undertaken by Swami recently and how the work was silently but earnestly going on since the past 2 months. The Government of the State of Andhra Pradesh, in gratitude for this act of Love and grace by Bhagawan to the humanity, had named the Project as "The Sai Ganga Project". Sri Chakravarty quoted extensively from a local Tamil newspaper, which in an extensive report on the project, had given all the details about the same in a very poetic and apt form. 

Thereafter Bhagawan Baba blessed the congregation with His nectarine Divine Discourse from 3.05 to 4.05 p.m. 

At the end of the Discourse Bhagavan permitted the old Students of the Institute to present their Musical Offering. 

The musical programme consisted of a number of devotional songs in Hindi and Telugu on Lord Sai, Kirtanas by other saints such as Tyagaraja and Bhadrachalam Ramdas on Lord Rama and other Bhajans. They also sang the famous Ram Katha song in Telugu. The entire crowd was in raptures and was experiencing Bliss Divine with the Lord Sai Rama in their midst. While the musical programme was going on, Bhagawan indicated to the students of the Institute to distribute the Prasadam. On completion of the programme, Bhagawan accepted Aarti, standing on the portico till the end of the Aarti and thereafter blessed the assembly of devotees with both His hands raised in Abhaya Hastha. At 5.15 p.m. Bhagavan retired for the day to Poornachandra leaving the devotees with their hearts full of joy, contentment and happiness and a message of love that would guide them during the year ahead.

sourced: sri sathya sai org