Sai Ram ! To All !
Attached below is the report of 1st Jan 2003, celebrations in Puttaparthi.
With Highest Regards,
New Year Celebrations 2003 - Report
CELEBRATIONS 2003 WITH LORD SAI
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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