Recent Events At Prashanti Nilayam – Sathya Sai Baba Ashram
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The venue for the three-day Sahasra Chandra Darshana Mahotsava Yagnam commencing this morning is the extended Shanthi Vedika Stage at the Vidyagiri Stadium. Seating for the vast gathering has been arranged on the ground in addition to the galleries by spreading green matting. Giant LED screens and strategically placed TV monitors helped all to have a ring-side view of the proceedings. At 7.45, the priests began the chants. Bhagawan arrived at 8.45 and was welcomed onstage with the Poorna Kumbham amidst chanting by the priests and the students. After spending more than 90 minutes going around the different parts of the stage and blessing the entire congregation, Swami accepted Arati and returned to Yajur Mandir.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Bhagawan arrived at 4 o’clock this evening in His chair to Sai Kulwant Hall. The priests who were to conduct the Sahasra Chandra Darshana Mahotsavam ceremony from tomorrow were seated in front of the stage. Clothes and other ceremonial materials for them were brought out. After Swami’s blessings, Sri Adikesavulu Naidu, chairman of the Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam, distributed the items to the more than 120 priests. The Bhagavatha Saptaham speech for today began after the distribution at 5.15 pm. Dr. K. Ramanujacharya narrated the stories of Dhruva and the churning of the ocean, bringing out the inner meanings of the Puranic stories. As the speaker concluded at 6.30 pm, Bhagawan blessed him with a chain before accepting Arati and returning to His residence in the car. An announcement was made about the programme commencing tomorrow at 7.30 am in the Vidyagiri Stadium. The priests moved to the stadium, where they completed preliminary rituals onstage. www.radiosai.org is readying to carry video web streams of the highlights of the ceremonies over the next three days.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
This evening Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came for darshan to Sai Kulwant hall at 5.25 pm, and after a few minutes in the interview room, He began the proceedings onstage at 5.40 pm. This evening’s speaker was the one who had done the introductions on earlier days. Prof. Anil Kumar introduced him to the gathering today. Sri Santosh Kumar Shastri is the resident scholar or Asthaana Pandita of the Sarada Peetham, and is also senior manager at Sri Venkateswara Bhakthi Channel, the TV channel run by Tirupati Devasthanam. The 32 year old scholar spoke feelingly on the Gajendra Moksha story. Bhagawan once again blessed the speaker with a chain before accepting Arati and returning to His residence.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Yesterday and today, the Bhagavatha Saptaham continued with scholarly talks by Sahasravadhani Garikipati Narasimha Rao garu and Tribhasha Sahasravadhani V. Padmakar garu respectively. Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant hall after five o’clock and began the proceedings with the puja by the Tirupati priests for a few moments followed by the speeched in Telugu for around an hour. Yesterday’s topics were the prayers of Kunti and Parikshit along with the episode of the Varaha Avatar. Today’s speech dwelt on Prahlada’s story. Sathya Sai Baba blessed both the speakers with chains before accepting Arati and returning to His residence. This evening, an announcement was made after Arati about concluding of the two-week village service programme by the students with the distribution taking place at Prasanthi Nilayam tomorrow. See Pictures
Monday, November 10, 2008
This evening, the seven day Bhagavatha Saptaham got underway at Prasanthi Nilayam. In the morning, Swami came to Sai Kulwant Hall at 10.30 and the icon of Venugopala Swami kept onstage was consecrated with Pujas by the priests from Tirupati. Swami then went to the Stadium before returning to Yajur Mandir. In the evening, Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant Hall at 5.10 pm, and after a full round of Sai Kulwant Hall in His chair, once again moved through the ladies’ side, picking up ladies and telling them to be seated on the verandah. When He reached the mandir, He asked these ladies to move to the Bhajan Hall. He entered the Bhajan Hall and interacted with them, and asked for some more ladies to be called. Soon, all the ladies from overseas were making a beeline for the Bhajan Hall. Bhagawan blessed more than 250 of them with sarees, granting them padanamaskar and a moment of interaction, for nearly an hour. He then came onstage, where the Saptaham was to commence. The priests did a brief ceremony and Sathya Sai Baba moved across the stage to observe the Idol. After a short introduction in Telugu, Brahmasri Dr. Nagaphani Sharma garu took the stage with his Bhagavatha narration. Interspersed with songs and poems, the scholar described the glory of Sai in mellifluous Telugu for an hour. After the oration, it was 7.30 pm when Swami accepted Arati and returned to His residence.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The Global Akhanda Bhajan which began last evening at six o’clock concluded this evening at 6 pm. Bhagawan came in the morning at 9.30 and sat in the Bhajan Hall while the Bhajans went on before going to the College Auditorium at 10.30. There He saw the rehearsal of the Convocation drama by the students for an hour before returning to His residence. In the evening, He came at 4.30 pm to Sai Kulwant Hall. He moved down the Bhajan Hall aisle and sat onstage for a while before sitting in the bhajan hall for the last few minutes of the Bhajan. At five minutes to six, He asked for the Bhajan with ‘Sri Raghavam’ Alap. After Arati, Swami watched as the prasadam of laddoos and tamarind rice was distributed, and those in the bhajan hall partook the prasadam after a collective ‘Brahmarpanam’ chant. When He moved out, the Prmary school students chanted again before He returned to His residence.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
The 24 hour Global Akhanda Bhajan commenced this evening at six o’clock. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba arrived for darshan at 4.30 pm, and after a brief visit to the Bhajan hall, sat onstage for an hour listening to the Vedic chants before coming to the Bhajan Hall to light the ceremonial lamp and start the Bhajan at 6.00 pm. He sat there listening to the Bhajans for an hour before returning to His residence.
On Thursday, Bhagawan had asked the students who were thorough with the entire Rudram to come to the Mandir in the morning. Even after the morning Bhajans concluded, Swami had not arrived, and the students continued to wait. Finally, He arrived at 11.30 and blessed them all individually with orange dhoties while they chanted full-throatedly on the verandah. Swami then went to the stadium before returning to His residence after noon. Another event this week was the visit of the leader of the Opposition (in the Indian Parliament) Sri L. K. Advani for an audience with Bhagawan.
Monday, November 3, 2008
The Grama Seva programme began on the first of November. Bhagawan arrived at 10.40 am as the Bhajans went on, and went for a drive. When He returned after half an hour the students circumambulated the Mandir and left for the Village Service. Yesterday and today, Bhagawan did not come for morning darshan. So, the students left for grama seva at 8.30 and 9.00 am respectively, In the evenings, Bhagawan has been coming a few minutes before the Bhajans begin at five o’clock, sitting for a few minutes onstage, and then moving inside. This morning He also visited the Hillview Stadium a few minutes before 11 o’clock.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came for evening darshan in His chair at 5.10, and ten minutes later was onstage for the presentation of the day, a drama ‘Vision of the Divine’ by Gujarat youth, themed on the cataract surgery seva activities done in Navsari district of Gujarat. When the half-hour drama concluded, Bhagawan blessed one of the participants with a chain. Sri Devesh Dave then presented half an hour of popular songs before Swami accepted Arati just before 6.30 pm. After blessing the participants in the programme, Swami returned to His residence in the chair, interacting with some devotees on the way.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
This evening, the Gujarat devotees sang group songs welcoming Bhagawan to their New Year celebrations and presented a drama on the Prema Jyoti exhibition and its impact. Swami came onstage to begin the programme after His darshan round in the chair at ten minutes to five. Ten minutes of songs were followed by the 40 minute drama by the Sai youth. Swami sent watches for the participants after blessing them with group photographs. Smt. Piu Sarkhel then presented Hindustani classical songs and bhajans onstage for half an hour. Swami blessed her and her group with clothes and photographs, and Bhajans by the devotees commenced at six o’clock. Ten minutes later, Swami asked the students to sing the ‘Allah ho Akbar’ bhajan with alap, following with He accepted Arati and returned to His residence.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This evening, the devotees from Gujarat presented a programme celebrating Deepavali and their New Year. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba went to the stadium after a darshan round in the car, moving out from the East Prasanthi Gate. He returned to His residence after half an hour coming onstage at Sai Kulwant Hall at five o’clock to begin the programme. A short drama on the Ramayana of Kaliyuga, comparing the missions of Sri Rama and Sai Rama, was followed by a skit ‘The Great Souls Meet’. Bhagawan blessed the Balvikas children by coming down from the stage for group photographs with them. Bhajans by the devotees began at six o’clock and Bhagawan accepted Arati to return to His residence fifteen minutes later. Near Yajur Mandir, students from the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary school were ready with lamps and fireworks. Swami graciously sat there for around ten minutes while they set off the fireworks with His permission. See Pictures