Recent Events At Prashanti Nilayam – Sathya Sai Baba Ashram – November 2009

Recent Events At Prashanti Nilayam – Sathya Sai Baba Ashram – November 2009

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Monday, Nov 23, 2009
Prasanthi Nilayam was brimming with devotees and people from the nearby villages on Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s 84th Birthday. Tea and tiffin was being served at many counters all over the Ashram as a service by Maharashtra devotees. Arrangements were made to seat devotees in the Poornachandra auditorium also, with a large screen set up there. CCTVs and projectors were arranged in Sai Kulwant Hall for devotees to have a closer darshan. Swami emerged from His residence clad in a white robe seated on the white chair just after ten o’clock. He first moved to the Poornachandra to grant darshan to those seated there. The procession then began five minutes later, moving to the Sai Kulwant Hall from Yajur Mandir. The Anantapur brass band, the Primary school girls bagpipes, the Primary School boys recorders and drums, the University brass band and vedam chanting students led Bhagavan to the Mandir. After blessing the large cake kept on the verandah, Swami came onstage and sat there for fifteen minutes as the Vedam chanting went on and the bands played one after another. He then asked for the Malladi brothers to sing. Their vocal concert was for 45 minutes. Swami then asked for the evening programme to be announced, and blessed prasadam for distribution as the bands played again. Arati was offered at 11.45 am. Bhagavan then moved to the bhajan hall where cakes by the various institutions were arranged. He blessed all the cakes and returned to His residence at noon.

In the evening, Sathya Sai Baba arrived in Sai Kulwant Hall at half-past five in a golden robe and came onstage after His darshan round to begin the programme by English singer Ms. Dana Gillespie at 5.45 pm. After her 45-minute performance, the Malladi brothers again sang for an hour. Swami blessed them with shawls and gave clothes to all the artistes, and they sang one more song before Swami accepted Arati at 7.30 pm before returning to His residence.

Sunday, Nov 22, 2009
The 28th annual Convocation of the Sri Sathya Sai University was held today. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came to Sai Kulwant hall in His car to oversee the arrangements at 8 o’clock and the congregation was allowed into the hall half an hour later as announced yesterday. The Convocation procession got underway from Yajur Mandir just before 10.00 am. Bhagavan, wearing a maroon robe and seated on the special white chair, was led into the hall by the University brass band and students bearing the ceremonial mace and insignia. The Vice-Chancellor’s address was followed by the presentation of gold medals and PhDs. The Convocation address was by Dr. Samuel Sandwiess from the United States. At 11.15, Bhagavan began His hour-long Benedictory Address as the Chancellor of the University. He exhorted the students to never forget Divine Love wherever they may be. Before concluding, He once again asked them to uphold the ideals of the institution and to love and respect their parents. After His Discourse, Swami asked the students to sing a group song before the proceedings concluded with the National Anthem.

In the evening, Swami came for darshan at 5.10 pm and after His round of the hall, He blessed a cake presented by the Hospital staff on the 18th anniversary of the Super Speciality Hospital here. He moved to the bhajan hall where the “Little Champs”, the singers for the evening were seated and then to the interview room. He emerged from there to take a round of the verandah and sit onstage, talking to the Maharashtra Chief Minister there and calling up singer Smt. Bombay Jayashree to give a performance at 6.20 pm. After her half-hour performance, Swami blessed her and the accompanists with clothes and called up the five children who were to sing next. These children had sung before Satya Sai Baba at Hadshi on His Maharashtra trip last month. After they sang for 50 minutes one by one, He asked for some songs with Swaras, and the two boys obliged. He then blessed them with shawls and the girls with sarees, interacting with them and listening to two more song by all of them together. After blessing the artistes with clothes and apple prasadam, it was half-past eight when Swami returned to His residence.

Saturday, Nov 21, 2009
This evening, the students of the Sri Sathya Sai University presented their Convocation drama. Bhagavan arrived for darshan at ten minutes to five and came to the bhajan hall where the students were seated in costumes. Interacting with them for a few minutes, He moved down the aisle and up the verandah to go to the interview room. From there, He emerged to come onstage and begin the presentation at a quarter to six. The hour-long drama ‘Vidyaamrutam’ brought out Swami’s ideal of providing education free of cost, against all odds. Swami blesssed the participants with group photos and clothes at the conclusion, He had blessed the protagonist of the play with a chain during the drama itself. He asked for some songs to be sung, so the students sang a bhajan and a group song before Swami accepted Arati. He interacted with the students for some time even after Arati and it was past 7.30 pm when He returned to His residence. An announcement was made about the 28th Convocation of the University which is to be held tomorrow morning.

Friday, Nov 20, 2009
This morning, Bhagavan Sri Sathya SaiBaba came for darshan an hour after the nine o’clock bhajans began. He moved to the bhajan hall after three rounds of the ladies’ side of Sai Kulwant hall selecting ladies for saree distribution, sending them to the bhajan hall. In the Bhajan hall, He gave sarees to the ladies gathered there. The students of the music college got a cake blessed since it was the anniversary of the inauguration of their institution. It was half-past eleven when He accepted Arati onstage after the distribution.

In the evening, the students of Sri Sathya Sai Primary School presented a drama on the story of Mother Sita. Swami was welcomed into Sai Kulwant Hall at 5.10 pm with the bagpipes band of the Primary School along with students dancing and chanting Vedam. Once Bhagavan reached the stage after His darshan round, a brief round of distribution of mementos was done on behalf of Eswaramma Womens’ Welfare Trust. The fast-paced forty-minute Primary School drama commenced at 5.40 pm. After the drama, Swami called up the participants onstage to have group photographs with them and sent them prasadam. The bagpipes band then performed a couple of pieces before Swami accepted Arati and returned to His residence at a quarter to seven.

Thursday, Nov 19, 2009
November 19th has been celebrated as Ladies’ Day by Bhagavan and all activities are done by ladies on this day. Smt. P. Susheela began the day by chanting the Suprabhatam at half-past five and the Vedam chanting before the Nagarasankirtan was also by Swami’s girl students as on earlier years. The programme in Sai Kulwant hall began ten minutes after nine with Swami being welcomed by a procession consisting of the Anantapur brass band and Vedam chanting students. After His darshan round Swami lit a lamp onstage just before 9.30.

There were two speakers, with an introductory speech by Mrs. Chetana Raju. Mrs. Sharon Sandwiess of the USA and Mrs. Harriet Tay-Agbozo of Ghana spoke of their experiences with Bhagavan. The speeches were followed by five-minute dances by children from the Sai schools of India, Indonesia, Mexico, Fiji, Thailand and South Africa. After their presentation, Swami went among the participants and gifted them with photo frames. It was 11.15 when He came back onstage and asked for bhajans by the ladies to begin. Ten minutes later, He accepted Arati and left for His residence after blessing the giant cake placed onstage.

In the evening, Sathya Sai Baba came for darshan at 4.45 pm, led by Vedam chanting students and the Primary school bagpipes band, flanked by small girls bearing welcoming plates with lamps. The programme commenced at five o’clock with choirs by devotees from Greece and other European countries. The music was followed by a 70 minute Telugu drama ‘Draupadi Charitra’ by devotees from Hyderabad. After the drama, Swami blessed “Draupadi” with a chain and went down for group photographs. He then called them up one by one to the stage to receive photo frames. It was past seven o’clock when Swami left for His residence after Arati. Sri Ashok Singhal of the VHP and Malayalam film star Sri Mohanlal were also among the congregation.

Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009
This morning was the traditional Rathotsavam from Prasanthi Mandir to the Pedda Venkama Raju Kalyana Mantapam (Old Mandir), celebrated over the years on November 18th. Bhagavan arrived for darshan just after nine o’clock as the Vedam chanting went on, and came to the bhajan hall after His darshan round in the chair. The idols of Gopalaswami, Rama, Lakshmana, Sita and Hanuman were kept there decked with jewels and flowers, ready on palanquins for the procession. Sathya Sai Baba blessed the procession of Vedam and bhajan chanting students, and they began at a quarter-past nine. Once the procession reached the Gopuram gate where the decorated chariot (Ratham) was waiting, Swami went there and started the procession. When He came back onstage, the students chanted Vedam for a while, and later sang bhajans. The procession returned from the Kalyana Mantapam at 10.20, and Swami accepted Arati.

In the evening, Swami emerged from His residence at half-past five as the bhajans went on and went to the Poornachandra auditorium to see the dress rehearsal of the Convocation drama by the University students. After spending more than an hour there, He came to Sai Kulwant Hall and moved to the interview room after His darshan round. Moving down the verandah, Swami sat for a few minutes onstage before accepting Arati after seven o’clock. An announcement regarding tomorrow’s Ladies’ Day celebrations was made before Bhagavan returned to His residence in the car.

Tuesday, Nov 17, 2009
Last evening, Bhagavan had blessed the intra-mural captains of all the campuses of the Sai educational institutions at His residence after the bhajans. He had also asked for a Burrakatha presentation this evening. Accordingly, the Burrakatha students were ready in their costumes in the bhajan hall when Swami came for darshan at 5.30 pm today as the bhajans went on. Once He reached the stage after His darshan round, He asked for the Burrakatha to begin, and the Burrakatha group went onstage to commence their hour-long presentation on Mother Eswaramma and Karnam Subbamma at ten minutes to six. Swami also sat onstage watching them, and accepted Arati immediately after the programme.

Sunday, Nov 15, 2009 Full Story With Images »
This evening, the youth from Tamil Nadu presented their drama. Bhagavan Shree Sathya Sai Baba came for darshan at 5.50 pm and after His darshan round, began their 45-minute drama entitled ‘Sathya Kathalu’. After the drama, some small girls who took part in it came up to Him with a card, and He blessed one of them with a chain. Clothes were sent for all the participants and Swami went down from the stage for group photographs. Even after He returned to the stage, He continued to interact with them till 7.15, when He asked for two bhajans to be sung with alap and then accepted Arati at half-past seven. He then visited the interview room for a short while before returning to His residence in the chair itself.

Saturday, Nov 14, 2009 Full Story With Images »
The staff and their families from the Bangalore Super Speciality Hospital plan to come every month in batches for Bhagavan’s darshan. This weekend, the first batch of 120 members had come and were seated inside the bhajan hall for evening darshan. Swami came for darshan at ten minutes to five and after His darshan round, came into the bhajan hall as the bhajans went on in the Sai Kulwant Hall. He spent more than half an hour with the group, moving among them down the hall several times and later sitting in front of the hall to interact informally.

After a short visit to the interview room from where He sent prasadam for the group, He moved to the stage area. The Tamil Nadu Youth who are on a Parthi pilgrimage then presented a half-hour music programme. Concluding the session with several bhajans, Swami interacted with several members of the youth group even after the Arati, returning to His residence at a quarter to seven.

Thursday, Nov 12, 2009 Full Story With Images »
This morning, some cows to be donated to the Mantralayam temple were brought to Sai Kulwant Hall. When Bhagavan came for darshan during the bhajans, He blessed some of the cows. Later, after He came out of the interview room, the cows again came forward and Swami went down to bless them in the centre of the hall. This evening, He came for darshan in the car at a quarter to five and moved out to go to the college auditorium for watching the rehearsal of the Convocation drama by the students. Returning at 6.15, He moved to the interview room and bhajan hall, coming to the stage area after 6.30 to accept Arati.

Sunday, Nov 08, 2009 Full Story With Images »
The Akhanda bhajan continued throughout the night and the loudspeakers were switched on at eight o’clock this morning. Sathya Sai Baba came to the bhajan hall at a quarter to ten. He moved down the aisle, sat for some time outside on the Sai Kulwant Hall stage area, and returned to the Bhajan hall, remaining there till half-past twelve! He went to Yajur Mandir and returned at half-past five. Once again He moved down the aisle and sat for a while outside, then returned to the bhajan hall before six o’clock. Even after six o’clock, He kept indicating for bhajans to be sung, till He finally asked for the Arati ten minutes later. Prasadam of tamarind rice and sweet rice was then distributed to all on leaf plates even as Swami watched. He then interacted with some of the lady teachers who lead bhajans, gave them sarees, then gave sarees to some of the married men from the bhajan group for their wives. The interaction continued for more than half an hour, and it was 7.10 pm when Bhagavan returned to Yajur Mandir, blessing the devotees on the way.

Saturday, Nov 07, 2009 Full Story With Images »
Last evening, the Karnataka Education Minister was here for Swami’s darshan. The 24-hour Global Akhanda bhajan began this evening at six o’clock. Today was also Bhagavan’s birthday by the Telugu calendar. While He came for darshan at 4.20 pm, Swami called up several ladies and sent them to the bhajan hall. He moved twice around the ladies’ side doing this selection before completing His darshan round. Coming to the Bhajan Hall, Swami distributed sarees to all the ladies, more than fifty of them. He then moved to the verandah and later to the stage area as the Vedic chanting went on.

At half-past five, He came into the packed bhajan hall readied for the Akhanda bhajan. Interacting with some of the teachers and students there, He moved down the aisle and sat there till nearly six o’clock when He asked for the bhajan to begin and lit the 24-hour lamp. At half-past six, He returned to His residence, only to return to the bhajan hall at a quarter to eight. Once again He blessed the singers in the bhajan hall with His presence, moving down the aisle and taking a round of the Sai Kulwant Hall also. Finally, it was a quarter to nine when He returned to Yajur Mandir. From nine o’clock, the bhajan continued without microphones.

Wednesday, Nov 04, 2009
After returning from His Maharashtra visit, Bhagavan has been coming for darshan after half-past five as the evening bhajans go on. This evening, after Arati, prasadam was distributed to all. As Swami got into His car to return to His residence, He blessed the group of people who co-ordinated the Maharashtra visit and gave them vibhuti prasadam.

Monday, Nov 02, 2009
Bhagavan Sri Satya Sai Baba arrived back at Prasanthi Nilayam this evening after His five-day Maharashtra visit. The Books and Publications website has updates on the visit. Bhagavan’s chartered plane landed at the Sri Sathya Sai airport here just after five and He arrived in Sai Kulwant hall half an hour later to a colourful procession with Vedic chants and a couple of welcome songs by the students. Swami moved to the interview room and the evening bhajans went on till He came onstage five minutes later to accept Arati and return to His residence at ten minutes to six.

- Official Sri Sathya Sai Baba Website

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