Dasara – Day 3

Today was a historic day in Prasanthi Nilayam. Today we complete 50 golden years since the first Veda Purusha Saptaha Jnana Yajna was performed in Bhagawan’s Divine Physical Presence at Prasanthi Nilayam in the Navaratri of 1961. The ritwiks assembled at 0700hrs in the Bhajan Mandir of Sai Kulwant Hall. After the preliminary chants they accepted diksha vastram (new clothes) from the Ashram elders and invoking the blessings of Bhagawan changed into the same. The Kalasam was then taken in a procession to the Poorna Chandra hall where it was installed on the western end of the dais,. A special Kumkum Archana along with Lalitha Sahasranama Parayanam was commenced by the Head Priest and his wife.

At the venue in Poornachandra Auditorium the dais was most magnificently adorned fitting for such a solemn event. A large silver throne of Bhagawan which the Lord has blessed during many birthday celebrations presided over the stage on the left side. A large picture of Bhagawan with His most benign smile adorned the right side of the stage. Statues of Rama Lakshmana Sita stood in all readiness to the left of the stage as if guarding the Yajna Sthala against the 6 enemies of the mind: Desire, Anger, Lust, Greed, Attachment and Ego. The stage had the Yajna Kunda (Sacrificial Pit) prepared as per the injunctions and students dressed in orange chanting Vedam.

With Bhagawan presiding over the session, the priests lit the sacred homam creating fire by friction, by rubbing two sticks from churning of two wooden pieces. The fire produced was deposited in the sacred sacrificial pit, marking the beginning of the Yajna. Soon other rituals commenced. As one priest went on doing Surya Namaskar, a group of priests got engaged in Parayanam, reading of holy scriptures. Mantra Pushpam was chanted by students before Arati was offered at 0930hrs. After the Arati, the devotees lined up in Sai Kulwant Hall for close Darshan of the Sanctum Sanctorum and the students continued their Grama Seva with Puttaparthi Village being the beneficiary today.

The evening programme commenced at 1630hrs with Veda Chanting by Primary School Children. Sri Shashank Shah introduced the Prasanthi Vidwan Mahasabha which has been conducted every evening during the Yajnam for the last five decades. Navaratri is a festival of victory, of Power (Shakti) adored and celebrated in 3 forms for 3 days each. Anger, Adventure and Audacity (Tamas) dedicated to Mahakali; Wealth, Authority and Prosperity (Rajas) dedicated to Mahalakshmi; Self-Control, Knowledge and Discipline (Satwa) dedicated to Maha Saraswati.

The Avataric Resolve of Nurturing the Vedas and the Scholars, Protection of the Righteousness and the Devout lead to the formation of this holy yajna, said the learned speaker. At the conclusion of the very first Veda Purusha Saptah, Sri Ganapathi Sastri who could expound every syllable of the Vedas stated that he had not had the privilege of witnessing such a scrupulously correct Yajna, which could pass the most rigorous tests of ancient Indian scriptures and traditions while quoting Vedic Mantras in support of what looked like casual acts of Bhagawan and declared that Baba was the Veda Purusha.

Sri Jagadish Chandra, Asst. Prof, Dept of Physics spoke on the interesting topic, ‘A Deal with Divinity’. He recalled the deals between Young Krishna and the fruit seller, between Bhagawan and Prof. Kasturi and said that God is the best one to have a deal with since He is the only one who roots for us to get the best of the deal. Those who believe in Me, will not only be provided with food but also with Bliss, he quoted Bhagawan. Take the name of Sai once and everything will be achieved, he advised.

Sri Nagarjuna, student of II year MBA spoke on the significance of Navaratri Festival in our lives. The highlight of his speech was a beautiful anecdote of Bhagawan. A person carrying a heavy bundle on his head gets into a train and having taken his seat continues to carry the bundle. When questioned he replies that since the train is already carrying so much weight, he wants to help by carrying his own burden. Similarly ridiculous, Bhagawan said is the fate of man who does not surrender.

As per tradition, the speeches was followed by Bhagawan’s Divine Discourse. Excerpts from the Discourse on Oct 20, 2001 where He gives the true inner significance of Navaratri, the purpose of worship of Mother Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati and the message on the importance of Morality in Human Life.

The programme was followed by Baul Sangeet, typical folk songs of Rural Bengal which derives devotional inputs of Hinduism, Sufism and Buddhism. Its hymns give the lessons of spiritual practices in daily life. Sri Purna Das Baul a world famous Baul singer has performed in front of Bhagawan on Nov 1975 during the celebrations of the 50th year of Divine Advent where in Bhagawan blessed him with a locket which he wears to this day. He performed with his son Sri Bibyendu Das Baul. The programme was followed by Bhajans. The artistes were honoured with gifts. The day’s session concluded with Arati at 1830hrs.