Ganesh Chaturthi in Prasanthi

Thousands of devotees on Thursday welcomed their favourite deity with fervour and gaiety to the precincts of Prasanthi and Puttaparthi in general as the auspicious Ganesh Chaturthi festival kicked off with much religious fervour in the hallowed spiritual township.

Today is auspicious Vinayaka Chaturthi, a festival that received its fullest dues over the years in the most inspiring physical presence of Beloved Bhagawan. Keeping those golden lively memories in the backdrop, Prasanthi woke up this morning, tuned to the Lord of remover of all obstacles, readying herself to celebrate the auspicious day.

As usual it was a students’ affair in the morning, with the Institute students offering a string of hymns attributed to Lord Ganesha. Singing special hymns propitiating the Lord, Who is hailed as ‘Prathama Vandana’, the students regaled the audience with devotional music for the next forty-five minutes. The numbers included Ganashtakam, Ganapathi
Strothram, Ganesha Pancharatham and a couple of Carnatic pieces.

The musical offering had interludes of commentary in English and Hindi, alternatively, propitiating the Lord of The Day. Gajavadana Karunasadana Sri Shankara Bala Lambodhara Sundara in Ragam Sri Ranjani Talam: Adi Papanasam Sivan Pallavi was sung with elan and expertise, well appreciated by loud applause by one and all in the morning assembly. After the 45 minutes programme, students from Prasanthi Nilayam and Anantapur Campus sang bhajans for the next fifteen minutes before Mangala Arathi was offered at 0930 hrs.

This is the day Ganesha fills over in Prasanthi, with various Institutions installing separate Ganeshas in their premises, worshipping the deity for the next three days, before taking Him out for immersion on the third afternoon. It is going to be Ganesha all over in Prasanthi Nilayam for the next few days. As Bhagawan would often repeat in His Divine Discourses, Ganesha is the Lord without any OverLord and Prasanthi experiences the Mighty Lord’s ‘presence’ with the beginning of the auspicious festivity, that is celebrated with great religious fervour, pomp and show in many other parts of India as well.

Soul-stirring music rent the air this evening in Prasanthi as students continued from where they stopped in the morning offering salutations to Lord Ganesha.

This evening, students returned to Mandir spirited and charged up, after installing and worshipping their favourite Ganesha kick-starting the three day festivity (three day in Prasanthi Nilayam as has been scheduled by Bhagawan over the years). Continuing with the offering from the morning, students, musical batch from Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music, Prasanthi Nilayam offered a programme entitled, “Naada Brahmarpanam”, an apt offering to the Lord Who is verily Naada Swarupa Himself!

Following the often styled pattern of songs interlaced with commentary, in English, Hindi and Telugu, the talented musical college bunch produced some rare gems of musical excellence, mesmerising the audience in musical rhapsody. Of the six songs rendered, a Hindustani number “Vighna Vinashaka…” sung with excellent tonal variations, followed by the often heard Muthu Swami Dikshitar composition, “Mahaganapatim Manasa Smaraami…, Raktha Ganapathim Bhaje, another Muthu Swami Dikshitar  composition in Ragam Mohana, Talam Adi, all Carnatic, were notable and received with appreciating applause by the audience.

These Prasanthi sessions vouchsafe the unparalleled nurturing of the innate talent of student folk in Prasanthi institutions, nurtured by none other than Beloved Bhagawan Himself, bringing forth the best in them, aptly offered back at His Divine Lotus Feet, with full or reverence and gratitude.

At the end of the programme the ‘musical bunch’ moved forward to the Sanctum Sanctorum, offering loving gratitude to Beloved Bhagawan.

The forty-five minute programme was followed by a couple of bhajans by boys and girls before winding up with the Thursday Special Bhajan, in Beloved Bhagawan’s Own Voice, “Prema Muditha Manase Kaho Rama Rama Ram…”, an apt finale to a wonderfully auspicious day in Prasanthi Nilayam.

Prasadam was distributed to the entire assemblage before Arathi offering at 1800 hrs.