Dasara – Day 7

Durga Ashtami is the day earmarked in Prasanthi Nilayam for Aayudha Puja or the worship of instruments. Bhagawan has often reminded us that “Expression of Gratitude” is one of the most important virtues of man. This value which is ingrained in the culture of Bharat finds expression today when man thanks the tools which have helped him in his profession and his life.

As per tradition, at 0800hrs, the vehicles which had the privilege of being used by Bhagawan were brought to the Sai Kulwant Hall where it was worshipped. Ashram Elders broke coconuts even as chocolates were distributed. On this auspicious day we can but only pray that God makes us too his ideal instrument scooping out all our shortcomings so that we became a hollow flute which our Sai Krishna will play.

The Veda Purusha Sapthaha Jnana Yajnam reached its antepenultimate day as the Ritwiks doing Parayanam reach engrossing parts of the grand epics they study. At 0930hrs Arati was offered in Poorna Chandra Hall after which the devotees line up for a close Darshan of the Sanctum Sanctorum of Bhagawan. Meanwhile students covered 13 villages of Puttaparthi and Bukkapatnam Mandals including Amagondapalyam and Janakampalli among others.

The proceedings of the 5th day of Prasanthi Vidwan Maha Sabha started with Veda chanting by the students of Anantapur Campus. The master of ceremonies, Sri Shashank Shah, a faculty member of Prasanthi Nilayam campus introduced the two speakers for the evening session.

The first speaker was Sri Shivam Chopra, who is pursuing his III B.Sc in Mathematics from the Brindavan Campus. He spoke on the topic of gratitude illustrating his experiences. An interesting experience of his first day at the hostel of Sri Sathya Sai Primary School riveted the audience. Being from North India, he was not used to South Indian food habits. The first breakfast he had at the hostel was Idli, Vada, Sambar and Chutney. He detested tasting the Chutney. After the breakfast, since it was Thursday, they had gone to the Mandir for Darshan. Swami glided past them without noticing him. Since he was a new entrant, he was allowed to sit in the first row. After a while, Bhagawan went outside in the car. On His return, He came near this student, lowered the wind shield and asked the boys as to what was for breakfast. They promptly replied. Then Bhagawan looking at this student, said, “Papam, no Chutney.” Sri Chopra said, how can I express my gratitude for all that Bhagawan had done for him. The body as leaf and the tears of joy as water would be a fitting gratitude to Bhagawan. He concluded His speech by what Bhagawan had said about gratitude: “Offer all your deeds to Me. That is the gratitude, I want from you.”

Sri Shivam Chopra was followed by Sri Amey Deshpande, who is currently doing his doctoral research in Performance Management Systems. He shared his cherished experiences at the Lotus Feet, having had a long association with Bhagawan in His physical proximity. In the month of May, this year, a few of his batchmates and Amey had gone to the Himalayas. They had trekked even to Mount Neelakant. At a farthest point, they visited an Ashram of a Yogi. The Yogi seeing them questioned, “Where do you come from?” When the Yogi heard the word Puttaparthi, he was overjoyed. He at once asked, “Duk Lag Raha Hai?” (Do you feel sad?) Don’t feel sad. Bhagawan has gone from embodied form to disembodied form. The Yogi said that he has Darshan of Bhagawan frequently in his Ashram.

Narrating another experience, Sri Deshpande said that in 1995 in the interview Bhagawan was describing the details of the mammoth water project. He mentioned that He would sell everything to complete the project, even Himself. Then Bhagawan asked them, “Do you know My price?” Stretching his palm, Bhagawan said, “All I want is this much of love.” Continuing in this vein, Sri Deshpande narrated another beautiful experience.

A student was asked to prompt the next line thrice by Bhagawan when He was singing Bhajan. When the student was sitting in the Bhajan Hall, Bhagawan asked him as to what Bhajan he was going to sing. The student replied, “Seshashaila Vasa Narayana…” The student was unable to recollect the tune. Bhagawan put another question as to what he sang the previous day. Again the student went blank and clueless. It was then that Bhagawan made a prophetic statement: “You thought I forgot those three Bhajans. I cannot forget, if I forget the entire universe will come to a standstill. In 1991 during a Trayee Brindavan session to MBA students, Bhagawan lovingly asked snacks to be served. Bhagawan continued to stand in spite of entreaties from the students. Suddenly the students noticed a wasp building its nest behind the cushion where Bhagawan was supposed to sit. If Bhagawan would have sat, the wasp and its young ones would have got crushed.

An excerpt from Bhagawan’s Discourse followed where Bhagawan instructed on what a good devotee should pray for. Bhagawan concluded with the Bhajan, “Rama Patabi Rama” in His melodious voice reminding us of His beautiful form.

Today is the 56th Anniversary of Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital.  There was a special performance from the doctors and staff of Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Prasanthi Nilayam the foundation of which Bhagawan laid way back in 1954 when He was just 28 years old. The General Hospital had the unique privilege of Bhagawan being one of its doctors as He would visit and even dispense medicines, and give guidance to the patients in the first few years of its establishment when Dr. Seetharamaiah was the first medical superintendent of the hospital.

A brief drama “Gamyam Neevuga… Payanam Nee Thoduga (Journey to Sai… With Sai…) was staged on this occasion by the doctors and staff of the hospital. The story of the drama revolved around Dr. B. Seetharamaiah and Dr. Narotham Alreja. The theme of the drama was doctors only treat but it is Swami who cures. Miraculous cures of patients were narrated during the course of the drama. A music programme with visuals of Bhagawan’s visits to the General Hospital was the next programme. The day’s proceedings ended with Bhajans, distribution of Prasadam and Arati.