Dasara – Day 9

“The Yajna that we are performing now is meant for Loka Kalyanam (good of the world). Do not think that we are performing the Yajna just because people are performing Yajnas elsewhere. This Yajna is being performed with total spirit of sacrifice. We have no desires or expectations. Our only desire is that everyone should be happy. People perform Yajnas and Yagas to overcome famine and drought situations. But I don’t take such things into consideration. I do not give scope for such constricted vision. Famine, drought, etc., come and go. Whatever you do should confer everlasting happiness on all. It should help you to attain Divine grace.” – Dasara Discourse, 11 Oct, 2002.

The Veda Purusha Saptah Jnana Yajnam reached its grand culmination today. The ritwiks started their worship very early in the morning and completed their tasks including the study of various scriptures, the allotted number of Surya Namaskars and the chanting of various Vedic Mantras. At 0900hrs they entered the Bhajan Mandir where they accepted the Poornahuti Samagri from Bhagawan. With the chief priest carrying the Dhaarini (a large silver spoon used for feeding ghee to the fire) and his wife carrying the Samagri, the priests went on a procession with Nadaswaram leading the group.

Reaching the Poornachandra Hall which was filled to capacity and some, the priests completed the proceedings of the Yajnam with Bhagawan presiding over the same in a special Peetam installed in front of the Yajna Kundam. The priests encouraged the gathering to participate in the chanting and mentioned a few prayers for them to repeat to offer our prayers to the Yajna Purusha, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Sri Kandukoori Kondavadhani from Rajahmundry who has been a part of innumerable Dasara Celebrations in Prasanthi Nilayam, spoke a few words describing the auspiciousness of the occasion. Holy water was sprinkled on all those who attended the function and Prasadam was distributed while Bhajans were being sung by the students. Maha Mangala Arati was offered at 0945hrs. The Tripura Governor Sri. D.Y. Patil participated in the programme.

Meanwhile a new quarters for the milkmen of the Sri Sathya Sai Gokulam was inaugurated this morning.

Vijaya Dasami also marks the concluding ceremony of the Prasanthi Vidwan Mahasabha. The calming tunes of Mantra Puspam was rendered by the senior Research Scholars of the institute to begin proceedings at 1630hrs. Sri Shashank Shah speaking on the significance of Vijay Dashami enumerated the reasons for its celebration, namely the vanquishing of Ravana by Rama, the Great by the Good, the defeat of Mahishasura by Goddess Durga or the evil by the righteous and the end of the Agnyatvasa of the Pandavas.

Sri Ratheesh Kumbalath, final year student of MA Economics spoke on the topic, “Gratitude to Mother, Motherland and Divine Mother”. He quoted the instance of Sankara who even as a renunciant ran to his mother’s side at her death bed. He went on to speak of the sacrifices of the freedom fighters. It was Ruskin Bond who said, “A man who does not when to die does not know how to live.” He concluded his talk speaking on the unique relationship shared between the students and Bhagawan.

Sri Sanjay Sahni is the Director of the Brindavan Campus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, an inspiring speaker and a role model teacher who enjoyed immense proximity with the physical presence of Bhagawan. Starting with the Kabir Doha, ” Saat Samundra Masi Karun, Lekhani Sab Banraye| Dharati Sab Kagad Karun, Sai Gun Likha Na Jaye||“, he said that the glory of the Lord can never be completely comprehended. He recounted a conversation between Prof. Bhagavantam and Bhagawan where Prof asked Bhagawan how come after the many years of association he still did not understand Him. Bhagawan replies, you have lived with yourself for even more years, the day you understand yourself, you can get closer to understanding Me.

Speaking of many instances of Love between Bhagawan and His students, the learned speaker mentioned several instances of students in the campus still experiencing His Divine Presence and Love. He concluded his talk speaking on the Vedic dictum, He is smaller than the smallest and larger than the largest and quoted fitting examples for both.

The speeches were followed by the what has become the most awaited part of the programme, the recording of Bhagawan’s discourse. Today Bhagawan spoke on viragya and how only God can provide Selfless Love. He then narrated a “Chinna Katha” to illustrate this. A student listens to His Guru chanting, “I have no parents, no wives, no relatives, no friends” and chastises him saying that it is untruth since he does have very loving parents, wife and son. The guru then instructs him to fall unconscious at his house and pretend to be dead. He does as instructed and finds every member of the family lamenting his death much to his satisfaction. Then the guru enters as giving a glass of water says that if anyone partakes this water, they will die and restore the life of the corpse. Hearing this everyone gives excuses and ask the guru himself to drink it. Listening to this the student develops complete detachment and follows his master out of his house.

The final programme for the day was a rendition of Banaras Gharana, a form of classical music with a 350 year old tradition, by Padma Bhushans, Pandit Rajan and Pandit Sajan Mishra from Varanasi. They were accompanied in the Harmonium by Sri Vyas Murthy Katti while the students and staff of the Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri of Music, Sri Kaustubh Pare, Sri Vivek Karmahe and Sri Nishikant Barodekar played two tamburas and tabla respectively. They started their concert with the song, “Shankar Bhole Maheswar”, followed by the Tulasidas Bhajan, “Mein Na Jeyum Bin Ram”, “Jai Jai Durge Ma” in raag Durga and concluded with “Sadho Aisa hi Guru Bhawein”. Bhajans by students followed while Prasadam was being distributed. The artistes were honoured with Shawls.

Prof Anil Kumar hailing the successful completion of this grand festival, announced that there will be a programme by the youth from United Kingdom who participated in the Grama Seva on 07th Morning and a skit by Tamil Nadu in the evening.