Aradhana Mahotsavam begins…

Three-day Sri Sathya Sai Aradhana Mahotsavam, commemorating the ascent of the Avatar from the physical plane, commenced this morning  amid heartfelt remembrance of the enchanting Lord Who walked the Prasanthi soil for over eight decades.

Proceedings for the morning began with an introductory talk by University Controller Of Examinations Sri S. Rangarajan who dwelled on the difficult phase of accepting the reality of His changing over from the physical to the omnipresent all-pervading reality. Calling the year gone by a tough one, challenging His devotees to refocus on His subtler dimensions of eternal existence, Sri Rangarajan invited the speakers for the colloquium on the theme “Experiencing the Divine – From the Form to the Formless”. The speakers were Dr. Samuel Sandweiss, a familiar name among Sai fraternity, a long-time time devotee, eminent practising psychiatrist from San Diego, California, USA and Swami Suddhananda Giri of Yogoda Satsanga Society, founded by revered Sri Sri Paramahamsa Yogananda.

Dr. Samuel Sandweiss, elucidating on the theme, spoke on the subject based on facts of his own experience with Bhagawan spanning over four decades. Experiencing Divinity from form to formlessness is to experience and celebrate Swami’s all-embracing love that brings us together as one family. About the aspect of “Formlessness”, he said, “my understanding of the formless is that it is infinite silence, eternal peace, emptiness of desires and attachments: pure love, which is everything”. Quoting Bhagawan, “Everything is Nothing and Nothing is Everything”, the speaker claimed there is no separation, there is only One and that One is Everything, that One is Love. With the help of a couple of actual stories, with video clips, Dr. Sandweiss presented his theories of Swami’s Omnipresence and how Bhagawan is the Ultimate Truth, Parabhrahmam.

The second speaker Swami Suddhananda Giri started off in typical Yogoda style as taught and practised by Paramahamsa Yogananda, with an prayer visualising Bhagawan at the brow-centre, visualising various Divine aspects, calling attributes seeking Divine guidance. His speech was centred around how the difficult phase of Paramahamsa Yogananda’s physical departure was dealt by the followers when the Master shed his mortal frame six decades ago, in 1952. Invisible, impersonal God can be projected in a personal form by devotion…however, it is foolish to limit God in a form and forget His omnipresence, said the Swamiji  narrating the example of how Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa attained it, crossing from his dearest Mother Kali’s form to the formless Mother Divine, with the help of sword of Wisdom. Sharing anecdotes, experiences of Yogananda followers, the Swamiji expressed hope that Bhagawan’s devotees would find it easy to cross over from the form to the formless. He ended his speech with a prayer, joined by all, a prayer awakening the God within.

A couple of bhajans continued before Mangala Arathi offering at 1030 hrs.

II Samastha Lokaaha Sukhino Bhavantu II