Lead, Oh! Kindly Light…

A large contingent of devotees from the State of Gujarat joined the devotees in Prasanthi Nilayam celebrating Deepavali today with great devotional fervour.

Celebrating the twin occasion of Deepavali and Gujarati New Year, hundreds of devotees from the State are camping in Prasanthi on a 3-day Parthi Yatra. Commencing the 2-day celebrations, devotees from Saurashtra Zone presented a drama entitled “Service with Spirituality” this evening in the immediate Divine omnipresence.

Earlier, the proceedings began with an introductory address by Sri Manohar Trikarnad, State President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations – Gujarat. Sending out greetings on the auspicious occasion, welcoming one and all, the State President briefly touched upon some of the salient features of the ‘Seva’ activities taken up by the Organisation in the State.

Setting the tone for further proceedings in this overcast evening, Youth Girls from the State then offered a soul-stirring devotional song, singing “Sai Maa Dayamayi Sai Janani Maa”. Singing in Bhagawan’s chosen language, Telugu, the song was a collective expression of love of blossoming hearts of Mother Sai’s children from the State of Gujarat.

Next to come was a “Raas” dance by the ‘little hearts’ of Sri Sathya Sai School, Surat. Raas, popularly known as Dandiya Raas is the traditional folk dance form of Gujarat, originated in Vrindavan. The dance is a depiction of “Raas Lila” of Bhagawan Sri Krishna with His devoted folks, gopis. Dancing rhythmically to the tune of popular Dandiya music, with sticks or dandiya in each hand, the dance presentation brought the flavour of nostalgic Vrindavan of yore, with Krishna as the centre of action and attraction.

The drama presentation followed next.  Centred around the theme “Seva”, the 30-minute presentation was aimed at sending out the pivotal message that, spiritual values sanctifies service or Seva. When spirituality is instilled in the heart, the feeling of “Oneness” follows and Service or Seva turns to become a Godly act, wherein the servant feels and sees God in everyone and everything.

Set up against the backdrop of a discussion on India’s recent successful and enviable Mars Mission, Mangalyaan, the discussion moves on to Mother Earth and man’s callous exploitation of the Planet, resulting in natural disasters.

Projecting a natural disaster scene, the presentation then shows the insensitive, greedy and irresponsible nature of modern men only to be transformed soon into men of goodness and godliness, serving all with feeling of “Oneness”.

The heart-touching, message-oriented drama essentially portrayed the need of the hour, love for all, Love All Serve All, Bhagawan’s oft-repeated dictum to humanity.

Even as bhajans by the State devotees commenced, all the participants were felicitated with Bhagawan’s special token of love. Bhajans ended with Bhagawan’s ‘Thursday Special’, “Prema Muditha Manasey Kaho Rama Rama Ram…” Mangala Arathi was offered at 1810 hrs. marking the end of the evening session.

At the twilight, the Yajur Mandiram premises turned colourful, shining with brilliant spectacle of lights.  Adding to the charm, there was a fire-work display by the students of the educational institutions, an annual feature on Diwali twilight.

For Prasanthi Nilayam, the festive occasion brings fond, joyful memoirs of Bhagawan, Who would ‘in person’ preside over the ‘fire-work and cracker’ show on the auspicious twilight. The sandy ‘Darshan ground’ facing the Mandir, and later the ‘Poornachandra lawns’ used to be the venues for this grand spectacle of light and sound show in His immediate Divine Presence. In 2010, the 85th year of Sathya Sai Advent, Bhagawan had shifted the venue to the Hill View Stadium where a grand spectacle of “fire-work” was organised. At His behest, with The Master in the driver’s seat, students and faculties from Bhagawan’s Institute would actively participate in this spectacle with passionate zeal, often taking abnormal risk.

However, the icing on the cake used to be Bhagawan’s Divine discourse on the auspicious evening, when Bhagawan would divulge in great detail, explaining the purport behind the festivity coupled with teachings galore.

Devotees from the State will be celebrating Gujarati New Year tomorrow in the immediate Divine omnipresence.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II