23 November – The Day That Earned A Date With Divinity…

People wish Me Happy Birthday…why specially happy birthday today? I am ever happy…Happiness is union with God, echoed Beloved Bhagawan this morning in Sai Kulwant Hall, when an old video of Bhagawan’s Birthday Divine discourse was telecast in the concluding moments of a glittering Birthday function in Prasanthi Nilayam.

23rd November is known the world over for one main reason, that it earned a date with Divinity, welcoming the Almighty in human form. Today, when the most fascinating morning dawned in this South Indian hamlet turned International Spiritual Centre, the village that did penance turned nostalgic of her golden past, where she could vividly recall all those precious priceless moments of unceasing love of Beloved Bhagawan, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Today, 23rd November marks the Divine Advent and on this morning Prasanthi Nilayam wore a glittering, colourful costume warming up for the day.

Proceedings for the morning session commenced at 0900 hrs. with Veda chanting when the curtains went up grantng the beautific darshan of the Sanctum Sanctorum that was adorned with flowers and buntings along with a magnificent silver throne for The Presiding Lord.

Chief Guest for the day was an ardent devotee, currently Hon’ble Governor of Tamil Nadu, His Excellency, Konijeti Rosaiah, who was earlier the Finance Minister and later Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

First programme for the morning was ‘Guru Vandana’ by the students of SSSIHL. Beginning with invocatory Sai Gayathri, these grateful students sang in a united voice a composition, ‘Easwarammba Sutam Venkavadhoota Sampreetam’ that was tuned to original ashtakam style. Couple of more compositions followed that included the one of the evergreen melodies of Prasanthi, “Madhura Mohana Ghana Shyama…”.

A music concert by the Malladi Bros. duo followed. Malladi concerts have been a regular feature during Guru Purnima and Birthday celebrations for the past 3-4 years, when Bhagawan would listen to them with earnest attention. This morning,the duo reproduced some of Bhagawan’s favourite numbers that included a Birthday Greeting Song.

A welcome speech by Sri V.Srinivasan, President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations – India followed. Reiterating his firm faith that Sai is with us, here and everywhere, now and forever, the speaker lavishly praised the students who presented a thematic convocation drama on the eve on 30th Annual Convocation of SSSIHL. Hoping that Bhagawan would guide these shining stars who are future ambassadors, the speaker urged the devotees to rededicate themselves following Bhagawan’s ideals. “Why Fear When I Am Here”, the famous Sathya Sai axiom is a statement for eternity, said Sri Sinivasan.

Referring to the glittering musical show of Dana Gillespie that rocked the house in Prasanthi a couple of days ago, quoting her famous number, I Sigh For You…Love For Love…he said, when we follow His ideals and make our lives His message, Sai will be pleased. Our work has to continue till of our last moment; we have to be workers first, then leaders.

He thanked Governor Roasaih for rescheduling his day’s programme at Coimbatore to make himself available for the function in Puttaparthi.

Reiterating the Central Trust’s resolve to continue the legacy and mission set in motion by Bhagawan, the speaker requested the Governor to release the annual statement of the Trust’s activities.

Some of the new initiatives by the Truts were also announced during the occasion. Additional mobile hospital, Assistance to various Sathya Sai Schools, Additional advance medical equipments for hospitals, Additional staff infrastructure and facilities for research in the Insitute, Digital archiving facility, Revamping and modernisation of the South Indian Canteen, Assisting the ongoing Teachers Training Programme, Expansion of Vidya Vahini Project etc. are some of the initiatives.

Subsequently the report on the Central Trust activities and that of SSSIHL was released by the Governor.

Chief Guest for the morning, K. Rosaiah who addressed next, with atmost humility and devotion, affirmed that, though world over people discuss whether Sathya Sai is God nor not, the very fact that the organisation He has founded is spread over 160 countries having millions of members is a testimony to the unparalleled influence of Sathya Sai Baba. Expressing great satisfaction for being in Prasanthi Nilayam in holy company on the holy occasion the Governor said, for him, it is not the positions that he had held and is holding currently that make him proud, but the fact that he is a devotee of Sathya Sai. Prasanthi Nilayam is a Holy Abode on part with Dwaraka of Bhagawan Sri Krishna and Ayodhya of Lort Sri Rama, said the Governor.

Bhagawan’s Divine discourse followed. Illuminiating on the theme ‘Happy Birthday’, Bhagawan said, during ancient times, people practised sacrifice, love and truth and thus could attain Divinity. He urged the current generation to follow the same path. One should exercise equanimity in pleasure and pain. For the Pandavas, God was their first choice, the world next and themselves last and thus, practising this ideal, they were fortunate to have Lord Krishna always with them.

Bhagawan does not criticise anyone, and when Bhagawan follows something, devotees also should follow suit, said Bhagawan urging the students to develop Love For God, Fear Of Sin and Morality In Society. Control of mind is to be achieved, said Bhagawan discouring about the worried minds of present time.

Develop Love…Love Bhagawan more and more…that is the only solution…Prayer is the only solution…concluded Bhagawan singing the bhajan, “Hari Bhajana Binaa Sukha Shanti Nahi…”

As Birthday Cake by the Italian group followed by various Prasanthi Institutions made a beeline to the Sanctum Sanctorum, various Band Troupes, from the Primary School, both boys and girls, Anantapur Girls’ Band and Prasanthi NIlayam Band played thematic tunes befitting the occasion. While the Anantapur Band played the ‘Love Story’song of 1970s “Where do I begin To tell the story of how great a love can be…”Prasanthi boys played the famous birthday tune, Happy Birthday to You…”

Diginitaries present during the occasion included former Maharashtra Chief Minister, Ashok Chavan, Andhra ministers, Raghuveera Reddy and Mrs. J. Geeta Reddy.

Mangala Arathi was offered at 1100 hrs. and Laddu Prasadam and Italian chocolates were distrubuted to the entire assembly.

Food Prasadam was arranged for morning and afternoon for all devotees attending the 86th Birthday Celebrations.