Akhanda Bhajan 2011 – A Report

Global Akhanda Bhajan for Universal Peace was conducted in Prasanthi Nilayam on the 12th and 13th of November attended by thousands of devotees. Simultaneously thousands upon thousands of Sai Centres across the world also conducted Akhanda Bhajan, as has been the practice over the years.

Global Akhanda Bhajan, the timeless intonation promoting Universal Peace and Harmony is one of the most significant and far-reaching annual spiritual exercise initiated by Bhagawan way back in the mid forties. Ever since, every second week-end of the month of November has been a fixed schedule for this 24 hour marathon non-stop bhajan saga.

The Akhanda Bhajan had its origin way back in 1945, started in Bangalore by a group of eight families. Upon the culmination of the year-long Thursday bhajans, they had been conducting quite regularly from 1944, during the World War II time, the group of eight families showed up to Bhagawan in Puttaparthi seeking blessings for conducting bhajans. The Divine Visionary that He is, Bhagawan blessed the group, praising the idea of bhajan singing and named it Akhanda Bhajan. Bhagawan even promised the group that He would bless the same with His physical presence. This grand Spiritual exercise has been going on uninterrupted ever since and the years that passed had been fortunate to have the spirited physical presence of Bhagawan during the occasion.

In Prasanthi Nilayam, the Akhanda Bhajan commenced on 12th November, Saturday, evening at 1800 hrs. Beginning with an invocatory Ganesh bhajan, sung with aalap,  as the Anantapur students burst into the theme bhajan for the occasion “Akhanda Jyothi Jalaao …Sai Mana Mandir Mein”, thousands  assembled in the resplendent Sai Kulwant Hall joined in chorus sinking in nostalgic memoirs of the golden past when Bhagawan would officiate the Akhanda Bhajan in the very Sai Kulwant Hall.

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With the students leading the entire exercise, joined by many a group of devotees from Prasanthi and from other states, bhajans continued for the next 24 hours bringing a charged up final session that had memoirs of His physical presence erupting in, embracing every heart and soul enveloping in peace.

The highlight of the final session was the enriching experience of listening to the golden voice of Beloved Bhagawan. As the students finished their stint of singing ten minutes to the scheduled hour, with the customary final bhajan, “Subramaniam Subramaniam…, that had been in practice during earlier years in Prasanthi, it was time to listen to Beloved Bhagawan’s voice. The two bhajans, “Hari Bhajan Binaa Sukha Shanthi Nahi…” and “Prema Muditha Manase Kaho Rama Rama Ram…” summed up the purport of bhajan singing, that should be done with a mind and heart immersed in love for God and Prasanthi soon turned nostalgic of those golden days of His enriching, enchanting physical presence amidst her.

It was time for Prasadam. Swarms of students spread themselves across the spacious Sai Kulwant, ably assisted by sevadal volunteers, distributing blessed prasadam, tamarind rice and sweet pudding, to the assemblage.  Strictly adhering to Bhagawan’s injunction to chant the Food Prayer before partaking of food, students soon burst in to “Brahmarpanam…” joined by the entire audience.

The entire exercise aimed at promoting world peace and harmony was a  thrilling experience reliving the golden past with Beloved Bhagawan, where He would bless the occasion with His towering physical presence, guiding at each and every step, blessing Prasanthi and the entire world with His all conquering love.