A Dazzling Birthday Evening in Prasanthi Nilayam

Prasanthi Nilayam witnessed a regal Chariot Festival followed by a most enchanting Jhoola function accompanied by a Carnatic Concert by legendary Dr M Balamuralikrishna this evening, celebrating the 89th Birthday of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai.

The Golden Chariot that The Lord mounted in 1997, fulfilling scriptural prophecies, was taken out in a regal procession today, at 1615 hrs., circumambulating the Prasanthi Mandir to the escort of Vedam and Bhajans. For the devoted thousands it turned out to be a rare spectacle, having ‘Suvarna Sai Darshanam’. Covering the Nagarsankirtan route, the procession finally entered the Mandir at 1700 hrs. Mangala Arathi was offered to Bhagawan at the end of the Chariot Festival.

Grand Finale of the day, the ‘Jhoola Mahotsavam’ commenced at 1800 hrs. Legendary Carnatic Musician Dr M Balamuralikrishna with his charming deep voice, innovative style, captivating and effortless singing, and excellent over swaras and ragas enchanted the audienceregaled Bhagawan for over 80 mts. singing some of the most enticing Carnatic numbers. Even as Balamuralikrishna started singing the Jhoola was on swing, Swinging The Lord… Swinging Sai on His 89th Birthday…

Balamuralikrishna commenced his concert with an invocatory offering to Lord Ganesha in Rag Arabhi, singing “Sri Sakala Kaladhipa Palaya…” then proceeding to his own composition “Mahaneeya Madhuramoorthe…” in Raga Malathi, a piece of glorification of the Guru. Singing St Thyagaraja’s “Nagumomu…” with innovative adaption, inserting an aalaap to end with a Thani Avaratanam in Laya Vadyam, the legendary singer then continued with “Pibare Rama Rasam…” a Sadashiva Brahmendra composition, tuned and glorified by Balamuralikrishna himself.

Much to the excitement of the evening’s musical assembly, he then continued with singing “Paluke Bangaramayna…”, a famous devotional composition of Bhadrachala Ramadas in Anandabhairavi raga. Singing an interesting piece “Hanuma Hanuma…” in Rag Sarasmayi, the Swarakshara being ‘Ma’ Balamurali then followed with a thrilling Tillana in ‘Kadana Kuthuhalam”, one of his own compositions before signing off with a composition on Bhagawan, a special piece for 89th Birthday, ending aptly with the line “Sathyam Sivam Sundaram”.

The legendary singer had the great good fortune of being in Bhagawan’s Presence decades ago, interacting closely, often crooning for The Lord.

This evening, Dr Balamuralikrishna was accompanied by K Ramesh on Mridangam, Sri P Sreeramulu and Master Thyagaraja on Violin, Nemani Somayajulu on Ghatam, Srinivas on Mukh Sankh, O V Mohana Krishna on Vocal along with Whizzle Wizard Shivaprasad.

At the end, the artiste and the accompanists were felicitated by the Trustee’s at the end of the session.

A capacity audience watched the evening turned twilight’s dazzling Jhoola-Musical spectacle.

Mangala Arathi at 1945 hrs. marked the end of the grand festive day’s proceedings.

Indeed, 23rd November is a date that will surely be circled in gold by the moving finger of time and bedazzle generations to come…

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II