August 3, 2010 – Dance and Drama by Bal Vikas Children from Haryana

The chain of programmes leading up to the 85th birthday celebrations of Swami continued in August. With so many groups of devotees - national and international - arriving to Puttaparthi in a planned and phased manner, it seemed that there will be non- stop programmes till 23rd November 2010! On August 3, it was a bit different in the fact that there was not one, but two programmes that had been clubbed together for presentation in the Divine Presence! Swami soon made it three with His arrival at 5:00 p.m.

Swami came in the car and turned westwards and moved out of the main gate of Yajur Mandiram. He made a short visit to the site of the Central Trust offices where some renovation and building work is being planned. Fifteen minutes later, the Endearing Form in the Porte was moving through the assemblage at the Sai Kulwant Hall. By 5:20 p.m. Swami was on the stage, having completed a full darshan round in the car. He asked the student next to Him as to what the programme for the evening was.

He was told that there were two programmes. Swami looked to His right towards the coordinator. He came forward with a rose and told Swami about the evening’s presentation. At 5:30 p.m., a few elders and a few participants of the first programme came up to the stage and offered flowers and cards to Swami. Bhagavan’s eyes were open wide in joy and He smiled so beautifully even as He blessed them.

The first programme was entitled, “Hari Ka Haryana”. It was a dance programme which brought forward the various aspects of the culture of Haryana. The voice of Vedic Haryana was heard and seen through a dance depicting the origin of Vedas and their spread in Haryana during the Aryan times. The chants of “Bham Bham Bhole” rented the air as pilgrims wending their way to the feet of Bhola Shankar, Lord Shiva, arrived with their dance. The soil of Haryana has also been blessed by the feet of Lord Krishna as it was here in the battlefield of Kurukshetra that the Bhagavad Gita was preached to Arjuna.

The 25 minutes long programme concluded with all the colourfully dressed children coming into a formation expressing their gratitude to Swami. Bhagavan blessed them and then told the coordinator to get started with the next drama. Swami would bless all the children together in the end it was conveyed. And so, the members of the next programme made their way to the stage to make offerings.

The small drama based on the ideals cherished in the Mahabharatha got underway. A saint is expounding on the dictum, “Satyam Vada, Dharmam Chara” when a trio of youngsters pass by. They wonder whether such “archaic” principles even have any relevance in the modern times. As is the case in His stories, when there is a yearning to know, you meet the correct people. They come across members of the Sai Youth who enlighten them.

The core of the ‘enlightenment’ was based on the Yaksha Prashna episode of the Mahabharatha. The Pandava brothers are thirsty. Nakula, in search of water comes across a lake but is told by an ethereal voice that he should not drink till a few questions are answered. He does not heed to the voice and drops dead on drinking the water. Sahadeva, Arjuna and Bheema too suffer the same fate.

Dharmaja, stops and answers the questions asked. These answers are immortal and please take time out to read the whole story under the heading, “Yudhishtra Wins the Lives of His Brothers” from this article in H2H published earlier.

Swami was engrossed as this episode from the Dwapara age was brought alive. Seeing it, one could realize how our ancient scriptures hold so much relevance even for our so called modern times. During the final song of the drama, Swami moved into the interview room. Meanwhile the presentation concluded and the children made their final formation.

Sarees and Safari pieces arrived from the interview room and behind these stocks came the Lord, smiling sweetly. He called one lady and told her to give away the sarees. The same was done on the boys’ side too. The lady finished the distribution and coming up to Swami asked, “Swami, can I get one saree?” Swami smiled and said, “Why not?” He picked a saree and presented it to her and everyone clapped.

The state president then asked Swami whether He would bless the children with group photographs. Swami agreed immediately. He moved down and posed separately with members of each of the performing groups.

As He sat amidst the girls who had done the first dance programme, He asked all of them to take namaskar! They needed no further invitation. Like bees into a lotus, they rushed to His feet! Swami blessed them all. Coming back on the stage, Swami asked for aarthi.

As this completed, Swami called one of the student singers from the front and told him, “So many devotees have come. Sing some Telugu song. Not a Thyagaraja kirtan, something light!”  And so, he began a song which extols the sweetness of the name of Lord Rama. As sweet prasadam was being distributed, the air was filled with the sweetness of His name, unmatched by any earthly sweets!

As that song concluded, Swami asked for aarthi once more! It was done and Swami blessed everyone as the chants of Samastha Lokaha Sukhino Bhavanthu filled the air. It was almost 7:30 p.m. when Swami moved back into His residence in the car.

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