August 8, 2010 – AP CM’s Visit and Musical Presentation by Devotees from the Caribbean

On the afternoon of August 8, Prashanti Nilayam saw a lot of dust being raised by screeching tyres and spinning wheels. There were convoys of vehicles and a lot of police. People wondered what was happening and on curious enquiry, came to know that the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Konijeti Rosaiah, was arriving to Puttaparthi to pay his respects to Swami.

It is such a different story in Puttaparthi. Any other place has reporters, media people and the milling crowd craning for the CM. Not in Prasanthi! Here the focus of all attention is Swami. Shall we say that it is maybe the only place on earth where the word ‘focus’ finds fulfillment! So many “VIPs” make so many visits that it only shows who the only VIP is!

Swami arrived for darshan at 3.50 p.m. itself and it seemed as if He wanted to ensure that the Caribbean programme scheduled for the evening is not delayed. Devotees from Curacao, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobaggo, Aruba and the isles of the West Indies were seated in the central area. All the women had uniformly worn jasmine garlands to their hair and it presented a pleasing sight.

Swami saw them and spoke to one of the women about the programme and asked her as to where she had come from. Moving on Swami arrived near the gents’ side and saw that it was quite empty as the students had not arrived yet. He smiled and indicated that there was nobody in the gents’ side and so He would take a detour! He moved towards the portico in between the assembled choir.

Swami told the CM who had come to go into the interview room. The lucky VIP was blessed with a 20 minute interview after which Swami arrived on the stage. The Veda chanting was on and after listening to it for a while, Swami asked for the programme. The coordinator from West Indies came forward and gave Swami the programme plan. Soon a few members from the ladies side and the gents’ side came to Swami and presented roses to Him.

One little boy got up with a rose and Swami beamed a lovely smile as he moved up the stage. Taking the rose, Swami blessed him. Swami then told the Veda chanting to cease and the programme to begin. The students’ Veda chanting stopped and the West Indians began the chanting. Swami smiled as He called one of the students nearby and asked, “Will they sing bhajans?” The student said, “Swami, I think they will sing songs after the Veda chanting.” Soon, Swami asked them to stop the chanting and begin the songs!

The first song was the famous Harry Belafonte composition, "Island in the Sun", an illustration of the daily life and living in the island nation. The next song was "One Love, One Heart" by Bob Marley, on the Brotherhood of Man and Fatherhood of God. The third one "Oh, Children of Noble and Ancient Culture" was the story of the ancestral Indian migration into the Westy Indies.

Four more songs followed, all sounding Love for the Lord before the Balvikas children and the Young Adults took over with a unique music extravaganza, an instrumental on Steelpans. The Tassa drums or Steelpans are claimed to have originated in the Carribean islands, known as the traditional or indigenous musical instrument of the island nation made purely out of used oil barrels.

Swami nodded and that part of the presentation began. The drums sounded more like xylophones rather than having a bass effect. It sounded as if the keyboard was playing in loud volume and the drums were “not heard”! Swami called the Conductor and told him, “Your drums are not being heard!”

The Lord knows everything but it was so evident that He was simply voicing the feelings of everyone nearby. Few more mikes were added and when the keyboard stopped playing, it was understood that what was actually misunderstood as the keyboard was in fact the music of the ‘drums’!

The effect was very melodious and such a performance was being held in the Nilayam for the first time. After about 15-20 minutes, the programme concluded. Swami agreed for the bhajans to be sung now and the devotees sang two bhajans. At the end of it, Swami received aarthi. He then blessed prasadam to be distributed to all.

Now an interesting episode occurred. The heavens opened up and it began to pour as Swami was leaving towards the residence. In a jiffy, the car was summoned and it came racing into the hall. But, even as Swami reached the end of the hall, the rain reduced and even came to a halt. Swami smiled and skipped past the car. There was joy and clapping as all the ladies rejoiced being able to have another close darshan of Swami. The rain resumed after Swami went inside!

Dear reader, how do you like this section? Does it help or inspire you in anyway? Please share your reflections with us by writing to [email protected]g mentioning your name and country.
Thank you for your time.

Go to Radio Sai
Go to Publications Division Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana Trust
Go to Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust
counter for wordpress