January 10, 2010 – Swami Watches the Sportsmeet Rehearsal

The Annual Sports and Cultural meet is often considered as the Prashanti Nilayam Olympics! The five rings are constituted here by the three campuses of the University and the Primary School and the Higher Secondary School. Every year, Swami takes a lot of pride in the march past parade which takes the place of honour, being the first item and the longest one too, on the agenda. And again, every year, Swami scrutinises the march past at least once before the D-Day and blesses all the students with His comments and compliments. In 2010 too, Swami visited the grounds on two occasions and had seen some of the items from all the various campuses. However, Swami had not yet seen the march past and so it was no surprise when He sat in the Porte and headed straight to the grounds on January 10.

By 4:40 p.m., Swami had entered the grounds and He was accorded a welcome by the brass bands from the boys' and girls' side. Majestic horses walked in front of His car. Reaching the Vedika, Swami went up the stage from the lift. Once seated there, the command to begin the march past was given and the band struck up a lively beat. The tiny tots from the Primary school in their blue uniforms were followed by the girls from the school and Anantapur campus. The commentary was also rehearsed. The school boys and finally the University boys from both the campuses too marched in front of their Swami. Soon, the ground was a splash of colour as all the students stood in neatly ordered rows and columns.

Then, the opening ceremony was rehearsed. The flag hoisting, lighting of the torch and the flame being carried by the torch vehicle to the wonderful tunes of the 'Torch song', as it is known in the local lingo were, the next set of events which followed after the oath taking ceremony. The entire march past and the opening ceremonies took about 50 minutes.

At the end, the students were told to disperse. Instead of dispersing, they accumulated at the stage like bees to a rose! Swami sat on the stage enquiring into the details of tomorrow's programme. In the meanwhile, the coaches of various events moved up the stage and sought His blessings. Swami smilingly blessed everyone with padanamaskar and spoke to some of them too. The coaches from Singapore sought His permission to fly the special kites that they had brought along. Swami blessed them.

Soon, the whole ground metamorphosed into a scene of serene beauty. A gentle breeze began to blow. The sunlight was golden and the slanting rays gave ethereal beauty to the stadium. Kites flew in the sky and the beautiful tunes of the great Yanni began to drift from the speakers. Swami sat relaxed on the stadium stage and all the students sat below gazing at His beautiful form.

Swami spoke a little and it seemed as if He was ready to watch the Sports meet that day itself! The beautiful ten minutes soon elapsed and Swami decided to return to the Mandir. It was 5:50 p.m. as He moved back to the Mandir, covered on all sides by His students.

Swami reached Mandir and the bhajans were on. He sat for about six bhajans and seemed to be satisfying the thirst of the devotees who had been singing for the past hour almost. Then He received aarti and an announcement was made by Prof. Anil Kumar that the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet would be held the next day.

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