August 14, 2010 – “Prem Bandham” – Swami Copiously Blesses the Graduating Batch of 1996

The evening of August 14 was very special. It was an event that does not happen commonly in Prasanthi Nilayam. Actually, if thought properly, every event here is unique and very special. But somehow, some of them stand out and we are not able to pin point the exact reason. About 70 or so students from the graduating batch 1996 had arrived to Prashanti Nilayam under the name – “Prema Bandham - the Bond of Love” and Swami apparently seemed very interested at the prospect of meeting with them! They had arrived with their families and it was a reconnect after 14 years of physical separation.

Swami arrived for darshan at 4:30 p.m. He took a complete round of the hall and as He neared the portico, He interacted with the children of the Eshwaramma School. He saw through their cards and blessed some of them by sprinkling akshatha grains. Seeing through another card on Mother Eashwaramma, Swami moved towards the entrance of the Bhajan Hall. All the alumni from 1996 sat inside with their families. Swami came to the front and He called one little girl. He gifted her with a vibhuti packet. Then, seeing everyone, Swami said that He would like to move about amidst them!

And then began a most wonderful 20 minutes for all those who had assembled. Swami began to glide through the rows of ladies and gents. As He did so, He seemed particularly interested in the babies and kids. He asked almost every little one the name and if it was a baby, Swami asked the mother for the name. The mothers were all so happy to tell the names and they lifted the babies for Swami to bless.

Swami placed His right palm on every head and some of the babies were asleep too! For most of the alumni, it was a nostalgic ride down memory lane as they relived their golden moments with their Swami. He made two rounds through the ladies’ side and two through the gents’ side. Letter collection was on an all time high and Swami spoke to almost everyone. A few people sat on chairs but they too had their share of Divine interaction.

It was 5 p.m. when Swami arrived to the front in the Bhajan Hall and began to see through different cards that were presented. He moved towards the ladies’ side and cut a cake that had been made specially for the occasion. He called one of the alumni and spoke to him. He further interacted with his parents too. At the end of it, Swami materialized a gold chain with a beautiful painted pendant of Lord Krishna.  

Swami put the chain around his neck and then the alumni requested Swami whether they could all sing. Swami at first said that bhajan singing would begin outside and all would participate. They told Swami that they had specially prepared songs and Swami agreed.

And so the singing began. The music track had been recorded and was played on CD but the singing was live. Everyone joined in the singing and Swami seemed to be pleased with the fact that the ladies too were singing along with the gents! Swami sat listening to them sing about 3-4 songs. Then Swami told them to be seated in the front during bhajans. Having said that, Swami asked for the back door of the Bhajan Hall to be opened. He then told everyone to move out and take their positions before He arrived for bhajans. As commanded, everyone moved out and sat in the front.

The bhajans had begun and they went on for the next half an hour or so. Swami blessed prasadam for distribution. At 6:05 p.m., Swami received aarthi and retired for the day.

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