July 17, 2009 – Parthi Yatra of Devotees from Medak District

The Puttaparthi pilgrimage for the devotees from Medak district of Andhra Pradesh began on July 17. Of late at any time of the year there are a group of devotees from a particular region who are in Puttaparthi as part of a formal “Parthi Yatra” (pilgrimage to Puttaparthi), even though there are thousands of pilgrims everyday to this sacred shrine where God walks and talks, smiles and shines.

At quarter past five, Swami arrived for darshan. He moved through the completely packed ladies side granting darshan. These 'pilgrimages' are wonderful as they give people who have the desire to be at the Lotus Feet an opportunity to get there and arouses in everyone else a curiosity, which later translates into an intense desire to see the Lord.

As Swami moved through the ladies side, one could see many of them breaking down with the sheer joy of seeing Him. If we ponder for a moment, this spontaneous outburst of joy through these 'sweet' tears in itself is a miracle of God. His mere form confers supreme joy, for isn't it true that Love is His form! Swami moved through the central area that had been packed with materials for distribution. He enquired about them as He moved into the gents’ area. The thousands rose and craned their necks to see their beloved form in Orange. When Swami completed the darshan rounds and arrived on the stage, He asked for the Veda chanting to come to a halt and the programme to begin. Children dressed to represent the various faiths came up to Swami for blessings. Swami was very pleased as these children came to Him in all their innocence. He asked one or two of them their names and pulled cheeks of the really little ones.

Being trained to be highly reverential, the kids moved backwards so as to not show their backs to Swami. The smallest among them, looking so cutely at Swami, tripped. He fell softly but still did not use his hands, which were folded in prayer to Swami, to get up! Swami was so amused by the scene and the little one too seemed more amused than hurt. He rose and returned to his place. Then many people from the gents’ side seemed to rush to Swami to offer their obeisance.

A cake was offered which Swami cut. Bhagavan also blessed two marble idols of Lord Ganesha. But soon a mob gathered around Swami with everyone keen at falling at the lotus feet. A comic scene of sorts ensued as the district president called for discipline and restraint over the PA system! Swami also lovingly told the people to return to their places. After that, a disciplined bevy of women moved up the stage for Divine blessings. Then the distribution began.

Imbibing the message of reforming the society through selfless service to humanity, the Medak district Sathya Sai Seva Organisation organized distribution of handy implements for selected beneficiaries from the districts. The implements included Iron Boxes, Coin Boxes, Water Purifiers, Tea Drums, Drums, Tea Stalls, Kirana Shops, Vegetable Shops, Sprayers, Foot Sprayers, Cycle Repair Kits, Gold Polish Material, Cloth Merchant Material, Drilling Machines, Vegetable Trolleys, Welding Machines, Wet Grinders, Cycles, Tri Cycles, Sewing Machines along with a sponsorship of college study for one student.

Thanking Swami profusely for the “Elixir Divine”, Drinking Water supplied in the entire district, Mr. Jagannadham, the district president of the Organisation, made a mention of the various service and spiritual activities taken up by the Sathya Sai Seva Organisation.  As the names were called out, 85 beneficiaries, both men and women, some handicapped, came one by one to receive the implements in His Divine Presence, after paying prayerful obeisance to Bhagavan. People from both the gents' and ladies' side came to Swami as He blessed many of them with abhayahasta.

The distribution was complete and permission was sought from Swami for a music programme. Swami blessed the singers and the programme began. This musical offering titled, “Hrudaya Kusumanjali”, or the garland of flowers from the heart, began with a song expressing gratitude for the nectar divine - water - that Swami has so graciously provided for the people of Medak. The offering whose music was arranged by former students from Sathya Sai University was sung by both men and women.

It had a bouquet of over nine songs covering various themes, namely, His Glory, Service Activities, The nine fold path of devotion, Glory of Sai’s Name, Shodasopachara Pooja, Mother Easwaramma and her glory. Swami seemed particularly impressed with the powerful singing of the women. As many solo pieces were being sung, Swami watched the singer keenly. Towards the end, Swami asked as to how many women were there in the group. He went into the interview room and selected sarees to be given to them as gifts of His Love and Grace. The women received the sarees while the men got safari pieces.

Swami called the little boy who had ''fallen for Him" in the beginning to come up the stage! Speaking to him, Swami materialized a gold chain and put it around his neck. There was a loud applause. Meanwhile the lady who distributed the sarees at Swami's behest arrived to Swami with one saree that was extra. Swami gifted that saree to her itself and she was mightily pleased. Swami presented another saree to State Minister for Information and Tourism, Mrs. J. Geeta Reddy who had played a role in organising the Yatra. Conferring joy and laddoo prasadam to everyone assembled, Swami received aarthi and retired for the day.

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