August 22, 2010 – Onam Celebrations in the Divine Presence

Onam is a time of great significance and rejoicing for the people of the state of Kerala in India. It is the day on which their beloved Emperor Bali Chakravarthi is believed to make his rounds and visit his people in Kerala. Nowadays though, the emperor might find his kingdom a bit empty in the sense that his people are all thronging Prasanthi Nilayam; but he will definitely find it richer - richer in joy, abundance and peace - all brought about by Divine blessings. Hundreds of people from Kerala had arrived and their programmes had been divinely approved. That day, the backdrops were in place for a drama by the youth entitled, “Bharata, The Embodiment of Supreme Love”.

The Veda chanting concluded at 5:30 p.m., only to begin again shortly as Swami came out of the Yajur Mandir. The climate seemed to have taken on the feel of Kerala with abundant rains pouring over the hamlet. The air was laden with moisture and the love of these devotees from Kerala. The Panchavadyam joined the Veda chanting in according a welcome to Swami.

Bhagavan’s eyes seemed to light up as He reached the centre where the actors were seated. He talked to a few members of the cast and then moved into the gents’ side. The hall had been decorated in Kerala style and the golden head armor of the caparisoned elephants hung elegantly on the front pillars. Swami passed by them as He blessed the birthday boys and moved to the stage. As Swami arrived on the stage, He began to look at the golden and black shrine that had been made to house Lord Ganesha. Having seen it, Swami positioned Himself in the stage. After a few minutes of Veda chanting, He asked for the programme to begin.

Hanuman, Rama and the two lads acting as Bharatha moved towards Swami and offered roses to Him. Swami accepted them and blessed them all. Soon the drama began. It started with the wedding of the four brothers. Swami seemed so moved at the beginning itself. The marriage between Mother Sita and Lord Rama is considered symbolic as the union of the Prakrithi and Purusha - the individual soul and the Divine soul.

The demon Ravana, tried to break them away from each other and was thus a sinner. Seen in modern light, man is separating Prakrithi (nature) from the Purusha by abusing it and exploiting it. Sai Rama has descended for her rescue. And so, it appears that Swami always gets emotional when He witnesses the enactment of the marriage between Lord Rama and Mother Sita. It is one of the reasons for His incarnation too!

Swami looked at a student nearby and said, “That is Kalyanam (the word has dual meanings - marriage and auspiciousness!) It happens in Vaikuntam (abode of the Lord!)” The drama was based upon the autobiography of the Rama Avatar as Swami has written it in the Ramakatha Rasa Vahini. Mother Kaikeyi has always been condemned as a villain till Swami resurrected her image. This was depicted in the drama wherein Rama himself asks Kaikeyi for assistance in His mission and says, “You must ask for the boons of sending me in exile and the coronation of Bharatha so that the divine mission is accomplished.”

Swami was absorbed during this scene. The intense attention continued as Rama moves into the forests and Bharatha returns to Ayodhya. He comes to know of all that had happened and becomes a mixture of deep anguish and furious anger. With the whole kingdom at his heels, he too goes into the forest to convince Rama to return and become the rightful ruler of Ayodhya. The scene of the intimate conversation between the brothers was very moving and seeing Swami emote to their noble feelings was even more touching.

Bharatha installs the sandals of Lord Rama on the throne and himself leads a life of a recluse waiting for the completion of 14 years. There were many songs in between and they were mostly Thyagaraja krithis. Swami was very happy with the songs and His hands seemed to automatically keep beat for any song that started. Looking at the students Swami also said, “The singer has a very good voice!” The drama reached its climax when Bharatha contemplates suicide since his brother has not yet returned. At that point Swami said, “Thinking of Rama so much, though they are two, both look alike!” Indeed, as Lord Rama appears, both he and Bharatha look same! The coronation occurs and the drama breaks at this point.

Bharatha and Rama then came forward and offered their gratitude to Swami. Swami called the state president and told Him that He was very happy and that all the actors did very well. He asked about the number of participants. Soon, Swami moved down the ramp, much to the delight of the actors. What’s more, Swami was telling them personally to take namaskar and their happiness came pouring down as tears from their eyes. They all dived at His feet like a thirsty person would into a pond!

The students behind Swami were thinking that maybe the devotional outpouring got a bit unruly but Swami wanted to stay in their midst! He personally distributed laddoo prasadam to each and every actor. He told them to come one by one and take namaskar too! Their joy knew no bounds! They made a sort of a line and came to Him, two by two lets say! Swami was smiling all the while and speaking to everyone. He distributed laddoos to all and enquired from a few of them whether they had received the sweet.

The whole interaction was so beautiful and soaked with love and tears. Many of the youth members were crying so spontaneously and joyously. Swami told them again and again that He was very happy with the drama. Swami moved up the stage after the interaction and received aarthi. He raised His hands in blessings and benediction atleast 5-6 times before His thirst to shower love found some satisfaction. He asked for safari cloth pieces to be brought and distributed to each of the participants.

He keenly watched the distribution and even pointed out two actors to the student distributing, telling him that they had not received their share! It was such a love-filled interaction. He spoke a few more congratulatory and praising words to the state president before taking leave at 7:35 p.m. The Panchavadyam began its beat again and Swami moved to His residence leaving behind youth soaked in His love and in their own tears of gratitude and devotion.

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