September 25, 2010 – “Syan Sya Aradhana” by Devotees from UP amd Uttarakhand

Devotees from the twin states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand were in Puttaparthi in the last week of September to present a programme as part of the 85th Birthday celebrations.

The backdrop was in position and at 5:35 p.m., Swami made His appearance. Accompanying the Veda chants was the beating of the traditional drums from the state. Men and women dressed in the traditional attires sat on either stage of the marbled area which would act as a stage for the programme they had come prepared with which was - "Syan Sya Aradhana" - a dance drama. Swami moved through the gents’ side and then as He went through the portico, a conifer sapling in a pot was brought to the front and placed for worship.

Swami arrived on the stage and kept watching the potted plant for a while. He gazed around and seeing some capped people with musical instruments, called and asked the Secretary, “Who are those people with the music instruments?” “Swami, as part of their programme, they also have live singing of some songs and so they are seated there,” was the answer. Swami nodded and then began to browse through the letters.

After about ten minutes, He looked up and suddenly seemed worried that He had spent too much time and the programme was getting delayed. With a look of urgency, He asked for the Veda chanting to conclude and blessed the programme to begin. He called over the State President and told him to commence the presentation.

This was followed by a group of children in special priestly attire, who came unto him with a temple structure, a depiction of cultural and spiritual heritage of the twin states. As the State President went on explaining various religious centres illustrated, Swami remained keen, listening to and watching over.

The play was based on the cultural traditions of northern region of Kumaon Mandal in Uttarakhand. The drama began with a prayer and ritual to Syan Sya, the Supreme Lord, portrayed in traditional folklore. Many traditional dances were showcased and stitched together with a conversation between the people of the land. The episode of how little Sathya stopped the rains which were threatening to swallow Puttaparthi was also presented.

The highlight however was a harvest dance, the Krishi Nritya, which featured mainly a farmer with two of his bullocks. The “bullocks” with their masks and posture elicited laughter from Swami. The farmer too was so desperate to get his bullocks under control and Swami turned to His side and laughed along with the students there! The Jodha Dance, a temple dance prayer to Mother Goddess received rounds of applause from the capacity audience. The finale was via a resolution by all to follow His teachings as placards conveying those teachings were displayed.

Once the final formation was made, Swami moved down the stage. He posed for photographs with the boys and collected letters from a few of them. He also allowed them to take padanamaskar. Then, He moved over to the girls. They were only about 7 in number and Swami posed with them too. He asked one little girl her name and as she responded in a squeaky voice, Swami asked, “What!? Bhargav?” The other girls responded, “Swami, Bhargavi!” Swami smiled and patting her on the head moved up the stage. He then had safari pieces and sarees distributed to all. Seeing the dancers in women’s dress, He asked, “Shouldn’t they be given sarees?” Those nearby smiled and answered, “Swami they are boys too!”

Swami told the student by His side to get shirt and pant pieces for the little boys who were seated in the front in the formation. He also blessed laddoo prasadam to be distributed to all. At 7:15 p.m. Swami received aarthi. The boy who offered a rose to him was involved in an animated and intense discussion with Him. After about 5 minutes, the conversation between the student and Swami seemed to conclude. Swami blessed everyone and then retired for the day.

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