July 30, 2010 – Dance Programme by Bal Vikas Children of Sikkim

The 85th year of Advent of Bhagavan is one where people from all the states of India and all countries in the world have decided to undertake pilgrimages to Prashanti Nilayam. This statement becomes so evident to anyone who spends even a fortnight at Prashanti. The month of July saw such varied programmes. Continuing this stream of programmes were devotees from the far - the little capping state of Sikkim.

This state which abounds in heavenly natural beauty was ready with a cultural programme entitled “Bhakti Samarpan” which was an attempt to showcase its rich cultural heritage and its phenomenal biodiversity. The simple backdrop had been erected and the children sat in all readiness and eagerness for Swami.

At 5:30 p.m., as the Veda chanting stopped, it was restarted with Swami’s arrival! Bhagavan glided through the ladies side, blessing many of them along the way. As He came to the centre, He looked at the small children who sat there in rich costumes and also at the backdrop that was so scenic. Moving through the gents’ side, He passed by the students and arrived on the stage. At about 5:50 p.m., Swami asked for the chanting to cease and the programme to begin.

A lady and a few children walked to the stage. They offered a traditional flowing cloth to Swami and Bhagavan was so keen to accept them. He smiled and blessed the children as He accepted the white and red coloured cloths. The programme then began.  First there was Veda chanting by the boys. After about 5-6 minutes of this, Swami indicated for them to stop and that was exactly where they too had planned to end!

A girl in a flowing red robe came up front and began to introduce the programme and Swami seemed all eyes and ears for her. It was such a nice scene to see the Lord so absorbed. The programme was threaded as the expression of yearning of everything in Sikkim. First, the mountains arrived headed by the Kanchenjunga to offer their oblations. Then it was the turn of the Forests which were followed by the rivers. Once these were complete, three traditional dances were presented.

The first was the oldest and most popular Nepalese dance, the Maruni which is associated with Light and celebration.  The next was the Bhutia dance which was performed by children in colourful costumes. The final was the Lepcha dance which is the traditional dance of the aborigines of Nepal.

The dances concluded and it was literally a dash of colours to the front as the final formation was made. Swami asked, “Who is their dance teacher?” The person rose and came up to the front. He was quite young and Swami was so happy. He waved His hand and materialised a gold ring for him. He put it on his finger and lovingly patted him. Swami then had sarees distributed to all the participants.

He called the student by His side and instructed him to even distribute vibhuti packets to all the participants. The state president then requested Swami for a group photograph and Swami consented. He moved down the stage. He posed with the children for photos and then all the children began to take padanamaskar. It was an overflow of Love from one side and innocence from the other.

Knowing no other way to express, many of these children began to cry. Swami was like a loving mother among them. One mother finds it so hard to console one child; no wonder it takes someone with a love of a thousand mothers to console a hundred!

Swami moved up the stage and beckoned for aarthi. He sat on the ladies’ side of the stage. He was so very happy. He raised His hands in abhayahastha. In the meanwhile, the photo of Swami putting the ring to the dance teacher was brought. Swami called for him and gave the picture to him. There was clapping. At the end, Swami raised both His hands again and panned them independently to each of the sides and blessed everyone.

Swami’s arms stretched out like an umpire signaling a wide! It was for the first time that many were seeing such a blessing! It was a lovely finish to a beautiful night. It was just past 7 p.m. when the session concluded.

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