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The En-chanting Festival
(Dussera at Prasanthi Nilayam)

On the extreme right of the stage is performed the worship of the Mother Goddess. That place is also reserved for performing the daily Arati after all the ceremonies are over for each day at noon.

Everyday in the evening, the Sai Kulwanth hall is filled to capacity. There is the Prasanthi Vidwan Mahasabha where Swami blesses some selected students and Elders to address the gathering on various spiritual topics. Above all, He himself speaks everyday elucidating the most sublime of spiritual topics in the simplest possible way!

The eighth day is the Ayudha puja when all the instruments of work are worshipped. Swami comes to the garage in the Kulwanth hall where the drivers are waiting, their cars decorated with beautiful garlands. Swami gives each one of them a chance to drive Him in their respective vehicles. But the moment to watch out for is when he ascends the golden chariot. A sight for the Gods!

The Final day of the Yagna is on Vijaydashami, the Tenth day, wherein the Poornahuti or the Valedictory offering is made. The day begins with an extraordinary manifestation of spiritual fervor among the pundits and the participants of the Yagna. Everyone in the Poornachandra Hall is expectantly waiting to see Baba accept the final offering of the Yagna. When the prescribed numbers of offerings have been completed, the priests sit on either side of the sacrificial altar. Swami ascends the stage amidst the chanting of the Vedic hymns and seats himself on a pedestal behind the sacrificial fire.

When the chanting reaches a crescendo, Swami with a sudden wave of His hand manifests a number of precious gems. As they shine in brilliance, he offers them, one by one, unto the sacrificial fire. Everyone present in the vast hall is filled with awe on witnessing this most sacred and divine act, the Poornaahuthi! The priests then make their grand offering to the Veda Purusha.

The priests circumambulate Swami and one by one, prostrate at His feet. Grateful indeed they are for having been selected to officiate in a Yagnam conducted by God himself!

A few minutes later Swami comes down the stage, with a priest following him holding sacred water in a bowl. Swami, holding a big brush in his hand, dips it in the holy water and sprinkles it on the devotees. As Bhagawan goes around the place sprinkling holy water, the students and the staff, the young and the old, the men and the women, seated inside and outside the Poornachandra, in short, everyone is blessed by this holy shower of Divine grace! The crowd simply goes delirious on receiving this great blessing!

As a grand finale, in the yesteryears, on the Poornahuthi day, there was also the famous Vibhuthi Abhishekam where Swami churned an upturned empty vessel to bathe the statue of Shirdi Baba in a continuous shower of sacred ash… unbelievable, but true!

Thus comes to a close the Yagna and Dussera…but the message that Swami gives, through this enchanting festival, is engraved forever in the hearts of those who, witness it or even read about it:

" The heart of man itself is the sacrificial fire altar. The pangs of desires are the tongues of flame; the evil that is in man is the offering that goes into the fire and the treasure of unruffled Ananda is the ultimate gain. That is the real Yagna that you have to perform everyday in your life."

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Volume 01: PDS / 03 Date : OCT 01 2003