Brindavan Diary
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AT BRINDAVAN , 11-14 APRIL, 2004.

India is a land of rich and diverse cultures. The varied traditions and forms of dance and music, drama and literature from different regions of the country all form part of the proud heritage of this land. And the uniqueness of the festivities at the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is that one gets to see different facets of Indian culture and also those from all over the world.

Interacting with the Kerala youthDevotees from the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala celebrated their New Year Day with their Lord at the Brindavan Ashram in Bangalore. The celebrations, held between 11-14th of April, coincided with a state level conference of the youth wing of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Kerala. About 3000 youth delegates, both men and women, attended the conference and were addressed by some of the students and staff members of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning as well as senior members of the Seva Organization.

The inaugural session of the conference was held on the morning of 11th April in the Sai Ramesh Krishan Hall. After the delegates welcomed Bhagawan into their midst with songs, Prof. Mukundan, the President of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Kerala addressed the gathering. He reminded the youth of the reason that they had all gathered at the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan – to taste His Love and to have to glimpse of His glory so that they may undergo a transformation in their attitudes and outlook. He was followed by Sri Sanjay Mahalingam, a student of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, who spoke on the importance of holding on to the Lord’s Feet. He said that when the fisherman casts his net into the sea, it is the fish that swim close to his feet that never get caught in the net. Similarly, when the Lord casts His net of Maya (Illusion), there can be no safer place than at His Lotus Feet.

Bhagawan then began His Divine Discourse by saying that it is foolish to search for God when He is present With the drama boys from Keralaeverywhere. He said that it is most important to understand and develop the confidence that God is always working for our welfare. He said that it is He who grants us the devotion and the strength, and when God is sparing no effort to work for our good, we must also perform actions that please God. He also said that everyone must aspire for darshan, sparshan and sambhashan with God and also elaborated on the benefits of these three types of blessings.

After the Discourse, the delegates adjourned to the Sai Krishan Kalyana Mantapam for the subsequent sessions of the conference. In the evening, the youth of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, presented a drama titled, “The Ultimate Solution”. The drama depicted how the practice of the human values enunciated by Bhagawan is the only answer to the various ills that beset modern day society.

Darshan on Tamil New Years dayOn the morning of 12th April, Bhagawan graciously granted darshan and also sat for a few bhajans. The evening session witnessed a music programme by renowned artistes from Kerala.

The following morning, on the occasion of the Tamil New Year Day, singers from the Sundaram Bhajan group (Sundaram is Bhagawan’s residence at Chennai) led Bhajans in the Sai Ramesh Krishan Hall. The evening began with a sweet welcome speech in Sanskrit by a young boy which was simultaneously translated into English. This was followed by a music programme by the Sundaram Bhajan singers, in which they exhibited their virtuosity in different styles of music ranging from Carnatic and light classical music to qawaali and even western classical.

The following day, 14th April was ‘Vishu’, the Kerala New Year Day, and in the evening there was a concert byDevotees throng Sai Ramesh Hall on Vishu a music troupe from Kerala. They began with the melodious Navaragamalika varnam “Valachi Vachi”, with the violin and the flute as the lead instruments. They followed it up with the famous piece, “Vatapi Ganapathim” and a detailed exposition of the Thyagaraja kirthana, “Nagumomu”. The highlight of the programme was the taniavartanam (exposition of the taala or rhythm by the percussionists) involving nine instruments which included even the panchavadyam instruments unique to the state of Kerala. Bhagawan joined the audience in applauding the artistes at the end of this thrilling performance. The concert concluded with the Bhajan, “Deva Devottama Deena Samrakshaka”.

Bhagawan descended the stage and feted the musicians by presenting them with clothes. Then there followed some enchanting moments when Bhagawan commanded one of the musicians to sing a kirtana, while He stood Traditional percussion display on Vishu eveningsmiling in front of him and even joined him in singing “Jagadodharana”, a composition by Saint Purandaradasa.

At the end of the festivities, which left everyone with so many pleasant memories, if there was one thing that stood out as one looked back, it was the exemplary discipline exhibited by the Kerala youth. They chanted the Sai Gayathri as they waited for Bhagawan’s darshan in the Sai Ramesh Krishan Hall, and also before every workshop session in the Kalyana Mantapam. The orderly manner in which the three thousand strong contingent queued for darshan and also filed out of the hall after the programmes was indeed worthy of praise and a measure of how well the youth have absorbed Bhagawan’s message of duty, devotion and discipline.

Jai Sai Ram!


Volume - 2 Issue - 9 Radiosai Journal - PSN 2004