Brindavan Roundup 2004
A slew of activities brought the month of May to a close and auspiciously ushered in the month of June.
On May 20th, 2004, Swami had clothes distributed to the Bhajan singers at Bangalore as a sign of His appreciation for their service to Him. These group of singers, both men and women, practice assiduously the year round, so that they could sing for their Lord when He is resident in Brindavan for 2 or 3 months during the summer. They lead the Bhajans on Thursday morning and on Sundays. This group was initially formed by Swami Himself and He nourished and took an active part in training them in the early years.
On May 27th, 2004, the Bala Vikas children of the education wing of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations, Karnataka region staged a drama entitled “Shiva Bhakte” in the Divine Presence at the Sai Kishan Kalyana Mantap in Brindavan, Bangalore. This drama outlines the story of Malamma, of the Hemareddy family. She is an ardent devotee of Lord Mallikarjuna and sees Him in everyone. Her in-laws do not like her habit of always feeding the beggars who come to the door, and send her away to live alone in the forest, away from the rest of the family. Reaping the fruit of their bad actions, their crop fails. Malamma however, prays ardently to Lord Mallikarjuna to show mercy to the Hemareddy family. The Lord grants her prayer and they reap a golden harvest. Malamma’s relatives apologise and lovingly take her back in their midst.
Once a woman, having heard that Malamma was able to reap a bountiful harvest after sowing grains of sand as she had given away the seeds to the needy, tries to do the same but was disappointed. Because only true devotion is rewarded by the Lord. All the depth of feeling was brought out by the children and thoroughly enjoyed by one and all.
On May 28th, 2004, Sai Gitanjali, celebrated their 7th anniversary in the Divine Presence. The Sai Gitanjali Center was opened by Swami in 1997 to provide a building for educational activities, run a library, provide vocational guidance and specialized medical consultancy, and run a literary center, all free of charge. After a morning of enchanting Bhajans in the Divine Presence, prasadam was distributed to all.
June 3rd signaled a milestone in the lives of the young students of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. This day marked the beginning of the academic year. The boys welcomed Swami to Sai Ramesh Hall to the sonorous sounds of Vedic chants. One could see that Swami was visibly pleased. The Vedic chants were followed by melodious bhajans sung by the students. At the conclusion of the morning festivities, the joy was shared with all devotees by the distribution of sumptuous prasadam to all present. The students then walked to the Institute building from Sai Ramesh Hall to begin their academic year. And yes, they all prayed to Lord Ganesha (Whom they had nicely dressed up earlier) in front of the Institute building to remove all obstacles from their path in this new academic year.
The evening of June 3rd saw the performance of yet another drama entitled “Naradana Nataka” by the members and children of Sai Darshan. Sai Darshan works for the upliftment of the slum children of Bangalore who acted in this play also. The play centered around Sathyabhama’s jealousy and Indra’s selfishness. Satyabhama covets the Parijatha flower at any cost because she hears that Rukmini has received one such flower at the hands of Krishna. Krishna fulfils her wish. However, when the time comes to part with the Parijatha tree, Indra forgets Krishna’s Divinity and all the help he has received from Krishna and calls Him a common thief.
It is Sage Narada who creates the entire drama to open the eyes of Rukmini and Sathyabhama and to show us mortals the lessons to be drawn from the “leelas” of Divinity which are continuing even to this day. Swami was pleased with the performance of these slum children and manifested a golden chain for the young boy who played the part of Sage Narada.
On morning of June 5th, 2004, Swami inaugurated an exhibition entitled ‘Educare, the Vedas of the 21st century’. After inaugurating the exhibition, He went around the exhibits and blessed all the organizers. He also sat and watched an entire computer presentation specially prepared for Him.
On June 7th, 2004, Swami left Brindavan and departed to Puttaparthi.