Prasanthi Diary
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A chronicle of Heaven on Earth

After the heavy slate of recent programs, there was a lull in activities. The students were busy with their midProf. Ramamoorthy addressing the gathering-term exams, it being the examination week. Swami, in His enormous consideration for their well-being used to retire to the Interview Room after giving darshan or else would come and sit directly inside the Bhajan Hall for the evening Bhajans, thus providing the students valuable time to study for their exams the next day.

This first week in August also signaled the start of a 5-day program on COURSE IN VALUE EDUCATION FOR IN-SERVICE TEACHERS, organized and sponsored by the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. 27 teachers from all over the country were selected from a large number of applicants to attend this free seminar. The delegate- teachers would also come for morning and afternoon darshan.

On the afternoon of August 5, 2004, Swami asked Prof. Ramamoorthy, to address Sri B.N. Narasimhamurthy adressing the audienceall the devotees gathered in Sai Kulwant Hall and talk to them about how youngsters can imbibe human values. Prof. Ramamoorthy chose to expand on the acronym WATCH about which Swami has spoken on numerous occasions:


Watch Your Words
Watch your Actions
Watch your Thoughts
Watch your Character
Watch your Health

Expanding on each of these, Prof. Ramamoorthy forcefully brought out Swami’s teachings on human values.

Swami then asked Prof. Anil Kumar to talk to the audience (and also the delegate-teachers among them). ProfProf Anil Kumar talking to the devotees.. Anil Kumar pointed out that the 6 qualities that a good student should possess (as enunciated by Bhagavan) are Virtue, good Intellect, Adherence to the unchanging Truth, Bhakthi or Devotion, Discipline and Duty. True education, said Sri Anil Kumar, is one that inculcates these values in students. He said that the aim of education should be to establish peace on earth. Recalling great teachers like Jesus, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Shirdi Baba and our own Bhagavan, he said that a true teacher is one who inspires and effects transformation in people. Such teachers are remembered by everybody. Addressing the 27 teachers directly, he said that it was Bhagavan’s Grace that had brought them here. He exhorted them to enjoy Bhagavan’s darshan and drink deep from the fountain of knowledge that is Bhagavan.

On August 6A chain for Harry Geurts, 2004, Swami blessed Sri Narasimhamurthy, Warden, Brindavan Campus, to talk to the audience. Sri Narasimhamurthy started by quoting the British historian, Arnold Toynbee, who said that the Indian way is the only way for the redemption of mankind. He said that Swami has made an advent to re-establish the Indian way for the good of humanity. He said that the beginning of spirituality is when man takes shelter at His Divine Lotus Feet. He also recounted in detail the story of Sri Robert Bozzani, a devotee from Los Sri Sanjay Sahni talking on August 8, 2004Angeles, USA and how he was brought to His Lotus Feet by Swami and thus had his life transformed. He also provided first hand details of Swami’s love and sacrifice especially with the events connected with the Easwaramma day celebrations this year in Brindavan. He mentioned that though He had a mishap, Swami insisted on coming down to be at the same level with His devotees and also gave a discourse, standing up in spite of great pain and discomfort, just for the benefit of the devotees.

Following this talk, Swami blessed a visiting music teacher from The Netherlands, Sri Harry Geurts to speakDrama by SSSIHL Students on August 8. Harry, though not well conversant with English, spoke movingly from the heart and recounted the immense love that drew him to His Lotus Feet. Swami manifested a chain for Harry with a cross as a pendant and lovingly put it around his neck with His Own Hand.

On August 8, 2004, Swami asked yet another faculty member to address the audienceAnother scene from the Student drama and all the teachers who had come for the conference. This time He selected Sri Sanjay Sahni, Principal, Brindavan campus, to speak. Sri Sanjay Sahni chose to talk about Bhagavan’s advent and what it means to us. He enumerated that every Avatar has 3 vows, namely - His hand is always stretched out only to give; secondly He accepts everyone who surrenders to Him and lastly that once He has taken a step forward for the welfare of man, that step is never retracted. He stated that Bhagavan’s mission is to repair the ancient highway back to God. Drawing from recent incidents in his own life he illustrated that Bhagavan’s will (sankalpa) always prevails.

After the exams week was over the students took over again. On August 8, in the evening, the 3rd yeaA scene from the UK Drama on August 9r students of the SSSIHL put up a Telugu play for the Lord. The play brought out the more esoteric aspects of Bhakthi. Based on a story related by Bhagavan in one of His discoursess, the play depicted Arjuna who was a little puzzled when he came across a Brahmin carrying a sword. On questioning him, the Brahmin explained that the wanted to do away with 3 so-called devotees of the Lord, who had in reality caused him Swami Tere Hazaro Hathtrouble by wresting some service from Him in the guise of devotion. The Brahmin said that he was in search of Prahlada, who had asked the Lord to manifest Himself when challenged by his father Hiranyakasipu; Draupadi who asked the Lord to rescue her when being disrobed in front of the assemble and finally Arjuna himself who used the Lord as his charioteer, guiding him by the heel of his shoes and causing bruises on the Lord’s face.

This was followed on August 9, 2004, with a play in English by the Sai youth from Region 4 (UK), entitled “Service is a Glorious Opportunity for Mankind”. These devotees a few days earlier, on August 3, 2004, had also sung Bhajans and melodies in the Divine Presence.

The drama bA  photo with the UK Drama Groupy the UK youth, glorifying service done with the right attitude, revolves around 3 persons: Ahmed Sheik, a stock-broker by profession and a money minded man; Sir William Travis, who though a renowned philanthropist is however proud of his giving; and finally Parminder Singh, a Sai devotee and a family man, who is absorbed in serving the community Carnatic concert on August 11 by the Music College boysbut fails in some of his duties towards his own family. The drama in 5 scenes outlines how their lives are transformed after meeting Sai devotees and being introduced to Swami’s teachings. The play concludes with a musical response to the questions: “Who is Sai Baba?”; “What does Sai Baba teach?” The finale song Sainath Tere Hazaro Hath (Sai You have a thousand hands) glorifies Bhagavan, after all the characters have realized that Swami is God Incarnate. Following this, Swami stood for a group picture with all the participants in the play and also permitted them to sing bhajans thereafter.

On August 11, the boys of the Sai Mirpuri College of Music were ready to regale the Lord with a Carnatic VocaMBA Drama- Mind being pulled by the sensesl concert. After Swami had sat down on the chair, He asked the violin boys (aboutMBA Drama- Man,Mind and the Renunciant whom we wrote in the last issue) to play first. A signal lesson that with the Lord, one has to be ever prepared for one never knows when the call will come! After the violin boys had played a number of songs to thunderous applause from the audience, the Carnatic music boys from the Music College kept the audience further spell-bound with their soul stirring devotional songs.

On August 13th, the first year MBA students of the SSSIHL put up a drama entitled Mana Eva ManushyanamHarikatha on August 14 Karanam Bandha Mokshayoh. The drama starts by showing how contemporary man is tortured by the desires of his mind. A renunciant then explains to contemporary man that the mind gets trapped in worldly activities and desires akin to a monkey’s hand that gets trapped by a narrow mouthed jar when it holds on to a full fist of groundnuts. The Mind (played well by a boy who brings out its restlessness dramatically), in turn tries to wThe backdrop meets with His approvalean Man away from the renunciant and trap him again in the world. Man then seeks help from the renunciant, who explains that even great men have fallen to the vagaries of the mind. This was illustrated by a scene showing how Parikshit in anger (prompted by ego and the mind) puts a dead snake around the neck of Sage Sameeka who, being in deep meditation, does not serve water to the thirsty king. The renunciant then explains to man that the mind is like a key in a lock. Turn it outwards you get locked in maya, turn it inwards and you realize the atma. The renunciant then explains how King Parikshit (who gets cursed by thMeeting with the actors before the dramae sage’s son to die in 7 days of snakebite) spent his remaining days leading his mind Godward by listening to Krishna’s pastimes from Sage Suka and thus found liberation. The renunciant further alludes to the Bhagavad Gita where Krishna answers Arjuna’s doubts regarding the weakness of the mind. Contemporary man, thus inspired, makes the mind to offer itself at the feet of the Kaliyuga Avatara which was depicted using the final song of this well enacted drama.

August 14, 2004 saw a rendering of the traditional rural art of story telling in verse and song called HarikathaThe hanging of Bhagat Singh. Two young boys sang in sweet Telugu verse the story and devotion of Sakubhai (where Lord Panduranga manifested as Sakubai and took care of her household chores so Sakubai could go to have darshan of her beloved Lord Vitthala) and the divine leelas of Krishna. Harikatha is normally rendered by men with a garland around their necks. Since the boys did not have garlands, Swami had a couple of garlands brought and had them put around their necks of the two boys. He was pleased with the rendition and later posed for photographs with them.

August 15th is celebrated as Independence Day in India. The traditional flag-hoisting ceremony in the InstitutesDepicting the freedom struggle this year was supplemented this year by a superb drama in Sai Kulwant Hall presented by the postgraduate students of the Institute, entitled ‘From Independence to Swarajya’. Independence refers to the struggle for freedom to be a free country from the yoke of British rule and Swa-rajya refers to the rule of the Self. The story begins with a young man expressing a desire to go abroad to his anguished grandfather. His grandfather expressing deep dismay at this development, refers to the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters at the cost of their lives to gain freedom for the country. The sacrifice of a number of freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh (who was hanged by the British for his role in the freedom struggle) was dramaticallI will serve my countryy depicted to the silent and spell-bound audience. This brings about a transformation in the young man who decides against going abroad. The drama further brings out that true freedom lies in conquering the self as enshrined in Bharatiya culture. The drama was brought to a close on a patriotic note with all singing the National Anthem. The boys had also worked hard to provide a fitting backdrop of Bharat mata morphed into a map of India. Swami when He entered the hall, With the boys after the dramastopped His golf cart for a minute to admire this decoration. Before the start of the play, He met with all the actors inside the mandir and also cut a cake that they had prepared specially for Him. At the end of the play He was very happy and walked down and talked with all the boys who milled around Him. He manifested rings for 4 different actors as a token of His appreciation. Truly one Independence Day celebration that will be remembered for a long time!

August 17 and August 18, 2004 saw speeches by students as well as by a couple of faculty members. For the most part the speakers shared their experiences with Swami and his love and protection for them and their family. Rather than summarize these speeches here, Radio Sai will broadcast some of these speeches in the future.

All in all another blissful fortnight at the Lord’s divine feet!!


Volume - 2 Issue - 17 Radiosai Journal - PSN 2004