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  Volume 3 - Issue 7
JULY 2005


Brindavan Diary
Chronicles of Heaven on Earth

Swami returned from Kodai Kanal on the 7th of May to Brindavan. Brindavan was always busy with functions and festivals. Here is the account of the happenings in Brindavan in May and June.

After Swami’s arrival in Brindavan from Kodaikanal, the devotees were fortunate to witness a unique function wherein Yajnas (ritual sacrifice with offerings of oblations to the sacred fire accompanied by the chanting of Vedic mantras) were conducted in Sai Ramesh Hall on 3 consecutive days, for the welfare of the world. Four special heart-shaped Yajna Kunda (sacrificial pits) were set up on the dais of Sai Ramesh Hall, while another was set up in front of the dais. The entire Hall was tastefully and aptly decorated with flowers as well as banana and mango leaves in the traditional South Indian style on all the 3 days.

The first day the priests (drawn from famous temples in the area) performed Ganesha and Kalasha Puja and other traditional prayers before conducting the Dhanvantari Homa. On the 17th morning, Rudra Homa, Mrityunjaya Homa and Durga Homa were conducted simultaneously. Sudarshana Homa was performed in the 17th afternoon.

This 3-day sacred function concluded on the morning of the 18th, with the performance of Shatachandi Homa. After the Homa, renowned Hindustani classical singers Smt. Parveen Sultana and her husband Ustad Dilshad Khan sang Bhajans to elevate the devotional mood of the devotees and bring this sacred blessing from Bhagavan to a close.

Truly this festival was a living embodiment of our daily prayer, “Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu” - May all the beings in all the worlds be happy!!

A large gathering of over 2000 Buddhist devotees from 10 countries, gathered in Sai Ramesh Hall to celebrate the Birth Anniversary of Lord Buddha. The celebrations this year was coordinated by the devotees from Sri Lanka.

The festivities started on the morning of the 23rd when Bhagavan was welcomed to Sai Ramesh Hall by the devotees singing Sai Bhajans in mellifluous tones. Folk dancers from Sri Lanka in their colourful traditional dresses also delighted the crowd by dancing to the beat of drums. Following this, there was a one-hour very special rendition of bhajans by the ladies and gents from Sri Lanka that sanctified the atmosphere and rendered it serene.

In the afternoon of the 23rd, following speeches by 3 Sri Lankan devotees, Bhagavan gave his much awaited divine discourse. Swami talked about God being one and not limited to a particular name, form, region or religion. Swami exhorted everyone to develop self-confidence, as self-confidence is the basis for self-realization. Defining meditation as thinking of God at all times

under all circumstances, Swami asked everyone to install God in their hearts and discharge their duties with the feeling that God is the basis of everything. Touched by the devotion of the devotees from Sri Lanka, Swami promised to visit Sri Lanka and bestow eternal bliss on all the citizens.

On the morning of the 24th all the overseas Buddhists devotees lead the morning Bhajans. In the evening the Bala Vikas children presented a drama, “Life with the Divine”, that beautifully captured and depicted the intimate relationship of the 5 basic elements with the 5 human values – and taught that man should live in harmony with nature by practicing the 5 human values.

The new and returning students had just settled in, for the start of the academic year. They were basking in the divine presence, when an electric announcement was made on the morning of the 4th that there would be a 24 hour Akhanda Bhajan starting from 4 pm that evening. What an auspicious way to kick start the academic year and carry forward the spiritual momentum generated by the 3-day Yajna and the Buddha Purnima celebrations.

In spite of the short notice, the boys quickly organized. Groups were formed and all the time slots were quickly filled up, to keep up the spiritual vibrations with unabated fervour through the night. On Sunday, the boys were joined by the Seva Dal Bhajan Group also. All the devotees were treated to a veritable feast and quite a few kept a 24-hour vigil contributing and participating in the

Bhajans, fully utilizing this golden opportunity to deepen their Sadhana.

Swami came to Sai Ramesh Hall at 4:30 pm on the evening of the 5th and listened to the Bhajans for a full hour before

bringing it to a close. A prasadam of pulihora (tamarind rice) and a sweet was served to all devotees at the conclusion.

The Brindavan boys had prepared a small skit on Veda chanting, to regale the Lord and enhance the understanding of all. In a well-thought out and nicely rehearsed skit they brought out the central essence of the main Mantras that are most often chanted in the Divine Presence. They not only chanted the Mantras, they also explained the quintessential meaning and the significance and relevance to everyday life. They also demonstrated the different ways in which the Vedas can be chanted. They also sought Bhagavan’s blessings for as the Veda Purusha, He accepts the prayers of all.

Bhagavan was visibly pleased with the programme put up the boys. He signaled for a mike to be brought and decided to give an unexpected Divine Discourse. Speaking informally, while seated, as He is wont to do in a “Trayee Session”, Swami spoke continuously in Telugu for a few minutes. He spoke on the sacredness of mother’s love and said she should be honoured and respected (Matru Devo Bhava). He also spoke about the singular importance of Namasmarana and termed it as the highest form of Sadhana, by which the Lord can be easily reached. He exhorted everyone to constantly remember the Lord with love. The discourse was later summarized in English by Sri B.N. Narasimhamurthy, Warden of the Brindavan Campus.

In the morning of the 8th of June, the members of the Indiranagar Sai Samithi, Bangalore, had an auspicious function in Sai Ramesh Hall to felicitate and honour as many as one hundred and eleven Archaka/Purohit (priest) couples drawn from Bangalore city and the district. The couples were brought in a procession to a suitably decorated Sai Ramesh Hall, preceded by a Nadaswaram troupe and Veda chants by a troupe from “Sai Darshan” (the Community Hall of the Indiranagar Sai Samithi). The couples were presented to Swami and were honoured with a plate containing traditional gifts like betel leaves, kum-kum, clothes, fruits and even Sai literature. All the couples also had a ‘Parikrama’ (circumambulation) of Trayee Brindavan, which gave them great joy.

In the afternoon, the Bala Vikas children of ‘Sai Darshan’ put up a play entitled “Dasanudasa Kanaka”. These 22 children, who come from economically backward families, narrated the story of Bhaktha Kanaka Dasa, a 16th century saint-singer of Karnataka. The play presented a few episodes from the saint’s life to highlight his Bhakthi to the Lord. The grand finale of the play was the legendary episode wherein the deity of Lord Krishna in the Udupi temple turns around to give Darshan to Kanaka standing behind the temple as he was denied entry because of his caste. Swami advised the Director of the play, Smt. Nallu Ganapathy, that the message of the play should reach everyone and the good work done by the Samithi should continue.

In the morning of June 12, about 500 young boys, drawn from 22 districts of Karnataka and also from Swami’s educational institutions in Alike, Muddenhalli and Brindavan, participated in a mass Upanayanam ceremony in the Divine presence. This sacred thread ceremony initiates the young boy on the spiritual path and he is given Upadesha of the Gayathri Mantra by the priest.

These young boys along with their parents all dressed in the traditional attire of a dhoti and an angavastram (upper cloth) came marching to Sai Ramesh Hall from Sai Gokulam led by Nadaswaram music and Veda chants. In a 90-minute ceremony, the head priest led all these boys through the sacred ritual that included the Ganesha Homa, the Nava Graha Homa and the Gayathri Homa.

After the Poorna Ahuti ceremony, the young boys were initiated by having the sacred thread slipped on their shoulders and by reciting the Gayathri. There was a reverential atmosphere in the Hall and many were moved to tears of gratitude to Swami, not only for conducting the function but also for providing everything – the clothes, the ingredients for the ritual and even the

sacred thread that was used by them. Truly the Divine Mother only gives, gives, and gives!

After the function, the participants reverentially circumambulated Swami’s house as a mark of respect. They were also provided with a sumptuous breakfast. All of us were also blessed to have witnessed this unique event.

Being with Swami and writing these chronicles, one is always astonished at how much He keeps giving of Himself to foster love and devotion in all the devotees. His giving is not just to those in the immediate divine presence, but has no limitations of boundaries and space! I am sure many of you must have experienced His grace also. Do write and share with us your experiences of Swami’s Love at [email protected]. Joy shared is joy doubled. Let’s savour and enjoy the stories and Leelas of our Lord.

So till next time --- SAI RAM.

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