December 21, 2008 – “Sai Jyothi” Drama by Srikakulam Bal Vikas Children
The winter arrived in Puttaparthi in December and though it seemed hidden in the afternoon Sun, it spread its chills through the night, lasting well into the middle of the day. And even in this winter, devotees thronged to the serene abode of peace to receive His warmth! The devotees from the north-eastern corner of Andhra Pradesh, Srikakulam, filled Prashanti Nilayam seeking His Love and Grace on December 20-21. Swami had graciously permitted them to put up a programme in His divine presence on the 21st and they were well prepared and waiting for Him by 3:30 p.m.
It was almost 5:40 p.m. when Swami arrived for darshan. Since a programme had been scheduled, no bhajans had begun, and Swami was welcomed with the traditional Veda chanting. As He neared the centre area, He was engrossed looking at the backdrop and the children holding flags and banners. After moving across the centre of the hall, Swami took a detour along the lines of the devotees from Srikakulam and moved towards the stage. He arrived on the dais and surprised everyone by taking a round of the veranda before arriving again on the stage. This time, He asked for the chanting to cease and the programme to begin immediately.
It began with the District President's address. He profusely thanked Swami for all the love, guidance and grace, and detailed the various activities that had been carried out with His grace. Swami seemed touched, and that showed in the way He blessed the speaker at the end of his talk. Then, a row of devotees approached Bhagavan, and each of them offered a rose and sought His blessings. Swami patiently and lovingly blessed all of them. They also brought a huge wooden model of a Mandir which Swami blessed. After this, Swami lit the lamp to mark the beginning of their programme.
A little girl now went up to Swami and in her hands was a bowl of holy grains. Swami smiled and showered that holy rice on her. Soon, a few children in costumes also moved up to Him and after their offerings, the programme began.
It was entitled, "Sai Jyoti" and sought to highlight the way in which the "light of Love" of Swami was spreading in all the villages through the "progress of the children", that is what literally and truly is “Bal Vikas”. The drama began with the celestial sage Narada requesting Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati, considered as the parents of the world, to descend to the Earth to save mankind. Shiva then tells him not to worry as children on the Earth are already working towards the redemption of mankind by the virtue of values and valuing all virtues! The scene then shifts to Earth.
The father of the protagonist is falsely accused of being a cheat by the village landlord. The son stands by his father steadfastly and exhibits exemplary devotion towards him. He has a huge influence among the other children of the village as he always guides and advises them whenever there is a need. Quoting the inspiring example of Alluri Sitaramamraju for self-confidence and that of Lord Sri Rama for universal love, the young boy brings about a transformation in the hearts of all the elders as to how one must lead one's life. Few instances from Swami's childhood are also brought alive, especially the one in which Lord Hanuman, in the form of a huge monkey, comes to Puttaparthi and prevents little Sathya from circumambulating the Hanuman temple. The drama is interspersed with colourful dances, and a simple devotional song marks the crescendo.
As the performance neared its end, all the children came together for the final formation, and Swami was all smiles. He had sarees distributed for the girls and white safari cloth pieces to the boys. Once that was done, He blessed prasadam to be distributed to all. Adding to their joy, Swami finally said that He would be coming down! All the children clustered around Him and a wonderful moment was captured for all of them to admire and relish. Swami blessed them again after the group photo session and then returned to the stage. As He sat there, He raised both His hands in loving benediction. Soon the camphor was waved and Swami retired for the day.
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- Heart2Heart Team