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…and the day was Golden


Published on Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 14:40.00 Hrs.IST

Ladies’ Day at Prasanthi Nilayam

From the Vedic ages to the Greek civilizations, from the Renaissance era to the 21st century, women have been known to mould the minds of millions. Assuming different roles from that of a mother to a teacher to a leader, they are known to be the backbone of a nation. 

Indian scriptures have also worshipped the feminine in five forms: Desha Maata (motherland), Deha Maata (physical mother), Go Maata (the holy cow), Bhu Maata (mother earth) and Veda Maata (mother of all knowledge).

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has also emphasized in His teachings that women must be honoured and revered and often referred to Anasuya and Sita as women of extraordinary character. He has paved way towards success and glory for thousands of students by instituting colleges and schools pan India and the world.

As women from the world over assembled at Prasanthi Nilayam to celebrate its 13th ladies’ day in the midst of their creator, the Sai Kulwant Hall glittered in the festivity and fervour dotted by throng of devotees in their colorful garbs. Thus to achieve a sense of wholeness fostering the virtues of faith, fortitude, and wisdom, ladies gather to offer their selves to Mother Sai.

Reflecting sheer aesthetic beauty matching the grandeur of the occasion, Sai Kulwant Hall was a scene of gracefulness on the scheduled morning, 19th Nov 2008.  Shining under a perfect backdrop of rising sun, with flowers strewn around parading hues and freshness, the dais for the Lord had the regal touch, a perfect setting to host Divinity encased in human frame. Festoons, buntings and special chinese lanterns added glitter to the packed Sai Kulwant Hall housing multitudes crossing language, national and religious barriers.

Bhagawan was accorded a traditional welcome led by the Institute girls’ brass band followed by girls from the college chanting Vedic hymns. The morning programme got off to a colourful start with Bhagawan lighting the lamp on the dais officially commencing the function.  

Ms. Chetana Raju delivering the introductory speech dwelled upon the mystery of Divinity encased in human form. Most of us live and carry upon the surfus the wondrous workings of Bhagawan remarkably unaware of the levels upon levels with which so much is going on. Who is His instrument and who is not? What is God’s work and what is not? asked the speaker. Reflecting on the right perspective one should inculcate with our approach to Bhagawan, the speaker further added: we are opportunists whom Bhagawan give 101 chances to serve and becoming a servant. Our stay on earth is like a flicker of a candle placed against eternity. It is He what He is today, and shall be Sri Sathya Sai what He will be tomorrow. His name will echo in the heart of creation for ever and ever, for eternity, concluded the speaker.

The second speaker for the session was Dr. Ankhi Mukherjee, an alumnus at Anantapur Campus between1984-1991.  She was the recipient of the All Rounder Gold Medal in 1989, and the University Gold Medal in English literature in the year 1991. She is currently serving as a “College University Fellow”, Lecturer in the faculty of English and Fellow of Wadham College, University of Oxford.

Ankhi Mukherjee started with a meditation on knowing Bhagawan through the register of “vidya” and spoke of “vidya” as the “portable property” she has carried away from her years at the Institute. Describing her relationship with Bhagawan as one of telepathy – both distant and intimate, from “tele” and “pathos” of the same word, she discussed the implication of Women’s education for not just self-improvement, or the improvement of a class of women, but for the overall improvement of women.

The last speaker was Sylvia Alden, from the US, a retired teacher, holding a Masters in Special Education. In a moving speech packed with emotion and devotion, she prayed to Swami: Swami, I pray that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart will be acceptable to You, my Lord and my All. Dwelling upon the concept “Universal” and its dictionary meaning, the speaker credited Bhagawan to be the universal solution. He is that which exists and is true in all places and at all times and in all situations as justice and beauty. Talking about the Divine Wonder encased in human frame, the speaker said:

There are over six billion people on the earth at this time. Each and every one of them is held in the heart of love that is Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. They need not have heard His name or accepted Him to qualify for His love and protection. All are His children. Even those who revile Him are held in that same heart of love. He cannot do otherwise. It is His nature to love and He bids us all to do as He does. He does not say love those you like and serve those who may reciprocate. He says, “Love all, Serve all.”

“We must count as our greatest blessing that He allows us to know His name, hear His teachings and permits us to enter this most holy and sacred place where we see His Divine form. Who among us could ever have fathomed the immensity of the love and Grace that would bring us to His Lotus Feet? asked Ms. Sylvia.

Commemorating the occasion, the Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Trust organized distribution of solar lamps, water filters and blankets to the selected families from Puttaparthi and neighbouing villages.

Bharat, the land acclaimed to be God’s Own, rich with Gods and the godly has the name against her, the Land of Avatars. These Avatars have come in different times with different mission and their glory and their story have become the life breath for multitudes across the land and the world over. Is it ever possible to bring these Gods on to one stage depicting their glory narrating stories? There was an attempt towards this end by the tiny tots from the Primary School through a dazzling display of light, music, dance and drama on the twilight of the ladies’ day, in His immediate Divine Presence. 

The theme for the dance music extravaganza was His Glory, His Story, a fine portrayal running through the history of ‘His Glory’ effectively conjuring up beautiful anecdotes, weaving the story  in absolute élan. Over 150 children in glittering costumes, showcasing their acting prowess made the evening a wondrous one in an effort to please the Lord of their little hearts. …And the Lord was pleased. At the end of the session Bhagawan chose to come down the dais granting coveted group photo session.

Earlier the evening session started off with a soulful rendering of devotional music by Sunita, Surabhi Shravani and Smita. While it was a home coming for Sunita after a wonderful opportunity during the Guru Purnima, for the other two, it was their maiden venture, an opportunity they cherish and fail to express. Starting with an invocation prayer to Lord Ganesha, “Shuklambharadharam Vishnum”, they sang the famous “Sathyam Sivam Sundaram”, “Jagadi Sigadu”, a patriotic piece, “Sri Rama Chandra Kripalu”, “Allah Tero Naam”, “Vendi Ginneluka” and “Eashwar Hey Allah Ek Pukaar…” receiving applause from the packed Sai Kulwant Hall. Bhagawan gave away sarees to the three artistes and safari pieces to the accompanying artistes.

Bhagawan retired to Yajur Mandiram after receiving Mangala Arathi.

At the end of the day, while leaving, the packed audience had a message to cherish and carry on, and that was the final message by the children from the primary school, He alone exists; He alone is God…God…God…!!! Mother Easwaramma’s soul would be happy, watching the drama from her realm of immortality, as it was she, the Divine Mother and the Divine Wonder who had taken the human initiative to set up the first school in the village of Puttaparthi that has grown into a gigantic educational institution. And now, the children from the same school coming out in open declaring to the world that He alone is God...It is time for the world to take a cue from these tiny tots and move ahead…!!!