Ashadi has come…with the typical Maharashtra
flavour…29th July 2004 was again a day marked for devotees
from Maharashtra….they sung, danced and made everybody
happy including their Vittala, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
In fact this is the day, when lakhs and lakhs of Varkaris
from all parts of the country, especially from the state of
Maharashtra throng the spiritual capital of the state, Pandarpur
to have darshan and blessings of their chosen deity Vittal
Bhagawan was accorded a traditional welcome
to the beautifully decorated Sai Kulwant Hall at around 7:30
a.m. to the accompaniment of Vedic chants by students of Sri
Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam.
There was riot of flowers in the dais set for Bhagawan as
it was beautifully bedecked with flowers of various hues…and
a statue of Lord Vittal adorned the dais. An invocation song
by the Maharashtra Choir and the subsequent arrival of ‘Varkaris’
dancing in ecstasy (symbolically signifying the ‘Dindi
Yatra’ that happens every year during this period in
Maharashtra) surcharged the atmosphere with divine vibrations.
This was reminiscent of those days when two of the greatest
saints of Maharashtra, Sant Jnaneshwar and Sant Tukkaram set
out for Pandarpur with their hearts resonating with …Jai
Jai Ram Krishna Hari and mind fully engrossed in spiritual
ecstasy. This time Varkaris from 22 districts of Maharashtra
participated in this Dindi Yatra from Dharmavaram to Prasanthi
It was a fine blend of old and new, devotion
and perspective of yore, and the so called devotion and confusion
of the present times that set the stage for the morning presentation
entitled “The Divine Verdict”. The programme clearly
depicted the modern man’s confused mindset to choose
the right path to attain Godhood. Whether one should follow
the Dwaita (worshipping the form) path?.... Is not Adwaita
(worshipping the formless) proclaimed by Adi Shankara the
proper path?....then what about Visishtadwaita…which
defines your relationship with God?...Yes…we are a confused
lot…and the Bal Vikas and Youth Wing from Maharashtra
had something definite to say about it. At the climax they
invited the jury of experts to the Divine Appellate Court.
St. Francis of Assissi, Sant Kabir Das, Saint Thyagaraja,
Guru Nanak, Narsi Mehta, Sant Jnaneshwar all of them gave
their version and with them joined the preceptors of three
different paths, Madhwacharya, Adi Shankaracharya and Ramanujacharya.
…still no consensus on the contentious issue and it
was left to the Ultimate Divine…Bhagawan Sri Sathya
Sai Baba. …the curtain came to a close when Bhagawan’s
Message was aired to the august gathering.
‘The Supreme Verdict’ commands
us to look inward rather than concentrating on mundane illusory
world which is unreal. To understand the Atmic Principle that
the Supreme Divinity is present in every atom of the universe,
and true devotion to Bhagawan is to recognize this Truth first
in our own selves and then through Saguna Bhakti (worship
with form) moving on to Nirguna Bhakti (formless worship)
and thus establish eternal relationship with the only One.
Bhagawan blessed the participants with a
photograph session which was followed by bhajans by Maharashtra
devotees. Prasadam was distributed and Mangala Aarathi was
offered to Bhagawan in the end.
In the afternoon the Bal Vikas and Youth Wing of Mumbai gave
an illuminating presentation on the life and teachings of
the illustrious Sufi Saint Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti
of Ajmer. As the Musical Drama unfolded to its climax, it
was his message of love, humanity and brotherhood, which even
won over his enemies, was lingering in the mind of the audience.
The Musical Drama came to a close at 5:00 p.m. with Magala
Aarathi offered to Bhagawan.