7th March 2005 (Morning)
it was a day prior to Sivarathri, students from Brindavan
Campus and Anantapur Campus had come to Prasanthi Nilayam
for Bhagavan’s Darshan. Bhagawan came to Sai Kulwant
Hall at 7.20 a.m. The golf cart turned near the Veda chanting
students. Swami got down near the Veda chanting group and
went up the dais taking letters from the Brindavan students.
He stood for around 10 minutes showering
the gift of His Darshan on all the students. Then He moved
towards the Primary School children. The Anantapur sisters
were also seated for Darshan. Veda chanting was going on in
full swing. In His typical way, Swami asked the College students
to stop chanting. He wanted to hear the Primary School students
chanting independently. Immediately, the volume level rose
and all the children chanted at the top of their voices!
Swami stood there for nearly half an hour
accepting their chanting as an offering. The Veda Purusha
was directly receiving the offering of the Vedic Chants. Swami
asked one of the Primary School boys to come forward. Bhagawan
asked him to stand next to Him, face the audience and chant
the Veda. The boy chanted boldly, loudly and with all joy!
Immediately came the reward – a gold chain from Swami!
Bhagawan then came back towards the sofa
and sat down. The sofa was placed in the middle of the dais.
It was around 8.00 a.m. Mr. Ajit Popat from U.K. was beckoned
by Bhagawan to share his views with the audience. The 20 minutes
talk by Mr. Popat was followed by Dr. Goldstein – the
Chairman of the Prasanthi Council that oversees the activities
of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation around the world.
Dr. Goldstein spoke for around 10 minutes. This was followed
by Bhajans from 8.30 a.m. to 8.55 a.m. Then, Bhagawan was
offered Arati, after which he retired to his abode.
March 2005 (Evening)
Swami came out for Darshan at 3 p.m. Bhagavan
alighted from the golf cart and came and sat down on the sofa
placed in the middle of the dais. The Hall was teeming with
devotees with every inch of space occupied in Sai Kulwant
Hall. The student block too was full with Prasanthi Nilayam
and Brindavan students. After a while, Swami called a student
to dance in his Presence. The student had been fortunate to
present his talent in the Divine Presence for the last few
days. Some dances were planned for this evening too. Swami
signalled for the dance to commence.
The first dance was by a group of boys to
the song Ananda Tandavam Aade… Incidentally, this was
the dance that marked the opening of the Prasanthi Nilayam
Campus presentation on 11th January 2005 during the Annual
Sports and Cultural Meet. This was followed by another group
dance to the song Ekadantaya Vakratundaya Gowritanayaya Dheemahi…
There was a loud applause for each piece. The students danced
very well, blending the classical dance steps with contemporary
It was 3.30 p.m. and again Bhagawan called
the student who had been giving solo performances in the Divine
Presence, and gave him some instructions. The singers took
their places and the microphone was arranged. It was another
dance performance. This time the song was sung live by the
Bhajan students. The student danced to the song Bho Shambho
Siva Shambho Svayambho… very well and earned the plaudits
of Bhagavan and the audience. At the end of the performance,
the student knelt down paying his obeisance to Bhagawan. Swami
waved His hand and materialised a gold chain. The student
ran up to Swami and very lovingly Swami tied the chain round
his neck amidst a loud applause!
It was 3.40 p.m. and the next event began.
This was a Burra Katha (folk art performed through the medium
of singing and narration), the traditional art performed by
three of our students. The Burra Katha titled ‘Sai Mahima’
began with a short commentary and an invocation to Lord Ganesha.
It went on till 4.30 p.m., singing the glory of beloved Swami,
His Advent on earth, the earlier days, the greatness of Mother
Easwaramma, the various projects undertaken by Bhagawan and
The tunes were lively with frequent changes
in Raga and laced with a touch of variety. The lyrics were
very meaningful and rhymed perfectly well. Almost everyone
were either tapping their hands or swaying their heads to
the lilting tunes.
Bhagawan retired for the day at 4.30 p.m.
8th March 2005
We wish you a very happy Sivarathri. May
this holy night awaken us to the dawn of wisdom and love!
Sai Kulwant Hall and the adjoining areas were filled with
huge concourse of devotees. Devotional fervour rent the air.
Several devotees were seated along the pathway adjacent to
East Prasanthi Block and also near the Rama Statue.
Bhagawan came out at 7.15 a.m. The beats
of Panchavadyam and the tunes of the Nadaswaram played by
the students added to the spiritual vibrations in the Hall.
Swami came seated on an open top vehicle blessing the devotees.
Bhagawan took a full round of the Hall and entered the inner
portico from the interview room side. Swami then moved towards
the centre of the dais and sat down on the sofa. At 7.35 a.m.,
Swami gestured to the Veda chanting boys to stop chanting.
Then Swami asked Prof. Anil Kumar to address the audience.
Prof. Anil Kumar delivered a thought provoking and informative
talk for 15 minutes. He was followed by Dr. Reddy for 20 minutes
and then Mr. G.K. Raman for around 10 minutes. A brief text
of the talks follows:
Talk by Prof.
Anil Kumar – Highlights
Prof. Anil Kumar began his talk with a unique
experience he had in Kodaikanal. Once while seated in front
of Bhagawan, he saw a mark on the ankle of Swami’s left
foot. It looked like the imprint formed by the continuous
wearing of an anklet. After a while out of curiosity, Prof.
Anil Kumar observed the right ankle of Bhagawan but did not
find any such mark.
He questioned Bhagawan mischievously whether
the right foot ankle had fallen off during Darshan time. To
this Swami immediately replied, “Don’t you know,
I am Ardhanareeshwara?” Prof. Anil Kumar continued his
talk by giving the example of Sri Ramabrahmam (former Trayee
Brindavan caretaker) who said that he always saw Swami as
the form of Lingam.
He recapitulated Swami’s Sivarathri Discourse of 1972
at Brindavan, wherein Bhagawan mentioned that Siva is truly
Cosmic Energy. Siva is not a form as we understand. That is
why we do not refer to this energy as Sri Siva. Siva stands
for Ardhanareeshwara which represents matter + energy.
Prof. Anil Kumar concluded his talk explaining the relation
of the moon with the mind and its significance with respect
Talk by Dr.
Narendranath Reddy – Highlights
Dr. Narendranath Reddy, a scholarly speaker,
quoted extensively from the Vedas, the Gita and also from
Bhagawan’s Discourses. He explained how incomprehensible
the Avataric phenomenon is. He struck a personal note by sharing
his experiences. He spoke about his father who had a spinal
disc problem but was cured by Swami without any surgery. In
fact, surgery could have proved fatal and Swami had stopped
them just in time.
His mother too had many health problems.
She was disabled and could not even walk. However, this 79th
Birthday of Bhagawan, she was blessed by Swami and with just
a tap of His Hand on the knee, she is now able to walk freely!
Dr. Narendranath Reddy then went on to describe
how Bhagawan cures the ailments of others but does not use
this power for Himself. There are two lessons, Dr. Reddy said,
which must be learnt from this episode. One is the transcendence
of body consciousness and the second is living life selflessly.
Bhagawan was setting an example for both. True renunciation
does not mean giving up wife, children, home and hearth, but
it means giving up of evil qualities. What Bhagawan expects
from His devotee is the purity of heart.
He narrated a very interesting episode wherein
a physician friend of his, on one occasion felt very much
hurt when Bhagawan called two of his friends for an interview,
but left him out. He felt within as to why Swami was treating
him like a step son. The next day, during Darshan, Dr. Reddy
was sitting next to him. Swami came straight to this man and
said, “Why do you look at Me as a stepmother?”
Dr. Reddy could not understand this conversation but later
when his friend shared this episode with him, he realised
how Bhagawan reflects every thought of ours.
concluded his talk narrating the story of Sri Kutumba Rao.
In his final days, Sri Kutumba Rao had cancer. He was admitted
in a hospital. His wife, being very disturbed prayed to Swami
to cancel his cancer. Bhagawan said that He would surely do
so provided Kutumba Rao himself asked for it. The wife went
to her husband and narrated all that had happened.
Sri Kutumba Rao said that he would never
ask for such a boon. If at all he would ask, he would seek
only for liberation. This body had to anyhow meet its end
one day. The disappointed wife returned for Darshan. Swami
came to her and asked her about her husband’s response.
Then Bhagawan said that through this event, He wanted to show
to the world an example of a true devotee!
By the time the talks came to a close, it
was 8.20 a.m. Prof. Anil Kumar prayed on behalf of everyone
present in the Hall to bless them with a Divine Discourse.
Swami very lovingly consented. (Full text of the Discourse
will be given separately.) At the end of the Discourse, Bhagawan
asked the Bhajan group to start their presentation. They sang
a number of Siva Stotrams and devotional songs. Sri Rudrashtakam
was a new addition this time. Prasadam distribution began
simultaneously. At 9.45 a.m. Swami got up and moved towards
the vehicle. Meanwhile, Prof. Anil Kumar made an announcement
that the Mahasivarathri Global Akhanda Bhajans would commence
in the evening in the Divine Presence.
At 9.50 a.m. Swami retired to His abode.
8th March 2005
In the evening Bhagawan came out for Darshan
into a fully packed Hall at 3.30. The students were seated
in Sai Kulwant Hall from 1.30 p.m. and some had come even
at 1.00 p.m. itself!! Swami came in the golf cart and took
a full round of the Hall and as the cart approached the interview
room, He asked for the cart to be stopped. He got down and
then walked up slowly towards the sofa placed in the centre
of the dais.
By 3.40 p.m. Swami was seated on the sofa.
The Panchavadyam was being played by the students and as it
reached a crescendo, Swami blessed them with Abhayahasta and
signalled to them to sit down. Bhagawan then spoke to the
Vice-Chancellor Sri Anil Gokak and the former Vice-Chancellor
Sri S.V. Giri. Both of them spoke this evening in the Divine
Sri S.V. Giri spoke first, for around half
an hour followed by Sri Anil Gokak for 15 minutes. A brief
text of the talks follows:
Talk by Sri
S.V. Giri - Highlights
Sri S.V. Giri said that the festival of
Sivarathri signifies control of the mind. The moon reflects
aspect of the mind. On this day when the moon wanes away to
a great extent, the mind too must disappear. This is the key
to liberation. Mana Eva Manushyanam Karanam Bandha Mokshayo
(the mind alone is the cause for both bondage and liberation.)
He explained some of the titles given to
Lord Siva. For example, Lord Siva as Ardhanareeshwara, is
symbolic of gender equality. More than equality it reflects
on the complementary nature of man and woman in this world.
This assumes more importance in the context of the role of
women in society.
Lord Siva as Neelakanta, signifies that
the Lord is willing to take upon Himself any amount of hardship
for the welfare of the world. Hunger and sleep are two animal
instincts which must be overcome by man. This is the qualification
that he must gain to move towards the Lord. Jagran (keeping
vigil at night), he opined, is to remain awake with a purpose,
with an awareness. Bhagawan has said that all those who participate
in this Sivarathri celebration here will attain Moksha. However,
He has also defined what Moksha is. Moksha = Moha + Kshaya.
Destruction of attachment is Moksha. Incidentally in Ujjain,
the first worship offered to the Lord Siva, which is the Rudrabhisheka,
is performed with the hot ash obtained from a recently cremated
body. This symbolises the detachment aspect of the Lord. Siva
is at ease both on the lofty mountain top and also in the
Sri S.V. Giri concluded his talk elaborating
on the various projects initiated by Bhagawan, stressing especially
on the Deenajanoddharana Pathakam (orphanage) and the Bheema
Ratha Santhi - that targets the geriatric population and sets
an example regarding the respectful attitude that one must
foster towards the aged in society.
Talk by Sri
Anil Gokak – Highlights
Gokak opened his talk with the statement – The inner
core is more important than the outer shell. He explained
that all the rituals are like a fence that protects the crop.
The main purpose is related to the inner core. For example,
the main purpose is control of the mind. For this, we need
to remember God and therefore we sing Bhajans.
Sri Anil Gokak went on to elaborate the significance
of the Lingam. ‘Li’ in Lingam stands for Leeyate
which means ‘to merge’. All forms merge in the
Lingam. It has by itself, no beginning, no end, no front or
no back. It is a symbol of the formless Divine Essence.
Similarly, he said that Swami too says,
“I belong to all forms, names and religions.”
The need of the hour is faith in all the religions. Intensity
of belief, he stated, is the essence of religion. But many
people say, “My religion is true, the other religion
is false.” This is called fundamentalism or fanaticism.
Inclusiveness is where one says that one’s religion
is complete and he does not need any other religion.
However, the golden mean, Sri Anil Gokak concluded, was to
practice ones own faith and also respect others faith. He
finally quoted Bhagawan’s saying, “There is only
one Religion – the Religion of Love.
At 4.30 p.m. as Sri Anil Gokak concluded his talk, Swami asked
for the Discourse table and the microphone to be arranged.
Then Bhagawan stood up and began His Discourse. (Full text
of the Discourse will be given separately.)
Bhajan boys started singing Bhajans at 5.15
p.m. Swami sat for half an hour. At 5.45 p.m. Bhagawan retired
to His abode for the day. The Hall was filled throughout the
night with Bhajan singing devotees and students. Half an hour
Bhajan singing slots were arranged for groups of devotees,
staff of various institutions, overseas devotees and Seva
Dal Bhajan singers from Brindavan. The various groups followed
the timings scrupulously. It was a sight to watch overseas
devotees with different musical instruments singing Bhajans.
Devotees and students kept beat to the Bhajans and followed
in chorus. A group of Veda chanting students and teachers
chanted the Vedas non stop in the Bhajan Hall of the Mandir
from 10 to 12.30 p.m.
9th March 2005
Swami came for Darshan at 6.25 a.m. He sat
down on the sofa and Bhajans went on with all the more
vigour. It was 6.55 a.m. when Bhagawan was offered Aarti and
then He proceeded towards the golf cart and retired to His
Puliyohara (tamarind rice) and Laddus were distributed as
Prasadam to all devotees. The distribution went on till 9.00
a.m. Thousands of devotees present in the Hall received the
9th March 2005
Swami came out for Darshan at 3.30 p.m.
He got down from the golf cart and sat on the sofa placed
at the centre of the dais. There were two speakers for the
evening. The first one was Sri Ajit Popat who spoke for 45
minutes. The theme of his talk was the three great boons of
Manushatvam, Mumkshatvam and Mahapurusha Samshrayaha (Birth
as a human being, gift of liberation and company of holy men)
which is very rarely available to any individual. Sri Ajit
Popat also touched upon the
aspect of Faith, and Stewardship.
The second speaker was Prof. G. Venkataraman who spoke for
half an hour on the journey of man from Manushatvam to Daivatvam.
After these two talks, Bhagawan blessed all devotees with
His Divine Discourse. Bhagawan spoke for an hour and ten minutes
taking us through the memories of His earlier days. His main
focus was on the great devotion of Karanam Subbamma. He also
described the final moments of Karanam Subbamma and explained
how once a word given would definitely be kept up by Bhagawan.
He said - Sathya Sai is not the one who will break the given
word. His name itself is Sathya!! Bhagawan also narrated a
few incidents that happened in Kamalapuram, the various poems
composed by Him in His younger days, etc. He concluded His
Discourse at 6.25 p.m. (Full text of Bhagawan’s Discourse
will be given separately.) Then Prasadam distribution began
along with Bhajans.
This Sivarathri was surely different from the ones in the
earlier years. Three Discourses, several talks by learned
speakers and His beautiful Darshan for an extended period
of time – all these made this year’s Sivarathri
a very memorable one!
JAI SAI RAM