this issue of Prasanthi News, we bring to you the happenings
at Prasanthi Nilayam from 21st to 23rd June 2005. The programmes
during this period ranged from a pulsating tribal dance performance
by the devotees from Chhatisgarh to a nectareous Divine Discourse
by Bhagawan on 23rd June 2005. Please read on for details.
21st June 2005
This morning, Bhagawan came out for Darshan
at 8.30 a.m. and sat through the Bhajans till 9.30 a.m. when
Ararti was offered to Him.
In the evening, Swami came out at 3.20 p.m.
There was a huge backdrop at the rear end of Sai Kulwant Hall
made by devotees from Chhatisgarh. Devotees from the Durg
District of Chhatisgarh were waiting for Bhagawan’s
instructions to start their cultural programme. Swami came
and sat on the stage and then Bhagawan signalled for the Veda
chanting to be stopped. Two members from the coordinating
group came forward to Bhagawan. One offered a rose while the
other unfolded a scroll containing the programme for the evening.
Swami very keenly went through the contents of the scroll
and then lovingly made a few queries about the programme.
The programme was a tribal dance performed
by a tribe called the Satnami residing in the heart of
Chhatisgarh. The dance master Devdas Banjare from the village
Dhanora, around 13 kms from Bhilai, is an internationally
reputed artiste who has won the President’s Award and
has visited more than 64 countries. Being a devotee of Bhagawan,
his intense desire was to perform in the Divine Presence.
The dance was a rigorous, vibrant dance with loud drum beats
and cymbals being played by the dancers themselves. All the
postures of the dance represented forms of worship of the
saint – Sant Ghasi Das. This dance form is known as
The dance went on non-stop for around 20
minutes and included a number of formations, pyramids, etc.
At 3.50 p.m. the dancers moved out of the performing area
amidst loud applause. Subsequently, Swami spoke to the event
coordinator Mr. Srinivas for a long time. He showed Swami
an album containing photographs of the different types of
Seva that they were performing in the villages in Chhatisgarh.
It included Narayana Seva, medical camps, donating sewing
machines, performing mass marriages, etc. Swami was very pleased
with all the service activities and He kept on enquiring with
Mr. Srinivas about the details.
In fact, 186 people from all these villages
had come for this programme from Chhatisgarh. These people
had performed a number of spiritual activities before coming
and one could see Swami literally responding to their prayers.
The interaction with Mr. Srinivas went on
till 4.10 p.m. Then Bhajans were sung by the devotees from
Chhatisgarh. At 4.30 p.m., Ararti was performed to Bhagawan.
Swami went into the interview room and later retired to His
22nd June 2005
On this day, devotees had a long Darshan
session. The compassionate Lord was gracious to grant Darshan
for almost 2 hours. Devotees could feast their eyes continuously
on the Lord. Swami came out for Darshan at 7.45 a.m. He sat
in the centre of the stage and the Veda chanting went on.
At around 8 a.m., He asked for the Veda chanting to stop,
and told them to go their respective work spots. Swami sat
there looking lovingly at the devotees and showering His benign
grace on them till Bhajans ended at 9.35 a.m. Then He came
into the Bhajan Hall where Ararti was offered to Him and went
into the interview room.
In the evening, Swami came out for Darshan
at 3.30. Swami sat down at the centre of the dais, received
letters from students, spoke to a few of them and even took
some students for an interview. He also blessed the boys who
had their birthday on this day. At 4.30 p.m., Swami called
one of the Veda coordinators and asked him to chant the Purusha
Suktam. Bhajans started at 5.00 p.m. and at 5.25 p.m. Arati
was offered to Swami.
23rd June 2005
4.00 p.m. one could see Bhagawan’s car meandering its
way through devotees to the Hall. He took a full round, got
down near the interview room, and proceeded towards the centre
of the dais. Bhagawan asked the Veda chanting group to stop
at 4.05 p.m. Then Bhagawan asked Prof. Anil Gokak, the current
Vice Chancellor of the Institute to share his thoughts with
Prof. Gokak started his talk on a nostalgic
note by recalling the early part of his father’s life,
Prof. Vinayak Krishna Gokak. How his father had developed
the first streaks of faith in Bhagawan when in Edinburgh,
the Oxford University had given him exemption from the oral
test keeping in view his ill health and on account of his
excellent performance in the written test. He went down memory
lane and stated that Bhagawan had extended his mother’s
life by 18 years and his father’s life by 5 years. It
was in 1965 that Swami had first visited their house.
It was only in 1969, when Prof. Anil Gokak
went along with his wife to Swami and Bhagawan materialised
a necklace and an apple for his wife, that he started developing
faith in Bhagawan. Initially he was focused on Swami’s
miracles but later being an administrator himself, he started
taking interest in Swami’s social activities.
Prof. Gokak said that he was very much moved
by the book ‘A Catholic Priest Meets Sai Baba’.
In 2002 Prof. Gokak delivered a talk in the Summer Course
in Indian Culture and Spirituality. By now he was convinced
that Bhagawan alone is the saviour of this world. He said
that Swami always laid less emphasis on mere rituals and directed
all to go towards the core. He stated that Bhagawan was not
a Vyaktinath but a Lokanath (not for individuals but for the
He concluded his talk by drawing an analogy
between an Avatar and a pilot who temporarily brings down
the plane to the ground to take a few passengers and then
fly back to the skies!
It was 4.30 p.m. and Swami now asked Sri
S.V. Giri, the former Vice Chancellor to address the audience.
Sri S.V. Giri also struck a personal note by talking about
the heart surgery he had for the first time in 1989. Within
3 years, 4 of the 5 bypasses had been blocked. On praying
to Swami, Bhagawan had said there was no need for any further
surgery. Though the doctors said that there was no way out
other than a surgery, Sri S.V. Giri has been continuing since
then, discharging all his responsibilities – purely
on account of Bhagawan’s Grace! He expressed his immense
gratitude to swami for this benediction.
He then shared how Swami had facilitated
his smooth exit from the post of the CVC (central Vigilance
Commissioner) – Government of India. Swami had made
sure that his resignation was accepted without any complications.
Sri Giri stressed on the uniqueness and the three most important
facets of this Institute – Service, Society and Faith.
He concluded his talk by stressing on the
Truth elucidated by our scriptures that all is one. Man and
even the fruit-fly are equally Divine, but man has evolved
to greater heights. He has been given a bigger brain so that
he can think of practical solutions for the burning problems
facing society today. He has been bestowed with the rare gift
of speech (unique only to the species of human beings) so
as to express himself and speak obligingly!
It was 4.50 p.m. and suddenly to everyone’s
delight Swami began His Divine Discourse. Bhagawan spoke until
5.45 p.m. elaborating on the life of Prof. Vinayak Krishna
Gokak – the father of the current Vice Chancellor and
the first Vice Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute
of Higher Learning. The highlights of Bhagawan’s Discourse
are as follows.
Vyashti represents the individual and Samashti
stands for society. Only when Vyashti identifies himself with
Samashti can he realise Parameshti. Samatwam (equality) is
very essential to achieve harmony between Vyashti and Samashti.
What is the role of an individual in society? No one is able
to totally understand the spirit of society. As one enquires
deeply, it becomes apparent that Samashti is but a manifestation
We find it very difficult to understand
this transcendental picture. This was the position of Prof.
Vinayak Gokak in the beginning. (So saying Swami went on to
describe the life of Prof. Vinayak Gokak in very elaborate
terms giving details of his spiritual journey to Swami).
Prof. Gokak read a number of books but could
not understand the principle of Sathyam and Nithyam. He was
trying to differentiate between Atma and Anatma. However,
there is nothing like Anatma. There is only Atma. Later, Prof.
Gokak realised the Truth in depth. I gave him a lot of support
then. A true devotee will be highly benefited by the support
extended to him. Divine help is not temporary or momentary,
but is continuous and everlasting.
Once when Prof. Gokak closed his eyes and
sat in meditation, I pressed his Bhrumadhya (point where two
eyebrows meet) with My right thumb. He experienced a state
of supreme bliss. All his doubts vanished like thin mist.
From then on he held on to the Eternal Truth. It is not easy
for everybody to understand this Divine Principle. Those who
depend on Truth remain changeless. The rest keep changing.
One must necessarily face the consequences of whatever one
does. It is only in the doubtless state that we can understand
the principle of oneness. Mere superficial enquiry will land
one in confusion. Truth represents doubtlessness. Such Truth
is the royal path to Mukti (liberation).
Moksha means Moha + Kshaya. So long as there
is Moha one cannot attain Moksha. Maya is the root cause of
Moha. Keep Maya (delusion) away and allow the Truth to come
forth. Truth cannot be seen or heard. It can only be experienced.
When individual reaches out to society,
the society also reaches out to the individual. Prof. Gokak
made an in depth study of Aurobindo’s treatise on Savitri.
However, only after he came to Swami could he understand the
principle of Savitri as Sathya and Nithya. The question may
arise, “Is Savitri feminine or masculine?” Savitri
is beyond gender. Gokak became a scholar on Savitri. He investigated
his innermost thoughts and realised the Truth. Finally he
said, “Swami, I am One! God is One! I do not need anything.”
As we proceed along the path of Sadhana, we will acquire certain
spiritual powers. But do not allow the mind to waver. Hold
on to the fundamental principle. Truth is One, not two!
Bhagawan concluded His Message at 5.45 p.m.
Bhajans began, and at 5.55 p.m. Ararti was offered to Bhagawan
after which Swami retired to His abode.
JAI SAI RAM