Ugadi heralds the beginning of New Year for the Telugu and Kannada-speaking people of South India. It falls on the Paadyami (first day) of the Shukla Paksha (the fortnight leading to the full moon) of the Chaitra month in the Hindu calendar. The Hindu calendar system also lays down the names of sixty Samvatsaras (years) that repeat in a cycle, and the name of the year that has just begun is ‘Sarvadhaari’. Many people thronged Prasanthi Nilayam to celebrate the New Year in the Divine Presence of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Sai Kulwant Hall was tastefully decorated for the occasion with fresh flowers, green mango-leaf festoons and buntings of various hues.
On 7th morning, the auspicious day of Ugadi, Bhagawan was welcomed into the hall amidst tunes of Nadaswaram and songs sung by His students. Bhagawan went around the hall granting Darshan and then came on to the dais. For more than an hour, the students presented their music programme which was interspersed with commentary and short skits that dwelt on the meaning and significance of Ugadi and Bhagawan’s teachings germane to the occasion. Just as the final song “Barso Re Barso Baadal Barso” in Raag Megh was being sung, Bhagawan came down the dais and from a silver vessel containing the holy waters of Ganges, started sprinkling on the thrilled students and devotees. While the song reached a crescendo, it took the devotion and bliss of everyone surging along with it… everyone was literally bathed in His Divine showers of love. The morning programme concluded with Arati and everyone was grateful to Bhagawan, for the New Year could not have begun on a better note than this.
In the evening, there was a music programme by devotees from Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. They sang soulful songs in Telugu expressing their love to Bhagawan and beautifully expounded on Bhagawan’s teachings. The programme lasted for more than an hour and concluded with Bhajans and Arati.