"The Yajna that we are performing now is meant for Loka Kalyanam (good of the world). Do not think that we are performing the Yajna just because people are performing Yajnas elsewhere. This Yajna is being performed with total spirit of sacrifice. We have no desires or expectations. Our only desire is that everyone should be happy. People perform Yajnas and Yagas to overcome famine and drought situations. But I don't take such things into consideration. I do not give scope for such constricted vision. Famine, drought, etc., come and go. Whatever you do should confer everlasting happiness on all. It should help you to attain Divine grace." - Dasara Discourse, 11 Oct, 2002.
The 30th of September 2011 was a historic day in Prasanthi Nilayam. This day we completed 50 golden years since the first Veda Purusha Saptaha Jnana Yajna was performed in Bhagawan's Divine Physical Presence at Prasanthi Nilayam in the Navaratri of 1961. The ritwiks assembled at 0700hrs in the Bhajan Mandir of Sai Kulwant Hall. After the preliminary chants they accepted diksha vastram (new clothes) from the Ashram elders and invoking the blessings of Bhagawan changed into the same. The Kalasam was then taken in a procession to the Poorna Chandra hall where it was installed on the western end of the dais,. A special Kumkum Archana along with Lalitha Sahasranama Parayanam was commenced by the Head Priest and his wife.
At the venue in Poornachandra Auditorium the dais was most magnificently adorned fitting for such a solemn event. A large silver throne of Bhagawan which the Lord has blessed during many birthday celebrations presided over the stage on the left side. A large picture of Bhagawan with His most benign smile adorned the right side of the stage. Statues of Rama Lakshmana Sita stood in all readiness to the left of the stage as if guarding the Yajna Sthala against the 6 enemies of the mind: Desire, Anger, Lust, Greed, Attachment and Ego. The stage had the Yajna Kunda (Sacrificial Pit) prepared as per the injunctions and students dressed in orange chanting Vedam.
With Bhagawan presiding over the session, the priests lit the sacred homam creating fire by friction, by rubbing two sticks from churning of two wooden pieces. The fire produced was deposited in the sacred sacrificial pit, marking the beginning of the Yajna. Soon other rituals commenced. As one priest went on doing Surya Namaskar, a group of priests got engaged in Parayanam, reading of holy scriptures. Mantra Pushpam was chanted by students before Arati was offered at 0930hrs. After the Arati, the devotees lined up in Sai Kulwant Hall for close Darshan of the Sanctum Sanctorum and the students continued their Grama Seva with Puttaparthi Village being the beneficiary today.
The Veda Purusha Sapthaha continued with all auspiciousness in the Poornachandra Hall from 0700hrs to 1200hrs.on all 7 days with the number of devotees attending the Yajna steadilly increasing day by day with an overflowing stream on the Poornahuti.
Durga Ashtami is the day earmarked in Prasanthi Nilayam for Aayudha Puja or the worship of instruments. Bhagawan has often reminded us that "Expression of Gratitude" is one of the most important virtues of man. This value which is ingrained in the culture of Bharat finds expression today when man thanks the tools which have helped him in his profession and his life.
As per tradition, at 0800hrs on October 4th, the vehicles which had the privilege of being used by Bhagawan were brought to the Sai Kulwant Hall where it was worshipped. Ashram Elders broke coconuts even as chocolates were distributed. On this auspicious day we can but only pray that Bhagawan makes us too His ideal instrument scooping out all our shortcomings so that we became a hollow flute which our Sai Krishna will play.
The Veda Purusha Saptah Jnana Yajnam reached its grand culmination on 06th October 2011. The ritwiks started their worship very early in the morning and completed their tasks including the study of various scriptures, the allotted number of Surya Namaskars and the chanting of various Vedic Mantras. At 0900hrs they entered the Bhajan Mandir where they accepted the Poornahuti Samagri from Bhagawan. With the chief priest carrying the Dhaarini (a large silver spoon used for feeding ghee to the fire) and his wife carrying the Samagri, the priests went on a procession with Nadaswaram leading the group.
Reaching the Poornachandra Hall which was filled to capacity and some, the priests completed the proceedings of the Yajnam with Bhagawan presiding over the same in a special Peetam installed in front of the Yajna Kundam. The priests encouraged the gathering to participate in the chanting and mentioned a few prayers for them to repeat to offer our prayers to the Yajna Purusha, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Sri Kandukoori Kondavadhani from Rajahmundry who has been a part of innumerable Dasara Celebrations in Prasanthi Nilayam, spoke a few words describing the auspiciousness of the occasion. Holy water was sprinkled on all those who attended the function and Prasadam was distributed while Bhajans were being sung by the students. Maha Mangala Arati was offered at 0945hrs. The Tripura Governor Sri. D.Y. Patil participated in the programme.