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Published on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 05:20 Hrs. IST

Akhanda Bhajan is a marathon spiritual exercise, a non-stop rendering of divine glories of God for twenty-four hours, initiated by Bhagawan and followed on a global scale promoting universal harmony and brotherhood.

Akhanda Bhajan involves constant contemplation on God in the morning, evening or even during the night time. It is constant contemplation on God during all the three states - the waking, dream and deep sleep. It is “sarvada sarvakaleshu sarvathra Harichintanam, said Bhagawan long ago, explaining the significance of the marathon spiritually elevating saga.

Serving as a precursor to the birthday celebrations of Bhagawan, as a practice over the years, Akhanda Bhajans have been scheduled for the second Saturday and Sunday of the birthday month, November. It represents a unique attempt at making people in every part of the world conscious of their Divine essence and to experience the sense of oneness spiritually.

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Arriving at 1805 hrs. to the holy chants of Vedam Bhagawan came onstage after a full round of darshan, officially inaugurating the bhajans at 1820 hrs. by lighting the Akhanda Jyothi set on the dais, behind the Seat of The Divine.
Bursting open with an aalaap bhajan "Shuklambhara Dharam Vishnum Sashi Varnam Chaturbhujam..." singing the bhajan "Vinayaka...Vinayaka...", boys commenced the bhajan instantly followed up by the Anantapur students with the  thematic bhajan, "Anatara Jyothi Jalaao Sai...". The session continued both boys and girls singing turn by turn.

As Bhagawan sat through, glued at the devoted public, many an aalap piece were produced intermittently by boys, giving a twist to the normal Akahanda Bhajans over the years. Some of the old bhajans, not so often heard in Prasanthi Nilayam, were also sung, especially by the Anantapur wing invoking nostalgic feeling of the golden past. Interestingly this is for the first time in the history of Prasanthi Nilayam, Akhanda Bhajan is held in the open Sai Kulwant Hall. For the past more than a year, ever since Bhagawan started the trend of twilight darshan sessions, Prasanthi has been blessed with longer bhajan sessions, effectively resulting in mini-akhanda bhajan sessions invariably.

An hour into the session Bhagawan left the dais soon to retire to Yajur Mandiram at 1945 hrs.

Bhajans continued throughout the night with many a group keeping vigil along with students, singing for during their permitted slots until the next morning when the students took over completely yet again.

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The climax, the final forty-five minute session of the session was blessed by His gracious Divine presence. Arriving just after 1730 hrs. Bhagawan went for a complete round of the fully packed hall that was reverberating with subtle singing vibrations of the glory of The Lord. As He made His round Bhagawan blessed the Akhanda Bhajan prasadam with His sanctifying touch before moving on to complete the round.

Coming on stage for the final session, Bhagawan sat on, presiding over, and boys came up with several new compositions, as was advised by Bhagawan before the commencement of the bhajan. Mangala Arathi was offered at 1815 hrs. Prasadam distribution began soon with students getting into action serving tamarind rice and sweet pongal. In the meanwhile, Prof. Anil Kumar took over the stage with a string of announcements about the special food prasadam to be distributed for the next ten days followed by a detailed announcement on the "Festival of Divine Love", birthday programmes commencing tomorrow, 15th November.