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Then & Now
A day in Ashram


with the Absolute Purpose of World Peace and Prosperity

Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day 12 Maha Poornahuthi

The proceedings of this Yajna started as early as 4 a.m. on this day. Chanting of Rudram and Chamakam, Rudrabhishekam went on in the same systematic manner like the other days of the Yajna. Being the concluding day of the Yajna, every inch of space in Sai Kulwant Hall was occupied by devotees and many were waiting outside to gain entry into the Hall. Bhagawan came to the Hall for Darshan at 7.30 a.m. and went a full round of the Hall. One could see people craning their necks to have the vision of the Lord. Bhagawan sat in the dais for some time. In the meantime, a cow and calf were brought to the Hall and a priest performed Gopuja (worship of cow). With the chanting of Rudram, Ghee was offered in the Yajna by the priests. Bhagawan came down the dais to bless the sacred oblations, which were then offered in the Yajna by the chief priest. With this, the Purnahuti of the Yajna was performed. Then Kumbhabhishekam was done to the Linga. Bhagawan blessed the Kalashas containing the holy water. Abhishekam to the Linga was performed with the holy water.

Bhagawan went round the entire Hall sprinkling the Teertha (holy water) on devotees and students. After Bhagawan came to the dais, He had asked Sri V. Srinivasan, All India President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations to make an announcement that the next Athi Rudra Maha Yajna will be performed in Chennai in the month of January after the arrival of Uttarayana (sun’s northward course). The Youth of Tamil Nadu would take the lead in conducting the Yajna and the head priest Sri Nanjunda Dikshitar would be the officiating priest for the Yajna. Sri G.K. Raman, Tamil Nadu Trust Convener, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation said that it was the greatest opportunity for them to conduct the Yajna at Chennai and invited everybody to the Yajna. Prasadam was distributed to all the devotees in the Hall. After Mangalarati, Bhagawan, retired to His abode. The huge concourse of devotees was served Pulihora (tamarind rice) and Laddu after the conclusion of the morning programme. Ladies were served in the South Indian canteen and gents were served opposite to Hall 1 of the Ashram.

In the evening, Bhagawan came for Darshan at 3 p.m. After taking a full round of the Hall, Bhagawan went inside the Bhajan Hall of the Mandir where the Ritwiks (priests) had assembled. Bhagawan was with the priests for more than a hour.

The proceedings for the day ended with Bhajans and offer of Arati to Bhagawan.

Thus, concluded the grand and unprecedented Athi Rudra Maha Yajna, which was conducted for 12 consecutive days at Prasanthi Nilayam.

Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day 11

On the penultimate day of the Yajna, Sri B.N. Narasimha Murthy, a versatile speaker addressed the audience in the Divine presence. An engineer by qualification, he has been associated with Bhagawan’s institutions for almost four decades. He is presently serving as the Warden of the Brindavan Hostel of the Institute. A great motivator for the youth of Karnataka addressed the devotees for more than half an hour. Excerpts of his speech are given below.

Sri Narasimha Murthy began his speech by quoting a Telugu poem of Bhagawan. “The great land of Bharat is the mainstay of the Vedas. She is the abode of all sacrificial ceremonies, Yajnas, Yagas and Kratus. She is the great mother who has given birth to many Avatars. She is the very embodiment of morality and right conduct. This is the voice of the soul of India which speaks through our beloved Lord, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba today.” At the beginning of one of His Discourses, Bhagawan spoke on the Vedas, Yajnas, Yagas and Kratus, Avataras, morality and right conduct in human society. All these are inexorably interlinked that they cannot be apart from one another. A great French philosopher once said, “If there is a place on the face of the earth which has been the home for the highest dreams of all living men since the earliest times when man began his dream of existence, it is India.” The exalted ideals set forth in the Vedas, the idealism that manifests in Yajnas and Yagas and the Divine Mission of the Avatar and morality and right conduct in society. These are the dreams of all noble men and women all over the world. That is why the Rig Veda says, “Let noble thoughts come from every side.” The great poet Jayadeva sang at the beginning of his immortal work “Gita Govinda”, “The revival of the Vedas and the survival of this planet earth are interdependent.”

One of the prime missions of Bhagawan is Veda Poshana (fostering the Vedas). It is the Divine Sankalpa of Bhagawan that the Vedas are resounding in more than 100 countries of the world. Never in the history of mankind, has it happened. Where else you can find, children from America and Russia, and even from Iran chanting the Vedas.

Speaking about the essence of the Vedas, Sri Narasimha Murthy said that it is enshrined in the Upanishads. The zenith of sublimity, you find in the Upanishads. Those who would like to know, what Upanishads is, study the Upanishad Vahini written by Swami. Swami says the philosophy of the Upanishads is Advaita (non-duality). Seeing unity in diversity is the essence of the Upanishads. You cannot see through your eyes, you can only experience it and that is possible only when you control your mind and conquer your body consciousness.

Commenting on the way of life of a devotee, the learned speaker gave a few maxims for life, “Look behind, thank God, look ahead, trust God. Look around, serve God. Whom you see around are not others, they are your own Swami. Look within, see God. Finally look through and be God. Look through the veil of Maya, look through the veil of multiplicity, conquer your body consciousness.”

The next speaker was Sri Vinay Kumar, Youth Coordinator, Karnataka Sai Youth. Sri Vinay offered his loving, prayerful Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan. Right from the beginning, i.e., on 9th, speaker after speaker have been showering accolades on the youth of Karnataka. They are giving full credit for all that is seen here to the youth of Karnataka. But the entire credit for all that is witnessed here, this magnificence of this great Yajna, the perfection, the unity, all that is solely and truly due to Bhagawan’s meticulous planning, His direction, His instructions, His advice to us at every step. On the 13th of June when the speaker submitted the proposal to permit them to perform this Yajna at the Lotus Feet, Swami said, “You watch what I will do. You are bringing it as a small proposal and now you see what I will make out of it.” And here it is right in front of us, we and the entire humanity is witnessing and so are the gods, as someone put it jealous of all of us. The gods are jealous because we have the god of gods with us. The dates for the Yajna were fixed by Bhagawan very meticulously, the location of the Siva Linga right in the centre of the Hall was His direction. In our ignorance we had earlier suggested that the Siva Linga should be on the left side, He ensured that it should be right in the centre. Out of His mercy, Bhagawan said, “Every person sitting in the Hall, even the last person sitting in the Hall should be able to see the Abhishekam being performed to the Linga.” Every Homa Kunda that is put up here, the layout of this Yagasala was personally decided by Bhagawan. The colouring of the Homa Kunda, the selection of the Linga, the methodology for setting up this Mandapa was all personally advised, directed and put into action by Bhagawan. The learned speaker said, “We have been fortunate to have been used as His instruments.”

Then Sri Vinay Kumar spoke on a personal note. Due to destiny, he lost his mother and father very early in life. It was then that Swami stepped in as the divine mother and father in his life. Recalling one of his interviews with Bhagawan, he said, “If your parents would have been there, they would have undertaken to do all these arrangements for you. Now they are not there. So, I will do it all for you.” Each time, the speaker took some aspect of planning related to the Yajna to Swami, He would say, “You don’t take any tension on your head, you remove all the worries from your head. I will take care of everything.” And truly, everything has gone according to plans.

Sri Vinay Kumar concluded his speech by praying to Bhagawan to use them as His effective instruments in His Divine Mission.

After his speech, Bhagawan delivered His Divine Discourse. (Full text of the Discourse will be given shortly).


Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day 10

As part of this historic and grand Athi Rudra Maha Yajna celebrations, Bhagawan had blessed two more speakers to address the audience on this evening. The first speaker Sri S.V. Giri belongs to the Andhra Pradesh cadre of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). He served as the District Collector in Krishna, Kadapa and Hyderabad districts and later as the Relief Commissioner with the Government of Andhra Pradesh. He then moved to Delhi to serve as the Central Relief Commissioner and also served as the Secretary to the Government of India in Agriculture and Education. Then He was appointed as the Central Vigilance Commissioner which is an extremely important and coveted post reporting directly to the Prime Minister of the country. He came into Bhagawan’s fold in the early 1970’s when he was the District Collector in Kadapa. Responding to Bhagawan’s call, he resigned his post as the Central Vigilance Commissioner and moved to Prasanthi Nilayam to serve as the 6th Vice Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning for two successive terms till February 2004. Since then he has been staying at Prasanthi Nilayam and continues to teach at the University. The second speaker was Sri Gunaranjan Pemmaraju, an ardent devotee of Bhagawan. He had the good fortune of his Namakarnam (naming ceremony) and Aksharabhyasam (initiation into learning) done by Bhagawan. He got his B.Tech. from IIT Madras and his MBA from IIM Calcutta. After working in India and abroad, he is currently serving in an MNC in Bangalore. Sri Gunaranjan is an active member of Karnataka Sai Youth. He spoke on the topic “Journey of Sai Youth”.

Sri S.V. Giri expressed his gratitude to Bhagawan for bestowing upon him the second opportunity to speak in the Divine presence. The erudite speaker quoted a couplet from the celebrated poet Kalidasa. We find in Bhagawan the manifestation of everything, no discrimination of gender, no discrimination of any other sort. He is unity, unity in perfection. We seldom have an opportunity to listen to the Rudram being chanted so many times and that too in the presence of the Divine. It is a rare opportunity to hear the young and the old chanting together and two-thirds of the audience chanting in unison. Rudram by itself is a dynamic and highly energy infusing type of Mantra. The youth have taken up the responsibility to organise this Yajna. The youth are the symbol of vigour and energy. Swami has said in one of His Sivarathri discourse that the number 11, (there are 11 stanzas in Rudram and Chamakam) represent 5 Karmendriyas (senses of action) and 5 Jnanendriyas (senses of perception) presided over by the mind, the total number being 11.

Speaking about the system of eductation in Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Sri Giri said that the integral education as designed by Bhagawan, the entire process is directed towards controlling the mind and eventually ending the mind. In no other educational institution so much emphasis is laid on controlling the mind.

Speaking on the Vedas, he said that the Vedas are not sectarian, they contain the eternal verities. What we need to do is to chant and practice. The learned speaker said that one has to practise the values. Bhagawan conducts various orientation courses so that one practices the values.


Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day 9

Bhagawan in His Divine Discourse on 10th August 2006 said, “During the forthcoming days, many learned persons will address you; you will have the opportunity of listening to their sacred talk; see that these sacred words are imprinted in your heart.” The students and devotees have the greatest opportunity of listening to these learned speakers. These speakers are giving scholarly expositions on their chosen topic. Some of them are in the pinnacle of their career and some retired after rendering yeoman service in their respective institutions.

Bhagawan had blessed two more speakers to address the audience on this evening. The first speaker was Dr. N. Gopalakrishnan, Director, Indian Institute of Scientific and Cultural Heritage, Trivandrum. A well acclaimed scientist with specialisation in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Dr. Gopalakrishnan has been the recipient of many prestigious scientific awards and has authored several books on scientific and cultural heritage. He possesses 6 patents in his areas of specialisation and has the unique blend of modern scientific knowledge with heritage Sanskrit based scientific knowledge. He addressed the gathering on the topic “Sivam Bhutva Sivam Bhaje”. The second speaker Sri Ajit Popat is based in London. He is an Investment and Property Consultant and is the trustee of the Heart Valve Bank. He addressed the devotees on “The Significance of this Yajna”. Sri Popat is known for his wit and humour in his speeches. Excerpts of their speeches are given below.

Sri Gopalakrishnan began his speech by offering his reverential Pranams to Bhagawan considering Him as his everything. Twameva Mathacha Pitha Twameva, Twameva Bandhuscha Sakha Twameva, Twameva Vidya Dravinam Twameva, Twameva Sarvam Mama Sai Deva (You alone are the mother and father, friend and relation, wisdom and wealth, You are my everything, Oh my Sai). In our country, science and spirituality integrated from time immemorial. Lord Krishna declared in the Bhagawadgita 5140 years ago that every spiritual knowledge is to be integrated with science for getting rid of superstitions. Lord Siva is an integration of science and spirituality and Bhagawan is also an integration of science and spirituality. Our Athi Rudra Maha Yajna is also an integration of science and spirituality. Sivam Bhutva Sivam Bhaje, the cosmic form of Siva, the Tandava Nritya (cosmic dance) of Siva, where billions and billions of galaxies are rotating and revolving every second. The Tandava Nritya of the electrons in an atom is something unique and the whole universe as the kinetic energy, the potential energy, the sound energy, the electric energy and everything through Bhava, Raga, Tala – ‘Bha’ ‘Ra’ ‘Tam’. And you can see from the cosmic form of Siva comes down the Siva connecting the Loka (world) as Siva Linga. In the Siva Linga hundreds and hundreds of reactors established everywhere in the world, having the unique shape of Siva Linga, connects with the energy throughout the world. All the people of the world are connected with this energy as perceived by Siva. Siva Sakthi exists in each and every thing in this universe. It is an integration of science and spirituality. Bhagawan also integrates science and spirituality at the cosmic level. The universal love has been vibrated and Bhagawan gives the energy in the level of the world through the generated atomic reactors of Sai Seva Samithi. It spreads in everyone as Aham Sai (I am Sai). The speaker concluded his speech saying that he is the happiest man in the world today because his forehead touched the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan. My Pranams to Bhagawan.

Sri Ajit Popat began his speech by offering his humble Pranams to Bhagawan. Sri Popat punctuated his speech in Hindi frequently in his own inimitable style. The speaker referred to the interview last January wherein Bhagawan graciously created a Linga and gave him the instructions to worship the Linga. Bhagawan said that the Linga is the manifestation of materialisation, vibration and radiation. Swami told that the Linga has to be worshipped with Panchakshari Mantra – Om Namah Sivaya. The Panchakshari Mantra is the source and sustaining power of Panchabhutas (five elements), Pancha Pranas (five life-breaths), Pancha Koshas (five sheaths of the soul), Pancha Karmendriyas (five senses of action), Pancha Jnanendriyas (five senses of perception). The speaker took the liberty to pose a question, “Is there any need to do a Yajna?” Bhagawan, who has created the entire universe can also bring world peace merely by His Will. The speaker said, Bhagawan has started a series of Yajnas, “Sampurna Arogya Pradayaka Yajna”. It is the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences. “Sampurna Atma Vidya Pradayaka Yajna”. It is the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. Sampurna Tushti Pushti Santushti Pradayaka Yajna. Bhagawan’s Water Project which is health, wealth and prosperity. Then why this Athi Rudra Maha Yajna. If there has to be world peace, it has to first begin at the individual level. The speaker felt that Bhagawan has commenced this Yajna to instil social, moral and spiritual responsibilities in our hearts and minds. On the Purnahuti day, when each of us go to our respective destinations, we must believe that the Yajna is not over, but it has just started. Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, is there a conclusion for that Yajna, because it is a Prema Yajna. Bhagawan out of his concern for humanity has started the hospitals. Nobody has asked Him to do so. He is everything for us.

Sri Popat reminded everyone that before performing any action, one should think, whether Bhagawan will be happy with our action. If Bhagawan is happy, then the whole world will be happy. The ultimate happiness lies in communication with God. With this noble remark, the Sri Popat concluded his speech.

After Sri Popat’s speech, Bhagawan distributed wrist watches to all the priests who are conducting this Yajna and the Veda chanting students. Out of his outpouring of love, the students who performed dance on the 15th of August were also given these watches.  The names of the priests were called one by one and Bhagawan personally distributed watches to all of them. After this distribution, there was a music concert. This concert was a real treat to devotional music lovers. Prasadam was distributed to all the devotees and then Bhagawan retired to Yajur Mandiram.


Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day 8

This morning, being Krishna Janmashtami day, Bhagawan’s pet elephant Sai Gita, cows and calves from Sai Gokulam were brought in procession to the entrance of Sai Kulwant Hall. Bhagawan went to the main front entrance of Sai Kulwant Hall to feed Sai Gita, the cows and calves marking the significance of the occasion. The ritualistic proceeding of Athi Rudra Maha Yajna continued on 8 th day and the morning session concluded with Maha Managalarathi at 9:45 a.m. before Bhagawan retired to Yajur Mandiram.

The first speaker for the day was Sri Nirbhayananda Saraswati, President of Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission, Bangalore. Sri Saraswati had the rare distinction of having addressed the World Parliament of Religions in Barcelona, Spain in the year 2004. A social activist, Sri Saraswati is also the Chief Editor of Viveka Deepti, Kannada Spiritual Magazine.

Sri Nirbhayananda Saraswati began his speech with a prayer and offered his reverential Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He said that Bhagawan has done single-handedly what many governments put together could not do. When we come to Puttaparthi, we are made to believe that the day is so not far when the whole world will become one family.

We all know that the Vedas are four in number and Yajur Veda is divided into Krishna Yajur Veda and Sukla Yajur Veda. Krishna Yajur Veda is divided into 101 Shakas, but all the 101 Shakas are not available for man today. Out of them only 5 are available.

The Rudram which is chanted every day is lyrical, uplifting, elevating and ennobling. It is possible to attain immortality by chanting Mantras. Lord Krishna in the Bhagawadgita has declared, “Yajnanaam Japayajnosmi” (among Yajnas, I am Japayajna – repetition of Mantra). Yajnavalkya was questioned, “Can we attain immortality by chanting Mantras?” Yajnavalkya said, “Yes, by chanting Shata Rudriya (Rudra chanted by 11 Ritwiks, 11 times), one can attain immortality.” The Rudra is chanted in millions of homes every day. The learned speaker concluded his speech by saying that the objective of this Yajna – world peace will surely be accomplished in a short time because Lord Siva is the Lord of Time and He is being adorned here. Siva is so compassionate. In Bhagavata, it is said, if you chant Om Namah Sivaya once wholeheartedly with devotion, you will get Mukti (liberation). May God’s grace descend on all of us! May Puttaparthi be the source of great light, the source of divinity, the source of highest human fervour!

The second Speaker for the day was Sri Krishan Bhagwat, an MBBS student, an alumnus of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Pre-University College, Alike who had secured first rank in CET and Board exams in the year 2003. Citing from Bhagawan’s Discourse the other day, Sri Krishan said that “we are all your children and we all know that Swami has the love of thousands of mothers; there is no doubt that Swami is showering His love unconditionally. Our prayer is, as children please give us strength to love you wholeheartedly…and on behalf of everyone the only prayer is we want You…You…only You.

Sri Sanjay Mahalingam, the third speaker who was specially called by Bhagawan to deliver an extempore speech is currently doing his Ph.D. at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasnathi Nilayam. Sri Mahalingam who gave a wonderful rhetoric excellence stressed the importance of Real Yajna that a human being should pursue: to seek God, to seek Wisdom, to seek Beauty and Goodness; to seek Spiritual Eminence, Nobility and to seek the Splendour of our own True Self…continuously, unceasingly with all our heart and soul…and every desire of our heart should be offered at the Yajna Kunda for the one desire…to be One with Him.

Bhagawan began His Divine Discourse with a Telugu poem meaning… There is no greater charity that feeding the poor; there is no greater God that parents; there is no greater penance that adherence to truth; there is no greater Dharma than compassion. What is more profitable in this world that the company of good people?

All that we find in this world is the creation of God. All that we find in the three periods of time are also the creation of God. Describing the all-pervasive cosmic nature of Divinity through a poem, Bhagawan said: Is it possible to limit the One to a temple who pervades the entire cosmos? How can one offer food to the One who has the entire cosmos in His belly? How can one give a bath to the One who is present in all rivers? God is in the form of an atom. (At this point Bhagawan materialized a miniature-size Linga). The world goes by the external form. No one can understand Divinity. No one decide the material that can be offered to God.

Describing the significance and the rationale behind performing this Yajna, Bhagawan said, some learned people may think why large quantities of grain, ghee and other materials are offered in the fire. Can they not be used for serving the poor and the needy? He explained the same through an anecdote: A farmer collects large quantities of paddy, immerse them in water, dries and sows it in various parts of the field. Is it right on the part of the farmer to do so? Will it give him good results? may ask. One knows very well that at the time of harvest, the farmer reaps double the quantity of what he sowed. In the same manner, Yajnas performed by the priests will surely give good results. Never consider them as waste. The grain and ghee that is offered as worship to God in the sacrificial fire will give results multifold in future. What we have to offer to God are our desires in a spirit of renunciation. If you do so, you will get good results in future.

Emphasising what He had told in his earlier discourses, Bhagawan said, man is verily God. First of all, he should have unity, which leads to purity and ultimately, he becomes it leads to Divinity. Man is the embodiment of the Divine Atma. Bhagawan further mentioned that people have misconception that Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara are separate. All the three are one and the same. Giving the example of paan, Bhagawan said that betel leaf, betel nut and slaked lime, all three are essential for getting the resultant red colouor while chewing. Though the three ingredients are of different colours, they combine to give the red colour. Therefore, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara are not different. People consider divinity to be varied and spoil their minds.

Underlying the ficklenss of life, Bhagawan narrated the story of Alexander. The great emperor entered Bharat through the SindhuRiver to conquer Bharat. But, suddenly goa heart attack and the doctor declared that there are no chances of his survival. So, Alexander directed his soldiers to keep his hands outstretched, protruding out of the coffin while the funeral procession is taken in the streets of his kingdom. This was to signify that such a mighty emperor had to go empty- handed.

“Even Kind Harischandra, who strictly followed the path of Truth, had to leave this world ultimately leaving behind his vast kingdom and riches. Emperor Nala, who reigned over a great empire, could not take with him anything when he passed away. Did king Mandhata, who adorned the Krita Yuga, carry any wealth with him when he left the earth? Even Lord Rama, who built the bridge across the ocean, is not to be seen on the earth today. Many kings have ruled over the earth, but none of them could carry even a fistful of dust with them. Oh noble one! do you think you can carry the kingdom and its riches on your head when you leave the world? Money is necessary to man, but only to a certain extent.

Bhagawan said that what man should aspire for is peace. “This is My desire”, Bhagawan said. Everything is contained in peace. Bhagawan extolled the ideal qualities of students and concluded His Divine Discourse.


Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day 7

Bhagawan arrived at the Sai Kulwant Hall at 7:30 a.m. to the blowing of conches and the playing of the Naadaswaram. He went around granting Darshan to all before occupying His special seat on the dais.

Watching Athi Rudra Maha Yajna in the Divine Presence of Rudra Himself is undoubtedly the most auspicious blessing that greater heaven bestow on us, the mortals. It has the absolute, magical calming effect. The chanting that goes on fills the atmosphere with Divine vibrations; the holy fragrances waft the air. Truly this must be heaven. Even the most vacillating mind is numbed into a silence and even thoughts of thoughtlessness do not arise! As Bhagawan sits silently, a tranquil descends in our hearts. It is said that only in the depths of silence the voice of God is heard. In the presence of Bhagawan, though there is chanting going on, we feel the depths of silence! As Bhagawan glances at this side, a thousand pairs of eyes light up- a million hopes come alive. Then He looks at the other side. Hands go up in salutation. Oh! The soothing feeling that is felt in His presence has to be experienced- no amount of description will do it justice.

Earlier in the day, the rites and rituals began at 5:15 a.m. continuing with the various chantings and offerings and Maha Mangalarathi was offered at 9:45 a.m. before Bhagawan retired to Yajur Mandiram.

The evening session was indeed a great feast to the eyes, ears, mind and the heart, in more than one way. With the crowds swelling up and the news spreading among devotees, they made to make a beeline towards Puttaparthi for the Athi Rudra Maha Yajna, every inch of Sai Kulwant hall was occupied and packed to capacity, much before His arrival.

Bhagawan arrived at 3:00 p.m. and watched the end part of Yajna Proceedings for the day. The guest speaker for the day was Dr. Easwaran, a doctorate in Organic Chemistry, Dr. Easwaran has been involved in Chemical Education and popularizing Science. He has been involved in conducting interactive sessions with students travelling wide across the country and thus inculcating human values in them. He is the head of Dept. of Chemistry at St. Stephens College , New Delhi . Dr. Easwaran spoke on the subject The Glory of Sai Shiva. Starting with the relevance and significance of Panchaakshari Mantra he made an emphatic statement that we have right in our midst the loving and smiling God and what more do we require to cross the ocean of life! Dr. Easwaran had further sighted various instances from the past where Bhagawan Himself had revealed several times that He is indeed Lord Siva. He illustrated beautifully by sighting various mythological stories of Kannappa Naayanar, Maarkandeya and Sage Bharadwaja. Ending his inspiring talk, Dr. Easwaran prayed to Bhagawan to bless all, by adding that laws of higher consciousness are being re-enunciated here and we are all witness to a Divine Phenomen and thus we are all indeed lucky.

On this evening Bhagawan blessed the devotees with yet another divine discourse. Bhagawan started with the relevance and significance of Karma or action emphasised that action is absolutely essential to realize the ultimate goal of human life, to realize the divine spark that is latent in every being.

Citing anecdotes from the epic Mahabharat, Bhagawan said: none can escape the consequences of actions. Everyone is bound to the actions, defects and mistakes. Pandavas were embodiments of justice, love and Dharma. But even then they could not escape the consequences of their actions. Talking about five human values Bhagawan re-iterated that Sathya, Dharma Shanthi, Prema and Non-violence are the very life breaths of human existence. Never speak untruth; never make fun of anyone. Criticism is the worst of all sins. Love is God and God is Love. (Bhagawan asked the students to sing the song, “LOVE IS MY FORM, TRUTH IS MY NAME…) There is no reason or season for love. Develop that unsullied and unconditional love. Whether one is in a city, village, forest, sky, deep sea, only love is the refuge.

After the Divine Discourse there was a scintillating music session, sitar recital by the Khan Brothers from Gwalior Gharana, who were accompanied by Ankush Naik on Tabla. After the programme Bhagawan posed for photographs and gave away presentations to all of them. This was followed by a dance programme by students of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. Two students gave a wonderful commentary in their deep base voices, both in English and Telugu. The first dance was for “O Rama nee naamam entu ruchi ra” (Oh Lord! how sweet is your Divine Name). It was followed by “Chandana Charchita” displaying Krishna with the gopalas. There was also variety in the form of a Yakshagana piece and the shiva tandava for the song “Bho shambho”. Bhagawan was extremely pleased with ‘Shivathandavam’ dance. He posed for a photo session with the participants before proceeding to Yajur Mandiram.


Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day 6

With each passing day of this Yajna, Prasanthi Nilayam is teeming with thousands of devotees. Everyone wants to witness this holy and unique event in the presence of the Lord Himself.

Bhagawan had blessed yet another speaker to address the devotees on this evening. Prof. N.S. Ramaswamy, a devotee of Bhagawan has been the founder director of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore . The Government of India has appointed him as the National Research Professor in Management. This is a very prestigious position held only by ten scholars at any point of time for various specialisations. Sri Ramaswamy is also recipient of Padma Bhushan award for his dedicated social service to mankind, animals and nature endowments. He spoke on the topic, “Sathya Sai in India ’s Century”.

The scholarly speaker began his speech by expressing his gratitude to Bhagawan. He said that Bhagawan has planted millions of spiritual saplings in millions of devotees and he is fortunate to be one among them. This is India ’s century, in essence is the Sai’s century. Bhagawan represents all the essence of India ’s ancient thought and wisdom. People from 150 countries of the world, irrespective of ideology, religion, culture, prince and pauper, young and old, all come to Bhagawan to have His Darshan. Bhagawan’s Avatara is at the most appropriate time, when there are conflicts of different kinds. Mother Earth has been plundered and pillaged. The very existence of life on earth is endangered. Family, which is a unity of society is breaking. Bhagawan has come to restore order and peace.

The learned speaker spoke of the greatness of India as described by scholars and philosophers. Max Mueller has said, “ India is the mother of civilizations, grandmother of human race, great grandmother of ethics, morals and values, great great grandmother of philosophy, spirituality, meditation, mysticism, law of nature.” Will Durant has written in his book, “If India goes, the whole world goes.” The world is divided into have’s and have not’s. But India has a third category, “Those who have, don’t want.” Buddha had a kingdom, but he did not want it, Mahavira had a kingdom, he didn’t want it. Bhagawan is here as the Virata Purusha (Cosmic Person) who will protect us from evil forces, from the commercial era of Kali Yuga which is trying to destroy the world.

After the speech of Sri Ramaswamy, Bhagawan began His Discourse with a Telugu Poem eulogising the sacred qualities of the land of Bharat and how people have forgotten their own culture and are aping the western culture. “Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat . Of all the rituals, adherence to truth is the greatest penance. The nectarine feeling in this country is the feeling of love towards one's mother. Character is valued far higher than the very life itself. People have forgotten the basic principles of this great culture and are imitating Western culture. Alas! The Bharatiyas are not aware of the greatness of their cultural heritage just as a mighty elephant is not aware of its own strength.”

(Telugu Poem)

Bharat is the land of plenty, merit, spirituality and sacrifice. But alas! Bharatiyas are not making an effort to understand their glorious tradition. Just as the elephant submits itself to the dictates of the mahout, man is not able to understand his true strength.

The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sooner or later but the indweller has neither birth nor death. The indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the eternal witness. Truly speaking, the indweller who is in the form of the Atma, is verily God Himself. (Telugu Poem)

The strength in the human body is immense. God who is beyond human comprehension can also be drawn by human. The latent power in human is very great.

Truth cannot be visualised, it can only be experienced. Truth is God.

The creation emerges from truth and merges into truth,

Is there a place in the cosmos where truth does not exist?

Visualise this pure and unsullied truth. (Telugu Poem)

Man is carried by his false identification of the human body. So, man has to recognise truth. Man has to worship and uphold truth. Sathyannasti Paro Dharma (There is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth). With truth as the foundation, man can build the mansion of Dharma (righteousness). Man is falling a prey to his senses and forgetting the eternal truth. Man is subjugating himself to the senses of action and senses of perception and deviating from the eternal truth. The power of the mind is indescribable. At one moment, it gets attracted to the good and holy and at another moment, it is drawn to profane things. How can one believe such a mind? Mind is like a mad monkey. Body is like a water bubble. Man is carrying on his life sojourn depending on the body and the mind. The day man gives up this delusion, controls the senses and contemplates on the Atma, that day he becomes verily the embodiment of Atma. You are not Manava (man), you are Madhava (God).

We have to understand the effect of place. When Rama, Lakshmana and Sita were going in the forest, suddenly at a certain place Lakshmana started questioning Rama as to why they were in the forest infested by demons; they could have very well lived in Ayodhya. It is very difficult to protect Sita from demons. Rama kept quiet. After leaving the place, Rama explained to Lakshmana that it was because the place was occupied by a demon, he got such bad thoughts.

Have friendship with the five human values. They are your good friends. Then you will be good boys, otherwise you are bad boys. You should never get a bad name. Get a good name to your parents. Parents have high expectations on you. Make them happy. Never disobey your parents. Only then will your lives be redeemed.


Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day 5

Bhagawan granted Darshan to the huge gathering of devotees assembled in the Hall and sat in the dais for more than an hour. The proceedings of the Yajna were conducted as the previous days on the morning of 13th August 2006 too. In the evening, after Bhagawan’s Darshan, two distinguished speakers addressed the huge concourse of devotees. Sri Vinay Kumar introduced the two speakers. The first speaker was Dr. Gururaj Karjagi. He is the Chairman at the Academy of Creative Teaching, Bangalore. A Doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry, he is associated with several educational institutions. Dr. Gururaj spoke on the topic, “Lord Siva, the Symbolic God”. The next speaker was Sri V. Srinivasan. Sri Srinivasan, an electrical engineer by qualification and an eminent industrialist. He has been the President of the CII, and above all he has been serving at the Lotus Feet as the All India President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations. Sri Srinivasan spoke on the role of “Sai Youth in Society”.

Sri Gururaj began his speech by saying that Hinduism at its core maintains that God is one but reached by many paths. God is formless and beyond the limits of comprehension, then why are there so many forms around us. Nirakara Brahma (formless Brahma) is difficult to comprehend, let alone worship with devotion. Ordinary people like us need a form to worship, but we should know that the ultimate is formless. Every religion believes in symbolism. They all lead towards the ultimate, liberation. He related a story from the Zen. A Zen master from Japan wanted to seek refuge in a temple for the night. So, he asked the priest for permission. The priest agreed saying that he needed no permission since he was the Zen master. It was bitterly cold. At night 1 ’o clock, the priest felt something burning. When he came outside, he found the Zen master burning a wooden Buddha statue. The priest questioned him as to how could he burn the statue being a Zen master. He replied saying, “We have a long night, bring another statue too, you can also warm yourself.” The priest sent him out. When the priest was going out of the gate of the temple, he found the Zen master worshipping a milestone saying, “Buddha Saranam Gachchhami”. Then the priest asked the Zen master the logic behind his action. The Zen master replied, “You can see Buddha only when it is carved out, but I can see Buddha even in a milestone.” That is the formless. He pointed out the story of Lazarus, who was dead, but was revived by Jesus. The erudite speaker said, “Most of us are spiritually dead and there comes a master who touches our life like never before and we change ourselves.” Ganesha idol is immersed in water at the end of fourth or fifth day during Vinayaka Chaturthi festival. What is the significance behind this act? The idol is made of clay. We worship the form, but at the end of fourth day, it is immersed in water. The message is clear, “You have worshipped the form, now dissolve it and go to the formless. The Ultimate is formless.” He related a story from the Mahapurana wherein Brahma and Vishnu vied with one another as to who is superior. Then Siva took the form of a huge pillar of flame and set a precondition that whosoever between them reaches the tip or the root is superior. Brahma took the form of a swan and flew up in search of the tip and Vishnu took the form of a wild pig and started digging in search of the root. They did it for centuries, but could not accomplish the task. Then Siva manifested in the form of a Linga and told them that unless the ego is given up, they cannot reach the Divine. He explained the meaning of Namah Sivaya (nothing belongs to me, everything belongs to Siva). The speaker narrated many interesting anecdotes pregnant with meaning from the scriptures and ended his wonderful speech.

The next speaker Sri V. Srinivasan expressed his gratitude to Bhagawan for the great opportunity bestowed on him to speak on this occasion. He began his speech by saying that never before in human history, an Athi Rudra Maha Yajna was conducted on earth in the presence of Lord Rudra Himself and in future if this event were to take place, it would be in the presence of Saiswara. The benefits of the Yajna, be it material or spiritual is profound, the munificence of Lord Siva will be showered on each one of them. He appreciated the dedicated efforts of the youth of Karnataka led by Sri Vinay Kumar. They have set an ideal for the youth of other States, not only in conducting such a Yajna, but the spirit of unity demonstrated by them.

Why are youth attracted to Bhagawan because they see that only Sai does what He says. They are attracted to truth and Sai is truth personified. Bhagawan expects the youth and students to serve their parents, their community and society.

If you want to know what is love and compassion, go to the villages of East Godavari district. The tribals are immensely happy. Though the river Godavari flowing nearby, nobody channelised the water to their villages. It is Bhagawan who has given water to the upland areas of East Godavari. It is only Bhagawan who has made it possible for all 550 villages of East Godavari and West Godavari to get drinking water. The same feelings of love and compassion are echoed by the slum dwellers of Chennai. They had to keep awake in the middle of night waiting for the water tanker to arrive. Now Chennai gets copious supply of pure drinking water through the Sri Sathya Sai Water Project. A Muslim taxi driver in Mumbai is full of gratitude to Bhagawan because he underwent heart surgery in Super Speciality Hospital when he was running from pillar to post for arranging finance for his treatment. With tears in eyes, he said, “It was only Bhagawan Baba who came to my rescue. I don’t know how to repay my gratitude. The only way I feel is every year for one month, I will do Seva (voluntary service) in Prasanthi Nilayam.” The learned speaker concluded his speech by saying that with Bhagawan’s grace, this Yajna will bring forth the Siva within us giving new meaning to the Mantra, “Om Namah Sivaya” and make us fitting instruments in the hands of our Lord, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

After the speech of Sri Srinivasan, Bhagawan delivered His Divine Discourse. Bhagawan began His Discourse with a Telugu Poem: “The day on which all the devotees gather and sing the glory of God melodiously; the day on which the sufferings of the poor are lovingly removed; the day on which noble souls visit us and narrate the stories of God lovingly; enjoy that day as the days to be reckoned. All other days are mere death anniversaries.”

The youth are responsible for all the agitation and restlessness in the world today. In spite of his education and intelligence, a foolish man will not know his true Self and a mean-minded person will not give up his evil qualities. (Telugu Poem)

After acquiring high degrees, they pride over their achievement. Due to the influence of English language, the love for one’s religion and tradition has diminished, with the result they have forgotten their culture. The wealth of this country is lost. There is unrest and agitation everywhere. In all fields, morality has declined. If we compare a pauper with a millionaire, it is the pauper who is great because the millionaire in spite of possessing wealth in plenty does not part with his wealth for sacred purposes, but is ever ready to seek name and fame. Under these circumstances, the youth should move forward enthusiastically. For the country to progress, the youth should take the lead. The youth possess immense physical and mental strength and intelligence. If they decide, they can achieve anything. They have to divert all their power for the service of mankind. A sixteen-year-old looks so weak. The weakness is not due to malnutrition, but it is because the senses are misused. Once the senses are weak, his whole being becomes weak. So, senses are the life-breath of man. Youngsters should be very careful. They need to exercise sense control. Bhagawan is explaining these things because of his infinite love for the youth of this country. Parents in this respect should be very careful. They shower their love on their wards. But when the son/daughter gets spoilt, who gets the bad name? It is the parent who gets the bad name.

So many lakhs of people gather here in the Divine presence. Who sends them invitation? Nobody sends them invitation. It is their love for Bhagawan that makes them come here. Never give up your love. Let it grow more and more.

Bharatiyas are neglecting the Vedas, but the foreigners come from foreign countries and learn the Vedas and the Sanskrit language. Bharatiyas should know the sanctity and sacredness of this country. What is the divine nature of Bharat? Who is mother? Morality is mother, integrity and honesty is father, peace is sister and courage is brother. We should have such kind of relationship.

Bhagawan depends on Truth. He has no fear whatsoever. The one who depends on Truthwill have no fear whatsoever. In future, Bhagawan is going to reveal many more things.

After Bhagawan’s Discourse, Prasadam was distributed to all the devotees. Bhagawan was offered Arati and then He retired for the day.


Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day 4

Day four of the Yajna commenced at 5:30 a.m. and in fact the ritualistic proceedings for the day from 3 to 11 is the same, that commence with Mangala Vadya, Aruna Parayana, Mahanyasa Parayana, Panchamrutha Abhishekam etc. Bhagawan came into the Sai Kulwant Hall at 7:20 a.m., as usual went for a full round granting coveted darshan before occupying the seat on the dais overseeing the day’s proceedings. He retired to Yajur Mandir at 9:30 a.m. and the Mangalaarathi was offered at 9:45 a.m. after completing various homas and abhishekas.

In the afternoon, Bhagawan came into the Hall at 3:35 p.m. just before the Yajna proceeding for the session was to finish. The speaker for the afternoon was Dr. Kashyap, Director, Aurobindo Kapali Shastri Institute of Vedic Culture, Bangalore who spoke on the subject of Rudra Mantras as an Internal Yajna. Dr. Kashyap, a doctorate from Harward University who has dedicated his life in expanding the significances of the Vedas is a recipient of prestigious awards such as Vedanga Vidhwan and Jnana Keerthi and has authored several commentaries on the Vedas. Himself an exponent in the propagation of Vedic Culture, Dr. Kashyap while giving various insights into the intricacies related to Vedic Knowledge, urged the devotees presented to take to read the original texts to take the road to Vedic Culture.

Mr. S.V.Giri, a distinguished civil servant who had taken voluntary retirement from the prestigious post of Central Vigilance Commissioner of India, and formerly Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning was invited to share his thought to devotees. Mr. Giri’s speech was followed by Divine Discourse by Bhagawan.

Sri Giri expressed his gratitude to Bhagawan for bestowing the opportunity to speak in front of the august gathering. He began by what Bhagawan said in His previous evening’s discourse. Dakshinamurthy, in supreme silence, by sheer look, transmits the impulses.

The entire exercise of Swami in having this Athi Rudra Maha Yajna is for human transformation, informed the learned speaker. Swami says to students, “Sow a good thought, reap a good action, sow an action, you reap a habit, sow a habit, you reap a tendency, sow a tendency, you reap a character. The ultimate purpose of this Yajna is world peace. Explaining the last sentence in the 11th Anuvaka of the Rudram, he said, “Jambe Dadami” means sacrificing hate. The inner significance is hate as a tendency is sacrificed. Giving insight into the Tryambakam Mantra, he explained lucidly thus: “Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam Urvarukamiva Bandhanath Mrutyormrukshiyamamrutat”. Tryambakam Yajamahe (We pray to the Lord of the three worlds), Sugandhim (He is all fragrance), Pushtivardhanam (He builds up as a very strong individual, gives us all the nutrition), Urvarukamiva Bandhanath (it is like a mature cucumber detaching itself from the shell, it is in the shell but it is detached, we are in the world, but we are detached), Mrutyormrukshiyamamrutat (I am no longer afraid of death, detached, from death release me, but let me look for immortality. This life or death no longer worries me.) The next prayer in Rudra conveys the message that God is all-pervasive, He is everywhere. Swami says, every one of us is God. Once that mentality comes, there is no place for hatred or any of the Shadvargas (inner enemies).

The scholarly speaker emphasised that the best part of one’s life was youth. Many great people accomplished lofty goals in their youth. Adi Sankara in his youth brought about a profound change.

Any thing done by Swami is an exemplar. Take for instance, the Grama Seva. It is fine exercise in spirituality and management. Lakhs and lakhs of people are given food and clothing. It is an exercise in spirituality; seeing the other person as a one who needs to be supported.

Speaking about the enormous effort that has gone in organising this event, he noted that the Athi Rudra Maha Yajna elevates the atmosphere. It calls for concerted effort in terms of organising such an event. It sensitises everyone to see the whole world as one and spreading the message of peace. Vinay Kumar who has put in so much effort and this effort has to be institutionalised, many more have to come in and share the effort. People have to draw example from what is going on here. When Swami asked Vinay Kumar as to what he wanted, he replied, “Nothing personal”. It the spirit behind the act that is important.

The speaker concluded his speech on this high note: “It is our hope that he (Vinay Kumar)will be able to galvanise many youth, enlist their support in many more such instances.”


Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day 3

While the afternoon session began at 2:30 p.m. with Rudra Homam, Panchamrutha Archana, Sai Gayathri Homam having performed in sequence, Bhagawan arrived in the Sai Kulwant Hall at 4:20 p.m. and presided over the proceedings for sometime. Once the ritualistic proceedings were over, it was the turn of the day’s guest speaker to share his knowledge on the aspect of Dakshinamoorthy, and Incarnation of Lord Shiva. The Guest Speaker for the evening was Vidhwaan Veda Brahmashri K.G. Subbaraya Sharma, a Vedic and Sanskrit Pundit of par excellence, winner of Raashtriya Jnaana Puraskar Award and the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award 2005 and author of several books including Shankara Bhaskara, Vedanta Samvastsara and Prabhodha Chintamani.

Dakshinamoorthi is another name of Lord Shiva, which means the deity, the God – Embodiment of knowledge of self, enlightenment. Ignorance is the disease that engulfs the humans and without removing this enlightenment it is impossible to achieve and to remove this ignorance one has to rely on Lord Shiva, Dakshinamoorthi. Dakshinamoorthi is the Supreme Teacher, the Teacher for the entire world who removes all maladies of mind to prepare humans for liberation. Hailing Bhagawan as Daskhinamoorthi in physical frame, the speaker acknowledged the gathering that by mere sight of Bhagawan, Divine Darshan, all of our problems should be solved. Quoting extensively from sacred literature of yore, the learned speaker highlighted the importance of attaining the final goal of life…enlightenment. With the blessings of Dakshinamoorthi all the knots of mind…knots in the heart are cut off and all the doubts are completely dispelled, cleared…and karmas (actions) are bunt to ashes when through prayer we attain knowledge of inner self with the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba as Dakshinamoorthi. Concluding his rhetoric the speaker said, today we are seeing the trinity, namely, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara and also the Parabhrahma Swaroopa, the Supreme Lord in Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba…and urged the devoted gathering to pray to Bhagawan for enlightenment of the self and for the peace and prosperity unto the world at large.

Bhagawan in His Divine Discourse underlined that it is mysterious to understand the principle of Dakshinamoorthi…one can extol him in myriad ways…but the essence of him is transcendental…and he represents silence and confers wisdom through silence. It is impossible to understand his nature with the worldly background and understanding. Dakshinamoorthi is by nature embodiment of Truth...and Truth is all pervasive…Truth is changeless. …and therefore, none can achieve anything in this world without the Grace of Dakshinamoorthi…everything originated from Dakshinamoorthi. Referring to Dakshinamoorthi as all pervasive Divine…Bhagawan urged the devotees to remind themselves with the teachings of Dakshinamoorthi to lead a noble life. Human beings should live befitting the title of human being; they should never lead a bestial life. Anger, hatred and desire are all animal qualities. …And to lead the life of a human being one should follow the teachings of Dakshinamoorthi. One has to develop the feeling that “I AM GOD”.

Bhagawan urged the devotees to spend time in contemplation of Divine…Let the body also be spent in contemplation of God…Whole life should be Divine and Spiritual. Once we lead the Divine life we are correct intellect…and thus we should transform ourselves into Divine. ..and once we are Divine we become personification of devotion…and once we have devotion we can have the vision in the manifestation of the entirety of human being. …and once we are true human being we can transform ourselves into Divine, said Bhagawan.

Be blissful always…You are non-dual and ethereal…and then you can call yourself a true human being…when bad qualities creep in, take the name of God and get rid of the same. You are all embodiments of Love…and you cannot live without Love. ...become personification of love and gradually attain Divinity…extolled Bhagwan concluding His Divine Discourse.

The Divine Discourse was followed by a light classical performance by Sri O.S. Arun, which was followed by a scintillating musical treat by the students of Sri Sathya SAi Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam, whom Bhagawan called to perform extempore.

After the musical offering Bhagawan retired to Yajur Mandiram receiving Managalaarathi.


Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day 3

For a New World Order

A great Promise…not an ordinary promise, but a Divine Declaration that very soon the world would be united and peace be unto this planet earth at large was given by Bhagawan on 10 th October 2005 during His Divine Discourse.

I assure you that golden era is very near. Personal rivalries, differences and hatred towards fellowmen will become a thing of the past in Bharat and the world at large.

- Divine Discourse on 10 th October 2005

…and such declarations…wonderful promises about the coming of ‘Rama Rajya’ had come from Bhagawan even before.

Still the fickle human mind would wonder and even sometimes dare to question such a possibility of the coming of ‘Rama Rajya’ when at the other end attempts are made by the demonic minds to thwart all such noble endeavours.

A chaotic world where everything seems to be meeting with the wrong end, where war cries are preferred to Vedic chanting, here from the South Indian State of Andhra Pradesh come the rays of hope, the beacon light in the form of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. As the Ati Rudra Maha Yajna, being done with the absolute purpose of attaining World Peace and Prosperity, moved on to the third day of its proceedings…and with the vibrations emanating from this rare spiritual feast traversing the entire length and breadth of every conceivable inch of space, it is nothing but a clear indication towards fulfilling the above given declaration by the Avatar of the Age, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a world of unity, religious harmony, suffused with pure love and powered by righteous living.

On the inaugural day, talking about the supreme significance of the Yajna, the Chief Priest in his introductory speech, made a mention that the Yajna is the highest form of worship one could offer to Lord Siva…and here we have Lord Siva Himself presiding over the Yajna.With the rays of hope emanating from thousands of innocent hearts from the Divine Abode at Prasanthi Nilayam suffused with the vibrations being powered from the Yajna Kundas…and with millions from all across the world join with prayerful hearts…one could assume that the world is slowly being re-routed to the lost track of righteousness…that was long lost and as Bhagawan has time and again declared…promised…a new world order…a World of Unity…Purity and Divinity is in the offing. On the third day of the Yajna the proceedings began in the morning at 5:45 a.m. with Aruna Parayanam followed by Mahanyasa Parayana and Panchamrutha Abhishekam, Linga Abhishekam while the Rudra Parayanam was going on in the background. Bhagawan arrived in the Sai Kulwant Hall at 7:10 a.m., went for full round to the delight of the thousands filled to capacity. Later, Bhagawan watched the proceedings from the dais before retiring to Interview Room. Bhagawan returned to Yajur Mandiram at 9:45 a.m. and the morning proceedings of the Yajna concluded at 11:00 a.m. with Mangalarathi.


Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day 2 Evening Session

The evening session of the Yajna commenced at 3:10 p.m. just before the Divine arrival. Bhagawan arrived at the Sai Kulwant Hall at 3:20 p.m. , as usual went for full round blessing the devotees. The proceedings continued in His Divine Presence and the Chief Priest gave a sacred bath to the Linga glorified as Sayeeshwara which was followed by Ghanapaatha of the sacred mantra 'Rudram' while Vibhuti Abhishekam was performed on the Lingam.

As a part of the series of lectures on Shiva Shakthi aspect by learned speakers during the Yajna days, a Sanskrit Scholar and Telugu Pundit and an ardent long time devotee of Bhagawan, Sri Srikanta Rao gave a scintillating account on the significance of Athi Rudra Maha Yajna. He has been the President of Andhra Saraswatha Vijnana Sangham.

Sri Srikanta Rao: Bharat has a hoary culture. People have been making concerted efforts by conducting Yajnas and Yagas and Tapas to attain God realisation. There is lot of unrest, agitation and lawlessness in the world today which is the cause for restlessness in man. Avatars and divine personalities create awareness in man through their teachings. Adi Sankara in his treatise Viveka Chudamani has said to attain God’s grace. Bhakti (devotion) is the most suitable path. Puja means to worship God with love and devotion. Yajna means to offer oblations in the sacrificial fire to propitiate the Devatas (demigods) so that they bestow on us divine grace. Worshipping Rudra, the embodiment of Agni (fire) with Japa, Tapa and Homa and Abhisheka is Rudrarchana. For the amelioration of difficulties and world peace, Rudrarchana is very important. In it, Laghu Rudra Homa, Maha Rudra Homa and Athi Rudra Homa form a pivotal part. The efficacy of Rudra is described in glowing terms in Vedas, Sastras and Itihasas. Describing and offering salutations to various forms of Rudra is Namakam. This is also called Rudra Prasna. In the 4th Kanda (chapter), 7th Prasna of Taittiriya Samhita, ‘Cha’ is repeated again and again. That is why it is known as Chamaka. There is going to be world prosperity and peace because of the performance of this Yajna. The learned speaker ended his scholarly talk saying, Bhagawan’s Divine message and teachings will surely bring welfare and prosperity to the world.

This was followed two performances by child artists, first being a rendering of a stotram in praise of Lord Shiva. The boy was blessed with a chain created by Bhagawan. The second performer was an 8 year old flute player, who played a famous keertana.

Then came the pleasant surprise…yet another Divine Discourse by Bhagawan…that was not scheduled. Bhagawan began His Discourse with the famous 'Khanda Khandantara........' song that describes the rich cultural heritage of Bharat especially in the field of music, art and literature. Addressing the priests, devotees and students, Bhagawan reiterated the sacredness of the land of Bharat …which is the birth place of great sages, saints, scholars, men and women of valour and women of chastity; but, it is unfortunate that we are unable to observe and imbibe the ancient glory and cultural heritage even to minute fraction, added Bhagawan. Stressing on the importance of developing harmony in thoughts, words and deeds Bhagawan exhorted the devotees gathered in Sai Kulwant Hall to treasure all that is heard and bring the same into experience.

On the Yajna being performed, He said Yajnas are performed with a larger and mightier purpose that is totally selfless, meant for the welfare of entire humanity. Addressing the students gathered for the function, He stressed the importance of having company of the holy and good. Good Company is what is required which would help one to satisfy his heart that in turn would lead to liberation. Good company leads to good thoughts which in turn take one to ood actions that finally yields good results. Being a student one should not be proud of his education…and once one commits this mistake his whole life would be spent in pride and ego, advised Bhagawan. Referring to the lectures being given by learned speakers in the evenings during the Yajna, Bhagawan asked the students to inscribe their teachings in their hearts to emulate in actions.

Stressing on the importance of filling our lives with love…He exhorted one and all assembled to follow the Divine Teachings. After Bhajans prasadam was distributed and Bhagawan retired for His Residence after Managalaarati at 6:20 p.m.


Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day 2 Morning Session

 Prasanthi Nilayam, the epicenter of Spiritual awakening wakes up in the early hours called The Brahma Muhurtha… the most auspicious time to awake one’s innermost spiritual instincts. As the Chief Priest rightly mentioned on the inaugural day, all the Gods and Devas would be watching with fervour and devotion, the Spiritual feast at Prasanthi Nilayam conducted under the auspices of the Lord of all Lords Himself, aiming at World Peace and Prosperity.

One would have noticed that in Prasanthi Nilayam every day the bhajan session ends with the Universal Prayer “Lokah Samasthah Sukhino Bhavanthu”, for the Universal well being; and time and again Bhagawan has re-iterated the importance and significance of this prayer which brings peace to the individual and thus to the world at large. …And this indeed is indicative of the absolute peace mission that is being lead by the Avatar of the Age.

The second morning schedule of the Yajna commenced with Mangala Vadya, Kala Homa, Anga Homa and Kala Avahana at the scheduled hour at 5:30 a.m. This was followed by Aruna Parayana at 6:00 a.m. and Nethronmeelanam at 6:25 a.m. and Praana Pratishta at 6:30 a.m.

Bhagawan arrived at the fully packed Sai Kulwant Hall, the venue for the Yajna at around 6:20 a.m., went for a full round before occupying His special seat on the dais. Next was the turn of the most awaited and auspicious occasion related to the Yajna, the installation of the Lingam by the Divine Hands. It is indeed a rare good fortune to have such a Yajna conducted under the auspices of Bhagawan, with an absolute purpose, the most selfless one, Peace for humanity and for the world at large. Bhagawan who came down from the dais to bless the occasion of installation of the Linga, materialized an object, the eye of the Linga and thus sanctified the Linga by installing the same with His Divine Hands. The object that was materialized, the eye, was placed on the Linga by the Divine Hands and the process is known as Netronmeelanam.

Referring to the installation of the Linga known as Praana Pratishta, the Chief Priest highlighted the supreme importance of the function for having the same done by the Divine Hands at His Holy Abode. He further went on elaborating that naming of the Linga is mandatory during such a Yajna and hence the Linga would be glorified as Sayeeshwara and henceforth would be known by that name.

This was followed by Rudra Paarayanam and Rudra Abhishekam to the Linga. The Yajna began with the lighting of the sacred sacrificial fire. The fire is started by the rapid rubbing of two sacred wooden sticks by the priests. The sacrificial fire starts burning by the natural emergence of fire in the latent sticks, symbolic of the latent presence of the Divine in every object in creation. Bhagawan has often declared that if one turns the vision inward he would be able to experience the light Divine effulgent in one's heart.

Another uniqueness of this Yajna is, according to the Chief Priest, the day of the commencement of the Yajna ( 9 th Aug 2006) was Shravan Nakshtra, the star of Lord Maha Vishnu…and the concluding day of the Yajna, 20 th August is supposedly Ardra Nakshtra, the star of Lord Siva Himself. This symbolises the aspect of Sankara Narayana, attributes of Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu.

Bhagawan retired to Yajur Mandiram at 8:45 a.m. while the Yajna was continuing in Sai Kulwant Hall. After the third Rudram chanting, the priests began to get the other Yajna kundams ready for the Yajnam. As the eleven times of the Rudram were completed the ten other yagna kundams were ready for the Rudra homam and Sai Gayatri homam. Towards the end of the morning session the rithwiks chanted all the four vedas followed by Mangalarathi to Lord Rudra and simultaneously when the top cover of the centre portion of Sai Kulwant Hall was opened for a brief period for the sacred smoke emanating from the Yajna Kundams to spread into the air outside, it was indeed a most rejoicing spiritual it heavenly, a devotee would cherish to relish in his heart.


Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day One - 9th Aug 2006  

Elaborate Report on the Afternoon Session:

Athi Rudra Maha Yajna, which is performed at the abode of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba - Prasanthi Nilayam began on the evening of 9th August 2006. It was a sight for the gods and goddesses of the highest heavens to behold. Sai Kulwant Hall was decked up traditionally for the occasion. Fresh floral decorations were a treat to the eye. Miniature sized Lingas were placed in all parts of the Hall. Banners announcing the dates of the Yajna and the good fortune for the entire humanity to witness this grand and most auspicious event were hung in vantage points of the Ashram.

11 Homa Kundas (a place where the sacred oblations are offered), were built in the central passage of the Hall which leads to the Gopuram Gate of the Ashram. A canopy of coconut leaves on top supported by poles formed a virtual bower to the Homa Kundas and the priests. A Siva Linga was placed in front of the first Homa Kunda on a raised platform in the Hall. Bhagawan was led into Sai Kulwant Hall by a Nadaswaram troupe of musicians and the large contingent of priests. Sai Kulwant was filled to its seams on this evening. After Bhagawan came to the dais, He lit the ceremonial lamp. An invocation song specially composed for the occasion was sung in the background.

At the outset, Sri Vinay Kumar, Youth Coordinator, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Karnataka State expressed his gratitude to Bhagawan on behalf of all present and the humanity at large for agreeing to accept this Athi Rudra Maha Yajna as an offering at the Divine Lotus Feet. He said that this Yajna is no ordinary Yajna; it is the highest form of worship to Lord Siva. This assumes greater significance as it is performed in the immediate Divine Presence of Lord Siva Himself. Across ages, there would never have been a more historic, a more memorable occasion, opined the learned speaker. Lord Siva, who is right in our midst, is performing this Athi Rudra Maha Yajna for Loka Kalyana (peace and prosperity of the world) and Loka Kshema (welfare of the world). The Yajna will go on for 11 days and the concluding portions will be performed on the 20th of this month. The speaker said that Swami has been guiding them all along through the preparations of the Yajna. He remembered with gratitude the 13th of June when he made a humble prayer to Bhagawan to perform this Yajna at Prasanthi Nilayam. This Yajna performed in the Kingdom of Rudra, by the Lord Himself is very special. Rudra Parayana will be performed by the 132 learned Pundits for the next 11 days. There would be Rudra Homas performed on specially erected 11 Homa Kundas. There would be Abhisheka Pujas performed on a specially installed Linga by Lord Siva Himself on the 10th morning. We are extremely privileged to witness this Yajna. He recalled an interview that Bhagawan had given to him along with the head priest, Sri Nanjunda Dikshit. The head priest mentioned to Bhagawan that the Athi Rudra Maha Yajna would give a lot of Trupti (satisfaction) to Lord Shiva. Then Bhagawan immediately said, “But I have a lot of Trupti, My Trupti is in your Trupti.” Then He said, “If you listen to what I say, then I will have a lot of Trupti.” He went on to tell the speaker that you must have imagined the Rudra form to have a ferocious face with bulging eyes and wild temper. Bhagawan said, “I am not like that, I am very loving, I don’t have a wild temper. Even if I shout at you once or twice, it is only the tone that goes up.” Swami gives us these indications on and off to remind us that we are with the Rudra Himself. Sri Vinay once again prayed to Bhagawan for allowing them to make this humble offering and concluded his speech.

Sri Lakshminarayana, the next speaker informed the gathering that this Yajna is an offering from the Karnataka Youth Wing of the Organisation. Swami has permitted the youth to hold this Yajna. This is an act of kindness bestowed on the youth, noted the erudite speaker. He said that the youth of other parts of the country should also take a cue from this to conduct social service and other service activities which are closest to Swami’s heart. He prayed to Bhagawan to bless the youth with right thoughts and to do right things for the benefit of humanity.

Sri Nanjunda Dixit, the head priest of the Yajna said that he felt honoured to conduct this Yajna. This is the highest form of worship that any layman can offer to Lord Shiva. Offering prayers to Rudra in the form of Namakam and Chamakam is known as Shata Rudriyas in the sacred texts. It is a beautiful text that many of the scholars agree that it is the heart of Krishna Yajur Veda. The Shata Rudriya is one of the five sacred texts in the world, the other four being the Upanishads, the Vishnu Sahasranama, the Purusha Suktam and the Bhagawadgita. Shiva, though He is referred to as Samhara Karta (one who annihilates) is there to rule the Dharma. That is the real meaning of Shiva, opined the learned Pundit. The rule of Dharma is to protect the interest of good people. The same is witness here where Bhagawan loves everyone. Through Love Bhagawan conquers every one irrespective of colour, caste, creed and nationality. If we follow the footsteps of Bhagawan, the entire humanity will become one without any barriers. Sage Saataatapa in his Maharnava Karnavipaka identifies four important stages of offering prayers to Rudra – Rudra, Rudraiekadasini, Maha Rudra and Athi Rudra. Athi Rudra is the topmost level of offering prayers to Lord Rudra. One person chanting 11 times Rudra with 1 Chamaka, it becomes Rudra. If it is multiplied by 11, it becomes Rudraiekadasini and Rudraiekadasini multiplied by 11 becomes Maha Rudra. If Maha Rudra is multiplied by 11, it becomes Athi Rudra. 1331 priests chanting on one day 11 times Rudra and one time Chamaka, it becomes Athi Rudra or 11 priests for 121 days becomes Athi Rudra. 14,641 times of Namaka Parayana with 1,331 times of Chamaka Parayana, that becomes Athi Rudra. The learned Pundit concluded his speech by saying that it is an unique opportunity to witness this Yajna for humanity.

After the address by the head priest, Bhagawan delivered His Divine Discourse. For the benefit of readers, we are giving the excerpts of the Divine Discourse:

There is a decadence of culture because of the loss in human values. This is the land of great women of chastity, integrity and character like Savitri Chandramati, Sita and Damayanti. Bharat is the teacher of all the nations of the world. If Shiva is not born in such a sacred land, then where else can He be born? God responds to the pure feelings and sacred sentiments in the heart. God is present in every object of the world. God’s hands, feet, head pervades the whole world. We are born to offer to God all that is bestowed on us by God. Whenever there is a decline in righteousness, God incarnates in the world. We find in the whole world unrighteousness, injustice. Live in Love. In fact, there is no life without love.

Those Mantras that are found in Krishna Yajur Veda are not found anywhere. Namaka and Chamaka form an important part in Krishna Yajur Veda. All the Itihasas have originated from the Vedas. But the Vedas are neglected today since there are not many people who can chant the Vedas with correct intonation. There is nothing beyond the Vedas. All can chant the Vedas; irrespective of whatever caste, creed and community one may belong to. The Vedas are not limited to Brahmins or to India; it belongs to the entire world. The Vedas are the remedy for all the ills of society. The Vedas are meant for everyone, but the fortunate learn them and propagate. The entire youth of Karnataka have to be mobilised and have to learn the secrets of Vedic knowledge. In the same way, youth of others States too should learn the secrets of Vedic knowledge.

God’s name is so powerful that it annihilates that which is bad and upholds that which is good. When you worship God, the whole world will be protected. This Yajna is conducted for the welfare of humanity. When people came to know that this Yajna is going to be conducted, many people came forward to help with various items, but Vinay Kumar did not accept any of them. He said: Sai is everything for me; Sai is my Sahayam (Sai is my help). Such Seva Dal leaders are required in every State.

After Bhagawan’s Divine Discourse, the preliminary rituals of the Yajna started. It began with Mahaganapathi Puja and Sadguru Prarthana (worship of the Guru). Godana (giving cows in charity) was also performed. Bimba Shuddi, a ritual to remove any defects that might have crept in while the sculptor sculpted the Linga was done as per the Sastras (scriptures). Kalasha Sthapana (installing Kalashas) was also done. The day’s proceedings concluded with Maha Mangalarati.


Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day One - 9th Aug 2006  

Instant Report on the Afternoon Session - Day One - 9th Aug 2006

Marking the inauguration of the Athi Rudra Maha Yajna for World Peace and Prosperity, Bhagawan in His Divine Discourse, while hailing Bharath as the birthplace of women of chastity and character, of the likes of Savitri, Chandramathi, Mother Sita and Damayanthi, said Bharat is the Teacher of all nations of the world. Making a mention of the deterioration of cultural values with the introduction of English language, Bhagawan said that differences are on the rise and there is no refining happening in us; in the absence of refinement and culture, human values are fast disappearing. With the loss of human values the very culture is lost; this is the sacred land, land of sacrifice, birthplace of woman of chastity and character.

God does not manifest Himself by mere observance of Vratas…performance of Yajnas and Yagas, rather He manifests in response to virtues, inner feelings and sacred sentiments...Giving exemplary anecdotes from the lives of great women of character, sanctity and sacrifice, Bhagawan, to the delight of thousands assembled in Sai Kulwant Hall, gave due credit to these women and declared that, that is the very reason why Lord Siva Himself has incarnated in human form in this sacred land of Bharat.

Referring to the world of today, full of unrighteousness, chaos and confusion, Bhagawan reiterated the importance of having faith in Divinity. Truth is God; Love is God; Live in Love…there is no life without Love.

On the importance and significance of Vedas, He said that Vedas are the gift of God for humanity…and the Vedas belong to the humanity at large…and does not belong to any particular section of society. Calling two overseas students of His Institute over to the dais to chant Veda in His presence Bhagawan declared that it is His wish that there should be Veda chanting in every country, by every community, by every individual.

Concluding His Divine Discourse Bhagawan reminded the devotees assembled that they may forget anything; but should never forget God’s Name. Without devotion thre won't be peace; It is devotion that takes you to Divinity. ...and He conferred His abundant blessings to one and all assembled for long, peaceful, spiritual life.

Earlier in the afternoon, Sri Vinay Kumar, in-charge of Youth Wing of Sri Sathya Sai Organisations, Karnataka State expressed his grateful thanks on behalf of all devotees across the world for His kind benevolence in agreeing to accept their prayer in conducting the Yajna for World Peace. This is no ordinary Yajna…this is the highest form of worship of Lord Siva…this Yajna assumes greater significance as we the privileged ones are going to witness all these happenings in the very immediate presence of Lord Siva Himself…said Vinay Kumar, talking on the greater significance of the Yajna.

Mr. Lakshmi Narayan, co-ordinator for the Yajna conducted announced that the Yajna is being organized by the Youth Wing of Sathya Sai Organisations, Karnataka and urged the Youth from across the world to emulate in doing social activities.

Sri Nanjuda Dixit, the Chief Priest for the Yajna while expressing gratitude to Bhagawan said that he is highly privileged and honoured to be in the Divine Presence to officiate a unique programme, a programme of excellence, the highest form of worship one could offer to Lord Siva in His very ‘Kingdom. Through Love Bhagawan conquers the hearts, irrespective of all barriers, and if we follow His footsteps in emulating His Love, Sri Dixit expressed hope that the world would become one, a Nation of Humanity.

9th Aug 2006: Prasanthi Nilayam:

The much awaited Athi Rudra Maha Yajna aiming at World Peace and Prosperity to the World at large begins in the Holy Abode of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Prasanthi Nilayam in His immediate Divine Presence this afternoon at 15:00 Hrs. IST.  The Yajna will commence with Bhagawan lighting the lamp at the scheduled hour which will be preceded by a ceremonial procession of Bhagawan from His Divine Abode to the Yaga Shala in Sai Kulwant Hall led by Ritwiks accompanied by Poornakumbham, Music Band and Dwara Puja. Inauguration will be followed by an Invocation song, welcome address by Sri Vinay Kumar, in-charge Youth Wing of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations – Karnataka and an Introductory Address by the Chief Priest for the Ceremony, Nanjunda Dixit.

In the morning Bhagawan arrived in the Sai Kulwant Hall at 7:35 a.m., went for a full round blessing devotees. Later Bhagawan blessed the Rithwiks who were specially seated in the bhajan hall with ceremonial dress for the Yajna. Bhagawan retired to Yajur Mandiram after Bhajans and Arathi at 9:30 a.m.