Dasara 2005 in Prasanthi
"This Prasanthi Nilayam
is the Nilayam of
Nithya Shanthi - of the peace that cannot be disturbed
- because it is based on deep discrimination and on unshakable
renunciation of attachment to sense objects. To be here on
this sacred day is indeed a great piece of good fortune. Thousands
of aspirants and seekers have assembled here and those who
have come into this auspicious company have to make the best
use of this chance. Instead of celebrating this Dasara festival
in feasting and catering to the frailties of the senses, I
am happy that you have determined to spend it in holy thoughts".
This is a piece of Divine Coucelling given by Bhagawan during
the Dasara Festivity four decades ago, in the year 1965 and
these above lines herald the significance of this grant festivity
called Dasara or 'Devi Navarathri'. And over the years millions
of devotees have witnessed this festivity at Prasanthi Nilayam
with the Lord in His physical frame accepting the offering
of Poornahuthi as Veda
Purusha, rarest of the good fortune bestowed upon by
the 'Greater Heaven'.
The legend has it that Dasara signifies the
victory of Devas over Asuras,
i.e., Righteousness over the forces of evil. Vouching for
this mythical belief, thousands have gathered at Prasanthi
Nilayam to celebrate the festivity in the very Divine Presence
of Bhagawan, Beloved Mother Sai. In fact this year’s
celebrations came as a fresh spiritual breeze, cooling down
the turbulent minds with His nectarine Divine Discourses that
served as ‘feast for the soul’.
The celebrations began on 6th October with
"Kalasa-sthapanam" in the Bhajan Hall of the Prasanthi
Mandir followed by the beginning of Veda
Purusha Saptah Jnana Yajna in the Poornachandra Auditorium,
which was filled to capacity.
Bhagavan presided over the Yajna
as Veda Purusha while the ritwiks
lighted the sacred homam creating
fire by friction, by rubbing two sticks from churning of two
wooden pieces. The homam was
carried on by pundits chanting Vedic mantras and making offerings
of ghee to the sacred fire.
Besides the homam,
there were pundits engaged in performing Suryanamaskar,
reading holy epics, the Ramayana and the Bhagavata, worshipping
thousand lingas of Lord Siva,
worship to Lord Ganesha and the Hindu Trinity and other rituals
related to the Yajna.
While these rituals continued for a week,
Prasanthi Vidhwaan Mahasabha, an assembly of learned in the
Divine Presence to share spiritual knowledge was the major
attraction of the evening sessions. Senior devotees, Faculty
Members and Students from the three campuses of Sri Sathya
Sai Institute of Higher Learning shared their thoughts in
the Divine Presence which were followed by illuminating Divine
Discourses on five days in which Bhagawan enlightened the
devotees gathered on various spiritual topics with incidents
from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and from His Divine Visit
to Rishikesh etc.
11th October was Durgashtami and
Ayudha Puja was performed on this morning in the Divine Presence
at Sai Kulwant Hall.
On Vijaya Dashami day, 12th October
thousands of devotees gathered in the Poornachandra Auditorium
to witness the completion of week long Yajna
with Poornahuti. Bhagawan who
presided over the Yajna as Yajna
Purusha blessed the occasion, the pundits and the devotees
gathered by sprinkling the water sanctified by the Yajna
going round the jam-packed Poornachandra Auditorium to the
delight of one and all. Prasadam
was distributed at the end of the programme.
In the afternoon students from Brindavan
Campus of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning staged
a Drama titled “Bhakta Surdas”. It was a moving
presentation on the life of poet saint Surdas and depicting
his unflinching devotion to Lord Sri Krishna. Devotion was
in the air as the drama unfolded the mystery as to how with
single-pointed devotion one could win the heart of the Lord.
Melodious songs coupled with soul lifting music and dance
sequences made the presentation nostalgic and memorable. Indeed
a fitting grand finale to the week long Dasara festivities.
Sri Sathya Sai Grama Seva
pour spirituality into the ears of those who are tortured
by hunger, it will not be assimilated. First satisfy the hunger.
“Give them God in the form of food; Give them God in
the form of clothes; Give them food in the form of Peace to
those afflicted with anxiety; Give God in the form of medicine
to those suffering from ill-health; Give God in whatever form
which will assuage fear, pain and sorrow. It is only when
this is done that spirituality can soak into the heart”,
said Bhagawan. Further, in His discourse of 16th February
in 1992 He opened His mind in unequivocal terms that “Grama
Seva is Rama Seva. You need not strive for salvation as a
separate goal. Service to village will itself ensure mukti
(liberation). Bear this truth in mind and act upto it in your
It was a new ‘mantra’. And He
enjoined upon His students – His sole property –
to march forward in their purity as ambassadors of
peace and love to the villages with food and clothes
– the first of His lessons in Practical Vedanta,
the adwaita philosophy in practice.
The programme launched in October 2000 has come to stay as
an annual feature – a practice to be carried out throughout
their life wherever they go. This year’s Grama Seva
was planned to cover 150 villages in the three Mandals of
Puttaparthi, Kothacheruvu and Bukkaptanam forming the unit
that was called earlier as Puttaparthi Taluka.
It was indeed a hectic week for the students
of all the three campuses who were ordained to carry out the
task of reaching out the villagers with His food and cloth
packets of Love. This lucky lot with minds fresh and enthused
and hearts vibrant and expanded set out with “Sairam”
on their lips…went to the door steps…and conquered.
It was not the sweets, food packet or clothes
that were distributed that mattered, but the feeling behind
the action, that was the message of this Grama Seva which
Bhagawan has been stressing, all through, to reach out the
needy with His Divine Love, true to His saying, Grama Seva
is Rama Seva…Jana Seva is Janardhana Seva.
Students from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute
of Higher Learning, Anantapur Campus for women and senior
girl students from Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School
with faculty members and staff from both the campuses engaged
in packing the food and cloth materials while boys from both
Prasanthi Nilayam and Brindavan Campuses along with faculty
members and staff would go out everyday to various villages
with meticulous plan to carry out the task within the schedule.
The last day of the Grama Seva activities, on the Vijaya Dashami
day, students from the Anantapur Campus distributed sweets,
food packets and clothes to the inmates of Ashram.
Indeed, an act worth emulating and one would
wonder whether the Gods of highest heaven would be watching
this “White Army” of students who were immensely
lucky and privileged to carry out the task at the direct command
of God walking on two feet.
Excerpts from Bhagawan’s Divine
Talking all the day
aimlessly, eating three times a day, breathing continuously
day in and day out; do you think these are spiritual practices?
Do you think being lost in deep sleep is a spiritual practice?
Is this the purpose of God’s Creation?
Divinity is present
in all beings. Elders always advise that we must think of
God every morning and night so as to make our hearts sacred.
God is in everything – in mankind, in insects, birds,
- in all beings. To see God who is everywhere, does one need
God cannot be experienced
by merely following spiritual practices. All Sadhana that
we undertake is only for Chitta Shuddhi – cleansing
the mind, purifying the mind. Purity of heart has to be attained.
We think that fasting and observing vows takes us closer to
God. This is a false notion. God is always there everywhere.
To see and experience this omnipresent God, one must have
Just as a utensil when
washed again and again becomes shining, so too by persistent
spiritual practice, the heart starts shining with Divine effulgence.
Once the heart becomes sacred, Divinity can be seen and experienced.
This is the way to see God, not by mere meditation.
We must convince ourselves
that God is in all beings. But nobody is doing that. Whomsoever
we see is verily God. I am present in everybody but not attached
to anybody. Gopikas alone understood this Truth. The Cosmic
Self is Divine but is seen as the individual self.
Whomsoever we come
across, be it a businessman or a farmer, we must consider
them as God only, not as a farmer or a businessman. God is
present in all forms serving you. From today onwards, have
this strong faith and you too will see God everywhere.
Once you please God,
everything will be added on to you. You think that I am God,
but you too are God. We all are forms of God. Think like this
and you will see God alone. Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati.
Truth is One. Now the
question may arise that if the individual self is verily the
Cosmic Self, then why do we die? It is because we have not
yet realized our Cosmic Self. I am You – You am I. Tat
Ekam Eva Adviteeyam
Brahma. God is Only One, Not Two. Recognition of this Truth
will give you the experience. Strongly hold on to the Truth
that you and God are one. Differences arise only in our mind.
God is not separate from us. He is in you. I am ONE, without
the second! No Two. This Truth is made apparent gradually
to seekers. Once you strongly hold on to the Truth that God
and you are one, He will manifest in you.
Ten ones make ten.
Therefore, ‘one’ is most important. ‘Ten’
is not the reality. ‘ONE’ is the reality. You
can add any number of zeroes to ‘One’ and increase
the number value, but zeroes by themselves have no value.
‘ONE’ is the Hero!!
All forms are Sai Baba
only. Go by this Oneness alone. Whatever Bhagawan is telling
is the Truth of Truth. Have full faith in this Truth. All
scriptures talk of this same Truth. Once this Truth is known,
there will be no doubts. Do not accuse anybody or blame anybody.
Never entertain any doubts. Doubt means duality. There is
no ‘He’ and ‘I’. All is ‘I’
Oneness is the Truth
of Truths. If you cannot experience this, give it up but never
argue that God is two. Ekatvam Sama Jeevatvam. Never have
the view of separateness. For worldly purpose we may consider
many numbers but in essence we are one. Today you may not
understand this clearly, but slowly it will become clear.
Truth is One and not Two! Look at this kerchief, there may
be many yarns / threads but the cloth is one.
God has no desires,
no mistakes. All that we perceive is in our own mind. Enta
Maatrame Evvaru Teluchino Anta Maatrame Neevu. God manifests
only to the extent to which each one perceives Him.
We can transform anything
in this world but not the mind. God alone can change the mind.
One may be able to bend and straighten a tree but never the
mind. Therefore, surrender to Him. Mano Moolam Idam Jagath.
Strong faith in God is very necessary.
God is not a specific
Form. It is a power. This power can bring about any type of
change. Atma is one and the same in all, just like the current
which remains the same whether it is A/C or D/C. Mind cannot
be changed either by Mantra, Yantra or Tantra. God's Will
alone can change the mind.
God is only One. He
can do anything, anytime anywhere. He can go anywhere. Ekam
Eva Adviteeyam Brahma. God is changeless – Only One
– whether you call Him Rama, Krishna or Sai Baba.
God's Will is most
powerful. If He Wills anything can happen. God’s Mind
is steady and strong. We may sometimes think that we have
changed God's Mind but this can never be true. The Universal
Mind can Will anything and bring about any change. The Lord
if He wishes can give His Darshan at one instant to everybody,
Today, you all have
known the secrets of Divinity. Once you know these secrets,
you will be able to know the whole world.
After this Swami went
on to narrate the story of His visit to Rishikesh and how
He had met Purushottamananda and Sivananda over there. He
spent the next half an hour or so on this topic and gave a
graphic description of the yearning of these great saints
for Bhagawan. He concluded with the passing away of Purushottamananda
in the cave and mentioned that at that time, the whole cave
was full of Vibhuti.
Later, the disciples
of Purushottamananda came to Parthi to visit Bhagawan and
witness their Guru in Swami as they had the firm conviction
that their Guru had merged in Bhagawan to which Swami also
In conclusion, Swami
said that was the yearning that these sages and saints have
for Bhagawan; and you have this type of yearning.
Was it a caution to
remind us of His True Reality and our great opportunity and
intensify our yearning for Him?