Easwaramma Day is the celebration commemorating the Pristine Motherhood of Chosen Mother who was destined to bring the Bundle of Joy unto planet earth. This festivity used to be celebrated either in Brindavan or in Kodaikanal in His immediate Divine Presence until a year before last, in 2008, when Bhagawan stayed back in Parthi to celebrate the event in His birthplace after a gap of many years. Again, after a gap of one year when the festivity came back to Prasanthi, it was merriment and joy everywhere as Vishwa Janani, Jagat Janani, Mother Easwaramma was remembered with great devotional fervour.
The main focus of attention during the celebration, the Divine Parents’ Samadhi Mandir outside the gates of Prasanthi Nilayam had the good fortune of Bhagawan’s pristine presence three times during the celebrating week. Following His visit to the Samadhi on the 3rd May, Bhagawan yet again visited the Samadhi Mandir a day before the celebration, on 5th May, to unveil and install the newly carved statues of the chosen parents, Pedda Venkama Raju and Mother Easwaramma. Inside the Samadhi Mandir, Bhagawan went round the raised platform bearing the Samadhis of "Divine Parents", while other rituals went on. Spending almost fifteen minutes at the venue, Bhagawan accepted Arathi before returning to the Mandir just after 1700 hrs.
And on the Easwaramma Day morning, Bhagawan yet again visited the Samadhi Mandir, gracing the occasion with His pristine Divine presence.
Reaching the Samadhi at around 1005 hrs., Bhagawan was received religiously by Vedam, Bhajan and Nadaswaram troupe. As various ritualistic offerings continued inside the Samadhi Mandir with huge garlands being placed on the statues followed by clothes and fruits offering followed by coconut breaking, Bhagawan went to circumambulate the dais holding the statues of "Divine Parents" before Arathi was offered. A special Telugu devotional, “Enthagoppa Inthivamma Sadhvira Easwaramma…” rendered the air pepping up the 'nostalgic' feelings of the glorious days of the Holy Mother. Upon accepting Arathi, blessing Laddu Prasadam, blessing the mini assembly, Bhagawan retired to Sai Kulwant Hall, blessing the hundreds lined up on the road to catch a glimpse.
Back in the Mandir, special Prasadam of Tamrind Rice and Sweet Rice Pudding were served to the capacity audience.
In the evening, the stage was set for a cultural presentation, a Dance Drama on Bhadrachala Ramdas by Balvikas children from Bangalore. The Programme commenced at 1735 hrs. and lasted for fifty minutes.
Illustrious story of Bhadrachala Ramdas, whose trials and tribulations that were forced upon him, for having accused of misutilising the treasury funds for temple construction and final redemption was well depicted by the Balvikas children from Bangalore, in the dance drama entitled, Bhadrachala Ramdas.
Dhamakka, a poor devoted woman built a small temple for Lord Rama as instructed by the Lord in her dream. Gopanna, a devoted soul, felt that the Lord deserved a regal temple and thus decided to go ahead with constructing the same as a collective effort. When they fell short of funds, Gopanna, a tax collector for the King, decided to use the money he had collected as tax for the construction of the temple. In due course of time, they completed the temple, got it consecrated by his guru, who bestowed on him the title, Bhadrachala Ramdas.
Soon, Ramdas got into trouble, as the Government official, Tani Sha arrested him to imprison him on charges of misutilisation of government funds. Ramdas endured in the prison for twelve long years. Ramdas with persistence continued his prayer to Lord Rama and then to Mother Sita to save him from the distress.
Mother Sita requested Lord Rama to save His devotee, but Rama was blunt in replying that because of his devotion Ramdas’s fruits of action has been reduced to this very life. Finally, He decided to set out with His brother Lakshmana to end the suffering of His chosen devotee.
Going in the guise of Ramdas’s representatives the brothers repaid the amount due to Tani Sha to free Ramdas from imprisonment.
Ramdas was surprised at this sudden release and upon enquiry he found out that it was none other than Rama and Lakshmana who had come to his rescue.
Seeing the “Divine Drama”, Tani Shah grew interest to join Ramdas on a pilgrimage to Bhadrachalam. Seeing the two decorated idols of Rama and Lakshmana at the sanctum sanctorum, Tani Shah recognized the same to be the ones who came and paid the dues to him in the guise of sevaks of Ramdas.
While Ramdas was engaged in singing His glory, Tani Shah was being transformed. By now he decided to make over his powers on the temple to Ramdas so that he could carry his good work.
The drama ended with Ramdas offering all his thoughts, words and deeds to God.
Entire cast of the drama was blessed with group photographs onstage, in batches before Arathi was offered after a short stint of bhajans.
Earlier, before the commencement of the programme, in the bhajan hall, Bhagawan interacted with the group of teachers and organizers representing various Sai educational institutions, came for a workshop on "Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini", a nascent project on higher secondary education, under the auspices of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations.
Responding to our Easwaramma Day Reporting, we have a mail received from Ms. Janet Bock Bicker, wife of late Richard Bock who had the good fortune of photographing the Divine in human form during earlier days.
“After reading about the preparations for Eswaramma Day, I am feeling a strong urge to send you the following photo and comment.
Sunday, February 6, 1972. Mid-morning, as I was walking alone from the ladies' side of the darshan area, between the back of the Mandir and the rooms to the south for permanent residents, I saw Swami's mother standing with several ladies in front of her room. I paused from a distance, bowed my head, folding my hands in the namaste gesture and then walked on. I recognized her because on my first trip to Prasanthi Nilayam my friend, Prithivi, Maharani of Jind, had taken me along on a visit to Swami's mother. As Prithivi knelt in reverence to touch her feet, I remember watching, with no deep understanding of what that gesture of Padnamaskar signified.
As I continued walking, suddenly Veena Vijaya, a young woman who, along with her mother, led bhajans in the mandir while accompanying herself on the Veena, came running after me. Tapping me on the shoulder, she said, somewhat breathlessly, "Swami's mother is calling you." Surprised, I turned and as Vijaya linked her arm in mine, we walked back the way I had come. Vijaya continued excitedly, "This must mean some past life connection." When we reached the place where Swami's mother stood, I smiled again, folded my hands and bowed my head slightly. As we had no common verbal language, she simply smiled in return. Then I realized I had my camera hanging around my neck. I took it in my hands and asked with a silent gesture, "May I take a photo?" She said something to the ladies standing with her, they smiled, and moved aside. I took one picture. Srimati Eswaramma Raju passed away just three months later, May 6, 1972”.