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Published on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 at 1550 Hrs. IST

With the birthday bells ringing for the Lord of Puttaparthi, the D-day is a “100 days” away, Prasanthi is already set into a joyous mood of celebrations.  International Regions comprising of various countries along with states from within India are joining this celebraton, bringing pilgrims at His Divine Lotus Feet.

Continuing with this trend of celebrations that began with the Guru Purnima 2010, the week that is past had a six-day packed schedule of celebrations.

Delhi & NCR brought the celebrated Sufi Singer Lakhwinder Wadali whose infectious singing turned out to be a ‘divine-music-treat’ for The Divine Himself and for the audience as well. With his singing moods reaching a crescendo, singing high pitched sufi numbers to exalted heavens, the assembly on tuesday evening turned spell-bound enjoying the rare combo of “Music with The Divine” on the glittering dais of the Presiding physical Lord! The singer’s refrains invoking Bhagawan, “Loye Loye Aaja Mahi…” were infectious to the devoted assembly that the twilight’s assembly turned to rounds of applause throughout the presentation that lasted for more than an hour. Mightily pleased, Bhagawan felicitated the singer and blessed his accompanists with clothe pieces and padanamaskar. The singer was profusely blessed by Bhagawan the next evening again, when he sought His blessing before leaving Prasanthi. Bhagawan gave away ‘fistfuls’ of Vibhuti Prasadam blessing the singer, tenderly stroking at his shoulder with His all conquering Motherly Love…

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Delhi followed with another presentation, the next evening, on theme Guru Kripa. The dance drama presentation was based on the life of illustrious Sufi Saint, Bulleh Shah, highlighting Guru's importance in one's life. Bringing twin presentations with Sufi touch, that advocates total dependence and perpetual remembrance of God, Delhi was undoubtedly attempting to air Bhagawan’s own message of the greatness of relying on God and Guru…

Moving down the stage twice to pose for photographs with the drama crew and the backstage force, Bhagawan, with His overflowing love, called the crew onstage to give separate group photo sessions, leaving the assembly dazed at His Divine Drama! These post programme sessions often turn out to be 'open class rooms'. Tales that tags the tails of such sessions are great eye openers for man to learn and imbibe.

Region 94 comprising of Arabian Gulf and the Middle East that came with a mammoth 1200 numbers got to celebrate their ‘Journey Unto Sai’ on the 12 & 13 Aug during the week in His immediate Divine presence.  Beginning their journey with a response to His Call to serve humanity, the group had organised a programme of distribution of "implements that could earn a living" for selected beneficiaries from villages around Puttaparthi.  “Divine Songs From Turkey” was an offering that followed, by a Turkish group of over 40 that included some muslim devotees as well.

The next evening found the second and last programme by “Region 94”, entitled "Prema Tarangini", meaning 'Ocean of Love' This was an offering by the Balvikas children from Arabian Gulf and the Middle East Region, comprising of eight centres, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. A half-hour bhajan session followed that found many old numbers sung in melodious tunes.

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Helping the Ashram to ease the rush in the canteens, this contingent had taken up the responsibility of their food arrangements for both lunch and dinner, arranged to serve in a temporary shamiana erected at the western end, next to the culvert gate. Volunteers from the group would organize to group themselves, collecting food items from north indian canteen for lunch and western canteen for dinner to serve independently by the group without taxing the sevadal force.  Utensils etc. would be washed and deposited back in the canteens by these dedicated group members.

Setting a new trend, a group of 75 students from the 1996 batch of SSSIHL arrived in Prasanthi during the weekend, along with their immediate family to celebrate the “Bond of Love” with their “Swami”! Interacting with the group in the bhajan hall, Bhagawan spent over fifty minutes inside, in between cutting a special cake for the occasion, moving among and finally listening to group singing.

As if continuing from where HE had left on the saturday evening, the sunday, 15th Aug evening witnessed another glorious tale of “Bond of Love”. Love that has no reason or season is pure and unsullied, an experience granted by the Divine and these lucky students were destined to receive His bounteous flow of love, recreating their golden days with their “Beloved Swami” after a gap of “14 long years”, as a single group. …And Bhagawan’s love was flowing and overflowing! Parents who took the wisest decision in their lives sending their children to Swami's College reaped the benefit...and along with their spouses and children.

A speech by Prof. G.Venkataraman about the evolution of Parthi, between then and now, elaborating on the various service activities taken up by Bhagawan as a part of His Divine Mission ensued that was followed by Bhagawan's Divine Discourse. Bhagawan began by stating the eternal Truth that everyone is embodiments of God. There is no difference between God and anyone else, for all are God. One must sit calm and introspect, “Who am I? Am I the body? the intellect?... the mind?... the senses?” This sort of self introspection alone would redeem one from bondage. Addressing the group of students with immediate family, Bhagawan, soon steered His discourse towards the virtues and glorious character ofmen and women of character with particular emphasis on women. Giving a plethora of examples ranging from Draupadi, Savitri, Satyavati and Chandramati, Bhagawan exhorted on the virtues of ideal womanhood. Speaking about Raja Harishchandra, while recounting the trials and tribulations of the king, Bhagawan, one who lives with what He speaks showed traces of emotions,highlighting the king’s sacrifices for Truth. “One should be ready to go to any extent for Sathya,” Bhagawan concluded. Bhagawan also highlighted on the ideal living in families with harmony between husbands and wives. The discourse lasted about an hour and the silence that ensued was indicative of the bliss that permeated all around.

After a pause, after spending almost ninety long minutes inside, Bhagawan asked the boys “Inka emi samacharam?” meaning “What else is the news?” There was silence and there thundered the voice of Prof. Anil Kumar “See His love! There are thousands waiting for Him outside and here He is asking you for news!” They burst open in a voice of unity, voice suffused with grateful thanks...“Thank You Swami, We Love You Swami”...and The Lord whispered, reciprocating His Love…”I Love you too…!”

The ‘bonding” was perfect and a new trend was set by this batch of grateful students, prompting many more batch to emulate. …And celebrating the Prema Bandhan, celebrating the week-end and celebrating the 64th National Independence Day, the stage was set for a grand finale for the week, as the independence day drama was in the offing.

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“Swaraajya Gaatha”, the story of Indian independence with special stress on India’s first mass leader and freedom fighter, Bal Gangadhar Tilak was an innovative presentation by the final year postgraduate students from SSSIHL that set the passionate fire of patriotic fervour in the immediate Divine presence. The man who proclaimed "Swarajya is my birthright and I shall have it", his life was the central theme for the twilight’s glittering presentation and his undying passion and love for his motherland was well depicted by the students, bringing charaters from the history book, most innovatively, winning accolades from The Master Divine!

During this festive week The Lord who was entertained with love and devotion reciprocated with His love in His inimitable style! While the Sufi Singer was blessed with an emerald ring from The Divine Hands, a blessed tiny tot from Bahrain, who 'sai-incidentally' blurted "SaiRam" upon his birth as the first word instead of calling 'Amma', was blessed with a "Golden Chain"...An alumnus from the 1996 batch of "Prema Bandhan" got a Golden Chain with a Krishna Pendent and ending the spree the Abhimanyu cast in the Independence Day drama got a golden chain with a Ganesha pendent...His ways are His unique ones...most inimitable...!!!