Published on Wednesday, Aug 4, 2010 at 1230 Hrs. IST
With the spirit of celebration continues on this epochal 85th year of His Divine Advent, every region, every country, every state is taking its turn to present an offering of love and gratitude to the “Master Beloved” in human form at His ‘headquarters’ in Prasanthi Nilayam. With the ever increasing inflow of devotees ahead of the 85th Birthday celebrations, the Prasanthi Calendar of group events had been finalized well in advance and these regions, countries and states are currently on a celebrating spree, taking their due slots, making the best of their offering.
On this evening that was prematurely ageing, owing to overcast conditions, Bhagawan emerged just after 1730 hrs. to a fresh bout of Vedic chants...And when it drizzled yet again, at the right moment, Bhagawan had the escort of an yellow umbrella cover on top.
Gliding through, Bhagawan was greeted by a set of tiny tots from the North Eastern State of Skkim, arrayed at the centre pathway. These children were scheduled to stage a cultural programme in the Divine presence.
Completing a round of 'detailed' darshan, wherein Primary children, making a 'special appearance' owing to the evening cultural programme, got His special attention, Bhagawan came onstage at 1750 hrs., blessing many enroute, from the right of Ganesha.
Soon Vedic chants stopped as the programme representatives including the 'little hearts', in traditional costumes, went upto Him invoking initial blessings.
'Bhakti Samarpan', was a dance representation from the state expressing the collective yearning of His children from the land of Sikkim praying for Divine benevolence, to bless the land with His Divine visit.
Starting with three Omkars, chanted in perfect unison and devotional fervor, the group burst into a short stint of Vedic chants before commencing the choir presentation.
The choir that consisted of six national choirs had nine songs sung in unison. The first song was an English one on purity, light and joy. “And let it shine, and let it shine, in the heart of mine, Love Divine…” the choristers sung in chorus. One could witness the spark of joy and love for God shining in their faces as every member of the group joined in singing with great passion and devotional fervour.
As indicated by Bhagawan, subsequently, each song was preceded by an introduction in English. The song to follow was “Potpourri”, a scintillating Italian medley. Electrifying the already charged up hall with vibrant beats and tunes they sung in chorus into the heart of the Divine keeping the audience spellbound.
A Swiss number followed, “De frohe Senn”, describing a shepherd like Lord Krishna, happy to be in the mountains with His cows. This was ably assisted by the typical swiss musical instrument alphorn that produced music magic.
Dances that followed represented the land's geographical attributes as well as diverse cultural traditions. Clad in colourful costumes, thematic per item, these children, after a half-an-hour presentation, gathered at the centre to sing, swaying joyfully, a final song, hailing Sai as Mother of the entire world, claiming themselves to be Her children.
Forty minute presentation was followed by 'presentation ceremony' wherein sarees and vibhuti prasadam were given away to the participants. The choreographer who 'orchestrated' the entire programme won special attention as Bhagawan called him unto the dais to materialise and bless him with a golden chain.
Children were awaiting a closer presence and Bhagawan, as if reading them, moved down the dais to pose for a group photo session. Time ticked away and the waning twilight was spreading her blue tinge all over. Bhagawan spent sometime in the middle enticing the little hearts with His closer presence. As Bhagawan came back onto the dais, prasadam arrived for blessing followed by an instant photo of the materialisation. As prasadam was being distributed, Bhagawan called the choreographer to pass on the blessed photo, received by the children with a round of applause.
It was 1900 hrs. and Bhagawan turned to the priest indicating for Mangala Arathi. Upon accepting Arathi, Bhagawan moved off the dais, gliding into the ladies' side, retiring for the day, not before blessing the concourse with His inimitable abhayahastha.
These children prayed for His presence in their land and the compassionate Bhagawan spent an exclusive session watching and blessing them, receiving their prayers.