Posted at 01:36:12 Hrs. IST on 25 Dec 2009
With the International Children Choir and a proposed drama presentations by children during Holy Christmas becoming regular scheule in Prasanthi, children from various parts of the world get to know more of Swami receiving His Divine Blessings. How a child is able to fabricate His thoughts relating to God walks on earth, in Prasanthi Nilayam? Suhas Subramania from San Diego was fortunate to participate in the Children Dramas during Christmas 2007 and 2008 and has something of his own to share with the rest of the world on His Swami...Read on...
Christmas in Prasanthi Nilayam is a fabulous feeling. It is not about Santa coming, saying, “Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas!” and about getting gifts. It is more about the wonderful festive and holy atmosphere, and receiving Swami’s grace. There is a lot of excitement in the air at Prasanthi Nilayam during the Christmas season, and there are lots of programmes going on everyday during Christmas at Sai Kulwant Hall.
After coming back to the United States from a Christmas visit in 2007, I had a dream in which Swami gave me Pada Namaskar. When I woke up, I told my mother, “Mom, I want Swami to give me Pada Namaskar!” The whole year went by with this earnest wish and me praying for it to happen, and I would eventually have a chance to have it fulfilled.
With our region decorating Prasanthi Nilayam for Christmas, children from Southern California were called together to prepare a Christmas programme. We practised a drama for several months, driving as far as 150 miles every weekend. In December, we met in Prasanthi Nilayam and started rehearsing in the big hall on top of the North Indian canteen. Each day of our two-week stay was packed with lots activities – morning darshan, then rehearsal after breakfast, followed by lunch and afternoon practice, evening darshan, dinner, and a nightly group meeting.
A few days before Christmas, the festive atmosphere started to build up as devotees came to Puttaparthi from all over the world. Prasanthi Nilayam looked like a Fairy Land. The inside and outside of the Mandir and Swami’s residence was decorated with various colored lights (red, green, blue, orange, and yellow), colored banners, wreaths, garlands, ornaments and many other decorative items. There were also beautiful displays of Christmas theme items like Santa Claus, Christmas trees, reindeers, sleigh, and snow man in areas in front of the North Indian and Western canteens
On Christmas day, during morning darshan, Swami was dressed in white. He came in to grant darshan amid Veda chanting by the students, and a procession featuring children dressed as angels, and Joseph and Mary, and the Three Wise Men. Our play happened the very next day, and we were all very excited.
On the day of the play, Swami approached the group of children and asked why we were all dressed up. I got up and told Him that we were performing a Christmas drama. Swami is my guru and I wanted to give Him guru dakshina (tradition of repaying one's teacher), and I happened to have a rupee coin with me. I offered it to Swami, but He shook His head to indicate that I should keep it. Swami always gives, and does not take. That is why we see pictures of God with the palms facing outwards – it shows that God is always giving.
During the whole drama, I looked at Swami a lot – even when I was supposed to be paying attention to the Jesus character. I couldn’t help myself. After the programme, Swami came down to all of the children and gave us cloth. It was my chance to have my wish fulfilled from earlier in the year, and I was trembling as I asked Bhagawan for pada namaskar. I had no reason to fear, because Swami very happily said, “yes” and granted my wish and gave me His Divine Blessings.
Swami took a group picture with all of us, and went to the Children’s Choir to give them gifts. My older brother Suneet went up to Swami with help from my father and gladly received his gift. My father was happy because he wanted both of us to receive something from Swami’s hands, and that’s exactly what happened.
I was sad to leave Puttaparthi, but on the way back to my grandparent’s house, I remembered that Swami is always with me, and not just when I am in Prasanthi Nilayam.