Visits Chief Minister's Official Residence, "Varsha"
Posted at 17:00 Hrs. IST on 1st Nov 2009
On the second day of Bhagawan's visit to the city, it was "Varsha", the official residence of the Chief Minister-designate, Ashok Chavan that evoked greater interest as the news spread about Bhagawan's visit to the Chief Minister.
Earlier in the morning, at Dharmakshetra, Bhagawan met a group of Bankers and Industrialists of Mumbai, some of whom have attended the "Ethics and World of Finance Conference" held in Prasanthi Nilayam in August.
The morning programme was held in the Jamboori Maidan situated in South Mumbai where in Bhagawan blessed a vast concourse of devotees thronged to have a glimpse of The Lord! Bhagawan's caravan sped past through the historic Bandra - Worli sealink, a 4.7 km architectural marvel that took 10 long years to commission early this year.
The official Dharmakshetra Website writes that the venue was packed with a capacity crowd of over 25000 gathered at the Jamboori Maidan for Bhagawan’s darshan. Bhagawan entered the stage around 11.10 a.m. and remained there for about 30-35 minutes when bhajans were held while the capacity crowd was feasting their eyes with Bhagawan’s Darshan. Bhagawan left the venue after receiving Mangala Arathi at 11:45 a.m.
From the Jamboori Maidan Bhagawn proceeded to "Varsha", the official residence of Chief Minister Ashok Chavan at Malabar Hill, Mumbai followed by that of Jayant Patil, the State Home Minister.
The Chavan’s devotion to Sri Sathya Sai Baba dates back to his father, Late S.B. Chavan, legendary congress leader and former union minister who held various portfolios in the Congress led governments. The Maharashtra Chief Minister paid a visit to Prasanthi Nilayam recently officially inviting Bhagawan to Mumbai.
Quaid Najmi, reporting for IANS writes about the visit in their official column, excerpts of which are given below.
In an unprecedented development, Maharashtra's chief minister-designate Ashok Chavan hosted his spiritual guru, Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, here Sunday afternoon.
Chavan had specially invited Sathya Sai Baba to visit Varsha, the official residence of the state chief minister at Malabar Hill in south Mumbai, according to a government official.
Chavan, along with his wife Ameeta and daughters Srijaya and Sujaya, received the Bhagawan on the white steps of Varsha which had been specially decorated with saffron-coloured flowers, flags and buntings for the occasion.
"The occasion is strictly a private, family affair... nobody from the government or his staff or the party is invited," reports IANS.
Later, the Chief Minister hosted a lunch in honour of Sathya Sai Baba in the private dining hall of Varsha, which is usually reserved for VVIPs who visit the place.
The chief minister has never kept his devotion and admiration for Sathya Sai Baba under wraps. He seeks His blessings regularly in times of need and goes to express his gratitude when his wishes are fulfilled.
In fact, shortly after His party's victory in last month's assembly elections, Chavan had rushed to thank his spiritual guru.
Though this is Sathya Sai Baba's first visit to the State chief minister's residence, he is no stranger to politicians and leaders across the political spectrum.
Among his most prominent admirers and devotees was the former prime minister, the late P.V. Narasimha Rao.
Heavy security arrangements were made for the VVIP guru in the area.
The Malabar Hill, with the Arabian Sea on three sides, is home for VVIPs and celebrities including the chief justice of Bombay High Court and other judges, ministers, top government officials, legislators, foreign diplomats, scientists, leading industrialists and businessmen, head honchos of multinationals and even a few film stars.
He also attended a religious concert by Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam in Goregaon Saturday evening, and interacted with officials of his various charitable interests in Maharashtra and Mumbai.
Sathya Sai Baba arrived in Pune last Wednesday from Puttaparthi by a private chartered aircraft on a three-day visit and inaugurated a temple complex, Sri Sathya Sai Pandurang Kshetra at Hadshi.
PTI, Press Trust of India, India's Premier News Agency writes:
Maharashtra Chief Minister designate Ashok Chavan today hosted 'Satya Saibaba' at his official residence.
The Baba was on a five-day visit to the state and in Mumbai since yesterday where he had a discourse at the Jambori maidan at Worli in central Mumbai.
Chavan said the Baba had been his spiritual guru since the time of his birth.
Chavan's father, late S B Chavan who also served as Chief Minister twice, was an ardent devotee of the Baba.
Several Congress-NCP politicians, who are devotees of the Baba, also attended the prayer ceremony held at Chavan's house Varsha.