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Then & Now
A day in Ashram


In this issue of Prasanthi News, we give you a glimpse of Swami’s interaction with students and the emphasis Bhagawan is giving on Vedic chants; then a soul-stirring musical presentation by the students and to top it all, Bhagawan’s visit to the Institute.

5th July to 9th July 2005

On 5th morning the students in the campus were taken by surprise when Bhagawan came in the car at around 9.40 a.m. He went until the Music College. Nobody would have ever imagined seeing Swami there at this time. Therefore, Swami’s car stopped outside the Music College for a few seconds, and before anybody could react, He was moving back again to the Mandir. His Leelas are so wonderful!

In the evening, Darshan was at 3.30 p.m. Swami sat outside all the while and there was continuous Veda chanting. It was great to see Bhagawan chanting with the students from time to time, and He was all the while encouraging them to chant with vigour by often nodding His head synchronising with the intonations of the chants.

The same pattern continued on the following days. Swami spent long hours sitting outside in full view of the devotees giving everyone a golden opportunity to feast on His Divine Form. He would sit all the while, absolutely still apparently looking into the emptiness and this gave us a feel of what Divinity is all about. He is the unchanging eternal Witness and that is the feeling one gets these days when Bhagawan sits outside during Darshan.

But now and then, He suddenly asks for letters and then it is great to see one student after the other, going forward and giving their letters to Swami. Bhagawan spends quite some time with each boy talking to him, asking him some questions and giving him some answers. It is a great sight to watch the Divine interaction.

The best part is when Swami calls the boys whose birthday falls on that day. They move forward like a train with a number of compartments. Each one makes the best of the opportunity, giving letters, getting blessings, praying for solutions to their problems, etc. Very patiently, Swami caters to the needs of each one and the whole episode goes on for quite some time, to the delight of one and all!

One evening, Swami went inside the Bhajan Hall. He spent some time inside the Bhajan Hall talking to the Bhajan singers and others seated in front. He spoke to them about the life of Panchali (Draupadi) and Savitri. In the course of His conversation, He materialised a huge locket (round disc) having a colour portrait of Lord Rama – in the typical posture of holding the bow and arrow. The other side was shining with gold. Bhagawan gave the sacred locket to a senior faculty member.

On 9th July, the Dean of the School of Business Management, Prof. U.S. Rao sat in front in the Darshan lines, to pray to Bhagawan for Blessing the Management Workshop that commenced in the Institute on the 11th and will go on till the 13th. (The theme is: “Service Sector in India – Building World Class Organisations”.) As the car went gliding by the stage, Swami called him and spoke to him for a while and gave His blessings for the Workshop.

10th July 2005

This evening, Swami came out for Darshan at 3 p.m. The music group boys of the Institute had planned for a music programme. They were all set, waiting for Swami’s arrival. Bhagawan immediately stopped the Vedam chanting and asked the boys to begin their presentation. The first song was Deva Namo Deva (salutations to You Oh Lord!) – a Telugu composition. Then they sang the popular song– Madhura Mohana Ghana Shyama Sundara Sai … (Swami’s form is enchanting as that of Lord Krishna). He called the lead singers front and gave them some instructions. Then they began the Telugu song, Kondala Nelakonda Koneti Rayuduvadu …(The Lord has installed Himself at the top of Seven Hills) and Sai Charanam Baba Charanam Sharanam (We seek refuge in Sai) and many other songs followed one after the other to the delight of all.

By 4.15, the ‘music programme’ came to an end. This evening, Bhajans began at 4.30 p.m. itself. A few minutes later Swami went back to the Poornachandra Auditorium. Bhajans went on till 5.00 p.m. and then Ararti brought the day to a close.

11th July 2005

This morning was an unforgettable one for all students and staff of the Institute. The Foyer prayer session had just begun and the Management students were getting prepared for their Workshop. Veda was being taught in the Foyer as part of the prayer session, when there was some brisk movement on the road outside. Swami’s car was making its way forward. As Bhagawan’s car came close to the Institute entrance gate, devotees came rushing forward. To everyone’s surprise, the car turned inside the College Campus. The car slowly moved forward and was finally parked near the entrance of the Institute Auditorium. Bhagawan’s visit was an unexpected one for the students and staff. Soon the students plunged into activity and were busy with arranging Swami’s chair, public address system and so on.

A short while later, the guest speakers for the Management Workshop also arrived and took their seats. It was 9.00 a.m. The Lord sat in the car waiting for the preparations to be made for a full 40 minutes. When the merciful Lord decides to shower His grace, it is virtually a downpour.

The Vice Chancellor offered a rose to Bhagawan. Swami entered the Auditorium and sat on a chair in the centre, in front of the stage, facing the first row of chairs. There was a podium arranged next to Swami’s Chair. Bhagawan looked at everybody seated in the Hall and then signalled for the Veda chanting to begin. Swami then asked the Vice Chancellor to speak. The Vice Chancellor gave a brief talk for around 5 minutes, summing up the various initiatives taken in the Institute since June 2005 in the areas of various academic programmes, Human Values integration, etc. Then Bhagawan asked the music boys to begin their musical presentation. Within minutes, the music group was ready on the stage. Microphones were arranged and the songs began. Thyagaraja Kirtanas, Pibare Rama Rasam and other classical songs were rendered. It was around 9.30 a.m. when Swami asked them to sing the Rama Katha song. Now the musical presentation reached its crescendo.

Swami was very much involved in the music. At 10.00 a.m. the Rama Katha came to a close. Swami was very happy with the performance. The two lead singers Sri Om Prasad (I M.Sc. Physics) and S.V.B.S. Sai Krishna (II MBA) came running down for His Blessings. There was a long feedback session and Swami gave them a number of tips regarding singing.

In the course of His interaction, suddenly, Bhagawan waved His right Hand and created a gold ring for Sai Krishna. There was a loud applause. Prasadam blessed by Swami was distributed to all. Swami was offered Ararti and then He left for the Mandir in the car. An unexpected visit, and a moment to be cherished by the students.

In the evening, Bhagawan came out for Darshan at around 3.00 p.m., took a full round of the Darshan Hall and stopped near the interview room door. He waited until all the students came for Darshan and moved over to the centre of the dais. Veda chanting went on with full vigour. At 4.10 p.m. Swami called the Veda teachers forward. Sri Sudhindran, Dr. Anil Kumar and Sri Veda Narayana went towards Swami. Bhagawan spoke to them for some time and then with a wave of His Hand, materialised a beautiful gold chain for Sri Vedanarayan and put it round his neck. There was a loud applause in the Hall.

After this, Veda chanting stopped for some time. Prasadam distribution began and at 4.20 p.m., Sri Rudram chanting commenced. At 4.25 p.m. Swami went inside the Bhajan Hall and had a session with the Bhajan singers. He asked them to sing some songs, suggesting changes, telling them the correct way to sing, etc. After the interaction, Bhagawan retired to His abode at 5.15 p.m. Bhajans went on till 5.30 p.m. concluding with the Ararti.