Devotees from Prakasam District got their opportunity to perform their annual pilgrimage to Prasanthi Nilayam this week. A speech and a Carnatic music concert comprised the first day's programme. A skit entitled 'Seva Aradhana' was presented on the second day.
The programme commenced with Vedic recitation at 1630hrs. At 1700hrs, Sri . M.S. Krishnamurthy, District President of Prakasam District addressed the gathering. He started his speech enumerating the contribution of Prakasam District to the culture of Bharath, to its society and the holy mission of Bhagawan. Conveying his salutations to the various temples of the district, and expressing gratitude for the various industries it houses, he reported on the activities of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations in the district.
He then went on a nostalgic mood, recounting the past pilgrimages of the group, the programmes performed and the loving interactions with Bhagawan. He remembered the various groups of Islamic devotees, Lawyers, Principals and Teachers from the district who arrived with the pilgrimage in previous years.
Sri Prakash Rao, the cultural coordinator introduced the artists of today's music programme: 'Sangeetha Sevamani', Dr. Dwaram Lakshmi (Prof of Music, Padmavathi Mahila University, Tirupathi) performed in the accompaniment of 'Sangeetha Sevamani' 'Violin Kala Deepika' Smt Challa Prabhavathi, (Principal of Venkateswara College of Music, Tirupathi) on the violin, Sri Parupalli Subramanyam on the Mridangam and Sri Alugolu Satyanarayana on the Ghatam.
The concert started with the Aalap, "Sathya Sainam Vishnum" leading to the song Vatapi Ganapatim in Hamsadvani raag, followed by Appa Rama Bhakthi in Pantuvarali raag, Krishna nee beganae in Yaman raag and concluded with the Bhajan, Govinda Krishna Jai. Very melodious aalaps for each song enhanced their beauty. A sublime voice and a flawless rendition on the violin was the highlight of the programme.
The second day's proceedings by devotees from Prakasam District consisted of a dance drama entitled 'Seva Aradhana' based on the Educare philosophy of Bhagawan.
The programme commenced with Vedic recitation at 1630hrs. At 1700hrs, the skit opened with a colourful dance by children. At the end of the dance, the scene shifted into morose mood with parents confronting the teacher for the unconventional curriculum of the school. The teacher explains that the educational philosophy of the school is based on the ideals of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and his aim is to convert every student into a Vivekananda.
The sceptical parents put forth a number of question which are answered by their own wards who take the side of their loving teacher. Seeing the confidence and idealism in their wards the parents realise the value of Educare and they enquire with the teacher about Bhagawan. The teacher replies that Prasanthi Nilayam cannot be explained. One has to come, see, experience and enjoy. He explains that Bhagawan lived his life as an epitome of Selfless Service and while questioned on His identity, replied , " I am God and you too are God. Realise that this is the Truth.".
As this conversation was going on, a poor villager comes to an elder and informs him that one of their brethren was admitted in Hospital and urgently needs blood of a rare blood group. The elders are scared due to misconception about blood donation which is clarified by the teacher who offers to donate his blood thus demonstrating the educational philosophy is one which is put into practice. The skit concluded with another dance and a palanquin procession of Bhagawan. Children from the district sang Bhajans while Prasadam was distributed to the assembly. Gifts were distributed to the participants. Being a Sunday, the day's proceedings came to a scintillating end with the recording of a Bhajan sung by Bhagawan followed by Mangala Arati.