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Oh! What a Joy!

June 28, 2009

Darshanam Paapanashanam, says the scriptureswhen it comes to the physical sight of the Lord walking the earth, one need not go back any more to the scriptural writings to find out the greater import. Bhagawan Himself had revealed it not long ago:

My walking amongst you is a gift yearned for by the Gods of the Highest Heavens; but, here you are receiving this grace without much effort. Be grateful for what you are getting. The Blessings you receive would express themselves in due course, when the time comes.

The most important thing that is happening in Prasanthi Nilayam and the first and foremost thing a devotee aspires while embarking on a trip to this home of peace is nothing, but His Sight, the auspicious sight, as we prefer to call “Divine Darshan”.

To be in the Divine presence and to catch a glimpse of the Lord as He gently ‘glides’ along is the longing of devotees coming to Prasanthi Nilayam. They come from far, some with hard earned money, shelving all discomforts tuned to focused attention. One could see this thirst often in the assembly when among the chunk of devotees, comes craned necks, to catch a glimpse, to hand over a supplication, to get a touch of the Divine and to get a glimpse or a smile back from Him! And this deep yearning yields results, and He comes out to make it sure that their hunger is satiated. Oh! What a Joy! Knowing well the greater import and embracing the uncertainty as taught by the Lord Himself, devotees flocking to Prasanthi Nilayam are ever prepared for long waiting, to ensure a sumptuous feast to the eye.
Ever since Bhagawan advised to keep the bhajans outside in the Sai Kulwant Hall, devotees in general are greatly benefitted as Bhagawan would often sit on the dais ‘enjoying’ the sessions. On the 24th evening, devotees had a long wait as Bhagawan came out only at 17:25 Hrs. and by the time He completed the darshan round, as if rejoicing at His sight, came the showers from the heavens. Coming on stage occupying His seat Bhagawan had made that evening a virtual Bhajan Sandhya.

A Bhajan with aalap is sung only at His special instance and this evening there were three aalaap Bhajans, in sequence lifting the minds and hearts to greater spiritual heights; a sight, worth watching, with the voice reaching its crescendo, hearts singing it out, and the Lord in physical accepting it with unique graciousness, pouring benediction. One would wonder whether the Gods of the highest heaven would also be watching this sight of the Lord through the holes of heaven, if there be, when He sat onstage conferring the highest of the boons, His Divine Darshan! Another story, on the 26th evening, when the Lord again made it bit late, and sung the hearts, “Aao Pyaare, Nayan Hamare…” and to the merriment of one and all came the Lord, out in open for yet another feast blissful darshan! The week had such sessions sumptuously, especially with some days filled up with evening programmes wherein Lord preferred to sit on stage for longer sessions.

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What attracts devotees to Prasanthi Nilayam? We had answer to this question from Bhagawan Himself. Quite often He had mentioned that it was Divine Love that attracts devotees to Prasanthi Nilayam, despite not having any invitation sent. It is the Divine Magnet that pulls the devotees unto Prasanthi. And many a time He had urged devotees and organizational office bearers that they should strive in to bring new devotees to Prasanthi Nilayam; bringing them to experience the bliss of Divine Darshan. Organisational units across the world, taking cue from this Divine Guidance have been bringing groups and the packed Prasanthi Calendar vouch for the same.

The group for this week was a group of over 900 girijans from Godavari region. This three day pilgrimage was an expression of their love for Bhagawan for providing them with pure drinking water in the upland areas of East and West Godavari districts and for the service they were receiving from the Organisation …And every pilgrimage to Prasanthi becomes an occasion to rejoice and the merriment happens with scheduled performance of cultural programmes in the Divine Presence. This group had the opportunity to stage two programmes on Saturday and Sunday and it rained benediction from the Lord in Prasanthi Nilayam.

There are other groups in waiting, a small contingent of over forty members, Sai African Adult’s Choir, Nigeria which is expected to perform on the sidelines of Guru Purnima celebrations. Another group of over 400 devotees from Chicago have also arrived on a week’s pilgrimage. A group of over two hundred senior citizens, from Baroda, most of them coming for the first time to Prasanthi, was here during the week, a trip organized by the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Gujarat. And another big contingent of devotees from Brazil has been camping here, earnestly pursuing, perfecting their choir, to match with the highest standard while expect to show up in the physical presence of The Lord sometime during the Guru Purnima week.

In its pursuit for excellence, molding students to perfection, both academically and in character building, Sri Sathya Sai University ever stands tall pioneering with greater efforts.

The School of Business Management, Accounting and Finance of the Sri Sathya Sai University conducted a workshop on “Predictive Analytics” for students of 1st and 2nd year MBA and MA Economics. The three-day workshop held in Prasanthi Nilayam drew eminent industry practitioners and speakers from around the globe. Senior leaders, executives and industry veterans from organizations like Dun & Bradstreet TransUnion, Capital One, Sally Mae, IBM etc engaged the students in highly interactive and demonstrative sessions in topics ranging from Risk Management, Decision Sciences, Financial Scoring, Marketing Analytics, Business Data Mining and Data Modelling.

Predictive Analytics is an emerging discipline that combines the application advanced mathematics, computing & statistical techniques with economic theories in managing business risks and complexities in a more predictable and scientific manner. This field is expected to grow enormously, like the IT industry, and hence getting added to the skills requirements of business management and computer science. India is increasingly becoming a destination for several large global companies to set up analytics centers for processing and modeling huge amounts of data and this also opens up career opportunities for students in a big way. This workshop’s objective was to introduce the students to the concepts and applications of analytics in business and to get them interested in the quantitative side of management studies.

The workshop concluded with a special session on the social application of analytics with a description of how these tools could be used to help in preventive rural medical care as per Swami’s Mission.
The speakers had wonderful darshans and some close though brief interactions with Bhagawan in the Mandir portico where He blessed them.

Sri Shivaraj Patil, formerly Lok Sabha Speaker and Home Minister during the erstwhile Dr. Manmohan Singh government was in Prasanthi Nilayam during the weekend and was blessed with an Interview. The newly appointed collector of Anantapur District, Sri B. Janardan Reddy was also in Prasanthi Nilayam paying obeisance to Bhagawan.

Much more are expected during the week that follows as Ashadi with typical Maharashtra flavor is scheduled for the 3rd of July followed by Guru Purnima celebrations. With the entire week packed with full of scheduled activity, one could expect more of His presence helping the mass of devotees to feast their eyes with the best of the happening on planet earth, Darshan of the Lord in physical!

Oh! What a Joy!

…And let’s be Grateful! It is time we realize how lucky we are to be able to see God walking the Earth!