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  Shivaratri of the yesteryears

We present below, excerpts from some old issues of Sanathana Sarathi, offering you a glimpse of Sivarathri celebrations more than three decades ago. We have not been able to ascertain who the authors of these accounts were. Even so, we are sure you would be absolutely fascinated by the descriptions of the celebrations as they took place then.

We start with an account of what happened in 1960

The Mahasivarathri at Prasanthi Nilayam was this year attended by a much larger crowd of devotees than usual. At 8 A.M. that day, Baba hoisted the Prasanthi Flag on top of the Mandir, and blessed the vast assemblage. Explaining the meaning of the symbol on the flag, He exhorted all to overcome the three great enemies of spiritual progress namely, desire, anger and jealousy.

At noon Mahabhishekam was performed and during the proceedings, Baba materialised a twin Lingam. In the evening, a Special Function was arranged by the readers of Sanathana Sarathi, to celebrate the completion of two years of its publication. Baba graced the occasion with His Presence. An address of Gratitude was presented to Him and poems were recited in Tamil, Telugu, English and Kannada, by T.A.Ramanatha Reddy, S.V.Rama Sarma, B.V.Raman, and N.Kasturi respectively.

The evening Bhajan began at 7 P.M. Baba, seated on a special dais gave Darshan to all. After Veda chant, Brahmasris Bairagi Sastry of Eluru and Lakshminarayana Sastry of Salem spoke on the significance of the day and of Lingathathwam [Principle of the Lingam]. Even while the speeches were on, signs of the emergence of the Lingams were evident in Baba, but nevertheless, He started His Discourse at 8.40 P.M. Meanwhile, the Lingams within Him were pressing for Manifestation. Baba interrupted His Discourse and asked that Bhajan be resumed – this happened at 9.20 P.M. The Prayer Hall resounded to the voices of the thousands gathered therein reciting, Om Sivaya, Om Sivaya, and exactly at 9.32 P.M. NINE Lingams fell from His Mouth on to His Palm. Baba then led the Bhajan. The Bhajan was continued throughout the night and the Hall was packed to the capacity even in the small hours of the night. Mahamangalarathi was performed at 7A.M.

On the evening of the 26th February, Baba gave Darshan at the Prayer Hall, reclining in a Jhoola [Swing] specially decorated for the occasion. Sri Dupati Thirumalchar spoke on the Real and the unreal while Sri Bairagi Sastry gave a talk on Sai Philosophy. Following this, Baba blessed the audience with a thrilling Discourse.

From the 27th February, Baba was engaged for long hours in the morning and again in the evening, granting interviews to the devotees, until the very moment of His departure to Kerala, at sunrise on the 7th March, via Bangalore, Madurai and Tirunelveli. The Divine Grace He showered on each and every one of the thousands that attended this year’s Mahasivarathri was indeed Divine.

Next we have a brief account of the celebrations of 1961

On the morning of 4th March, Baba hoisted the Prasanthi Flag on the Mandir, to the delight of the thousands who had gathered from all parts of India. At 9 A.M. the magnificent new structure named Sathya Sai Sabhamandiram was opened by H.E. Dr. Ramakrishna Rao, Governor of Uttar Pradesh. He said, “When I had the privilege, under Baba’s Orders to lay the Foundation Stone for this building, Baba said that I will myself open the completed structure and that I will be arriving for the purpose from the North. I was then the Governor of Kerala and I was unaware what was awaiting me. But Baba knew the future; in fact. He shapes the future and so, I have come from Lucknow today, to discharge the duty He then cast upon me”.

At noon, Abhishekam was done to Shirdi Sai at the Sabhamandiram itself. Baba created a Lingam and placing it on the Head of the image He profusely poured on it the Vibhuthi which emanated in inexhaustible quantity and heavenly fragrance by the very contact of His Divine Hand.

At 4 P.M. the Sanathana Sarathi celebrated its Anniversary, in the immediate presence of Baba. Sri D. Thirumalacharulu, the author of the Telugu Version of Sathyam Sivam Sundaram placed at Baba’s Lotus Feet the Second Edition of that book and Baba blessed him as well as N.Kasturi (the author of the book in English and Kannada) with shawls, which He lovingly wrapped around them.

In the night Baba spoke for over an hour. Later, while the sky echoed with the sound of Bhajan, two Gold Lingams emerged from the Divine Body of Bhagavan. Bhajan was held throughout the night and Mahamangalarathi was offered at 7 A.M. on the 5th. Truly, it was a thrilling elevating experience for all.

On 5,6,7,8,9 and 10, March there were Discourses every evening, when Baba gave Seekers, Scholars and Poets like Swami Abhedananda, Koochi Veerabhadram, Narasimharaju, Bairagi Sastry, Thirumalacharulu, S.V.L.Narasimham, P. Venkatanarasimhacharya and G. Suryanarayanamurthy the chance to address the gathering. Every day, Baba Himself elaborated, in His own sweet and simple manner, the principles touched upon by the speakers.

On the 5th, with Baba seated in a flower-bedecked Jhoola, Brahmasri Dikshitadas Bhagavathar dedicated to Baba his musical narrative of Baba’s Life, which captivated the devotees. On 8,9 and 10th March, Sri K. Veerabhadram read and explained in the traditional style, the Puranic version of the Sivarathri Festival. Altogether, this year’s celebration was a feast to the eye and a banquet to the Soul.

Follows now a brief account of what happened in 1964 [we think!]

The gathering of devotees on Mahasivarathri Day was unprecedented and Baba showered His Grace on them all during Abhishekam and Bhajan at noon, sprinkling the Holy water with His own Hand. In the evening Baba gave a Discourse and at about 8-50 P.M., while twenty thousand persons were immersed in the Divine Delight of Bhajan singing, one unique Oval Lingam symbolising the Brahmanda [Cosmos], with all its complex components reduced to the harmony of Beauty and Truth, materialised itself and emerged out of Baba’s Divine Mouth.

On the 12th, after Baba’s inspiring Discourse, the dear little students of the Vedasastra Patasala [Vedic School] enacted before an enthralled audience of 20,000 the Telugu Musical Play Markandeya, written by Sri Sathya Sai Baba Himself. Later Smt. K. B Sunderambal of Madras, the celebrated devotee of Muruga, sang for about two hours, flooding the atmosphere with Bhakthi. Brahmasri Kalluri Veerabhadra Sastry, Kuppa Bairaga Sastry and Prabhakara Umamaheswara Pandit spoke during the meetings and Brahmasri Kutumba Rao gave a Kathakalashepam [musical narration] on Parvathi Kalyanam on the 13th February.

This is the account we have of the events of 1965

To a doubting world filled with disbelief, doubt, and ignorance, Sivaratri at Prasanthi Nilayam is in the nature of a Revelation, a challenge and a clarion call to people to rekindle their faith in the supremacy of the Principle of the Atma. Sivaratri this year drew an unprecedented crowd of devotees from all over the country and several from abroad – from Africa, U.S.A. and U.K. The spacious grounds of the Nilayam were a seething mass of humanity, people occupying every available inch of space, under the trees, on the verandas of the rooms, in the open spaces all around, on the road side, everywhere. Scores of tents were erected. An endless stream of private cars and taxis brought hundreds, while special buses from different parts of South India poured large numbers of ardent pilgrims into the ever hospitable lap of Baba `s Prasanthi Nilayam. Undeterred by the rigours of a long and tedious journey, eager, expectant and joyful, these thousands of men women and children revealed the strength of their faith and their Love for Baba, while Prasanthi Nilayam looked magnificent - with flags and festoons everywhere. The ‘shed’ had been transformed into a vast and beautifully decorated Auditorium, thanks to the loving labour of scores of dedicated volunteers, working day and night for the sake of Bhagavan. The crowd must certainly have exceeded 25000 on 28th February and 1st March.

The morning is fresh, a gentle breeze is blowing and already, Prasanthi Nilayam is filled with activity even at that early hour. The buzz of voices, speaking in whispers, is clearly audible. A vast crowd has already gathered in front of the Mandir waiting for Bhagavan's Darshan. The melodious strains of nadaswaram soon fill the air. The door of the Mandir is opened. A long line of boys, bathed and fresh, each wearing a saffron-dyed piece of cloth round the waist and an angavastram [upper cloth] of the same colour, their foreheads adorned with the sacred ash, accompanied by their fathers or guardians, is waiting to enter the Mandir. This is the morning of the Upanayanam ceremony when nearly 400 Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaisya boys are to be initiated into the Sacred Gayatri Mantra and enter into a new life of dedication to God.

The Upanayanam is one of the most sacred ceremonies of Hinduism, marking the entry of a young boy into a new status, that of a Brahmachari. The boy is no longer an irresponsible lad but an initiate, on whom rests the duty of fulfilling the obligations of Dharma. Baba`s love for His devotees and His keen desire to preserve the spirit of the Sanathana Dharma are responsible for His agreeing to have the Upanayana Samskara performed at the Prasanthi Nilayam in His Divine presence. Fortunate are the boys and their parents who are given this rare privilege to participate in this unique sacrament in the very presence of Baba and receive His blessing.

At 8A.M. the preliminary ceremonies begin inside the Mandir. The sacrificial fire is lit and the Homa is performed. It is a ceremony of purification - to make the participants conscious of the sanctity of what they are to do. The Mandir is soon filled with the solemn chant of Vedic Mantras recited by the Pandits, many of whom have specially come here to take part in the ceremony. At 8.45A.M. the Brahmacharis come out of the Mandir and form into a procession. The music of the nadaswaram again fills the atmosphere. Everyone is waiting for Baba to come down and lead the lads.

Lo! He comes- the familiar, beloved, resplendent figure with an enchanting smile playing on His lips walking with quiet dignity to lead the procession which marches slowly to the Auditorium where thousands have already gathered to witness the unique ceremony. The boys and their fathers and guardians and the Pandits take their appointed places in a series of rows- on the ground. Before each Brahmachari is lit the sacrificial fire in which chips and scraps of sandalwood are placed, filling the whole place with fragrance. It is a magnificent sight to see so many boys, now on the threshold of a new life, a rebirth into the kingdom of the Spirit.

Affirming, as their ancestors did on the banks of India`s sacred rivers, these boys assert through the rituals they perform, the ceaseless validity of that most beautiful aspect in our Sanathana Dharma, namely the fact that the individual is an integral part of the larger world, and that the individual Dharma should merge harmoniously with the Eternal, Unchanging Law of God. The Brahmachari is now, in this unique sense, a citizen of the Universe, dedicating himself to the ideal of Lokasangraha or world-welfare. It is an inspiring sight to see, these hundreds of eager lads being initiated into the most sacred of all our Mantras - the Gayatri Mantra, for Gayatri truly is the Light of the World, the radiant principle that illumines the whole of Creation, dispelling darkness, ignorance and evil. The culmination of this solemn ceremony is reached when each boy receives the sacred Upadesha [teaching] from his father or guardian and the whole auditorium reverberates with the accents of the Gayatri led by Vedasamrat Brahmasri Kamavadhanulu in His characteristically solemn and clear tone. It is a uniquely sacred moment as hundreds of Brahmacharis chant the Gayatri, Baba standing on the dais watching and listening. Then comes the Bhiksha [alms] offered by Baba Himself as He goes round and blesses each Brahmachari, giving to each boy His benediction for which, to use the language of our Puranas, the sages have struggled and agonised through ages of penance and austerities.

An interval of four days and the great day arrives - Sivaratri. Crowds continue to pour in thousands and thousands! This year`s Sivaratri at the Nilayam demonstrated once more the spell that Baba has cast in the hearts and minds of thousands of His devotees, far and near .

The day dawns. Even as the rosy dawn over the hills flickers out and the Sun fills the world with radiant presence, the Nilayam Bell rings out its sonorous peals. The crowed have waited in silence from the early hours, and to many it has been a night long vigil. It is 8 A.M and time for the flag hoisting ceremony by Baba. A ripple of expectation seems to spread over the vast sea of men, women and children. You can see the crowd up to the main front gate, even beyond the outer gate, in the streets outside over the entire area, overflowing the sheds, on to the open grounds behind the Mandir and all around, everywhere and yet so silent, vibrant with expectation to have Darshan of Baba, and hear His Divine message on this most sacred day dedicated to Siva.

Baba appears on the balcony. He walks to the marble figure of Lord Krishna. He stands there in the morning light, His hair encircled, as it were, by a flaming halo of the Sun`s rays. Truly a resplendent figure. There is a moment of tumultuous applause as Baba raises His right hand in benediction.

The function begins with a vedic chant by the boys of the Veda Pathasala, followed by a few speeches on the significance of the day dedicated to Siva. Only Baba can make even the profoundest things simple. Finishing His speech, Baba goes up to the terrace of the Mandir, pulls the string and the Prasanthi Nilayam flag flutters gaily in the morning Sun, the symbol of Bhagavan`s Four-fold Path, Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, and Prema, a perennial sign of hope and of Divine assurance to all those who labour and are heavy laden.

The flag-hoisting is over. There is no visible movement in the crowd. The people are just there – rooted as it were to the spot, spell-bound, enchanted by what they had seen and experienced. Some get out of the crowd - with great difficulty and walk away for a little relaxation. But they too return for the Vibhuti Abhishekam ceremony at the Auditorium, which is gaily decorated. The people wait for hours, silent and disciplined, a unique example of discipline willingly accepted, and dutifully carried out.

It is nearly 10.30 A.M Baba now enters, takes His seat on the silver throne on the dais. On His left is the silver figure of His previous incarnation, the beloved Baba of Shirdi. It is time for the Abishekam. Baba steps down from His seat and stands on the right of the figure of Shirdi Baba .A small vessel is held up by Sri Kasturi with its mouth over the figure`s head . Baba puts His right hand into the mouth of the vessel, rotates the Hand, and the Vibhuti falls down, slowly at first, a thin line of greyish smoke. Baba continues to stir the inside and soon cascades of Vibhuti pour out of the vessel and the whole place is filled with the fragrance of the Vibhuti. This goes on for about 10 minutes. Vibhuti is heaped over the figure of Shirdi Baba. Pearls, beads of Rudraksha and Tulasi are found mixed with the Vibhuti – a wonderful, breathtaking spectacle. There is Bhajan for a while and Baba returns to the Mandir and the morning functions are over.

The programme of this particular evening has a significance of its own. It is the evening of Lingodbhavam. Thousands are waiting for the miracle. 7-30 P.M, Baba comes to the dais and sits on the throne.

It looks as though He is in the throes of Creation, His chest heaving, His body swaying slightly and His mouth trying to eject something that is pressing up within Him. We watch breathlessly this unique and solemn process of Srishti- of Creation. It is difficult to describe in words the deep silence and tension that prevail among the people. Nothing like this has been seen before- a whole crowd watching the miracle of Srishti by the living God, their eyes riveted on the spare, resplendent figure on the platform, Paramatma showing one of His Leelas.

There is a momentary hush, deep as the silence of the stars in a vast blue sky. The tension mounts to a climax, as a shining, brilliantly transparent green Lingam comes out of Bhagavan`s mouth. It is a lovely object, smooth, shining and transparent, its green sheen almost dazzling the eyes, a veritable symbol of Brahmanda, the Universe over which Mahasiva keeps His eternal vigil through the ages, creating, destroying and resurrecting, a cosmic Drama of tremendous dimensions, comprising the destinies of millions of His creatures.

The Lingam that comes out of Bhagavan`s mouth is a tremendous symbol of something too infinite, too stupendous, for our little minds to grasp. Its green glory that moved and dazzled thousands of us who sat watching Him on that sacred night, is part of the infinite glory and beauty of His Creation. Blessed indeed are those who have seen the emanation of the Great Light from the Lord. May this Light be ever our guide. Tamasomaa Jyotigamaya. From Darkness lead us to Light!

We move on now to an account of the events of the year 1966

At 7.30A.M., on that holy day, Baba hoisted the Prasanthi Flag, over the Nilayam. In a short Discourse, Baba exhorted every one to hoist a flag over his Heart, after vanquishing the internal enemies.

By the 5 P.M the vast open space in front of the Santhi Vedika (the newly constructed Hexagonal stage with a dome), was a sea of expectant faith. The Principal of the Markandeya Sanskrit College Aukirpalle, Brahmasri Deepala Pichayya Sastry and Sri Paturi Madhusudhan Rao addressed the gathering. Bhaghavan, in His Divine discourse, described the inner significance of rituals that according to the scriptures, ought to be performed on Sivarathri day. He also spoke on the methods by which man has to sanctify his senses, intellect and life.

Then, when the 30000 devotees were singing exultantly, Om Sivaya, Om Sivaya an emerald Lingam, (three inches high and five inches broad, complete with base)that had been forming in Him, emerged from His mouth, to the supreme delight of everyone!

Exhilarated beyond words by this Divine event, the vast assemblage spent the entire night in Bhajan and on the 19th.

On the 20th, Prof.P.V. Suryanarayana of Narasaraopet, addressed the gathering on the subject of Bhakthi. Baba later referred to the handicaps which the devotee has to overcome, the chief of them being the cynical opposition from unbelievers, who revel in falsehood and vicious scandal. Devotees can approach God only through detachment and though service, without thought of reward.

On the 27th , Baba presided over the Annual Day celebrations of the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Zilla Parishad High School at Bukkapatnam. He spoke of the need to supplement the present curriculum of studies in schools by giving the students training in spiritual discipline also, so that they may acquire equanimity and peace of mind, to face the travails of life. He called upon the elders to provide good examples to the younger generation, examples of good conduct, sweet speech, reverence to parents, faith in God, fear of vice, etc. He called for full of cooperation between the home, the school and society, in shaping the children into useful citizens and good individuals.

On the 2nd March , Baba left for Hyderabad on the first lap of a long tour.

On now to what happened in 1967

At 11 A.M., during the Bhajan sessions, Baba had Abhishekam performed for Shirdi Sai Baba, during which the mammoth gathering was privileged to witness the miracles of the creation of and idol of Ganesa and the unending stream of Vibhuthi. At 6 P.M., Baba gave Darshan to the immense gathering from the Shanthi Vedika, where a meeting was held, and short talks were given by Dr. M.P.Pai of the Kasturba Medical College, Mysore State and Sri Subbaramaniya, an Editor from Hyderabad. Brahmasri Doopati Thirumalacharyulu of Venkatagiri dedicated to Bhagavan His Telugu translation and commentary on the famous Sivamahima Stotra; Sri Raghunath Patro of Berhampore placed in His Hands the Oriya book Satya Sai Charithamrutha written by Him. Sri P. Appukutta Menon, M.A., L.T., of Palghat dedicated the Malayalam book Sayi Mitayi containing the stories on spiritual truths which Baba has given in His Discourses.The Satya Sai Seva Samithi, Bombay placed in His hands the book Divine Heritage of Prashanthi Nilayam prepared by Opal Macrae of New York and published by them. Sri Alike Narayana Bhat placed in His hands the Kannada book Satya Sai Darsanam.

Thirty thousand hearts pounded quicker and thirty thousand throats called on Siva more intensely, as they watched Baba on the Santhi Vedika, until the Viswalinga (a deep pink oval Lingam with the orbits of all the planets luminously clear inside it) and a smaller Jyothirlinga emerged. Baba held out the Lingams for all to see and they were kept on the Vedika during the night-long Bhajan, with which the devotees celebrated Sivarathri.

On the 10th March, at 7:30 A.M., the night-long Bhajan ended and Mahamangalarathi was performed, amidst the acclamations of thousands.

In the evening, Brahmasri Chandramouli Sastri, President of the Bhagavatha Bhaktha Samaj of the Krishna-Guntur Districts gave a discourse on ‘Krishna’; Baba, in His Discourse elaborated on the same theme and introduced the Telugu musical play, “Radha Bhakthi” which was later enacted with inspiring devotion by the little students of the Satya Sai Vedasastra Patasala.

On the evening of the 11th too, devotees had the pleasure of listening to valuable speeches. That evening Sri K.R.K. Bhat of Madurai and Dr.G.V.L.N. Murthy of Jamshedpur spoke on their experiences of Baba’s Prema and Karuna. Bhagavan, in His Discourse, wanted that each devotee demonstrate through His behaviour, speech and actions that he has understood the great purpose for which He is born, viz., to cultivate the Divinity within Him.

Since Baba had to leave for Bombay on the 15th, He was engaged on 12th, 13th, and 14th March in healing and attending on the sick, the infirm and the disabled among those who had gathered for the festival. The others too, of course, had and ample measure of His Grace and the precious gift of the Vision of the Atma within them, which Baba grants to all who come under His Care.

Follows now an account for the year 1970, and we believe the author is none other than Kasturi himself

More than 50,000 persons arrived at the Nilayam by the morning of the 6th; a long unbroken train of hundreds of omni buses, and cars, scooters and motorcycles, brought thousands in. There were thousands who came by rail, and trekked the distance from Bukkapatnam or even boarded trucks to reach the place in time. When the Sivarathri Day dawned the gathering cheered in joy when Baba gave Darshan prior to the Hoisting of the Prasanthi Flag on the Nilayam.

Dr.Diwakarla Venkatavadhanulu, Prof. of Telugu, Osmania University, addressed the gathering on the significance of Sivarathri. Bhagavan discoursed on the basic faults that corrode into individual and social life. He stressed that greed is the root of all the banal competitions in the current world, greed for riches, for power, for authority over fellowmen. He said this can be overcome by the cultivation of detachment, of tolerance, of the spirit of service and the deepening of Faith in an Ever-present Immanent God. He referred to the narrow-minded promotion of one’s language, community, province or religion, and the exaggerated emphasis on the Love for the Nation. The loyalty to the Nation is built on the loyalty to the village, the family, the language spoken at home, the religion learnt at the mother’s lap etc. “You cannot separate the limbs and name the trunk as the source of all strength!” Baba said.

Baba also emphasised the inherent excellence of the customs, conventions, ritual and ceremonies laid down by the Sages, for limiting the vagaries of the human mind, besides regulating and educating the emotions and impulses. He said that the Prasanthi Flag has on it the symbol of the Sadhaka, struggling to attain self-realisation.

At 11 A.M. Baba proceeded to the Auditorium, for the Abhishekam. Bhajan from 50,000 throats filled the air with the Divine fragrance; the path was a lovely carpet of flowers. The richly caparisoned Sai Geetha (elephant) walked majestically in front. To the right and left, priests chanting Vedas moved with Baba. During the Bhajan, Baba gave the gathering the unique chance of witnessing the creation of a nine-jewelled locket for Sai Baba’s silver idol, and when He placed it on the forehead, between the eyebrows, it stuck! Then, He poured from a wooden pot an unbroken stream of sacred ash on the idol, precious stones too falling from the pot, when His palm drew the sacred substance created by His touch.

In the evening, devotees gathered before the Santhi Vedika, and the vast expanse of open space was tight packed with men and women, eagerly awaiting the Discourse, the emergence of the Lingam, and the night long vigil and Bhajan. Dr.V.K.Gokak, and Sri.Nakul Sen. I.C.S., Lt.Governor of Goa spoke in English on Bhagavan and His Universal Message of Love. Dr.Divakarla Venkatavadhanlu spoke in Telugu. Then, Baba delivered His Divine Discourse.

He said: Sai Bhakthas have to be pioneers in a new revolution, a transformation of the character and endeavour; so, they have to fill themselves with Love so that the shower of unselfish Universal Love can scotch the flames of anger, hatred, fear and anxiety that are consuming the world today.

After the Discourse, which lasted for one hour, Bhagavan sang a few Namavalis and enthralled the huge gathering into ecstasy. Meanwhile, the first indications of the emergence of the Lingam became apparent, and Baba sat in the Silver Chair. The gathering sang in chorus, in anxious expectation of the Miracle, the uplifting song, Om Sivaya, Om Sivaya. About fifteen minutes later, a heavy oval Lingam, glowing with the Divine effulgence, composed of a substance very much akin to opal emerged and manifested its splendour to the vast multitude, making it soar in a wave of adoration and Bliss.

On the morning of the seventh, when the all-night Bhajan session ended, Bhagavan gave Darshan at the Santhi Vedika and He blessed the mass of devotees with a short Discourse. After the Discourse, Baba blessed the devotees and had Divine Prasadam distributed to every one of the 50,000 persons, so that they may break the ritual fast they had vowed the previous day.

On the previous evening of the 7th, the Meeting held in the Auditorium was addressed by Kuppa Bairagi Sastry and by Swami Karunyanandaji of the Jeeva Karyunyasangha, Rajahmundry. Bhagawan spoke about the Guru and His responsibilities. Instead of elevating the Guru, who is only a sign-post to God, as God, it is much better to accept the God resident in you as the Guru and pray to Him to guide you and take you nearer to Him. You cannot cross a river sitting in a boat of stone! You must surrender completely to His Will and dedicate thought, word and deed to Him.

On the 8th, Baba blessed the thousands of eager visitors from all the States of India, and from all the continents, giving to each one of them the coveted Vibhuthi and the chance of Namaskara. On the 9th, 10th and 11th March, Bhagavan selected from among the thousands the old, the sick, the maimed and the afflicted, for being blessed with special interview with Him and He gave them the consolation, courage, and the cure they longed for.

On the 12th, He left for Anantapur, where the Building for the Women’s College is fast coming up. He will be at Whitefield for a few days, before proceeding on Tour.

Well, that brings us the end of this down memory lane. Hope you enjoyed the walk! Catching some of the glorious Sivaratri moments described above are the following photographs!

Source: http://www.radiosai.org/Journals/Vol_02/04Feb15/10_Down_Memory_Lane/memory.htm


Hoisting the Prasanthi Flag


Holding the creation in his palm


The famous Shanthi Vedika of the yesteryears


On the jhoola


One of the myriad lingams


Shivratri in the sixties


The mystery of creation on display


Two on this occasion


Grateful devotees in ecstasy


A large Spherical Linga


Shri Kamavadhani who said Sai is Shiva


The school at Bukkapatnam

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