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
The evening Bhajan began
at 7 P.M. Baba, seated on a special dais gave Darshan to all. After
Brahmasris Bairagi Sastry of Eluru and Lakshminarayana Sastry of Salem
spoke on the significance of the day and of Lingathathwam [Principle of the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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!
Hoisting the Prasanthi Flag
Holding the creation in his palm
The famous Shanthi Vedika of the
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
The school at Bukkapatnam