Personal account of Sivarathri celebrations
By Sri Sathya Sai Baba's grace I was able
to attend the sivarathri function on 1-3-03 and a witness to many
The crowd was very high this time and
estimated to be 3 lakhs.For the morning darshan.
The que was full by 4.30A.M.The token
system were not there and it was first come first serve basis.By
6.AM the hall was full.At that time the que for the evening
darshan started to form from the steps!!!. Swami came out at 7:10
a.m.15 Students played "Panchavadyam" (percussion from Kerala).
Swami did not go to the mens side and went directly and sat in His
throne in the lobby at Sai Kulwant Hall. At 7:20 a.m. Students
The songs included:Vishwanatha Ashtakam,Vilvashtakam,Lingashtakam
etc. At 8:20 a.m. Bhajans started.
As soon as the Bhajans started, Swami got
up from His chair and directed students to distribute sweets to
all. Overseas devotees had prepared a cake resembling Himalayas
with a Shiva Statue atop. Swami cut the cake at 8:30 a.m.
Swami accepted Aarathi at 8:40 a.m. During
Aarathi, Swami gave Darshan to devotees. He continued to give
Darshan to devotees even after Aarathi.
At 8:55 a.m. Swami went to the interview
room and returned at 9:10 a.m.
As soon as Swami came out, once again the
students started "Panchavadyam" in front of the Lion Statue.
Swami blessed them and started walking
towards Poornachandra. At the entrance, the Anantapur Students
welcomed Swami by playing Nadaswaram (auspicious music from South
India). Swami blessed and spoke to them and proceeded to
By 10.am the que for evening darshan were
full.By 11a.M the devotted were allowed to enter the hall It was
swami's kindness for the sun was really hot!!.I got into the
since there were much time the time was
spend speaking and hearing about swamis leelas.
By 2 .30 P.M entry to the hall was banned
due to overcrowding. For us early bird devotees token were given
to go outside for some light refreshment.
Three huge projection screens have been
put up for the devotees to have a better view of Swami on the
occasion of Shivarathri - One near East Prashanthi, another in the
women's side facing Kulwant Hall and the third in between Sai
Kulwant Hall and Poornachandra.
Swami came out at 3:00 p.m. and went
straight to His room at the Mandir.At 3:10 p.m., He came out and
sat in His chair at the lobby in Sai Kulwant Hall.
As soon as Swami came out, one Mr. Raju,
who is the chairman of Nagarjuna Construction started reading
poems he had composed on Swami and sports day. He recited the
poems until 3:40 p.m. From 3:40 p.m., three speakers spoke. They
Mr. Sanjay Sahani - ex-student and
principal of Brindavan Campus
Mr. Narasimha Murthy - Warden of Brindavan
Mr. S.V.Giri - Vice Chancellor of Sathya
Sai Institute of Higher Learning
During his talk, Narasimha murthy emplored
Swami not to suffer the ordeal of bringing out a Lingam this year.
He requested Swami to materialize the Lingam by waving his hands.
Narasimha Murthy finished his talk around 4:35 p.m.
Soon after, Swami materialized a Lingam by
waving His Hand in full view of devotees.
It was a big Golden Lingam 3 inches in
length.this shows to us devotees that our swami will fullfill our
sincere wishes if asked with a open heart.
Mr. S.V. Giri spoke till 4:50 p.m.From
4:50 - 5:50 Swami delivered His Divine Discourse
Main theme of the discourse was on how to
Swami said that Satsang is unity in
thought word and deed.
Swami then spoke about Sathyam (truth) and
Rhythm. How the two are connected. He said that Sathyam is very
important and should always be followed. Swami said Rhythm can be
called as Transcendental Truth in English. That is Truth that does
not change at all in past, present or future.Swami ended the
discourse with the Bhajans "Sathyam Jnanam Anantham Brahma..."As
soon as the discourse was over, Swami asked the Bhajans to start.
Swami went inside the Mandir and came back at 6:35 p.m.
After Swami came back, He started drinking
lots of water.twice he coughed.
At 7:10 p.m. Swami manifested a lingam (Lingodhbhavam)
from his mouth. The crowd were standind after the first
lingodbhavam Then after 3 minutes he produced the second lingham
from his mouth(Lingodhbhavam)
At 7:15 p.m. Swami retired to
Bhajans were continuing overnight. lot of
bhajan troops were there at half hour strech.
On 2-3-03 Swami came out at 5.20 am from
Poornachandra Hall to Sai Kulwant Hall. He went to His room and
came out at 5.35 am.
At 5.45 am He signaled the Akanda Bhajans
to stop and started His discourse. He spoke till 6.45 am.
The main theme of His Discourse was unity
in the family and that percolating to the society. He gave the
example of Shiva family. He said Shiva;s vahana is Nandi which is
a bull. Parvathi;s vahana is Simha, the lion. These two are
normally at loggerheads. Similarly, Subramaniam;s vahana is
peacock and that will not spare any snake while Shiva;s abarana is
snake! Ganesha vahana is rat and the snakes would not spare the
Yet all of them co-exist peacefully in
Shivas family. People should draw lesson from this. Though there
may be factors contradictory, one should live in unity and harmony.
The basic need for this is the love and one should love everyone.
It is wrong to say that God is within me. One should feel he is in
fact in God. Everyone is in God and not the other way.
Swami concluded His discourse with two
Bhajans Prema Mudhita and Hey Shiva Shankara Namami Shankara
Afterwards He asked the Mangala aarathi to be performed. He
blessed the Bhajan Singers (both men from PSN Complex, Brindavan
Complex and women from ATP complex who were singing the bhajans in
turn) by raising both His Hands.All devotees had Laddu and
Puliyodarai Rice as Prasad. Swami happily enjoyed the sight of
devotees being fed. At 7.20 am He went from the lobby straight
towards the crowd assembled near the Rama Sita idols and blessed
them. Then swami returned.
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