Wednesday 5th October 2011

Prasanthi Nilayam is now very busy with thousands of devotees having arrived for the Dusshera festival. Each day there are more and more devotees coming.

Today was the last day for Grama Seva. On this special day of Navmi the UK Group continued to work in the 7 different teams the have been split into throughout this years Grama Seva. One village covered to day was the large one of Yenumulapalli. This village had over 1000 houses.

Today was the final day of the Vidhwan Maha Sabha. There were two talks by a student and faculty member from the Anantapur Campus. Both sisters spoke on the subjects of the Divine Shakti and the love of God. This was followed a wonderful musical offering to Swami by the students of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus.

Tuesday 4th October 2011

Today is Durga Ashtami, the 8th day of Navratri. This day is marked as very special during the Navratri festival. This was obvious in Sai Kulwant Hall as the atmosphere was charged. On this auspicious day, Vahan (Vehicle) Puja is carried out in the Sai Kulwant Hall. This is done to show gratitude to the instruments we use to help us carry out our daily tasks. This tradition has been followed since the ancient times of Bharat (India). On this day, the Pandavas completed their time in exile and the 13th year of hiding. On this day, the weapons that were hidden away were reclaimed.

Swami’s Golden Chariot together with Swami’s cars were parked on the east side of Sai Kulwant Hall and members of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust carried out the puja with the breaking of coconuts in front of the cars.

A special village had been selected for today’s distribution of Swami’s prasadam. The village of Karmatamagepalli is the birthplace of mother Easwaramma. The village itself was located only 5 minutes drive from Prasanthi Nilayam and consisted of 700 houses. The village was noticeably poor and deprived yet the villagers received all the students with a hearty smile and welcome.

The afternoon Maha- Samadhi darshan was also the fourth day of the Vidhwan Maha Sabha. The audience were addressed by 2 speakers. Firstly we had brother Shivam Chopra, a student from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Brindavan Campus, who spoke on “Gratitude.” He was followed by brother Amit Deshpande, a Gold medallist student in management studies. He further elaborated on the meaning of “Love is my form, truth is my breath, bliss if my food.” After both speakers, we heard an audio clip of Swami’s discourse during Navratri in the previous years.

Today was also the 56th Anniversary of the beginning of the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital. The hospital opened to serve the areas in 1954. To celebrate this, the staff of the hospital performed a drama followed by a musical offering. The drama was entitled “Journey to Sai...with Sai.” This was based on real life experiences of two doctors who had worked at the hospital, Dr Seetaramaiah and Dr Narottam Alreja

Monday 3rd October 2011

The Grama Seva teams all gathered in their respective transports to head for various villages. Villages served today were within the Bukkapatnam and Puttaparthi Mandal. One of the villages visited today was called Subbarayanapalli. This was a medium sized village with over 300 houses.

The afternoon Maha Samadhi darshan also had 2 excellent speakers to celebrate the third day of the Vidhwan Maha Sabha. The first was Brother Rushabh, a 2nd year MBA student of Prasanthi campus, who spoke very well on the topic of Surrender. He was followed by Professor Anantaraman, a visiting professor for Harvard University, who spoke on “Our life, his message.”
Afterwards, everybody gathered in the Sai Kulwant Hall were treated to a musical extravaganza by the boys from Swami’s Mirpuri College of Music. This was followed by 3 bhajans and aarti offered to our beloved Lord, just after 6.40pm.

Sunday 2nd October 2011

One of the UK Grama Seva Groups was allocated the village of Dhupampalli and neighbouring villages. Before Grama Seva commenced, the UK boys, along with Swami’s students and faculty members went around the village chanting Vedam and singing Bhajans. Swami has mentioned that doing this will spiritually cleanse the village. It also serves as announcement to the villagers regarding the seva activities.

Dhupampalli consisted of approximately 350 houses, with an additional 20 houses in the neighbouring village, Kottalapalli, which was served by Swami's Students.

The afternoon Maha Samadhi darshan was also the third day of the Vidhwan Maha Sabha. Today we had 2 talks given by Swami’s students. The first one was Sister Kumari Lalita who spoke on Learning at the lotus feet of Bhagwan.  This was followed by Sai Giridhar, a PhD student in Clinical Chemistry, who spoke on the 4 S’s. A profound and meaningful statement he made in the speech was, “Whatever situation you find yourself in. Be it good or bad; accept whatever comes to you with firm conviction that Swami has given this to you for your own good.”
This was followed by a short extract from Swami’s discourse and then a musical concert by the students of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur Campus.

Saturday 1st October 2011

Today, a village called Pamadurthi was one amongst many to receive Swami’s blessings in the form of prasadam. The village is situated over 40 km from Puttaparthi, populated with more than 1,000 houses. Part of the UK Group worked alongside Swami’s students and faculty members to serve the village. The UK Group was heading back when, en route, they were asked to help at another village. Other members of the UK Group served Swami’s prasadam at various villages within the Bukkapatnam Mandal. The distribution was carried out very quickly and the teams headed back to Prasanthi Nilayam.

During the afternoon darshan, 2 speakers were given the opportunity to address the Vidhwan Maha Sabha gathering in the Sai Kulwant Hall. The first was Brother Soham who spoke on the 9 types of devotion. He was followed by Sister Rani who also spoke eloquently on Satyam Shivam Sundaram and the different types of yoga's. We then heard a small part of Swami’s divine discourse on Navratri from 2001.

This was followed by a heartfelt musical concert by the students of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Brindavan Campus. The beautiful songs were sung with such love and devotion; it left some members of the UK Group shedding tears of joy.