Grama Seva 2013 - Tuesday, 8th October 2013

We have had frequent power outages during our stay in Prashanti and this morning was no different. The outages are due to strikes because of political tension in Andhra Pradesh. The group therefore performed the morning prayers with only candle light.

At 5am sharp we commenced our morning session with 21 omkars, suprabhatam and prayers to the Mother Goddess. Today is the 4th day of the Navratri festival. Puppet Sir read today's thought of the day and expanded on its deeper significance. We continued our morning programme with meditation and pranayam.

We enjoyed upma, sambhar, and tea/coffee at the South Indian Canteen today. This was an unusual treat!

As we made our way to Sai Kulwant Hall the sky opened and it rained and rained... and rained! We quickly reached the covered area and thankfully did not get too wet.

Today was the first day of the Veda Purusha Saptaha Jnana Yajna. After performing Pradakshina around the mandir we sat back in Sai Kulwant Hall continuing Vedam chanting. Normally we would start to make our way to our cars to make a start for the villages, but today we waited for the Pundits to finish of their prayers in the Mandir and then lead us to the Poornachandra Auditorium where the yagna will be performed for the next few days.

The Poornachandra Auditorium was already full when we arrived, we quickly sat on the floor in our allocated area and observed the start of the Yagna. The Yagna ceremony commenced with the ritviks lighting the Yagna in the traditional way by churning two pieces of wood together. The action is similar to the way milk is churned by hand to make butter. This year the spark of light appeared quickly and smoke appeared soon after. This led to the fire being created. The Yagnam fire was taken to Swami's throne for blessings. Soon after we left the Poonachandra Auditorium to make way to our vehicles for today's Grama Seva.

We left Prashanti Niliyam at 10am and made our way to the Super Speciality Hospital in Puttaparti to offer Swami's prashadam to the doctors, nurses other hospital staff and their families. The UK group was the only group covering this area this year. We commenced the Seva by performing Nagarsaankeertana consisting of Vedam and bhajans.

Prashadam was distributed in all the living quarters as well as the Director's residence. Once we concluded the distribution we went to the central dome in the hospital, to pray to Swami and seek his blessings. We also used this as an opportunity to take group pictures.

After partaking Prasadam back in Prashanti Nilyam the group took a few minutes rest and we sat with Puppet Sir to continue the study of the Govindashtakam.

At 4:30pm we were sat in Sai Kulwant Hall, the afternoon proceedings started with regular Vedam chanting. At 4:45pm the children from Swami's school commenced the Maha Vidvan Maha Sabah by chanting Vedas in front of Bhagawan, adorned in orange robes. There were three speakers who eloquently spoke about various spiritual topics including the significance of the Dasara festival and Grama Seva. The talks were followed by Swami's divine discourse.

The students from the Muddanhalli campus performed a thoroughly uplifting music programme. This was followed by Swami singing in his divine melodious voice and finally the evening session was concluded with bhajans and Mangala Aarathi.

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