Grama Seva 2014 - Friday, 26th September 2014

The morning session started with Omkar, Suprabhatam and prayers. Being Friday, the theme of the Satsang was Islam. We dwelled on the life of Prophet Muhammad; Puppet Sir narrated an inspirational incident from his divine life:
There was a lady that thought that the Prophet Muhammed was mad and she disliked his preaching of sermons to the masses in the mosque. Everyday as he walked passed she would walk on to the balcony to throw rubbish on him, this happened for months. The Prophet wouldn’t flinch and paid no attention to this regular act. One day he walked past and the lady did not throw anything at him, this continued to happen for a few more days. The Prophet was curious about why the lady’s regular act of throwing rubbish had stopped so he went up to her accommodation to take a look. The lady was surprised at seeing the Prophet and immediately asked why he was here. The Prophet replied back, “I was worried, I haven’t been showered by your grace for the last few days and wanted to see if you were okay”. The lady was speechless, she broke down into tears overwhelmed by the compassion and love shown by the Prophet, despite her actions towards him. 
After studying and reviewing this story in detail, the main points were:

- Actions speak louder than words. Noble conduct & character is one of the highest form of service & worship.
- All noble souls face violent opposition. But they do not "react". Rather, they "act" as per their values & beliefs. In the process they inspire, guide & elevate mankind to new heights.

Following the morning session, the Grama Seva Boys headed to the Sai Kulwant hall at 0800 to perform the daily Pradakshina, chanting Vedam as they went round the Mandir in Prashanti Nilyam.

Today’s village for Grama Seva was  Mallempalli in the Kothacheruvu Mandal, Anantapur District.

Words fail to describe the significance of Grama Seva. The closest definition of this Grama Seva is that it is a “Prema Yagna" where God gives the villages Prasadam in the form of food (rice  and ladoos) and clothes. In return the villagers offers their love filled heart to God.

With Chants of  “Bolo Bhagwan Shri Satya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai !!"  we left Prashant Nilyam in a convoy to the village. On the way the boys sang Bhajans. All the children that saw as, waved as we drove past.

Once we reached the village we disembarked chanted Vedam and and did Nagarsankirtanam around the village with the students. This Vedam chanting and Nagarasankirtanam is done to help purify the atmosphere of the village.

The Grama Seva finished at around 11am following which we returned back to Prashanti Nilyam. Once everyone had returned we recited the food prayer and partook of the same Prasadam of rice and ladoos that we were distributing to the villages.

Back to the ashram, following lunch and a very brief rest, the afternoon Satsang with Puppet Sir started at 2:15p.m. The theme was Lingashtakam. The significance of Lingashtakam, particularly the Nirguna aspect of Shiva was contemplated upon.

Here's an extract:

Even a chain made of gold, silver or copper binds man. Similarly , all  Gunas (Satwa, Rajas and Thamas) chains man to the objective world, thereby causing rebirth.  Thus, to be perfectly free, man needs to rise above the 3 gunas.

Be it good news or bad (from the worldly perspective) Swami would always reply : "Very happy" . This may surprise a few of us, but the fact remains that Swami being above the Gunas, God is unaffected by either gain or loss!

Lingashtakam and the Lingam help man to realise this truth and merge with Sada Shiva (Eternal Shiva)

The Grama Seva Boys attended Bhajans and Veda at 4pm in the Sai Kulwant hall & retired for a brief rest.

At 10pm a visit was organised to the Grama Seva kitchen. It was an amazing experience, especially for the first timers. The operation was conducted at an industrial scale and nearly 30 tons of rice was cooked involving over 700 Sevadals! Below are selected pictures from the kitchen.

But what touched the Grama Seva boys was the selflessness involved in each act and the amount of love, dedication and hard work coupled with a strong sense of duly that guided each act of each Sevadal. Tears welled up in our eyes by watching this selfless operation. Just imagine 700 people working day and night for 10 continuous days and nights, cooking food for 350,000 villagers that are unknown to them. It was truly love in action! Truly a Prema Yagna

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