The day’s program began at 0500 with 21 Omkars and Suprabhatham. Being Thursday, which is Guruwar, this was followed by prayers dedicated to Guru. Swami, showing his omnipresence, mentally prepared us for the commencement of Gram Seva 2014 with his thought for the day, in which he instructed that everything we do should be carried out with full faith and whole-heartedness.
Following the morning session, we made our way to Sai Kulwant Hall in anticipation of the start of Gram Seva 2014. Pradakshina of the Prashanti Mandir began at 0800 led by the Prashanthi Nilayam Vedam chanters and bhajan singers as all the boys taking part in the day’s service chanted and walked around the mandir seeking Swami’s blessings.
Today the boys from the UK and Mauritius formed part of the group led by Sri Ruchir Desai, Associate Professor in the Department of Commerce at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. We travelled to the village of Pedapalli in Puttaparthi Mandal, half an hour away from Prashanti Nilayam along the road towards Bangalore. In total, the group (including students) distributed 7200 food packets and ladoos. Each house was also presented with a sari and dhoti. On our return to Prashanti Nilayam, we partook in the Gram Seva prasadam of tamarind rice and ladoos that was distributed in the village.
In the afternoon, the group began our daily study of Lingaashtakam with Puppet Sir. We discussed the first verse of Lingaashtakam, the essence of which is that the lingam is the symbol of the formless divine and signifies the relationship between creator and creation. After the afternoon session, we returned to Sai Kulwant Hall for evening bhajans. The primary school children were also present because it was Thursday; their chanting and singing created a highly charged atmosphere.
After the conclusion of Mangala Aarti, the program for the day concluded and our minds turned towards the next day when we shall visit the village of Mallempalli to further experience Swami’s love in action.