Gram Seva 2015 – Thursday, 22nd October 2015

Aum Sri Sai Ram

Today is the holy festival of Dassera or Vijayadasami – the day Lord Rama conquered the might Rakshasa, Ravana. This holy day started as usual for us by meeting in N6, B25 for Omkar, Suprabhatam and morning prayers. The day was made all the more auspicious as it was a Thursday – Guru’s Day and so the morning prayers were based on the Guru.

We were joined in the morning satsang by Dr Anil Kumar. Dr Anil Kumar is currently Head of Cardiology in Sunshine Hospital in Hyderabad. He used to work in the Swami’s Super Speciality Hospital in Bangalore. Anil Kumar Sir said that the greatest ignorance in life is that we think we are the body. We need to go beyond this. He also asked – are we devotees of Swami? If we think we are, why did Swami say that He was still looking for one devotee? The Gita says a devotee must have mastered the senses. Can we say we have mastered our senses? After Anil Kumar’s talk, Puppet Sir thanked him and spoke a few words. He said that if you are being praised, consciously repeat in your mind “Sai Ram, Sai Ram, Sai Ram” – so that you don’t accept debit or credit.

After the morning session, we went to Poornachandra Hall for the last day of the yagna – the Poornahuti. When we arrived, the priests were performing the yagna. After a while they moved to the side and Swami’s divine seat was placed by the Homam. Bhajans started and the priests left the hall. They came back later, followed by the Vedam boys, with items for the Poornahuti. The bhajans ended and the priests chanting could be heard. Shortly after the Poornahuti took place – a bundle wrapped in a red cloth was shown to the assembly and then put in the Homam. Then ghee was poured into it and the Chief priest and his wife did pradakshina of the Homam a number of times. Aarti followed this while Prasad was being distributed. Holy water was then showered on everyone in the hall by priests and Veda Narayana sir.

We once again were blessed to have darshan at Swami’s Maha Samadhi mandir. Following that we went back to our rooms to get ready for Grama Seva. This was the last day of Grama Seva and it was being performed within Prashanti Nilayam. We went to one of the sheds and served ladoos and Annam packets - around 400 people. Following this we returned to our rooms, had a rest and lunch and we were ready again for our meeting in N6, B25 at 14:00. 

In this satsang, we had our last session on the Gita. Puppet Sir said the teaching of the Gita is not specific to Hinduism, because the teaching of God is universal. All religions teach truth, righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-Violence. He summarised that the Gita showed 3 paths – Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Karma Yoga. It was up to us which path we followed. All merge at the same point.

Brother Chelam, the state President of the Sathya Sai organisation in Andra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana also joined the satsang. The Pottapalli village in AP had been named as a model village for AP. The hospital there had served 166,000 patients.

Our group got a beautiful opportunity to perform today in the Sai Kulwant Hall. We reached the Sai Kulwant Hall at 16:00. Two brothers from the group offered a card and a flower to Swami before starting the program. At 16:30 we started by chanting Vedam – Ganapathi Prathana, Ganapathi Atharva Shirsam and Narayana Suktam. Children of the Eashwaramma Primary School performed the invocatory Vedam chanting and then we were blessed by an excerpt from a discourse by Swami on the significance of Dussera and the importance of Truth and Truthful conduct.

After Swami’s bhajan, there was a soulful Karnatic music programme performed by Sri K Balakrishna Prasad and his troupe. This was followed by an excellent music programme by Roopa Panesar with Roopa on Sitar, Kaviraj Singh on Santoor and vocal, Pirashanna (pronounced Prasanna) Thevarajah on Mirdangam and Moorsing and Zuheb Ahmed Khan on Tabla. The performance was extremely well received by the assembly in Sai Kulwant Hall. The programme for the evening was concluded by a Medley performed by the UK boys, followed by Aarti. Two of the UK boys were fortunate to perform Aarti and a further four who offered flowers at the Lotus Feet. Sister Roopa did the same on the ladies side.

Sister Roopa and team were honoured by being presented gifts by members of the Central Trust and each boy was kindly given safari suit material by Puppet Sir and Ratnakar Sir. After doing namaskar at Swami’s Maha Samadhi we left back for N1. On the way back the musical artists were stopped many times by people who had heard them play and wanted to congratulate them on a wonderful performance. The most touching one was when a car that passed by us stopped, two people got out of the vehicle, thanked and congratulated the artists, got back in their car again and drove off!!

We had evening meal together in the Western canteen before getting ready for another busy next day.

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