Grama Seva 2015 - Thursday, 15th October 2015

The morning began at 0445 hrs with 21 Omkars and Suprabhatham. Today was Guru Brhaspathiwar, so today's prayers were dedicated to Guru. Puppet sir then went on to narrate several stories relating to Guru and Shishya.  He narrated 2 related stories, one of Shirdi Sai and one of Sathya Sai. The first incident was was during the soujourn of Shirdi Baba. One day Baba was sitting on a bench in Dwarika with his devotees. One of the people present said, "Baba, I want to sit there where you are sitting." Baba replied, "OK" and simply shifted aside for the devotee to sit. The devotee eventually realised what he had done and was very apologetic to Swami. Seeing this, Baba told him, "Don't worry, I'm sitting here now, you stay there." This was a demonstration of the egolessness of true spiritual masters. The next incident was a personal recollection of Puppet sir. Swami had called a group of western devotees was called into the interview room and Swami also called Puppet sir inside at the same time. For one of the ladies, it was her first time in Prashanti, so upon entering the interview room, she saw just one chair inside (which of course was Swami's chair) and she sat on it. Once all the group had gone inside Swami followed and closed the door, only to find there was nowhere for him to sit. Swami, being full of compassion, did not want to be rude to his devotee or embarrass her by asking her to move. Instead, he demonstrated his wonderful playfullness. He took a handkerchief, wiped his hand and dropped it on the floor. Swami asked the devotee on the chair to pick up this handkerchief, and as she did so, quickly sat in the chair!

Following our morning session, we then made our way to Sai Kulwant Hall, where we took Pradakshina of Mahasamadhi Mandir before moving to our vehicles for the day's Grama Seva. Today we would be going to Bramhanapalli, a large village in Puttaparthi Mandal consisting of around 900 houses and 5500 people. This village, being quite close to Puttaparthi itself, contained many people who served as sevadals in Prashanti, and so we were blessed to have the opportunity to serve them. Having completed our assigned portion on the village, we took our leave. On the way back, we stopped at a gated community consisting mainly of overseas devotees and also served them Swami's prasadam. We then returned to the ashram to partake of the Annam and ladoos that we had been serving ourselves.

After taking some rest, we reconvened to continue our study of the essence of the Gita under the guidance of Puppet sir with the overriding theme of Samarpanam. Puppet sir reflected on the episode on the eve of battle, when Arjuna was having doubts having seen his cousins, his guru Dronacharaya and the grand sire Bhismapeetama on the opposite side of Kurukshetra. Krishna famously told Arjuna that he should not think of himself as the doer, but as Nimitramaatram (a chosen instrument), and be courageous the carry out his dharma as a warrior (ksathriya) to destroy adharma in the form of Duryodhana and the Kauravas and bring about the establishment of righteousness.

We then returned to Sai Kulwant Hall for the evening session of Vedam, bhajans and Mangala Aarti. Following the Aarti, we visited the Radio Sai studios, where five of the brothers from the group participate.ed in a live interview with brother Bishu Prusty, who had addressed us the previous day about his experiences with Bhagawan as a student in Swami's institute. In the interview, the brothers recounted there experiences of Swami and of Grama Seva and how they have affected their own lives in the UK. Having experienced so much of Swami's grace over the years, it was 10.30pm by the time the interview was concluded by brother Prusty! We therefore retired for the night in anticipation of another day at Swami's divine Lotus Feet.

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