Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

4th Jan. Darshan account by Sai devotee "The Olympic Sprint"

Expand Messages
  • SBOI Group
    January 4, 2009 The Olympic Sprint A sunny morning, the boarding school children have come, the darshan hall is quiet and serene. Soon the three Om s come over
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2009
      January 4, 2009

      The Olympic Sprint

      A sunny morning, the boarding school children have come, the darshan
      hall is quiet and serene. Soon the three Om's come over the
      loudspeakers and bhajans commence. The darshan hall is largely full,
      and I see that huge Maharashtra-Goa group are seated nearby the front
      on both the ladies and the mens sides.

      As the bhajans continue, I find myself translating some of them as
      they are sung, and consider how many facets of the Sai Avatar are
      sung, daya karo bhagavan, (fullness of compassion) kripa karo bhagavan
      (the Lord who receives all our prayers) and how the glories of divine
      self-giving are celebrated in song, and add to the glory that is
      Prashanti Nilayam, the abode of Highest Peace. I think of all the
      energy generated by the bhajans and consider what Swami will do with
      this energy, where he will send this in the world as grace to those
      who are calling out on God, kith and kin of all on Earth.

      I took my darshan on the inner level and took padnamaskar on the inner
      level, in peace; Swami had not come, and I was simply "being there" if
      that means anything, taking in divine grace, and being present in this
      holy atmosphere.

      Suddenly, people start shifting around in the darshan hall, bunching
      up, students move forward, and a large crowd get up and race forward
      to fill that space left behind the Maharashtra-Goa group. It's a bit
      untidy for a moment, then all settle down and look towards Yajur
      Mandir for Swami's entrance and darshan. And so Swami does enter the
      darshan hall, and proceeds right across the hall. I saw that he
      stopped on the men's side for something, and that was the last I saw
      of that; men got up everywhere. Swami did not come into sight again
      until he reached the top turn nearby the garage.

      An old man with a walking stick was leaning around trying to see
      Swami, and I gestured to him to sit nearby me, and he would have
      darshan of Swami in the mandir receiving the bhajans. Several of us
      helped him move to that new seat; he was most grateful.

      Arathi, and I departed the darshan hall to meet with Holly out the
      front (one of the Seva Dal Coordinators for the Christmas Choir) (she
      is leaving tomorrow) and of course, the assembled devotees wait to see
      Swami get in the grey car. So I was standing there nearby the Ganesh
      Temple, and thinking of the video I saw of the installation and
      prathistha of the Ganesh Idol, a event which took place many years
      ago. A devotee and I discussed the appearance of the ashram in those days.

      Lo and behold, people were sprinting past at an almighty speed, and
      the Good Lord help anyone who got in their way. More and more people
      came out, it looked like the Olympic 400 metres sprint in Beijing, so
      fast they were going. Wow, people running past, some out the front
      gate, some up towards the gate to the meditation tree using that back
      pathway which runs behind the old State Bank building. Swami was
      coming out. Crowds rushed to the Ganesha Gate itself, and milled
      around. Police whistles peeped, and the Seva Dals closed the gate (as
      they usually do, principally to protect devotees from harm on the
      roadway as they spill all over the place).

      I could hear the police sirens pass by, and then the gates were opened.

      Thus concludeth morning darshan on this fine Sunday Morning.

      January 4, 2009

      Devi and the Feminine

      It was the turn of the Ladies of Maharasthra-Goa this evening. When I
      arrived at the darshan hall there were many banners hanging in the
      centre of the darshan hall, and there were groups of men and ladies
      seated in the centre area where students normally sit. Chanting was
      going on in the mandiram, and the darshan hall was filled with waiting
      devotees; silence prevailed.

      The New Year's Decorations have been removed.

      I took a seat, maybe halfway down the hall and cast my attention to
      the banners hanging from the ceiling. There was one in the middle,
      crosswise, and three longwise on each side.

      In the centre was a tasteful white banner with an impression of
      Easwaramma, and the script, Easwaramma, divya mata. The other six
      banners all had illustrations of women and citations from the Devi
      Stutram, I think it is, or is it the Devi Mahatmya?

      The first banner had an illustration of Savitri, and the following
      from the Devi Prayer:

      Yaa Devi Sarva Bhuteshu
      Shaktirupena Samsthita
      Namastasyei Namastasyei
      Namastasyei Namo Namaha
      Salutations to the Goddess who manifests as power in all beings

      The next banner on that side had an illustration of Rani Lakshmibai on
      a horse, and

      Yaa Devi Sarva Bhuteshu
      Shaktirupena Samsthita
      Namastasyei Namastasyei
      Namastasyei Namo Namaha
      Salutations to the Goddess who manifests as power in all beings

      The next banner had illustrations of Putalibai and Mahatama Gandhi,
      and the following prayer:

      Yaa Devi Sarva Bhuteshu
      Bhaktirupena Samsthita
      Namastasyei Namastasyei
      Namastasyei Namo Namaha
      Salutations to the Goddess who manifests as devotion in all beings

      On the other side, the first banner had an illustration of
      Urmilla-Lakshman and the following prayer

      Yaa Devi Sarva Bhuteshu
      tyaggarupena Samsthita
      Namastasyei Namastasyei
      Namastasyei Namo Namaha
      Salutations to the Goddess who manifests as sacrifice and penance
      in all beings

      The next, for the life of me, I cannot remember; the last banner was
      of Ratnavalli and Tulsidas, with the prayer,

      Yaa Devi Sarva Bhuteshu
      Bhaktirupena Samsthita
      Namastasyei Namastasyei
      Namastasyei Namo Namaha
      Salutations to the Goddess who manifests as devotion in all beings

      So there was a very strong Devi focus for the evening. When Swami came
      out to the front of the porch, the Ladies led the singing, and
      introduced the evening's program. I recall a Gayathri Mantra sung in
      four part harmony.

      The Devi Stutram formed the focus of what was to follow; very young
      girls dressed as the characters in the banners performed skits very
      close to the front of the veranda; Swami was facing these girls, cent
      per cent attention and focus. The conclusion of each skit was the
      singing of the relevant strotra from the Devi Stutram (I don't know if
      I have this title right, so bear with me) which was a really neat way
      to conclude each skit. The girls were all nicely costumed and
      delivered their skits quite well.

      When the skits were over, there was a very catchy song sung about
      Mother Easwaramma, and then some songs sung about Swami. There was
      then a presentation to Swami, a memorial plaque and prayer to Swami
      that these 2400 Sai Youth of Maharasthra and Goa would be worthy
      instruments in his mission.

      The men then did a medley of songs with some very good musical
      accompaniments, and the most unusual backing I have ever heard for
      Kondama Rama, it was excellent. There was then a short medley of
      bhajans as Swami went inside the interview room. He returned shortly,
      and went down to the centre area of the darshan hall, and gave photo
      sessions to the young girl actresses, and gave them all padnamaskar.
      Much applause. Swami called for Shawls and Sarees to be distributed to
      all in the choir and in the acting complement. Swami then gave photo
      sessions to the Lady Singers, very good, and then moved over to the
      Men Singers, where there were many photo sessions.

      Swami then stayed in the centre of the darshan hall and spent time
      answering questions from the Devotees of Maharashtra and Goa, and also
      spent some time accepting prayers and requests. After some time, Swami
      returned to the front of the porch and called for prasadum to be
      distributed to all. The lady singers then led bhajans during the
      distribution of prasad, and I quite enjoyed the ladies leading the
      singing. When the distribution of prasad was complete, Swami gestured
      to the students returning; there was quite some prasad left over, and
      Swami sent the students right down that centre walkway, out of the
      darshan all, to distribute all the prasad to the devotees down by the
      Gopuram Gate!

      Then Swami called for arathi; the ladies led Om Jai Jagadeesha Hare;
      there were 8 waving the arathi flames, three men and three ladies from
      the Sai Youth, along with one student, and the Mandir Pujari. When it
      got to Mata Pita Guru Daivum, Swami gestured for the lamps to be
      placed on the ground, and the Ladies continued leading the singing. It
      was quite dark, the darshan hall lights were bright, and the Narayana,
      Narayana Om Sathya verses flew through the air as Swami sat there,
      right at the front of the porch, brilliant in his orange robe, and
      smoke rising all over the place from the many arathi lamps. A great
      conclusion to the evening of Devi and the Feminine, by favour of the
      Ladies of Maharasthra and Goa.

      Courtesy: http://saieditor.com/spirit/
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.