Ashadi 2012 Report
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
Ashadi Ekadashi, one of the most auspicious days in the Maratha vernacular calendar brings the legacy of the Marathas along with the state’s devotional fervour for its Presiding Deity, Lord Vittal Rakumai of Pandarpur. This is the day, when lakhs and lakhs of Varkaris from all parts of the country, especially from the State of Maharashtra throng the spiritual capital of the State, Pandarpur for darshan and blessings of their chosen deity, Vittal Rakumai.
Varkari Sampradaya is a time honoured cult and an important landmark in the colourful history of the State of Maharashtra. History reveals that devotees have been performing Vaari long before the advent of Sant Jnaneshwar in the 13th century.
This year, celebrating the holy occasion in the Divine Precincts on the last day of the month of July, hundreds of devotees from the twin states of Maharashtra & Goa thronged to Prasanthi Nilayam.
The programme commenced with the Dindi procession, a symbolic procession reminiscing the Pandarpur tradition, arriving in the Sai Kulwant Hall. Men dressed up in typical Maratha style, blowing the conch, carrying the Palanquin of Lord Vitthala marched into Sai Kulwant Hall, presenting themselves to Bhagawan at the Sanctum Sanctorum. As the procession moved in measured gait, in the backdrop played the popular Marathi song “Hey Oh Vithale…Bhaktha Jana Vatsaley…:
Next to come was a vibrant Ganesha dance, titled “Ganapathi Aradhana” by the Youth of Nasik, Maharashtra. The youth caught in a frenzy of devotion presented a visual treat, dancing vibrantly to the tune of a popular Marathi Ganapathi Pappa song… “Moriya…Moriya…”.
Next to come was a Dance Drama entitled Master The Mind… Be A Master Mind presentation by the SSSEHV and Bal Vikas children along with the students from Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Mandir, Dharmakshetra.
The presentation portrayed the plight of modern day man, who is confused, caught up by devilish mind, seeking the ephemeral, dooming himself to perdition. When the illusory mind dies, or is killed, light dawns upon him as Intellectual Wisdom prevails upon making him realise that he is in essence Eternal Atma and not the body as he is often deluded to believe. The protagonist’s transformation from a man trapped in the vagaries of his wretched mind to a man of greater understanding and intellectual wisdom to finally into an intense seeker was well portrayed bringing lively scenes from normal day-to-day worldly life.
The protagonist, Ram, deluded by mind and senses followed his whims and fancies in pursuit of money. One after one, mind along with its vagaries doomed him at everyday stage, bringing him huge deficits and defeats. Opening his mind, when he turned receptive to his intellect, wisdom slowly dawned upon him where he understood that God is just a Witness…and as one sows, so he reaps…A chance dream meeting with an ascetic ‘initiated’ him into Bhagawan’s Mantra, ‘Manava Seva Is Madhava Seva’. The ascetic as well taught him the essential human values, Sathya and Dharma that leads one to Love and thus towards God.
Mind still playing spoilsport, Ram put his best of efforts to prevail upon his devilish mind. Giving away his first ever charity, a 100 dollar sum to a needy, he tasted the good feeling that came out of charity. Encouraged by the first taste of success, peace of mind, contentment, he decides to call back his estranged son and daughter-in-law. Encouraged by his wife, who is into the Sai Path, Ram slowly got himself got into the Path.
With remnants of his old-doubting-self still haunting him, Ram often wavered in his faith. With him changing mantras quite often, Ram turned a confused man. Finally with his wife’s loving advice, he prayed to the omnipresent Lord.
Son along with daughter-in-law returned informing that Baba Himself came in his dream, asking him to return to parents, as they were worried and wanting to meet them. With the son affirming his faith in Bhagawan, declaring that, Baba is Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent… it is time for us to prepare ourselves…to see one of the greatest miracles of Bhagawan…Something extra-ordinary in the history of mankind is about to happen…the scene soon changes into celebrations with children singing Badhai Ho…Badhai…celebrating the Divine Advent…
Photos Slideshow 2 – Ashadi Ekadashi 2012
One has to get over his mind, kill his ego and surrender to Bhagawan, so that this one step would bring Bhagawan ten steps closer to him. One has to sit calm and concentrate on his eyebrow-centre, with a focused mind. Maya will make its last bit efforts to drag him into the world of illusion, but once our eye of knowledge opens, veil of illusion will torn asunder helping him facing the Truth…and he is a transformed man, full of love and light…The protagonist transformed into that, pledging to follow the Sai Path…
The presentation was interlaced with colourful dance sequences. At the end of the presentation all the participating children were felicitated with special presentations.
The same theme was presented before Bhagawan during one of His sojourns to the city, years ago.
Bhajans by the Maharashtra & Goa devotees followed before Mangala Arathi at 10:00 hrs. assemblage.
After a colourful Ashadi morning evening turned out to be a devotional affair, with upcoming artist Geet Sagar who shot to fame with X-Factor India, Indian version of the Original UK show, presenting a musical offering at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet. Sagar’s compilation included equal number of familiar tones, bhajans often heard in Prasanthi Nilayam, as against other popular numbers. Accompanied by an array of instrumentalists, the singer often reached a crescendo, lifting the tempo inciting the audience to join the chorus. Some of his numbers for the evening were “Pasupathi Thanaya…”, “Bhaktha Vatsala Thero Naam…”, “Tu Hai Aasmaan Main Teri Yeh Zameen…”, “Hari Naam Gaathe Chalo…”, “Sai Maatha Pithaa Guru Bandhu Sakha…”, “Panduranga Vithale…”. Singing a Qawwali, Moula…Moula…, which the singer admitted as his maiden attempt, Sagar signed off with the famous number, “Sai Baba Bolo…” from the film Shirdi Ke Sai Baba…”
At the end of the presentation, all the artistes were felicitated and group photo was taken. Even as bhajans continued, prasadam was distributed and Mangala Arathi was offered at 1830 hrs.
Earlier, the evening session commenced with Veda chanting by Maharashtra & Goa group of Youth and Bal Vikas.
II Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II