Grama Seva 2012 Starts.. and other Prashanti Updates
Om Sairam dearest Sai Family
With pranams at the Lotus feet of our beloved Bhagawan, wishing all dear sisters and brothers a very happy “Navarathri” (nine divine nights).
During Navaratri, we invoke the energy aspect of God in the form of the universal mother, commonly referred to as “Durga,” which literally means the
remover of miseries of life. She is also referred to as “Devi” (goddess) or “Shakti” (energy or power). Truly speaking, our worship of Shakti re-
confirms the scientific theory that energy is imperishable. It cannot be created or destroyed. It is always there.
The first day of “Navarathri” in Prashanthi Nilayam started with Veda chantings and also “Kalasa Stapana” inside the Bhajan Mandir… Kalasa Stapana
or Ghat Sthapana is the initiation of Durga Pooja during Durga Navratri. Kalash sthapana is performed on the next day to Mahalaya
Amavasya or on First day (Padyami / Prathami) during Durga puja.
GRAMA SEVA 2012 STARTS:
The most prestigious project started by Swami, when He decided to deliver the “blessings” right to the door step, started today at 7:30 am when all the students of Swami’s different campuses circumambulated the Sanctum sanctorium before leaving for the villages. The Grama Seva started by Swami has been a “bench mark” for all of us to teach us the real meaning of seva. This also gave a beautiful opportunity to the students and those stinkingly rich people, to have the first hand experience of poverty in the villages and stop complaining about any short comings at home. This would definitely help the students to plan their career with seva as priority. The Grama Seva designed by Swami has also inspired millions of Sai devotees and even non-devotees to start such projects in their localities, which are being highly appreciated by the respective local governments.
This year’s Grama Seva would be covering 153 villages of Puttaparthi, Kothacheruvu and Bukkapatnam mandals. An estimated half a million food packets would be supplied in a span of 9 days along with Dhothi, Saree for each house of the beneficiary village irrespective of the financial position of the receiver. Even to this day, there are so many requests coming from various villages to add their villages under the Grama Seva. The whole concept of Bhagawan’s grama seva is to teach us how we can make our fellow brothers and sisters happy by giving any little thing that we can afford.
For all the blessed ones living in and around Puttaparthi, it is sheer great fortune that we are blessed to receive prasadam directly from the Divine. Every house hold in and around Puttaparthi eagerly wait for Swami’s Prasadam to be delivered at the door step. Even those that have migrated for work to cities like Bangalore, Mumbai etc, come home during this time of the year to receive the Prasadam from Swami. For the poor and innocent villagers this “gift” from Swami is a “priceless” one and they treasure it for life..The new pair of clothes coming just before Dasara festival is just icing on the cake.
A group of 23 youths from the UK are also here to take part in Grama seva. The UK youths headed by Sri.Ajith Poppat, who was rightly called as PUPPET by the DIVINE PUPPETEER , our beloved Lord, are the only “non-student” community who are blessed by Swami to take part in Grama seva. For these youths from the UK it is a real “cultural and economic shock” to have the first hand insight of conditions of Indian villages. Out of the 23 Youths, 13 of them are here for the first time to take part in grama seva
VEDA CHANTING BY EUROPEAN DEVOTEES:
This evening’s veda chanting was lead by the devotees of five European countries, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia and it was nice to see the devotees from overseas chant vedas with perfect diction and unison. It would have definitely made Swami very happy watching those 40 or so devotees chanting vedas in a language which is completely unknown to them. The Veda chanting was later followed by a beautiful and highly inspiring talk by Mr.Puppet from the UK.
Many of us would know how many times He was blessed to speak in the divine presence in the past and listening to him talk was just mind blowing. His style of blending English and Hindi words in his talk is very unique. Mr.Puppet spoke on Be Quiet, Be Quick and Be ready to Quit. He in his wonderful style, asked the devotees to be ever ready to follow Swami’s command even if it were to lose one’s own position. He said, if the time has come to quit your position in your samithis or in the organisation, you do so, so that younger generation would get the chance. He also said we are merely confining Swami to words of appreciation. Quoting an example of a newly married couple, where the husband starts praising the wife using the English Alphabets like you are ABC, Amazing, Beautiful, Charming and so on and when the wife asks what “I” stands for the husband replies, “I” is just kidding.
We address Swami as Prema Swaroopa, Loving God etc but all come from the mouth and not from the heart.
On a personal note, Mr.Puppet who is ailing from Cancer, said last year when he came with the boys for Grama Seva, he thought, he would not come back this year. He even gave up the chemo therapies that needed to be done for a speedy recovery but instead preferred to leave it in the safe hands of the Divine Doctor our beloved Lord. There were so many dampened eyes while he was narrating this episode of his ill-health and how he is successfully bearing the excruciating pain chanting and carrying Swami in his heart.. He said it is sheer Swami’s grace that he is standing in the sanctum sanctorium of Prashanthi Nilayam in spite of being warned by the doctors not to travel to India.. As the whole evening’s proceedings were shown live on the big screen every time Mr.Puppet broke down, the devotees became equally emotional. Very rarely such phenomenon happens where the audience shed tears feeling the love the speaker has on Swami.
He ended his 30 minutes talk with offering pranams to Swami and letting us do three JAI kars.
The bhajans followed and Mangala Arathi was offered to Swami around 6:10 pm.
Tomorrow (October 17, 2012), after the second day of Grama Seva, the Sai Kulwanth hall will witness yet another Sitar presentation by Sister Roopa Panesar of the UK who extended her stay in Prashanthi. As we all remember she performed on October 11th and it would be a treat especially to the students of all campuses who missed her performance on the 11th Ocotber. Her performance will be followed by bhajans from the UK group.
For daily photos and reports on Gramaseva 2012, please click the following link
With Pranams at the Lotus feet of our beloved Lord,
Thanks to R.Satish Naik for this update