Annual Sports and Cultural Meet 2016 – Day 3 (Evening session) – January 28, 2016

The last two evening sessions of the Sri Sathya Sai Sports and Cultural Meet 2016 were a spiritual melting pot, with inspiring speeches and insightful enactment of dramas.  The evening session on the third day, was no different.
Bhagawan arrived at the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham auditorium at 6.30pm. Vedic chants, Poorna Khumbam and mellifluous bhajans welcomed the Lord into the auditorium. The evening session began with the invocation by grade six students of the Sri Sathya Sai Prema Niketanam, Bijapur campus, Karnataka State.

Knowledge and education is necessary for each one of us.  But there is certainly more to this. We need a lighthouse that gives direction and purpose to our life. Bhagawan, the divine beacon and source of all knowledge, continues to guide us through our journey of life. Swami’s Teachings and personal experiences connected with His Teachings, have always been endearing and inspiring to read.

The Sri Sathya Sai Uvacha series is a compilation of the word of the Lord, a compilation of discourses in His subtle form. The first Volume, in both Kannada & English, was released in 2014 during the auspicious occasion of Bhagawan’s 89th birthday. Since then two more volumes of the English edition have been released. These books serve as guiding lights, helping devotees from around the globe to reconnect with their Bhagawan, and have seen widespread circulation.

The second volume of the Sri Sathya Sai Uvacha kannada edition, was offered at the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan.  The volume contains 20 selected discourses that were delivered by Bhagawan between August 21, 2014 to November 1, 2014. Also included in the book are five articles written by His ardent devotees.

While Sri Issac Tigrett and his committed global team have ensured the purity and integrity is maintained while transposing the Lords words into these books in English, in the context of the Kannada edition, this onerous task has been taken on by Sri Anantha Murthy and his devout wife Smt Chaya Murthy.

This blessed couple have been doing yoeman’s service in Swami’s mission having dedicated their lives to Him. Together, they have worked on over 17 book projects – translation of Bhagawan’s literature from English to Kannada. Some of these include – Sri Sathya Sai Divya Kripasharaya, Thapovanam, Sathyam Shivam Sundaram volumes V and VI, amongst many others. Sri Anantha Murthy is currently serving as the Chaiman and Principal of the Mandya campus and Smt Chaya Murthy who is fondly referred to by Bhagawan as Guru Mata, teaches kannada to the children.

Where Culture meets Tradition
The day’s cultural presentation was a Yakshagana performance by students of the Alike campus. Yakshagana is a traditional dance form of Karnataka, wherein stories and anecdotes from Indian mythology are depicted. It is a synthesis of skill, colours, costumes, dialogue, music, dance and make-up.
The performances which were vigorous at times, at times displayed subtle expressions of emotion. It is a testimony to the fact that folk traditions like the ‘Yakshagana’ have and will continue to foster and uphold our ancient traditions of story telling and the rich repositories of stories.

The evening’s performance also saw the skilled rendition by Sri Girish Rai, the Bhagawata (singer who narrates the story being enacted) who enthralled the audience with his singing straddling a wide range in pitch. The emotive performances by the lead actors playing Sri Rama and Bharatha, moved the audience a great deal.

Titled ‘Bharathagamana….Sri Rama Pattabhisheka’ – The arrival of Bharatha and the Coronation of Lord Rama. The scene was set at Kekaya, where Bharata and Shatrugna were staying, completely unaware of Lord Rama’s exile and King Dasaratha’s death. Bharatha gets a nightmare, a bad dream and informs his brother Shatrugna. Both feel restless and deeply concerned, they decide to go to Ayodhya.

Upon seeing Ayodhya in a gloom on their arrival, they head straight to see their father Kind Dasaratha. On reaching the palace, they hear of the sad news of the untimely demise from Raja Guru, Sage Vasishta. Both the brothers were furious to hear that it was Kaikeyi and Manthara who were responsible for such a condition to Ayodhya.

After performing the last rites of King Dasharatha, Bharatha travels with his army to bring back Lord Rama to Ayodhya. Lord Rama and his team are having a pleasant stay in Chitrakuta, and suddenly they notice an army marching towards them. Lord Rama asks Lakshmana to find out what is happening.  Lakshmana is angry at seeing the army that is coming under the flag of Ayodhya, and thinks that Bharata is coming to destroy them.

Bharata finally reaches the residence of Rama in Chitrakuta, and tells Lord Rama about the happenings after he left, the demise of his father.  Rama is sorrow struck knowing the death of Dasaratha.

Kaikeyi who realizes her mistake, seeks pardon from Sri Rama and requests him to return to Ayodhya. Bharatha also persuades Lord Rama to be the ruler of Ayodhya.

Lord Rama preaches to Bharatha – “Pithru Vakya, Puthra Dharma” – “The words of a father should be followed by his children.” So he tells Bharatham that he will return to Ayodhya only after 14 years.

Bharatha then requests Lord Rama to hand over his Paduka (footwear) as his representation on the throne of Ayodhya. He persuades Lord Rama to ascend the throne and expresses his intense love for his brother by saying that he would wear only Khadi clothes and stay an ascetic in Nandi Grama, until Sri Rama returns to Ayodhya, and rules the Kingdom.

Lord Rama moves to Panchvati thereafter with Sita and Lakshmana. He slays Ravana in Lanka and decides to return to Ayodhya.

Vibhishana, Ravana’s brother, who was completely devoted to Lord Rama, urges him to rule over Suvarna Lanka. But, Lord Rama refuses by saying, “Janani Janma Bhoomischa, Swargadapi Gariyasi”, which means that “Mother and motherland are greater than heaven.” Vibhishana requests Lord Rama to return to Ayodhya by Pushpaka Vimana, a flying chariot.

Sugriva, the younger brother of Vali, who helped Lord Rama in his quest to liberate Mother Sita from Ravana, along with his army of monkeys submits to see Lord Rama’s coronation, and proceedes to Ayodhya.

Lord Rama returns to Ayodhya and Hanuman arrives in Nandi Grama, to inform about the Lord’s arrival to Bharatha. Bharatha receives the Lord with much love and adoration. The wishes of the residents of Ayodhya are fulfilled, when Lord Rama ascends the throne and coronated, amidst much fanfare and celebrations!

The evening ended with Bhagawan blessing the entire troupe with tokens of His love. Aarthi was offered and prasadam was distributed to everybody.