Wednesday, October 14 – Evening: Swami arrived at the venue around 5pm amidst soulful bhajans. The proceedings for the evening commenced with veda chanting by the girls of Prashanthi Bala Mandira PU College. Swami was proud of their chanting and blessed them with padanamaskar.
Sri Badri Narayanan took stage thereafter to share his insights on the Bhagawatam (part of the nine day series). Swami specifically asked him to narrate stories from Bhagawatam that would appeal to children and Sri Badri promptly chose the story of Prahlada. In his inimitable style, the lucid narrative of Prahalada’s single pointed devotion made the already well known story, all the more touching. At the tender age of five, Prahlada was crowned the Bhaktha Samrajya Chakravarthi by the Lord Himself!
A musical offering by the ladies music group was next on the agenda. Four songs were presented at the Divine Lotus Feet. The Telugu renditions brought back memories of Swami in the physical form and were truly heart warming.
The speaker for the evening was Prof Nanjunda Dixit, the Chief Priest officiating the Athi Rudra Maha Yagna (ARMY). This is his ninth Athi Rudra Maha Yagna, the third in the Divine Presence of Bhagawan. He recalled the moment when Swami exclusively spoke to about 137 priests in Prasanthi Mandir for about two hours during the yagna in Prasanthi Nilayam. He spoke vividly about the significance of the yagna in kannada.
Swami then delivered his Divine message for the day.
Summary of Divine Discourse
Man is able to conquer external victories; but is he able to go at least one inch inside himself? Giving up things which are eternal, he is utilising all his energy going after things outside which are transient. The root cause of all ignorance is body consciousness. When one thinks he is this body and mind, he is subjected to the misery of pursuing things in the external world.
When you listen to the cry of the new-born babies, we listen to the word ‘Koham’ which means ‘Who am I?’ We keep telling the child this is your body, this is your family, all kinds of untruth and make the child believe that this is the truth. But all the time, God cautions man through his inhalation and exhalation. God gives the answer to the question, ‘Who am I’ – you are ‘Soham’ – ‘I am He’. The truth is – ‘you are not the body, body is yours; you are not the mind, the mind is yours; you are the Atma’.
Tell me your company, I will tell you what you are, the popular adage goes. If you are in the company of the fools, you will also become a fool. Therefore, we should get into the company of scholars and sacred people. God comes down as an Avatar or an incarnation and reminds human beings that they are also divine. There is only one atma which resides in the hearts of all beings. All that you see, all that you do is divine. As is the feeling, so is the reality. When you have good company, you also develop good thoughts. Therefore the ABC of life is Avoid Bad Company. Always Be Careful. If you are always careful, you will Always Be Cheerful. From good company, you develop detachment. And from detachment you give up bondage to the world. You will become steady in your mind. From there you gain liberation. It is not enough if you listen to what happens in good company. It is necessary that you contemplate on what you have heard, practise and then experience it.
Whether it is the Athi Rudra Maha Yajnam or Navarathri Homam or Durga Puja, all of them are responsible for giving you good company. When all the five senses are focussed on this program, they also merge into divinity. ‘Shabda’ or sound is listening. You are listening to the sound of veda chanting and the Bhagavatham exposition. Touch or ‘Sparsha’ means the kind of offerings you put into the fire or the act of offering your salutation (namaskar), or prostrating before God. Seeing such a wonderful, sacred, beautiful yajna is itself the vision. ‘Rasa’ means tasting – enjoying the sweetness of bhakthi or devotion. Smell, or ‘Gandha’, the fragrance that arises in the yajna also gets into our body and purifies our body and mind. When you get into a yajna, all the five senses get purified and become sanctified because all the focus is on the divinity.
Wherever the body is, the mind and heart should be – that is concentration. From concentration you go to contemplation – ‘mananam’. And finally we go from contemplation to meditation – ‘nidhidhyasana’. When you make your mind steady and pure, only then can you see God. We are arranging this programme so that you get rid of attachments and develop devotion. There are eleven Rudras – ten senses and one mind together. We have to offer all this into the sacred fire of the Ekadasha Rudra yajna. Only then can we develop divine consciousness and get rid of body consciousness.
Realise that – the one who is offering is Brahma, the offering itself is Brahma, the sacrificial fire is also Brahma; the one who enjoys this is also Brahma – everything is God.
After filling every heart with joy, Swami retired for the day.
Watch the proceedings below: