Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations – Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli – August 25, 2016

Karshayati Iti Krishna – the one who attracts is Krishna, it is said. Krishna is the embodiment of pure, unsullied Love and it is this that attracts all of His creation to Him. With Bhagawan in the midst of all His devotees and students at the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham, Muddenahalli was verily Brindavan, where all gathered to catch a glimpse of their Sai Kanhaiya! The festival of Sri Krishna Janmashtami was celebrated here at Sathya Sai Grama on 25 August 2016 with utmost fervor and joy.

Devotees and students had assembled at the magnificent hall to celebrate the advent of the Lord who took the form of Sri Krishna about 5,000 years ago. Bhagawan arrived at the venue at about 6.15 PM. As He alighted the car at the entrance, cows and calves from the Sri Sai Sudha Goshala stood bedecked in all their finery, ready to welcome their Lord. Every cow was profusely blessed by feeding bananas. A couple of rabbits too that were introduced to Bhagawan were feasted to carrots. After blessing all the students who had turned Gopalas for the special occasion, Swami proceeded towards the hall. He was ushered in with the traditional Poornakumbam and Vedic chants by the students as the Nadaswaram merrily announced of Sai Krishna’s arrival. As Bhagawan walked down the aisle, showering His grace on everybody gathered, melodious bhajans were rendered by students.

Once Bhagawan ascended the dais, the evening’s programme began with a couple of talks. The first speaker was Sri Sai Preetham, pursuing his final year Bachelor of Arts, at the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence, Muddenahalli. Recounting an incident through which Bhagawan taught the importance of discipline, he explained how deeply Swami Himself is affected by how we conduct ourselves. During the course of his talk, Sri Preetham also quoted Sudhama’s description of Sri Krishna as the very embodiment of love itself and equated it to Bhagawan’s love that we are all lucky to be showered with.

The second speaker was Dr. G V Prabhakar Rao, an alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology- Madras and former staff member at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prashanthi Nilayam. He currently serves as the Director of Sai Society for Advanced Scientific Research at Muddenahalli. Sri Prabhakar Rao spoke on a book titled- ‘’The Light Shall Set You Free’’. He related a couple of prophesies made years ago on the spiritual evolution of human beings on earth and went on state that those observations were actually fructifying today in conjunction with Swami’s mission of transforming human hearts. He stressed the importance of three basic requisites for this phenomenon- to have an open mind and accept every change as the Divine will, to participate selflessly in Seva without any expectations and lastly to offer every act to the Divine.

The third speaker for the evening was Sri BN Narasimhamurthy, Chief Mentor of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions. He began by congratulating the students of the Sri Sathya Sai Prashanthi Niketanam, Pre-University College for girls, Chikkaballapur, for their splendid, heart-warming programme they had presented before Bhagawan during His visit to the campus earlier in the morning. He went on to remark that the love Lord Sri Krishna showered on His devotees was exactly the same as devotees experience today from Bhagawan, with the change in yuga being the only differentiator. He concluded by quoting a stanza from the Bhagawad Geetha wherein the Lord explains the qualities in a devotee which make one dear to God. Following this, Bhagawan then delivered His Janmashtami message for one and all.

After a short break, the evening’s programme resumed with a musical presentation. A rendition of classical carnatic kritis was performed by Sri Kumaresh Rajagopalan on the violin along with his wife Dr Jayanti Kumaresh on the Saraswathi Veena. They were both child prodigies who began playing their instruments very early. Today, they are undoubtedly among the finest artists who captivate audience the world over with their finesse and expertise.

They began their concert with a Tyagaraja Kriti- Rama Ninnu Nammina in Mohana ragam, which is considered to be the favourite raga of Lord Sri Krishna. The next was Raaga Pravaham, one of their compositions in Naatai raagam celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna. Yaare Rangana Yaara Krishnana, a keerthana by Sri Purandaradasa in raaga Hindolam was offered next along with a Swarakalpana -improvisations on the same raga. A Raagamalika with raagas Behag, Hamsanandi, Gowla, Varali, Aarabhi, Sri, Bahudari, among others followed next. There was also a solo number by the accompanying percussionists Sri Tumkur B Ravishankar on the Mridangam and Trichy Krishnaswamy on the Ghatam.

Being thoroughly enchanted, Bhagawan then profusely blessed all the artists with tokens of His love. The evening’s programme concluded with Aarthi being offered to Swami. Prasadam was distributed to everybody.