Morning Session :
The ritualistic worship of the Gods and Goddesses commences every day in the early hours of morning and gain momentum from 8 AM onwards as the various Homas begin. Each day of the Navarathri Homa, the myriad patterns of the rangoli, made on the ground, comprising perfect shapes that are painstakingly drawn to precision drew much attention too, These rangolis, as the priest would explain every day, were representations of the energy source of the many Gods and Goddesses.
On a daily basis, goddess Shri Lalitha, representing the Sri Chakra, was worshipped followed by the other ritualistic worship and prayers.
Amidst the grandeur of the Naadaswaram, and the resonating beats of the Dhaakis, Bhagawan arrived at Hridaya Mandiram at 11 AM. The Chief Priest took the blessings of Bhagawan before beginning with the proceedings. They started with a prayer that was repeated by the devotees and students seated inside and outside the Hall.
The Homas that were performed on the seventh day were Saraswathi Homa and Medha Dakshinamoorthy Homa. This day was also the first day of commencement of the last three days of Dussehera – the first three days were dedicated for the worship of Goddess Maha Kali, the next three days for Maha Lakshmi and the last three for the worship of Maha Saraswathi. Saraswathi Homa and Medha Dakshinamoorthy Homas had a unique reason for being combined. It was explained that just as nutritious food is important for the body (that gets transformed as intelligence), Satsangs, listening to Divine Discourses are crucial nutrition for the mind. And therefore, it is necessary to have a blend of Vidya (wisdom) and the power of discrimination without which all the knowledge is useless.
Appropriate utilisation of the mental power can lead to Dhaarana Shakti or retention power. Under right conditions, mass can be converted to energy. When there is proper utilisation of this energy for the betterment of society, it can even lead to the making of saints, missionaries who can enlighten the world. Despite relentless efforts of great scientists and sages for the human development, the results are not reflecting this day due to the lack of discrimination in utilising the knowledge. Hence, it is imperative that knowledge, intelligence go along with discrimination for the best outcomes.
The day was also earmarked for Kanya Pooja and Suhasini Pooja, when young girls under 8 years and married women are worshipped as the embodiments of the Goddess herself. With Bhagawan’s blessings, these were performed with a lot of devotion and sincerity, seeking the blessings of the Goddess, the Mother of all the beings on this planet. The Poornahuthi followed after which Bhagawan went to bless the Durga Pooja Celebrations.
The Durga Arathi followed next. The morning’s programme ended with the Mangala Arathi.
Evening Session :
Bhagawan arrived at the magnificent Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham hall and was greeted by the powerful Vedic chants and melodious bhajans in the background.
The evening session began with a speech by Master Sonu Kumar, second year Science student from the pre-University college in Muddenahalli. He spoke with great confidence, and shared his experiences with Bhagawan in God’s own language, Sanskrit.
The next speaker for the evening was Dr. K.P Sai Leela, Chairperson of all the girl campuses, Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions. She shared with the gathering about how her mother encouraged her to submit to Bhagawan at a young age and how she gradually realised that by accepting the Goddesses, Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi as one’s own mother, one can attain the level of oneness. Citing examples from the lives of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the great Shri Kalidasa and complementing it with her own experiences with Bhagawan, she brought to light how Bhagawan’s love for everyone surpasses the love of even a thousand mothers. Subsequent to her talk, it was announced that Dr K.P Sai Leela has been inducted as a Trustee of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust.
The talks was followed by the eagerly-awaited exposition of Bhagawat Geeta by Sri Badri Narayanan. He spoke about ‘Atma Vidya’ or ‘Mind Control’, which says that one should realise that they are God and that can be achieved through ‘Pariprashna’ (questioning). He explained that the Guru has the vital place in one’s life as He is the one who will reveal the glimpse of this Truth. “One should sustain this level of happiness that is acquired from this revelation. By constantly keeping the thought within ourselves that we are the embodiments of perfection, we should correct ourselves and get on to path of perfection. In order to achieve this state of bliss Lord Krishna beautifully explained to Arjuna in the 6th chapter of Bhagawad Geeta that with constant practice one should develop love for God and surrender to Him totally.
Sri B.N Narasimha Murthy, Chief Mentor of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions spoke next. His speech was followed by the Divine Discourse.
In the middle of His discourse, Bhagawan spoke about the students of newly-inaugurated Sri Sathya Sai school in Hassan. The school was set up in a record time after Bhagawan announced His intention of starting one in Hassan last year during Navarathri. Bhagawan asked the students of the school to chant Rudram and the children did so with a rhythmic unison that comes with years of practice!
The cultural programmes for the evening followed next. The first presentation was by Sangeet Bharatiya Institute of Arts, Vijayanagara, Bengaluru. This team presented a Bharatanatyam performance on Lord Ganesha and Goddess Devi.
Next was a performance by Sri Dimitris Lambrianos, an outstanding musician, who offered Sai Bhajans, Greek songs and Latin Jazz as his musical offering to Bhagawan.
The evening session ended with the offering of Arathi to Bhagawan.