The whole ambience of the Muddenahalli Ashram was charged with the Homas and the ritualistic offerings that marked the mornings from the last one week.
But with the beginning of the Maha Rudra Homam from today, the energy shift was even more palpable. The morning started with the bringing of the Hiranyagarbha Lingam from the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham Hall to the Yagna Shaala with utmost reverence and respect. This was followed by various other rituals such as Aruna Parayanam, Mahanyasa, Ganapathy Pooja, Punyaham etc.
Bhagawan arrived at the Hridaya Mandiram around 11 AM, post which e the proceedings began by offering salutations to the Gruha Nayaka. Poornahuti was performed by offering a pink saree to the sacred fire.
The Navagraha Homa and the Shani Shanthi Homa were performed on the Ashtami Day. These Homas were performed as an obeisance to the Rudra Parameswara, who is imminent in water, in all herbs, is all pervading.
In nature, there are various kinds of flowers. Among them, while some reach the Lotus Feet and find fulfillment, others are utilised for decorative purposes, as medicines and some bloom and get worn out on the plant itself. Likewise, there are some human beings who are very helpful to society while some are destructive.
Science of Astrology delves into the depths of portraying the extent of influence of the nine planets on different aspects of human nature. Even between Yugas, from Krita to Treta to Kali, it has been observed that there is a startling difference between the good and the bad. It is the potential influence of planets that help make a man good or bad. Since there is close relationship between the planets and our mind, body and intellect, the Navagraha Homa was performed for the planets to have their good influence on us.
When the topic of the influence of Krishna Griha was explained last year during the Dussehra celebrations, Bhagawan had specifically mentioned that with Krishna’s Grace, there would not be any negative influence of these planets on us.
Praying to Bhagawan for the uplift of our physical and spiritual self, the Navarathri Homa celebrations for day eight came to a close.
The Mahishasura Mardhini Stotram was then chanted as a part of the Durga Puja Celebrations while the Dhaakis and the other drums added to the tempo. After Arthi, Bhagawan proceeded towards the Yaga Shaala, where the devotees were waiting for the Rudra Homa celebrations.
Rudram was chanted and a lot of sacred hymns all in praise of Lord Shiva were sung as per tenets of the Maha Rudra Yagnam.A lot of devotees and students joined the priests as they chanted the Rudram. After the Ashta Avardhana was offered to Lingam, Aarathi was offered to Bhagawan, bringing the morning session to a close.
The evening session commenced after Bhagawan arrived at the tastefully decorated Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham auditorium led by traditional Poornakumbham and Nadaswara Vadana.
The first presentation for the evening was the recital of the Sri Rudram by the children from Sri Sathya Sai Sathya Niketanam, Hassan campus. Though the school had opened for admissions from July 2016 onwards only, the chanting by the students – the eldest among them no more than twelve years old – was immaculate and belied inexperience.
The first speaker, who was blessed to address the gathering on this auspicious evening, was Sri Nanjunda Dixit. A priest who hails from a long lineage of priesthood, Sri Dixit has performed several Yagnas in the divine presence, including the Athi Rudra Maha Yagna in Puttaparthi, Chennai and Muddenahalli. In his speech, he expounded on the significance of the Vedas and their relevance to present day. He went on to explain that the Vedas contain within themselves the foundation for all the activities of temples, including their structure and architecture. He also clarified that it is a misconception that the Vedas can only be learnt by select individuals. It was the eternal truth that is beyond the man-made distinctions of race, creed, cast and colour, he explained.
The next programme was the much-awaited exposition of the Bhagawad Geetha by Sri Badri Narayanan. Sri Badri began by saying that no matter what language is used to deliver the talk, the message of the Geetha is a communication of the heart as the heart alone can understand and relate to it. “The Geetha points one in the direction of the ever present consciousness by turning the focus inwards, where the Atma is constantly declaring its presence. Lord Krishna, in the Geetha, mentions that there is nothing that He needs to do, however he continues to be involved in performing action without any sense of doer-ship.” He then went on beautifully explain how all talks on the Geetha are like secrets placed within a locked box, to which bhakti or devotion is the key that can open it. “It is only when one listens to the narrative with complete and utmost devotion in the heart that one can truly appreciate the Geetha”, he ended.
The third and final speaker for the evening was Sri B.N Narasimha Murthy, Chief Mentor, Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust. Sri Narasimha Murthy, on Bhagawan’s command, briefly spoke about the ongoing Dussehra celebrations in Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli. He described the significance of the activities of the past days and what was to be expected in the days to come. He also spoke of the sacred vibration that one can soak in by simply choosing to be present in such a pristine atmosphere.
Sri Narasimha Murthy’s talk was followed by the divine discourse.
The final event for the evening was a musical extravaganza by renowned Mandolin exponent and brother of the late Mandolin U Srinivas, Sri U Rajesh. Sri Rajesh has been nominated for a Grammy award and has performed alongside the greatest connoisseurs of music. The concert, predominantly classical in nature, included specifically chosen songs and bhajans that were dearest to the Lord. The evening came to a close with Arathi being offered to Bhagawan.