Navarathri Celebrations – Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli – October 3 2016 (Day 3)

Morning Session :

The spiritual fervor and piety of the Navarathri celebrations in Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli continued in to the third day with sacred rituals performed to propitiate Lord Shiva.

Two homas namely Shivapanchakshari Homa and the Maha Mrityunjaya Homa were performed at Sri Sathya Sai Hridaya Mandiram in the morning. A colourful mandalam (rangoli) with the sacred symbol of the Shiva Linga was drawn. Lord Shiva is said to be the embodiment of auspiciousness. As the bestower of life itself, He alone can conquer death. The Maha Mrityunjaya Homa is one of the most effective spiritual ways of healing and rejuvenating anyone one fighting death. By invoking the blessings of Lord Shiva, this homam is said to bestow longevity in life and cure from prolonged illness.

As part of the Shivapanchakshari Homa, the Panchakshari mantra of Namah Shivaya was continuously chanted even as offerings were made into the sacrificial fire. This five syllabled mantra is said to be of great potency. By chanting this mantra with sincerity, one can win the grace of the Lord and attain His proximity.

The Shiva Panchakshari, extracted from the Krishna Yajur Veda, is a very powerful mantra. The base of the Shiva Linga, which is called Panipeetha is the seat of Shakti or Prakruthi and the Linga over it is, is Shiva or Purusha. Hence, the Linga is a culmination of the Prakruthi and Purusha. The Rudra Homa is performed during Navaratri is offered to both the God and Goddess, who together they keep the universe in balance.

Bhagawan arrived at the venue at around 11 AM with the traditional Mangalavadyam being played to welcome Him. As He entered the auditorium, He walked up to inspect the Mandalam.  The Poornahuti was then blessed by Bhagawan and offered into the sacred fire. Agni (fire) is said to be the one who delivers the offerings made to the respective deities. Fire is the symbol of purity and therefore purifies everything that comes into its contact. It also converts the offerings made in the gross form (matter) into the subtle form (energy), which is then easily accepted by the Gods.

Bhagawan then proceeded towards the dais where the Durga Puja was in progress. Chandi paat continued to be read. A special aarthi was then offered to the Divine Mother along with various articles of worship. The aarthi was offered along with the beating of special drums and other percussion instruments by a band of students from the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence. They were also dressed in traditional costumes of the Bengali dhaki players. The sounds of the aarthi and the drums combined to take the entire gathering on a blissful journey, filling everyone with divine vibrations.

The morning’s session came to a close with Aarthi offered to Bhagawan.

Evening session :

The evening proceedings for the day began as soon as Bhagawan arrived at the majestic Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham Hall at around 5 pm. He was welcomed in with the ceremonial Poornakumbham amidst Vedic chants and melodious bhajans. Once Bhagawan had ascended the dais, the formal proceedings for the evening began with vedic invocation by the second year Pre-university students from the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Pre University College, Muddenahalli Campus.

Three speakers were blessed by Bhagawan to address the gathering in the evening. The first speaker was Kumari Prateeksha Aradhya, a second year Pre-University student of the Sri Sathya Sai Prashanti Niketanam, Chikkaballapur Campus. She began her talk by briefly explaining the significance of the third day of Navaratri, before going on to narrate an incident from Swami Vivekananda’s life, when the young Narendra goes to Mother Kali several times trying to pray for his family’s needs. He repeatedly fails in his endeavour because whenever he stands in front of the Mother, he could ask for nothing but spiritual wisdom and enlightenment. Drawing parallels from this story, she said that is it not wise on our part to ask for trivial things from the Lord when we can ask for the Lord Himself. She ended her talk urging everyone to pray to God to take us all completely unto Himself.

The next speaker for the evening was Sri Venkatesh Kamath, Warden, Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence. His simple and amazing talk captured everyone’s hearts. He narrated several incidents from his life, which reinstated his faith that God has always been, is and will always be with us forever. He concluded his speech expressing his heartfelt gratitude to Bhagawan and with a prayer to always serve Him always.

Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, Chief Mentor, Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions, addressed the audience next.  He said that the best way to please Bhagawan would be to follow His instructions without questioning them. He stressed that it is only this kind of faith, surrender and obedience that can redeem us in this journey of life.

Bhagawan then delivered His divine discourse.

The evening session ended with the offering of Arathi to Bhagawan.