Morning Session :
The Navarathri celebrations at Sai Hridaya Mandiram, Muddenahalli continued with great fervor and devotion on the fifth day, which is dedicated to the worship of the goddess Skandamata. It is believed that praying to the goddess Skandamata secures blessing for the devotee not only from the Mother, but from her son Lord Karthikeya as well.
The entire setting was uplifting, with the vedic chants in the background amidst the glowing of the sacred red fire and the rhythmic beats of the instruments. Two yagnas were conducted in the morning – one for Health (Arogya) and another for Wealth (Bhagya), as man needs both health and wealth to survive on earth.
Often, due to lack of a disciplined life style or due to natural calamities, man loses his good health. So, through this yaga, one prays to Lord Dhanvantri, the divine doctor, who possesses the urn of divine ambrosia, to grant freedom from physical and mental illnesses. Prayers are also offered to the Lord to get rid of the Bhava Roga, the worldly problems that one faces because of the cycle of birth and death.
After the homa ceremony got over, the Durga Aarthi was performed. Bhagawan went to the pedestal and blessed the priest and the Dhakis before they commenced the aarthi. He then waited for the enchanting ritual to get over and once again blessed the priest who had performed his soulful dance for the Lord. The morning session ended after the offering of Aarthi to Bhagawan.
Evening session :
The evening session began with mellifluous bhajans that welcomed Bhagawan as He entered the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham Hall. Before the Vedic invocation, Bhagawan commanded sister Bhuvana Santhanam to share with the audience His message about the various forms of Goddess Durga that are worshipped during the nine days of Navaratri. Sister Bhuvana shared Bhagawan’s message in which He urged everyone to worship the force behind the various forms of Durga and not any of the outer forms. “Just as the same electricity generates light from a bulb, heat from an oven and cool air from an air conditioner, the same divine force incarnated on several occasions, in several forms, each serving a specific purpose at that point in time. Therefore, it would be foolhardy to consider one of the forms to be superior and worship the form rather than its divine energy.”
The first speaker for the evening was Kumari Jyothsna, a second year pre-university student at Prashanthi Bala Mandir, Chikkaballapur Campus. Through her various experiences, she highlighted how Bhagawan is the true source of everyone’s strength. She urged the audience to draw strength from that source and serve everyone. The next talk was by Sri Nagathihalli Ramesh, a poet who has also been serving as the Editor, Printer and Publisher of a Kannada magazine. Sri Ramesh, while expressing his gratitude to Bhagawan and Sri Madiyal Narayan Bhat, extolled the humanitarian works being undertaken to serve the entire state and nation. He made a keen observation that Bhagawan always took up residence in places where there was shortage of water and brought with Him an ocean of love that parched not only thirsty bodies but souls as well.
The two talks were followed by Sri Badri Narayanan’s exposition of the Bhagawad Geetha, as a part of the ‘Geetha Saptaha’. Sri Badri illuminated that the only true doer was Lord Krishna, who in response to Arjuna’s question about His identity had responded by saying that He was time, unbounded and galloping away, swallowing the universe within Himself. Krishna, in the Bhagawad Geetha, goes on to say that unless one realises the reality of the self, the entire purpose of life is wasted. Just as all the blades of grass have interconnected, common roots beneath the soil, so too many individualities or reflections arise from the same source. The Upanishads expound that the only truth worth knowing is the truth of the common thread of life that manifests itself in various forms and shapes and colours.
The exposition of the Geetha was followed by Bhagawan’s Divine Discourse.
The last programme for the evening was a musical offering by Smt. Bombay Jayashri, an Academy Award nominee, Indian Carnatic music vocalist and composer. She enthralled the audience with her soulful renditions on Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva. The evening session concluded with the offering of Arathi to Bhagawan.