Morning Session :
The Navrathri festivities and celebrations proceeded with an unabated spirit and zest into its sixth day in Muddenahalli. Devotees assembled at Sai Hridaya Mandiram to seek blessings from Mother Lalitha.
The Lalitha Homa was performed in the morning, and was symbolically represented by a Shri Chakra Rangoli drawn with great symmetry using striking colours. As one gazed from the centre to the periphery of the Shri Chakra, it was highlighted that the single dot at the centre (bindu) represented the Mother. Followed by triangle and octagon shapes respectively, the adjacent two rounds of fully open lotus petals, and the demarcations shown by circles, highlighted the needs to move from worldliness (outward spheres) to the realisation of inner self (inner dot).
Gold though precious is impure in its raw form. It’s only when refined does it become pure. Similarly, man too needs to refine himself, from his nature with follies to a purer state of his original self. On this auspicious day, prayers to the primordial Adi Shakti, Sri Lalitha Parameshwari is offered to ask for help with such a progress in life. The Lalitha Homa is conducted to earn wisdom.
After the Durga Aarthi, Bhagawan graciously distributed saris to the ladies, and the morning session concluded with the Mangala Aarthi.
Evening Session :
The evening session commenced with Bhagawan’s arrival at the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham Hall. The formal proceedings began with Vedic chants by the students from the Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Niketanam campus, Gulbarga .
The first speaker for the evening was Sri Yuvasupreet Reddy, a grade nine student in the Bhagawan’s school in Muddenahalli. He spoke very beautifully, comparing the love of Swami to that of a thousand mothers, and shared many inspirational accounts of the Lord’s interactions with His devotees. He also noted that Swami’s love was not limited to human beings alone. It embraced animals and inanimate objects too.
The next speaker was Kumari Chandana Nagaraj, a second year student in Prasanthi Niketanam PU College, Chikkaballapur. She began her talk by explaining the significance of the sixth day of Navaratri, which is dedicated to Goddess Kathyayini, one of the manifestations of Goddess Durga. Drawing inferences from a vision that Swami had bestowed upon her, she stated that Godess Durga, often misunderstood as a fiery deity, is an epitome of love, who dons a fiery appearance in order to destroy the evil.
Bhagawan, on this sublime evening, had also asked for two speakers from the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital in Naya Raipur to address the gathering. The first speech of the two was by Dr Ashish Katewa, the Head of the Department of Paediatric Cardiac Surgery. Dr Ashish has successfully completed over a thousand operations on little hearts within a short span of one year in the hospital, performing surgeries from 7 AM to 11PM! On Bhagawan’s command, he shared some of the statistics and information about the nature of work being undertaken at the hospital in Raipur. He explained that congenital heart diseases were the cause of 10 per cent of infant deaths in the country. Most families are either unable to afford such an expensive surgery or end up taking a large sum as debt, which compromises the future of the family. He proudly thundered that in these circumstances, Bhagawan’s hospital is providing free healthcare and performing round the clock surgeries with the sole purpose of spreading love! He shared that it was this facet of Bhagawan that attracted him the most and drew him to the Lord.
Sri C Srinivas, Chairman of the Sri Sathya Sai Health and Education Trust, was the next speaker. Sri Srinivas was instrumental in setting up the super speciality hospitals in Prasanthi Nilayam, Bangalore and Raipur. He aptly compared Bhagawan to the heartbeat that continually beats within each of our hearts. Explaining the significance of the Sri Chakra, he stated that the universe in constantly driving every species, right from the moment of its advent, towards the state of eternal oneness with its creator, culturing and refining it along the way. He urged the audience to revere, respect and relish every moment that is spent in the vicinity of the divine.
These enriching talks were followed by the exposition of the Bhagawad Geetha, also known as the ‘Geetha Saptaha’, by Sri Badri Narayanan, an alumnus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prashanti Nilayam Campus. He presented that the world has never, externally in its appearance, enjoyed complete peace. “Krishna, in the Geetha, explains to Arjuna that it is not possible to find lasting peace in the world. Creation, being a reflection of the eternal, though permanent, continuously changes its appearance and one who seeks joy in the transient appearance can never truly achieve it. The existence of the universe is a reality but its appearance is falsehood. Understanding this primary truth is essential to find peace.” He concluded his session explaining that the fundamental and only important goal of life was to realise the oneness of God and His infinite appearances.
Bhagawan then delivered His Divine Discourse.
The evening session concluded with a cultural presentation of songs by the students and old students of Bhagawan’s various educational institutions. These individual songs formed a beautiful garland that was offered at the feet of the Lord. The final presentation of the night was a medley of songs and bhajans by the Muddenahalli Brass Band. The evening session came to a close with Arathi being offered to Bhagawan.