The festival of Ugadi marks the onset of spring, ushering in new life in the flora around, conferring prosperity, peace and joy. Derived from the words Yuga and Aadhi, this day marks the beginning of a new age, a new era.
While the day is marked and celebrated as Ugadi in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, it is ushered in as Gudi Paadwa in Maharashtra, Chethi Chand by the Sindhis and Thapna for the Marwaris of Rajasthan. Interestingly it is celebrated as Nyepi or the beginning of the New Year by the Hindus of Indonesia and Bali as well.
On this holy and auspicious occasion of Chandramana Ugadi, devotees from far and wide had gathered at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli to celebrate this joyous occasion with their Beloved Lord. At about 5.30 pm, Swami arrived at Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham, where devotees and students awaited Bhagawan’s arrival while singing melodious bhajans all the while. The Lord was welcomed and led by a band of musicians playing on special instruments from Puttur- Karnataka. As Bhagawan walked down the aisle amidst devotees who were seated, the bliss and joy that He was showering on one and all was quite palpable.
Once Bhagawan took His seat, the proceedings of the function began with a short introduction on the significance of Ugadi. Following this, there was a classical vocal concert by Dr Hiramalini Sheshadri and her daughter Dr Divya Sheshadri. With the Divine grace of Swami, she has been able to spontaneously compose Carnatic Varnams, Keerthanams, Padams and Thillanas. She began with a Varnam in Mohana raagam, followed by three Sai Kritis- each bearing the special Mudra of ‘’Sai’’, ending with a light devotional song. She was accompanied by Sri Krishnan on the Mridangam and Sri Palachandra on the Violin and Sai Keshav on the Kanjeera.
The next presentation was a musical offering of Keerthanams composed by saints Thyagaraja and Purandaradasa, by the alumni of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning and Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of music and current students of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva PU College, Muddenahalli campus. The rendition began with the famous Mahaganapathim in Naata raga, followed by Nada Tanumanisham, Seethamma Maayamma and ended with a Thillana in Madhuvanthi Raaga. For the Lord who is both Gaana Priya and Bhaava Priya, music is perhaps one of the easiest ways into His heart.
The musical evening came to an end and the next set of programmes began. Blessed by Bhagawan, the first speaker for the evening was Dr Hiramalini Sheshadri, a senior physician and Rheumatologist from Chennai. She spoke about her journey to the Lord and how He has always guided her and her family at all times in their lives. She highlighted the truth that Swami is what and how we experience Him in our hearts, irrespective of Him being in the physical body or otherwise. Dr Hiramalini then shared her experience of her interactions with Swami in the subtle form and how she continues to experience the same love and bliss from Swami even now.
Following her talk, volumes one and two of the book-‘’ Sookshma Sathya Sai’’, were released by Swami. Authored by Dr Hiramalini Sheshadri, the book succinctly captures the unique manner in which Bhagawan, after transcending from the physical to the subtle form, is continuing His mission through His devotees and students. The book makes a compelling read with many nuances of the current phase of Swami’s Avatarhood. ‘’Sookshma Sathya Sai’’ is published by the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutha Prakashana Trust, the books, publications and communications division at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli.
The next speaker for the evening was Sri B N Narasimhamurthy, chief mentor of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions. After congratulating Dr Hiramalini Sheshadri on the release of her book, Sookshma Sathya Sai, he briefly recounted Bhagawan’s recently concluded trip to Dubai, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Germany. He went on to remind everybody of what Swami, in a discourse on Shivarathri – 2007, had openly declared with regard to going on a world tour and how this phenomenon was materialising now. Responding to a devotee’s query on Bhagawan’s physical exit from the body, Swami had explained that it was like an interval in the middle of a movie. Only those who patiently sit through the second half also until the climax would understand and know the complete truth. Therefore, all we need to have is complete faith and follow His teachings implicitly.
Swami then blessed the audience showering all gathered with His nectarine words. At the end of the discourse, aarthi was offered to Swami and prasadam was distributed to all seated.