July 23, 2018
The Indian festival calendar is full of significant days celebrated with the weather cycle—all the changing seasons have their own value and the beginning of such seasons are celebrated in the form of festivals in various parts of India.
The eleventh day of the bright fortnight of the Indian lunar month Aashada is celebrated as ‘Aashadi Ekadashi,’ also popularly known as ‘Devashayani Ekadashi’. It marks the beginning of the period of four months of the rainy season. The vegetation is dependent on the rains, and therefore, this day holds a great significance in the Indian household. On this day, Lord Vishnu is worshipped through various rituals, observing fasts and vows.
In the State of Maharashtra, Lord Vitthal is worshipped by the pilgrims by undertaking a journey to the town of Pandarpur. Likewise, the devotees, eager to pay their obeisance at the Lotus Feet of Lord Sai Vitthal, had gathered in Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli.
On the evening of the July 23, there was a cultural programme organised to celebrate the auspicious day. Bhagawan entered the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham Hall, Muddenahalli from the stage-side and blessed all the devotees, accepted their letters, compassionately heard their prayers, and mercifully offered word of encouragement and counsel. Delighting the young and the old, Swami sat on His throne off-stage and signalled the start of the programme.
The programme began with the Vedic invocation by the students of the Vidya Kendra, Muddenahalli, as they chanted the Brahmananda Valli. A recap of Swami’s visit to the Sri Sathya Sai Prashantiniketanam, Nallakadirenahalli on July 23 morning was presented to the audience.
The cultural programme of the evening was a musical concert by the blessed couple, Sri Kunal Ganjawala and his wife Smt Gayatri Ganjawala. The couple have had the unique opportunity to perform in the divine presence of Swami’s physical form in Puttaparti on several occasions.
This performance was unique because as per Swami’s blessings and guidance, forty students of Swami’s Institutions, both boys and girls, accompanied the artists in vocals and also on various instruments.
The performance, true to the cultural tradition of the State of Maharashtra, had various Abhangs, a musical rendition of the poetry sung for the Lord. The couple sang the poetry of various devotee-poets, who popularised the Bhakti-movement during the thirteenth century.
It was an enthralling experience to hear Marathi poetry in Swami’s divine presence, sung with such reverence and devotion.
After around more than one and half hour, the artists concluded their rendition. Satisfied and visibly happy with their performance, Swami called them off-stage and blessed them profusely, and also posed for photographs.
Mangala Arati was offered to Bhagawan as the programme came to a close.
On the way back, Swami posed for a group photograph with the Vedam boys, thus giving them a memory of the lifetime!
July 24, 2018
Music is believed to be one form of art that regales everybody beyond the boundaries of language, geography, apparel and even education. What great fortune it is to get to hear one of the best types of music available in the world in the very presence of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli. Well, when it comes to Bhagawan, nothing is short of a miracle and pure delight; isn’t it!
In the five day celebrations of the Ashada Ekadashi and Guru Purnima, the second day was not short of excitement and fervor. The evening programme included a Sarod recital by none other than very talented sons of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan – Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash. These names are not new to the audience and devotees and as the brothers, along with their father, have performed in Swami’s presence in Puttaparti on various occasion. However, this was a special moment as it was their first concert in Muddenahalli.
They were accompanied by the very accomplished Tabla player, Sri Mithilesh Kumar Jha, and Sri Krishnan on the Mridangam.
They began with the rendition of folk music from the State of Assam, and went on to perform two compositions in the Raga Jhinjhoti, which is considered suitable for that time of the day.
It was an uplifting experience to listen to these virtuosos of the Sarod—an instrument popularised by their lineage, of which they belong to the seventh generation.
Pleased with their rendition, Swami called them off-stage and blessed them profusely. Mangala Arati was offered to Swami and the second day of celebrations came to a close.