Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated in a grand way at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli in the Divine Presence. A day spent in glory of the leader of the Ganas who removes the hurdles in the journey of life, the favourite elephant headed God – Lord Ganesh. The Premamrutham Hall staged a huge, divinely beautiful statue of Ganesh seated beside His Mother, Goddess Gowri.
The day began with Bhajans invoking the blessings of Lord Ganesh. Bhagawan arrived at the Hall blessing all the devotees by showering the Akshata, or sacred rice, on everyone. Ganesh Stutis and the Ganesh Suktam were chanted in adoration of dear Lord Vinayaka.
The first speaker of the day, blessed by Bhagawan was Sri Nagashankara Sharma, Kannada lecturer at the Sri Sathya Sai Centre of Human Excellence and the Pre University College at Muddenahalli. He elucidated beautifully in Kannada, the Syamantakopayana, the story of Krishna and the Syamantaka gem. After having broken the pride of Chandra (Moon), Lord Ganesh as a comfort to devotees who might incur hurdles in life by seeing the moon on the Chaturthi day, gives a solution in the form of Syamantakopayana, the tale which when heard, removes the difficulties in a devotee’s life. It is considered an important tradition to listen to this story on Ganesh Chaturthi. The speech was translated in English by Sri B Sathyanarayana, the Principal of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Pre University College, Muddenahalli.
The next speaker of the day was Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, the Chief Mentor, Sri Loka Seva Institutions. He began by briefing about the Indian scriptures which are divided into Shruti, Smrithis, Itihasas and Puranas. He also brought out the beautiful connect of the subtle form and the divine physical incarnation encased in the Syamantakopayana. Only the Gods who have incarnated on earth have physical form, the other Gods who may be known by various names exist only in their subtle forms. He said, “In the Syamantakopayana, we see the convergence of the two, where the subtle form of Lord Ganesh asks one to hear the Syamantakopayana, a story which happens in the life of the physical incarnation of Krishna.”
After the two speeches, Bhagawan gave His divine discourse expounding the essence of Lord Ganesh and the inner significance of Ganesh Chaturthi. The morning session concluded with the Ganesh Arati, and the Mangala Arati, and distribution of Prasadam to all the devotees.
Invoking blessings from the bestower of Buddhi (Intellect) and Siddhi (Realisation), the evening session of the Ganesh Chaturthi commenced with vibrant, and soulful Bhajans.
Students from the Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Kendra chanted the Ganapati Atharvashirsha after which a classical musical performance was offered at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet. It was a wonderful confluence of the current students and staff, the alumni and rendered compositions by Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshatar, amongst many others.
The programme ended with Mangala Arati, after which Bhagawan retired for the day blessing all the devotees gathered. Thus, ended the beautiful day of Ganesh Chaturthi where devotees returned with wisdom and bliss.