The word Guru has two syllables- ‘Gu’ meaning darkness and ‘Ru’- the one who removes. Therefore, a Guru is one who dispels the darkness of ignorance. The festival of Guru Purnima, is observed to pay homage to the Guru. An offering of art and culture at the divine Lotus Feet of Bhagawan over the course of three days in Muddenahalli, to celebrate the festival of Gurupurnima, was a feast for the senses.
Bhagawan arrived at the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham Hall at about 6 PM and was received with ceremonial Poornakumbham and Vedic chants. Sai’s Angels, the brass band of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions, Muddenahalli campus led the procession, even as melodious bhajans continued to fill the air with bliss.
Once Bhagawan ascended the dais, the evening session commenced with invocation by the students of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Pre- University College, Muddenahalli campus, with the chanting of the Sanyasa Suktam.
This was followed by the announcement of a new RO plant inaugurated earlier that day at Suddhahalli village (located at about three kilometers away from Muddenahalli). Under the auspices of the Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust, the RO (reverse osmosis) plant will provide clean and pure drinking water, absolutely free of charge, to the villagers. A short presentation on the same was then screened.
The e-store of Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutha Prakashana, the Books, Publications and Communications Division was then formally launched by Bhagawan. The website www.saiprakashana.org enables online purchase of books, CDs and other products.
The first speaker for the evening was Sri B S Vijay Sai, an alumnus and former lecturer at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. A Hypnotherapist and a motivational speaker by profession, he also serves as a visiting faculty at the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence, Muddenahalli. He began his talk with a question on what the real purpose of Bhagawan’s Avatar was. He reminded everyone that mere building of hospitals and schools was not the reason of Bhagawan’s mission, and emphasised that these were mere tools for the biggest miracle, transformation of the human heart. He ended his speech, narrating an incident through which Bhagawan taught him the lesson of oneness and the journey one has to undertake from I to We to He.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, Chief Mentor, Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions, addressed the gathering next. Quoting a shloka from the Shwethashwara Upanishad, he explained that experiencing the oneness in all of God’s creation is true advaita and real wisdom. Narrating an anecdote from the life of Jalaluddin Rumi, the famous Sufi poet, he reminded everybody that it wasn’t mere listening, but practicing the teachings of the Guru alone that can confer wisdom and enlightenment.
Bhagawan then blessed the audience with His Divine Guru Purnima message.
After a short break, the programme resumed with two musical presentations. The first was a Veena recital by Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh. Hailing from a rich lineage of Carnatic musicians, Dr Jayanthi began playing the Saraswathi Veena at the tender age of three and is today one of the leading Veena artists world over. She began the concert with Vatapiganapatim set in Hamsadwani raagam, followed by a short Aalaap in raag Bihag. She concluded with a Tillana in raag Shivaranjani. Dr Jayanthi was accompanied by Sri Jayachander Rao on Mridangam, Sri Arun Kumar on Morsing and Rhythm pads and Sri Trichy Krishnaswamy on Ghatam.
The musical extravaganza of the Guru Purrnima celebrations came to a finale with a fusion instrumental presentation of ‘’East meets the West”. Nine musicians from varied genres of music, synchronized the performance with the spirit of unity and oneness. They included Sri Harmeet Manseta, popular Indian Jazz player on the piano, Sri Praveen Narayanaswamy, an alumnus of the Muddenahalli and Prashanthi Nilayam campuses on the Tabla, Sri Manas Choudhary on the base guitar, Sri Siddharth Nagraj on the drums and four Greek musicians- Mr Nikos Balaskas, performing on the rainstick and Darabuka, Mr Fortus Apotolaras on the electric base, Mr Anthonis Bastianos on the electric guitar, and Mr Dimitris Lambrianos who played six instruments. They were joined by Sri Mandolin U Rajesh, brother of Mandolin Maestro, Late Padmashree Dr U Shrinivas, on the Mandolin. Together, these talented musicians enthralled the audience with their musical prowess. Bhagawan then profusely blessed all the artists with tokens of His love.
The evening ended with the offering of Arati to Bhagawan.