A bright morning once again renewed the hopes and aspirations of students and devotees who were blessed to be in His presence, that they may be fortunate to receive a glance, a word or two or even a pat from the One who is the source of all happiness, the sunshine of all lives. After a sumptuous breakfast, everybody gathered in the Prayer Hall for the morning Satsang. Once Bhagawan arrived and was seated, devotees and youth from Malaysia offered a bouquet of songs at Swami’s Lotus Feet.
The programme included songs in Malay, and a couple of famous songs such as – ‘Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaaye’ and ‘Every moment of my life please be with me’ that had the audience joining in as well. Swami then beckoned for one of the Malaysian devotees, Brother Krushna who is visually challenged to be brought up to the dais. Touched and pleased with his devotion, Swami blessed Him with a token of His love. Overpowered by emotion, the devotee was shedding tears of gratitude and it was indeed deeply moving to see Bhagawan wipe away his tears with His own hands. Swami explained to those seated that the devotee who had lost his eyesight in an accident had prayed that having been blessed to perceive Swami’s form, he did not wish to see anything else of the world that is illusory, and instead wanted to let the Divine image remain etched in his memory forever! Bhagawan too promised to bless him with a vision that is beyond sight. It was an eye-opener for all to witness that God truly sees what man cannot, and that a pure heart filled with love for Him is all that He seeks from all, and nothing else!
After Mangala Arati was offered, Swami once again began to distribute envelopes to the boys students and men devotees, for it was their turn to go ‘marketing’ at the Tibetan shopping market. The women devotees and girls students meanwhile enjoyed leisure boating rides in the Kodaikanal Lake. Bhagawan also blessed a group of children who were beneficiaries of the Annapoorna breakfast programme, who had travelled all the way from Sivakasi to have Bhagawan’s Darshan. He instructed the accompanying teachers to buy essential requirements such as sweaters and shawls to brave the cold weather, for these children as well.
As Swami proceeded towards the Bungalow, He lovingly posed for photographs with the alumni group who had performed the previous evening, girls students from the Hyderabad campus along with a few devotees who were leaving as well. After His lunch, Swami then retired for the afternoon.
May 17 – Evening
The last few evenings seemed like a music festival of sorts with various genres of musical offerings made to Bhagawan and this one seemed no different. The 17th of May being the birthday of Sri Mandolin U Rajesh, Swami had blessed him to perform before Him just like the last few years. Sri Mandolin U Rajesh is the younger brother and disciple of the Mandolin maestro Late Sri Mandolin U Shrinivas. Sri Rajesh is himself an accomplished musician and through his travels and collaborations has been taking Indian music to the international arena. He began the presentation with a few Tyagaraja Krithis, which was followed by many popular Bhajans as well. Swami, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy the performance continued to ask for more pieces to which the artist was only too happy to offer at His Lotus Feet! It is said where words fail, music speaks and so was the case here as well. Sri Rajesh was accompanied on the Tabla by Sri Praveen, an alumnus of the Muddenahalli and Prasanthi Nilayam institutions and by Mr Dimitris Lambrianos on the Piano. Delighted by the fusion of the Mandolin and the Piano, Bhagawan instructed the musicians to collaborate and create a Bhajan CD of the songs, with Mandolin, Piano and Tabla.
Swami then commanded Sri Rajesh to address the gathering, and he began by expressing gratitude to Swami for the opportunity. He also reminiscised the disciplinary tutelage under his father, to whom he credits his talent and musical skills. He also spoke of how devasted his family was when his elder brother passed away, the tough times and thereafter, how Bhagawan’s re-entry into their lives has transformed their lives filling it with happiness and joy. Bhagawan profusely blessed the musicians and Sri Rajesh’s family members with tokens of His love and even posed for photographs with them. Thereafter, Swami dined with the guests and other elders before retiring for the night.