The fourth day of the Navaratri celebrations was marked by the performance of Pooja to the Goddess by the Ritwiks, who conducted the Lalita Homa and Durga Homa. The visual beauty of the Sri Chakra was stunningly marvellous as the devotees wanted to catch a glimpse of it and the details it carried. It looked like a divine piece of artwork as the Ritwiks spent close to eight or nine hours preparing the Mandala, which is considered to be one of the toughest to create.
Bhagawan arrived in the Pandal and Vedic chants were recited by the Veda Parayana group. Kanika Archana was performed with very detailed rituals and after the Poornahuti had been offered, Bhagawan blessed each and every one of the Ritwik couples who took part in the Pooja and also the chief priest.
Bhagawan then proceeded inside the Hridaya Mandir hall and blessed the devotees with His Divine Darshan before moving towards the Kullu display where devotees had prepared a special flower Rangoli, which represented the Koorma (turtle) Avatar. The various forms of God and His incarnations are depicted in this traditional observation so that young children can learn about their rich cultural heritage.
Devotees then presented beautiful dance performance along with a Bengali song ‘Durga Durgatinashini’, which signifies the Goddess receiving ornaments and apparel from devotees, after assuming a form to come and save them in response to their prayers. Devotees had painted a beautiful coconut in the form of the Goddess and they presented this coconut to Bhagawan.
Durga Arati was offered with Dhaki drummers and Dhanuchi dance by the priests and this was followed by the offering of Mangala Arati to Bhagawan. Thus the auspicious morning session came to a conclusion.
The celebrations of day four continued in the evening at Premamrutham hall in Sri Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli, commencing with sacred chantings of Sri Rudram and the universal prayer, Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu. The last three days had seen the retelling of glorious anecdotes from the Srimad Bhagawatam, accompanied by beautiful songs. However, today marked the beginning of a series of presentations by eminent scholars on the relevance of the ancient Vedas to present day society.
Our Beloved Bhagawan was welcomed to the Premamrutham Hall with a procession of Poorna Kumbam and Vedic chanting by girl students and Bhajans. After Bhagawan had ascended the stage, a brief summary of the morning programme was presented. Earlier, the Lalitha Homa, Durga Homa and Suhasini Puja had been performed as part of the day 4 of the Navratri celebrations. This day of celebrations marks the veneration of Mother Durga as Goddess Kushmanda, the fourth manifested form of the Divine Mother. Upon completion of the Poornahuti offering, the purohit briefly explained the significance of the Sri Chakram.
The evening’s proceedings began with the chanting of the Vishnu Suktam by the girl students of the Pre-University College, with much poise and devotion.
The first guest speaker for today was Swami Paripurnananda Swamiji from Vyasa Ashram. He is the third Peethadhipathi of the ashram founded by Sri Malayala Swamiji. Sri Paripurnananda Swamiji has delivered many lectures on Vedic philosophy and this evening, he spoke about the Vedic knowledge related to the practise of agriculture without chemicals. He shared a few interesting methods for cultivating and growing crops in a truly organic and safe way, as prescribed in the Vedas.
The next speaker was Shri Avinash Rai Khanna, an eminent parliamentarian with a strong penchant for service, both through governance as well as through social welfare initiatives. Besides his many service initiatives, he also chairs the Red Cross Society. He spoke much about service drawing anecdotes and stories from his rich and varied experience from his various seva activities.
The final speaker for the day was Sri B N Narasimha Murthy. He praised Sri Paripurnananda Swamiji for his heartfelt expression of the truth about Bhagawan continuing His mission through Brother Madhusudan Naidu. He pointed out that Bhagawan is able to use Brother Madhusudan as a perfect instrument for continuing His mission because Brother Madhusudan would never say, “No” to Bhagawan. The result of which, is that today there is no difference between Bhagawan and Brother Madhusudan. He reminded everyone that even though Bhagawan abandoned His physical body, He did not abandon us.
In His Divine discourse, Bhagawan emphasised the fact that all names and all forms are His. He explained further about the practical knowledge available in Rig Veda and requested everyone to take up the study of Sanskrit and to learn some Vedic chants. Bhagawan then narrated a story stressing the power of words, exhorting everyone to speak the truth and to speak lovingly. He urged the students to derive benefit from all these talks over the course of the Navaratri celebrations, saying that they will give them higher knowledge than those subjects being taught in school, which only help them provide for a living. Bhagawan concluded His discourse by thanking the organizers and all the dignitaries and reminded everyone of the proclamation in the Bhagawad Gita, “Sharadhavan Labhate Jnanam”, which means, “it is the faithful ones who attain wisdom”.
Thereafter upon Bhagawan’s command, the well-known Bhajan Sathyam Jnanam Anantham Brahma was sung and the evening session came to a close with the offering of Mangala Arati.