Navaratri Celebrations – Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli – September 26, 2017 (Day 6)
Swami says that Dussehra is observed to purify the Dasha Indriyas or the ten senses. The atmosphere at Sai Hridaya Mandiram, Muddenahalli was beyond doubt paving the way for this as the sixth day of the Navaratri celebrations dawned. The Divine mother was worshipped as Kathyayani Devi. She sits in the Agnya Chakra of the spiritual aspirants and enables the seekers to have an inward vision.
Swami arrived at the Hridaya Mandiram, graciously blessing the devotees on His way to the dais. On the holy morning of Shashti, the main rituals of the Durga Puja commenced. Shivapanchakshari Homa and Sapthadravya Mahamrityunjaya Homa were also performed. Shiva Panchakshari Homa was rendered extolling Lord Shiva as the bestower to the needy, Guru to spiritual seekers, the one who consumed Haalahala and the one who regulated the torrential flow of Ganga. The Mrithyunjaya Homa was performed to confer good health and longevity in order to lead a healthy and holy life of spiritual Sadhana.
The priest then proceeded to explain the significance of these Homams as per the Puranas. With Swami’s permission, he also explained the significance of the Golu or the doll arrangement that is done during Dussehra. When Goddess Durga set off to fight against the demon Mahishasura, all the other Gods and Goddesses offered their weapons to her and stood there like dolls, watching in awe as a fierce battle ensued. It is this scene, the priest explained, that is represented in the Golu. The dolls, starting from the basic life forms, plants, animals, humans and finally spiritually uplifted souls, are arranged across nine steps depicting the journey of an individual from the lowest life form coming towards God.
Once the homams were completed, Durga Arati was offered along with the Dhunuchi dance. The morning session then ended with the offering of Mangala Arati to Bhagawan.
Bhagawan was received at the Premamrutham hall with traditional Poorna Kumbham and Bhajans. Once Swami ascended the dais, the evening session began with Shivopasana Mantra being chanted by the eighth standard students of Sri Sathya Sai Premaniketanam, Bijapur campus.
The first speaker for the evening was Sai Anisha, a fourth generation devotee from Vishakapatnam, currently pursuing her first year B.Sc at the Sri Sathya Sai Center for Human Excellence. She spoke about how faith and surrender is the essence of every devotee’s life, recalling how her mother was miraculously saved twice by Bhagawan due to her faith in Swami. And as Swami was blessing her after her pure and simple talk, Swami also commanded Sri B N Narasimha Murthy to announce that Sai Anisha’s father, Prof. P D N Srinivas, an alumnus of Prashanthi Nilayam campus, would be the Vice Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence with its center at Gulbarga. Joyful news indeed!
The next speaker for the evening was Sri.Sanjeev Shetty who then continued with the Bhagavata Saptaha. He beautifully explained many of the wonderful Damodara Leelas of Lord Krishna. The exciting story of mischievous little Krishna with a mortar tied to his back, running between two gigantic trees which were actually yakshas thus granting them liberation, the heroic tales of vanquishing various demons sent by Kamsa, the episode of Brahma Pareeksha, and of course, the incident where Krishna, as Govardhana Giridhari lifted the hill Govardhana with his little finger to save the inhabitants of Vraja from devastating floods; all these stories were narrated with such passion and zeal by Sri Sanjeev Shetty that the characters seemed to come alive to the listeners.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, Chief Mentor of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions, next addressed the gathering. He briefly spoke about all the various educational campuses that are coming up, validating Bhagawan’s continued presence amidst us today in the subtle form.
Swami then delivered His Divine discourse. After the discourse, the glorious session ended with Mangala Arati.