Muddenahalli continued to glitter on the seventh day of Navaratri celebrations, granting happiness as well as spiritual refinement to one and all. As it was the commencement of the Maha Rudra Yajnam, there was a palpable rise in the energy levels too. The Divine Mother was venerated on this day as Kalaratri, the one who helps dispels darkness to give light and helps the devotees to be courageous.
This day marked the first day of commencement of the last three days of Dussehra – the first three days were dedicated for the worship of Goddess Maha Kali, the next three days for Maha Lakshmi and the last three for the worship of Maha Saraswathi. The Homas that were performed on the seventh day were Saraswathi Homa and Medha Dakshinamoorthy Homa. Of the four types of Dakshinamoorthy Homas, Medha Dakshinamoorthy Homa is one of them. Just as the food that we consume is converted into energy, all that we learn too has to be stored for the span of our life. The milk is stored in the form of ghee and nectar is stored by bees as honey. Similarly, knowledge is stored as Medha Shakti. The priest explained that this Homa helps one to retain one’s mind at the Lotus feet of the Lord, which is very important for a Sadhaka. It is said that by prayer to Vasishta, Dakshinamoorthy emerged from Lord Shiva to give him the Brahmagyan. This shows that this aspect of Lord Shiva is the source of knowledge. Goddess Saraswati is the source of all the Sixty Four Lalitakalas and prayers were offered to her to confer the choicest blessings on everyone.
And on the other side, the glorious Durga Puja was performed. Sapthami is a very important day for the Durga Puja. At the crack of dawn, one group of ladies started preparing the Bhog, which is the food that is to be offered to Devi. Another group of ladies reached Hrudaya Mandiram and they started preparing the nine types of leaves that are offered on this day to Goddess Durga. It is said on this day, Durga commenced the war against Mahishasura, who took the form of a buffalo or a Mahisha. Nava Patrika Snan was performed and it signifies the Ashta Nayika or the eight war partners Durga created to fight the Asura. These eight partners of Durga along with Devi Herself is symbolized as the Nava Durga. And these nine types of leaves were taken, rituals were performed and they were tied up to a very young banyan tree. This banyan tree is said to be the wife or the bride of Lord Ganesha and is called Kola Bou. She was bathed, draped in a saree, vermillion was smeared on her and all the rituals were performed. The Prana Pratishta of the Devi was also performed at the Hrudaya Mandiram.
Durga Arati was offered to the Goddess along with the Dhunuchi dance. To everyone’s joy and delight, Bhagawan then blessed all the ladies seated there with sarees before proceeding to the Yajna Shala where the Maha Rudra Yajnam had commenced.
Earlier in the morning, the Hiranyagarbha Lingam had been brought in a procession to the Yaga Shala. It was followed by Go Puja. The Yaga Shala Pravesha, Mahaganapati Puja, Swasti Punya which is the cleansing of the surrounding areas, Raksha Bandhana, Panchamruta Abhisheka, Rudra Abhisheka, Rudra Parayana eleven times by the forty priests and the Rudra Homa were also performed. This was followed by the Sai Gayatri Homa in the three Homakundas. As per Swami’s command the Chief Priest Sri Nanjunda Dixit then explained that the prime importance of all these rituals was to bring in world peace and relief from natural calamities.
Purnahuti and Mangala Arati were performed thereafter. Swami then left to His residence after blessing the gathering.
Bhagawan arrived at Premamrutham hall and was welcomed with Poorna Kumbham admist powerful Vedic chants and melodious Bhajans. The evening session commenced with Vedic invocation by the eighth, ninth and tenth grade students from the Gulbarga campus who chanted the Medha Sooktam.
The first talk for the evening was by a student, Sonu Kumar who hails from Muzaffarpur, Bihar and is currently pursuing his first-year science at the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence. Recollecting a few of his personal experiences with Swami, he gave an impressive talk about faith in God in God’s own language, Sanskrit.
The next speaker for the evening was Sri G B Rajasekhar, who is currently serving in the Mandya campus as Chairman and Warden. An alumnus of the Muddenahalli campus, he went on to serve in the same institution for seventeen years before Swami commanded him to go and serve in the Mandya campus. He spoke exquisitely about Bhagawan’s love towards His students. As He was mentioning that Swami has spent 70% of His life on students, Swami Himself intervened saying that He is now spending 90% of His time on students! To the sound of resounding applause, Sri Rajashekhar continued and concluded his talk reminding everyone to always obey the Lord’s commands, follow along in Anna’s footsteps and make Swami happy.
The next programme was the much-awaited Bhagavata Saptaha by Sri Sanjeev Shetty, an excellent Harikatha and Yakshagana exponent who has been serving in Swami’s mission from several years. He spoke about Rasaleela and then about Krishna’s journey to Mathura where he killed his uncle, the tyrant king Kamsa and freed his parents. The captivating narration took everyone to Dwapara Yuga with the Lord.
After the wonderful Bhagavatam exposition, Bhagawan delivered His Divine discourse. This was followed by Mangala Arati and Prasadam distribution, thus concluding one more glorious day.