Like many other harvest festivals observed in various parts of India, Onam is celebrated in Kerala with much fervour and joy. It was a very unique occasion for devotees to pay their respect and obeisance to their Lord, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai in Muddenahalli. This year, the spirit of the festival wore a somber look as the State of Kerala is facing one of the most devastating floods of the century. With a fervent prayer in their hearts and deep gratitude to their Lord, large number of devotees gathered at Sathya Sai Grama.
Escorted by the Vedam boys, Swami entered the Premamrutham Hall from the stage-side. He accepted letters and blessed the devotees, counselled them and provided the divine solace that redeems every sinking heart. As the Bhajans were in progress, Swami took notice of the soulful singing of a devotee and assumed His Gaanalola form for a few moments, as He stood in front of her, before getting on stage. It was a sight to behold!
The programme commenced with a brief description of the relief work done for the residents of Kerala. In total, eight tankers were being sent with provisions that could last for a month for 2,500 families covering around 10,000 people in the flood-hit areas of Kerala, and some parts of Karnataka too, which were affected. A group of 100 volunteers packed all the relief material, which included Swami’s students, and even students from the Nagarjuna Engineering College, who wanted to do their part in the relief work.
The devotees from Kerala offered a bouquet of songs at the Lotus Feet of Swami. After the soulful presentation, Swami blessed the audience with His Divine discourse. Through a story of Lord Narayana and Sage Narada, He expounded the greatness of being a devotee of the Lord, and how the Lord always resides in the hearts of His devotees. He then related the story of King Bali, who was redeemed of his sense of doer-ship and ego by Lord Vamana, and was thus blessed to be one of His greatest devotees. At the end of His discourse, Swami mentioned that He stopped many of His devotees of Kerala from coming there and instead asked them to help the affected people in the State.
Swami then flagged off the trucks that were waiting outside the Hall to take the relief material for distribution. Swami blessed the volunteers profusely, as Mangala Arati was being offered, which brought the auspicious morning to a close.