Aum Sri Sai Ram
The morning began in our mandir at 05:00 with 21 Omkars and Suprabhatam, recited by Puppet Sir. He also read out the thought for the day, which was very inspiring in preparing us for the day ahead. Puppet Sir spoke about perfection in action and also narrated his experiences where he was blessed by Bhagawan to be part of the entourage to His residence in Kodaikanal, Sai Shruti. He narrated in depth his journey from the time they left Parthi, including the in-flight experience with our Dearest Bhagawan. He further went on to narrate his experience during the time he was in the Indian Army in Sri Nagar and Jammu Kashmir.
After our morning session we went to Sai Kulwant hall. Vedam chanting commenced at 8.00am, during which we performed Pradikishina of the Maha Samadhi Temple and moved to our Sumo's for Grama Seva. On this occasion, the UK group was given a portion of a large village called Krishnapooram in Bhukapatnam Mandal - a 45 minute drive away. As soon as we arrived we conducted Nagasankeertam alongside Sai Students, energising everyone present. Everyone settled into their teams and commenced with the sacred work. After all the villagers were served, we gathered all the children at the Shirdi Temple in the village and distributed chocolates and pencils. We also sang bhajans, encouraging the village children to accompany the chorus. The children were so humble and full of joy. After this we returned to the Ashram to partake Swami’s prashadam.
The afternoon session was very exciting. We were blessed to have amongst us Veda Narayan Sir who shared his nectar like experience for about 45 minutes. We first started with Vedam chanting and this was followed by a short talk from Veda Narayan Sir. He stated how fortunate we are to have a human birth, which of the 84 lakhs of species is the only one blessed with the power of discrimination. He went on to say that if we turn the key towards God we get liberated and conversely if we turn the key towards the world, we will be ensnared by worldly desires. He also said that the moments we spend with God are the most precious in our lives and added that through the mind we’ll attain liberation. He asked us “what is the principal quality of a human being?” The answer was human values! He gave an example that if fire has no burning qualities how can it be called fire? Likewise if the wind has no blowing quality then how can it be called wind? He continued, saying that one needs to develop human values in our lives and this can be done through sadhana. He also narrated Swami’s message that “if you walk ahead of me I may not keep up with you, if you walk behind me you may not keep up with me, hence walk side by side with me.”
Finally he concluded saying that he himself had 7.5 years of introspection where Swami did not speak to him and he said that these were the golden moments in his life that prepared him to serve Swami.
Afternoon Darshan started with 15 minutes of Vedam, including a small group of high school children reciting in an additional 5 minute section. They chanted with clarity and unity, generating beautiful vibrations throughout the hall. This was followed by a speech in telugu by a learned scholar.
We were then treated to a snippet of one of Swami's divine discourses from a Navaratri of years gone by. The main theme was that man must develop morality, but is (currently) struggling to do so. Without morality, spiritually speaking, all actions are in vain. However, if man recognises and acts with morality, he can accomplish anything.
During the evening session we were blessed to have sathsang with Sudhir Bhaskar Sir who has been blessed by Swami to manage the entire planning of Grama Seva since its inception in August 2000 - serving over 100 villages around Puttaparthi. He went on to describe in detail how the Grama Seva is planned and the logistical requirements that enable everything to come together like a jigsaw puzzle, thus enabling a smooth process to reach to each and every villager with love and compassion.
The day ended at 20:30 when we all retired for the end of the day.