SITARAMA KALYANAM AND RATHOTSAVAM
(First day of Birthday week celebrations)
The week-long 88th birthday celebrations commenced at Prasanthi Nilayam on a very auspicious note, staging a symbolic celestial marriage of the Divine couple Rama and Sita.The Sita Rama Kalyanam is aimed at establishing Universal Peace and Prosperity..
The elaborate rituals had as its part various offerings to the Divine couple, various Arathi offerings, Upanayanam, the sacred thread ceremony of the bridegroom followed by Kanyadanam (giving away the bride). Amidst floral offerings and to the backdrop Nadaswaram music, the Divine Marriage was conducted by tying of Mangala Sutra around the neck of the Bride. On the sidelines, a ‘havan’ was also conducted, symbolically representing the sacred fire ritual connected to the Divine Marriage. Poornahuthi to the Homam was followed by Mangala Arathi to the Divine Couple.Simultaneously offerings and rituals to Venugopala Swami was also being conducted.
This is the third year in succession, ever since its inception, the Divine Marriage is conducted in Sai Kulwant Hall, witnessed by an assembly of devotees.Over the years the function used to be held inside the bhajan hall, in the immediate Divine Presence of Baba.
In consonance with the annual tradition, Rathotsavam, after the Mangala Arathi Lord Venugopala Swami was taken out in a chariot procession along with Sita Ramachandra along the main Puttaparthi road.
The Deities were mounted on the main chariot at the Gopuram gate amidst devotional exuberance. Upon mounting the deities, coconuts were broken and Arathi was offered before they were taken out along the road in procession to Pedda Venkamaraju Kalyana Mandapam and back.
Regaling the audience with his rare talent Sri Siva Prasad ,the whistle maestro "sang" some of the popular bhajans as well as carnatic and other devotional numbers.
The dance programme Bhakti Bhava Pravaham by Prasanthi Dance Group that followed was on the theme Navavidha Bhakti as explained by Baba on many occasions. Presenting an innovative programme with assortments of dances featuring various steps involved in the devotional path, the programme concluded with a presentation of devotees final merger with the Divine, Atma Nivedhanam.
Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust