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New Year’s Day Celebrations: 1st January, 2007

 

Many devotees congregated at Prasanthi Nilayam on the first day of the New Year 2007, at the Lotus Feet of their Beloved Lord Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to begin the year on the most auspicious note with His Darshan. In response to their prayers, Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant Hall at 7.25 a.m. to grant Darshan to the devout multitudes.

Soon after Bhagawan was seated on the dais, He permitted the students to present their music programme. After the customary salutation to Lord Ganesh with the Ganesh Gayathri Mantra followed by the Sai Gayathri Mantra, the first song was “Deva Namo Deva” in the Hamsadhwani Raga in praise of Lord Venkateswara. The next hour had the entire audience enchanted with soulful music in adoration of the Lord in His various names and forms. Following this, the Institute Brass Band played some melodious pieces interspersed with short speeches expressing their love to Bhagawan. Then Bhagawan posed for photographs with them. Later, He cut the cake prepared His school students and blessed them all. On this occasion, wall calendars for the year 2007 with Bhagawan’s beautiful photo, and Prasadam was distributed to everyone.

In the afternoon, the men alumni of Bhagawan's school and college came together under the banner 'Sri Sathya Sai Students' to express their collective love and gratitude to their Lord who not only granted them free education but also showered on them His boundless love and guided them on the right path. The session began with Darshan when Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant Hall led by a procession of alumni members dressed in the traditional Vedam attire of orange silk Dhoti and white Angavastram (upper garment). The Vice Chancellor, Sri A.V.Gokak, gave the introductory address, welcoming the alumni and complimenting their programmes of service activities that are regularly organized by various chapters of the alumni organization. The first programme was a performance by the alumni members on the brass band. They began with a song “Mahaganapathim” which was a nice piece of fusion music rendered by western instruments and accompanied by Tabla and Mridangam. The also rendered other pieces like ‘Star Wars’, ‘Labamba’, etc. all of which were well appreciated and applauded by the audience.

Following this, there was a music programme by the alumni. They sang some melodious songs in English, Hindi and Telugu which beautifully described the sweet and tender love of Mother Sai, the wonderful moments they spent in the Divine Presence, the various lessons of life that they learned at His Lotus Feet and the myriad ways in which Swami guided them and protected them during their difficult times. Each song was preceded by a brief talk setting the theme and mood for the song to follow. The music programme concluded with the Telugu song “Sri Rama Suguna Dhama” from ‘Rama Katha’. Bhagawan also lovingly cut the cake and released CDs and cassettes of volumes 9 & 10 of ‘A Bridge Across Time’ containing Bhajans rendered by the alumni members.

As is the practice every year, this year’s programme too included the Grama Seva. On 31st December, the alumni members had gone to a village by name ‘Kondavaripalli’ which is about 21 kilometres from Puttaparthi. After Nagarsankirtan and Pallaki Seva (Bhajans with a palanquin bearing Swami’s photo being taken in a procession throughout the village), medical camp, health & hygiene awareness camp were conducted for the villagers. The medical camp offered consultation in General Medicine, Ophthalmology, ENT, Orthopaedics, Gynaecology and Paediatrics. Since, smoking and alcohol abuse were quite prevalent in the village, anti-smoking and anti-drinking homeopathic medicines for were also distributed. Balvikas classes were conducted for the children where they were taught spiritual values through inspirational stories. Veterinary medical camps and afforestation programmes were also undertaken. Since most of the villages in the arid district of Anantapur are affected by excessive concentration of fluoride in the ground water, simple fluoride treatment methods were taught to them using alum and lime (calcium carbonate). At the end, Narayana Seva (Community feeding) was conducted where Bhagawan’s Prasadam was distributed to all the households.

The day’s programme concluded with Bhajans and Arati. May our Dear Lord Sai bless us all with a happy and prosperous 2007.