Posted on 31-10-2003
Greetings....some news from Parthi from a USA devotee currently residing
Take care and God bless!
I had to work late most days in the past 10 days or so, so I haven't been
able to go in the afternoons for Darshan. I just hear the program from the
speakers (remember I'm right behind the Canteen, so hear the speakers near
it). I listen to the echo of the talks, or to the lovely classical Indian
singing, while eating lunch in my room (4-5 PM)!
In the mornings, Swami generally comes out after bhajan - straight out, He
is not going in for lunch lately - and I see Him go by then. He is using
the small, electric red car (I hear that it is the same type that disabled
people are us ing in Western countries, and that is now to be seen on the
streets of Bangalore too). He keeps the window down though, leaning His
hand out. Still, there is definitely even less opportunity than before,
for Him to talk to people or take the occasional letter. All He can do is
wave or raise His hand to us in blessing, as He silently speeds by! Wonder
if changing to this safe, enclosed car has anything to do with the
occasional devotee who tries to run up to Him!
He comes twice a day, but when He comes and when He returns is anyone's
guess! Sometimes He comes and leaves before bhajan, sometimes He ends
bhajans right in the middle of a bhajan or calls for arathi still in the
middle of the Vedic chanting. Thank goodness, from the little I've seen,
He seems to be walking better lately. He is still supported by one
assistant, but He is standing up straighter and looking more comfortable
taking those few steps (chair on verandah to car).
There was the 'Grama Seva' conference, and now (28th-30th) the Vice
Chancellor's conference, so Swami's program is still fluctuating. (I hear
that the Vice Chancellors from all over India hold their conference in
different places every year, and this year it is HERE!) Swami gave one
discourse for this conference.
Yesterday (Wednesday) morning, Swami stopped the car just off the verandah
and called to his poor brother's widow. It was heartrending to see her
wiping her face, crying and crying, while she tried to answer whatever
Swami was asking. The final 11th-day ceremonies (when the soul is said to
leave the earth-region and go to a more subtle abode) were over on Tuesday
evening. His widow had to remove her kum-kum dot on her forehead and take
off all the colourful glass bangles (widows are only allowed to wear gold
bangles), as well as other jewelry.
Lovingly sent by Vickie and
shared by April
Below is an update of ashram doings and today's Dipavali celebration.
From: Sai Sister in Prashanti
Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2003 5:20 PM
Subject: Easily predictable: unpredictable!
Saturday 9 PM
Things have been going on normally here in Prasanthi Nilayam for the last
week (since I last sent a report!). Usually Swami has been coming in the
mornings, sometime between 7 - 9:15 AM (one day He didn't come out in the
morning at all), in the open chair usually. He returns after sitting in
the Mandir for bhajans (except the day He left just as bhajans began, and
didn't come out again). In the evenings, sometime between 3 - 5 PM, the
program is mostly a mixture of Vedic chanting, talks, classical Indian
music and bhajans. Swami sits outside on the verandah for this.
Sometimes Swami walks a few steps to the interview room/inside Mandir (in
the mornings); or (in the evenings) just stands for arathi (sitting down
after His attendants beg Him to sit) or walks all the way to the interview
room (20-30 feet?). He is not walking well, still: always very shaky,
limping and supported by one or two others. Sometimes, He returns back to
the Poornachandra in a new, small cute red car (a normal-sized car, but we
can see Swami sitting inside it nicely).
Internet has mostly been down for the last week, reason unknown but it is
simply not working well around here. Some trouble with the server in this
district, they say. We had several days of nice rains, which may have
something to do with it!
There was a 'Village Seva-Youth of Andhra Pradesh' conference 19th - 21st.
Swami was supposed to give a discourse on 20th morning, but it was raining
so much that He didn't come out until 9 AM, and then only for attending
bhajan. He spoke that evening for a short time, maybe 15 minutes, mostly
praising the service the Sai youth were rendering in the villages.
On 21st morning, the conclusion of
the conference, Swami gave a longer discourse. He spoke mostly of His
youth - stories to encourage and inspire the youth He was talking to!
Today, the 25th, was Dipavali. There was some Vedic chanting and bhajans
in the morning, with Swami sitting on the outside verandah. The whole hall
was PACKED with people. Prasad was distributed afterwards. Also, Swami
left in the morning in the small car at 9:20 AM, without going inside for
In the evening, there was a program of Vedic chanting and talks. For the
second year in a row, there were no fireworks in the Ashram.
There was an announcement that tomorrow (the 26th) was the 'New Year' of
the Gujarati people, and there would be a function at 8 AM.