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GLIMPSES OF SWAMI DURING MAHA SEVA YAGNA ON 19TH-20TH OCTOBER 2003

Lovingly shared by Gerald of Ojai


Posted on 8-11-2003

Sai Ram,

11-07-03

Friday Morning: Baba came out at 7:30, gave darshan for about 10 minutes then conducted an interview.

As Baba was giving darshan, a 20 car caravan came in the Ganesh Gate went behind the mandir along side the Poorna Chandra to the VIP building. A few minutes later, several officials were escorted by police up the driveway to the verandah and the interview room.
 
In the hall were three pilots that flew the officials and four commandos, dressed completely in black, for protection.

The officials were the Chief Minister of Gurajat and other ministers who flew into Puttaparthi Airport in their own plane. They used cars that were provided by Anantapur. Their meeting with Baba was about 30 minutes.
 
While they were around, the workmen were not inside.

Afterwards, they went to the VIP building where they held a press conference. Surrounding the building were about 20 police, some with heavy weapons.
 
They left later that morning.
 
Meanwhile, at the hall, just after the VIP's left, a man tried to go onto the verandah without permission and was subdued and thrown out by several seva-dals and others. I understand that when he was outside the wall, he was physically fighting with some of the people. I don't think it was much of a fight.
 
Chanting continued until bhajans and arathi. Baba left shortly thereafter.
 
Friday Afternoon: Baba came before 4:00. He took letters from the boys. He stayed for a short while. There was chanting, bhajans and arathi at 5:30. Baba left a little later.
 
Gerald


Posted on 7-11-2003

Sai Ram,

11-6-03

Thursday Morning: Baba arrived at 8:35 fooling many people who were sure that he wasn't coming for darshan this day and left to eat or for other activities.

Darshan was a good ten minutes standing with the chanting. He called some people in for an interview. There was bhajans and arathi. Baba left at 9:35.

One of the people called in for an interview was an American who is married to an Indian woman from Bangalore. He had a stroke. Baba materialized a green stone ring and told him that he would be well.

Thursday Afternoon: Baba came about 3:45. He blessed the workers. He handed out sweets for the college boys and people on the verandah. He gave two or three boxes of stuff to the men working on the hall. Two of them came and got them.

In the true spirit of dedication, the men continued working. They did not stop to see what they got. But they had a job to do and they did it.

At 4:20 Baba went into the interview room. There was chanting, bhajans and arathi.

Baba left at 5:30.

Gerald

Darshan Notes
-------------
Sai Ram,

I decided that I should explain about the way things are going at darshan especially for those who have never been here.

Baba used to come in a golf cart and sometimes a chair that was wheeled in. He stopped using the cart and was coming in the chair only. About three weeks ago, he started coming in a red car only.

This is a four door red compact car, a Maruti. This is a popular brand in India and means Hanuman. With the steering wheel on the right side, Baba sits on the left side front seat. So to those who are used to the steering wheel being on the left side, it looks as though Baba is actually driving the car. Which he really is.

The car used to exit the Poorna Chandra with Baba. It now comes to the front door of the Poorna Chandra where Baba will enter the car. The car enters the hall on the female side, making an immediate right into the first aisle. and a left to go straingt to the verandah. In this area, primary school children sit with their teachers. Sometimes Baba will stop to talk with the teachers or the students or take letters.

The car is parked on the verandah behind the columns and Ganesh. When Baba is in the interview room, the driver takes the car to the men's side, turns it around and reenters the verandah facing the women's side.

Just before Baba enters the car at the Poorna Chandra, chanting starts, seva dals sit down and the chair that Baba used to enter with is brought out by the front railings on the verandah.

The school boys sit in front of Baba. They wait for a signal from him to approach with a letter or birthday blessings. Usually for birthday blessing, the boys would put a card or letter on a platter that may contain dried fruit asking for Baba's blessings.

Chanting starts as soon as Baba is coming and usually continues until bhajan time. Bhajan usually follows for about 30 minutes and ends with arathi. There have been times when the chanting has continued until arathi.

Sometimes Baba leaves before arathi is sung.

While I have explained a few things here, hoping that I might have cleared up some points for some people. One thing is clear. There is no such thing as a usual darshan.

We never know what is going to happen. Baba's actions cannot be predicted. He says, love my uncertainty.

When you come here, it is important to realize that nothing is certain.

Gerald
 


Posted on 6-11-2003

Wednesday Morning: Baba came out at 7:20 catching many people unprepared for this earlier than usual arrival. As he entered the hall on the women's side, a women and a young boy about the age of two spoke with Baba while he was still in the car. These are the same two that stopped him exiting a few weeks ago.

Baba asked about the repair, took letters from the college boys and blessed the workmen. Chanting continued. Baba went into the interview room at 7:40. The boys went into the mandir. Baba came out at 8:00 . The boys came out of the mandir.

Baba later went inside but before he did he spoke with some people on the verandah.

Arathi at about 9:25. Silence. Baba left about 9:55.

Wednesday Afternoon: Repair work continues at a busy pace with banging and welding. Baba came about 4:15., took letters, blessed the workmen and went inside after a short darshan. There were interviews. Bhajans and arathi. Baba left at 5:30.

I met a man who had been in a serious auto accident where he could had lost his right arm. Bone was taken from his hip to save the arm. He feels it was Baba that saved his arm. When he thanked Baba, Baba put one hand on his shoulder and the other on his hand to bless him. His arm is fine.

Gerald


Posted on 5-11-2003

Sai Ram,

11-4-03

Tuesday Morning: Baba came out at 8:35 stood by the chair for about five minutes. He didn't sit but gave a great standing darshan. He turned and walked rapidly to the car by himself. My joke is that for a moment Baba forgot he was in a physical body. Of course that is not possible. But the way he moved surprised me and others.

He went into the interview room. The boys went into the mandir where they did the chanting followed by bhajans and arathi at 9:30. Baba left about 9:50.

Tuesday Afternoon: Baba came about 4:15 for around a short time. He blessed the workers with his right hand. The boys went into the mandir as Baba walked to the interview room. Chanting and bhajans until 5:30. Baba left about 6:00.

As we sat waiting, the noise of hammering was heard, I didn't hear it during the chanting but it was heard during the period of silence.

During this period I had to be someplace. As I walked with most of the people in the hall and no auto moving, the ashram was amazingly quiet and peaceful. There were certain points where people gathered to watch Baba leave the hall.

It was nice and wonderful.

The workmen are incredible. It was interesting to watch them move these sheets of something that looked like aluminium and as light. The sheets were about 20 feet long and 8 feet wide. They were moved from outside to the men's side near the driveway. Even as Baba was there, with men on the roof, on the scaffolding and on the ground, these giant sheets were passed from the floor to the roof. Baba watched as they did this.

Gerald


Posted on 4-11-2003

Sai Ram,

11-03-03

Monday Morning: Baba came out at 7:45 for about 30 minutes. He looked at the repair, took letters from the boys and went inside. The boys went into the mandir where they led bhajans which ended at 9:30 with arathi. Baba left later in the car.

Monday Afternoon: The car was parked outside the Poorna Chandra at 3:00. Everyone was expecting Baba. He didn't come out until 3:15. About 3:30 he went into the interview room with some people. Later, the college boys went into the mandir where they sung bhajans with arathi at 5:30. Baba left by car.

It is interesting being in the hall with the repair that is going on. I have determined that what they are doing is repairing the existing structure. I guess making modifications so that it doesn't leak when it rains. It is interesting with the scaffolding in the driveway and the men welding and hammering. They seem to stop hammering when Baba comes out. Whether that is by design or we can't hear them because of the chanting, I am not sure.

Gerald


Posted on 3-11-2003

Sai Ram,

11-02-03

Sunday Morning: Baba came out about 7:45 in the car. There was chanting. He seemed to bless the workmen by having his hand tilted upward. He took some letters from students.

The students were sent into the mandir where bhajans started at 9:00. Baba went into the interview room. Arathi was at 9:30. Baba came out and left about 10:00.

Sunday Afternoon: Baba came about 4:15. There was chanting. As he got out of the car on the verandah, someone showed him a book. He had two books. One of which he gave to Baba. Baba seemed to have blessed and returned it.

As he sat in the chair, he looked at the construction going on. There had been banging while we were waiting. I didn't notice any while Baba was present. However, there was welding. He took the boys letters. It was a good darshan. Once again, he sent the boys into the mandir. Bhajans started at 5:15 as Baba left. Arathi was at 5:30.

Gerald


Posted on 2-11-2003

Sai Ram,

11-1-03

Saturday Morning: Baba came out about 7:30.He gave a very good darshan sitting in the chair for about 20-30 minutes .He asked about the repair and looked at it. There was chanting.

Baba left without arathi. There was bhajans from 9 - 9:30 with arathi.

Saturday Afternoon: Baba came out at 4:15. As he sat in the chair, he kept looking at the construction and/or repair. He asked a few questions about it. The men continued their working.

There was chanting. He took a few letters. He called a bunch of students to him. They went into the mandir. About 5-10 minutes later, Baba was in the car leaving about 5:15. Bhajans started at this time. It continued another 15 minutes and ended with arathi.

Gerald


Posted on 1-11-2003

Sai Ram,
 
10-31-03
 
It seems that the center part of the hall which covers the driveway up to the center of the mandir leaks when it rains. A project is now underway to replace the arched structure with something else. Scaffolding was started last night and remains in place.
 
Friday Morning: Baba came at 8:45. Many people had left assuming that there would be no darshan but Baba was there for an hour. There was chanting except for bhajans near the end. Baba asked a gentlemen, several times, on his right questions about the project.
 
Friday Afternoon: There was more scaffolding. Men stopped working when they knew that Baba was coming. It was past four, when he came. As he sat in his chair, he asked more questions. A man sitting on the men's side near the mandir was brought over to Baba. He showed Baba what looked like architectural drawings. There was some discussion. Students kept chanting.
 
A man, who was sitting just north of the center white line not too far from the driveway, got up and walked toward Baba. He was quickly intercepted by seva dals. He returned to his seat. Another man came over to take him outside. The man was showing him a note.

I think that what happened was that he saw all the college boys going up to Baba, one at a time, that he didn't realize who they were. He just wanted to handle Baba a note.
 
Baba left for the interview room with the man he spoke with about the project, the man with the pictures and one or two others. The college boys moved closer to the verandah and kept chanting.
 
About five or ten minutes later, one of the men that had been in the interview room came running out to the men who had been working on the scaffolding and their supervisors and told them to resume working. They continued to erect the scaffolding. This seems to be metal structure with pieces that fit into each other. The men wear belts that have a safety rope to it.
 
Baba came out about 5:25 and left immediately by car.
 
Gerald


Posted on 31-10-2003

Sai Ram,
 
10-30-03
 
Thursday Morning: There was no physical darshan. At 8:30, everyone got fidgety. Many people left figuring that Baba would not be giving darshan. Some of the vice chancellors left. Most stayed. They were forced into a situation where they had to keep quiet to contemplate things. After 8:30 they were discussing things among themselves.
 
However, I felt Baba's presence very strongly. I felt that he was blessing everyone.
 
Thursday Afternoon: A few vice chancellors had left but about 15 remained. Baba came after 4. He greeted them. He also had spoken with a women by his ramp on the women's side. His chair was back in its usual position near the center.
 
Reports of the conference were given. They were glowing. They were impressed by the college boys and the presentations they made. They said that the Sai Institute is the leader in the world on value education. They had visited the Sai schools.
 
They are going to recommend to offices in New Delhi, the national government, that value education and ethics be taught in all the schools in India. Teachers will be trained in values and ethics.
 
They praised Baba. The vice chancellors said that they have never felt so much love and attention s they had here.
 
I was told that maybe one or two of the chancellors might have been devotees but I feel that by now most of them, if not all, are on some level.
 
I could see and sense that they were changing.
 
Gerald


Posted on 30-10-2003

Sai Ram,
 
10-29-03
 
I just learned that yesterday, Baba materialized a ring for one of the speakers. It was done where it was hard to see. Not much hand motion was used.

Wednesday Morning: The white chairs on the verandah for the vice chancellors were replaced with more comfortable padded red color chairs. Red carpet still there. Color streamers are gone.
 
Baba came about 7:55, greeted the chancellors and they talked with him. Baba went to the railing, standing, had primary students come to him. First it was one boy, then a second, etc until five boys were chanting for him. Other boys joined in the chanting. Then five boys did it alone. Baba patted several of these boys with his right hand on their left cheek.
 
He sat down. The chanting got very loud, then low and loud.
 
The Chancellors went into the mandir where Baba spoke with them including the three women chancellors.
 
At 9:20 they came out with gifts in a bag.

Baba gave a short darshan and left.
 
Wednesday Afternoon: The physical set up was the same except that the red carpet was gone.
 
There were five speakers four boys and one girl from Baba's schools. They spoke in English, Telegu, and Hindi. First there was a recap of earlier meetings. They spoke of the start of the colleges and doing seva, the value of it and their experiences. Also of their devotion to Baba and his help.
 
The second speaker was so devotional that Baba was overcomed by what he said. At one point, Baba tapped his hand, the boy stopped speaking, ran over to Baba and fell at his feet. Baba took his face in his hands and patted him on the cheeks. He returned to the lectern to end his talk with a poem.
 
The third speech was in Telegu where the speaker inserted poems in his talks. These Telegu poems were sung or chanted. They were devotional.
 
Meanwhile, during this speech, a woman got overemotional from all the spiritual energy and started waving her hands. A group of seva dals were with her within moments to escort her out of the hall by the rear women's entrance.
 
After everyone was finished, Baba posed for pictures with the four boys. As he left to the car, Baba walked slowly.
 
The speakers had been sitting on the floor in front of where the vice chancellors were seated. as each boy finished, the others congratulated him. They were genuinely happy for the other person. This made a big impression on the vice chancellors.
 
Gerald


Posted on 29-10-2003

Sai Ram,
 
10-28-03

Tuesday Morning: Today is the start of a three day conference-seminar on the "Promoting Values Education and Ethics" sponsored by the United Grant Commission at their jubilee meeting for Vice Chancellors of universities in India.
 
Red carpets were laid from the driveway outside the women's entrance to the center of the hall and from the center driveway to the verandah. There were some vertical green, white and orange streamers on the mandir on both sides of the center. There were flowers on two of the post, on the verandah and over the verandah.
 
Two silver lectern were placed on the verandah outside of the railing, one in the center and the other closer to the women's side.
 
The Anantapur girls and the Brindivan boys were there. I think they will be here for the entire conference
 
Baba came at 7:35 going into the interview room. Meanwhile his car was parked on the men's side of the mandir, next to it.
 
At 7:40, about 20 young boys, primary school age, wearing red outfits lead a procession into the hall while chanting. Following them were three pundits of young adult age and about 24 vice chancellors and others.

The young boys sat down center going toward the women's side in front of the mandir. The three pundits went up onto the verandah from the men's side. The dignitaries proceeded up the center of the verandah to chairs that had been place in a row from the men's to the women's side. Baba chair was in the center.
 
Baba came out and everyone sat down. There were four speakers and then Baba spoke for 50 minutes. He elevated the conference to level higher than human values.
 
The Indian national anthem was sung with everyone standing including Baba. He told the college boys that they should always sing the anthem with pride and joy and to have the same in their country.
 
Prasad was passed out.
 
Baba spoke with a few people in his interview room. The vice chancellors went to Baba's apartment for meetings.
 
Tuesday Afternoon: The red carpet from the verandah to the driveway was removed. The other one stayed. There were white plastic(?) chairs set up on the verandah where the VIP's normally sit. They were facing the women's side instead of being aimed more to the front. The vice chancellors sat there.
 
When Baba came they all stood up. He greeted each one and they seemed happy to see him. Baba sat down in one of those white chairs. It was front row next to the railing. He was facing the center of the verandah where people spoke.
 
There was one lectern with two microphones. The subject was Gramma Seva. The speakers spoke about the history of seva, their experiences and the results of seva. They were all college students. and I think a teacher was the moderator. The students spoke in pairs with one speaking, stopping while the other spoke. It went back and forth. There were, I believe five speakers, but depending on the topic there were different combinations. They spoke about ten to fifteen minutes each time.
 
When all was finished, Baba spoke with these students for about ten minutes with the vice chancellors listening in but everyone guessing what was being said. There was silence.
 
Next, there was 3 to 4 telegu ragas that as usual were beautiful and uplifting.
 
Baba stood up. All the vice chancellors did too. Three women chancellors came to Baba. He gave everyone a gift. It was in a bag.
 
It is nice to see the vice chancellors showing their respect by standing.
 
There were also about 25 boys, I think teenagers, who are part of Baba's project of putting money in the family's name and they live off the interest. They were praised because they do seva.
 
Gerald


Posted on 28-10-2003

Sai Ram,
 
10-27-03

Monday Morning: Baba came out about 8:00. There was chanting and some bhajans. Baba left about 9:30.
 
Monday Afternoon:Baba came in his car after 4:00. The car stopped just short of entering the women's side. About 20 boys dressed in white, probably from primary school, got in front of the car proceeded, while chanting, into the hall to an area in center front of the mandir. Baba waited and then proceeded his usual route onto the verandah.
 
He had two boys start chanting then others followed until there was a whole group chanting. Meanwhile Baba took letters and read them while these activities were going on.
 
About 5:00, two college boys got their veena to play several melodies that were enchanting and beautiful. There were a few bhajans. Baba left at about 5:40.
 
Gerald


Posted on 27-10-2003

Sai Ram,

I don't know when the tradition started of giving Baba roses. But presenters have been doing that. One night it was funny to watch as Baba while seated in the chair facing the women's side when  people gave him roses. He took each one and tossed it over his shoulder to the crowd that was seated on the front of the verandah behind him.

Devali Celebration

Devali is the new year for people from Gurajat. But it has a more important spiritual meaning and is celebrated all over India with lit candles and fireworks. Two events are: The return of Rama and Sita to Adyodha and the removal of Kamsa head by Krishna with a disc. In both cases it is always the victory of good over evil and light over darkness.

Saturday Afternoon:It was about 3:30 when Baba came out. He walked from the car to the railing where he stood for about five minutes giving a very good darshan. He called on five boys to chant. They faced everyone and chanted. Then he had five other boys stand up. They were in a row perpendicular to the first five. Baba alternated between the two set chanting. First one set of boys then the other. It seems as though one group picked up where the other left off. He had more boys stand. They too chanted and still more chanted including those seated.
 
Next event was a teacher was asked to ask the boys questions. He was on the verandah where he asked a question waiting for one of the boys to raise his hand to answer. After some replies, there was applauds. After others, nothing. There were about 20 questions. This went on for about 30 minutes.
 
There were two speakers who praised Baba and his work, bhajans and prasad. The prasad was barlova. It is not a sweet but a flat cookie like spicy item.
 
College boys also gave Baba letters while these events were going on.
 
Sunday Morning: The hall had been very nicely decorated giving a joyous holiday feeling to it. Also, there were banners wishing everyone a Happy New Year in English and in Gurajati. In the center, in the driveway were set props for a play that would be performed.

Babas car came just before 8:00. As it did a beautiful melody was sung with lots of feeling and love. It made me want to cry. It was intense.
 
Baba was in the chair, two men approached bringing objects for him to bless.
 
The play was performed on the center white tile area by boys and young adults from Gurajat. They also printed up a four page program which explained what the story was about and had the words to the songs.
 
It was called Journey of Life. It starts with birth, the person getting distracted by the world and life, becoming miserable and turning to god - Baba

The skit involved dancing, singing and dialogue. The whole play was intense and moving.
 
Baba stood up for pictures. He walked over to the car and stood for a while enabling the men to have good darshan.
 
Sweets were passed out. They were halvah prepackaged, consisting of 8 small cubes, individually wrapped in each package. The label read Om Sri Sai Ram, Sai Krishna SSSSO - Gujarat.
 
Sunday Afternoon: There was another play by Gurajat youths but this time it seemed to be a younger group and a simpler skit. There was a story and singing. It involved past lives, seva and good deeds. They had a multicolor flyer distributed with the story and songs on it.
 
There were a few bhajans. Everyone thought Baba was going to leave at this point especially with more of those sweets being passed out. He stayed.
 
The boys sang Telegu songs that were enchanting. They were beautiful, moving and uplifting.
 
Gerald


Posted on 25-10-2003 at 09.19 pm

Sai Ram,

Thursday Afternoon: Baba came out about 4:30. as he sat listening to chanting and ragas, he seemed  to be conducting the music as his hands and fingers moved with the music or is it the other way around. Around 5:00, a  fast moving thunderstorm with heavy rain hit the area. Baba showed no outward awareness of the storm. I meditated to the music at this point. I was shown that there was a clear white light bubble protecting the hall. The ragas were heavenly bringing us to another dimension.

Thursday Morning: Baba was magnificent. He came in the red car just after  8:00. The car went onto the verandah around the column and parked with the front facing the center of the hall. Baba got out with some help, went over to the railing and waved to everyone a number of times.

On the women's side near the verandah were a bunch of elementary students both boys and girls. One boy went up to Baba, spoke with him and returned to sit down. Baba took a few more steps heading toward the women's side. The boy returned, spoke and sat down.

Baba continued walking until he went into the interview room. Just before bhajans started, Baba entered the car, which had been moved next to the room, and left.

Magnificent is the word that came to mind to describe this darshan because Baba was so radiant and loving. He took his time as he walked and was sure that everyone got his darshan and his blessings from his raised hand(s).

Wednesday Afternoon: Baba came out in the red car and sat in the chair.  There were chants and ragas. The ragas were very uplifting and cosmic. Great darshhan.

Rain: I just learned that the several inches of rain we had on and off since Saturday was the results of a storm system centered over the region. When I thought it over, I realized that conditions here could had been a lot worse, that Baba had protected us with just the amount of rain that was  needed and not cause serious damage. Jai Bhagavan.

Indian Airlines which flies from Bombay to Puttaparthi, attempted to land at  the airport but as they descended the pilot decided that it was too foggy. He flew to Bangalore where IA paid for about 20 taxis to bring people to the ashram.

Gerald


Friday Afternoon: Baba came out about 4:00. He sat in his usual place. After  a few minutes, about five college boys brought their instrument up to the verandah to entertain us with instrumental and later vocal music-ragas. Baba chair was turned away from the men facing the women's side. He was watching  the musicians. The principal of the college praised the boys. When it came for the vocal part, the boys were joined by several other boys. There were a few bhajans before Baba left by car as arathi was sung.

The music was very powerful and uplifting physically as well as spiritually

Saturday Morning: Today is Divali or Diwali. It is a new year for an area of  India. The mandir was colorfully decorated. There was a joy, happiness and lightness about the hall this morning. Baba Came about 8:00. There were chanting and a few bhajans. There was great darshan as Baba stood up for a while. sweets were passed out.


Sunday Morning: Baba came out in the chair onto the verandah. He spoke with  some people. Darshan was about 5 minutes. After about 15- 20 minutes, he began to leave. As he got the bottom of the ramp on the female side, three students from a group of student about the age of five that sits in that area approached Baba. He got out of his chair, walked over to them and it seemed as though he spoke with them. He got back into his chair to exit.

Saturday Afternoon: Baba came out in the chair at 4:45. There was Bhajans  and arathi. Baba left at about 5:40. There was a drizzle which 20 minutes later turn into hard rain with thunder and lightning. Many people got wet. Everyone was in good spirit. It stopped raining by 7:00.

As we sat waiting for Baba earlier, we could feel the cool refreshing air  coming but I for one was surprised that it rained when it did. I thought Baba would hold it off until 9:00 when everyone would be in their rooms. We should also mention that thousand of youths from Andhra Pradesh started arriving on Saturday for the conference.

Gerald


Posted on 24-10-2003 at 22.58 pm
Weekly news from Gerald of Ojai in Prasanthi


On Monday, October 6, the day after Dasara, about forty girls from the ages of 6 to 12, who attend Baba's school in New Delhi put on a series of performances for Sai Baba. It was in the center of the hall with Baba seated in his chair on the men's side.

Words are inadequate to describe what they did. I am told that there will be a video of their performance. If you get a chance, it is worth watching. The amount of love and devotion that poured out of them as they performed was overwhelming.

It involved singing, dancing and skits. One girl, that had the lead in one of the skits, sang and danced with such intensity that when the skit was over, Baba materialized a necklace for her. He materialized something for another participant later on. He posed for pictures with them.

The skit lasted about an hour.

The girls learned at the beginning of September that they would be doing this performance. They came to the ashram ten days earlier and had been practicing there. Their teachers wrote the songs and the skits. They expressed their devotion to Baba.

Tuesday October 7th:  A group of musician, I believe college boys, performed for Baba. He was sitting on the men's side and they were on the verandah in the center. They sang songs in Telegu, Kannada, Hindi, Tamil and in Malayalam.


Jack Hawley has been here. He is the author a book on spiritual ways of business management. At Baba request, he wrote a book on the Bhagavad Gita. Along with his wife, Louise, they have been giving lectures on every other Wednesday at 10 A.M. above the North Indian Canteen On October 1st, they spoke about the importance of realizing and knowing that we are not the body. We are really divine, the atma. We need to maintain this awareness.

On October 15th, they spoke about likes and dislikes. As long as we have either of these, we are brought back into the physical for the fulfillment of these desires. We should dedicate all of our actions to god. Our dislikes and likes should be zero. We should have no desires.

On October 22th, the topic was to turn our attention to god. We should always remember god. Some ways that we can do this is by being loving and by doing service. Focus on the goal which is god.


Sunday Afternoon:  This was the opening of the three day conference with a parade. At 1:00, seva dals began letting the youths, who were all male, into the hall to sit them properly. The women's side would be unaffected.  The sitting for the youths would be from the white tile the goes from women's to the men's side to the very back. The other area was as usual for college boys, VIP's, verandah people.  Many were left outside. It took two hours to seat the men.

The chair came ahead empty at about 3:40, followed five minutes later by Baba coming in a car which drove right onto the verandah and stopped behind the center columns. Baba sat in the chair.

The parade started. It came up the center of the hall on the driveway toward the center of the verandah where Baba was seated then turn left to go onto the men's side and exit onto the street. There was a band with drums and other instruments. It is hard to describe everything. Each area of Andhra Pradesh had a part in the parade. Several had pictures of Baba, some put on a sort of Kung-Fu type of skit. The parade lasted about 40 minutes. It was clear of how much they loved Baba.

People on the outside of the wall were leaning against the wall to watch the parade.

Bhajans, some of which may have been in Telegu, many of the youths knew them and were singing with them. Arathi was at 5:00. Baba stood up and waved.

Rain: It started to rain at about 2:30. Many people got wet. When the parade was marching, it was raining.

The Andhra Pradesh youths made a sign thanking Baba for having brought them together from their regions to function as one unit.


Monday Afternoon: More people were crammed onto the men's side. There was a skit performed that involved singing, dancing, acting. The performance was done on the white central area in front of Baba. The two main characters were Hanuman and Narada with a host of other characters. The best I could figure out is that it was tribute to avatars and the values that Baba asked of us. Its high point was a heartfelt tribute to Baba  by all the cast. Baba got out of his chair to pose for a couple of pictures with them.

Baba gave a discourse. After arathi, with Baba still there, the youths chanted praises of Swami. Baba then announced that on Tuesday, morning at 9:00, he will give a discourse in the Poornachandra. The intensity of the devotion that they felt and expressed for Baba brought that about Monday Morning. Baba darshan as we listened to three speakers in Telegu tell the youth the importance of their seva and the good work they have been doing.


Tuesday Morning: This was to be the final get together of the conference. Baba came out at 8:10. He decided to deliver his discourse from the hall and not the Poornachandra. Baba spoke for 100 minutes while standing mostly on the women's side. When he sat down, he asked a college student to make some comments for him. After ten minutes, Baba told him some more things to talk about and he continued. Next, there was a discussion between three men with Baba. After which the boy returned. He spoke about 20 minutes. Baba waved at everyone. During arathi he went into the interview room. He emerged 10 minutes later, got into the car and exited.

He praise the value of seva and their role in it.

Tuesday Afternoon: Baba came out in the car to the mandir where he went into the interview room. Later he emerged back into the car and left.

Wednesday Morning: Baba no show physically.

Gerald


Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2003 1:42 AM
Subject: Baba Walking Correction


Sai Ram,

Sunday morning Baba walked.

We were seated in the hall waiting for his physical presence, when he walked out of the Poornachandra unaided taking about twenty steps. Behind him were two boys following with the chair. Eventually, Baba stopped and decided to sit in the chair. He was pushed into the hall for bhajans.

As arati was being sung, the chair was pushed.  It stopped at the bottom of the ramp leading from the verandah to the women's side. Baba walked up to, I believe the interview room or though it could had been the temple. He spent about 15 minutes in there.

The silence in the hall was increbible. You could hear a pin drop. Everyone waited. Finally, Baba walked back to the chair and was pushed out.

The chair that I am referring to is, in my opinion, a regular recliner type chair that has wheels on it or they might have been added. It is not a wheelchair.

BTW, seeing Baba walking with the sun shining on him in his orange robe was enchanting.

Sai Ram to everyone,

It had been my intention to keep everyone up-to-date with what is happening in Prasanthi Nilayam. However, there have been many computer problems here making that task difficult. Since last Tuesday, there has been no computer cable out of here. I am using a place that has hooked the computers to the telephone line.

I will do my best to get updated.

Gerald


Sent: Monday, October 06, 2003 12:59 AM
Subject: Baba-Healthy 96


Sai Ram,

Sunday afternoon darshan was pretty normal. Baba came out in the chair. We had three  speakers including Anil Kumar. After his talk, Kumar ask Baba to give a  discourse to which he consented. Everyone was overjoyed.

Baba stood up to deliver a 50 minute talk which was punctuated with applause.

Baba reiterated that he is strong and healthy and will be so until the age of 96.

The proof that Baba is strong and healthy is the very fact that he spoke for so long. People who have had even minor hip operations would not be able to stand for more than a few minutes, maybe five minutes, and certainly would be in no shape to deliver this kind of address.

Those who were there experienced a wonderful blessing with his words and his energy.

Baba's love for his devotees was boundless at Monday morning darshan. He came in the cart, as he reached the women's side he stopped to speak with some women. He proceeded as he normally does, slowly coming to the mandir verandah. He stopped several times to speak with people. Just as the cart was about to pull completely forward for darshan, Baba said something to someone. The cart  backed up. We figured it was over as he was heading in the direction of the women's side as he does when he leaves after arathi.

However, the cart instead of going straight made a u-turn and head for the men's side from the verandah. It proceeded down the middle path and headed to the women's side and the exit. As the cart moved ever so slowly, letters were taken. Baba was blessing everyone, on all sides with one hand and with both hands. He was beaming - showering waves of love on everyone.

The entire vibration of the place changed. People were overwhelmed. It was incredible.

Mother Sai did it again.

Afterward prasadam of an apple was handed out.

Another incredible time in heaven.

Gerald


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