Ashram Visit: 23 September 2001

Swami in Canteen AveSeeing the setting Sun illuminate Swami’s face with golden light recalls Sai Surya, the the Sun God walking amongst us. This image brings back memories of Swami entering the darshan hall on the golden chariot. Oh! How he waved to the crowds on that splendorous day!

Sunday Morning in Puttaparthi. Students come to morning darshan. Primary school children and girl boarders file down the hill into the darshan hall. Not much empty space up the front on Sundays. Interesting, straight after darshan, the hall is totally empty except for students. I got a surprise when I noted that. This morning I recall that I paused in darshan and noted the magnificent orchestral music as Swami was walking across the Women’s side. I have noticed that I always lift my eyes up to the ceiling when I experience that. Must be a combination of high vibrations in the music and Swami’s vibrations. Or, it could be, that in Swami’s presence, I am in a higher state of consciousness.

Swami came out before all the students had come in, so they just sit down in front of the blue garage doors and wait until Swami has passed before taking up their proper seats; Swami actually stopped and spoke to some of the students sitting there. I could not help but reflect that he knows exactly where you are, exactly where you are sitting, because he has put you there. I felt comfortable sitting where I was, about 10 lines back.

Swami moves across through the very few students in the middle, I see trays held up, and Swami blessing. Boys pop up on their knees, hands together, and pray to Swami as he passes. His hand touches them on the cheek, the shoulder, the head. He continues walking slowly, turns his head and answers the boys.

On the verandah. Student goes running out of the darshan hall. Swami has called for someone. Sends Narasimhamurthy, the Warden of the Hostel at Brindavan, and several other senior staff from the Institute in for interview. Crowds depart. Later, in about ten minutes, I see the man who was called, admitted to the interview room.

I hope you have picked up the hints that Frisked Very Thoroughly means it takes a LONG time to walk into the hall when you are in lines. A bit like the current airport delays. As time passes I see lines have a very useful function; you get a chance to settle down and begin to prepare for darshan. The inner voice guides me, no, go and sit there, as I get inside. I move across. Sit. A seva dal is enthusiastically trying to bunch us up. He is being ignored by experts who know how to take up slack the moment Swami comes out. I smile.

Swami comes and moves across the lines of Ladies. Back and forth he crosses, he is in the shadow of the hall when he does that, so he looks small, far away, and in the dark. His hair is absolutely black, his face a pale oval of light brown, and his robe a dark ochre. Letters in his hand. When Swami arrives in the middle, there is a retractable perspex canopy over the central white marbled area where the students sit. This also doubles as a driveway on occasion, and it was there that I saw Swami enter the hall seated on the Golden Chariot. What a day that was!



I digress. When Swami reaches the middle his hair is most illumined (almost to a light brown), his robe shines, his feet reflect on the white marble slabs. Light just pours down and totally elevates the vision of Sai.

Finally crossing to the men’s side, I am WAY back. But distance is no barrier. If we all sit, we can all see Swami. I sit, and begin to enjoy darshan. Totally relaxed, I simply feel very warm and blissful and relaxed inside as I observe Swami from a distance. He moves to and across, takes letters (funny, I see he mostly takes letters between his second and third fingers). Many times he raised his hand in blessing, taps packets of vibhuti in plastic bags (ten-twenty odd packets from the Supermarket) and stops to speak. New scarves, the red of Singapore, Green Italia, I saw a lovely white and violet Italia, then Croatia and Australia; now a nice blue and gold scarf. A white and blue scarf from India, Mahaboobnagar or some such; and a school is here, they have there ribbons on with images o-clothes. I really relax in this darshan and reflect on my peace as Swami walks around the top. He crosses to the porch and talks to some staff from the Institute. Again, Narasimhamurhty and senior staff go in for interview. I suspect its a ‘business’ interview.

Leaving the darshan hall, I observe some men looking through a pile of upside down thongs. The thongs all look the same to me.

Bhajans. I join the crowd and sit on the left hand side up the back of the hall. Can see Swami sitting in his chair during bhajans. Not much light inside the mandir itself, so Swami just stands out from the shadows. See him move from time to time. Govinda Gopala, Chita Chora. Krishna Bhajans. Splendourous Nataraja bhajan, the darshan hall rings with Shivaraja, Shivaraja! Swami gets up, the bell starts ringing. Moves slowly down the red carpet. The sun is setting, I see Swami illumined by the rays of the setting sun as he walks to the side of the hall. His robe appears a flaming ochre, his face shines brilliantly. Oh, that is a marvel for the ladies as he walks ever so slowly on the carpet, hand raised palm upward in blessing. Vision of Sai Surya, the Sun God.

Do you know the Gayatri mantra of Sai Surya? It was in Sanathana Sarathi some time ago.

Om Bhaskarya Vidmahe 
Sai Devaya Dheemahe 
Tanno Surya Prachodayat.

We come to know or learn that this Sai is Divinity Itself.
We meditate on this Divine Radiance
We pray that this Sai-Sun God guide us on the path of righteousness towards liberation.


 September 22, 1997

September 22, 1997: Srinivasan hands the sceptre of all the worlds to Swami, Prashanthi Nilayam


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