Sunday, September 10, 2000 (Onam)
In the morning, Swami gave Darshan at 7.00 am. From Poornachandra, He was led by Vedic priests with Kalashas and children dancing with Kavadis. After reaching the Ganesh Portico dias, Swami lit the ceremonial lamp. The celebration started with a Swagatam (welcome) song, in which the youth from Kerala sang a melodious song praising Swami and the principle of Unity of Faiths. This was followed by a vocal recital of Tyagaraja Kritis. There was a dance programme by the children depicting the folk dances in Kerala. It was followed by a talk delivered by Sri Jayakumar (I.A.S.), Secretary, Department of Education, Government of Kerala. His talk was followed by a talk by Master Abhilash, a student of Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Peeth, Srisailam, Kerala. Then Swami gave His Onam Discourse. In His Discourse, Swami stressed that students should serve the society and should not enter politics. Bhagavan ended His Discourse by singing two Bhajans – ‘Prema Muditha’ and ‘Govinda Hare, Gopala Hare’. At the end of the Discourse, Prasadam was distributed. Swami retired to the Poornachandra residence at 9.00 am.
Swami came to the third block and asked a Hospital staff about the painting work that was going on in the main dome of the Super Speciality Hospital.
Swami : Is the work over?
Staff : Yes, Swami.
Swami : How is it?
Staff : Very good.
Swami : Why ‘very’? Just say good. How are the patients?
Staff : Good, Swami.
Swami : For patients, you should say ‘very good’.
Prof. Anil Kumar told Swami something appreciating the talk given by the student this morning. Then Swami praised the Kerala devotees and their state and said that they still maintain the Indian culture to a great extent. Then Swami recollected many important points from this morning’s Discourse.
Swami : In those days, people used to go by walk to Dharmavaram railway station to see the leaders. Those leaders used to practice and preach. But nowadays, the politicians only preach (Pracharam). Morning, My throat was not good. So, I finished the Discourse early. (Swami mentioned that in Kerala, classical music is fostered to a great degree.) Even when someone sings in the street, people stand and listen to him. In Kerala, when beggars ask for food, they never say ‘No’. (Prof. Anil Kumar expressed his amazement and asked Swami, “Is it true, even today?” Swami said, “Yes”. Then about music) Harmony in Shruti, Layam, Talam and Ragam (the pitch, beat, tune and rhythm) will lead to harmony in Sangeetam (music) and Sahityam (literature), which in turn will lead to harmony of the three Gunas (Satwa, Rajas and Tamas). This will lead to Moksha. (Thus, music will lead one to Moksha (liberation). (Swami quoted a Tyagaraja Kriti, which highlights this point.) Bhasmasura was a demon who was granted the power by Lord Shiva to burn up and immediately turn into ashes (Bhasma) anyone whose head he touched with his hand. He tried to misuse this power, and was tricked by Mohini (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu), to turn himself into ashes. (Regarding the Bhasmasura story) Having given up sensual pleasures, he lost his body consciousness and put his hand on his head. (At this point, Prof. Anil Kumar mentioned that it is good to lose body consciousness. Swami clarified his misunderstanding.) It is not correct to lose body consciousness due to sensual pleasures. Getting allured to worldly enjoyment (Merupu), will lead to getting lost in ecstasy due to pleasures of the senses (Murupu), which will lead to total forgetfulness (Marupu). (Swami said that this kind of loss of body consciousness is not good.) One should lose body consciousness by contemplating on Divinity (Tanmayatwam).
Swami also said that happiness due to the sense enjoyments are like the light from a camera flash or light seen during lightening, which exists for a very short time; after that there will be pitch darkness. Similarly, sense enjoyment will lead to momentary happiness and then total ruin. When one of the teachers asked Swami about the good and bad people in the world, Swami said that there are not many good people in this world. Only few are there. Even among good people, the goodness is not to the extent it used to be in the olden days. At the end of the cultural programme in Poornachandra Auditorium, Swami materialised a golden chain for the boy who acted as Hanuman and blessed all the participants with Padanamaskar and clothes.
Source: Students with Sai: Conversations (2000-2001)