|Sri Sathya Sai with the statue of Lord Subramanyam installed in Prasanthi Nilayam|
Sunday, September 21, 1997 to
Wednesday, September 24, 1997
Bhagavan installed the idol of Lord Subramanyam in the shrine adjoining the existing Ganesha Temple at Prashanti Nilayam at 9 am, on 21st September 1997, (exactly the day fixed by the oracle thousands of years ago in ‘Shuka Nadi’). On 21st evening, the saxophone artist Sri Kadiri Gopalakrishnan performed in Sai Kulwant Hall, and the Tamil Nadu youth presented ‘Karagam’ dance in the Divine Presence.
|Sri Sathya Sai on the Golden Sun Chariot|
Bhagavan sat in the Golden Chariot offered by the Sai Paduka Trust of Madurai, at 7.05 am, and came in a procession from Poornachandra Auditorium to Sai Kulwant Hall and granted Darshan to the devotees on 22nd morning. Sri S. Srinivasan Chettiar spoke about the genesis of the Paduka festival and Major General S. P. Mahadevan also spoke to the gathering prior to Bhagavan’s Discourse.
In His Discourse Bhagavan mentioned:
“This morning we had the Rathotsavam (festival of Golden Chariot) organised by the Sai Paduka Trust, Madurai, under the dedicated guidance of Sri Subramaniam Chettiar, who has been a steadfast devotee of Bhagavan for over fifty years. Over many years Subramaniam Chettiar has been engaged in promoting Paduka Seva (service of the Holy Sandals of the Lord). It is not easy for one at his advanced age to carry a burden of this magnitude. I am aware of the good service he has done so far. Hereafter he should take rest and devote himself to his personal Sadhana. It is true that service is a form of service to God. But he is no longer in a position to do this.
Moreover you have to be told about today's car festival. Whether you believe or not I have no lilting for such functions. What should be offered to Bhagavan is unsullied love. That love is God. Live in love. Offer that love to the Divine.
Why should I be bothered with this immense burden of a Golden Chariot? I do not at any time desire such things. Instead of this, you may spend any amount of money on social service activities.
Here or anywhere else, what you have to offer to Bhagavan is pure love. Do not make such offerings as Golden Chariot anywhere. Anyone who desires such offerings cannot be Divine. When the Divine is immanent in everything, what is it that you can offer to the Divine? How are you eligible to make any offering at all? Everything belongs to God. Henceforth devotees should not bring here any gold ornaments or ornamental chariots or golden chariots. It is better to sell such objects and use the money for providing drinking water to the people.
From the outset I had resolved on three things in the Bharatiya tradition. from the ancient times Bharat has been providing three things to the people. One is Vidya (education). Next comes Vaidya (free medical aid). Vidya relates to the head. Vaidya is related to the heart. For this reason I have been providing free education. Nowhere in the world is such free education offered. Today, heavy donations have to be given for admission even to the first standard. As I feel that every child belongs to me, I see nothing special in offering free education to my children. All are mine and hence I offer these things to them. What I give and what I accept is love. It is a relationship of love to love, heart to heart.
Therefore, whatever Subramaniam Chettiar may feel, if somebody is ready to bid for this Chariot, I shall be glad to give it away and use the money for providing drinking water to more villages. He brought the chariot here out of his immense love. He had one overwhelming desire in his life. He was keen to celebrate this Rathotsavam (festival of Golden Chariot) in his life time. He did not worry about what happens to him thereafter. It was to please him that I mounted this Chariot.
Otherwise I would not have gone near it at all. I have no desires of this nature. Nor should you entertain such intentions. The relationship between God and devotee is heart to heart and has nothing to do with external paraphernalia. You must cultivate this internal quality. Promote purity of the heart. Engage yourselves in selfless service.
You have to cherish three cardinal principles: Fear of sin, Love of God and Moral life in society That you will foster your devotion in this manner, I bless you all.”
|Sri Sathya Sai blessing Sri Subramaniam Chettiar on completion of the Paduka Puja Mahotsavam in Prasanthi Nilayam|
Paduka Puja was performed in Sai Kulwant Hall, at 6.45 am, on 23rd morning, with Bhagavan’s blessings. At the conclusion, Bhagavan sprinkled sacred Akshata on all the 2,016 couples. Dr. Ghadhia from UK and Dr. Sandeepan Chaterjee from the Institute gave speeches that afternoon. Bhagavan then delivered His Message. Sri Chettiar and family did Pada Puja of Bhagavan in Sai Kulwant Hall at 7.30 am, on 24th morning with flowers, gold and silver medallions.
Bhagavan presented clothes to the Pandits and Nadaswaram players associated with the Padukapuja. As it happened to be the Birthday of Sri Subramaniam Chettiar, Bhagavan blessed Sri V.K. Narasimhan to speak about the single-minded devotion of Subramanyam Chettiar and the great service done by him and his family to foster love of Bhagavan amongst the devotees through ‘Likhita Japa’ and ‘Paduka Puja’. The unique function concluded with Mangala Arati.