Conversation with Sri Sathya Sai on Akhanda Bhajan Day

Saturday, November 11, 2000 and 

Sunday, November 12, 2000 

Seeing the students who were returning from Penukonda shouting ‘Jaikars’…

Swami : Lazy boys, lazy boys. Why are these boys coming so late at 2.30 pm?

Student : Swami, the work got over only at 12.00 noon.

Swami : So what? Why are these students arriving so late?

Student : Swami, the Penukonda town is very big and it was divided into several clusters.

Swami : (Spreading out His hands) What? This big? 

Student : Swami, the railway people were doing trial runs on the Penukonda-Puttaparthi line.

Swami : (With a surprised look) Oh! Is it? Who told you?

Student : Swami, we saw the trial train while returning to Puttaparthi.

Swami : Ayyo Papam! (Oh poor fellow!)

Student : Swami, the Puttaparthi Railway Station which is coming up is very nice.

Sathya Sai Prasanthi Nilayam Railway Station at Puttaparthi

Swami : Oh! Is it looking like our (University) Administrative Block?

Student : Yes, Swami.

Swami : Where is Anil Kumar?

Student : Swami, he will be coming shortly.

Swami : I told him to announce about the Akhanda Bhajan programme and he has not come yet. Who will announce? (Some time later, to Prof. Anil Kumar) How was Penukonda? Was it a nice place?

Prof. A. K. : Yes, Swami, it was a very nice place. The roads were very big in Penukonda town. It resembles a city.

Swami : Yes. Roads are like cities and other facilities are also available. Boys, I gave you all clothes for Dasera and you must have got dresses stitched by now. You have done a very good Grama Seva. So Vimal people from Bombay have sent clothes. 

Prof. A. K. : Swami, Clothes!

Swami : (Smiling) Clothes are for students only. Not for you!

When the vehicle carrying clothes from the airport arrived in the Mandir, Swami sent some boys to collect them. Clothes were then distributed to the students. Later, Swami gave clothes personally to the teachers who were present. While arranging the clothes, one student cut across the VIP portico where the Vice-Chancellor and other elderly devotees sit. Seeing this, Swami reprimanded the student saying that it was not right on his part to cut across elders and other guests. Again, when the students cut through teachers to come and receive the clothes, Swami mentioned… 

Swami : It is not right to walk across the teachers. You should give them respect. It is also not right to sit amidst teachers. (As the clothes distribution was going on, jokingly to students) Your sisters (Anantapur students) are crying. Go and get saris for them. (When the saris were brought, to teachers) Boys got clothes. Now girls also will get. (Seeing the saris) Now, boys are crying!

Prof. A. K. : Swami, they are tears of joy. Students are extremely happy that Swami has distributed clothes to them.

Swami : Happy? These boys? No. No. (To Prof. Anil Kumar) I will give a big handkerchief to boys to wipe their tears! They are crying because the clothes for boys cost ` 300, while each sari costs ` 500.

(To the teachers) How was the Seva at Penukonda?

Prof. A. K. : Swami, it was very nice.

Teacher : Swami, in one house, the house owner told me that today was a great day for him. When I asked him the reason, he replied that Swami had sent Prasadam to his house personally.

Swami called the alumni who had returned from Delhi after undergoing training before joining the Super Speciality Hospital at Bangalore.

Swami : (To Prof. Anil Kumar) These boys went to Delhi for training.

(To one of them) Under whom did you undergo training?

Student : Swami, Dr. Venugopal. (Dr. P. Venugopal is the Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi; and an ardent devotee of Swami.)

Prof. A. K. : Swami, very good. He is one of the best cardiac specialists in India. 
(To one of them) What did you learn there? (The students explained about the various aspects of their training programme.) What is Heart–Lung Machine? 

A Heart-Lung Machine and its functions
Swami : (As a student started explaining) The Heart-Lung machine does the job of both the heart and the lung. The blood is oxygenated, purified, and is pumped to all the parts of the body. The blood travels a distance of 12,000 miles in one circulation. The red blood cells and white blood cells, which are present in the blood, join into a stream.

(To another student) What did you learn?

Student : Swami, about I.C.C.U. (Intensive Cardiac Care Unit). 

Prof. A. K. : What do you do in I.C.C.U.? 

Swami : (As the student started explaining) The I.C.C.U. takes care of the patient after the operation has been performed. If something goes wrong there, 
the patient is at a risk. 

Prof. A. K. : Swami, then it is a very responsible job. Swami, we are very happy that our boys have got a lot of training. (To one of the students) What was the response of the trainers regarding you students?

Student : Swami, it was a very positive response.

Swami : Who invented the Heart–Lung Machine and when? (The student replied wrongly.) A German Scientist invented it in the year 1956. (Describing the eye) Retina is present in our eyes. Each eye has 13 lakh spots, which can receive light. It is such a powerful organ. (Pointing to the students) These boys are coming after doing Grama Seva. They have covered many villages.

Student : Swami, we also came to know in Delhi that boys are doing Grama Seva.

Prof. A. K. : Swami, students are very happy that Swami has distributed clothes once more. It is like a bonus!

Swami : What I am giving now is extra. God always gives in abundance, even for the little good things that man does. When Kauravas humiliated Draupadi, she chanted Lord Krishna’s name and was saved by Krishna. Draupadi used only a bit of her sari to help Krishna when He was wounded. This small act of Draupadi was the cause for Krishna safeguarding her honour.

Prof. A. K. : Swami, You distributed the clothes as soon as they arrived.

Swami : Yes. You must always do good things immediately. Otherwise, your mind may change and you may decide something else. But while doing any bad thing, you must think many times.

Smt. P. Susheela
In the Bhajan Hall, Swami instructed the Bhajan Group students to sing in groups in the night. At 6.00 pm., the Akhanda Bhajan started. Smt. P. Susheela, the renowned Carnatic vocalist and an ardent Sai devotee started the 24 hours Akhanda Bhajan by chanting the famous stanza (“Shuklambara Dharam Vishnum, Shashi Varnam Chatur Bhujam; Prasanna Vadanam Dhyaayet Sarva Vighnopashaantaye” – “We meditate on the One who is adorning white garments, who is all-pervading, who is bright in appearance like the moon and who is having four hands; who is having a compassionate and gracious face, let us meditate on him to ward of all obstacles”).  The Bhajans were sung alternatively by both boys and girls. Till 7.00 pm, Swami was in the Bhajan Hall. Then He retired to His Poornachandra residence. In the night, both Indian and foreign devotees participated by leading the Bhajans. The next day morning, Swami was inside the Bhajan Hall for most of the time from 7.00 am to 9.20 am. In the evening, Swami came to Mandir at 2.00 pm. The Bhajans ended at 6.00 pm. Swami blessed the Prasadam by breaking coconuts and sprinkling the coconut water on the Prasadam. After the Aarti, Prasadam was distributed to all in the Sai Kulwant Hall. 

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