Sri Sathya Sai at the Ati Rudra Maha Yajna in Chennai – Part 2 (A Photo Feature)

Sri Sathya Sai Sundareshwara Lingam
On the 22nd January, 2007, in the morning, Bhagavan granted His Divine Darshan to the devotees at the Yajnasala around 9.05 am. He watched the proceedings of the Yajna from the dais for some time. Thereafter, He came down to the central bay and went around the 11 Homa Kundas blessing the Rithwiks performing the rituals. Bhagavan, then, took a full round of the entire stretch of the hall to bless the assembled devotees with His Divine Darshan. The Bhajans commenced at 9.50 am. At the conclusion of the Bhajans, Maha Mangala Aarati was offered to Sri Sathya Sai Sundareswara Lingam
Sri Sathya Sai at the residence of
Sri Venu Srinivasan;
Sudarshan Venu
standing behind Baba
Bhagavan then visited the residence of Sri Venu Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director, TVS Motor Company Ltd. and Sundaram Clayton Ltd. The Srinivasan family received Bhagavan at the entrance of their house with full honours. When He entered the house of Sri Venu Srinivasan, the renowned Carnatic vocalist Bombay Jayashree was singing the welcome song, “Krishna Nee Begane Baaro” meaning “Oh Krishna, please come fast”. Bhagavan happened to step inside the house just then and He lovingly responded saying “Naa Vandachu!” in Tamil meaning, “I have come!” Bhagavan’s entourage consisting of His students and senior members of the Organisation were hosted to a sumptuous lunch in the sprawling lawns of the Srinivasan estate. After abundantly blessing the Srinivasan family, Bhagavan returned to Sundaram. 
On 22nd January, in the afternoon, after Bhagavan’s Divine Darshan in the Yajna Mandap at Thiruvanmiyur at 4.30 pm, the Trust Convenor, Sri G. K. Raman introduced the speakers blessed by Bhagavan to address the devotees on that evening. The first speaker, Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal, retired Principal of Madras Sanskrit College began his address in Sanskrit and then continued in Tamil. He narrated the greatness and significance of the Sri Rudram. He drew a meaningful parallel between Lord Siva who fulfilled the mission of King Bhagiratha in bringing the river Ganges (Ganga) down to earth and the Kaliyuga Avatar Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba who brought the Sai Ganga water to the long suffering people of Tamil Nadu. The next speaker, Sri Sanjay Mahalingam, Doctoral Research Scholar in Business Management from Sri Sathya Sai Universiy spoke on the subject – ‘The Purpose of Life’ quoting a number of anecdotes and short stories from Sai literature. 
Sanjay Mahalingam addressing the gathering
Following this talk, Sri Shashank Shah, Doctoral Research Scholar in Business Management from Sri Sathya Sai University, spoke in great about the varied humanitarian welfare projects undertaken and accomplished by Sri Sathya Sai Baba in the fields of water, healthcare and education. The theme of his talk was – ‘My Life is My Message’. 
Shashank Shah addressing the audience at the Ati Rudra Maha Yajna, Chennai
That evening, Bhagavan blessed the Mridangam exponent Sri Umayalpuram Sivaraman to offer his concert. Sri Sivaraman was accompanied by Neyveli Sri C. S. Radhakrishnan on Double Violin, Sri E. M. Subramanian on Ghatam, Sri Shrirangam on Morsing, Sri Anirudh Athraiyya on Kanjira and Sri Shivakumar also on Mridangam. The programme came to a close with Bhagavan leaving for Sundaram at 6.30 pm. 
On the evening of 23rd January, 2007, Bhagavan blessed the devotees with His Divine Darshan in the Yajna Mandap at Thiruvanmiyur at 5.45 pm. This evening, the playback singer Sri Malaysia Vasudevan and his troupe was blessed to perform in the Divine Presence of Bhagavan. At the conclusion of their concert, Bhagavan beckoned His students to render devotional songs. The students – Sri Om Prasad, Sri Guru Prasad and Sri Ashwath Narayan, Students of the Masters in Science Programme from Sri Sathya Sai University, along with their group offered an excellent presentation of devotional songs at the Lotus Feet of their beloved Lord. Bhagavan was moved by their singing and asked them to sing one more when they had finished. The day’s programme came to a close with Bhagavan’s departure at 7.15 pm. 
Students of the Sathya Sai University presenting a music programme at the Yajna 
On the morning of 24th January, 2007, Bhagavan blessed the devotees with His Divine Darshan in Sundaram at 9.30 am. To the utmost delight of everyone, Bhagavan went around the entire grounds of Sundaram, blessing the devotees with His close Darshan reminiscent of the old times for nearly 45 minutes. Thereafter, Bhagavan went to Thiruvanmiyur and showered His blessings on the mammoth gathering in the Yajnashala at 11.00 am. 
On the evening of 24th January, 2007, after the Divine Darshan of Bhagavan in the Yajna Mandap at Thiruvanmiyur, two students from Sri Sathya Sai University addressed the gathering in the Divine Presence. Sri Ranga Raju, student of the School of Business Management, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus, spoke in Telugu about Bhagavan’s Divine Mission.
Ranga Raju addressing the audience in Telugu
The next speaker, Sri Sai Giridhar, student of Masters in Philosophy programme in Chemistry, from Prasanthi Nilayam Campus spoke on the topic, ‘Absolute Truth’. The day’s programme came to a close with offering Mangala Aarati. 
Sai Giridhar giving a talk at the Yajnam
On the morning of 25th January, 2007, Bhagavan emerged from His Abode at 10.15 am. He blessed the Governor of Tamil Nadu, Sri Surjit Singh Barnala, and his three generations of his family who had gathered for Bhagavan’s blessings. He materialised Vibhuti and gave it to the Governor and his daughter. 
Sri Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor of Tamil Nadu, receiving Vibhuti Prasadam from
Sri Sathya Sai at Sundaram
He then moved out to give Darshan to the gathered devotees. It seemed that today also He was going to bathe the devotees with His blissful Darshan at Sundaram. Since Bhagavan had expressed His concern that His devotees were seated in the scorching sun waiting for His Darshan, a pandal was put up overnight to accommodate the devotees comfortably in the shade.
'Holding the shade over the Sun' - Morning Darshan at Sundaram
Bhagavan, on that morning went around the entire ground blessing the devotees with His benevolent Darshan going very close to them. Not only that, He went out of the Sundaram gate on the road down the entire length. Words fail to express the love and grace that Bhagavan showered on His devotees waiting to catch a glimpse of their beloved Lord. Coming back inside Sundaram, He sat on the dais for some time and yet again wanted to go out. 
The Universal Joy of Sathya Sai Darshan
When He was outside the, He mentioned to a small boy, held up by his father and called the child near Him. Bhagavan compassionately asked the boy in His sweet voice, “Are you not well?” in chaste Tamil. The child confirmed that he was unwell. Bhagavan materialised a gold chain with a pendant and placed it around the child’s neck and tucked it underneath his shirt for safety. Bhagavan, then, blessed the parents of the child also. 
Sri Sathya Sai with members
of the G.K. Raman family
outside their Chennai residence
Thereafter, Bhagavan accompanied by His entourage visited the house of Sri G. K. Raman, Chairman, Sundaram Finance Company and Convenor, Sri Sathya Sai Trust, Tamil Nadu. The Raman family received Bhagavan at the entrance of the house with full honours. He spent valuable time with the family while the students and senior devotees were hosted to lunch at the Raman Home. After blessing three generations of the Raman family, Bhagavan returned to Sundaram.
On the 25th January, 2007, in the evening, Bhagavan blessed the mammoth gathering of the devotees with His Divine Darshan in the Yajnashala at Thiruvanmiyur. On this evening, Justice R. Ramasubramanian, a former Bal Vikas student from the first batch of Bal Vikas programme in 1971 and Sri Jagadish Chandra, student of M. Phil programme in Physics at Sri Sathya Sai University were blessed by Bhagavan to address the gathering. Justice Ramasubramanian profusely thanked Bhagavan for the boon of drinking water provided by Bhagavan through Sai Ganga Canal. The next speaker Sri Jagdish Chandra spoke on the Guru aspect of Bhagavan. 
Jagdish Chandra addressing the gathering at the Yajnam
After these speeches, the renowned Carnatic Vocalist Sri Unnikrishnan and his troupe offered a music concert at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan. This concert was followed by the students of Sri Sathya Sai University. The day’s programme came to a close offering Mangala Aarati to Bhagavan.
Sri Unnikirshnan, renowned vocalist offering a rose to Sri Sathya Sai
before the music programme
On 26th January, 2007, Bhagavan blessed the mammoth gathering of devotees with His Divine Darshan at 10.40 am, going round each and every part of Sundaram and the road outside. There were so many materializations of different things every day for the devotees. Coming back on the dais, Bhagavan enjoyed the Bhajan for some time and left for Thiruvanmiyur at 11.00 am. After blessing the devotees there with His Divine Darshan and receiving Mangala Aarati, Bhagavan blessed the house of Sri V. Srinivasan, Member, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and All India President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations. 
Sri Sathya Sai with the
Srinivasan Family at the altar of
their Chennai residence

Bhagavan was received with full honours by the Srinivasan family at the entrance of the house. He blessed the altar of their home and spent time with the three generations of the Srinivasan family who have been blessed to be in His fold for over 40 years. The entourage of students and senior devotees were hosted to a lunch in the garden of the Srinivasan house while Bhagavan had His lunch with the family. On 26th evening, after Bhagavan blessed the gathering with His Divine Darshan in the Yajnashala at 6.15 pm, the speakers blessed by Bhagavan Sri Vijay Krishnan, the State Youth coordinator, Tamil Nadu and Sri T. G. Krishnamoorthy, former State President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Tamil Nadu, addressed the gathering of 60,000 devotees. Sri Vijay Krishnan prayed to Bhagavan to guide and bless the youth in their endeavours for the project named ‘SHARE’ – Social Harmony and Rural Empowerment, Sri Krishnamoorthy appealed to the devotees to thank Bhagavan profusely for the gift of Sai Ganga Project. 
Sri Sathya Sai putting on a ring on the finger of Ustad Rashid Khan
after the music programme
The guest artistes, Sri Ustad Rashid Khan and party were blessed by Bhagavan to perform this evening. Bhagavan, pleased immensely with these Hindustani classical renditions, materialised a ring for him at the conclusion of his concert. Bhagavan left the venue at 7.20 pm marking the conclusion of the day’s programme. 
South Indian Cine Superstar Rajnikant offers a bouquet to Sri Sathya Sai at Sundaram
On 27th January, 2007, in the morning, the film star Sri Rajnikant and his family members came to Sundaram to seek the blessings of Bhagavan. Bhagavan accepted a bouquet of flowers from Sri Rajnikant and blessed His family members. Then He showered the bliss of His Darshan on the multitude of devotees waiting on the grounds and outside at 10.15 am. Bhagavan stayed outside for a long time blessing the crowd with His Darshan, since the crowds were tremendous. Seated on the dais, He enjoyed the Bhajans for some time and left for Thiruvanmiyur and arrived in the Yajnashala at 11.20 am. 
The Sivasailam family members waiting for Baba at
the entrance of the Sivasailam residence at Chennai
Bhagavan listened to Vedic chanting for some time, blessed the gathering and left for the residence of Sri A. Sivasailam, Chairman, Amalgamations Group of companies. Bhagavan blessed him and his family and partook of lunch with them. All the students and senior devotees accompanying Bhagavan were also hosted to a sumptuous lunch at the Sivasailam residence. Thereafter, Bhagavan returned to Sundaram. 
On 27th January, in the afternoon, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar came for Bhagavan’s Darshan. He offered flowers to Bhagavan and a box of cricket balls which He lovingly accepted. He also talked to Sachin briefly and blessed him. Bhagavan then moved to Thiruvanmiyur and granted His Divine Darshan to the huge gathering of devotees in the Yajnashala at 5.15 pm. 
Cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar with Sri Sathya Sai at Sundaram
This evening, Sri ‘Pulavar’ (Poet) Arivudai Nambi, Member, Legislative Council and a Patron of ‘Thiruvalluvar Tiruchabai’ and Sri Vijay Krishnan, the Youth Coordinator, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Tamil Nadu were blessed by Bhagavan to address the gathering. Sri Nambi, in his speech narrated a personal incident of Bhagavan’s miracle that had saved his life. He also touched upon the lives of greatly revered Saints of Tamil Nadu, in his speech. At the end of his speech, Bhagavan blessed him and materialised a ring for him. 
Arivudai Nambi, Member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council, with Sri Sathya Sai
at the Yajna Mandapam
The next speaker Sri Vijay Krishnan observed his speech that only Bhagavan’s grace enabled ordinary people to do extraordinary things that were needed to be done prior to the start and conduct of the Ati Rudra Maha Yajna at Chennai willed by Bhagavan. He, then, prayerfully submitted to Bhagavan to bless the gathering with His Divine Message. Thus, the Lord blessed the devotees with His Divine Discourse. Bhagavan began His Discourse in Tamil first and then spoke in Telugu. Bhagavan stressed upon the guiding principles of Love for God; Love All, Serve All and the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God. 
He said, “With God’s love you will have all the strength and might. Love the children of God. That alone is enough for the redemption of human life. There cannot be a greater sin than indifference to the suffering and the sick. Tomorrow, when you suffer you will be a laughing stock to others. Love all and be loved in turn. Develop the qualities of ‘Dana’ and ‘Dharma’ (charity and righteousness). There cannot be greater charity than offering food. There is no Divinity other than one’s own parents. Some people disrespect their parents. There is no greater Divinity than Dharma. There is nothing more profitable than the company of the good. There is no greater enemy than anger. We should never be angry. Even if we are hated and beaten we must continue to love. Therefore let love be our life and the principle of sustenance until the end of our lives.” Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, ‘Prema Mudita Manse Kaho...’ and ‘Govinda Krishna Jai…’
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks at the Ati Rudra Maha Yajna in Chennai

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