Sri Sathya Sai at the Ati Rudra Maha Yajna in Chennai – Part 3 (A Photo Feature)

Sri Sathya Sai Sundaram, Chennai

On 28th January, 2007, in the morning the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Sri Narendra Modi; Chief Justice of Madras High Court, Sri A. P. Shah; Executive Officer of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, Sri Sharma; Vice-Chancellor of Madras University and many more came to seek the blessings and Darshan of Bhagavan at Sundaram. 
Chief Minister Narendra Modi with Sri Sathya Sai at Sundaram
Bhagavan granted His Divine Darshan to the devotees in Sundaram at 10.15 am. He moved around and spent more time outside on the road. Hundreds of devotees including many drivers who had never before had a chance to get such a close Darshan of Bhagavan were overwhelmed by their good fortune. Bhagavan later came on the dais and enjoyed the Bhajans. A videographer who was busy catching every single movement of Bhagavan was suddenly summoned on to the dais by the Lord. Bhagavan blessed him with a beautiful smile and a Lingam, which He told the fortune recipient to put it in his pocket safely. Bhagavan left Sundaram at 11.15 am and graced the residence of Late Sri Venkatamuni by His Presence at Alwarpet. (This house was the one Bhagavan used to stay during His visits to Madras earlier till Sundaram was built.)  
Sri Sathya Sai at the Venkatamuni residence

The evening of 28th January, 2007, was assigned to the medical fraternity of Chennai. So, the doctors and their families who arrived for Darshan, were made to sit comfortably and were taken care by the Seva Dal. Bhagavan arrived in the Yajnashala at 4.30 pm. After the Divine Darshan, Bhagavan instructed Sri V. Srinivasan, All India President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations to address the gathering. Sri Srinivasan, in his address reminded the devotees that ‘Health For All’ is one of the cardinal principles on which Sathya Sai Healthcare was based. He went on to say that Bhagavan through His teachings has inspired many medical practitioners to follow a medical practice that is dedicated to service and not merely a means to take money. He also gave the information that 63 hospitals from the medical fraternity have come forward to offer a free bed in all their hospitals right through the year. This programme entitled, ‘Sri Sathya Sai Health Care Project’ was inaugurated by Bhagavan on this day. Then, Professor Rangabhashyam, Former Head of Surgical Gastroenterology and Clinical Professor of Surgery, Madras Medical College addressed the gathering. He recalled that Bhagavan had said that the medical profession is of no use, if it does not provide care and help for the sick and the downtrodden. The Professor sought Bhagavan’s blessings to guide the medical fraternity to provide care according to His divine principles. Bhagavan, then, presented physicians representing each hospital with a brief case containing a new stethoscope and blood pressure measuring unit along with a picture of Bhagavan Himself. The day’s programme concluded with Mangala Aarati to Bhagavan. 
Dr. Rangabhashyam (right) with Sri Sathya Sai
Thereafter Bhagavan’s entourage travelled almost an hour and blessed the house of Dr. A. Ramakrishna, Former Deputy Managing Director, Larsen & Toubro Ltd. at Annanagar. His students and senior devotees has accompanied Him. The entourage was hosted to a grand dinner in terrace of Dr. Ramakrishna’s residence.
Sri Sathya Sai at the residence of Dr. A. Ramakrishna
On 29th January, 2007, the film actor Prabhu came to Sundaram to seek the blessings of Bhagavan for his son’s impending marriage. Bhagavan blessed him and his family and then granted Darshan in Sundaram at 10.30 am. 
Filmstar Prabhu and his family with Sri Sathya Sai
He blessed the devotees inside and outside Sundaram with His Darshan and then proceeded to Yajnashala. He remained there for a short period as He went to bless two devotees. Firstly, He visited the residence of Sri V.R. Venkataachalam, Chancellor, Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai. Sri Venkataachalam was the Chief Host of the Ati Rudra Maha Yajna and had actively participated in all the preparations leading to this grand event. 
The V.R. Venkataachalam family with Sri Sathya Sai at their residence
Bhagavan blessed the members of the Venkataachalam family and spent valuable time with them, while the students and senior devotees who were accompanying Bhagavan were hosted to a grand lunch at the Venkataachalam residence. 
Thereafter, Bhagavan visited the residence of Sri N. Ramani, State President, Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Tamil Nadu. Way back in the year 1988, Bhagavan had promised Smt. Ramani that He would visit their house. 
Sri N. Ramani and his family with Sri Sathya Sai at their residence
During this visit, Bhagavan mentioned about this promise to her and said, “Today, after 19 years I have kept My promise.” Smt. Ramani might have forgotten about Bhagavan’s promise, but He hadn’t. He also blessed the new music studio of Sri Ramani’s son – Shravanam. He blessed the Ramani family to serve Him lunch and spent nearly half an hour with them. 
Chennai Police offers their salutations
to Sri Sathya Sai
On 29th evening, Bhagavan blessed the devotees outside Sundaram before proceeding to the Yajna site. 29th January evening was dedicated to the Police personnel and Corporation workers for the privileged Darshan of Bhagavan. So a large number of them were seated accordingly in the Yajnashala. For many, it was their first experience of being in the Divine presence. January 29th 2007, will remain etched in the memories of the staff of Sankara Nethralaya, the famous eye hospital at Chennai. It was on that day Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba blessed this hospital with His benevolent Presence. 
Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai
Bhagavan arrived at the hospital premises at 7.15 pm. Bhagavan was welcomed with the traditional honours by Dr. Badrinath and Dr. (Mrs.) Vasanthi Badrinath. Bhagavan listened to the Vedic chants recited by the male staff of the hospital. To the delight of every one, Bhagavan materialised Vibhuti for Dr. S. Ramakrishnan, the Head of the Biochemistry Department. And also Sri Sundar, Commercial Head was blessed with Vibhuti Prasadam by Bhagavan. Dr. Lingam Gopal, Chairman, Sankara Netralaya accompanied Bhagavan to all the units of the hospital. Bhagavan spent some time going through the posters that described the various departments and functions of the hospital. Bhagavan interacted with the staff in His own inimitable way. Sri V. Murali, head of the Tele-ophthalmology Department was blessed by Bhagavan and Bhagavan interacted with the people of a remote village Gundu Kallu of Andhra Pradesh through Tele-ophthalmology link of Sankar Nethralaya.
Sri Sathya Sai at Sankara Nethralaya. On the extreme right is Dr. Badrinath.
Dr. T. S. Surendran, Vice Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya and his wife Mrs. Jayanthi were blessed by Bhagavan. Since 29th January happened to be their wedding anniversary, Bhagavan materialised Vibhuti for them. Bhagavan blessed Ms. Nagamani, a former employee of the hospital who was bed ridden, with great love. 
Smt. Vani Jayaram interacting with Sri Sathya Sai. At the back is Dr. Badrinath
Thereafter He blessed the gathering from a specially erected stage amidst the melodious singing of Smt. Vani Jayaram. As a follow up of Bhagavan’s visit to Sankar Naetralaya, the Hospital will undertake new programs to further its mission of offering free medical services with Bhagavan’s blessings.
After showering the bliss of His Divine Darshan on all, Bhagavan left for Sundaram at 7.50 pm. On His return to Sundaram, Bhagavan went into Shirdi Sai Mandir, spoke to some devotees and accepted Mangala Aarati. He then went to the Bhajan Mandir to bless all the Trust Members and their families assembled there, before retiring for the evening. 
Sri Sathya Sai at the Shirdi Sai Mandir in the Sundaram Complex
The 30th January, 2007, marked the conclusion of the 11th day glorious period of Ati Rudra Maha Yajnam. By 4.00 am on that morning, the whole Yajna Mandap was filled to capacity. Bhagavan granted His Divine Darshan to the devotees on the sacred day in the Yajna Mandap at 10.14 am. 
Sri Sathya Sai presiding over the Ati Rudra Maha Yajna at Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai
After the Divine Darshan, the All India President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Sri V. Srinivasan requested the mammoth gathering to observe two minutes of silence as a mark of respect to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the nation on this day. In the Mandap, filled with over 60,000 devotees, not a sound could be heard! This occasion was indeed a testimony to the might of Bhagavan and the devotees’ love and respect for their beloved Bhagavan. Veda chanting was resumed then. Bhagavan signalled the Bhajan group and Nadaswaram troupe to start. The Poornahuti began at 11.15 am. Bhagavan sat in front of the main Yajna Kundam, blessed the offerings to be poured in the Yajna fire and took a fistful of the offerings Himself and cast it in the fire. 
The Poornahuti of the Ati Rudra Maha Yajna
The holy waters from all the sacred rivers kept in the Kalashas were opened and the Kumbabhishekam was performed to the Siva Lingam. The Ritwiks, at Bhagavan’s instance, went around the entire Yajnashala and sprinkled the sacred Yajna Teerth on all the devotees. Bhagavan accepted the offering of Maha Mangala Aarati at 11.50 am and left for Sundaram.
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks - The Valedictory Discourse
On the afternoon of 30th January, the programme commenced with Bhajan. After Bhagavan’s Divine Darshan, the speaker that evening, Sri Ajit Popat from U.K. blessed by Bhagavan, addressed the gathering. Thereafter, Bhagavan blessed the devotees with His Divine Discourse. Bhagavan’s message was:
“We should always pray for the world peace. True peace lies in the welfare and the advancement of the world. All are the children of God. All should prosper. All should be happy. My happiness lies in the happiness of everybody. I am extremely happy and peaceful when you are happy and peaceful. Embodiments of love! You should receive love. You should run after love. You should experience love. You should find all the bliss in love. He is a true human being, who finds love originating in his heart. The Ati Rudra Maha Yajna is performed for the benefit of the entire humanity. In fact, your lives are fulfilled in performing this Yajna, in following this Yajna, in listening to holy Mantras. Though you are listening to all these Mantras here, you find the word ‘Sai Ram, Sai Ram’ echoing in all the streets of Chennai. The inner feeling which is incessant and continuous finds its manifestation, today. Therefore, whatever little is known must be put to practice. Therein lays the fulfillment of human life.”
Bhagavan accepted Mangala Aarati marking the conclusion of this great Yajna.
Sri Sathya Sai Sundareshwara Lingam
On 31st morning, the auspicious Sai Sundareshwar Lingam was brought into Sundaram by the Sai Youth amidst Bhajan singing. The Lingam was installed in the main Bhajan Mandir and the Bhajan singing continued.
Sri Sathya Sai at the Sundaram Bhajan Hall.
In the background is the Sundareshwara Lingam.
Bhagavan went into the Bhajan Mandir and came out to bless the devotees with His Divine Darshan. He took a full round, blessing every now and then, went outside blessing all the people along the way, down the road outside and came back through the rear gate of the Mandir.
Sri Sathya Sai blessing Smt. Anjali Devi and her family who organised the Ganapati Homam at Sundaram for the 11 days.
He was then greeted by all the Rithwiks who performed the Ganapati Homam at Sundaram every morning. Bhagavan blessed them all. He accepted Mangala Aarati before getting inside His car. Thus, concluded the glorious visit of Bhagavan to Chennai on 31st January morning.
The Final Darshan at Sundaram
During His 12 days of stay at Chennai, Bhagavan visited as many as ten devotees’ houses. On His return to Puttaparthi, Bhagavan termed His Chennai visit, “Digvijayam”.
Sri Sathya Sai on board the Paramount Airways flight

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