“Arjuna saw the entire universe,divided in many ways, but standing as
(all in One) and One in all, the body of Krishnam – he God of gods.”
The following story was brilliantly penned by Susan C. in 1993. The surreal atmosphere and jollity of the festival is captured in this story. Susan, at the time, edited a small newspaper on everything “Sai.” The newspaper, being popular, was distributed all over the world. Sai Devotees from abroad picked up copies from Susan’s room and took them home to share with others. Susan C. still resides in Puttaparthi… God Bless her!
Krishna Jayanthi Celebrations
If you love Lord Krishna, and to know Him is to love Him, where would
you want to spend His festival day? In Brindavan, surely with his
gopalas and gopis and cows. Well that’s what was in store for the
devotees of Sri Sai Baba one August many years ago in Whitefield,
As dawn broke on this special morning, we heard the Nagasankirtan
singers chanting, ‘Bansidhara Kanaya’ (recite the name of Lord
Krishna) as they passed the guest house going to the compound. We
quickly hurried to see our Krishna, as did the gopis of old, for the
Rasa Vilola on the banks of the Yamuna. A middle number in the lines
took us into Sai Ramesh Hall and as we passed the beautifully
decorated gate to ‘Sai Krishnas’ abode, we heard the temple musicians
playing. Oh! He must be feeding those lucky cows, we thought, with a
little envy. We wondered if they were dressed in their finery with
tassels on their horns. We didn’t have to wonder about Sai Ramesh Hall
however. We could see finery everywhere and we felt lucky to be
inside. Garlands of flowers and long streamers flowed down from the
top of Shanthi Nedika – roses, jasmine and various colours of
marigolds completely covered the two pillars in front of the hall, and
the top was scalloped with wreaths of beautiful bright flowers. Oh how
lovely it looked.
Swami’s silver chair upholstered in maroon velvet was centre stage. We
recognised it as the one used for Chaturi last year. This year, we
wondered what Sai leelas were in store for us.
Swami’s ‘gems’ were on signs around the edges of the hall, “all are
one, be alike to everyone.” “Care more for remarks than for marks.” to
name just a few. The T.V. sets were in place also. Just as we were
writing down the sayings, we glanced up at the screen to see Sai
Krishna taking notes from His gopalas – a previous film.
The Seva Dals and singers were wearing their new finery graciously
given by our Swami the previous day. They looked quite grand in their
silk sarees with deep gold borders. The Krishna statue was richly
decorated of course, with many garlands reaching to the floor in front
of a floral temple door.
Lord Ganesha was in His place in front, decorated with flowers and,
perhaps, anxiously waiting for His day to come next month. The tall
brass lamps were lit, four wicks in each bringing illumination to each
of the four quarters of the hall and maybe the world too? Oh! how
heavenly it is to be in Brindavan itself with our Sai Krishna – even
if we couldn’t see Him with the cows!
The programme starts: Boys sing a traditional Ganesha Bhajan, then
entered the temple musicians through the inner gates, followed by the
students chanting slokas, followed by the cows – Oh! Swami, it’s the
cows – all dressed in their finery. We weren’t in a good position to
see but the T.V. picked up adorable pictures of Swami feeding pongal
(a rice dish) and bananas to the happy sacred cows. He broke coconuts
and did Arathi as well. How marvellous! We could hear the prayers
uttered by the retinue. Then Swami (Vasudeva) entered in his pitambara
robes of a lovely golden silk. Before assuming his chair, he cut an
enormous blue cake – and the boys sang “Krishan Vande Jagat Guru”
followed by a wonderful song describing all of His attributes as
“Madhuram, Madhuram” (sweeter than sweet).
After this, an orchestra of small boys came and sat on the stage at
the lotus feet of Swami. They sang with gusto but it wasn’t until we
heard the familiar tunes from the ‘Ramakatha’ that we realised they
were the Puttaparthi primary school boys. They had difficulty with
only one thing. After an absence of six months away from Swami, they
couldn’t stare straight ahead as they sang, but turned their young
faces to Swami, who continued to look lovingly at them. The divine
magnet held them and they couldn’t turn away. After the RamaKatha
song, Swami preformed Arathi and the Puttaparthi boys brought boxes of
wonderful sweet, buttery prasad to be blessed. This was given to the
Seva Dals and Brindavan singers and supervised lovingly by Bhagavan
Baba – who seemed to enjoy this small part of his divine activity.
Swami then returned slowly to his home.
Might add that Susan Cadfray sadly died a year ago..