Dear Sisters and
Brothers in Sai,
Sri Sai Ram
You are heartily invited to take part in the
Christmas Surprise granted by our beloved Bhagavn Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
excerpts of a devotee´s mail will give Your mind some good guidance ...
This year (2004) I got to
experience a Prashanti Christmas and it was was even more spectacular.
The hall was filled with beautiful red and green decorations including
six almost life-size angels, with gorgeous flowing gowns and gold wings.
In fact, the entire ashram was decorated, including the Western canteen.
For two days at Christmas, Westerners are given preferred seating (...).
On the afternoon of the 24th Swami came into the hall in one of His new
carts (...). The hall was full, but everyone seemed to get inside. After
Swami took His seat, the children’s choir presented their program. They
gave a wonderful, energetic performance of songs and carols. Then the 600
member adult choir presented their program. There were no Christmas
carols, but a beautiful set of love songs to Swami. He seemed very
pleased with their performance, leaning back in His chair with eyes closed
in a familiar pose, raising the energy with His left hand. Swami gave
permission for the choir to sing a couple of encore songs and then
requested they sing bhajans while He had prasad distributed to the crowd
(Indian sweet with silver foil on top). The choir led us in several
rousing bhajans. Swami got out of His chair and went inside the interview
room for some minutes then emerged and entered the mandir where He sat for
more bhajans lead by His students. He left the hall in the cart just
after 5:30 pm. That evening, the Western canteen provided a Christmas
meal for 30 rupees, which included shepherd’s pie and mango ice cream.
The canteen staff had put candles on the tables and lowered the lights,
so it was like a real Christmas meal.
On Christmas Day (25.12.), at morning darshan, the World Choir
(...) was invited to sit behind the Christmas Choir (...). Swami came
sometime after 7 am in the same cart as the day before, wearing his normal
orange robe. The hall was full and devotees had to sit outside as not all
could get in. After going around the hall in the cart, Swami took His
seat on the veranda and the His students put on their Christmas program.
First, was a small band of older boys who did an excellent job playing a
number of traditional Christmas songs, such as Winter Wonderland complete
with the sound of cracking whip and horse’s whinny at the end.
Next came a performance of the younger violin group who did several carols
including jingle bells while several of the young students in Santa
costumes skipped around the hall throwing candy to the crowd. Swami was
enjoying every minute, tapping His hands to the music and blessing the
small »Santa’s« when then came to kneel before Him. The final performance
of the morning was done by a combination group of students (both younger
and older). They did a more contemporary rendition of some Christmas
music, which included vocals. In between each song, a boy came forward to
speak a few words of introduction about Christmas, Jesus and/or Swami.
After they finished, Swami asked them to lead bhajans and then had prasad
distributed (dates). Anil Kumar announced that Swami would give a
discourse at 4 pm. Swami left the hall in the cart around 9:30 am.
In the afternoon (25.12.), Swami came into the hall around 3:30 pm
and made the rounds in His cart. He surprised us by signaling to have a
car brought into the hall. We were all wondering what was going to
happen. It was a new car, I hadn’t seen before -- small, but still larger
than the golf carts. Since the crowd was large, the driver had a bit of
difficulty, but finally managed to drive around the hall, up onto the
veranda, then back out and around in front of the veranda steps. We were
all still wondering what this was all about. The driver opened the car
door -- sliding door similar to minivan doors on cars in the USA. We
could see the car interior and the passenger seat. (The car only had two
seats). The driver, using a remote control pushed a button and the
passenger seat, swung out from the interior and then lowered to the
ground. The driver then got out and showed how the seat was easily
detached and became a rolling chair. Anil Kumar came on the microphone to
describe how the car had arrived just that morning, unexpectedly, and then
described all the features we had just witnessed. Swami was obviously
extremely pleased and wanted to share His new Christmas present with all
His devotees at the ashram! It was a very happy moment. The driver then
reversed the process by putting the car seat easily back in place and
raising it back into the car with the remote. The car was driven back
onto the veranda behind the Ganesh statue where we could not see it.
The afternoon program then commenced with the head of the Christmas
committee introducing three speakers(...).
(...) Then it was time for Swami to give His discourse. The full
text will be available on the web shortly, but in quick summation: He
said that there is nothing that is not God and that all that occurs is His
will. He talked about His new car and how, even though it arrived
unexpectedly, it was His will. He encouraged us to pray, but not to have
expectations about the outcome. All prayers are answered, but not
necessarily in the manner we might expect. After the discourse, Swami had
gifts (four-color printed booklets with photos and Swami quotes) and
prasad (cookies) distributed. The students sang bhajans as the prasad was
Finally, the new car was brought out from behind the Ganesh statue and
Swami demonstrated how the seat worked by getting in while we all watched!
He was so happy and that made us all so joyful. The car was driven back
around the men’s side (the students rushed to be reseated near the aisle
in order to have a good look). The car windows were rolled down and Swami
waved blessings to everyone as He slowly left the hall.
It was a most wonderful and happy
Christmas celebration here at Prashanti Nilayam.
Posted on 26.12.2004 by Jay Sai