Details of Sivarathri Trip to Parthi

Aum Sri Sai Ram

Sai Ram Brothers,

This email is to update all about the trip some of us (#60) made to Parthi on the occasion of Sivarathri.

March 7, 2005
8:15 pm
The mood in the railway station was exuberant; it was resounding with  Swami's glorious name. There were only two thoughts on everyone's  mind - 1) Seva opportunity in the Canteen 2) Our beloved Lord's  darshan (off course a guy like me would have also thought about  service near "Sai Geetha" and the two buckets of complimentary fresh Sugarcane juice Peddireddy garu usually gives!! ;-)) 

March 8, 2005
5:00 am
5 am??? Yes, that's correct. The train was scheduled to reach Parthi  @ 7:30 am, but all of us got up early to get fresh and be ready to  start the service in the canteen as soon as we touch base (ashram).  By the time we reached there, around 8 am, Swami had started the discourse (its unusual for Swami to give the discourse in the morning  on Sivarathri day). Because of that the accommodation office was not  open and we did not have a place to keep our luggage, nevertheless  nothing was going to stop us from starting the service; we dumped the luggage under a tree near the sheds and two of our brothers  volunteered to watch them.

There was decent amount of work in the canteen with thousands of  devotees pouring in for breakfast, lunch and dinner. None of us left  the canteen till late in the afternoon when all the work for the  Lunch session was over, including cleaning of utensils. Whenever  there was little time we did the much-needed job of cleaning the canteen!

March 9, 2005
1:00 am
25 bags of rice were cooked as prasadam (Pulihora), which was to be  distributed in the  morning Darshan. By about 4:30 am prasadam was  ready and we transported the vessels into the mandir, each weighing a  good 200-300 Kg. It was a sight to be seen as all the boys from Hyderabad (in their almost black clothes...thanks to the smoke and  dust in the kitchen) working in unison with the brothers from Swami's  college (in their lightening white clothes). I am sure Swami must  have been smiling from his room looking at the scene. task accomplished!

Swami poured his love on us by allowing us to sit behind the  students, straight in front of him, special darshan!! After all the  work in the night most of our brothers were in a state of meditation,  also called sleep ;-). Swami jolted every one of us back to the  awareness state when he started drinking water profusely. our eyes  were glued to the television set right in front of us to get better  view of what was happening on the stage, my immediate thought was, "liberation from this cycle of life and death has finally  arrived" ;-). Immediately Swami's hi-tech chariot was called for and  the Lord was paced into Poorna Chandra Hall. My search for Liberation started all over again!

After the darshan was over we had our share of Prasadam and headed to  our sheds to get some rest and also get ready to do service in the  fields where Sai Geetha resides. We reached there at around 5 pm and started cleaning the grounds. Peddireddy garu was also there with us and we thought that it was the right moment for us to request him to  address the group and share his experiences with Swami. This was a  unique opportunity; the details of it would be sent in another email,  don't miss to read it.

March 10, 2005
3:00 am
We were all eagerly waiting for this moment; it was Darshan time! All of us got ready by 4 am, did Omkaram and Gayathri Mantram recitation,  formed two lines and headed to Sai Kulwant Hall. Swami once again  blessed us with a Special Darshan place both in the morning and  afternoon. Some of the brothers in the group came to Parthi for the first. Darshan was a mind-blowing experience for all of us alike.  Swami blessed the group both in the morning and afternoon Darshans. 

4 pm. reality struck us. It was time for us to leave to Hyderabad. We  prayed for one last time to the glorious form and vowed to return as  better human beings/citizens. Swami, bless us all in this endeavor.

The journey back home was equally exiting, we sang Bhajans for about  2 hours and then retired for the day.

Dear Lord, we thank you once again for giving us this opportunity and pray that we get more of such in the future too.

Jai Sai Ram