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Easwaramma Day Celebrations 2003 - A Report

The strains of Nadaswaram music rose into the air. The atmosphere surcharged with the silent anticipation of the thousands of devotees who had gathered in the precincts of Brindavan, now reverberated with the sound of Bhajans. As Bhagawan entered the Sai Ramesh Hall, a light smile playing on His lips, and the eyes beheld the beautiful Form of the Lord, the devotes remembered with gratitude, the great soul who had gifted this precious treasure into humanity.

The 6th of May each year commemorates the anniversary of Easwaramma, the mother of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. In honour of her immense love for children, this day is celebrated as Balvikas Day. Indeed, the proceedings of the day belonged entirely to the Bal Vikas children of Bangalore and other areas of Karnataka.

The festivities began in the morning with Bhajans sung by groups of Balvikas children. And as they sang, Bhagawan walked amidst them, taking their letters and talking to them. The eager look on the young faces as Bhagawan walked among them was a delightful sight indeed.

Bhagawan then ascended the stage which was tastefully decorated with flowers and portraits of Mother Easwaramma and the Father, Venkama Raju. The morning programme commenced with invocatory Vedic chanting by Bal Vikas children. Bhagawan then blessed Sri Sriram Parasuram, a former student now working at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram to address the gathering. He spoke on the uniqueness of the relationship between Easwaramma and Bhagawan. He quoted an incident that took place in 1936 where Bhagawan once decided to go to the Harijan settlement nearby, to distribute sarees to the residents. Easwaramma was shocked as these people were considered by society as untouchables. But, Bhagawan told her, "these people are Harijans, they are the children of Hari". The mother stood silent for some time as she comprehended what her Son had just told her, and then without saying a word took the bundle of sarees from His Hands to distribute them herself. In this way, the speaker said, Bhagawan instructed and corrected Easwaramma and was hence a Mother to his own mother too.

Bhagawan began His Discourse with a couplet explaining the ephemeral nature of wealth. He said that we do not enter the world bejewelled by ornaments and nor do we take any wealth with us when we leave. We enter the world with a sole chain hanging around our neck, the chain of the consequences of our past actions. Performing our actions with full awareness of their possible consequences was the main theme of the Discourse. He specifically instructed the children to be respectful and obedient to their parents, to regard them as God, and to begin each day by paying their obeisance to them.

There was a nice surprise in store for the Bal Vikas children and the students as Bhagawan had graciously arranged lunch for them after the morning programme. The multitudes of devotees who had gathered there were also fortunate to partake of the Divine Prasadam.

In the evening, the Bal Vikas children of Bangalore district presented a programme based on the life of Sri Adi Sankara, the great Advaitic monk of South India. They presented various episodes from the life of Sankara that tell us how both the path of Jnana (knowledge) and the path of Bhakthi (devotion) lead equally to God. At the end of the programme, Bhagawan blessed the young artistes by standing for a photograph with them.

The saintly Mother Easwaramma, has the rarest of chances of being the mother of the Avatar Himself. This day when we remember this simple and pious lady, we also learn an important lesson - to win the Grace of our Lord, all we need is pure, innocent and loving heart, shorn of all pretence and artificiality. May our Lord Sai bless us all with selfless love and devotion of Mother Easwaramma.