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
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.