Pilgrims from all over the country embarked on a pilgrimage to Prashanti Nilayam
By: Ravi Thaver
NATIONAL DEVOTIONAL COORDINATOR | SSIO ZONE 9A
Pilgrims from all over the country embarked on a pilgrimage (yatra) to Prashanti Nilayam. The program consisted of Vedam chanting, Bhajan, a drama entitled “I am I” and a musical of songs in English, Zulu and Sanskrit. The pilgrims started converging on Prashanti Nilayam from the 29th September 2015 to settle in for the start of the pilgrimage on the 3rd October 2015. All orientation took place on the 3rd. The Vedam team started their practice thereafter. Full practice started on the 4th after Darshan.
The pilgrims were treated to a surprise talk on the evening of the 4th by the Prashanti Mandir team of the evergreen Sri Ravi Kumar, Sri Ameya Pandey and Sri Siddarth Raju all who are famous for the Nadabrahma series and the bhajan workshop they conducted in Bangalore and Delhi. We pray that Swami wills and blesses South Africa to bring these divine musicians to our country.
The advice on bhajan singing as would be expected from Bhagavan was exceptionally received and the opportunity for our musicians to accompany the divine singers can only be a blessing from Bhagavan. The experience was exhilarating and all pilgrims felt the positive energy that enveloped the entire hall that morning. The morning of the 5th October 2015 saw the South Africans all gather in Sai Kulwant Hall to begin the day’s program of Vedam Chanting, Bhajan and Divya Aarthi. The morning program started at 8.00am with card as an offering of the chants made to Bhagavan of the Vedic chanting done for a hour till 9.00am. Devotees then offered roses and a card of the bhajan to Bhagavan then proceeded to present the Bhajans till 9.30am. The experience was exhilarating and all pilgrims felt the positive energy that enveloped the entire hall that morning. All pilgrims had an enjoyable session presenting their love to the Lord in HIS abode of peace.
Our devotees offered to Swami the Aarthi to end the first program of the morning session.
The morning program was followed by practice for the musical and drama. Pilgrims focused on the offering to be made on the 9th October. The evening program saw Sri Deepak Anand address the pilgrims on messages of our dearest Lord and experiences that provided motivation to all. The messages for a sadhak were clear, allow god to do HIS work through you. Become an instrument and experience the love.
The question and answer session provided great insight into the 3 pathways to god being Karma Yoga (seva), Bhakthi Yoga (Devotion) and Jnana Yoga (Educare). The following day saw the practice for the musical and drama with a talk by Srimathi Sundaravalli who addressed the devotees on the importance of discipline, dedication, devotion and determination for the work of the Lord that we are so graciously blessed with.
The Wednesday saw most of the pilgrims go on a bus tour of all the important milestones of the mission of Bhagavan ranging from the birth place to the Kalpavruksha tree on to the super speciality hospital followed by the visit to the Chaitanya Jyothi museum and the planetarium. This all happened whilst Swami blessed South Africa to render Vedam and bhajans on the Thursday morning which gave the National Music Team and National Vedic Chanting team the opportunity to present the unending Love to our Lord. A true privilege indeed.
Wednesday night continued with early practice before the discourse that was to be delivered by Prof. Anil Kumar that evening was delivered on Thursday after the South African vedam and Bhajan session. The South Africans once again gathered in Sai Kulwant to present their love to the Lord in the form of Bhajans and vedic chanting. A thoroughly enjoyed session that was enjoyed by all the pilgrims. The loving Professor reminiscence on his trip to South Africa and provided devotees with the message that all should focus on the mission of Bhagavan and keep themselves following the master and none other. The interaction with Prof. Anil Kumar had devotees glued to their seats.
Thursday night saw the Drama cast and musical team practice late into the night whilst the rain god showered us with the blessings that saw the Chitravathi River flow after many years. The drama and musical was exceptionally received. The country provided prasadam for the 8000 devotees that were present. The teams practised in different venues. The music team in the regular hall allocated to South Africa and the drama team in Sai Kulwant Hall. The two teams then met thereafter to understand the seating and space allocation for the main program on Friday night. The hall was abuzz with activities of all the teams preparing whilst the LED screen team set up the screen that looked brilliant with its graphics of the Lord.
The 9th October arrived and the pilgrims all settled into an early practice for drama and musical. All pilgrims had an early day to prepare and reflect on the offering to be made. All pilgrims gathered at 3.00pm to prepare the sound and setup for the presentation. The drama and musical was exceptionally received. The country provided prasadam for the 8000 devotees that were present. South Africa was well represented in all spheres of the pilgrimage. All pilgrims enjoyed an exciting journey from the form to the formless.