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Akhanda Jyothi Jalaavo??.

It was just past the Sandhya time (the time of sunset) on the 26th April. Location is Thrayee Brindavanam, Bangalore, the Abode of our dear Sai, and the Ashram premises. The occasion was the celebration of 20th year anniversary of Thrayee Brindavanam.

Bhagavan had allowed the devotees of Bangalore as well as the students who were still staying in Brindavanam to light one lakh (one hundred thousand) tiny candle lamps all over the Ashram. All the devotees were invited to participate in this Jyothise Jyothi jalaavo event. (To light one candle from another candle and so on?) No instructions were given. Plenty of candles were provided to devotees. It was upto them to arrange and organize as they liked it.

The devotees used all their imaginations in arranging the candle lamps in designs, which they developed on the spot. Many groups selected places separately. There were lamps from the Entry gate of Ashram, in front of overseas devotees canteen, in front of Stores and coffee shop, then taking a turn near the book stall and along the hostel block and straight through the roads leading to Swami?s residence. Lamps were lit on the sides of the roads and in the middle of the road in several designs.

Devotees had taken places inside Sai Ramesh Hall to arrange the lamps. The stage where Swami sits, the balcony, the small steps, and down near the Ganesha idol. There were rows of lamps on either side of pathways (aisle) made in white marbles inside the hall. IN between the pathways and also the places where normally devotees sit inside the hall, were all utilized to arrange lamps in various designs. Old and the young all-alike cheerfully participated in this great seva. Within a matter of half an hour, the entire Ashram was shining by the burning lamps.

Oh Lord! It was sheer joy to see such a delightful sight. Almost all the Electric lights had been switched off. The whole area was glittering by the candlelight in all its excellence and brilliance.

I too was one of those lucky persons who got the opportunity to light some candles. While I was lighting one candle from another one, my thoughts went back to another Divine event in which I had participated. The occasion was lighting of Brass lamps from the Akhanda Jyothi lit by Bhagavan Baba at Sri Sathya Sai Ananda Nilayam, Madurai. A group of 1200 devotees from Mauritius wished to take Divine Jyothi lit from the Akhanda Jyothi from Madurai and take them to their homes. There were elaborate Poojas and rituals at Ananda Nilayam to mark the lighting of Jyothise Jyothi?I was most fortunate to be an instrument in carrying couple of Lamps from Madurai to the sea port in Bombay, on its way to Mauritius. Many devotees from Bombay took advantage of the presence of Divine Jyothi in their city and lit their own small brass lamps for installing the Jyothi in the altars of their homes!

Swami is taking us one more step further in our spiritual endeavors. After daily Bhajans, it was Veda chanting daily at Prashanthi Nilayam. This had inspired millions of devotees all over the world, to listen or even try learning chanting of Vedas. Thousand of CD-ROMs and cassettes were sold out at Prashanthi Nilayam and Whitefield.

Now perhaps it is time for ?Thamaso Maa Jyothir gamaya?? Lighting the lamps in symbolic way to wipe out darkness of ignorance from our minds. When the lamp is lit, the darkness is removed, and it brings joy to have brilliance of light around us. Likewise, when the ignorance is removed from our mind, the brilliance of Jnana is realized.

By organizing such a Akhanda Laksha Jyothi programme at Whitefield, Swami is introducing another aspect of Spiritual practice, which I am sure will be picked up by devotees across the globe during important functions. This is perhaps the next stage of evolution in spiritual practice. This practice takes us to ?Thamaso Maa Jyothir Gamaya??

Step-by-step, patiently Swami is guiding His devotees in the spiritual ladder. For us it is important that we learn the spiritual significance in each and every such devotional activity, which Swami is introducing for His Devotees.

I shall mail separately some photo snaps of this wonderful event


Venkatchalam Srinivas