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REPORT ON CHRISTMAS: 25th December, 2005:


Christmas is one of the major festivals of the world that celebrates the advent of the Son of God – Jesus Christ. At Prasanthi Nilayam, this festival gains more significance and charm as the devotees of Christ have the great fortune of celebrating the advent of the Son of God in His Father’s Presence.

On 25th morning, the beautifully decorated Sai Kulwant Hall was packed to its capacity with many devotees from India and abroad waiting for a glimpse of the Lord. At 7 a.m., Bhagawan’s car glided into the Hall amidst the strains of soft choir music and Vedic chants. After going around the Hall granting Darshan to the multitudes, Bhagawan alighted from the car and was seated on the dais. The first programme was a musical presentation by the students of Sri Sathya Sai Primary school, Prasanthi Nilayam. The young virtuosos held the audience captive for close to 15 minutes playing on their violins and flutes.

The next item was a musical offering by the Brass Band of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam. The band leader came forward and showed a beautiful card to Swami and sought His blessings for their programme. They kept the audience enthralled by playing carols. Following this, the students sang many popular carols like “All night long I shall burn my Christmas candle”, “Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose”. The songs were preceded by a brief commentary by two students on the significance of the song. As the song “Jingle Bells” was being sung, Santa Claus came to the front and after getting his bag of toffees blessed by Bhagawan, went dancing and distributing the goodies to everyone in the Hall. The morning session concluded with Arati.

In the afternoon, Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant Hall at 3.50 p.m. Devotees from overseas had assembled to present a musical offering in the form of Christmas carols. The program began with a short skit which explained the true spirit in which Christmas is to be celebrated. The skit portrayed how the celebration of the birth of the Saviour has been reduced to a mere shopping and merrymaking exercise instead of being imbued with sacred feelings of gratitude and veneration. At the end of the play, a child dressed as Jesus Christ came and bowed before Bhagawan and prayed to Him to bless everyone and guide them along the path of love. This was followed by the choir by the overseas devotees, first by children and then by the adults. After the invocation to Lord Ganesha, the devotees sang a number of carols celebrating the Yuletide spirit. The sound of hundreds of voices united as one in adoration of the Divine filled the hall lifting the hearts of the thousands who gathered there. The songs were in worship of all the manifestations of Divinity, Jesus, Allah, Krishna, Buddha, Mahavira and Zarathushtra, set to scintillating music.

The programme concluded with Arati and Prasadam being distributed to the devotees.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!