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Christmas-day morning 2002

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The Awaited Christmas Day - Morning Programme

On the Christmas Day morning, i.e. on the 25 December, the Lord came out at 5.10 a.m. in a white robe. The Mother Nature was just unfolding the buds of Her beauty, but seeing the charismatic and enthralling sight of the Lord in Whites made Her huddle up again in Her own bosom. Time seemed to have stood still, as the Lord walked majestically and enchantingly through rows of folded hands with a multitude of overflowing hearts and eyes focussed on Him. One was reminded of the lines from Savitri authored by Sri Aurobindo when he probably visualised this moment a century ago and wrote:

Incarnate the white passion of Thy force,
Mission to Earth some living form of Thee.
One moment filled with Thy eternity,
Let Thy infinity in one body live,
All-Knowledge wrap one mind in seas of light,
All-Love throb single in one human heart.
Immortal, treading the earth with mortal feet,
All heaven's beauty crowd in Earthly limbs!
(Canto IV: The vision and the Boon)

There are moments in each one of our lives which we would like to cherish forever. This was unquestionably one such great moment.

Bhagawan headed straight for the interview room from the ladies side and at 5.40 a.m. gave permission for the programme to start. A huge conch blown by an equally huge personality, marked its beginning. The devotees and the students of Bhagawan's Institutions waited with lighted candles in their hands. It was a remarkable sight and it seemed as if the hearts lighted with the flame of Bhagawan's divinity wanted to take a pledge in the presence divine, of spreading this light of love to all the nooks and corners of the world. The morning 'Suprabhatam' continued in the Bhajan Hall, followed by Vedic chanting and singing of bhajans around the mandir as is the daily routine of the Ashram.

The silence of expectation was broken with the opening of the doors of the 'inner-view' room and the coming of the Lord amongst the eagerly awaiting devotees. After cutting the cakes made by the overseas devotees, the students of the Institute and those working in various of Bhagawan's institutions, the Lord sat on His chair. After an overseas devotee who conducted the programme offered a rose to Bhagawan, the choir group sang a few carols in a malleable and low pitch that sounded as if the nectar of devotion was flowing from their hearts in the form of words. After this, Bhagawan accepted arathi at 6.00 a.m. and proceeded to Poorna Chandra.

The second 'darshan' for the morning in ochre robe was at 7.20 a.m. By this time, the tiny-tots of the Sri Sathya Sai Primary School wearing red coats and holding violins and a few flutes in their hands were occupying the place in front of Bhagawan along with their elder brothers of the Institute who had readied all instruments for singing carols to their Sai Jesus. At 7.25 a.m. after a primary school boy received the blessing and permission of Bhagawan through presentation of a rose and a card, the programme started.

As the astounded crowd heard the immaculate notes emanating from the instruments of these children of Sai, a few children dressed up as Santa Clause and angels went round the devotees and students, throwing chocolates to their great delight. After a solo presentation by one of the students on violin, this memorable programme came to an end, leaving a smile on the face and joy in the hearts of each present there.

Now it was the turn of their elder brothers of the institute to set for them the high ideals they would have to reach and surpass when they grow up. The Institute band leader offered a rose and a card to Bhagawan and sought His divine blessings. The students of the Institute, playing on their gold-plated Yamaha instruments literally etched in gold this day in the hearts of all fortunate to be present. Playing eight carols, each surpassing the previous in dexterity and synchronization, the boys of Bhagawan's Institute of Higher Learning made one feel that truly, there is no limit to what man can achieve with the perfect mix of application and Grace divine. As the tempo built-up with one hearing the footsteps of Rudolph the red-nose Reindeer coming closer with the jingle bells on the one horse sleigh clearly discernable, the crowd of devotees involuntarily clapped to keep pace in this journey of sheer joy. Unfortunately all good things end too soon, but not in the Divine presence. Now it was the turn of the students of Bhagawan's coveted Institution of Higher Learning to take the devotees to higher planes of bliss divine.

Accompanied by Jazz drums, guitars and two keyboards, with counters for most carols sung with amazing perfection, the carols came from the depth of their hearts and seeped everyone deeper in the joy of Christmas day. As they ended with thunderous wishing of merry Christmas and a happy new year to all, the devotees smiled with joy and folded their hand in thanksgiving to Bhagawan for such a wonderful Christmas morn. Prasadam in the form of chocolates were distributed before Bhagawan accepted 'harthi' and retired for the morning at 8.30 a.m.