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Happy and Holy Dasara

The victory of good over evil is an essential step for a spiritual aspirant in his or her eternal quest for divinity. It is only our constant efforts to subjugate evil thoughts, words and deeds, and our sincere endeavours to sublimate the inner demonic tendencies of lust, greed, anger, pride, envy and delusion that bring us closer and closer to the divinity inherent within us, and thus to the permanent culmination of this quest.

The celebration of the Dasara or Navarathri (10 day or 9 nights) festival signifies such victory for a spiritual aspirant and encourages one to march ahead with steadfast faith, enthusiasm and love. Our beloved Lord, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba explains that the triune of Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi- the chief deities are worshipped during these nine nights- are only the physical forms given to the subtle and divine potencies latent within all of us. They symbolise the Will power (Ichchaa Shakti), the power of purposeful action (Kriya Shakti), and the power of discrimination (Jnana Shakti). Thus during this festival, the spiritual aspirant focuses all attention on converting one’s will power into a deep yearning for God; on harnessing one’s power of purposeful action into a force for engaging in divine actions; on developing the power of discrimination into the Divine Itself.

'Therefore, the Navarathri festival is observed by contemplating on God for ten days, cleansing oneself of all impurities, in order to experience the divinity within. The penultimate day of the festival is dedicated to what is termed "worship of weapons (ayudha puja). The weapons to be worshipped are the divine powers in man. When the divine is worshipped in this way, one is bound to progress spiritual'
-Bhagawan Baba, 14.10.1994

For Sai devotees, Dasara festival is also associated with the great burst of special activities at Prasanthi Nilayam over the years, and the heightened spiritual fervour that one experiences in its precincts. In the early years (1940s and 1950s), Bhagawan would give special and unique Darshans during the enthusiastic procession through the village of Puttaparthi. In 1961, Bhagawan inaugurated the special 7-day Yagna called the ‘Veda Purusha Sapthaha Jnana Yagna’ that has since been conducted every year during this festival. In later years, Prasanthi Vidwan Mahasabha (Conference of great vedic scholars, poets, and logicians), All India Conferences, Narayana Seva (feeding the poor) and many other such activities were initiated by Bhagawan.

Also, the final day of Dasara, renowned as the Vijaya Dasami Day (10th day of Victory) is special for all devotees. In Prasanthi Nilayam Bhagawan would preside over the ‘Poornahuthi’ ( full and final offering) of the Yagna, and later sprinkle the sacred water on the multitudes of devotees assembled there who yearned for this divine benediction. Vijayadasami is also the day when our Lord in His previous Incarnation as Bhagawan Sri Shirdi Sai Baba took Mahasamadhi. This event which has been recorded as Seemollanghan has been referred to by Bhagawan many times in the past. Recently in 2007, commencing His Divine Discourse on Vijayadasami day, Bhagawan revealed an incident, wherein He had called Lakshmi Bai, an ardent devotee, and gave her two coins on which the date of His passing was inscribed!

‘Embodiments of Divine Love! All the festivals of Bharatiyas have been designed to promote divine love among the people. It is to confer such love on the people that the Lord incarnates on earth. He Himself demonstrates how love should be expressed. He showers His love and teaches everyone how to love. Hence, experience this love and joy in your life and live in peace’
Bhagawan Baba, 18.10.1991

Dr. Veeru Mudigonda
National Spiritual Coordinator