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Love and Light

Ganesh Chaturthi

‘This day, That year'
Prasanthi Nilayam, 1st September 2000
Excerpts from Student Diaries ‘Heart to Heart’

The Vinayaka-principle, however, has only one meaning, which is relevant to everyone irrespective of whether he is a believer or a on-believer. "Vinayaka" means that He is totally master of Himself. He has no master above Him, He does not depend' on anyone. He is also called Ganapathi. This term means He is the lord of the ganas---a class of divine entities. This term also means that He is the master of the intellect and discriminating power in man. He possesses great intelligence and knowledge. Such knowledge issues from a pure and sacred mind. This knowledge leads to Vijnana (wisdom). Because He is the master of Buddhi (intelligence) and Siddhi (wisdom or realisation), He is described as the Lord of Buddhi and Siddhi. Buddhi and Siddhi are referred to as the consorts of Vinayaka.

Another name for Vinayaka is "Vighneswara." Easwara is one who is endowed with every conceivable form of wealth: riches, knowledge, health, bliss, beauty, etc. Vighneswara is the promoter of all these forms of wealth and removes all obstacles to their enjoyment. He confers all these forms of wealth on those who worship him. Vinayaka is described as "Prathama Vandana" (the first deity who should be worshipped). As everyone in the world desires wealth and prosperity, everyone offers the first place for worship to Vigneswara.

It is only when the inner meanings of various aspects relating to the Divine are understood that worship can be offered to the Divine meaningfully. Unfortunately, as only the superficial and worldly meanings of the scriptural texts are expounded these days, men's devotion is growing weaker continually. It is essential for everyone to understand the inner meaning of the Vedantic texts.

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, SSS Vol.24, Chapter 24

Today, Swami came for Darshan at 6.30 am. Students chanted stotrams and sang songs. In his divine discourse, Swami spoke on the significance of worshipping Vinayaka on this holy day. Later Swami went to inaugurate (near the north Indian canteen) a week long Homam and exhibition of 751 Ganesha idols of various hues and colours. The idols of Ganesha represented various Hindu gods and few gods of other religions, like Jesus Ganesha, Moulla Ganesha, and Buddha Ganesha. Shirdi Sai Ganesha idol was the main idol. Few of the idols were from foreign countries like China and Thailand. The function was titled as ‘Eka Pancha Saptha Sathi’.

On the 3rd September, it was Ganesha Idols Immersion day. The morning Darshan was at 6.50 am. Being Sunday, students were also present. Immediately after the Darshan, Prasadam was distributed to the students. Later Swami gave clothes to the institute principal. After the interview, Swami spent some time with the primary school children. Then Swami called the warden and told him to have the procession for the immersion of Ganesh idols at 2.00 pm. After bhajans, Swami retired to his Poornachandra Residence.

In the evening at 2.00 pm, 24 Ganesha idols were taken in procession from different places to the Mandir (From School and Institute hostels, from both hospitals, airport, Gokulam, Primary and Easwaramma Schools). The chariots and palanquins were decorated very beautifully. One of the palanquins was a thermocol model of a car named ‘Mooshikar’ . Each Ganesha idol was led by students chanting Vedas and singing Bhajans and in between there were ‘Jai kars’. After about forty five minutes, the procession reached the Mandir, where Swami was seated on His Chair near the interview room. He was enjoying the dance programme presented by the boys of the primary school. The palanquins went around the Mandir. Swami broke many coconuts and gave group photographs to all who accompanied the Ganesha idols. The students who accompanied the palanquin modelled as a car, pointed out the name of ‘Mooshikar’ to Swami and He smiled. After taking Arathi, Swami directed the procession to return. The idols were immersed in a well near the ‘Saigeetha’ shed. At around 3.30 pm, Swami again witnessed the dance programme by primary school children. This time, He was seated in the front of Ganesha. They also chanted Vedam, sang Bhajans and many famous group songs. Swami was very happy with the programme and interacted with them for quite a long time.

Swami: (When they sang the song ‘Sri ganesha Sivuni Kumara…’) Who are the two mothers of Ganesha?
Student: Parvathi and Ganga (They asked Swami to sing a song)

Swami: What song?

P. Sdnt: Swami, Subramaniam…..Subramaniam

Swami: What are the different names of Shanmuga? (Another name for the Lord. The students mentioned a few names) What is the way to God?

P.Sdnt: Swami Love. (A student quoted the saying- ‘Start the day with Love….)

Swami: What is the form of Love?

P.Sdnt: Swami, YOU.

Swami: What is the way to Immortality? (Swami was not satisfied with their answers. Then Swami said) Removal of immorality is the way to immortality. How is your hostel? Is it clean?

P.Sdnt: Yes Swami, it is clean.

Swami: How is institute hostel?

P.Sdnt: We don’t know, Swami.

Swami: (jokingly) Institute, all big boys. They keep everything clean. You are all small boys. You keep things dirty.

P. Sdnt No Swami. We keep things clean.

Swami: What are your marks? (Many boys answered and most of them were above 85% or 90%. Swami to Anil Kumar sir) See, all get eighties and nineties.

Prof. AK: Swami, they are good at all things.

Swami: Anyone who knows carnatic music? ( Few of them raised their hands) Who is first in the class? (Boys who secured first rank in different classes lifted their hands. To a student) How much did you get? (The student went very close to Swami and said something to Swami. Swami to others). He got 99%. He was saying that it is not nice telling in public, praising oneself. That is why he came near me and told me.

Prof. AK: Swami, we were thinking that he got less marks and was feeling shy to say it in public.

Swami: (To a student) Who is your brother?

P.Sdnt: Swami, all are brothers.

Swami: All are one, be alike to everyone. (Later two of the primary school students spoke in English and Sanskrit. Swami asked the student who spoke in Sanskrit about his marks in Sanskrit. The boy replied that he secured 99%. Swami expressed his happiness and pride about his students to Anil Kumar sir. To Primary school students)
Who is your friend?

P.Sdnt: Swami, You are our friend.

Swami: Who is your enemy?

P.Sdnt: Swami, anger.

Swami was very pleased with their answers and spent some more time with them speaking very lovingly. Swami asked students to start bhajans at 4.30 pm itself. After sitting outside for few bhajans, Swami went inside the Bhajan Hall and too Arathi.
Then Swami retired to Poornachandra.