Sathya Sai Grama at Muddenahalli wore a festive look during the Navaratri festival, celebrated in grandeur and splendour from October 07 to October 15, 2021, in the presence of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai. These nine days were spent in rituals, chantings, homas, pujas, etc., which filled the space and surroundings with positive vibrations and spiritual energies.

The holy offerings of the various homas and Durga puja each day and the Rudra Yajna on the last four days were combined with talks and discourses by diverse eminent seekers who explained the spiritual significance of these practices.

On October 07, Maa Durga was worshipped as Maa Shailaputri, and the Sahasra Modaka Ganapathi HomaNavagraha Homa and the Shani Shanthi Homa were performed for the welfare of all. Then Durga Arati was offered to the beautiful idols of Mother Durga, made of river clay from Kumortuli, West Bengal. Dr Ramachandra G Bhat, Founder of Veda Vijnana Gurukulam, Karnataka and Sri Raghuvarendra Theertha Swamiji, Head of Bheemanakatte Mutt – Karnataka, were the esteemed guests that day. The Divine discourse by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai encapsulated that along with the grace of human birth and an intense desire for attaining God (Liberation), the third blessing bestowed on us is the company and satsang with persons of wisdom and knowledge, like the mahapurushas (great men) who were our guests that evening. He further explained some of the main points, like the importance of chanting prayers and shlokas with devotion. One should pray to Devi to invoke the Divine Mother within. With this sense of motherliness, one can develop feelings of compassion towards other beings. This was followed by a mellifluous musical concert by Sri Nirbhay Saxena, a Hindustani classical vocalist.

On October 08, Devi was worshipped as Goddess Brahmacharini, and Pavamana Homa and Ashlesha Bali Homa were performed to cleanse, purify and remove obstacles in the path of spirituality. The evening was graced by Sri Swamy Chidananda Puri – Advaithashramam, Kerala, Sri Nirmal Kumar – Hon. Secretary, Janaseva Vidya Kendra Boys Residential School at Bangalore, Sri Ramachandra Rao – Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) of Bengaluru Metropolitan Task Force and Sri K H Muniyappa – Former Minister of State and Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha. Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai reminded the students that they were indeed fortunate to listen to words of wisdom from these dignitaries who were leaders in various fields, including politics, public service, social service, and spiritual service. Sadguru said that rather than listen to these talks, everyone must contemplate what has been said and later put these into practice. The students of the present generation had a great responsibility to maintain Indian culture and work as partners for the welfare and progress of the world. The day ended with a splendid Hindustani Vocal Concert by Dr Prabhakar and Dr Diwakar Kashyap.

On October 09, Devi Chandraghanta was adored, and the day began with Dhanvantari Homa and Vishnu Sahasranama Homa for the good health and wellbeing of all. The guests for the evening were Sri Bandhu Gourab Brahmachari, Mahanam Mutt – West Bengal and Sri H K Jagadeesh, Special Secretary – Department of Law, Govt. of Karnataka. In His divine discourse, Sadguru spoke about the Mother, the personification of all languages, who resides in and communicates through us in various languages. Speaking of Lord Rama, Sadguru said, “Even though they conquered Lanka, a beautiful and prosperous land, Lord Rama assured Lakshmana that they would return to Ayodhya because mother and motherland are greater than heaven itself.” The programme concluded with a musical recital by students from the Music Department of the Sri Satya Sai University of Human Excellence.

Goddess Kushmanda and Goddess Skandamata were worshipped on October 10, the fourth day as joyous forms of Devis, along with Lalitha Homa, chanting of Lalitha Sahasranama, Durga Homa and Saraswathi Homa. After this, Kanika puja and Suhasini puja were dedicated to little girls and ladies, respectively. This day also marked the commencement of Sri Satya Sai Veda Gurukulam. Sadguru stated that the Veda Gurukulam is the crown jewel of the education mission and that it would lead every student because Veda is the Mother of all shastras. The evening’s guest was Sri Malladi Surya Kiran Sarma, Telangana – Deputy General Manager, IDBI Bank and proficient in Literature, JyotishaPravachana etc. Sadguru then gave His Divine discourse about the Mother, who is the guru who redeems us from our ignorance, fear and can nurture, guide, protect, and care for us by simply looking us in the eyes. The heavenly Mother also helps us get across the ocean of samsara. A phenomenal dance recital followed this by Smt Tanushree Shankar and her troupe.

On October 11, Maa Katyayani was venerated, and Shiva Panchakshari Homa and Sapta Dravya Maha Mrityunjaya Homa were performed for detachment and strength to pursue awareness. At the Veda Gurukulam, Sadguru spoke of what the purpose of one’s life must be. “This long life must not be wasted away in animalistic tendencies but should be lived by adhering to dharmic principles with the only goal of attaining the ultimate Truth. This principle is lived through Jnana Kanda, Karma Kanda and Upasana Kanda. These three must then culminate in Vedanta. Teaching these core principles of Indian culture is the sole purpose of the Veda Gurukulam”. Sadguru then spoke of plans for expanding the Gurukulam in the coming days and also about starting a Veda Gurukulam for girl students so that the message of Vedanta can be carried forward to future generations. The evening programme was graced by Dr Sudha Tinaikar who taught the Srimad Bhagavad Gita to the Para Vidya Acharyas and the students from Grade 6 to 10 of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam; Sri Govind Karjol, Hon. Minister of Major – Medium Irrigation and Water Resources, Govt. of Karnataka. The Divine discourse by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai was a treat to all ears as He highlighted the importance of the Bhagavad Gita, a treatise on atma dharma, which dispels fears from the hearts of those who walk the path of the Gita. “A guru can only show the path, but it is up to the disciple to walk it. Therefore, one must study, listen, meditate upon, and practice the Gita to live by one’s dharma truly. This alone can remove the problem of delusion and attachment, leaving the disciple in a state of surrender, saying, Karishye Vachanam Tava (Oh revered guru, your word is my command),” explained Sadguru. This was followed by a soul-stirring musical performance by Sri Dr B Vijayagopal, a renowned flautist, to conclude the evening programme.

The morning rituals on October 12 began with the Medha Dakshinamuthy Homa and the Gayathri Japa Purasara Homa worshipping Mother as Goddess Kalaratri. The Maha Rudra Yajna began from this day followed by Aruna Parayanam, Mahanyasa Parayanam and Gow Puja. The Mrithunjaya, Navagraha and Sai Gayatri Homas were also performed. The guests for the evening were Sri Swami Dibyanand Swamiji, Bharat Seva Ashram Sangh – West Bengal and Sri Abhinava Shivalinga Rudramuni Shivacharya Swamiji, Hampasagara. In His divine discourse, Sadguru highlighted the need for people of wisdom and said our greatest service would be to become Divine. “To attain this realisation, we have to grow spiritually every day. How quickly we recover our equanimity is our test of spirituality. Peace, calm, happiness and equanimity are our true nature. We must persevere to stay as close to this true nature as possible. Any deviation is a move away from our spirituality,” concluded Sadguru. This was followed by a Hindustani musical by Padmasree Pandit Sri Venkatesh Kumarji, leaving the audience spellbound and joyous. 

Devi Mahagauri was worshipped on October 13, Ashtami day, along with Lakshmi Narayana Hrudaya Homa and the Kubera Lakshmi Homa for prosperity and wealth. At the Veda Gurukulam, Sadguru spoke of the reason for establishing these institutions for empowering the generations to come with the spiritual awareness such that all girls behave like Devis and all boys behave like Devatas that they truly are. The guests for the evening included Sri Vidyesha Theertha Swamiji, Bhandarukeri Sri Matha Achutaprajna, Maha Sansthanam – Karnataka and Justice Sri L Narayana Swamy who served as Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court. Sadguru gave a discourse that the only solution to all the suffering was only self-realisation and blessed that this Navaratri may teach each one of us our realities as Vedanta Kesaris – the lions of the Atmic Principle. The programme concluded with a captivating musical performance by Dr Mysore Manjunath and his son Chi. Sumanth Manjunath, renowned violinists and ardent devotees of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

On Mahanavami day celebrated on October 14, Devi Siddhidhatri was revered and Rama Tharaka Homa, Anjaneya Homa and the Sai Gayathri Japa Purasara Homa were performed.  Rudra Havanam, Navagraha, Chandi and Pancha Sukta Havanam were performed at Veda Gurukulam, where Sadguru addressed the students mentioning that the Veda Gurukulam will have a very important role to play in the coming years and that students will be sent all over the world to spread the wisdom of Sanatana Dharma. The evening programme included a rendering of the Rama Katha by students. Sri Sri Dr Siddheshwara Ananda Giri Maharaj, successor to the Sri Dattagiri Maharaj Ashram was the honourable guest of the evening. Sadguru’s discourse urged all to feed, clothe, care for, educate and love our fellow men without discrimination, as these basic principles are what would carry forward Sanatana Dharma. The evening concluded with a scintillating Mandolin performance by Maestro Sri U Rajesh. 

The final day of Dussehra Celebrations on Vijayadashami included the Chandika Homa followed by Bhoomi Puja of the SaiSure Manufacturing Facility by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai in the presence of Dr Sudhakar K, Hon’ble Minister of Medical Education and Health, Govt. of Karnataka. After offering Maha Poornahuti for the Athi Rudra Yajna, Sadguru gloriously declared that on that day, Sathya Sai Grama had seen the arrival of Devi and thereby would be a very holy Sri Kshetram in the coming days, where people from all over the world would come to seek blessings. It will be known by the name ‘Vidyanagari’ where all will come to learn Atma Vidya. Sadguru then proceeded to the Veda Gurukulam and concluded the pujas and homas there, followed by felicitation of all the architects, engineers, contractors and labourers who played a vital role in the completion of the Veda Gurukulam. Sadguru’s discourse in the Gurukulam was most endearing, as He lovingly shared that this Gurukulam was the closest project to His heart. He declared that it would grow manifold and continue for several hundred years into the future. The evening programme was graced by Sri Bachampalli Santhosh Kumar Sastry, Telangana who is a renowned Hindu priest, writer and regular speaker on various Telugu channels. This was followed by Sadguru’s discourse which began with gratitude for the volunteers and proclaimed that no efforts on the spiritual are ever wasted as God keeps no dues. He concluded by speaking of the glory of Sanatana Dharma and that it is each one of our responsibility first to understand and experience and later promote and propagate these great truths. He reminded all to be grateful for the blessings and mindful of the responsibility bestowed upon us. The cultural program for the evening was rendered by a captivating performance by Veena virtuoso Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh and Violin maestro Sri Kumaresh. After the performance, Sadguru expressed great joy for a befitting end to the grand festivities through the most soulful musical Poornahuti offered by the artists.