Post No.2


 Life-size marble statue of Sathya Sai Baba at the Sri Sathya Sai Darbar Temple near Puttaparthi


Sai Ram once again and I hope Swami is always showering His Love and Blessings on you all!!!

Its been a while since my first post, but Easter came upon us, so I had a short break up in the mountains.
Its like a breath of fresh air, literally!
Being in nature is a wonderful medicine to relieve the stresses of life.
In the state of Victoria, where I live, it has numerous high mountains which are always covered in snow in the winter months.
Some of these mountains had uncontrolled fires burning on them for 55 days during the summertime (February and March) of this year.
 So, alot of the sides of these mountains were affected.


  Looking from the top (Horn) of Mount Buffalo, Victoria, Australia


 Looking from the top of Mount Hotham, Victoria, Australia
(2nd April 2013)

Fire affected forest



A short video of some scenes from some of these mountains

 Before I continue with my sojourn in Puttaparthi, I thought I would take a few steps back.
Initially the plan was to arrive early around 3am, which we did, and wait in the taxi's until the
 Ganesh Gates (Ashram's main entrance) opened around 4.30am.
  (I think this is the right time they do this?)

 Ganesh Gate
(It has two gates now. One for entering and one for leaving)

Some of the group had beforehand decided to pre-book into one of Puttaparthi's Hotels for the first night.
 Knowing that they would be very tired once they arrive.
 Also because its the day before Maha Shivaratri. 
 There might not be much accomodation within Prasanthi itself!
 Maha Shivaratri usually attracts thousands upon thousands of devotees,
 that come from all over India and abroad.
In past, Shivaratri was always amassed with people, that it was sometimes nigh impossible even to enter Prasanthi itself!
This is one of the most auspicious times of the year.
(I will explain in more detail about this abit later, if you don't know)  
I had ummed and ahhh-d about this also, just before leaving Australia.
  So I quickly emailed the hotel just before I left and made a booking for the first night also.
Thank God, I did!
I was totally exhausted by the time we reached there!!!
So we all had booked our individual rooms and crashed, as they say!
I was still thinking at that stage, that I will be able to get up for the morning darshan, which is around 8 - 9 am.
Well it did not happen!
Awoke at around 10.30am.
 
  
Looking East from the hotel room balcony with the Old Mandir in the foreground.


Looking North from the same balcony


  Name plate on the room door, "SAI SHAKTHI"


The hotel consisted of 7 floors.
 It was situated down near the
 SRI VENUGOPALA SWAMY TEMPLE


  
Not sure whether I should name the hotel?
  It was very clean, very friendly staff and they were very devoted to our dear Lord Bhagavan.
They made you feel very welcome.
Highly recommended!!!
A dear friend of ours from Melbourne had also been staying there for a few weeks before we arrived.
She welcomed us all, even at that early time of around 3.30am in the morning.
So it was a great relief to relax and wind down after the long journey.

After a late breakfast and finally having the realization that we are here!!!
  This dear friend told me to go and see the vibhuti manifestations in the Shrine Room of the hotel.
So I did!
The energy emnating from this Mandir is like being in the Sai Kulwant Hall itself!
They hold bhajans here every Thursdays.
As you can see Vibhuti manifested on Sathya Sai and Shirdi Sai.
(Noticed... some have already wiped some of the vibhuti from the pictures)  





 

  
(Watch a video)
 Swami's Lotus Footprints in Vibhuti under a glass frame


 Ganesha

As the day progressed, I decided to take it slow, as did most of the others.
  So I walked from the hotel to the Ashram Gates. It takes about 10 minutes to do so.
 It was like being home. My real home!!!
I feel, I must of been here in a previous life, as the environs seem so familiar.
Not because I have visited this place before, but its a deeper feeling than that. Hard to explain!

Here's a video taken during one of those many walks through the main street of Puttaparthi.
This was filmed about 3 days after Maha Shivaratri.
It was beginning to quiet down then.
 The masses that came for Shivaratri had mostly left. 
p.s  Holding the camera while walking inevitably causes camera shake.




Before entering Prasanthi Nilayam for the first time, I had read somewhere, that you should always pay homage to
 Swami's Parents beforehand.
So I did!
I did not take the camera then, as I was going to enter Prasanthi itself.
(Cameras are not allowed to be used within the confines of the Ashram)

Here's some pics of Swami's Parents and their Samadhi and a wonderful link below to a flipbook about Mother Easwaramma,
 uploaded from the
 Radio Sai Website


Swami's Parents
Peda Venkama Raju and Easwaramma

 Mother Easwaramma ...Eternal Beacon of Inspiration
  - A Radio Sai Presentation