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Buddha Poornima in Prasanthi
Watch the Live Video Webcast
of the Buddha Poornima Celebrations at Prasanthi Nilayam, on (Saturday)25th May
2013 - Sairam
Watch the Recorded Video Webcast of the
Buddha Poornima Celebrations (Day 1 & 2) - 3 - 4 May 2015
Video Day 1 - 3 May 2015
Video Day 2 - 4 May 2015
Prasanthi Nilayam today witnessed a
‘holistic’ Buddha Purnima evening on the 2nd and
final day of Buddha Purnima 2015.
Sacred Buddhistic intonations by the
Thai devotees set the tone for the evening followed by an
introductory talk by Central Coordinator for Region 4.1 of
SSSSO, Mr Billy Fong from Malaysia.
The two speakers for the evening
were Venerable Phra Khamhoung Toulavanth, Chief Abbott,
Phosai Pagoda, Vientiane, Lao PDR and Dr Art-Ong-Jumsai from
Deeming it a great privilege to be
in Sathya Sai Prasanthi Nilayam, Venerable Phra, speaking in
native Lao, brought in the importance of teachings of
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai in the backdrop of Buddhist
teachings, bringing in revolutionary transformation in the
Hailing the Sathya Sai International
Organisation’s efforts in spreading Buddha’s teachings and
path-breaking, revolutionary value-oriented education, the
venerable speaker called it as symbolic showers of ‘Metta –
Loving Compassion’ from Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai. Lord Buddha
and Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Are Metta – Loving Compassion,
concluded the venerable speaker.
Speaking next, Dr Jumsai, a
well-known name in the Sai circuit, delivered a profound
‘soul-searching’ speech highlighting on the greater
importance of ‘Looking Within’ to know The Unchanging Truth,
the main message of Buddhism.
Highlighting Love and Compassion as
two essential components of the ‘soul-search’, Dr Jumsai,
bringing in snippets of scientific revelations, mixing the
same with an evolved meta-physicist’s greater awareness,
reiterated on the absolute need of the hour – The Quest For
The Truth, the true Nirvana.
Cultural programmes followed next.
Kandyan folklore dancers from Sri
Lanka took over for the next half-an-hour dancing to
rhythmic drum-beats, showcasing great acrobatic skills. The
team led by Kala Suri Lionel Sirisena, an internationally
acclaimed Kandyan dancer, clad in silver- white – red
costumes with shining decorative chest guards, glittering
head gears, the team of dancers enthralled the audience with
a mix of artistry, acrobatics and traditional cultural
The final presentation for the
evening was an innovative programme, a Cultural Sketch
entitled “The Heart Of Buddha”.
The sketch involved the story of
Buddha and His Teachings, introduced in the form of a ‘Radio
Sai’ Interview, showing interludes of episodes expanding the
theme with informative skits. Presenting the story of the
making of the Buddha, the sketch had the story of Quan Yin,
apart from an insight into the modern-day technological
revolutions as a tool in spreading the message of Buddhism.
Bhajans continued and ended with
Mangala Arathi at 1925 hrs.
Buddha - ...Buddha Poornima ten years ago...
It was the day of Buddha Poornima
ten years ago. Baba was then not in Prasanthi Nilayam or in Bangalore but in the
tranquil hill station of Kodai Kanal – the serene spot admist dark forests,
tucked away in the Upper Palani Hills in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Baba being in Kodai Kanal in 2003
was of course nothing new as many a summer of the Divine had been spent in this
green valley; right from 1986 Baba often came here with a group of students and
elders to the delight of the inhabitants of this hilly little town.
But the 2003 Kodai Kanal experience
was exceptional for reasons more than one. First, it was a most unexpected trip;
generally Baba would visit Kodai Kanal in April and return by the first week of
May or on rare occasions the week after. But that year Baba started His journey
to Sai Shruti, His abode in Kodai Kanal, in the middle of May.
And second, it was an extremely
short trip – just a week or so, while all Kodai visits were for atleast a
fortnight or so.
However, the most unique thing
about this trip is that the celebration of Buddha Poornima happened that year in
this most pristine and peaceful locale that on one side has this beautiful lake
that was covered with sparkling white lotuses, and the other side were these
huge, long and majestic silver oak trees as if always straight, firm and forward
in their journey to greater heights, and when you look to the third corner your
eyes are filled with the kaleidoscopic beauty of this motley colour of blossoms
– purple, magenta, maroon, yellow and so on, perhaps covering all hues of human
So it is in this lovely setting
that the Lord decided to celebrate Buddha Poornima that year. And the most
exquisite part of this festival that year that only a few privileged were
fortunate to witness is this:
That morning as Baba was speaking
to the boys inside Sai Shruti, He started elaborating on the pure nature of The
Buddha, how He attained enlightenment and how He exemplified so many sterling
virtues. Even as Baba was talking thus His palm suddenly moved in the air,
caught that empty space, and immediately closed. And the next instant when the
closed divine fist opened, all the boys could only gasp in awe!
What Baba was holding in His hand
now was such a marvelously done miniature Buddha, red and resplendent.
Swami then asked, “Tell me, what is
this made of?”
“Swami, plaster of paris”
Baba dismissed all the answers and
then revealed, “This is made up of the Lumbini mud
– the sacred soil where The Buddha was born.”
And then Baba went to narrate the
various austerities that Buddha engaged in, the rigorous spiritual disciplines
that this holy one pursued on His path towards Nirvana – enlightenment, and as
Baba was explaining thus at one point He paused and with a sudden firmness He
said, “Anyone who contemplates on The Buddha, can
attain Moksha (or liberation).”
Well, this is what happened a
decade ago and Baba left us with something to ponder over for lifetimes. So who
truly is The Buddha? And what is Moksha?
Baba in one discourse
is not a personal name. A Buddha is one who is spiritually enlightened, mentally
awakened and who has realised the Supreme Truth. He is one who practises unity
of thought, word and action. His heart is ever full of compassion and love. He
is unaffected by the vicissitudes of life. Sakhyamuni, The Buddha, was a
muni (sage) in the Sakya clan.”
And in the Buddha Poornima
Discourse of 2000 Baba clearly clarified all doubts about liberation. He said:
“People have strange ideas about
liberation, imagining that it involves going to heaven and having eternal
existence there. That is not the meaning of liberation; it truly means achieving
selfless love that is constant, unabating, and total. This is the state that one
must seek to attain; it is only when this state is reached that one is truly
liberated. In the name of liberation, seekers are trying out all sorts of
spiritual paths. All such exercises can at best confer temporary satisfaction.
The path of Pure Love alone can truly get you there and confer permanent
On every occasion of Buddha
Poornima, Baba stressed on how this festival should be celebrated and what
should be our focus as we gleefully participate in this festival. In 2006 Baba
“The same divine principle of love is
present in all of you. When you take to the path of love, you will
become Buddha yourself.
“Today is Buddha Poornima.
Poornima means full moon. The underlying message of Buddha Poornima is
that the mind should shine with total purity like full moon; it should unite
with its source i.e., the Atma which is pure and effulgent. There
is no darkness on the full moon night. On this auspicious day of Buddha
Poornima, we should attain full purity of the mind.”
Baba often says that purity is the
essence of all sadhana. And Buddha's life after enlightenment shone
with this splendour of pure character. If there is anything that we should take
home in our lives and into our hearts on this festival it is this determination
to withstand any ordeal, resist any temptation and overcome any obstacle that
tests our levels of purity, and strive with Buddha-like dogged perseverance to
attain that peace and happiness which is permanent, transcendental and most