Onam Celebrations begin…

‘God’s Own Country’ has arrived at ‘The Lord’s Home Town’ – Puttaparthi. Kerala is all set to celebrate Onam, which is falling on the Thiruvonam star of the vernacular month of Chingam, in Prasanthi Nilayam. In the run-up to Thiruvonam on 28th August, the Kerala contingent has commenced its week-long celebrations here this evening with an inspiring talk by Padmashree G. Shankar that was followed by an Abhang style bhajan programme.

Addressing the evening assembly with a ‘straight-from-the-heart’ delivery, Padmashree G. Shankar spoke of his value-based architectural ventures touching and serving millions of lives around the world. An architect by profession, Sankar is the founder and chief architect of Habitat Technology Group, the largest Non-Governmental Organization in the shelter sector in India, committed to sustainable building solutions. Notably Sri Sankar is the man behind many of the governmental and United Nation’s housing projects, in India and abroad,  Uttarakhand, Nepal and Sri Lanka to name a few.

“I have changed…” claimed the man behind many missions, in a humbled voice, narrating his own story of transformation, from being a hardcore skeptic to a believer in God. Narrating a defining ‘touching’ moment while on a UN sponsored Housing Mission in Sri Lanka, where he witnessed the worst of sufferings, Sankar spoke of the challenges India is facing today, exhorting Bhagawan’s students to listen and internalise Bhagawan’s messages to create a bright, beautiful tomorrow.  To impress upon, the speaker had his own ‘colourful’ sketch of service projects, his priceless mission of value-based architecture adhering to honest and truthful practices.

Serving a prelude to the ensuing week-long festivity, a Marathi Abhang session by Sri Vittal Vinod Bhagavathar followed next, who with series of Sai-Panduranga abhangs  kept the devotional ambience alive. Abhang is a 300 years old Maratha bhajan tradition.  The Bhagavathar started with Raja Ganapathi….  followed by Sadguru Vanchori…. Vittalatala…. before conlcuding with two Sai bhajans.

Bhajans next ended with Bhagawan singing ‘Bhavabhaya Harana…”. Mangala Arathi at 1820 hrs. marked the end of the proceedings.

Earlier, Dr Anand Mohan, State Co-ordinator for Sai Rehabilitation Programme, Kerala introduced the session for the evening.

Ahead of a scheduled Narayaneeyam recital, an Idol of Lord Guruvayoorappan, brought from Guruvayoor, will be installed at the Poornachandra Auditorium tomorrow afternoon in a special function being held on the occasion. The recital, commencing tomorrow, will continue until the Thiruvonam day, 28th of August. Narayaneeyam is a medieval Sanskrit text, comprising a summary study in poetic form of the Bhagavata Purana. It was composed by Sri Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri, one of the celebrated Sanskrit poets and foremost devotee of the Lord of Guruvayoor.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II