Swami's Birthday celebrations goes on.....Ranjanpada Village (Zone1, Mumbai District)

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Swami's Birthday Celebration Goes on........

Most of us were not a witness to the 85th Birthday celebrations at Parthi, except to the TV telecast. But we took time out on last Sunday (28.11.2010) to participate in a truly exhilirating Birthday celebrations organised by Zone 1(Worli, Mahim & other Samithis) at one of the V.I.P. Villages (Village Integrated Program) Ranjanpada (off Saphale) 40kms from Virar (at the outskirts of North Mumbai, Maharashtra). A group of highly devoted, disciplined & enthusiastic youth, seniors, juniors, men & women members of the Sai family descended on to this village to organise a beautiful Birthday function.

We left Mumbai early morning to catch the Virar shuttle train to reach Saphale Railway station, and thereafter boarded jeeps to reach Ranjanpada Village. To our pleasant suprise, the venue (actually a hall cum temple constructed by the SAI FAMILY for the villagers few years back) was tastefully decorated the previous day by Sai Youth & villagers. The sacredness of the occasion could be felt in the air. We breathed in the holy vibrations. There was an air of expectancy all around.

As the days program started off, our group alongwith some of the villagers & their children went for Nagarsankirtan circumbulating the village. By now everyone, were looking forward to the main program for the day. The much awaited "PALKHI" procession. The palkhi was beautifully decorated carrying big sized photos of Shirdi Sai & Swami. The youth of the village came forward in large numbers alongwith their local BAND troupe, joined by the children & elders. The Sai family merrily joined the gala procession, as it started winding its way through the entire stretch of the villages, with fullthroated "Aum Sri Sai Ram" coming all along . Banners were posted all along the roads, motor vehicles curiously stopped to have a glimpse of the PALKHI procession. Adding gaiety to the occasion, the villagers & Sai family members, merrily danced to the tune of "wonderful Music" by the live Band. Crackers & flower pots were burst all along. As the Palkhi found its way through the streets, it was stopped again and again at various junctions by the devoted women folks who wanted to take blessings and to do Aarthi. It was a heartwarming and moving site to see them wash the feets of the Palkhi holders with water and then worship "Swami" with incense sticks, camphor aarthi & also by placing garlands and offerings at the palkhi. Some of them also got their new borne babies blessed by passing it below the palkhi. Some of the villagers devotedly bent beneath the palkhi and crossed sides. The devotion among the villagers for Swami was apparent, even though hardly anyone of them has ever visited Parthi. The only exposure was the truly path breaking "SELFLESS SEVA" work being done by the truly devoted & dedicated SAI FAMILY in these villages for the past several years.

As we returned back to our venue, the food was already cooked & kept ready by the respective team, and thereafter Narayan Seva started after special prayers in the Mandir and joyous Cake cutting ceremony. Children were served first for the Narayan seva, the village youth came out enthusiastically for serving and other work. Thereafter the Sai youth spread out for distribution of Sarees & Winter Blankets in Ranjanpada & other 2 VIP village.

As the day was coming to a close, the shine of devotion & happiness reflected in all present. The Birthday Celebrations was a memorable day for the villagers and all the participants. The "footprints" of "SAI LOVE" was all that was left behind in the village as we departed back to Saphale railway station hitchhiking rides by all the available modes of transport to catch our train to Mumbai from Saphale.