Post No.11

 Sai Ram!!!
 This is the last post of this sojourn!
14th of March was our last day spent in this holy place of Puttaparthi.
The days went so quickly... it was hard to believe it was coming to an end.
Hopefully, it won't be our last visit!
Only Swami knows, if and when.

I got up at 4am that morning, as I wanted to witness the washing of the stone at the Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple.

  You can read about its historical significance in Post No.8

I decided to first go to the Mosque, to see if I could video record the Azan (The Muslim call to ritual prayer)

Walked to there via the Shivalayam Temple, then down a lane to the Jamia Masjid.
 The Imam told me they won't start till 5.30am.

The time of the Fajr prayer is during the beginning of dawn until sunrise, a period which lasts about one to one-and-a-half hours on average.
This is an especially valuable time for spiritual practice, for as the sun rises upon the earth, the soul awakens from its rest in the Divine Presence, and one’s actions during this sanctified period are of immense significance towards spiritual awakening into consciousness.
The word fajr means “dawn” in Arabic, and comes from the same root word as infijar, which means “to explode” or “to burst forth”, referring to the light of the sun as it erupts into the darkness of night and illuminates the world, replacing darkness with light, vision and clarity.

The abhishekams at the Venugopalaswamy Temple was to start at the same time.
I decided to go back, giving my last salutations to Sai Shiva, then eventually walking back to Krishna.

Here's a short video of that quick visit.

Some screenshots.

Very quiet at that time in the morning.
Many dogs roaming about!

Walked back towards the Shivalayam Temple.

Om Namah Shivaya!

Circumambulate around Venugopala.


The pujari was preparing for the puja to the sacred stone.
He first scrubbed the stone with water.
Commenced chanting prayers and making offerings of milk, ghee, curd, honey, sugar, coconut water, etc.
 Arati followed.
 Then applying sandal paste and kumkum.
 Chanting Sri Krishna Ashstotram offerings of kumkum to a small Krishna statue.
Flower garlands next.
 Here is the video of the complete Puja performed.
How often do you get to witness this, I contemplated.
To film it also!

 Here are some screenshots.

ॐ कृष्णाय नमः।
Om Krishnaya Namah।

Can you see Krishna?

 Sathya Sai Baba instructed them to wash it and smear it with sandal paste. On doing this, the outline of the figure of Krishna (or Venugopala) holding his customary flute, became discernible.

ॐ तीर्थकृते नमः
Om Tirthakrite Namah
 Creator Of Holy Places

Later we headed to Prasanthi for morning Darshan and breakfast.
We spent the rest of the morning there.

The afternoon was spent preparing and getting ready to finally leave in the evening.

Taxi booked! Ready for the long flight back to Oz!

Sunset over Australia

Hope you have enjoyed this Sojourn in Parthi blog!

And to finish!
Here's a photo of Swami, I took in 1992
24 years ago! Time flies!