On 25th November, 2004 during the early hours of the day Coimbatore
was brimming with joy to receive Gurudev. A large number of devotees
had assembled in front of the Airport to have darshan of our Divine
Master. As Gurudev alighted from the aircraft, organizers and
teachers garlanded and escorted him to the entrance where he blessed
the devotees who were eagerly waiting. He then drove straight to Sri.
Uthamraj's residence, where he was accorded a traditional welcome.
Here too the devotees had a fulfilling darshan. After resting for
about an hour Gurudev proceeded by car to Palakkad.
At the Tamilnadu Kerala border the representatives of the Kerala
State Government received Gurudev with reverence and honor. With
majestic elephants and "Panchavadyam" (Traditional Music of Kerala),
it was a spectacular event for the massive crowd that had assembled
there to welcome him.
The Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium wore a festive look. Near the
main entrance there was an Art of Living Exhibition providing the
public a deeper insight into Gurudev's precious knowledge and
There were photos and charts depicting the various projects
undertaken by AOL, to support people all over the World, morally,
socially and economically. The divine shop run by the volunteers had
all AOL publications, cassettes, cd's, videos and pictures of
Gurudev, which attracted everyone. A long ramp topped with red
carpet, leading to a magnificent stage, neatly decorated with flowers
and the words "Anandotsavam 2004" in the background and on top of it
were cut outs of nine elephants with colorful umbrellas and Gurudev's
photo on the middle one's head. It was so enticing.
Regardless of the hot weather people started pouring into the stadium
from 1.00 P.M. within two hours the entire stadium ground was filled
with devotees eagerly awaiting Gurudev's arrival. Gurudev entered
the stadium walking on the ramp greeting everyone. He accepted the
flowers and garlands that were offered to him, sometimes wearing them
and at times passing it on to the crowd. He went on to all the four
sides of the stage ensuring that everyone caught a glimpse of him.
With the starting of "Pranayama" the entire stadium went into deep
silence and for an hour we were all immersed in the lively Sudarshan
Kriya. The ambience was peaceful and all we could hear was Gurudev's
melodious voice blissfully comforting us. Doing the Kriya with a
massive crowd and that too in the presence of our Divine Master, it
is one of the greatest blessings that have come my way.
After the Kriya as the general public started coming inside the
stadium, no one could move out. The stadium was overflowing and many
who had come late could not gain entry into the stadium. A crowd of
nearly a few lakhs had gathered for the Maha Satsang. This is despite
the fact that just the previous day it was a transporters strike
"Swagatham" (Welcome) song being played in the background, Gurudev
gracefully appeared on the ramp the sparklers were colorfully
lighting the atmosphere above our heads. With flowers and garlands
people greeted him, at times even discomforting him. Yet he was as
usual with his affectionate smile and obliged everybody. Gurudev was
swarmed with press photographers for about 15 minutes. Without
showing any resent he obliged them. After a few bajans Gurudev
started the question and answer session. He asked every one of us to
believe in God to overcome all our problems. Talking about language,
he said it is love which enables one to communicate with the other.
He cited the example of a baby who knows no language but is
comfortable with its mother and is able to communicate with her.
To a question whether Gurudev has seen God. He replied that God is
the force behind all existence and, therefore, when one engages in
deep meditation he or she will be able to communicate with God.
Another question on confusion arising out of choosing from
multiple career paths. Gurudev replied that the existence of choices
in life itself amounts to confusion. He then quoted a Chinese
proverb: ``when you are fully confused take a pillow and go to
The question on Kanchi Seer Sri Jayendra Saraswathi's arrest and
ignominy to the 2500 Year old Sankara Mutt. Gurudev said the court
verdict would be out one day and the public should wait for it. It's
not nice to engage in prejudging on whether a particular person is
guilty or not. He said Sathyameva Jayate (truth will triumph).
Further he also said that whosoever commits a crime should be
punished irrespective of whether he is a sanyasi or an acharya but at
the same time there were instances when innocent people were
The Moon was full, the stadium was full, our hearts were full and in
this fullness Gurudev guided us deeper into a twenty minutes
meditation, which was an out of the World experience. Gurudev also
said that Meditating on Full Moon days will give us more mental
strength. Finally a child prodigy sang " Nin Peeli thirumudi azhakodu
kingini charthiya Murali lola; Aadi chanjaadi charinjaadi kondoodi
vaa" which made Gurudev dance on the ramp with a crown on his head
and swirling a tulasi garland in his hand. It is the most memorable
and blissful scene that I had encountered in my life and which will
remain, in my memory for a long long time.