This year the Datta Jayanti Celebrations were conducted for three days, commencing from Dec 1st. Nagara Sankeertana was performed in the Ashrama before sunrise.
After Sri Chakra Puja and Ganapati and Datta Homa, Sri Swamiji released two compact discs. The first one, Live in Coventry, contains the music of the concert held in the town of Coventry, UK, during the historic Nada Prasara tour of 1993. The second CD Ganapati was the same CD released in England during Ganapati festival last year. Milk Abhisheka was performed to Lord Datta in the temple.
Thereafter, the Utsava Murthy idol of Lord Datta was brought in a procession to Nada Mantapa from the prayer hall. Sri Swamiji lighted the Brahma Deepa at the Sapta Swara Devata Mantapam in the Nada Mantapam. Nittala brothers namely, Lakshmana Rao, Satrughna Rao and Hanumantha Rao rendered "Burrakatha" a folk art performance on the Virata Parva, narrating the incidents of the period of service of the Pandavas and Draupadi at the palace of King Virata while they stayed there in cognition for one year. Sri Swamiji blessed the artists for their fine rendering. One of the artists was the narrator; the second one was the commentator and the third one gave humorous touch to the narration.
Sri Swamiji gave the following message:-
"The folk art Burrakatha is quite popular in Andhra Pradesh (South India). Burra is a Telugu word, which means the head. Tambura is used by the narrator. The head of the Tambura is linked with the name of the folk art. In the olden days, this folk art was used to propagate righteousness by narrating the moral stories of the mythology. In the recent times, the folk art is used for political propaganda and it has been degraded to a wasteful past time. However Satrughna Rao has been spreading the message of Datta, narrating the divine plays of Datta. Also Satrughna Rao has been giving his performances on the life history of Jayalakshmi Mata. In the other south Indian languages also, there are folk arts in Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam, which spread the message of morality".
Sri Swamiji directed the devotees to do Bhajan or to read the book "Datta Darshanam" or "Vishnu Sahasranamas" or "Bhagavad Gita" during these three days. He directed the audience to speak less and concentrate more on the aforesaid activities. Sri Swamiji gave the Upadesha (initiation) of the mantra "Om Dram Dattaya Namah" and asked the devotees to chant the mantra silently as often as possible. [It may be recollected that Sri Satrughna Rao was given a car by Swamiji in June 1998 during the 56th Birthday celebrations for the tours of the troupe to give performances at different places. It is for the first time that the three brothers gave the performance in the Mysore Ashrama. They could get an opportunity today to do so. Swamiji was very much pleased with the performance.
The same evening Yakshagana (traditional South Karnataka dance) was performed by Sri. Keremane Shambhu Hegde and party .
Before Sri Chakra Puja Sri Dendukuri Hanuman Ghanapathi rendered recital of Vedas. Smt. Lakshmi of Tenali (Andhra Pradesh) sang devotional songs melodiously. Sri Swamiji offered Purnahuti for the Ganapati and Datta Homas.
Kshira Abhishekam was performed in the Datta temple. The Utsava Murthy idol of Lord Datta was brought in a procession from the prayer hall to Nada Mantapa. Sri Swamiji lighted the Shiva Deepa at the Saptaswara Devata Mantapam in the Nada Mantapam. Sri. Ajit Kadakade of Bombay rendered Sangita Seva (music service) with the Bhajans in Hindi, Kannada and Marathi in the Hindustani classical style. He was accompanied by Sri A. Hatkar on Harmonium, Sri Santan Kinjuvade on Tabala and Sri Kishore Desai on vocal support and Tambura. Sri Sachin Wadekar accompanied on Tala (rhythm).
Sri Swamiji gave the following message:-
"In the state of Maharashtra, the propagation of Datta Pantha has been established long since. The good tradition is strengthened by several saints who composed and sang the praises of Datta in all the states and in all languages. Datta Pantha is not a mere narrow cult. It shows the path to salvation to one and all considering them as the members of the Datta family. The celestial singers like Nandi, Bhrungi, Narada, Tumbura etc. have incarnated as the musician devotees spreading the message of philosophy and devotion at all places like villages, towns and cities. Kanakadasa and Purandaradasa in Kannada, Muthuswamy Dikshitar in Sanskrit, Tyagaraja in Telugu, Meerabai in Vraja (old Hindi), Namadeva and Jnanadeva in Marathi etc. The principles of the three paths to salvation are Karma, Bhakti and Jnana (the paths of action, devotion and knowledge) were propagated by these musician devotees. Further, many great souls have popularized these principles in prose, poetry, songs, music, dance, drama and folk arts. Generally, lectures on philosophy are not lightened to attentively by the commoner. Some of the great scholars are wonderful to hear. They are logical and pleasing. The orator supports one principle with a number of arguments and many quotations from Vedas, Puranas scriptures and epics. The wording is very grammatical consisting of fine phrases. In spite of all such grandeur, the layman cannot realise the message of the long lecture at the end of which he simply expresses his feeling saying "How wonderful it is". Actually not even a simple principle or saying goes deep into his memory. What is the reason? Such scholarly lectures are not easy to understand. They are tough and complicated. The attitude of the orator is not as "Let the people know" but it is only to exhibit his erudition. In contrast, the many musician devotees like those mentioned earlier sang the praises of the Lord extempore. The songs were the outpourings of their devotion and the expressions of divine joy. They are in simple words. The listeners of such devotional music remember at least a few words like "Vithala". Adi Shankaracharya is famous for his excellent books on philosophy. They are still studied by the seekers of knowledge. Yet, in the end his message "Bhaja Govindam", i.e. worship God, sing his praises, is noteworthy. The Acharya has written several hymns like Lakshmi Narasimha Stotra, Soundarya Lahari and sets of 5 or 9 or 10 verses on the various deities. They are sung even nowadays musically. The Acharya has imbedded the tenets of philosophy in his musical verses. Thus the paths of devotion and knowledge have been blended finely by Adi Shankaracharya Similar were the methods of propagation of righteousness by Ramanujacharya and Madhvacharya, their main emphasis being devotion. While parsing God, knowledge was also taught to the devotees. Swamiji's compositions are of three types. Those are in folklore, in medium level and high level. Some of the songs have not been sung by Him in public so far. They are of a special type. However, in general, Swamiji's songs comprise of simple and easily understandable words whether in Telugu, Kannada, Hindi or Sanskrit. Only a hungry man can eat. If one is not hungry, what is the use of offering delicious food to him? Generally the hunger and thirst of a commoner are not for good food and drink. Generally the people's taste is poor. A little of attention is enough to deserve Swamiji's grace and improve one's thirst for emancipation and hunger for knowledge. If you make one step towards him, Swamiji makes 100 or even 1000 steps towards you. If you recede by a single step, Swamiji recedes by 100 or 1000 steps. It is up to you to make efforts to deserve his grace.
In the evening Sri Swamiji accompanied Lord the procession of Datta in the ring road of the Ashrama. After the procession Sri Swamiji rendered Bhajans on Shiva for two hours.