Images of Panthi Nritya by Chhatisgarh devotees in the Dvine Presence

in Prasanthi Nilayam

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In the evening, Swami came out at 3.20 p.m. There was a huge backdrop at the rear end of Sai Kulwant Hall made by devotees from Chhatisgarh. Devotees from the Durg District of Chhatisgarh were waiting for Bhagawan’s instructions to start their cultural programme. Swami came and sat on the stage and then Bhagawan signalled for the Veda chanting to be stopped. Two members from the coordinating group came forward to Bhagawan. One offered a rose while the other unfolded a scroll containing the programme for the evening. Swami very keenly went through the contents of the scroll and then lovingly made a few queries about the programme.

The programme was a tribal dance performed by a tribe called the Satnami residing in the heart of Chhatisgarh. The dance master Devdas Banjare from the village Dhanora, around 13 kms from Bhilai, is an internationally reputed artiste who has won the President’s Award and has visited more than 64 countries. Being a devotee of Bhagawan, his intense desire was to perform in the Divine Presence. The dance was a rigorous, vibrant dance with loud drum beats and cymbals being played by the dancers themselves. All the postures of the dance represented forms of worship of the saint – Sant Ghasi Das. This dance form is known as Panthi Nritya.

The dance went on non-stop for around 20 minutes and included a number of formations, pyramids, etc. At 3.50 p.m. the dancers moved out of the performing area amidst loud applause. Subsequently, Swami spoke to the event coordinator Mr. Srinivas for a long time. He showed Swami an album containing photographs of the different types of Seva that they were performing in the villages in Chhatisgarh. It included Narayana Seva, medical camps, donating sewing machines, performing mass marriages, etc. Swami was very pleased with all the service activities and He kept on enquiring with Mr. Srinivas about the details.

In fact, 186 people from all these villages had come for this programme from Chhatisgarh. These people had performed a number of spiritual activities before coming and one could see Swami literally responding to their prayers.