Folk- and Dance Festival

Sri Balasai Bab’s 48th Birthday Celebrations
13th January, 2008

National Folk- and Traditional Dance Festival.

We feel happy by seeing the performances of the artists. I bless each and every one of all the artists and devotees and children to get happiness, who have come over here from different states and countries by enduring all the difficulties in traveling.
I ask you to donate me all your losses and hardships that you faced in the year 2007.  Let those difficulties not visit you again in the year 2008.  May you live happily and comfortably in whatever profession you are in! I bless you all to live happily with your family.

Embodiments of love!

Art gives happiness and health by removing anxiety and worries.

Embodiments of love!

God is the embodiment of happiness. There is a great belief that God has created this universe for His happiness.  As God loves human beings more than anything else, He takes birth as a human being again and again on this earth from time immemorial, when He wants to incarnate.

We all know that naturally we fell happy by seeing the good in nature or by hearing about goodness or by getting good things. 
A student feels happy when he gets good marks and passes in the examination.  An unemployed gets happiness when he gets a job.  An unmarried man feels happy when he gets married.  Afterwards, he feels happy when he gets children and when his clan increases.  So, on the whole, whatever we feel and get in human life is happiness and bliss.  That heavenly bliss and supreme ecstasy is related to God.

Embodiments of love!

In this creation, nothing other than ART gives and creates happiness in all the lives. 
We have also enjoyed happiness here by arts performed by the artists. Different songs, different actions, different arts, folk and traditional dances, all these arts change this earth into heaven.  We have enjoyed heavenly bliss here. There is no special thing as heaven! We create it by ourselves in us! Heaven is always with us, in us.
So whatever bliss or happiness will be there in the heaven, we enjoyed the same here itself through arts. 

On this occasion, one small word… With us today, we have the great lady actor who acted in more than three hundred and fifty films in South India.  She acted with almost all famous male artists like MGR, Shivaji Ganeshan, ANR, NTR, Shoban Babu, Krishna and many more.  She acted in different roles in different films along with different heroes.  She is the great and famous lady actor and cine heroine of yester years: Miss Kānchana.
It seems she also felt the same bliss and happiness about what I have just mentioned.  That’s why she came up to the dais from below, feeling and thinking me as Krishna and she thought herself as Yashoda, His mother. 
She came running up like a calf which follows the cow or better: the cow that follows the calf.

Embodiments of love!

Naturally, we have a lot of pleasant and graceful art forms like music – folk, mythological, dancing, instrumental – literature and films and dramas.  But the mother of all these art forms is the FOLK ART.  Folk art came into existence from the people and has been attracted by the people and united with the people, giving the people and society spiritual songs, devotional songs and salvation songs.

So, the reason for arranging here today such folk arts is as follows:  the films and television are ignoring and neglecting the eternal art form of folk art. 
Nowadays, wherever we look at either films or television, there are glamorous stars and glittering actors.  Because of this, our eternal folk art is being neglected and ignored. So, I want to take care of our national art form of folk art from decaying!  I bring them on one dais, exhibiting it to our eyes as pleasing as possible, for the Kurnool people, for Baba’s devotees and for those who have come over here from different parts of the world, by gathering them together at one place.
These are the art forms that we are proud of about our state and country – the folk form of art, the elegant and graceful art form and the traditional arts.  I am going to do this service within my capacity and give it away as a gift to the Mother of Arts.

So, we have taken the decision to continue in the same way, what I have started – i.e. this series of folk and traditional and national dance and music programs every year on 12th, 13th, and 14th of January continuously for 3 days.

Today on the dais, the business man and politician Mr T. V. Venkatesh is also sitting with us.  What he  said to me just sometime before is: if anywhere in a place there is God or a temple (of a deity), the function and procession of that God would generally be conducted by the important and influential people of that place. It is the general custom.
But what happens here is: making you sit with me, I am celebrating my own birthday.  To take away from this habit, Mr T. V. Venkatesh, even though he is also sitting here, he has made arrangements to telecast these programs live through his private TV-stations C cable and Kurnool cable for the benefit of the people of Kurnool. Who ever do any little service like this directly or indirectly, I bless them each and every one and also Mr T. V. Venkatesh and his family to be happy.

Embodiments of love!

If any art form is diminishing from public interest, it should generally be taken care of by the State and Central Government.  But I don’t know what they are doing for this cause and how much encouragement they are giving and how much enthusiasm they are showing to uplift the folk art.

But on my behalf, in my capacity, I am depositing one crore (= 10 millions of) rupees for the benefit of the folk arts.  With the interest we get from this money, we have decided to give five hundred rupees every month as pension permanently to those folk artists, who have either become handicapped or poor or for the family, who lost their artist bread earner.  I am requesting and blessing our Trust members to start to do these arrangements from the month of March itself and deposit one crore rupees in the bank for this purpose.   From the interest we get from the amount, we can help not only the old and week artists, and the handicapped, but also the poor and deserved young artists who have very good talent but not get the opportunity (for working). We can encourage them in this way to perform well. 
And once again a small word about arts.

Embodiments of love!

I said that God is the embodiment of bliss.  Likewise, to enjoy the bliss and to get the bliss, there is only one way and that is through arts. So, if we see Lord Shiva, even though he is God, by doing Shiva thaandavam  (‘the cosmic dance form’) he is regarded as  the cosmic dancer, the Nataraja. In the same way, the goddess Saraswathi, by playing Veena (the string musical instrument) by her own hands, she is being praised as ‘Veena Paani’ i.e.  ‘the goddess holding the Veena’. In the same way, Lord Sri Krishna used to play the flute and is recognized as ‘Venu Gopaal’
These instances show that even God is very much interested in arts and God Himself performs and shows respect to arts. 
So, I warn that if the artists – wherever they come from in the country – are not properly treated or respected or given the deserved place in the society, that society’s or the state’s or the country’s culture and  customs will get damaged.

The great and renowned singers like Thyaaga Raju, Annamayya, Shyamaa Shaastri and Surdaas, Raamadaasu, Meera Bai and others got their name and fame through art only.  They sang songs with folk background, lived among the people and got salvation and liberated.  Nowadays, we have taken those songs as our syllabus in the musical universities and these songs pay salary to so many people.
The meaning is that art gives both material and spiritual development.

In addition, art unites the world into one and it gives peace and bliss to the world.

And lastly once again, as I told earlier, we have decided to give five hundred rupees as monthly pension to the folk artists, old folk artists, the handicapped, talented young and poor artists, how many they may be in number, to all of them! In the same way, to the senior artists, whether they are folk artists or cine actors, or drama actors or mythological performers or musical performers – to them also every year, when we celebrate ‘the folk and traditional dance and music program day’ we have decided to give twenty five thousand rupees to them as ‘recognition award’.
So, as a starting, first of all, I have decided to give those twenty five thousand rupees to the great and famous lady actor Ms Kaanchana of yester years. The first award of twenty five thousand rupees will be given to her in cheque form tomorrow during my birthday celebrations.

So, whatever I said should not be taken as mere words!  The folk artists who are here have one responsibility now. 
You should know the address to which you must apply for.  Because, after my leaving having told all these things, you should not be confused as to how to apply and whom to approach.  So you contact either Mr T. Rama Rao or Mr K. Ramesh Babu, Bhagawan Sri Balasai Baba Ashram, Kurnool or T. Rama Rao or K. Ramesh Babu, Bhagawan Sri Bala Sai Baba Ashram, Domalaguda, Hyderabad. You can send the application form to any one of these two addresses.   I bless them to give you pension from this March itself after examining those applications.

As a last word in this message:  Encourage Arts! Enjoy the arts!  Experience the arts! Live with the arts!  And get happiness from the arts!  And merge with God who is the embodiment of bliss!

(Swami sang the Bhajans “Govinda Kesava Gopala Madava” and “Om Shivaya Om Shivaya”)

Embodiments of love!

I bless you all with love and I take leave only for today and will come back again tomorrow morning at 10 o clock and give Darshan to all of you.  I will be always with you directly and indirectly and give you all happiness and comforts.  I bless you all. And I will come back again tomorrow to bless you. I am taking leave now.”