How would you sum up the Lord and His Works, His Life, Mission and Message to a friend? With a few words? Surely too short. A book – little better. How about a whole building with beautiful exhibits, wonderful pictures and breathtaking artefacts dedicated to Him. That’s just what devotees felt inspired to do to commemorate the Sri Sathya Sai Avatar’s 75 years of service to humanity.
That dream building came alive as the Chaitanya Jyoti Museum. ‘Chaitanya’ means ‘Consciousness’ and ‘Jyoti’ is ‘Light’. So, the ‘Light of Consciousness’ is a mammoth attempt to portray Swami and His Message by way of the building’s architecture and its contents of exhibits based on the Life and Teachings of the omni-faceted Lord. Can a mere building do justice to His Love? It is after all to be comprehended by the five senses, which Swami says we have to transcend to glimpse His Love. But like the finger pointing to the moon, the Chaitanya Jyoti Museum is a bold and beautiful endeavour to facilitate our awareness of the Divine – the Light of Consciousness within.
The Artist given the plan to illustrate Sri Sathya Sai Baba's Life story Alex Prowse PS many of the exhibits show his work.
Rising from the rocky hillside it stuns the devotee with its grandeur and originality. Bhagavan paid the building a fitting tribute when He saw the first plans, asking if it was possible to build it; He then stated that “It will be the wonder of the 21st Century”.
Captivated by its splendour, devotees flock in ever increasing numbers. By 2007 over 2 million visitors had passed through its hallowed portals.
The building incorporates architectural styles from all over the world and thus embodies in its very design Swami’s teaching on the Unity of Humanity. There are Roman arches, Gothic windows, a Singapore designed fish pool, Moorish domes, Japanese roofing (for the lift shaft), a Greek inclusion on the roof and Indian religious figures.
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Of course the majority of the influence is from China. Witness the unforgettable roof, the largest outside China. It is laid with ceramic tiles glazed using traditional methods. There are Chinese dragons, religious symbols, and decorative designs to be seen all around.
Devotees coming to Prashanti Nilayam always make it a point to visit the Chaitanya Jyoti Museum. Capturing devotees’ hearts at first sight, Chaitanya Jyoti attracts all who view it to come closer and wonder at its sublime beauty. The building is like a gift-wrapped present from Swami to His devotees. One cannot resist the temptation to step inside and unwrap this wonderful gift of the Lord. Inside this magnificent gift are wonders to behold – breathtaking visual treats for the eye and entrancing music for the ears; wisdom for the mind and sustenance for the soul.
One is left in awe as one takes in the exquisite nature of this offering to the Lord. One is lost in wonder at this blooming depiction of divinity that transports one's feelings in praise of Him.
Walking through the Museum is like walking with Swami at your side – nay inside. Many declare how the Museum is ecstatic, transforming and moves them to tears.Sri Sanjeeb Kumar Sahu, Minister, Commerce & Transport, Orrissa who visited the Chitanya Jyoti Museum on 30 October 2009, wrote the following note in the Visitors’ Book. “Due to the blessings of the Lord I have arrived here today. I cannot simply express myself but it is a feeling I have never realised before. Every single atom in this atmosphere sparkles divinity. When one enters this Museum, he forgets that he belongs to the world of mortals. I would like to come here many more times.”
We will now introduce you to how the magnificent edifice came into being, the designs, the building process, the problems encountered and of course Swami’s Divine guidance and involvement, for it is He who inspired this Living Testament to the Divine. Remember to bring your own creativity with you! It is after all the Chaitanya Jyoti Museum
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When one approaches Chaitanya Jyoti Museum.