Avatar Declaration Day – Talk by Ms. Priya Mirapuri – Dharmakshetra – 20th October 2012
SAI NAADA VARSHINI – Musical offering by music college students
2010 October 12. Srikanth Sola speaks at a Silent Retreat
of Region 1 of the US Sathya Sai Organization
video source: http://www.saicast.org/2012/20121012sola.html
A Photo Story – Dussahara Delight – Days of Bliss from the Bygone Era
President of India, Pranab Mukherjee will dedicate Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital at Raipur on 23.11.2012
On November 23, President Pranab Mukherjee will be visiting Chhattisgarh to dedicate the Satya Sai Super Speciality hospital, which is under construction at Parsada village near Raipur since last one year.
Preparations are going on war footing to dedicate the hospital on the occasion of birth anniversary of Satya Sai Baba. Officials of the Satya Sai Trust, the hospital is near completion.
The 200-bed hospital will be dedicated with 100-bed and expansion will take place afterwards. The deprived section of people will be given free medical treatment at the hospital, they added.
The prominent persons associated with the Trust such as retired SC judge Justice Bhagwati, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, J Srinath and Anil Kumble are expected to attend the program.
Scintillating Thematic Dance Offering Indriyaarpanam
Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
Today, in the 6th and penultimate session of Prasanthi Vidwaan Mahasabha, Prasanthi Dance Troupe, presented a colourful dance offering entitled Indriyaarpanam this evening here in Prasanthi Nilayam.
Thematic with the story of creation as backdrop, the dance offering was a depiction of right utilisation of the organs bestowed upon by Almighty Lord, to realise the Ultimate Truth.
Bringing in greater awareness, the presentation echoed the human voice, we have seen all forms of God; now we have to see God in all forms.
The presentation also portrayed the epochal Sri Sathya Sai Grama Seva, the Seva Yajna inculcating sensitivity in students about societal needs, importance of Namasmarana, efficacy of Vedam ending up with taking ultimate refuge at Bhagawans Divine Lotus Feet.
The Prasanthi Dance Troupe was instituted at the instance of direct Divine Guidance and has been performing regularly over the years in the Divine Presence. This year, the troupe had members from Brindavan and Muddenahalli Campus apart from senior and higher secondary children from Prasanthi Nilayam campus.
Earlier, this evenings Prasanthi Vidwaan Mahasabha commenced with special invocation by Brindavan campus. The first speaker for the session was Dr CU Rajeshwari from the Anantapur Campus of SSSIHL. Speaking on the subject, Inner Reforms The Very Essence Of Dasara Festival, Dr Rajeshwari divulged deep into the subject expanding Bhagawans often quoted Bend the body, Mend the senses, End the mind. Man is tend to search happiness outside; instead he should look within and should reach a desire-less state, said the speaker entwining her speech with apt anecdotes.
The Guest Speaker for the session was Sahasravadhani Garikapati Narasimharao Garu, an illustrious name in Telugu literature who chose to speak on the subject Sai Jaganmatha. In a most enlightening humorous speech with poetic scholarly touch, Sri Narasimha Rao reminded the audience of their collective failure to recognise God in front of us, by committing the mistake of the true boon from the Lord in physical presence. Citing references from Bhagawans life and that of Shirdi Sai, entwining the speech with tales of yore from the scriptures the learned speaker enthralled the audience with repeated witty remarks ending the same explaining the difference between Maya and Mahima
Bhagawans Divine discourse followed that was listened with rapt attention.
Bhajans continued, and Prasadam was distributed to the entire assembly. Mangala Arathi was offered at 1915 hrs.
Seven days Dasara Jnaana Saptaaha Yajnam will culminate tomorrow morning with Poornahuthi.
On the eighth day of the Sri Sathya Sai Grama Seva 2012, the following villages of the Puttaparthi and Bukkapatnam mandal were served: Amagondapalyam, Tarakarama nagar, P.Kammavaripalli, Karnatanagepalli, Karnatanagepalli Quarry, Kovilaguttapalli, Veerajinnepalli, Ragepalli, Vengalammacheruvu, Narasimpalli, Narasimpalli Tanda, Cherlopalli, Kambalaparthi, Bontolapalli, Janakampalli, Janakampalli Quarry. With this, all villages belonging to the Puttaparthi, Bukkapatnam and Kothacheruvu mandals have been served.
II Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II
Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
Seva Yajna or Karma Yajna initiated by Bhagawan in the year 2000 has been a great learning experience for His chosen instruments, expanding hearts and minds to greater levels of sensitivity towards societal needs, achieving brotherhood of man and Fatherhood of God. With the curtains coming down for the 2012 version of Sri Sathya Sai Grama Seva lets peep into various aspects related to this great Yajna, written by Prof Sudhir Bhaskar, Director, SSSIHL, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus who was hand-picked by Bhagawan to lead the Grama Seva project from the front.
Baba often says that knowledge that is not put into action is not only useless but positively dangerous. A student is exposed during his formative years to a lot of information. He is talked to, quoted, and loaded with analogies and examples to drive home both the mundane and the subtle. However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating of it and when, once a person takes a bite of an apple, he doesnt require anyone to tell him how it tastes. At the Sri Sathya Sai University, the lessons learnt are predominantly by action and experimentation.
There is a famous incident in the life of Abraham Lincoln wherein he found a pig stuck in a rut and struggling to get out of it. On seeing its plight, the President immediately asked his car to be stopped, jumped into dirty water and brought the pig out. Answering his bewildered assistants and security guards, the President said that he did so not for the pigs sake but to relieve himself of the pain he felt on seeing the pig struggle. This is sensitivity for all of creation. The Grama Seva activity that is undertaken by the Sri Sathya Sai University every year has this primary aim of sensitizing the students and teachers about the living conditions of people in the rural areas.
The Genesis and the Purpose
Swami continually stresses the necessity of inculcating a societal outlook in every student. The head and heart need to grow together. It was in October 2000, when a poor widowed mother in the Anantapur district, out of abject poverty and hopelessness, took the extreme step of killing herself and her two young children, Bhagawan spoke to the teachers of the University making a direct reference to the incident. He was extremely moved by it and wanted his students and staff to act on his behalf. Swami wanted all the students and teachers to go to every house in the neighbouring villages of the three mandals, viz., Puttaparthi, Kothacheruvu and Bukkapatman, of Anantapur District and distribute his tokens of love- a Saree and a Dhoti to the heads of the family and Laddus and Rice Prasadam to all the inmates of the house at their door steps.
Swami says, Students today are acquiring considerable scientific knowledge. It serves only to promote civilized living in the world. But what the students need today is the refinement of the heart. This is possible only through an internal process. Students who have imbibed the modern culture should not only develop their intellects, but should also develop a broad outlook. A complete education is that which makes a man compassionate. Through the Grama Seva, Swami made a huge difference to two groups of people. Firstly, the villagers are extremely happy to know that theres someone to care for them. Secondly, most of the students get a first hand experience of the living conditions of poor people in the villages. Reading about phrase like India lives in its villages is one thing, and actually experiencing reality is another. Since its inception, the Grama Seva programme has deeply influenced the outlook of the students, thus driving home its essence and the central purpose.
In the Sri Sathya Sai education system, social service has always been an integral component. As early as 1968/69, in the first year of the college at Brindavan, Whitefield, students would go to the neighbouring villages to undertake service activities. Subsequently when a month long Summer Course in Indian Culture and Spirituality commenced, Sundays were always dedicated for social service activities. While inaugurating the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed University) in 1981; starting of the MBA course in 1986; M.Tech (Computer Science) and Master of Financial Management programmes in 1993; and also in the Benedictory address during many of the Institutes convocations on 22nd November every year, Bhagawan would advise the students to pursue their professional carriers but at the same time spend at least few hours per week in social service activities in their respective neighbouring villages. For all this, the Grama Seva exposure that the students get while at the University is very valuable. A famous management thinker, Peter.F.Drucker echoes the same view when asked about broadening the vision of managers, A good many companies today are encouraging their people to work in the community with non-profit organizations, which is perhaps the best educational experience I could advise.
Firstly, the villages in the district that will be served are identified. Thereafter, the Mandal Revenue Office provides the demographic data about the villages. In cases where information is felt to be inadequate, surveys are conducted, reconnaissance teams constituted by a group of teachers are sent to the villages to ascertain the approach to the place, layout of the village, distance from the source, etc. Detailed road maps of the three mandals; design of the organisation structure, roles and responsibilities, forms and formats in which data is to be collected, information flow system, the control mechanisms, etc., are planned out. Based on the proximity of the village, total population, and time taken to reach it, villages are grouped together and various groups of teachers and students are assigned to a group of villages. Each vehicle is fitted with a mobile wireless set for communication between the different vehicles of a group and also with a central control point at Prasanthi Nilayam. This facilitates the management of excess and shortage of Prasadam by effective communication and coordination between the groups. In addition, every group can request the services of buffer stock vehicles which will be stationed at strategic points that are accessible to all the groups.
In the first year of Grama Seva, it was initially planned to cover a population of 10000 per day. This gradually increased and stabilised at about 30000 people being served every day. Some of the salient Statistics of the Grama Seva undertaken during the last few years is as follows:
|Numberof Mandals covered||3|
|Total no. of villages / towns covered||150|
|Total no. of vehicles used||Over 50|
|Time frame||9 to 10 days during Dasara festival|
|Average distance covered per day||between 25 and 50 Km (one way)|
|Time to reach the interior villages||upto 2/3 hours|
The management of the Grama Seva was designed based on the concepts of Viable and Adaptive Organisation, capable not only of learning but also disseminating knowledge as the programme proceeds. It is modular in design and capable of being scaled up. Information and its flow are well regulated. This ensured that there are no shortages of prasadam nor is there excess and wastage of the same. Distribution is to be completed on time, so that all can come back to Prasanthi Nilayam at the same time.
Before the students begin to serve in a village, they go around the village singing Bhajans and chanting Vedam. This not only brings a sacred fervour and a sublime atmosphere but also motivates the villagers to take part in it. In addition to this, the students understand the layout of the village as they go around singing. They get a good idea of the main and sub-lanes, etc., and this enables them to divide themselves into sub-groups and serve all the houses efficiently.
Swami instructs the students to find out how many members live in a household and accordingly give the Rice and Laddu Prasadam. He explicitly advises them not to validate or cross check the number which the inmates of the house mention. Although, out of their desperate living conditions, some of them overstate the numbers, Swami wanted the people to have the feeling that they are being trusted. This feeling transforms even those who initially quote wrong figures. Also, in every village the Mandal Office makes a public announcement the day prior to the Grama Seva , requesting at least one member of the household to stay back to receive Bhagawans Prasadam. Since each food packet being distributed is sufficient for one meal per person, this prior information ensures that the villagers need not cook their lunch on that day. So, the students leave at around 8 a.m so that they will have ample time to distribute all the food packets well before their lunch time.
Benefits and Impacts
Most important fact is the assurance given to the recipients that there is someone who is concerned about them and taking care of them. Over the years it has been observed that there is a marked improvement both in their physical well being and outlook towards life. The Grama Seva has gone a long way in brining about a transformation in the individuals for the better. During the Grama Seva in 2009, one lady in a village said, Baba is like our father. Every year for Dasara He sends new clothes to us. We feel so happy and eagerly await this day.
The exposure that students get by participating in various social service activities like Grama Seva leaves an indelible mark on them. Students after passing out with various degrees have been undertaking service activities either individually or in small groups in slums or in selected villages on a sustained basis.
Alumni of the University feel that these service activities have helped students in understanding themselves better and thereby enabling them to perform better in their profession. It helps them do their jobs in organisations sincerely and view aspects of work interfacing with others more seriously. They feel that their capability of caring and sharing has increased, which they demonstrate in their job, with their customers / clients, subordinates, peers as well as their superiors. These are lessons which life alone can teach which neither the class room interaction nor curriculum can possibly achieve.
Swami in this context says, Sharing with others, serving others, this is the main Sutra of Vidya, its genuine expression. Education is rendered noble when the spirit of service is inculcated. The service rendered must be free of the slightest trace of narrow selfishness. That is not enough. The thought of service should not be marred by the desire for something in return. You have to perform the service as you would perform an important Yajna or Sacrifice. As trees do not eat their fruits but offer them to be eaten by others in an attitude of detachment, as rivers, without drinking the waters they carry, quench the thirst and cool the heat from which others suffer, as cows offer their milk, produced primarily for their calves, in a spirit of generosity born of Tyaga (renunciation), to be shared by others, so too should those who have acquired Vidya offer it to others prompted by the motive of service and without consideration of selfish interests. Only thus can they justify their status as noble men, Sajjana.
II Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
An advent divine took place in Puttaparthi, the Divine Abode on Earth in Prasanthi Nilayaman Incarnation of Shiva and Shakti, worshipped now as Sathya Sai is SheWho has come to set you and me free She is the Shakti ever present inside us all, Who responds to our distress callwith Navarathri 2012 coming to a close shortly, lets peep into our Beloved Bhagawans illustrious facet as Mother Divine, an article by Prof N Kasturi.
Writing of Sri Sadguru Sai Baba, Hemadpanth writes, Sai Baba had the peculiar, disinterested and extraordinary Love of the Mother; His joy knew no bounds, when He saw His children beautifully dressed and adorned. He knew the wants of His children long before-hand and He took great pleasure in fulfilling them.
Everyone who has come to Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the present manifestation of that same Mother, will describe Him too in the same words. Every devotee, however old, becomes in the presence of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a little child and, just as a child takes refuge in the mothers lap and sobs out to her all its fears and worries, he too pours out his troubles and gets consoled.
In the Markandeya Purana, Devi is described thus: Durge smrthaa harasi bheethim asesha janthoh. If remembered in times of trouble, She destroys the fear of all living things. We all know that Baba need only be remembered and He flees thousands of miles in an instant, to succour and give relief. The sloka continues: Swasthaiah smrthaa, mathim atheevasubham dadaasi. If remembered by others, who are free from immediate fear, She grants the most auspicious understanding.
Devotees of Baba will endorse that Baba, as soon as they pray to Him, vouchsafes advice directly or, if they are far away, indirectly but clearly, on all problems facing them, not merely spiritual and mental, or physical but even social and domestic. Let us turn again to the Markandeya Purana. There the Mother is again praised as, Daridrya dukhabhaya harini. Just like a loving mother who helps distressed child from out of her secret hoard and saves it from shame and dishonour, Baba too as every one knows is saving many from their own folly and negligence and putting them on the path of honourable living. In the last line of the above sloka, Mother is described by the Purana as, full of Mercy. The poet asks, Kaathwadanyaa sarvopakaarakaranaaya sadaardra chiththaa? Who else has the heart, ever melting, to bestow favours on all? Babas Heart, too, is ever overflowing with mercy, not only to those devoted to Him for years, but to those who have had little contact with Him, and even those who disparage Him. His Karuna is the right of all beings and He is never tired of telling the good news to all. He has said so often in His discourses at Puttaparthi and elsewhere, that no one need look upon Him with fear, or even extol Him, in order to earn His Grace, because no one fears his mother or is put to the necessity of praising her in order to win her to his side. The mothers love is spontaneous and independent of any expectations.
In Tamil Nadu, Easwara is known also as Thayumanavar, He Who became also the mother because in one of His leelas, He saved a womans life and helped her safe delivery. The mother of the woman, who was to attend on her, was held up by a flooded river and the Lord, taking pity on the lonely, forlorn daughter, assumed the form of the mother and attended to the labour, Himself. Numerous are the cases where Baba has, dream, vision, or actual materialisation in some form, even as Thayumanavar, acted in the similar way and saved His children from calamity.
One must listen to the advice Baba gives His daughters and sons about the choice of life-mates; and, to the daughters, when they proceed to take up residence with their mother-in-law, or when they have new born babies to feed and foster. One common argument that Baba uses to persuade people to postpone their departure from Puttaparthi comes to mind just now. He usually asks the lady of the party, Why dont you remain a few days longer in your Mothers home? and that settles it! One will realise, then that He is the Mother of all mothers, the Mother who is the Mother in all beings. The tenderness, sympathy and love with which Baba attends to the needs of the cows, the rabbits, the pet dogs, peacocks or deer, the care He takes to avoid any harm to living things is a lesson to every one in the art of efficient mothering. He is verily maternal love, incarnate. Yaa Devi Sarvabhootheshu Mathru Roopena Samsthithaa.
There is, therefore, a special significance in the Celebration of Navaratri, at Prasanthi Nilayam. Besides the Birthday of Baba, the only two festivals celebrated on a grand scale at Puttaparthi are, Sivaratri and Navaratri,for, Baba is both Siva and Shakti. During these Nine Days and Nights, He is Saraswati, presiding over Poetry, Dance, Music and Drama; Annapoorna, lavishing Annam and Vastram; Lakshmi, granting boons to all who come; and Durga, slaying falsity, pretence and wickedness, destroying the buffalo sloth and the buffalo stupidity that has overpowered us all. May Baba, the Mother, bless us and give us Faith, Strength and Joy.
II Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu IIsourced: