March 2005 (Evening)
was 3. 40 p.m. when Swami entered Sai Kulwant Hall in a car.
He took a turn on the Ladies side and proceeded straight towards
the interview room. Bhagawan got down from the car and walked
towards the dais. The Vice Chancellor, Sri Anil Gokak received
Swami on the stage. Swami sat down on the sofa and by 3.45
p.m. the Veda chanting stopped.
A podium was already arranged for the speaker.
The boys who had won marvels in the GATE examination sat in
the front. The Vice Chancellor, Sri Anil Gokak offered a rose
to Bhagawan and moved forward towards the podium.
He began his talk saying that yet another
milestone had been crossed in the history of Sri Sathya Sai
Institute of Higher Learning. He shared the joy he experienced
the previous afternoon when he received this good news. Above
all, he was wonderstruck to witness the delight expressed
Sri Anil Gokak gave some factual details
of the GATE examination. It is called ‘Graduate Aptitude
Test in Engineering’, an all India test, held in 8 zones
across India and conducted by 7 Institutes of Technology and
IISc., on behalf of the Department of Education, Ministry
of Human Resources and Development. This year, the exam was
conducted by IIT Mumbai and over 1,00,000 students appeared
for the exam all over India. It is a matter of great joy that
20 out of 48 students who appeared for the
exam from our Institute passed with high ranks. 8 of these
20, securing above 98 percentile!
Sri Gokak said that whereas students elsewhere
have total access to Internet for accessing information, our
students have in addition to this, access to Swami, who provides
the means for transformation. Elsewhere in the world one perceives
the revolution in Science and Technology while students here
are witness to yet another revolution – that of a spiritual
nature. Our students are on the threshold of this great revolution.
Vice Chancellor then called upon each student, one by one,
asking them to come over to the dais, seek Swami’s blessings
and receive the honour. Sri Naresh Kumar (M.Sc. Physics) came
first. As soon as he reached Swami and bowed down, Bhagawan’s
Hand waved in circles and there came a gold bracelet that
was to adorn Naresh’s wrist! Swami personally tied it
around his wrist. All the while, there was a thunderous applause
from the audience. This went on for quite some time as the
bracelet was being fastened!!
Just behind Swami, there were a set of boys
standing with silver trays filled with shining watches and
royal shawls. Each student received a watch from Bhagawan
and Swami with His own Hands opened each shawl and spread
it around the shoulder of each and every student. All 20 of
them received the
blessings. It was a sight to see. As each student approached
Swami, he would receive a loving smile from Bhagawan. He would
offer the rose to Swami, take Padanamaskar, receive the watch,
get the blessings of the shawl and then a photograph with
The Vice Chancellor then invited Sri Naresh
to share his thoughts with the audience. Sri Naresh, first
of all offered his gratitude to Bhagawan saying that all this
was possible not due to his talents, but purely because of
Swami’s Grace! He spoke admirably, recalling the great
lessons he had learnt throughout his stay here.
He recalled with fond memory, the contribution
of his classmates, his
teachers and many others at various phases of his life that
finally led to this glorious moment! He spoke highly about
the rich infrastructure available at the Institute, giving
specific examples of the expensive, not so easily available,
instruments in the Institute Labs. He appreciated the team
spirit, sense of fraternity and the focus on the individual
more than anything else that formed the hallmark of this Institute.
He also made an attempt to clarify the common
doubt that many people have as to how students can study seriously
if they were to participate in several activities like Grama
Seva, Sports Meet etc. He said that, in fact, these activities
resulted in increased productivity even on the academic front!
Sri Naresh was followed by Sri D.V. Hemant,
a student from the II M.Sc. (Physics) class who began his
talk saying that this is the best of times as we have God
in our midst. He spoke of the troubled times that the world
is generally going through today. Since 60 years and more,
Swami has been relentlessly speaking about the same truths
and passing on the same message. Why?
Sri Hemant gave the example of the Parachuters
who say ‘Jump’ and then count 10 to 1 and finally
open the chute. They practice this drill again and again day
after day for two months. The purpose is that when they are
finally dropped from a helicopter, miles above the mighty
ocean, they must inadvertently perform the same drill with
So too, Bhagawan gives us strong doses of
these spiritual messages, so that when we go through the ups
and downs of our lives, we too spontaneously do our own counting
– counting on His Grace! It was 4.30 p.m. It was now
the turn of the former Vice Chancellor of the Institute, Sri
S.V. Giri to share his thoughts.
Sri S.V. Giri commenced his talk with the
three qualities that all students must possess. Sraddha (steadfastness),
Bhakti (devotion) and Vinayam (humility). He explained how
the various extra curricular activities that the students
go through at the Institute, enable to develop their power
of concentration, which in turn helps them to perform better
in academics too. An hour of concentrated effort is better
than 20 hours of wavering attempt.
He praised the students and drew reference
to a student J. Sai Kiran who passed out from our Institute
with a M.Sc. (Chemistry), a few years back. He too had secured
an All India Rank and was second in the country. He could
have secured a seat in any prestigious Institution. However,
he chose to stay back with Swami and serve Him in the Super
Specialty Hospital at Bangalore. This is the noble feelings
that our students have.
He also explained the difficulty involved
in passing the GATE exam and the cut throat competition that
exists, by giving the example of brother Naresh who secured
the first rank with 99.97 percentile. The next ranker secured
99.03. Between these two boys, there were 25 others –
in that small margin. That is the rigour!
After Sri Giri’s talk, the Vice Chancellor
prayed to Swami to bless everyone with His Divine Discourse.
However, Swami asked him to speak once again. Obeying Swami’s
command, Sri Gokak spoke for some time advising the students
to develop a sense of humour, which in the philosophical sense
means an attitude of live and let live and also to develop
the quality of wit which is the ability to respond spontaneously.
Our students, he said, must have the resilience to handle
change, face change and live up to it.
It was 4.45 p.m. Again the Vice Chancellor
prayed to Bhagawan and Swami conceded. The table was arranged
and Swami began His Discourse. (Full text of Divine Discourse
is already given in our earlier update.)
At the end of the Discourse, Bhagavan instructed
the students to distribute Prasadam. Group songs started in
the background. At 5.50 p.m. Bhagawan got up and retired for
the day. This day shall remain etched in the history of Sri
Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning as a day when the
acme of intellectual excellence manifested in the students
and was offered with gratitude to Goddess Sai Saraswati –
the source of all knowledge!!
This morning, Swami came out for Darshan
and took a full round of Sai Kulwant Hall. In the evening,
Swami called some of the boys who had secured high ranks in
the GATE examinations for an interview.
Swami spoke to each one of the boys whom
He had called for the interview. They got an opportunity to
have a personal audience with Bhagawan! Swami materialised
an emerald ring for Sri Naresh, the All India Topper. The
most touching part of the interview was when the compassionate
Lord told the boys that though He had honoured them the previous
day, He was not satisfied with it. He wanted to shower more
Love on them!! The boys prayed that they were most grateful
for the downpour of Love and Grace showered by Bhagawan.
Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 3.15 p.m.
Soon, some school boys moved forward and showed Bhagawan a
beautiful card! Swami blessed the card.
He came out at 4.00 p.m. and sat down on
the sofa placed at the centre of the dais. Soon the Veda chanting
stopped. Prof. Anil Kumar made an announcement that the XI
class School students would be presenting a Burra Katha (traditional
folk art of narrating stories through songs and dances). The
theme of the Burra Katha was the story of Bhadrachala Ramadas
(a great devotee of Lord Rama).
Three students dressed in the traditional
Burra Katha style, with dhotis, turbans, and moustache, and
accompanied by musical instruments came to the fore. They
sought Bhagawan’s blessings and started their presentation.
After a while, as is the tradition, three boys came with Marigold
garlands to garland the singers.
They entered from the interview room side
and came in front of Swami. When Swami saw them, He asked
them to wait for it was too early to garland the singers.
They were just singing the opening verses. The all knowing
Lord, is aware of all the intricacies of folk art. After a
few minutes, Swami signalled to them to garland the singers.
The three boys sang with all their hearts, sharing the glory
of the great Bhadrachala Ramadasa. The presentation concluded
at 4.30 p.m.
After a while, Bhagawan called the main singer
of the Burra Katha and materialised a gold chain for him.
The boy bent down reverentially and Swami very lovingly placed
the chain around his neck!
This was followed by group songs. As the
lilting tunes of the songs filled the hot air in the Hall,
the Burra Katha boys and their accompanying music team were
blessed with the opportunity of group photographs with Bhagawan!
More than a dozen birthday boys were waiting expectantly for
Swami to look towards them. The moment Swami turned to them
and nodded, all of them made a beeline to seek blessings from
Bhagawan. Each one was blessed and most of them had some word
from Swami! Bhajans began at 4.55 p.m. and Swami was offered
Arati at 5.25 p.m. and then He retired to His abode.
Swami came out for Darshan at 3.00 p.m. This
evening there was a Kavi Sammelan (Poets’ Meet) in
Sai Kulwant Hall. The readers may vividly remember that a
grand Kavi Sammelan of poets from Potti Sriramalu University
was held on 14th December 2004. This time, poems in different
languages were rendered by the students of Sri Sathya Sai
Institute of Higher Learning and Sathya Sai Mirpuri College
of Music. These students were from different parts of India
and even as far as Lithuania.
Swami came and sat down on the sofa. Few
minutes later, some boys went towards the Poornachandra Hall
to fetch some items. After a while, they returned with 20
white plastic chairs. Swami wanted the poets to sit on the
chairs. Even the smallest task must be performed with utmost
perfection and attention to the minutest details!!
Swami personally supervised the arrangement
of the chairs in a semicircular fashion! At 4.00 p.m., Swami
signalled for the Veda chanting to be stopped. Prof. Anil
Kumar made an announcement that some students of the Institute,
who were poets in the making, would share their poetic thoughts
in the Divine Presence. He read out the names of each of the
student-poets and the language of their expression. As their
names were called out, the student-poets came and took their
all there were 18 poets and two students ably compered the
programme. Poems were recited in twelve different languages
– Telugu, English, Hindi, Oriya, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada,
Tulu, Marathi, Nepalese, Assamese and Lithuanian. The style
and diction of the poems were laudable and captured the hearts
of the audience who erupted in loud applause time and again.
The Kavi Sammelan went on for 45 minutes.
At 4.45 p.m., the
music group started singing group songs. They began with O
Sai Maa… Bhagavan distributed special pens to
all the poets. Surprisingly, even after all the poets received
the pen from Bhagawan’s Hands, Swami kept on giving
the pens even to other boys. For the next 45 minutes and more,
Swami kept giving these pens personally to each and every
student of both the Institute and the School.
Arati was offered to Bhagavan at 5.25 p.m.
and then He retired for the day to His abode.
March 2005 (Morning)
came out for Darshan at 7.50 a.m. Being Good Friday, all the
students and staff of the Institute had assembled in Sai Kulwant
Hall for Darshan. The golf cart came along the usual path
and everyone had a wonderful Darshan of Bhagawan. Swami enquired
from the boys about the programme for the morning. The XII
class boys came forward and told Swami about their programme.
They also presented a huge programme card to Swami.
At 8.15 a.m. Swami signalled for the Veda
chanting to be stopped. The XII class boys, with their costumes
came out of the Bhajan Hall and took their seats in front
of the dais. Then Swami sat down on the sofa. The XII class
boys made a presentation titled ‘Sai Message’.
The first module was an interactive Question & Answer
session – but non-verbal. It was in the form Dumb Charades!
A student would come forward and enact the chosen message
of Bhagawan. Immediately a number of hands would go up and
one of them would give the answer. Messages like “Hands
that serve are holier than lips that pray”, “Bird
with Me and the wings with you…” etc. were depicted
in this module.
The next part was identifying personalities
through non-verbal depiction. Great personalities like Sabari,
Jatayu, Kuchela and Sravan Kumar were enacted through scenes
from their life and boys very correctly identified each one
of them. This was followed by a song on the Love of Mother
The next round was a set of questions on
major incidents in the life of Swami. For example, the significance
of the date 23rd Nov, 1990 (Answer – Declaration of
construction of Super Specialty Hospital), devotees who were
resurrected by Bhagawan (Answer – Karanam Subbamma,
Kuppam Radhakrishna, Sir Walter Cowan …), significance
of the loss of the collar pin given to Swami in Bellary and
so on ...
The song, Teri Hai
Zameen Tera Aasmaan followed. In the next module, the
boys spoke about the significance of Bhava, Raga and Tala
in singing Bhajans. But apart from that Swami has also pointed
out three most important aspects that must be followed while
singing Bhajans. One is a feeling of faith, second –
one-pointed concentration and third – understanding
of the meaning of the Bhajans. In line with this, the comperers
would give the English translation of a Bhajan and the students
were expected to identify and sing the Bhajan.
The final module was a set of skits depicting
profound messages delivered by Bhagawan. One of them was the
role of rules, regulations and discipline in life. This was
depicted using the analogy of a cricket game. Team of players
came forward and started playing cricket in front of the dais.
In the first scene, the game goes on very well and all are
thrilled. In the next scene they show the same game being
played without respect for any rules. The batsman does whatever
he wants, the umpire is busy attending to his cell phone and
a peanut seller comes selling peanuts right up to the pitch
during the game. There was utter chaos!
Through this example, the boys very tactfully
depicted how rules and discipline are vital even for an ordinary
game like cricket. Then what about the game of life? Unless
there is discipline and respect for laws of creation, life
has no purpose at all.
The final skit was that of Munshi Premchand
and his two sons. The elder son falls at his father’s
feet before departing and seeks his blessings, while the younger
son just bids goodbye. Premchand did not mind the younger
son failing to show respect for him but was worried about
the future of this son with such an attitude in life. As their
life unfolds, the elder son who saluted his father became
a judge in the court and received salutes from everybody while
the younger son who refused to salute his father became a
peon in the same court and had to salute everybody throughout
his life!! Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati!
(As you think, so you become)
final song was ‘Tere Sang Hum
Rahne Ki Aaj Khushi Manate Hein ...’ It was by
then 9.00 a.m. Swami was very happy with their performance.
A photograph session followed, wherein all the XII class boys
were blessed with group photographs with Bhagawan. Finally,
the comperers came forward and prayed to Swami for a photograph
with the teachers. Swami was very happy and nodded, giving
His consent. The School Principal, the Hostel Warden and all
the teachers soon assembled around Bhagawan and had a good
group photograph. The Hall broke into applause!
Chocobars were distributed to the XII class
boys. Many of them were leaving for their vacations as their
exams had just concluded. Swami blessed all of them and asked
them to come back safe and sound – with a pure mind.
He enquired whether all had received the Prasadam. At 9.20
a.m. Bhagawan was offered Arati. He stood for a while watching
all His children. The Love of the Divine Mother would not
allow Swami to move away! He stood there for some time and
then slowly moved towards the golf cart.
March 2005 (Evening)
the evening, Swami came out for Darshan at 3.25 p.m. As the
golf cart approached the dais, Bhagawan got down and ascended
the dais. The chair was placed behind the sofa close to the
Ganesha idol. Three chairs were placed on the dais. A senior
devotee was asked by Bhagawan to sit. Next, Swami called the
Vice-Chancellor and made him sit next to the devotee. After
a while, Sri T.N. Seshan, former Chief Election Commissioner,
Government of India, occupied the third chair next to the
Vice Chancellor. Bhagawan sat down on the sofa and invited
the former Vice Chancellor, Sri S.V. Giri to sit next to Him.
The stage was set for the evening programme! Then, Swami called
the students seated in front and enquired about the programme.
At 3.30 p.m., Veda chanting stopped and the
presentation began. A student dressed as a Christian stood
up and offered his prayers to Jesus. Joseph as he was called,
had two sons Jeffrey and Marius, who are truly two Christian
students – one from USA and the other from Lithuania
(Europe). The first module was a discussion between Joseph
and his friend Aravind – a Hindu. They discuss the significance
of Good Friday. This was the day when Jesus was nailed to
the Cross. But is it a solemn occasion? Depends on how we
perceive it. In fact, Jesus taught three most important lessons
to humanity on this day.
1) The infinite Love that God has for man
2) Death is the dress of life
3) Body is the temple of God
Joseph recalls the story of how Jesus, when
he sees sheep being sold and money lenders exchanging money
in the temple premises, feels pained and threatens them asking
them how they could pollute the Abode of His Father. To this,
the people over there question his authority and ask him to
prove his deservedness to make such a statement by showing
a miracle. Jesus replies – Break down this temple and
I shall build it in three days again. Normally, we wonder
why Jesus made this statement and never did any such thing
in reality. However, every word of his had an inner meaning.
On Good Friday, Jesus was nailed to the cross and three days
later, He resurrects himself! Therefore, the temple he was
referring to was not the one built with bricks and mortar
but the human body. In fact, the very same Christ Consciousness
is with us today! The song – Jesus is alive today –
He is Sathya Sai today – reverberated in the Hall to
Swami also says, “Deho
Devalayo Prokto Jeevah Devo Sanathana”. Body
is indeed the temple of the Lord and the indweller is God
Himself! All religions preach the same message. At this point,
Joseph calls Jeffery and Marius who chant the Purusha Suktam
conveying the above message. A loud applause from the audience
fills the air. Lord Jesus taught the lesson of sacrifice.
He condemned the philosophy of an eye for an eye and a tooth
for a tooth. Instead, he advocated the noble idea of a smile
in return for a frown and love for hatred. Even as he was
being tortured on the cross he called out to the Lord –
Oh God – forgive them for they know not what they do!!
Conveying the essence of sacrifice as the
undercurrent of an ideal life, the boys sang the song, ‘Madhuban
Khushbu Deta Hai…’ The next module was
on Holi. Presented by another pair of students, they took
us through the story of Holika, the sister of Hiranyakasipu.
In one of his attempts to put an end to the life of Prahlada,
the father asks Holika to help him. Holika had the boon of
being untouched by fire. Therefore, she takes young Prahlada
in her arms and sits on a burning pyre. By Divine Grace, Prahlada
remains totally safe and Holika gets reduced to ashes. Marking
this occasion and paying tribute to the faith of Prahlada,
Holi is celebrated all over the country.
The comperers explained how Swami talks of
the nine types of devotion as the nine colours of devotion.
They went on to elaborate each type starting with Sravanam,
Keertanam and so on until Atma Nivedanam, giving examples
of saints and sages who actually practiced each of these.
They stressed on the fact that faith was the undercurrent
of each of these nine types of devotion. Quoting Swami, they
said, “Nammaku Cheddinavaru Unnaru
Kani…” There may be people who have brought
ruin to themselves without having faith, but there is nobody
who having faith is ever brought to ruin!!
A song followed – Kya
Khush Naseeba Wo Sai Ko Pa Le… The next module
was a presentation in
Telugu. The best Telugu speaking students participated in
this dialogue based skit. The scene is the heavens where an
award for the best parent of the age is being decided. Several
eminent personalities participate in this competition. We
have Dasaratha (father of Rama), Nanda (father of Krishna),
Dronacharya (Guru of the Pandavas and the Kauravas), Indra
the king of gods. All of them present their case and try to
outwit the other. Narada, played by the dancer Sri Ganesh,
acted as the moderator for the entire discussion. Some time
later, Yama comes in and makes the announcement that this
award has already been given to somebody on planet earth.
All are furious! Narada tries to console
them but to no avail. How could some insignificant person
on earth get this award when so many noble heavenly personalities
are present here? Finally, Lord Vishnu himself comes and reveals
the secret to them. He says that the infinite Lord Himself
has come onto the earth and taken a form. This Form, indeed,
is the Divine Parent of every child in this universe. He is
the best Father, the best Mother, the best friend and the
Best Guru one could ever have! The scene concludes with all
these eminent members offering the award – a huge card
made by them to Swami. Swami smiled and blessed them. This
module was very good, with its rich Telugu poetry and colourful
costumes! The presentation concluded with the song –
Dil Yehi Kehta Hai Maa Sang Rahe Har
smiled and blessed all the participants. The X class students
were also waiting to sing some group songs. Swami permitted
them to offer their songs too. As they sang songs, Swami called
an elderly devotee from Netherlands, who helps in training
our Institute band students. In fact, he shared his views
about Good Friday and Swami’s teachings in the first
module of the presentation. Bhagawan called him and spoke
to him for quite some time. Swami materialised a three diamond
ring and put it on his finger. It was 4.50 p.m. and Swami
said that all boys were tired after their performance. He
asked for the Bhajans to start.
As the Bhajans went on, all the boys were
blessed with group photographs. All of them got wonderful
photographs. Swami stood up and posed for them. At 5.05 p.m.,
Swami was offered Arati and then He retired for the day. Both
in the morning and evening, He had filled the hearts of the
students and devotees alike with so much joy and love. So
many students got an opportunity to express their talent and
love for Swami. So many got photographs that would be their
JAI SAI RAM