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Then & Now
A day in Ashram


19th June 2005

Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 3.45 p.m and sat outside in the centre of the stage. Suddenly, there was a lot of activity as Swami had asked for the microphones to be arranged. What followed was an invigorating Divine Discourse on Seva activities to be performed in the drought affected villages of the region.

Excerpts from His Discourse:
Students – Boys and Girls, Administrators – In Bharat, of late, we have been coming across a number of problems. This is quite natural. But it is our responsibility to enquire and investigate. In the last couple of months there have been a number of problems and obstacles that have caused a loss of happiness and bliss to people. More than our studies, our actions are important. We must necessarily make an effort to improve the existing situation.

There is no water to drink. Earlier we have taken every care to supply water for drinking. Now the problem is very severe and has spread all over Anantapur District. We are not born merely to earn a living, we do not study merely to fill our stomachs; all that we have learnt must be put into practice to serve our fellowmen and community.

We have to realise the plight of the people in every district. Right from tomorrow – Monday, we must first convince ourselves and then share with others the Supreme Will and Mystery of God. Food should be served when one is hungry. One must determine to undertake the task though it may be strenuous. Service cannot be done by wealth alone. We need men of character. Foreigners too will be participating in this mega service programme.

We have to supply drinking water to every village. The problem does not end there. We must supply food too. All aged 10 years and above must participate in this programme. We must be determined to accomplish the project in its entirety. Temperament and attitude is very important.

Yesterday, in discussion with the Vice Chancellor and others, it became clear that this will be a gigantic project and will require thorough planning. We must begin with serving food. All the Anantapur Seva Samithi members must be determined to get the task going. We must set apart some part of the food that we eat. It is not enough if we supply rice alone. They will have to cook it and make it edible. Therefore, they will need water too. First we must cater to those areas where there is no water. This work should be started right now and not postponed to tomorrow or the day after. Very soon cooks will be arriving.

It is not enough to merely go through books and study; essence is more important. Not many understand the purpose of education. Lorries will arrive for transportation. Each one must consider this as one’s own job / duty. Each one must feel – “I am serving myself”. That should be the spirit. Every person must prove the power of society. We are also ready with clothes for distribution. Consider this project as a mighty task of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation and work for it.

The Vice Chancellor also is very keen on this project. From tomorrow the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Teachers and students will all work together! (loud applause). All of you must be enthusiastic. When once you are enthusiastic, you will have enough energy to serve all. When once food is supplied, the head will also start functioning. When food and head join together rest of the problems can be easily solved.

You should spread the glory of Prasanthi Nilayam everywhere. Younger children can participate in distribution of water without wasting. In fact, the work will start with distribution of water. All devotees can also participate and work with the students. Never make an attempt to escape this duty, saying – “I am not well” and such other reasons. Bhagawan will give all that is necessary for us. Bhagawan will Himself come and inaugurate the programme too.

Students should work with zeal and enthusiasm. We must also enthuse those who are inactive to make this programme a success. Health is very important. Only when there is good health can there be enthusiasm. First pray to God. But God is everywhere. All feet, hands, heads are His! He directs, monitors and guides the universe in the right direction! This is only the beginning. In future Swami will provide everything we need!

You should proceed in a perfect way such that Prasanthi Nilayam will become radiant and brilliant. We need elders too – to guide and direct – to assume leadership. With this sacred motivation, we can achieve anything!

As you get up tomorrow morning, offer prayers sincerely. It will give you physical, mental and spiritual strength. Very soon, bags and bags of rice will come and get stocked here. Devotees too may not have place to sit! You do not need to be told more than this. I have told you all that is necessary at this point of time. (To students) Consider this as a homework given to you.

What do you want? (Students reply – Swami!).

Swami is always there. With you, Above you, Below you, Around you … (loud and prolonged applause)

Each one must discharge his responsibility without giving up. Senior students should be leaders and must guide the juniors in making good use of this golden opportunity! You should proceed with all the confidence that you will be successful. All students gathered here are extremely lucky and fortunate.

It was around 4.50 p.m. when Swami concluded His Divine Discourse. He then blessed the boys who had their birthday on this day. Ararti was offered to Bhagawan at 5.55 p.m. Swami once again started interacting with some students. The new students seated in front were so happy to see Swami from so close quarters that one could see the joy and enthusiasm on their faces. Swami too was responding to their spontaneous devotion! At 6.05 p.m., Bhagawan retired for the day.

20th June 2005

This morning Darshan was at 8.05 a.m. Swami spoke to the Vice Chancellor and other authorities. Then He blessed some of the faculty members and senior students who were to proceed for a reconnaissance of some of the villages in Puttaparthi, with regard to the Grama Seva. Later Swami called them to the Poornachandra Hall and spent nearly an hour talking to them and giving them important instructions. He again returned to the Mandir for taking Ararti, gave an interview to some devotees and then returned to His abode.

In the evening, Swami came out for Darshan at 3.25 p.m. It was the 3rd anniversary of the Deenajanoddharana Pathakam (Orphanage – started by Swami). The students of the Orphanage were ready with a programme. At 3.40 p.m., the children began their colourful presentation. It was a mix of dances, Burra Katha (folk art of narrating stories interspersed with songs), short skits… The audio recording was very professional and the children did put up a very good show. It was full of Swami’s teachings. The highlights being – Namasmarana, Importance of good company, Money comes and goes, but Morality comes and grows, Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu… and so on. The programme came to a close at 4.30 p.m. after which Bhajans began. The children were all seated at the rear end of Sai Kulwant Hall, waiting eagerly for Swami to talk to them or bless them. At 4.45 p.m. Aarti was offered to Bhagawan.

Swami asked the Bhajan boys to start Bhajans. He sat there listening to a few Bhajans and then signalled the car to take a reverse. Then Swami’s car moved towards the Gopuram gate. He went just close to the Deenajanoddharana children and spent some time talking to them. After that, the car was again reversed and returned to the interview room. Then began a series of blessings! Swami called for the children scene by scene and blessed them. All along, Bhajans were going on in the background. Meanwhile, all the children came forward and sat down. Finally, Swami came out at 5.35 p.m. and once again Arati was offered to Him and then He retired to His abode. Thus, ended another momentous day at Prasanthi Nilayam.