Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust has been one of the earliest institutions set up by Bhagawan to carry out His Divine Mission. It has been instrumental in executing various service projects of Bhagawan in the areas of education, medical relief, providing drinking water and providing relief to the indigent masses. This Trust was established on 2nd September 1972 as a Public Charitable Trust and since then has been ceaselessly engaged in the service of humanity. The 35th anniversary of the establishment of the Trust was commemorated this year on 2nd September in a grand function organized by Bhagawan’s students who are currently serving in His various institutions.
Bhagawan arrived at 4 p.m. to grant Darshan to the thousands assembled in Sai Kulwant Hall that was beautifully decorated for the occasion. The main programme for the afternoon was a discussion on the theme, ‘Sri Sathya Sai: Transforming Lives’, by a panel of speakers all of whom have had a long association with Bhagawan and his service activities. The proceedings commenced with an introductory speech by Sri Rameshwar Prusty. He was followed by Sri N.Sudhindran and Dr. T.Ravikumar who addressed the gathering, sharing the wonderful experiences they had with Bhagawan and recalling the abundant love and grace that Bhagawan had showered on them.
The discussion commenced with a speech by Sri V. Srinivasan, All India President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation. He is a noted industrialist and has served as National President of CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) and National President of the Institute of Plant Engineers in addition to being Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (USA). Sri Srinivasan is a member of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and is also serving as Trustee to Sri Sathya Sai Medical Trust and Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning Trust. He began by saying that Bhagawan transforms lives by transforming minds and the instrument of this transformation is His Pure Love. Drawing from his experiences gathered during his visits to Sri Sathya Sai Centers all over the country, he cited the examples of two inspired youth members whom he met, who have dedicated their lives to the service of Bhagawan setting aside lucrative careers in favour of serving the Lord. Sri Srinivasan also recalled the contributions of many noble souls who are now no longer with us, such as Col. Joga Rao, Rajmata of Nawanagar, Justice Padma Khastagir and Sri Janakiramaiah.
Sri K. Chakravarthi, Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust who spoke next joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1960. He served as the Collector of Anantapur District, and held various positions including Finance Secretary (Projects), Commissioner of Relief and Commissioner of Commercial Taxes in the Government of Andhra Pradesh. He relinquished his promising career in the Indian Administrative Service in 1981 in answer to the divine call to become the first Registrar of Sri Sathya Sai University, a post that he held till 1994 before taking over as Secretary of the Trust. He pointed out that Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust is no ordinary charitable trust. He said it is a great blessing for any one to be associated with the Trust in any manner and that this association would bring out transformation within one. The best way to experience His Grace is by opening our hearts to him. He concluded his illuminating speech observing that to express our gratitude to Bhagawan, each one of us must reflect in our lives, the sublimity of His Love and diligently discharge the duties and responsibilities assigned to us.
Following this, there was a talk by Sri S.V. Giri. Sri Giri started his career in the Indian Administrative Service in the Andhra Pradesh Cadre where he held positions such as the Principal Secretary in the Planning Department and the Relief Commissioner. Later, he was Central Relief Commissioner, Education Secretary to the Government of India. He then went on to become the Chief Vigilance Commissioner in 1995, a post that he resigned from in 1998 to serve Bhagawan as the sixth Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai University. After having served as the Vice Chancellor till 2005, Sri Giri is currently involved with many service activities of Bhagawan. Sri Giri highlighted the perfection, attention to minute detail and the economic utilization of resources that characterizes the Trusts run by Bhagawan. In this way, the output of the Trust, as measured by the benefits that accrue to the people, far surpasses the input. He said that in Bhagawan’s trusts, the emphasis is on quality rather than quantity. He also briefly introduced the programme of Rural Development that is now taking shape, which focuses on the family as the basic unit for transformation.
Padmashree Prof G. Venkataraman, who addressed the gathering next, is a scientist who has served in many premier institutions such as Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai; Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam. He was the Founder Director of Project ANURAG at DRDO, Hyderabad. He has been the recipient of many awards such as Sir C V Raman Prize, Sir C V Raman Centenary Award, Indira Gandhi Award, and the prestigious Padmashree Award in 1991. His career culminated with his appointment as the 5th Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai University. He has authored many books, and is currently serving Bhagawan as the Director of Radio Sai Global Harmony and producing documentaries and literature about Bhagawan and His Mission. He began his talk by observing that it is Bhagawan who is at the centre of the Central Trust. He cited the instances of the Super-Speciality hospitals and the water projects that were completed in record time and in the face of all odds, once Bhagawan had determined to embark on these projects. He said that it is our firm faith in Him that will allow us to fulfill our roles in His Divine Mission.
Then, to the delight of all gathered, Bhagawan rose to grant His Divine Discourse in His sweet, melodious voice. He was all praise for the dedicated service rendered by His students who are working in various Sai institutions, commending their selflessness and the humility with which they carry out their tasks. He said that even though they are young, they carry great responsibilities on their shoulders. Bhagawan said His aspirations for the future lie with His students and He expects them to take on the leadership of His institutions and set an example for the world.
At the conclusion of His Discourse, Bhagawan lovingly distributed watches to each of the 155 students, tokens for His boundless affection for them. As they came forward, one by one, to accept the divine gift from His Hands, Bhagawan beamed at them and spoke sweet words to them. He again called them near Him to distribute to them sacred Prasadam with His own Hands. All the students basked in the Love of the Divine Mother, moments that will be cherished by them forever. At the conclusion of the programme, Sri Hari Shankar proposed a Vote of Thanks, expressing gratitude to Bhagawan for His guidance in every step while organizing the programme and for His loving words. He also expressed his thanks on behalf of the assembly to the panel of esteemed speakers who had shared their words of wisdom drawn from their close association with Bhagawan and His service projects.
The evening programme concluded with Arati and Bhagawan retired to His residence.