Every single day in the Prasanthi Calendar is eventful, not for the festivities, events or programmes, but for the simple truth that the Lord in physical ‘walks the earth’ demonstrating the art of ‘walking the talk’ aptly teaching the world the art of righteous living. Every festival, event or programme comes as add-ons to this greatest ‘demonstration’ on planet earth, supplementing to His Mission Divine.
The annual Prasanthi Calendar for the fresh year is already packed with scheduled visits by group of devotees, events, festivities etc. And this week witnessed the first contingent of Parthi Yatra, from the west coast state of Gujarat. A group of over hundred school children from the two Sathya Sai Schools in the state, Sathya Sai Vidyaniketan, Navsari and Sri Sathya Sai School, Surat had the opportunity to echo His message performing in the Divine Presence. A programme titled Samastha Lokaaha Sukhino Bhavanthu, airing the message of Universal Love and Welfare followed by the greater significance of Yoga Sutra as propagated by Maharishi Patanjali thousands of years ago, were apt demonstrations to the vast congregation of devotees comprising University and School children from Prasanthi Nilayam.
The year that has gone by witnessed a number of Youth Programmes by various states and even contingents from overseas. Sathya Sai Seva Organisations greater effort to motivate the youth in India and overseas was with the vision to make every youth an Ideal Sai Youth, Messenger of Sai Love. Taking cue from the motivation received over the years, the surge seemed to be on with the youth from Andhra Pradesh organized a three day pilgrimage to the valley of peace, bringing a maximum percentage of fresh faces, initiating them unto the fraternity to become Ideal Sai Youth and thus becoming worthy instruments in His Mission Divine.
One thing is certain, all these events, festivities or scheduled programmes are outright demonstrations of His teachings in public, an instrument serving in disseminating His message of Love and Peace. “Prema Vahini” a thematic musical drama presentation on Bhagawan’s message of Love and Service was staged by the Youth in His Divine Presence and the surge of love that was set in motion by the Youth was aptly reciprocated by Bhagawan literally basking the Youth in His all conquering love. Implements and other value additions in the form of sponsorship certificates were awarded to shortlisted beneficiaries from various districts of the state. Assorted musical scores on various themes depicting the Glory of His Avatarhood marked the grand finale of the three day pilgrimage that had over 1500 youth from the state in attendance.
Sai Darshanam Nayanotsavam sung the youth from the state, meaning, Bhagawan’s darshan is verily a feast to the eye… The week has been verily feasting with the grandeur of His darshans, when, on several evenings Bhagawan chose to sit onstage watching the programmes and at times Bhajans and Vedam Chanting. On the 20th evening, coming out at 4:30 for a complete round, moving through the devotees in the upper portico, He came onstage and sat listening to the Vedam chanting for almost half an hour, granting the highest of the boons, a real feast to the eyes of thousands filled in the vast Sai Kulwant Hall. And feasting this coveted occasion we had the tiny tots, the fresh entrants from Sri Sathya Sai Primary School who are barely five years old, seeking His Divine Company. On the 18th evening Bhagawan chose to move to the school blocks belonging to these fresh faces interacting with their innocent ‘chirpings’, giving them a closer glance of “Pedda Bhagavanthudu” whom the children affectionately calls, “Swami”.
The week also had several dignitary visits; the first one to show up was the Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. The minister who came on the 17th evening was closeted with Bhagawan for a short interview. Next to come was the Hon’ble Governor of Rajasthan, a long time devotee, Sri Shilendra Kumar Singh. Bhagawan blessed the Governor and family with an interview on 20th morning. Sri Ashok Singhal, the VHP veteran leader and ardent devotee of Bhagawan along with the Shankaracharya of Sri Ramachandrapura Math of Gokarnam were seen delighting the bliss of Divine Darshan of Bhagawan on the 20th evening.
Bhagawan often prefers to address His students as future Ambassadors and while permitting them to move out of the hallowed portals of the University, He blesses them to be worthy instruments in His Mission Divine serving the society most selflessly. A group of spirited students working with Barclays Bank had something to offer to Bhagawan, their beloved Mother Sai.
The group of alumni working with the bank came over to Prasanthi Nilayam after winning a prestigious award for their service activities done in collaboration with Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisational Unit in Mumbai. Bhagawan spent precious time going through their brochure, listening to details of their activities giving a boost to the fraternity’s greater effort in spreading His Name across.
The group of students, led by Abhishek Sharma, helped transform a rural village of Mirchiwadi which although just 50km from India’s financial capital suffered from a lack of education facilities, scarce drinking water and poor transport links.
Abhishek Sharma and his colleagues improved the community’s infrastructure dramatically, cleaning and repairing the village well, building a new road and renovating Mirchiwadi’s only school, with the help from more than 150 villagers. The group known as “Team Mirchwadi” won the Barclays Chairman’s Award 2009 along with the Team Achievement Award of the Year under Asia Pacific category. The students involved were Abhishek Sharma, Baban Balan, Jaideep More, Kaushik Manghani, Krishna Kumar, Ram Gopal, Sainath Chaudhary, Sai Kiran Shetty, Sai Krishna Reddy, Vishnu Bhan and Vikas Radhakrishnan. The very fact that the winner was selected from a whopping 7700 entries from 88 countries finally shortlisted to 30 finalists talks high about this achievement. With this project, the village gets a facelift with additional facilities like 274 villagers having new road to their homes, 63 children getting fully equipped schooling, access to clean drinking water, regularized mobile medical facility, Balavikas training facility for children and self employment avenues for village youth.
Yes, this would definitely go a long way in serving the society, impacting on the poor and downtrodden. The Barclays Group Chairman, Marcus Agius announcing the award rightly mentioned that “We don’t just judge the nominees on what they’ve done, but also on what they’ve achieved – namely the lasting impact they’ve had on the communities they’ve supported.” The fraternity across the globe who are indeed pressed into various service activities could feel proud of what they have been doing in the name of their beloved “Swami”.
The week was quite eventful, with the ‘voices’ of the little school children, the youth, and the students were heard echoing entire Prasanthi Nilayam! Yes, His Mission is on and He is doing it most silently bringing in the needed transformation, individual and societal for a better world, for a united world.