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Posted at 20:40 hrs. on 31st Aug 2009

Imagine industry captains from the financial world ‘descending’ to Prasanthi Nilayam to deliberate ethics and morality in the world of finance. …And sitting at His Lotus Feet they deliberate on supposed reforms that would save the world from the disaster it encountered; and they vie for singing praise of Bhagawan’s University and students. The week had elements of such amazing developments that became history in the history of Prasanthi Nilayam.

The Mission statement that He proclaimed long ago, Bhagawan had in no uncertain terms announced about His vow: He said, I have a vow: To lead all who stray away from the straight path again into goodness and save them. At a time when the world economy is under stress, crumbled down to lower depths, when ethics, lofty ideals and righteous principles were beaten to take a backstage to man’s ever unsatiated greed, the week that passed had something quite interesting reflecting Bhagawan’s vow in His mission statement.

The week’s highlight was essentially a high profile conference aimed at bringing ethical values in the world of finance. Sri Sathya Sai University, in its relentless pursuit to bring quality in the world of business management had organized a two-day conference on “Ethics and World of Finance” attended by scores of Industry captains from Banking and Financial Sector. The Conference that was inaugurated officially by Bhagawan, who is incidentally the Chancellor of the University, was attended by the Governor of Reserve Bank of India, Dr. Duvvuri Subba Rao and the former Governor, Mr. Y.Venugopal Reddy along with scores of senior bankers from the country.

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Delivering the keynote address at the inaugural function, Mr. Subba Rao said: “Because of the very nature of the financial sector, leaders and the top management in the sector have an extra obligation to be sensitive to larger societal obligations. Economics, as an academic discipline, is losing its value base, and conjectured, if that could be at the root of the malaise in the financial sector.”

In his in-depth analysis of the present economic recession and the role of ethics, the RBI Governor outlined how a sense of responsibility to larger societal good underpins on the mandate of the RBI. “All of us as individuals, families, social communities and faith communities confront ethical dilemmas everyday, and we resolve them in our own ways. We take the value of ethical behaviour to be axiomatic,” he observed.

“Banks and financial institutions have a greater responsibility of being conscious of the obligation they have of not jeopardizing the larger public interest,” added the Governor divulging in detail about the Banking sector’s responsibility towards the public interest in general.

Concluding his speech the Governor listed out the ethical dimensions of Reserve Bank of India, listing the bank’s roles and responsibilities being the guardians of nation’s financial security.

The high-profile guest of honour’s subject oriented lecture spreading across the essentials of financial fabric, intertwined with illustrations and examples was a treatise of relishing treat for the audience especially for the students from the University.

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The former Governor of Reserve Bank of India, Mr. Y.Venugopal Reddy delivered the invited lecture. Prof. Vishwanath Pandit, current Vice-chancellor and Mr. S.V.Giri, the 6th Vice-Chancellor of the University also addressed the intellectual gathering.

While the panel sessions and deliberations continued at the Institute, the 28th evening witnessed an extension of the ongoing conference in the Sai Kulwant Hall. In a function officiated by Bhagawan Himself, and attended by over 24 top brasses from the Banking and Financial Sector, selected luminaries spoke of their perception about a whole gamut of issues ranging from business to ethics to spirituality.

Then came the valedictory on the 29th evening, when Bhagawan delivered a Divine Discourse wherein many a maxim, that Bhagawan quotes quite often, come to the fore imparting words of wisdom. Ensuring Divine Grace anywhere and everywhere, asking students and devotees to develop intense love for God, Bhagawan cautioned them to stay away from sins as sins once committed would rebound. Quoting once again His oft repeated maxim, Love for God, Fear of Sin and Morality in Society, highlighting the same to be the underpinning of the moral and righteous social fabric, Bhagawan exhorted the students to engage in good activities in the larger societal benefit.

Earlier the week began with a Burrakatha presentation by the trio, from the University, who had been onstage several times during the year. It was His story in His presence, the epic Ramaya in a nutshell, narrated in the Divine Presence, a session meant for the devotees to understand the greater significance behind the glory of the story of the Lord, Sri Rama!

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Then came the immersion ceremony. Quite distinct from the world outside, typical of the Prasanthi culture, where everything happens as per His loving command, scores of Ganeshas were mounted on chariots to send in procession before immersing the Chitravathi River stretch, bypass Enumanapalli, within two days of the Ganesh Chatuthi festival. It was an apt example of greater harmony and unity, where students joining hands making the festivity a grand success, showing up their greater talent for their beloved Bhagawan. If  paid attention to the background details of enormity of such a festivity, one would understand the intensity of devotion and sacrifice the students community puts in, all with one intention, to make their Master happy.

…And this was very much reflected in Bhagawan. In an ‘unscheduled’ Divine Discourse delivered the next day, that turned out to become the Ganesh Chaturthi Divine Discourse, by virtue of the content and the tone and tenor He used, Bhagawan lavishly praised the boys for their greater unity in making the occasion a grand success. The discourse was a treatise on the Vinayaka Principle, divulging deep into the esoteric wisdom that the elephant-headed God stood for.

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Seven hundred odd Youth from the state of Orissa, come on a Parthi Yathra, had something firm to affirm. In a Dance Drama, entitled “Kingdom of God, Here and Now”  staged on the auspicious Thursday evening, a beautiful portrayal of a real life story, the youth reaffirmed their love and devotion to Bhagawan, depicting how greater faith and dedication win His Divine Grace, achieving the seemingly impossible. It was the story the coming into being of an orphanage, all by His grace, in the process crumbling various roadblocks.

Devotees from the “God’s Own Country”, Kerala are already started getting off to the “Valley of Peace”, Prasanthi Nilayam to celebrate their national festival, Onam scheduled for the coming week, and Prasanthi would continue with her festive demeanor.

The week’s rose beneficiaries were Mr. Ramalingam, Mr. Rangaswami, Mr. Sambhashiva Rao, Mr. Padmanabhan, Mr. Rajendran, all with the maintenance section, Mr. Kulkarni with the Publications Relations Office and Mr. Madhu Puri from the Mandir.

From the Burra Katha to the Orissa Dance Drama, from the Vinayaka Chaturthi Divine Discourse to the Valedictory Divine Discourse on the Conference held, from the Ganesha Immersion to the High-Profile Conference, the whole week was suffused with greater ideals, higher principles, pristine love for God, who is One and One only.

…And what lingers in one’s mind is undoubtedly the big conference in the name of ethics in financial world. Is it history being made in Prasanthi Nilayam?, wherein Industry captains spoke of ethics and moral in the world of finance, in the process submitting themselves at His Feet. When the world is watching Prasanthi for forms and reforms, this conference could be taken as a landmark achievement towards a righteous, moral world established in Sanathana Dharma.

Yes, His Mission is on.....