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Posted at 20:00 Hrs. on 13th Oct 2009

Ever since Bhagawan’s return from Kodaikanal in the summer month of April, every week dotted some programmes until the recent week that went past without anything special.  After the hectic Dasara and Grama Seva, the week that gone past was at the reminiscing end, recalling those fondful memories of moments of the Lord and His chosen Army working in tandem in a Mission, the greater impact of which is far from the myopic vision of the ordinary.

Festivals, functions and cultural programmes are supplementary, serving the devotees in His Mission, often resulting in HIS greater participation, granting additional darshan sessions. What comes first and foremost is His presence, His darshan and the week had it in abundance, including maximum number of morning darshans.

Nature’s fury that hit the state in the form of alarming floods, inundating precious lives to nought,  leaving horrifying tales of loss of properties, has earned due share of concern from the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations. The organisation privileged to bear the Name of The Lord walking the earth walking His talk was the first one plunging into service activities in most of the affected areas, often touching the hearts, in its effort to heal the wounds following His dictum, Love All Serve All.

…And beyond the gates of Prasanthi Nilayam the men from the organisation representing the “God Owned Land” got into action swiftly. It was still raining in Kurnool, at night, at 11 p.m. and the Youth from Parthi were pondering over the possibility of “Walking His Talk” and by 12 midnight they earned clarity to go ahead, pressing themselves into service. By early morning 5, when the first bell indicating Suprabhatam in Prasanthi Nilayam had rung, the Youth Brigade in Puttaparthi was still awake, ready with a stall to collect material for the affected.  Posters about the aid campaigns were pasted across the township alerting people to reach out the needy; needless to say that they were the first ones to react to this worst case scenario.

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In all, nine trucks, five big ones and 4 mini ones were sent by the Youth, collected from the hostels, Staff Quarters of Sri Sathya Sai University, both the Hospitals and not the least from the villagers. Rice, essentials like tumblers, plates, soaps, towels, clothes, both new and old, bed sheets, milk packets, water bags, milk breads, biscuits and essential cookery items were collected and carried to the flood victims.

A statistical analysis reveals that 800 bags of rice, a general contribution by many, 300 tumblers, 300 plates, 150 soaps and 30 towels collected from Sri Sathya Sai Junior Hostel, 650 bed sheets from the Youth of Puttaparthi, truck load of clothes, both old and new, 20 boxes of Good Life Milk, 20,000 water bags, 4000 milk breads, 1500 biscuit packets, 500 packets of pickles made into quarter kg each, 300 sets of utensils with plates having capacity to cook of 1kg rice were collected by a group of 40 Youth from Parthi just within a day time before closing the stall in the evening at 5 p.m.

In a stretch of 15 kilometer road, the Youth Brigade with guidance from MRO and Sarpanch (village head) distributed these items in eight villages, namely, famous "temple town" Mantralaya, Nadikharivadi, Jolapuram, Gangavaram, Peddakothali, Chinnakothali and Nagala Dhinne. Estimating the requirements based on the guidance received from the Mandal Revenue Officer, apart from Rice Bags ranging from 15-25 kgs, a set containing a saree, kidswear, plates and utensils, bed sheet was distributed in these villages. To avoid any exploitation by the victims with reference to fake identity, Bhagawan’s photographs were distributed in advance;, nine different sets of photographs for nine areas, covering the stretch of 15 kms, as proof of identity and upon producing the photographs, victims were identified and distributed. As the photographs were collected back at the time of distribution, duplication expected out of fake identity could be avoided, said a youth member, who organized the entire service activity.

…And as they reached the destination, thousands were running after the vehicles literally clamoring for essentials. For the suffering class any amount of help would be insufficient, as the flood had taken away everything they have earned over a life time, leaving those alive with no other option than to start new.

Dignitary visit during the week included the Governor of Rajasthan, Sri Shilendra Kumar Singh, former Election Commissioner Sri T.N.Seshan and former Chief Justice of Jharkhand, M. Karpaga Vinayagam, currently Chairman, Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, New Delhi.

It was exam time for the students of the University and Schools that would end a day after Diwali, scheduled for 17th October, before the winter vacation starts.

The week’s Rose Beneficiaries were, Mr. Pedda Reddy, care taker of legendary Sai Geetha and the new incumbent Sathya Geetha, Mr. Sridhar, Mr. Parthasarathi, Mr. Prem Puri, Mr. Venkat Reddy, Mr. Sudhakar and Mr. Sugavanam, all from Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana Trust, Sahayak Division.  

In a week when the state alongwith neighbouring Karnataka got caught at the receiving end facing the wrath of nature’s fury, Prasanthi Nilayam remained silent without any schedules and programmes, with The Lord in physical, the Eternal Witness prompting hearts and minds to reach out the bereaved and the affected, in a Divine Act of consoling the souls.  Adding to this Divine promptings came cancellation of  Some of the scheduled Parthi Yatras to Prasanthi Nilayam , diverting man power to the flood affected areas pressing into service. Noble gesture, worth emulating.