The valedictory function of Sri Sathya Sai Annual Sports and Cultural Meet was held on the morning of 19th January in Sri Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli. Bhagawan was welcomed by a procession of the Brass Band and the Chinese Lion Dancers led by the traditional Poorna Kumbham.
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The penultimate day of the five-day long celebrations of the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet was a musical extravaganza.
The celebrations of the Sri Sathya Sai Annual Sports and Cultural Meet, like all Sai functions, got grander with each passing day. The evening of the third day regaled the gathering with many a spiritual lessons that can be learnt only at His feet.
After having spent months in the run up to the Sports Meet practicing and perfecting their offering to their Lord, the students of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva institutions were in a spiritual treat.
“Sport has the power to change the world,” said Nelson Mandela. “It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to the youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”
Makara Sankranti, the festival of harvest is celebrated in myriad ways in different parts of the country. While it is celebrated as Makara Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh and some parts of North India, it is Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Lohri in Punjab and Bihu in Assam. The festival symbolises prosperity, plenty, abundance and harmony.
The inner significance of the Sankranti festival is that we have to learn to develop upward vision, spiritual and higher vision. Even on the spiritual path, taking up activity is very important. All activity should be done for the love of God and offered to God.
When there is God here with you to grant you devotion and liberation, where is the need of desiring the world? Whatever you do and give, do it for God’s sake and offer it to God. With that fundamental feeling, whatever you do will become worship.
The highest Divine principle can only be understood by the one who has a pure heart. Now what is this Chittashuddhi or purity of heart? Selfless love is purity. Selfish love is impurity. ‘I’ and ‘mine’- is impurity. But when we think ‘we’ and ‘ours’, it becomes purer.
When the opposition is strong physically and more empowered intellectually, how can one beat them easily? In such a circumstance, only Atmabalam or the faith in the Divine can come to one’s rescue.
The day began with much anticipation as Bhagawan was to visit Sarvodaya, a Foundation established by Dr A T Ariyaratne. He is the Founder of the Sarvodaya Shramadhana Movement, which is based on the principles of non-violence, rural development and self-sacrifice.
The New Year of 2017 began on a happy note with Bhagawan splendid entry followed by Vedic invocations by students of the first-year Pre-University college chanting the Pranahuti Mantra.
As the flight took off from the Bangalore International Airport to Columbo on the very first day of a spanking New Year, one could not help but ponder deep about the current phase of Bhagawan’s glorious mission.
There is one thing which we cannot regain once we lose – this human body. Adi Sankara proclaimed to the world that among all species of life, human birth is the most precious and once you get it, you have to treasure it.
To cross over this ocean of Samsara, of life and death, it is not enough if you do penance, or if you visit pilgrimage centres, or if you study all the scriptures in the world. It is possible only when you render service to noble people, noble souls.
Religions are many, but the path to God is one. Beings are many, but breath is one. Philosophies are many, but God is one. Though Jesus gave up His body, we have faith that He is always with us and we lead our lives basis that faith.