On August 15th, 2015, the Ideal Village project was launched at the village of Thirnahalli, located just a few meters away from Muddenahalli. Thirnahalli had also been blessed by Bhagawans presence in the physical, the only other village to have had that privilege in the vicinity of Muddenahalli. The day of the launch started with Suprabhatam, followed by Nagarsankirtan around the village through its winding streets. Many from the village folk joined in the procession along the way. The nagarsankirtan covered most of the sizeable village which over 135 families call home. Students from the Pre-University College in Muddenahalli led the Suprabhatam and Nagarsankirtan with their sonorous singing and chanting
During the early hours of the morning, we had groups descend on the village from Bangalore, Puttaparthi, Chikkaballapur and other places to join, help and participate in the celebrations and programs. Among them were a group of overseas devotees who enthusiastically participated in the day’s programs.
Later in the morning, the breakfast seva started with the village children filing in, part curious, part surprised – at what to expect! The volunteers bonded with the children who gradually warmed up to the new visitors to their village that day (by the evening they were dancing with some of the volunteers!). Day one of breakfast seva saw around 40 children partake breakfast (the following day saw over 60 children attend breakfast). The local youth in the village also helped with the arrangements. In the afternoon, the village was abuzz with activity as the volunteer devotees, alumni and local youth worked in teams and spread out into the village to distribute prasadam packets which comprised of vegetable fried rice and laddoos, vibhuti packet and Swami’s photo to each household. The evening program was a packed one – it included a talent show by the children of the village, Sri Sathya Sai puja at the temple and the inaugural function later in the evening. The children surprised everyone with the show they put up in such short notice. Their enthusiasm was infectious. Patriotic songs, group songs, Veda chanting, short skit were part of the repertoire presented by the tiny tots. Sri Shridhar Sir from the campus, beautifully conducted the puja which saw the temple hall fill up within minutes of the start of the puja.
The finale of the day was the much anticipated inaugural function which was graced by Sri Narayan Rao and Sri Narasimha Murty who are much loved figures amongst the village folk. It was touching to see the bond between Narasimha Murty sir and the village folk and the high respect they have for him. Murty sir’s speech was one of the most powerful and poignant moments of the day when he, as per Swami’s instructions, outlined the Ideal Village project’s goals and purpose. He also reiterated how villages were always dear to Swami and village work had always been part of His mission The day ended with a beautiful rendition of the Rama Katha by two boys from the CBSE school which enthralled everyone present. The sweet presence of Swami was felt all through the day.
Even the clear skies on that day were testimony to His grace (it has been heavily raining the whole of the past week!). Each one who participated on that day experienced Swami’s love while doing His work. The following day when Swami was shown the pictures from the day, He said the work must be done continuously and consistently. He had given the command!