Alike Visit – Day Two – November 29, 2015

Day two of the trip to Alike commenced with Swami’s visit to the General Hospital in the morning to bless the expansion project, which is all set to cater to a larger number of patients. The staff of the hospital welcomed their dear beloved Lord with a lot of love and  devotion. It was an endearing sight to see the Lord Himself giving the accompanying guests a tour of the building! The waiting room of the hospital was transformed into a satsang venue, and Swami asked Sri Ramesh Rao to say a few words, who narrated the story of the commencement and early days of the hospital. Last year when Swami visited Alike in August, on His own accord Swami had asked to add male and female wards (with 10 and 5 beds respectively), and also mentioned to have a minor operation theatre. This was the wish of Dr Ramesh Rao, a dentist who is taking care of the hospital since he joined Alike three years ago. He had discussed this with the trustees too, and plans were also drawn, but they could not proceed with the hospital extension for some reason or the other. But Swami commanded them and thus this long cherished wish was fulfilled, revealed Dr Ramesh in his speech. On behalf of everyone gathered, he thanked the Lord for the new hospital extension project.

Swami addressed all gathered briefly, commending the service all the staff at the hospital were rendering. He spoke of the importance of selfless love and selfless service. This was followed by Aarthi and Prasadam.
Swami and the guests then left for Puttur, a town 20 kms from Alike, to  the residence of Brother Madhusudhan Nayak, an alumnus of Alike, Brindavan and Prasanthi Nilayam campuses of the Sri Sathya Sai Institutions. Thirty years ago Swami had promised his father, Sri Madhava Nayak, that he would visit his house! And here He was, keeping His word to the family! The satsang in Puttur started with a beautiful Bharatnatyam (a traditional south Indian dance form) after which Brother Madhusudhan Nayak welcomed the Lord, and all the accompanying guests. He spoke of how deeply emotional it was for the family to receive the Avatar in their house. Speaking of the connection Swami had with the house, he said it was Swami who had helped and guided him during the construction stage.
The emotional delivery was followed by an inspirational talk by Sri Narasimha Murthy, who vividly described the current phase of the Avatar. He drew similarities to the 40 days following the resurrection of Jesus Christ, when He delivered His teachings to His followers, which formed the basis of the Bible. He reminded all assembled of the great fortune that Swami as Prema Sai was going to bestow on the people of Karnataka. Speaking of how Swami’s mission was spreading at a fast pace, he cited examples of the work Rev Father Charles Ogada was doing in far-flung Nigeria, the Naya Raipur hospital that has been providing free cardiac care to little children, and the newly initiated hospital project in Delhi, which is scheduled to have its first surgery in exactly a year, on November 26, 2015.
Bhagawan graced everyone gathered with His talk on faith and sacrifice. Recollecting an instance from the previous evening’s play on the life of Shirdi Baba, where a rich man came for Bramha gyana to Shirdi Baba, but would not even part with five rupees. He said sacrifice is not renouncing the world and going to the forest. It is giving up one’s desires, looking inwards and realizing one’s divinity. He said faith and fear cannot be together. ‘When God can take care of all the creation, is He not capable of taking care of my family and me,” should be the thought.
Bhagawan added that only people who have selfless love and selfless service can come to Him now. He underlined this point with the analogy of this phase being the high school, while the period wherein he was in His physical body, was primary school. Speaking of His form and formless phase, He said a faithful dog would recognize its master in any form. Similarly, a devotee will recognize his Lord in any form!
At the end of the discourse, the song ‘Humko tumse pyaar kitna…’ was offered at the Lotus Feet, followed by mangala arathi. Lunch was organized for all at the Nayak household. Swami and the accompanying guests left for Alike soon after lunch.
In the evening, the alumni of the Sri Sathya Sai educational institutions had organized an alumni meet, coinciding with Swami’s visit. Swami arrived with the guests – Mr & Mrs Ravi Pillay, Mr & Mrs Ram Setty and Mr Meng. Brother Rudramuni, alumnus from the institution welcomed the gathering, and invited Sri Gangadhar Bhat to address everyone. Sri Gangadhar Bhat expressed his pleasure at seeing the alumni coming together in Alike, and acknowledged the role alumni continues to play in the institution’s growth year-on-year. The next talk was by Sri Guruprasad Achar, an alumnus of Alike, who narrated how the institution strived to bring out the best in each one of them. He gave examples from his own life, and his association with the bhajan group in Alike.
Sri Narasimha Murthy delivered his  talk thereafter. He spoke about the lives of the accompanying guests, their remarkable love for Swami, and the sacrifices they have made for Him. Speaking about Sri Ravi Pillay and his devout wife Smt Shyamani, he narrated the various projects the couple have been instrumental in setting up, starting with the nurses hostel in Puttaparthi, the recently inaugurated Sai Krupashraya (accommodation quarters) and Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham, the new  prayer hall, both in Muddenahalli.
Speaking about Mr & Mrs Ram Setty, Sri Narasimha Murthy revealed how the family had set aside the largest room in their home for Swami in the US, and had sacrificed much, for the love of their beloved Lord. The indoor stadium in Prasanthi Nilayam stands as a testimony to their love and selfless sacrifice.
Mr Meng, a resident of Malaysia, had first come to Swami in 1988, and on Swami’s command had gone on to build a successful business enterprise. Recently, Mr Meng came forward and offered 100 acres of land in Malaysia to construct Swami’s ashram in Kuching. Everyone gathered were greatly inspired by these exemplars of sacrifice and selflessness.
Sri Ravi Pillay addressed the alumni next, and spoke of the importance of the spouse, to be an equal partner in doing Swami’s work. He asked the alumni to take advantage of the opportunity Swami was giving them, and seize the moment.
Swami’s discourse to the alumni that evening was infused with the ideals of sacrifice and selfless service. Picking up on the point made by Sri Ravi Pillay, He emphasized on the need for both husband and wife to be involved in service activities. As a bird needs both wings to fly, a husband and wife are like the two wings, and can accomplish much if they worked together. Swami said Alike had produced Sri Madiyal Narayan Bhat, a man of great sacrifice. He said the alumni must emulate from the esteemed guests who adorned the stage that day, as they were examples of great sacrifice and service.
He went on to add that there were alumni amongst them who were also capable to sacrifices. He then called an alumnus of Alike and Prasanthi Nilayam who had placed all his property at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet. He blessed the alumnus with padanamaskar and a token of His love, by calling him to the dias. Swami continued by saying that His alumni from all campuses had set a goal to mobilise Rupees Two crores, and offer it for the maintenance of the various educational institutions, but there was a serious shortfall in the amount. Swami revealed with much love that He told the alumni leaders that afternoon that the set target would be reached that evening by His divine will! He said the alumni had done their best and He would do the rest. He said the money offered by the alumnus would go into making up for the shortfall. And thus Swami in His own indomitable way kept His word, and also demonstrated that He was always with them, helping them, guiding and guarding them at every step of the way!
The evening’s cultural program was organised in the playground. The students of Alike offered a beautiful and well-rehearsed performance of Yakshagana (a traditional folk art form of South Kanara district). The story presented was of Sri Hanuman going in search of Mother Sita on Lord Rama’s command. The actor who played the part of Hanuman won everyone’s heart, and Lord Sai Rama blessed the student who adorned the role.
The beautiful evening ended with arathi and prasadam.