Divine Visit – Bandipur, Ooty and Mandya – Day Six – 05 March, 2016 (Evening)
The evening program was a formal function which was well attended by devotees from India and overseas, senior staff from the various Sathya Sai institutions, local residents, and the students and staff of the host campus. The welcome address was given by Sri Anantha Murthy, Chairman of the Mandya campus who gave a brief background of the place – Maradevanahalli, which had enjoyed a spiritual past, and which was again seeing its spiritual core being recharged by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He welcomed the Chief Guest of the evening – Sri Chowdaiah, former Member of Legislative Assembly Karnataka and all the other dignitaries and devotees present. This was followed by two talks straight from the heart, by students of grade nine of the SRI SATHYA SAI SARASWATHI BOYS HIGH SCHOOL, Mandya Campus. They spoke of Bhagawan’s expanding mission in the field of education. The two students spoke of their good fortune to have had a chance to study in Swami’s educational institution, where they receive high quality education.
Chi Devendra said, “Devotion to God is the panacea for all the problems of world at all the times, and this panacea is the best gift that we receive in Swami’s school. We start our day with prayers to God, retire for the day with prayers to God, in between too – God is the centre of our system!! After having received so much from Swami, rather everything from Him, I want to offer my everything to the betterment of the world in Swami’s name.”
Chi Balaji spoke eloquently in Kannada and added, “Mandya institution is one such dream child of Anna, made real by Swami. The deity of this place who is protecting us and guiding is Goddess Maramma Devi. She is the Mother diety, and today Swami has established Shiva the father. These institutions are bringing about a revolution in the field of education. Can you find another institution of this standard, providing free education, without any donation? Swami is transforming us, and through us, the society.” The two students expressed their gratitude to Bhagawan for the same.
Sri Chowdaiah addressed the gathering next, and spoke of his connection with Maradevanahalli since the early 1960’s, when it was a very backward area. He said he had noticed unbelievable change in the area, ever since Swami’s benevolent sight fell on this region, three years ago. He appreciated the values-based education that was being imparted in the Sathya Sai schools.
This was followed by distribution of the championship prizes for the year, and felicitation of the team that was instrumental in the construction project of the temples.
Sri BN Narasimha Murthy took to the podium thereafter, who spoke about gratitude. He began by drawing everyone’s attention to the sad state of education today, where commercialisation is rampant. He spoke of Swami’s continuing mission, which was driven by His qualities of compassion and love towards all, which has manifested in taking quality values-based education to the rural hinterland.
Bhagawan’s discourse was based on the attributes of God. He began by saying God’s presence can be felt by experiencing – Satyam (truth), Shivam (auspiciousness) and Sundaram (beauty). Speaking about the form and the formless aspects of God, Bhagawan beautifully explained the two aspects with the analogy of a sweet, which has a form; but sweetness does not have a form, but takes the form of the sweet it is cast in. Swami explained how Swami embodied both the form and the formless, in the form of a Linga. Speaking about the newly inaugurated temple, He said temples were like mirrors that reflected God and His glory to His devotees on earth. Towards the end of His talk, Bhagawan addressed the teachers of the institutions to inculcate devotion in the students as it was the only ‘true education’, while all else was ‘deep ocean’.
The program concluded with a music program of light devotional music by Sri Shashidhar Kote and his team.