Day two was eventful, with the inauguration of the new girls Pre University College and the inauguration of the new boys college building.
The day started at around 9:15am when the convoy, with Bhagawan’s car and those of the visiting guests from Singapore snaked through the winding roads from the main campus at Alike to Madiyala, where the historic Madiyala House had been converted into the residential quarters for the staff and students of the new girls College. A newly constructed extension to the house will serve as the College itself temporarily, until the new campus is ready.
As the convoy made its way to Madiyala, remnants of the heavy rains from the previous day were evident, with some parts of the road inundated with mud. The Madiyala House wore a festive look with floral decorations which adorned the traditional features of the house. The newly appointed staff and the first batch of students were eagerly waiting for the Lord to bless their new home! Bhagawan asked Sri Gangadhar Bhat, Chairman of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust, Alike to cut the ribbon and officially inaugurate the college. This was followed by the unveiling of the plaque by Devaki Akka, sister of Late Madiyal Narayan Bhat. Swami and the guests were then escorted to each and every room of the new building.
As He walked from room to room, Bhagawan explained what He expected of the new college. He wanted the girls to be trained in every aspect like gardening, cooking etc. and not just in academics, so they would be strong and self-reliant. “Computers and culture should go together”, He said, and also told the teachers to teach the girls devotion to God above everything else, which is the most important quality one must have. He urged the new students to see the place as their new home, and God as their mother and father and not think of it as a hostel. Blessing all, Swami then started for the main campus – Sathya Sai Vihar.
The new college building ‘Golden Jubilee Building’ for the Pre University boys, with its fresh coat of paint and decorations, stood out from a distance, as one approached Sathya Sai Vihar. Bhagawan blessed Sri Basavana Gowda with the rare honour of cutting the ribbon. He has been a key instrument in the project and also an alumnus of the Institution. Later, the ceremonial lamp was lit by the elders of Alike and the visiting team from Singapore. The view from the upper floors was breath taking, as one could see nature’s bounty that the place is blessed with. Swami said, “the outside nature and the inside nature should be one. As the outside nature is selfless, so should the inner nature be!” He told the Singapore devotees, that the College building for girls will be even more beautiful, as it is being constructed on top of a hill.
An interesting incident happened as Swami, standing on the first floor balcony, watched the students and staff of Alike below, going about the preparations, totally unaware that the Lord was watching them from above! Swami said – “Human beings are always unaware of God watching them!” What a profound statement, and true enough!
Bhagawan and the entourage were then escorted to the venue of the forenoon session by the brass band of Alike. The forenoon session began with Vedic chants. The devotees from Singapore were welcomed by offering floral bouquets. This was followed by a speech by Sri U Gangadhar Bhat, Chairman, Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust, Alike wherein he shared the hardships that they had to undergo during the building of the institution. He also recalled the request from the alumni to have a new building for Pre University College, but the plans could not come to fruition due to the shortage of funds. He expressed his gratitude to Bhagawan for making it possible, and also inaugurating the magnificent edifice for the boys!
The team, which was involved in the ‘Golden Jubilee Building’, which included the Architect and the contractor, were honoured by Bhagawan for the service rendered. Bhagawan then gave away brand new musical instruments to the Sai Symphony Brass Band, an offering by the devotee’s from Singapore at the Divine Lotus Feet. The joy of receiving these beautiful instruments was clearly evident on the faces of the grateful students, who thanked Swami for the wonderful gifts! In fact Swami had been personally overseeing the arrival of these instruments and had also sent Sri Dimitris Lambrianos, the Greek composer and musician who can play over 20 instruments, a couple of days early to ensure all arrangements were made and students were selected for each instrument.
Two students addressed the gathering. The first was Akshay from the 2nd year Pre University, who reminded the student community their responsibility of spreading Bhagawan’s message of Love. “Swami never expects anything in return”, he stressed. “For the love of Bhagawan, what we can give in return is Love itself, because Love has no reward and love is its own reward.”
The second speaker was Kum Deepika, a student from the newly established Sri Sathya Sai Premaniketanam, PU College for Girls. She thanked Swami profusely for giving the Jayapura campus girls an opportunity to continue their education in His fold, by setting up a PU college at Alike. She had a prayer to Bhagawan, to transform the hearts of their parents, so they would allow them to be part of the Sai Mission.
Sri Chandrashekar Bhat, Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust spoke next and prayed to Swami to shower His perennial grace by granting strength and ability to fulfill His Sankalpa and to realize the dream of Rev Anna.
Smt Vrinda Pai, who has been given the charge of the women’s campus, spoke next. She was joyful of the fact that the first batch of students have got the golden opportunity to study in Rev Anna’s home, a highly spiritually charged atmosphere where every wall vibrates with peace and love!
Prof. Byrappa K, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Mangalore stressed on the need for character building, and how the Alike Campus is transforming the society with spirituality based education.
Sri K H Muniyappa, former Union Minister shared his personal experiences, which lead to the faith in him getting stronger with respect to the subtle form. He narrated the incident when he was saved from a fatal car accident with the chanting of ‘Sai Ram Sai Ram’. He was glad his son had studied in Alike and is now well settled in life. Currently, even his grandson is studying at Alike. He had a special request to Bhagawan; to educate teachers in value based integral education. Swami immediately assured He would conduct a seven-day National Teachers Training every year at Muddenahalli!
The next speaker was Sri B N Narasimha Murthy who lamented that the present scenario was such that schools are not able to talk about God, and give spirituality based education. He requested Sri K H Muniyappa to sign the White Paper on ‘Spirituality in Education based on Harmony of Religions’ which was released during the National Youth Meet a few days ago, keeping the political differences aside. He stressed that spirituality is not religion, but is the essence of all religions. Spirituality is not contradictory to Science. And the need to bust the myth that Spirituality is a synonym to religion, and an antonym to Science, is the need-of-the-hour!
Swami in His Divine Discourse, emphasised on the need of having good satwic food which is not merely what we eat through our mouth, but it should comprise of all that we take through our five senses of touch, taste, smell, hear and see! Purifying them is the way to purify the mind. “Join good company, give up bad company, engage in good acts day and night, and always discriminate what will give permanent happiness and thereby give up thoughts, words and deeds that lead to only temporary pleasures.” He again emphasised that “only those who live for others, truly live for ever and are remembered by generations for their selfless deeds. The rest pass with the passing times, and are forgotten. Strive for eternal glory by learning to leading selfless lives in sacred environs of these holy institutions”, He urged.
The schedule for the first half of the day drew to a close.
Before the evening programme, Swami gave an hour long interview to the alumni members and their families, guiding them on the path of goodness and godliness. He said that “in the Bhagawad Gita, Krishna says that whoever offers a leaf, a flower, a fruit or a drop of water with devotion, I accept. But the inner meaning is that leaf of body, on which the pleasures of senses are served like various food preparations, must be offered to God first at a young age. The flower of heart, filled with nectarine ambrosia of love, should be bereft of the thorns of ‘I and mine’, and should be offered to God. The results of all our actions is the fruit that needs to be offered, and just like we would not offer stale and rotten fruits to God, we should desist from wrong actions that will have wrong results. Finally, the drop of water is not the tears that flow out of pain and agony of the worldly problems, but rather they should be tears of Bliss, out of selfless devotion for Lord”. He said that “our Seva as alumni must be of use to the younger generations. Just like a mother would expect the older children to look after the younger ones, for all are equally dear to her, you must take care of a brother or sister in our institutions”. Swami gave a very simple formula for Seva, He said, “Dedicate a percentage of your time and resources for Seva according to your age. For instance the one who is 30-years-old and is stabilising in life, must spend only 30% of his time and resources on Seva, whereas the one who is 50-years-old, must spend 50% of all his energies and resources on Seva”. Blessing all with Namaskar and a word or two of personal guidance, Swami brought the session to a close.
The evening program started with a talk by Sri Shiva Subramanya, who is a senior administrator in Muddenahalli and member of the Trust. He spoke of his own jouney to Bhagawan. Born in a Sai devotee family, he first came in Bhagawan’s physical presence when he was just 20-days-old. He spoke of how Bhagwan had guided him, and continues to guide him at every step of his life. He expressed his gratitude on behalf of all to the elder Tyagajeevis without who’s selfless dedication these institutions would not have been what they are today. He said that Swami told in the morning that the light of Loka Seva ( late Madiyala Narayana Bhat) has not gone anywhere, instead it is shining in every heart, and must be protected from the winds of times with the two hands of love and sacrifice.
The next speaker was Sri B N Narasimha Murthy who gave testimony to the life of sacrifice that Sri Subramanya had led. He commended him for his decision to choose a life of service to his Lord Sai, leaving a highly paying job at a multi-national. He enumerated the various challenges he had to go through while making this decision, but had in the end held on to his Swami. He then gave examples of sacrifice and selfless service of the Singapore team, seated on the stage urging the students to develop the quality of gratitude for Bhagawan, which will give us everything in life.
Bhagawan’s discourse was in English for the benefit of the visiting guests while Sri B N Narasimha Murthy translated the discourse in Kannada. Swami started by reminding everyone of the transient nature of the body and mind, and how only Truth and the actions borne of the Truth were permanent. Only those, He said, “who selflessly led their lives, are remembered today while those who amassed great wealth or power are long forgotten.” He warned everyone against whiling away time and wasting this precious life, and reminded students of their good fortune to study in institutions like Alike, while many others who had aspired for the same were not blessed with the opportunity. He reminded them of how teachers were selflessly taking care of them, night and day even though they were not their own children. This he said is – “Premasambhandha”!
A cultural programme followed the Divine Discourse, which included a bharathnatyam performance by Kum Saishree, a medley of songs played by the Sai Symphony Brass Band, and finally a Yakshagana (folk art form) on the story of Prahalada, who defied his father Hiranyakshapu and stayed true to his Lord Narayana!
The day ended on a high note as Bhagwan retired to His residence in Sai Nivas.