The morning session for the penultimate day of the World Youth Meet commenced at around 10 AM with melodious bhajans followed by Vedic invocation by the girl students of Sri Sathya Sai Prashanthi Niketanam, Alike campus.
Education for Transformation
The morning session commenced with a short video presentation on ‘Education for Transformation’; showcasing the Sri Sathya Sai system of integral education. This acclaimed system of education has its own ideal under the direct guidance of Bhagawan which is reflected in the transformative character of the students when they pass out colourfully. The presentation clearly showed as to how Bhagawan’s institution thoroughly moulds the character of students and teachers by having healthy and conducive environment, by following moral discipline and by inculcating the five human values such as Right-Conduct, Love, Peace, Truth and Non-Violence.
Annapoorna Breakfast Programme – a case study for End the Mind
The first speaker for the day was Shri Anand Kadali, a Senior Executive from Hewlet Packard and coordinator for Bhagawan’s breakfast programme. He mainly focused on Annapoorna Breakfast programme launched by Bhagawan in 2012 with just ten volunteers in the initial stage, which now increased to 150, selflessly working day in and day out in around 120 villages providing daily food. Besides the breakfast scheme, the programme expanded itself by starting health screen camps for about 6000 children and establishing drinking water plants spanning across 1200 villages in chikballapur district in just nine months. The talk was ended with an inspiring video showing the history of Annapurna Breakfast Scheme.
Different ways to End The Mind –
The next speaker for the session was Swami Narasimhananda, a monk of Ramakrishna Mutt and Ramakrishna Mission, Uttarakand. He is currently editor of Prabuddha Bharata, an english monthly journal, devoted to social science and humanities started by Swami Vivekannda in 1896. He is also a visiting faculty at the Jadavpur University, Kolkata and an adjunct faculty at the Hindu University of America, Orlando, USA. He regularly speaks at institutes of national importance like the IITs and gives classes on management in various colleges. Besides working on philosophy, social sciences, religion, Indian Studies, Ramakrishna-Vivekananda and Vedanta, he has edited a volume of Swami Vivekananda’s teachings titled Vivekananda Reader. He has published his writings in English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, and Malayalam and is currently working on English translations of Swarajya Siddhi and Maitrayani Upanishad and collaborates with various academics in formulating an Indian framework of Religious Studies, Comparative Religions, and Sociology of Religion.
His talk was centered around the topic, muting the mind, wherein he says that through practising celibacy, one can control the mind and body. He said that like circuit-breakers one should be focused on what one is doing so that one can correct oneself when needed and tread on the right path. He continued to describe various factors such as comparing, being possessive etc. that disturb the mind which gradually increases uncontrollable thoughts. The other way to end the mind is to empty the mind by unlearning what has been learnt. His talk was interspersed with short clippings that made it more entertaining.
‘I’ to ‘SAI’
The last speaker for the session was Father Charles Ogada, the founder and current president of the Spiritan Self Awareness Initiative, an organisation committed to the promotion of Self Awareness through integral education.
Maintaining his speech as inspirational as it can be, Father began his talk with an entertaining exercise to everyone’s delight. He said that one should keep Bhagawan in one’s heart and that should be the centre of his or her life. He reiterated that we should utter ‘SAI’ in place of ‘I’ in every word we speak and every work we do, so that it brings the divine presence in every action of ours and the mind is totally controlled.
This was followed by a cultural programme by the devotees from Croatia
The morning session then came to an end with offering of Mangala Arathi.
The penultimate evening session of the World Youth Conference, 2016 was indeed blissful with thought-provoking and inspiring speeches, award functions and outstanding drama presentations.
The session began with a grand welcome for Bhagawan with the ceremonial Poornakumbam and mellifluous bhajans. Once Bhagawan ascended the dais, the session began with Vedam chanting by students. The guests on the dais were then formally welcomed and greeted.
The first speaker for the session was sister Soumya S Tumbagi, a student from the Sri Sathya Sai Sri Nikethanam, Jayapura Campus. She shared her personal transformation story and how she benefitted from being part of the integral system of Sathya Sai Education. The next speaker was brother Supreet Reddy, a student from Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Kendra, Muddenahalli Campus. He spoke about the uniqueness of Bhagawan’s birthday celebration and said that the best way to celebrate His birthday was to ‘Love All and Serve All’.
Bhagawan’s mission of education is transformative and isn’t just limited to head, but extends to the hand and the heart too. So far, in the subtle phase of His avatarhood, the mission of education has extended to over 15 campuses benefitting over 5,000 students across the state of Karnataka. A new award, the Sri Sathya Sai Award, was then formally introduced. An acknowledgement of excellence, the awards were given away to students of sterling character and the teachers who stood as beacons of inspiration.
Launch of the book, ‘Living with God – Part 1’
The book ‘Living with God – Part 1’ written by Sri Madhusudan Naidu, God’s chosen communicator, in the current phase of the Sai mission was then launched by Bhagawan. The book traces an unprecedented account of divine adventure, a saga of service and surrender, a tale of transformation.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, Chief Mentor, Sri Satya Sai Loka Seva Institutions addressed the gathering next. Speaking on the importance of character in one’s life, he said that education bereft of character was worthless. “The ability to think at the right time, in the right place and in the right way is character, “he added. Citing an example of Duryodhana from Mahabharatha, he explained that current predicament of mankind wasn’t the lack of desire to do good but the ability to implement the desire. Spiritual foundation, he said, is the only solution to bring stability in one’s life. He ended his speech, imploring everyone to cultivate love for God and surrender to Him.
Bhagawan then delivered His Divine Discourse.
The evening cultural programme started with a resounding performance from the brass band of the Muddenahalli campus, ‘Sai Angels’. Their performance was interspersed with videos showing the history of the band.
This was followed by a drama titled ‘Sukshma Sathya Sai’ by the students of the Muddenahalli campus. The drama brought to fore the transition of the avatar from the form to the formless, from gross to subtle and was enacted beautifully.
The evening ended with the offering of the Aarthi to Bhagawan.