There was palpable excitement in the air as the most awaited day dawned – 23rd of November, Bhagawan’s Birthday. The morning’s programme for the day was a very unique offering – something everyone was looking forward to – a series of floats representing different countries. The proceedings began with Bhagawan releasing doves and balloons to signal the start of the day’s celebrations. The procession then rolled in with the Sanathana Dharma float, representing the unity of all faiths. It was followed by the floats of UAE, Nigeria, Greece, Singapore / Japan, Australia / Fiji, European Union, Malaysia Indonesia, USA, India, Sri Lanka, Argentina and UK. Each of the floats had representatives from the respective countries, creatively showcasing what the country stood for. The Nigerians put up an African dance, while the Singapore float had a lion dance accompanied to instrumental music. Each of the floats lovingly wished Bhagawan a Happy Birthday as they went past the dais.
After the multi-country, multi-faith procession, the programme venue shifted to Premarutam. Bhagawan was welcomed to the hall with the brass band by the students, veda chanting by students and alumni and traditional dancers.
Swami threw rice (akshatalu) and sweets at the joy-filled devotees gathered in the hall as He gave Darshan.
The proceedings started with a musical bouquet presented by the music group composed of both men and women. The quawaali Aaye hai Tere Darbar Mein was particularly soulful. Bhagawan blessed the group profusely and handed them small mementos.
This was followed by a short introduction to the two service programs that Swami was launching on this auspicious occasion. Brother Joy Barai introduced the first – a mobile hospital service, Satya Sai Aarogya Vahini, which was simultaneously launched in Kolkata.
Sister Deepika Amirapu, alumna, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur Campus, introduced the second service program – Sai Annapoorna. The initiative started with Bhagawan pointing out that many children went to school without breakfast because their parents could not afford to give them a morning meal. He instructed the team to identify a village and start serving the students some breakfast, which he said was food for the body, and teach them spiritual and moral values, which was food for the soul. The seed of this unique service has since spread and over the last six months various teams have started serving breakfast in 20 schools across different cities.
Bhagawan then asked the team to begin this breakfast seva in 90 schools, a majority from the Chikkaballapur district in Karnataka. He named the program Sai Annapoorna and defined it as a unique initiative that focuses on Grama Uddharana and Grama Parivarthana, Rural Upliftment and Rural Transformation, focusing on Vidya (Education), Vaidya (Healthcare), Vaari (Water) and Vidhyuth (Electricity). Read More
This was followed by the valedictory function of the World Youth Meet in the form of a talk by Sri BN Narasimhamurthy, senior Trustee, Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust. Bhagawan delivered his much-awaited Birthday Discourse after that. Divine Discourse Summary
The programme ended with Bhagawan lovingly cutting the various birthday cakes that devotees had arranged artfully on the dais.
On His way out, Bhagawan blessed the special SAI buses that the devotees from the USA had got specially made as per His instructions. These unique buses, one each for Hyderabad, Kolkata and Bangalore, can be used to teach students computers (Vidya) and are designed to be used for providing healthcare (Vaidya) to villagers as well. In addition, they are fitted with a water purification system (Vaari) and solar panels and hence can generate electricity (Vidyuth).
Watch the proceedings below: