After a triumphant display of talent, grace and character in the morning, the evening session of the Sri Sathya Sai Annual Sports and Cultural Meet 2016 was a treat to both the mind and soul.
Day 1 (Evening session) : January 26, 2016
The Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham auditorium was fully packed with students, their parents and devotees. Bhagawan arrived around 6.30 PM in a procession led by traditional Poorna Khumbam and Vedam, as melodious bhajans by the students rang through the magnificent edifice.
The proceedings began with an invocation by the students of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Vidya Kendra, Alike Campus. Motivating and inspiring speeches set the spiritual tone for the evening. Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, Chief Mentor, Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust was the first speaker. Thanking Swami for making the inaugural function a resounding success, he congratulated all the students for putting up a spectacular show. The fact that they did so in spite of not being able to see the physical form of Swami was reason enough to believe that it was Swami, and Swami alone who helped and guided these students, he said.
The second speaker for the evening was taekwando grandmaster Prof. Dr. Dato Leong Wai Meng. Confessing that though he has been a sportsperson all his life, he never witnessed such a display of hair-raising feats and athletic talents as was on display that morning, with only one focus of pleasing God! He then narrated three separate instances where Swami had saved the lives of members of his family, and his own. In the first instance, Bhagawan had materialised vibhuthi (sacred ash) for his father who had cancer of the throat and lungs, with the instruction that it had to be given to him, dispensed with warm water for three days. His father, who was hard of hearing and seeing, was cured by the third day and was able to see, hear and smell like a healthy person! Later the same year, his sister met with an automobile accident in Sweden. Her face was completely disfigured, and she also suffered a paralytic stroke. When she was brought to Puttaparthi, Swami gave her the garland that He was wearing, advising her to eat one flower a day. Within a month, she regained complete tactile sensation, full mobility and her badly disfigured face became normal without even the slightest trace of any scar! In the third instance, Bhagawan, through a series of events, delayed and eventually forced Dr. Meng to change his travel plans to a particular country that was in political turmoil; as he found out the next day that the plane he was scheduled to take as per his previous plan, had been bombed the previous evening. He concluded his talk by thanking Swami for everything and offering his everything at Swami’s Lotus Feet.
The last speaker for the evening was Sri C Sreenivas, Chairman, Sri Sathya Sai Health and Education Trust. He began by reminiscing his own role in starting the Annual Sports Day way back in 1979 at Brindavan. Emphasizing the need for character building in order to win the game of life, he commended the students on the manifestation of unity, through individual brilliance. He then recounted an anecdote highlighting the humility of legendary Indian cricketer Sri Sunil Gavaskar, thus bringing to the fore the essence of the Sanskrit adage ‘Vidya Dadati Vinayam’ (Education confers Humility).
A Kannada play enacted by the students of the Muddenahalli campus, titled “Nanna Jeevanave, Nanna Sandesha – My Life is My Message”, was staged next. The play based on the life and message of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, was enacted in English during the glorious 90th Birthday celebrations.
The drama began with a Bharathnatyam dance sequence demonstrating the unity of all faiths. Scenes from little Sathya’s childhood were enacted highlighting His sense of contentment, compassion for animals and sympathy towards the needy. The Pandari Bhajan group, formed by Swami with his young village friends, which went around the village dancing in praise of Lord Vittala, and other milestone events in His life such as – declaring Himself as Sai Baba in May 1940, declaration of His avatarhood on October 20, 1940 and the historic letter to His older brother Seshammaraju, giving a glimpse of His Mission as an Avatar, were highlighted in the play.
Vidya (education), Vaidya (healthcare) and Vaari (water), the three facets of Bhagawan’s mission, were showcased highlighting the establishment of schools, colleges, hospitals, water supply projects, as well as relief works undertaken in the face of disasters and natural calamities. Bhagawan’s transition from the physical to the subtle body, and His ongoing ceaseless efforts for the upliftment of mankind, brought the play to a climax.
Swami then blessed the participants with group photographs and commemorative tokens of His love. Aarthi was offered and prasadam was distributed to everybody.
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