Day 5, Morning – The Valedictory Function
The valedictory function of Sri Sathya Sai Annual Sports and Cultural Meet was held on the morning of 19th January in Sri Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli. Bhagawan was welcomed by a procession of the Brass Band and the Chinese Lion Dancers led by the traditional Poorna Kumbham.
The morning programme began with the vedic invocation by the students from the Muddenahalli campus. The first speaker for the day was Kumari Apoorva, a second-year PU student in the Chikkabalapur girls college. Apoorva, who spoke in Kannada, began by expounding on the essence of the Bhagawad Gita. She beautifully illustrated the feeling of oneness, that was prevalent among the all the students from various campuses who would compete intensely during the day, yet serve each other with love in the dining hall at night. She further went on to describe the lessons she had learnt by being a part of the sports meet.
The next speaker was Sri Yuva Supreet Reddy, a grade nine student in the Muddenahalli Campus. Supreet spoke his heart out, elaborating how the annual sports and cultural meet was not just an opportunity for students to display their talent but an opportunity to gain proximity to Bhagawan. He went to express that such meets foster brotherhood and oneness amongst all the participants. He also proudly reported to Bhagawan that the students participated in the true spirit of sportsmanship, being equanimous in triumph and in defeat. He ended his talk, urging the students to become bold messengers of Bhagawan’s message of love and unity.
The next speaker was Sri BN Narasimha Murthy, Chief Mentor, Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva institutions. He spoke about the glory and grandeur of the current phase of the avatar in the subtle form and extolled Bhagawan’s students, who are the “Beacons of hope that place Divinity above all else in the world”. He also commended the students for their pure and innocent hearts which recognised the Divine who is unseen and unheard, but can only be experienced. He ended his talk attributing the success of the cultural performances and the daredevilry of the past few days to the unwavering faith that the young boys and girls have placed in Bhagawan.
Prizes and Felicitation
The moment for which all the students eagerly awaited finally arrived. The results of the competitions held over the past five days were declared and Bhagawan Himself gave away the prizes and trophies of each and every category.
The next speaker was Sri Shashidhar Prasad, former Vice Chancellor of the Mysore University and the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. He spoke about the wonderful experiencing of watching and listening to Bhagawan’s students offering their hearts to their Master. “The students excel in all fields, irrespective of the activity, because their sole focus is on Swami”, he said. He urged all the devotees to develop the kind of faith and love that the students had, which is the only path to become dearer to God.
Sri BN Narasimha Murthy addressed the august gathering once again, prodding the students to realise that the greatest take away from the sports meet is the strengthening of the bond between them and their dear Lord. Speaking in Kannada, Sri Murthy expressed that it is but natural to feel disappointed to have to depart from Muddenahalli and travel away from Swami, physically. But he reminded the students that Swami is not restricted to Muddenahalli; Swami resides wherever there is devotion and faith.
Sri Narasimha Murthy’s talk was followed by the Divine discourse.
The Annual Sports and Cultural came to a close after Arathi was offered to Bhagawan.