It was a very momentous day for the Sai diaspora as the ground-breaking ceremony for two schools, both for girls – was conducted on the auspicious ‘Basant Panchami’ Day. In a year’s time both Sri Sathya Sai Vaniniketanam at Gadag district in Karnataka and Sri Sathya Sai Prashanthiniketanam at Siddipet district Telangana will start moulding young girls to be torch bearers in the Sathya Sai Mission.
The Bhoomi Puja for the pre-university college of Hyderabad’s limits was conducted in the presence of many distinguished elders, trustees of the Sri Sathya Sai Saraswathi Education Trust and the Ananda Nilayam Trust that graciously donated land for the construction of this college. At around 11:40 A.M, between hill and vale and beneath the bright, golden sky, the chief guest Sri KV Ramanachary, a retired IAS officer who currently advises the Government of Telangana was welcomed to the beats, tunes and chimes of the Nadaswaram and Bhajans sung by girl students of the Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Mandir.
Sri KV Ramanachary, along with his wife was led by Sri Venkatesh Pastay, Trustee of the Sri Sathya Sai Saraswathi Education Trust, which is an allied institution of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust. As priests chanted hymns propitiating the Gods to bestow on this land plenty and prosperity, all the elders including Sri Kondala Rao, former Engineer-in-Chief to the Govt of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Umakanth Rao, Sri Karuna Raju, Sri Ravi Bathina and other senior devotees paid obeisance to Mother Earth seeking her blessings for successful commencement of the project. Mother Earth is held in great reverence in the Hindu tradition and every time before a building is raised or land is tilled for agriculture, her permission and forgiveness for actions that disturb the equilibrium of the earth is sought. The Vedas have special sutras and hymns to appease the various energies residing in the space and they are chanted nullify any bad effects.
Soon after the ground was struck, the elders were all escorted to the pandal where all the other devotees, staff and students of the school were seated. Sri Umakanth Rao was the first to speak and he offered his pranams to Bhagawan thanking Him for this blessing and exhorted all present to contribute in helping in establishing the college as planned by Bhagawan. Sri Pastay, who spoke next conveyed to all Bhagawan’s words of assurance and said the Divine lord was very happy that the Bhoomi Puja was organised on such an auspicious occasion. Sri Ramanachary was the next to address the gathering and he too invoked the blessings of Bhagawan. As a trustee of the Ananda Nilayam Trust, which engages in social service activities, he said it was his fortune to grant land for this temple of learning. He emphasised that it was more important to construct a Vidyalayam, or centre of education than alayam, or temple because in a temple, God gains the praise of many, where as in a school, it is the hundreds of children that will gain the merit of education.
Along with his trust members, he offered great support to the college and ensured facilitation of all permission required for starting the campus. This talk was followed by a couple of students who spoke on Bhagawan’s mission and thanked Him for establishing a school for them to continue their higher education.
The gathering then was witness to a testimony of Bhagawan’s love as he had sent sarees for the school children and staff as a blessing. These were distributed to children and staff by all the guests present at the venue. Soon after, Arati was offered to Bhagawan and Prasadam was distributed. The Bhoomi Puja function was a very special moment for everyone in the Sai community as this is the first college to be built after Bhagawan had instituted the college for women in Anantapur in 1969.