The first mention of an Ashram at Visakhapatnam was made several years ago to Sri Ramgopal, a resident of Visakhapatnam and a devotee of Bhagawan. When Bhagawan summoned four of His alumni to Muddenahalli in February 2015, He spoke of an Ashram overlooking the ocean at Visakhapatnam. Thus over the years, the concept of this Ashram was refined and more clarity emerged.
In 2017, Dr Suryaprabha, a leading gynecologist of Visakhapatnam, selflessly offered her entire property to Bhagawan, praying that an Ashram should come up in the city. After forming a Trust called Sri Sathya Sai Trust for Social Welfare as a vehicle to execute this project, Bhagawan commanded Sri Madhusudhan Sivakoti and his team with assisting Dr Suryaprabha in this mission of establishing the Ashram. After a rigorous and often heart-wrenching search, a piece of land was identified and after Bhagawan had granted His approval, the land was offered to Him. The location and topography of this piece of land exactly matched what Bhagawan had described in previous years.
Thus, November 01, 2018 marked the fructification of nearly a year of hard work as Bhagawan proceeded to the village of Muthalammapalem, where He performed the Bhoomi Puja for the new Ashram.
The proceedings began with a welcome address by Sri Madhusudan Sivakoti, president of Sri Sathya Sai Trust for Social Welfare. He observed that it was a historic day for devotees of Vizag and offered his gratitude to Bhagawan, for coming there and blessing everyone.
Bhagawan then commanded Dr Suryaprabha, Vice-President of Sri Sathya Sai Trust for Social Welfare, to speak. She expressed her gratitude to Swami for answering her prayers and accepting her offering. She said that she always wanted to give back to Visakapatnam, what she had received during her career as a doctor. She offered her earnings to Bhagawan and prayed that He use it as He wished. She said her life was sanctified and her duty was to follow whatever Bhagawan says.
Bhagawan then commanded Sri C S Sreenivas, who has been a worthy instrument to be a part of the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani team at Palwal, and now Mumbai, to speak. He reminded everyone that God Himself was in their midst and went on to expand on the many components of the Ashram which Bhagawan was going to set up.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy was the next speaker for the morning’s proceedings. He noted that Dr Suryaprabha had said in a simple sentence, “I will do whatever Swami says” and observed that this is exactly what Arjuna had told Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Geetha.
Sri Narasimha Murthy recollected experiences from his own life and narrated various incidents from his time as a Warden in Bhagawan’s Institutions. Seeing the devotion of the devotees present, Sri Narasimha Murthy expressed his desire to visit Swami’s Ashram in Vizag along with Prema Sai.
Bhagawan’s Divine Discourse followed and much to the joy of all present, He announced that from now on, He would visit Visakhapatnam every year on November 01 and 02 and He asked everyone to work together in building the five components of this Ashram. He assured that though some difficulties might arise in the process, they could be overcome with faith in Bhagawan. He announced that there would be five components in the upcoming Sri Sathya Sai Ananda Ashram, namely: Ramaalayam, Vidyaalayam, Vaidyaalayam, Sanathanaalayam and Vriddhaalayam. Bhagawan’s residence, named Sri Sathya Sai Ananda Nilayam, would come to face the sea directly. Bhagawan assured everyone that His grace would be added to the efforts of devotees for fruition of any Ashram or project.
After His Divine Discourse, Bhagawan moved to the rear of the area where there was a brief interaction with a few selected devotees and alumni. A beautiful idol of Lord Krishna had been placed with a Jhoola under a tree and Bhagawan remarked that this was like Brindavan, but the Jhoola of Radha-Krishna was made of twined creepers. He once again spoke of the five components of the Ashram and asked everyone to conduct youth camps for village youth in the surrounding places.
Bhagawan then proceeded for lunch, after which, Mangala Arati was offered and He made a brief visit to the beach, which was barely five-hundred meters away. He then retired for the afternoon and in the evening the entourage made their way to the airport, bringing the historic visit to Visakhapatnam, to a close.