Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, venerated by millions as an Avatar with all the sixteen attributes, compassionately continues to guide and guard from the subtle realm, even after giving up His physical frame. No Avatar or Master in recorded human history has done this purely for the purpose of human transformation, albeit instances of visions and appearances to a chosen few. And when He decides to shower His benign grace on a chosen few to accompany Him to the hills of Kodaikanal for a divine retreat, the fortune seems to be completely overwhelming! In fact, when Swami was giving away suitcases packed with goodies to students and staff who were travelling for the first time to Kodaikanal on the eve of departure, He said, “Premamrutham is like the Darshan Hall, it is like the temple compound. You enter the temple compound but there is no guarantee you will see the God, as there is too much crowd inside. Then you come a little more closer, to Anandam, it is like the inner sanctum as you have come inside the temple now. When you come to Kodaikanal, it is like the Garbhagudi, you have entered the sanctum sanctorum; very very close to God to see what God does, how God is, what are His thoughts, how He behaves, and what He likes! You get to know these things so that you can also follow this in your life till you become God Himself. So the goal of life is to become God, not become like God!”
In the wee hours on the morning of May 8, 2019, devotees departed to the Bangalore Airport to catch their flight to Madurai. Girls students and staff had already departed by bus to reach Madurai early morning. The stop over at Madurai for a few hours by Swami that morning, was the beginning of a new chapter for hundreds of thousands of girls in that area of Dindigul, for the omniscient Lord had willed the establishment of a new girls Campus at Bathlagundu! Aptly christened, Sri Sathya Sai Meenakshiniketanam, Swami revealed that it was Mother Meenakshi who wanted this Campus to nurture the body, mind and soul of tribal girls, and to free them from the clutches of social challenges like child marriage! So, naturally Mother Meenakshi would be the caretaker of this Campus!
Swami also departed early morning and landed at the Madurai Airport. He proceeded straight to the Meenakshi Amman temple, before proceeding to the Bhoomi Puja site, which was a little over an hour away towards the Kodai hills. After offering prayers, Swami along with Sri Kamalakannan, Minister of Education – Pondicherry, Sri T B Jayachandra, Former Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs – Govt of Karnataka, Sri Gandhirajan, Former Deputy Speaker, and other dignitaries departed for the auspicious Bhoomi Puja ceremony. The land is tucked away beautifully amidst hundreds of coconut trees. Thereafter, Swami along with the dignitaries proceeded to the venue of the formal event, a community hall which was about 10 minutes away from the site.
Swami was welcomed amidst Bhajans, and Sri T B Jayachandra was the first speaker of the function. He spoke about Swami’s miracles of service activities that are underway, and expressed his gratitude for the establishment of yet another Campus, which would give a new life to many girls in that area. Sri Kamalakannan was the next speaker, who submitted that it is only Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba who can initiate such projects. He went on to speak about the Annapoorna breakfast Seva project specifically in Pondicherry and how the concentration of children in the classrooms have improved, as they are now recipients of the first meal of the day, thanks to Bhagawan’s love as food! Bhagawan delivered His divine discourse, after Sri B N Narasimha Murthy spoke about the upcoming Campus. Swami explained the reason as to why He was establishing an Institution in the area, mainly to support the helpless people who have no one else to go to. He praised the devotees of Dindigul for having made such excellent arrangements, and bestowed upon them His blessings and strength to build the new Campus. Swami announced that every girl who would be studying in the Campus would verily be a Goddess herself, and urged all the devotees to definitely engage in selfless Seva in the Campus with the feeling that they are serving God in man, ‘Nara Seva is Narayana Seva and Jana Seva is Janardana Seva.’ Swami concluded His discourse by inviting everyone for the inauguration of the Campus next year in May!
After Mangala Arati, Swami dined with all the students and devotees, and thereafter proceeded to Kodaikanal a little after 3 p.m. The Lord reached the Sri Sathya Sai Anand Ashram around 5:30 p.m. and was welcomed by all the Sevadals who had reached a couple of days earlier to make all the arrangements. Swami walked around the Bungalow, blessed everyone, and retired for the night.