As Swami descended down from His room to the Anand Nilayam hall, the students and staff were waiting to see Him off with heavy hearts. A young boy wrote a letter to Swami that his heart aches when he thinks of Swami leaving Gulbarga. Swami was very touched but said, “I have to look after your other brothers and sisters too.”
He called for the Grade 10 boys and said that He will soon build a Pre University College and a degree college at Gulbarga, but in the meantime they can study in other PU colleges around and also in Muddenehalli, and later join the University. Hearing this, the children were extremely happy! Many alumni who had gathered there also expressed their desire to join the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence in Muddenahalli, which Swami graciously permitted.
Swami has been saying that it’s the students who become teachers will look after these Institutions, and the very first initiative in this direction was the establishment of the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence three years ago at Muddenahalli, and now Swami plans to upgrade it in to a University with five colleges for boys and girls separately, in all the four directions of Karnataka and in the centre too. (http://www.sssche.org). These Institutions will bring forth a whole new breed of teachers and administrators, engineers and doctors, accountants and lawyers who would eventually look after all the Institutions.
Just the previous day Swami commented, “When I asked to buy 50 acres of land in Gulbarga, everyone questioned why we need such a large land and grand building for a mere school. But I had a master plan to eventually establish a University which requires such infrastructure. They are have only mister plans, but mine is a master plan.” Truly it is a blessing to see His master plan unfold every day in untouched corners of Karnataka. Swami also guided that some of the students would have to do Masters and even Doctoral research to help the University grow. Gulbarga will be the seat of the University that would bring about a universal transformation in the field of education!
After blessing all the students and Arati was offered to Bhagawan and His car proceeded toward the gate. All the students who were seated so far with great discipline, suddenly let loose their feelings and were running behind the car trying to catch another glance, or a smile or a look from Swami. And when they had it once, they wanted once more and ran again to stand at another place a little forward, till they reached the Campus gate! Swami who was inside the car saw this mad rush of young and old and commented, “This is the magnetic power of Love that is in every heart which pulls them to God.” Truly, as if drawn and pulled by invisible threads these students were running everywhere to just get a little closer to God. Most beautiful things in the world can neither be seen nor touched, but can be felt in the heart. Here was such a beautiful sight for all to feel!
Brother Madhusudan shared later that as the car proceeded through the winding roads of the village, Swami looked at the recently developed roads and railway lines and said, “See where there is God there is prosperity”. The Campus which had no proper approach road in the past, now has an asphalted road all the way from the highway till its very gate. A railway station is coming up just five kilometers away near the Kamalapur town, for which the railway tracks have already been laid. So much has changed outside and inside, in the last five years! It’s all God’s handiwork without doubt!
After four hours of road journey, Bhagawan reached the Sri Sathya Sai Premaniketanam Campus at Bijapur district in the heart of the Anjutagi village in Indi Taluk. (https://goo.gl/maps/PFkfRJACFsv). The history of this place goes back to four decades or more, during which the innocent rural folk walked all the way to Puttaparti several times, to seek Swami’s blessings and invited Him to their little village in which they had even constructed a small temple for Swami. Swami had assured them that He will come to their village, years ago. How could the divine words be untrue, and the Campus had to happen at the very place someday, so that He could fulfil His word given to the village folk of Anjutagi. But the story will be incomplete without the mention of a young student of Grade 10 in Muddenahalli who having heard about the new Campus in Gulbarga in 2011, wrote a letter to Swami that a similar campus should come up in his home district of Bijapur. Swami assured him that his selfless prayer will be answered and so it happened. The same boy is now graduating from the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence in Muddenahalli and would serve at the Bijapur campus soon. Another glimpse of a master plan that He has for each one of us. That God has a plan for all of us, is all that we need to know!
So in the hot, arid and dusty planes of Bijapur district (now rechristened as Vijayapura) at noon, Bhagawan and His entourage were eager to meet the little students of Grade 6 and 7. With loud chants of the Vedam, Swami’s car was welcomed in to the Campus with little boys flanking the sides of the road. Swami alighted at the guest house that had His residence on the top floor. Blessing all and assuring them of meeting again in the evening, Swami ascended the steps. A few staff and devotees who gathered in His drawing room had a special time as He reminisced about how the Campus came about. He also praised Sri Ramamoorthy, who agreed to serve as the Chairman of the Bijapur Campus, after three decades of service as a Teacher in Muddenahalli. He also praised the efforts of Sri Galagali and Sri Chidanand who were local devotees, and were instrumental in acquiring this land of 50 acres after two years of search. Swami told Dr Ravi Pillay and his wife who had come all the way from Singapore about how difficult it can get to acquire such a large quantum of land, especially in a rural area like this, where land ownership records have to be procured from more than 30 people who belonged to many families. “Without the support of local dedicated devotees it’s next to impossible”, acknowledged Swami. He also mentioned that Sri Chidanand, an enthusiastic youth from the village donated his low lying land of one acre where an open well (30 feet in diameter and 60 feet in depth) was made, which now caters to the needs of water for the entire campus. “It’s only selflessness that brings prosperity”, said Swami. The road has been newly laid with the support of the local MLA, and also thousands of trees have been planted with the involvement of the forest department.
After lunch and brief rest, the evening programme was organised in the lower hall of the upcoming temple of Swami which would by far be the largest of all Campuses and rivals with the famous historical tomb of Mohamed Adil Shah of 16th century, Gol Gumbaz in the same district in terms of the size of its down. Swami had said that, “That Dome is Shava (a tomb) and this is Shiva (a temple).” When someone asked Swami as to why such a huge prayer hall for a school is required, He said, “Bijapur Campus will become a spiritual centre where Prema Sai will give Darshans and this prayer hall will be necessary then”. Again a sneak peek in to His master plan!
More than 1000 devotees, parents and village folks had gathered in the lower hall who lost all control over themselves as Swami walked in! They were falling over each other to get a glimpse, jostling with one another to touch Him and seek His blessings. It was another manifestation of the magnetic power of Love. The children sang Bhajans, as devotees followed with great enthusiasm. The Member of Parliament from the neighbouring District of Koppal, along with the MLA from Raichur made an unexpected visit when they heard that Swami was coming to the Campus. Swami had already granted the prayers of the MP by deciding to build a new boys campus in his district of Koppal. The MLA from Raichur too prayed for a Campus in his district to which Swami said, “I will definitely do at the right time”.
The Warden, Sri Yateesh who also is an alumnus, welcomed all and was the emcee for the evening. After the impressive Vedic recital of Ganapathi Atharvasheresham in praise of Lord Ganesha by the students, Sri Ramamoorthy, Chairman, introduced all the dignitaries on the dias that included the trustees of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust, namely, Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, Sri Sanjeev Shetty, Sri Mahendra Hegde, Sri Ramanand and Sri Madhusudan. Sri M S Sathaynarayana, Trustee of Prashanti Bala Mandir Trust was also present along with a few members of the management council of Bijapur campus. After two talks by students in their language of the heart, Dr Ravi Pillay spoke about the great fortune of students to be recipients of such grace in the form of an opportunity to study in Swami’s school, with such great infrastructure. He recollected Swami’s visit to Singapore in September 2014, when the 14 families got together to support the construction of Bijapur campus with an estimated outlay of ₹40 cr. Swami has told them that just because someone is poor and from a village, he or she should not be deprived of world class educational facilities, which are available to city children. Humility is the hallmark of greatness, as Dr Pillay apologised to the students and parents for the delay in construction from their side, and assured them that they would complete the construction of prayer hall and residential within this year and the next respectively.
Students presented a few devotional songs that they had trained in to Swami with great enthusiasm and love.
Thereafter Sri B N Narasimha Murthy spoke. He said that the only thought Swami ever has is the welfare of His devotees and nothing else. He is always working for the happiness and welfare of all. Remembering Late Sri H S Dwarkanath, his Thyagajeevi brother and colleague for four decades, who went around looking for a land in a motor bike even after retirement from the college at Muddenehalli, he expressed his gratitude to the departed soul who was instrumental in building this Campus. He also mentioned that such a large prayer hall is for the coming Avatar of Prema Sai as revealed by Swami, and is bound to become a beacon of Spiritual renaissance for the northern parts of Karnataka, in times to come. He also informed the assembly about the change in the admission policies of the Institutions to make it more available to the rural poor as first priority, and also provision for hostel scholarship for those who cannot afford to spend on their food and stay.
Swami spoke next about how the welfare of students is not merely the duty of the parents, but the collective responsibility of the entire society. “A child when born is pure like nectar, but the worldly association causes impurities and renders it poisonous. The rain falling from the sky though pure, ultimately becomes adorable or abhor able based on where it finally falls on earth, whether in the sacred river Ganges or a filthy gutter. The purity of students can be protected and strengthened only in the right kind of environment at home and in schools. While there is considerable effort being put by the staff and teachers at our schools to help students, the parents must also participate in this wholeheartedly and support it. It’s natural for parents to desire that the child should study and earn well, but beyond that they must also wish that just the way their child was looked after well by the society through such Institutions like ours, he or she should also serve the society to the best of one’s capacity. There are plenty of schools and colleges who sell worldly education for free, and thus produce selfish men and women, but we are not one of them.
And their parents should support the cause of selfless character based on devotion to God, which is the main aim of our education system apart from imparting subject knowledge for a livelihood”, said Swami. He blessed that the students, staff, parents and devotees may lead a godly and happy life by following these principles. To the joy of all, Swami assured that He would revisit them in June in a helicopter as desired by the students.
Swami took Arati thereafter, and Prasadam was served to all. After a brief discussion with the staff about the various needs of the campus, Swami had His dinner and retired for the day.
The next morning, after breakfast Swami discussed the construction plans of the campus and visited the halls where new dormitories are being constructed. He gave His precious advice and commanded that by the time He returns in June, the hostel facilities for students must be complete in all respects. After blessing the students and staff and urging them to work together, He left amidst the shouts of ‘Jai Bolo Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba ji ki Jai’, by the students who were only too happy to know that He would visit them soon in June!