Visit To Sri Kondal Rao Garu’s Residance At Hyderabad And Arrival At Gulbarga Campus
After the sumptuous breakfast prepared by the devotees so very lovingly, Swami blessed all and took Arati before leaving the home of Smt Aruna and Sri Pradeep Reddy to go to the house of Sri Kondal Rao, Retd Engineer-in-Chief and currently Advisor to the Government of Andhra Pradesh who was instrumental in executing the massive drinking water projects of Swami in Anantapur, Mehboob Nagar, Medak, Godavari districts and was also in charge of the Orissa housing project for the flood victims. (https://saivrinda.org/experiences/he-continues-in-the-light-form/)
Sri Kondal Rao and his wife, ardent devotees of Bhagawan, received Him with great joy at their residence which was blessed thrice earlier by Swami’s visit over the last few years. A few devotees and the executive and management council members of Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Kendra being run under the auspices of Sai Seva Sangh, were present to receive Swami’s guidance for the Prashantiniketanam P U College for girls that will be established in a year’s time, on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
After taking His seat, Swami asked Sri B N Narasimha Murthy to talk about the need of the right kind of education in present times. He spoke eloquently about the plight of today’s education system where the students buy education by paying exorbitant fees, and later sell their education and even themselves for money. He urged the members that the upcoming campus should be to the dignity and repute of Swami. It should therefore not only be exuding devotional and cultural appeal from its appearance, but should also provide quality values-based education free of cost for ever.
Swami then commanded Dr Ravi Pillay to speak a few words. He narrated his connection with Swami through his devoted father Dr V K Pillay who was the earliest devotee from Singapore to visit Swami in early seventies, and was instrumental in setting up the orthopaedic departments in both Whitefield General Hospital and Super Speciality Hospital in Prashanti Nilayam. He had also offered at the Lotus Feet, the Sri Sathya Sai Manonmani Nursing quarters at Puttaparti Super Hospital in memory of Dr Ravi’s mother Late Smt Manonmani Pillay.
Dr Ravi, following in the footsteps of Swami narrated his journey with Swami from the physical to the Subtle, and expressed his gratitude for letting him play a small part in the grand mission of Swami. (https://saivrinda.org/experiences/grace-and-love/)
Swami then asked Smt Aruna Pradeep to speak a few words. She recounted the command of Swami given to a group of alumnae of Anantpur Campus in 1993, in an interview at Prasanti Nilayam. During the course of the conversation, Swami had told them to share with others what they had received from Swami – the gift of education. This triggered off the Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Kendra which went through several ups and downs, opposition and resistance but braved it all and continued its service to the destitute children of slums in and around Moosapet area of Hyderabad, for over 25 years. Swami always protected them and gave the courage to march on despite difficulties. She gratefully prayed to Swami to give them the strength and devotion to execute the upcoming project too.
“You already have Shakthi (Strength).
For if you have Bhakti (devotion), everything else will come to you be it Shakthi (Strength), Yukti (Intelligence) and Mukti (liberation). To the pleasant surprise of Smt Aruna, Swami even revealed to everyone that He had given her the seat in Anantpur College without even her writing the entrance exam. But then cautioned her that she should not do the same here, as a proper process needs to be followed.
Swami then asked Sri Kondal Rao garu to speak a few words. Expressing his gratitude for blessing him by visiting them again, Sri Kondal Rao garu gratefully conveyed the miracle of the acquisition of land for the campus in such a short time. When he heard of Smt Aruna and a few others searching for land, he spread the word to his acquaintances and soon with the help of Sri Ramanachari Garu, advisor to the Government of Telangana, a land was identified which was already a part of another trust Ananda Nilayam which runs an old age home and an orphanage. Thus things happened at a swift pace with Swami’s grace.
Swami spoke thereafter about the need for cultivating the Indian culture which is based on devotion in the hearts of children today. He said that just earning degrees to fill the bellies is not education. True education is to know the wisdom of ones’ Divine existence. He wished that along with the academic education, a school for music, dance and fine arts should also be started, which will promote the great cultural ideals of India. Swami was happy with the progress so far and assured them that as the knower of past, present and future, He has already seen it happening!
Sri Ramanachari Garu who joined the meeting despite his busy schedule spoke thereafter and said that, “As Bhagawan has already seen the college ready, it’s done for me too. I am here to support this noble initiative and do whatever it takes on my part to make it a reality. Ideals of Indian culture must be promoted through this institution.” Expressing his gratitude to Swami for giving an opportunity to serve, he sought Swami’s blessings.
Brunch was served to all while Swami spoke to a few devotees in His room upstairs. After which Arati was offered to Swami, before He left for the Gulbarga Campus by road.
After a journey of four hours Swami and His entourage were finally at the Gulbarga campus, ‘Sri Sathya Sai Vidyaniketanam’, the very first of the many campuses started by Swami in His Sookshma Roopa. Nestled in the lap of Mother Nature, close to Kamalapur town on the outskirts of Gulbarga city, this campus stands tall as a testimony to the presence of Bhagawan amidst us in His Subtle form. Swami was received by the Chairman Sri Govind Reddy and other staff. Sri Govind Reddy served earlier as an engineer in charge of the construction of Prem Deep, Swami’s earlier abode at Muddenahalli. During the inauguration of Prem Deep in 1994, Swami picked Sri Govind Reddy and brought him to Prasanti Nilayam to supervise the construction of domes in the balcony above the Mahasamadhi today. Thereafter He retained ‘Reddy’ as He used to call him lovingly to serve in the administrative block, and also as His personal driver for a few years. Now Swami has brought him here to serve as the Chairman of the Gulbarga Campus. Swami walked up the stairs of the pentagonal building to enter the magnificent bhajan hall and Swami’s residence, “Ananda Nilayam”, right in the centre of the building. The students seated in the hall were overjoyed to have Swami amidst them. Swami enquired about their welfare and went up to His room on the first floor, where He briefly interacted with the trustees and senior devotees before retiring for a brief rest.
Bhajans began in Ananda Nilayam at 6.30 pm when Swami along with other senior members came out to take His seat on the stage. After a few Bhajans sung by the tiny tots who reminded Swami of the children devotees of the yore like Prahalada, Nachiketa, Dhruva and Markandeya, Swami commanded Sri Govind Reddy to introduce all the members on the stage to the students. Thereafter, Swami commanded Sri Sanjeev Shetty, Trustee of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust and Managing Trustee of Alike Campus to speak about the life and mission of Anna. An eloquent speaker, a Harikatha Expert and a State awardee teacher, he spoke passionately about the mission and life of Anna who dreamt of a mighty missionary organisation of Thayagajeevis that would bring back the past glory of our motherland. Under his leadership, several youth joined the mission decades ago, but after his sudden demise this work of preparing men and women of sacrifice suffered much. But not with Swami taking the reins of the mission in His hands and through able instruments like Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, this has restarted with great zeal and pace, he opined. He urged the students to take to this ideal and noble path of service and fulfil the vision and dream of revered Anna. He recounted the sacrifices of Anna who gave up all his wealth despite resistance from his own kith and kin, and even borrowed huge loans to establish the institutions for social welfare. He also recollected the huge debt taken by Swami to start the water projects by mortgaging the Ashram properties. He said that when he sees devotees like Dr Ravi Pillay and his noble wife Smt Shyamini Pillay who take personal loans to fulfil Swami’s command, his heart wells up with gratitude for such noble devotees.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy spoke next about the wonderful association he has had over the last five years with Dr Ravi Pillay and other devotees of Singapore, who have been a pillar of strength for the current mission of Swami. He told the students about how Dr Pillay was the first devotee who called up on his own after learning about the starting of a new school in Gulbarga, and offered a large sum through a single cheque on his own for the purchase of the land. Since then he has been the ‘gang leader’ of the Singapore group, as Swami calls him playfully! He and other devotees have sacrificed much for the sake of several projects of Swami out of sheer devotion for Swami. Sri Narasimha Murthy also recollected how another devotee from Singapore, Sri Sivaramakrishna and his devout wife Smt Aparna, abandoned their plans to purchase a new large house to offer the funds for the construction of the Bijapur campus. He reminded the students about the great good future that they are having due to such selfless devotees, and urged them to use the opportunity well.
Though the clock was ticking past 8 PM, the students were eager to listen to Swami, and so Swami spoke briefly to them about the nature of Divine love which only knows giving and forgiving. “That is the truth on which the whole universe is based. The other things are mere facts that change with time, but the changeless alone is real truth. Love is the greatest truth of the universe, and makes everything happen through its power of selflessness. All the things that are happening today in such a grand way are nothing but manifestations of the power of love of Swami, said the Lord. He advised the students to develop purity of heart, free from all selfishness, so that like the sun that reflects all its brilliance in pure waters, Swami’s love should reflect in all its glory, in their pure hearts. Promising them that He is willing to do anything for their welfare, His going to Singapore is for their welfare and so is His coming to Gulbarga, Swami concluded the short discourse.
After Mangala Arati, a few gifts were distributed to all the children. Swami was served His dinner in His chambers while others proceeded to the dining hall. Thus, another glorious and eventful day came to a close!