Sri Sathya Sai Vrindawith Love, at His service

Divine Visit – Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence, Gulbarga- February 28 to March 05, 2020

Day 1 – February 28, 2020 

As the students and staff of the Gulbarga campus were eagerly waiting on February 28 for the Divine Presence yet again, Bhagawan accompanied by Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, Dr Ravi Pillay and Smt Shyamini Pillay, arrived in the evening. A spectacular procession of Veda chanting by boys and girls, slow marching by the Sai Angels of Gulbarga – the newest addition to the brass band students – and a troupe of traditional Chinese lions, escorted Bhagawan to the Prayer Hall in the main pentagon building of the University. 

Melodious Bhajans filled the air as Swami entered the hall, beaming with joy. He proceeded to take His seat on the dais along with Dr Ravi Pillay and Sri Narasimha Murthy. The Lord is always filled with utmost joy when He is with His children and He lovingly spoke to all of them, and recounted His trip to Tirupati. Swami said that He had been highly impressed with the Veda Patashala He had visited there, and expressed that He also wanted to open such a Patashala in Muddenahalli, for furtherance if the Vedic culture. Swami then spoke about the sacrifice of Dr Pillay in building the Gulbarga campus and said that if one Ravi Pillay could do so much, then how much more could be achieved if each and every one made such sacrifices!  

In His inimitable way, Bhagawan mentioned that some campuses were subject to monkey menace, and spoke about the contrast of the untrained monkeys with the trained monkeys in the Treta Yuga, who had served Lord Rama. Never missing an opportunity to impart a spiritual lesson, Bhagawan explained that this is why the human mind, which has been called a ‘monkey mind’, must be trained correctly.

Swami then beckoned Dr Ravi Pillay to share a few words with all gathered. Dr Pillay offered his gratitude to Bhagawan for using him as one of His tools, and by bestowing such a wonderful opportunity to serve. He also spoke about the good work which is taking place throughout the Sathya Sai Institutions not only in India, but around the world as well.

Thereafter, the Satsang came to a close and Mangala Arati was offered to Bhagawan, after which He retired for the evening.

Day 2 –February 29, 2020

As the evening Bhajans were underway with great zeal as all yearned to see their compassionate Lord, He entered the hall, clad in a yellow robe with a beaming smile of a thousand suns. While He walked amongst His children, connecting and nourishing every individual seated there with His love, He took letters, signed a few books, pictures and drawings and granted His precious Pada Namaskar. Swami then took His seat on the dais and after listening to the beautiful and uplifting Bhajans, asked Sri Narasimha Murthy to speak a few words.

Sri Narasimha Murthy spoke about Bhagawan’s passion for sports and he recounted some anecdotes from his time in Prasanthi Nilayam. He also narrated how the sports and games had evolved from the girl students playing volleyball, to the various adventure sports such as parachuting, motor biking and hot air ballooning that the students undertake today. Noting that behind every act of Bhagawan; be it His words, His actions, or even His visits to specific places; there is most definitely a reason, Sri Narasimha Murthy prayed to Bhagawan to grant His message, and also reveal the reason behind His trip to Tirupati.

Swami then spoke to all who had gathered and declared that the whole world is under the authority of God. He continued, saying that since God is under the control of Truth and truth is under the influence of good people, ultimately, good people are greater than God. God is there in every good and whosoever is good, is equal to God. Then He said that if anybody asks Him, “Where is God”, He asks them in turn, “Where is God not?”.

In response to the prayers of Sri Narasimha Murthy, Bhagawan then revealed the purpose of His trip to the holy land of Tirupati. He narrated how while in Tirupati, He had had a conversation with Lord Venkateshwara and had remarked to Him, “You are so rich because you have two Lakshmis with you.” Lord Venkateshwara had then responded saying, “Swami, You have all Ashta (8) Lakshmis in Your hand; so what is less for You?” Bhagawan explained that He had gone to Tirupati to invite Lord Venkateshwara for the Srinivasa Kalyana or marriage of Lord Srinivasa, which would be held in Muddenahalli during His birthday this year. With a smile, Bhagawan said, “Lord Venkateshwara took a loan for his personal Kalyan, but I am taking a loan for Loka Kalyan, is anything wrong in that?”. Bhagawan then elaborated on the different levels of gods and the Supreme Lord, explaining their roles as being with different departments in a single organisation. 

He then concluded His discourse, announcing that He would come to the newly-laid volleyball and basketball courts the next morning, for the inaugural games by the University and Pre-University College students. In His infinite compassion, He indicated that He would come early for the comfort of His children, as the sun would become too strong later in the day.
Thereafter, Mangala Arati was offered to Bhagawan and Prasadam blessed by the Lord Himself, was distributed to all present.

Day 3 –March 01, 2020

Morning: 

March 01, marked an important day as Bhagawan turned His attention to the physical activities of His students. Indeed, the compassionate Lord arrived at the volleyball and basketball courts early in the morning at 7 o’clock. Swami took His seat to witness the volleyball matches of both the boys and girls. He then blessed all the players with trophies, showering them with much appreciation and motivation. He also observed a basketball match and thereafter, blessed the players with a token of appreciation in the form of photos and a trophy. Swami then commanded Dr Ravi Pillay to speak to all the students. Dr Pillay spoke about the high quality facilities that Bhagawan is providing to all of His students and expressed his deep love and gratitude to the Lord.

Swami then addressed everyone and conveyed that He is providing such opportunities to the students in order to mould their interests, so that they develop self-confidence which is the foundation of everything. He even mentioned that playing is also like studying, but takes place outside the classroom. The ever-merciful Lord then said that out of His love for the students, He had come for the matches so early in the morning, because if He had come later, the sun would have taken away all their energy and they might have fallen sick.

As a most beautiful session with the Lord drew to a close, Mangala Aarti was offered and Bhagawan departed to His residence.

Evening:

Once again in the evening, all who had gathered in the Prayer Hall were blessed with the Darshan of the Lord, and after filling all the yearning hearts with His Divine Love, Swami proceeded to the dais accompanied by Sri B N Narasimha Murthy and Sri C Sreenivas.

It was the beginning of yet another chapter in the story of Bhagawan’s student Brass Bands, as the Lord Himself had willed that a symphony orchestra be born. Thus, it was the good fortune of the University girls’ band, Sai Symphony, to receive the very beautiful string instruments – which themselves are the result of an act of love by God’s devotees.

After Bhagawan personally gifted the string instruments to each selected student, Sri C Sreenivas very beautifully spoke about the magic of love between the instrument and the musician and how the instruments are the beginning of a story for each student, a story of love.
Bhagawan then granted His message and said that the most beautiful story is the story of love between God and His devotees. It is this story of love that is being written every day, as He spends time with His children. He said that love for God is the secret to achieving anything. “Love is so powerful, it will make miracles happen; the greatest power on Earth, is love.”

He the elaborated saying that the story of love, courage, faith and surrender should become and be the story of each one’s life. To love God is easy because God loves everyone, but following God requires courage. The love for God should be translated into action. Bhagawan beautifully reminded everyone that love without action is useless and action without love is dangerous. Therefore, love has to be translated into meaningful service. Whomever one serves, one is serving God; whomever one loves, one is loving God.

Mangala Arati was then offered to Bhagawan by the students and Prasadam was distributed to all, as yet another uplifting evening came to a close and everybody left with their hearts brimming with love for God and determined to follow and practice His directives.

Day 4, – March 02, 2020

Morning – Visit to Boys’ Hostel:

The bond between Bhagawan and His students is unique, and when out of His immense love, He had told the boys that that He would visit their hostel, their joy knew no bounds. In a trice, the whole hostel was cleaned and decorated, along with the rejoicing heart of each and every student. At around 11:30 a.m., Bhagawan arrived at the hostel, effulgent in a splendid golden white robe. He proceeded directly to the Prayer Hall where all the high school and Pre-University College students had assembled, along with some of their parents. He blessed the gathering with His Darshan, after which the students poured out their love in the form of songs which made Him very happy. As He moved with the rhythm of the music, suddenly, Bhagawan beckoned a Pre-University student named Vishnu, to speak about his journey of transformation. After a heart-touching talk by the young student, Bhagawan asked Sri B N Narasimha Murthy to address the gathering.

Thereafter, the Lord granted His divine discourse and spoke about the five qualities of a student and explained how a student should conduct themselves. 

After bringing His discourse to a close, Swami then proceeded to the second floor of the hostel, where all the University boys had gathered on His command. He distributed passports to all the second-year students and then spoke to all the students about Tyaga Jeevana or living a life of sacrifice. He explained that this life of sacrifice is all about taking less and giving more. However, one’s aim should be to live as a Yoga Jeevi, where one takes nothing and gives everything to society. Bhagawan explained that realisation does not happen in one day; it takes its own time, so one must have patience and most importantly, keep moving and never become stagnant.

After showering His precious guidance on His children, the Guru of Gurus proceeded to the dining hall where all the boys were seated, ready to partake lunch with their Lord. Bhagawan then distributed ice-cream to everyone and then departed to His residence for the afternoon.

Evening:

In the evening, the music students offered their soulful singing to the Lord, in the form of Annamayya Keerthanas and Abhangs, which filled the hearts of all with pure bliss.

After the uplifting music, Bhagawan commanded Professor Shashidhar Prasad, former Vice Chancellor of Mysore University and Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, to address the gathering. He shared his experiences with Bhagawan and said that one must have Shraddha (faith) and Saburi (patience) to attain the grace of God. He spoke of how Bhagawan has been taking care of his family and added that everyone must be tension-free with the knowledge that God is there.

Thereafter, Swami delivered His divine discourse. Pointing at the small children of grade six, He explained that it is through listening, just like Abhimanyu who had learnt the secret of Chakravyuha and Ashtavakra who had become a Jnaani while in the womb of his mother, that these children have learnt the Abhangs sung by the music group. The same sweet songs that were sung by great devotees hundred years ago are being sung even today. Those devotees were not trained in music, but they sang so beautifully because of their unsullied devotion to God. Bhagawan expressed His happiness that the young students are learning songs on their own, just by listening to the sound and melody and repeating with devotion and faith. He said that only when the songs are sung with devotion, will they be pleasing to Him. He recalled the renditions of the great M S Subbhalakshmi, whose singing Bhagawan had enjoyed very much as she sang with great devotion. He explained that Bhakti alone is immortal and that while science trains the mind, spirituality tunes the heart. Swami then went to reiterate that the students should be good at both Para and Apara Vidya, for it is only then life finds fulfilment. He explained that spiritual people are always intelligent and will be good at everything because of their pure devotion. When writing an examination, Swami Vivekananda had answered all ten questions when asked to choose and answer only five questions, and then told the examiner to correct any five answers among them. Taking inspiration from Swami Vivekananda, Bhagawan told the students to also develop such confidence and be good at everything they do.

Thereafter, the Satsang came to a close and Mangala Arati was offered. After blessing everyone, Swami retired for the night.

Day 5 – March 03, 2020

Morning – Visit to Girls’ Hostel:

Around 11:00 a.m. Bhagawan was escorted to the girls’ hostel by the University students chanting Vedam, along with the Pre-University College girls from the Jayapura campus. Clad in a most splendid white robe, Bhagawan glided into the hall which was well decorated with hand-made decorations and posters of the Dashavatara. The programme commenced with a Vedic invocation as the girls chanted the Bhagya Suktam. This was followed by a dance recital by the University students, who gracefully offered salutations to various gods of different art forms with elegantly choreographed dances. 

Sanskrit is known to be the language of the gods and is a significant subject in Bhagawan’s institutions, and a young student of the University then briefly addressed the gathering in Sanskrit, eloquently offering her gratitude to Bhagawan for always being with her and granting all the students the opportunity to learn Sanskrit. This was then followed by speeches in English and Kannada, where the students expressed their deep love and gratitude to Bhagawan for all that He does for them. There was then an offering of science models and a collection of poetry and articles at His lotus feet, which Bhagawan observed with much attention. A PowerPoint presentation was then shown, covering the importance of food and health, as a recapitulation of Swami’s message to the girls when He had last visited them. The Lord was extremely happy with this and then granted His divine message, following on from the presentation. He reminded everyone that food is God and every being is formed from food. Upon death also, when one is buried or burnt, one again becomes food (helps in plants growth). He emphasised that when young, it is good to have enough food since one is still growing. However, as a person grows older, consumption of food should be reduced and replaced by a thirst for knowledge. Bhagawan warned that food must be taken as medicine in proper proportion or else medicine will inevitably become food. He explained that it is the kind of food which is responsible for the health of mankind. Food which is obtained directly from Earth and sunlight, will have the maximum benefit which becomes lost upon boiling. He spoke about how in earlier times, many Rishis used to depend on natural sources of food, which included fruits and vegetables that were taken directly from nature. Hence, they had a balanced diet, and could live without food since their food was directly proportional to nature. Bhagawan elaborated in great detail about the type of food one should eat, and after urging all the students to eat well and to consider their bodies as temples of the Divine, He then concluded the most intimate and wonderful session. After partaking lunch with the students, Bhagawan distributed ice cream to everyone and then departed to His residence after receiving Mangala Arati.

Evening:

The evening once again was a divine treat for all who had gathered to be with their dear, sweet Lord. With Bhagawan’s initiation of the new Symphony Orchestra, the band teacher Mr Dimitris Lambrianos had organised four musicians from Greece, Italy and Slovenia to come and train the students in the new instruments they had received. When Bhagawan had distributed the string instruments to all the girl students, He had commanded the trainers to play some pieces for the students, so they too could experience some music they had played for Him during the annual visits to their countries. Therefore, the evening Satsang was filled with beautiful tunes and melodies rendered on the cello, viola, violin, keyboard and percussion instruments by Mr Dimitris Lambrianos and his team of musicians. The musicians played various well-known compositions such as ‘La Vie en Rose’ by Edith Piaf and a fusion style version of ‘Invierno Porteno’ by Astor Piazzolla, among others. Accompanied on the Tabla by a student of the University, the music was truly a delightful experience as everyone bore witness to excellence and ingenuity, combined with devotion to God.

Bhagawan then instructed Mr Lambrianos to choose and teach a few classical compositions, which were not too difficult – since many music pieces by composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven are very complex, so that the students would be ready to play some classical pieces for His upcoming birthday celebrations.

Swami then spoke to the students about the Love that His devotees have for Him. Citing the examples of the music trainers who had travelled all the way from Europe to a remote place like Kamalapura village in Gulbarga, Bhagawan showed the students that His devotees were willing to do anything out of pure love for their Lord. Swami then spoke about Mr Lambrianos and revealed how He had appeared to him at his apartment in New York, USA and told him to come to Muddenahalli. Bhagawan narrated how upon His command, Mr Lambrianos had given up everything, including a million dollar contract in Hollywood, to come and teach His students. Indeed, it is only the love for God that can make such things happen.

Thereafter, Mangala Arati was offered and Prasadam was distributed to all.

Day 6 – March 04, 2020

As Bhagawan walked into the Prayer Hall amidst the sweet melody of Bhajans, a gentle breeze suffused with a unique fragrance, caressed everyone seated there. Joy filled all the hearts of those gathered, as they once again were gifted with the Darshan of their Lord. As Swami moved amidst all the students, students from the Pre-University College and University offered a small art exhibition to their Lord, who was delighted at seeing these young budding artists drawing only for God. Bhagawan commanded that all the drawings should be hung in all the classrooms and library. He said that what one has inside is reflected in one’s drawings and spoke of one of the students who had drawn a beautiful picture of Hanuman, saying that his drawing was so neat because of his inner purity.

After meeting all His children young and old, seated in the hall, Bhagawan took His seat on the majestic throne. The music students then offered a musical offering in the form of a bouquet of melodious songs which included popular Kritis and Abhangs. The tiny tots of grade six spontaneously joined in the singing of the last song, Yei Ho Vitthale, which brought immense joy and delight to Bhagawan. Then like a proud mother, He asked the singers to sing the Swaras of the song and commanded the younger students to follow, which they did with amazing ease and unmatched devotion. Swami showered His praises on the young children and explained that listening is more powerful than writing. Hence the reason for the fast learning of those Swaras by the children.

Bhagawan elucidated on the power of chanting Vedas, as it generates neural pathways in the brain, which in turn helps one to learn things quickly. He spoke about how the Sanskrit language has been scientifically proven by scientific researchers all over the world, as a very powerful language. All the Vedas and ancient scriptures were passed down in the form of shlokas and verses, in a very specific structure to aid one’s ability to remember many things. He further explained that as an example, the Mahabharata is not a prose composition, but a poetic composition and is considered to be the longest poem in the world. Therefore, just by listening to their Gurus, students could easily grasp all knowledge. Even when a child is still in the mother’s womb, it is able to hear everything as out of all sense organs, only the hearing is developed and activated at that time. Swami then compassionately detailed how students can memorise large quantities of material for their exams, saying that if one consolidates one topic into a few lines of a poem, one can assimilate and remember the material much more easily. He said that we must write our subjects in the form of a poem and sing it like a song, making it much easier to assimilate and remember. Thus, one can increase one’s knowledge through hearing and listening.

Thereafter, Sri Narasimha Murthy briefly shared his view on the subject with some of his own experiences. Mangala Arati was then offered to Bhagawan before everyone retired for the evening.

Day 7 –March 05, 2020

Morning – Maha Mrutyunjaya Homa:
As per Swami’s command, monthly Homas are performed at each of the campuses and on the morning of 05 March, all the staff and students gathered at Panchavati to witness the sacred Maha Mrutyunjaya Homam in the presence of the Lord Himself. The serene setting in the heart of nature was a joy to witness as the Homa was performed with great with love and devotion. As everyone was completely immersed in chanting the name of Lord Mrutyunjaya, offerings and worship were offered to the Shiva Lingam and into the Yagna Kunda. Thereafter, while waiting for the Lord to arrive for the final offering of Poornahuti, the surroundings resounded with soulful Bhajans in praise of the mighty Lord Shiva. 

At around 9.00 a.m, the Lord arrived beaming like a thousand suns. After performing the Poornahuti with some of the University students, Bhagawan proceeded to take His seat on the Jhoola, facing the Yagna Kunda. 

Bhagawan explained the significance of performing Yagnas and the inner meaning of the Maha Mrtyunjaya Mantra, “Tryambakam Yajaamahe”. He said that although every individual craves to be immortal, true immortality is the release from the bonds of Samsara. The body must perish according to the rule of nature, and one must understand the inner principle which is one’s true reality. He said that even God, who incarnates on this earth as Rama, Krishna, and in other forms, has to undergo the experience of the death of the body. Thereafter, Mangala Arati was offered and Swami proceeded towards the helipad escorted by all the students and staff. It was truly a delightful sight to see all the children bidding their heavenly Father adieu and despite their heavy hearts, smiles adorned their faces with the knowledge that He would return soon. The Helicopter took off at around 10:15 a.m, bound for the Sri Sathya Sai Premaniketanam campus, at Bijapur.