All the students, staff, guests and dignitaries were seated in the bhajan hall ‘Ananda Nilayam’. Swami came down from His room at around 5:30pm, after completing a discussion with Sri B N Narasimha Murthy and other Trustees regarding the ongoing works at other campuses. Swami took His seat on the dais, as Soulful bhajans were in progress. A short music programme was offered at His Lotus Feet and all the students, staff and devotees joined in the evergreen finale song, “Humko Tumse Pyaar Kitna”. It was indeed a sight to witness so many tiny tots singing their hearts out to their dearest Lord! This song has almost become an anthem, and always brings much joy to the Lord and everyone gathered in His divine presence!
Swami commanded Sri Narasimha Murthy to speak a few words, who reminded the students of the sacrifices made by devotees, in order to provide them with the best of facilities. He talked about the importance of having faith in God. “If you have God with you, He will protect you at all times. You don’t need anything else, if you have God as your companion.” He narrated the stories of Prahalada, who gave up his own father who was an obstruction in his path to Hari; of Meera Bhai, who gave up her husband, to be only devoted to Lord Krishna; of Bharatha, who gave up his mother Kaikeyi, as she was the reason for Rama’s exile; of Vibhishana who gave up his own brother, for the sake of Rama; of Bali Chakravarthi who gave up his Guru, Shukracharya in order to fulfill the word that he has given to Lord Vamana. Sri Narasimha Murthy emphasised that anything or anyone can be sacrificed for the sake of being closer to God.
The Vedas declare ‘Maatru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava…’ But truly they will attain the status of God, only if they help taking one closer to God, and not be an obstruction. He quoted a story of a boy who chanted a shloka, which invoked Lord Narasimha in front, Krishna behind, Rama and Lakshmana on either sides, armed with bows and arrows. The child had forgotten about the power of this shloka as he grew up to become a merchant. One day after selling his goods, he was returning at night through a dark forest. About ten dacoits rounded him, and he didn’t know how to face the situation, as he was carrying a lot of money. He suddenly recollected the shloka taught by his mother, and chanted the same. To his astonishment, miraculously all the dacoits went away from the scene. He realised the protecting Gods must have appeared in front of them. When he went home and told wife about what happened, said lamented saying, ‘Oh what a misfortune, for the dacoits had the Darshan of the Lords whereas you did not”. Ask the Lord for Himself, and you will have everything!
Thereafter, Swami asked Sri Govinda Reddy, Chairman of the Gulbarga Campus to speak a few words. He recollected instances from the past, during the time he was serving Swami at Prasanthi Nilayam. Once he thanked Swami, and the Lord asked him the reason for his ‘Thank You!’ Sri Govinda Reddy promptly replied that he was thanking Him for His compassion. Swami immediately replied, “My compassion is for all equally, like the rain which falls on the boulders, sand and the fertile soil. Similarly, it is upto us how we use God’s grace, which is equally showered upon everyone.” He also spoke about the Singapore devotees and their sacrifices, and prayed to Swami to bless them all with a plaque as a remembrance of the Hostel inauguration, as a token of gratitude and love. Swami was very happy to hand over the plaques and beamed with much joy!
Swami in His discourse spoke about the six qualities that education must confer upon a student – ‘Sath Pravarthana or Good Conduct’, ‘Sath Buddhi or Good Intellect’, ‘Sathya Nirathi or Truthfulness’, ‘Bhakti or Devotion’, ‘Dharma Shikshana or Discipline’ and ‘Kartavya Palana or Dutifulness’. Swami emphasised that of all the six, Devotion is the most powerful and important gift of education. Picking the thread from where Sri Narasimha Murthy left, Swami spoke about Prahalada, who could not be harmed by even the most powerful demon. The ‘Shakti’ of Hiranyakashipu could not stand in front of ‘Bhakti’ of Prahalada. Similarly Ravana could not harm a helpless Sita, despite being the most powerful demons of his times, adept in 64 kinds of knowledge and 10 heads! Kamsa also could not do anything to Lord Krishna. Meera Bhai’s husband could not do anything. Swami explained that in front of Bhakti, no Shakthi, Bhukti or Yukti can overpower. With God, everyone is a hero, otherwise a big zero! “Have God, and you will have everything”, reiterated Swami.
Swami narrated to the students, a story of a young boy, who had to cross the forest all the way to reach his school. His mother would assure that he should call out to Lord Krishna, and He will appear to be with him. The little boy had sincere faith in his mother’s words, and when he called out Krishna, the Lord appeared as a young boy of his age. On his mother’s birthday one day, the boy asked Krishna for a gift, who handed over a unique fruit which only grew in Brindavan. The mother was very surprised to see the fruit, and when the boy explained that it was given by Krishna, she did not believe, and said Krishna does not exist! The little boy argued saying that it was she, who had told in the first place about Him. Mother replied saying it was only to give him courage and comfort! But the boy disagreed and took his mother to the forest and prayed to Krishna, saying it was imperative that He appears, as his mother would not otherwise believe him , and would think he had stolen the fruit.
Despite several attempts of calling Krishna’s name, the Lord did not appear. He started crying, and at that point heard Krishna’s voice,”Your mother does not even have the faith that I exist, then how can she even see me?” Swami summed up the story beautifully and said, devotion or Love for God will arise from faith! He said complete faith that God exists inside and outside, is very essential.
Swami praised the devotees of Singapore for their selfless sacrifices once again. Swami said “if you love someone, you will go up any extent for pleasing them.” In the same way, the devotees from Singapore due to their absolute love for Swami, go to any extent possible to fulfill the Lord’s mission, by being the pillar of support for these institutions. Swami said He was talking about them only for the sake of the children, as they should understand the sacrifices being made. Swami wanted the children to understand that, love for God is beyond everything. “If you love God, you must please God!” He urged the children to look after the Institutions with great care, for these are edifices of love and sacrifice, and must be cared and protected. Blessing the students with His words of benediction Swami concluded the talk.
Swami also blessed the construction workers and other devotees who were part of the Hostel project.
After prasadam distribution, Swami distributed water bottles to all the students and also launched ‘Sai Aarogya’, a software to capture health data. Screening the students and staff for health, has already commenced in Muddenahalli and Alike. Swami has always been keen that attention must be paid to physical health, along with nutritional and balanced food ‘Sai Aaharam’, spearheaded by the Alumni doctors of the Institution.
Swami partook His dinner and retired for the day, while the entourage packed to head back to Muddenhalli the next morning.