On February 26 2018, it was the closing ceremony of the ‘Half Yearly Meet’ of the ‘Children For Sathya Sai’ Alumni group that had gathered at the Lotus Feet of its mentor, guide, driving force, and literally everything. It felt like the children returned home and recounted everything to their mother—their achievements, their setbacks, their problems, their accolades. The Mother listened to them and counselled them, encouraged them and patted their backs so that they could go back in the world and work with more zeal and enthusiasm.
Swami entered the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham Hall escorted by the Vedam group. He blessed the devotees as the Bhajans were going on, accepting their letters, listening to their prayers, and guiding them. After a full round of the Hall, Swami came back to the stage and signaled for the start of the proceedings. Sri T B Jayachandra, Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Karnataka, was also present on the stage.
The program started with the Vedic invocation by the Alumni Vedam group who chanted the Durga Suktam.
It was made known to everybody that the Minister had come with good tidings – the Bill for Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence in Gulbarga was passed in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
There was a summary of the previous day’s events presented by Sister Vidya Ramsubramaniam, an alumnus of Anantpur Campus, and Brother Sidddharth Sai Amrit, a young alumnus of Muddenhalli Campus. Through talks, group working sessions, and various other activities on the first day of the Meet, a pledge was drafted and finalized to dedicate oneself for Swami’s work. Brother Venu Madhav read out the pledge as every student recited it alongside. It is worth mentioning here that this was the first such Meet where the alumni and the passing out students were present and worked together to bring about a continued environment of connectedness and togetherness among all the students.
Next was the report of the activities by the Alumni and Alumnae presented by Dr. Suresh Kodapala, who himself is an alumnus of the Alike campus. He talked about the various initiatives and works undertaken by E1E1 Trust to ensure the connection between the Alumni and Swami’s mission. Various campus visits and programs were hosted to touch the students who didn’t know about Swami’s mission through the Subtle Body. It was also mentioned that to support the activities of the Trust, Swami had blessed the Alumni and Alumnae with a special accommodation in Muddenahalli.
As the founding father Late Sri Madiyal Narayan Bhat offered Loka Seva Vrinda at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet, his outpouring took the form of a beautiful poem ‘Hridayada Hambala’ (Yearning of the Heart) with the motto ‘Atmano Mokshartham Jagat Hitaya Cha’. (For one’s own salvation and for the welfare of the World). Students from Sri Sathya Sai Center for Human Excellence have sung this prayer on the occasion of the ‘Half Yearly Meet’ of Children for Sathya Sai.
This was proceeded by a Talk by Brother G V Praveen who spoke about how twenty years ago he prayed to Swami to keep him close and how Swami has fulfilled his wish now.
To continue the activities and tasks undertaken by the Alumni association, coordinators from various campuses and batches were selected and Swami blessed them all with badges infusing them with a spirit of dedication and selflessness.
Then the Minister, Sri T B Jayachandra addressed the gathering. He told how Swami guided him to get the bill passed for the university. He mentioned that it was the last day of the session of the Karnataka Assembly but due to Swami’s grace, the bill got passed. He said that he feels privileged and proud to be a part of the Sai Family. He went on to say that throughout his political career he has seen many institutes of excellence in Commerce, Science, Engineering, but an institute in Human Excellence is something that only Swami can envision and establish. He also said that he will try working out the plan of replicating the Alumni association in all the schools in the state.
The next speaker was Sri B N Narasimha Murthy. He mentioned how there was no opposition in the parliament for the bill regarding the university. He expressed his thanks to the minister who worked hard to get the bill passed. He also thanked the Minister of Higher Education Sri Vasu Raj Reddy who helped the bill get passed. Relating his own story of how Swami brought him into His fold, Sri Narasimha Murthy mentioned that it is through complete selflessness that man can achieve divinity, which is the definition of human excellence giver by Swami.
Then, Swami blessed everybody with His Divine Discourse. He spoke about the need of being good first before aspiring to be great for all the students. He said that devotion to God is the biggest education the students are getting in His institutions—everything else comes naturally.
He also praised the Minister who worked hard to get the bill passed though he was troubled by various personal hardships and difficulties. On Swami’s insistence, the Minister came personally to declare the good news to all the students. Swami promised that He will bring water to all the districts of the state that are going through shortage and bearing a lot of trouble, fulfilling the wishes of the Minister who was working for many years to achieve this end.
He then dilated on the purpose of the University which is to produce people who are suffused with love.
Swami mentioned about the student who handed a letter from the class of 7th grade during Darshans—the students had contributed some amount to the Madiyala Narayan Bhat scholarship programme by saving money from their own pocket-money. He said that it is not the money that matters but the purity, selflessness, and sacrifice with which these students are contributing is valuable. He called out the student on stage and blessed him. Swami concluded His discourse with blessings to all.
This was followed by the Mangala Arati and Prasadam distribution and the programme came to a close.