Bhagawan’s educational mission is gaining momentum every year. Nay, every month and actually, every day! It was His Divine Sankalpa to start five campuses in 2018. In June, as the academic year began, the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence was established in Gulbarga and three new campuses in Bellary, Koppal and Telangana respectively. And on July 06, 2018, another beacon of light was lit at the Sri Sathya Sai Karunyaniketanam in the Tumkur district.
Bhagawan along with a few elders and staff members from Muddenahalli arrived at the Tumkur campus around 10 a.m. Bhagawan unveiled the plaque and inaugurated the campus along with the chief guest Sri T B Jayachandra, former Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Karnataka. Swami went around the building, walking past devotees and visited several of the classrooms, dormitories and the kitchen. He also went to the Prayer Hall where the first batch of sixth grade students were singing Bhajans and waiting expectantly for Him. Swami spoke to them for a few minutes and blessed each student with a token of His love before proceeding outside. There was a small ceremony where He also planted the sacred Ashvattha or Peepal tree, marking an auspicious beginning. Swami was then escorted to the public function venue. Bhajans were already in full swing as everyone ascended the dais.
The dignitaries on the dais included the chief guest Sri T B Jayachandra, Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence, Sri Sanjeeva Shetty, an ardent devotee of Bhagawan who has served in various capacities in Swami’s educational institutions, Sri Ramanand who has served as a warden and correspondent in Alike, Sri Mahendra Hegde who has served as an administrator in Alike, Dr K P Sai Leela, Chairperson of all the girls’ campuses, Sri Keshavamurthy, a prominent builder from Bangalore who was instrument in building the Tumkur Campus, Sri Kalasa Nagaraj who has been a tremendous help from the very beginning of the Campus construction and Smt Prajna, Director of the women’s wing of the Sri Sathya Sai University of Human Excellence.
The programme commenced with Vedic invocation by a group of students from the Campus. A joy it was to hear these students chanting Vedas so well when they had arrived at the campus only ten days before.
The Chairman of the Tumkur Campus, Sri B Sathyanarayana, who is also an alumnus of Bhagawan’s institutions, delivered the inaugural address and welcomed the gathering. Narrating his journey with the Lord, he spoke with gratitude about how Bhagawan has been guiding him at every step of his life, also saving his life in a recent road accident. He also spoke about how the compassionate Lord took care of his parents, fulfilling all their wishes until their very last breath. Expressing immense gratitude to Swami, He pledged his life in Swami’s service.
The next speaker to address the gathering was Sri T B Jayachandra. He spoke about the education mission undertaken by Bhagawan and it’s need in today’s society. He said, “There are several schools, colleges and universities outside. But after working as a Higher Education Minister, I can say that all those institutions provide only worldly education. Morals and values are neither included as a subject nor are they a part of their curriculum. Every educational institution, be it private or a government institution should give first priority to teaching human values and spirituality. Only when we follow this can the rich Indian culture be upheld.” He also expressed his happiness over the Annapoorna Breakfast Seva programme, Divine Mother and Child Health Program and the Each one Educate one initiatives and pointed out how each of these cater to different stages of the child’s life right from when it is in the mother’s womb, upto his/her education and beyond. Stressing that it is the greatest good fortune to take part in the Lord’s mission, he urged everyone to be a soldier in the Sai army and take His Divine mission forward.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence, spoke about the admission process for all the Sathya Sai schools Swami has been establishing in the past few years, explaining that the first priority is given to the underprivileged children coming from government schools. Along with providing education completely free of cost, these institutions offer holistic education integrated with spirituality and morality, he explained.
Thereafter, Bhagawan delivered His Divine discourse and Mangala Arati was offered to the Lord. Swami then took photographs with all the students and the staff, promising to visit them again soon. Although these students were having Swami’s Darshan for the very first time, the magical bond of love was already sealed in all their hearts.
Swami then visited the home of Sri T B Jayachandra, blessed all the family members and partook His lunch before leaving back to Muddenahalli.