15th of August- The Independence Day – dawned bright and sunny. Nestled amidst the hills, cool winds blowing, and clouds forming a protective canopy overhead, Sri Sathya Sai Grama was a beehive of activity as students from campuses here readied to celebrate the day with Bhagawan. The parade was to be held at the ground in front of Hridaya Mandir and preparations were on in full swing. The practices had been going on for a month, and finally, after all the hectic efforts, the moment was upon them, as they eagerly awaited the arrival of their beloved Bhagawan.
Swami came to the ground at 10 a.m , and ascended the podium. Sri Narayan Rao, Chairman of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust then hoisted the tricolour, while the students brass band played the National Anthem. Thereafter the contingents from the girls’ and boys’ campuses conducted the march past, paying their obeisance to their Lord, and offering their salutes to the National Flag. The brass band was playing for the first time. Considering that they had learnt to play the instruments very recently, it can be concluded that it was their love for Bhagawan, and His grace that had enabled them to give the wonderful performance.
Swami had blessed three students to address the gathering on the occasion. They were Yuva Rakesh CY, Yuva Rana Shivansh and Yuva Supreet Reddy. The love these students have for Swami and their dedication to His ideals were transparent in each of their speeches
Swami then directed Sri B.N.Narasimha Murthy to address the students and the assembled devotees. In his speech, Sri Narasimha Murthy began by quoting Swami: Bharat is the birthplace and mainstay of the Vedas, the field of Yaagas and Yagnas, the great mother who gave birth to many avatars and the embodiment of morality and right conduct.
Sri Narasimha Murthy emphasised the importance of upholding the culture of our motherland, and said that it was Swami’s students who would be the flag bearers who would protect and propagate the legacy that had been handed to us by our forebears.
This was followed by Bhagawan’s Divine discourse. Swami spoke about the true meaning of the word Swatantra- Swa meant Self and Tantra meant control; it meant freedom from the enslavement of the senses, and not necessarily from the outer enemies. Where there is truth, righteousness and love, there the motherland would be happy and would bless her subjects with peace and prosperity. Many youth had sacrificed their lives to help attain freedom for our country, but the youth of today are immersed in worldly ways and are not able to bring the sacrifices of the great freedom fighters to fulfilment. Our land has now become a Bhoga Bhumi. Divinity is the soul of our country, and having been born in a sacred land, the youth should sow the seeds of Sathya, Dharma, Shanhi, Prema and Ahimsa, which would make our land fertile and not turn it into a desert.
Swami went on to give the example of Sri Madiyal Narayan Bhat, who shed tears- praying that the youth of the country should be free from the bondage of the senses. Swami declared that those prayers would not go waste, and Sri Madiyal Bhat’s vision would be fulfilled now. The tradition and culture of lies in her villages. The students from Swami’s institutions would take up His mission of protecting and nurturing cultural and human values from the level of villages: about 61/2 lakh villages all over the country would be covered, and lakhs of alumni from His institutions would join this movement, thus setting the stage for gradually making this into a nation- wide, and thereafter, a global movement. As a beginning, Swami declared that He would be dividing the Karnataka state into 5 zones- as follows: south zone under the mentorship of Sri Sanjeev Shetty, east zone under Sri Ramanand, Sri Mahindra Hegde for the west zone, and Sri M.S.Satyanarayana would be mentor for the central zone . Sri Narayan Rao and Sri Narasimha Murthy would be in-charge of the North Zone as also the overall mentors for the educational campuses. Dr.Sai Leela would mentor the Women’s campuses that would be coming up. Each of these zones would have 5-6 educational campuses. Swami also announced that the University for Human Excellence at Gulbarga would be functional from the following academic year. Swami declared that this University wouldprepare young men and women as teachers, administrators doctors , engineers , lawyers, who would take forward this mission in the field of nutrition, health and education.