Bhagawan’s much anticipated visit to His beloved Alike campus started with the His entourage arriving on May 30. The chosen ones to accompany Swami on this trip were the blessed devotees from Singapore.
This visit’s schedule promised to have the same action packed events, similar to the previous trip of Bhagawan. The main events planned for this visit were – inauguration of the temporary building for the girls Pre University college, and the inauguration of the new boys Pre University college building.
Day One of the visit started at 4:45pm in the evening, on the eve of the two inaugural functions, with Bhagawan visiting both the facilities to review their progress. Madiyala House, a 100 year old house which was the birth place of reverend Madiyala Narayana Bhat, the founder of Loka Seva Institutions in late 60s, was renovated last year as museum and now a temporary school building has been added to it to serve as the hostel and PU college for girls respectively. The place already exuded a festive mood, where the new temporary building for girls’s college has come up, since Swami’s benevolent announcement last year.
As Swami alighted from His car, He went to the recently renovated Madiyala house which has played a significant role in the history of the Sathya Sai Loka Seva institutions, where it all began. Once inside, Swami asked Sri Narasimha Murthy to speak of the old times and of the times he spent with Madiyal Sri Narayan Bhat or Anna as he was lovingly called. It was a poignant moment to hear him talk about the incidents and the routine of the day. The place where Anna sat and spoke to the initial set of Thyagajeevis, the spot where they partook their meals, the students quarters which was one wing of the building, etc. As the guests from Singapore accompanied the Lord to the various rooms of the ancient structure, they were treated to the Lord Himself explaining to them the history of the place and interesting anecdotes. At one point, He said, “A couple of years ago when I said many people will come here from all parts of the world, no one believed me. Look now, people have already started coming!” He spoke of the culture that Anna had fostered, that of simple living and high thinking. After his ‘reconnaissance tour’ of the new construction, Bhagawan started back to the main campus – Sathya Sai Vihar.
On the way back to Sathya Sai Vihar, Swami’s car turned into the Sharada Vihar campus, as Swami had decided to answer the prayers of His students who had fervently prayed to Him to bless their campus. In the nicely decorated bhajan hall ringing with Bhajans, Bhagawan asked Sri Narasimha Murthy to speak a few words. Sri Narasimha Murthy started by congratulating the students present there for having the opportunity to study in the first school of the Loka Seva Vrinda educational institutions, which has now become like Ganga, spread all over Karnataka. He introduced the visiting Singapore devotees to the children, and spoke of the service they were rendering in Swami’s mission. He then recalled the emotional moment when Anna left his mortal coil and how Swami had sent the poignant and reassuring telegram to everyone at Alike. Sri Narasimha Murthy then said, he had seen many dignitaries and men of stature and position who has visited Prasanthi Nilayam, but Anna stood tall as he was a man of sacrifice.
Bhagawan then gave His divine message to His students. He said, “the greatest service one can do is to be an example to others.” He spoke of the life that Madiyal Sri Narayan Bhat had led and how he had done it to create men and women who would serve society. Swami told the students to imbibe these values in themselves as it was easy to absorb these while one is young. He reassured everyone that if they have faith in Swami, He would take care of everything. “Quoting the example of Anna, who offers his all at the altar of service to mankind, and remains immortal even today by being remembered by all, where as the students do not remember their own great grand orients who’s lineage they belong to. Only those who live for others truly live and remain immortal in the memories of mankind, Such noble people of sacrifice are like engines that pull the train of society towards God”.
Blessing all assembled there, Swami left with the guests leaving the students and staff wanting more!
Bhagawan and His entourage then proceeded to the new Boys college building, where Swami patiently walked from room to room, reviewing the work. Standing on the balcony of the first floor of the building, Bhagawan explained to the accompanying guests how 50 years ago there was nothing. Today, it is indeed a different story, with so many buildings and facilities. Even this He said was just a glimpse of what was to come! Standing and merely playing witness, one certainly felt it was a historic moment! No one can fathom the expanse of His mission!
After a tour of the new building, Swami treated everyone gathered that evening, at Alike, to a music program by Dr Vijaylakshmi, a ardent devotee from Mangalore, who offered a medley of classical songs at the Divine Lotus Feet. The accompanying musicians included two alumni from the Sri Sathya Sai institutions.
The day ended on a high note setting the tone for the special events the following day.