Faith in the unseen - A chronological overview of His Mission
Swami’s 90th Birthday Celebrations at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli was historical in more ways than one. The imposing architectural edifice Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham from concept to completion took just ten months. The World Youth Meet organised for the very first time by Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions attracted delegates from 20 countries. Musicians and artists from across the spectrum enthralled the audience. For those who have known Muddenahalli, this is an amazing turnaround. The faith in the unseen, making you achieve stupendous feats is a fascinating story by itself.
Sri Badri Narayanan, an alumnus of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning asked a very pertinent question. What do you wish a person who is always Happy and does not have a Birth? How do you wish Bhagawan, Happy Birthday? The only thing we can do is to simply lay our heads at His feet in a sense of total gratitude, for giving us everything. And yet, Bhagawan wasn’t content with giving us everything. Therefore, He took a human form to walk amidst us, to talk to us, joke with us, to sleep with us, to eat with us, to guide us, to guard us!
An array of distinguished guest speakers for the World Youth Meet included Swami Bodhamayananda - Director of Vivekananda Institute of Human Excellence from the Ramakrishna Mutt, Sri H R Nagendra - the Chancellor of Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (SVYASA), Prof Shivaram Malavalli, the direct disciple of the great Himalayan Master Swami Rama, Swami Hamsananda from the Chinmaya Mission, Sister Giovanna, an 81 year old nun from Assissi, Italy, Sheikh Aly N’Daw from the International Sufi School, Dinesh Ghodke from the Art of Living and Father Charles Ogada - a Christian priest from Nigeria.
From Carnatic Music to Western Jazz there was variety in the musical spread that was served which was truly a feast to the hungry souls. The list included some of the big names from the world of music namely legendary carnatic musician Dr M Balamuralikrishna, Sri Mandolin U Rajesh, Sri Harmeet Manseta, world renowned Jazz keyboard player, Sri George Brooks, saxophonist and composer, Sri Dimitris Lambrianos, a Greek musician and composer who plays piano and bouzouki among host of other instruments, Singer Hariharan, Kunal Ganjawala, Sumeet Tappoo, Sitar Maestro Pandit Shubendra Rao, a protégé of Pandit Ravi Shankar, Saskia Rao, a virtuaoso cellist.
The commencement of a mobile care unit gives a peep into the realms of Swami’s grand plans, a sign of things to come. Swami is inspiring individuals to undertake big ticket service projects of their choice. A mobile unit named by Bhagawan as S A I W H E E L S - acronyms SOCIETAL ADVANCEMENT and IMPROVEMENT by WATER, HEALTHCARE, EDUCARE, ENERGY through LOVE and SERVICE which intends to improve the quality of rural lives. Arvind Thiagarajan, a young scientist mentored by Late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is the founder of Sai Global Mission which aims at taking Healthcare to the masses. After graduating from IIT Madras in computer science, Arvind went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his PhD. With 42 patents to his credit, he is currently working with Amazon as a research scientist. Swami in the subtle form guided SGM team consisting of engineers, physicians, educators, IT specialists and social workers from USA, India and South America to come up with an integrated bus providing Healthcare, Educare, Aquacare and Energycare under the same roof. The team came up with a four wheeled mobile unit offering four V's; Vaidya, Vidya, Vaari and Vidyut which was inaugurated by Bhagawan on November 23rd, 2015. The bus made its maiden trip to Chidambaram town in Tamil Nadu. It will reach One Billion people in the next 10 years, the target set by Bhagawan.
Swami is on a whirlwind tour after the 90th Birthday. On 26th November, He flew to Delhi - NCR for the Bhoomi Pooja of Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani International Center for Pediatric Cardiac Sciences and Research. The 200 bed state of the art facility will not have a cash counter, which really doesn’t require a special mention when it comes to Swami’s projects! This is second in line after Raipur hospital in accordance with the Divine Master plan. Super speciality hospitals in Gujarat, Mumbai and Kolkata will follow next, in the same order.
Alike was next in Bhagawan’s itinerary, from 28th to 30th November. Swami inaugurated a Memorial for His chosen instrument Late Sri Madiyal Narayan Bhat, through whom He is continuing (Yes, you read it right!) to accomplish the mission of Atma Kalyana and Loka Kalyana. Also, the foundation stone was laid for Sri Sathya Sai Prashanthiniketanam, a Girls Pre University Residential College and Sri Sathya Sai Samagamam, an auditorium. The design of the girls’ residential college blends well with the traditional sloping tiled roof architecture of Dakshina Kannada district. The auditorium plan is out of this world for a place like Alike. Exciting times are ahead for all those passionate about Education.
The Alike alumni had decided to pool in Rupees Two Crores to offer to the institution that made them the individuals that they are. But the amount they were able to garner was far less from the set target. When their disappointment was conveyed to Bhagawan, He assured them that by the same evening they would be able to meet the huge deficit! An alumnus of Alike who later pursued his MBA from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam came forward to offer all his properties worth crores to his alma mater, at the Divine Lotus Feet. He was working in Canada for many years in the corporate sector in various capacities, quit a flourishing career and has now permanently settled down in Muddenahalli heading the Publications division. Swami is in the process of producing Tyagajeevis, as promised, to continue His mission.
Bhagawan with His retinue proceeded to Jayapura campus of Sri Sathya Sai Saraswathi Education Trust about three hours journey on road, in Chikmagalur district. Here, Sri B N Narasimha Murthy during his interaction with the students and teachers revealed Swami’s plans of starting Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence for Women in the next two years at Chickballapur. As the Divine entourage was returning back to Muddenahalli through the winding roads of scenic Malnad, on the way, Swami decided He will get out of the car, lay the foundation stone for yet another school campus! The Bhoomi Pooja was performed by the Divine Grace in a 40 acres land for Sri Sathya Sai Sathyaniketanam, the Hassan campus of SSSSET with few devotees gathered at the venue. You can cross the sea with a small ship; you don’t necessarily need a ship of the size of the ocean! Few inspired and passionate individuals can bring about the change world direly needs.
Swami is on the move! It was Sri Lanka’s good fortune to host Bhagawan for the second time in a matter of few months, a 3 day visit from 11th to 13th December. The lord stayed at Sri Ravi and Smt Jayewardene’s residence in Piliyandala about 20 kms from Colombo. Swami in the physical form had promised his father, former President of Sri Lanka late Sri J R Jayewardene thrice on different occasions that He would stay with the family. Swami laid the foundation stone for ‘Sri Sathya Sai Karuna Nilayam’ at Batticaloa, a town on the east coast. This will be one among 17 ashrams that He is setting up around the world. Sri Sutharshanom, a devotee offered 200 acres of land at the Lotus Feet, but Swami accepted only 50 acres for the Ashram. The mandate is clear. There will be a day clinic, a day school and an ashram to begin with. A technical institute and a speciality hospital will follow next.
The spotlight shifts to Chennai where Swami stayed for three days from 18th to 20th December monitoring the distribution of relief materials to those affected by the recent floods. He then, out of His compassion has announced a housing project, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Grama with 108 houses for the displaced at Cuddalore, which will be developed into an ideal village. Care is not about 'Teaching' or 'Preaching'. It is about 'Reaching' people. Sri Kondal Rao, the chief advisor for water resources to Andhra Pradesh government, Bhagawan’s man Friday who executed the housing project in Orissa and the Water projects for Chennai will be heading this project as well. Swami also declared He would start ‘Sevamrutham Ashram’ in the land donated by a devotee in Chennai city. He reiterated this was but just the beginning!
In the New Year, He will be off to Malaysia for laying the foundation stone for an ashram in a 100 acre land offered by Mr Meng, a long time devotee who built a successful business empire by the Divine guidance of Bhagawan in the physical form.
Two projects to be undertaken at Sathya Sai Grama include a four storeyed administrative block and a Goshala (cow shelter) which will now have a waste-to-energy unit as an add-on. The idea is to make the ashram an ideal village which will then be replicated for other Ideal Village projects in the future.
We believe all this is possible due to the Divine Intervention of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba that alone can pull off tasks of unimaginable magnitude in record time. There is another school of thought which rejects this theory as sheer bunk. They are absolutely certain and beyond doubt that all the awe-inspiring work that is being carried out is the handiwork of Madhusudan Rao Naidu and B N Narasimha Murthy duo! To have this deep entrenched conviction in mere mortals need A LOT OF FAITH!
In His discourse of 29 September 1960, Swami said, “I will be in this mortal human form for 59 years more and I shall certainly achieve the purpose of this avatar; do not doubt it. I will take My own time to carry out My plan so far as you are concerned. I cannot hurry because you are hurrying. I may sometimes wait until I achieve ten things at one stroke; just as an engine is not used to haul one coach, but waits until sufficient haulage in proportion to its capacity is ready. But My Word will never fail; it must happen as I will.”
It appears the time has come for Swami to achieve 100 things at one stroke!
Wishing all the readers a fabulous year ahead! :)