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- Eastern Religions & Beliefs
I to We to He - A Satsang
The ‘I to We to He – A Satsang’ was held at ‘Sai Kiran’, Bro Preetham Sai’s residence in Mangalore on May 8th, 2016. It was an attempt to bring all the alumni and devotees of the region together on a single platform. The altar was tastefully decorated with a beautiful chair placed for Swami in the center of the hall. The Satsang was conducted by resourced persons Sri Praveen GV who is heading the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutha Prakashana (Publications), Muddenahalli and Dr Suresh Kodapala, a renowned Neurologist from Bangalore ably supported by Vaibhav, Arun and Prashanth.
The programme began with an introductory address by Preetham Sai who gave an overview of the projects started by Bhagawan in the subtle form. This was followed by a lucid talk by Dr Suresh Kodapala sharing his personal experiences that brought him to Muddenahalli and the incidents that made the faith in him stronger in accepting the fact that Swami was now carrying out His mission without the physical body. He recalled the first interaction when Swami called him, for his amusement, a “mental doctor”, when there was no way he had personally known Bro Madhusudan Naidu or vice versa! He also revealed a staggering declaration Swami made on Eshwaramma Day about starting 600 schools, one in every district of the country! The straight-from-the-heart talk revitalized all the devotees gathered.
Next, Praveen GV took over and in his inimitable style laid out the facts and figures and appealed to the devotees especially the alumni to come forward and take active part in the Mission that is unfolding. One could really see the passion in his eyes, the obsession in carrying out the task given to him by his Master. With a man who had dedicated his entire self for the Divine cause standing before the devotees, they needed no other inspiration to wake up the sleeping Kumbakarna in them. He used the analogy of a kid pleading with his parents for little things but as a grown up, he had the duty to give back and do things what parents expected of him. Similarly, the phase when we prayed Swami for our little wants has passed. Now was the time to do things for Swami and what He wanted out of us. The train has arrived at the platform and it was our duty to get into. The sense of urgency was felt in his plea.
Then followed an informal discussion with the attendees, sharing of ideas and how we could register our squirrel seva at the Divine Lotus Feet in our own ways in this grand Mission. It was when Prashanth, an alumnus was sharing his experiences said, “Swami can do everything by Himself.. He does not need our assistance.. It is to burn our Karmas; He creates opportunities for us to work in His mission”, the Mangalore Jasmine garland that was put for Swami’s photograph snapped! Swami proves time and again to all of us He may not be physically visible anymore, but His spirit is potent and is working overtime more than ever before. It was the prayer of the host to show a sign that Swami was indeed present during the Satsang and He did not forget to answer even that simple prayer!
The beautiful programme drew to a close with Mangalarathi and Anna Prasadam, but the work had just begun with the spark triggered in each of the attendees.
The Mangalore Alumni/devotees have decided to meet once in a month and keep the momentum going. To begin with, on May 15th, 2016 Puttur and Mangalore alumni will meet at Alike to have a preliminary discussion on potential projects where the group can engage.
After working hard during the weekdays in their respective professions, the team travels a distance of about 700 to 800 kms in the weekends to talk to alumni and devotees in the blistering heat. It could not have been possible without fire in the belly and love for Swami!
Please find the transcript of the inaugural address here below..
Aum Sri Sai Ram
With humble pranams at the Divine Lotus Feet…
Respected elders, my dear sisters and brothers…
It gives me a great pleasure to have you all here at our residence on this most beautiful day for a Satsang which is aptly titled I to We to He, i.e. I (Individual) to We (Society) to He (God) through Service.
We are fortunate to have been born as contemporaries of the Poorna Avatar Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and doubly fortunate for being a witness to the continuing mission of the Lord without the physical body, in the subtle form.
I would like to give you a brief introduction into the Mission of Bhagawan in the subtle form. You must be aware of the kind of projects Swami has taken up and His style of execution. It all began with the Gulbarga campus in 2012 which was completed in a record one year. Swami then announced He would build 30 campuses, 20 for boys and 10 for girls, one in each district of Karnataka out of which around eight schools have already started functioning. It was the dream of Late Madiyal Narayan Bhat, the founder of Alike and Muddenahalli institutions to bring about a change in society with value based integral education. Swami is now fulfilling the wishes of one of His most endearing devotees. Just two days back, on May 6, 2016 Swami laid the foundation stone for a girl’s campus Sri Sathya Sai Prasanthiniketanam at Chikballapur, a perfect tribute to His Mother, on the Eshwaramma Day. During Swami’s November visit last year to Alike, He had laid the foundation stone for a women’s PU College. It goes without saying; these institutions will promote and impart free education to all.
Swami has chosen some young Turks to serve Breakfast to the under nourished school going slum children in the city of Bangalore who despite their busy schedules are doing an awe-inspiring work. About 8000 children from Bangalore and Chikballapur who would have otherwise attended school empty stomach have benefitted from this noble endeavor.
On the medical front, Swami has announced He would start six super specialty hospitals, obviously with no cash counters. The Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Pediatric Cardiac Care Hospital in Raipur, Chattisgarh which is already functional, has successfully completed 2089 child heart surgeries as of April end figures, averaging about 100 surgeries every month. On November 26th, 2015, Swami went to Delhi and laid the foundation stone for the second Pediatric Cardiac Care Hospital and also announced it will be inaugurated on November 26th, 2016, exactly in a year’s time! With Swami’s Vajra Sankalpa, the hospital is bound to open on that very day. With no funds in hand, only Swami can make such an announcement! Similar hospitals will come up in Gujarat, Mumbai, Kolkata and Odisha in the next few years.
Swami’s work isn’t limited to the state or country. He has also made a proclamation that He would set up 17 ashrams across the globe and the work has already begun in countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Croatia, Italy, United Kingdom, United States and Fiji. These ashrams will act as Spiritual lighthouses for those seeking Him. In Sri Lanka, a devotee came forward to offer 200 acres of land, but Swami accepted only 50 acres! In Malaysia, 100 acres of land is earmarked for the said purpose. These ashrams will have schools, colleges and hospitals. Swami has also revealed, Prema Sai will stay in these Ashrams during His Avatarhood!
The magnitude of work that is being carried out is mind-boggling. Swami can accomplish His mission with, without and despite us. But it is His love; He has given us an opportunity to be part of His Mission to redeem ourselves.
Many people question about the veracity of the subtle form. Isaac Tigrett puts it beautifully. “What Sai Baba is and what even you are is beyond comprehension of the mind. Faith does not come from the mind, but from the heart. It is impossible for faith to reside in the mind. No one can tell you what to believe, and no one can tell you what not to believe. Spirituality is an individual journey, and everyone who has arrived on this planet is taking this journey. No two journeys can be alike. You can not follow anyone, and no can follow you.”
Today, we have with us four resourced persons from Muddenahalli, Bangalore and Hassan who have come all the way, to share with us their insights and discuss the way forward.
The first speaker of the day is Dr Suresh Kodapala, one of Bangalore’s prominent Neurologists hailing from our own district, also an Alumnus of Alike institution. He worked for a long time in the UK and is now practicing his profession in Bangalore. A prolific speaker, he is actively involved in the Alumni activities in Alike and is also overseeing the E1E1 (Each One, Educate One) project, an initiative of the alumni in supporting the institutions started by Bhagawan. A down-to-earth personality, approachable, simple and friendly, we are glad you are here with us today, Doctor!
Sri Praveen GV, a budding youngster, an alumnus of Alike and Prasanthi Nilayam, worked in the corporate sector in places like Bangalore, London and then moved to Canada settling there for many years had an opportunity to attend a meeting at Muddenahalli in September 2014 which was incidentally the first time Swami in the subtle form spoke to the alumni. In the very first instance, he was convinced it was indeed Bhagawan. And then there was no looking back. He did not want to miss the bus. He got himself active in the alumni activities. During Swami’s July 2015 visit to Alike, Swami asked him to permanently settle down in Muddenahalli and gave him some important assignments. He is now heading the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutha Prakashana, the publications department at Muddenahalli and is also given the charge of leading the Sri Sathya Sai Ideal Village Project. Recently, he has offered his complete life’s earnings (a very huge sum in the worldly terms!) at the Divine Lotus Feet when there was a shortfall. I had to make a special mention of this because; the world we are now living is an orgy of self-indulgence, fuelled by individual greed and social one-upmanship. In a scenario like this, people like him are a huge inspiration to all of us. We consider it our privilege to have you here with us, brother!
We also have Vaibhav and Arun Kumar with us. Vaibhav is actively involved in the Breakfast Seva and is heading the HSR Layout Team in Bangalore. Arun is involved in bringing the alumni together in Hassan and is doing a commendable job in supporting the activities.
Yet again, I welcome you all to Mangalore. Over to you..