An Exhilarating Session Of Balvikas Alumni Meet…

The 3rd and penultimate session of the ongoing National Convention of All India Balvikas Alumni & Group III Students presented an enlivening session marked with inspiring speeches, music and award presentations, this morning here in Prasanthi Nilayam.

At the end of the marathon session that crossed beyond 1030 hrs. what stood out was the fore-vision of the Divine Master, Who presented the institution called Balvikas that is doing a world of good, transforming minds, influencing society, bringing greater good in nation building and thus to the world at large.

The proceedings for the morning commenced at 0830 hrs. with introductory remarks by Ms Srikhanda Milind Kaushik, the Master Of Ceremony, who burst into melodious singing intermittently compeering the show.

Vedic incantation by Tamil Nadu Balvikas followed before Dr Rajan Anand, a medico with SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram took over as the first speaker. Speaking about the wonder called motherly love and the incomparable boundless love of Mother Sai, Dr Rajan narrated, how he was drafted into the Balvikas that brought him a world of goodness and beauty.

His fascinating thrilling tale of Swami’s unseen hand helping him out at every step, especially to get him qualified for the medical entrance, was lucidly narrated, keeping Swami in the focus, before coming up with the beauty of Swami’s unseen grace, helping him to cope up with the pressure of examinations that followed immediately after his sister’s wedding. Being engrossed and busy with the family function, agitated under pressure, when he failed to devote time for studies, finally he decided to attend a three hour bhajan session to relieve him off tension. Being at the end of his wits, now mentally ‘blaming’ him of wasting precious three hours attending bhajans, he prayed fervently to Bhagawan to grant him some extra time to do revision. Next day, he was welcomed with a surprise news that the exams were postponed by a month, clear sign of His grace. “…Finally i was paid with an imprest of 10 days per hour…” remarked the doc jocularly, reminiscing the beauty of extra grace that came in his way, at the nick of time. Bhagawan has realised all of my dream and now it is my turn to realise His dream, said a grateful Dr Rajan concluding his speech.

Anushka Pathak from Assam, who spoke next began with a flashback story from Shivaratri 2008. Referring to Bhagawan’s off the cuff remark about bats, the ‘flying foxes, in His discourse,  that ‘…among the birds bat is quite different”, she narrated the beautiful story of amazing protection of Mother Sai.

Pondering over the relevance of Bhagawan’s reference, that cme quite out of context, the next day early morning she witnessed an amazing scene near the Gayathri temple inside the Ashram. A baby bat was found helplessly hanging on a wire fence, with its mother trying its best to swoop down to save its baby. As she gently moved the baby bat to the branch of a near by tree, the mother bat, opening its wings. swooped down, to lift the bat up to its open chest, covering it ‘wholeheartedly’ by its closed wings, protecting the baby. No words of Bhagawan, no action of Bhagawan goes without meaning, sensed Anusha, who realised the purport of Bhagawan’s wording the previous day, indicating His all embracing Mother Love.

Balvikas opens us up to deal with our identity crisis, our quest for Who Am I? said Ms Anusha narrating ‘Oka Chinnakatha’ comparing sincere practice vs. vain worship… Ending her spirited speech she asked, are we walking the path or are we making Him another deity? Each one of us are His Chinna Kathas, written by Bhagawan Himself.

Pradeep Duggal from Haryana was the next speaker. Coming up with a mathematical analogy, calculating the total time spent for Balvikas training, summing it up to 27 hours in nine years, he elucidated on the brighter side of Balvikas, as to what Sathya Sai Education taught him? …how to live in the world?…and how to inculcate love in life? etc. After fairing with an average score in the 10th standar board exams, with resolute attention when he pursued his further studies he was rewarded with a high distinction and later a placement as a network administrator with NIC, all by the Divine Grace of Bhagawan, owing to confidence and positive thinking.

Ramesh Srinivasan, a doctorate in Chemical Engineering spoke next on the theme “Mission 2015 – The Pathway Ahead.” At the outset, expressing gratitude for drawing him into His fold, to his Balvikas guru and parents, he spoke of his experience with Bhagawan, the inspiring story of Golden Hug…During one of the Sai retreats in the US, where a group of Sathya Sai students were called in to sing songs, Ramesh Narayan, whose dream of becoming a Sai student never came to be, was emotionally upset asking Swami a pertinent question…Is he His step child? and in deep pain he prayed for a Divine Hug… the surprise came the next morning when a Sai brother called him up narrating a dream wherein both Ramesh and his friend were having dinner with Bhagawan and Ramesh went on crying as Bhagawan was paying complete attention on the friend, talking to him through and through, paying no apparent interest in Ramesh…At the end, Bhagawan got up, rushed towards Ramesh and gave him a Big Hug!!!

Narrating his experience in Dharmakshetra, Mumbai, during Bhagawan’s visit in the year 2000, he recalled how Bhagawan taught him the beautiful lesson of “Give…Give and Give…against taking. At the end of a Jyothi Meditation session, led by him in His presence, he went into a prayer mode, blurting the famous prayer given by Bhaghawan to His students, “Oh Lord…take my……” After the session, a retired Bhagawan returned, straight unto him, telling him that the prayer that he offered was wrong…perplexed he was, Bhagawan gave him the explanation that he went on asking Bhagawan to take…take…and take…instead one should learn to give… The prayer was correct, but our intention should always be focussed on giving…giving and giving only, said Sri Ramesh Srinivasan.

Speaking about his Balvikas teacher’s sacrifice in training her lone Group III studnet for three long years, coming to a place changing two buses in the city of Mumbai, touching upon the famous starfish story, Ramesh said his Balvikas guru has made the difference in the life of the starfish that he was…he is…In gratitude we cannot repay anything to Bhagawan, than trying to practise His teachings earnestly, said Sri Ramesh Srinivasan mentioning a small anecdote from Mother Teresa’s life ending up with Swami Vivekananda’s famous line, Arise, Awake and Stop Not…till the Goal Is Reached.

Next, a compendium of articles, entitled Balvikas The Pathway to Excellence was dedicated to Bhagawan by the national coordinators, Smt. Sarla Shah and Smt. Vidya Srinivasan during the occasion.

Felicitation of Balvikas gurus followed…Six girls and eleven boys, representing various states were felicitated for excellence in Balvikas activities. A group of alumni of Sri Sathya Sai Institutions working in various institutions in Prasanthi Nilayam and Brindavan were also felicitated for theirexemplary dedication towards Sai Mission.

Last but not the least was a final offering…that came in a comic way, with a comic character, a monkey, the petitioner with a complaint, reminding the organisers of what they missed out, a representation by a Balvikas tiny-tot…Following the little lad Sathyajit from Kerala who spoke last year in the same venue, this year it was Vinayak Mahajan from Punjab who chirped at the mike blurting a few words, well received by the capacity audience.

Music offering by Balivkas of Goa & Maharashtra entitled “Our Swami”  followed. Compositions were in Hindi, Konkini and English. Even as bhajans by Kerala, MP and Haryana followed prasadam was distributed to the entire assemblage of devotees.

Mangala Arathi was offered at 1040 hrs. marking the end of the session.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II