Valedictory Ceremony of the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet

Today was the day of sporting honours for the students. Deviating from the customary practice over the years, Bhagawan preferred this day to 14th Jan, to honour sporting heroics of His students, in the valedictory function of the Annual Sports and Cultural Festival held in the Sai Kulwant Hall this evening.

Sai Kulwant Hall, with colour and glitter around, reflected the celebrating mood of the twin occasion, the valedictory function and the auspicious Makara Sankranthi, signifying Sun’s northward journey. Weekend ensured a capacity audience and additional venue, Poornachandra Auditorium, opened its gates for devotees.

Emerging just after 1800 hrs. Bhagawan went into the Poornachandra Auditorium to bless the convergence before coming into the Sai Kulwant Hall. Entering into the Sai Kulwant Hall at 1820 hrs., Bhagawan’s caravan had the Institute Band and Flag Bearing Squad, preceding Him.

The dais in the Sai Kulwant wore a special decorative costume, adorned with trophies and shields meant for distribution.

As Bhagawan arrived on the stage, He blessed the trophies and shields that decked the dais. Before assuming His seat Bhagawan lit the lamp on the stage sanctifying the occasion. Proceedings for the session began with Sri Sanjay Sahni, Principal, Brindavan Campus addressing the gathering.

Sun’s northward journey is symbolic of man’s Godward Journey, said the speaker greeting one and all on the auspicious occasion. Referring to Shankaracharya’s spiritual pursuits leaving the world for The Divine, the speaker added that, Sankranthi is the best time for spiritual pursuits and thus the significance of Sporting and Cultural heroics. In his short speech he also touched upon the legend of Sports Meet in Parthi, the inception of a world class indoor stadium etc., highlighting Bhagawan’s special efforts towards sporting development in Parthi that in turn makes students fit enough to face the world. Referring to various items presented by all the institutions, he summed up declaring that Bhagawan Has Always Been Our Inspiration.

The second speaker for the occasion was Ms. Suma Rao, a former student with double post graduation, erstwhile all-rounder gold medallist, currently a faculty in the Dept. of Commerce at Anantapur Campus, pursuing doctoral research.

Ms. Suma, a veteran of over twenty sports meets, highlighting the speciality of Sathya Sai Educational System, that according to her brings out the ‘soul quality’, narrated some interesting instances related to the festival coupled with her observations that God Has Always Been The Doer. The Sports Festival is fully saturated with God’s Love where it gets its full meaning, asserted the speaker. She ended her inspiring speech with a prayer to Bhagawan to “storm into our hearts to be the essence of our lives.”

Prize distribution for the participating institutions followed next. As the names were announced, representatives from various institutions, namely, Sri Sathya Sai Primary School, SSSIHL – Brindavan Campus, Mirpuri College of Music, SSSIHL – Anantapur Campus, SSSIHL – Prasanthi Nilayam Campus, Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School – Prasanthi Nilayam, all came in the order to receive trophies from the Divine hands. Subsequently Bhagawan blessed certificates and medals to be distributed among the winners from all the institutions.

Conveying His immense blessings Bhagawan asked Sri Sanjay Sahni to announce that He felt immense joy at the performance of the students during the festival. Special mention was made on the drama presentation held on 13th Jan evening.

Special benedictions were sent to the Muddenahalli Campus and Smt. Easwaramma English Medium School along with College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences, SSSIHMS, Whitefield, Bangalore and Sri Sathya Sai Junior College, Anantapur. As Bhagawan sat on the stage, there was a flurry of greetings related to the Sports theme. Bhagawan blessed all of them.

Blessed Prasadam was distributed to the entire assemblage. As the distribution went on Institute Band played some soulful tunes that included bhajans.

Bhagawan accepted Mangala Arathi at 1950 hrs. and retired to Yajur Mandiram at 2000 hrs. As His car slowly moved past, Institute Band and Flag Bearing Squad joined Him forming the caravan.

Ace cricketer and former India Captain Rahul Dravid was in Parthi for evening darshan.