Cultural Festival by Sri Sathya Sai Educational Institutions

After the Sports & Cultural Meet on Jan 11, 2012, the following days witnessed a series of Cultural Presentations by different campuses, exhibiting rich repertoire of talent  among students.  Students from the Brindavan Campus, Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, Sri Sathya Sai Mirupuri College of Music, Anantapur Campus and finally Prasanthi Nilayam Campus presented cultural programmes on 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th of January. Read on our report on these fascinating cultural presentations.

Shadow Play by Brindavan Campus…Jan 12, 2o12

Using the creative methodology of Shadow Play, an ancient Indian art dating back to the Harappa Civilization, students from the Brindavan Campus presented an innovative programme on the Life and Message of Bhagawan on 12 Jan evening in Sai Kulwant Hall.

The programme commenced with the Cosmic Dance of Shiva which leads to creation, going on to promise of Lord Shiva to Sage Bharadwaja which leads to the Birth of Sathyanarayana who was to be known, loved and adored as Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Beautifully shifting between the childhood incidents of young Sathya and how they got projected into the massive projects of His trust, the students presented a wonderful collage of the Divine Advent.

The students spent a considerable time focusing on the Educare Philosophy of Bhagawan. Fittingly the programme itself depicted the miracle that His hands have worked. The programme concluded with Bhagawan singing “Hari Bhajan Bina Sukh Shanthi Nahin…”

With very little use of props, they made all the formations including the grand structure of the University Building, the Super Speciality Hospitals and the Sarva Dharma Sthupa by human formations.

It was a performance which earned a long hard applause at the end of the presentation…It was a performance which provided pride to everyone associated with Bhagawan’s Institutions…It was a performance which filled one and all with gratitude to Bhagawan for moulding such children of skill, character and dedication.

God is good…Hold on to Him…Jan 13, 2012

Second in the series of Cultural Festival, on 13th January evening students from Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, Prasanthi Nilayam presented a drama entitled God is good…Hold on to Him!

The presentation revolved around the protagonist Vishwas who questioned God’s intentions after failing to convince himself of the suffering that plagues the world around.

Bringing the theory back home, convincingly portraying three illustrious anecdotes from the lives of the three preceding Avatars o f the present time, the students declared in united voice that God is good all the time…

The presentation began with a conversation between the father and son duo, both holding opposite views about the ‘bone of contention’, God and His motives. As father’s repeated promptings to trust God at all time fails to convince the son, the scene shifts to the illustrious Krishna-Sudhama story presenting the theory that God is there every time for His devotees, ever ready to respond to a call from within.

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Ruminating over and over again about God and His style of dealing as Vishwas gets lost in thoughts, he receives a call from one of his friends informing of an accident involving his father. With father admitted in the ICU, Vishwas turns more panicky and to assuage his tension a friend of his father narrates an anecdote from the times of Shirdi Sai Baba trying to instill greater faith in the boy.

The story was that of Shama who was saved by Baba after being bitten by a snake, and subsequently saved by Baba at Dwarakamai with assurance of protection.

The final episode depicted a Rama Navami celebration by the devotees of Bhagawan. The famous Bhadrachala Ramadas episode where in Lord Rama saves His dearest devotees, coming in the guise of ‘Ram and Lakshman’ paying debt to King Taneshah was depicted as a part of the presentation.

As the presentation portrayed Bhagawan as the Elixir Divine, The Ultimate Refuge, greater faith dawns upon the young lad finally making him turn to Bhagawan imploring His interference to save his father.

In a final twist, the doctor approaches Viswas and tells him that not only has his father been saved but this accident brought to light an preexisting condition which would not have been noticed if not for the accident. Even as Viswas seethed in gratitude, everyone engages in celebrating God’s Love and protection singing “God is good all the time…”

The one hour presentation was intertwined with beautiful songs and dances ending with a melodious group song of love and gratitude to Bhagawan.

Thyagaraja Aradhana by Music College…14 Jan, 2012

The fourth day of Annual Sports and Cultural Festival was a musical treat in Prasanthi Nilayam. Senior students from the Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music commenced with ‘Sri Ganapathi Nee Sevimpa’. They performed a few Thyagaraja Kirtis including  Jagadanandakaraka, sahasinche oh manasa, upacharamulanu chekonavayya and a Hindustani number, ” Japath Prabhu Ramachandra” before concluding auspiciously with “Jaya Mangalam, Nitya Shuba Mangalam”.

The vocal concert also featured some stirring solo performances on the Veena and the Percussions. The backdrop was also befitting the occasion featuring an Idol of Lord Rama and a portrait of Saint Thyagaraja immersed in music.

Fusion Music by Anantapur Campus…14 jan, 2012

This was followed by a fusion music presentation by the Anantapur Campus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. Members of the Institute Brass Band and the Panchavadyam group together with traditional instruments like Violin and Tabla presented a Jugalbandi in the Divine Presence. Starting with Stotrams like Vakratunda and Shantakaram, they went on to the genres of carnatic music with “Raghuvamsa sudha” and western with “Heal the World” before concluding with Sri Sathya Sai Bhajans.

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To the final song the students worshiped Bhagawan with many traditional forms of lamps . One of the visually challenged teachers of the campus presented an autobiographical book documenting her experiences with Bhagawan while the students performed Bhajans from an Audio CD they released. Another significant feature was the exquisite backdrop that was made for the occasion in the form of a grand mandapam with many lamps.

Gautam Buddha by Prasanthi Nilayam Campus…15 Jan, 2012

On the final evening of Annual Sports & Cultural Festival 2012, students from the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus presented a drama entitled ‘Gautam Buddha’.  The presentation sought to take the audience to a journey through the life of prince born Siddharth to the enlightened Master Gautam Buddha showing highlights from his illustrious life in a nutshell.

His earlier life as a little prince awaiting the throne, his subsequent exposure to the ‘real’ world outside that is full of suffering, young Siddharth’s change of mind to help solving the mysteries of life thus serving the world at large…all were depicted beautifully with powerful enacting and dialogue delivery.

Depiction of his encounter with Mara, the Buddhist devil, who represents temptation, sin  and death was depicted beautifully, innovatively and convincingly inciting applause from the audience. When Mara returned to Buddha repeatedly, right from his infant stage influencing his father King Suddhodhana and subsequently at every interval trying to delude him into passion and temptation, the encounter between the ‘evil’ and the one who is ‘full’ became a royal treat for the august audience who sat in pin drop silence immersed watching the evolution.

Cynically perfect with his crispy and influencing demeanor, when Mara entered the scene every time, haunting the Buddha, Buddha sat in perfect peace, with his ever alluring calming countenance, full of wisdom within and the battle royal with verbal volleys, scathingly egoistic versus supremely love took the audience to a thrilling finale, with all hearts pouring in for Buddha – The Master Of His Destiny. Finally it was Buddha who won the battle,  transforming  Mara and initiating him into Bodhisattva…

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The young prince with his resolute, determined effort attained Nirvana finding the Truth that The Right Path Lies In Between The Extremes, neither in the world of amusements nor in the world of complete renunciation…Harmony of Body, Mind and Spirit leads one to Nirvana, proved the young prince and with this Buddha Was Born…and a true spiritual leader for mankind…

The seventy minute presentation was interspersed with couple of beautiful dances and ended with a group song singing in praise of Bhagawan.

Even as bhajans filled the air with devotional fervour, group photo session continued. Short stint of bhajans ended with Bhagawan’s melodious voice reverberating the hall with the bhajan, “Rama Kodhanda Rama…”

II Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II