Makara Sankranthi and Valedictory Function of Annual Sports & Cultural Meet…

On the auspicious Makara Sankranthi day, 15 January, Prasanthi witnessed a glittering Valedictory Function of Annual Sports & Cultural Festival 2012 attended by students from all the three campuses along with that of Higher Seconday and Primary levels and joined by thousands of devotees from India and abroad.

The morning proceedings began with a regal procession led by the Brass Band from Prasanthi Nilayam, from the Divine Abode, Yajur Mandiram to the venue in Sai Kulwant Hall. Flag Bearing Squad of the Institute and Vedam Group followed the procession, symbolically signifying, escorting The Divine Chancellor.

The venue was bedecked with colourful floral buntings and a special dais with a special Seat For The Divine Chancellor was erected in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum. Even as the procession culminated at the venue, the Veda chanting continued for some time, giving a‘guard of honour’ to the Divine Chancellor.

Master Of Ceremonies for the occasion Sri Sanjay Sahni, Principal, SSSIHL Brindavan Campus, continued with further proceedings, greeting the audience, delivering an introductory speech. Bhagawan is ‘Utsava Priya’ and in His presence every day is a festivity, said Sanjay Sahni before echoing on the symbolic spiritual significance of the occasion. He further introduced the speakers for the morning Session.

Dr. Naren Ramji, Registrar of SSSIHL spoke on the significance of Sports & Cultural Meet which was orchestrated by Bhagawan as a part of Sri Sathya Sai System of Integral Education. The Registrar also touched upon Bhagawan’s personal interest and attention in drafting the ‘course’, the sports and cultural curriculum, imparting lessons in life. He thanked Beloved Bhagawan for the exemplary educational system provided, that moulds students for future generation.

Four students, Ms. R. Parvathi, Sri Sathyapriya Upadhyay,  Sri Bharani Prasad and Sri L Vishal, representing the three campuses and SSS Higher Secondary School shared their thoughts on Bhagawan and Sports & Cultural Festival, divulging interesting anecdotes, the uniqueness of the occasion, reaffirming the ‘Doer ship’ role of Bhagawan bringing the best of His students. Students always endeavour to bring a smile on Swami’s Face, echoed these grateful students, pouring heartfelt feelings for Bhagawan.

Speaking first, Ms. R. Parvathi, pursuing her B.Ed. programme after her post graduation in the Anantapur Campus, compared the Sports & Cultural Meet to a great testing ground to face the tests in life. In every facet of the Sports & Cultural Meet, there is a redirection of energy to fruitful channels, kindling fraternal feeling, forging social solidarity, training each student in the Art Of Living, said Ms. Parvathi echoing that students at Bhagawan’s Institute are trained to face defeat with dignity and celebrate success with equanimity. Students ever aim at pleasing their Beloved Swami and at every step they are conscious that they are mere instruments while Bhagawan is the ‘Doer’ guiding and guarding His students at every single step toward success. Sports Meet is a Yajna, a Journey Within…, Seeking Sai Within, concluded Ms. Parvathi beseeching Bhagawan’s eternal blessing upon His students.

Sri L. Vishal from Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, who spoke next, began with the lone aim the students nurture, to “Please Swami”. At every step, from the preparatory stage, students could feel His invisible Hand guiding them, and with this greater feeling necessary confidence was built, that took them through to come out successful during the Meet. We must surrender our selfish deadlines and then Bhagawan will answer every single prayer said Sri Vishal, narrating a small anecdote involving a student who, managed to secure a small role, quite surprisingly by His sheer grace, that was his cherished dream.

Dream… Believe…Achieve was the theme of the next speech, delivered by Sri Sathyapriya Upadhay, a B.Com student from Brindavan Campus. Soul’s inner quest, deep desire to carry His message, was a Dream that was born, in the form of The Sports & Cultural Meet. With an attitude of surrender they Believed in the Dream and visualised a cause, a beautiful smile on His face, and with determination and perseverance they pursued the goal finally to Achieve the same with His Divine Grace, said the speaker attributing the whole success to Beloved Bhagawan.

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Delivering a most significant speech, the final student speaker, Sri Bharani Prasad, an MBA student from Prasanthi Nilayam listed out four invaluable lessons that he learned during the Sports Meet. Being passionate to Motor Biking he was ever enthusiastic to secure a seat for the limited opportunity, events with scramblers. Determined he was, that he tried his level best to outperform other students in the trials and every time he tried so, he was faced with hardships and failure. As he started praying, wisdom dawned upon him that he should try to better his own performance rather than trying to outperform his colleagues. And with this new dawned wisdom, when he attempted every time, he could achieve better target finally helping him to earn a place in the scrambler events, said the speaker, listing the first lesson, Competition is always within.

Watching the hyperactivity with great zeal and enthusiasm by boys around, in the hostel, he would often wonder what keep them going, doing multifaceted things. When his own passion towards biking, his own perseverance came to the fore, he learnt the second lesson, Be passionate in everything you do, rest will follow…

Complexity of working as a team, with differences, conflicts and misunderstandings etc. gave way to the one and foremost aim, to Please Bhagawan, that came as a unity factor and with this came the third lesson, Aspire to make Swami happy in every act of yours…

Passion story towards Biking continued when he was given a chance to perform a Ramp Jump, first in his life, jumping over 30 feet on a speeding bike. Do’s and Donot’s by the coach was ignored in his enthusiasm and as Bharani hit the ramp at a very high speed, that was not supposed to be, he jumped in mid air and blanked out, only to land safe, thanks to Bhagawan. His coach who had the do’s and donot’s clearly defined attributed his being alive at the moment for Swami’s sheer grace as otherwise it would have been a clear case of mishap. The story continued, as after the successful meet, in his over enthusiasm Bharani took the bike out to do some stunts for self-gratification and in the process, fell down and got some bruises, and thus the final lesson, Offer everything to Him, no matter how big or small, He will take care…

Chancellor’s Prizes, Trophies, were given away by the Vice Chancellor to the winning Institutions. Representatives from Sri Sathya Sai Primary School, Smt. Easwaramma English Medium High School, Anantapur Campus, Nursing College – Whitefield, SSS Higher Secondary School, Mirpuri College of Music, Brindavan Campus and Prasanthi Nilayam Campus received trophies from the Vice Chancellor.

Next in the proceedings, lists of winners were offered at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet. Subsequently, Championship Trophies were given away to various representatives, under various categories, for all the campuses and Higher Secondary School, where Intra-campus competitions on various disciplines were held.

Audio excerpts from Bhagawan’s Divine Discourse followed next, that was listened with rapt attention. Discoursing on Mind and its vagaries, Bhagawan exhorted the students to follow the path of Morality, Righteousness and Spirituality. One who wins over his mind can achieve anything. Achieve that state of mind, which is pure and then you can achieve anything, said Bhagawan concluding His speech with the bhajan, Hari Bhajana Binaa Sukha Santhi Nahi…

Brass Band from Anantapur Campus played a couple of tunes before bhajans took over for the next fifteen minutes. Mangala Arathi was offered at 1040 hrs. Prasadam was distributed to the entire assemblage.

II Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II