Sathya Sai World Youth Festival 2016 commences…

Celebrating the joy of Youth, proclaiming “Love Is The Source… Love Is The Path… Love Is The Goal”, over 3200 Sai Youth from over  68 countries gathered at the spacious Sai Kulwant Hall marking the commencement of the first ever Sathya Sai World Youth Festival – 2016 yesterday, 12 July, here in Prasanthi Nilayam. The theme for the 3-day festival is Love Is The Source… Love Is The Path… Love Is The Goal.

The proceedings commenced at 0830 hrs with the lighting of the lamp followed by an impressive, colourful flag procession of the women Youth representing various countries. Beginning with India and India’s customary greeting ‘Namaste’, various nations from around the world marched past, greeting The Master in their unique language. Multi-Faith prayer by the Sai Youth next was followed by a welcome address by Dr Shivendra Kumar, International Youth Coordinator. Speaking with his youthful exuberance, Dr Shivendra Kumar highlighted on the elaborate and extra-ordinary ensuing schedule for the next three days, packed with events never seen before, as part of the Youth Festival. Dr Shivendra then welcomed the august assembly to the inaugural session of the SSWYF2016.

Festival theme song “Celebrate Love…Celebrate Life” followed next, before an address by Dr Narendranath Reddy, Chairman, Prasanthi Council.

Commending the phenomenal effort in the run-up to the massive festivity, first of its kind, Dr Reddy elaborated on the uniqueness of the festivity, explaining some of the salient features of service happening around the world. He made a special mention of the unique Sai Ram City in Kazakhstan, that involves Sai Ram River, Sai Ram Mountain and a whole range of inspirational Sai Service activities.

Sri Nimish Pandya, All India President, SSSSO – India, addressed the assembly next that was followed by a song presentation titled Mi Destino by the Youth from Venezuela, South America.

The guest speaker for the day was Hon’ble Minster of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy, Government Of India, Sri Piyush Goyal.

Delivering a power-packed speech suffused with societal, patriotic, philosophical and spiritual touch, the Minister urged the Youth from around the world to dedicate in the service of the society and the world. If each one of us pledges a small part of our life, time, effort, commitment and passion, imbibing the teachings of Bhagawan, then, compassion will be the basis of our happiness, reminded the Minister emphasising on the greater happiness of impacting the lives. If each youth can adopt the 5 D’s preached and professed by Bhagawan in the service of humanity, country and the world at large, that will result into true happiness and true Divinity.

There can be no better teacher than Swami when it comes to explaining ‘service to society’. Large following the organisation (Sri Sathya Sai) commands, in India and across the world, and the power of each one of us can change the destiny of the individual, family, country and the world… and each one of us has that power within us, concluded the minister invoking the power within,  to dedicate in the service of the society

Bhagawan’s Divine discourse, played on the Public Address System, next was followed by Bhajans by the International Sai Youth. Mangala Arathi at 1110 hrs marked the end of the morning proceedings.

Evening Session at Sai Kulwant Hall…

Day-1 evening of the ongoing Sathya Sai World Youth Festival  – 2016 featured a report presentation followed by three speeches and a concluding Musical Dance Programme.

Commencing the session at 1700 hrs, Dr Lakshmi Jagannathan from the US  first presented the day’s report from the Festival venue. The speakers for the day were: Ms Olga Baranova, Zonal Youth Coordinator, Region 8 of SSIO, Sarvasree Hari Ranjan Ra, IAS, Secretary to the Chief Minister Of Madhya Pradesh, VVS Laxman, Legendary Indian Cricketer, who spoke on “Love Is The Source”, “Love Is The Source” and “The Coach, The Game, The Player” respectively.

Ms Olga Baranova from Russia spoke first, in her native tongue, well translated to English. This was followed by two scintillating speeches by Sri Hariranjan Rao, IAS, who spoke on his personal experiences, more from a bureaucratic front, followed by Sri VVS Laxman, legendary Indian Cricketer, who shared his valuable wisdom learned at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet.

Speaking with a mix of personal-bureaucratic experiences, Sri Hariranjan Rao urged the youth to plunge into the service  of the nation, as is his wont, by  boldly declaring to the world as a Sai soldier, thus accepting the responsibility of practising His precepts, where our lives become His message.

VVS Laxman’s talk was more with a personal touch, the touch of Sai that slowly and steadily transformed him into a staunch believer of Bhagawan. Bringing in beautiful tales from his personal diary of his playing days, with Bhagawan and His teachings, the legendary cricketer had a piece of  advice for the youth to follow His simple message of “Love All Serve All”, “Help Ever Hurt Never” and “Do Good, Be Good And Good Will Follow”.

A spectacular dance programme entitled “Dancing To The Divine Rhythm” followed next. The session turned out to be an ensemble of varied world culture, ranging from the soulful Sufi melody to Himachali folk dance to Mauritian Music to frantically exuberant Manipuri Drummers to Gujarat…to Fiji Islands… to Andhra Pradesh’s own (and Telangana) Kuchipudi to a stimulating Punjabi Bangra to finish off with a melodiously beautiful Rajasthani folk dance singing “Chalo Re Chalo Parthi Chalo…”

Bhajans next ended with Mangala Arathi to Bhagawan.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II