XXXVI Annual Convocation Of SSSIHL…

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (deemed to be university) held its 36th annual convocation in the Divine OmniPresence of Founder Chancellor Bhagawn Sri Sathya Sai Baba this morning here, in Prasanthi Nilayam. As the university turns thirty-six, the event was a testimony of how the education model, based on values-based education at the university level has stood the test of time and continued to thrive.

The chief guest of the 36th annual convocation was Professor Anthony R West of the University Of Sheffield, United Kingdom. He is a highly acclaimed experimental solid state chemist and material scientist with vast experience.

The programme commenced at 10:00 hrs. with the ceremonial procession, from the Yajur Mandiram, led by the university brass band, leading to the dais at Sai Kulwant Hall.  University standards on either side along with scores of senior dignitaries participated in the glittering procession.

Following the traditional Vedic invocation, the Revered Founder Chancellor declared the convocation open. “Bhagawan’s Voice reverberated in the venue, “I Declare The Convocation Open.”

The Vice Chancellor’s address followed next, who presented the 36th convocation report. The VC’s report gave a detailed overview of the unique educational system at the Institute, explaining progressive developments in varied areas including achievements in various research projects.

Graduands for the year were then presented to the hon’ble chancellor. The Chancellor then admitted them to various degrees. 457 candidates for the various programmes of study were admitted to their various degrees, undergraduate, postgraduate and professional programmes.

The convocation oath was then administered by the Vice Chancellor, after which the gold medallists of  the university were honoured.

Professor Anthony R West, then delivered his chief guest’s address. Speaking purely from his scientific perspective, that of a man with great passion and unending enthusiasm, Prof West had three special messages for the young graduands of the year, all based on his own findings and experiences. The reputed professor advised them (1) to find their own niche in their lives (2) to make the most of the facilities and resources available, by being inventive and (3) to have the courage of one’s own conviction, by being a leader and not a follower. He explained the three points in detail, presenting case studies from his own academic and professional life. Asking the graduands to find their innate passion, his parting pointer of advice was…to lead the life, by being positive, believing in themselves, by not being afraid of the unknown, by seeking out new challenges and opportunities and by having their own dreams about big ideas for the future. The chief guest also had a word of appreciation for the unique research collaboration Sri Sathya Sai Institute is developing with the medical wing, which according to him is a rare and interesting development.

Divine benedictory message followed next, played on the public address system. Exhorting the students to be exemplary and one of character, Bhagawan reminded them that by acquiring secular knowledge man cannot be virtuous. One can be called a true student, if only he practices all the virtues in society. Man has achieved phenomenal growth in the area of science, but unable to understand his  true nature because he is always focusing on his impermanent body and crooked mind, said Bhagawan, reminding the students. The truly ‘positive’ acquisition lies in knowing the true nature of oneself. Discoursing on the impermanence of all worldly achievements, Bhagawan advised the graduands to turn their vision inward to achieve the supreme state of equanimity.

National Anthem followed next and the session concluded with Mangala Arathi to Bhagawan.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II