A Divine Rendezvous
The first of May may be celebrated as Labour Day and Maharashtra Day, but for the past students of Sri Sathya Sai Balvikas, it is a day of spiritual union with the Divine Master, a day when each student longs to keep his rendezvous with the Divine. And so it was, a day of home coming for all those 153 past students who gathered at Dharmakshetra at 10.15 am.

As greetings of 'Sairam' rent the air, the program began with the lighting of lamp and veda chants from the Rudram resonating in the background. The Master of Ceremonies was not only a past balvikas student , but also an ex student of Swami who had just finished his MBA from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.

While reminding the students gathered there that they were indeed the chosen ones, Akshay Kamath regaled the audience with experiences from his campus days. He said Bhagawan had once told them that in His earlier avatars, there had been several encounters with the evil and it should be the prayer of one and all to ever be on God's side and never on the side of evil.

Akshay recollected the interview that Shri Vajpayee had with Swami along with an Italian group. Dumbstruck to see Swami fluently conversing with the Italian devotees , Shri Vajpayee had told Swami that it would be ideal for Swami to be the PM and his students should adorn the post of CMs. Baba replied, "I am not a King, but a King maker" Bhagawan indeed creates leaders and not merely followers, observed Akshay.

The District President Shri Nimish Pandya in his address reminded the students that this program had the blessings of Bhagawan and they had all gathered there because of the Divine Sankalpa. He welcomed the two guest speakers, Shri Abhimanyu Kaul and Dr Rishikesh Pandya, both ideal instruments in the Divine Mission. He stressed the role of the Gurus and the parents in the Mission of the Avatar. He paid glowing tributes to Shri Ravi Pichhan, one of the oldest Bal vikas students and currently an office bearer of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, whose devotion and commitment to Seva had endeared himself to Bhagawan. He exhorted the students to maintain their equanimity in times of joy and sorrow. He said the very purpose of gathering at Dharmakshetra was to reinforce the fact that all they had imbibed in Bal vikas would never be lost. He assured that living in the constant awareness of Swami would herald the dawn of love, peace and confidence. He said that Baba had come to remind us of our inherent Divinity and Bal vikas was a tool to conquer the mind. The greatest miracle was the transformation of mankind and this was possible if we conquer the mind. He called upon the students to spread love and joy to all, respect their parents and to "See good, Be good and Do good".

The first guest speaker Shri Abhimanyu Kaul from "Values in Action", Toronto took a trip down memory lane and relived his 'God' days with Bhagawan. He recalled the grace that he had experienced being a Sai student, that included amongst others, being a part of the elite Band with no knowledge of music whatsoever! But, being Bhagawan's students , 'His properties', nothing was impossible. Swami always goaded them to do their best and leave the result to Him. Swami was the source of inspiration, the doer and the Divine Mother who reveled in their achievements.

Shri Kaul went on to have an interactive session with the students unraveling the purpose of Bal vikas. He said that being under the Divine Canopy was akin to having a safety net to ward off dangers and that all challenges could be overcome with the Divine might. He addressed the students as "Sai Youth" and said that it was "Sai" who made all the difference in their lives. He concluded by saying that our love for Bhagawan should be reflected in our every action.

The second guest speaker Dr Rishikesh Pandya , Neuro-Oncologist, elaborated on the A to Z of Balvikas and how it had left an indelible imprint in his heart. A devout doctor, who performed surgeries only after a silent prayer, he experienced the constant guiding presence of Bhagawan , every moment of his life.

The State President of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization, Maharashtra, Shri Ramesh Sawant welcomed the students and urged them to stay ever connected to Bhagawan to reap Divine Grace. He said that it was their good fortune which had made them Bal vikas students, a privilege that many elders in the Organisation had been deprived of.

Shruti Bhatt, while proposing the vote of thanks, reminded the students of their tryst with Divinity on 7th November 2010, a golden opportunity to be at the Lotus feet in a program at Prashanthi Nilayam for past students, blessed by Bhagawan.

Write ups/articles were invited from past students to share their experiences of balvikas and the impact it had made on their lives. (Articles to be emailed to kamnim.law@mtnl.net.in or nimishp123@yahoo.co.in). The articles are to be compiled into a souvenir to be released by Bhagawan on 7th November 2010. The program concluded with the Divine Aarti and Prasad and a resolution firmly etched in every heart to be an ideal instrument in the Divine hands.
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