|At the Lotus Feet
|All India Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Group III and Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Alumni Programme at Prasanthi Nilayam 7th & 8th January, 2012 |
Morning Programme - 7th January, 2012.
The All India Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Group III and Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Alumni programme began on January 7, 2012, at Poornachandra Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam. Nearly 1148 girls/ladies (consisting of 431 Group III girls, 456 alumni and including 261 mahila gurus) and 781 boys/ gents (consisting of 299 Group IIII boys, 409 Alumni and 73 male gurus) participated
Over 2000 delegates from all over India have come to participate in the two-day function.
Dr. Keki Mistry lighting the lamp...
At 10.30 am Dr. Keki Mistry, Trustee, Sri Sathya Sai Trust, Maharashtra, lit the inaugural lamp.
|Dr. Keki Mistry was accompanied on the stage by Shri S. V. Giri, Shri Sanjay Sahani and Shri Nimish Pandya. Shri R J Ratnakar was also present at the function. |
The function started with a talk given by Dr. Keki Mistry. The gist of his talk was that one should have confidence in oneself - Atma Vishwas. Dr. Keki Mistry spoke about the beautiful memories with Bhagawan and the history of the beginning of Bal Vikas. His talk was very well received by the entire delegates.The gist of his talk is set out hereinbelow
|SPEAKER : DR KEKI MISTRY|
|If we have roof over our heads, food in the plate, we are richer than 75% of people in the world. One of the most important qualities we need to have is 'Gratitude'. |
Swami says: When you see, see with my eyes, when you walk, walk with my legs……..
Swami's eyes saw the poor, thirsty, sick… He saw a need for medical services in the villages, water for the thirsty…….and he started the Super speciality Hospitals and the Water project and the University! We too need to look at the world with Sai eyes!
George Bernard Shaw said, " Change yourself and you can change the world"
(He proceeded to tell the story of the violin with 4 strings. While cleaning the violin, 3 of the strings broke. However with the last string, the most beautiful, and soulful music was played. This last string is the most important string in our lives, which is the string of 'Self-confidence' or 'atma vishwas')
Story: Lakshmi Mittal's father wanted to build a steel plant. When he visited the site, he saw several people doing different work like mixing cement, cutting wood etc. When he asked them what they were doing, one person said that he was mixing cement, many others replied similarly. However one man said that he was engaged in the task of making the best steel plant in the world. This man was selected to become the Foreman as he had the larger vision in mind. Whatever we do, let's always keep the total picture in mind!
(Sri Keki Mistry then recited the inspiring poem 'Anyway')
Mother Teresa's Anyway Poem ( a poem she had lived)
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
|Immediately after the Inaugural address, there was a short talk by an alumnus of Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas, Shri Nikhil Kaushik, on the purpose and objectives of the meet.Nikhil shared the purpose of the All India Balvikas Meet.He said "Imagine if we enter a shop full of lanterns. Is there any use if there is not light within it? Similarly our lives are like the lanterns and Swami has lit the light of 'Akhand Jyothi' within us. Sai's jyothi is the light of love and human values; we need to keep it burning eternally and keep spreading this light! We can make this jyothi akhand only by ensuring and involving as many people as possible in the the 'balvikas' movement and continuing to be a part of the Divine Mission." |
There were two melodious group theme songs, with wonderful background music, sung by the delegates:
1. Akhanda Jyot Jalao
2. Sai Kiran Jagata Chal
Around 11.30 am Shri Sanjay Sahani, Director, Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Learning, addressed the delegates and spoke on the importance of the 5 D's. His talk was full of personal experiences with Bhagawan and it was a treat for all those who were present. The gist of his talk is as under :
|There was a boy who always used to get a burning sensation in his body whenever he did something wrong, while Bhagawan was in His physical form. A few weeks back he got this same burning sensation, and he tried to figure out what wrong he had committed. He started thinking about this and remembered that he had seen another boy doing something wrong, but had kept quiet about it. He reported the matter to Shri Sanjay Sahani who verified the same and found it true and factual. Shri Sanjay Sahani then spoke to the boy who had committed the wrong, and told him that Swami's love for him was so much that He had to bring to the notice of few people to bring about such a transformation. |
Shri Sanjay Sahani spoke at great length for about 45 minutes bringing thundering applause from the delegates.
The programme of the morning session ended around 12.15 pm with Aarti
Evening Programme - 07.01.2012 at Sai Kulwant Hall - Prasanthi Nilayam
|What a beautiful SAI FUL day it was. The evening session witnessed maximum crowd and it was a very memorable evening too. There were thousands of devotees thronging the Sai Kulwant Hall. |
The beautifully decorated Mahasamadhi of our beloved Lord with huge garland of roses placed atop evoked memories with Him. Each and every devotee in this sacred Sai Kulwant Hall was given the opportunity to offer obeisance to Him at the conclusion of the programme.
Brother Nikhil Kaushik on the mike
|The programme began at 5 pm today. There were group songs and theme talks by delegates of Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Group III and Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Alumni. The entire programme was compered by Mr Nikhil Kaushik. |
The main speakers for the evening were
Sister Samarpita Bannerjee ( Group III )
Brother Parikshit Kohli- Alumnus
Sister Radhika Mathur- Alumnus
|The "Naada Laya" Instrumental Musical presentation by delegates from Kerala was really awesome. "Naada Laya" is a Sanskrit word meaning "the origin of sound". The Sanskrit word "Laya" refers to a state of mental harmony and can mean "fusion" and "solution". |
Thus at Prasanthi Nilayam, a brand of "Innovative Fusion Instrumental Music" was played before a vast assembly, which created absolute peace and bliss.
Ms. Jyoti thrilled the assembly with her melodious voice
|Ms. Jyoti who has sung before Bhagawan sang a few classical melodious bhajans.|
All the singers and speakers were presented with sarees/safaris.
The programme concluded at 6.30 pm with bhajans and aarti. Group photo sessions were also taken. Prasadam was offered to all.
Morning Programme - 8th January, 2012.
The second day of the conference of the All India Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Group III and Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Alumni programme, on January 8, 2012, at Poornachandra Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam, started at 10.25 am and ended around 12.45 pm.
At 10.25 am Dr. Keki Mistry, Trustee, Sri Sathya Sai Trust, Maharashtra, once again regaled the delegates with wonderful time spent with Bhagawan. The gist of his talk is as under :
SPEAKER: DR KEKI MISTRY
|Story: In the year 2000, the Para Olympics were held in Ireland. The Para Olympics for kids is an Olympics for specially advantaged children - differently advantaged children. The 100 metres mixed race was on. There were 10 lanes with 4 girls and 6 boys, each representing their country. The gun went off and everyone started. While they were in different positions on the track, suddenly there was a noise and the runner in the middle lane fell down. |
The amazing thing that happened was that everyone stopped! Each of the 9 other contestants stopped, turned around and all went to the boy who had fallen down. One of them picked him up, another one dusted his clothes and a girl gave him a small kiss on the cheek and said "That should make you alright". Then they all linked hands and went towards the finish line together. And remember this was at the Olympics.
There were 45,000 people in that stadium who all stood up and clapped for 15 minutes - there was not a dry eye in the audience. Why? These specially advantaged people showed us the meaning of Sai's message. They bonded together in love and went towards the goal together.
Balvikas students are not volunteers in God's mission. You are soldiers in God's army.
Once when I asked swami whether all good work is god's work, swami said, only when you offer food to God, it becomes Prasad. Similarly for any work to become God's work, it has to be offered to God! We have to practise the dictum, 'See SAI in ALL'. God is hungry for our love. He is also hungry for our gratitude!
(Dr Mistry proceeded to tell the story of the Honda car/motorcycle: how it was the dream of one man: Mr Soichiro Honda; Who started at an humble setting and through talent, hardwork and ingenuity achieved success. Inspite of his factory being bombed during the world war, inspite of needing to sell his wife's jewellery, he persisted because of his self-confidence! And that's what Swami also tells us to develop that kind of Atma Vishwas which marches on inspite of all obstacles and problems)
You are the soldiers of SAI. You are His Eyes, His Legs, His Ears, His Hands! Swami is here, listening to us, watching us.
The Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, the Sevadals are all the branches,and the trunk of this TREE of SAI MISSION. The Balvikas students and SAI students are the fruits and the flowers in this garden of SAI. Swami's love is the root which nourishes us!
BAMBOO TREE: This tree frequently grows in China. When we sow the seed of this tree, add manure and water, we wait for a long time and nothing happens. For 5 years, there is no change though we are watering the tree well! However from the 6th year, it starts to sprout and starts growing at an astounding rate of 2.5 ft per day. It can finally grow upto a length of 100 ft.
The Balvikas course too does its underground nourishment during the 9 long years when the Gurus, inspired by Swami's love, sow the five human values deep within you. But now after these 9 long years, its time for us to bear fruit and to flower. Lets be a friend to SAI and walk with HIM all the time!
There were two melodious group theme songs sung thereafter
1. Antar Jyoti jalao man me.
2. Sai the Lord of our heart.
Sister Yunita Pandey and sister Shrunkala, the two speakers who were given the opportunity today, narrated to the assembled delegates how Bal Vikas helped them in their lives.
Around 11.30 am Dr. Shashank Shah, SSSIHL addressed the delegates.
Dr. Shashank Shah spoke at great length for about 45 minutes. The gist of his talk ais as under :
SPEAKER: DR SHASHANK SHAH
|Dr Shah gave a beautiful formula for life. He called it the K J D B formula.|
Elaborating this cool acronym he said, it stands for: Karma, Janma, Dharma and Brahma formula.
"KARMA: Man is born in karma, lives in karma and dies in it. We need to know the difference between good karma and bad karma.
In the earlier days Swami would frequently play a game of 'passing the parcel'. Many good qualities and bad qualities would be written and put in a box which would be passed around all who were seated in a circle. Swami alone would be sitting inside the circle and singing bhajans. When he would stop singing, that person, in whose hands the box was would pick a chit. If it was a good quality, he would get to come inside the circle and sing with swami. If not he remains in the circle. This is like the circle of birth and death and swami stressed that even if we develop one good quality in our lives, we can redeem ourselves and go near Swami!
Out of 80 lakh species, one gets the chance to be born a human being. All other species are born and die as an animal; its only man who gets the chance to be born as a man and can uplift himself to merge with God!
JANMA: We have had the unique good fortune to have had the Avatar himself as a guru for 85 long years. We should make good use of this opportunity of having been a balvikas student and received Bhagawan's grace!
A co-incidence is an incident where God chooses to be anonymous. Our coming here today, our being balvikas students are not co-incidences. It is His Divine WILL!
Story: One of Swami's students was known for his naughty and mischievous behaviour. Exasperated, his mother complained to Swami. Swami, during a trayee session, announced that, if you all know what you were in your previous birth, you will not behave in the way you are doing now. Saying this, He looked at this naughty boy. Reflecting on what Swami had told, this boy went to Swami, the next day, and asked Him to reveal what he had been in the previous birth. Swami said that in the last birth you were a Rishi, who had done a lot of penance to be with God in this birth. But now you are whiling away and wasting your time and oppurtunity. This experience changed the student completely!
Once someone asked Swami, we must have done a lot of 'punya' in our last birth to be with you now. Swami said, No, you have done 'punya' in many, many lifetimes to get this opportunity of being with Swami now!
DHARMA: We all aspire to get different degrees B.com/ M.tech/ M.B.B.S etc. We spend all our life trying to acquire these degrees. To get the degree of 'divine love' and 'divine grace' from God, can we not spend atleast a few minutes every day.
Normally we think, what is the hurry, why can't we wait till we become older ! Do we chant 'Brahmarpanam…' before food or after eating the food? Similarly we shouldn't wait to become old when our negative tendencies have completely consumed us fully; on the contrary, now, while we are young, we should offer all our actions to God and get our lives sanctified. In old age, when we need help to stand and walk, what seva can we do to anyone?
Swami Vivekananda always used to say, ' Awake, Arise and Rest not till the Goal is reached'!
Time is ticking away. Spending our life in food, rest, sleep, fear and procreation is common to all. What is different for a human being is his 'Dharma'. It is for the sake of others that the Tree bears fruit. Though many states fight for rivers, the river itself does not enjoy its water, it freely gives water to all! Cows too give its milk freely for all. Similarly our body is meant for Seva. 'Paropkaaraya Idham Shareeram' is the motto engraved in the super hospital.
Till our limbs are active, do seva, seva, seva!
Does this mean that we have to sacrifice our office, studies and do seva. Swami does not ask us to distinguish between our personal life, professional life and spiritual life.
Fill your professional life with spirituality and Fill your spiritual life with professionalism! This is full time devotion!
After doing seva, there should be self-transformation. Have you been able to give up jealousy? Have you been able to control anger and cultivate devotion, otherwise it is not worth it!
Sathya Sai Organisation is not an NGO: Other Service organisation do service for others; whereas the term 'seva' in 'Sathya Sai Organisation' implies seva for one's own spiritual Transformation.
Story: A father gave his mischievous son a puzzle of the map of the world, thinking that this will keep him occupied for quite a while. However the boy comes back quickly with the solved puzzle. On enquiry, he reveals that on the reverse of the world map, was the figure of a human being, and he could very quickly put in order the pieces of the human being! If each one of us transform ourselves, we can easily transform the whole world! We are 'change agents' who can change the world!
Swami- the perfect role-model:
Story: (Recollecting a beautiful experience in the sacred Poornachandra) In 1987, when the 1st Institute Brass Band was formed, Swami ensured that the tailor took correct measurements for the uniform and finally when all the students wore the brand new, smart uniform, He seemed very happy. However, when the students requested Him for a padanamaskar, He said, Your clothes are new and it will get dirty! Saying thus , He walked towards the dias. Thinking that Swami had refused the Namaskar, students were disappointed. However, the moment Swami reached the dias, He called the students one by one for Namaskar, stating that the ground was much cleaner there and their uniforms will not get dirty!
Swami is indeed, the best role-model whether pertaining to His sense of dress, walking, talking, being a host to his guests …… He played all roles to perfection!
Story: Swami always insisted on cutting his toe nails quite deep. On asking why, he replied that when many devotees touch His feet for namaskar, they should not get hurt!
After the interview, Swami always switches off the fan/light and practises ceiling on desires. He frequently used to say, "I'm not like you boys, wasting water while shaving/ brushing. The tap will remain closed when I shave/ wash myself; opening it only when I need the water. Sometime the soap goes into my eye. But I don't waste water" ! This is yoga in action. Whatever we do, we should offer to Swami! In the story of Sabari too, this is emphasised. Lord Rama gave more importance for the 'bhavam'- the feeling behind the action. Once Sabari offered it to God, He accepted!
Ten-Point formula for spiritual growth:
- Purity of place you live in
- Family: A sense of co-operation and harmony at home
- Sacred Food and Drinks. ( When we cannot give anyone life, we have no right to take any life. Be strictly vegetarian)
- Sacred thoughts
- Sacred Vision
- Sacred Words
- Sacred books : Read sacred literature; biographies of great leaders & Saints.
- Sacred and Selfless service
- Selfless sadhana
- Selfless in your profession
|Swami has said that, While the different devas have different departments to take care of, three departments come directly under ME. These are the departments of:|
- Selfless Love
- Selfless Service
- Spiritual Sadhana
|Anyone who works in these three areas directly come under My purview. |
BRAHMA: What does one do when one passes away, we cremate the person's body. Why? Because we are not the body. We are the soul, which is the LIFE within the body. This is the BRAHMA present within all of us.
Just as we need to recharge our ipod and mobile phone batteries, we all need to recharge and rejuvenate our inner energies…how? By Loving All and Serving All!
Swami says, You are born, not to be born again. That is the only objective! Everything else is only a means to achieve this objective.
When Shankaracharya started the 4 mutts, he started them with a noble objective. There may not have been much strategy or planning; however the nobility of the objective ensured its success and Shankaracharya's objective being met! Similarly the objective of the Sathya Sai Organisation is noble and its very nobility and purity will ensure that its objective will be met! We only need to be squirrels (like the squirrels in Lord Rama's mission) doing our little bit for universal transformation!
|Thereafter, Shri Nimish Pandya spoke to the assembled delegates and reminded them all that "God is Your only True Friend". He sang a bhajan befitting the occasion, "Naino me prem dhar, vachno me amrit dhar, Sadguru Sai mera jeevan ka aadhar" and instructed them all to keep love in their eyes and Sai in their heart.|
SPEAKER: SRI NIMISH PANDYA
|"The reason we all have assembled here is to 'Be happy'. If we are not happy here, in Prashanthi Nilayam, the Abode of the Avatar- Sri Sathya Sai Baba, we can never be happy anywhere else in the world!|
Once we have come to the feet of the Divine Lord, we have 'arrived'!
Story: As a young man, when I had many friends, Swami would frequently say, 'pocket mein paisa, to many friends; no money, no friends'. He looked at me and said, ' There is only one friend and He is God (pointing at himself in His chest)!' For me, since then, Swami was my best friend with whom I would share everything. This went on for quite some time, till one fine day ,Swami stopped talking so frequently to me. I was quite upset. It took me a few years to realise that when Swami pointed to Himself, He meant that God (within) is our best friend!
Bhagawan came to this world to tell us that 'There is only one God and He is within us'! When Swami guides and directs from within us, we do not want to listen; we then come to Parthi and ask Him to talk to us. Let us not tell the Swami within to 'keep quiet' when He talks to us. Let us practise listening to the God within all the time!
It is Swami, who has, always told us that we are God, who has addressed us as 'Divyaatma Swaroopalaras' (Embodiments of the Divine).
Let's not merely go to the temples/ religious places of worship for inspiration. Let us remember that that the real temple is within us, that God is within. Let us make all our actions, words and thoughts sacred as befitting the indweller of this temple!
Love All, Serve All: Swami frequently tells us to love all and serve all. How can we practise this?
'By forgetting all the harm others do to you immediately
By forgetting all the good you do to others immediately.
By remembering all the good others do for you'
Half the time we brood about the past and half the time we worry about the future. Lets live in the Present, that's why it is called the Omnipresent.
A Test of a true Alumni: If we want to know how good/true devotee/balvikas alumni we are, there is a very simple test in the words of this song:
'Nayano Mein Prem Dhaar, Vachano Mein Amrita Dhaar,
Sadguru Sai Mera Jeevan Adhaar,
Jeevan Adhaar, Mera Jeevan Adhaar, Sadguru Sai Mera Jeevan Adhaar'
(He is a true devotee/ true Balvikas Alumni, in whose eyes is only Selfless Love, His words are sweet and pure as nectar and whose life is founded firmly in the principles and teachings of SAI and the Love of SAI)
|The programme of the morning session ended around 12.45 pm with the playing of the flute "Chitta Chora Yashoda Ke Bal…" by the Alumni student Master Bhaskar and a Hindi poem was narrated by sister Madhavi. The entire programme was compered by Jigyasa Sethi. The programme concluded with the Aarti.|
Evening Session - Sai Kulwant Hall - 08.01.2012 :
Brother Arjun Suresh
|The evening programme started at 5.00 pm with two group songs - Antar Jyoti jalao man me and a song in English - Sai the Lord of our heart. This was followed by talks by delegates, sister Mandevi (Alumnus) and brother Arjun Suresh ( Group III ).|
A Compendium of articles by Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Alumni titled "Blossoming Human Excellence" containing varied articles from Bal Vikas students from different parts of India, was released and offered at the Sanctum Sanctorum.
The achievement awards were handed over to the outstanding Alumni of Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas who were felicitated.
The Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Logo was unveiled by Sri S V Giri.
A sai sister explaining the symbolism of the logo
Master Satyajit thee star performer.....
|Sri Nimish Pandya then introduced Sri Satyajit, reflecting the future of Balvikas which is not at all bleak but bright with gifted Balvikas children like Satyajit who spoke extempore on the importance of vedas and drew a loud applause from everyone for his vedic chanting and soulful bhajan rendition.|
Musical Instrumental Presentation...
|There was also a rapturous musical instrumental presentation by delegates from Tamilnadu .
This was followed by recording from Bhagawan's discourse inspiring the Balvikas children to practice incessantly the values learnt. The assembly also heard Swami singing, "Hari bhajana bina sukha santhi nahi…"
Brother Anush Mohan
|The entire programme was compered by Anush Mohan|
|The participants were presented with clothes. Gifts were also given to all the delegates. Laddoo prasadam was distributed to the assembly. Group Photos were also taken. The programme concluded around 6.45 pm with the offering of Aarti.|
Four theme songs from recent Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Convention held in Prasanthi Nilayam on 07.01.2012 & 08.01.2012
|Antar Jyoti jalao man me|
Sai Kiran Jagata Chal
Sai the Lord of our heart
Akhanda Jyot Jalao
The above theme songs were offered at the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan during the two days convention of the Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Group III and Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Alumni Meet at Prasanthi Nilayam on 7th and 8th January 2012. You may download the same from the following link:
link for download - online listening: http://soundcloud.com/aum-sai-ram