At the Lotus Feet
PROCEEDINGS OF SUMMER COURSE AT SRI SATHYA SAI INSTITUTE OF HIGHER LEARNING - BRINDAVAN CAMPUS (16th to 20th April, 2012)
Day - 1
Summer course on Indian culture and Spirituality at the Brindavan campus of Sri Sathya Institute of Higher Learning was inaugurated on 16th April, 2012 at 10 am, resonating with vedic chants and soul stirring bhajans. The event started by lighting of the lamps by Justice Shivraj Patil, former Judge of Supreme Court of India, Prof. Shahshidhara Prasad, Vice Chancellor of Sri Sathya Institute of Higher Learning, Sri V. Srinivasan, All India President of Sri. Sathya Sai Seva Organization and Sri Sanjay Sahani, Director, Brindavan Campus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. Sri. Dhakkappa, State President of Karnataka, and Sri. Gangadhar Setty, Convenor, Sathya Sai Trust, Karnataka.





In his inaugural address Shri. V Srinivasan, said 'Culture' is a way of life. Bharathiya culture has survived for thousands of years and will continue to propagate all that is good in human existence. He noted that Bharathiya way of life include respect for elders, love, faith and tolerance. Bharath has taken in many races and religions into its fold. He said that the organization will attempt to collaborate with colleges and universities across the country to create awareness and share these core human values across the nation. He advocated ceiling of desires as a way of life for the youth attending the Summer Course.

Delivering the Key Note address Justice Shri. Shivaraj V. Patil stressed the importance of Time Management in the life of Youth. The learned speaker highlighted Time is the only element available to all without any discrimination. While advising to 'BUDGET the time in the morning and AUDITING at night, he expressed 'Youngistan' can make a better 'Hindustan'. He emphasized on the importance of ceiling on desires and stated that 'Luxury is an artificial poverty and Contentment is a natural wealth'. He also advocated that Youth with proper Competence, Character and Commitment with Compassion can help counter societal ills such as Crime and Corruption. The speaker highlighted the huge importance of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings such as Love All, Serve All and Help Ever, Hurt Never as panacea for addressing all modern day ills affecting world at large. The speaker kept the youth spellbound with some inimitable quotes - 'If your eyes are positive, you will like the world, if your tongue is positive, and the world will like you'. He mentioned that a recent research done by the University of Chicago has brought about a paradigm shift in Organizational thinking from just Profits to Profit, Planet and People.
Presiding over the event Prof. Shashidhara Prasad said Darkness represents ignorance, Light presents Knowledge. He said energy can be created from matter but only divinity can create matter from energy. Before the inaugural function concluded, Bhagawan Baba's message to the students was played that kept the entire gathering enthralled.

Handling the first technical session, Shri. S. RANGANATH, Director of RV Institute of Sanskrit Studies explained to the youth that importance of Guru while also stressing on the essentials of Truth and 'Samskara' to spiritualize one's life. He urged the youth to be an ACE in devotion, RACE towards the LORD to earn HIS GRACE.

The next speaker, Professor Prof. Pujya Prema Panduranga gave a scholarly treatise on the salient facets of 'Bhagavatham' while elaborating on the Dasaavatharas. She also advised the youth on Time Management and spiritualizing the life.

The last speaker for the day Shri, Ruchir Desai emphasized the significance of the period of youth when the senses are strong and how to utilize this strength for transformation. The Summer Course has attracted almost 1000 youth from across Karnataka and large number of devotees and general public.
The day's events ended with scintillating musical performance by Ustad Faiyaz Khan, disciple of the great Sarangi exponent Pandit Ram Narayan.



Day - 2
On the second day of the ongoing summer course on Indian Culture and Spirituality held in Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Brindavan campus, 1000 students after attending their daily schedule of vedic chants, yoga, pranayama and Bhajans were addressed by Dr. Krishna Mikkilineni Senior VP, Honeywell Inc. on the topic 'Spirituality and Business'. He stressed the importance of spirituality in today's working environment and insisted that Business has to be conducted with values of spirituality.

Smt. Kamala Pandya, a senior Advocate, spoke on MEDITATION AND YOGA. She highlighted that the key to control thoughts lie in applying the 3Hs advised by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba - Head - to Pause and think Heart - for approval Hands - to perform the act Shri. Nimish Pandya, a senior Legal practitioner, spoke on 'Spirituality in daily life'. He highlighted that the problem in India lies in the crisis of character and we need to put Thought, Word and Deed together in order to overcome this.


Dr. Sivakumar, faculty of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, impressed upon the audience on Human values through the acronym MANAGER - The Mind of Man, Awareness of Atma, Nature of Nations, Aspects of Environment, Guidelines for Goodness, Enquiry of Ethos and Role of Rules.

Sri. Shikaripur Krishnamurthy, Sansrit scholar, advised the students through excerpts from Upanishads.

Sri. B.N. Narasimha Murthy, senior devotee of Bhagawan Baba, shared his experiences with the students. The day ended with a scintillating musical program by noted playback singer in Tamil and Telugu industry, Vidhwan Sriram Parthasarathy and party.

Day - 3
The Third day of the Summer Course on Indian Culture and Spirituality commenced after all the 1000 students completed their morning spiritual routine of Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation and Bhajans.

Sri. B.G. Pitre, Founder Principal Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan, Jaipur, educated the audience on the significance of 'Indian Traditions and Indian civilization' in World context. He emphasized that knowing about Indian culture should be through experiential learning like how in a pilgrimage the journey is more beneficial than the destination itself. Dr. Pitre kept the audience enthralled through his insights on the significance of various symbols of Indian culture like the Lotus, Indian Flag and the National Anthem.



Mr. Vijay Sai, Director of Call Ready, addressing the gathering on Adishankara's Bhaja Govindam. He brought about beautiful comparison of Bhaja Govindam with many other prominent poems composed by various popular Saints of India. He emphasized on the significance of 'Nama Smarana' and 'Satsang'. He summarized his talk by saying "The only Emotion that can take care of all negative emotions is DEVOTION."
Sri. Sai Giridhar Sairam, a research scholar in Chemistry, educated the audience by touching upon the most important aspects of Ramayana. The speaker impressed upon the delegates the true meaning and purpose of sacrifice, righteousness, true friendship and service by quoting relevant examples from prominent characters of the epic.

Group Capt Yasas (Retd), the last speaker of the day, shared his thoughts on the Power of Faith. He stressed that Faith makes one fearless. Quoting the example of Mother Teresa, he said though she was a simple school teacher, it was only due to her implicit Faith and self confidence that she achieved so much success in her noble deeds.

The day ended with soulful music rendition by Vidwan Tippu, a Nandi awardee, and Vidushi Harini. Vidwan Tippu has sung in many south Indian languages.


Day - 4
On the fourth day of the Summer Course on Indian Culture and Spirituality, all the spiritual routine of Vedam, Yoga, Pranayama and Bhajans continued with the same vigour as the last three days.

The first speaker of the day was Dr. Dwarakarani Rao, Director Women's College, Ananthapur campus. Women's Virtures in Today's Virtual World. Extolling the significance of women's virtues, she spoke on the Responsibilities, Virtues that the Modern women should carry. Emphasizing the role of women in our society, she said 'Just like how fragrance is important to a flower, in the same way modesty for women is important. She concluded stating that Character is the End of Education.

Mr. Venkatesh, Sanskrit teacher of Brindavan campus, extolled the glory of Saints of Karnataka and clarified that the deplorable characteristics of Tamas and Rajas can be done away through 'Haridasa Sahitya'. He spoke in detail about saints like Purandaradasa, Vijayadasa, Gopaladasa. The next session was on 'Dharma - as propounded in Mahabharatha' Sri Jayendra Puri Swamiji stressed upon the importance and significance of Dharma sighting examples from the Gita and the Mahabharatha and its relevance is apt even in today in our daily life

The evening ended with a scintillating music program by Mr. Akash a child prodigy and an emerging flutist.


Day - 5
The final day of the Summer Course on Indian Culture and Spirituality continued with the same vigour in all daily Spiritual practices like Vedam, Yoga, Meditation and Bhajans.

Swami Chidrupananda extolled the practical aspects of Bhagavdgita. Explaining the profound concepts of the epic in very simple terms he said Spiritual maturity is the ultimate requirement of man. Stressing on the universality of Bhagavadgita, he said the epic is not constrained only to a Hindu, but will act as a torch-light for all religions. He finally demonstrated to the audience on how Happiness is not something found outside or inside, but we ourselves are Happiness (Sat-Chit-Ananda)

Mr. K. Jairaj, Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka, skillfully educated the audience on practical challenges of following ethics and morality in working life. Drawing similarities from his vast public service experience, he pointed out that Ethical dilemmas arise when Judgement is required in decision making involving personal beliefs. He said ethical practices are generally compromised when people become victims of the system. Terming Anxiety as a disease, he said it takes away peace from an individual. He insisted that the youth should not adopt the 'policy of least resistance' and urged them to take difficult decisions wherever required to uphold morality. He also enlightened the gathering on the recently announced "Right to Services" legislation by the Government of Karnataka. He ended his talk by stating a vital message to all that we need to adhere to 'Right' things not because it would benefit someone, but it is because it is the ONLY conduct we must uphold; that in essence is 'Bhakthi'

Mr. Vijay Menon, enthralled the audience with his powerful speech on the topic 'Service to Man is service to God'. In his energetic talk, he firmly urged the youth to see Spirituality and daily work as the same. Quoting multiple examples of socially accomplished people he said we should realise that life is for a greater purpose. He said understanding the 'Atma' of India is the key to understand the significance of Indian Culture and Spirituality. Ending his talk with the request, he asked the audience to give up Alcohol, Tobacco and Non Vegetarian food.

Mr. Amey Deshpande, a research scholar, spoke on the significance of 'Namasmaranam'. He stressed that consistency and intensity is the key to achieve any spiritual progress. He finally concluded the talk by mentioned that 'We become what we think'. The half day ended with a Question and Answer session with the speakers.

Accompanied by Vedic chanting, devotional bhajans and music programs the valedictory also included addresses by eminent speakers such as Sri Bhagawath, former chairman of Indian overseas bank, and Sri. S S Naganand, Senior advocate, Karnataka High court The speakers exhorted the youth to follow the principles of Truth and righteousness in their daily lives with a feeling of surrender and humility. Narrating the historic perspective of the summer courses which were initially started by Bhagawan Baba in 1972 the learned guests of honour impressed upon the youth to practice noble virtues which were taught to them during the summer course and urged them to dedicate their lives in selflessly serving society. This was followed by a scintillating musical program by the alumni of the Sri Sathya Sai University and a Musical video presentation on Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

The entire summer course concluded on a blissful note with all the student delegates taking back with them invaluable lessons on Indian culture and spirituality and taking a pledge to lead life as noble citizens of this great land of Bharath.


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