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FOOTPRINTS OF THE LORD

Silver Jubilee Celebrations of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust - Report

There was festive atmosphere everywhere as the Sai Kulwant hall resounded with the sonorous tunes of the brass band and Vedam chanting. To add to the joy of the devotees, Bhagawan walked down the red carpet, led by the students from Muddenahalli and Alike educational institutions of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust who had gathered to celebrate its Silver Jubilee year in the immediate presence of their mother, mentor and master Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.


The Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust was formed with the noble intention of providing value-based education to the young minds so that they grow straight and strong to be exemplary leaders of society and the country. To achieve this end, the Trust currently runs two magnificent educational institutions, one being at the sylvan surroundings of Alike and the other at picturesque Muddenahalli, both these schools located in the state of Karnataka of South India. The Trust was founded by a great devotee of Bhagawan, late Sri Madiyal Narayana Bhat. After his sad demise, Bhagawan Baba, in 1978, graciously accepted these institutions into His fold to the delight of the Trust members. Including about 2000 students and staff from the educational institutions at Alike and Muddenahalli along with their parents and well-wishers, around 15,000 devotees had converged at His lotus feet to celebrate 25 golden years of their association with Bhagawan.

After the ceremonial welcome, Bhagawan lighted the lamp amidst thunderous applause to mark the inauguration of celebrations on the beautiful Tuesday morning of 27th of January, the first day of the two-day celebrations. There were five speakers who addressed the gathering that eventful morning. The first speaker was Sri Gangadhar Bhat, Chairman of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust, who went down his memory lane in his soulful Kannada and narrated the story of the Trust with all its cataclysmic and ecstatic moments. Sri Narayan Rao, the Secretary of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions, Muddenahalli followed him and presented a report of the activities of the Trust in the last 25 years. On this occasion, Bhagawan also released three books published by the Loka Seva Trust. There were three student speakers following Sri Narayana Rao - two of them in English and one in Kannada- who expressed their love and gratitude to Bhagawan for His infinite love, blessings and grace. After the student speakers, Bhagawan Baba graciously consented to give His divine message and when He rose and started His discourse in chaste Kannada, the devotees could not contain their delight at this unexpected blessing. The audience listened in rapt attention, to Baba’s message, which came in an uninterrupted flow since there was no translation. Bhagawan praised the devotion of late Sri Narayan Bhat and lauded the dedication and commitment of the members of the Trust for their excellent work in moulding young minds.

The cultural programme in the afternoon consisted of a few folk dances of the state of Karnataka and a scintillating performance of Yaksha Gana, a traditional form of dance-drama very popular in the southern regions of Karnataka, on the theme “Krishna Leela” depicting episodes from Lord Krishna’s boyhood. After the programme, Bhagawan graciously granted group-photographs to the thrill of the participants.

The next day, the 28th of January, was a day of cultural extravaganza. After Swami arrived at about 7.30 a.m. in ceremonial procession just like the previous day, a dance drama entitled “Sai Leela” was staged by the students. The presentation gave life to the legend about Baba’s advent concerning Sage Bharadwaja and through dances and music, created beautiful scenes of Swami’s advent and His childhood. This was followed by a traditional ceremony called “Ashtavadhanam” wherein various art forms, are offered to the lord in a ritualistic fashion. The first to be offered was Veda Parayana (Chanting of hymns from all the four vedas), followed by puranas, shastras, the holy sound of the conch, the soothing music of the flute, the art of vocal music, dance and finally, reading of the panchanga (or the almanac). It ended with the rendering of “Sai Ashtakam”, a string of eight hymns glorifying Bhagawan Baba. After the programme, Baba came down the stage and blessed the members of the brass band and the pundits who had participated in the “Ashtavadhanam”, spending lot of time with them, presenting them with gifts and posing for photographs with them.

At three in the afternoon of 28th, as Baba’s car glided its way to the Kulwant Hall, students from Alike and Muddenahalli welcomed Bhagawan with a sweet welcome song even as the other boys chanted vedic hymns. There were some more beautiful group songs to follow, in Kannada and English. The highlight of the day’s proceedings was a dance-drama called “Jagadoddhara” depicting the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu - an hour long presentation, which concluded with Sai Avathar, the avathar of the Kali age. It was a fiesta of song, dance, music, melody and some very good acting talent. Each participant’s heart was brimming with joy, which was amply reflected on their smiling faces as they stood next to Bhagawan for a once in a lifetime chance of being photographed with Him. Baba gave Himself to them, talking to them, blessing them and showering gifts on them.

It was an unforgettable day not just for the staff and students of Alike and Muddenahalli schools alone, but for each individual present there that evening. For, such instances of witnessing the supreme love filling and overwhelming His children are memories that will be treasured for a long time.

Jai Sai Ram!

sourced: Sri Sathya Sai Org