June 20, 2009 – Distribution of Essential Items and Group Songs
by Andhra Sai Youth

There were a few guests on the Mandir portico on the evening of June 20. Mr. Ashok Singhal of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad along with the Shankaracharya of Sri Ramachandrapura Math of Gokarna had arrived for Bhagavan's darshan. Also seated in the portico were the alumni of the Sathya Sai University who are working in Barclays Bank. Their projects, based on Swami's ideals about service, had won the year's Chairman'saward.

Mr. Ashok Singhal of the Vishwa
Hindu Parishad arrives for His darshan
 
The Shankaracharya of Sri Ramachandrapura
Math of Gokarna seeks His Blessings

 The Barclays Chairman’s Awards honours colleagues from across the business who have shown an outstanding commitment to the uplift of the communities in which they work. And these students had made it among 7000 projects across more than 80 countries.

Their team helped transform a rural village of Mirchiwadi which, though just 50 kms from India’s financial capital, Mumbai, suffered from a lack of education facilities, good drinking water and necessary transport links. Once a student, always a student! They had come rushing to the Lotus feet to dedicate it to Him like the tiny squirrels that helped Sri Rama build the mammoth bridge to Lanka.

The second day of programmes by the Andhra Sai youth had also been blessed for presentation and it consisted of distribution of a few items to the needy and a performance of group songs

 
Sai Students - The winner of the Barclays Chairman’s Awards 2009

 

It was 4:30 p.m. when Swami arrived for darshan. He took a complete round and had a look at the various items that had been placed in the centre for distribution.

Moving around the gents’ side He spoke a few words to the youth members. He also blessed a card that had been made by the students of the Deenajanodharana Patakam, the lovely home and school that Swami has built for "orphans". (You are welcome to read a cover story on this orphanage from H2H archives).

The Lord arrives for another glorious day
 

Swami then moved to the portico and was soon surrounded by His students. They offered the award at His Lotus feet and said that all that mattered to them was that He was happy.

Swami was very pleased and blessed all of them with padanamaskar. They told Swami that with this project, the village gets a new road, 63 children get complete schooling, everyone has access to clean drinking water, mobile-medical facility is available regularly, there is Bal Vikas training for children and self-employment avenues for the village youth. Swami was immensely glad and He seemed to convey that all that mattered to Him was that they were happy!

 
Sai University alumni offer the
prestigious Award to their Divine Master

Swami then moved around the upper and lower portico blessing all the people seated there and speaking to many of them. He then moved onto the stage via the teachers' section. And now He asked for the programme to begin. About 10-15 members from the ladies and gents sides respectively moved up the stage with cards, roses and other offerings. Swami patiently blessed all of them. Then, Sri Ramana Reddy, the state Youth in-charge, in a brief talk introduced the service activities being undertaken by the youth in different parts of the state. Expressing gratitude and seeking Divine guidance, the youth leader reiterated the fraternity’s commitment towards social development. "Please guide and bless us Swami", was his prayer.

Blessings before commencing
the distribution
 
Mr. Ramana Reddy, the State Youth in-charge calls out the name of the beneficiaries

After the short speech, the names of the more than 100 beneficiaries were called out, and the needy were presented with implements for livelihood like electrician kits, wet grinders, sewing machines, plumber kits, computer education kits, iron presses and so on. As their names were called out, they came forward and placing a rose to express their gratitude, accepted their gifts and returned to their places. Once the distribution was complete, Swami asked if there was any other programme.

The youth requested Swami for permission to sing a few songs. Swami agreed and the singing began. Swami sat enjoying the songs. The music was pre-recorded but the singing was live and it was alive too! After about four songs, Swami briefly went into the interview room. Coming out, He spoke with the eldest among the ladies about the singers. Once the singing concluded, Swami called the singers from the gents’ side and lovingly spoke to them.

With reverence and gratitude, they surrender
at His lotus feet
 
Everyone sings with a renewed
vigour and heartfelt joy...

Swami then waved His hand and then showed to all what He had created. There were three identical golden rings! Everyone was so happy and thrilled, and Swami put one ring each on the fingers of two singers and one on the finger of the music director. His face carried a broad smile. Then aarthi began and everyone sang with renewed vigour. As the prayer for Universal peace was complete, Swami said that He would move down to bless all the participants. He signaled for the ladies and gents to congregate on two sides at the center. Needless to say, they did it in super speed! 

Three rings in one wave of the Divine hand!
 
Showering love to each and every one

!  He then moved down the ramp and amidst them, accepting their letters, roses and granting padanamaskar. As He moved down and back towards the stage, He told the photographers to move to the centre of the stage and take group pictures. He also gave special instructions to ensure that all the ladies were also covered in the frame. Leaving behind a joyous gathering of devotees, Swami retired to Yajur Mandir at 6:15 p.m.

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