JavaScript Menu, DHTML Menu Powered By Milonic
logo
Go to Home Page
Radio Sai Home Page
link_icon
link_icon
link_icon
spacer
Home > Features >

He Lived His Message... And Shared His Love
Part 1

line

A humble tribute to Prof. D. S. Habbu, the chosen instrument of the divine for a number of missions, the most significant of them being spearheading the moulding of young minds of the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School during its fledging years.

“I have brought the best principal to the Higher Secondary School,” Bhagavan said, nay declared, as He lovingly held the arm of Prof. D. S. Habbu and introduced him to the dignitaries seated in the Prasanthi Nilayam Mandir. It was the initial months of 1983, the first year of Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School. For many, who were witness to this episode, it was another beautiful evening with the Lord; but for the bespectacled and humble professor, it was a bolt from the blue. He did not know how to react, but to bend down with folded hands, and express how beholden he was to the Lord for granting him such a precious opportunity to play a part in His mission.

Sai Habbu
spacer
Sai Habbu
Swami loved the trusted principal of His school
and Prof. Habbu too had his focus only on Him
Sai was truly always in his heart...
guiding, goading and always guarding

“It was the chance of a lifetime, no doubt, but a great challenge too,” Prof. Habbu recalled speaking to the H2H Team in July 2008. “In the next nine years, I toiled day and night, and gave my time, energy, everything, to live up to that word of Bhagavan. I have no idea to what extent I matched His expectations, but this much I do know – I tried my very best. That is my only plus point.”

And today, 26 years after Swami unfurled this school which has become one of the best in the country offering high quality, secondary school education completely free of cost, the alumni of this esteemed institution find it hard to articulate their heartfelt feelings for their very dear and revered Principal.

Prof. Habbu – An Exemplary Teacher Who Walked His Talk

“Habbu Sir was not just our principal; he was truly our unmistakable friend, philosopher and guide. Though a strict disciplinarian, he had a heart of gold. He left an indelible impression on me,” says Mr. P. Satyanarayan, currently a Credit Review Analyst in the Commercial Bank of Kuwait. “Habbu Sir is my legend,” says Mr. Ajishnu Sharma, another alumnus who graduated in the year 1988. He adds, “He was not just an efficient teacher, but a very kind man; he had a smile that could melt even the sternest of hearts.”

"He taught us to be spiritual, not religious. He inspired us to achieve, not for self- aggrandizement, but to please the Lord for the talent He has bestowed us with. Indubitably, he was a true Sai jewel! He had a personal relationship with each and every student. Bhagavan could not have entrusted those impressionable years of our lives to another better person; I feel so fortunate.”

For Mr. Partish Kumar Dubey, who completed his XII grade in the school in 1990 and is currently an Asset Manager with Barclays Capital, London, “Habbu Sir was a man of principles who taught us values by His own example. What a fine personality he was! His life had a fine balance between the inner world of self-discovery and outer world of achievement.

"He taught us to be spiritual, not religious. He inspired us to achieve, not for self- aggrandizement, but to please the Lord for the talent He has bestowed us with. Indubitably, he was a true Sai jewel! He had a personal relationship with each and every student. Bhagavan could not have entrusted those impressionable years of our lives to another better person; I feel so fortunate.”

Sai Habbu
spacer
Sai Habbu
The sweet relationship that Swami had with Prof. Habbu
was always a joy to behold
The dedicated Principal sincerely presented every school report to Sai

That is how many of the former students of Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, Prasanthi Nilayam, love their first principal. If there is one virtue of Prof. Habbu, which was like a formidable foundation on which was built the solid mansion of his sterling character, it was his absolute dedication to Swami’s word and mission.

Prof. Anil Kumar, the former Principal of the Brindavan campus of Sri Sathya Sai University, says, “One facet of Prof. Habbu, which is matchless, is his devotion to Swami. He never complained about anything and was extremely positive in his outlook. Even if there was an adverse remark from any quarter, whether genuine or false, all he used to say was, ‘We may not have lived up to His vision’. He judged his every emotion and act, sentiment and decision with the touchstone of Swami’s direction and mission. He was truly a role model for all administrators.”

The Most Memorable Turning Point - Prof. Habbu’s First Meeting With Bhagavan

It is little surprise that Swami picked such a personality to oversee the blossoming of the characters of the children of His own school. In fact, the Lord, after choosing to reward him a place at His lotus feet in 1973, lovingly guided and chiseled him for nine years before assigning him the prized responsibility of spearheading a part of His education mission.

“It was in 1965 that someone told me about Bhagavan and placed in my hand one of His photos... I saw the picture and immediately developed 100% faith in Him; something within me strongly said that He was divine. I never had a doubt since then." ~ Prof. D. S. Habbu

“It was in 1965 that someone told me about Bhagavan and placed in my hand one of His photos,” Prof. Habbu said recalling the initial days of his journey to Sai. “I saw the picture and immediately developed 100% faith in Him; something within me strongly said that He was divine. I never had a doubt since then. That photo of Bhagavan straight away adorned our altar and we worshipped Him everyday. In those days, I was working in SDL College in Hannavar, in the state of Karnataka, as a Reader in History. And every minute of my spare time was spent in Sai work.

"And in 1970, when the local Sai devotees in that region started a Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samithi (Sai Centre), they chose me to be the President of the organization, and I served in that position as best as I could. We undertook many service activities, started Bal Vikas classes to train young minds, soon there were pre-sevadal courses, and I was very much involved in teaching not only many Vedic and spiritual hymns to the students but also instilling in them noble values of truth, integrity and reverence for one’s culture. I engaged myself completely in this sacred work for three years, till I moved to His physical proximity in Brindavan.”   

Sai Habbu
spacer
Sai Habbu
'He didn’t speak a word...
...but truly said so much'

Prof.  Habbu physically saw Bhagavan for the first time only in May of 1973. Reminiscing that sweet memory, he said, “My first beautiful moment with the Lord unfolded at nine in the morning that memorable day. I was seated in the lines in the ‘Sai Ram’ shed at 8.30 and there were not many people those days, probably a hundred. After about half an hour, the gates opened, and I saw, to my delight, the sublime form of Swami walking gently towards us. I remember having a letter in my hand, and Swami, to my surprise, walked straight to me, lovingly picked the letter, and then moved away. He didn’t speak a word, but truly said so much. I was spellbound.”    

spacer
Sai Habbu
 
Always at His lotus feet

It was this first encounter which intensified his love for Bhagavan and the dedicated professor now longed to be in His physical presence as often as he could. It was at this time that he heard of a vacancy in the Department of History in the Sri Sathya Sai Arts, Science and Commerce College, Brindavan (when the Sri Sathya Sai University opened in 1981, this college became one of its campuses). Fortunately, the then Vice Principal of this college, Mr. R. J. Kulkarni was known to him, and suggested to Prof. Habbu that he could apply to Swami’s college.

Without any delay, Prof. Habbu wrote a letter to Swami praying for an opportunity to serve in His institution. Just like the first letter, the Lord accepted this one too very lovingly from his hands.

Emboldened by this, once the professors returned home, he sent his application letter to the college. Soon, he received a positive response and was called for an interview.

“Two stalwarts, Prof. V. K. Gokak and Dr. S. Bhagavantham, interviewed me.” Prof. Habbu continued the story. “ After the 15 minute interview, I was asked to return to my hometown. Within a week, I received the call: ‘Join on Thursday, July 19, 1973’. From that day, I never looked back. I resigned right away and came to Brindavan; I was on duty on that appointed date.” 

Luckily for Prof. Habbu, within a week Swami came to Brindavan. “When we heard about His arrival, we rushed to the Mandir,” He recalled. “At that time, the Trayee Brindavan building, that we see now, did not exist; in its place was the Old Bungalow. We were standing in line at the portico, and after Swami alighted from His car, He came near us and looked at each one of us keenly. And when His eyes met mine, He smiled, and said in Kannada (my mother tongue), Enu, Habbu anuva? (‘Are you not Habbu?’) I said, ‘Yes, Swami!’ At this moment, I was happy and sad; happy because I had finally come to His lotus feet, but, at the same time, sad, as I had taken 46 long years.”

Part 1

Dear reader, if you have such inspiring tale or know somebody who would like to share his story, we would only be too happy to feature it in this section of Heart2Heart. After all, what is Heart2Heart without tales of love, inspiration, values and compassion? Please write to us at [email protected] with your name and country. Thank you for your time.


 

.

spacer
link_icon
link_icon Write to Us at H2H
Vol 7 Issue 03 - MARCH 2009
Best viewed in Internet Explorer 7 - 1024 x 768 resolution.
© Copyright 2009 Radio Sai Global Harmony
DHTML Menu by Milonic