Posted on: Aug 17, 2011
The Investiture Ceremony
Marking the beginning of the sports season
On August 14, 2011, the Prasanthi Nilayam campus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning heralded the year's sports season with a solemn yet colourful Investiture Ceremony in the Sri Sathya Sai International Center for Sports. Truly speaking, in the institutions started by Bhagawan the academic calender and the sports and cultural calender are carefully intertwined so as to reiterate the importance of these extra curricular activities in imparting integral education. This ceremony was held to officially hand over to the Captains and Vice Captains of the various houses their respective flags. There was also an oath taking ceremony where all students pledged to take part in the sports and cultural events of the year in the true spirit of sportsmanship and more importantly, as an offering to their beloved Mother Sai.
But this was not just a routine ceremony for it was more of a curtain raiser for the grander and larger Annual Sports and Cultural Meet that is held every year on January 11, in which all the campuses of the university participate. Apart from the students of the Post Graduate campus, the boys from the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary and Primary School too presented their programmes. They offered the audience a sample of everything - dance, gymnastics and even a basketball and a volleyball match. On this occasion, a video that captures the unequalled love that Bhagawan showers on His students to encourage them in their efforts in the realm of sports was also screened. This presentation even gave a footprint of how the Annual Sports event has come to be as it is today. We now present you this video with an appropriate preamble and concluding remarks.
Life is a Game - Play it
- a video presentation
“A sound mind in a sound body” - this adage is well known and oft quoted. As Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba says, one cannot separate the ‘spiritual’ from the ‘worldly’; the two terms are not separate watertight compartments. Everything is either spiritual or worldly depending on the way the mind works and interprets it. The importance of the mind can hardly be overemphasized and Swami sums this by telling, “Mana Eva Manushyanaam Kaaranam Bandha Mokshayoho” meaning that the mind alone is responsible for man’s bondage or liberation.
How does the body come into all this? The body is the temple of God in which the mind too is enshrined. The body also becomes a medium of expression for the three Gunas ( attributes) of Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Swami says, “Tamasic is characterized by intellectual inertia, a wavering mind, indecisiveness, non-discrimination and heedlessness. The Rajasic is characterized by passion, anger, jealousy, greed and restlessness. The Satvic is full of wisdom, is calm and serene but experiences happiness. Wisdom belongs to Satva-guna, activity to Rajo-guna and delusion to Tamo-guna.”
Every person is a mix of these three. Sadhana (spiritual practices) is working in a manner to become more satvic and less tamasic. One has to move from tamasic to rajasic and then to satvic. Physical fitness, sports and games become instrumental in helping one to progress from tamasic to rajasic. Even as one plays, one improves decision making, discrimination and focus by overcoming inertia and laziness. What holds good for sports, holds good for life too and Swami says, “Life is a Game, Play it.” Swami thus has always encouraged His students to play on and the ways in which He did that are truly memorable as the video below depicts.
Swami narrates a Chinna Katha to amplify the need to imbibe Satvic qualities.
“There were three fishes in a pond. One fish said to the other two: "The water in this pond will run dry day after day. A time will come when the pond may become completely dry and before the fisherman comes to catch us, it is necessary that we go and stay in some place where there is a perennial supply of water".
The second fish said: "You are simply imagining. Your mind is full of needless fears. The pond will not run dry. The fisherman will not come to bother us. Enjoy your present state." The third fish too shared this idea and decided to remain in the pond, too lazy to go any where else.
The first fish was discouraged when the other two did not accept its advice and so it had to share their fate. As anticipated, the fisherman came and trapped them, cooked and ate them.
Our life may be compared to a pond and the length of our life to the water. The three fishes are the three gunas, tamas, rajas and satva.
The satvic tendency always decides to follow the path of good and fixes its attention on things which are permanent. It decides that before the level of water runs down, it should save itself and it always thinks of noble things. The level of water is the length of life and day by day it recedes. At any time death may overcome it.
The fisherman is the emblem of death. Tamas and rajas are antagonistic to satva and therefore even the merit of satva is counteracted by the other two. These two gunas, tamas and rajas, mislead our senses and send them along the wrong path.
We should first try to control tamas and rajas and thereby attain mastery over our senses. If we follow good methods even rajas and tamas may be conquered by close association with satva."
- Radio Sai Team