February 14, 2009 – Swami’s Visit to Muddenahalli
Muddenahalli's great penance finally came to fruition on February 14. Though the picturesque hilly terrain that houses a residential model school in the name of Bhagavan had been blessed by His Divine Presence on many an occasion earlier, February 14, 2009 for them was a red-letter day. It was destined on this day to receive the sanctifying touch of blessing from the Lord when the foundation stone was laid atop the picturesque hills in Muddenahalli as the privileged fourth campus of the Sri Sathya Sai University. The University has three campuses at Prasanthi Nilayam, Brindavan and Anantapur. On November 23, 2008, Swami took everyone by a pleasant storm as He announced in between His discourse:
"Today I have decided to have a separate campus affiliated to SriSathyaSaiUniversity in Muddenahalli. Bhagavan's Will is bound to happen. The work will start from tomorrow. Therefore, Swami has Willed to have SriSathyaSaiUniversity in Muddenahalli. The people living in Muddenahalli are village folk. They live by physical labour. To pursue higher studies, they have to go to cities or towns. Once they have completed their education, they can go elsewhere to earn a living. Swami has decided to inculcate spirituality through Bhagavatam, Bhagawad Gita and Ramayana."
The complete happening of that day is present in the December 2008 issue of H2H.
And so it was that a lot of ground work and preparations had been made. It is very interesting that Swami chose February 14 for the ground breaking ceremony. This day is symbolic for the celebration of love the world over. Muddenahalli got the privilege of being the Divine valentine as Swami decided to shower His Love, grace and bounty on it. The entire campus wore a festive look with dainty decorations and bold banners. Flags and festoons spread a colour riot everywhere. Thousands, students and teachers clad in immaculate white and nearly 10,000 other devotees who had gathered under the shamiyanas on the vast lawns in front of "Premdeep", the Divine abode, were delighted at the arrival of the Lord in Sathya Sai Grama.
Elaborate arrangements had been made with meticulous planning to receive Swami. The Divine convoy comprised of Mr. Chakravarthi (Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust), Prof. G. Venkatraman (formerly Vice Chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai University), Mr. S. V. Giri (formerly Vice-chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai University), Mr. Vishwanath Pandit (current Vice-chancellor), Mr. V. Srinivasan (President, Sri Sathya Sai Organisations), Mr. C. Srinivas (Member, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust), Mr. S. S. Naganand (Trustee, Sri Sathya Sai Medical Trust and Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana Trust), and others. After spending a few minutes in "Premdeep", Swami proceeded to the hillock in the southern direction of the campus, where the land had been levelled for laying the foundation stone for the Administrative Block and Residence of the Divine Chancellor.
Atop the hill, the venue for the foundation stone laying ceremony, Swami was accorded a grand traditional reception with the 'Poorna Kumbham'. Amidst sonorous chanting of the vedas by the students, Swami laid the foundation stone inside the specially erected 'mantapam'. The mantapam and the entire area had a celestial atmosphere with gorgeous flower decorations, colorful balloons and a wide-variety of lush green plants. Swami glanced through the event card and looked at the plans for the college building designed by the L&T Ltd.
After laying the foundation stone, Swami returned to “Premadeep”. He blessed a group of old students of the institution, who sought His Divine sanction to construct 'Prema Kutir', a residential block for the dedicated teachers (thyagajeevis) of Muddenahalli. Another group of well-wishers of the Institution, who proposed to build some guest houses for the comfortable stay of parents of students and other guests, was also blessed by Swami in the Prayer-hall of "Premdeep". Meanwhile, students were singing bhajans on the sprawling lawns under the huge shamiyanas where thousands of people had gathered well in advance to have the darshan of the Lord and listen to His nectarine words. Alighting the specially erected dais in front of the "Premdeep", Swami granted the coveted Divine darshan to the thousands assembled.
The public function began with the chanting of Veda by a group of students after which Mr. U. Gangadhar Bhat, Chairman of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust spoke for a few minutes expressing heartfelt gratitude to Bhagavan for conferring the boon of the University Campus to Muddenahalli. Mr. B. Narayana Rao, the Secretary of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust, speaking next prayed to Bhagavan to give strength to all the teachers and office bearers to carry out His wishes by becoming His worthy servitors. Mr. B. N. Narasimha Murthy, Warden, Sri Sathya Sai Boys' Hostel, Brindavan described the unfathomable compassion and concern of Bhagavan for the entire mankind and the service activities undertaken by Him for the amelioration of the difficulties of people. He had been associated with the Muddenahalli school right from its inception, and he spoke his heart out expressing his gratitude to Bhagavan. He cited the examples of the Super Speciality Hospitals built by Bhagavan at Prasanthi Nilayam and Whitefield within a record time and how they were a boon to the suffering humanity. Before concluding He made a fervent prayer to the Divine to bless the occasion with His Divine Discourse.
Reasoning out His newest endeavour to impart quality education, Bhagavan said that children from the area were poor and could not afford to go to cities for pursuing higher education. Referring to the declining spiritual progress in villages, He said, this campus would give emphasis on scriptural studies that should help the children to grow into noble citizens. The campus would be inaugurated in one year time, barring all obstacles as it was His Divine Sankalpa, declared the Lord, amidst cheers from the audience. The entire project would be borne by Him alone, assured the Lord, advising the patrons not to accept any money from outside. He said, "When Lakshmi resides in my Vakshasthala (heart region of the chest), why do I need anyone's financial assistance?" The Divine Discourse in Telugu lasted for 45 minutes.
"During My very first visit to Muddenahalli, I had provided the campus with many facilities and now I have decided to start a campus of Sri Sathya Sai University here and start courses like B.A, M.A, B.Sc, M.Sc, B.Com in this college. I have laid the foundation stone today for the building. Just like the magnificent buildings on the hills in Prasanthi Nilayam, a grand building will raise its head on the hillocks here and this and other imposing buildings will be ready for inauguration by next February.
Now, people in society have become very greedy. Greed brings in its train sorrow and suffering. To get rid of this, people should tread on the path of 'Atmaanveshana' (self-discovery) which will confer on them bliss.
Now, even in villages people have many facilities but they do not have any spiritual inclination; they have given up the practice of remembering God. So, I have decided to arrange for the teaching of Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Bhagavad Gita to the students in the college here so that they will impart to the villagers the message and the values of these sacred scriptures.
One should have self confidence. You know that Abraham Lincoln was penurious; other students in the school treated him contemptuously when he went to school wearing torn clothes. When he sorrowfully told his mother how he was subjected to scorn and disdain, his mother advised him to develop faith in God. As a result, he became the President of America. Before occupying the seat of the President, he prostrated to his mother; he knew that he could rise to such a high position only by his mother's advice and blessings.
You too should develop in you such self-confidence. Atma, God, I – all these are one and not different. "Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanti". From the same gold, different ornaments are made. If you develop such self-confidence in you, you can become leaders of tomorrow. Only those leaders who have faith in God can cure the ills and ameliorate the sufferings which the society is afflicted with at present. You should serve the society with self-confidence and with the feeling that you are a humble servant. The positions like M.L.A, M.P or ministers are all but temporary.
I started the educational institution here with the purpose of providing the children with good education, food and clothing. Magnificent buildings which will cause a sense of wonder will come up here. I, Myself, will inaugurate the college and other buildings here on February 14 next year. When Goddess Lakshmi herself is here in My heart, what is the necessity to ask anyone for money? You should remember that God dwells in your heart. You may give up anything but you should not give up devotion for God. With unshakable devotion you can achieve anything".
In between, Bhagavan turned to Mr. Narasimha Murthy and advised him to camp in Muddenahalli for some time to give proper guidance to the teachers and office bearers. Telling this, He materialized and blessed him with a glittering ring. Calling Mr. Narayan Rao, He advised him not to accept money from anyone for the project. Entire project would be borne by Bhagavan alone, assured the Lord, advising the patrons not to accept any money from outside. He advised him that all the teachers and office bearers should work in unison. Continuing His Divine Discourse, Bhagavan said:
"You are indeed fortunate because you have got this opportunity of Darshan, Sparshan and Sambhashan. It is your duty to keep your parents happy. So many foreigners come to Prasanthi Nilayam and learn to lead a peaceful and happy life. Within the next 18 years the whole of the world will become one big family and the Sanathana Dharma way of life will be adopted by everyone.
Bhagavan concluded His Divine Discourse with the bhajan, "Prema Mudita Manse kaho Rama Rama Ram…"
Prasadam was distributed to all who had assembled, after which Bhagavan started on His return journey to Prasanthi Nilayam. With sweet memories and abundant hopes, Muddenahalli would be looking forward for an eventful year when the Divine Sankalpa would come true, and when He would be setting His Divine Feet yet again, a date that would go in the annals of His story as a very special day.
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- Heart2Heart Team