by Mrs. Pushpa Ramana
The author of this article, Pushpa Ramana, is from an old devotee family. For over 30 years she has done voluntary service at the Sri Sathya Sai University Women's Campus in Anantapur. She has been in charge of the library, has been an active member in many campus seva programs, and is presently serving in the capacity of Hostel Warden.
The deep desire of the Holy Mother took shape in the form of a circular building, wherein students from all parts of the country and across the globe would imbibe the teachings of Bhagavan.
God has descended on earth from time to time to revive and to remind us of the purpose of life, as humanity is forgetting the path towards the Source. Our beloved Swami has come down with a mission of social transformation that has never been taken up by any Avatar in the past. His mission is as vast as an ocean, not only on account of its wide nature, but also because of its multifaceted dimensions.
In an age when women are raising their heads to participate hand-in-hand with men, Bhagavan initiated the College for Women at Anantapur, followed by two colleges for men at Brindavan (Whitefield) and Prasanthi Nilayam. The sophisticated building of the Anantapur Campus has brought an added beauty to Rayalseema District, a backward area.
A mother takes care of her children, but our Divine Mother our Beloved Swami guides the teachers as well as the students concerning all walks of life. The daily routine in the Hostel starts with the chanting of the sacred Omkar in the early hours and ends with thanksgiving to God before retiring to bed. The modest dress code, the various extra-curricular activities, the physical well-being through sports and games, etc., were formulated by Him to achieve the goal of the integration of the personality of the students.
The free education that Swami has been providing, along with the meager mess fees charged despite a nutritious diet for the students, has not gone in vain. These selfless acts of the Lord have fructified. Since 1968, the many batches of students who have passed out from Anantapur wholeheartedly express their gratitude to Bhagavan, since their lives have been guarded and guided by Him all through. The period of stay in Bhagavan's Institutions has a great impact on the young minds of the students. Swami's mission to revive our cultural heritage has spread all over the globe. Along with the academic excellence offered in His Colleges, the students are equipped with the knowledge of the Vedas as well. This chanting of the Vedas has spread all over the world, and is being followed with great enthusiasm and longing to come closer to Divinity.
The parents of the children studying in Bhagavan's Institutions are bound by a thread of love and devotion. The parents get inspired by the transformation of their children, and make frequent visits to Prasanthi Nilayam for darshans; thus, bringing them, also, closer to Bhagavan.
The teachers are simple, dedicated and filled with devotion. They do not spare themselves in fulfilling Swami's expectations to mould the students. It is not the monetary benefits that have attracted them to take up a job in Bhagavan's Institution, but the yearning to receive His grace, be in close proximity of the Lord, and be ideal instruments in His Divine mission.
Bhagavan often mentions that learning is endless. Therefore, the teachers also benefit from the exercise of teaching the students. All human beings are learning new lessons throughout their lives.
The high standards of the syllabus have earned this Institution a very good name and opened up opportunities for the students to seek good jobs. It is Bhagavan's Grace, of course, that makes it possible to acquire a good position in life. During their stay in Bhagavan's Institution, the personality of each one of the students is developed in such a way that anyone can identify them as Bhagavan's students. With His Grace, all of them are doing well in their family life or career.
Swami's Grace flows incessantly. He has given His students and teachers a unique opportunity to serve and participate in village service (grama seva). “Grama Seva” gives a chance to the students to understand Bhagavan's mission in reaching out to the needy. We look forward to such opportunities that enable us to involve ourselves in social service.
In the olden days, values were imparted to the children by the elders in the family. Gurus and Teachers led exemplary lives. There were no special courses to teach values, no lectures given for orientation to values in order to make the children practice them. In modern times, in spite of all the efforts made to inculcate values, the result has not been very satisfactory, due to the increasing temptations of the present-day materialistic society. The whole lifestyle has changed considerably; the dress code, the hairstyle, and eating habits. More importantly, there is a lack of respect for elders and parents.
In spite of the deterioration of values, our ancient heritage has held on to values, as, from time to time, Avatars and saints have led exemplary lives for the cause of the welfare of humanity.
Our Beloved Swami has given impetus to His educational mission by reviving the Gurukula system of education, though with a modern touch. Free education is imparted so that the parents do not have to undergo financial difficulties to provide quality education to their children.
Free medical aid is offered through Bhagavan's hospitals, where the work goes on with a band of dedicated doctors and other staff. Swami's students, both boys and girls, also play an important role in taking care of the sick.
The water facility, extended by Bhagavan to areas where there was a dearth of water, has quenched the thirst not only of living beings, but also enhanced the harvesting of good crops.
The “Mother”, Easwaramma, who was instrumental in praying to our Lord for the facilities of schools, hospitals and water supply, dwells in the hearts of all the devotees of Bhagavan Baba.
Bhagavan's love is as vast as an ocean. Deep down in the ocean lie precious gems which only those who dive deep can acquire. For those who are deserving, on account of their previous karmas, Bhagavan Himself picks the gems and bestows His Grace on them. There are others who earn His Grace by following His ideals and leading pure lives.
For all that we have received from Bhagavan, we can show our gratitude only by showing that same loving attitude toward others. It is only when all of us, the students and teachers, rise up to His expectations that we can make our Beloved Swami happy. Those of us who are chosen by our Beloved Swami to be a part of his Divine Mission are, indeed, blessed. Life's only desire is to make Him happy.