A 2-day convention of All India Balvikas Alumni & Group II Students got under-way in the in Sai Kulwant Hall this morning. Over 2000 alumni are attending the two-day convention. The theme of this year’s convention is Balvikas – The Pathway to Excellence.
Marking the occasion, there were five speeches followed by a musical offering this morning. Beginning with Veda chanting by the Karnataka alumni, the programme continued with a group song, Sathya Sai Bhagavan ne gyaan ki jyoth jalayi…Har ek jeev hai ansh prabhu ka sabhi hain bhai bhai…before setting the stage for the speeches.
The first speaker for the session was Ms Monica from the state of Sikkim. Welcoming one and all, deliberating on the theme, the young speaker from the North-East spoke of ‘excellence’ terming it as character formation beyond material perceptions. Anything that is transient can never be excellent. At a time when world is passing through a testing phase, how do we lead a life of excellence, asked the speaker, affirming that Balvikas is the answer wherein one is nurtured to find one’s true identity. Ms Monica also narrated a personal anecdote illustrating Baba's Saving Grace during the 2011 earthquake that rocked her home town. Excellent life is a life of hope, life of faith, living with His ideals, holding hands together, said the speaker ending her inspiring speech.
The next speaker was Sri V Srinivasan, All India President of Sri Sathya Sai Organisations. Offering rich gratitude to Baba for His supreme benevolence, at the outset Sri Srinivasan called upon all the participants welcoming one and all to Prasanthi Nilayam.
Referring to the theme, ‘Balvikas – Pathways to Excellence’, Sri Srinivasan said, the pathway to excellence begins and ends with Baba. Urging the alumni to resolve to come together assembling at His Lotus Feet periodically, the veteran speaker reminded the audience of the organisation’s motto, transforming hearts to transform the world, hinting upon the huge task ahead of the alumni in contributing to nation building.
The lamp that was lit by Baba should continue to burn with effulgence, and to achieve this the alumni has a key role to play. Calling the institution of Balvikas, Balvikas University, Sri Srinivasan reminded them of their twin duties towards their twin alma mater, Balvikas and school or college where from they have acquired their academic degrees. Speaking emphatically, setting the tone inciting the audience to an introspection mode, Sri Srinivasan sent a barrage of questions related to their efforts in expanding the institution of Balvikas. One should always feel grateful towards his or her institution and ingratitude is the greatest sin.
Giving ourselves to a cause is the greatest gift one could do; service without Love is no Seva at all; one needs to develop compassion towards fellow beings, seeing the sufferings around the world. Sai Organisation cannot stay away from the society, and so with the alumni.
Bhavesh Chandra, an MBA and Zonal Coordinator of Sai Organisation from Luknow, Uttar Pradesh, who spoke next, began narrating his unexpected, unplanned entry into Sathya Sai Balvikas. Filled with grateful feeling, Bhavesh spoke how greater values got embedded in his mind that subsequently got set in his heart. Sai Maa holds the hands of the alumni once they pass out to move into the world, said the young speaker praying that all children in the world be blessed with Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Education.
The next speaker, Ms Pranchi from Odisha spoke of Balvikas comparing the same with a machine mechanism where in the process involves Input, Process and Output. Similar to this mechanism, Balvikas children, being the input, gets processed through the Education, Sadhana, finally to emerge out, as output, as blossomed flowers with fragrance, character and beauty. Ms Pranchi ended asserting that living with God is true education.
Sri Santosh, an IBM executive working at Hyderabad, hailing from Bihar & Jharkhand was the final speaker. Santosh shared his nostalgic childhood memories of early Balvikas days. Balvikas is blossoming of the individual with character, said Santosh narrating a 2006 interaction he had, as eternal memory, with Bhagawan. Speaking about the relevance of amalgamation of intelligence with spiritual knowledge, Santosh ended his speech asserting that Balvikas helps to stay focussed till one achives his or her goals.
A musical bouquet, Sri Sai Gana Charitam, a garland of old melodies by SSSBV – Karnataka followed. After four songs, bhajans continued and Mangala Arathi was offered at 1015 hrs.
The convention will continue for three more sessions, two in the Poornachandra and one in Sai Kulwant Hall, scheduled for tomorrow morning.