From the national arena to the international scene. After a most memorable golden jubilee celebrations by the Anantapur campus and an exhilarating Ashadi Ekadashi by Maharashtra and Goa, the scene in the run-up to the Guru Purnima in Prasanthi Nilayam moves on expanding wearing international colours.
Today marked the IV annual graduation ceremony of the Sathya Sai International Leadership Programme (SSLP). Marking the occasion, Prasanthi Nilayam witnessed an impressive ceremony, attended by 300 Young Adults from over 30 countries.
The Sathya Sai International Leadership Programme (SSILP) for Young Adults (YAs) was developed in 2014 to provide standardised leadership training to YAs from all over the world, based on Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings. The course covers both foundational knowledge and practical application in society. The goal of the SSILP is to develop future leaders who will not only disseminate Bhagawan’s message through rendering service to society, but also lead a rejuvenation of human values throughout the globe. The programme ensures all-round development of the YAs into prospective leaders.
The session commenced with a brief introduction of the day's proceedings. Ms Raksha Mahtani from Spain and Dr. Sathya Rao from Malaysia were the two speakers for the session, both pass-outs of the programme from the previous years.
Hailing Bhagawan as her 'one and all', Ms Raksha began quoting Bhagawan during the SSWC in 1997, calling to work for world peace, being the architects of future. Emphasising on Bhagawan's guidance to good leadership, that is, first Be, then Do... and then finally Tell, the speaker briefly explained the essence of the programme that came into being in 2015. The programme that aims at nurturing the inherent qualities through a structured programme comprises of three modules, in three languages, English, Spanish and Russian. Six of the modules are conducted online and the rest of the three in a 4-day workshop in Prasanthi Nilayam. First three online modules cover the key foundations of Bhagawan's life and teachings followed by a deeper overview of the purpose, activities and functions of SSIO. Next three online modules cover Swami's teachings on leadership, challenges being faced as YAs with solutions to overcome the same. The final set of modules focus on the key practical aspects of loving and effective communication, team dynamics and project management. After the nine modules, candidates are given a one year project on wide range of topics. Raksha, herself being a successful graduate from the previous batch vouched the effectiveness of the programme that brought out over 1000 YAs in the last three years. May we all manifest the true leader within, which is our conscience, wished the grateful speaker concluding her soft and truthful speech, thanking Bhagawan for being the True Source Of Inspiration. Ms Raksha Mahtani from Spain is a Kinder Garden and Primary Teacher and is the Zonal YA Coordinator for Zone 6, South Europe.
Dr. Sathya Rao from Malaysia in his inspiring speech next shared his story of executing a challenging project as part of the Leadership Programme. He was assigned a village, Apong, that has almost nothing when it comes to 'essentials' for human inhabitation, be it electricity, water, name it anything. With His immense grace, with all-out dedication and surrender at His Lotus Feet, Dr. Sathya Rao could muster the necessary man-force along with load full of materials to execute a water project, that runs through the mountain roads and hanging bridges serving the needy in one of the remotest Malaysian villages, Apong. Being contented with life is what really matters, said the speaker as the best thing they learnt from the villagers. The beauty of coexisting with nature without polluting, contaminating, abusing the same is all that is important, he reminded the YAs. The impact of this leadership programme is far more than what we can imagine, opined the speaker, exhorting fellow graduates that Bhagawan chooses the leaders and He alone qualifies them. With His Will and our willingness to serve, the global communities will benefit much more, ended Dr. Sathya Rao on a positive note. Dr. Sathya Rao. is a Medical Specialist in the field of family medicine, also serving as the Zone 4 YA Coordinator for SSIO.
What followed next was an echo of the Voice Of United Love...offered by the International Young Adults from across the borders, transgressing the many barriers of language, culture and tradition. The offering entitled, "From Ignorance To Truth, Love All Serve All" that began with a'Vakra Tunda Mahakaya' offering to the Primal Lord Maha Ganapathi followed by obeisance to Goddess Saraswathi, had seven musical pieces, namely, the theme song (From Ignorance To Truth, Love All Serve All), There is no reason for love..., Si Me Caigo... (Spanish number), Let's Go Green..., a Medley Of Sai Bhajans to end with Oh Sai Baba...
Fresh graduants were then presented with the certificate by senior members of SSIO along with Member Trustees of SSSCT.
Bhajans next ended with Mangala Arathi to Bhagawan.