Week-long Prasanthi Onam celebrations came to a grand culmination this evening, marked by a drama presentation and award ceremony.
Commencing the session, Prof E Mukundan, State President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations, Kerala gave a brief summary of the proceedings, explaining some of the salient features of the Sai Organizational initiatives in the State, profusely thanking Bhagawan for the most memorable Onam in His immediate Divine Presence. He then introduced the ensuing session to the august assembly.
The Chief Guest for the occasion was Padmasree Prof N R Madhava Menon, Chancellor - Guru Ghasidas Central University, Chhattisgarh.
It is India’s liberal ethos that makes her distinct from the rest of the world, observed Prof Madhava Menon, deliberating on the uniqueness of India – Unity in Diversity. Our ancient prayer Samastha Lokah… is the finest proof for this wonderful Indian concept. Recalling his earlier visit to Prasanthi Nilayam and meeting with Bhagawan, the high profiled educationist then spoke of Bhagawan’s ‘Educare’ initiative, calling it – something to be analyzed and adapted by everyone. Prof Madhava Menon is also the Chancellor of National University of Educational Planning and Administration.
The winners of the annual Essay Writing Competition and Bhajan Mahotsav were then presented gold medals and awards. Sri R J Rathnakar, Trustee, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, gave away the Medals and Awards to the winners. The winners were: Kum Kasturi Shah from Thiruvanantapuram for high school level, Kum Anita Tajuddin from Palakkad district for inter-collegiate level, and Ms Sheetal M C, from Kozhikode. The topics for the competition were, Love All Serve All, Mother and Motherland and Need For Ethics In Social Life. Over 24,700 students representing 1000 educational institutions participated in the competition this year.
Two of the winners, Kum Anita Tajuddin and Sheetal MC also shared their perspectives, in brief words. While Anita touched upon her given subject, deliberating on the Purity of Motherhood – AMMA… that blossoms from eternity, Sheetal, speaking in Malayalam, opined that the real Onam is in Prasanthi Nilayam and Mahalabali must be coming to Prasanthi Nilayam, first.
The drama presentation entitled ‘Navavidha Bhakti’ followed next, staged by the students of Sri Sathya Sai Vidyapeeth, Srisailam, Kozhikode. The presentation was a dramatic depiction of the nine modes of devotion as explained in the Bhagavata Purana, often referred to by Bhagawan, in His discourses.
Bhagawan’s Divine discourse followed next, a Divine treatise on the legend of Onam and Bali Chakravarthi, played on the public address system.
Bhajans continued and the session concluded with Mangala Arathi at 1850 hrs.