the year 2002, on the occasion of Gurupoornima, Bhagawan inaugurated
the Sri Sathya Sai Deena Janoddharana Pathakamu, a scheme
under which residential units were constructed to house destitutes
and orphaned children belonging to the weaker sections of
the society. Sixty children from various villages around Puttaparthi
are now supported by this scheme. Rs.1 lakh has been deposited
in the name of each child in addition to the free housing,
food, clothing, education and other daily needs being provided.
The residential units are located in a colony named Sri Sathya
Sai Nagar in the village of Kammavaripalli behind the western
perimeter of the ashram. A school also has been built here
where the children are provided formal education as also vocational
training. This institution has become a role model for many
such institutions in Andhra Pradesh.
Four years have passed since the Institution
was started. On the evening of 20th June 2006, the children
of the home celebrated the foundation day in the
divine presence of Bhagawan. The love of the children for
Bhagawan and Bhagawan’s concern and care was well depicted
through a canvas in Sai Kulwant Hall.
Bhagawan came to the Hall to the chant of
Vedic hymns at 3.55 p.m. The programme began with an invocation
by the students who chanted the ‘Narayana Suktam’.
At the outset, a boy from the Institution expressed his gratitude
to Bhagawan for providing them food, clothing and a safe haven
to live in. We can only offer ourselves and pray for His grace,
he said. The boy informed the audience that 9 boys had passed
the 10th class and some others had joined B.Sc. (Information
Technology) to pursue their further studies.
next presentation was a thematic play on the concept of ancient
Vedic wisdom and modern technology presented as a dialogue
between two narrators. The opening scene depicts Adi Sankara,
the renowned Vedantist of yore, eulogising Lord Siva. The
narrators deplore that in this holy land that has given birth
to such great men of wisdom like Adi Shankara, society has
today fallen to the lures of the materialistic world and ignored
its glorious heritage. The next scene portrays a few priests
performing a Yagna (offering of oblations in the sacrificial
fire) when the great emperor Alexander on his conquering expedition
happens on the scene. He converses with the priests and he
is impressed him by their self confidence and simplicity.
He asks them to reveal the secret of their contentment. The
priests reply that true happiness can be gained only by conquering
one’s desires and not by conquest of empires.
Then the scene shifts to a typical urban
household in India. An old man who prides in the richness
of Indian culture is shocked at seeing his grandson’s
flippant attitude towards the values and ethos of this great
land. He decides that it is time that the boy learnt that
the wonders of modern technology that he was so much in awe
of were already known to the sages of ancient India. He cites
examples such as the ancient Indian treatise on air travel
as well as missiles and warheads, Vaimanika Sastra, and various
surgical procedures detailed in the Charaka Samhita. He explains
to the boy that it is not technology that is evil, but it
harmful ways in which it is being applied. The play brought
out the numerous ways that technology, especially Information
Technology, can benefit society. It is only spirituality that
can lend completeness to science was the message of the skit.
The presentation concluded with a moving
song that expressed the gratitude the boys felt towards Swami
for the sea change that Swami had brought about in their lives
and who cared for them as only a loving mother can. At the
end of the programme, Bhagawan lovingly granted photographs
to the boys. After Prasadam distribution and Arati, Bhagawan
retired to His residence.