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FOUNDATION DAY CELEBRATIONS OF SRI SATHYA SAI DEENAJANODDHARANA PATHAKAM: 20th JUNE 2006

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In 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.

Their 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 is the 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.