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REPORT ON KARNATAKA SAI YOUTH FESTIVAL – YUVA VANDANA: 27th & 28th May, 2006

 

The Youth Wing of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Karnataka conducted a Youth Festival ‘Yuva Vandana’ in the Divine Presence on 27th and 28th May at Brindavan.

The dawn of 27th saw several young men dressed in colourful costumes lined up in the Trayee Brindavan compound eagerly waiting to welcome their Beloved Bhagawan. As the door opened and Bhagawan came out, a group of youngsters who were dressed in the traditional attire of Dhoti and Angavastram, ceremonially welcomed Bhagawan with a ‘Poornakumbam’ while chanting Vedic hymns. As the procession slowly made its way to Sai Ramesh Krishan Hall to the tunes of a band, Bhagawan appeared in the hall through the usual entrance on the stage.

Bhagawan then inaugurated the Youth Festival by pressing a button upon which a big lotus kept on one side of the stage opened up even as a neon sign reading “Yuva Vandana” flashed, and simultaneously all the portraits of Bhagawan were lit up by spotlights. This grand spectacle along with the beautiful floral decorations in the hall took everyone’s breath away, and the hall resounded with thunderous applause. Following this, there was Bhajans during which Bhagawan descended from the stage and went around the hall blessing the youth seated there. With the blessings of Bhagawan, on this occasion, the youth distributed 1000 school kits to children from villages where they have been conducting regular Seva programmes. The morning session concluded with a cultural programme consisting of dance performance by children and a Carnatic vocal recital.

Bhagawan arrived in Sai Ramesh Krishan Hall at 3.30 pm. After a few Bhajans, as per Bhagawan’s command, Sri Nagesh G. Dhakappa, the State President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Karnataka spoke a few words of introduction welcoming the Youth participants. He also expressed his gratitude to Bhagawan and sought His guidance and grace for everyone to lead ideal lives.

Following Sri Dhakappa’s speech, Kum. Shiva Leela a youth member from Dharwad spoke eloquently in Kannada. She narrated a few of her personal experiences of how she got transformed after coming into Bhagawan’s fold and how she realized the power of prayer. On one occasion, when she and two more volunteers decided to go to a village to undertake Seva activities, they wondered how they would accomplish the uphill task that lay ahead of them. But by Swami’s grace, as they went about doing Seva, they were joined by many villagers and the whole programme was completed successfully. She exhorted everyone to live their lives as per the Divine command and enjoy the sweetness of Divine Love. The next speaker for the afternoon was Sri Vinay Hariharan, the Youth Wing Coordinator of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Karnataka. Sri Hariharan briefly touched upon the various Seva activities being undertaken by the Youth Wing, and how Bhagawan has been continuously showering His blessings on them. Once while they were taking out Rathotsavam (chariot procession) in a village near Mandya, Amritham (nectar) was oozing out of Bhagawan’s feet from the photograph, thus demonstrating His Omnipotence and His love for His devotees.

After Sri Hariharan’s speech, Bhagawan graciously rose up to deliver His Divine Discourse. Bhagawan spoke about the four manifestations of Shakti or power namely Vyashti (individual), Samashti (society), Shrushti (creation) and Parameshti or Brahman (God). He said that each of these has evolved from the succeeding entity and ultimately Brahman is the origin of everything. Since the individual has taken birth in the society, he is obligated to serve the society. Swami then told that youth alone can transform the world for they are bestowed with divine powers. If they realize this truth and canalize it in the right way, they would immensely benefit from it. Bhagawan then dwelt on the greatness of Bharath and its cultural heritage and exhorted everyone to follow his or her own culture instead of trying to imitate other cultures. Bhagawan then concluded with the Bhajan “Prema muditha manse kaho…” and remarked that the words ‘Rama’ (divinity) and ‘Prema’ (love) are one and the same.

After the discourse, Bhagawan accepted Arati and returned to Trayee. At 5.40 pm, Bhagawan came to Sai Krishan Kalyana Mantapam to watch ‘Ekalavya’ – a Kannada drama staged by the Youth Wing members. The play written by the famous playwright Sri T.P.Kailasam was adapted from the epic Mahabharata with subtle changes to add to its poignant sanctity. The actors were all alumni of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Junior College, Alike and presently, students of Mysore Medical College. The play beautifully depicted the supreme virtues of ‘Guru Bhakti’ (devotion to one’s preceptor), dedication and sacrifice personified as Ekalavya. At the end of the play, Bhagawan materialized a ring for the youth who acted as Ekalavya, blessed all the participants with watches and posed for photographs with them.

On 28th morning, Bhagawan came to Sai Ramesh Krishan Hall at 7.50 am and listened to Bhajans. Afterwards, He blessed the Narayana Seva (distribution of food and clothes to poor people) conducted on the occasion of the anniversary of Sai Geetanjali, Bhagawan’s Mandir at J.P.Nagar, Bangalore. In the evening, there was a ‘Talavadya Kacheri’ where the participants exhibited their mastery over the percussion instruments such as Tabla, Mridangam, Ghatam, Kanjeera and Morsing. Next there was a fusion music programme which started with the Bhajan “Manasa bhajare guru charanam” played on Sitar and accompanied by Tabla and Drums. For the next twenty minutes, the performers kept the audience enthralled with a lilting mix of melody and rhythm, after which all the youth participants sang the theme song “Yuva Vandana”.

After the programme, Bhagawan materialized a Navaratnamala (garland of nine precious gems) for the State Youth Coordinator Sri Vinay Hariharan and complimented him for his exemplary dedication and effort in organizing the Youth Festival. Bhagawan was immensely pleased with the whole programme and spoke a few words of appreciation and encouragement to all the youth members in Kannada, and blessed them. Indeed, ‘Yuva Vandana’ was a festival of love and joy where the youth collectively expressed their love and dedication to Bhagawan, and Bhagawan in turn showered his bountiful love on each and every one of them and immersed them in ineffable joy and bliss.