Govt grants help Sathya Sai school

Govt grants help Sathya Sai school
Peter Caton | 6th April 2010

SEVEN new classrooms, a learning centre, music room and renovations have been completed at the Sathya Sai Primary School in Murwillumbah with the help of Federal Government economic stimulus funds.

Nearly $1.5 million in building and renovation work was officially opened at the school on Friday by Federal MP for Richmond and Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot.

The project used $850,000 from the Federal Government’s Primary Schools for the 21st Century grants and a $600,000 from the Association of Independent Schools.

A spokeswoman said the school, which currently has about 100 students, is “now equipped to expand to seven single streams”.

Ms Elliot met with students and staff at the school to view the new and upgraded facilities describing the new facilities as exciting for the children and parents.

A week earlier she opened extensions at St Joseph’s Primary School in South Murwillumbah.

“It has been fantastic to see local principals, parents and tradespeople working together to deliver these important projects,” she said.

“Now that they are completed, teachers and students in our local schools will be teaching and learning in the 21st century facilities.”

Ms Elliot said the “Building the Education Revolution” program had delivered more than $110 million to the electorate of Richmond.

Tween Daily News Reference

FBISD Earns Seven State Awards For Partnership Programs

FBISD Earns Seven State Awards For Partnership Programs
By: FortBendNow Staff on Fri, Feb 5, 2010
News

The Texas Association of Partners in Education recognized the Fort Bend Independent School District for seven outstanding partnerships at its 2010 Education Partnership Awards Luncheon, held Jan. 26 in Austin.

The TAPE Partnership Awards Program recognizes exemplary educational partners and partnership programs from across the state and FBISD earned seven awards: four crystal (awarded to best of category winners) and three gold (awarded to the second highest scoring nominees).

The 2010 TAPE award winners for FBISD include:

Crystal Award Winners

Barbara Adcock (TAPE Individual Partnership Award, Role Model) – As curator of the Colony Meadows Elementary School Guided Reading Library, Adcock has been involved with the guided reading library since its inception five years ago. The program began with 25 sets of books, and now contains 2,180 sets of books. Adcock developed a library system that not only lists the books, but cross references the books by reading level, title, and genre. She also implemented a computerized system for checking books in and out of the library.

Bobbie Steinert (TAPE Individual Partnership Award, Partnership Advocate) – Steinert has been the FBISD Shared Dreams Program full-time facilitator for the past five years. She works closely with all campus nurses, social workers, counselors and volunteers to help provide clothing and school supplies to children in need of assistance. With the help of volunteers, she opens the Shared Dreams facility three days a week to parents and guardians who qualify to participate in the program.

Briana Gifford (TAPE Individual Partnership Award, Youth Leadership) – While a senior at Kempner High School, Gifford is an active member of several service organizations including the Sugar Land Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, the Keep Sugar Land Beautiful Youth Board and the Fort Bend ISD Youth Advisory Board. In her advisory capacity for these organizations, Briana helps keep the organizations informed about student concerns and issues, and provides important insight in sharing ways to impact on the community.

CVS Pharmacy (TAPE Business Partnership Award, Career Education) – CVS opens doorways to learning for students across the Fort Bend ISD community. Through its internship program, CVS provides hands-on experiences for students, employment opportunities, funding for scholarships and continuing education for interns and pharmacy technicians who want to complete a six-year pharmacy program.

Gold Award Winners

Don McGinty (TAPE Individual Partnership Award, Wisdom) – A retired Shell employee, McGinty, recognizes the need for mentors in Fort Bend ISD not only for at-risk students, but also for those who are academically able. He eagerly volunteers to mentor at his neighborhood school, Quail Valley Elementary. Last year, he mentored three children and visited their school once a week, spending approximately 40 minutes with each child. McGinty gladly provided a positive male role-model for each of these students.

Rolls-Royce Energy Systems, Inc. and Optimized Systems & Solutions (OS&O) (TAPE Business Partnership Award, Academic Impact) – Rolls-Royce Energy Systems, Inc. and OS&S “adopted” Blue Ridge Elementary School and regularly provide numerous levels of support to the students and teachers. Employees from both companies assist the school by providing mentors and volunteers for school-wide programs, especially those geared toward learning science and math concepts. They also provide financial and in-kind donations to the school.

The Saturday Math and Science Workshop – The Satya Sai Organization and Elkins High School(TAPE Community Partnership Award, Academic Impact) – The Sathya Sai Organization partnered with Elkins High School to provide tutorials to students in math and science. The organization provides more than 20 adult tutors (among them are teachers, lawyers, business professionals, college students and a retired surgeon), who work with nearly 90 Elkins students for two hours each Saturday.

Fort Bend Now Reference

STOI remembers Vinayak Krishna Gokak

STOI remembers Vinayak Krishna Gokak
Rishikesh Bahadur Desai, TNN
2 August 2009, 05:45am IST

Even as the debate rages on whether Kannada should be the medium of instruction in schools in Karnataka, the state gets ready to observe the birth centenary of the man who mooted the idea. STOI remembers Vinayak Krishna Gokak — legendary scholar, writer, teacher, and institution builder. The occasion will be celebrated in Bangalore on Aug. 3 and 4 as well as in Dharwad on Aug. 9 and 10.

In his famous report, Gokak advocated primacy to Kannada in education and administration. But, he was also a Jnanpith Award winner, distinguished academician and inspiring teacher.

He studied the status of other Indian languages in states where they were spoken. “However, the report is not just about implementing Kannada in Karnataka. Gokak felt that all Indian languages should get primacy in their states,” says his student and Hindi poet Siddalinga Pattanashetty.

Gokak was born in Savanur village, and climbed his way up through hard work. In 1938, he became the first non-white pupil to top Oxford University in its 340-year-old history.

Gokak changed the course of Kannada literature by batting for modernism as early as 1940. He won the Jnanpith Award for the modern epic Bharata Sindhu Rashmi. He was among the few modern Indian academicians who produced creative literature in more than one language. He wrote poetry in Kannada and English and spoke with authority on literature in Marathi, Gujarati and Sanskrit.

“As a writer and translator, he introduced Indian values and culture to the West. As head of academic institutions, he implemented the best practices from around the world into Indian education,” recalls his student and writer Chandrashekar Patil.

His teaching is the stuff of legend. His student Surendranath Minajigi recalls in his book on Gokak: “He was a creative influence, a cult figure on campus and students imitated him.” He was so popular in Pune that students from other colleges attended his classes.

He was the founding spirit behind several prestigious institutions like the Central Institute of English in Hyderabad and the M N College in Gujarat. CIE was to set the template for teaching and research in English in India. He introduced value-based education in the Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, as its vice-chancellor.

Gokak committee and agitation
The Gokak agitation, demanding primacy to Kannada in Karnataka, was the first high-voltage pro-Kannada agitation after the one demanding unification of Karnataka in the 1950s. It started with the R Gundu Rao government failing to implement his report.

The Rao government formed the Gokak committee in 1980, after being criticized for its policy of regarding Sanskrit as the first language in schools. Gokak submitted his report in 1981 and recommended that Kannada be taught as the first language in schools. An agitation broke out when the government did not seem enthusiastic about implementing it. Though writers and Kannada activists started the agitation, it became hugely popular and glamorous when film stars led by Rajkumar joined it. The Kannada film industry struck work and stars led rallies across the state.

Life & times

  • Born in Savanur (Haveri dt) on Aug. 09, 1909
  • Joined Karnataka College, Dharwad after elementary education in Savanur
  • Won Daxina scholarship and Ellis prize for academic achievement
  • Completed MA English literature in 1931
  • First non-white to top Oxford University in 1938
  • Published first poetry collection in English
  • Started writing in Kannada under Bendre’s influence
  • Wrote 70 books that include creative works in English and Kannada literature, education, and contemporary thought
  • Awarded the Jnanpith for `Bharat Sindhu Rashmi’, an epic work of 35,000 lines on Indian cultural history
  • Served as president of the Bharatiya Jnanpith
  • Died in Bangalore in 1992

Time Of India Reference

Dr. Vinayaka Krishna Gokak (the first vice chancellor of Sathya Sai Baba’s university The Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning) related how one day he asked Sathya Sai Baba to come to his house for a meal. Sathya Sai Baba readily accepted.

Dr. Gokak was excited, cleaned his house, and waited for Sathya Sai Baba to come. Days and weeks passed. A year went by, Dr. Gokak began to think that Satya Sai Baba had forgotten.

Then one day, while sitting in front of altar, he noticed that the most prominent pictures were of a guru he had in the past and still had a fondness towards the pictures. Off to the side and hanging on the wall was a small picture of Sathya Sai Baba. “This is not right,” thought Dr. Gokak.

Remembering that now Sathya Sai Baba was the main focus of his devotion, he quickly changed the placement of pictures so that Sai Baba’s picture was in the centre.That very day, just after this seemingly small change occurred Sathya SaiBaba came to Dr. Gokak and said warmly, “Now I will come for the meal.”

When Baba visited Dr. Gokak’s home, he saw on the wall for the first time a portrait of an Indian saint, Shri Panta Maharaja of Balekundri, and asked about its presence there.

The Vice-Chancellor replied to Baba that the saint had been his father’s guru, and that he, himself, held the holy man in great reverence.

Sathya Sai Baba: “Have you a smaller portrait of him to carry when you’re travelling?”

Dr. Gokak: “No.”

Sathya Sai Baba: “Would you like one?”

Dr. Gokak: “Yes, Swami, very much.”

Sathya Sai Baba waved his hand, for a little longer than usual, remarking, “He is coming.” Turning the palm up, he handed the doctor a small enamel pendant. It bore a miniature replica of the saint’s portrait.

At another time, Dr. Gokak was to address a large gathering of Sai Devotees in the USA. Orator that he was, the crowd was expecting a heavy downpour of his resonant voice in meaningful words, but nothing came out for a minute or two. Dr Gokak could not believe such a situation he was in for the first time in his life. Suddenly he remembered Swami and mentally prayed to Him. And to his great surprise he found Swami sitting in the front row with smiling benediction. And then there was a torrential flow from the Professor providing a treat to the audience.

Book: Gokak, Vinayak Krishna, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba : an interpretation / Vinayak Krishna Gokak Abhinav Publications, New Delhi : 1975

Sathya Sai Gurukulam Students Excel

Sathya Sai Gurukulam Students Excel
Express News Service
First Published : 28 Jul 2009 05:12:00 AM IST

RAJAHMUNDRY: Sri Sathya Sai Gurukulam School won the ‘Rajahmundry City finals of Limca Book of Records Quiz-2009’ conducted at St Anns School here today.

Gowthami School campus 1, emerged as the runner up during the Rajahmundry City final of the National Quiz. About 400 students from various schools participated in the quiz programme.

The quiz programme was conducted by famous quiz master Jason Pote from Derek O’ Associates.

Coca-Cola India general manager Rateesh Kumar presented the award to the winners of the Rajahmundry city finals. According to Coca- Cola India general manager Rateesh Kumar, Limca Book of Records now celebrating its 20 illustrious year truly catalogues India at her best providing the opportunity to learn about the achievements of Indians. Limca Book of Records is in continuation of Coca-Cola India’s vision to promote knowledge and awareness in the young minds of the country.

This year , Coca-Cola took the initiative to organise the same in 3,000 schools across the country. Reputed quiz master Derek O’ Brien and founder of Know & Grow with Derek will host the national finals.

Entire database, including content, research material and quiz software will be provided by Know & Grow with Derek.

ExpressBuzz Reference

NOTE: The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust runs the Sri Sathya Sai Gurukulam English Medium School at Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh. It is a residential school affiliated to the ICSE (Indian Council for Secondary Education). The school conducts classes for boys up to 10th standard. In keeping with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s philosophy, no tuition fees are charged from the students. The schedule of activities too is modelled after that of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s institutions in Prasanthi Nilayam. The scenic campus spread over 27 acres houses an auditorium and a swimming pool in addition to the school and hostel buildings.

Himachal Governor Stressed Upon Value Based Education

Himachal Governor Stressed Upon Value Based Education
May 10th, 2009 at 7:50 pm | By NVO Bureau

Shimla: Smt. Prabha Rau, Governor Himachal Pradesh stressed upon the need for value based education in schools for overall development of the students. She was presiding over the ‘Eswaramma Day’ celebration at Sri Sathya Sai Educational Center, Anand Vilas, Pujarli near Shimla today.

Smt. Rau said that education without value of sanskaras has no meaning and added that parents and teachers should educate children in right perspective so that they could become quality citizens of India.

Governor lauded the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization for providing education with emphasis on moral and ethical values, development of mental and physical faculties, nurturing character building and all around development of children.

The Governor said that the children are needed to give environmental education so as to prepare them for facing changing environmental scenario. She stressed upon incorporating environment studies in school curricula’s and said that she is happy to learn that Sri Sathya Sai Sewa organization are providing acquacare facilities to people in different parts of the country and has actively participated and aided people during natural calamities.

Smt. Rau facilitated the parents who selected this school for education of their children and congratulated the students for performing fascinating cultural programme depicting aims and objectives of the school. The knowledge empowerment played a great role in nation building and students could contribute significantly in nation building activities, she added.

On the occasion the Governor also gave away prizes to the students of the school.

Earlier, Governor inaugurated the function by lighting a lamp.

Krishan Singh, Principal, Sri Satya Sai Seva School, Pujarli presented the report.

Dr. Neeta Khanna, National Deputy Education Coordinator, Sri Sathya Sai Sewa Organization welcomed the Governor.

A Sarva Dharam Bhajan and colourful cultural programme was also organized on the occasion by the school children.

NVO Bureau Reference

When Age Is Not A Barrier

Chirag Parmar And Rekha Parmar

Chirag Parmar And Rekha Parmar


When Age Is Not A Barrier
By Geraldine Panapasa
Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Chirag Parmar is proud of his mother Rekha Parmar’s will power to further her education at the University of Fiji.

The best part is he gets to see his mother walk the halls of the university while making his way to his lectures at the same time.

Chirag and his mother attend the University of Fiji and while some feel uncomfortable at the thought of attending the same school with their parents, Chirag feels nothing but pride and love for his mother.

The 19-year old completed his secondary education at Natabua High in Lautoka and is pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the established university in Nadi.

“It doesn’t bother me that my mother and I attend the same university or that we’re schooling together,” Chirag said.

“In fact, I have a sense of pride that my mum is making the effort to go back to school and further her education.” Rekha Parmar, 44, was born and bred in Bombay, India and completed a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Bombay.

She came to Fiji in 1990 and started a family, sacrificing her desire to continue with her education.

She said life was different back then because she had a family and her priority was providing for her children.

“I couldn’t continue with school because I had my children to take care of and I decided to work to help support the family,” Rekha said.

“I was always interested in teaching and I joined the workforce. I wanted to make use of my degree and do something.

I was bound with family commitments and I felt that teaching was one of the most satisfying professions.”

Rekha said when her children were old enough to look after themselves she decided to continue with her education.

She was involved with the Smart Kids program for primary school teaching. Her passion for teaching pushed her to enroll in an Edu-care program through the Sathya Sai organisation.

“It was a training centre. I completed a diploma in teaching. I also started taking classes in India for the education and human values program,” Rekha said.

She works at the Computer Studies Center in Lautoka and said her experience at the computer school persuaded her to enhance her qualifications.

“This place offered me the opportunity to continue with my studies and it guided me through the process of gaining higher qualifications,” she said.

“I feel good and happy that I’m able to continue with my education and even though I am in the same university as my son, I am proud of both of us.

After a lapse of so many years, I am proud that I’ve got the opportunity to go back to school.”

Rekha believes it’s never too late to go back to school or to do the things you want to do.

She has this year to complete a postgraduate diploma in teaching.

The eldest son in the family, Chirag said his mother is a good example for many people who think age is a barrier when it comes to getting a good education.

He said she has shown that age does not matter when education is involved and anyone can go back to school.

All they need is determination, hard work and sacrifice to succeed in the end.

“My mother has shown that age is no barrier when it comes to education. I am very proud of her and I’m happy that she has decided to continue with her studies,” said the former IQ Active member of Natabua.

“If you want to succeed in life, you have to get your priorities right. Education is very important and the most vital factor for young people is to listen to their parents and they can achieve success.”

Fiji Times Reference

Got A Minute To Spare To Listen About Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Got A Minute To Spare To Listen About Sathya Sai Baba?

Loving Sai Ram, and greetings from Prasanthi Nilayam.

This Sunday we would like you to spare a minute to read the following three quotations, all of which relate to education:

EINSTEIN:
I want to oppose the idea that school has to teach directly that special knowledge and those accomplishments, which man has to use later directly in life. The demands of life are much too manifold to let a specialized training in school appear possible. Apart from that, it seems to me, moreover, objectionable to treat the individual like a dead tool. The school always has as its aim that the young man leaves it as a harmonious personality not as a specialist…. It is not enough to teach a man a speciality. Through it, he may become a kind of useful machine, but not a harmoniously developed personality. It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Otherwise, he with his specialized knowledge more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person.

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA:
Is that education, which slowly makes a man into a machine? It is more blessed in my opinion, even to go wrong impelled by one’s free will and intelligence than to be good as an automaton. ….The education that does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle for life, which does not bring about strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy, and courage of a lion – is it worth the name?

SISTER NIVEDITA:
Our concept of education must have a soul. It must form a unity. It must take note of the child as a whole, as heart as well as mind. Unless we train the feelings and the choice, man is not educated. He is only decked out in certain intellectual tricks that he has learnt to perform. By those tricks, he can earn bread. He cannot appeal to the heart, or give life. He is not a man at all; he is a clever ape. Learning in order to be clever or learning in order to earn a livelihood – not in order to become a man to develop one’s own manhood and manliness – means running into danger. Therefore, in every piece of information imparted to a child, we must convey an appeal to the heart. … There is one way and one way only. It is, throughout the early years of education, to remember that there is nothing so important as feelings. To feel nobly, and to choose loftily and honestly, is a thousand-fold more important to the development of faculty than any other single aspect of the educational process.

Three different quotes from three different people, but echoing very similar sentiments. We presume you must be familiar with the first two names. The third one might not be so familiar; it is the name of an English lady who came nearly a hundred years ago to India in search of spiritual enlightenment, discovered Swami Vivekananda, and settled down to become his disciple, adopting the name Nivedita. Her example recalls the names of two others, namely, Annie Besant whose name would for ever would be associated with the Theosophy movement in India and Mira Ben who became an ardent follower of Gandhi.

Getting back to the quotes, they all, each in its own way of course, convey the same message which is:

– Education should not, in the name of producing specialists, convert humans into skilled robots.
– Education must have a SOUL, meaning it must awaken noble feelings latent in the Heart.
– Education must have a moral base and fill one with moral courage to face the moral and ethical challenges of the world.
– And finally, education must train one for life rather than merely for filling the belly.

It does not take much imagination to realise that these are the very principles that Swami talks about it, and form the basis of education in His Schools and Colleges.

The question arises: “Why did Sathya Sai Baba set up His Schools and Colleges?” Mainly to act as exemplars to a Society that has lost its way. Just look around; there are tens of thousands of colleges and hundreds of universities the world over, all supposed to produce educated men and women. If indeed students are really getting educated in these educational establishments, as everyone believes they are, then how come the world is so full of problems today, indeed more problems than ever before? In fact, it would appear that today’s Society is better at creating problems than in solving them! So what has happened to these various educational establishments, including those with famous brand names? Where have they all slipped?

That is not difficult to determine, if we use the guidelines of the quotes above, which, by the way, is only a small selection of invaluable quotes available on education. From the Greek philosophers to Lincoln to Gandhi, all great men stressed the importance of moral values; and for centuries, some attempt was made to adhere to them as well as to structure education around moral and ethical values. It is only in the half century that followed the Second World War, that values have been withdrawn, rather like pulling the rug under one’s feet. Following which, the inevitable has happened everywhere without exception – politics without principles, business without scruples and all the rest of it; we all know the list, don’t we? Swami has quoted them so many times.

Is there any particular reason why we are harping on this particular theme this Sunday? There sure is, a chain of connected links in fact. First, there was a nasty article directed entirely against Swami in the Hindustan Times, published from Delhi. Quickly came after that a one-hour TV talk show on NDTV, against so-called God-men, and inevitably, there was a lot of mud slinging against Swami. Apparently, the Guardian in the UK also had something but we have not seen that. Anyway, we shall deal with all this anti-Swami stuff elsewhere, but here we would like to look deeper and ask ourselves why Society has become so sick as to see negativity all the time, often unfounded? There are of course superficial reasons as well as deeper causes, and may be we should comment on both.

Superficially, things have changed enormously since World War II, thanks to three factors. 1) Technology, 2) enormous growth in transport and communications, including TV, Internet, etc., and 3) the engine of economic growth becoming supercharged with, shall we say, hyper-activity! The net result of all this is the quest to dominate the mind. In the colonial era, those with money wanted to dominate the land so that they could have easy access to commodities and markets. Later, it was the quest for market, or market dominance, without the expenditure of maintaining armies, that colonialism involved. Now it is mind-dominance, because once the mind is dominated, humans can be manipulated in any way the powerbrokers want.

These are complex matters and maybe we shall comment on them in detail elsewhere, but the bottom line is that everyone is in a tearing hurry in pursuit of their own particular objectives. Those who “inform” wish to do it all very quickly while those “who want to be informed” also want it all very quickly. We see it here all the time working for Radio Sai and H2H. Our boys here work so hard round the clock but most people simply do not have the time to read or listen to what we offer via H2H and via Radio Sai. Most devotees stir into action only when there is a blast of negativity in the outside media.

What we are trying to say is that since everyone seems to want everything in a hurry, the media obliges by having instant opinions and instant commentators. These days, wars, whether they are fought in Afghanistan or Iraq or whatever, are played out in front of TV cameras. Everything from protests to soccer matches to war and insurgency has become subjects for TV shows, talk shows and so on. Is it any wonder that “instant experts” appear everywhere airing opinions left and right without bothering to check whether they are accurate or not? News now means negativity, sting operations and so on. Good works and good news are “boring” and not “newsworthy”. That is the mantra circulated everywhere, and is it any wonder that those who want bang for their bucks as they say, dare to project even falsehood as news, as long as they do a sort of “balancing act” making it appear that they have given “equal” time?

If you think about it deeply, all this is because we have all been brought up bereft of values. Our schools have let us down and that is because Society simply did not think that moral base is important in education. When values are drained away, understanding disappears; when understanding becomes scarce, conflict arises; when conflict erupts, there is pain and even destruction.

This is a huge topic, and we simply cannot do justice to it here. But this much we can and will say. If there is one educational institution that has steadfastly stood for and helped students to absorb values and practice them in the modern world, it Swami’s Institute . That is Swami’s greatest gift to humanity, an Institute that helps students to really understand what morality and human values are all about and how higher learning is related to all that.

So what does higher learning, morality etc., have to do with negative reporting that is appearing to drown out the good work being done by Sathya Sai Baba’s institutions? Simply the following. We must, all of us together but each in our own way, help the Divine Light to reach far and wide. Divine Light cannot be extinguished; however, it can be covered and eclipsed. And we have it in our power to remove that cover. How? Well, if our readers, old students and the like would only take a few minutes off now and then and share with us, good news they have access to, we can spread it far and wide.

The world today is actually very hungry for good news. We know it because of the mail we receive. But the sad point is that good news is not easily accessible. That is because the traditional news agencies do not regard good news as news at all. If however, Sai devotees, share with us what they know, instances where people have come out better by adhering to Dharma, then when others read it, it would give them some courage. We need to hold each other’s hands. There are so many things we can do and do so easily. However, at present we do not; that must change, and when that change occurs, there would be fewer and fewer takers for non-news, bad news and wrong news. For example, strange as it may sound, not many people in Chennai/Madras are aware how much Swami has done to bring water to that troubled city.

When there was no drinking water, everyone hollered and prayed, depending on their disposition. But once water was provided by Sai Baba, few bothered to remember Him and almost took it all for granted, as though it was the job of Sai Baba to do the fixing. Not only is this phenomenal accomplishment ignored, but instead, people ask, “If Sai Baba is God, why did He not stop the tsunami?”

If people only took time off to do some serious reading, then would they have such questions? These days, people seem to want Vedanta in five minutes, and the Gita in just two! If that is all the time we can give to God, then why should we expect God to keep on bothering about us? They ask about God hiding Himself during the tsunami. Who gave land that we so readily pollute? Who gave water that we so readily pollute? Who is killing millions in genocide, God or man? So what are the self-appointed bleeding hearts doing about it?

Let us pull all this together and wind up this seemingly random and apparently disconnected exploration, so that you can see the purpose behind. This is what we would like to say this Sunday, as our bottom line:

  1. If some people sling mud at Swami, it is in part because of the corrupted value system of today, which reflects on the tragic erosion of values, in all segments of Society.
  2. We may be feel hurt; that is but natural. However, we should not let our feelings run away too much.
  3. If criticism comes from the riff-raff, and let us remember that many who try to tarnish Swami do belong to that category, we should not engage in a direct confrontation with them.
  4. That said, it does not mean we should always remain silent. There are occasions when one has to exert for the sake of Dharma. That was Krishna’s lesson given to Arjuna. Depending on the circumstances, we must make our judgement and react as fitting and appropriate.
  5. We did that from here when we dealt with the UNESCO; that story has been told elsewhere.
  6. Similarly, on this occasion, there have been some well composed, dignified and strong response from a few devotees, especially one of Swami’s students; more about this later in H2H.
  7. Meanwhile, devotees must try and spend more time trying to absorb Swami’s teachings as well as details of the amazing missions He has executed. It is not enough to have some vague feeling about the Hospitals for example. We must be aware of the moving details so that stench can be rebutted by the fragrance of details about selfless service.

There is much more to be said on this and related themes. For the moment, please do reflect deeply on the extra-ordinary achievements of Swami’s University, and its moral authority. This year, the Institute held its 25th Convocation, and as always, it was held on 22nd November. This might appear like a routine procedure, but if you look at the record of the three hundred and odd universities in India, including those who can trace their history as far back as 150 years, there is not a single university that can boast of such regularity. Even if the Guest of Honour is the President or the Prime Minister or whatever, our Convocation has always been held on 22nd November. May seem like a small thing but compare it with the record of others and you would know what we are talking about. Is the world aware of it? You think this is a small achievement? Well, do you know that right now, a major University in UP, the land of birth of Rama and Krishna, is facing problems because the Vice Chancellor has suspended nearly a hundred students from contesting student elections? And you know why? Because all these students have criminal complaints against them, including murder, yes murder! A university with students on its rolls who have murder complaints registered against them? Amazing but true!

Is it any wonder we have invited your attention to the meaning and purpose of Education? Who in this wide world has done for so long and so consistently what Swami has done and is still doing? Why is the world silent about it? Why are we devotees so ignorant about it?

Jai Sai Ram.

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart” Team