The BIG highlight of November 2016 was the celebration of Swami’s 91st birthday coinciding with the 25th year Silver Jubilee celebration of the school.
The programme held on on 27th Nov included Grama Seva covering 2 villages (120 homes), cultural programme and Narayana Seva providing Lunch for almost 700 people. The programme went off very well and was the culmination of more than a month's tireless effort of all teachers, students and volunteers.
Specific teams had been formed to oversee various aspects of the programme such as Grama Seva team, decorations team, photography team, sound system team, food serving team etc. The ubiquitous feeling at the end of the day was that this was a unique programme which left an indelible impression on all the guests and participants. You may see the pics in the Gallery Section. Hope to see you also as a part of this event next year.
A volunteer's experience on Swami's 91st Birthday
( This experience is shared by Nandhini Rajagopal who lives in Chennai and works at Cognizant Technology Solutions, one of the world's leading IT firms. Nandhini, a special and first-time guest at Sai Krushna Mandir shares her experiences on volunteering at and witnessing the colourful and exhilarating celebrations at school ).
This is my attempt to summarize my exhilarating experiences at the recent Swami 91st birth day celebrations held at SKM. I come from a non-Parthi background and completely new to the act of selfless charity. Execution of the program showed the detailed planning by the SKM team. Not even the best of critiques could have found anything amiss in any segment organized. I could feel the presence of God in every single cell around SKM. As my chotu friend Shiva mentioned, SKM is a fantastic power source and the fulfilling experience is like recharging our souls.
Warmth and kindness showed by the SKM team was overwhelming. While most of us whine to take care of couple of guests, the hospitality displayed at SKM for 25+ guests radiated their principles in life. Swamis’ birthday celebrations began with Grama seva and Narayana seva. Swami was carried in a pallaki and was followed by the bhajans team. We all were welcomed by enthusiastic villagers with beautiful rangoli’s and personal notes wishing Swami on his birthday. Sevas concluded with an aarthi for Swami at school.
School programs KO with three tiny tots invoking Ganesha’s blessings followed by wonderful performance by the girls dancing and praising the deeds of Ganesha. A special note here is to the make-over team headed by Poornima. All girls were dressed identically from head to toe. Lord Ganesha himself had joined the girls to share our happiness and excitement. Kids studying in Std I detailed on how thoughts, words, and deeds are summation of all our actions. I still remember the line “our words and deeds arise from our thoughts”. I am still in shock and aww seeing the values that are instilled in these kids. We also had future super stars acting in skits. Theme followed in skits were emphasizing on life principles. I had the opportunity to watch only two skits and will share my experience. The first skit was based on mythology, when it is kids and mythology we obviously have the ever shining Krishna. The Krishna skit was staged by kids from III Std (!!). The theme was on Krishna hearing to true and soulful worshipping. A special note here, Krishna skit was enacted in English. The second skit was in Hindi with a theme of life values and how important it is for us adults to not just speak or sing values but follow and live as an example to our kids. Since, I was with other volunteers in the food section, was unable to catch up with the rest of cultural programs.
We had a cake cutting ceremony for Swami and concluded the program with Swamis’ aarthi. A sumptuous meal (parupu payasam, jilebi, usuli, poori, chenna, beans curry, curry, puliogare, papad, rice, sambar, rasam, curd rice, and pickle) was served to the villagers, kids, and volunteers totaling to 700+.
My observation at SKM was people lived what others preach. There was no selfish acts, hardly any arguments, people live with minimal fuss and arguments - almost a rare instance to observe. There was only happiness, content smiles, and helping hands all around. It is just so overwhelming to even write this article, this article is just the tip of the ice berg.
Pictures speak a 1000 words and I am sure you all will understand the magnanimity of the event and realize Swamis’ blessing in every single frame when you view them in the earlier pages.
“Life’s simplest pleasures are life’s greatest Joys”, a huge thanks for inviting us Team SKM and helping us realize Swamis blessing.
September was the month of momentous occasion as we gradually inch towards realizing our dream of making Sai Krushna Mandir a children’s home. The children got school uniforms, newly designed during the year. In addition, they got a new play area comprising of two swings, a see-saw, a slide and climbing blocks. SKM also had the privilege of being part of the K Sreenivas (S/o Mr Pothanna Setty) and Preeta (D/o Mr Ashok Meda) wedding celebrations. We express our gratitude towards the couple and their families for their contribution for the play equipment for the children.
August was a gala month for SKM with birthday and festival season at Sai Krushna Mandir. We celebrated the birthday of Sridhar and Manikantha, two children at our mandir, on 26th August and 31st August, respectively. It was a gala time where everyone became one with the kids and enjoyed cake and sweets. It was especially great witnessing a sense of excitement and happiness on the faces of kids. We also celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi and Rakshabandhan at the mandir. The kids took delight in making their Ganesh idols and central Ganesh idol, out of clay. It was a unique feeling for the alumni present there as the event refreshed their memories of Ganesh Chaturthi’s celebration with Swami at Prashanti Nilayam
It is sad time for Sai Krushna Mandir as we lost Mr B N Balasubramani, who left the mortal coil on the auspicious day of Buddha Poornima. He was one of the co-founders of the the Sharavathi Kannada Higher Primary School currently run by Sai Krushna Charitable Trust. He also was one of the prime movers and generous donors of land for Sai Krushna Mandir. As a mark of respect and love for him, we conducted a Narayan Seva on June 14th.
November was the month of joyous festivity and gaiety at Sai Krushna Mandir. On 2nd November, 2013, Deepavali was celebrated with all fun and crackers. It was the first Diwali function at Sai Krushna Mandir, and the building was lit with lamps and coloured candles. The children were delighted to have two of the Sai brothers from Mysore and some guest from London, UK came and participated in the function. The care-taking staff at Sai Krushna Mandir got together to prepare various delicacies for the occasion. The children relished all the sweets and snacks and also helped to keep the premises clean. They were dressed in new clothes and were proudly bursting soundless crackers like stars, crackles, flower-pots, Chakras, and rockets. Pictures from the occasion have been displayed below.
On 23rd November, Swami's birthday was celebrated amid much grandeur and joy. The program started with Nagarsankeertan at 8:30 am and this was followed by specially designed activities for the children:
- Class 1- Face painting
- Class2- Colouring
- Class 3&4- Join the dots and Colouring
- Class 5- Colouring Ganesha
- Class 6 & 7 Girls- Rangoli competition
- Class 6 & 7 Boys- Dustbin making
Swami's birthday cake was then cut by one of the school students who also had his birthday on the same day. Birthday songs were sung in unison and the children were vociferous in wishing their Lord and Chief Patron on this happy day for the gift of free education.The next session involved fun filled games arranged by Sisters Prashanti, Preethi and Padma from the Sai Gitanjali samiti in South Bangalore. The participation of the kids was electric and the games were also equally exciting. There were various games like balloon relay, ball-pass-under relay and musical chair.
The games session was followed by lunch for all the 180 school children, teachers and volunteers. Lunch was prepared at home by groups of devotees from the Sai Gitanjali Samiti and co-ordinated by Mrs Lata Ramesh. The menu included Chappati, Chhole, Semiya Upma, Pulao Rice, Raitha, Pickle, Cake , Juice, and fruits. Everyone present really enjoyed the food and there was enough for everyone and for few villagers who were able to participate as well.Then there was distribution of Ragi and jaggery for all the children and new white clothes for the 7th class children. The programme concluded with Arathi to Bhagavan thanking Him for the opportunity to celebrate His birthday in such a wonderful manner. We thank all the youth and volunteers from Sai Gitanjali Samithi for their special involvement in time, talent and kind thereby helping to make the programme a grand success.
In the evening, the 4 children from Sai Krushna Mandir along with their caretakers participated in the birthday celebrations held at the Sai Gruhalakshmi Apartments. There were birthday songs, video on Swami's life, cake cutting function and Mangala Arathi. Dinner was specially prepared for all and the children thoroughly enjoyed the evening function. It was hectic day but the celebrations and festivity left all the participants and children completely refreshed.
With the Divine Blessings and grace of our Beloved Swami, On 30th December, 2012, members of the Sai Gruhalakshmi family joined the Sai Krushna mandir family for the Christmas and New Year celebrations amidst much grandeur on 30th December.
It was wonderful to have members from the Sai Grihalakshmi Family and the Sai Krushna Mandir family unite on a day that witnessed great grandeur and fun. The great take away from this function was the amount that can be achieved when dedicated families and individuals come together for Swami's work keeping Him as the center and reason of their lives. As Swami says, when like minded people unite for a noble purpose, wonders can be achieved.
The Ganesha temple in the school and the ground floor of the semi finished children's home were all decorated beautifully.
The day started off with a few simple prayers. This was followed by some fast bhajans by the devotees from Grihalakshmi family which the Primary school children followed with lot of 'josh'. The children presented a beautiful cultural programme which all the guests really appreciated. The school children had also made their own greeting cards and presented it to the guests. There was a very interesting session of games for all the children including games like run and hop, relay race, potato race for students , book balancing for teachers and twin race for construction workers.
The construction workers and children joined all the volunteers in singing birthday songs during the cake cutting function. Arathi was sung and the Brahmarpanam mantram chanted before lunch was served for all the children, construction workers and volunteers. We thank Swami for allowing us to celebrate the onset of the new year in Phase 1 of Sai Krushna Mandir. A Special thanks to all members of the Grihalakshmi family for their enthusiasm and support in the grand celebrations.
Visit our gallery for some special moments!
With Swami's unbounded blessings and grace, the event on May 29, 2011 went off very well. Swami's love and His presence were felt by all the members present.
- We started off at 8: 30 am with Nagar Sankirtan which was attended by many small children from the village besides the students of the school.
- This was followed by a talk by Mr Shivakumar who outlined the manner in which the school had come up from scratch and how it was intended to serve the needs of free education for the village children. He mentioned that the objective of the new management would be to impart quality education keeping in mind Bhagavan's principles of Education is not just for living , but for life.
- Dr Rajanna followed with a talk on the need for preventive healthcare and important measures on health and hygiene for all.There was a special emphasis on the ill effects of tobacco. The talk was very informative and well taken by the audience.
- Aithal Sir then introduced the ideas of the new management in terms of integrating human values with education. The focus would be on enhancing the standard of the students by integrating education with human values and providing teachers better opportunities for development.
- The talks were followed by a video session on the life and message of Bhagavan. The videos had kannada commentary to facilitate understanding among the villagers. It portrayed how the Lord had incarnated in puttaparthi, been an example from childhood itself , how He had transformed millions with His love, His projects and How His life itself is the greatest message for all.
- The health screening activity followed and we were lucky to have as many as 12 doctors including those from MS Ramiah, Dr Nityanand, Dr Jitesh Patel from UK, and others from Bangalore. They screened all the patients to identify trends and common disorders so that henceforth medical activities could keep key issues in focus. All the patients were also given Vibhuthi, dewormination tablets and tonic for Iron and Calcium deficiency. All the children were also examined for anaemia, eye, dental and general health.
- The band programme by the famous group Rhythmic Energy comprising alumni students of the Sri Sathy Sai University, had everyone on their feet. The children and adults enjoyed every bit of the music and it was a session of great involvement. They played popular numbers, devotional themes and kept the audience enthraled for more than an hour and a half. Songs like Tu Hai Aasmaan Mein, Humko Tumse Pyaar Kitna Sai Tum Hi Janate were followed by simple bhajans: Manase Bhajare Guru charanam and Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.
- The programme concluded with Mangala Arathi to Our Belove Lord.
- The session was also accompanied by Narayan Seva : Lunch prasadam for all. The food included Bissi Bela Bath, Curd rice with fruits, Kesari Bath, and ice cream. The first 3 items were all prepared in Brindavan Ashram , Kadugodi and there was a divine taste in the delicacies. Many of our alumni had also gone specifically for cutting vegetable the previous night itself and did all the work silently. The food was also transported by them from Whitefields to Hosadoddi ( a distance of more than 45 kms) with lot of love and care. The prasadam was served hot and fresh.
There were important learnings in food management, food planning and healthcare follow up requirements. Food prasadam was also distributed in the nearby villages by members( seniors and youth) going to their doorstep. On the health screening front also, important symptoms have been identified and suitable follow up shall be done. The biggest positive was the involvement from the rural village youth who participated with unparalleled enthusiasm in all the activities and the preparations. In fact the rural youth and Sai Students alumni have forged a long standing relationship with their genuine involvement in this programme.
February 26, 2011 was a day that we had set aside to spend with the children and teachers at the Sharavathi Kannada Higher Primary School & Lions Club High School at Hosadoddi on Kanakpura Road. The objective was to make learning fun and
based. The students of the school were divided into three groups as per their age and class. While Group1(from Sharavathi Kannada Higher Primary School) comprised children from class 1, 2 and 3; group two(fromn Sharavathi Kannada Higher Primary School) included classes 4, 5, 6 and 7; group 3(from Lions Club High School) consisted of the students who
were to soon prepare for their board exams and embark on higher studies.
Our team had prepared content with the help of visual aids to enunciate certain concepts and lessons that were a part of the student's curriculum. The children intently listened to the stories and information titbits that we had
to share. Their excitement at the images and videos that were projected on their board was infectious.
As the senior students began preparing for their Board exams, we had a special session to guide them and encourage them to do well and look at higher studies. They were made aware of the various opportunities available for
professional training in certain skills that could make a huge difference to their life and lifestyle.
It was now time for us to be the audience as students from all classes, came forward confidently to showcase their talents in group singing and dancing. The show was completely managed by the students with the support of their
The second half of the days programme was to encourage the talents of the students and give them a platform to showcase the same.
The interaction between the students, teachers and members of the trust was phenomenal. We captured as many of those fun filled moments as possible on camera. We are as excited about our next visit to the school at the end of this
month as are the students and teachers of the school.
This time, we will hope to reach out to the villagers from the homes of the students of this educational institution.
Please feel free to blog and express your views, interests and ideas to us to help us make it even better. We look forward to your active involvement and co-operation.
On 14th Jan, 2011, members of the Sai Krushna Charitable Trust visited the Sharavathi Kannada Higher Primary School at Hosadoddi on Kanakpura Road, with a view to motivate the children
ensure better educational standards. The programme began at 2 pm with the garlanding of Bhagavan Baba's photo and prayer for universal well being. The senior members of the Trust introduced Swami's life to the children and this was followed by the 'Sit and Draw' event. The children did a great job of expressing their creativity on canvas using their new crayon sets distributed to them that day. We picked up the top few entries and there were prizes for them.
Then there was a really bubbly music program by the alumni music group and band students of Sri Sathya Sai University. Their presence was truly inspirational. In short time they had an amazing collection of Kannada, Hindi and English tunes and they had the students on their feet.This was followed by the prize distribution for children and teachers, distribution of Swami's calendars and then 2 prayer songs- "Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam; and Sathyam Jnanam Anantham Bramha.." The event closed with Mangala Arathi and Prasadam distribution. There was also Vibhuthi and Swami's pocket calendars given at the end.The children, teachers and the current management thoroughly enjoyed the programme and the best reward for the day was their smiling faces filled with the joy of participation and camaraderie. Please see the gallery section to view some of the highlights of that day.