Issue One Hundred and Eighty Second - January 08, 2021
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When you allow yourself to change for the good, when you allow your Divine Self to override your ego self, you become an agent of God, an associate of God, a partner of God, in the great mission of transforming the world.
                                                             - Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai
With the Blessings of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, we are delighted to present our One Hundred and Eighty Second issue of Ananda Vahini. 

In this issue, we present the Divine visit of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai to Hyderabad between December 20 to December 23, 2020.

Christmas was celebrated with love, peace and joy at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli on December 25, 2020. The details have been shared in this issue.

We are also delighted to include in this issue, the details of the Fifth Year Anniversary celebrations of Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust held at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli held on December 27, 2020. 

We are indeed fortunate to be able to listen to Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai impart lessons on the  'Kathopanishad', a compelling conversation between a young boy, Nachiketa and Yamaraja, the God of death, about the mysteries of life, death and immortality. Let's all engage wholeheartedly in the highest knowledge being imparted, by our dear Bhagawan.

In this issue, we present Episodes 4, 5 and 6 of the 'Kathopanishad' video series.

We wish all the readers a very Happy New Year! 

- Sathya Sai Grama Communications Team.

 DECEMBER 20 TO 23, 2020 


December 20, 2020

Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, accompanied by Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, Dr David Cornsweet and Mrs Jennie Cornsweet arrived in Hyderabad on Sunday afternoon and proceeded to the residence of Sri Ram Manohar and Smt Leela Nayani. Bhagawan and His entourage were welcomed by the family following which lunch was served to all.

In the evening, on Swami's command, an intimate satsang was organised for close friends and family members. The session began with a few bhajans and songs being rendered, after which Sri Narasimha Murthy addressed the gathering. He spoke of the immense good fortune of devotees to be able to enjoy and learn in the physical presence of a Master. He also touched upon the importance of surrender, the hallmark of a devotee.

Bhagawan, in His divine discourse, spoke about the qualities of a jnani which include fearlessness and selflessness. He also stressed on the importance of learning to control the mind if one is to  progress on the spiritual path. Swami, quoting verses from the Kathopanishad and the Bhagavad Gita,  elaborated on the need to go beyond the limitations of narrow-minded thinking which only results in ahamkara (ego) and mamakara (vanity, pride).

Swami then answered a few questions and doubts, granted interviews, after which He had dinner and retired for the day.

December 21, 2020

After breakfast, Swami obliged the family by posing for photographs with Sri Ram Manohar and Smt Leela Nayani. He then took their leave. In the afternoon, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, along with His entourage, arrived at the Sri Sathya Sai Prashantiniketanam campus for girl students. Swami was welcomed by a grand procession led by students with purnakumbham (a vessel full of water generally placed at the door as an auspicious sign), Veda chanting, a music band and by students on horseback and motorbikes. Swami had lunch with the students.

In the evening, Swami unveiled a statue of Lord Hanuman in the campus amidst Veda chanting on Manyu Suktam (a hymn from the Rig Veda), bhajans and nadaswaram (a traditional classical musical instrument of South India).

Swami graciously inaugurated a new college block aptly named Lopamudra.  Also known as Kaushitaki, Lopamudra was a great scholar and philosopher. She has contributed innumerable verses to the Rig Veda. Swami then performed gruhapravesha (housewarming) rituals for all the classrooms. The classrooms are organised subject wise and are named in Sanskrit.
The other new college is named Madalasa.  A queen who is one of India’s most learned women, Madalasa was a realised soul. She used to sing a meaningful lullaby to her child which elaborated on the Ultimate Truth. The reason behind naming these college blocks after such liberated women is to familiarise the students with these great Brahma jnanis.

Swami also inaugurated a medical centre in the campus named Aarogya Sadan. The centre provides eye check-up, dental procedures, gynaecological check-ups and regular medical camps. A diagnostic service centre is also being planned.

Students on horseback eagerly exhibited their skills to Swami by performing show jumps.  These students had mastered their skills in a short span of thirteen days!

The evening programme commenced with Veda chanting of Agni suktam (a hymn from the Rig Veda) by the students. The Principal Smt Vijayalakshmi spoke about the work that has been going on in the college,  about the transformation of the students and staff after attending para vidya shibiram, about the admissions of NIOS students and about the NIOS approval which was received in no time.

Following this, there were talks by a few parents  and students. Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, in his speech, spoke about the two glorious women, Lopamudra and Madalasa, who upheld Vedic culture. He also spoke about Lord Hanuman’s devotion to Lord Rama.

Ensuing this, Swami addressed the gathering. There was a group discussion on chapter 17 of the Bhagavad Gita among the students. Thereafter, students performed a dance ballet on Nirvana Shatakam (amongst the most well-known Sanskrit chants composed by Adi Shankaracharya). The splendid evening programme concluded with  a musical concert by Sister Tejaswini and her team.

December 22, 2020

The morning programme began with Ganesha homa ( invoking the blessings of Lord Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, before the start of any new venture to ensure success and well-being), Vastu homa (to protect the place from negative forces) and Navagaraha homa (the homa performed to the nine planets). Swami performed Poornahuti (an offering made to deities at the close of the rituals) and blessed the students.

He distributed certificates to students who excelled in the last academic year, to those who have completed Reiki Level 1 (energy healing technique) and to the horse riders. Swami also gave away the best dormitory award. This was followed by Swami distributing clothes to the students and the support staff. 
Swami and His guests departed from the girls’ campus later that morning.

Thereafter, Swami and His entourage were received at the residence of Sri Raghu Vullaganti. After having lunch and spending priceless moments with the family, Swami and the guests were welcomed at the residence of Brother Venugopal Bhamidipaty in the evening. After partaking dinner, Swami and the guests retired for the night.

December 23, 2020

The next morning, Brother Venugopal’s family spent memorable time with Swami. After having lunch and showering bountiful love on the family, Swami and His entourage departed from Hyderabad in the evening.

Swami arrived at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli, by 7:00 p.m. He was received with enthusiastic Jay Jaykaar by the students, while the staff and ashramites joined in the praises. 

December 20, 2020 (morning) - Arrival at the residence of Sri Ram Manohar and Smt Leela Nayani 

Evening - Satsang with the family and guests

December 21, 2020 (morning) - Visit to the residence of Sri Kalyan Chakravarthy and his wife Smt Nagavalli Chakravarthy

December 21, 2020 (afternoon) - Bhagawan being welcomed at Sri Sathya Sai Prashantiniketanam, Kondapaka

Lunch with Students, Staff and Guests

Statue of Lord Hanuman being unveiled by
Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai

Proceeding towards the new college blocks

Inauguration of the new college blocks, ‘Lopamudra’ and ‘Madalasa’

Sadguru with students and staff

With the team at the new medical centre, ‘Aarogya Sadan'
Evening satsang with students, staff and guests 
Divine Discourse
A Group Discussion on ‘Bhagavad Gita’ by the students
A dance ballet on 'Nirvana Shatakam'
A musical concert by Sister Tejaswini and Team
December 22, 2020 (morning) - Ganesha Homa, Vastu Homa and Navagraha Homa being performed

Blessing the students and staff

Afternoon - visit to the residence of Sri Raghu Vullaganti

Evening - visit to the residence of Sri Venugopal Bhamidipaty




Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham in Muddenahalli glittered with the beauty and glory of the festivities of Christmas. There was holly all around, and two angels in shimmering robes lit up the stage. On the left side of the stage was a beautifully decorated crib celebrating the birth of the King of Kings. The stage also had the holy cross prominently placed to remind us of the sacrifice made by Jesus. The holy cross is also a lesson for everyone, which reminds us to cut the ‘i’ or ego. On either side of the stairways leading up to the stage were pretty Christmas trees.  

The auditorium was filled with eager devotees on Christmas morning, and everyone eagerly awaited the arrival of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, who arrived amidst melodious bhajans which were being offered by the students and staff. He moved gracefully around the hall radiating love and blessings to one and all. 

This was followed by soul stirring carols sung in the praise of Lord Jesus, the popular ones being ‘God is good (all the time)’ and ‘Hallelujah’, among others. Just as the tinkles of Jingle Bells filled the air, little Santa Clauses with goodie bags emerged from backstage and they ushered in much joy to everyone seated. Sadguru blessed the little Santas and they proceeded towards the devotees in the hall, bouncing around and showering them with candies. 

Sister Bhuvana Santhanam gave the introductory talk on the deeper meaning of Christmas, and involved everyone in reciting the Lord’s Prayer, ‘Our Father’. This prayer has great significance in every Christian home, as it was taught by Jesus to his disciples during the Sermon on the Mount. She also narrated about how when Jesus was asked when the kingdom of God would come, He has replied that it was not something people will be able to see and point to. Then came these striking words: “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21) With these words, Jesus had given voice to a teaching that has become timeless and most cherished.

She also added how Swami had once spoken about the true meaning of the name of Jesus. “He was called Yesu or Yesus in Hebrew and it means that which signifies the oneness of divinity. And this spirit of oneness is the real spirit behind Christmas”, she added. 

This was followed by a talk by Obina from Nigeria, a second year Pre-University student. Obina elaborated on the teachings of Jesus Christ, the most prominent being to love one’s neighbour as oneself. “This alone can help one rise to divinity”, he said. Equally important, he said, is to develop faith. He gave the example of Lord Hanuman who lifted a mountain (Sumeru Parvat – mountain in the Himalayas), with complete faith in Lord Rama. Young Obina added that the best birthday gift we can offer Lord Jesus is for everyone to become jnanis (self-realised). He dedicated a beautiful hymn, ‘Lead me to the cross’ originally written by Brooke Fraiser of Hillsong, and prayed that every being should be led to the cross which signifies a state of becoming egoless and fearless.

Next, Dr David Cornsweet spoke about how the teachings of Lord Jesus have been misunderstood. He highlighted that to convert to Christianity does not mean that one must convert from one religion to another. “True conversion is that of the heart,” he stated. 

Dr David emphasised that Lord Jesus’ teachings were the same as that of Sanatana Dharma. Jesus stressed on charity and affirmed that both the giver of charity and receiver are blessed and that the giver obtains greater blessings. He also focussed on forgiveness (towards self and others) and love (of self and others). 

Two of the most important Commandments, Dr Cornsweet emphasised were - there is only one God; one must love Him with all their heart and love one’s neighbour as they love themselves. He concluded by saying that Jesus taught everyone a way to become God and that we are all so  blessed and fortunate in the present times to have God Himself teaching us  how to merge and become one with Him.

Sri B N Narasimha Murthy who addressed the gathering next stressed that every Master who walked on earth taught spirituality and not religion. “Masters and Prophets speak from their hearts and not their minds and their teachings are nothing but Sanatana Dharma. No religion was founded by the so-called founders of the religions. Religions were founded by the disciples who weren’t as enlightened as their Masters. All Masters focussed on attaining divine consciousness and on reducing body consciousness.” 

He stressed that being in the presence of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai is the same as being in the presence of Lord Jesus. “All Masters are one,” Sri Narasimha Murthy said. In fact, every man, woman, creature and being is one. The essence of the Bible, Quran, Zend Avesta, Dhammapada and all religions are the same, and that is - Aham Brahma (I am Divine), Sarvam Brahma (everyone and everything is also divine). A true disciple of one Master is the disciple of every Master.

Swami in His Christmas discourse stressed that the greatest teaching of Jesus is to treat everyone alike -  all are one. He detailed that many photographs of Jesus show a heart and the Lord points to the sacred heart. “This only means that one must listen to the heart. The heart unites everybody. The head will not understand spirituality.” Swami reminded all that the Narayana Suktam (a hymn from the Yajurveda) emphasises that divinity is present inside a lotus shaped heart, which is the spiritual heart not the physical heart. “Jesus practiced truth, love, forgiveness, service and more which is what Sanatana Dharma talks about.  In those orthodox times, Jesus boldly declared that He was the messenger of God. He later stated that he was the son of God and finally proclaimed that He and His father are one. Jesus walked long distances in search of the truth and came to the East, the Himalayas, to learn what He already knew within. There was no Hinduism then, Bhagawan asserted. Everybody practiced Sanatana Dharma, wherein all believed in the great truth spoken in different ways by different people. Jesus went back and taught this truth to everyone. He taught love, oneness, sacrifice, forgiveness and acceptance. As he was being crucified, Jesus sought forgiveness for all those who wronged Him thus proving that all are in fact one.”

Swami stressed that one must celebrate Christmas year after year in the truest form by following the teachings of Jesus Christ. By walking on the footprints laid by Jesus, each one would become one with divinity. This is the true spirit of Christmas, He added. 

On behalf of everybody present, Swami greeted all the devotees around the world and wished everyone a Happy and Holy Christmas.  He reminded all the devotees that the teachings of Lord Jesus must be practised to realise the truth. He emphasised that everyone must to open their hearts, homes and hands during these trying times and practice the timeless values of sharing and caring. He assured that by giving others what one has, they will not lack anything. In fact, the Lord knows what one needs and will provide when the time is right. Swami said, “May you all benefit, may you all practice, may you all realise that truth, may you all become free.” 

With these concluding words, Swami blessed all His devotees around the world.


The evening commenced with Veda chanting and bhajans at  Premamrutham Hall. Swami entered the auditorium amidst Bhajans, and then occupied His seat for the evening programme which was to be presented by the Sai Symphony Orchestra by students of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam.  What is noteworthy is that this is the second orchestra in India and is currently the largest and only students’ orchestra in the country. The exceptional talent displayed by the musicians and singers is all thanks to the love, patience and efforts of the extremely talented multi-instrumentalist, Brother Dimitris Lambrianos. 

The curtains rose and revealed all the musicians on stage dressed smartly in velvety bow tie suits showcasing their respective musical instruments. The band conductors of were Brothers Sai Harikesh and Narasimha Maya.

Smt Gayatri and Sri Kunal Ganjawala, two very well-known playback singers in the country and ardent devotees of Bhagawan, led the carols, which  included ‘Silent Night, Holy Night’ composed by Franz Xaver Gruber, `O Come All Ye Faithful’ composed by John Francis Wade, `Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie which included a piano solo by Dimitris Lambrianos and `Christmas Hallelujah’ with Brother Ashwin on Alto Flute. The performances were interspersed with short talks by the students. 

Among the various pieces played by the Sai Symphony Orchestra were popular songs such as `Hawaii Five-O’ composed by Morton Stevens with a solo by Rishi Gopinath on electric guitar, Eine kleine Nachtmusik, a German title composed by Mozart. Obina and Emmanuel led the vocals for the peppy ‘I feel good’ composed by James Brown, the `Mission Impossible’ theme composed by Lalo Schifrin with solos by young Sai Shankar on the drums and Dimitris Lambrianos on the piano, `Havana’ by Camila Cabello featuring a piano intro, a solo by Jeevan Sai, with Dimitris Lambrianos on the Soprano Saxophone and a Violin duet by Sai Shankar and Dimitris Lambrianos. 

`The Final Countdown’ by the Swedish rock band Europe with a solo by Rishi Gopinath on the electric guitar, `Zorba the Greek’ composed by Mikis Theodorakis featuring Dimitris Lambrianos on the bazouki and Rishi Gopinath on the baglama, and `Jingle Bells’ composed by James Lord Pierpont was aided  by 12  cherubic little boys from the Ashram who sang along energetically with Smt Gayatri Ganjawala. 

The final piece was a composition by our dear Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, `Love is My Form’ with little Sai Mukunda on the Glockenspiel and Rakshan on the Vibraphone and sung by the tiny sweet angels. 

The carols sung by Smt Gayatri and Shri Kunal Ganjawala were stupendous. The Sai Symphony Orchestra played with great panache and the lovely kids sang their hearts out to dear Bhagawan.  

Swami blessed all the performers abundantly, and complimented them for all the pieces, with a special mention of `Hallelujah’, Mozart and `Zorba The Greek’. He expressed His appreciation for the boys who instead of going home for the holidays, had stayed back to practice their music.  Bhagawan requested Brother Dimitris to teach the students Western classical pieces like Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, so that they could be ready with new pieces for next Christmas. 

Swami showered praises on Smt Gayatri Ganjawala for the carols that were so beautifully sung. He made special mention of `Silent Night, Holy Night’ which were fabulously rendered. The joyful evening ended with Mangala Arati being offered to Bhagawan.

Brother Obina addressing the gathering

Talk by Dr David Cornsweet

Divine Discourse

Evening - Scintillating performance by the Sai Symphony Orchestra 

Sri Kunal Ganjawala and Smt Gayatri Ganjawala
Children from the Ashram joined the Orchestra to render the songs 'Jingle Bells' and 'Love is My Form'



December 27, 2020, marked the fifth anniversary of the Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust and eighth Anniversary of the Annapoorna Breakfast Programme. Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai was received at the Premamrutham Hall in grandeur with poorna kumbam, and a procession of students chanting the Sri Rudram. He was accompanied by Sri Suresh Kumar, Minister of Education, Government of Karnataka. Amidst soulful bhajans rendered by the staff and students, Sadguru along with Sri Suresh Kumar, Sri N Sampath - Chairman of the Annapoorna Trust and Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, took their seats on the beautifully decorated stage. 

The auspicious morning commenced with the ritualistic lamp lighting ceremony. Swami Japananda Maharaj ji, Founder and Chairman of Sri Ramakrishna Sevashrama - Pavagada, arrived at the auspicious moment, and joined Sadguru and others on the dais.

Sister Bhuvana Santhanam gave an introductory talk welcoming everyone.  She highlighted that in the Global Hunger Index Report, India has the highest percentage of children who suffer from acute malnutrition. She spoke about how a multi-pronged effort is required to combat this serious hunger issue, and how the Annapoorna breakfast programme with the 3S Model of samaja (society), sarkara (government) and sanstha (institution) has collaborated with various governments and corporate CSR teams, to unite and expand its service of offering morning nutrition completely free of any cost to needy beneficiaries across 6,000+ centres in 17 States and 3 Union Territories of India, and in many other countries too. Very soon, Annapoorna plans to serve 10,00,000 children every morning. Since the schools were shut during the Covid pandemic, the Annapoorna volunteers, lovingly addressed as the Covid Annapoorna Warriors, visited the families of most needy children and distributed over 100,000 relief kits which contained monthly rations.

Vedic invocation of Briguvalli (the third valli in the Taittiriya Upanishad) by the little girl children of the Ashram followed next. Thereafter, a short video of the Annapoorna Breakfast Seva Programme with glimpses of happy children, numerous centres, volunteer activities and more was showcased 

Sri Anand Kadali, Trustee and Secretary of the Annapoorna Trust, spoke about the beautiful journey of Annapoorna.  He recollected two incidents related to the Annapoorna breakfast programme. On the first day of the breakfast seva, a little girl had asked whether the volunteers would return the next day too. At that time, the breakfast seva was intended to be conducted only twice a week. Understanding the import of the innocent girl’s words, the team answered ‘Yes’. He added that he was surprised to receive a call from the very same girl congratulating him on the Annapoorna Trust completing its fifth year. 

He narrated yet another incident which occurred at a school where breakfast serving had commenced. The teacher shared with Sri Anand that she felt pained to teach the children as they were attending the school on empty stomachs. Her favourite deity being Lord Venkateshwara, she had prayed that it was unbearable to teach hungry little children, knowing fully well that unless they are well fed, they would not be able to grasp and learn anything. As an answer to her fervent prayers, the Lord sent Annapoorna volunteers to begin the breakfast programme at the school. 

Sri Anand highlighted that Sri Sathya Sai Baba had once encouraged him to serve breakfast to one needy child every day. Swami asserted that this approach of feeding one child everyday must be shared with other people to inspire them too. Once the health and nutrition quotient was taken care of, one could erase all fears of health risks in growing children and can look forward to healthy and happy children. 

Soon after this, a short video was presented showing the COVID relief effort which was undertaken by the Annapoorna volunteers. The volunteering teams of Kolkata and Jamshedpur from Sri Sathya Sai Aarogya Vahini Trust provided nutrition as well as healthcare to the affected regions during the devastating cyclone, Amphan.

Thereafter, the revamped website of the Annapoorna Trust was launched. Sister Vibhavari and Sister Nayana explained the new look of the website to Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai and Sri Suresh Kumar. This was followed by a video presentation of SaiSure, a Multi-Nutrient Supplement programme which was launched in February 2019. The objective of this programme is to provide high quality nutritional supplements to expecting women, toddlers and children from rural India to bridge their nutritional gaps. The variants of SaiSure have been designed to benefit expecting mothers, toddlers (aged three months to three years), pre-schoolers (aged three to six years), and school children (aged six years +). Sri Bharani Prasad, one of the Directors of SaiSure and Dr Narayana Murthy, Trustee, Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust, presented variants of SaiSure to the dignitaries.

A new website was also launched for SaiSure. Sri Bharani Prasad and Santosh Allath, National Manager of the Sri Satya Sai Annapoorna Trust, presented the website to Sadguru.

The Annapoorna team had assisted the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam team to launch the website for online classes during the pandemic. A revamped website was launched with interesting features that enable easy access to the online classes for not just the thousands of students of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam, but is freely available to eager and enthusiastic children all over the world. The young and dynamic duo presented the website to Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai on stage were Sri Prashant R, who has recently joined Morgan Stanley, and Sri Mahidhar Reddy, who is part of the Gurukulam online team.

Next on the agenda was the launch of yet another new website - Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP). 70% of India lives in its villages and the future of the country is dependent on the future of its villages. So, an explicit focus on rural development is required for the progress of the country. College students have the energy, skills and the capacity to make an impact and address the challenges rampant in our villages. When the Annapoorna Trust explained the various rural-centric programs it was engaged in with the Principal of Nagarjuna College of Engineering and Technology (NCET)he immediately expressed an interest to involve the engineering students of NCET and to acquaint them with problems faced in rural India, with an aim to inculcate and sow the seed of desire to understand, analyse and address those problems by leveraging their education and skills. The idea of designing an Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP) curriculum emerged from this discussion between Nagarjuna College of Engineering and Technology and the Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust in 2017.

The Annapoorna Trust surveyed several existing rural development curricula and degree courses being offered the world over. Concurrently, there was also an internal research conducted to understand the ideas of thought leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Mahatma Jyotirba Phule, and Baba Amte whose lives were dedicated to social and rural upliftment. Finally, after an intensive study, the Annapoorna Trust engaged with renowned professors in rural development across several universities and institutions to formulate a curriculum for this program. Since the goal of this course is to give a practical exposure to university and college students, the lecture sessions in the course are supplemented with practical in-field studies and activities. Students of Higher Education Institutions can enrol in to engage in community service and positively impact all sections of the society. Sister Vibhavari and Sister Nayana presented the new website to the dignitaries on the dais.

This was followed by the launch of the book The Divine Guidance - Part Two, which contains all the guidance received from Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba through Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, which had led to the origin and the success of the Annapoorna Breakfast Seva programme, and the establishment of the Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust. Certainly, the breakfast programme has positively influenced the lives of many families and has now emerged as one of the largest breakfast-serving NGOs in India, in terms of the number of children who benefit from it. 

On this significant day, Annapoorna Trust dedicated 50,000 books to the Education Department, Government of Karnataka, which would be distributed to needy school children. This was made possible because of Micro Focus, one of the world’s largest enterprise software providers, and Sai Siva Notebooks Industries, known for its unrelenting quality, prompt supply and sincere service. Sri Manoj EG, Global Human Resources Business Partner and Country HR Leader at Micro Focus India, and Sri Siva, Chairman of Sai Siva Notebooks Industries handed over the books to Sri Suresh Kumar.

Much gratitude was expressed to the corporates who have been associated with Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust. It is because of their undeterred support, selfless service and commitment that 500,000 school-going children get to eat a wholesome breakfast every single morning. The corporate felicitated were Micro Focus, First American India, Bangalore International Airport, Fanuc India Private Limited, McAfee, Samsung, Oracle, Aditya Birla, Zoho, Evexia Nutrition Pvt Ltd, Pristine, Griffith, D A Pandu Memorial RV Dental College, Sai Deep Exports and Dani Rasa Foundation.

Following this, Sri Suresh Kumar delivered a talk. Full of admiration for the activities that Annapoorna is involved in, he assured that the sarkar would always support samaja and the sanstha. He also said that the government would be very happy to work with Annapoorna to ensure that every child is well fed. 

The next speaker was Swami Japanandaji Maharaj ji who was highly impressed with the love and efforts of the Annapoorna team and the effectiveness of SaiSure. He emphasised the fact that it was due to the grace and blessings of Baba that more and more people are associating with Annapoorna and getting transformed. He praised the holy land, serene atmosphere, and pure intent as well, for being additional factors contributing to the success of the Annapoorna Breakfast Seva programme.  Swami Japanandaji graciously blessed the Annapoorna programme. 

Sri B N Narasimha Murthy in his talk stressed on the importance of feeding the needy by narrating an incident in the life of a gentleman from California who was inspired by the life and teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. This man used to cook food for 25 to 30 homeless people and distribute food packets personally by walking two kilometres every day. One morning, the food packets got exhausted earlier than usual and some regulars could not be given food that morning. He was saddened and tried to go away without them realising it. But one of them reached out to him and enquired why he had not met them that day. He apologised profusely saying that the food packets had been exhausted earlier that day.  The homeless man responded quickly that he waited for this gentleman as he was the only one who ever spoke to him with love and compassion in his whole life. “What you give is not important, how you give is important”, said Sri Narasimha Murthy.

Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai addressed the gathering next. He narrated the story of a great ruler who reigned during the Mahabharata times and was loved by all his subjects, as he did everything possible to keep them happy. The Lord was immensely pleased with him and wanted to bestow boons upon him but none of this fascinated the selfless King. He did not desire for heavens, kingdoms to rule and not even liberation. His only prayer to the Lord was to be able to wipe away the sorrows of those who suffer. Swami emphasised that this ought to be the ideal prayer for every Bharatiya. “Similarly, the Annapoorna Trust can proudly say that every single volunteer, every Trustee and all other support staff live by the prayer that they are able to feed all the hungry children of this land. They have no desire for awards, rewards, recognition, certificates etc. They only wish that every child enjoys a sumptuous breakfast daily.” Sadguru applauded Sri Suresh Kumar for being a pillar of support to the educational institution, as well as to the Annapoorna breakfast programme. “Sri Suresh’s heart beats for the children of the State as well as of the country.” Swami requested him to remain a lifelong volunteer of Annapoorna.

Sadguru asserted that serving the children is not an expense in His institutions as these children are the central point of focus. “Any money spent as an expenditure is considered as an investment in the future of the child, society, future of the country and the world. When the child is fed a scoop of upma, it is not just their belly that is filled. In fact, on seeing the outpour of love from fellow beings, their hearts are filled with hope, faith, confidence and love for the country and its countrymen. They develop a trust and a bond with the country who looks after their needs. The Annapoorna team toils day and night. Every single moment, their only thought is on how to reach out to more children. During the Covid times, the schools were shut, and the children were not getting even one meal a day and had to survive on water. The Trustees took the effort to visit the village teachers and find out the poorest families who couldn’t afford even two square meals a day, and distributed ration kits to those families for 2-3 months, till more support was received from the Government. While the world looked at this pandemic as an adversity, Annapoorna looked at it as an opportunity to reach out to more, to fill their hearts with love and to instill faith in humanity by their acts of service. Through their acts of service, they made everyone very proud.” The memorable morning concluded with Mangala Arati offered to Sadguru.

Vedic invocation of Bhriguvalli by little girls from the ashram

Launch of the revamped website for the Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust

Sri Bharani Prasad and Sri Santosh Allath presenting the new website for SaiSure to Sadguru

Trustees of the Annapoorna Trust during the launch of the book 'Divine Guidance - Part 2'

New notebooks for needy children being dedicated to Sri Suresh Kumar, Minister of Education, Government of Karnataka by Sai Siva Notebooks Industries and Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust 

Talk by Sri Suresh Kumar

Talk by Swami Japananda Maharaj

Divine Discourse


Everyone eagerly awaited the arrival of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai for the evening programme. Vedic invocation was offered by the lady volunteers of the Annapoorna programme who chanted the Durga Suktam. Inspiring talks were then delivered by two speakers who shared their experiences of growth and learning from their journey with Annapoorna. Smt Gayatri Sundar and Sri Santosh Allath, have both been associated with the Annapoorna breakfast initiative ever since its inception, and they shared their unique perspective and their humble gratitude to Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai for the opportunity to share love with the children. Thereafter, volunteers of the breakfast programme who had provided not only outstanding service, but also demonstrated exceptional leadership, were felicitated. The first recipient of the Annapoorna Award for Excellence was Ms. Monisha Ranjan, Corporate Relations Manager, who has initiated institutional collaborations which are actively participating with the Annapoorna Trust today. The award was accepted on her behalf by her two daughters, Gayathri Ranjan and Savitri Ranjan. The next Award for Excellence was given to Ms. Gayatri Sundar, a very active and spirited volunteer who also oversees corporate relations of the Trust. Representing the ground transportation team, the next award was received by Sri Naveen Kumar B K, and Sri Manjunath T S, in honour of their dedicated efforts to assure the timely delivery of fresh, hot breakfast to children every morning The Trust then proceeded to honour all the other volunteers who are part of this important programme from Visakhapatnam, Prakasam, Telangana, Chennai, Krishnagiri, Sivakasi, Jharkhand, Mandya, and Tumkur. A special mention was made about Sri Subhajit Mukherjee from West Bengal for his selfless service in both the Annapoorna Breakfast programme, and for taking the lead to provide relief healthcare measures for those affected by the recent cyclone in the coastal areas. 

The revered Chancellor of the Sri Sathya University for Human Excellence, Sri B N Narasimha Murthy then addressed the august gathering. He began by congratulating all the participants of the Annapoorna programme who demonstrate that the purpose of life is a life of purpose. He emphasised that dedicating “one’s service to the Lord is important, but self-realisation happens only through vichara, or enquiry. We must understand the higher teachings that Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai has imparted to the world in the last eight to nine months, and endeavour to practice those principals in daily life by applying both viveka (discrimination) and vairagya (detachment). This brings us to the state of realising that we are the eternal atman, which is pure consciousness. Even the great masters continue to work to alleviate the suffering of others and help us to reach a state of Atma Jnana. Having been bestowed with the glorious opportunity to have the darshan of such a Sadguru, listening to His teachings, we should be looked upon as examples of people who are evolved, and understand the spiritual purpose of life. Practicing these teachings, we look forward to the next anniversary that we may have taken the next step in our own growth in realising that we are divine, and that everything is divine. Aham Bramha, Sarvam Bramha is the new mahamantra for the modern age given by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, which will allow us to become beacons of light in this world!”

The eager audience were then blessed with the divine discourse of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai. He started with a quote by Lord Krishna from the Bhagavad Gita, “I have no duty whatsoever in all the three worlds, yet even though I have nothing to attain, or there is nothing that I have not attained, I engage myself in activity.” 

Sadguru said, “All avatars come to the world with only a single purpose, to teach man how to realise his own divinity. This seva is one of the surest and shortest methods, a shortcut to divinity. When we do seva, we forget the identification with our individual self, the ‘I’ that binds us down. In that moment of nothingness, everything is present. If we then can expand that experience to every minute of our life, then every moment will be an experience of divine realisation. Seva is the easiest, fastest, and surest path to Divinity. Seva done selflessly and without any desire for any acknowledgement is the right seva. The first beneficiary of the seva, is always the person who is performing the act of seva, which is making a promise to God to be less and less of yourself, and more and more like God. The body is nourished by food, but the soul needs to be nourished too, and that nourishment comes through these acts of service. Many governments are taking notice of the Annapoorna activities now and many requests are pouring in from all sides. We will need more dedicated volunteers from all parts of the country in the times to come. The joy that people see in the volunteers who participate in the programme will inspire many others to join in this seva. Serving breakfast from the heart to the needy children will make them happy, as they will be inspired by the happiness of the volunteers. A heart full of love, a mind that is sensitive to the hunger and needs of the children, and hands that are ready to participate and act, are the only qualification required. 

When Sri C Sreenivas met with the Prime Minister, he was told that it hadn’t occurred to the government that breakfast was so important for the school-going children. Now in the National Education Policy 2020, it is mentioned that primary school children should be given breakfast because it improves their cognitive and developmental capabilities. We now have a proven model of how we can work with the government and inspire and engage the teachers and the local people to take responsibility. The government, the society and the institutions must all participate. Two years from now on the seventh anniversary, Annapoorna should be present in every single State, and every Union Territory. It should have its office, people, and at least a few schools in every area. This service makes all other services more efficient, and the money that the government spends on the child will be more effective because the child will learn better, is happier and more knowledgeable. The Annapoorna Trust will become one of the largest private Trusts in the country. No one needs any degree or special certificate to be a part of this programme; you must only be a humble, loving and willing volunteer, who is willing to dedicate a little time and energy for the sake of children. The prayer to Mother Annapoorna asks for the bhiksha of the wisdom that ‘I am divine, and everything is divine,’ and for detachment from selfishness. This will be the gain of the volunteers in this opportunity. I am with you all the time, in the act of selflessness, divinity is always present, and each person is equal to Me; not a piece of Me, not a part of Me, not a parcel of Me, but equal to Me! Therefore, each of you is capable of such great things.” Swami then concluded by bestowing His blessings on all the volunteers and devotees. 

After a brief intermission, the audience happily reconvened for a musical offering by the children, both boys and girls, of the Sathya Sai Grama Ashram. The group offered a garland of nine devotional songs at Sadguru’s lotus feet. The songs were interspersed with short videos of the children sharing the meanings of the songs and expressing their love for Him. Before beginning their concert, the children presented Sadguru with garlands and gifts which delighted both Him and all those present. The cultural offering was a wonderful performance filled with sincere devotion for their Lord and the demonstration of the vocal, acting, sincerity and simplicity of the children. Sadguru then proceeded to the stage for group photos, and distribution of prasad and gifts for the children. A beautiful anniversary cake was then presented, and as Mangala Arati was offered, Sadguru proceeded to feed each of the children a delicious bite of the cake with His hands! The children and audience were filled with joy and delight, as they departed from the Premamrutham auditorium with a heart full of love as the memorable day concluded.

Vedic invocation of Durga suktam by the lady volunteers of the Annapoorna Programme.

Talk by Sri Santosh Allath

Presenting Annapoorna Award for Excellence to the Volunteers for their outstanding service and exceptional leadership skills  

Musical offering by the children of Sathya Sai Grama Ashram





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