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Love and Light

Spiritual Wing - Sri Sanjay Sahni

Director Brindavan Campus & Associate Professor
Department of Commerce, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning

"Be Connected Within Always"

A distinguished alumnus of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, and currently the Director of the Brindavan Campus of the Institute, Sri Sanjay Sahni is one of the fortunate few to have been blessed by Bhagawan Baba to be in His Immediate Divine Presence for 20 long years. He is a familiar figure to the Sai family all over the world as an engaging and enthralling speaker, as Bhagawan ‘invited’ brother Sanjay on numerous occasions over these years to deliver talks in His Presence, which often served as ‘preludes’ to His Divine Discourses!

Sanjay joined the first batch of the five-year integrated programme in Commerce launched by the university in 1982. And very soon, in fact within a few months since joining in October that year, he was blessed with the first opportunity to address a huge gathering in the Poornachandra auditorium in the Divine Presence of Bhagawan during the Dasara Celebrations. He says, "I actually forgot my speech but somehow managed to finish it. Swami gave a beautiful all-knowing smile, as I bent down to take Padanamaskar!" Since then, under the watchful and loving guidance of the Divine Lord Sai, brother Sanjay has delivered many impeccable and inspirational talks.

Reminiscing on his journey prior to joining Bhagawan's University, Sanjay acknowledges that it was a yearning that developed in intensity gradually rather than instantaneously. In 1972, in far away Bengal, his father's 'adversity' in life became the ‘opportunity’ for God to enter it: Swami entered via the book Man of Miracles! He went to Prasanthinilayam, had Swami's darshan during which His Divinity was confirmed, returned home with firm faith, gave up eating meat and drinking alcohol immediately, and started attending bhajans and regular prayers at home. Young Sanjay's first visit was to Brindavan during the Summer Course of 1978, where he along with his parents would gather outside the hall to listen to Bhagawan's Discourses. One vivid memory he shares is of an evening, when it started raining heavily and Swami instructed the volunteers to let in all those getting drenched. Sanjay along with a few others somehow found himself placed right at the front next to the dais, and the Love and Compassion he felt emanating from the Divine Face of Bhagawan touched his heart deeply. He later spent 9 days in 1979 in Prasanthi nilayam during the Christmas celebrations, and he feels that this has been a turning point for him. He experienced the immense Love of Swami, and for Swami, and also noticed the closeness of the Students to Bhagawan. The first seeds to join His University were planted, seemingly insidiously.

The next 2-3 years brother Sanjay considers as his preparatory phase. He attended balvikas, and later many Seva activities such as eye camps etc, and studied Sai Literature albeit with an intention to garnish his talks and give him an edge over others in the many debating and elocution competitions in which he participated and won in Calcutta! But, he says that all these and especially the Seva activities made his mind receptive and ready. Thus, the experiences in the Divine Presence that began in 1982 gathered pace quickly, and the lessons given and learnt became more enjoyable, insightful and profound over the years.

After completing his M.com in flying colours, having been awarded 2 Gold Medals by Bhagawan Himself, he joined the Department of Commerce at Prasanthi nilayam campus in 1987 as a faculty member. Swami then entrusted him with the responsibility to serve as the Warden of the Sri Sathya Sai Hostel, Prasanthi nilayam from 1990 to 1993. Later he joined the Brindavan campus of the university where he has been serving as Principal since 2002 and was designated Director of the campus in 2011. He is associated with the value education courses at the university and has participated in a number of national and international workshops/conferences on value education.

Recently a young student accosted him in the hostel at Brindavan and asked, "Sir! What is the one thing that you have learnt from Bhagawan during all your years of stay in His Presence?". Without even having to ponder much, brother Sanjay replied, “ That happiness is man’s choice! Happiness is union with God! One could make the firm choice to be with God within at all times, and thus be happy in any situation.” He later elaborated that the only changeless thing in this world is God and His Love for us. So, Be Connected Within Always!

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