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Love and Light

Region 2 - Gram Seva in Prashanti Nilayam

On Sunday 25th September 2011, with the Grace and direct instruction of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Sai Kingdom (United Kingdom) Grama Seva Group stepped onto the hallowed ground of Prashanti Nilayam to follow the command of Bhagawan Baba and carry out Grama Seva together with Bhagawan’s own Students. The group consisted of 46 brothers and 24 sisters all eager to participate in Grama Seva as instructed by Swami. The group had been brought to the Lotus Feet by Sri Ajit Popat, affectionately known as Swami’s “puppet.”

After arriving early in the morning, the group attended their first Maha Samadhi Darshan in the Sai Kulwant hall at 4pm.

The following day after morning darshan, the Grama Seva boys were invited to attend the meeting in the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning Auditorium on “Grama Seva 2011, an offering at Thy Divine Lotus feet.” Here they had the fortune to listen to many distinguished faculty speakers such as the Vice-Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Sri B.N. Narasimhamurthy, Sri Sanjay Sahni and Professor A Sudhir Bhaskar. They all spoke on the history of Grama Seva, the importance and significance of it and the feelings one should have when offering Swami’s prasadam. Videos and photos of the planning and logistics work that goes on behind the scenes were shown. This included the preparation of Swami’s prasadam, packaging and uploading onto the vehicles.

With the immense grace of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the UK Grama Seva Group had an opportunity to offer a small token of love to Swami’s Samadhi, which included the chanting of Purusha Suktam and Narayana Suktam and this was followed by bhajans and a bhajan medley.

Professor Anil Kumar announced the start of Grama Seva from Wednesday 28th September 2011 onwards for 9 days culminating on the auspicious day of Dasara. During his address he also thanked the UK group for the continuous participation in the Grama Seva Activity alongside Swami’s students and faculty members for the last 9 years.

The first day of Navratri happened to be the commencement of the Grama Seva Project 2011. Each day of Gram Seva the UK Grama Seva Group was privileged to follow behind the Veda group in doing “pradakshina” around Swami’s Maha-Samadhi and the Mandir before proceeding to the Tata Sumo Vehicles allocated for them to travel in, as per Swami’s Divine instructions.

Transport for the Students consisted of over 35 trucks which were also loaded with supplies. Supplies included sarees, dhotis and food (consisting of Pulihora Rice and Ladoo). As the vehicles left the Prashanthi gates, all participants shouted “Jai Bolo Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!”

The UK Grama Seva group had been split into 7 teams of up to 6 people each and each group was allocated different villages where they were to serve alongside Swami’s students and faculty members. The UK Grama Seva group were extremely fortunate to be able to visit the Grama Seva Kitchen where Swami’s Grama Seva prasadam are made in their tens of thousands over night, every night, to be distributed the following morning.

The villages covered over the 9 days were in the Kota Cervvu Mandal, Puttaparthi Mandal and Bukkapatnam Mandal. These districts are made up of many smaller villages, each of different sizes with the largest consisting of over 500 houses.

Swami’s message and Love could be seen to be reaching out to the world, as the villagers were waiting with broad smiles for the arrival of the Grama Seva workers. The villagers had washed the front of their houses and painted rangoli to welcome Swami’s students.

The Grama Seva began with bhajans, (Nagar Sankeertan) sung whilst walking through the main streets of the village to sanctify and purify the environment with God’s name.

The Service was conducted in true Sai Spirit by adhering to the maxim “Service to Man is Service to God.” This was carried out from 9am until all of the houses within the district were covered.

Jai Sai Ram.

Article submitted by West Drayton Group