Anantapur days

*Learning at the campus in fun light [Dated: March’07]*

There are two things which make our life a fantabulous hit:

  1. Place
  2. People

Sathya Sai Baba, Bhagwan as we fondly call Him, in His benevolent mercy has given us indeed a scintillating permutation of both of these in Anantapur.

#As we take a stroll in the early hours of dawn, the crimson-purple shades escort us to the day’s proceeding. The canopy of Mother Nature is all around, and we enjoy the cool morning wind. But this is Royal Seema we are talking about. It is a matter of time before Mr. Sun peeps out mischievously, decides to hover over, and roasts us down.

“Oh valiant Sun, you have forgotten the multi-faceted personality of ATP girls to face trying circumstances like these.” They would use a disfigured thing which in no way would resemble its original look of an umbrella, or a book, pallu and what not.

“Swami, you surely have succeeded in imparting the concept of ‘Ceiling on Desires’.” 

A student offering card to Bhagwan on Sports Meet

A student offering card to Bhagwan on Sports Meet

#The study holidays are fast approaching. This is the time when even in a non-musical person like me, the stomach composes miraculous notes better than even Beethoven’s. Like an oasis amidst mirages, some girl or the other pops out a ‘hi’, and offers an imli (which she would have flicked), despite her own hunger.

Undoubtedly, it’s not the big things, but the little things that can mean enough. Not only our hunger vanishes, but a feeling of togetherness rejuvenate our vigour.

#Let me not forget to mention our favourite ‘rice stealing part’, when we miss our Sunday lunches because of the strenuous job of having a head bath. Surely eating in a group is fun, but its secret is theft. The significant part being not gobbling rice, but the ecstatic feeling of having escaped a spanking.

Gosh! Karna would surely have had a tough competition with us. And I am sure Swami is celebrating, for He taught us the happiness in sharing.

#Speaking of Karna, we all are reminded of how selflessly our teachers work here with dedication. This virtue hopefully is subconsciously driven in each of us. When few of our sisters were suffering from Chicken pox, they ensured the girls felt at home and comfortable. They advised others of the precaution to be taken. They took care of every unstated need of ours. Surely, home is where love is.

Sathya Sai Visiting Anantapur campus

Sathya Sai Visiting Anantapur campus

#Last year, when two of our teachers met with an accident, all of us were sad and terrified of the misfortune that happened in our Sai family. Every heart had a melancholic beat, and the atmosphere was surfed with hopes and prayers for their speedy recovery. Each moan of theirs was hurting the heart, because of our unique bond of love.

Today, when we see them walking, it brings a heavy sigh of relief, and a sense of gratitude to our all-pervading Hero. Isn’t it amazing to have the feeling of unity amidst diversification?

#Speaking of unity, the other day Raji Ma’am took us to Sri Sai Shiva Kameshwari Temple. I was amazed at the unity in our thoughts. Since it was lunar eclipse that day, the priest asked if we could wait for another half-an-hour to take part in the special pooja. I got to know later, while conversing with girls that all had equally felt bad as we would be missing bajans that evening. Might be it’s just a simple thing, but the idea of daily bajans, which was new to us in the beginning of our first year, has become a part of us now, and we don’t want to miss it for even a day.

One other thing – when we were seated inside the temple, the priest started chanting the Vedas, and spontaneously all the girls started chanting with him (brimming with pride and gratitude of course). Truly, prayer is nothing but willingness and acceptance to change. Today not only are we happy, but a sort of pride envelopes to belong to Anantapur.

#Yesterday, in our Marketing class, we were discussing how we are so used to the routine here that we get bored so easily in the slow-moving world outside. Many girls have told me that almost after the first week of summer vacations, they get bored, and wait to come back to Anantapur, because of the quality time that we spend here.

Last semester, one of the former students had even called up, and told our teacher that she is missing suprabhatam and bajans. So much so that she requested ma’am to make the girls sing for her. Isn’t it unbelievable to ask for something that we had grumbled about as long as we were here?

This serene atmosphere, pollution free surroundings, fragrant flowers, cuddly puppies and cats – really a bundle of varied things bound together with love. If you think about it, we have covered 6 ideals already – in the casualness of our everyday life!

  • Ceiling on Desires
  • Sharing is caring
  • Selflessness
  • Bond of love
  • Unity in diversity
  • Time Management

Our stay here has taught us much more than all these. Our lives have changed for the better. As I said because of the two things: place and people.

#Just imagine when creation is so beautiful how tantalizing and charismatic the Creator must be! He has made us imbibe the purpose of life, making us seek God subtly. This calls in for the belief in His omnipresence.

Let me get there with a story. Though I was termed as a Sai Devotee from birth, I never did relate to Him apart from the school prayer sessions, which I chanted as a routine. Then one December evening in 2003, I decided in the spur of moment that I should join His Institute (as soon as I got to know there was one). Fervent prayers and meticulous preparations became my schedule, as I was fixed upon joining here.

At this juncture, my dad joined me to a one week summer course on Indian Culture & Spirituality, conducted by Sai Samithis in Chennai. Only then I got to know something called Balvikas & Samithis also existed. I thought I knew nothing of the working of Sai Organizations. I felt desperate, wondering what to do if denied a seat here.

During one of the sessions, a speaker introduced me to the concept of Hrdaynivas. She said:

The following incident happened to one of my Balvikas student. He had left his concern for Hrdaynivas after he stopped his classes. Many years hence, when he met with a minor accident near my house, he had called on to refresh himself. It was time for my meditation, and he also joined in.

When I opened my eyes I found the boy perspiring, breathing very fast in his meditation. I waited for him to finish. He finally opened his eyes and informed me that Swami had come in his meditation. He took the boy to his Hrdaynivas, which he had constructed for Swami in his school days.

Now that the boy had totally forgotten it, big cobwebs and sheets of dust had accumulated. All the chairs were broken. Swami took the boy around, showed everything and asked very lovingly, ‘Why have you forgotten me over the years?’ Isn’t it unbelievable? Swami coming to us & speaking of our Hrdaynivas.

So saying, she added – all of you can have a Hrdaynivas, one for your own, if you are determined to maintain it at all times. It is up to you, to think of SWAMI in purple or pink robe, jeans pant or lungi, in a bungalow or palace, even a thatched house for that matter. But make sure you wake Him up, give Him food, chat with Him, sing with Him, play with Him – only you and Him. Most importantly believe in its reality, because didn’t Swami prove His presence to the boy years later.

Truly, only Bhagwan would know how to talk to us, to convince us teenagers in His inimitable style.

#To assimilate this however, we will take a detour.

In our 4th semester Additional English syllabus we had a novel – “The English Teacher”. In the story, the wife of the narrator dies of an illness. He would miss her presence so acutely, and was never over it. Until one day, where he received a letter from a person who could communicate with people of the other world.

Here, the narrator so beautifully emphasizes on the need for openness, of imagination and on the belief that he was able to communicate. That he indeed was able to feel his wife, who was in the other world.

His advice: the first step of communication is belief. Secondly, never lose faith when you don’t seem to get any response.

He was told mere thinking wouldn’t help. He should make the object of imagination move around freely, and not cage it at any cost. He should assert firmly that it’s not illusory. That the other person is existing. That he can feel the presence, provided he gives enough space, as though the imagination is vibrant with reality.

That narration has a lot of relevance for us too.

If we all choose to have a Hrdaynivas, let’s choose any place we like, any mode of living we like, but let’s have a core belief that it’s real. And let SWAMI move freely with our flights of imagination.

#With that, let me sum up – Our stay here has taught us so many things, and has helped us have amazing fun with people – idealize relationships – shown us the importance of serenity – happiness of group living – and so many more, the list is too long to name or number. What then can be told of the unfathomable and inexplicable love of the lord?

To that love Incarnate, let us dedicate every moment of our lives, as our soul rhythmically dances to the tune of His sankalpa. ❤ Jai Sai Ram.

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4 thoughts on “Anantapur days

  1. I miss ATP too … the saying is – “There’s no place like home” … to us, ATP was home… those 3 gorgeous glorious years …

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