Posted at 22:10:00 Hrs. IST on 21 Nov 2009
Source: sssbpt.org - web-layout & design saibabaofindia.com
Bhagawan defines education as Vidya - that which illumines the life of man with the
light of Divine joy. And in His glorious mission of rejuvenating and revamping the
present educational system, the Lord chooses His instruments – the instruments
through whom the Divine wisdom flows to the younger generations.
The Convocation drama 2009, Vidya Amritham, is based on the story of one such
instrument in the Hands of the Divine, Prof. Gururaj.
Against the prevailing practice of having convocation drama on the eve of Divine
Birthday, on the 22nd evening at Poornachandra Auditorium, this time the drama was
held on the eve of the Annual Convocation, on the 21st evening at the Sai Kulwant
The 28th Annual Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University will be held in the Sai
Kulwant Hall on the 22nd Nov morning in the immediate Divine presence of the
Chancellor of the University, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba along with scores of
dignitaries from the field of education.
The Convocation address will be delivered by Dr. Samuel Sandweiss, psychiatrist,
author and a long time devotee of Bhagawan from the United States.
The drama unfolds....
Prof. Gururaj is an eminent scientist who responded to the call of the Divine,
‘Janani Janma Bhoomishcha Swargaadapi Gareeyasi’ and sacrificed the wealth and
comfort of a promising career in a foreign land. He has set up a school, Bharatiya
Vidya Mandir, in his native village to impart education based on Bhagawan’s
His story was the story of the journey of a world renowned professor to a primary
school teacher, at the call of the Divine.
As Journalist Prakash Roy from ‘Frozen Thoughts’, an international magazine bringing
enthusing and ennobling ideas, and inspiring stories of dedicated personalities,
poses a barrage of questions on Gururaj’s illustrious journey from a world renowned
professor to a primary teacher, the drama unveils interesting snippets, revealing
the story in essence.
Answering the journo’s inquisitiveness, the professor turned primary teacher talks
about his coming into the fold of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, his myopic vision
that blocked him from the reality.
Highlighting on Bhagawan’s oft quoted adage, Daiva Preeti, Paapa Bheeti and Sangha
Neeti to be the aim of education, the professor confesses that soul of education is
the education of the soul.
“My call had come! That’s how I came here and started this experiment with truth”.
Treasure chest of these seeds of ideals is our own scriptures and epics and the
directions for the future are enshrined in the messages of the past and thus the
story moved into the life of Prahlada.
Prahlada upon returning after successful completion of his education was tested by
his father Hiranyakashyapa as advised by the preceptors of the young lad, Chanda and
Amaraka, for convincing himself.
Upon questioning on various philosophical themes, the young lad came oozing wisdom
showcasing the quality education he received at his preceptors.
The quintessence of Vidya is the wisdom that teaches us that to cross over the
stormy ocean of Samsara by holding on to the feet of Lord Vishnu, says the young
student, much to the disgruntlement of his father whose animosity with Lord Vishnu
was well known to the whole of fourteen worlds.
Here comes the irony...the altercation between the father – son duo...
Hiranyakashyapa: Ha Prahlada, what is this irony! The exhibition of your wisdom had
to start with the exaltation of my enemy. Refrain from saying the name of the slayer
of your uncle Hiranyaksha and the scourge of the Danava clan.
Prahlada: All the scientific knowledge that you have is of no meaning, unless it is
sanctified by the name of Lord Narayana. What is the use of going as far as the
Moon, if we have not gone even an inch within?
Disheartened, Hiranyakashyapu questioned the preceptors:
Hiranyakashyapa: Guruputras, is this what you have taught him all this while? Is it
for this unfortunate moment of hearing the name of my sworn enemy from the lips of
my dearest son that I have entrusted him to you?
Having irritated at the young lad’s Vishnu Bhakti the King ventures to find out the
real culprit behind teaching his Vishnu Bhakti.
...and the young lad answered:
Prahlada: Father, do we require any teacher to tell us how to breathe or satiate the
hunger. The hunger of the soul is satiated by the nectarine name of Narayana.
Upon Hiranyakashyap’s warning that he would not hesitate to stifle the breath out of
his body if that was the only way to stop his Vishnu bhakti, the young lad replied
in cool, calm, composed style:
Prahlada: Father, pardon me for saying this. You have conquered all the three
worlds, yet you have failed to conquer yourself. May the blessings of the Narayana
bestow true Vidya on everyone.
Drama evolves to the third scene that had a depiction of Gururaj’s greater sacrifice
imparting education to the needy. ...He enlightens the pessimists, citing Bhagawan’s
own life wherein one could only see “giving, giving, always giving”. Telling that by
sponsoring education to the needy, like Aditya, Abdul and Ramananda, He has ever
...as in his own words:
Gururaj: I have lost nothing, I have only gained. Aditya! Ramanand! Abdul! Why do
you feel that I am sacrificing anything? What is value of a property when compared
to the value of a noble and enlightened citizen? But the joy is unlimited. So don’t
get anxious, I am very happy.
The scene crossed over to an ailing Guruji handing over the reins to Aditya who was
more than willing to share the burden.
A mighty proposal, with a vested business interest, to finance the institution that
is already running under debt came in from some quarters and Gururaj’s wisdom
prevails at the end. Gururaj tried to convince and educate the young lot, including
Aditya, that, it was a Saraswati Mandir that they have been yearning for and not a
Gururaj: Aditya, my child! What are you all saying? The proposal they presented was
that of a Lakshmi Mandir. Ours is and will continue to be a Saraswati Mandir. Their
dream is to create Aakarshaka Purushas – attractive personalities, ours is to mould
Aadarsha Purushas – ideal persons. The proposal that came was not a solution but a
Still not convinced, Aditya tried his best to convince Gururaj and Gururaj was firm
on his stand.
Gururaj: Schools are not just buildings, Aditya. Schools are its teachers and
students. They may confiscate our building but they cannot take away our values.
They may acquire our properties but they cannot take away our faith. The Lord who
has inspired us till now will continue to show the path. I am ready to go back to
the thatched roof and start all over again.
The modern educated Aditya was still not convinced, asked the Guruji to shun away
his age old thinking to change for the better.
Gururaj was crestfallen at this newfound development, where his idealism was
overpowered by the modern ideals. He writes a letter before leaving the scene...
As a parting message, let me say something that you have heard very often. School is
not just buildings, schools are you, me and our students. We may be facing our
darkest hour. But remember, the night is darkest before the dawn. Have faith and
hold on to his feet. Kuchela faced an even worse situation, but he asked the Lord
for solution. He always held on to the Lord. I know you will make the right
(At this juncture, when the Professor was vanishing from the scene, an emotional
parting, Bhagawan called the student playing the role, Siddhanth Chandrasekhar, a
final year M.Tech student, to materialise a chain blessing him with encouraging
And the drama moved in to Lord Krishna’s palace wherein Krishna welcomes His long
lost friend Sudhama. Upon the Lord’s query as to how he suddenly remembered his old
friend after such a long time, Sudhama answered:
Kuchela: The passage of time might have increased our physical distance, but we’ve
always remained close to thee in thought. I have only come to see my dear friend and
recall those wonderful days at Sage Sandeepani’s ashram.
Insisting on to seek any boon that he could grant, the old friend was only
interested in Krishna’s perpetual love, and a pleased Krishna was heavenly pleased
to offer Himself to Kuchela...
The message was straight and simple. When the all powerful Lord presents Himself
before us and grants us a boon, what should we ask for? The answer is straight and
simple. Even in our darkest hour, we have to overcome the temptations of the
glittering world and ask for Him and Him alone. Kuchela asked only for God, but all
his material needs were fulfilled. Thus the Lord taught to the world the importance
of complete surrender.
The folks were reduced to a confused lot after the exit of Prof. Gururaj and the
time was nearing for the bank to confiscate the school property. The ‘mighty’
proposal comes again with some more ‘concessions’, adding a new course on quality
education, giving five seats for the village folks, absolutely free of cost etc.
Aditya was still weighed down by guilt and was indecisive and at the climax appears
Prof. Gururaj, as commanded by Bhagawan.
Spurning the modified proposal, Prof. Gururaj was blunt this time.
Gururaj: Sorry for being so blunt but how can I make you understand that education
is not a commodity to be sold? Special offers exist in business and not in
education. Values are not subjects that you can teach through additional courses.
They have to become part of a teacher’s being and manifest through his life. Vidya
has to be imparted with a sense of humility and purpose. The ever fragrant aroma of
knowledge should not be polluted by the stench of money.
The altercation grew louder when the Professor was questioned for his wisdom and was
challenged to show one sustainable model that provides education absolutely free...
Gururaj: 30 years, Ten thousand students, education free of cost, where? Sri Sathya
Sai University; 20 years, 5 lakh operations – free of cost, where? At the Sri Sathya
Sai Super Specialty Hospitals... 50 lakh people, free drinking water, where? Sri
Sathya Sai Drinking Water Project? And you say that it is unsustainable?
Shunning all pessimistic views, Prof. Gururaj declared:
Gururaj: Why not? Every moment spent in his presence is a miracle. And don’t ever
underestimate the power of Sai. There is no constraint of place or time for it to
With the climax arrived Gnani, an old student of the Professor, who pursued his
higher education at the Sri Sathya Sai University to climb the success ladder
Gnani: I always had urge to serve Swami for what He had done for me. Just a few days
ago I was in Parthi, Swami was right in front of me and said, ‘Service is your birth
right. You need not ask anyone for it. Take, your mission’. He threw a letter at me.
I was surprised to see that it was a letter written by Prof. Gururaj to Swami.
And comes the climax the biggest surprise...
Postman came to deliver a letter:
It is a letter from Swami Himself! ‘Bangaru, till now, you were doing my work.
Henceforth, I will do your work. Nay, I will take over all your responsibilities
here and hereafter. Here is my ultimate gift. I’ll come there myself within a few
days and establish a university there!’
As Krishna told Sudhama, to him who seek Him alone, He gives him Himself...here
comes our Bhagawan throwing Himself taking the brunt of running the institution to
The drama was interspersed with thematic songs, sequentially, as the storyline
The drama ended with a group song, multilingual, started in english, drifting off to
hindi finally ended with telugu..a fervent prayer to Bhagawan...Sai Maata
Saraswathi...Sub Ko Deejo Sanmathi...
The curtain was drawn at 6:45 and there began the actual drama, Bhagawan's exclusive
session with the drama crew...
Bhagawan posed for a coveted group photo session, interacted with the crew for quite
sometime, praising and encouraging. A beaming Bhagawan gave away safari sets to the
crew, including backroom boys, numbering over 170, subsequently granting them
Paadanamaskars, validating their greater effort all with one intention, to make
their Beloved Bhagawan happy..
After a long interacting session lasted for almost 45 minutes, an announcement was
made about the 28th Annual Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University to be held on
the21st morning in the Sai Kulwant Hall at 10 a.m.