SATHYA SAI CONVENTION (SAICON) 2018
A synopsis of SAICON 2018
This year Saicon 2018 on 26th May witnessed a buoyant atmosphere as approximately 1500 devotees from across the nation of Sathya Sai fraternity prepared to take off the day in the presence of our most respected dignitaries, Shri RJ Rathnakar and Uncle TG Krishnamurthy. Also present were
Bro Dr. V.K. Ravindran (Zone 4 Chairman),
Bro. Mahendran(SSSIOM President),
Bro. Sugumar (Deputy SSSIOM President),
Bro. Billy Fong (Region 4.1 Co-ordinator),
Prof. Dr. Suresh Govind (former President SSSIOM),
Bro.Vengat (Organizing Chairman),
Bro. Nackeeran (VP Education),
Bro. Dato Jega (Adviser SSSIOM),
and not forgetting our National Education Co-ordinator Dr. Meena.
Saicon 2018 began with an inspiring opening from our Bro. Dr. VK Ravindran (Zone 4 Chairman) and followed by Bro. Mahendran’s (the president of SSSIOM) short and crisp addressing speech.
Shri Rathnakar is none other than Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s nephew born to the blessed couple of Shri R.V Janki Ramiah (younger brother of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba) and Smt. Meena Kumari. Being the nephew of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba who is venerated and glorified by millions across the globe is truly a blessed birth. As such, naturally Shri Rathnakar became the beloved among the nephews and nieces of Bhagavan.
Shri Rathnakar has joined Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School in the year 1984 and later embarked on his undergraduate studies in Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL) in the year 1986. He then went on to pursue his MBA and was awarded a GOLD MEDALIST by the Divine Chancellor Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for his academic excellence and meritorious conduct.
On 16th March 2010, Bhagavan on the auspicious occasion of Ugadhi, in the Sai Kulwanth Hall has appointed Shri RJ Rathnakar to be the “Trustee” of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and also a member of various management committees of Prashanti Nilayam Ashram and its institutions.
Uncle TG Krishnamurthy is a veteran devotee, was a former head of Sri Sathya Sai Organization Tamil Nadu.
Uncle TG Krishnamurthy had said that our time on earth is limited and when the divine call comes one must be ready to serve wholeheartedly instead of giving excuses and delay the opportunity to serve. He has further narrated a story of a devotee who had given excuses after excuses and carelessly postponed Bhagavan’s divine call to take up responsibility.
He also said that our real age is measured by how much time one has used in the contemplation of God.
He pointed out that one should use “Atma balam” (Power of Soul or Atma) to achieve victory in life as it emerges out of God Himself rather than relying on “Deha balam” (Physical Prowess), “Manobalam” (Power of Mind) and “Buddhi balam” (Power of Intelect).
Shri Rathnakar’s speech was jaw dropping as he had shared an account of his direct experiences with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba which was very unique as he had the privilege to move about with Bhagavan in a close physical proximity as a blessed nephew.
Shri Rathnakar had emphasized on the importance of individual efforts for one’s spiritual progress. He said that anything gotten easily on silver platter will not be appreciated. He cited an example of how Bhagavan had chosen a small hamlet called Puttaparthi in the district of Anantapur with many challenges as his Spiritual Headquarter and look at what He had turned it into today.
He also had said that we must follow Bhagavan’s ways in being focused in whatever we are undertaking. Whatever tasks given should be done with one-pointedness. Then the completion of tasks will be achieved easily and quickly. He cited an example of how Bhagavan had phenomenally completed The Indoor Stadium at the ashram in just 127 days.
He pointed out that we should not be dejected by obstacles in our lives as it’s unequivocally meant to strengthen us in the process and necessary for our own growth and development. To this he gave an analogy of a river that flows with boulders and other obstacles and accepting everything that flows along with patience will give success and make one’s life interesting.
He also highlighted on the points that service should be done with right spirit that it is meant for our own development and not that Bhagavan needs our service. We need it for our self-transformation process and to mellow down our negative tendencies prevalent in all of us.
Shri Rathnakar had received a thunderous warm round of applause after his transforming and electrifying speech.
Sathya Sai Educare Academy is proud to present their 15th convocation whereby 64 students or young adults from across the nation received their scroll for having successfully underwent 12 years of SSE program consecutively and after fulfilling a very rigorous criteria set by the Educare academy. Educare which means to bring forth from within will certainly help these young adults to view the world and experience their journey of life with a unique perspective and eventually will grow into a big tree that benefits humanity.
In this session many questions were raised pertaining to Sai mission and continuity, expansion plan and future directions of Sathya Sai Org as well as the role of Ideal Sai Devotee.
He said that a true Sai leaders will not prejudge anyone and always associate themselves with the right people as Bhagavan says “Tell me who are your friends and I shall tell who you are”.
He further highlighted that the highest achievement of mankind is serving God. Being an office bearer or active worker of Sai carries a huge responsibility and commitment to it. One should not be elevated thinking of power, position or privilege instead be exemplary, simple and humble.
He also pointed that one should be balanced in life and that family support is essential in order to perform one’s tasks effectively. Most importantly to surrender to Bhagavan and being in the thought that God is the doer and we are all merely His instruments. He urged us to continue to do our good service to uplift humanity and strive to accumulate good balance in God’s Bank.
He had also mentioned to refer to Bhagavan’s letter written to His brother in the year 1947 pertaining to Mission of Sai.
He had stated that it is not our duty to bring in devotees as it is unequivocally Bhagavan’s work. Sai organization is for our own transformation and eventually to lose our identity. He further added changes does begin from us because when we determine to change then the world eventually changes as in reflection, reaction and resound.
Saithra : Being Swamis nephew, Being A gold medalist in SSSIHL, Being a Guardian of Prashanti Nilayam, Being a “Trustee” of Sathya Sai Central Trust, how does it feel to be born in Apastamba Sutra Bharadwaja Gotra, or another word an Avatar’s lineage?
Shri RJR : Feels elevated. Overwhelming as Bhagavan is venerated across the globe. Unforgettable memories and experiences. (Expression shows happiness, pleasure)
Saithra : What is the current status of Prashanti Nilayam Ashram and Sathya Sai Central Trust especially at this point of “Post Mahasamadhi” Period? Do you plan to rope in all those young talented graduates to be part of Sathya Sai Mission?
Shri RJR : Prashanti Nilayamis well planned by Bhagavan. It is built to last. It is robust and exponential in growth. Currently there are almost 150 alumni working tirelessly spreading across in Sathya Sai Super Specialty Hospital, SSSIHL and Sathya Sai Central Trust. It is because of their determination, dedication, steadfastness and one pointedness that Prashanti Nilayam is vibrant.
Saithra : Well, I have come to know about Sri Sathya Sai Mitra (A solar power project) which is
one of the single largest installation in Andhra Pradesh and in India by a charitable Organization. Can you please tell something about it and how does it benefit the Sathya Sai Organization at large?
Shri RJR :The emergence of new university branch buildings, archive buildings and new department in Super Specialty Hospital had caused the power bill to skyrocket to USD 100,000 per month. Hence the Sathya Sai Mitra Solar Power Project was embarked upon to reduce the cost. Sunlight is always available throughout the year in Anantapur District in which we can successfully extract 80% of its natural resource for this purpose. The cost of the initial phase of this project is about USD 1.5 million. We plan to extend it to 3 megawatts in the future if the current phase gets stabilized and runs smoothly.
Saithra: We have a team to conduct Vedam Workshop nationwide keeping in mind Bhagavan’s Vedic
injunctions that it is His wish Vedam should be chanted in all countries regardless of faith, culture or creed. How much importance does Bhagavan give to Vedam?
Shri RJR : Bhagavan is Veda Purusha Himself. Initially there was a Veda Padashala
in Prashanti. Students from primary to University began to learn Vedam from those days itself. Today people from all walks of life gets to chant Rudram. How beautifully devotees from other culture adopts to Vedam is simply unbelievable and the credit goes to Bhagavan alone.
Saithra : Well, the main highlights of Saicon today is SSE Convocation where young adults after participating in SSE (Sathya Sai Educare) for 12 consecutive years are graduating today after fulfilling rigorous criteria’s set by Sathya Sai Educare Academy. What are your advice to these young adults who are embarking on a journey of life?
Shri RJR : These children have gained so much over the years and they should not lose contact with that knowledge. Keep practicing what they have acquired and actively take part in Sai activities. This way they are able to nurture the seed that have been planted in them by watering it regularly.
An inspiring session with 30 Executive members and a meeting with 180 office bearers were held to address the current challenges faced and how to overcome it with poise and continue to stay positive.
Shri Rathnakar had also visited Taman Yarl Centre, Desa Mentari Sai Centre, Bangsar Centre and SS3 Centre and continued to inspire many by instilling faith in the Divinity of Bhagavan and engaging the devotees to actively take part in the Centre activities.
Acknowledgements and special thanks to the President of SSSIOM Bro. Mahendran and the organizing Chairman Bro.Vengkat for making SAICON 2018 a reality, worthy of praise for having inspired a large number of devotees of Sathya Sai Fraternity from across the nation. We also thank everyone who are involved in SAICON 2018 for their untiring efforts to make this a beautiful event indeed to treasure for lifetime. We are certainly looking forward for another insightful and ever inspiring Sathya Sai Convention to recharge ourselves and get going as an Ideal messenger of Sai.
In The Light and Love of Sai