25th Annual Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher
Learning, a deemed university was held on the 22nd November 2006, in
a glittering ceremony that had its grandeur, richly deserved for the
yeomen service it has been rendering in the field of education for a
quarter century. This prestigious institution that is undoubtedly
‘the one’ of its kind that has won attention and accolades for
simple reason that it promotes value education with spiritual
orientation helping in engendering students whom Bhagawan Sri Sathya
Sai Baba prefers to address as future ambassadors, has thousands of
such students in its alumni list who are engaged in relentless
service activities in different part of the world, following the
invaluable inputs that they received before leaving the portals of
this great institution.
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning was instituted in the
year 1981 to provide value based education, absolutely free of cost
and has the unique distinction of being one of the very few
institutions that impart emphasis on total value based education.
Besides education, the students are taught human values, morality
and spirituality with the five cardinal human values of Sathya,
Dharma, Shanti, Prema and Ahimsa being the backbone of all
teachings. The Institution has three campuses, a Women’s Campus in
Anantapur set up in the year 1968, Men’s Campus at Brindavan in
Whitefield, Bangalore set up in 1969 and the Men’s Campus at
Prasanthi Nilayam set up in 1981. This institution has the unique
distinction of being accorded Double Plus Level Higher Rating
(Highest Grade) certification by the National Accreditation and
The 25th Annual Convocation was a unique event for the simple reason
that unlike yester years this time the convocation was held in the
newly constructed Sri Sathya Sai International Centre for Sports, an
indoor stadium of International standard that was completed in a
record four months time and inaugurated on this eventful day by the
first citizen of India, His Excellency President of India, Dr.A.P.J.
The proceeding for this afternoon began with the arrival of Bhagawan
at the venue, Sri Sathya Sai International Centre for Sports at 3:30
p.m. along with the Chief Guest for the occasion, the President
of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to the accompaniment of an
invocation song. Just before entering the stadium, Dr. Abdul Kalam
inaugurated the Commemorative Hall that houses depictions of
salient features of 25 glorious years of existence of Sri Sathya Sai
Institute of Higher Learning. Bhagawan and the Chief Guest chose to
go for a full round of the stadium in the golf-cart and were greeted
by thousands of devotees gathered, joined by students from Sri
Sathya Sai Institutions, World Champion Gymnasts from Greece,
national Volleyball teams from India Sri Lanka, national Basketball
teams from India and Indonesia alongwith sporting legends of India,
Former All-rounder and India’s lone World-cup Winning Cricket
Captain, Kapil Dev Nikhanj, Prakash Padukone, former All-England
Champion and big name synonymous with Shuttle Badminton,
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, India’s lone Individual Silver
Medalist in an Olympic Games.
As Bhagawan reached the dais, the National Anthem was played by the
Institute Band. Prof. A.V. Lakshminarasimhmam, the Registrar of the
Institute garlanded His Excellency Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and the
Vice Chancellor offered a bouquet to the Chancellor of the
Institute. Other dignitaries who were present on the dais were Sri
Rameswar Thakur, His Excellency, the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Sri
T.N. Chaturvedi, His Excellency, the Governor of Karnataka, Sri
Vilasrao Deshmukh, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Greeting
all assembled at the stadium, Sri Sanjay Sahni, Principal of
Brindavan Campus of SSSIHL, expressed gratitude to Bhagawan for the
marvellous, wonderful and world-class indoor stadium Bhagawan has
gifted to the student community out of immense love. It is
Bhagawan’s Vajra Sankalpa (adamantine resolve) which has made this
stadium a reality, said Mr. Sahni.
Sri A.V. Gokak, the Vice Chancellor of SSSIHL profusely thanked Dr.
Ram Setty and Mrs. Usha Setty for their generous contribution which
has made this dream project a reality. Dr. Ram Setty is a
cardiologist by profession and has been practicing medicine for the
last 20 years in the U.S. Dr. Ram Setty has donated an amount of
Rs. 40 crores for the construction of this stadium.
Offering his reverential Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan, Dr.
Ram Setty expressed his gratitude to Bhagawan for being blessed to
play a small part in His Divine Mission. He said: the Divine Grace
of Bhagawan showered on his family is beyond expression. Quoting the
real life example of his own son, as an ideal reference to total
surrender to His Divine Will at a young age, Dr. Setty narrated how
his son, a medical professional based in the U.S. surrendered
himself to Bhagawan and His Will. A young doctor who aspired to
pursue Paediatrics, but was advised by Bhagawan, to opt for
Paediatrics with Cardiac Surgery had no hesitation in shelving his
personal interest to follow the advice given by Bhagawan. Bhagawan
also had advised him to go to Melbourne, Australia to pursue his
higher studies in one of the most reputed institutions in the world.
The young doctor is now aiming to finish his course on Paediatric
Surgery to come and serve Bhagawan. Dr. Ram Setty ended his
inspiring, touchy speech praying that he and his family want to
dedicate their lives by serving Bhagawan till their last breath.
After Dr. Ram Setty’s speech, Kapil Dev offered a bouquet to
Bhagawan followed by Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, a bouquet to Dr.
Abdul Kalam. Sharing his thoughts with the younger generation,
Kapil Dev, the Wisden Cricketer of the Century and India’s greatest
ever all-rounder said: “as a sportsman, I have only a few words.
What I see here is a paradise for any sportsman.” He assured the
audience that with such facilities being provided, sportspersons
will win medals for our country to make the nation proud.
Life is a game, play it and it has to be played with rules. What
followed was a short video presentation on the Divine Mission. The
film ended with a profound statement that God is the divine referee
who has taught us to play the game well.
was sports next… a wonderful display of acrobatic show by the
gymnasts of world class from the Mecca of Olympics, Greece and
Switzerland. Tabakos Dimosthenis from greece who is a World Champion
Gold Medalist, European Champion Gold Medalist and Olympic Champion
Gold Medallist began the proceedings with and adroit performance on
the Roman Rings followed by Flario Fankoni from Switzerland.
Domenico Rosi, coach of Switzerland junior National Team and Greek
Champion Vagilis Kolozakis perfomed on the Tarpaulin. They where
followed by World Championship Gold Medallists, Pagalov Maria and
Georgatov Maria performed Rythmic Gymnastics. Flario Fankoni then
returned to give an exibition of Floor Exercises. The program
concluded with another display on the Roman Rings by Tabakos
Dimosthenis. For these devoted gymnasts, it was indeed a great day,
a day of fulfilment of a Divine Assurance…In 1995, these gymnasts
had prayed to Bhagawan for an opportunity to perform in His Divine
Presence and Bhagawan had assured them that He would grant them an
Next to follow was an International Volleyball Match between India
led by K.J. Kapil Dev and Sri Lanka led by P.G.Morris Chaminda as a
part of the ongoing five match series. The first match played at
Bangalore was won by India. The Indians won the match convincingly
in straight two sets.
convocation proceedings began with the invocatory chants paying
respects to mother, father, guest, preceptor and God. Then Bhagawan,
the Chancellor of the University declared the Convocation open. Sri
Anil Vinayak Gokak, the Vice Chancellor began his speech by
extending a warm welcome to one and all. Quoting Bhagawan’s famous
dictum, End of Education is Character,
Dr. Gokak said, “our system of education provides for the integral
development of the human personality, and aims at tapping the divine
potential within the student”. Pointing out expressing concern over
the rise in the incidence of violence all the world over, Dr. Gokak
further stressed on the importance of inculcating human values and
emphasized on the greater significance of Bhagawan’s Educare
The next speaker was the Chief
Guest of the Convocation, His Excellency, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
Paying obeisance and glowing tributes to Bhagawan, Dr. Kalam recited
a poem he has composed during his flight journey to Puttaparthi.
The poem titled EARTH SHINING IN GLORY runs as:
Our milky way is shining with millions and millions of stars;
Our beloved star sun along with eight other planets around orbits
the milky way,
finishes one orbit in 215 million years,
Someone in the galaxy suddenly echoed a voice in surprise,
The voice was: “See there the earth shining in glory, how come it
A sweet and soft reply comes,
It is not the mere light, it is the light of knowledge, it is the
light of service, it is the light of peace,
specially radiating from Prasanthi Nilayam,
When earth completes its eightieth orbit
carrying the great soul in its bosom
Lavishly praising the students of the Institute, culling out a
reference from the Bhagavad Gita where Lord Krishna saying Arjuna,
"See the flower, how generously it distributes perfume and honey. It
gives to all, gives freely its essence. When its work is done, it
falls away quietly. Try to be like the flower, unassuming despite
all its qualities", Dr. Kalam certified that this characteristic is
being imbibed and followed by every student of the institute in all
areas of activities.
After Dr. Kalam’s speech, the candidates for the various degrees
were presented to the Chancellor. Then the Institute Pledge was read
by the Vice Chancellor and repeated by the candidates who were
admitted to the various degrees: “I hereby solemnly declare and
promise that if admitted to the degrees which I duly recommend, I
will in my daily life and conversation conduct myself as a member of
S.S.S.I.H.L. and support the cause of sound learning.” The
candidates who were awarded gold medals then collected the gold
medals from the Chancellor. A student who excels in studies, games
and has a sound character, is given the all-rounder gold medal every
year by Bhagawan. This medal is instituted by Sri S.V. Giri, former
Vice Chancellor of the Institute. Sri Ranjan Sharma, a student of
M.Sc. Chemistry hailing from Himachal Pradesh was the recipient of
this year’s all-rounder gold medal. After this, students who had
excelled in their respective disciplines were presented gold medals.
They are as follows:
The President of India Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Gold Medal: Sri
Srikanth Khanna for Distinction in M.Tech. (Computer Science), Prof.
S. Sampath Gold Medal: Sri D.Hanumantha Rao Naidu for Distinction in
M.Tech. (Computer Science), Prof. S. Sampath Gold Medal: Sri
D.Hanumantha Rao Naidu for Distinction in M.Tech. (Computer
Science), Sri Burgula Ramakrishna Rao Gold Medal: Sri Shashank Shah
for Distinction in M.Phil, The President of India Dr. Shankar Dayal
Sharma Gold Medal: Sri Sandeep Mohan for Distinction in M.B.A.,
Dr.K.Hanumanthappa Gold Medal: Sri Vipin Bhaskar.M for Distinction
in M.B.A. (Finance), Dr. G.Venkataraman Gold Medal: Sri Deepak
Venkatesh Varan for Distinction in M.Sc.(Physics), Sri. Janaki
Ramaiah Gold Medal : Sri Koduru Sai Charan for Distinction in
M.Sc.(Mathematics),Kanika Pandit Memorial Gold Medal: Sri Jandhyala
Bhuwan Mohan Viswanath for Distinction in M.A. (Economics), Justice
P.N. Bhagawati Gold Medal: Sri Karri Venkata Satya Dileep for
Distinction in B.Sc.(Hons.) Mathematics, Lt. Gen. S. P. Malhotra
Gold Medal: Sri Vishal Khetan for Distinction in B.Sc. (Hons.)
Chemistry, Sri Sanjay Chibber Gold Medal: Sri V.Vamsee Aditya
Mallajosyula for Distinction in B.Sc.(Hons) Biosciences, Smt.
Meera.S.Pai & Sri M.S.Pai Gold Medal: Sri Saicharan.A.S. for
Distinction in B.A.(Hons.) Economics & B.Sc.(Hons) Economics, Prof.
M. Radha Swamy Gold Medal: Sri Govind Mahtolia for Distinction in
B.Com (Hons.), Rajah I.V.Murali Krishna Rao Gold Medal: Sri.
Anoop.K.Suresh, for Distinction in B.A., Prof. N. Kasturi Gold
Medal: Sri Sarat Kumar.N. for Distinction in Post Graduate Diploma
In Indian Culture And Philosophy, Smt Rajkumari Balram Nichani Gold
Medal: Kum. Lavanya Muddu for Distinction in M.Sc.(Biosciences),
Dr.V.K. Gokak Gold Medal: Kum.Tina Thomas for Distinction in M.A
(English. Lang. And Lit.), Sri T.K.K. Bhagawat Gold Medal: Kum
Lakshmi Suneethasatti for Distinction in M.A. (Telugu. Lang. And
Lit.), Prof.(Mrs) Jayalakshmi Gopinath Gold Medal: Kum. Ramakeerthi
Gottapu for distinction in M.Sc.(Home Science), Dr. A. Adivi Reddy
Gold Medal: Kum. Jaddu Ramya Vinusha, for Distinction in B.Sc.(Hons)
Physics, Smt J. Eashwari Bai Gold Medal: Kum Srividhya.G for
Distinction in B.Sc.(Hons) Zoology, Smt R. Sundari Kondala Rao, Gold
Medal: Kum. Roopasri C. for Distinction in B.Sc.(Home Science),
Dr.Somnath Saraf Gold Medal: Kum Vishakha Pathak for Distinction in
B.Ed. After the awarding of gold medals, the Vice Chancellor prayed
to Bhagawan to deliver His Benedictory Address.
Bhagawan began His Discourse by addressing the students, teachers
and the devotees as embodiments of love. Addressing the present day
concern of lack of interest in knowing the true meaning of
education, Bhagawan said: we have gone through many textbooks and
many disciplines of knowledge, but they are all to do with the
materialistic world and not with spirituality. No one is attempting
the meaning of true education. By going through textbooks, one
cannot call oneself educated. To begin with one learns the
alphabets, then words. Just by learning letters, one cannot call
Excerpts from the Divine Discourse:
Once King Krishnadevaraya addressed an assembly of poets. He threw
an open challenge to the poets that the person who would be able to
convey the same meaning of five different letters in five different
languages would be given bounteous gifts. Tenali Ramakrishna pleaded
with the king to permit him to answer the question. He also told the
king to permit him to stay in the same village since it would be
difficult for him to go to his village. He stayed at the house of
his brother-in-law. He told his brother-in-law that since he liked
cows, he wanted to sleep near the cow shed. Though he was lying
down, he could not sleep. His brother-in-law too had immense love
for cows. It was midnight time and the cow was delivering a calf.
His brother-in-law asked “Ye, Aav, Ra, Bha Va”. Tenali Ramakrishna
went to the king and told him that he had found answer to the
question. He said that Ye in Marathi meant come, Aav in Hindi meant
come, Ra in Telugu meant come, Bha in Kannada meant come and Va in
Tamil meant come. All these five letters convey the same meaning.
Bhagawan reiterated that one should study that which makes him
immortal. He also stressed the importance of propagating and
practicing the five human values of Sathya (truth), Dharma
(righteousness), Santhi (peace), Prema (love) and Ahimsa
(non-violence. These five human values have to be practised right
from childhood. The President mentioned many important things. You
have to practise what he advised. It is practice which is essential.
You may learn many things, but practise at least one or two. Only
then you will become sanctified. Many ask Bhagawan, “Who are You?”
and He replies, “I and you are one.” He ended His spirited Divine
Discourse re-iterating His Divine Assurance advising the students to
leave everything to God and He will take care of them.
Then there was a fusion music programme by the renowned Mandolin U.
Srinivas and U. Rajesh with Anandan Sivamani, India’s most
illustrious percussionist with Bhupathi on Mridangam.
The National Anthem was played marking the conclusion of the
proceedings of the silver jubilee convocation of this temple of
learning, which is unique in its rare role in shaping a new world