The Annual Sports and Cultural Meet is one of the major events in
every calendar year of Bhagawan’s educational institutions. This
year it has added importance since it is the 85th year of the advent
of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Out of all the major festivals and
events that dot the academic year of the students, this event gains
utmost significance because the students showcase their daredevilry,
acumen, prowess and strain their sinews to the optimum to exhibit
rare feats as an expression of their love for Bhagawan. They learn
to perform these feats within a short period of time.
On the morning of 11th January 2010, devotees had assembled at the
Vidyagiri stadium right from the early hours. The stadium as such
has a vibrant setting with beautiful statues of Lord Krishna, Shirdi
Sai Baba, Lord Siva, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, a towering statue of
Hanuman and the famous Chaitanya Jyoti museum. Added to them this
year was two huge LED display screens put up at vantage points in
the stadium for devotees to have a clear view of the proceedings.
“We Perform At Thy Lotus Feet” designed on a floral background
highlighting the theme and purpose of the event was placed alongside
the Chaitanya Jyoti museum.
Bhagawan arrived at the stadium at 9.30 a.m. preceded by an array of
escort bikes and brass band of the Anantapur Campus, the University
brass band, flag-bearing squad and a group of boys seated on horses
regally. After Bhagawan came to the dais, He lighted the lamp to
signal the commencement of the proceedings. After the tiny tots of
primary school offered their obeisance to Bhagawan, the various
contingents of Bhagawan’s educational institutions marched sprightly
to the tune of the University brass band. Then the University flag
was hoisted and the University captain administered the oath of fair
participation in games and sports events to all the students
solemnly. The torch lighting ceremony began with athletes of the
University carrying the torch in turns. The mascot for this year’s
sports meet was swan which lighted the sports meet urn atop the
The presentation for the morning session began with display of items
by the students of Brindavan Campus entitled “Celebration of the
Advent”. A dance celebrating the advent of Bhagawan heralded their
performance. The dance portraying the ten Avatars (Dasavataram)
culminated in Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. What followed was
Bhangra dance with full of verve and energy. Kavadi dance rich with
the flavour of Tamil Nadu was the next item. A pageant of grace and
beauty by elegant stallions displayed equestrian events crossing
obstacles and hurdles with consummate ease. Then a group performed a
fusion of western dance and aerobic exercises to pulsating music
with precision. Daredevilry stunts on 25 motorbikes was the next
item. Yes, life is not a bed of roses, it needs a lot of effort in
its journey. Criss-crossing of motorbikes at blinding speed was a
treat to watch. Students playing guitar and reading newspaper while
riding bikes was equally delectable to watch. 7-8 students perched
on bikes was another feat performed with precision. What followed
was riding on ramps and the elevation it achieved was a treat to
watch, riding through a ring of fire, jumping across students lying
on the ground and clearing them with ease and the last item,
scrambling of bikes needs special mention. The elevation they
achieved while crossing obstacles was tremendous. Even the wheeling
of bikes was done professionally. Their wonderful performance ended
with pyramid formation on bikes and with that ended the performance
of Brindavan Campus students too. All the students converged with
the final song played in the background for Bhagawan’s blessings.
The last performance for the morning session was by the students of
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus. Their performance mainly revolved around
the balancing acts they did with precision. A huge statue of Lord
Subramanya, yes it was truly looking like a monolith carved
beautifully from a single block of stone was wheeled into Bhagawan’s
presence. Their performance started with a synchronised dance, the
wave formation stood out among them. The basketball show which
followed was a treat to watch, oh what dunking after getting the
elevation from a ramp and from a trampoline! There was also a joker
who tried his hand at dunking but with little success. Students on
skates jumped across a Maruti van with such precision and swiftness
that only a discerning eye could catch the moment. Finesse in
gymnastics was the next item. Students jumped through rings after
getting the elevation from a ramp. The roman rings, a difficult item
even in the international arena of sports was performed with
finesse. Balancing act on cubes was the next item. Climbing the
slippery cubes with ease and performing gymnastic feats was
An innovative item named ‘Chairobatics’ – feats performed on chairs
climbing one on another and performing balancing acts was
interesting to watch. The next item was aerial acrobats on large
rings suspended on ropes. It was a magnificent display of balancing
acts like hanging upside down on the huge structure, climbing on
ropes with ease as if climbing a step and feigning as if lost on a
deep thought was marvellous. It was an adept display of balance,
rhythm and control. Balancing of huge flags on the palm of the hand
and on the forehead was the next item. A dance performed with
rhythmic beats followed and then was the playing of Chinese drums in
cohesion and unison as kites zoomed in the sky in the background.
After a display of aerobic exercises and balancing act on ropes, a
student spun on a rope at blinding speed. This was really an
astounding feat. The last item of the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus was
stunts performed on jeeps. Students made beautiful formations atop a
jeep, bending their bodies showing enormous flexibility, smashed an
obstacle and to top it all drove the jeep through a ring of fire. At
the end, all the students converged for the final formation with the
beautiful Subramanya statue in the background. Arati was offered to
Bhagawan at 12.05 after which Bhagawan retired for the morning
Bhagawan arrived for the evening programme at 4.35 p.m. preceded by
an escort of bikes from the men’s and women’s campuses. As Bhagawan
approached the dais, the primary school boys made a unique welcome
to Him by somersaulting on the pathway. Two programmes were slated
for the evening session; the first was by the students of Sri Sathya
Sai Primary School and the second by the girl students of Anantapur
Campus of Sri Sathya Sai University. At the outset, tiny tots from
the primary school offered their obeisance to Bhagawan. The first
performance was a dance by girl students which conveyed that
Bhagawan out of His infinite love for humanity has incarnated to
transform man into divine. Their programme was virtually a riot of
colours, the tiny tots dressed vibrantly, both boys and girls
created a beautiful spectacle. Whatever they did was a treat to the
eye. Literally the tiny tots danced, hopped and sang their way to
glory. A dance by girl students with designs of different colour
petals strapped to their back is worth mentioning, tiny tots rolling
through the holes of tyres and students camouflaged like a worm
crawling on the ground too needs special mention. What more, the
students performed gymnastic feats on a semi-circular structure.
Just like the senior students they too performed balancing acts and
made various formations on the structure. The last item of the
primary school students was girls dancing with rainbow-coloured
umbrellas. Their performance ended with the final formation amidst
release of balloons.
The students of Anantapur Campus began their performance by offering
their obeisance to Bhagawan on the dais. The first item was flag
march by a group of girls which was followed by students swaying
large flags in unison and making different formations and patterns.
The next item on unicycles was unique too, as riding a unicycle
needs a lot of skill and balance, and since a group of 9-10 girls
had to coordinate for attaining cohesion. The performance which
followed in the foreground was balancing dumbbell with legs and
hands and rotating it with dexterity. If stunts could be performed
with bikes and jeeps, why not with bicycles! Girls perched on
bicycles performed various feats to the delight of all. Rotating
hoops of various sizes and passing them with precision was the next
item. Their penultimate performance was again stunts on bicycles
which was followed by formations with rolls like structure in their
hands. The proceedings for the evening session concluded with the
students of Anantapur Campus making the final formation with
colourful lights in their hands. The song Sai Maa Praanama… (Sai is
our life-breath) reverberated in the background. Bhagawan profusely
blessed the students for expressing their love for Him through their
performance. Arati was offered to Bhagawan at 6.15 p.m. after which
Bhagawan retired for the day.
Thus, concluded the grand and glorious Annual Sports and Cultural
Tiny Tots from Sri Sathya Sai Primary School received special words
of acclaim from Bhagawan for their spectacular and colourful
pageantry on the evening of 11 Jan, the day of the Annual Sports and
Cultural Meet of Sri Sathya Sai Institutions.
On the auspicious day of Makara Sankranthi, which is by practice is
the day on which the Valedictory function of the Annual Sports and
Cultural Meet is held over the years, (this year the function was
held in the evening) Bhagawan asked the Vice Chancellor to announce
His special words of appreciation for the spectacular performance of
the primary school students.
Earlier on this festive evening (14th January 2010) Bhagawan arrived
in the Hall at 4:30 escorted by the University Brass Band and the
Flag March by the sporting fraternity from the University. The stage
was set for the occasion, decorated beautifully bedecked with
trophies and shields heralding the significance of the occasion.
Commencing the session, Mr. Sanjay Sahni, Principal, Brindavan
Campus made a mention about the hectic preparations that goes on for
more than a month in the run up to the Meet. Quoting from Bhagawan’s
discourse on this auspicious occasion, Sri Sahni said, “Sankranthi
signifies a change for the better. It is a call to turn the mind
inward, said Mr. Sahni adding that the focus of the students was to
please Bhagawan, offering their labour of love.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Vishwanath Pandit, who spoke next highlighted
on the united spirited participation of the students and teachers
that made the event a grand success. Physical prowess tuned to
aesthetic and artistic sense makes the presentation more unique, one
that cannot be seen anywhere else, said the Vice Chancellor
crediting the entire success to the Divine Grace of Bhagawan.
At the end of his speech he was asked to announce special words of
praise for the primary school children. Then the Principal and
senior teachers were called on stage to receive a special memento
This was followed by the Prize distribution ceremony. Bhagawan
Himself gave away the trophies to the respective
institutions/campuses, namely, Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary
School, Sri Sathya Sai University, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus, Sathya
Sai Mirpuri College of Music, Sri Sathya Sai University, Brindavan
and Anantapur Campuses.
Special gifts were distributed to each and every student from all
campuses as a token of love. Primary school children got the coveted
opportunity of receiving these special gifts from the hands of
A total of 88 gold medals, 64 silver medals and certificates
numbering in hundreds were blessed by Bhagawan which was later
distributed in respective campuses.
This was followed by short speeches by three of the faculty members
from the University. Dr. Pallav Kumar Baruah from the Deptartment of
Mathematics and Computer Science of Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Bhagawan for His physical
presence that according to the speaker was the highest boon a
student could ask for during the festive occasion of Sports and
Cultural Meet. True sense of sportsmanship is to aim better, learn
better, all through co-ordination and co-operation said the speaker
giving special thrust to the united dedicated efforts of the
students to excel, bringing the best out of them.
Dr. Shiv Shankar Sai, Warden of the Hostel, Sri Sathya Sai Senior
Boys for Men and Head of Department of Physics spoke about
Bhagawan’s maxim “Bend the Body, Mend the Mind and End the Senses”
which is the Divine Formula to excel in human life reaching the
ultimate goal. The Warden highlighted on the special emphasis laid
by the Sri Sathya Sai Educational system for the physical fitness,
mental faculties and thrust on the spiritual evolvement of students.
Dr. Ravi Kumar, Reader in Chemistry, Brindavan Campus who spoke last
highlighted on the true meaning of Sports Meet as perceived by him.
We learn to rely on Bhagawan in every aspect of our lives, said the
speaker narrating two interesting incidents happened on the Sports
Meet day, emphasizing his point.
Sports and Cultural Meet scheduled on the 11 Jan does not end with
the day’s grand events at the Vidyagiri Stadium. Cultural spectacle
continues in the following days with the campuses coming up with
drama presentations competing themselves to excel with their best in
bringing another smile on Beloved Bhagawan’s face.
Mrithyunjaya, the tale of immortality was the theme chosen by the
senior students of Prasanthi Nilayam campus. The presentation was a
depiction of true devotion and surrender of two of the greatest
devotees of Lord Shiva - Ravana and Markandeya bringing alive
anecdotes from the lives of these illustrious devotees. While Ravana,
the epitome of ego and arrogance at one end and unflinching devotion
to Lord Shiva at the other end sought perpetuality of his ego,
Markandeya with his unsullied devotion attained immortality with his
pure love for the Lord.
The Atmalinga episode wherein Ravana, upon winning Lord Shiva’s
grace was bestowed the invaluable Atmalinga on the condition that he
should not put down the Linga at any point of time, was the
highlight of the Ravana episode of the drama. If he were to put the
Lingam down, the Lingam would remain firmly entrenched at that spot.
The Devas were worried that the Atmalinga would add to the might of
Ravana and that he could never be vanquished if he succeeded in
taking the Atmalinga to Lanka. They prayed to Lord Ganesha for help.
Lord Ganesha caused Ravana's stomach to be filled with water. Ravana
grew desperate to answer nature's call. Ganesha appeared before
Ravana as a small boy. Ravana handed over the Atmalinga to the boy.
But Ganesha declared that he would not wait for long and when he
grew tired, he would call out Ravana's name thrice and if he did not
come and receive the Linga, he would place it on the ground and go
his way. Ravana agreed to this condition.
Soon Ganesha called out Ravana's name thrice, and since Ravana could
not receive the Linga in time, he placed it on the ground. The
enraged Ravana tried to remove the Lingam from the ground.
He cried out to Lord Shiva questioning the Lord as to why such a
fate befell on him despite him being unflinching in love and
devotion to Him. The Lord declared, “Ravana, you sought perpetuality
of your ego and not for immortality of your Atma.” Atmalinga bestows
immortality of one’s soul and not to ego sense.
Markandeya story was an apt illustration of his sincere devotion to
Lord Shiva. Markandeya whose life was to end at sixteen could win
the grace of the Lord with his faith, devotion and complete
surrender that dispelled the challenge of the Lord of death, Yama.
At the end of their presentation Bhagawan went down the stairs to
bless the cast with a coveted photo session.
Earlier on the 13 January evening, boys from the Brindavan Campus
presented a drama entitled “Bhakta Tukaram”. The drama attempted to
depict the life of Sant Tukaram as visualised by innovative
thinkers. Tukaram’s unflinching devotion, trials and tribulations
meted out to him by many and the Divine Guidance he received from
His chosen deity Vittala, all were depicted with elan with lots of
Various incidents from his life like the one wherein critics grew
jealous of Tukkaram and put him to ordeals but was eventually saved
by the Lord were depicted. At the end of the drama, Bhagawan blessed
the entire group with clothes and photograph sessions.
An announcement was made after the performance that Bhagawan was
immensely pleased with their presentation.
Earlier, when Bhagwan was ushered into the Sai Kulwant Hall for
round of darshan, the ‘fledging’ Brass Band from Brindavan Campus
had their maiden opportunity to escort the Divine from Yajur
Mandiram to Sai Kulwant Hall.