THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION
Ashram’s Contribution in Values Orientation
The Ashram in this context refers to the abode of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, which also houses the entire accommodation complex for the devotees / visitors. The Hostel at Prasanthi Nilayam is about half a kilometre away from the Ashram complex. [i]
|Prasanthi Nilayam Mandir|
Daily Darshan and Bhajan Activities
The students, teachers, administrators and non-teaching staff of the Institute visit the Ashram every day to have Darshan of Baba and sing Bhajans in his presence. The Darshan and Bhajans inspire the students towards the higher goals of human existence in the mundane world. Music is the medium through which all human emotions, thoughts and perspectives are made noble. The students, faculty and support staff of all Sai Educational Institutions, along with the staff of other Sai Institutions, and devotees, assemble in the Mandir compound as a congregation and sing in chorus to the accompaniment of musical instruments. This has a positive influence on the emotional intelligence of people. [ii] In the earlier years, on a regular basis, Baba would interact with them individually and collectively. This experience of personal interactions with Baba would elevate the consciousness of the people making them more socially responsive.
Values-Oriented Programmes in the Mandir
Everyday, morning and evening, during Darshan time, the students and faculty of the Institute and other sister institutions collectively chant Vedic hymns. There are also various programmes (based on spiritual themes) put up by the students and the faculty, such as talks, music concerts, skits, etc.
|Carnatic instrumental performance by Students|
|Shiva Tandava Dance Programme by Students|
|Violin Instrumental Performance by Students|
The skits are based on the lives of various saints, sages and spiritual heroes of India such as Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Sri Chaitanya, Sri Shirdi Sai Baba, Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, Mirabai, Tukaram, Surdas, Tulsidas, Kabirdas, Guru Nanak, Gautam Buddha, Jesus Christ, Prophet Moses and many others.
|Drama on the life of the poet-saint Annamacharya by Students|
|Drama on the life of Jesus Christ by Students|
|Drama on the epic Mahabharata by Students|
|Drama on the life of Sri Adi Shankaracharya by Students|
|Drama on the Moghul King Akbar and Minister Birbal by Students|
|Drama on the life of the great Bengal Saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by Students|
The students themselves conceive the basic theme and make all the necessary arrangements for all the programmes under the supervision of the faculty members.
Multi-Faith Festival Celebrations
All prominent national and international festivals are celebrated at Prasanthi Nilayam. These include Guru Pournima, Navratri, Shivaratri, Krishnashtami, Rama Navami, Sankranti, Ugadi, Onam, Diwali, Holi, Christmas, Ramzan Id, Buddha Pournima, Chinese New Year besides the Women’s Day.
|Festival Vedic Procession by Students at the Prasanthi Nilayam Mandir|
|Cow procession by Students on the Krishna Janmashtami Day|
|Ganesh Chaturthi procession by Students|
|Christmas Celebrations by Students|
|Id Celebrations by the Muslim Students|
|Navaratri Yajna Celebrations at the Ashram|
These festivals are celebrated in their true traditional fervour to connote their inner significance. Baba would give a discourse on almost all the festival days. Before his discourse, selected students and faculty (at times, other eminent people from various walks of life) give a short speech. Such opportunities of talking before a large gathering serve as a training ground to the students in gaining experience in public speaking. At other times, listening to expert speakers enables them to learn the art of public speaking. Thus, the Ashram activities take care of the heart (emotional and spiritual dimension) of the students, teachers, administrators and the support staff of the Institute.
|Sri Sathya Sai Mahasamadhi at Prasanthi Nilayam|
[i] The residential campuses of the male students of the Institute at the Prasanthi Nilayam campus have a hostel about a couple of furlongs away from Baba’s residence (Mandir). The hostel at the Bangalore campus is located next to Baba’s residence. The residential hostel of female students at the Anantapur Campus is located within the Anantapur Campus premise, and the Muddenahalli Campus residential accommodation is also located within the campus premise. Anantapur is 80 Km from Puttaparthi, Muddenahalli is 100 Km from Puttaparthi and Bangalore is 150 Km away from Puttaparthi.
[ii] Daniel, Golemen, Emotional Intelligence
Source: Role of Values-Based Management in Management Education: Insights from the Business School at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Chapter 24, Man Management: A Values-Based Management Perspective