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Glimpses Of Yugadi Celebration At Brindavan, Whitefield - 1996 

"The Sai Ramesh Mandap and its environs had been beautifully decorated for the occasion with flags and festoons. An artistic floral arch had been erected at the southeastern entrance to the Mandap with the slogan on the arch: "Help ever; hurt never.' The bronze statute of Lord Krishna on the stage was decorated with beautiful garlands. A large Shamiana had been put up to cover the open ground to the north of the Mandap. 

Bhagavan arrived at the Mandap (on 20 March, 1996) at 4 p.m., accompanied by Sri Shivaraj Patil; Sri S.B. Chavan, Union Home Minister; Mr. Khurshed Alam Khan, Governor of Karnataka; Sri H.D. Deve Gowda, Chief Minister of Karnataka; and Dr. Somaiya, Vice-President of the Somaiya Trust. 

Sri K.R. Prasad, member of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust welcomed the visiting dignitaries and conveyed his Yugadi greetings to all the devotees. 

Dr. S.K. Somaiya, while requesting Bhagavan Baba to release the Book, "Vision of India' by Sri Shivaraj K. Patil, gave an account of the various educational and welfare activities carried on by the Somaiya Trust, founded 30 years ago by Sri K.J. Somaiya, who was still vigorous and active at the age of 95. Dr. Somaiya said that over 18,000 students were studying in various educational institutions run by the Somaiya Trust. Promoting the learning of Sanskrit was one of the major activities. 

Sri S.B. Chavan expressed his gratitude to Bhagavan for taking him as a close member of the Sai family. He referred to the various educational and humanitarian projects undertaken by the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and commended particularly the stupendous drinking water project to serve a drought-stricken region. He prayed to Bhagavan to extend His grace to other areas in the country as the Government alone would not be able to carry out such projects as successfully as He had done. Referring to the disorders and violence prevailing in the country, Sri Chavan said the spirit of tolerance and brotherhood of man preached by Bhagavan should be fostered by one and all. 

Sri Deve Gowda, Chief Minister of Kamataka, speaking next, explained the significance of Yugadi. Sri Shivraj Patil began his speech with a reference to an incident in the life of the Maharashtra saint, Jnaaneshwar. He said, 'We have seen many ups and downs during the past year and we may have them in the coming year too. We have to put up with these with equal-mindedness. This can be done only when we have purity of heart. Unity comes out of purity, and divinity follows. This is what Bhagavan often reminds us.' 

Sri Khurshed Alam Khan, Governor of Kamataka, speaking next said that he got inspiration whenever he came to this holy place. People talk about secularism, but few practise it. 'Here we find the real coming together of all sections of humanity, regardless of caste, creed and nationality. This is really an Abode of Peace and Tranquility. We pray to His Holiness to spread His message to all parts of the globe.' 

Bhagavan then delivered His Yugadi message. After the discourse, Prasadam was distributed to the gathering. There was a music programme consisting of Sitar and Tabla. 

In the morning, Bhagavan gave Darshan to a vast gathering in the Sai Ramesh Mandap, Bhagavan was greeted on arrival with a special programme of songs by the Institute students, beginning with the song, 'Namo Sathya Sai Baba, Namo Sathya Sai.' This was followed by songs in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. The morning function ended with the distribution of Prasadam blessed by Bhagavan." Editor, SS, 4/96, pp. 98-100