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An Educational Haven in the Hill!

Inauguration of New Boys Campus at Kodaikanal Sri Sathya Sai Anand Niketanam

Kodaikanal, Sunday 27 August 2023: - The Princess of Hill Stations - Kodaikanal is now host to a hostel for ‘Princes’ – with the students of the newly inaugurated Sri Sathya Sai Anand Niketanam, in the ashram perched atop the highest inhabited peak in Kodai. This century-old-edifice which was a home once upon a time to Dr Ida Scudder, the missionary Founder of Christian Medical College in Vellore, became Anand Ashram in May 2014, and has blossomed into a school campus Sri Sathya Sai Anand Niketanam in August 2023. This morning, the inauguration was held in the presence of Mr K Karthik, the District Munsif-cum Judicial magistrate, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, Sri BN Narasimha Murthy, Sri BG Jayaram and other government officials.

Boys who come from several rural areas from in and around Kodaikanal are an enthusiastic lot, eager to learn. Their frankness and confidence are striking and yet their simplicity and innocence is endearing.

Four students addressed everyone gathered. Two new students who have joined the Sri Sathya Sai Anand Niketanam spoke in Tamil. Kavish and Yuvan Raj spoke about their happiness after joining the gurukulam and expressed their gratitude for the opportunity that Sadguru bestowed upon them through free education.

Kaviyashree and Harinishree, both students from the Sri Sathya Sai Meenakshiniketanam campus who had come to Kodaikanal along with the other students and staff, spoke in English about their family condition and expressed their joy and gratitude to Sadguru for embracing them in His institutions.

Mr K Karthik, who was the Chief Guest, spoke about how this life has been given to us as an opportunity to serve others. He quoted many verses from the vedas and advised students to understand what is being given to them and utilise it in the appropriate manner. He even mentioned that in his free time he would like to come and teach vedas and upanishads to the students.

Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, in His inaugural address started by quoting a poem of the famous Tamil poet, Subramanya Bharatiyar ‘Olipadaitha Kanninai Vaa Vaa Vaa’ which He had learned as a young student. Bharatiyar uses optimistic words in this poem to encourage children of the country to awaken to their potential, to be fearless and selfless, and take part in the development of the nation - those were times when India was under British rule.

Sadguru went on to say, “Tamil Nadu has produced many great men - from saints and sages to the most intelligent scientists to philosophers and poets. Our late former President, Bharath Ratna APJ Abdul Kalam is from Tamil Nadu. This is one of the ancient lands and has had a very great history.”

Addressing the students, Sadguru said, “You all have a great responsibility. But without food or education or good health, you will not be able to fulfil your responsibility as you cannot reach your true potential. Hence, my belief is to provide all this to the children of our country. We work for those children who do not have the ability to access these basics. You must get educated, reach your true potential, and then uplift many more like you all.

Here (in our institutions), it is not only about education, but it is about spiritual education too. For our gurukulam, I have borrowed the ethos from the bala kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, where Sage Vasishta elucidates the four characteristics displayed by Rama, Lakshmana, Bharatha and Shatrugna to King Dhasharatha -

sarve vedavidaḥ dhīrāḥ - Knowledge about ancient Indian wisdom - the Bharathiya culture

sarve lōkahite ratāḥ - Ever engaged in the welfare of the world

sarve jñānōpa sampannaḥ - Knowledge about all the subjects and skills concerning the world

sarve samuditā guṇaihi - Repositories of all the good qualities that emanate spontaneously

Apart from academics, all should also learn other skills like music, singing, sports, cooking, and all this should be used for the welfare of others.

Bhagavad Gita says - śhraddhāvānllabhate jñānaṁ - those who have deep interest and intense desire to learn will excel. Many have worked very hard for this new campus, so be mindful of the opportunity. Judge Karthik prayed for a boys’ campus here and it has manifested because of his prayer. The next will be healthcare, with a day-care clinic.” Thanking all the authorities of Kodaikanal who extended all the support towards this initiative, Sadguru concluded His talk.

Akhilan who hails from Tamil Nadu, and a gold medallist in MSc Physics from the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence, has been appointed as the Chairperson of this new entrant into the cluster of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam Group of Educational Institutions.

Indeed, this is another shining example of students taking the mission forward in their own native lands.

Sadguru with the first batch of boys who have joined the Sri Sathya Sai Anand Niketanam, Kodaikanal


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