Prasanthi Nilayam, 11 January 2023:
The Sri Sathya Sai Educational Institutions held the main event of the Annual Sports & Cultural Meet on Wednesday, 11 January 2023 at the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium, Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh, India.
The Sri Sathya Sai educational institutions include all four campuses of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed-to-be University), Sri Sathya Sai Primary and Higher Secondary School, Smt. Eswaramma High School and Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences.
The gala event is a culmination of various sports, cultural and fine arts competitions held at all the above campuses throughout the academic year.
The Morning Session
The morning session commenced at 8 a.m. with the ceremonial entry and procession of our beloved Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba into the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium. Led by motorcycle escorts, Bhagawan’s car with a beautiful photograph of Him entered the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium and was welcomed by the women’s brass band of the Anantapur Campus of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL). This was followed by a flag salute by all the House and Institute Captains of the University, schools, and allied institutions and then escorted by the Slow March Squad, a special contingent that was led by the men’s brass band of the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus, SSSIHL.
The Veda Chanting group then ushered Bhagawan to the Shanti Vedika dais. The Chancellor, SSSIHL along with senior members of the Sai educational institutions, and students representing each Sai educational institution offered salutations to Bhagawan.
The March Past that followed included each of the three thousand Sai students marching in unison towards the dais at Shanti Vedika offering their salutations to their Revered Founder Chancellor. This was followed by the hoisting of the University flag which truly represents unity, and the promise to uphold the honour and glory of Sri Sathya Sai’s mission. Students then took the Sports Meet oath.
This year’s mascot Dhavala Kesari (a white lion), carried the torch flying to the top of the hill to light up the principle torch marking the commencement of the 2023 Annual Sports & Cultural Meet. The bands of all the campuses then beat the retreat with divine renditions setting the stage for the day’s presentations.
The morning presentations saw the students of the Anantapur Women’s College campus begin with the Sri Sathya Sai Anandhotsavam, to proclaim the resumption of the sports meet by way of offering traditional dance forms of India to their Master. This was followed by flag-bearing Sai Soldiers asserting the importance of ‘Dharma’ in today’s world through various eye-catching formations including the Dharma Chakra, Lord Rama’s Bow and finally coming together to create the form of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai. The highlight was the women daredevils, in the form of Sai’s 38 Fearless Falcons who came riding on 24 Hero Honda 125cc Glamour bikes performing breathtaking stunts, daring jumps, riding through a ring of fire, and spectacular formations leaving the audience enthralled and stunned with their sense of balance, timing and fearlessness, most importantly, their devotion to and love for their Divine Master. The students in the end came together to form the message ‘We Belong to you Sai’.
It was then the turn of the boys from the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School and the Prasanthi Nilayam campus.
The young boys from the Higher Secondary School took centre stage displaying the tricolour and showcasing various waves and formations celebrating 75 glorious years of India’s Independence. It was followed by a few other dazzling acts that included power gymnastics and acrobatics, synchronized performances using basketballs and flags, and a short act that depicted the importance of conquering the enemies within as a quality that differentiated a superhero from a hero.
The boys from the Prasanthi Nilayam campus presented a short act that depicted events from the epic Ramayana celebrating the victory of good over evil. They then fascinated the audience with their flexibility, agility, and well-timed fearless gymnastics that included several daring dives, jumps and somersaults, the highlight of them all being their daredevil jumps over a car and through fire rods. The martial arts team later presented a series of dramatic breath-taking action-packed stunt sequences. Their final act was an impressive synchronized display of cricketing skills to mark 40 years of India’s world cup victory. The team of boys, both school and institute then took centre stage to form the number 98, signifying 98 years of the Advent of the Avatar.
Finally, it was the turn of the institute boys from the Muddenahalli campus who began with a captivating display of musically synced formations with umbrellas creating an exquisite mosaic of eye-catching patterns. The high energy scintillating presentations that kept the audience at the edges of their seat concluded with the final performance by the Jumpmen’s remarkable dribbling skills and trampoline acts showcasing their sense of balance and timing. Mangala Arati was then offered to Bhagawan, thus ending the morning session.
The Evening Session
The evening session began at 4.10 p.m. with the ceremonial procession welcoming Bhagawan Baba into the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium.
The students of Smt. Eswaramma High School began the session with a fascinating act depicting the oneness that exists through the three stages of life -childhood, adulthood, and youth. The children then mesmerized the audience with their fusion and butterfly dance performances. Their next act showcased kids balancing the hoops to the rhythm of the music and also gracefully using the skipping rope to display their skill. Right on their heels came riding little cycling champs performing enchanting stunts and synchronised formations. Next, the children presented a vibrant dance of Lord Shiva and concluded their act with a formation to commemorate 50 glorious years of the school.
The tiny tots from the Primary school then presented nine adorable acts. This included – a celestial rhythmic performance, little gymnasts and acrobats showcasing their flexibility and balance, spiritual warriors vanquishing the evil, pyramid formations that showcase their teamwork and endurance, a patriotic presentation by little Bharatiyas as the future of Bharat, the dance of the Gopikas and two colorful displays that reveal the beauty and abundance of mother nature.
Post delightful performances by the kids, the students from the SSSIHMS College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences presented ‘METANOIA’. The act with three stunning performances depicted changing one’s way of life through spirituality in the form of a Pyramid – that displays the emergence, spread, and impact of illness on Humans, Yoga – which depicts healing, and Krishna Rasaleela – portraying devotion as a tool for spiritual healing.
The students from the Brindavan campus then took center stage and began their presentation with an innovative game of Rugby by two teams, bubbles, and sumos. This was followed by an exciting display of balance on a slack line. At sunset, the highlight of the evening which also was the grand finale to the entire day’s proceedings was the LED-lit Lion and Dragon dance performance, a traditional Chinese dance that enthralled the audience, and a dazzling and synchronized sound and light show using different types of drums with sound sensor LEDs that lit up with every beat leaving the audience enthralled. The students in a final formation came together singing in unison to express their love and gratitude for their Divine Master Sri Sathya Sai.
The evening session concluded with Mangala Arati to Bhagawan, bringing to close the main event of the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet 2023.