Sunday, August 7, 2016

Pilgrimage walk from Puttaparthi to Sathya Sai classroom of Bukkapatnam school

Given below are the contents (slightly edited) of my Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1774078952808674, dated August 7th 2016. Note that Swami refers to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.


Above pic courtesy: Facebook user Puttaparthi News -పుట్టపర్తి,
https://www.facebook.com/659917657473107/photos/pcb.844810735650464/844810478983823/.

I met one of the organizers, Shri Vijaya Kumar Babu (shown in one of the photos in the Facebook shared post, and which is the one shown above in this blog post), of this "pilgrimage walk to Bukkapatnam (7 km) and Sadhana camp at Swami's old school", yesterday evening at a Dosa-Idli eatery in outside ashram Puttaparthi. Though he doesn't know me, he very politely invited me to join in the pilgrimage walk. I wished him all the best and told him that I would pray to Bhagavan for people participating in this pilgrimage walk.

When I checked with him he said that he is from Hyderabad and that he comes to Puttaparthi on a regular basis for this pilgrimage walk. He passed on a leaflet of the programme with his mobile no. (9703440994) and the programme details.

This event would be going on just now. So the details info. may be useful for people who are interested in participating in it in future.

It starts with assembly at Ganesh gate, Prasanthi Nilayam ashram at 6.15 AM followed by walk to Bukkapatnam with Swami's photo and bhajans, reaching Bukkapatnam at 8.30 AM and having breakfast there.

9.00 AM to 11.30 AM is the Sadhana camp in Swami's sacred class room. [Bhagavan did part of his schooling in Bukkapatnam. More on it is given towards the bottom of this post.]

The return back to Puttaparthi is by public transport with expected return time being by 12.00 Noon.

The other organizer listed is Shri Narayana Rao.

I (Ravi) also felt it appropriate to share that many years back (before Mahasamadhi) I had felt the urge of walking to Bukkapatnam where Swami did part of his schooling from Puttaparthi. Now Swami, as a boy, would have gone through dirt-tracks and fields perhaps to reach his school and come back. Instead I walked on the tar road (not there when Swami was studying in that school, I believe) which is a longer path, from Puttaparthi via Karnatakanagapalli village and one other village (Janakampalli if I recall correctly), finally reaching Bukkapatnam. It was an interesting walk and I felt quite spiritually charged then. The road is an undulating one, going up and down, with quite a lot of natural beauty of rural Andhra Pradesh on either side of the road.

I was walking alone and came across a faculty colleague from Prasanthi Nilayam campus of the Sai university (I was teaching then in the Sai university) who was driving his car on that road and asked me what I was doing walking there alone!!! I gave him some casual answer but not the details. BTW, if I recall correctly, this was during the vacation period in the Sai university.

Some information about Swami's days at Bukkapatnam school is available here:
http://www.saibaba.ws/articles/schooldays.htm and http://media.radiosai.org/journals/Portal/Sai-story.htm.

Short extract from Swami discourse from first link above:

Puttaparthi is a small village. You all know that. This body is one which has not left Puttaparthi and had not seen other places. This body went to a place called Bukkapatnam and there in a school they take a class, which was known as ESLC. And this body was engaged in studying in that class.
--- end extract ----

Short extract from the second link above:

It was time to move on to Higher Secondary School, but such a school was available only in Bukkapatnam, several kilometers to the north of Puttaparthi.

Young Sathya now had to trudge back and forth every day, no matter what the weather, the muddy path through fields, walking on bunds, and wading through water, as required. In the Bukkapatnam School too, He was a model student, ever helpful to others.

Making students God-conscious remained His prime occupation, and to hold the attention of His mates, He would often materialise prasadam (gift-articles or vibhuti), much to their amazement.
--- end extract ---

A small extract from http://www.srisathyasai.org.in/Pages/SriSathyaSaiBaba/LifeHistory.htm :

The early school days

At the age of eight, Sathya was declared fit to proceed to the Higher Elementary School at Bukkapatnam, about two and a half miles from Puttaparthi. He had to start early, after a meal of cold rice and curds or cooked ragi (maize), rice and chutney, carry the afternoon meal in a bag, and with His companions make the arduous trek daily to Bukkapatnam.

Sathyanarayana was a precocious child, learning more things than anyone could teach Him and much quicker than most; He could sing all the songs and Stotras (prayers) that were recited at the village operas. He even composed at the tender age of seven or eight, some touching songs for the cast, which were gladly accepted by them for public presentation!

--- end extract ---

[I thank saibaba.ws, radiosai.org and srisathyasai.org.in and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above small extracts from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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