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Founder’s Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

The story of the growing garland

When the Sathya Sai School of Canada was inaugurated in September 2000, a beautiful full-length picture of the Founder Sri Sathya Sai Baba was installed in the foyer of the school. Six years later, the miracle of the growing garland associated with it has come to symbolize the sacred gift of love and growth from Swami. Students, staff, volunteers, parents and visitors to the school view this miracle as yet another reminder of the overwhelming and awesome love of Baba and gather around His picture to experience inner peace and connection with Him.

Over the years, numerous special assemblies have taken place, with Swami’s picture as an eternal witness to the daily events. During the first year of the school's existence, the picture came alive with special potency during the Founder's Day celebrations on Nov. 22, 2000 . (The school observes a holiday on November 23 in honour of Baba’s Birthday.)

Who Are We?

We are students, teachers
And lifelong learners
We are siblings, parents
And members of the global family We are Canadians, humanitarians
And responsible citizens of the world We are volunteers, philosophers
And servants of the greater good
We are visionaries, discoverers
And seekers of the truth
We are artists, peacemakers
And ambassadors of hope
We are connoisseurs of an amaranthine love
Because we are all petals in the ever-growing garland of lov

During the celebrations in the first year, a lovely garland of fresh flowers was placed on the picture of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Shortly after, the students presented a special program and offered a cake to their beloved Baba on His 75 th birthday. Some kindergarteners, however, felt let down because they were expecting Swami to join the party in person and cut the cake. A little while later, the garland of fresh flowers that had been placed on the picture seemed to have descended and covered the large birthday card the students had made and which the Grade 1 teacher Miss Poddar had placed on the table beneath the picture. She immediately drew the attention of Principal Mr. Pillay who in turn advised caution. Mr. Pillay then measured the garland and waited an hour to watch for any new developments. Lo and behold, the garland grew and grew till it was 75 inches longer! It also happened to be Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s 75 th birthday then.

Since that time, the garland has grown considerably longer, sometimes more than double its original length, on more than two dozen occasions. During special assemblies to mark Human Values Day, Founder’s Day and during special prayer services by the Sri Sathya Sai Education Trust of Canada, the garland has grown to remind the school community of Baba’s sacred presence amidst them, leaving everyone in awe of His mystery.

The growing garland reminds them of the web of consciousness or energy that holds the luminous universe together from planets to plants, humans to microscopic forms of life. The string of life force that holds the delicate balance in the great big circle of life, is a stark symbol of the interconnectivity of all life on this planet and beyond. Students also see it as a reminder from Sri Sathya Sai Baba to expand the circle of our life by embracing and including the universe as our very own. What a profound experiential lesson to reinforce the theme of unity in diversity!

To those who associate with the school, Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s life and message is the common thread that propels everyone to try their very best in all their efforts. Students, staff, volunteers, trustees and supporters of the school strive to emulate Swami’s personal example to achieve their goal of living socially and ethically responsible, morally upright lives as true Canadians. “At the Sathya Sai School of Canada, we have given this goal or each one’s personal legend a name. We call it M.O.D.E.L.3,” say the educators of the school.

The MODEL 3 motto of the Sathya Sai School stands for the characteristics of a true practitioner of the five human values, which form the basis of their unique character education program.

M -Motivated

O - Organized

D - Disciplined

E - Exemplary

L – Loving in three ways:

i) Love for Learning

ii) Love for Humanity and the Environment

iii) Love for God




- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 5 Issue 06 - JUNE 2007
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