Volume 15 - Issue 12
December 2017
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Posted on: Dec 15, 2017


In Sweet Memory of Anantapur alumna, Ms. B Lavanya

It is said: “Those whom God loves, die young”. The short but beautiful life of Ms. B Lavanya is a testimony to this. She shone like a radiant star in the resplendent sky of Sai students not just because of her talent or intelligence but more importantly because of her patience, endurance, awareness and deep understanding of life based on Sai teachings.

Born in Jamshedpur in 1994, she was active in Bal Vikas right from her childhood. Blessed with a lovely voice, she took to singing seamlessly and in fact was part of the singers team when the state of Jharkhand presented a cultural programme in the Divine Presence of Bhagawan during the 80th Birthday celebrations.

Besides singing, she loved to dance too and did present solo performances in her city. Her excellence in arts extended to drawing, doing crafts and rangolis too for which she won many prizes in her school. Not only this, leveraging on her voice, she also started doing programmes in All India Radio as an approved artiste for youth programmes wherein she did talk and music shows.

"Role of Youth in National Sanitation Programme" by Ms. B Lavanya

Being groomed as a Sai child, she was extremely concerned and sensitive about societal issues too. Determined to somehow make a change, she once wrote to the Honourable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi congratulating him for the cleanliness drive “Swach Bharat Abhiyan' initiated by him and also promising him that she would definitely play a tiny role in this lofty mission.

While all this filled her life with joy, success and fulfilment, there was always a vacuum inside. She felt all these achievements are nothing compared to the honour of being a Sai student. She longed, prayed and persevered for this blessing and the Lord did not disappoint her.

In June 2012 she became a proud student of the Anantapur campus of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, pursuing her Bachelors in Science (Honours). Now she was home and loved every moment of being in His college. She enthusiastically participated in every curricular and extracurricular activity and began to win prizes here too. In fact in Jan 2013 she was awarded the Cultural Cup in the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet.

Happily busy in Swami's college, her smile never faded. But few knew what was hiding behind those ebullient smiles. In November 2012 she confided with her close teachers and parents about her ill-health and that is when her father got her checked up. The diagnoses devastated everyone in her family but not her. It was glioblastoma (GBM), or simply put, brain tumour.


She had to return home for treatment and rest for three months and later her parents enrolled her in a local college so that they could take care of her. Once healed, she was back to her active self - singing bhajans, creating music, doing programmes on All India Radio and the like.

Maybe the Lord was keen to clear all her karma or maybe He has planned a much bigger role for her in His mission in the times to come or maybe as a quick learner she had already learnt everything that needs to be grasped in the current life, came Nov 2016 and the countdown for her return to the Source started. The illness relapsed.

The parents and the doctors did everything they could to extend her stay on earth but Heaven was calling her. She was unperturbed. She just wanted to go with the flow. If it was time to merge back into the Sea, so be it.

Confident and happy that she was returning into the alms of her Divine Parent, Mother Sai, in peace and bliss she closed her eyes on the morning of April 17, 2017, an auspicious Monday.

When you read the text of the speech she delivered in the prayer hall of the Anantapur campus in October 2012 which is presented below, you will get a glimpse of why she was such an extraordinary soul. Even though she saw only 23 summers, she had not only grasped the summum bonum of life but also was instrumental in lovingly goading many others to walk on this path with courage, resilience and joy.

Someone said, “ThanksGiving is good but ThanksLiving is better.” She indeed epitomized this kind of life and living, and perhaps this is something for us to ponder on as we begin to reflect about the year gone by in this month of December and prepare ourselves to write a new chapter in our lives with the dawn of 2018.


I offer myself at the divine lotus feet of Swami.

Good morning, respected Director madam, respected teachers and my dear sisters. My loving Sairam to one and all.

Being just one semester old, I do not have any pearls of wisdom as such, though I do admit that He has put me through many physical and mental trials. So, here I am today to speak about something which is not at all idealistic, unachievable or completely fantastic in today’s world, but rather something which is easy for all of us – yes, let us talk about the “Magic of Now”.

We all know the popular saying – “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. That’s the reason we call it the present”.

Let Go and Let God in

Statistics show that 69% of people’s worries are about things which will never happen, and nearly 17% of their worries are about things which they can’t change.

Speaking of worrying about the past, is it of any use dwelling in the past? Will that moment ever return? Can we ever relive that moment? No.

So, if we regret about some decisions taken or some actions done in the past, well it’s of no use now. That moment has “gone with the wind” and you can’t time travel and repair the damages. Then, why brood over the past and deprive yourself of your present capabilities? Each moment is new.

Do not let your past rule over your present. The best you can do about it is to identify and accept your mistakes, and take steps so as to not repeat it in the future. Because as they say – “A mistake can only be called a mistake only if you repeat it”.

On the other hand, instead of actually planning out their future, people fall in two categories – either day dreaming about their glorious future or worrying about it. Why to think or worry about things which did not even take place? By doing that, again, we are robbing the present of what it has in store for us.

What exactly is future? What we do in the present is exactly what we will get in the future. As Swami says, “Sow a seed of mango and you will get a mango tree. Sow a seed of tamarind and you will get a tamarind tree.”

So, if we want a particular thing to be done in the future, we must act on it now.

There are many people who consult palmists and astrologers, and worry unnecessarily about what is to come. I sometimes think how nice it would be if only we could know our future through astrology and be readily prepared to face each and every challenge life thrown at us.

If astrology is to be considered that seriously, let me now tell you a very interesting fact. Did you know that Dhirubhai Ambani’s astrological natal chart had some Jupiter affliction, because of which his astrologer had predicted that he would live and die in dire poverty.

Now tell me, should we indeed waste time thinking about what some accomplished astrologer accurately predicted about our own life when our destiny is in our hands? Of what significance are the navagrahas (effects of nine planets) when we have Swami’s anugraha (grace)?

The Golden Property of Swami

So, now when there is nothing to worry either about the past or the future, it leaves us with only worrying about the present situation. If in the present we are in troubled waters, we should realize that the situation we are in at the moment is solely the outcome of something we have done in the past.

If we know what the mistake is, we can take care not to repeat it. But if we know that it is not due to some fault of ours, we leave it for Swami to take care – knowing that He is merely testing us. Most importantly, we have to always remember that we have a free choice on how to face the present situation and what steps to take.

Sisters, don’t you see the reaction each time we sit in the Kulwant Hall or the South Indian Canteen? Speaking about myself, an old lady with tears in her eyes did namaskar to me. Why did she do that? Because Swami calls us His sole property. At that moment, I hung my head down in shame as I know how I actually was and how highly they perceive us to be.

Swami expects a lot from whom He proudly calls 'His property'. He expects all of us to be of a sterling character – 24 carat gold each. I am sure we all want to please Him and come up to His expectations, and I am sure whenever we hear His divine discourses, we are all inspired to bring about a change in us.

So, are we waiting for some angel from heaven to come down and ask us to change? No. The magic is in now – in this moment.

Making Every Present Moment Excellent

The initial change need not be something out of the way like big charity. We can start the process even at our hostel life – by not speaking ill behind somebody’s back if we can’t speak good about them, or not speaking about things we are unaware of – so as to avoid rumours. If we incorporate these small things in our day-to-day’s life, I am sure it will be more than what it takes to make our Lord happy.

For example, when we make new year resolutions like “I will work harder from next year” or “I will give up this habit of mine from next week”, sorry to be pessimistic, but let us be practical, how can we be sure that we will live that long to see the next year? Or even, the next day?

It reminds me of a story from the Mahabharatha where once a Brahmin approached Yudhisthira for alms. Yudhisthira said that he was quite busy at the moment and asked the Brahmin to come the next day. On hearing this, Bhima (who was present in the scene) ran to the palace gates and started beating a big drum. On hearing the loud thumps, everyone including Yudhisthira gathered around Bhima and asked what the matter was.

“A joyous news, indeed, citizens!” said Bhima, “for, my elder brother has conquered death!”.

“What are you saying, Bhima?” asked a puzzled Yudhisthira.

“Yes brother,” said Bhima, “you have indeed conquered death, since you are so sure that you will live to see tomorrow, to give charity to the Brahmin”. Yudhisthira realized his folly and immediately gave alms.

Let us not put off for tomorrow what we can do today. Let those special ones in our life know today that we care. Let us not depend on the uncertain future to mend our personal relationships.

What if God tells us today that it is the last day on earth for us? I am sure all phone booths in the world will be full of people telling their loved ones how much they love them – and how sorry they are for hurting their feelings in any way.

Swami is “Now More”

Let's live each day trusting in God. I feel sad for them who feel despondent that Swami is physically no more with us, because Swami is NOW MORE. It was His sankalpa – His divine will to do so. For who better than Him can know what is good for our spiritual progress? Are we not luckier now, than before, in this aspect?

Because earlier we would psychologically limit His existence to only one name and form. But now since He has merged back into the infinite, we have a broader and better choice of seeing Him in this mike, in that chair, you, me, everyone, everything and everywhere. Really, we are indeed luckier now.

I would like to conclude with the apt lyrics of a Hindi song –

har ghadi badal rahi hai roop jindagi,
chaw hai kabhi, kabhi hai dhoop jindagi
har pal yahan, jee bhar jiyo
jo hai sama, kal ho na ho

[Life is changing every second. It has both, happy and not-so-happy moments. Enjoy every moment, for, after all, who knows – you might not be here tomorrow.]

So let's be positive and let's be happy. Depend not on the future nor dwell on the past. Let's trust in God and acknowledge the “Magic of now”.

I thank Swami for speaking through me, and also all of you for hearing me out so patiently.

Thank you. Jai Sai Ram.


- Radio Sai Team

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