AUM SAI RAM Vattiyoorkavu Sri Sathya Sai Kshetra History
On Sunday the Eleventh December 1994 the then State President of Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Kerala, the Late Natarajan Swami lighted the lamp before the photo of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba (the Photograph was blessed by Bhagawan Himself at Puttaparthi) with trembling hands and Sri Sathyasai Samithi Vattiyoorkavu came into existence.
Two years before this ceremony, a Sai Bhajan Mandali had been formed in Vattiyoorkavu, in the sit-out of the terraced building owned by Smt. Rajamma and her husband Sri Balakrishnan. A group of enthusiastic youngsters were in the fore-front. Daily bhajans were arranged in the houses of this locality.
Social activities were also undertaken. The Herculean task of cleaning the Aegean stables was much easier when compared to cleaning the Panchayat Market near Vattiyoorkavu Junction. Cleaning the courtyards of the Govt. Hospital Peroorkada, SAT Hospital, Women and Children Hospital, Thycaud, Ayurveda Maternity Hospital for Women and Children Poojappura, Police station Vattiyoorkavu, were the main activities on Sundays.
On every Sunday breakfast was distributed to the patients and their bystanders (Narayana Seva) in the Govt. Hospital Peroorkada. This was done after chanting Brahmarpanam. Bhajan group used to conduct Sai Bhajans in the Central Prison, Poojappura at the request of prisoners.
Bal Vikas classes were conducted regularly and enthusiastically in the hall of the house, children belonging to Christian and Muslim families attended Bal Vikas classes regularly.
As a token of recognition to the above activities, the Bhajan Mandali was elevated to a Seva Samithy within a short period of two years.The samithy Started functioning with more enthusiasm than ever.With the permission of the house owners a temporary shed with sheeted roof was constructed in the terrace.
Very soon many Bhajan- Mandalis came into existence under Vattiyoorkavu Seva samithy. Thus decentralization of the activities were done for the benefit of the people living in distant areas.The mandalis thus started were Thirumala, Valiyavila, Peyad, Malayinkeezhu, Kattakada, Vayalikada, Vazhottukonam, Kachani, Nettayam and Punnackamugal. Of these Kattakada, Peyad, Nettayam and Kachani were elevated to samithies.
Though Samithy status was offered to Thirumala Mandali, the devotees humbly declined the offer and preferred to be a part of Vattiyoorkavu samithy. This shows the unity among the devotees of Vattiyoorkavu and Thirumala. Sat- sangs were conducted in the samithy after every Thursday Bhajans.
Bhajans used to be held in each Mandali on a day of the week. These were also followed by Satsangs. Bal- Vikas classes were conducted on Sundays in all mandalis.
The Service activities taken up byVattiyoorkavu Sri Sathya Sai Kshetra are mainly the following
- Helping poor patients whether they are in the hospital or not
- Feeding the poor. They were given food packets or rice, pulses and coconuts every Sunday. Financial assistance to get the Kerosene oil rice wheat and sugar from the ration shops. Without any hindrance this was continued for a long duration and gradually came to a stand – still as the Govt. of Kerala supplied rice at the cost of one rupee per kg to the BPL card holders.
- Narayana Seva is being conducted in a large scale at present. For the last 24 years Narayana Seva is given to Govt. hospital Peroorkada every Sunday without fail.
- Every Monday breakfast collected from the houses of Sai devotees is given as Prasadam to inmates of Mahila Mandiram situated in the Central Jail compound, Poojappura.
- Women devotees visit the inmates of Asha Bhavan in the Central Prison compound every second Saturday. Asha Bhavan is a shelter where those ladies discharged after treatment from Mental Hospital Peroorkada are accommodated (as their relatives do not come forward to take their to them own homes). On every visit the inmates put forward their small likings like comb, powder, bindiyas, bangles, home made delicacies like Thiraliyappam, Elayappam. Then humble request were humble fulfilled during the next visit.
- In the early years Samithy adopted Manikanteswaram Village. A number of social, spiritual, cultural, and educational activities were conducted there for two years. By the Grace of Bhagvan now Manikanteswaram is developed into a small township. Bhagavan’s photos are seen in many houses in this area.
The second village adopted by the Samithy is Iyyakuzhi near Nettayam. Devotees from the samithy visit this area once a week.Regular Bhajans were conducted there after providing them food. Now the quality of life of the villagers has improved a lots. Â For the first time in Kerala, as per Bhagwan’s wish, a Community Centre was constructed there with the help of the villagers Bhajans are conducted there. A Christian has come forward to look after the community centre.The villagers now know what is meant by â€œunity in diversity.
A main social activity being carried out by the samithy from its early stage is distribution of Sai protein to children of Anganvadis and to the children in hospital wards.The ingredients of Sai protein prescribed by Bhagvan Himself are easily available and our Mahila Vibhag collected, prepared and packed it in small packets (under the leadership of Mahila Co-ordinator in the samithy itself) ready for distribution.
Since 1994 it was decided to distribute all the items required to make Thiruvona Sadya a grand event in the house of very poor people. When We distributed Onam kits containing 27 items including coconut, Rice, oil, ghee, pulses, chilly, soap, matchbox, towel, onion, papad, potatoes and items to make payasam. In 1995, three days prior to Onam, late Nataraja swami inaugurated the first ever event of this kind in our samithy. 108 kits were distributed. This service activity is still continuing.
Now about 200 kits are being distributed per year, needless to say that the expenses were divided among ourselves. Medical camps were conducted in the samithy hall since 1995. Later, camps were conducted in Mandalis, near temple premises under the shade of greenwood trees. The importance of Allopathic medical camps were dimished in the light of new medical facilities allotted to the poor were increased by the Government. Homeo Medical camps and Vibronics are held with enthusiasm in the samithy every week.
Required money is gained by donations from devotees, and by selling old newspapers and old utensils collected from so many houses.Brilliants students, who are economically backward are adopted by the samithy and all helps were given to them.
Mentally retarded children and children having other serious disorders in the children ward of the Govt. Ayurveda College Hospital Poojappura are being helped financially and solace given to their parents through frequent visits of the samithy volunteers. Feast is being given to them in connection with Bhagvan’s birthday and other special occasions.Samithy members used to spend a full day now and then with the prisoners of the open jail on the bank of Neyyar Dam, Spiritual activities were taken up by the samithy with equal importance.The main activity, of course, is Bhajans. Bhajans were conducted by the selected, talented singers from all mandalis.
Bhajans held in Samithy and houses in the Mandali areas. Each Mandali is allotted a particular day in the week. The Satsang held after the Bhajans led to awareness about our Bhagavan’s mission.On Sundays devotees assemble in the Samithy early in the morning and after Omkar and Suprabhatham, Nagara sankeerthan is started. After Nagarasankeerthanam when the devotees return, Smt. Rajamma, the house- owner was ready with a large pot of hot tea.
Education in Human values (EHV) are held in schools in the area by our devotees, specially trained for this purpose.Camps for school children were being held every year during Summer vacation lasting for a week in which classes are held in spiritual subjects, human values, on sacred texts like Ramayan, Holy Bible, Bhagavad Gita etc.Balvikas classes were held in he Samithy hall and in selected houses in the mandali area on every Sunday. Male and Female gurus were in plenty in our samithy. As an incentive to the little children, sweets were distributed after the classes as prasadam.Even Muslims girls, Christian boys and girls used to attend the classes with the permission of their parents.
The Balvikas students and devotees used to conduct rallies along public road to mark the end of Eswaramma week celebration every year. People used to throng in large numbers on both sides of the road. Rallies were conducted in such a way that no inconvenience was caused either to the public or to the traffic.Bhajans there conducted in various Temples for the benefit of the devotees visiting that particular temples and for the people living around the temples. This was called Pradakshina Bhajans Bhajans were conducted in various temples during festivals associated with those temples. Grihasanthi Bhajans are arranged now and then by the samithy in each mandali area evidently to bring peace in homes. Women devotees of the Samithy are celebrating the 19th of every month as Sakthi swaroopini day. Lalitha Sahasra Namarchana and special poojas are held with piety.
Another important spiritual activity of the Samithi is Save and serve programme. Devotees are advised to limit or curtail their expenses and the money thus saved is put in a box supplied to each devotee from the samithy and the money thus accumulated a year is given to Puttaparthi to meet the hospital expenditure. Now the money thus collected is spent to meet the expenses of the medical camp conducted by our samithy.
There are also some activities undertaken by the Samithy which other samithies in the entire district or the state could not do. Bhagvan’s Avatar Declaration Day was celebrated for the first time in Kerala in the Vattiyoorkavu Samithy. Other Samithies followed later.Vattiyoorkavu Samithy surprised other samithis by celebrating Navarathri festival in a major way. Nagarasankeerthanam, Bhajans and Satsang were conducted on all the nine days.60 minutes long discourses on various spiritual topics (of the speakers choice) was the hallmark of this festival. It was Vattiyoorkavu Samithi that held Sai Sneha Sandesa Yatra for the first time in Kerala. During Onam the devotees of Vattiyoorkavu Samithy used to visit Prasanthi Nilayam in 2 large buses, to have the darsan of Bhagvan and hear His Sambhashan so as to recharge our spiritual batteries. Devotees travelled in a Vehicle that went throughout the Trivandrum District to spread the messages of Bhagvan.
Bhajans and short satsangs were held in crowded junctions without blocking the traffic.Seva Dals from the Samithi went to the places on cycles where beggars and other helpless wanderers camped, carrying large pots of hot Kanji and green gram curry for serving them every day from 6 pm onwards. (Daridra Narayana Seva). It was Vattiyoorkavu samithy that conducted Sathya Sai Balakalolsavam for the first time in Kerala in which students of 9 schools in the 9 km circumference of the samithy participated in 18 events and won prizes and trophies.The school which secured maximum points was given Prasnathi Trophy. When Bhagavan was in Sai Sruthi, Kodaikanal devotees from our samithy went there in 2 large buses.
Devotees of our Samithy held a Nagarasankeerthanam in Kodaikanal walking about 2 kms. Braving the unbearable cold at 3 am. In that Divine silence Namavali’s reverberated in the hilly area and other devotees who were already standing in the queue including foreigners joined the chorus.
The Procession held in connection with Beloved Bhagvan’s 72nd Birthday celebrations was very much different from those held by other samithis.Â Our procession included band music, cavalry, caparisoned elephant, fancy dress by children, bhajans, elders holding Muthukuda in the traditional way including Poornakumbha. The stage performances in three stages attracted many and the audience in all the three places filled the halls.
There was a time when any person could not learn and chant Veda. Bhagvan broke this convention and started Veda recital in Prasanthi Nilayam. Though Sathya Sai Seva organization of Kerala also started Veda Chanting in Samithis, it was discontinued soon. Vattiyoorkavu Samithy has the credit of contributing for Veda promotion among the common man.
The Samithy especially its convener played an acive role in forming a group of people from all communities including women called Veda Vahini Parishath under the Veda Acharya. Prof : Vaidyanathan to learn, chant and teach Veda. He is engaged in training persons to become Gurus, and a number of gurus including women have been shaped. They are trying to spread Veda learning throughout Kerala.
An active worker and more over a woman devotee of Vattiyoorkavu Samithy is activity engaged in spreading Veda chanting throughout the State. She is holding classes in temples, houses and in samithy. On Selected Mondays Veda classes are held in the house of this Guru at Sasthamangalam, and on selected Thursdays in the samithy.It is worthy of mention that the Vedavahini group was invited to places like Sabarimala temple, Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple, Various temples in Kozhikode, Sri Dharma Sastha temple, Pandalam where Lord Ayyappa was brought up. Vedavahini group had the fortune to get invited to famous Pancha Bhootha temples such as Kamchipuram, Chidambaram, Jambukeswaram, Thiruvannamalai and Kalahasthi for Veda recital, and they fulfilled their duty to the best of satisfaction to the temple authorities and devotees. Vattiyoorkavu Samithy acted as nodal person for all such tours.
In Kerala, the Sathyanaraya Vratha Pooja was first held in Vattiyoorkavu Samithy. It is none other than Vattiyoorkavu samithy who held the Sai Vrathakalpa pooja and the Lekshmi Vrathakalpapooja.It was Vattiyoorkavu Samithy that prepared, the Malayalam Verson of Sri Sathyasai Sathya narayana story and distributed it free of cost to Sai devotees. The original manuscript was blessed and accepted by Bhagvan from the author and 8000 copies were printed and distributed later in the Sai Kulvant hall by Bhagvan Himself. Till date the identity of its author remains unknown.
For the last 2 years, Samithy members visit Abhaya gramam, Moongodu, Trivandrum (an institution governed by an NGO called ABHAYA under the guidance of famous poet Smt. Sugatha Kumari) during Christmas and give an unforgettable evening to the one hundred inmates. Solo performances and group items from both sides thrills one and all. Christmas carol, Christmas Papa, Cake cutting and gifts and a lot more make every one eager to wait and welcome another Merry X mas.
In 2006 the samithy purchased 7 cents of land in Mannarakonam. Though the Bhoomi pooja was performed in December 2006 itself, further progress was blocked in some way or other for the last 10 years.Then all of a sudden N.O.C. was given to us by Bhagvan. Within 135 days the present temple was completed. We have no words to express our gratitude to Bhagvan for letting us open it on the 3 rd of April 2016.
The name Sai alone gave us courage to undertake many service activities and become a part of the mission of Bhagvan during the last 24 years.Bhagvan has said wherever is Sai’s name chanted, there Sai will be present.We prostate at the Divine Lotus feet of Bhagvan, the embodiment of Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa with joyful tears filling our eyes and pray Swami, never Foresake us!