We set out after breakfast for the SriPaadaKshetra center situated at JP Nagar. We got a warm welcome, at the beautiful new facility inaugurated in 2005 by Pujya Guruji.
Mr. Ravi, Secretary of Bangalore CM described that Bangalore was the place Pujya Gurudev gave the third Yagna in 1956, and is of prime importance. Under Guruji’s grace and Swami Brahmananda’s (affectingly known as Brahmaji) leadership, the activities in Karnataka has grown tremendously.
The current SriPaadaKshetra auditorium can seat 700+ people. Raviji described the moving story of Mr. Soni, a Chinmaya Mission devotee, who served and lived like a saint and upon his passing, gave all his belongings to Chinmaya Mission. Brahmaji named the Acharya’s kutia at this center in Mr. Soni’s name.
We then proceeded to the Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Koramangala where the children received us with a marching band. Mr. Bhatt, head of regional schools, gave a presentation on Chinmaya Vidyalaya and Chinmaya Vision program. It warmed our hearts seeing the bright faces of the tiny tots greeting Pujya Guruji with “Hari Om Swamiji” in a chorus when Guruji passed by their class.
Next we stopped at Deenabandu Devastanam, Indira Nagar where Vedputras (the students of Purohit course) received Guruji with chants. The temple here was inaugurated in 1979 and the presiding deity is “savior of the Sadhus”. Brahmaji gave a short lecture and he emphasized that we are the lamps that Gurudev lit, no matter where we are in the world and that we are one family.
We had a sumptuous lunch followed by a visit to the Chinmaya Mission Hospital (CMH). Lt. Col.(retd.) Dr. Chandra Shekhar, the chief medical director of Chinmaya Mission Hospital, gave a detailed presentation on the vision and approach of CMH. In 1969, Drs. Purushottaman, a physician couple, were inspired by Gurudev and started the CMH as an outpatient dispensary with two beds. It has now grown into 250 beds multi specialty hospital with state of the art care.
Key feature of this hospital is that 45% of care if given almost free of charge. The costs associated with care of the patients are often 40 to 50 % cheaper than other similar facilities. We were then split into groups for a tour of the facility. They showed us different departments where we met with wonderful group of committed medical staff for whom, even though they had more lucrative options, they chose the path of this noble service.
We returned to the hotel and had a evening Satsang with Guruji where he beautifully explained the peripheral and deeper meaning bhajan “Gayiye jagavandana” – first song of Vinaya Patrika by Sant Tulasidas.
The night’s dinner was hosted by Mr. Shadaskari managing director of Ramanashree group. Mr. Narasimhulu Chetty, long time Chinmaya Mission trustee said that the focal point is that we are all one family as he gave us all gifts. A busy day that allowed us to touch Gurudev’s vision and how far it has reached was coming to an end.