Dwarkanath Sir, lovingly called by all his adorable students was a Karma Yogi chosen by Swami for HIS education mission. He was man of mettle with a rare mix of stern character and a compassionate heart. He was also blessed with yet another unusual combination of vibrant personality with multiple facets and incredible energy. The beauty of all this was a life beaming with talent, liveliness and energy dedicated to SAI Mission.
He was inspired at young age by Sri Madiyal Narayan Bhat and other Loka Seva Missionaries, which brought him to choosing a path of celibacy for achieving his dreams. He was drawn to Sathya Sai Loka Seva Vrindha, Muddenahalli at a tender age of 18 in 1976, with burning passion and patriotism for contributing his life for Education Mission under the direct guidance of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He was a Thyagjeevi of a difference, in both character and approach, which gave a spiritual dynamism for other Thyagjeevis.
He had a child’s heart, always joyful, sport enthusiast and inquisitive explorer, daring to experiment and learn fast. Obviously these attributes attracted children, which he further strengthened by his imposing character and unrelenting enthusiasm.
The responsibilities he successfully took upon stands testimony to his versatile personality and the depth of his commitment. After teaching for few years, his vast knowledge and dedicated workmanship took him to be in charge of the farm and Goshala for more than 10 years (1980’s). This is when the hostel saw in house self sufficiency in many freshly grown vegetables and grains. There was a time when he toiled for providing children in the hostel with home grown fruits like grapes, papaya, mangoes and guava. On the grains side he was successful in reaping a harvest of paddy, raggi and jower. The striking difference of impact he brought to the field of agriculture in those days was admirable. The sewage water of the campus was used for irrigation, when there was no concept and technology of recycling the waste water. This demonstrates the innovation and vision he had for the Institute and Mother Nature. The current water storing dams across the farm, the greenery with coconut trees and the landscaping of the valley terrain of the hilly region was all his hard work during those crucial days. Muddenahalli campus was one of the first Sai campuses to introduce and implement Swami’s advice of having in house Goshala for meeting the pure milk needs for the children in the hostel. We should remember the immense services of Dwarkanath Sir in not only making the pure home procured milk requirement self sufficient, but also selling the milk to KMF society, Bandahalli for many years.
His enthusiasm and dedication started attracting the attention of seniors, including Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, who started molding him for bigger responsibilities. While around same time (1980’s), the school campus at Muddenahalli was growing with lots of construction work. He quickly learnt the intricacies of civil engineering and finances of building industry. Almost all the buildings built before 2011 has his hardships in the form of complete overseeing of both execution and stringent financial management of the projects. His nature of saving even smallest penny for the organization is a hard lesson to learn from one of the founding legends.
We want to narrate one small example of his leadership in the efforts for the growth of the Muddenahalli campus. It was 1981 summer holidays, while the auditorium (Sai Hrudhyam) was being built; many students had stayed back for the shramadhan (service) to help the construction, by then the biggest project of Muddenahalli which cost 18lacs. A group of 10 inspired students under Dwarkanath Sir’s direct motivation loaded the tractor with sand (for construction from a small valley near to current hill view stadium) in record 12 minutes, which is by all standards difficult for even the professional labor force. We relish this experience and extract energy from these inspirational 12 minutes all my life being a youngest member of the group (eldest being Dwarkanath Sir probably 25 years at that point).
The rich experience and expertise of his in all aspects of building construction, as you know later, made him the key instrument for Swami to entrust a big responsibility in HIS expanding mission of replicating and building the new school campuses. It is now a reality that, Dwarkanath Sir put his heart to devotedly complete this task in utmost meticulous and magnificent Swami loving and approving way in Gulbarga, Mudhol, Bijapur and Hassan.
Another unassuming role which Dwarkanath Sir took up diligently was filling the big void at Muddenahalli campus along with five to six key Thygajeevi leaders in 1982, when Swami in HIS Divine master plan surprisingly entrusted higher responsibility by commanding Murthyanna (Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, then secretary and warden of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva School, Muddenahalli) to reallocate to Puttaparthi. This key responsibility he continued to deliver becoming an important force and core policy making leader until 2011.
The another Karma Yogi aspect of Sir which was expressed in a vivacious but sanctified way is, his tireless efforts as one of the team leader for decoration of Bhagawan Baba’s birthday celebrations at Prashanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi for more than 20 years. If Surendra Sir was the concept provider for the glorious decoration theme, Dwarkanath Sir’s team executed this to the highest standards, which made our sweet lord Mother Sai overwhelmed. It was humbling to witness each and every year Swami, inspecting before the convocation (on 22nd evening) the intricate details of the decoration, when both Surendra Sir and Dwarkanath Sir (HIS instruments in this role) getting guidance from universal master, bringing last minute fine tuning of HIS creation (decoration). Dwarkanth Sir’s daunting energy, palpable enthusiasm and diligent endeavor to bring out pomp, yet a pious makeover of Prashanthi Nilayam for the most adoring celestial day for millions of devotees across the globe writes volumes of his devotion and dedication to Swami, the Avatar of the age.
He was an inspiring teacher, who encouraged students to unravel their hidden talent. With rich experience in teaching and administration, he was a naturally admired principal of Sri Sathya Sai Pre University College, Muddenahalli from 1999 to 2011. He has inspired and molded thousands of students who are now responsible citizens in various walks of life, across the globe.
The year 2011 will be remembered in coming years as a defining year in many aspects in Sai Calendar. When the world was still reeling with the shock of Swami leaving the mortal coil, as HIS divine plan the Mission continued and this is where the faith and conviction was put to test as all avatars have gone by.
Swami in HIS mystical and magical ways continued to command and guide Sai Mission. It was in the month of August 2011, Swami in HIS unfathomable way commanded Murthyanna to proclaim HIS will of setting up a Sathya Sai Educational Institution in rural part of Gulbarga. Swami, as always, meticulously gave timelines of the Bhoomipooja for School building to be in November 2011, School to start following academic year, June 2012 and inauguration of the School building to be in November 2012. Swami in HIS charismatic style named the School as Sri Sathya Sai Vidyaniketanam.
When the fact of Swami guiding in subtle form was still mysterious and baffling, HE, in HIS enigmatic style had given daunting time lines for the Gulbarga School Project. This is when your core conviction is tested and the deep faith is revealed. It was Dwarkanath Sir, who stood tall in this calling of the faith and conviction. He went by his heart and conveyed to Murthyanna to give him yet another new opportunity to serve Swami in HIS continued Mission. He was serving as Principal of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Pre University College and was drawing handsome government remuneration (College was under the ambit of government aid). He still had three years of service (before retiring), he resigned right away, sacrificed all the comforts for an undefined tiresome challenge in far away land with only bare amenities to live for the purpose of multiplying the Sathya Sai Educational Institutions. He plunged into sequence of actions, starting from looking out for the land to the demanding task of execution of the building work as willed and timed by Swami. The hardships in making of the building and the campus in less than 9 months with time and tide being against should be written in golden letters. In spite of all the commotion and maneuvering which happened right through, around him in the course of establishment of Swami willed institution, Dwarkanath Sir stood steadfast as a true instrument and contributed immensely in completing the Swami’s project. It is history now that all the three predictions of Swami (as always) happened in an immaculate timed way and magnificent imposing campus has already churned out three batches of students who have been provided value based education absolutely free of cost. Sri Sathya Sai Vidyaniketanam is now a complete institution with all amenities in place with more than 350 children being imparted SAI education. This complete surrendered responsibility of his to the continued Sai Mission (the first project which happened post April 2011) has for sure changed the history and course of the Sai Yuga. Dwarkanath Sir’s efforts and hard work made Swami very happy and in fact, let us all pay our obeisance to Sir, for he was chosen to receive the first manifestation of love (in the form a ring) from Swami in Sukshma Swaroopa in November 2012.
The good work of Dwarkanath Sir got him more responsibilities, which he endeavored in same zeal and focus. His contribution as the key leader in making of Sri Sathya Sai Premaniketanam, Bijapur campus and literally at the same time Sri Sathya Sai Anadanikethanam, Mudhol campus, makes one wonder the amount of energy and intent he adorned for Swami. Once all these three Institutions (Gulbarga, Mudhol and Bijapur) were efficiently operational, his long time prayer of contributing to building of an educational institute in his home district, Hassan was blessed by Swami. With more experience and prayers on his stride, he toiled through in the making of Sri Sathya Sai Sathyaniketanam, Hassan campus happen in record of less than 8 months from process of procuring land to starting the classes for students in this academic year (June 2016). This is a modern day miracle, an impossible undertaking which could only happen because of his prayers and hard work. He was respected Chairman of Sri Sathya Sai Sathyaniketanam, Hassan until he merged in Swami.
He was and will be an inspirational powerhouse, who led a life of proactive spiritual seeker with steady Service (Seva) as his mantra. He feared nothing to venture out once the command of Swami was conveyed to him.
The roles and responsibilities he took on himself, revitalizing his abilities in executing with precision perfection, in spite of most difficult circumstances and impossible probabilities is the biggest asset he leaves behind for us to emulate.
The only way we can convey our deep respects to this energetic, devoted selfless soul is by imbibing the values and strengths he adored and stood for in our daily lives and etch out our time and efforts in the roles for the betterment of the society. His resolute devotion to Swami and relentless dedication to Sai Mission is the legacy he leaves behind for us to carry forward. We, the Children for Sathya Sai, offer our respectful salutations with deepest reverence to this selfless legacy, Dwarkanath Sir.