Amrutasya Setu - The bridge of immortality, a volunteer Satsang which has been taking place continuously on every Sunday under the guidance of Swami Bodhamayananda ji Maharaj. It is bringing out new perspectives on volunteering and service. Many Elite people across the nation have been inspiring and sharing their knowledge gained though immense work and service at various centers of Ramakrishna Math & Mission. This is rare and an unique opportunity for everyone to realize that "Where there is a will, there is a way".
This Sunday, 3rd Oct 2021, the VIHE Hyderabad team had an opportunity to listen to Respected Shri Gautham Puttana, a volunteer at the Ramakrishna math Bangalore center. Gautham ji is an IT Head by profession and a devoted volunteer by passion. The satsang started with prayer and chanting of "Vishnu Sahasra Nama" followed by meditation on the Holy Trio which charged up the minds of participants with thoughts of serenity. Followed by which, Gautham ji shared his valuable experience with everyone. Gautham ji gave a quick recap of all the previous sessions taken by different volunteers in form of power capsules which are:
Shri Anjan Kumar ji on discipline and how to prioritize activities based on importance.
Shri Seshadri ji on Time management through managing ourselves, always offering our work to Lord/Ista Devatha at the beginning, in between and at the end and Strive for excellence.
Shri Muralidharan ji on Swadhyaya (self-learning) leading to realization of Lord within, Service to humanity and studying the lives of Holy Trio in small groups.
Soon after that, Gautham ji shared his turning point in life, otherwise which, his life would have been very different. The incident took place in his childhood, during his school days, when he used to visit his school in the mornings and used to imbibe the western ideas because the school being a Christian missionary. Evenings, during the weekends, he used to visit Ramakrishna math (Bangalore) to attend Vivekananda Balaka Sangha (VBS) classes to learn moral values which contributed to the eastern ideas. Slowly, Gautham ji was interested take up volunteering at Math, but that was little difficult as he used to attend only during the weekends and the duties were given to students who used to attend the daily VBS classes.
One day, he and his friend decided to talk with "Swami Purushottamananda ji Mj", then head of the Math about his interest to volunteer. Both approached Swamiji and expressed about their intention. The Swami listened to them and did not utter a word. He asked them to wait and informed that he would return. Gautham ji and his friend waited for a long time and could see that one after the other, all the chores were going on, like cleaning the floor to begin the daily bhajan classes, students entering the hall and so on. To their despair, one of the volunteer head said that Swami would be taking class now and he advised them to leave as it would take time. But Gautham ji was very stern and wanted to meet the Swami at any cost which reminded him of a story about dedication and service of a young boy who saved the whole village with his will to save people from floods. His friend insisted that they should leave the place now as it is too late. Even then, Gautham ji was patient and determined to stay back which he now explains that it was the "Test of time". The test of patience, dedication and commitment without which he could not have reached so far.
Finally, Swami Purushottamananda ji Mj came to meet these young kids and gave a bright smile seeing them wait at the same place. The Swami was very happy and approved them to volunteer. From then, Gautham ji never looked back. Starting with volunteering at the Chappal stand, then at the bicycle stand, then at the temple and eventually becoming an event manager and a director for events at the Math. He even explored his passion which was "The love for Theater". He directed more than 40 plays at Math for major events with purity, love and dedication. One such play was during the year 1994 - the celebration of Swami Vivekananda's Historic Chicago speech, Gautham ji had to present a skit on the "Divine Leela of Shri Ramakrishna - Swami Vivekananda". He put his whole heart and dedication into play wherein, he decided to practice Brahmacharya and austerity until the play finished which awestruck the audience in the satsang. He shared an incident where he had to lie that he is going to Shabarimalai temple to skip client visit as the skit date was right during the same time. Nevertheless, Sir turned the lie to truth by visiting the Shabarimalai temple during same dates the coming year.
Gautham ji mentioned that “Many are called, but few are chosen” as volunteers at the Ramakrishna math. It is a divine call which one should not deny. One needs three things to achieve a goal:
Capability or Skill
He quoted that as volunteers we have this wonderful opportunity before us and we have the skills as well, what is lacking is the interest to take time and offer service. He added that 360 degrees view is necessary to mold ourselves and that can be ably done by volunteering. Gautham ji is a live example on how everyone can efficiently manage professional, personal and spiritual life with devotion and dedication. Listening to him, all the participants were inspired and got to know "The art of possible." We can do our best to volunteer at every walk of life and have the capability to serve people and thereby serve the Nation.
VIHE will continue to conduct Amrutasya Setu every sunday and everyone who are interested to change their lives for a higher purpose are Welcome!