From Virar to Vittla

An engaging account by NRI Yuva-s Omkar and Naren Savkur from USA, who offered seva to their Beloved Swamiji by doing a detailed survey of the computer systems in all our institutions…     (March 2023)

We are Yuva college students from the USA, and we come from a family devoted to H.H.Swamiji, our revered Guruparampara and  our holy Chitrapur Math. We had a strong desire to perform some seva for the Math, but had multiple constraints. Our fluency in Konkani and Hindi languages is limited. Neither of us can speak Kannada or Marathi. We did not know many places or people in India. We also had limited free time due to college demands. We lacked familiarity with the rituals/puja practices and general workings of our Math. Would it be possible for us to do any seva under these circumstances? Thanks to H.H.Swamiji’s Grace, an opportunity arose during  the winter holidays  in our college, in December, 2022.  

Shri Chitrapur Math consists of many institutions and each institution independently operates multiple computer technology components. However, as technology is not infallible, it becomes necessary to conduct periodic checks to make sure everything is functioning properly and proper measures are in place to prevent service interruptions. As such, our team went to several of the Math’s institutions to take notes of the use and condition of the computer hardware devices. Computer related technology is our passion and motivated us to do seva in this niche area. 
At each location, we checked all IT -related hardware including computers, printers, scanners, UPS, CCTV, modems, routers and servers. We used a checklist to collect details such as the processor speed, RAM, hard drive space, condition of antivirus, frequency of backups, internet speed, operating systems, licenses of software and history of device repairs. These observations served as our basis for determining the changes that need to be implemented. 

Our journey began at Swami Parijnanashram Educational and Vocational Centre in Virar. We were provided a history of the institution as well as a tour, while we conducted our work. Next, we did the same at Khar Math in Mumbai. We continued on to Karla Math and the two nearby Karla Education Trust schools, where we performed the same checks in the administration offices and the computer labs. We then visited the Mangaluru Math and the five Saraswat Education Society schools spread across the two campuses - Mangaluru and Kotekar. Then we went to Shirali and did similar analysis at Shri Chitrapur Math and the Srivali School. In Shirali. We also checked computers being used in the goshala at Kembre, at the Swami Parijnanashram Hand Made Paper Products Plant (HMPP), at the woman empowerment centre - the Samvit Sudha office and its distribution unit, in addition to all departments of Shirali Math where computers are used. We followed this with a visit to the Guruprasad High School at Mallapur. Our journey concluded at the Anantheshwar temple in Vittla. As such, our journey has been dubbed “From Virar to Vittla.” 

At every point along our journey, we were treated with abundant hospitality and compliance with our requests. There was excellent cooperation and support from the managers, administrators, teachers and staff members. Math offices and other places that housed the devices were opened for us even on holidays and weekends. We did not face any language issues or logistical problems. Swamiji’s Grace and Benevolence allowed our work to be done smoothly and efficiently. We now have a good idea of the work of our Math, especially in religious activities, children’s education and social work for woman empowerment. 

Our survey indicated a few areas needing improvement. These were given to the SCM IT Committee for their consideration. We are confident that our seva will help to improve the IT systems in many of our Math’s institutions. 

Towards the end, when we placed a summary of our findings at the Lotus Feet of H.H. Swamiji, we received Their Love and Blessings in abundance. We were amazed that our Swamiji spoke to each one of us at our level and all of us had this Divine Experience in Their Presence. Swamiji permitted us to sing bhajan-s in the kutir and also enjoyed those bhajan-s very much. We realized during this seva that Gurushakti finds a way for us to achieve our goals despite obstacles - real or perceived. Our hearts are filled with pride that we belong to such an illustrious, noble and progressive samaja, which does so much for the spiritual growth and happiness of our Bhanap community and also of the local villagers in and around Shirali. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our grandparents – Shri Suresh and Smt Sheila Rao Savkur and Shri Mangesh Chickermane for their love and encouragement over the entire duration of this seva project. They arranged for our stay, served us delicious food and provided transportation for us to get to all the Math’s institutions.

In conclusion, we benefited a lot while completing this seva project and we thank our Guru for providing us this opportunity. As an added bonus, we also got to connect with our Amchi roots and saw the places where our ancestors had lived and worked. We hope that our experience will inspire other Yuva-s and elders in USA to utilize their education, experience and talent to perform seva for the Math and not worry about shortcomings or obstacles perceived to stand in the way. The opportunities for seva will appear once we make up our minds and our Beloved Swamiji’s Grace will take care of the rest.