CHILDHOOD STORIES – III
As Sathya′s parents wanted Him to have a high school education, it was decided that Sathya should go to Kamalapur and live with His elder brother Seshama Raju. Being a quiet, well-behaved boy, He soon grew to be a favourite with His teachers at the Kamalapur High School.
The scout master at this school was very eager to have Sathya in his troop. He tried to persuade Him to join as did the other children. At that time, Sathya had only one set of clothes–a shirt and one pair of shorts, and He took great care of them. Each day after returning from school He would wrap Himself in a towel and wash His clothes. Later He would iron them using a brass pot containing live pieces of coal. To set the creases right, Sathya would place the shirt and shorts under a heavy tin trunk for the night. Thus the clothes always looked clean and neat.
The scout group had to go to the Fair and Cattle Show at Pushpagiri, where they could do useful work such as supplying the people with drinking water, looking after the cleanliness of the place and restoring the lost children to their parents.
The camp fee was Rs.12/per boy. On the day the scout troop was to leave, Sathya who did not have the money pretended to have stomach ache and lay down. When the rest of the boys had left by bus, He got up and walked nine miles to Pushpagiri. Sathya then dedicated Himself to the task of inspiring His classmates to do selfless service by Himself setting an ideal example. A classmate called Ramesh knowing that Sathya did not have a scout suit wanted to gift Him one. But Sathya would not accept Ramesh′s gift and explained that giving gifts like that would spoil their friendship; that the true friendship must be from heart to heart and not based on giving and taking of material objects. Childhood stories When the time came to return, He quietly slipped out of the camp, walked the whole distance back again and nobody knew anything.
Thus we see that right from the childhood days, Swamiji was dedicated to removing the bad qualities from society and fostering the good qualities.
When Seshamaraju was later assigned the post of teacher of Telugu at the Uravakonda High School, Sathya went with him. At the school every teacher wanted to know more about the young boy, some out of veneration and some out of curiosity.
Sathya soon endeared himself to everyone not only at the school but in the town of Uravakonda as well. It was He who led the morning prayers before the classes commenced, and he seemed to inspire both teachers and students alike to perform their allotted tasks well.
Sathya′s outstanding musical, literary and dramatic talents soon caught the attention of His teachers. The teacher in charge of dramatics requested Sathya to write a play. Sathya embarked on the task very enthusiastically, and the play entitled “Cheppinattu Chesthara?” “Do deeds follow words?” was a great success. The theme as conveyed by the title is the failure of man to act according to his own advice given to others. Twelve year old Sathya Himself took the leading role which he played to perfection; thereby impressing upon His fellow students, teachers and the villagers that saying one thing and doing another is sheer hypocrisy. The play opened the eyes of the elders and it revealed Sathya′s farsightedness and enthusiasm for true education.