Pleased To Serve

Pleased To Serve
Originally published March 26, 2009

High school and college students are often criticized for their general attitudes about life. Charges of selfishness and self-absorbed behavior are frequently among the complaints. One image that has emerged over recent generations is that of a vacuous, self-indulgent, pleasure- and wealth-oriented bunch that is unaware of and unconcerned about what’s going on in the world around them.

For some that may be true, and, well, if the shoe fits, wear it. And, of course, they’ll always have plenty of adult company.

But many among the current crop of young people are bucking that stereotype, showing a genuine interest in politics, social justice and the fate of others that is perceived to have been missing to some extent in recent generations.

Frederick News-Post reporter Marge Neal’s March 20 story on “alternative spring break” clearly showed that you can’t paint an entire generation with one brush.

It seems that while a lot of their peers are partying out in places such as Daytona Beach, Fla., the Bahamas, Mexico and ever more exotic locales, some young people are choosing to tend to the needs of others as opposed to the desires of self.

Neal’s story recounted the spring break experiences of a number of local college students, including groups from Hood College and Mount St. Mary’s University. Rather than lying on the beach all day and partying all night for a week, these young people devoted their time and energy to their fellow man. They engaged in work such as tutoring and helping rebuilding houses. Some traveled to Florida, others to North Carolina and West Virginia.

While we have no doubt that college students who went the more traditional spring-break route had fun, we wonder how memorable a life experience their week will be. It appears from their comments that those who chose the alternative had fun, but their experience was also truly meaningful.

It’s arguable which group “enjoyed” itself more, the traditional spring-break crowd or the more altruistic ones. Ironically, it may well have been those who decided to spend their vacation in service to others. Helping other people is every bit as rewarding to those doing it as it is to those they’re helping — ask anyone who volunteers.

We hope that more college students will consider this kind of alterative next year at spring break. Otherwise, they may never discover what they’re missing.

As the Indian spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba succinctly put it: “The body has to be utilized for service to others. More bliss can be got from serving others than from merely serving oneself.”

Who doesn’t need a little more bliss in their lives?

Frederick News Post Reference

Pujya Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj Visits The Shri Sathya Sai Heart Hospital – Rajkot

Pramukh Swami Maharaj

Pramukh Swami Maharaj


Pujya Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj Visits The Shri Sathya Sai Heart Hospital – Rajkot

The head of the Swaminarayan mission, Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj visited the Shri Sathya Sai Heart Hospital at Rajkot.

Pujya Pramukh Swami met the Tustees Bros. Kanubhai Patel and Manojbhai Bhimani who took him around the whole hospital including the Operation theatres, ICUs etc. He was very pleased with the latest medical equipment in the hospital for diagnosing and treating even the most difficult cases. He then visited the wards and personally blessed all the patients there.

He told all those present there that He was very impressed with the care and love showered to the patients there by the devoted team of the Doctors and the staff.

Article in Gujarti (Translation in English below)

Pujya Shri Pramukh Visits Sathya Sai Hospital

Pujya Shri Pramukh Visits Sathya Sai Hospital


His Holiness Shri Pramukh Swami visits Sri Sathya Sai Hospital, Rajkot
Gujarat, India – Wednesday 29th June 2005

The most revered spiritual leader and head of Shri Swaminarayan Hindu Mission (BAPS), Pujya Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj, graced Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital, Kalawad Road, Rajkot with a visit last Sunday. The holy man saw for himself how this renowned establishment offers free facilities and services and was impressed by how it lives up to its ‘Service to Man is Service to God’ motto. He proceeded to give his personal attention to every section of the hospital and showered his blessings upon the medical staff, patients and members of the hospital trustee group.

Very expensive heart surgery and modern treatment is available at Sri Sathya Sai Hospital no cost – regardless of any ability to pay. Every patient is seen as ‘Narayana’ – God in human form.

His Holiness showed great interest in every aspect of the work being carried out and went through the administrative offices, operation theatre, Intensive Care Unit, and met those awaiting and undergoing treatment as well as those who had already been operated upon. This gave him an over all picture of the institution and its workings. He also met dignitaries and senior surgeons and showed how pleased and impressed he was with what he had seen and heard.

He then visited the Prayer Hall and offered flowers to the image of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, whose divine message has inspired the foundation of the hospital and other major social projects throughout India and, indeed, the world.

‘This auspicious visit by such a unique spiritual personality as Pramukh Swami Maharaj is truly momentous and an inspiration to do even more’ were the sentiments expressed by the Hospital Managing Trustee, Kanubhai Patel and Joint Managing Trustee, Manojbhai Bhimani.

Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj is the inspiration behind the creation of over 650 temples worldwide and heads an organisation which promotes social awakening, education and service to the community. Bochasanvasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha is a progressive and very active movement with several million followers throughout the world.