Providing Hope And Healing To Heart Patients

Providing Hope And Healing To Heart Patients
Dr Michael Nobel, chairman of the Appeal of the Peace Prize Laureats Foundation, had said, ‘I have never seen anything like this on earth. It is a wonderful feeling, far removed from the national healthcare in the West, which does not seem to work very well. The impressive thing about the hospital created by Bhagwan Sathya Sai Baba is the combination of the three aspects: state-of-the-art technology, free medical treatment and the healing powers of his presence instilling in the patient the firm belief that he or she will get well.’

The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences’ super-specialty hospital in Whitefield, near Bangalore, offers free heart surgeries to people from all walks of life. Till date this hospital has conducted nearly four lakh surgeries, according to hospital staffers, who point out that there is no billing counter here.

The hospital’s mission is to ‘provide high quality medical care absolutely on a no cost basis to all irrespective of caste, creed, religion, and financial status in an overall spiritual environment which recognises the patient as a human being and not as a diseased entity’.

Each and every patient receives the same treatment
The hospital is situated on a sprawling 53-acre complex. A large number of patients, young and old, rich and poor, get their heart problems treated free of cost. Some treatments would cost Rs 4 lakh in other medical facilities.

Y Arvind, manager of public relations at the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, says that the list of patients is endless. ‘We have patients throughout the day and I must tell you that we are proud of our waiting list. We meet every patient and we never promise what we cannot deliver. But we only deliver the best here. The doctors meet and evaluate each and every patient who comes here. The cases are taken up for treatment depending on their urgency,’ he added.

Every patient receives the same treatment here, free-of-cost. ‘The idea is that each patient is at the same level and if you do not pay for your treatment, then everyone is on par,’ explains Arvind proudly.

The hospital runs on donations from various philanthropists and devotees
The hospital is equipped with a fully automated information system which takes care of the patient data. The hospital also maintains a manual record of the data.

The super specialty hospital, with a built up area of 3,54,000 sq feet, houses 333 beds, eight operation theatres, six intensive care units, two cardiac cath labs and a 24-hour emergency unit. This state-of-the-art hospital, with a dedicated team of expert doctors, is also remarkable due to its Indo-Saracenic architecture and magnificent gardens.

How does the hospital dispense free medical treatment to so many patients? All the funds for the hospital come from the medical trust, which in turn receives the money in the form of donations from various philanthropists and devotees of Sathya Sai Baba. Arvind explains that on an average, the hospital authorities spend Rs 50 lakh a month on surgeries, treatment, maintenance cost and staff salary.

Not medical counseling, but patient counseling
‘We are able to manage this thanks to resource optimisation. For example, we don’t waste paper. It is compulsory for anyone using a note to use both sides of it and not throw it away after writing on only one side,’ Arvind explained.

The doctors have been instructed not to conduct medical counseling, but to conduct patient counseling for every patient. The doctors draw up an emotional profile of the patient to figure out the route of his emotional imbalance. This understanding helps the doctors in keeping their patients calm, and studies have proven that a calm mind helps heal a patient better.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba‘s first initiatives in the field of medical care began with the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Prasanthi Nilayam, which was inaugurated on October 4, 1956 as a 12-bed facility for serving the poor in Puttaparthi and the surrounding villages.

Free healthcare to all patients
The initiative was aimed at giving free healthcare to all the patients seeking treatment at the hospital. Soon, the hospital began to attract patients from all across Anantapur, adjoining districts and other states. Over the years, the SSSGH grew from a single room dispensary to a sizeable general hospital with 90-bed capacity, treating patients suffering from various aliments. The Out Patient Department in the hospital now handles nearly 600 patients daily on an average.

In 1976, a second hospital, Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Whitefield was inaugurated by Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Bangalore. He also founded the Sri Sathya Sai Medical Trust in September 1991, to set up super-specialty hospitals to provide quality medical care to needy patients irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

State-of-the- art medical care
The first venture of the Sri Sathya Sai Medical Trust, towards providing high-tech tertiary medical care, was in the form of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi in November 1991. The institute provides state-of-the-art tertiary medical care absolutely free of cost to all those who came to its portals. This super specialty hospital treats diseases related to cardiology, urology and ophthalmology.

After the success of the super specialty venture in Andhra Pradesh, the government of Karnataka wanted Baba to start another super specialty hospital in Bangalore and offered 53 acres of land to build a super specialty hospital in its suburbs. The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Bangalore was inaugurated on January 19, 2001.

Rediff News Reference

Twin Towers Of Healing

Sathya Sai Baba And The Twin Towers Of Healing

Sathya Sai Baba And The Twin Towers Of Healing


Twin Towers Of Healing
by Dr. A.N. Safaya
Sanathana Sarathi Special Edition

Desire to have knowledge about the Divine and its manifestations including the phenomenon of life in the living has been in the human mind since the beginning of human intellectual evolution. Along side it, there has been the urge for the practice of the art of healing the afflictions and injuries of the human form. The two have been together since eternity. The Vedas, which present the most ancient documentation on spirituality, amply exemplify the togetherness of thoughts on Divinity and the art of healing.

The Principles of Arogya
It is therefore but natural that Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba emphasised the importance of human body and mind remaining in a state of good health to achieve the desired results when He initiated the Sai Seva Mission for the service of mankind. Advocating the importance of the awareness of Divinity and the practice of the principles of spirituality, He emphasises the need for the prevention of bad health and avoiding unhealthy personal hygiene and unhealthy lifestyle. Every now and then, Bhagavan keeps on laying stress on the observance of good and healthy principles of personal hygiene, food, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle.

Bhagavan advocates the golden principles of Arogya (absence of ill health). Seva Dal volunteers of Sri Sathya Sai Samithis all over the country are spreading the awareness of these principles effectively and diligently. Under this programme of awareness, society is going on a steady march, at grass root level, towards a state of positive health for its members. This is how Sai Health Mission took its first step towards Arogya with the message that it was the foremost duty of man to keep his body healthy.

Sri Sathya Sai General Hospitals
The second step in the direction of treatment of disease, once it had occurred, was the establishment of two Sri Sathya Sai General Hospitals, one at Prasanthi Nilayam and other at Whitefield, Bangalore. These two general hospitals look after the patients of all general ailments, conduct tests, give treatment, drugs and do surgical interventions completely free of charge. Nearly one crore patients have been benefited by the services of these two hospitals since their inception years ago.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthi Nilayam
The third step was to establish the twin towers of Sai Health Mission in the form of two Sri Sathya Sai Institutes of Higher Medical Sciences-one in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh and the other at Whitefield, Karnataka.

On the occasion of His Birthday on 23rd November 1990, Bhagavan Sri Satya Sai Baba made a momentous declaration of establishing a Super Speciality Hospital in Puttaparthi for highly specialised treatment of diseases of heart, kidney and eyes. As a consequence of this Divine Sankalpa of Bhagavan, Institute of Higher Medical Sciences was conceptualised, planned and built in a record time of six months. It was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India, Sri P.V. Narasimha Rao on 22nd November 1991 and started functioning fully from that day. It has never looked back. Established in an architecturally and aesthetically beautiful building, which sits majestically in the centre of its sprawling lush green lawns, it lodges the specialities of cardiology, cardio-thoracic surgery, urology, ophthalmology, anaesthesiology, laboratory medicine, blood bank, bio-medical and general engineering services. The staff working in these departments is hand picked, well chosen with care and dedicated to the service of ailing patients. The equipment used in diagnosis and treatment of the patients is the latest and state of the art. All the parameters of functioning of the Super Speciality Hospital in all its branches are highly satisfactory and of international standard. It is highly popular, well renowned and well known all over the world, and is open for treatment to all, irrespective of the distinction of caste, creed, colour, religion or country. All the diagnostic investigations, laboratory tests and the treatment including surgery are done completely free of cost to one and all, rich and poor!

Service with Love and Humility
All this workload is shouldered by the hospital creditably and completely free of cost to the enormous number of patients it has served so far. All the treatment is given by the dedicated staff of doctors, nurses and technicians to each and every patient with humility and love, amidst spiritual environment, with the name of God on their lips. The hospital maintains very high standard of cleanliness, purity and discipline with the help of nearly 100 Seva Dal volunteers working round the clock.

Seva Dal volunteers are the dedicated devotees of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and come by turn from every State of the country under a laid down scheduled programme. They dedicate their Seva at the Divine Feet of Bhagavan Baba and work in the hospital in honorary capacity for varied intervals of time of few days to few weeks or months. This is an excellent example of community participation in the healthcare programme. Middle level management and the care of the equipment including its preventive maintenance is done by a group of Technical Officers who are highly skilled graduates and postgraduates from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, a deemed university. Their dedication and diligence is responsible for nearly 100 per cent uptime of all the equipment of the Institute. This Institute of excellence has developed within typical rural environment and has been functioning in a purely rurai setting since its inception. Of course, now an airport and a railway station have come up in close proximity, a great boon for the patients and their attendants. Patients of concerned specialities come from all over the country and are examined fully. Urgent cases are given prompt medical attention and those who can wait are put on waiting list and are called when their turn comes. Attendants of patients have a dormitory facility with a canteen attached.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield
Bhagavan Sri Sathya SaiBaba’s infinite love and compassion for the suffering masses concretised in the establishment of yet another Super Speciality Hospital at Whitefield, Bangalore. It is, in fact, a second Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences. The Institute was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India, Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 19th January 2001. It is functional since then. The Institute is situated in a fully developed urban-cum-industrial setting, in fact, next door neighbour being the world famous International Technology Park. The palace-like architecture of the huge hospital building is breathtakingly impressive. This white brilliant jewel of a building sits pretty in the emerald green lawns surrounding it. It lodges the super specialities of cardiac sciences and neurosciences with all of their necessary support services. It has a bed strength of 333 which is looked after by highly dedicated, well qualified and experienced staff. Like the Institute of Higher Medical Sciences at Prasanthi Nilayam, this Institute also gives international standard treatment to its patients for the diseases of heart and brain completely free of charge. Patients are served by the staff, doctors, nurses and technicians with love, understanding and sympathy in keeping with Bhagavan’s principles of loving selfless service.

The hospital is equipped with latest, state-of-the-art equipment; some of the systems for diagnosis and treatment are made available to patients for the first time in the country. A bigger team of Technical Officers keeps the equipment of the hospital in a state of perfect functioning at all times with practically no down time. They are supported by the Biomedical and General Engineering Departments. Though not connected directly with the treatment of patients, the workers of the support departments have thorough technical experience and knowledge to keep the hospital infrastructure and support services in ideal state of functioning in a manner which should serve as a model to other hospitals of the country.

The data and the indices of patient care are comparable to the data available from any other hospital at international level.

Patient Counselling Service
A unique feature in the patient care process of the two Institutes is the Patient Counselling Service. This service has been introduced as a model project in Super Speciality Hospital at Whitefietd. The consultants of the treating department of the Institute keep the patient under health surveillance after he is discharged from the hospital with the help of the volunteers of Sai Organisation.

The counselling activities cover all the three phases of the hospital-patient contact period, that is, the pre-hospital phase, the hospital phase for which the patient is admitted for surgery or treatment and the post-hospital phase after discharge of the patient from the hospital. This arrangement ensures that the counselling continues at the locality of the patient’s residence also. Counselling to every patient also includes spiritual counseling and offering suggestions on issues like faith, prayer, meditation and control of emotional stress, etc. Such a comprehensive counselling care is not only disease and person specific but is also holistic, and amounts to almost emotional adoption of the patient with a firm promise of help for his ailment. This is a distinct feature of the functioning of Sai Health Mission. The system is in operation in the State of Karnataka at present and is in the process of being extended to all other States of the country.

Twin Towers
Our country has incomparably large population and has equally huge incidence of disease and ill health. We have no illusion that these Twin Towers of Healing will treat all the patients of the diseases of heart, brain, kidney and eyes and will wipe the tears of all suffering patient population. No, it will help only a few – a drop in a big ocean! But, these Twin Towers of Healing will serve as models for establishing such Institutes all over the country and all over the world. Such centres will provide state-of-the-art medical treatment through dedicated staff with love, understanding and compassion, free of cost and without any restriction of caste, creed, colour and country, like these two Institutes provide to every patient everyday.

A Conversation with Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Baba


A Conversation with Sri Sathya Sai Baba

The following conversation between a devotee and Sathya Sai Baba took place in Prasanthi Nilayam many years ago and was first published in an early issue of the Sanathana Sarathi, the official ashram magazine.

Devotee: Swami! The world is very cruel to me.

Sathya Sai Baba: That is its nature. The purpose of the world is frustration; it has to engender need. When the need is strong enough, the individual seeks fulfilment.

Devotee: And fails!

Sathya Sai Baba: Only when he seeks fulfilment without! Within him, he can get it. The within is accessible always; it is ever responsible. There is pain only so long as attachment for outer forms remains. Ultimate relief from pain can come only with the loss of ego, the neutralisation of that which reacts to something as pain and something else as pleasure, whose memory, whose conditioning, helps to recognise the dualities of joy and grief.

Devotee: But the world, Swami?

Sathya Sai Baba: The world is pain. Expect nothing from the world but that. I willed the totality of your conditioned existence to be pain, in order to draw you to me.

Devotee: Which I can, at best, only hope to attain.

Sathya Sai Baba: God asks for neither hope nor despair. They are subject to relativity. Universal Being is beyond both hope and despair, both certainty and doubt. It knows no lingering in its conclusions. It is ever flowing, in all directions, and in none of them.

Devotee: What then shall be my direction?

Sathya Sai Baba: Take what works today for today. What works tomorrow for tomorrow. One day at a time, each day for itself, each moment for itself, without a past, without memory, without conclusions.

Devotee: Conclusions?

Sathya Sai Baba: Yes. Conclusions bind; they press on the mind. The newborn baby is not confined to conclusions. All conclusions enslave. Most men are slaves to the conclusions into which they have fallen.

Devotee: Does that mean I have to give up my practice of concentration?

Sathya Sai Baba: The question that bothers you is one of fixity. You tried to fix your thought and attention on a word and later on a form, but you discovered that nothing lasts, that everything has to change. But I tell you; awareness can remain, even when form subsides, even when the word melts away.

Devotee: I find it difficult to hold my attention on form or word.

Sathya Sai Baba: Because when you try to meditate, the very trial invites the success-failure conflict onto the scene. You say to yourself, it is good to meditate on this and not that, or to meditate on that is wrong or foolish. Practise choicelessness; no objective, no intention. Be yourself. Choose no particular form, for all are equally His. Choose no particular word or sound, for all are His.

Devotee: I am often tossed between contradictory beliefs.

Sathya Sai Baba: Contradictions are inevitable. It is the very nature of this world and of the mind. But you can choose, either to be buffeted endlessly by the apparent contradictions or to remain in the calm centre of the cyclone. This is the problem of all problems, the problem of peripheral or central being.

Devotee: The circumference or the centre, the rim or the hub of the wheel?

Sathya Sai Baba: Yes. The hub is calm, steady, unmoved. But the mind will be drawn along the spokes, the objective desires, to revolve over mud and stone, sand and thorns. It will not believe that it can get bliss from the centre, rather than from the circumference, without undergoing a rough journey over turbulent terrain.

Devotee: Ultimately, it means the conquest of the mind?

Sathya Sai Baba: Learn to let all the conflicts spawned by the mind play themselves out, and cancel each other out. Be the witness to the holocaust. The ultimate solution to the conflict is not decision or even choice, but passive being. Dare to remain inconclusive. See the endless quandaries of the mind as a divine leela, God’s sport, as the natural function of the bundle of desires called mind. Do not believe in mind; do not rally to its assertions and appetites. Watch the mind from a distance; do not get involved in its tumblings and turnings. Then everything becomes insignificant. When everything recedes into meaninglessness, you are in the hub, in equanimity.

Devotee: Swami, you are the hub, the spokes and the rim.

Sathya Sai Baba: Do not be concerned with who I am! Concern yourself with who you are and how you can be ever aware of that truth. Do not be a willing captive of the endless stratagems of the mind. Abstain from all that draws you into its web. I will lead you, if you rely on me. The alternatives of the world will not bring you happiness, for the mind, which revels in alternatives, is but a will-of-the-wisp, flitting before your vision. I do not judge you for what is never yours, really. Your imperfection is no obstacle for me.

Devotee: I confess that I have not always observed the rules of conduct of the Sathya Sai Organisation.

Sathya Sai Baba: Your mind keeps asking for rules. But when you get the rules, you find you cannot keep them. Rules engender rigidity, they force. They do not bloom out of love or spread love. There is always a way of doing a thing without the strain of a rule. See how unperturbed I am with your restlessness! I live thus, so that I may afford a lesson for you to learn.

Devotee: I am restless, Swami, because I yearn for rest and do not get it.

Sathya Sai Baba: It is your reaction to restlessness that is bad, not the restlessness itself. Restlessness is only the rise and fall of a wave on the ocean that you are. Nothing matters, so long as the depths are secure. Success is not important: failure does not matter. The river of eternity is flowing ever into the ocean of the Supreme Will.

Devotee: How long am I to be torn apart from that Supreme Will?

Sathya Sai Baba: You are a fraction of that Supreme Will. That is why you are afflicted with the hunger to seek It and to merge in It and to find fulfilment and bliss thereby. Turning to the world for solace and sustenance to appease that hunger has been tried by countless generations, including your own, but the hunger is gnawing still.

Devotee: What then is the proper reaction to the attractions of the world?

Sathya Sai Baba: Let go. Don’t cling. Be still. Establish yourself in the homelessness of the mind; physical homelessness will not earn the victory. There are many spiritual aspirants still caught in the coils of greed, envy, pride and power seeking. They have not escaped from their homes. They have built prisons around themselves. I describe homelessness of the mind as mind abiding nowhere.

Devotee: And wandering everywhere?

Sathya Sai Baba: Do not exclude anything. Be the witness of everything. The exclusive cannot endure. God is all. Your restlessness came from exclusion, the pressure exerted by the excluded into the area from which it was excluded. All is God; how can you push God out of His Domain? Your mind concludes that the cause for the restlessness is whatever concerns it at the time. The actual cause is not that. You limit God by your assumptions, hence the restlessness. For you too are divine, and your reality protests against that limitation.

Devotee: Swami! Sometimes I feel so sad that I am so strange, so different in habits from the rest of those that come to you for succour.

Sathya Sai Baba: If your path contrasts entirely with those around you, believe that it is my will for you. Every way is my way and ways seemingly indirect may be the most direct for some spiritual seekers. For me there are no impossible cases, no incorrigible cases. Practise choicelessness as hitherto prescribed. Choicelessness is constant contentment.

Questioner: Swami, I am addicted to tea drinking, which hurts me. How can I stop this practice?

Sathya Sai Baba: Heaven is not refused to those who drink tea! A rajasic person is rendered hyperactive by tea, but to an invalid it is a welcome lift. But do not adore tea as the only reality. Now with regard to these habits that have gripped you, there are two methods by which you can discard them. The first is deprivation, denial. This can yield only temporary success. When one’s determination relaxes, the habit reasserts itself and it becomes difficult to resist. The second method is to become so absorbed in something far more pleasing that the habit falls off by itself. Remember, what is transient is not important. What is important is eternal. My prescriptions are varied; they differ from person to person, from stage to stage, even in the case of the same person. All prescriptions work. Let people come to me through Bhajan, through Japa, through Meditation, through Mantras, through Tantra or Seva ­ as I ordain. Every one will come to me; everyone has to come to me. There are no exceptions.

Devotee: We rely on your grace Swami, we yearn for it. Make us aware of it.

Sathya Sai Baba: I never asked you to earn me. I want only that you should need me. Your path is not one of merit. Bring the recurring desires of your mind to me, every time they emerge. They cannot shock me, for I willed them! Bring me your confusion, your fear, your craving, your anxiety, your inability to love the world, your hesitation to serve, your jealousy, all the deficiencies that defy your spiritual disciplines.

Devotee: How are we to do seva if we feel the urge to do so? What if the urge is absent?

Sathya Sai Baba: There are many ways to serve the world. You can serve, if not actively, at least by your serenity. Everyone need not do all things. Your Western heritage reveres active work. But if your being tends towards serenity and solitude, take it as the best. Do not be sorry for it. Only a small minority can delight in serenity and remain still. God has willed it so, otherwise, how could the world function? If stillness is your destiny, dare to be so. If you are a recluse, be a recluse, but a recluse with me. You may not be a saint, but you can peacefully be nothing. Let each be as he is, remembering, however, his source and his reality. None is as he is but for me.

Devotee: I have yet much to learn.

Sathya Sai Baba: You wish to learn from me. Well, if you are preoccupied by the body’s needs, by the arrangements for its travelling, its accommodation and the food it demands, time will fly. That student learns best and fastest who does not spend his time constantly shifting from one classroom to the next. You will learn everything worth knowing in my classroom. I will expose you to all states of being, so that you may learn to rest in me in all of them. There are no insurmountable obstacles to me; there are no pre-requisites for me. I am unconditional.

Devotee: But you are absent so often and away for so long at your headquarters.

Sathya Sai Baba: Always, at every time, at every place, I am where you need me. All things without are subject to the limitation of time and space, to the material laws of Nature. My outer form is no exception! If you would perceive my physical form, it must come within the range of your gaze, so position yourself so that you can see it. And even then, it may not gaze at you. But, I am omnipresent! The limitations of the body and the outer senses do not hold for the inner vision. Therein, you can see me at any time and any place and receive darshan. The outer vision is purposely insufficient, instantaneous, transitory, casual, so that you may crave for and accomplish the inner darshan. If I have separated you from my physical image off and on, it was only to bring you to me and to establish my presence within you. That alone will replenish you and refresh you, I know. None of my absences was a rejection or rebuke. So far as you are concerned, I intended them all. And, always, I willed that you return to me.

Law And Justice

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Law And Justice

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

Justice Dinakaran is a Judge of the Madras High Court. A scholar well versed in law, he recently wrote an article in a leading national daily entitled, Law and Justice. The article was supposedly secular but since it touched, unknowingly perhaps, a few basic aspects of Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings, we thought it might be useful to bring it to your attention.

Justice Dinakaran’s point is essentially the following. There is a thing called Law, consisting of rules laid down by Society, by due process of course, such as enactment by duly constituted legislative bodies. People are expected to follow the Law and when there is a breach, the Law is “administered” through the instrumentality of the Court. However, the Law is not supposed to be applied mechanically, but with human considerations, as Shakespeare points out powerfully in Merchant of Venice. In this context, Justice Dinakaran makes the following important observations:

Most of the legal rights and wrongs are relative to time and place. “A nuisance,” said Justice Sutherland, “may merely be a right thing in a wrong place like a pig in the parlour instead of in the barnyard.”

  • Justice means nothing else than conformity of the law of nature. Human law is subject to it, and if in any point it is directly contrary to the Law of Nature, it would no longer be law but a corruption of law.
  • The excellence of Justice consists precisely in the fact that it is compounded of the truth, the good, and the beautiful. Truth is the foundation of justice. Goodness is the end and beauty constitutes its essential quality.
  • Human law is a rivulet that flows from natural law, which, in turn flows from the Eternal Law.
  • Modern man has turned liberty into self-will and licence, which he has tried to justify with his marvellous powers of reasoning. In truth, the mind of modern man is severely blinded by the cobwebs of false reasoning and trivialised knowledge.
  • Times change, customs alter. But the history of mankind continues to testify to some constant and unchanging ideals, one of which is the concept of justice predicated upon humanitarian considerations.

Well, that in brief is the essence of what Justice Dinakaran wrote. What attracted our attention to his article were his references to 1) Eternal law, 2) the origin of “human law” in Eternal Law, and 3) Truth, Goodness and Beauty. All these have strong echoes in the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba, and that is what we would now like to discuss.

Sathya Sai Baba says that the human being is an Embodiment of the Divine Atma – in fact in earlier years He would always begin His Discourses with the word Divyatmaswaroopalara, which means exactly that. If we all are the Embodiments of the Atma, then it stands to reason that the actions expected of us ought to be in conformity with the nature of the Atma. Stated differently it means that our actions must be Selfless, Truthful, Righteous, Helpful and Compassionate, full of Love etc. We might loudly protest that all this is fanciful and not possible in this day and age. That is a different matter. The fact is that just as one expects a King or the Prime Minister to behave responsibly and with dignity, and not as a joker, serious pursuit of the Spiritual Path places on us the responsibility of ensuring that our actions are as close to the nature of the Atma as possible.

Now one might ask: “That’s OK, but what has all that got to do with Justice Dinakaran’s article?” We are coming to that, but first, we would like to introduce two key words closely related to the concepts discussed by Justice Dinakaran. They are: Atma Dharma and Para Dharma.

Atma Dharma is the Primary Principle that must govern the actions of one and all, from the King to the pauper, at all times, and in all circumstances. Para Dharma, on the other hand, is a derivative of Atma Dharma, and essentially spells out what specifically must be done by whom and when. Thus, while the Primary Principle that governs all actions applies to everyone without exception, the Derivative Principle is not only individual-specific but also time- and situation-specific. All this may sound very mysterious and so let us recall some of the examples Swami Himself has mentioned.

We will start with Atma Dharma, which is the Primary Principle. This just says that every individual, without any exception, must always act to be in harmony with the intrinsic nature of the Atma. Thus, considerations based on selfishness, hatred, anger, jealousy, etc. are summarily excluded – no justification available whatsoever. We hope that is reasonably clear.

What about ParaDharma? It simply means Rules of Conduct that are individual-specific; and these rules must not contradict the basic principle or AtmaDharma. Let us illustrate by taking the case of a Teacher. To begin with, the Teacher must start from the Primary Principle and thus make sure that when he performs his duties as a Teacher, his actions are not tainted by selfishness, greed, etc. Remember, no one is allowed to be selfish, greedy, etc., and that includes the Teacher. For example, if the son of the Teacher is studying in his class, he must not show that son of his any special favour. Likewise, he must not make private deals with backward students, offering them private tuition for fees, and so on.

Turning to the ParaDharma aspect or the Derivative Principle, here the do’s and don’ts are specific to his role in Society as a Teacher. Thus, he must be punctual, he must come fully prepared for his class, he must be neatly dressed and set a good example of behaviour to his students, he must go out of the way to help students develop their character and so on. In short, he must feel all the time that he is serving Society and through Society, he is serving God.

It all boils down to this: For all humans without exception, there is oneUniversal Guiding Principle governing every action in all situations and at all times; and that is what Swami refers to as AtmaDharma. AtmaDharma is also what Krishna explained to Arjuna in the BhagavadGita.

Para Dharma is the manual, which decodes this Universal Guiding Principle and explains how individuals apply that to specific situations. By way of highlighting how Para Dharma is very practical and situation-specific, Swami says that a man who is the Chief Justice must appear in the Court in formal Legal Robes but when he is at home, he can wear casual clothes. Similarly, when a person is say fifteen, his Para Dharma is that of a student. At thirty when he is married and has a family, his ParaDharma is that of a householder. At sixty, his ParaDharma is that of a grandfather and so on. Same person, but with change of situation, the rules of conduct change. Though the ParaDharma might change, at all times and in all circumstances, the person must be truthful and follow the righteous path – that is how the core principle always operates.

In passing, it is interesting to note the following: In the Rama Avatar, Sathya SaiBaba demonstrated to the world through every one of His actions, how ParaDharma must always be in sync with AtmaDharma. Later, as Krishna , Swami explained to the world what precisely is meant by AtmaDharma. Finally, in the current Avatar as Sri Sathya Sai, Swami is not only giving us a continuous demo of Para Dharma in action but also explaining to us on every possible occasion, what Atma Dharma is all about.

Now how does all this connect up with Justice Dinakaran’s remarks? In the following way: The learned scholar is of course concerned mostly about Law and its administration through Courts, but when he says man-made laws must be subservient to the Eternal Law, what he is saying is that rules for Society must be in conformity with a basic and fundamental as well as universal and Eternal Moral Principle. Many of today’s problems arise because law makers have distanced themselves from Morality. Thus, as a French savant once wrote, what is forbidden by Morality is now permitted by Law. This is reflected by the observation of many a Judge of the Indian Court that though they know the defendant is guilty, the loopholes of the legal system do not permit them to convict the person.

Gandhi declared most emphatically that there is a Moral Law governing the Universe. Time there was when people intuitively accepted this. Thus, thousands of years ago when Emperor Manu codified for Indian Society the rules of conduct for people in various walks of life, the so-called Manu Dharma, he was essentially giving manuals of ParaDharma that were in full conformity with AtmaDharma. Similarly, when Bhishma on his deathbed instructed Yudhishtra on the rules of proper governance, he was merely laying out the ParaDharma of a ruler, in accordance with the general principles of AtmaDharma.

In summary, while Justice Dinakaran has called attention to the fallacies of the modern legal system on account of their failure to respect the Eternal Law, we go one step further to point out what Swami tells us, namely that these days, most of the actions of humans are flawed because they are not in tune with the basic inner nature of a human being, that is the latent Divinity. As long as this true nature is forgotten, everything that humans do, in all spheres of activity, from governance to science, from business to arts, will be driven by selfishness and hence likely to be dangerous to the individual, to Society and indeed to planet earth. Thus it is that Krishna told Arjuna to always align his actions to AtmaDharma; Swami also gives us that very same advice.

AtmaDharma is not any hairy fairy concept; it is very practical and very much needed in daily life. There is no need to discover it the hard way when it has been explained to us so many times in such pitiless detail. Do you agree?

With Love and Regards,

“Heart2Heart” Team

Happy! Happy!

Sathya Sai Baba Happy

Sathya Sai Baba Happy


Happy! Happy!

Last summer, Pete, my husband, told me of a scientific meeting in New Delhi in February. He had submitted a paper! It was accepted! Now we faced the problem of funding. We knew we would have difficulty paying two fares. Pete applied for grants from several institutions here in the U.S. No money was available. We had almost given up hope. The meetings were a month away. I was sitting meditating, one Sunday, when Sathya Sai Baba appeared to me. I was so overjoyed. He had not come to me for almost four years. Three days later we got a cable from India. Money was being sent for my husband’s fare! We had only three weeks to prepare! Many obstacles appeared and disappeared through Sathya Sai Baba’s Grace.

At last we were off! Or so we thought. Our flight out of Los Angeles was fogged in and we missed our connecting flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong. Luckily, we got an almost empty flight (the other flight was full) to Tokyo. After a day there we were booked on a late night flight to Hong Kong. It was the beginning of Chinese New Year and many people were going to Hong Kong. We had to wait a long time in the crowded airport. My “jet lag” was becoming extreme. I felt so tired and off balance. My stomach was in a knot. I felt worried about the children who were all ill when we left. In particular, I was worried about Jesse, our nine year old boy, who because of allergies, always gets severe croup when he gets ill. He had croup the day we left.

We continued on to Hong Kong and then on to New Delhi. As we were getting closer and closer to Delhi, I felt my heart soar. Mother India! I felt the tremendous blessings of the Rishis and Saints. Tears of joy ran down my cheeks. Soon I would see my Beloved.

When we arrived in Bangalore we telephoned our friend, who was the mother of my husband’s former secretary in N.Y., who was a Baba devotee. Yes! They had received our letter and were expecting us. In fact, they said, we were very lucky as Swami had just arrived at Whitefield the day before.

Can you imagine my extreme joy to step on the sacred earth of Brindavan? I had kissed that earth in my dreams because I know His Feet had walked on it. I look the dust on my heart and head. It was all exactly as in my dreams; the trees, the pandal, the beautiful red earth, the crowd of people. We took our places in the Darshan line. After about five minutes, some one came out of Swami’s house and mentioned for us to go in! I was so dumbfounded, my heart, I felt, would stop beating! My husband sat down in the foyer with the other men and I and my two lady companions sat opposite. We were looking toward the center door, expecting Swami to come through there. Instead, I felt a rush and turned, He had come through a side door right next to us!

He was like the sun. So radiant. Words cannot describe the sweetness of this precious moment, beholding Him for the first time. Smiling, He came straight to me and in His golden voice, softly, said, “Where is your husband?” I gave Him a garland of flowers and touched His precious feet and then pointed Pete out to Sathya Sai Baba. Swami went over to Pete, and as he touched Swami’s Feet, Swami gently patted him on the shoulder several times and said “So happy. So happy. Good man. Good man.” Then He told Pete to “sit, sit,” and that He would be back in a minute.

When He returned, He came to me and called Pete over to us. He then related very personal details about us, clearly showing He is with us every moment. He assured us about several personal matters. Then I showed Him a photo of our children. He said, “Yes. Yes. I know.” I told him how Jesse was sick often with allergies. Swami then said, “Don’t worry. I will take care.” Then He said, “I give Prasad” And with a gesture I was to see many times in the next two weeks, He materialized Vibhuti into my hands, my husband’s and the women we were with. “Eat! Eat!” He said, and we licked it off our fingers like small children lick cookie batter from their hands!

Then Sathya Sai Baba brought out a red basket filled with Vibhuti packets and filled our hands till it was overflowing! Swami then signed a book for Pete and one for me. As He was signing my book, I knelt down and kissed the Precious Foot of my Lord. Six years had passed since the moment I knew He would stand before me. My heart’s desire had been fulfilled. Swami said several times, “So happy, So happy,” to us and “Good man! Good man!” to my husband. Then He said, “be happy,” to both of us and turned and went out to give Darshan.

Pete had to see people in Bangalore the next day, who want him to work with them (Swami’s Grace again) and so he missed Darshan that day. The following day he had to return to Delhi to begin his teaching. He was planning to go to morning Darshan before he left, but found out the airlines had listed his flight time incorrectly. His flight left before morning Darshan.

So, you see, Sathya Sai Baba knew Pete only had that one chance to see Him. I stayed on for two weeks and came to Whitefield every day. Just the sight of Swami coming through the gate was enough. To have Him so near, to have Him walk right by us, to see His Precious Form; to see the Beloved Feet and Hand, to hear His sublime, sweet voice brought such joy. How grateful we are to have had this most precious experience. I pray to see Swami in every being I meet and in every thing I see. How blessed we are to have Swami’s precious teaching of Divine Love before us.

– Mrs. Pete Engel, California

Sanathana Sarathi, August 1979

Reference

The Divine Call From Sathya SaiBaba

Sathya Sai Baba Materialization

Sathya Sai Baba Materialization


The Divine Call From Sathya SaiBaba

When I thought of it, it was really an impossible task to bring my mother, an octogenarian, to the Abode of Supreme Peace and Love, from the distant Himalayan land of Sikkim. But no task remains impossible once His Divine Grace is showered in abundance. A comment passed by a close friend of mine is still vivid in my memory: “You should have taken your mother earlier. Now it seems to be too late for the journey because of her advanced age and ailing health and it may not be possible for her to travel. You may consider it as impossible a task as trying to fill a bamboo cane basket with water.” This in fact hurt my feelings since my dear old mother had been all the time wishing and praying to find refuge at His Lotus Feet in Prasanthi Nilayam for the last five years. Yet I did not lose heart but went on yearning and cherishing like a good optimist with all my unwavering faith in the Divine Grace of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. I had given up pessimism since the time I had come to know about Bhagawan; has HE not assured that He will not forsake those who seek refuge in HIM?

Time kept on passing swiftly and my heart too kept on throbbing all the time with a worry as to how to proceed on the long journey. Yet, with a firm and steady faith, I could muster enough courage with all the patience that could be squeezed out of an ever hopeful heart.

Ever since her young days, my mother had been allergic to the smell of petrol and she preferred to travel either on horseback or on foot rather than riding a motor vehicle in which she would feel very uncomfortable and suffered from nausea. Now, due to her old age and physical weakness, travelling by car was ruled out; more over, the doctors advised that she should not travel by plane either, because of her heart trouble. Yet, wonderfully enough, she had much courage in store to travel by all means with a sense of total submission to His Mercy. It was most encouraging to hear from her words that were steeped in devotion. “This time, the Lord will surely listen to my prayers and take me to His Divine Abode.”

In January 1979, I got the rarest opportunity again in my life to be blessed by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Brindavanam. It was a wonderful Interview. My experience at the interview reminds me all the time that even our parents cannot love and care for us so dearly and selflessly as Swami does. His Love is impartial and infinite and He is ever ready to forgive our shortcomings and mistakes. His Love is for each and every being in Creation.

A Great Moment
I prayed to the Lord with hands folded, whether it was possible for me to bring my mother for His Divine Darshan. To my relief and satisfaction, Sathya Sai Baba told me that it was possible without the least doubt and that she could travel without any fear of sickness throughout the journey. A beautiful silver locket was materialised and given to me and Sathya Sai Baba said that I should take it home very carefully to be given to my mother so that it would protect her all the time while proceeding on our journey and also throughout the rest of her life. After this great moment, I was once again back to my home in Gangtok, the capital of our Himalayan country, Sikkim, although my heart did not permit me to leave the portals of His Abode. To be candid with my views and to dwell upon the true experiences of my life, I do not have the least doubt that it is just because of Swami that I have been blessed with a new life, in pursuit of the real Destination.

Dwelling on the first stage of the journey from Gangtok, I would like to share with all the fact that my mother had the vision of our Beloved Lord, who seemed to be keeping pace with the speeding jeep even when she was wide awake. This happened when we were on our way from Rangpo to Tista, the two main check posts on the route from Gangtok to Siliguri, the nearest railway station. It was late in the evening of Monday, the 31st January 1983, when He granted this vision to my mother. The effect was so miraculous that she felt very happy and quite at ease. All the time, she sat in her seat, lost in an inexplicable sea of joy. It was as though the Lord of Parthi had touched her with His Divine magic. She did not feel travel sick or fatigued even as we arrived at Siliguri in the late hours of the night. We found her still fresh, hale and hearty and the arduous journey through the twisting and winding roads had not affected her in any way. We knew that this was the most difficult part of our journey. Yet this visible sign of His care and Grace inspired us to proceed on our journey without worries and fear. After this, the journey was quite pleasant and comfortable, and we arrived at Prasanthi Nilayam, the Divine Abode of Eternal Bliss.

Gifts Of Grace
What followed after reaching Prasanthi Nilayam can only be described as the unfolding of another chapter of how He, our Lord Sai, lives every second of the day for giving His Love to His dear and wayward children, of how He draws them to Him with all the care of a mother nursing her first born child. He granted us interviews, chiding us to crave instead, for the inner-view of our Real Self, the grandeur of the spirit, which would confer upon us the gift of Paramananda. He gave a nice and cosy room for my mother to stay in and also other gifts of His Grace. What more can a child aspire for from a mother. Even to think that the Lord cares so much for every being, even insignificant people like us, who had not been able to offer anything to HIM and had always aspired to achieve His Grace, truly unfolds volumes of His Divine Glory.

Now we all feel that the bird has at last found its refuge. It has no more destinations to reach, no more vistas to explore. This is really the final `homecoming’.

The sentiment of heartfelt gratitude that wells up within the deep recesses of my heart cannot be described in words and yet I feel so grateful to the Lord for all times to come for having opened my eyes from the deep slumber of ignorance to bring me to the path of Light and Truth.

Reference

A Garland For Sathya Sai Baba From The Children

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Baba


A Garland For Sathya Sai Baba From The Children

Knowing that Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has advised against offering of garlands to Him, children of the Vidya Vihar at Ooty hit upon an acceptable method of presenting Swami with a “garland” in the entertainment programme they got up during Bhagawan’s stay there in April.

The “flowers” in the garland consisted of pearls from the Divine lips. Before making the offering, one child came forward and said to Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba: “We, the little children of our Beloved Lord Sai, have picked up a few pearls that fell from our Lord’s lips. We have made a Garland out of them. Now we pray for our Lord’s gracious permission to place them around His Lotus Feet.”

After that, one child after another came forward to recite the allotted piece and take his or her place in the semi circle in front of Sathya Sai Baba, which became a garland for Swami. The following “pearls” glittered in the garland:

“Lord, you have told us that by cultivating devotion, that is Love for God, from childhood, we can reach Him, who is the treasure of all Ananda. You have also told us that how much we think we are, and not more, are we and so help us to learn more and more and then become better and better.”

“We also know that Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa are the chief noble qualities that we have to cultivate from our childhood and continue it throughout our lives. Because, Swami has said, Life is a search, explore it; Life is a challenge, meet it; Life is a game, play it; Life is a dream, realise it; and Life is Love, enjoy it.”

“So, for this we have to start early, drive slowly and reach safely. But we have to remember, ‘less luggage more comfort’, and we should always remember Love is God and God is Love and so we have to live in Love. If we do so, we will enjoy our lives.”

“In order to enjoy life, we must put a ceiling or limit on our desires. We must put a limit on our expenditure of our money. We must not talk too much thus wasting our time and energy. We must not waste food, because food is God, and when time is wasted, it is equal to life being wasted.”

“So, we have to remember that one of the best ways to spend time is, by doing good service to others, because doing seva to humanity is doing seva to divinity, that means serving God and helping God’s creation is the same thing. When we please man, we please God.”

“We have also to do our duty in life with discipline and devotion. For that, we must start the day with love, spend the day with love, fill the day with love, live the day with love and end the day with love and remember love lives by giving and forgiving and self lives by getting and forgetting.”

“And when we talk, we must remember to talk soft, talk sweet and talk the truth. We must watch our words, watch our actions, watch our thoughts, watch our character and watch our heart and we must also avoid backbiting, falsehood and harsh words.”

“Also we must remember that one must not only do the work one likes, but like the work one has to do. We cannot always oblige but can always speak obligingly. Swami has said, we are all caskets of divine love and so we must share it, spread it and express that love in thoughts of compassion, words of sympathy and acts of service.”

“Not only that, we must practice Ahimsa and Brahmacharya. We must cultivate humility, fearlessness and develop a sense of sacrifice and renunciation. Also we should eradicate ego, lust, anger, breed, envy and jealousy and practice selflessness, generosity and tolerance and thus make ourselves better persons.”

“For this, what we have to do is to ‘See Good, Be Good and Do Good, because that is the way to God.’ The past is beyond recovery. The future is uncertain. The given moment is now and here. So sanctify it with holy thoughts, words and deeds and thus make life a rose that speaks silently in the language of fragrance. Remove desire, attachment, and cultivate patience, fearlessness, control tossing of mind and temper; Love God, Trust God and Surrender to God.”

“So, for making us better persons, we must take a dose of Japam and Dhyanam for breakfast; have Satchintanam, Sat sang and Satparana for lunch; do pooja and archana for Tea; consider an hour of bhajan as Dinner; and do Manana, as a cup of milk at bedtime. This diet is enough to make our being happy and healthy.”

“And so we pray to our Lord to accept this little garland of pearls. We also pray to our Lord to help us to ‘Follow the master, Face the devil, Fight to the end, and Finish the game’ and when we become big, to be considered by YOU as Your fit instruments to carry out YOUR Message to Your complete satisfaction. Lord! Bless us all for that.”

Reference