How Much Salary Does A Man Really Need?

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


How Much Salary Does A Man Really Need?

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam. The title of this week’s letter is inspired by a famous story of Tolstoy entitled, HOW MUCH LAND DOES A MAN NEED? And the motivation for the theme? Read on to find out!

This is the time of the year when our newspapers and TV channels are full of news about graduates of our Brand Business Schools, who get fabulous offers from overseas, with annual salaries touching as high as $200,000. The Public is just floored by this phenomenon – fresh graduates getting this kind of fat salaries. Understandably, these young men and women instantly become heroes and heroines and their pictures are flashed everywhere. The Directors of the Business Schools beam from ear to ear, Professors who taught these graduates are full of pride, and hundreds of young people look admiringly, hoping soon it would be their turn to reach El Dorado.

Recently, we asked some of the students of the Business School here in Swami’s University what they thought of it all. We had a long discussion, starting with the curriculum and teaching, and then went on to discuss various related factors. In this letter, we would like to share with you some of what we heard and learnt from our students. This in essence is what they said:

  • In academic terms, there is really no substantial difference between the Business School in our Institute and these so-called Brand Institutes. The syllabus is more or less the same, and we too study the same books.
  • There are differences though. For one thing, in the Brand Business Schools, the students get more exposure to many practical details of today’s business world. We on the other hand get an entirely different orientation, which has its own value.
  • Learning about some of the intricacies of today’s business world does give some tactical advantages to the graduates in terms of entry into high-profile corporations. On the other hand, we learn, especially in a very practical way, more about humans, the way they behave, their aspirations and so on. In the long run, this experience is invaluable in its own way. After all, in the ultimate analysis, business is always done with human beings and Society is the real market place. Thus, when it comes to matters like really dealing with customers, and having a good appreciation of what it is that the public wants, we are much better equipped.
  • For the students of the Brand Schools, the horizon often is the Corporation they are in. For them, the shareholders are very important. For us, Society is everything, and the stakeholders, meaning the public at large are very important.
  • In the Brand Institutes, the bulk of the training is in the classrooms. For us, however, the bulk of the training is really outside the classroom.
  • To start with, our Hostel is where we learn most of our lessons, because it is truly a microcosm of Society.
  • In the Hostel, we are about ten or twelve to a room. Compared to other colleges, this might sound horrible. On the other hand, once one gets used to this, the experience is like living in a commune and teaches many valuable lessons.
  • The Hostel authorities make sure that in every room, we have a good mix of students from different regions, speaking different languages, studying different subjects and from different strata in life. Living in the same room, sleeping on the floor, and working with our brothers all the time on all matters relating to the Hostel and the College teaches us how to be austere, how to adjust, how to co-operate instead of aggressively competing, how to help each other, and so on. It shapes our personality in a subtle but very significant manner, for the better, we believe.
  • Another important thing about our Hostel. Compared to other Hostels elsewhere, our Hostel has very few service staff and as a result, the students literally run most of the activities in the Hostel. For example, all minor electrical repairs and plumbing repairs are done by the students themselves. When a boy is sick, other boys prepare special food for the sick boy, as prescribed by the doctor.
  • In effect, all labour is shared. The boys serve in the dining hall, they take care of the Hostel library and computer centre, they take care of the intercom, the audio system, they stitch costumes needed for plays and the Institute Dramas, they have a music group which takes care of the Bhajans and special music needed so often for various occasions, they take care of decorations when required, and so on.
  • These multiple skills come to the fore during the Annual Sports and Festival Meet, when very complex structures are designed and created by the boys, entirely on their own. This calls for skills such as welding, papier-mâché work, a bit of automation and so on.
  • Indeed, our Annual Sports and Cultural Festival, offers the best commentary on the training that we receive in the Hostel. It is absolutely unique, the like of which cannot be seen in any University in India, because where else do students get such training? It is only those who have actually witnessed the event who would able to appreciate what an all-round training we receive in terms of character development, self-reliance, working in harmony with others and so on.
  • Elsewhere in the world, Business Schools operate so as to throw up some stars and a large number of ‘lesser’ mortals. In our Institute we have a unique system in operation in the Hostel. The principle is that everyone has some talent in high measure and that person must therefore be encouraged to make use of that talent for common good.
  • Thus, one boy may be very good in sports and be the Institute Sports Captain. Here he is the leader and others follow him. But this same Captain might be in the Bhajan group, which has its own leader. This happens across the board, so much so everyone learns simultaneously to lead from the front, as also to follow. This is a very unique kind of leadership training that teaches everyone to lead and also to follow by listening to others.
  • Hostel is not everything, and we must not forget Sathya Sai Baba, who is the One that really shapes us, in so many different ways too. Take, for example, our daily visits to the Mandir for Darshan. You know, it takes a lot of discipline to sit quietly on the ground for hours, without fidgeting. That is a special training in itself; it teaches patience.
  • When we are in the Mandir, what we eagerly look forward to is at least a glance from Swami, and those fleeting glances do come. Others might not notice them but we never miss. Sometimes, it is a stern glance to a boy whose monkey mind is up to no good. At other times, it is a glance of immense love and compassion, assuring the receiver that He is there to help in tiding over the looming crisis. On other occasions, the glance is wrapped up in that matchless smile of Grace that everyone yearns for. Over the years, all these things add up in a most effective and miraculous way and that cannot be lightly dismissed.
  • We must also not forget how Swami gives us so many chances, like singing Bhajans, or distributing Prasaadam or presenting skits, opportunities to speak in His Divine presence, sing songs on festival mornings and so on.
  • When Prime Ministers and Presidents come here for ceremonial occasions, who is it that is in charge of hospitality services? Students of Bhagavan, both old [now serving as teachers] and new! And how meticulously Sathya Sai Baba instructs those in charge of service! Does this happen elsewhere?
  • In every possible way, we here get trained for life in such a manner that it enables us to fit in wherever we go. An important part of the training is the Annual Grama Seva or Village Service. Where else do you see the entire faculty and students working for ten to twelve days at a stretch, cooking food, packing the food, and carrying the food, sweets and clothes to over a hundred villages, visiting every house in every village and hamlet, and distributing all this with love and compassion.This exposure gives us a deep feeling for rural India, without which urban India would be nowhere. Indeed, it has changed the outlook of many students who wanted to go abroad, inducing them to stay back and serve the country.
  • Above all, what we learn every single minute is the importance of character and integrity in life.
  • People ask: ‘Does Truth work in the dog-eat-dog business world’? It does because, increasingly, Corporations prefer transparency, and integrity in professional work. In this respect, we actually have an enormous advantage over the graduates of the Brand Institutes.
  • People ask: ‘Why does not your Institute have placement service’? The answer is simple. Firstly, placement deflects the attention of students from studies to money. Swami is very clear that students must study for leading a proper life and not for making money. Secondly, stripped of the glamour attached, placement is like an auction! We value knowledge and education, and do not think knowledge should be degraded in this manner. This is quite contrary to the noble traditions of this country.
  • People ask: ‘Look, the graduates of the Brand Institutes are grabbed by the big corporations paying huge sums. What about you fellows? Do you get jobs with such fat salaries’? Our answer is simple. First of all, it must be noted that barring half a dozen ‘top stars’, the bulk of students elsewhere get the same kind of jobs and salaries as our boys do. In fact, over the years, big companies in India have come to learn that Sai students 1) are not attracted by salaries, but by the desire to learn through experience; 2) easily adjust to the work assigned instead of bargaining for work they like; 3) are loyal to the employer and do not jump jobs simply because someone offers a slightly higher salary; 4) are very good team players instead of being temperamental prima donnas. 5) Finally, Sai students actually improve the corporation they serve by making it a better corporate citizen. Thus, Sai students have their own ‘market value’.
  • This is not all. Sathya Sai Baba says, ‘You are what you are because of Society. So, when you go out into the world, make sure you serve Society.’ Thus, for Sai Baba’s students, serving Society is the main goal in life, and this they do in many ways. Firstly, wherever they are, they work for their employer in the true sprit of Karma Yoga. Next, they use every spare moment to go out into Society and assist those in need of help. Some go the villages during weekend and do all kinds of Seva. Some run medical camps, and so on.
  • Mind you, all this goes on throughout the year, very quietly, without any prompting from anyone. Do you know, for example, one of Swami’s students who is in Nigeria, works in a Leper Camp during his free time, actually dressing the diseased limbs of lepers. Can you find one such example from students who have graduated from all the famous institutions in the world.

The above is only a small sampling of what our students told us. In quoting all this, we do not want to give the impression that our students are vain and look down upon others. Far from it; we asked a question concerning this matter, and they simply said, ‘Other Business Schools train students to play a certain role in life, whereas Swami trains us for something different.’ And to drive home the point that they do not pose as being holier than others they added:

  1. In God’s Universe, everything has a purpose, and every individual plays his or her own assigned role in the never-ending Cosmic Drama. Thus, we do not criticise or condemn the graduates who have studied elsewhere. If some of them are offered big and attractive salaries, so be it for that also is what the Good Lord has willed. For us, that same Good Lord has given other instructions, and over here, we are trained to follow those instructions when we go out into the world.
  2. We have no right to condemn others even as we have no right to praise ourselves. God has given every one a role to play; others play their roles and we play ours. In the ultimate analysis, who is to say which is better? But this much we do know: If we live with integrity and offer everything to God, there can be nothing better. This is possible for both the king and the pauper. The good thing about our Institute is that we are constantly reminded of this truth, and that is what makes us different. And we are mighty happy to be different, for this is a difference money cannot buy. So, why should we complain?!

Well, we were quite amazed to have this incisive analysis of the nature of Sathya Sai Baba’s University and the Business School of the University in particular. What do you say? Do you agree or is there something our boys have missed? Do write and tell us please; we would welcome your comments!

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart”
RadioSai’s e-Journal Team,
In Sai Service

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.

Varsity for Muddenehalli

Varsity for Muddenehalli
Velayudham
First Published : 25 Nov 2008 04:42:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 25 Nov 2008 11:57:25 AM IST

MUDDENHALLI: Mudenehallii, the birth place of visionary Sir M Visvesvaraya, will soon have a full-fledged university, thanks to the efforts of Sathya Sai of Puttaparthi.

Delivering the ceremonial address on his 83rd birthday, the Puttaparthi Sevasharam pontiff declared that he would develop Muddenahalli on the lines of Puttaparthi, where most of the amenities, including an educational centre, medical and other facilities would be provided for the common man.

Muddenahalli already has a Sathya Sai Loka Trust, a residential school run by the Sevashram.

According to sources, the trust has 130 acres in Muddenahalli, and the new venture will benefit the surrounding villages.

Speaking to the Express, Narayanan Rao, secretary of the Sathya Sai Loka Trust said that Baba has directed them to take up the work immediately. Baba is also keen to provide a permanent water solution to Chikballapur district in future.

The students of Chikballapur and Kolar districts go for higher education to Bangalore, Tumkur or other parts of the state. The varsity it will be a boon for them.

Santhosh, a BSc student, says: “I am happy that I can pursue my higher education in my home district. Hailing from a middle class family, I can’t afford education in a city.” Gopal, a BA student, says the varsity is a boon for Chikballapur, Kolar, Tumkur and Bangalore Rural districts.

Reference

Education In Human Values – A Scholarly Perspective

Education In Human Values
News Agency of Kashmir
10/28/2008 9:29:47 PM
Sadakat Malik

Shri Sathya Sai Baba has beautifully quoted:

“If human values take root in the educational system, the emerging individuals will have the following attributes: they will want peace & justice in a world that acknowledges the rule of law and in which no nation or individual need live in fear; freedom and self reliance to be available to all; the dignity & work of every person to be recognized & safeguarded; all people to be given an opportunity to achieve their best in life; and they will seek equality before the law and the equality of opportunity for all.”

Unfortunately, the scheme of strengthening education in human values (EHV) appears to have very little planned the picture seemed different in the country’s educational institutions besides launch of policies and programmes. The central legislations has failed at the very beginning. The NCERT as a central resource centre for value education resulted futile, as the agency has failed at the very essence to reach the target. Mere publications on the part of National resource centre on value education by the NCERT at the centre will not serve the purpose.

The organization of teacher training seminars at national level is not a remedy to re-exhibit the values among so called teachers and people in governance. The teachers need to be taught the basic ethics as to how to talk and act with the learning posterity. The monitoring and training resource centres at local level may prove herculean for inculcation of value among all the people. Moreover, A draft curriculum for teacher training acknowledges several problems in preparing teachers properly for the classroom and imbibe in them values.

Historically. Education about India’s common cultural heritage has been identified in para 3.4 of National Policy on Education as one of the core areas under the National System of Education. The common core will include the history of India’s freedom movement, the constitutional obligations and other content essential to nurture national identity. These elements will cut across subject areas and will be designed to promote values such as India’s common cultural heritage, egalitarianism, democracy and secularism, equality of the sexes, protection of the environment, removal of social barriers, and observance of the small family norm and inculcation of the scientific temper.

The National Policy on Education (para 8.4 and 8.5) has laid
considerable emphasis on value education by highlighting the need to make
education a forceful tool for cultivation of social and moral values.
A Central Sector- Scheme of Assistance to Agencies for Strengthening Culture/Art/ Values in Education and for Assistance to Educational Institutions implementing Innovative Programme was formulated in 1987-88. It provided for financial assistance on 100% basis to projects/proposals screened by duly constituted Grants-in-Aid Committee of the Ministry. In July 1990, a decision was taken in the Ministry to set up a working group to review the scheme to make it more purposeful. Accordingly, a working group was constituted with the officers.

Of the Ministry and experts from premier resource institutions of the country
engaged in strengthening cultural and artistic inputs in education.

The recommendations made by the working group were examined in the Ministry carefully and a decision was taken that the process of strengthening cultural and value inputs in education should be extended to the non-formal sector also. The Scheme was revised and reformulated in 1992 which is known as the Scheme of Financial Assistance for Strengthening Culture and Values in
Education
.

Nevertheless, In January 1997, the Government of India entrusted to Tata Institute of Social Science, Bombay (TISS) a project of an evaluation study of the working of the scheme. TISS submitted a report in April, 1999 which recommended for continuation of the scheme which should have essential components like involvement of community and evolving teaching strategies for a lasting impact on students. The scheme was given adequate publicity. Services of District Institute of Education and Training (DIETs), State Council of Educational Research and training, (SCERT) Panchayat etc was effectively utilized. The report was examined in the Department and it was agreed that the scheme can be continued.

The Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee in its 81st Report under Shri S. B. Chavan has also recommended that Education should highlight multifaceted development of human beings and the programme of Education in Human Values (EHV) should be built around core universal human values like Truth, Love, Peace, Righteous Conduct and Non-Violence. The focus of value education should be more at primary stage through stories/folk songs/folklores/skits/flip charts/film strips National Cadet Corps (NCC), Scouts and Guides need to be promoted. The committee stressed that the teacher who has an important role should be encouraged to initiate innovative methods of values education to students.

Interestingly, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) functioning as National Resource Centre for the programme of Education in Human Values. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and other autonomous organizations and other institutions collaborated with and assisted NCERT in development of the National Resource Centre’s In the present times of unprecedented changes dislocating traditional values and creating conflict between traditional and new values there is a universal concern in respect of erosion of values, promoting values and culture which fit in with the needs of the modern times. This concern is universal but is more acute for our country which has leads its own distinct culture, worked view and a living value tradition.

The process of developing in to a modern nation, with new social, political and economic institutions, and with emphasis on science and technology, has thrown up many new values ? Challenges in all areas of our national life. It is important that we examine these challenges and prepare our youth to face and resolve them.

In this regard, Government agreed that SCERTs will function as value Education Centre for training of in-service teachers. In those States where the work of SCERT is performed by the State Board of Education, the later will be designated as Value Education Centers for training of in-Service teachers in Value Education. Reputed NGOs, which have proven track record of working in the area of education, culture, values and transmission of culture. The assistance under this scheme was 100 per cent for all project/ programme taken up for implementation subject to a ceiling of Rs. 10.00 lakhs per annum for a project. Resource Centres and Value Education. It was decided by the government that recource Centres may be sanctioned more than Rs. 10.00 lakhs with the approval of Grant-in-aid Committee (GIAC). Resource Centres for Value Education may be given a grant upto Rs. 30.00 lakhs for augmentation of their functional resources and pedagogic infrastructure. Besides islands of initiatives by Government Of India, the Scheme for strengthening has concentrated only in few locations thereby failed to achieve the desired objective.

The researchers observed that teachers would be more effective if they balance love and care more judiciously while interacting with students. While firmness is necessary, love must play a dominant role in handling students; love and sub-values like sympathy and kindness must get precedence over maintaining silence and order in the class. In this context, there is a school that practices such an approach successfully; the SVV School at Vandalur, Chennai, run by the old students of the Sri Sathya Sai Women’s College at Anantapur. The confidence displayed by these under privileged rural children testifies to the success of their EHV programme. Department of Education, Government of India had announced that value education would be introduced in schools and colleges starting with IIT, Delhi. A lot has happened thereafter, and governments have changed; a war has been fought; and that resolve seems to have been forgotten! We are now quarrelling over quixotic issues like text errata. Inculcating human values in children is the crying need of the hour. The rest of the world is making quiet strides by following the lead shown by Indian educationists. One wonders when our government will wake up.

But you know, as in the Sathya Sai School in Thailand, many teachers come from many places. They are not devotees. But then, when they come close to the children who are full of love, they become transformed. And when children go back home, they transform the parents. So, in this way, the society is getting transformed. That’s why it is very important that we work hard to set up Sathya Sai schools as model schools in the country like ours.

The country’s educationists and policy makers should learn the lesson from Sathya Sai School system to re-imbibe human values among her children. (NAK)

Reference

Sri Sathya Sai World Education Conference 2008

Composite Shiva Linga

Composite Shiva Linga


Monday, July 21, 2008
This morning, the morning plenary session of the Education conference was to be held in the Sai Kulwant Hall, so the Bhajans did not commence at 9 o’clock. Bhagawan arrived at 10.30 in His chair, and when He reached the stage, Prof. David Gries, the Zone I chairman of the Sathya Sai Organisation, introduced the speakers. Dr. Tom Scoville, Dr. B. G. Pitre, Dr. Dalton de Souza Amorim and Sri Srinivasan Srirangarajan were the speakers for the morning, representing the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation and the Sri Sathya Sai University. They spoke on the techniques and impact of Sathya Sai Education, with illustrative anecdotes. Bhagawan accepted Arati after the speeches and returned to His residence at noon.

The delegates for the conference gathered at various venues in the Ashram for their respective post-lunch sessions and returned to the Sai Kulwant Hall for the afternoon plenary session. Bhagawan arrived in His chair and moved to the interview room after four o’clock. At 4.30 pm, the speeches for the afternoon commenced. Mr. Victor Krishna Kanu, Mr. Jeremy Hoffer, Mr. M. K. Kaw and Sri Sanjay Mahalingam spoke on the inspiration and activities of the Sathya Sai Education programme. Bhagawan then graciously consented to speak to the delegates.

Bhagawan took the sheet of questions posed by the delegates and clarifications desired by them, and reading out the questions one by one, answered them for an hour till 6.30 pm. Swami stressed on the need for parents to take proper care of their children, and for the children to love, obey and respect their parents. The students sang Bhajans for 10 minutes after Bhagawan’s Discourse while the delegates moved out from the centre of Sai Kulwant Hall to make way for the devotees from the CIS (former USSR) who were to make a musical presentation. Bhagawan returned to the stage after a brief visit to the interview room and the music program began with a brief introduction. Songs from Russia, Georgia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and so on kept the packed hall enthralled with their catchy tunes and lively beat. After their half-hour programme, Swami asked them to sing one more song, so they sang the popular “Kalinka” and had the audience clapping all through. Bhagawan interacted with the organisers, and then, waved His hands to materialise a large golden lingam. Wrapping it in a small bag, He handed it over to Dr. Goldstein with some instructions. Blessing all the devotees, Bhagawan accepted Arati and returned to His residence at 7.30 pm while prasadam was distributed.

The Book Trust website has a report with images.

Sunday, July 20, 2008
Bhagawan opened the Sai Vidya Jyothi Educare exhibition this morning at 11 o’clock – the Book Trust website has a report with images.

The Sri Sathya Sai World Education Conference 2008 was inaugurated this afternoon. Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant Hall in His chair after four o’clock, and when He came onstage, He lit a lamp to begin the proceedings. Dr. Michael Goldstein spoke first, followed by Sri. V. Srinivasan. Their introductory remarks for forty minutes was followed by Bhagawan’s Discourse at 5.20 pm. Swami spoke for fifty minutes, mentioning at the end that within twenty to thirty years, the whole world will be one, united in love.

The Saisymphony orchestra was to perform next. The centre of Sai Kulwant Hall was cleared and the musicians arranged their places there, with more than seventy-five instruments. Bhagawan returned to the stage after visiting the interview room, and the musical session began just before 6.30. After forty minutes of the symphony, Bhagawan accepted Arati and returned to His residence as prasadam was distributed.

Curtesty RadioSai Prashanti Bulletin

Composite Sai Baba Linga

Composite Sai Baba Linga

Selfless Seva

Selfless Seva

Selfless Seva
Saturday January 28 2006 17:56 IST
Hiramalini Seshadri

Free healthcare in globally acclaimed hospitals
Time was when the name Sri Sathya Sai Baba conjured up the image of a slight orange-clad figure with an Afro hairdo who performed miracles. Today most Indians view him as a spiritual leader who inspires harmony between people of all faiths; as an ideal educationist who runs totally free educational institutions; as a social worker par excellence who has brought drinking water to the poorest of the poor in Andhra and Karnataka and even to the metropolis of Chennai; as a healthcare provider who has set up globally acclaimed hospitals where everything is free; and as one whose devotees have a passion for “selfless seva”. However, what is amazing is the stupendous global impact he has had, though he has never stepped out of India except once in 1968 when he visited Africa. Broadly, the global activities carried out in the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba can be divided into Educare, Medicare and Sociocare.

EDUCARE: Education enables one make a living; while educare enables one attain the highest in life. Educare helps one realise that one is not separate, but part of creation, which is in turn part of the Creator; and what is more, so is one’s neighbour. Baba’s educare programme which began in the sixties in India through the Bal Vikas project has now reached 180 countries. Three time Thai parliamentarian and ex-NASA scientist, Dr. ART-ong Jumsai, is a pioneer who has dedicated his life to educare; and thanks to Dr Jumsai and likeminded devotees, today there are Institutes of Sathya Sai Education (ISSE) in all continents. The Institutes train teachers in Educare and carry out research on the impact of Sathya Sai Education in the world. There are 52 Sathya Sai schools globally.

MEDICARE: Sai Centres abroad have been running many free clinics and medical camps for over two decades. A coordinated medicare programme has been launched recently under the auspices of the Sai International Medical Committee to reach Sai Ideal Health Care everywhere. The activities include Ongoing Healthcare Delivery, Disaster Relief, Medical Camps and Health Care Services, Disease Prevention and Health Education. In the Far East, Africa, Latin America and South Asia, in partnership with private hospitals, which offer free theatre and ward services, regular medical and surgical services have been available for the needy. An ideal hospice for the terminally ill is functioning in Sri Lanka.

In a major step forward, Sai Organisations are also tying up with governments in the implementation of National Health Programmes; for example, in Kenya the Sai Organisation distributes insecticide-treated mosquito nets to populations at risk of malaria no matter how remote and inaccessible the terrain; and this unique Sai Net programme has generated global interest. In the USA and other developed nations, Sai Medicare targets those who are not insured and have no access to healthcare. In appreciation, the Mayor of St Louis, proclaimed the 11th of September as Sri Sathya Sai Baba Day, last year.

SOCIOCARE: Sociocare programmes done by Sai Organisations in various nations are just too many to enumerate. However the water management project being implemented by the African Institute of Sathya Sai Education (TAISSE) merits mention. The Experts Group Meeting of water experts convened in 2001 by the UN-Habitat, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Sweden International Water Institute at Johannesburg was taken up by the Human Values approach to water management suggested by Victor Kanu of TAISSE. In fact, TAISSE was contracted by UN-Habitat to implement Value Based Water Education in six African countries. Water education is a combination of water literacy — knowledge about water sources, and, Value Based Perception — where water is viewed as a precious resource to be used responsibly for the the greater common good. Waterbodies are viewed as gifts given in trust to us to be safeguarded and passed down to future generations who are to inherit the earth after our time.

By 2004, the project was completed so successfully that UN-Habitat has now requested TAISSE to implement a Value Based Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Education in 12 African countries. Taking a leaf out of Baba’s Anantapur Water Project, devotees at Ndola, Zambia, have also started a small water project. Thanks to it, five poor townships and water-starved for centuries, have potable water today.

Latin America is another region where powerful Sai sociocare projects are on. The Director of a prison at Sensuntepeque, El Salvador, was so touched by the Sai Study Circle meetings in the prison, that he volunteered to do the Sathya Sai Human Values Diploma Course. In Beunos Aires, an ideal home for street children exists with a typical Sai twist to the tale. They used to live in a makeshift cramped place. While gardening one day, the kids found 12 kilos of pure gold in a flowerpot. Their street instincts told them to go for the gold and run away; but after all the EHV they had been taught, they simply could not. They notified the elders who notified the police and finally the courts declared that the gold belonged to the boys. With that money, a lovely home was built.

What is absolutely amazing is this: most volunteers participating in the Sai educare, medicare or sociocare projects abroad have not even seen Baba; but they are all full of love for this gentle eighty-year-old who lives in India, whom they refer to as the Avatar of the age. What is more, they are able to sense and feel his love for them across oceans and continents; and they are transmuted as it were. Of all the wondrous things Sri Sathya Sai Baba has created over the years, this transformation of hearts the world over remains his greatest miracle.

Reference

Sathya Sai Baba University Two-Time Recipient Of The NAAC Award

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

NAAC, UGC, Sathya Sai University And The Exemplary “A++” Grade:
Dr Hiramalini Seshadri and Dr Seshadri Harihar wrote about Sathya Sai Baba’s Educare program (Ref) and how the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) gave an “A++” grade to the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. Out of thousands of Indian Colleges and Universities, only Sathya Sai Baba’s prestigious University was able to obtain the much coveted “A++” grade in 2002 (the NAAC conducts their accreditations every 5 years). The relevant newspaper article stated (in part):

“The National Assessment and Accreditation Council is an autonomous body of the UGC, based at Bangalore. Colleges have to get the accreditation every five years. While it was stars, it is grades now. There are seven criteria on which they are assessed, like infrastructure, research facilities and teaching methods. There are nine grades: A++, A+, A, B++, B+,B,C++,C+, and C. In Kerala, there is only one college, which has A+, that is, St. Berchman’s College, Changanassery. In India, there is only one college which has A++, that is the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam. Grants from the UGC and recognition for more courses are based on these ranks, apart from the recognition it gets from academic circles all over.” (Reference).

Sathya Sai University NAAC Certificate

NAAC, Sri Sathya Sai University And Another “A++” Grade In 2007:
Sathya Sai Baba’s University is an NAAC Accredited University In Andhra Pradesh (Ref). Out of 3,632 accredited Colleges and Universities in India only two Institutes received the highest “A++” Grade in 2007:

  1. Sri Sathya Sai University
  2. Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research

The complete doc file containing the NAAC’s accreditation results for March 2007 can be found here (which is located on the official naacindia.org website).

Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Learning Recognized By Highest Echelons In India:
It is significant that various high ranking Indian officials and dignitaries have spoken highly of Sai Baba’s Universities. All of the following individuals have publicly praised Sathya Sai Baba’s Universities for their academic excellence and achievements:

  • Sri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat (Former Vice President of India)
  • Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam (Former President of India)
  • Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Former Prime Minister of India)
  • Rt. Hon. Anerood Jugnauth (Prime Minister of Mauritius)
  • Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma (Former President of India)
  • Sri P V Narasimha Rao (Former Prime Minister of India)
  • Sri R Venkatraman (Former President of India)

In 2003, Sri Y Sivaramakrishnaiah (Principal of the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, Prashanthi Nilayam) received the prestigious “National Award for Teachers” from the President of India, Sri A P J Abdul Kalam. In 2005, Sri K R Vedanarayanan (from the Department of Sanskrit, Prashanti Nilayam) received the prestigious “National Award for Teachers” from the President of India, Sri A P J Abdul Kalam (Reference).

NAAC Conducts Scholary Seminar At Puttaparthi:
Both the NAAC and UGC were so impressed with Sai Baba’s educational programs and institutions that they chose to conduct a scholarly National Seminar at Puttaparthi on “Promoting Value Education and Ethics”.

This scholarly National Seminar was conducted several months after the NAAC and UGC examined Sai Baba’s University and awarded it the highest grade of “A++”, which was shared by no other University throughout India in 2002. Because the NAAC and UGC felt Sai Baba’s University was unique and distinguished among all other Universities, they decided to hold a National Seminar at Prashanti Nilayam that was attended by Vice Chancellors representing 300 Universities throughout India. RadioSai reported:

“In the year of its Golden Jubilee celebrations (2002-2003) the University Grants Commission has, among other things, chosen to focus its attention on a review and restructuring of higher education in the country. One of the major issues that has very appropriately been taken up for serious deliberations and subsequently a concrete plan of action, has been the one relating to the introduction of human values and ethics in our higher educational system. The University Grants commission (UGC) has shown wisdom by deciding to begin such deliberations at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL). It is by now widely recoginsed that this institution stands uniquely distinguished for incorporating human values as an integral component of its system of education….The seminar was attended by Prof. Arun Nigavekar, Chairman, UGC, who gave the keynote address in the first business session, Justice Ranganath Misra, formerly Chief Justice of India and Chairman, National Human Rights commission, Justice Malmath, former Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, Prof. V.S. Prasad, Director, National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Vice-Chancellors of 18 reputed universities in India , the present Vice Chancellor of the SSSIHL, Sri S. V. Giri and his predecessor, Prof. G. Venkataraman, senior officials of the UGC and Higher Education Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh. Notably, the participating Vice-Chancellors represented women’s universities, universities of distance education, deemed universities, agricultural universities, central and state universities spread across the length and breadth of India.” (Reference)