Ten Fold Path to Divinity

Sathya Sai Baba 10-Fold Path To Divinity

Sathya Sai Baba 10-Fold Path To Divinity


Ten Fold Path to Divinity
By Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

1. Love and serve the homeland; do not hate or hurt the homeland of others.
Sathya Sai Baba: Have a sense of pride in your motherland. Just as your mother has given birth to you, so too the land has given birth to you. Whatever country you belong to, you should have a sense of patriotism. You should not indulge in criticizing other countries or people belonging to other nations. Having trust and faith in your own country, you won’t try to put down any other country. Never bring grief or sorrow to your country. To have pride in your own motherland is important.

2. Honor every religion; each is a pathway to the one God.
Sathya Sai Baba: Never have hatred toward any religion. Honor and respect all religions equally. Even as you are a citizen of your motherland but respect all countries, also respect all religions equally.

3. Love all without distinction; know that mankind is a single community.
Sathya Sai Baba: Develop a sense of the brotherhood of man. Look upon each person as your own brother or sister. There is only one caste, the caste of humanity. All of us belong to the human race, so everyone is equal. Therefore, love each one equally.

4. Keep your home and its environs clean; it will ensure health and happiness for you and for society.
Sathya Sai Baba: Keep your own house and its surroundings pure and clean. This hygiene will keep you healthy and benefit your worldly life.

5. Do not throw coins when beggars stretch their hands for alms; help them to become self-reliant. Provide food and shelter, love and care, for the sick and aged.
Sathya Sai Baba: Be discriminating when dispensing charity. In the name of charity or philanthropy, we tend to do injustice to one’s country. Charity does not mean that the land should be full of beggars. We can provide some support and means for the beggars, but provide food, clothing and other conveniences in such a way that you are not encouraging laziness and begging.

6. Do not tempt others by offering bribes or demean yourself by accepting bribes.
Sathya Sai Baba: Never give or take a bribe. Giving bribes, or accepting bribes, is contrary to the very name of the Sri Sathya Sai Organizations. Bear this in mind continuously.

7. Do not develop jealousy, hatred or envy on any count.
Sathya Sai Baba: We must seek ways to solve difficulties such as hatred, envy and jealousy. To curb this sense of envy and jealousy, we must develop a broader outlook. Do not differentiate on the basis of race, caste, creed, or country. Follow your cultural and religious customs in your own home, but do not attempt to impose them on society. Rather than this, love each person as your own brother or sister, not seeing him or her as belonging to another creed, religion, or country.

8. Do not depend on others to serve your personal needs; become your own servant before proceeding to serve others.
Sathya Sai Baba: Develop self-reliance. Members of the Sri Sathya Sai Organizations should do things by themselves; they should not depend on others. You may be very wealthy and have servants and assistants to help in a few tasks, but your own work you must do yourself. If you wish to be of service to society, serve yourself first. One who will not serve society has no right to belong to a Sri Sathya Sai Organization.

9. Observe the laws of the state and be an exemplary citizen.
Sathya Sai Baba: You should never go against the law of the land. We must follow the letter of the law. The members of the Sri Sathya Sai Organizations should follow the law in spirit also and be models for the government.

10. Adore God, abhor sin.
Sathya Sai Baba: You must love God and avoid sin. Love God incessantly.

Help Ever Hurt Never

Sathya Sai Baba Help Ever Hurt Never

Sathya Sai Baba Help Ever Hurt Never


Help Ever Hurt Never
Selected quotes by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba: Everyone should act up to the motto: Help Ever, Hurt Never. Every educated person should engage himself or herself in selfless service to society with humility and a pure heart. All academic distinctions or even observance of spiritual practices are of no use if there is no love in the heart. Love and compassion are inherent in every person. Each has to share this love with others. Failure to share one’s love is gross ingratitude to society, to which one owes everything. One should give one’s love freely to others and receive love in return. This is the deep significance of human life.

To purify the mind, one should nurture noble and sacred thoughts of service to others. One who does not hurt anybody and has feelings of love and compassion to fellow beings is the greatest of men. That is why sage Vyasa gave the essence of the eighteen Puranas (scriptures) in the aphorism: Help Ever, Hurt Never.

Help rendered, however small, if it comes from the deeper urges of service welling in the heart is as good as the offer of life itself.

Look about for chances to relieve, rescue or resuscitate. Train yourselves that you may render help quickly and well. Seva is the most paying form of austerity, the most satisfying and the most pleasurable. It springs out of Love and scatters Love in profusion. To help the helpless is the only way to please Him, to follow and reach Him.

Serve people with no thought of high or low; no Seva is high, no Seva is low, each act of Seva is equal in the eye of the Lord. It is the readiness, the joy, the efficiency, the skill with which you rush to do it that matters. Train yourselves to serve God by serving man, in whom there is God installed in the heart. Convince yourself that the seva of man is worship of God.

Efforts to serve must spring from agony at the suffering of others and the service must be genuine effort to get rid of that anguish. Do not worry about the result. Help as much as you can, as efficiently as you can, as silently as you can, as lovingly as you can, leave the rest to God, who gave you the chance to server.

You should make every effort to avoid harming others in any circumstance. You are only hurting yourself when you hurt others. You should not use harsh words. When you develop human values, you can be free from diseases and even enjoy good health with God’s Grace.

Ahimsa, the virtue of non-violence involves much more than abstention from injuring living beings. One should desist from causing pain to any living being not only by his deeds but even by his words and even in his thoughts. One should not entertain any idea of hurting or humiliating another.

Service to man will help your divinity to bloom, for it will gladden your heart and make you feel that life has been worthwhile. Service to man is service to God. For He is in every man and every living being and in every stone and stump. Offer your talents at the Feet of God; let every act be a flower, free from creeping worms of envy and egoism and full of fragrance of love and sacrifice. If you have the talent, use it for the glorification of God and do it by uplifting man. A manishi (ordinary man) gets transformed into Maharishi (sage) by engaging in selfless service.

You have to transform your life through service. You should give no room for arrogance or self-interest to the slightest extent in your service activities. Install in your heart the feeling that the service you render to anyone is service to God. Only then does service to man become service to Madhava. Hence you should scrupulously follow the maxim: HELP EVER, HURT NEVER.

Ref: Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourses: Apr 10, 1967 – Jun 10, 1981 – Jan 29, 1994 – Jun 5, 1994 – Digest Vol. I p135 – Digest Vol. II p292

Love All Serve All

Sathya Sai Baba Love All Serve All

Sathya Sai Baba Love All Serve All


Love All Serve All
Selected quotes by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba: God is Love and can be won only through the cultivation and exercise of Love. He cannot be trapped by any trick; He yields Grace only when His commands are followed – command to love all, serve all. When you love and serve all, you are serving yourself most, yourself whom you love most! For God’s Grace envelops you then and you are strengthened beyond all previous experience. Let all days of living be a continuos offering of Love, as an oil lamp exhausts itself in illumining the surroundings. Bend the body, mend the senses and end the mind – that is the process of attaining the status of ‘children of immortality’, which the Upanishads have reserved for man.

God is the embodiment of sweetness. Attain Him by offering Him, who resides in all, the sweetness that He has dowered on you. Crush the cane in the mill of Seva, boil it in the cauldron of penitence; decolorize it of all sensual itch; offer the crystallized sugar of compassionate Love to Him.

Seva (service) brings out all that is great in man. It broadens the heart and widens ones vision. It fills one with joy. It promotes unity. It proclaims the truth of the spirit. It drives out all evil qualities in a man. It must be regarded as a great spiritual discipline. You are born to serve, not to dominate. Everyone in the world is a servant and not a master. All relationships – husband and wife, mother and child, the employer and employee – are based on mutual service. The world is progressing because of such mutual service. Seva should be done out of a sense of duty.

The body has been given to man for the performance of right action. Every person has to discharge his duties in life. It is a sin to ignore one’s duties. Perform you duties without regard to what others say or do. Engage yourself in service activity. Consider social service as service to God. To earn the Love of God, this is the easiest way. The best way to love God is to love all and serve all. Your entire life sanctified thereby.

Devotion consists in expressing love towards all. You cannot effect a change of heart by speeches. They often lead to confusion and conflict. Better than speeches is practice of love with faith in the divine. Follow the path of love and redeem your love.

Man knows that God is the very embodiment of love. Only through the cord of love can God be bound. But it is only when love is for love’s sake that this cord can bind God to man. If love is motivated by desire for worldly objects, God will be beyond our reach. You must become embodiments of love. If you are merely loving, your love will be confined to a few. Only when you become the embodiment of love can your love comprehend all. Only then you will realize that it is the same God who is the indweller in all beings.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the Divine who has not only endowed us with this precious human body but which also sustains it. We shall be able to enjoy these gifts of the Divine only if we discharge this debt to the Divine. How is this to be done? It is by rendering service to other bodies saturated with the same Divine, by doing righteous deeds and consecrating all actions in the service of the society. This debt to the Divine has to be discharged in full in this life itself or during many future lives. The earlier we repay this debt, the sooner we shall realize Divinity.

It is needless to search for God. Verily you are the Divine. Strive to realize this Truth. There is a simple and easy way. Have faith that every human being is an embodiment of the Divine. Love every one. Serve all. The best way to God is to LOVE ALL, SERVE ALL.

Refs: Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourses: Jun 26, 1969 – Oct 10, 1983 – Mar 24, 1989 – Jun 21, 1989 – Jul 18, 1989 – Nov 20, 1990 -14 Jan 1995

World Class Healthcare Absolutely Free

World Class Healthcare Absolutely Free
June 7th, 2009 – 1:00 pm ICT by IANS
By K. Jayaraman

Bangalore, June 7 (IANS) A super-speciality hospital here has redefined the approach to healthcare by providing world class treatment completely free.

Patients referred to Sri Satya Sai Institute for Higher Medical Sciences hospital do not have to come in with a credit card or a cheque book.

“Here we don’t charge for anything, whether it is a heart bypass, lung operation, or a brain surgery,” says Satyaranjandas Hegde, a top neurosurgeon and director of the 330-bed hospital. “In fact, we have no cashier or a billing section.”

Treatments, tests, medicines, food and hospital stay are all free, “and if some tests cannot be done here, we get them done outside at our cost,” says Hegde.

On an average day, surgeons here perform six neuro and seven heart surgeries. Together with laboratory tests, X-ray scans and outpatient procedures these are worth over Rs.5 million ($100,000) in commercial terms but done free, says Hegde, who quit his high paying job in another hospital because he did not like the “commercial culture” there.

He was not the only one to make the switch. Kolli Challam, head of anesthesia and critical care, left his flourishing practice in Abu Dhabi two years ago to join Hegde’s team.

Government dispensaries do offer free treatment for minor ailments but tertiary care always involves money, says Hegde. “It is a disaster for a poor family if one of its members requires brain or heart surgery. It means selling family jewels to meet hospital costs or just pray to god and hope for the best.”

For thousands of Indians – as well as patients from neighboring Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka – their god comes in the shape of the Sai hospital. Set up in 2001, it is run by a medical trust created by Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a spiritual leader with a global following.

Built with trust funds, the Rs.200 million that the hospital spends annually on salaries, medicine, equipment and maintenance come entirely from unsolicited donations from his devotees.

“The state government gave us land and the power supply for hospital is free,” Hegde said. “Companies give us medical equipments at discount and one computer firm installed Rs.10 million ($20,000)-worth hospital software at no cost.”

The hospital does not advertise to fill non-clinical positions. Skilled workers queue up to volunteer their services because of their faith in Sathya Sai Baba.

Those who man the gates, serve at the reception and counsel patients are all volunteers inspired by Baba’s philosophy that “seva,” or selfless service, is service to god. People wanting to offer ’seva’ are so many that there is a waiting list for volunteers, says Hegde. “We keep rotating them to give everyone a chance.”

Sai hospital is actually known as a “temple of healing” as it provides medicare in a spiritual ambiance devoid of commercialism, its employees say. “I can see god’s mission being carried out here,” said former president of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam during a visit to the hospital in 2006. “The doctors and staff looked to me as angels.”

Free service does not mean compromising on quality or standards, Hegde points out. “Ours is as well equipped as, or better equipped than, corporate hospitals.”

The hospital, with highly qualified physicians and surgeons, attracts dozens of specialists from India and abroad because they are either devotees of Sathya Sai Baba or “infected by the desire to do seva”, says Hegde.

Sivaraman Yegyaraman, a practising cardiac electro physiologist in Stratford, New Jersey, is one such specialist who comes to Sai hospital twice a year at his own expense. “I had always wanted to place my medical training at the service of the under-privileged and Sai hospital presented me the opportunity,” he told IANS during his recent visit.

Another regular visitor, Ravindra Goyal, chairman of neurosciences at McLaren Regional Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, is a Sathya Sai Baba devotee. “Each trip to this facility charges and motivates me to apply the principle of ’selfless service’ to my work back in the US on my return,” he said.

What makes the Sai hospital unique? It is not just the state-of-the-art technology or high quality service but the spiritual ambiance pervading through the campus, says hospital manager Sri Krishna.

“It actually makes me feel I am entering a temple and not a hospital,” said Akella Chendrasekhar, medical director of Wyckoff Medical Center in New York. He was one of three specialists who came from the US spending their own money to conduct a workshop on ‘critical care medicine’ at the Sai hospital last week.

By redefining medical care Sai hospital has clearly shown it is certainly possible to provide the best treatment absolutely free, says Hegde. “There is no reason why this model cannot be replicated in other places in India and even abroad.”

The Indian Reference

Baby With Abnormal Heart Breathes Easy Thanks To Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Medical Sciences

Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Medical Sciences Bangalore

Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Medical Sciences Bangalore

Baby With Abnormal Heart Breathes Easy Thanks To Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Medical Sciences
15 Aug 2008, 0742 hrs IST, B S MANU RAO,TNN

BANGALORE: Eight-month-old Sinan from Kerala was a bonny baby with a charming smile. But behind that brilliant smile was a baby with a serious problem. He was born with his aorta having an extra arch.

Sinan’s breathing was laborious with a choked wind pipe and could not eat solid food. It was a dangerous condition that required complicated and expensive surgery, beyond the means of his parents.

Surgeons at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences came to the rescue and performed a complex operation on the baby to rectify the complicated congenital defect. Now, the charming smile on Sinan’s face comes easier . “This was a rare condition known as double aortic arch. It accounts for only around one percent of all congenital heart diseases”, said Dr Choudary Voleti , the cardiac surgeon who led the surgical team.

The aorta is the biggest artery in the body and supplies blood pumped by the heart to all the vital organs. When it forms a ring around the wind and food pipes, it turns into a vice-like grip due to pressure of the blood inside the large artery.

“This made the surgery complicated and difficult. We had to identify a section of the arch in front of the wind and food pipes that we could sever and seal off. At the same time, we had to ensure it would not result in loss of blood circulation to any part of the body”, explains Dr Voleti.

After an angiography by Dr P K Dash, chief cardiologist at the hospital, and CT scan, the surgeons reached the aorta from the left side of the chest. The smaller of the two aortic arches was severed to let the food and wind pipes breathe normally.

“This procedure involved a team of paediatric cardiac surgeons to work in conjunction. These are rare surgeries and many surgeons never come across such cases through their careers”, adds Dr Voleti.

The charitable super speciality hospital saved another life. Many such babies, however, lose their lives for want of expensive healthcare. “This surgery would have cost over a lakh, not counting the diagnostic procedures. How can people from the economically weaker sections afford it?” asks a concerned Dr Voleti.

Reference

Also see:

Official Website For Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Devotees Treat Beggars Daily

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Devotees Treat Beggars Daily
10 Aug 2008, 0536 hrs IST, S Girijashankar,TNN

CHIKMAGALUR: Beggars are a nuisance anywhere. They are there at the doorstep of your house and at shops and on the street. But here is one group which sees the other side of the coin and views the issue differently.

A group of seven or eight devotees of Sathya Sai Baba provide food daily to nearly 22 physically-challenged beggars . Vasu, who supplies food every day to these beggars, said they were inspired by Krishnappa , who used to work in a cooperative. One day, when discussing the issue of beggars, Krishnappa said that instead of talking one should find ways to help them. But it should not encourage the ablebodied among them to stop earning their bread.

They first started identifying the beggars who were aged or completely disabled. Thereafter, they purchased a few loaves of bread and began distributing them once a week. This was just the start.

But eight years ago, when more persons joined them, they decided to feed the beggars daily with food from their homes. Now there are over 30 households that prepare food for nearly 22 beggars every day. This group of seven or eight youths collects the food, puts it into packets and distributes them in the evening.

Muddegowda , one of the beneficiaries, said: “I am not an orphan, but this gangrene in my leg pushed me to this situation. I was forced to leave my house and in utter frustration, I wanted to commit suicide. But the Sai devotees helped me and instilled confidence in me to live up to this day.”

Similar are the tales of other beggars, such as the aged Lakshmamma, Perumal, Hajabba and Rangamma. But today, they are able to have one tasty, sumptuous meal a day. The Sai devotees sometimes even provide medical care.

The food prepared in these households varies. If one day it is rice and sambar, another day it is chapati, idlis or rice bath. Housewives who cook the food for the beggars, do not consider it a burden and do it all with love.

Vasu said the beggars look up to them as God in human form. “But we feel they are God, because Swamy (Sathya Sai Baba) has preached that ‘Daridra devo Bhava’ (the poor are God). Since eight years, we are doing this service and no housewife has complained,” he adds with pride.

Reference

Inauguration Of Gastrointestinal Unit & Sri Sathya Sai First Annual CME Conference

Compassion In Action

Compassion In Action


Sathya Sai Baba visit to Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences
Inauguration of Gastrointestinal Unit and Sri Sathya Sai First Annual CME Conference
July 12, 2008

The architectural marvel in Prasanthigram, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences has ever been growing since it’s inception in the year 1991. The latest addition is a Gastrointestinal Endoscopy department that was inaugurated on the 12th July 2008 by Bhagawan Himself.

Escorted by flag bearing bike riders, Bhagawan arrived at the south entrance of the hospital at about 3:40 p.m. to a traditional welcome with Purna Kumbham and Veda Chanting. A visibly pleased Bhagawan moved through the corridors blessing devotees and staff members lined up on both sides to catch a glimpse of the rare occasion.

Entering the newly set Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Department, He blessed the contingent of medical experts who have been responsible in setting up the department. A short video presentation was arranged on Endoscopy. Bhagawan went through the demonstration and an exhibition narrating in short detail the work flow of the new department. Bhagawan subsequently blessed the GI endoscopy ICU room and expressed pleasure with the facilities meant for patients.

Reference (With Pictures)

Weekend Walkers Help End Poverty And Feed The Hungry

Bala Sathya Sai Baba

Weekend Walkers Help End Poverty And Feed The Hungry

Roger Collier, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Monday, June 02, 2008
Despite a cool wind and light rain, there was a whole lot of walking going on yesterday in Ottawa.

One group supported the fight against global poverty, another walked to combat world hunger. A third group laid sneaker to asphalt for the ambiguously titled “Walk for Values.”

The Choir of Joan of Arc Academy, comprising pint-sized singers in blue-and-green plaid, opened the World Partnership Walk in Confederation Park at 11 a.m. with the national anthem. Between 600 and 800 people participated in the walk, run by the non-profit development agency Aga Khan Foundation Canada to raise money to improve the lives of the poor in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

It’s a great cause,” said first-time participant Emma Blakely, who completed the five-kilometre loop along the Rideau Canal with her cocker spaniel, Rita.

Environment Minister John Baird delivered a message from the prime minister, and Ottawa Councillor Rick Chiarelli extended a greeting on behalf of Mayor Larry O’Brien, who was attending a conference in Quebec City. Guest of honour Huguette Labelle, chancellor of the University of Ottawa, also took to the stage to encourage the walkers.

“World poverty is an epidemic and, like any epidemic, it can be dealt with if there is a will to do so,” she told the crowd.

Before the noon start, an organizer announced the fundraising goal of $200,000 for the Ottawa event had been met. The Aga Khan Foundation also runs walks in eight other cities, from Montreal to Victoria.

In its 24-year history, the World Partnership Walk has raised some $40 million, which has gone toward improving health care and education, and increasing rural incomes, in the developing world.

“Ending poverty is fundamental to creating world peace,” said event convener Aly Alibhai. “It’s poverty that has led to so much of the strife in the world today.”

At Dow’s Lake, about 30 people took part in a 10 a.m. walk to support the “End Hunger: Walk the World” campaign, which provides funding to the United Nations World Food Program. Organizers of the global 24-hour event set a lofty goal: to raise enough money to provide meals for 59-million school children in impoverished nations.

“We hope about 40 people will show up, and maybe some people will see the banner,” said organizer Stéphane Forget, referring to a “Fight Hunger” banner he hung between posts in a parking lot facing Dow’s Lake Pavilion 15 minutes before the walk began.

Mr. Forget said money would be raised through donations for baseball caps and balloons.

Also at 10 a.m., a few dozen members of the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Ottawa-Carleton began a walk from Parliament Hill to City Hall carrying signs containing words like “love,” “truth” and “non-violence.”

Participants, dressed in yellow T-shirts, sang and rang small cymbals. According to a flyer on the centre’s website, participants were not expected to raise money but were expected to “make the community richer by pledging to practice a value of his or her choice.”

Reference

Spreading A Gospel Of Positive Energy

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Spreading a gospel of positive energy
Don Retson, edmontonjournal.com
Published: Friday, May 30 2008

EDMONTON – Preeti Mathur beamed recalling how a complete stranger approached her to ask if her group was responsible for the good vibes at a park on Edmonton’s south side.

“What are you doing?” a face-painter asked Mathur at McIntyre Park in Old Strathcona last Saturday afternoon. “I feel positive vibrations today coming from this corner of the farmers market.”

Mathur’s comment drew smiles and approving nods the next evening at Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Edmonton.

Members of the centre made up a large number of the 200 people who took part in Edmonton’s fourth annual Walk for Values the previous day. Mathur was chief organizer of the event.

The walk isn’t a fundraiser. It’s meant to create awareness of the importance of practising positive values to bring about a more caring and kinder world.

Participants pledge to practise one of five values – love, truth, peace, non-violence and right conduct. They believe that when each individual tries to change, there’s a positive impact on their families, communities and ultimately the world.

A Hindu by birth, Mathur was educated in a Catholic convent in her native India.

Today, she’s educational co-ordinator of Sai Baba Centre, a non-denominational spiritual and service organization, with millions of devotees worldwide.

During a Sunday evening devotional service, Mathur noted some passersby were so impressed they signed up on the spot and took part in the three-kilometre walk.

“It was a wonderful, motivating and energizing experience,” Mathur said of the event, which included speeches, music and the decoration of a gazebo and floats.

Mathur was attracted to the Sai Baba organization by the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba of India, in particular his belief that all religions are facets of the same truth.

This respect for other faiths is one of the first things to strike a visitor. Each of six major world religions is featured in a glassed-in display.

During a tour, centre president T.R. Pillay explains that the elaborate and artistic work of the displays was done by Sunday school students. “We made sure that people of any faith that come in here will feel comfortable and that’s why we have these displays depicting the various faiths,” he said.

The Sai Baba centre has been around since in 1983, at various locations. Wanting a permanent home, devotees eventually bought a property at 9619 Whyte Avenue. The building once housed Studio 82. An additional $150,000 was spent on renovations to convert the old movie house into a place of worship.

For historical reasons, the facade of the building is unchanged from its Studio 82 days. However, the words “Sai Sadan” (House of God) on the exterior are a dead give away that movies aren’t what’s happening inside any longer. There’s also a message from spiritual leader Sai Baba to “Love all; serve all,” not your typical greeting at a movie theatre.

At devotional services, males in white or light-coloured clothing (symbolic of the purity of spirit each is aspiring for) sit on chairs or on the carpeted floor on one side of the huge worship hall. Females in traditional Indian saris sit on the other side of the room.

Facing all is a giant picture of Sai Baba, considered by millions of his followers around the world to be an avatar or incarnation of a divine being. Devotees revere him as a great spiritual leader, a humanitarian, a man of miracles.

There’s a great emphasis in the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Organization on service to the poor, the destitute and the sick. “Help ever; hurt never” is one of Sai Baba’s famous quotations. Another is: “Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray.”

Reference

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.

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