Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s visit to Ashok Chavan’s residence

Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s visit to Ashok Chavan’s residence
News channels have become sensationalists and try to give political colour to non political issues and attack privacy where they have no relevance. They have made an issue out of Sri Sathya Sai Baba visiting CM Chavan!
CJ: M. S. Verma
Mon, Nov 02, 2009 11:38:25 IST

SRI SATHYA Sai Baba was at Hadsi, a village about 40 kms away from Pune to inaugurate a newly constructed temple.

In Ashok Chavan’s family, Baba occupies the same reverential place as a preceptor, teacher or Guru in Indian tradition. Before him his father, late Shri SB Chavan too was a follower of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Shri Chavan naturally liked to have the Guru’s blessing before swearing in as the new CM of Maharashtra. He also touched his feet. He invited Sri Baba who out of his love and benevolence condescended to visit Shri Chavan’s official residence. Shri Chavan showed due reverence towards Baba and naturally touched his feet and received his blessings. The media took this up and converted it into a political issue. The have left no stone unturned to make a mountain of a mole hill.

No society raises a hue and cry if anybody, even if the President of a country, shows reverence to the Preceptor, whether he has any miraculous powers or not. But a couple of news channels have made such a fuss over this incident, totally a private affair of Shri Chavan and who is being condemned as someone who has done something very objectionable and politically incorrect and that the Baba is made to appear a most undesirable individual. Dirty references about him have been dug up and are being thrown about to malign the Baba and to criticize Shri Chavan. Sri Sathya Sai Baba is a spiritual Guru. He is not a politician. He does not advise CMs of states or Presidents of countries. In Charles Dickens’s Story “A Deal in Ostriches,” one of the passengers on a ship has five ostriches. One of the ostriches on board the ship swallows a diamond belonging to one Padishaw, a merchant and the passengers discuss whether the diamond belonged to the merchant or to the owner of the ostriches. A passenger, claiming to be the father of a lawyer, gives his funny opinion as if he himself were the lawyer and had the authority to give legal opinion in the matter. Of course it was just ridiculous.

The basic question is whether the channels know much about Sri Sathya Sai Baba or just have the temerity to say anything they like about Baba or any other religious head? Obviously they don’t and in order to create sensation and spread misinformation about the Baba, their correspondents have been talking irrelevant and offensive things over and over again. They don’t realise that in doing this, they are hurting the sensibility of millions of followers of Sri Sathya Sai Baba round the globe in over 170 countries. Baba preaches unity of all faiths, which no politician will ever be able to do. Would the media talk in equal derogatory terms about other religious and spiritual heads? Why then do they choose to do this in this case, only because Baba preaches tolerance, love and selfless service of humanity? It was Baba’s love for humanity that impelled him to arrange drinking water for the whole city of Madras, which successive governments couldn’t do. His two super specialty hospitals, one in Puttaparthy, Andhra and the other at White field Bangalore provide free medical services to the poor, where free heart and other organs transplants are done. He provided drinking water to the whole of Rayal Seema in Andhra. Such services are numerous.

He has hurt none and has rendered service in such a great volume that no ordinary being would ever do. Incidentally, I was a witness when three former Presidents of India (in office) came to pay homage to Baba. All of them were images of humility and piety. The channels would do themselves a lot of good before opening an all out attack on Shri Chavan and Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Late Shri Karanjia, editor of Blitz weekly too was skeptical about Baba’s greatness like the channels in question but he visited Puttaparthy, to get first hand information about Baba before publishing anything.

He visited Baba’s ashram and interviewed him for days like any capable journalist and had to admit the bonafide of the Baba’s mission of service to humanity and later wrote a book “God lives in India,” which is an eye opener for the skeptics and may be to the channels in question. Even otherwise journalists should be well informed about an issue they take up and must first verify the authenticity of persons and things before starting criticising them. Baba’s followers and all sensible citizens of a democracy like India’s would like the channel to desist from harping on a non issue.

Meri News Reference

Spiritual Leader Sathya Sai Baba Visits Ashok Chavan In Mumbai

Chavan hosts Satya Saibaba at Varsha
Press Trust Of India
Mumbai, November 01, 2009
First Published: 16:10 IST(1/11/2009)
Last Updated: 16:11 IST(1/11/2009)

Maharashtra Chief Minister designate Ashok Chavan on Sunday hosted Satya Saibaba at his official residence Varsha.

Sathya Sai Baba was on a five-day visit to the state and in Mumbai since Saturday where he had a discourse at the Jambori maidan at Worli in central Mumbai.

Chavan has said that the Baba has been his spiritual guru since the time of his birth.

Chavan’s father late S B Chavan who also served as Chief Minister twice, was an ardent devotee of the Baba.

Several Congress-NCP politicians, who are devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, also attended the prayer ceremony held inside the house.

Hindustan Times Reference


Sathya Sai Baba visits Ashok Chavan’s residence, blesses him
November 1st, 2009 – 3:40 pm ICT by IANS
By Quaid Najmi

Mumbai, Nov 1 (IANS) In an unprecedented development, Maharashtra’s chief minister-designate Ashok Chavan hosted his spiritual guru, Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, here Sunday afternoon.

Chavan had specially invited Sathya Sai Baba to visit Varsha, the official residence of the state chief minister at Malabar Hill in south Mumbai, according to a government official.

Clad in his traditional saffron robe with his trademark hairstyle, Sathya Sai Baba entered Varsha shortly after 12.30 p.m., the official said.

Chavan, along with his wife Ameeta and teenaged daughters Srijaya and Sujaya, received the dignitary on the white steps of Varsha which had been specially decorated with saffron-coloured flowers, flags and buntings for the occasion.

“The occasion is strictly a private, family affair… nobody from the government or his staff or the party is invited,” the official told IANS.

Sathya Sai Baba, who arrived here from Pune Saturday morning, will conduct a special pooja at the chief minister’s residence in the presence of the Chavan family.

As a mark of respect to the visiting dignitary, Chavan may also wash Sathya Sai Baba’s feet, though no official is willing to go on record.

Later, Chavan will host a lunch in honour of Sathya Sai Baba in the private dining hall of Varsha, which is usually reserved for VVIPs who visit the place.

The chief minister has never kept his devotion and admiration for Sathya Sai Baba under wraps. He seeks his blessings regularly in times of need and goes to express his gratitude when his wishes are fulfilled.

In fact, shortly after his party’s victory in last month’s assembly elections, Chavan had rushed to thank his spiritual guru.

Though this is Sathya Sai Baba’s first visit to the the state chief minister’s residence, he is no stranger to politicians and leaders across the political spectrum.

Among his most prominent admirers and devotees was the former prime minister, the late P.V. Narasimha Rao.

Heavy security arrangements were made for the VVIP guru in the area.

The Malabar Hill, with the Arabian Sea on three sides, is home for VVIPs and celebrities including the chief justice of Bombay High Court and other judges, ministers, top government officials, legislators, foreign diplomats, scientists, leading industrialists and businessmen, head honchos of multinationals and even a few film stars.

Prior to his Varsha sojourn, Sathya Sai Baba – visiting the state after nine years – also held widely-patronised public discourses in different parts of Mumbai.

He also attended a religious concert by Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam in Goregaon Saturday evening, and interacted with officials of his various charitable interests in Maharashtra and Mumbai.

Sathya Sai Baba arrived in Pune last Wednesday from Puttaparthi by a private chartered aircraft on a three-day visit and inaugurated a temple complex, Sri Sathya Sai Pandurang Kshetra at Hadshi.

Thai Indian Reference


Power Inc takes a breather, gets down to spiritual biz
1 Nov 2009, 2358 hrs IST, ET Bureau

MUMBAI: Temporal and spiritual power intermingled in Mumbai on Sunday as devotees — both the humble and the great and the good — of the spiritual leader Shri Sathya Sai Baba lined up to receive his blessings.

Big chiefs of the financial sector and India Inc turned out in large numbers to seek the Baba’s blessings. The morning prayer in the Mumbai suburb of Andheri was attended by an eclectic collection of dignitaries. These included ICICI Bank chairman, KV Kamath, the chairman and MD of the Union Bank of India, MV Nair, Kotak Bank’s vice-chairman and MD Uday Kotak, Gunit Chadha, the head of Deutsche Bank’s India operations, PMS Prasad, a director on the board of Reliance Industries (RIL), India’s largest private sector company, and Meera Sanyal, a banker and an independent candidate from the South Mumbai parliamentary constituency.

At a prayer meeting on Sunday, Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, BJP leader Gopinath Munde and many other dignitaries sought the Swami’s blessings at a darshan organised in Mahakali Caves, Andheri.

Chief minister Ashok Chavan prayed for his new administration. “The government needs the Swamiji’s touch and his blessings. We hope to run the government according to his principles,” Mr Chavan said on Sunday morning.
The CM wasn’t the only dignitary queuing up for a sprinkling of the spiritual stardust. A clutch of serving and former judges, including former Supreme Court judge BM Srikrishna (of the Srikrishna Commission fame) and a number of prominent lawyers and doctors were also present.

Mr Kamath, who spoke on the occasion, referred to the insights thrown up in the course of a two-day conference on the ‘Ethics and the world of finance’ held in August 2009 at the Sathya Sai Baba University at Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh. That conference was attended by two RBI governors, the incumbent Duvvuri Subbarao and his predecessor YV Reddy. Besides the assorted dignitaries, thousands lined up for a darshan, first at Andheri and later at Worli.

Later in the day, the chief minister and his family hosted the Sathya Sai Baba at Varsha, the Maharashtra CM’s residence in Mumbai’s Malabar Hill. Predictably, some of this attracted criticism from people of a rationalist bent of mind who said that the CM’s actions were not in consonance with the state’s secular traditions. Pictures of Mr Chavan paying obeisance to the Sathya Sai Baba were flashed by some Hindi and Marathi television channels.

That’s unlikely to deter the CM, who recalled his family’s three decade-long relationship with the spiritual leader. His father SB Chavan, two times Maharashtra CM and former Union finance minister under Rajiv Gandhi, had been similarly criticised in 1975. But the media critics of that era had later realised their error, Chavan Jr said.

Both Mr Chavan and Mr Kamath praised the selflessness of the volunteers, many from affluent backgrounds, working at various hospitals and educational institutions run by the Sathya Sai Seva Organisation.

Shri Sathya Sai Baba is on five-day visit to Maharashtra. The Sathya Sai Seva Organisation runs a number of schools and four hospitals. The organisation was recently in the forefront of relief work for cyclone victims in Orissa and flood victims in West Bengal.

Economic Times Reference

Thousands Throng Hadshi To See Sai Baba

Thousands Throng Hadshi To See Sai Baba
TNN 31 October 2009, 06:25am IST

PUNE: Thousands of people thronged the village of Hadshi, about 60 km from here, on Friday for a darshan of spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who has been in the village for the last three days.

The spiritual leader’s appearance on the stage near the village led to loud shouts of ‘Sai Ram’.

Chief minister Ashok Chavan’s wife Amita Chavan and former Union minister Shivraj Patil were among the politicians and eminent personalities who have come to the little village on Friday to visit Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

During the three-day discourse, other politicians, including ministers Patangrao Kadam, Harshvardhan Patil and Dilip Deshmukh also sought darshan.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba is expected to leave for Mumbai on October 31.

On Friday, people began gathering at the venue hours before the actual programme started, wherein child stars of a reality show performed a few devotional songs. There were also a number of foreigners among the crowd, who clapped and hummed bhajans along with others.

For Yamuna Deodhar, a resident of Mahad, the trip from her town about 100 km away was one she would always remember simply because she got what she wanted. “A darshan of Swamiji was something I had never expected to take place, so this is definitely a dream come true,” she said.

For Mukund Mule, a financial consultant from Sangamner, it was the social work of Sathya Sai Baba that inspired him to become his devotee. “He and his followers are working for the betterment of the society and the deprived class. I respect that,” he said.

Echoing the same sentiments Sunil Ahire said that he has come for the spiritual discourse after hearing about the work carried out by Sathya Sai Baba’s various organisations. “I have come to this spiritual discourse for the first time. I wanted to listen to the thoughts of Baba and this was a good opportunity for me since the programme is taking place very close to my village,” said Ahire, a resident of Paud village.

Some politicians had come along with their families and were staying near the venue for the last three days. “I had heard his spiritual discourse in the late eighties for the first time. Since then I have been following Baba’s discourses for more than 20 years. I regularly visit his ashram in Puttaparthi,” said Dayanand Londhe, sarpanch of Malad, Baramati, and a former member of zilla parishad.

Times Of India Reference

Sri Sathya Sai Baba To Visit City Tomorrow

Sri Sathya Sai Baba To Visit City Tomorrow
TNN 30 October 2009, 06:32am IST

MUMBAI: Spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba will bless his devotees in the city on a visit scheduled from October 31 to November 2. Sri Sathya Sai Baba will be staying at his divine adobe ‘Dharmakshetra’ in Andheri.

The schedule for the Mumbai trip includes bhajan and darshan at these locations: Bombay Exhibition Centre in Goregaon on October 31 at 4 pm ; Jamboori Maidan in Worli on November 1 at 10 am and Brabourne Stadium in Churchgate on November 1 at 5 pm.

He visited Mumbai for the first time in 1967 and laid the foundation for Dharmakshetra, which was inaugurated in 1968. Dharmakshetra is an initiative involved in many social activities like education and medical care among other things.

Times Of India Reference

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

Walk For Values USA begins in Plano

Walk For Values USA begins in Plano
By Kim Nguyen, Staff Writer
(Created: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 3:01 PM CDT)

Mayor Pat Evans will be on hand to kick off the first annual Walk For Values USA in Plano for the Dallas region Saturday morning.

Beginning and ending in Haggard Park in Downtown Plano, Walk for Values USA hopes to bring awareness to the universal human values of truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence. The event is unique because unlike other walks, it is not a fundraiser, protest, rally, or demonstration. Instead, it seeks simply to raise awareness, and it is open to the public free of charge.

“We are essentially walking to bring awareness to the five universal human values: peace, love, truth, right conduct and non-violence,” said Srinivas Somisetty, event coordinator.

Based off the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba, a highly revered spiritual leader in India, habitually practicing at least one of the five values has a positive effect on humanity. Somisetty used the current economic recession as an example of the negative effects of not practicing the five values.

“We’re all partly responsible for the economy because of our greed,” he said. “Violence, greed and hatred are widespread in our society. There is a lack of these human values and it shouldn’t be like that.”

Participants of Walk for Values USA believe that these human values — peace, love, truth, right conduct and non-violence — are worth walking for and hope to help raise the universal consciousness and awareness about the importance of practicing them in our daily lives. They have also pledged to “adopt a value” that they will practice themselves, to help bring about this awareness. Participants will carry signs and banners with the messages of truth, right conduct, peace, love and nonviolence.

“We’re not fundraising, not enrolling anyone into a church or faith and we’re not soliciting anything,” Somisetty said. “Our pure intent is to bring awareness to these values that are fundamental to humanity and are common across all faiths, religions and cultures.”

Somisetty said about 550 people are registered to participate in Saturday’s, but the success is not tangible.

“Even with just one participant attending, we’ll call it a success,” he said. “Because when they begin practicing one or all of the values habitually, other people will see and mimic, starting a chain reaction to spread the values across the universe.”

Registration for Walk for Values USA will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, followed by an opening ceremony with talks by Patrick Price, pastor at Community Unitarian Universalist Church, Plano; AnilKumar Kamaraju, professor of BioSciences at Sri Sathya Sai University in Puttaparthy, India; and Mayor Pat Evans. Evans will launch Walk For Values at 10 a.m. The Walk will end at Haggard Park at noon with a closing ceremony.

Star Community News Reference