Govt grants help Sathya Sai school

Govt grants help Sathya Sai school
Peter Caton | 6th April 2010

SEVEN new classrooms, a learning centre, music room and renovations have been completed at the Sathya Sai Primary School in Murwillumbah with the help of Federal Government economic stimulus funds.

Nearly $1.5 million in building and renovation work was officially opened at the school on Friday by Federal MP for Richmond and Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot.

The project used $850,000 from the Federal Government’s Primary Schools for the 21st Century grants and a $600,000 from the Association of Independent Schools.

A spokeswoman said the school, which currently has about 100 students, is “now equipped to expand to seven single streams”.

Ms Elliot met with students and staff at the school to view the new and upgraded facilities describing the new facilities as exciting for the children and parents.

A week earlier she opened extensions at St Joseph’s Primary School in South Murwillumbah.

“It has been fantastic to see local principals, parents and tradespeople working together to deliver these important projects,” she said.

“Now that they are completed, teachers and students in our local schools will be teaching and learning in the 21st century facilities.”

Ms Elliot said the “Building the Education Revolution” program had delivered more than $110 million to the electorate of Richmond.

Tween Daily News Reference

God And Sensitivity

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


God And Sensitivity

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

Last week, there was a lot of media-hype here in India about a certain type of so-called sporting event. It had to do with a young boy named Budhia Singh of Orissa, age four, yes, four years only. And what was it that Budhia do that attracted so much attention? He walked non-stop for seven hours, in hot blazing sun – in May, the sun can be damn hot in India – covering a distance of sixty-five kilometres. Budhia walked from the sacred town Puri to Bhuvaneshwar, the State Capital.

Why on earth did Budhia do such a thing, instead of staying home, playing or watching TV or whatever? Because his father wanted his young son to become famous and have his name entered in the book of records. The foolish father was egged on by many, including a coach and a local establishment that compiles records – they and many others, obligingly supported the marathon walk. For the Media of course this was a welcome break, a ‘great’ human interest story, and a chance to lay off, at least for some time, from the seedy and sleazy news they usually keep themselves busy with. Oh yes, there were some rumblings from about half a dozen ‘human right activists,’ but on the whole, the Media and a good section of the public seemed to have enjoyed the ‘show’. To be up to date, we must mention that the National Human Rights Commission has just started enquiring into the whole affair. A panel of doctors have examined the child and expressed grave concern. They say young Budhia is undernourished, he is showing signs of stress, he may develop early rheumatism and also suffer renal failure.

Let us stand back and reflect on the whole affair. Did the boy gain anything? Absolutely not, except extreme exhaustion – what else can one expect when a small kid, a mere four years old, is made to walk non-stop for seven hours, a distance of 65 km, and that too in the hot sun? And you know what? We see from the photo that appeared in the newspaper showing Budhia approaching Bhuvaneshwar, that the child was not even wearing a cap!

Did the father gain anything? Perhaps he thought he did, but we wonder! The reason we mention all this is to focus on the rapid diminishing of human sensitivity. We do not wish to imply that sensitivity has altogether vanished from the human race; no, it has not. We just have to recall what happened at the time of the Tsunami, for example. Millions came forward to help, as also various social organisations and Governments. Mercifully, great calamities still produce a touching response in terms of aid and support. By God’s Grace, the spirit of the Good Samaritan is still alive, to a substantial extent. However, when it comes to so-called ‘routine and normal’ daily life, sensitivity often seems to take a back seat. Why is this so, and is it desirable? That is the question we now wish to consider.

Few realise that sensitivity has everything to do with God and Divine feelings. We often use the word compassion. Do we realise that if a person is insensitive, that person cannot feel compassion? Here it is necessary to refer to an incident, hardly known, that happened during the last days of October 2000. One afternoon, Sathya Sai Baba suddenly called all the teachers into the Bhajan Hall of the Mandir and started speaking to them. He said that he had recently read in the newspaper that a woman, unable to bear poverty and the fact that she could not feed her children, threw them all into a well and then committed suicide. When Swami was referring to this incident, His voice became chocked and He almost broke down. This was a totally new experience for many of those present, although they had been with Swami for years and years. For them it raised many questions like: ‘Swami often talks to us about equanimity, and yet here He is, breaking down! What does that mean’? Let us examine this question a bit.

Yes, God in human form HAS taught that man should treat pleasure and pain with composure, equanimity, etc., and remain unaffected by them. And yet here was God in human form, appearing to break down as ordinary mortals do. Was He not contradicting His own teachings? Superficially, it might seem so but let us consider another of His teachings ‘My Life is My Message’! So what’s the Message Sathya Sai Baba was giving on this occasion? He was saying effectively, ‘O man, is you Heart soft like butter and does it melt when you encounter suffering either by directly witnessing it or by hearing’. Or is your Heart hard like stone? Can you call yourself a human and let others cry in anguish? Is it not your duty to go to the help of people in distress? Was that not the lesson that Jesus taught through the famous parable of the Good Samaritan? On another occasion, Sri Sathya Sai Baba said: ‘If you do not feel the call of service at the sight of human distress, disease or injustice, how can you muster the determination and dedication needed to serve the Unseen, Inscrutable, and Mysterious God’?

If we take all these things together, then the message is loud and clear. We cannot claim to truly love God, if we fail to see Him in all living beings, and that includes of course fellow human beings. If we see God in others, especially those who are in distress, then we would not remain quiet; we would try and do at least something to relieve their pain. That really is what sensitivity is all about.

The question arises: ‘Why on earth are so many of us so insensitive’? Well, if you want the answer in a nutshell, it is our intense preoccupation with ourselves, our ambitions, our greed, our family, our this and our that. We do concede that some amount of attachment is inevitable for humans, but an excess of it.

Sensitivity is not always all about poverty, misery etc; there are many dimensions to it. Sensitivity also concerns how we relate to blind and handicapped people, how unwilling we are to hurt other people, how worried we are about exploitation and cruelty, not only to humans but indeed to all living beings; the list is long. When we look at the issue in a broader perspective, we find that both individuals and the societies they live in are constantly torn between two opposite forces. One force evokes goodness from within, while the other force urges indifference and indeed even selfishness. Thus, no one individual is completely heartless or totally selfish; the same applies to communities, nations and societies. The issue before us is: ‘On the average, what is the current index of sensitivity? Does it portend good for the future or bad?’ Different people would naturally have different perceptions, and we would like to place before you, our view of things.

If you take a crowded country like India, generally speaking, we tend to be quite indifferent to many of the problems that the underprivileged experience. For example, we do not seem to be bothered too much about the difficulties blind people face. In fact, some years ago, there was a most disgraceful incident when, during a rally of blind people in a big city, the rally was called to highlight many of the problems the blind face and the police carried out a lathi charge or a baton charge as they would say in the West. Imagine that! Police beating blind people, who had come out to highlight their problems and to protest!!

One can go on and on, but to be fair, it must be said that there are many, many concerned people also. For example, some years ago, there was the heart-warming story of a person who was working with spastic children, in Bangalore we believe. All these children were confined to the wheel chair. Yet, in spite of that handicap, they were motivated by this man to stage a play, the Ramayana; and the wonder of it was, that the man who produced the play was a Muslim. There are many such public-spirited people in this country who are quite vigorous in championing the cause of the slum dweller, tribals displaced by the construction of huge dams, and so on. But at the end of the day, what matters most is what the average person feels, and how sensitive the societies in which the person lives are.

In Japan, for example, the roads and even railway stations are so well laid out that blind and handicapped people can move fairly easily on sidewalks, get into trains etc., without anybody’s help. In America, there are any number of social groups that concern themselves very seriously with problems of suicide, alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, obesity etc., and go all out to help such people. Not only that; they are very pro-active in highlighting the issues involved and eliciting strong public support. And when there is strong public support, the government of the day has to respond by enacting laws that help handicapped and other people in substantial ways. Thus, if we are talking about the ‘average index of sensitivity’ in a community, it depends to a large extent on what the ordinary people feel about matters that ought to be of concern. By and large, it would seem that in the ‘advanced countries,’ there is greater social awareness about social problems and issues. In turn this is reflected in the way those societies deal with such matters.

OK, all this is fine; but what has it got to do with Sathya SaiBaba, His teachings etc? That is what we would like to consider next. There are two things we would like to mention as a preliminary. First is the line from the Gita that Swami often quotes. In that quote, Krishna says, “My Divinity pervades all and everything, and an aspect of My Divinity is to be found in all living beings.” In practical terms, it means that Swami is in all. Next, Swami says that recognising this immanent and latent Divinity within us, each of us must see the world and deal with it, being fully conscious of the Omnipresence of God. Let us examine what this means.

Let us start with a simple matter like greetings. When we greet a person, do we recall what Swami has said about it? He says, if you offer respect to a person, you are actually offering obeisance to the God within. Do we ever bother to recall that? If we did, we would never dare to abuse another person or speak rudely. For Swami has said that every abuse hurled at another ‘person/body’ ends up reaching God. Do we want to do that?

So the first lesson is that when relating to ‘others’, be it through feelings, thoughts, word or action, we must always remember that the ultimate destination of all these is really the Omnipresent God.

In other words, we must constantly feel that we are always dealing with God, though in worldly terms we might be dealing with Mr. X or Ms. Y. Once one is saturated with this feeling always, many things would instantly change, often without anybody spending one cent.

Just to highlight how important this matter is, let us take the issue of prisoners. Every country has laws and those who violate laws are thrown into prison. People seem to imagine that having laws, police, courts, and prisons, takes care of the problem of law and order. Does it? Active work by socially-conscious people has shown that it does not .

In Britain, for example, an expert Committee was alarmed to find that a huge number of young people get imprisoned under the present system. In the prison, these juveniles are often forced to live along with hardened criminals, and that changes their entire outlook. Thus, when they come out, they soon join the category of hardened criminals. The Committee asked: Is this good? Can we afford to make hardened criminals of young people? Should not Society do something to use the prison term to steer these young people so that when they come out, they live as good citizens and contribute to Society? Even from a monetary point of view, which is better for Society? To have more criminals and therefore more jails, security systems, etc., or better citizens?

What we have mentioned is but the tip of the iceberg. In today’s complex Society, there are millions of problems. However, if we think carefully, almost every one of them can be solved through Love, Compassion and Sensitivity. That is what Swami is telling us all the time, but are we listening? That is the question we want to leave you with this Sunday!

See you again next week. Till then, may Swami be with you and take care of you every single second.

Jai Sai Ram.
With Love and Regards
“Heart2Heart” Team

Easwaramma Day

Easwaramma

Easwaramma


Easwaramma Day

The birthday celebrations of Easwaramma, the mother of Sri Sathya Sai Baba will be held at the Ramakrishna Hall, Wellawatta on May 3 from 4.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. with events including drama, songs of human values, dances and speeches depicting the noble services of Easwaramma.

Former Vice Chancellor of the Open University of Sri Lanka Professor Uma Kumaraswamy who is a consultant to the Higher Education Ministry will be the chief guest. Professor Sunanda Degamboda, Chairman of the Central Council of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation in Sri Lanka, Professor of University Kelaniya and Vama Sivapalan, Chairperson Mahila Samithi of Sathya Sai Seva Organisation in Sri Lanka will also deliver speeches.

Daily News Sri Lanka Reference

NOTE: Easwaramma Day Is Celebrated On May 6th At Prashanti.

Fighting The Smears – Htaccess Redirects And Framed Webpages

Fighting The Smears – Htaccess Redirects And Framed Webpages
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Sathya Sai Baba At Kodaikanal

Sathya Sai Baba At Kodaikanal
(click on thumbnails to enlarge)

Sathya Sai Baba Arrives By Helicopter In Kodaikanal April 2009

Sathya Sai Baba Arrives By Helicopter In Kodaikanal April 2009


Sathya Sai Baba In Kodaikanal April 2009

Sathya Sai Baba In Kodaikanal April 2009


Ever Young Sathya Sai Baba In Sai Shruti Kodai April 2009 At Age 83

Ever Young Sathya Sai Baba In Sai Shruti Kodai April 2009 At Age 83


Sathya Sai Baba In Sai Shruti Kodaikanal April 2009 At Age 83

Sathya Sai Baba In Sai Shruti Kodaikanal April 2009 At Age 83


Ever Youthful Sathya Sai Baba In Kodai April 2009 At Age 83

Ever Youthful Sathya Sai Baba In Kodai April 2009 At Age 83


Ever Youthful Sathya Sai Baba In Kodai April 2009 At Age 83

Ever Youthful Sathya Sai Baba In Kodai April 2009 At Age 83


Blissful Evening with enlightening Divine Discourse – 29th April 2009

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came to the scenic Sai Shruti Darshan grounds at 10.00 a.m. in Kodaikanal. In all His compassion, Bhagawan went round the grounds and even down the slopes to bless the devotees. At the end, Bhagawan was offered flower and Aarati and the devotees received Prasadam blessed by Swami.

In the evening, Bhajans began at 6.00 p.m in the Bhajan hall. Swami came soon afterwards and went down the aisle receiving letters and blessing devotees. At 6.25, Sri Ajit Popat was asked by Bhagawan to give a talk. His focus was on a Sai formula for day-to-day spiritualised living. He began his talk by saying that we have to pay rent for the body given to us by expressing love to the creator. We should be physically healthy and mentally alert and spiritually evolved. Paropakaram (serving others) is important and one should always be busy and immersed in bliss in constant awareness of the Lord. Switch off being “busy” otherwise and connect to Sai by regular prayers. We should go back to the source with the right resources. Keep the body healthy, neat and tidy. The mind has to be filled with pure thoughts and should be always happy. Sri Popat ended his short talk at 6.35.p.m.

After Sri Popat’s talk, Bhagawan blessed the devotees with His Divine Discourse at 6.35.p.m.

Excerpts From Sathya Sai Baba’s Divine Discourse:

Everything emerges from Truth and merges back into Truth. There is no place where you cannot feel the power of Truth. Popat said that everyone is an embodiment of God. There is only one, and no second entity. It is not truth, but illusion, if you see duality, multiplicity. Whether it be a mosquito, an ant, an elephant or mountain, everything is God. Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names)

Truth is one, but scholars explain it in different ways. It is like a scene being reflected in all sources of water. It is reflected in flowing water and stagnant water too. In the former the reflection would be wavering while steady in the latter. Even in dirty water the reflection can be seen to a certain extent but if it is murky, it turns opaque and does not reflect anything. The heart has to be kept pure to see God. Clear you heart, then you would realise that God is in everyone. Hiranyakasipu asked where is Narayana? Man is Narayana. He is in everyone.

Today, we look with different feelings and develop relationship depending on the form. If a person realises that all others are his form, then there is no father, no sister, etc. These relationships are related only to the body. The same Atma is in everyone. It is the illusion that creates difficulties. The artist Ravi Varma drew pictures of Rama, Krishna, etc., from his imagination. Who has seen Rama, Krishna? All are forms of one God. Depending on your imagination, God takes that form. They are all reflections emerging from yourself.
You ask why God gives me so much misery. When you are happy you think you are fortunate. Good and bad do not come from outside. Good thoughts bring good results. Everything comes from within you. It is all reaction, reflection and resound. God does not give you joy or sorrow. He has no qualities, no anger, hatred or jealousy. Desires make you see many reflections. Reduce your desires and then there will be less luggage and more comfort and happiness. Mind is the cause of liberation and bondage.

Think of God in whatever form you love and then He appears in that form. Swami never says to give up any particular form of God you worship. You can chant “Om Namo Narayana” or “Om” which has everything in it since it is the Primordial Sound. Sai, Rama, Krishna are all names given to the respective bodies of Avatars. RAMA is said to be the son of Dasaratha. Who is Dasaratha? The name Dasaratha means chariot with ten senses. These senses lure you to do many things, control the senses. Realise that there is only one Truth, one God . Make an effort to realise this Truth.

If you develop unity, there will be steady devotion which issues forth from steady faith. Real faith will never waver. You should have true, steady , pure and selfless devotion for God. Man has come to exhibit the qualities like Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa (truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence). Look at all women as mothers and sisters. There is nothing sweeter than the feeling that one has towards one’s mother.

There is only one Purusha and that Purusha is God. Do not create differences. Remember that all are divine. Any work should be done as Nishkama Karma (work done without the feeling of selfishness). Reduce selfishness and try to help others, seeing God in everyone. There is no duality. God is one. From today, get rid of the feeling of duality.

Bhagawan also dwelt on Adi Sankara’s philosophy of Advaita substantiating it with many examples. Bhagawan concluded His Discourse at 7.30 p.m.

Sri V. Srinivasan, All India President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations then introduced the Burra Katha (folk art form with dialogues and music) artistes – students of Sri Sathya Sai University. Bhagawan honoured them with shawls.

These students had taken everyone to sublime heights by presenting vividly the lives of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Shirdi Sai Baba and Mother Easwaramma. Bhagawan showered His motherly affection on the three of them calling them His children and went amidst them to be photographed. Sri Srinivasan opined that Sai students excel in every field and exhibit multiple skills. The three of them then sang a song on Bhagawan which described Bhagawan as the mother, father, preceptor, friend, philosopher and guide, all rolled into one. While Sathya Sai Baba was being offered Aarati, He asked the three of them also to offer Aarati to Him. There ended the evening of 29th April 2009 immersing everyone in the ocean of Ananda (bliss).

Reference

How Does God’s Insurance Office Work?

Sathya Sai Baba Vibuthi

Sathya Sai Baba Vibuthi


How Does God’s Insurance Office Work?

In the Gita, the Lord says that from time to time when righteousness is on the decline He incarnates. Swami has added that He has come to save scriptural knowledge and to protect devotees of the Lord. This raises the question: ‘Who exactly is a devotee of the Lord?’ Operationally, any one who has devotion for the Lord might be described as a devotee. However, as we all know, there are all kinds of devotees; in fact, five thousand years ago, Krishna identified four major categories.

They are:

  1. those who come to the Lord because they want their personal problems solved,
  2. those who want the Lord to grant them wealth and prosperity,
  3. those who would like the Lord to guide them in acquiring Wisdom, and finally
  4. those who want nothing whatsoever and are content to enjoy Bliss immersed in God.

This was the classification given five thousand years ago and it still holds. The question now is: Which of these categories of devotees is eligible for protection? This in turn raises another question as to what exactly we mean by protection. But meanwhile, it is useful for us to note that Lord Krishna has said that He relates to devotees the very same way they relate to Him. Swami has amplified this with the remark that to a child He is a child; to a man He is a man, and so on. In other words, Swami is to us, what we think Him to be.

What has all this got to do with God’s protection? We are coming to that. Let us start with the question, whom does God protect? He certainly responds to prayers and offers His protection in some measure, but only to the extent we are eligible. Devotees often forget this aspect of eligibility and imagine God to be something like a slot machine. We pray and God has to respond – that is the way people think God should operate. Is that correct? Let us take the slot machine. When we insert a coin into a slot machine and press the button, the machine delivers a chocolate bar or whatever. But when the stock of the goodies is over, even if one inserts a coin, one would get nothing. The same is true of God’s Grace. When one has limited credit and that credit runs out, then prayers will not provide the protection one prays for. So it boils down to how to build up a good credit.

Lord Krishna and Sathya Sai Baba have made one thing very clear. God’s insurance office is open 24/7 and is accessible in all parts of the world from the North Pole to the South Pole. But if one wants comprehensive coverage, and God does have that plan, then one has to make proper payment of premium. And what exactly is the premium? Sathya Sai Baba has indicated that. Basically, it consists of two words: Aushadam and Pathyam. Aushadam means medicine and Pathyam means diet restrictions. Swami says that when one goes to a doctor with an illness like stomach upset, for example, the doctor prescribes medicines and also diet restrictions; the same is true of the Divine Doctor, says Swami.

What exactly does Sathya Sai Baba mean by these two words? Swami has explained that also. He says that the medicine is the constant chanting of the Name. OK, but what about the Pathyam or so-called diet restrictions? Swami says the Pathyam is TOTAL obedience of Swami’s commands.

We would now like to make some comments about the latter. From time to time, we get reports that Sai devotees in some place or the other, are actively playing host to a person, sometimes male and sometimes female, who claims that Swami has sent him or her, creates vibhuti or whatever, and ends up collecting money, of course, for some cause authorised by Swami – that is what the self-appointed agent says. This sort of thing seems to happen in all parts of the world the East to the West.

Times without number, Satya Sai Baba has declared openly in so many Discourses that He has no middlemen. Times without number, Sanathana Sarathi has published warnings about specific persons going round claiming to act for and on behalf of Swami. The Organisation too has sent circulars asking Centres and Office Bearers to stay clear of such self-appointed ‘messengers’. And yet, people seem to be drawn to such ‘messengers’. Not only that, devotees invite them to Sai Centres, make them sit on Swami’s Chair and even offer Aarathi to them.

Jesus once said, ‘Why call ye me Lord, when thou does’t not follow what I say?’ One can similarly ask: What is the meaning of we calling Swami God and all that, when we are bent on ignoring His emphatic declaration that He has no middle persons.

If this were an isolated phenomenon, we would not write about it. But we are constantly getting reports about such people from all over. That such people exist should not surprise us; the world is full of who would like to take advantage of the gullible. But what we find astonishing is that people who claim to be devotees of Sathya Sai Baba insist on violating His command.

People are free to follow whom they want, but they should be aware of the consequences. In the Gita, Krishna makes it very clear that those who follow the manes go to the manes; those who follow the deities, go the deities; but those who follow Him, go only to Him. Could anything be clearer? Think about it!

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

Easwarrama Women’s Welfare Project

Sathya Sai Baba On Empowering Women

Sathya Sai Baba On Empowering Women


Easwarrama Women’s Welfare Project
Chethana Raju

RECOGNISING WOMEN’S CENTRAL role in society, the Easwaramma. Women’s Welfare Project-seeks to help in the development of women in a holistic manner by understanding and supporting the different roles which they play in life, be it daughter, mother or breadwinner.

It is a well-known saying, “Give a man bread and you feed him for a day, teach him to farm, and you feed him for life.” Along these lines, we felt our sisters in the villages would be better served by the acquisition of skills; the goal being self-support and independence.

Powered by the idea of sustainable development, this philosophy motivated the adoption of a Welfare Project to first address the need for a woman’s financial security. Before the Project launch, a survey was conducted in the surrounding villages, identifying the most deprived and impoverished women in the area. Their economic condition and whether they had some basic or no skills were all points taken into consideration before selection for the Project.

A Step towards Making Women Self-reliant
On 19th November 2004, on Ladies Day, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba officially inaugurated the Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Project by unveiling a plaque. On 19th July 2005, the Project facility for these women was graciously inaugurated by Bhagavan Sri Satya SaiBaba within Prasanthi Nilayam. The Project is already producing a large number of products and has started marketing them initially through local outlets in the Ashram. The proceeds of the sales will be spent on remuneration for the women and will also go towards charitable projects in the villages.

Once the products are identified, trainers are engaged to teach the women how to make these items. When they are proficient at their tasks, one or two women in the group are trained to interact with suppliers and customers. In addition to providing women with a skill that is a lifelong source of income, this Project will also have socially beneficial effects. As an income earner, a woman’s self- esteem and her respect in society increases. Speaking on women, Sathya Sai Baba has said, “All women should be provided with opportunities to become self-reliant”.

The Project seeks to translate this into reality. A major step was taken to expand and organise the work of Easwaramma Women’s Project when Bhagavan graciously established Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Trust on 18th February 2005.

Mother and Child Project
Recently, another dimension has been added to the Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Project by initiating Mother and Child Project. This project was started after conducting thorough research at grass root level by visiting a large number of villages as well as by assessing the needs of expecting mothers from Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Puttaparthi. As a result of this, two requirements have been recognised as vital. One is for maternal and infant care, which has given rise to the Mother and Child Project. The central role that the mother plays as “the Guru of the children … and the upholder of spiritual values” has been emphasised by Swami many a time. Recognising the importance of her health and well-being for society, the Mother and Child Project strives to support her during this crucial stage in her life.

Visits to the General Hospital, Puttaparthi showed that the general health condition of some of the pregnant women coming in for care is a cause for concern. Many come in for deliveries with extremely low haemoglobin levels, far below the international recommended level for delivery. Lack of proper nutrition is one of the main causes for this deficiency.

They often come to the hospital at a very late stage, which significantly increases the chances of complications. Regrettably, some are unable to come because of the considerable journeying distance and / or monetary constraints. Therefore, the Mother and Child Project aims to provide medical care for pregnant mothers and infants in the villages. Bhagavan, in His infinite grace, has provided a fully-equipped ambulance which can be utilised for on-the-spot medical treatment. The two objectives of the Project, medical and educational, are pursued side by side. The medical care is dispensed in a regular manner, over a significant period of time, in keeping with the Project’s goal of sustainability. The voluntary team of doctors, nurses and Seva Dal members visit each village throughout the year. Records of all mothers and children are maintained systematically so that their health condition can be monitored on a continuous, long-term basis. These records prove to be invaluable resource for the next team of doctors to assess the follow-up care.

Each mother-to-be receives a Sari and a special kit for mother and baby as a token of Bhagavan’s love and blessings. The kit provides the mothers with important supplements such as iron and folic acid. High protein nutritional supplements are also distributed regularly. As for the delivery itself, only emergencies are advised to go to the hospital. The traditional practice of home-deliveries with the central role of Dhais (midwives) is encouraged and made increasingly hygienic with the training of these Dhais and the supply of sterilised kits that assist in safe deliveries.

Once the baby is born, it is welcomed into the world with a fresh set of clothes, regular health check-ups and full immunisation. Immunisation is done for major locally-prevalent diseases including polio, measles, mumps, hepatitis-B and tuberculosis. Nutritional supplements are also regularly given to the infants. In conjunction with the treatment, the doctors conduct educational talks for mothers. Advice is given on a variety of practical matters, i.e., available good foods for pregnancy, post-natal and infant care, and handling of emergency cases.

We envisage a world where women have equal privileges in every sphere of life, a world in which women have opportunities to support themselves, a world in which they are self-reliant and not dependent on others. We believe that Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Project is a step in this noble direction. One of the Mission statements of Bhagavan Baba is: “I am attached to the work that I love: To remove the sufferings of the poor and grant them what they lack”. We pray that we all become humble instruments in His Divine Mission!

Sathya Sai Baba: Self-imposed discipline is conducive to real Shanti, peace of mind, poise, equanimity and the stable equilibrium of the mind. Peace of mind is the most desirable thing in the whole world. It gives us physical and psychical euphoria. In order to achieve this peace, an aspirant must develop a thirst for spiritual wisdom. He must acquire the qualities of love, sympathy and compassion, and do selfless service to others. Shanti (peace) should not be regarded as a part-time virtue to be cultivated only during meditation. It is a constant state of inner tranquillity. It should become habitual and instinctive.

Reference: Sanathana Sarathi pgs 381-383 – November 2005