Mass wedding on May 16th, 50 couples to tie knot

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Mass wedding on May 16th, 50 couples to tie knot

The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Pune, will organise a mass wedding on May 16, the birth anniversary of Sathya Sai Baba, at Phulgaon village in Pune.

“We have booked 50 couples, which include some Muslim and Buddhist couples, who have agreed to get married on the appointed day,’’ said, Venkatesh Jalgi, district co-ordinator Pune, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation.

The couples have been chosen from different rural areas of Pune and are not able to afford marriages. “The couples have been drawn from diverse backgrounds and they came forward for the marriage, which is being held free of cost. We are providing utensils and clothes to the couples,’’ Jalgi said.

The marriages are being held in an austere setting without any pomp and show and the estimated expenditure incurred by the organisation on each marriage is between Rs 10,000 and 15,000, he said.

“Some of the couples are from slum areas and some belong to families of farmers. We took the initiative as in villages such as Phulgaon, couples have been running into debt and cannot afford weddings,’’ Jalgi said.

The organisation looks into the area of socio-economic development of the people from the rural backgrounds of Pune, and it is for the first time that it is organising the marriages on such a large scale.

“We are targeting the solemnisation of around 85 marriages on Sathya Sai Baba’s 85th birth anniversary. This is being held on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya,’’ added Jalgi.

The Sathya Seva Organisation plans to keep the event sombre. He said the organisation booked the marriage offers through its Grameen Seva Kendra at Phulgaon village and has collected donations for the event.

“We have a well-established network of philanthropists, who have come forward to fund the event. We are doing this as there are hardly any organizations that work towards helping people conduct marriages, thus laying the base for the basic social unit of the society,’’ said Jalgi.

He added that most of the couples who have come forward have got their respective matches arranged by their parents.

Indian Express Reference

Why should we serve society?

Why should we serve society?
Sai Reflections
Published: 17 Mar 2010

Love is equally present in all. You make use of this love for selfishness, self-interest and for service.

Unfortunately, in the present day world, selfishness and self-interest predominate. Everything is done now with an attitude of “my people and for me.” If there is no society, where do you and your people stand? You get education out of society and earn money from it. Even the position and reputation you hold come from the society. Having received so much from society, what help are you rendering in return? While receiving the benefits from it you still keep harming the society! Over the years, Sri Sathya Sai Baba has placed great emphasis on the value of selfless service by saying, “Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray.” When we are engaged in any kind of activity, our mind is focused on the task at hand. The mind has a free run and takes us along its whimsical path only when the body is not engaged in any activity. The adage, “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop” is so true. In these times of fast communication and bombardment by the media, our lives are made stressful and peace of mind seems so far off. An idle mind can also trigger by itself all pent up negative feelings and imaginary fears. That is why Satya Sai Baba also defines rest thus: “Change of work is rest… otherwise it becomes rust!” The mind, which is a bundle of desires, is constantly fed by fleeting thoughts and hence it is virtually impossible to still the mind. We are mere expressions of our thoughts. Even prayers, meditation or singing the praises of the Lord cannot give quick results.

However, when the body is engaged in activity, the mind has a better chance to be focused away from useless and negative thoughts. Sri Sathya Sai Baba says, “Bend the body, mend the senses and end the mind.” Therefore, whenever we are engaged in good deeds, like selflessly serving others, we are not only purifying our senses but also filling our minds with positive and Godly thoughts. Bending the body signifies humility, an essential quality for a true spiritual seeker. To please God, to please our conscience, we have an inescapable duty to perform—ie, to give something back to the world that has and still is sustaining us. What is service? Every activity is service, as long as there is no selfishness or ego. We offer the fruits of our labour to the Lord without any reward. It is up to Him if He gives us something in return—greater than our input, lesser than our input or even nothing at all. The manifest world is God’s kingdom, our Father’s kingdom and we, as His children, have rightfully inherited everything in the world to enjoy, but not exploit and destroy.

We cannot enjoy anything unless we do our part to care and share. After all, no one enjoys a great meal without sharing it with another! All the resources of the world and the benefits which society has to offer for our happiness are not just for ourselves alone. There are others around us who are less fortunate. We have an obligation to make the world a better place for future generations to inherit. Service is not confined to helping the sick and the disadvantaged alone. It also involves avoiding unnecessary waste and destruction of resources. Desires have a voracious appetite to consume far beyond our needs and breed selfishness. By learning to manage well all the God given resources—money, food, time and energy—we improve not only the quality of our own life, but also become privileged to share the surplus resources with those who are less fortunate. This is true spirituality and expansion of love in a practical way. When we wake up every morning, our prayers need not be in quantity, but improved in quality. We can ask ourselves: “What can I do today that will please God?” What is Sai Baba’s clarion call? Love! Love!! Love!!! And, what is love in action? Service! Service!! Service!!! Remember: “Love All Serve All”.

Guardian TT Reference

Bharathanjali: Senior personalities in the art field felicitated

Bharathanjali: Senior personalities in the art field felicitated

It was Sri Sathya Sai Baba‘s 84th birthday this Monday and it is a ritual by Acharya Choodamani Anitha Guha where she felicitates and honors exponents in the field of arts for their commendable contribution. The awards were conferred upon by Dr.Pappu Venugopala Rao, Secretary, Music Academy and Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy, Founder, Director, Bharathalaya. What started as honoring young artists 8 years ago has now turned to the older people. Says the ever-smiling Anitha Guha, “Being an ardent Sathya Sai Baba devotee, I try following his saying ‘Love all, Serve all’. This is something that I can do to my artistic family from my side and it is not an award function. It is just a thanksgiving function from Bharathanjali to the doyens of the art field.”

This year being the completion of 20 years of Bharathanjali and 10 years of Bharathanjali trust, around 8 personalities like Yagna Raman, Former Secretary, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Karthik Rajagopal, Founder-Secretary, Vice President, Karthik Fine Arts, D.S.Ramanujam, Former Secretary, Karthik Fine Arts, Leela Sekar, Chairperson, I.D.A, R.Srinivasan, Senior Executive IOC (Retd.), Member, LAC, TTD, Chennai, Nandini Ramani, Bharatanatyam Exponent, Managing Trustee- Dr.V.Raghavan Centre for Performing Arts, K.Hariprasad, Lecturer in Vocal Music, Kalakshetra, Dr.Gayatri Kannan, Principal of Nrithyodaya. The title given to each awardee was uniquely titled by Anitha Guha herself like Sathya Parama Kala Poshaka Sundaram, Sathya Gandharva Gana Sundaram and Sathya Gana Kokila Sundaram. “These people have been with us helping with our productions from time immemorial and that is why I thought of felicitating them.”

Coming to Anitha Guha’s function and going back home without seeing a dance performance from Bharathanjali sounds ridiculous. Students with the perfect Nritha and Abhinaya gave a few performances which kept the audience in rapt attention. One fact what quite evident and true, Anitha Guha is definitely a boon to the artistic community as she has groomed her students very well.

Chennai Online Reference

Education without values serves none: Baba

Education without values serves none: Baba
Express News Service
First Published : 23 Nov 2009 03:27:00 AM IST

PUTTAPARTHI: Higher education should not be pursued with an aim to amass wealth and get power.

It should be done for selfless service to the society, says Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Addressing students at the 28th convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University at Sai Kulwanth Hall in Prasanthi Nilayam today, Sathya Sai Baba said the real purpose of education is served, when the needy are helped and the society gets the benefit. Love is all powerful and with it the world can be won. One should remember that education without values serves none and good conduct is far more valuable than wealth. There is no greater education or love than that of mother’s love. There is also no greater degree than love, he said.

Emphasising that what one learns through education should be used for the good of society, he said the greater meaning of education is love towards fellow humans and all living beings in the universe. Education is physical and educare is spiritual knowledge.

Expressing concern over the increased rat race for the worldly pursuit, he advised students to learn Sanatana Dharmas, which are truth, love and non-violence. “Love is God and it is in every living being. Inner satisfaction is far more worthy than physical satisfaction.” He advised people to reduce the use of cellphone which has become a hindrance to love and respect to people. “Instead of bringing people together, it is widening the gap among them,” he observed.

In his convocation address, Samuel Sandweiss of University of California, who is also the author of ‘Saibaba: The Holyman and Psychiatrist’, ‘Spirit and Mind’ and ‘With Love Man is God’, elaborated on the purpose and value of education in the context of spiritual needs of human beings.

He said education is the very process which lays the foundation for Dharma (Righteousness) by removing ignorance and letting the self inner shine. Citing examples of the earliest universities Oxford, Salamanca and Soroban in Europe and Nalanda and Taxila in ancient India, he said these institutions had deep religious and presumably spiritual foundations. He lauded the growth achieved by Sri Sathya Sai University and its endeavour for social welfare.

Varsity Vice-Chancellor Vishwanath Pandit presented a report. In all, 21 students received gold medals from the hands of Sri Sathya Saibaba.

District Collector P Janardhan Reddy, SP MK Singh, Puttaparthi MLA P Raghunath Reddy and others were present.

Express Buzz Reference

Sai Baba In The News – November 2009

Sai Baba In The News – November 2009

Aswamedha Trust in service of the poor
Express News Service
First Published : 22 Nov 2009 03:55:00 AM IST

ANANTAPUR: Inspired by Sri Sathya Sai Baba and Mother Teresa, Aswamedha Charitable Trust, the brain child of NT Chowdary was founded in 2007 to sponsor education of poor students in drought-prone Anantapur district.

The trust helps poor students, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, to pursue higher education. It also provides free coaching for Public Service Commission examinations, ICET etc.

Scholarships are also being provided to the students pursuing MBA, MCA, B.Tech, MBBS, degree, Inter and nursing courses. So far 850 students were given scholarships.

Group insurance facility was also extended to 850 students by the Trust.

Differently abled and mentally challenged students are also being taken care by the Spandana Orphanage and the the Trust has donated Rs.50,000 to the orphanage. The trust has provided mid-day meals to nearly 650 students for a period of 45 days and donated Rs 2 lakh to NTR Trust through Governor ND Tiwari.

In order to eliminate corruption from the society, the District Collector N Sreedhar had organised a 3K Run on anticorruption in Anantapur. The trust distributed biscuit packets and fruits to those participated in the run. It donated Rs 2.5 lakh to the Teachers Associations and Unions.

Under Anantha Pratibha programme, 300 students have been provided help to secure admission in corporate colleges.

Free coaching for clerks recruitment examination in State Bank of India was given for 600 candidates by the Trust.

Expess Buzz Reference


Blood donation camp held at Civil Hospital
Ludhiana: Shri Sathya Sai Baba Sewa Samithy, a non-governmental organisation, organised a blood donation camp at Civil Hospital on Saturday. Sanjay Sondhi, a member of the NGO, said the camp was held as a part of birthday of Shri Sathya Sai Baba.

Indian Express Reference

84-Hour Long Sai Bhajans Programme

84-Hour Long Sai Bhajans Programme
TNN 8 October 2009, 06:53am IST

ALLAHABAD: A non-stop all religion bhajan programme would be organised by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Sangathan here as a prelude to 84th birthday celebrations of Sathya Sai Baba. Spreading the message of love, truthfulness, non violence, peace and co-existence, hundreds of devotees will start singing the Sai Bhajans on October 8 (7.30 am onwards) continuously for 84 hours.

The programme will start with the lighting of lamp by Justice Sanjay Mishra of Allahabad High Court. The bhajan programme will be held at Mathur Vaisya Dharmshala, Mumfordganj.

Giving information, Gopal Tiwari of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Sangathan said that the programme is being organised to spread the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. “Devotees, crossing the bar of caste and religion, belonging to different parts of the state have already arrived here for the programme,” he said.

Beside the bhajan programme, an exhibition on Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings will also be organised. The Bhajan programme will conclude on October 11 at 7.30 pm by Mahamangal Arti of Baba. The state president of the organisation, Y K Saluja will address the gathering and perform mahamangal arti.

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