The Pink Twins – Accolade Productions

The Pink Twins | Accolade Productions
Written by Amy Hyslop
Tuesday, 28 July 2009 15:26

Pink, as they say, is the universal colour of love. And there was a whole lot of pink and whole lot of love on display at the opening night of Accolade Productions’ new piece of musical theatre The Pink Twins. Never have I seen such a fascinating opening night crowd as the “twinnies” of Brisbane came out in force (and in pink) to celebrate the lives and charitable works of two remarkable local women.

Written and directed by Sue Rider, The Pink Twins is a celebration, not only of ‘twinning’, but also of faith, difference and compassion. Through song and movement it explores the lives and good works of Brisbane legends Dorothy* and Moyia O’Brien, identical twins who, among their many achievements, founded the Sunshine Welfare and Remedial Association (SWARA).

Fittingly enough the O’Brien sisters are played by twin performers Anni and Maude Davey. They both give marvelous, magical performances. I don’t know what the O’Brien sisters are like in real life, and director Rider has stressed that The Pink Twins is a fictionalized account of their lives, but I cannot see how they would be failed to be delighted by the Davey sisters’ joyous, sensitive evocations.

They are beautifully supported by twin singers Heather and Marjorie Michael who give glorious voice to music by nationally recognized composer John Rogers. Rogers said that he relished the opportunity to explore the ways in which twins voices are the same yet different – a major theme of the piece as a whole. The arrangements are playful and, as Rider has been quoted as saying, slightly bent – like the twins themselves.

Dancer turned actor Dan Crestani moves effortlessly through a number of roles, most notably Dorothy and Moyia’s intense, spiritual mother. The role is a crucial one. It was their mother who instilled in the twins, or “twinnies” as she called them, the idea that anything is possible if you only embrace the notion of faith.

It was also their mother who controversially introduced them to Indian spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba. The subject of the twins’ connection to this alternative faith is sensitively touched on by Rider and avoids reference to ugly public claims by a former SWARA manager suggesting that SWARA was a dangerous cult.

Rider makes it clear that their involvement with Sathya Sai Baba’s group had nothing to do with cult mentality and evertyhing to do with its close adherence to their own ideas about the transformative powers of love and happiness.

The fine performances are supported by a wonderfully shambolic choir made up of SWARA clients. Rider had originally planned to use footage of SWARA clients. I’m pleased that she chose to involve them in the live performance. Their presence lends the piece soulful authenticity and highlights the importance of Dorothy and Moyia’s work.

The Pink Twins is a real triumph for everyone involved – particularly writer/director Sue Rider for whom the project has been a real labour of love. Any treatment of the O’Brien sisters’ lives could have easily fallen into the realm of “rose coloured” sentiment but Rider refuses to sanitize her subjects or their lives.

Instead what she gives us is a fast-paced, witty, lyrical and magical portrait of real women, not saints or worse, quaint oddballs.

I came away from The Pink Twins feeling spiritually invigorated and very much “loved-up.” A sentiment which no doubt would be approved by its subjects.

* Dorothy O’Brien passed away in 2004.

QPAC and Queensland Music Festival present
An Accolade Production
The Pink Twins
by Sue Rider

Venue: Cremorne Theatre, QPAC
Dates: Wed 22 July – Sat 1 August
Times: Wed to Sat 7.30pm, Tue 6.30pm.
Matinees: Wed 30 July 11am, Sat 25 July & Sat 1 August 1.30pm
Tickets: Full $29 – $39 Conc $19 – $29

Australian Stage Reference

Sathya Sai Gurukulam Students Excel

Sathya Sai Gurukulam Students Excel
Express News Service
First Published : 28 Jul 2009 05:12:00 AM IST

RAJAHMUNDRY: Sri Sathya Sai Gurukulam School won the ‘Rajahmundry City finals of Limca Book of Records Quiz-2009’ conducted at St Anns School here today.

Gowthami School campus 1, emerged as the runner up during the Rajahmundry City final of the National Quiz. About 400 students from various schools participated in the quiz programme.

The quiz programme was conducted by famous quiz master Jason Pote from Derek O’ Associates.

Coca-Cola India general manager Rateesh Kumar presented the award to the winners of the Rajahmundry city finals. According to Coca- Cola India general manager Rateesh Kumar, Limca Book of Records now celebrating its 20 illustrious year truly catalogues India at her best providing the opportunity to learn about the achievements of Indians. Limca Book of Records is in continuation of Coca-Cola India’s vision to promote knowledge and awareness in the young minds of the country.

This year , Coca-Cola took the initiative to organise the same in 3,000 schools across the country. Reputed quiz master Derek O’ Brien and founder of Know & Grow with Derek will host the national finals.

Entire database, including content, research material and quiz software will be provided by Know & Grow with Derek.

ExpressBuzz Reference

NOTE: The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust runs the Sri Sathya Sai Gurukulam English Medium School at Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh. It is a residential school affiliated to the ICSE (Indian Council for Secondary Education). The school conducts classes for boys up to 10th standard. In keeping with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s philosophy, no tuition fees are charged from the students. The schedule of activities too is modelled after that of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s institutions in Prasanthi Nilayam. The scenic campus spread over 27 acres houses an auditorium and a swimming pool in addition to the school and hostel buildings.

Why Are Our Prayers Sometimes Not Answered?

Sathya Sai Baba And Prayer

Sathya Sai Baba And Prayer


Why Are Our Prayers Sometimes Not Answered?

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

Today we would like to turn your attention to the subject of prayer. Many people have potent experiences through the avenue of prayer, while others seem to get no positive outcome. What might be the mysterious mechanism behind prayer, and how can we explain such contradictory results? Many religions and wisdom traditions over the ages have declared that all prayers are answered; Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba likewise says this is so. But how can this be, one protests, when so many boons we fervently pray for do not seem to be granted?

First of all, to be effective, a prayer must be sincere. Consulting a dictionary, we find sincere defined as “genuine, real” and “free from hypocrisy.” Sathya Sai Baba has noted that sometimes our prayers are no more than play acting. Perhaps he means that though we may be crying out to the Creator to help us, in our heart of hearts – our core convictions about life – we’re not convinced that God loves us and that we are worthy of His grace. Sathya Sai Baba also states that the universe always says, “Yes, yes, yes,” to us, so if within ourselves we are holding to a deep subconscious belief that contradicts our pleas, how can we expect our prayer to be effective? In that scenario, we are living in a state of hypocrisy, saying one thing while secretly believing another. The great Masters and Avatars who come to Earth as vehicles for divine energy do not force their will on us. Opening up to God’s love is our job, so if due to low self-esteem or other psychological conditions we cannot free our hearts and accept the love they offer, the circuit doesn’t get completed. In this case, it is not God turning a deaf ear to us, but we ourselves who are blocking the blessings we are yearning for. Our part in the process was pointed out by Jesus Christ thousands of years ago. When people praised him for the miraculous healings they received, he declared it was by their own faith that they were healed, meaning that they were ready to receive so their prayers for health could be fulfilled.

Another point to consider is that serious illness and other trials may be karmic in nature, meaning we ourselves have created the circumstances we are facing and they can teach us lessons which are crucial to our spiritual growth. In such cases, our ultimate good is better served by going through the karmic process and reaping the insights it will bring us. Since the true goal of life is self-realization and liberation, why would God interfere in that process?

The factor of time must also be added to the mix. It’s easy to recognize this when a child whines for something it is not ready for, like the five-year-old who wants to drive the car. Like big children, we don’t always know what’s best for us or when we should have it. Sathya Sai Baba has stated sometimes we don’t get what we ask for because something better is being held for us. In one account, Bhagawan Baba told a woman He would heal her just like that, and then snapped His fingers three times. Twenty years later He came in a dream, snapped His fingers three times and she was healed.

Then there is dharma. We are born into this world to play a specific role in the Lord’s play. In the Gita, Krishna discusses swa-dharma, the individual’s path of right action and says it is better to fail at our swa-dharma than to succeed at another’s. If a prayer is misguided in that we are pursuing something not suited for us, it may be best it is not fulfilled as we wish, as doing so might delay the day we awaken to our true dharmic role. For example, the ego might crave a certain job because of the pay and prestige, while on a soul level we are seeking work in harmony with our inner nature and a way to serve others as well as support ourselves. We humans are complex beings, and life is about getting to know oneself on every level.

An article in New Realities magazine in May of 1990 entitled The Power of Prayer; Old Approach, New Wonders, written by Larry Dossey, MD, described some fascinating experiments conducted by an organization called Spindrift. They used sprouting seeds as a biological medium to measure the effects of prayer. When two groups of identical seeds were placed side by side and one was prayed over and the other was not, the prayed for group always yielded more shoots. The results were reproducible and consistent. When the seeds were stressed by adding saltwater, simulating a health crisis, the difference between the two groups was even more striking. Different types of seeds and different types of stress produced the same results: prayer became more effective the worse the situation got. When different control groups were prayed over for varied amounts of time, the germination count was proportional: more prayer equaled more sprouts. They also found those experienced at prayer could produce greater results than a novice. This suggests prayer is something you can learn and get better at.

There are two basic types of prayer: directed and nondirected. Directed prayer is when you have a clear image in mind – that good paying job for instance – or use visualization techniques to produce a specific outcome, such as healing an illness. Nondirected prayer is when you release your personal agenda and ask for the highest good in the situation or use the classic Thy Will Be Done approach. When the Spindrift researchers compared them, both worked, but the nondirected technique was more powerful and often twice as effective. This would seem to indicate that when we step out of the way, more can come through. Trying to control the results through our concept of what’s best merely places a limit on what can happen.

Lastly, in a conversation with Dr. John S. Hislop, Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba explained prayer should not be equated with begging, and though the divine is aware of our needs, it is still our duty to approach God and ask for those needs to be met. He used the analogy of a mother who knows her child must have milk to survive but only gives it when the baby cries. We should never feel ashamed to pray, for it is not only OK to ask, it is required. And should we find ourselves to be so fortunate as to have no pressing needs or difficulties in our lives, then Sathya Sai Baba says we should pray for peace.

We hope this small piece cleared a lot of doubts in your mind about Prayer.

Jai Sai Ram.

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart” Team.

Ten Fold Path to Divinity

Sathya Sai Baba Divinity

Sathya Sai Baba Divinity


Ten Fold Path to Divinity
Prescribed by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Sathya Sai Baba has proclaimed Ten Principles as guidance for spiritual and personal development. These are as follows:

1. Sathya Sai Baba: Love and serve the homeland; do not hate or hurt the homeland of others.

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. Sathya Sai Baba: Honor every religion; each is a pathway to the one God.

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. Sathya Sai Baba: Love all without distinction; know that mankind is a single community.

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. Sathya Sai Baba: Keep your home and its environs clean; it will ensure health and happiness for you and for society.

Keep your own house and its surroundings pure and clean. This hygiene will keep you healthy and benefit your worldly life.

5. Sathya Sai Baba: 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.

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. Sathya Sai Baba: Do not tempt others by offering bribes or demean yourself by accepting bribes.

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. Sathya Sai Baba: Do not develop jealousy, hatred or envy on any count.

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. Sathya Sai Baba: Do not depend on others to serve your personal needs; become your own servant before proceeding to serve others.

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. Sathya Sai Baba: Observe the laws of the state and be an exemplary citizen.

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. Sathya Sai Baba: Adore God, abhor sin.

You must love God and avoid sin. Love God incessantly.

Courtesy: Sai Devotees Worldnet – by Jyoti Bajaj

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
A BEACON LIGHT OF INTEGRAL EDUCATION
by Sanjay Sahni

SRI SATHYA SAI INSTITUTE OF Higher Learning is the visible manifestation of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba‘s vision of education which is not only an important means for the transformation of mankind, but also a panacea for the ills that are afflicting it today. More particularly, it is a precious gift of Bhagavan to the youth whom He is moulding to become shining examples of ethical and spiritual awareness to make them the torchbearers of moral regeneration and spiritual reawakening of the world. The Institute has evolved the integral system of education which lays as much emphasis on inculcation of values as on achieving academic excellence. Come 2006, the Institute, a deemed university, will be celebrating its silver jubilee. The birth of the university represented a significant milestone in the glorious unfolding of the Divine Mission of Bhagavan whose watchword, “the end of education is character” forms the main objective of all its activities. From a humble beginning in improvised premises to be acclaimed today ‘as the crest-jewel of higher education in India’, the Institute has come a long way. On 22nd November 1981 this deemed university was inaugurated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Y.V. Chandrachud at Prasanthi Nilayam, and Bhagavan bestowed on it a unique honour by accepting to become its Chancellor.

Divine Vision of the Revered Chancellor
The spirit behind all its achievements is the Revered Chancellor of the Institute, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba who from the very beginning chartered its course by His Divine vision. While laying the foundation stone of the Sri Sathya Sai College for Women at Anantapur in 1969, Bhagavan declared:
“It is indeed deplorable that education of the spirit has been totally neglected while attention is devoted to the training of skills and for gleaning and garnering information… My Sankalpa is to provide the youth with an education which, while cultivating their intelligence, will also purify their impulses and emotions and equip them with the physical and mental disciplines needed for drawing upon the springs of calmness and joy that lie in their own hearts.”

In another Discourse to the students and staff of this college in August 1974, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba observed:

“This college has not been established just to prepare you for earning degrees. The main purpose is to help you to cultivate self-knowledge and self-confidence, so that each one of you can learn self-sacrifice and earn self-realisation. The teaching of university curricula and the preparation for presenting you for the university examinations and the award of university degrees – these are only the means employed for the end, namely, spiritual uplift, self-discovery and social service through love and detachment.”

Again, while speaking at the Brindavan College on 31st March 1974, Bhagavan revealed:

“Do not be under the impression that you and I have come together only now, since you study in this college; you have come to Me for the sake of far higher triumphs, as a consequence of merit acquired in many previous lives. You and your teachers are destined to achieve tremendous tasks under My guidance, in the execution of the Mission on which I have come.”

Another milestone was reached in the history of the Institute when on Vijaya Dasami day after the Poornahuti of the Veda Purusha Sapthaha Jnana Yajna on 8th October 1981, Bhagavan announced that from that day the colleges at Prasanthi Nilayam and Anantapur would be raised to the status of the campuses of the new university.

Evolution and Growth
It was Prof. V.K. Gokak, the first Vice Chancellor of the university, who gave a concrete shape to the vision of Bhagavan. In 1982, the Institute launched its Five Year Integrated courses and PG courses in the sciences and humanities. The same year, the Brindavan College became the third campus of the university. I recall how Prof. Gokak outlined before us, first year UG students then, the grand vision of the academic education in the Institute. To inculcate in students a wide and liberal mental outlook, education in the university was envisaged as a pyramidical structure. The pyramid has a wide base and accordingly the students in the undergraduate courses would begin with the study of languages and awareness courses along with their respective courses in core areas. At the end of the second year, the languages would drop off and the science students would start specialising in their area of interest. This would continue into the PG, after which the student would choose a narrow niche for undertaking research. In 1984, Bhagavan started the Ph.D. programme with the intention of preparing His future teachers. Many doctorates have now joined the university as faculty.

In 1986, the MBA and B.Ed. programmes were launched. Many MBA and PG alumni have gone on to man Bhagavan’s institutions in the Ashrams, hospitals, schools and colleges. Others have made their mark in the wide world. Other courses got added in subsequent years: B.Sc. (Hons.) 1992; B.Com. (Hons.), M.Tech. (1993); M.A. (Economics) (2001); M.Phil (2004).

Many academic reforms and innovations were adopted by the Institute right from its inception. It has a merit-based open admission policy enabling students from all over the country to seek
admission to various courses, irrespective of income, class, creed, religion or region, making it truly national in character. Education is provided to students free without any fees whatsoever, in sharp contrast to the rapid commercialisation of education elsewhere.

Sri Sathya Sai Integral Education
The Revered Chancellor of the Institute, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has given the Institute its philosophy of integral education and has been inspiring and guiding the administrators, teachers and students of the Institute since its inception in the practice of this philosophy. According to Bhagavan, “One should have the head of Sankara, the heart of Buddha and the hands of Janaka”. An integrated personality is a harmonious synthesis of a discerning intellect, a compassionate heart and efficient hands; it is a beautiful combination of nobility and ability. Nobility without ability is useless to society and ability without nobility is dangerous to it. Spiritual education is the basis of integral education. This is what Bhagavan calls educare. Ultimately, all education should converge into educare.

Integral education aims at the all-round development of the human personality – the physical, the intellectual, the emotional and the spiritual. Acquisition of knowledge when supported by its proper utilisation leads to skill; the harmony of knowledge and skill leads to balance of mind which is the basis for spiritual insight. The surest sign of spiritual insight is the blossoming of true love in the heart, springing out of recognition of the oneness of all existence.

The university is a modern Gurukula combining the best of the past and the present. All the campuses of the Institute are wholly residential. The students reside in the hostels along with the Warden and a band of resident teachers carefully hand-picked by Bhagavan. Character moulding is a twenty-four hour endeavour and the Institute could not be otherwise. The key to success in community living in the hostels, which represent a mini-India, is understanding and adjustment. Mutual tolerance and courtesy, sacrifice and service to fellowmen, civic sense and social sensitivity – the blessings of community living under the watchful eyes of committed teachers are immense. The daily routine in the campus is designed with the guidance of Bhagavan and has multifarious activities to foster the development of integrated personalities.

Prayers before sunrise and at bedtime, before meals and at the commencement of classes in the Institute help the students to still their minds and periodically reconnect to the Divine who is the source of all succour and energy. Spiritual talks in the college and-hostel, the value-based Awareness Course, the spiritual study circle sessions and above all exposure to the divine influence of Bhagavan strengthen the moral and spiritual fibre in the student’s personality. Since 1990, a number of summer courses in Indian Culture and Spirituality were organised for the benefit of all students.

Physical culture is encouraged through participation in jogging, games, sports and yoga in the mornings. The objective of physical culture is physical fitness, though annual competitions are organised to spot and nurture sporting talent. The Annual Sports and Cultural Meet on 11th January is an important event in the academic calendar of the Institute and represents the expression of students’ love for Bhagavan manifesting in the form of breathtaking sporting feats and aesthetically delightful programmes, charming one and all.

While co-curricular activities in literature, music, dance, drama and other fine arts along with harmonious community living foster emotional balance and self-reliance in students, social service activities instil in them self-confidence, humility, dignity of labour and helpful nature apart from nurturing their talents. Service in the kitchen and dining hall, cooperative stores, dispensary, maintenance, audiovisual department, garden and myriad other areas is undertaken by the students under the guidance of their teachers. The annual Sri Sathya Sai Grama Seva in the villages around Puttaparthi during Dasara celebrations and initiated by Bhagavan in 2000 is a great educational experience for the students and staff of the university.

The Crest-jewel of Higher Education
At the first Convocation of the Institute on 22nd November 1982, the late legal luminary Sri Nani Palkhiwala observed, “This Institute is a tribute to the great organising genius of its founder, Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Without His initiative and inspiration it would have been impossible to found an institution of this character. We are witnesses to a great event in the history of our country. This deemed university is a memorable experiment in the moral and spiritual regeneration of India. It stands for nothing less … This Institute aims at becoming a nation-builder.”

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India declared at the Institute’s Convocation in 2002, “The purpose of real education is to initiate a learning process that transforms students into good human beings with knowledge and value systems. Is value education possible? Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning has given an answer in the affirmative.”

In December 2002, the Peer Team of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), which is set up by the University Grants Commission to assess and accredit higher education institutions, visited the Institute and reported:

“The Peer Team puts on record its appreciation for providing the members of the Team the opportunity to spend time with the Institute faculty and the students so as to develop a thorough insight into the higher education process of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, particularly the integral higher education interwoven in the blueprint and design of higher education products. This made us realise that there is a way to correct our already degrading university education system in India, if we decide to do so.

The Peer Team feels that this Institute stands out as a crest-jewel among the university education system in the country and this model is worthy of emulation by the institutions of higher learning in the country and elsewhere, so that these benefits would be reaped fast and on the widest possible scale.”

NAAC granted accreditation at the A++ level to the Institute for five years in 2002-03 placing the Institute in the highest bracket of Indian universities (Ref).

I would like to conclude with the following experience of an alumnus of the Institute. He was facing a job interview and the Managing Director of the company, who was on the interview panel, enquired, “I understand that you are a student of Sai Baba’s college. I have heard that Sai Baba creates and gives rings, necklaces, etc., to his devotees. What has He given you?” Spontaneously, the boy replied, “Sir, I am a village boy. Today, this village boy is sitting and talking with so much confidence to the M.D. of one of India’s most prestigious research based companies. The confidence that you see in me is Sai Baba’s gift to me.”

Faith in oneself and faith in Divinity is truly the quintessence of education at the Lotus Feet of our Beloved Bhagavan.

sourced: Sanathana Sarathi pgs 384 to 389 November, 2005

GURUPURNIMA DIVINE DISCOURSE: 7th July 2009 at Sai Kulwant Hall

SatGuru Sathya Sai Baba

SatGuru Sathya Sai Baba


GURUPURNIMA DIVINE DISCOURSE: 7th July 2009 at Sai Kulwant Hall

BE EXEMPLARS OF SELFLESS SERVICE
by Sathya Sai Baba

(Editors note. On the auspicious Guru Purnima morning, four senior functionaries, namely, Sarvasree A.V. Appa Rao, Financial Controller of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, A.V. Sathyanarayanamurthy, Senior Engineer in the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prof. Nanjundaiah, Controller of Examinations, Sri Sathya Sai University and Prof. A.V. Lakshminarasimham, Registrar, Sri Sathya Sai University were felicitated by Bhagawan. In the evening Bhagawan again called Smt. & Sri. Appa Rao, Smt. & Sri. (Prof.) Nanjundaiah to the dais, to bless them profusely before commencing His Divine Discourse)

Embodiments of Divine Atma!

In the morning there was no time to talk about these people. Ever since our hospital started functioning, Appa Rao has been working there as an auditor. For fourteen years, he worked hard, day and night. I am pleased with his work. He came here with the sole intention of rendering selfless service, not with any other motive. Those were the initial stages of the Super Speciality Hospital, so there was plenty of work, day and night. He alone had to attend to everything … receiving parcels of medicines, checking them and noting them down. In spite of being a non medical person, he worked untiringly taking care of patients also. He is meticulous in checking all details. He has worked with full satisfaction. All these fourteen years, he never aspired for anything.

He did not accept even a naya paisa. Everybody in the hospital earns these days twenty to thirty thousand rupees. But he has not taken any money. He had to climb up and down the stairs many times everyday, while looking after the stores, patients, nurses and doctors as well. He looked after so many things, all alone. He never complained to Me also.

He has been adjusting himself. He has never been deficient in his work. I Myself used to see him now and then to enquire about the work. We should express our gratitude to such a dedicated worker.

With much compassion towards him, I told him, “Appa Rao, Now the number of patients coming to our hospital has increased by thousands. Mentally, of course, you are quite alert, but physically you are weak. Therefore, take rest at home. You have come to serve Swami. There was no shortcoming whatsoever in your service.”

His wife also supported him and has been taking good care of him at home, looking after his food and other needs meticulously. He has no habit of taking food outside. So, when necessary, she used to send his food to the hospital.

Appa Rao has also been taking care of poor people in many respects. He rendered help in many heart operations to the poor people. He used to send free medicines to the homes of those heart patients even after they were discharged. He worked very hard. My heart melted at his service. How can we leave such a person who worked so hard? Everybody, including students, sought his help. I tell our students often, “Help ever, Hurt never.”

We do not take even a paisa from anyone for rendering medical services. Our hospital always gives and never takes. He rendered seva (selfless service) with the feeling, “This is my hospital, my Swami’s hospital.” He considered the hospital as his own and served it selflessly. Even when I was away physically, I helped him in all that he did.

As this is our first Super Speciality Hospital, he had to work very hard for its development. Subsequently, another Super Speciality Hospital has been established in Bangalore. There is an Orthopaedic division also in our hospital here. Appa Rao has been looking after all this. I liked his work.
Before this, he worked for the government. There also, he rendered good service. As he utilised all his experience for the benefit of our hospital, today we have gathered here to honour him.

His younger brother Murthy is an electrical engineer. He is also working with us. Whenever there is any electrical problem he is called by telephone, and he attends to it immediately. Even at night, he is ever ready to do service.

The youngest brother Lakshminarasimham worked in our university as Registrar. He is also growing older, and needs a little rest. He has not married, so there is no bondage. He has been totally dedicated to our university. He first joined in Seva Dal. He did Ph.D. with the intention of joining our college. These three brothers have been rendering good service. They have been very helpful to us, in spite of many troubles they had to face.

Nanjundaiah has been the controller of examinations. He has been very kind to all students. He has been working day and night in order to declare the results well in time. He never used to take rest even for a while. He would engage himself in correcting papers even while suffering from fever. Everybody was depending upon him. He had to take much trouble in sending results to Anantapur and Bangalore colleges. We were very much concerned at the troubles he had to face. His wife also has been taking good care of him at home, providing timely food and looking after other needs meticulously.

The University has now grown very large. We are receiving more applications as compared to other institutes. Right from big officers to small clerks in India, all have great regard for our institutions. Be it the hospital or the university, there is no habit of taking money for the services rendered in our institutions. We know only to give. In Sai Organisations, there is only giving and no taking.

Recently, we appointed a committee to oversee the working of the Hospital and provide necessary help and guidance. We have procured some new machinery also. We have even imported necessary equipments from abroad. We have in our stock a variety of books. The University has produced many Ph.D.s. This year also, fourteen researchers got Ph.D. degrees.

The students have great faith in these two people. These two have been very helpful to us with regard to hospital services and educational activities. All the responsibility was shouldered by them. They used to send me letters while I was not present here. I used to discuss every detail with them. I used to ask Nanjundaiah about the examination results. The results were always good.

We have now decided not to burden them with these responsibilities any longer. Today, I am thanking and blessing them. These two are foremost among those who have strived hard for our Institutes. Therefore, wherever they are, Swami is always with them, guiding and guarding them. They came here only for the sake of Swami. Therefore, I wish to provide them with houses and keep them here only. Just as they looked after patients and students, I wish that hereafter also they both extend necessary guidance and help to the newcomers in the respective areas. There is much to learn from these two people. What is this Organisation doing for the society? How is it doing? What is their responsibility in this regard? Such details should be accorded to the newcomers, and necessary zeal and motivation should be inculcated.

The university was started first with undergraduate courses only. Now studies up to Ph.D. level are available.

Our university and hospitals are now being regarded as the best in India. I am very happy that you have contributed much for this name and fame. You always belong to Me. You have never thought that you are working for the hospital or the college. You have been working with the feeling, “This is ours, this is our Swami’s.” That is why we got all first prizes for the colleges and high reputation for hospitals. Even this information is known only through newspapers; we never proclaimed it in any manner. Our hospitals and university have become very famous indeed.

The students have learnt many things from such people, and have grown up to great heights. Many of them, who are Ph.D.s, have been appointed here so as to lead these institutions. Now many novel subjects have been introduced along with the conventional faculties like B.Com., B.Sc., M.Com., M.Sc., Ph.D., etc. Many deserving students are unable to get admission in other schools and colleges and with great hope are looking at us for help. I told our authorities to take such students also into our fold. We do not have any selfish motive. It is only in consideration of their parents’ anguish. They have given us the responsibility of looking after the welfare and progress of their children.

Appa Rao and Nanjundaiah must both be given the job of keeping watch with vigilant eyes on the affairs of these institutions. In other institutions, new entrants have to pay money and take receipts. But our hospitals and university have never given a scope for such things. Here everything is free, free, free. People wonder how we are managing these institutions with so many entrants, like this, without taking even a paisa? They just come in their clothing, as we admit them here. We are admitting all, including those who obtained average marks, and we are developing them into ‘First class’ students.

In other hospitals, patients have to spend thousands of rupees toward heart operations. But we do not charge them even a paisa. For us, love and devotion are important and not other things. “Love to love, Heart to heart.” We seek only this. They are all deriving great joy. Many patients are coming from Nepal and Bhutan for free treatment. In this endeavour, the students also must extend necessary help to the doctors and other officials. Our hospital and Institutes have been fostered in this manner for the past twenty years.

This trend has to continue in the future also. Without begging anybody, we have made fixed deposits to the tune of twenty or thirty crores for each institute, and they are running on the interest accrued from these deposits. I have made necessary arrangements in this regard. We are paying at par with the Government salaries. Students of our institutes or patients in our hospitals need not worry about anything. We take care of everything.

You must strive to keep everybody happy. Make parents happy. Help your parents. Some parents are being admitted into old age homes when they are short of money. This is not correct. You must provide necessary support to your aged parents. It is your own responsibility to look after your parents. Even though Swami is taking care of your education and other necessities, the aspect of parent’s care is your own responsibility. Parents should not be sent to old age homes. You must keep them with you and serve them. You must work hard and take good care of them. You need not prepare special items for their sake. It is enough if you can give them whatever you are eating.

As soon as students pass the exam and acquire a degree, they go in search of jobs.
When all women go out on jobs, who will look after chores of their homes?
When they go out for teaching other children, who will teach their own children?
When husband and wife go to offices, who will take care of their children?
(Telugu Poem)

Some people are deprived of homely food because there is no one at home to cook food. So they eat whatever they get. Thus, they are spoiling their own health. There is no happiness for a woman who is employed in an office. They spend their valuable time in some clubs. They do not have any consideration for their children in the house and for their timely food. One should give priority to the fostering of the children.

An officer gives a phone call to his house and tells the cook, “We have arranged a tea party at home today. Make all arrangements for the party.” But there is no tea powder, no sugar, no material for making chapathis or pakodas in the house. This is the kind of situation they have at home. Also, the children’s health gets spoiled because of inconsistent food habits and lack of parental care. They drink contaminated water and spoil their health, because there is no one at home to guide them.

Why should the wife go out and work? When she goes to school to teach other children, who will teach her own children? So it is your own duty to take care of your children. It is equivalent to earning a good salary if you can teach your own children and bring them up well. One feels sorry at the state of a woman who fails to take care of her husband and children. It is enough if you are able to provide proper timely food to your children and take care of their health. If you take up jobs, leaving your children at home, your entire earnings will go toward cooks, baby sitters, and cleaners. The house gets mismanaged. What you spend toward the cook, caretaker, and others will work out to be more than what you earn. You can save so much money if only you attend to your own work. This is the way of life all women must adopt.

The children should also learn to render necessary help at home. As soon as you come home, find out what is available and what is not available? What is needed immediately? When there is shortage of water, the boy should not keep quiet. He should immediately rush out with a container and fetch water from the available source. He should not feel, “I am educated. Why should I carry water?” Family life involves such domestic chores.

Students must learn how to make parents happy. Parents’ duty is to take care of their children. This is the education that is essential for one and all. After having obtained a Ph.D., one need not go far away for the sake of an extra thousand rupees. If you take care of your children and do service to parents, that itself is a great wealth.

Today, parents are being treated like servants. It is enough if you take care of your parents, your children and the family. That is real education. Getting a first class and struggling for a job is not a wise thing. Whatever job you take up, you must help your parents. This is what you must learn.

Students must emulate people like Appa Rao. “Help ever, hurt never.” These are the good qualities that you should learn in the Sri Sathya Sai College. Whenever any poor person comes to you, you must feed them first, even foregoing your meal if necessary. Instead of going to a club and spending money there, it is better to use that money for the sake of the poor. It is necessary that you learn good qualities and habits so that you may improve society.

First of all you must develop love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society. Bad qualities have to be curbed and ethics must be fostered in the society. When morality is lost, what is the use of any amount of social service you do? These are the lessons that you must learn. When you follow the path of elders such as these, you can reap immense joy and goodness in life. It applies to girls also. You must learn from parents the aspects of service and put them into practice. If you make your parents happy, your children will make you happy.

What is meant by morality? It is not just earning money and depositing in the bank. You must refrain from troubling your parents. When you have love for God, you will have fear of sin. After acquiring morality you may proceed to serve the society at large. When you are unable to attain God’s love, how do you expect to win people’s love? You must earn name in the society in a way that people talk of you as a good and helpful person. You must learn from parents how to help.

First thing is to develop love for God, fear of sin and morality in society. How can morality be acquired while one is engaged in acts of sin? When you come across elders, always respect and serve them.

Today I am honouring such good people so that you will try to emulate them. This is what gives Me happiness. First take care of your children at home and extend happiness to your parents. How can you be happy while your parents are not happy? If today you love your parents, tomorrow you will receive love from your children. You can be called educated only when you learn these two things. You may acquire big degrees, but who will love you if you do not love your parents? Society will love you when you take good care of your parents. First set your house in order and then think about the progress of society. It is with this purpose that I am honouring today these experienced elders. You should take a lesson from this and follow in the footsteps of the elders.

Discourse by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Reference

TogadiaSpeak – Ignorance And Apathy Are Not The Proofs Of Non-Existence – II

TogadiaSpeak – Ignorance And Apathy Are Not The Proofs Of Non-Existence – II
The good work Sangh is doing
By Dr Pravin Togadia

VHP’s one-teacher schools (Ekal Vidyalayas) number up to 26, 880 and they cover 7,72,065 students of which around six lakh students are from tribal areas. This is the largest Hindu missionary work in India and perhaps even in the world by a single organisation. What’s more, wherever there is an Ekal Vidyalaya, there is a village development unit under which a medical centre is run, making the number of medical centres also to 26,880.

VHP also has other educational projects: About 569 primary schools covering 59,300 students, 156 secondary schools covering 12,750 students and 53 senior secondary schools covering 2120 students. Then there are 15 residential schools, many night schools, 104 hostels including 44 orphanages. All these cover over 75,000 poor and needy children who are given standard quality education and many other facilities of life. (In one of such tribal schools, last year, the Board result was 100 per cent and the highest marks a student got was 93 per cent. Recently I met a smart student of second year MBBS. To my joy, he was from one of VHP’s orphanages.)

VHP has health projects: 34 hospitals, 99 dispensaries, 19 mobile dispensaries, 28 ambulances, 192 first-aid centres, four medicine collection centres, 13 goumutra therapy centres and many such related centres. Total patients covered under these are annually 2,80,000.

Just recently in Pune a project Niramaya has covered 68 slums and 18 construction sites for vaccination of children there in age group of one day to six years. Total 12,025 children are vaccinated and one lakh doses were given. They have a mobile van too so that the poor children do not need to come for it—Niramaya goes where they are.

Not just education or health, some sadhu-sants are doing what ideally falls under the purview of the governments in power only. In Andhra Pradesh, Ananthpur District, 700 villages have been supplied clean drinking water through modern pipes worth Rs 350 crore. Not by any government department, but by Sri Sathya Sai Baba. And it’s free!

Arya Samaj has 700 schools covering 15,00,000 students and 80 colleges covering 16,800 students.

Swaminarayan Gurukul schools are 142 covering 12,000 students, 160 high schools with 1,20,000 students and 25 colleges.

Sadhvi Ritambharaji runs an orphanage for little girls at Vrindavan, which has at this moment 350 little girls taking modern education. They would have been wandering on streets becoming victims of heinous crimes but now they have bright dreams of future in their eyes.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji’s developmental work covers at least 30,000 villages where natural agricultural projects and organic farming are done, in which only in Karnataka 2000 youth are engaged full time and at all-India level at least 20,000 youth look after this. He also has established a programme for awareness about and help to AIDS patients all India. Recently, there was a well-attended caucus of Hindu leaders organised for this and many of us pledged our active support to it.

Hunger is the number one killer in the world and in India. VHP, to fight this is doing a project “Ek Mutthi Anaj”, where the workers of various industries who have lost jobs due to recent economic slowdown are provided with 15 kilos of foodgrains each for their families and the target is to cover at least 12,00,000 families with this anna daan. So far we have covered 15,000+ families. It also has a food bank where housewives take out one mutthi anaj everyday, which is collected by volunteers for distribution systematically. That no family has to resort to begging for the food is the most important part in it. Ek Mutthi Anaj programme goes to their houses and respectfully distributes foodgrains to them.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba also has a high-tech heart hospital where they target to do 1,25,000 heart surgeries. About 25,000 surgeries have already been done at a zero cost.

Not just socio-developmental projects but VHP is also doing a lot in the field of art and culture. In Pune, a music album made waves recently. Songs sung by Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki’s son Shounak, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi’s shishya Upendra Bhatt and Shri Vasantrao Deshpande’s grandson Rahul Deshpande made this album a great hit and it was done by VHP. The artists gave programmes for VHP and then the album was made, which is now available on the stands. Art is an important part of Hindu Dharma and it is our duty to preserve our fine arts.

This effort was also made in the field of children’s paintings. In tribal schools, a painting competition was organised, which got tremendous response. Twelve paintings were awarded and brought to people as greeting cards. All participants got a certificate each.

At Dharmasthal near Mangalore, Manjunath Devasthana is working on a unique project of innovative natural agri-systems in 500 villages. They also have a legally-accepted local justice system.

Self-reliance projects by us are helping youth and women in many villages with 94 sewing centres, 63 computer training centres, 306 women’s self-help groups with micro credit and savings facility, two mechanical training centres, one honey-bee centre, 16 household industry centres, 112 libraries—the list is long and the beneficiaries are in millions.

Maa Amritanandamayiji has been running a multi-specialty hospital in Kochi, which serves around 48,000 patients annually, has 38 hi-tech departments and 1,650 beds—the largest in Asia

All this is not given here to brag at all, like many governments do—distribute some school bags and brag about it as if they have done a global revolution in girls’ education or run few ambulances and brag about saving every life on the earth. No. The objective of giving the above details is only to draw the attention of all the well-meaning Hindus to the reality that Hindu organisations and sadhu-sants are engaged in a lot of socio-developmental works for Hindus. This is just a glimpse of it. I apologise to many other Hindu organisation and to all sadhu-sants and many Hindu researchers who have been doing mountains of such socio-developmental works for years. But due to limited space and lack of detailed info, I could not mention them here.

From education to health care, from micro credit to self-reliance, from agriculture to clean drinking water supply, from vocational training to free food supply and from child care to women’s welfare—Hindu organisations and sadhu-sants are busy doing what is truly termed as socio-developmental work with utmost dedication. The only part of development, which they are not able to do, is infrastructure development, which obviously governments in power are authorised to do as yet. As it is the responsibility of Hindu organisations and sadhu-sants (and all Hindus) to protect the heritage, monuments, culture and people of Hindu dharma, this responsibility of Hindu socio-developmental work is being perfectly taken up by the Hindu organisations and sadhu-sants, in spite of their limited resources and political pressures.

The happiest part of this socio-developmental work is that it is a great joy to see the tribal, poor children’s eyes shining bright when they study and go ahead in life, to see the poor women happily telling their friends as to how they got their daughters married with their own income, to see a terminally ill, poor old man getting cured, free of cost and walking on his own feet.

The saddest part is that the one-sided media and a few vested interests groups purposely ignore/ demean such a good work and focus on tarnishing the image of Hindu organisations and sadhu-sants with some one-off incidents and paint them (and Hindutva) as anti-development and outdated. The saddest part is also the limited financial and other resources with Hindu organisations. But the Hindu dreams are brighter and the determination to realise them is much more greater.

Organiser Reference