Why did Indians consider Acharyas (teachers) and Vaidyos (doctors) as God? - Divine Discourse Summary - January 14, 2021

On this very auspicious Sankranti day, those who want to rise from this limited human consciousness; these are the time(s) which are most appropriate to undertake spiritual austerities and practices. When things are done at the right time, they yield the right results. Sankranti (is) one such time where if we undertake good spiritual auspicious activities they are bound to succeed. They are bound to bless us with prosperity, harmony, peace and spiritual upliftment. Today also is a very auspicious beginning of the Veda Gurukulam. On the other side we also are working towards developing a state-of-the-art medical facility. If you look at our scriptures only two professions have been worshipped, One is Acharya Devo Bhava and the other is Vaidyo Narayana Hari. Do you know why? Because God is selfless. That’s why God is worshipped. God does not expect anything in return.

With the passage of time both have become commodities, been bought and sold recklessly. We must stand up for our Indian ideal, which is to ensure that education and healthcare is provided free of cost to everybody. Only then this country will prosper. Old roots and the new shoots both have to come to come together. Apara vidya is necessary to solve the problems of the world. But without Para vidya, Apara vidya is blind. I would like to see a day when the entire system of education covers the gamut of all knowledge. All that is possible and nurtured should be learnt and taught here. I am hoping that our children who are studying in these Gurukulams with Veda Gurukulam, Vidya Gurukulam or the Vaidya Gurukulam; are going to take up this idea of Indian thought, sharing education with everyone, helping everyone. Be rest assured, if you do good that good will protect you there will be nothing less in your life.

Here onwards Sathya Sai Mission of Health Care will now focus largely on the preventive side of medicine; prevent disease from happening. It is a great responsibility what happens to the country what happens to the world. The times to come, it largely depends on what our graduates from our university do in the future. And without exception each one of you have to take up this responsibility. There is no choice. This is gift, this is an opportunity that’s come up come your way. Take it with great pride, also humility, with great honor that you are going to work alongside God. We look forward to a year which is going to be much more healthier, happier, prosperous than the previous year and nobody have sorrow. Gratitude to all the people who make our lives easy, who have ma(d)e our lives comfortable. The one who lives with gratitude alone knows the true value of life. We all must develop this gratitude for each other.


Makara Sankranti Celebrations – January 14, 2021 - Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli

Morning

Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham Hall reverberated with excitement and anticipation as devotees gathered to be in the Divine presence of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai on the auspicious occasion of Makara Sankranti.

Swami entered the hall amidst vedic chanting and blessed the gathered devotees with His darshan. He then ascended the stage and took His seat on a beautifully decorated throne that was surrounded by a halo of red roses.

Dr Sailakshmi welcomed all present, and pointed out that the northward journey of the sun which begins on Makara Sankranti also represents the deeper significance of each individual’s spiritual journey on the path towards God. On this day of new beginnings, gratitude is offered to the Almighty for the bounty of nature that is reflected in mother earth, cattle, and the sun which is the source of all life. 

A vedic invocation was offered by the women staff of Sarla Memorial Hospital who chanted the Medha Suktam.

It was then announced that on this auspicious day, construction had begun for the Sri Sathya Sai Veda Gurukulam complex at Sathya Sai Grama. Students of the Gurukulam will receive education in both vedic and secular knowledge. This system of education will undoubtedly lead to the revival of Sanātana Dharmā and spread the advaitic message of vedanta that unequivocally states: “All is divine.”

The memory of late Smt Sarla Indulal Shah was then honoured for her exemplary dedication and service to Swami over a lifetime of seva. In honour of her service, Sri Sathya Sai Baba had willed that a general hospital would be constructed, and on Makara Sankranti day of 2018, the preliminary wing of the Sri Sathya Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital was inaugurated by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai. Since then, thousands of patients have availed of the exemplary medical services offered here, all of which is absolutely free of cost. 

In honour of late Smt Sarla Indulal Shah, the third anniversary of the hospital was celebrated. Dr Raghupathy, who has been serving at the hospital since 2015, was then invited to present an overview of the progress of the hospital in the last one year.  He pointed out that the last year had been extremely challenging, as the COVID pandemic had infected many all over the world, regardless of societal status. He said, “Swami utilised that adversity and changed it into an opportunity with His ‘Master the Mind’ series which taught us how to realise our Self and see our own divinity within.” He praised and thanked the support staff at the hospital who had fearlessly and selflessly served during the COVID times. 

Dr Raghupathy then made special mention of the energetic interns, students of Human Excellence and the administrative staff of the Trust, all of whom had offered continuous service during the pandemic. Dr Raghupathy again thanked Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai for His guidance in all areas, especially for guiding the ashram staff on how to work in tandem with government officials and with the community. Dr Ragupathy then announced that a 300-bed hospital would become fully functional within the next five months at Sathya Sai Grama. The hospital will have two operation theaters and will offer medical specialties in different areas. Not just this, a new cardiac complex will also be built which will offer three specialty courses for young doctors. Next year, i.e., in 2022, a full fledged medical college too will be established that will provide medical education totally free of cost.

Two staff members of hospital  shared their thoughts and experiences with those gathered. Dr Saritha Purushothaman, who had previously worked both in India and abroad, joined the General Hospital at Prashanti Niliyam in 2007, and was blessed by Swami in 2016 to join the hospital at Sathya Sai Grama. Dr Saritha oversees the Sai Arogya programme, conducting medical checkups for all of Swami’s students, overseeing their health and well-being. She shared her inner journey with Sadguru in a beautiful poem and thus offered her heartfelt gratitude to Him.

An insightful and informative video highlighting the dedication of Smt Sarla Shah, the inauguration of the hospital by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai and the current activities and services offered was showcased thereafter.  The second staff member, Sri Tanmay Hedge, who has been serving as General Manager - Operations, at the Hospital since March 2020, addressed the assembly. With Masters Degrees in Hospital Management and Healthcare Systems, he served at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Prashanti Niliyam in an administrative capacity. He lovingly shared his journey through his education and previous work and expressed his deepest gratitude to Swami for bringing him to Muddenahalli.

Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence, who addressed the gathering next, gave an overview of the importance of taking money out of the equation of healthcare and emphasised the great importance of offering medical care and medical education free of cost. He observed that on one side at Sathya Sai Grama we have modern technology represented by the Sarla Memorial Hospital, and on the other, we have the launch of Sri Sathya Sai Veda Gurukulam representing the ancient traditional knowledge of vedānta. This is a great gift of combining spirituality and science. He said, “All of the saints and avatārs are our benefactors, and we must listen to them and follow their teachings in order to cross over the ocean of samsara.” He further emphasised, “We all are so fortunate to have an embodiment of God here with us walking this sacred land. We should value His words and follow the teachings of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai.”

Sadguru then blessed all with His Divine Discourse by saying that Makara Sankranti was a most auspicious time to “move upwards,” or engage in spiritual practices. He continued by saying that “Two professions have been worshipped in Indian culture, that of teachers and doctors. God is selfless and expects nothing from us, and these two professions also ought to be selfless and must be provided free of cost to everyone.  When the initial Indian system of education was broken down by foreign influences and fees were charged, then most of the village schools disappeared. God is selfless and expects nothing in return for His gifts. These two professions should also be practiced selflessly. When education became a commodity, spirituality was thrown out. We now need to go back to the beginning, to vedic education and start over again. Both, traditional vedic education and the modern disciplines of worldly studies should be taught side by side. Without parā vidyā, aparā vidyā of worldly studies is blind.  And vedic  education without worldly studies is lame. The two should therefore work together.”

Sadguru then said, “If you do good, that good will always take care of you. This is the universal rule of sanatanā dharmā — you will always be taken care of. As long as we do good and remain selfless, nothing can stop this method of education. That is the eternal law of sanatanā dharmā. When we realise the truth of our inner sun, which is the ātman, Brahman, that is truly when Sankranti happens.”

Sadguru then introduced two young pundits from Trupathi who have joined the Sri Sathya Sai Veda Gurukulam to teach Vedic knowledge. He said that He chose young pundits so they could work for 30-40 years! Sadguru also stressed that His mission will be carried forward by all the young interns and graduates. He had told them, “If you don’t do it, nobody will do it!” He said that they will “work alongside God serving humanity.” 

Sadguru said, “Although this is an Indian festival, the sun, earth, animals and nature are there in all countries. We must pay our gratitude to them on this day. Sankranti is an occasion like Thanksgiving, in India. Let everyone be healthy and happy, let all have joy and auspiciousness in life. This is the wish we all have on this Sankranti day.” 

Sadguru then called upon the staff of Sarla Memorial Hospital to come onto the dais to receive His blessings.

Evening

Eager devotees gathered at  Premamrutham Hall in the evening to bask in the Makara Sankranti celebrations. 

Beloved Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai walked in to the Hall and graciously bestowed His blessings on all as He moved around blessing the devotees. 

After Sadguru had taken His seat amidst the audience, Sister Bhuvana Santhanam greeted the gathering warmly, and shared a quote from Sri Sathya Sai Baba: “Music, or nadam, emanated from the breath of God. That which emanates from God must go back to Him. Music can only be considered as holy and auspicious when it is offered to the Divine, everything else is noise.” She then introduced the students and staff of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam, who offered a bouquet of vocal compositions by Saint Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and other great saints. The dynamic renditions of classic Carnatic songs left the audience enraptured! Sadguru’s presence in their midst made this beautiful expression of Indian culture even more memorable for the audience. 

The concert was enhanced by creative graphics accompanying each song that informed the audience about the composer and provided a brief translation of the lyrics in English.

Upon the conclusion of the concert, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai ascended the stage and graciously gave His blessings and gifts to each of the participants. 

Mangala arati was then offered, which marked the conclusion of the Makara Sankranti Celebrations.

   


What should young people do for God?

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Question

What should young people do for Swami?

Public Satsang at Croatia- 22nd April 2015

Swami: Whether young or old, all have to do the same thing for Swami; transform yourself. Be an example to others. If you practice what Swami is teaching and become an example to others, it is the greatest seva that you can do.

The sun rises every day, and just by rising in the sky, the entire world is taken care of. Trees grow, birds fly, crops grow – everything happens just because the sun rises. If inside you, your Divinity rises like the sun, it will help everyone. If you observe the sun closely, you will learn that it is burning itself away to give light and life to so many.

You go to a church and you light a candle. What is the meaning of the candle? Does God need light? It is you who needs light. The candle only tells you that the only way it glows and removes the darkness is by melting away. Its ego melts away so that the light of love can spread. Therefore, whether young or old, first and foremost, transform yourself. Be willing to sacrifice for the sake of others.

Young people are very selfish. They first think about themselves. They don’t think of others first. In the first place, learn to give selflessly. Trust Me, even if you need something very, very badly, if there is someone else who needs it at that very moment and asks you for it, if you have the courage and love to give it away, Swami will look after you. Swami will take care of all your needs.

Young people should learn giving and forgiving. Forgiveness is a great virtue. Many young people have many misunderstandings. It is natural at their age, but being able to forgive people, and more importantly, forgive yourself and move on in your life, is very important. Mistakes happen. However, if you keep living in your past mistakes, you will never be able to go forward. If you do not repeat it, it is not a mistake. Don’t blame yourself and think yourself as low and weak.

Remember, you are God Himself, in this form. You have all the power, all the strength, and all the purity. Live with that courage and conviction, which alone will give you the heart to give and forgive. It will make you fearless, for you know that God will protect you at all times. Whatever you need, wherever you need, whenever you need, God will provide you. You live for others, and I will take care of you. Set up this example for the others to follow.


Why Muddenahalli?

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Question

Bhagawan, could You please help us understand why You decided to embody Yourself in the Subtle Body at Muddenahalli and not elsewhere?

Would it not have been easier to manifest, for example, in Puttaparthi, where existing infrastructure is already in place?

Public Satsang at Croatia-22nd April 2015

Swami: Even before asking this question, you must ask yourself another question. Why did Swami come to Puttaparthi, in the first place? Why not in Croatia? Whatever Swami chooses to do, there is a reason behind it. Just as a businessman moves from office to office to increase his business, and does not stay in the same place forever, I travel from place to place to spread this business of love. Give love and get love.

Where an Avatar descends is not decided by the people. It is definitely decided by the Avatar. Just as you may have many children, but you love to stay with those children who are dear to you, or who need your help and guidance more than the others, the Avatar goes to that place where He is needed more than the others.

Puttaparthi was like a primary school, where people from all parts of the world came. Some of them did not even believe in the existence of God. In the primary school, the first lesson I taught was: God exists. Those who did not believe there was God understood, and now believe that God exists.

Muddenahalli is like a high school, where I am teaching: God does not exist outside, not in one place in a particular form, but He exists in each and every person, within them, and it is possible for you to realize this.

In the future, I am going to start a University where, once you graduate from this high school, you must take admission there. That is going to be the Prema Sai University, where the ultimate has to be learned. What is the ultimate? You and I are one. There is no difference.

While you have heard all these things, truly, how many are really experiencing it? You have read all the theory and have got full marks in the theory exams. You can easily quote and misquote Swami wherever you want, but practically, you are yet to pass. This is all practical. This is for those who are not merely here to seek things from Swami, but to know what can be done for Swami. The only thing that you can ever do for Swami is to Love All and Serve All. Therefore, each place and the people around are chosen for a particular purpose.

This time, Swami has chosen to set up His office in a new place, so that that can also be developed. In fact, I just spoke to a small group of devotees yesterday, and I have commanded them – they must also build a small ashram in Croatia, which is a long-standing dream of many devotees. In the future, it will grow into a great place of spiritual power and people from all around the world would come there to seek their own self. Even as the next Avatar, I will visit all these countries, reside in these ashrams, and guide My devotees. All this is the ‘homework’ that is being done for the coming times.

It is a part of My leela. It is a story. It gets interesting as you turn the pages. You are only on the tenth page. So, there are so many questions. I am the author of the book. I know the entire book. For Me, there is nothing like past, present and future. Since I know what the future is going to be, I need to ensure that the present is in line with the future, and that is what I am doing now.


Bhoomi Puja of Sri Sathya Sai Veda Gurukulam - January 08, 2021 - Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli

On 18 December 2020, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai made a very significant announcement. He exalted the importance of recognising the divinity within everyone, and emphasised that since ancient times, the knowledge of vedānta has been shared only with the deserving and the important criterion being that the Guru would test the disciple and only then was the secret teaching passed on. He went to reveal that the Sri Sathya Sai Veda Gurukulam will be initiated soon and select students would be enrolled. These students will be trained for 15 years i.e., primary school to University, and the focus of education being vedā vedānta along with academic subjects with emphasis on English speaking for effective communication skills and computers. After gaining rich knowledge, they will travel to every country and continent to spread the vedāntic teachings. Hence, parā vidyā and aparā vidyā, both would be taught.

Swami announced that He would also perform a Mass Upanayana ceremony for the vatus who will join the Veda Gurukulam and stressed on the importance of sandhyavandanam. He then stated, “This was one piece that was missing in the jewel of our education system. This is the crest-jewel (chudamani) of all the education”.

There was another announcement that on Sankranti, Bhoomi Pooja for the Veda Gurukulam at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli would take place. Two Pandits from Tirupati (one, a scholar in Rigveda and the other in Yajurveda) had been chosen to teach at the Gurukulam and both had studied at Sri Venkateswara Veda Vignana Peetham at Tirumala. 

The momentous day soon arrived. On the auspicious morning of January 8, 2021, bhoomi pooja (a ritual performed in honour of Mother Earth) was performed at the site for the upcoming Sri Sathya Sai Veda Gurukulam in the gracious presence and with the blessings of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai. When Sadguru had visited Tirupati in December 2020, this ceremony was pre-decided with the pandits (Vedic scholars) there and in accordance with the panchangam (calendar), this auspicious muhurtham (auspicious time) had been chosen.

The proceedings for the bhoomi pooja began with Ganapathi pooja (worship of Lord Ganesha), kalasha sthapana (kalash is an urn, and this ritual is performed before a pooja), poojas to the ashta dikpalakas (guardians of the cardinal directions), go pooja (worship of cow), sarpa pooja (worship of snakes) and prayers to various creatures and beings of different lokas (worlds). Special offerings were made to invoke their blessings.

Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai arrived at the site by 9.30 a.m. and shanku sthapana (laying the foundation stone) was performed at exactly 9.47 a.m. in the eeshanya or north-east direction of the Tapovanam where a temple for Lord Shiva will be constructed. Sacred offerings of navaratnas (nine gems) and navadanyas (nine grains) were made along with panchamrutha abhishekam (a ritual where the idols are bathed with milk, curds, honey, sugar and ghee) amidst Vedic chants. 

Even as Sadguru broke the coconuts during the Ganapathi pooja and shanku sthapana, big flowers were found inside which was a sign of auspicious beginnings, in accordance with divine sankalpa. An ashatakona homa kunda (an octangular pit for making offerings during yagnas) had been specially designed for the occasion and Ganapathi homa, vastu homa (prayers to the deity of directions) and navagraha shanti homa (prayers to the nine planets) were performed by Vedic priests from Tirumala. Poornahuti (offering made at the end of a ritual) was offered, after which the sacred water from the kalasha was sprinkled on everyone. 

Thereafter, one of the priests Vidwan Kashiji explained the significance and importance of Vedas and how the Vedas are the basis of everything one does in their daily lives. Sadguru also spoke about the sacred land, as it has been sanctified by the penance of various sages and saints. It is the land blessed by Lord Rama Himself and therefore has been chosen for the Veda Pathshala. 

Sadguru revealed the forthcoming structures that will be constructed - the Uma Maheshwara temple, yagashala (a place for worship), pushkarini (pond), Sharadamba temple, the Veda pathshala and residential blocks for teachers and students. 

After the programme concluded, Sadguru partook lunch along with the guests, staff and students of Vedic Studies at Atmadeep, blessed everyone and proceeded back to Premdeep.


Divine Visit to Sri Sathya Sai Prashanthiniketanam, Nallakadirenahalli - 04 January, 2021

It was the happiest day for the girl students of Sri Sathya Sai Prashanthiniketanam, Nallakadirenahalli, as they waited in anticipation for the Lord. The previous day was spent in cleaning, decorating, preparing cards, making garlands, song practices and much more. As the staff and students threw themselves enthusiastically into the assigned tasks, there was only one aim in every heart:   To make Swami happy. That wonderful morning, the whole campus was decorated with colourful garlands, handmade crafts and dressed in grand sarees, the beaming students stood ready to receive the Lord. 

Finally, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai arrived with His entourage and was welcomed by the girl students in a Veda procession. Swami and His guests were presented colourful flower bouquets by the Heads of the institution. Swami visited the upcoming hostel building which is under construction and provided guidance to the contractor and workers.  

Swami was then led to the prayer hall where the staff and students had gathered. The programme commenced with an auspicious Vedic invocation by the University students. The welcome address was given by Smt. Purnima.M, Principal of Prashanthi Bala Mandira Girls’ School. This was followed by an inspiring speech in Sanskrit by the faculty of Prashanthi Nikethanam PU College.  Ms. Roopa, a tenth-grade student then expressed her gratitude to Swami for taking care of her entire education and for supporting her family in times of crisis. Ms. Amrutha, a PU college student, spoke about the gift of education that she is receiving in this institution, about her learnings from the paravidya classes and the joy of service that she experienced during the lockdown period. 

The talks were followed by soulful music renditions by students from the school, PUC, and the University. It is so rightly said that ’music is the fastest and surest way to reach God’! 

Thereafter, Swami delivered His much-awaited divine discourse. Swami elaborated that it was His dream to see the school, college and University in one campus which had manifested into reality that day and named it as the” Triveni Sangama.’’ Swami encouraged the girls to excel in sports, especially volleyball. He said that He plans to hold a volleyball match between the school, college and university level girls. After motivating all the students to play games regularly, Swami partook lunch with the tenth grade and the second-year PUC students. He distributed ice-cream to everyone. 

Post lunch, Swami visited all the classrooms, laboratories, office and staff rooms before blessing the elders with an interview. After the Mangala Arati was offered, Swami departed from the campus leaving everybody in a state of deep bliss. 

 

 


Did humanity take a giant leap forward in 2020? - Divine Discourse Summary - January 01, 2021

Last year has taught us several lessons. It put a mirror in front of our face. (It) has definitely made all go within, introspect, learn so much more about our own selves than the people around us. An opportunity to express our love, to express our compassion. And that has made us better human beings than what we were in 2019. This year humanity has definitely taken a giant leap. The world has learnt a lesson that we are all together in it. When we suffer, we suffer together, when we rejoice, we rejoice together. The idea of living selfishly only for one sake, to a great extent has been wiped away from the minds of people. One unseen, invisible organism has changed the way we think, we say, we do things in our lives. Much of the time were spent in the spiritual studies to understand our true nature, to overcome the vagaries of mind, to dwell in the realms of the spirit, to experience that oneness within and without and I have heard so many wonderful stories from our people.

These are important steppingstones. They can teach us a lot, what bad times teach us, good times don't. Good times or bad times we should kind and compassionate to everyone around us. Few months from now probably life will be back to the old normal. But we should not be the same old again, we should continue to do what we have learnt in this year. When we open our eyes, we are serving everyone around us, and we close our eyes we are reveling in the divine bliss that is within. There was an imbalance earlier, when the eyes are open, we are definitely serving others but when eyes are closed, we just don't know who we are. And then there was the other aspect; when we close our eyes and enjoy the divine connection within and felt so unwilling to serve outside when we opened our eyes, both are not real. A Jeevanmukta does not live like this. He is always reveling in the knowledge of the truth within, but without is extremely active for the welfare of all.

But definitely I do wish that this year let there not be any sorrow, let there not be any grief, let nobody be sick and suffering, let there be joy, peace, harmony in the whole world. I am sure as the restrictions open; I would again travel and see you all in your own countries or you will all travel here and see us here and that time is not far. I will meet everybody in their own countries. As you all miss coming here, I all also miss you all very much. I think we have become closer as a global family of Swami and that is the boon that we have received this year.


New Year Celebrations - 01 January, 2021 - Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli

January 1, 2021, dawned bright and sunny. Eager devotees waited in anticipation at Premamrutham Hall in Muddenahalli. As Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai walked into the hall dressed in sparkling white robes, joyous devotees greeted him with folded hands. Melodious bhajans rent the Hall as Swami moved among His devotees, sharing New Year’s blessings and smiles with all even as many of them came forward to take pada namaskar. Swami then took His seat on the stage and was joined by Sri B N Narasimha Murthy and Sri C. Sreenivas on either side. 

Dr. Sai Lakshmi delivered the opening address, welcoming everyone present as also those watching the event online. She wished everyone a very happy, holy, and auspicious New Year 2021. A Vedic invocation was then offered by the final year boy students of the University for Human Excellence, who chanted the Brahmananda Valli from the Taittiriya Upanishad. Dr. Sai Lakshmi then gave a brief recap of the events that occurred in Bhagavan’s mission in 2020. The year gone by had begun with Swami’s Divine visit to Sri Lanka, followed by the Annual Sports Meet at Sathya Sai Grama and then a visit to the far east including Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Laos and Thailand. 

Even the months of lockdown were made divinely memorable by the grace of Swami. During these months beginning March, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai benevolently shared His para vidya teachings on the Geetha Gnana Yajna, the Master the Mind series and the Upanishads

In keeping with Swami’s teaching that both sadhana and seva should go together, the Annapoorna Trust stepped forward to assist the thousands of people who had lost their livelihood due to the pandemic by distributing dry rations to them. Relief work was carried out along with the Aarogya Vahini Trust and basic amenities were provided to those affected by the cyclone in coastal Bengal. 

Swami had initiated the ‘Feed the World’ programme in 2018. Youth from around the world who are part of this programme have continued to work and serve in their respective countries.  To date, over one million meals have been served to the homeless and to those who were in need during the pandemic.

On the healthcare front, the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Pediatric Cardiac Care Hospital catered to 118,000 outpatients in the year 2020.  Over 13,700 surgeries and interventions were performed on little hearts, giving them a new lease of life, and nearly 90,000 screenings were performed. 

The Education mission of Swami, with 24 campuses and 38 institutions spread across Karnataka, one in Telangana and one in Tamil Nadu, underwent a metamorphosis. It transitioned from the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Group of Institutions to the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam, imparting both para and apara vidya to its students. 

The National Institute of Open Schooling Curriculum was adopted to better accommodate and enable the all-around development of the students and to bring back the joy of learning. Although students could not physically attend school, teaching and learning continued through the online Gurukulam website and through the YouTube channel that was launched in May 2020 under the direct guidance of Swami. More than 1,365 video lessons were produced and made available to not only our students, but also to any student from around the world who want to learn, all of which is completely free of cost.

During the auspicious Navaratri Celebrations, new programmes in Vedic Studies and Fine Arts, Music, and Dance, were launched by the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence. Collaborations were made with like-minded institutions such as the Benares Hindu University, Kalakshetra Foundation and many more. On the auspicious day of Vijayadashami, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai had announced that the Athi Rudra Maha Yagna would be performed as a part of the grand 95th Birthday Celebrations of Swami! 

The World Youth Meet 2020 took place with delegates participating virtually from around the world. In the last one-and-a half months of the year, Swami visited some of the educational campuses at Mandya, Hassan, Jayapura, and Hyderabad to bless and guide His young students. 

During Swami’s recent visit to Sringeri, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetham in the presence of Jagadguru Bharati Tirtha Swamiji, towards the establishment of a Veda Patashala at Sathya Sai Grama. 

The recap of the year 2020 concluded with heartfelt gratitude expressed to Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai and prayers for His continued guidance and blessings for 2021.

Sri C Sreenivas, Chairman of the Sri Sathya Health and Education Trust, was invited to address the gathering.  He began by pointing out our singular good fortune to wake up to a world where we have beloved Swami as our friend and guide and as our courage and strength in life. Whatever we go through in life, our one constant is Swami, who is ever embracing and a reservoir of strength. If our purpose in life is filled with the kind of passion Swami exhibits day in and day out for His purpose, what we just heard and saw in the recap of 2020 is the result, said Sri Sreenivas. How persistent we are in the questioning of purpose and the fuelling of passion every day defines our personal love and devotion to Swami. Swami wants us to be as persistent as He is. To whom much is given, much is expected, and we must face distractions and disruptions and be persistent in what we do. With a prayer to dear Swami to fill our lives with strength, courage and the rigor of persistence, may we begin this beautiful day, and this year with His heart with us. With these words, Sri Sreenivas concluded his talk.

 Sri B N Narasimha Murthy who spoke next, talked of the knowledge given to Arjuna by Sri Krishna on the battlefield at Kurukshetra. Arjuna describes Sri Krishna as an avatar who is the “eternal guardian of the imperishable dharma,” which is the most important purpose of human life.  An avatar takes human form to interpret dharma according to the times, circumstances, and situations in an area. Today, dharma is not limited to an area or country, but it has become the global field. It must include the whole world in this modern age. The Sai avatar is the divine manifestation in modern history which combines three manifestations spanning two centuries.  

Shirdi Sai came to remind man of the existence of God as only one God.  Sathya Sai said God is in everyone, therefore “love all and serve all.” Today, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai brings the message of, ‘Aham Brahman, Sarvam Brahman’, I am God, everything is God. 

We, who are so fortunate to be able to hear the divine message directly from the lips of the avatar, also have a huge responsibility to practice the knowledge He has given us! 

Narasimha Murthy then shared what he felt would be most helpful based on his own experience in life. When there is gratitude, that person is destined to rise in the spiritual realms.  Therefore, look up, remember God; look behind, look to your past and thank God; look ahead, trust God; look around, serve God; look within, see God; look beyond, be God!”  

This sums up the entire teachings of Shirdi Sai, Sri Sathya Sai, and Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, so that we can practice what Sai has taught us, until we rise to the level at which we can experience, ‘Aham Brahma, Sarvam Brahma’.

Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai then blessed the assembly and all those watching worldwide with His benedictory message. He began by stating that when Brahman is experienced, such a person knows no fear, nor is there ever any remorse because such a situation never comes to a person who has known divinity within. Swami then spoke of the opportunity we all must ask ourselves about the events of the past year and He assured us that there are no mistakes, but only lessons if we learn from them. If we fail to learn from them, then it becomes a mistake. Sharing His perspective of the last year, Bhagavan said that in the lockdown times of forced solitude, there was no choice but to deal with one’s own self and that is when people found their own true nature. 

“Humanity,” said Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, “definitely took a giant leap forward when millions felt for the pain and suffering of others and expressed compassion and concern for their fellow beings. Therefore, the idea of living selfishly for one’s own sake has, to a great extent, been wiped away from the minds of people! “

Speaking of the experience of humanity during these times, He said that this small, invisible organism (the virus) has been a great leveler, because it spared no one, rich or poor; everyone had to go through it together. Swami said that this experience made humanity understand that in front of certain forces of nature and divine will, we all are nothing and that we are all equal. 

Swami was pleased that many of these changes translated into great acts of service. He said that this was a blessing in disguise that strengthened human race. He also stressed that we should continue to serve and not leave behind the lessons we have learnt.

At Sathya Sai Grama, much of the time was spent in deep spiritual studies to understand one’s true nature and to experience oneness within and without. Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai took this time to bring out deeper levels of Vedantic knowledge and structure the core syllabus for the Gurukulam system of education. He said that schools will open again in a few months’ time. 

Swami then explained that, “The right approach to life is that within, you should dwell in the divine self that you are and without, all that you experienced within should be expressed through your head and hands as service to fellow beings, to society, to all of creation. “This is the greatest lesson that I believe all of us have learnt in this year, the balance between the within and the without.” 

Swami then reminded everyone to do good, day and night and contemplate on the great Vedantic truths every single day. Speaking to the devotees around the world who were watching the proceedings online, Swami said, “Plenty of blessings!  May you all lead holy, noble lives, lives of selfless service and sacrifice for the rest”. That is the way one can pay tribute to Swami and to all the great masters, by practicing the knowledge they have shared.  

“As soon as the restrictions ease, I will again travel and see you all in your own countries, or you will all travel here.  That time is not far, but definitely a few more months before this can happen.  I will take one big global tour for one-and-a half or two months.  As you all miss coming here, I also miss you very much, I miss seeing your smiling faces. With technology, we may have social distancing, but spiritually we have become closer this year.  As we found each other in our own hearts, and felt each other’s love and warmth, and prayed, we have become closer as a global family of Swami.  My blessings to one and all!”  

Mangala Arati was offered to Swami. His bountiful blessings, love and grace left all filled with warmth and gratitude.