Upanayanam Ceremony – Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli - February 20 and 21, 2021

The auspicious Upanayanam ceremony is a ritual by which a young boy or vatu is invested with the ‘sacred thread’ and is soon after initiated into the celebrated gāyatrī mantra, the holiest of all mantras and a priceless legacy passed down from the ancient sages. After the Upanayanam ceremony is performed, the boy becomes eligible to study the vedas and thus, the ritual signifies a spiritual rebirth for the young vatu.

On 20th and 21st February, 2021, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai undertook the performance of the sacred Upanayanam ceremony for 84 young vatus. The proceedings began on the evening of Saturday 20 February, as all the vatus, their parents and families gathered for the performance of guru prārthanā, navagraha homa and gāyatrī homa at 5:00 p.m by the entrance of Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham hall. These prayers and homas were performed as an offering to invoke Goddess Gayatri to bless all the vatus who would be initiated into the sacred gāyatrī mantra during their Upanayanam ceremony the following morning. The rituals were underway when Sadguru arrived and granted Darshan to everyone who was gathered at Premamrutham. Sadguru then sat as Bhajans continued and after some time, He proceeded to the homa kuṇḍa where He performed the final pūrṇāhuti and thereafter blessed everyone with sprinklings of the sacred water from the yajña.

Sadguru then briefly spoke to all the young vatus, revealing that this auspicious occasion marked the official launch of the re-awakening of sanātana dharma which is the real mission of the Sai Avatar. Sadguru also revealed that in times to come, sanātana dharma would spread not only across India but throughout the globe.

As Sadguru concluded His message, He received Mangala Arati as the rituals for the day came to a conclusion.

On the morning of Sunday 21 February, 2021, the rituals began at 8:00 a.m at Premamrutham, where all the vatus and their parents were seated. The event began with prayers to Lord Ganesha to remove all obstacles. Thereafter, the rituals of the Upanayanam ceremony began and Sadguru arrived at Premamrutham at around 9:00 a.m. After granting Darshan, Sadguru took His seat on stage and the proceedings continued as the sacred thread was invested to each boy by his father and the auspicious gāyatrī mantra was chanted into the ears of the young boys. This initiation into the gāyatrī mantra is also known as brahmopadeśa and facilitates the flow of Divine guidance to inspire and illumine the intellect so that the jīva or individual soul may know the paramātma or Supreme Self.

After the ceremony concluded, Sadguru profusely blessed each of the vatus and their parents and lovingly took photographs with all of them. Sadguru then addressed everyone reminding the importance of the Upanayanam ceremony and how the word itself means that it gives one a closer vision of one’s true Self’. When one is born from the mother’s womb, one is no different from an animal but after this sacred ceremony, the jñāna śakti or power of wisdom is awakened, thus bringing one closer to the Divine Self.

Thus, the most auspicious and sacred Upanayanam ceremony came to an end and after receiving Mangala Arati, Sadguru proceeded to partake lunch with the blessed young vatus.

 

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.

   


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.


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. 


Divine Visit – Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani International Centre For Child Heart Care & Research – November 28, 2019

Morning

The Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital, Palwal, Haryana celebrated its third anniversary and Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba graced the occasion with His presence, along with few dignitaries, Government officials, and guests who had come from around the world.

The morning programme started with Sri Arvind Thiagarajan, CEO of HD Tech, who spoke about, and demonstrated the use of HD Steth, a monitoring device, built on the command of Sri Sathya Sai Baba under the able mentorship of late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. He mentioned how Swami had suggested an addition to the stethoscope, which eliminated a problem that was reported by various doctors, which has helped the evolution of the device in a better way. He also gave few details of the advanced version of the device which is being worked upon by him and his team. A stethoscope was presented to Dr Pradeep Sharma, Chief Medical Officer, Palwal.

The next speaker was Dr Pradeep Sharma, who detailed about the Rashtriya Bal Swasthaya Karyakram, a project of Govt. of India, and how free monitoring and treatment is provided to children till the age of 18 years. He mentioned that out of 23 heart surgeries done this year for Haryana, 20 were done by Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital. He also added that a program in which new-born children will be screened at hospitals using the HD steth, is being planned.

Mr Yashpal Yadav, District Commissioner of Palwal, spoke next and extended his congratulations to the entire team of Sai Sanjeevani for the commendable work. Ms Kavita Narayan, Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, offered greetings and congratulations sent by various departments of the Government for Sai Sanjeevani. She mentioned that they are in talks with National Board of Examiners and College of Physicians and Surgeons, so that the knowledge and expertise of Sai Sanjeevani could be shared among others.

The Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital, Palwal, Haryana celebrated its third anniversary and Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba graced the occasion with His presence, along with few dignitaries, Government officials, and guests who had come from around the world.

Mr Onkar Joshi, Institution Development Officer, Palwal Hospital talked next about the various educational and training programmes initiated by the facility. He mentioned an MoU signed with the Govt. of Afghanistan, Ministry of Health, through which doctors and surgeons are being trained on a rotation basis at Sai Sanjeevani Hospital, which will eventually lead up to setting up a cardiac treatment facility in Afghanistan. He invited one such trainee, Dr Hanif Talal from Afghanistan, to share his experience, who thanked everybody for the training he was receiving. Mr Joshi also mentioned an MoU with a Malaysian University, which will include a medical mission to Malaysia to train doctors and nurses.

Sri C Sreenivas, Chairman of Sri Sathya Sai Health and Education Trust spoke next, and thanked everybody for their commitment and time to materialise the dream of Swami, where everybody is serving the world with love and compassion. Sri Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Padma Vibhushan and Sarod Maestro, spoke briefly, thanked everybody, and extended his best wishes to the entire team.

Swami delivered His diviner message through Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai. He spoke about Sai Sanjeevani, Palwal, as being the confluence of government, organisation and society, that will bring about change and impact. He appreciated the work done by the doctors and the entire Sai Sanjeevani team for their dedication and commitment and the work they do. He also mentioned about various educational and training programmes being launched by the Hospital, and also revealed about the Post Graduate integrated programme in Pediatric Cardiology, which will offer training to the doctors for this field.

Dr Yogesh Shetty presented the vote of thanks, and the morning programme concluded with the National Anthem.

Evening:

The evening commenced with the chanting of the Sarva Devata Gayatri by the ladies staff of the hospital. Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai blessed the team and posed for a group photograph with them. A short video was shown about the conception of Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals. Thereafter, a musical presentation comprising of songs and Bhajans were offered by the hospital staff. The group offered many pieces in various languages including Telugu, Hindi and English. The presentation was very moving and suffused with love. Bhagawan, the source and witness of everything, responded to the prayers, and blessed everybody profusely and also posed for photographs.

This was followed by another small video showing the achievements of Divine Mother & Child Health Program carried out by the Palwal Hospital.

Everyone working at the Hospital was encouraged to say ‘we are saving a child,’ irrespective of what the person actually did – be it a cook, a watchman or a driver.

The first speaker of the evening was the senior-most surgeon of the hospital, Dr Krishan Manohar, who through his own inimitable style, posed as an Aayyappa devotee and presented 41 slides symbolically equalling the 41 steps of Sabrimala pilgrimage. He showed the mergence of Bhagawan’s message, the ancient stories about Gods, and also the actual work done by various doctors and team members.

Ms Aruna, the post-operative ward in-charge, spoke briefly in Hindi about her journey with Sai Sanjeevani, as to how in the beginning there were only OPDs and no surgeries, and how sceptic she was about her own capabilities of handling cardiac post-operative cases. But with the guidance and training, she submitted her confidence, and thanked everyone for the support.

The first fellowship of Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani was conferred to Dr Praveen Dontineni, who underwent one-year training at the Hospital and now serves as an independent surgeon at the Hospital. He expressed his gratitude to his mentor, family, and also everybody who helped him through his journey. He mentioned that on Swami’s birthday this year, he completed his 100th independent paediatric cardiac surgery.

Sri Madhusudan Sai then blessed Dr Kishan Rao with senior residency completion certificate, and also blessed Dr Ikshudhanva for his contribution to the Hospital. Two brothers from Kerela, Shaun Chetta and Faizal Chetta, received certificates for completing their training as perfusionists.

Sri Umesh, originally from Bihar, living in Delhi, a patient, who underwent treatment at the Hospital spoke next. After nine months of surgery, he ran a 5 Km marathon defying all odds, for he had never run in his life due to his ailment. He spoke in Hindi and expressed his gratitude.

The next speaker was Sri C Sreenivas, who expressed his pleasure and gratitude towards the whole team and every single person who has been associated with the Hospital. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, fully manifest in Sri Madhusudan Sai, expressed His pleasure and pride as the whole team is working hard, day and night, to bring joy to the little hearts. He encouraged everyone working at the Hospital to say ‘we are saving a child,’ irrespective of what the person actually did – be it a cook, a watchman or a driver. He joyously mentioned that this occasion was not the third anniversary but 3,000 birthdays’ celebration because in the last three years 3,000 lives have been saved, at the Hospital in Palwal. He praised Sri C Sreenivas for his single-minded dedication towards the mission, and that he would be busy for the next three years as two more such hospitals will be established. He also assured that if a child who gets operated in the Hospitals needs help with his or her education, the Education Trust will take care of the needs, without any entrance exam or formality.

The Hospital also conducts Bal Vikas classes for underprivileged children of nearby areas, and Ms Annapoorna, a trained Kathak dancer and co-ordinator of DMCHP, trains them in dance. Under the guidance of Ms Annapoorna, the children presented dance recital on various songs as an expression of gratitude.

Sri Madhusudan Sai blessed all the children and also cut the cake marking the third anniversary of the Hospital. The programme came to a close with Mangala Aarti and dinner Prasadam.