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.


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.