Issue 6 - February 5, 2017
Editors Note...
What shapes our character? How can we become better people? How can we lead lives according to Swami's teachings? The world we live in conjures up instances and circumstances which may not necessarily help with our spiritual progress. 'Tell me your company, and I shall tell you what you are', so goes the saying. The type of qualities we acquire depends upon our company. Therefore, we should associate with noble and spiritually minded people. When water evaporates, it forms clouds. But all clouds do not bring rain. Rain depends upon the type of clouds. 

Satsangatwe Nissangatwam
Nissangatwe Nirmohatwam, 
Nirmohatwe Nischalatattwam, Nischalatattwe Jivanmukti. 

Swami often quotes this verse from the Bhaja Govindam, which means - 'The company of the good weans one away from false attachments; from non-attachment comes freedom from delusion. When the delusion ends, the mind becomes unwavering and steady, and from an unwavering and steady mind comes Jeevan Mukti (liberation even in this life).'

Swami's message for this week to the Sai youth around the world:

"The purpose of life is to purify yourself back to the original state of purity with which you were born. Good company, contemplation on God and service to others will make you pure. Good thoughts will emanate from good company. As is your company, so you will become. Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny. So, good thoughts will arise only in the company of good people. Youth is like the  Dandakaranya forest (the forest where Rama, Lakshmana and Sita spent many years during their exile, and which was infested with demons). There are too many negative influences around you. But by being in the company of Rama, and by following in His footsteps, you can come out of the forest of Dandakaranya, infested with demons of lust, greed, anger, pride, infatuation, ego and attachment.

Don't think of the past; past is past. Don't think of the future, as it is uncertain. Think only of the present, and spend your time in the company of the good, and your future will definitely be better and bright."

Indeed a timely reminder from our compassionate Lord. As youth, our peers and social circles play important and very impactful roles in our lives. But having Swami at the centre of our lives, will ultimately shape our habits and character. 

If there is negativity or something unpleasant on TV, we change the channel, don't we? When we are around bad company, we need to turn around and walk away!

Yours in Sai Service
Bhuvana Santhanam

Satsang and Service Updates
Annapoorna Breakfast Programme
 On July 5, 2012, a group of individuals came together to initiate a programme of serving nutritious breakfast, free of cost, to children in a school in Doddabele(South Bangalore) Karnataka. As of 2016 over 10000 students are reaping the benefits of this programme daily. 
Lead Programme
The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Forming close to 60% of the population, it is the youth of India who have the ideas, energy, and passion for a better India, and they need to realize their potential. For this purpose, the LEaders Accelerating Development (LEAD) Program of the Deshpande Foundation was born. LEAD develops innovative and entrepreneurial thinking within college students by exposing them to social issues, encouraging them to volunteer their time and efforts for their community, and igniting their talent to come up with creative solutions.
Sri Sathya Sai Aarogya Vahini
The team went out in the different parts of the city to distribute blankets to the people sleeping on the streets without proper cover. The month was also witnessed with General Medical Camps and conducting investigations for Pre OT Cataract Profile  for selected patients. 
Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital
101  pediatric cardiac surgeries were conducted  in  December 2016 and  2867  surgeries have been conducted in Sai Sanjeevani since its inception in November 2012, with patients coming from all over the country and other developing countries.

The year 2016 has been special for the medical team. A total of  1188 Pediatric Cardiac Surgeries  were conducted in 2016.
Love Spreads Throughout Sri Lanka

Vaharai ; a small village located in the Eastern part of Sri Lanka in the Trincomalee District is an area  that was highly affected by the war that ravaged our Motherland for around thirty years.

To this day, there are still many who lack in areas that we consider to be the very basic facilities. Although the war has destroyed much infrastructure and tangible resources, it was unable to weaken the spirit and resolve of the youth as they now tirelessly endeavour to rebuild the lives of those around them.

 A group of Sai youth in Colombo with love in their hearts, food in their hands and compassionate thoughts in their head visited an elders’ home in Borella. Twenty one elderly gentlemen reside in this home as their families are unable to look after them due to various personal problems. When they enquired as to why we decided to organize this event they were surprised to know that there was no specific reason other than to “Love and Serve”, just as our beloved Swami has always taught us.
  “Nobility without ability is useless, and ability without nobility is dangerous”

The above quoted words of our lord appear to be embedded in the hearts of the youth of Batticaloa as they strive to provide an all-encompassing value based education to the children of the Kirankulam area. 

As a part of developing moral values, the youth have conducted a “ Maathru Pooja ”ceremony honouring the boundless love and sacrifice of their mothers. 
Transcription Seva

A core Seva activities our group has been blessed with and been continuing since the time we were given the chance to transcribe selected talks of our lovable Narasimha Murthy Sir in 2015. We started the year 2017 with the wonderful transcription for Swami’s visit to Sri Lanka

Tea & Snacks Distribution Seva
As the winter season is moving on, we continue to do this Seva of providing tea and snacks to construction workers. We serve them home-made ‘Masala Chai (Tea)’ and biscuits as they head home from the site after a 12-hour shift.
Groceries, Toiletries & Dry Ration Distribution Seva
Our committed group of Sai sevaks renders selfless Seva in the form of tea and biscuits along with dry ration packs, vegetable kits, fruits etc taking due turn each week. Almost 50 labourers, who are really the under privileged group in the society benefit every week from this service activity. 
Breakfast Seva
The youth served homemade break-fast along with juices/bananas to labourers falling under unprivileged part of the working community in the Middle-East every fortnight. 
Satsang commemorating “Sai Hridayam” 2nd Anniversary
On January 20, 2017, the youth had a beautiful Satsang at “Sai Hridayam”, our wonderful Sai home lovingly named by our beloved Swami when He visited Middle East in January 2015.
The Satsang commenced with Sai Gayathri chanting followed by soulful B hajans after which the youth discussed about their Seva  activities, Hassan campus initiatives, and spiritual experience sharing.