Issue 216 - February 14, 2021
Editor's Note
The gradual unfolding and understanding of the divinity within is magical. Fritz Künkel, the celebrated social scientist said, “Being one with the universe, one with God - that is what we wish for most whether we know it or not.” Whatever we may do everyday or whichever profession we may be working in or however prosperous we may be, ultimately our only purpose in life is to realise our true selves. Unfortunately, we get carried away by all that happens, get bogged down by the day-to-day situations in life, and completely forget the real goal. As a matter of fact, there are millions around the world who do not even understand the oneness aspect nor do they realise that ‘All is Divine’. While engaging in Seva, there is beautiful feeling of oneness which envelopes us. It softens our hearts. It broadens our minds.

During the World Youth Meet 2019, Swami said, “Don’t be afraid to serve and to sacrifice. If you serve those in greater need, the great cosmic law of Love, will take care of your needs, better than you could do. Don’t trust my words, try it and know it for yourself. Life will become light and free, a celebration every moment with the greater awareness of higher laws, far beyond the limits of our human understanding. You will truly start living when you start serving, and will be grateful for all the blessings that come your way, unasked, unexpected.”

Khalil' Gibran said, “When love beckons to you, follow him; though his ways are hard and steep. For love if finds you worthy will direct your course. Think not that you can direct the course of love.” That supreme LOVE has beckoned us, and is guiding our path. All that we need to do is just follow whatever He says, and we are sure to be engulfed in true bliss at all times.

Bhuvana Santhanam
ātmano mokshārtam
(Emancipation of one’s self)
True Happiness is Everlasting
Excerpt from Divine Discourse Delivered by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai on February 20, 2020

The three qualities – sat chit ānanda – are always present in God. sat is like the water; chit is like the sugar and ānanda is the experience of sweetness born out of the two. sat means truth. Truth that is unchangeable, which remains the same in all situations, circumstances. In everybody, there is this principle of ātman, which is indestructible and unchangeable. This is the principle of Satya. To know this truth is the first step in spiritual progress.
The second step is to know that this God is not only in one place in one person, but He is in all. This awareness, this knowledge that everything is Divine – sarvam brahmamayam – that knowledge and awareness is the chit principle. So when you get this water of sat to know God exists, ātman exists, and then you get this sugar of chit to know that it exists within, without and everywhere. Mix the two, then you will experience the ānanda that you alone are and nothing else exists. When you believe in both these principles, the experience of ānanda that comes out of it completes your spiritual journey.
Man is also known by the name ānanda pipasu, which means - he wants or he is thirsty for ānanda, for happiness, for bliss. But he has no clue where to find this kind of ānanda. Man thinks that by pleasing the senses through sensory pleasures, this ānanda can be attained. But alas, it does not last long, as it is not permanent. Today you might be happy doing what you are doing, but tomorrow you are back to sadness which envelopes you. The true ānanda is that which once comes does not go. The taste of it remains on the tongue forever. To experience this is the effort of every human being consciously or unconsciously, knowingly or unknowingly. Everybody is only striving for this experience, but they may not know that they are actually seeking it. All want ānanda only.
My Story
Fighting My Endless Desires
By Rahul Rao

Contemporary culture is dominating today’s world especially in the youth who are living lives and walking along a path without a strong spiritual or moral foundation. Anyone and everyone wants to be the best; it is all about competition and not cooperation. Each day dawns with new desires, new aspirations to excel, and new peaks to conquer. Peer pressure is causing a great menace resulting in unnecessary depressions, anxiety and many mental and physical problems in youth. Well, I too was a victim of such an impasse.

Being born and brought up in a city like Mumbai, I was influenced by many factors of the society right from my childhood. As life moved on, my desires increased boundlessly. I too wanted to have everything my friends had...the latest pair of sneakers or the latest phone or a fancy trip to abroad during my vacation or the best was a bottomless pit. I guess there is nothing wrong when consumption happens in moderation or if it satisfies the need. But alarm bells must begin to ring within us when the need transitions to a ‘want’.

As devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba since 2001, and the spiritual upbringing I was exposed to, I tried to practise ceiling on desires, as somewhere deep within I knew very well that happiness derived from these kinds of gratifications were only temporary. But yet, I wasn’t able to curb the growing propensities towards a worldly life.

It was only when I joined Swami’s institution and now after joining as an intern, I have learnt that there is much more to life. I am beginning to understand the value and purpose of this birth. Though I was studying and contemplating on the spiritual teachings which our Sadguru so graciously imparted to us during the COVID lockdown, I encountered many past tendencies, habits and desires which were disturbing me. The ancient Indian scriptures say, ‘jantunaam nara janma durlabham’ which means – ‘getting a human birth is the rarest of all’. It was a mental battle for me. On one hand I knew what is correct and what should be done, but on the other, many wants of life were beckoning me. But, deep within, I wanted to change myself and not get swayed away by the glitzy, glamorous world. I realised that my happiness was dependent on the situations and circumstances, because whenever a desire was fulfilled I would be ecstatic, and when it wasn’t fulfilled, I would be a mess!

It is said that the grace of a Guru is required for us to traverse wisely on the spiritual path. And I can say that I have been bestowed with His grace, because, every time I feel a desire is about to overtake me, I stop, contemplate and pray to Him to help me get through the difficult situation. I remind myself that I am a recipient of a great opportunity and therefore it should not be squandered away in a frivolous manner.

My parents have taught me to be grateful to God for giving such a wonderful and healthy life. They always told me, “Never look up to the ones who lead rich and bountiful lives and feel disheartened, but always be grateful to God for all that he has given you, for there are millions in this world who do not even have the basic necessities of life.” I would hear them out, but never paid much heed to it. But now, whenever a desire pops within me, which are my ‘wants’ and not my ‘needs’, I just look at my life, offer my gratitude to the Lord without feeling morose. I fail many a times, but I am certain that the grace of Sadguru is keeping me grounded.

Today, I have learnt one of the most fundamental lessons of life i.e., contentment, and to take things as they come. Being content and satisfied keeps me happy at all times and ensures that I spread the same happiness to everyone around me.

Self Development
To help reach Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s human values-based education to the world, and to resuscitate the humanness of humanity, the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence launched a unique, first-of-its-kind Institute of Human Values, to offer tailor-made courses totally free of any charges, curated by experts from around the world. The Vision of the Institute is to make better humans in their personal and professional spheres, by making them more sensitive towards society’s needs and exploring ways of their contribution to society in a meaningful and selfless manner, thereby creating a sense of global citizenship and responsibility.

The courses will help an individual balance the inside and outside, while progressively being a better human being, that will ultimately help him or her unravel the true meaning and purpose in life.

Learning from the heart is spiritual awakening, Baba would say. The Institute of Human Values is the first step to help lead the world into the beautiful awareness of its heart – a heart that operates from the universal human values of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema and Ahimsa.

Log on to today!
Kathopanishad is a legendary story of a brave little boy, Nachiketa, son of Sage Vajasravasa, who meets Yama (the Hindu deity of death), and seeks spiritual wisdom from him.

Their conversation evolves to a discussion of the nature of man, knowledge, ātman (Soul, Self) and moksha (liberation).

The ātman (Self) is the pure consciousness which can be known only through relentless perseverance. One must divert the mind from its obsession with its natural habitat, the objective world, and maintain it in a state of unwavering equanimity. This triumph alone can remove one’s grief, once for all! The feeling that you (the Jivi) are separate from that ‘One’ (the ātman) is the root cause of the cycle of birth and death.

Initially, Yama tested the sincerity and determination of Nachiketa by refusing and denying answering, by luring him with the riches of the world and distracting him with sensual pleasures. But Nachiketa, being a true aspirant on the spiritual path, discriminated between 'sreyas' (the good) and 'preyas' (the pleasant) remained unmoved and pined only to know the truth. Thus, he earned the deservedness to attain the supreme knowledge, bramhajnana from yamadeva himself. Anyone who perseveres like Nachiketa is guaranteed to attain and experience brahman.

Under the guidance of our Divine Master, let us learn these profound teachings of Vedanta and follow Him in the path of Self Realisation.
“What you seek is seeking you.” 

- Jalaluddin Rumi
jagat hitāya
(Welfare of the World)
Sri Sathya Sai Aarogya Vahini
West Bengal
Sri Sathya Sai Aarogya Vahini Team is humbled to share with you a new series of short videos which was commenced on the very Auspicious day of Vasant Panchami so very beautifully celebrated all across Bengal as Saraswati Puja

The first Episode brings you the different facets of the 500 Cataract Surgeries facilitated completely free of cost for Rural Geriatrics of West Bengal during the last 5 years of the journey of Love on Wheels !

Samastah Lokah Sukhino Bhavanthu
Quality Free of Cost Healthcare Services At Rural Doorsteps

In the month of January, 2021 around 5000 patients were treated which also included providing nutrition to children.

The Mobile Health team during the entire month came across several referrals post on ground screening , few of which have been quite heart wrenching . A three year girl child with sideroblastic anaemia in the camp at Ganthipur, North 24 Parganas West Bengal and another young girl with critical gynaecological complication at Mathurapur, South 24 Parganas West Bengal were supported by our team for their treatment.
Selfless seva in the Middle East
Winter months can prove to be harsh and challenging for many, especially those who live in conditions without proper facilities and warm clothes.

The commitment of selfless seva propelled the devotees to provide the much-needed warmth to the boatmen community. These boatmen who are homeless, live in their boats even in these cold conditions. 30 boatmen were provided with blankets and warm clothing.

The gifts were received with much gratitude and which gave a deep sense of contentment and happiness to the youth, knowing that the boatmen will feel warm and comfortable this winter, like any of us!
OMAD - One Meal A Day
‘One Meal A Day’ is an initiative started with the inspiration from our Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, has been carried on over a year now by the young volunteers. 17 young volunteers with a single thought in their mind that, “If I have eaten a meal today, I must ensure that I have fed somebody else who is also hungry”, served almost 477 meals this month. Cooked meals, fruits, biscuits, juice, tea/coffee and laban were served.

Commemorating the 72nd Republic Day of India on January 26, 2021 volunteers served 18 meals consisting of pulav and raitha.
Breakfast seva
The Sri Sathya Sai Foundation at Nigeria was formally approved by the Lagos State Education Body to carry out the breakfast seva. In addition to regular primary students who are recipients of this morning nutrition, another school - Ereko Methodist School - which caters to about 300 children with special needs such as learning disabilities, hearing and mental challenges, are being benefitted.

Ereko Methodist School is a government-based school situated in Lagos island. The students here mainly come from underprivileged backgrounds and the Foundation has been associated with them since the year 2016.

This seva is driven by the Sai youth of Lagos, who also embrace the youthfuls to carry out the distribution of food. Volunteers of all the age groups, from very young and energetic children to the selfless and spirited youth and enthusiastic senior people wholeheartedly participate and derive much happiness.

As Swami says, ‘Service in the hands and name of the God on the lips’, all the volunteers sing the glory of the Almighty while packing the food, which includes biscuit packs, muffins, loaf of bread with margarine spread, Cheese balls, yogurt and flavoured milk. 

An eight-year-old boy expressed his feelings saying, “When I see the joy on the faces while receiving the breakfast seva makes me very happy.” For didn’t Ben Carson, the famous American author and politician say, “Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.”