The Almighty, Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent Divinity chose His name and form as Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba at the present age of calamity to re-establish righteousness, human values in the society and thereby to enlighten man to be aware of DIVINITY within him and finally merge in the Universal Integrated Supreme Consciousness.
My Life is My Message
Baba, a 20 year old boy wrote a letter to His elder brother Sheshama Raju on 25th May 1947. “I have a task :To foster all mankind and ensure for all people lives full of bliss. I have vow: To lead all who stay away from the straight path, back again into goodness and save them. I am attached to a task of love: To remove the suffering of the poor and grant them what they lack. You yourself will see the full glory upholding in the coming years”.
The world applauds Him for His massive social welfare projects – Drinking water schemes, Super Speciality Hospitals, Free education from KG to PG.The schools and university were a result of the idea that education is a process of drawing out what is already latent in the individual. And that latent treasure is love, truth, right conduct, peace, understanding and compassion which Swami demonstrated in His physical form.
Swami has built healing temples with love at no cost. There are thousands of cardiac, neurological, urology, plastic, eyes, orthopaedic surgeries and free consultation for lacks of patients every year. The entire treatment including diagnosis, the procedure, stay in words, medicines and food is free. In fact hospitals have no bill-collection centres.
Sri Sathya Sai water project had provided water to over a 100 million people in India who had lived all their lives at the edge of drought and despair.
He rebuilt innumerable lives shattered by calamities and above all united people across all faiths, cultures, countries and classes with the universal love and tolerance by Swamis pure and selfless love.
True to His words, the change is there for the world to see. The sleepy ant-hill tiny village infested Puttavardhini to Puttaparthi, a busting International township – to transform many lives, to serve the helpless, a being who guided millions on the path of selfless service, and teacher whose love and compassion were boundless.
No project was impossible, no task was daunting, no cost too high for Swami for benefit of the underprivileged and the helpless.He stood as Role-Model and taught the way of (Divine Life) LIFE DIVINE. He showed his visiting cards of Leelas and Mahimas, then refining the individuals, by love and services to the society, realising that the “Other is not different from oneself” lead to the ultimate realisation of truth. In fulfilment of His declaration “My Life is my Message” has become true.
It is this pure love that distinguishes Swamis Projects and Institutions from others. It was this pure love that drew millions from around the world to his small village and galvanized them to serve their best to the society. Swami advocated the service as the highest form of worship. The Sri Sathya Sai Organization started by Swami in 1960s stands for service with love, discipline with dignity, charity without publicity, relief beyond costs and help without distinction. Inspired by Swamis messages and living example of selfless love, millions of devotees throughout the world have embarked on the path of self-transformation and realization of their innate divinity through love, right conduct, peace, truth and non-violence.
Sri Sathya Sai Organizations (India & International) conducts a very effective 9 years model of education (Balvikas or SSE) started by Swami in 1969, for the age group of 5 to 15 years across the world. It is the brain child of Swami, and benefited millions of children. Swami says “Education is for life, not merely for a earning and living” holds solutions to all the present-day problems including religious fanaticism, violence, greed, economic crisis and moral crisis. It has grown into a sturdy tree bearing sweet fruits for mankind and continuous to grow by His Loving and Divine blessings
There are close to 100 Sri Satya Sai Schools in India and close to 50 in other countries implemented universal human values of Sai education within the framework of the local academic curriculum.
Inspired by Swamis Medicare projects, Sri Sathya Sai Organizations across the world are also deeply committed to the cause of free healthcare to all the needy and poor patients through medical centres, clinics, nursing homes. The organizations also conduct regular medical camps (mobile hospital service) in order to reach out those in the remote areas. They provide Sai Protein food; educate villagers on hygiene, food habits, disease prevention techniques etc. The spiritual component of this service in remote villages has strengthened community bonds and demonstrated how practicing human values leads to positive health and happiness brings in their lives.
The power of Babas unconditional love transformed many in India and other countries to take up mega water projects to serve the needy by providing pure drinking water in remote villages. Nature’s Fury – God’s Mercy: Be it an earth quake, flood or famine, Sri Sathya Sai Organization, led and guided by Swami, has always been forefront of every disaster relief programme across the world to help the needy. Inspired by Swamis messages and teachings, “Love All – Serve All”, “Service to Man is Service to God”, thousands of volunteers from India and overseas are ever ready for the call of service, and often the first to reach and serve the affected with love and compassion at a high level of discipline.
Swamis recently in His late 80s changed His earlier statement of “My Life is My Message” to “Your Life is My Message”.
He has therefore placed onus on His Property, Who is His Property? – His Students, His Devotees, members of His Organizations from all over the world to practice His teachings through service to mankind. The time has come for each one to live upto the lofty ideals shown and trodden by Bhagawan.
Especially each member of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations -let us re-dedicate ourselves to practise and preach through the multifarious activities of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations and extend the service and our cooperation in the wings of Balavikas, Spiritual, Service, Mahila Vibhag, Youth and IT activities. So that our Master, Guide, Father, Mother and Philosopher, find all of us as befitting instruments in His master plan of rejuvenation of the whole humanity.
All of us in the organization have been personally taught by Him and it’s now our duty to continue His service to society with renewed enthusiasm –”Transform self to transform the world”.
Every state in India has its own State President who appoints District Presidents for every district of the particular state. The State President is also assisted by the State-level Mahila (Women) and Gent Coordinators for each wing i.e., Spiritual, Educational and Service.
The District President of every district, in turn, selects the Convenors of every Sai Samithi and Bhajan Mandali. The District President is also assisted by the District-level Mahila (Women) and Gent Incharges for each wing i.e., Spiritual, Educational and Service.
Every Samithi has its own Spiritual, Educational and Service Incharges selected by the Convenor to function at Samithi and Bhajana Mandali level.
“Bhagawan Baba is nothing but Love walking on two feet” was born in Puttaparthi, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Bhagawan Baba blessed with His Physical Divine presence in almost all the Districts of AP and inspired many from all walks of life. He stood as a Role-Model and taught the way of (Divine Life) LIFE DIVINE. He showed his visiting cards of Leelas and Mahimas, then refining the individuals, by love and services to the society, realising that the “Other is not different from oneself” lead to the ultimate realisation of truth.
From the state of AP, many blessed souls utilized the golden opportunity to follow in His Foot steps and dedicated their lives in His Divine mission. There are many blessed souls chosen by Bhagawan as office bearers and guided them (State Presidents, District Presidents, State Coordinators, Active workers etc) to preach and practise through the multifarious service activities of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations
Our remarkable ongoing journey in Andhra Pradesh has been fuelled with unconditional love under the guidance of our Master Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Website www.ssssoap.org is owned by the state of Andhra Pradesh to share the information on the multifarious service activities conducted by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations, AP.
Every member of the Organisation is expected to undertake Sadhana (Spiritual discipline) as an integral part of daily life and abide by the following 9 point Code of Conduct which has been ordained by Sri Sathya Sai Baba for one's spiritual advancement through self transformation.
Nine Point Code of Conduct:
Whatever religion one belongs to, whatever our spiritual heritage, the necessity to still the mind to control the vagaries of thoughts, to make the “monkey mind” do our bidding and not what it wills, is a basic spiritual practice.
Divinity resides and reflects in man – but we are unable to see this reflection of Divinity in the pool of our consciousness because the lake of our mind is subject to incessant storms, its surface ripped apart by wild lashing waves. Only when the waters of the lake are still, can the reflection of the moon be seen on its surface – likewise the reflection of divinity on the calm surface of our consciousness.
But if we merely do meditation and still our mind – is this enough? The reflection of the moon will not be seen even in the still water if the waters of the lake are filled with dirt and pollutants. Thus, two qualities are required to see the reflection of the moon:
a) The surface of the water must be still and
b) The lake must be free of dirt, debris, froth and pollutants.
Baba has placed meditation as the first code for those who wish to glimpse the Divine within; however, stilling the mind (the waters of the lake) is not enough – a recycling plant must be erected beside the lake to clean the water. Much of the other codes of conduct relate to this process of “cleansing the water” not only of ourselves, but for our family members also.
Baba in various discourses has instructed devotees on various techniques of meditation.
Pray in whatever way familiar to you…this will reinforce your meditation.
You can chant mantras, sing bhajans, hymns, kirtans, or just speak to God in your own way– whatever makes you feel close to Him and makes you truly feel that you are communicating with Him.
There is an age old axiom, “the family that prays together stays together.” Bhagavan is merely trying to remind us of this forgotten truth. In the early days families used to eat together and pray together – today – modern times, the notion of everyman for himself seems to have crept into families too.
Some Sai devotees have expressed this problem – “I am the only Baba devotee in my house –the rest refuse to accept Him – how can I keep this code?” Bhagavan does not say pray to Him! Have your family prayers in the traditional method of worship be it Hindu, Christian or whatever. You need not even have Baba’s photo there, if this will help achieve the objective of weekly family prayer.
Also, it does not matter if all refuse to join. Start the family prayer with whoever is willing. Keeping to a fixed date and time and continue with faith – let Baba do the rest. Many such family prayers that started with one or two now include the whole family. If need be start alone and leave the “door” open for others to hear your prayer and to join.
The important thing to remember is not to be disheartened by the attitudes of others who do not join. Give them time! Not all buds bloom at the same time when the sun shines – but the sun does not give up – it shines daily and silently, and over time all will bloom!!
Your family members should see the visible, positive transformation in you– that your sadhana has made you more loving, more kind, more gentle, more understanding. This will have greater effect on non-participating family members and urge them to join you.
Make your whole day an extension of your morning and evening prayers. Slowly, they will be drawn to the power that has transformed you and will join you.
Moderation and love should be your key guiding factors.
The reason for this code is obvious when one becomes aware that what is taught to the children in the Bal Vikas classes are:
a) One’s own religion – chanting of prayers, songs, hymns, lives of saints etc.
b) Knowledge and respect for other religions.
c) Human values – respect for parents and elders, cleanliness, good conduct, confidence, cooperation, self help etc.
d) The life and message of Bhagavan Baba.
All these are taught through sophisticated, dynamic programs where only gurus who have undergone a specific training program will be qualified to teach.
This is merely a codification of an injunction that is in every religion of the world – to serve man and to serve God – “Service to man is service to God”.
Bhagavan Baba has prescribed that the qualification of membership of a Sai organisation is not just to attend bhajans and to love Baba, but to accept the 9 Codes as part of our life and to perform 4 hours of service every week to the poor, the sick and the needy.
Bhagavan has declared, “Hands that help are holier than lips that pray”. Devotees/members realise that this service aspect is a part of the Divine formula for salvation and God’s Grace.
The concept of bhajan singing, the foundation of the Sai movement, has been brought into its true perspective, i.e. as a direction towards higher level of Spirituality. In fact, the pursuance of bhajans as principal sadhana , that Bhagavan has called for, is to still the agitations of the mind, and flush out the insects of excessive desire or lust, anger, greed, jealousy and attachment. This Sadhana can lead devotees towards greater internal peace, expanding love and unity of vision.
Adopting the concept of “once a month bhajan” should not end there – once a month or once a week, the sincere aspirant must constantly be “tuned in” to devotional songs, analyzing the meaning of the songs and the messages, and using it as a guide, and as a beacon of love in their daily lives.
Bhajans bring about the necessary results, in the form of, the softening of the heart, the gentleness of speech, the kindness of thoughts, the yearning to serve. If the name and message of God is constantly in the mind, the cleansing effect will most certainly take effect, and devotees will see their lives, their character and behavior transformed.
All Sai devotees are expected to study the life, messages and teachings of Swami. However, the literature of all the great religions and saints should also be a part of our reading material .In short, “Sai literature” should be interpreted as literature that helps provide Spirituality ,Awakening and Inspiration.
The “regular study” refers not merely to individual study but also participation in “Study Circles” organized by the Centre.
Sravana (listening or absorbing), Manana (reflecting, digesting), Nidhidyasana (putting into practice or acting on the message) are three stages in spirituality.
It is not the quantity of knowledge you absorb, but the quality and the degree you reflect and integrate the message into your life.
Speech must be soft and loving. Words once uttered can never be retrieved. Hence care has to be taken to ensure that no harm is caused by our words. Irrespective of who the person to whom we are speaking, words have to be obliging and loving. Scars left behind by harsh words cannot be erased. Swami says, ’You may not always oblige ,but speak obligingly’.
Backbiting, character assassination, falsehood about another, trying to belittle or bring down the esteem of one in the eyes of the other, is a deadly cancer that has destroyed many groups, even great movements and most certainly must be considered an anathema to any spiritual body.
It simply means that if we speak it should be to genuinely improve or elevate and not to condemn and degrade.
Do not waste Money People who want to have a measure of peace and contentment in their lives, must have a ‘Ceiling on Desires’ … a ceiling on Food, Energy, Time and Money.
In summary the Divine call is as follows:
Do not waste Food … do not overindulge in food. Do not waste Energy … electricity, water, your own energy, (too much talking, anger, jealousy and other negative expressions are equally a waste of Divine energy). Do not waste Time …. and whatever genuine knowledge you have, use it well.
In His discourse at the World Conference on 21st November 1985, Sri Sathya Sai Baba guided with the following ten principles to be followed by every member.
1. Love and serve your the Motherland; do not hate or hurt the motherland of others.
2. Honor and respect all religions as all are pathways to God.
3. Love all humanity without any distinction.
4. Keep your home and its environment clean; it will ensure health and happiness for you and society.
5. Help the needy (sick and aged) with food, clothing and shelter with love and care. Help them become self-reliant.
6. Be examples of honesty. Do not participate in any corruption such as bribery.
7. Do not develop jealousy, hatred and envy.
8. Develop self-reliance; do not depend on other to serve your personal needs.
9. Observe your country's laws, rules and regulations and be exemplary citizens.
10. Adore God, abhor sin.
Core (Universal) Principles of the Organisations:
The organisation is founded on the following core principles:
1. There are no fees or subscription or any other charge for the membership of the organisation.
2. Solicitation of funds, directly or indirectly in any manner is strictly prohibited. The expenses of the day-to-day activities of the units of the organisation are met by voluntary contribution by the members. The Sathya Sai Organisation and its units must not collect money or material from those outside the membership. Fund collection is as much opposed to this movement as fire is to water. If you yield on this point, spiritual advance will perish. Let only members contribute; do not ask all and sundry, or anyone who is not a member of the Samithi (unit). -Divine Discourse(14-05-1971)
3. Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations cannot associate itself or partner with any other organisation be it religious or spiritual.
4. The organisation does not strive for publicity of its work, achievements or activities. The Units of our Organisation should not encourage pomp or show---for they are alien to the Spiritual Path. -Divine Discourse(21-11-1970)
We do not need any publicity or advertisement. Work silently. Prachar (publicity) is not the achar (practice) of Sai Organisation. We should work for the progress of the Organisation through practice and spread the message of love throughout the world. The entire humanity should unite and live like one family. -Divine Discourse(18-03-1999)
5. The organisation shall never connection with the government at any level.
6. Proper segregation and separation between male and female members of the organisation is always maintained while performing any activity of the organisation.
The Emblem of the Organisation and Its Significance:
The symbol of the organisation is the Harmony of Religions, the Unity of all Faiths, the Acceptance of all Approaches”. -Divine Discourse(23-12-1971)
The emblem of the organisation is known as the “Sarva Dharma Logo” which represents the unity of all faiths.It enshrines in the five semi-circles around the centre circle, the symbols of five major religions of the mankind
Significance of Stupa in the centre
Inside the main circle, in the centre is “Stupa” with concentric rings holding a lotus flower on its top on which is the illuminating flame.
The stupa represents Yoga,number of rings indicates stages of Yogic Sadhana. The Yoga fructifies and takes the sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) on from one stage to another to up , until the Lotus of the Heart blooms and the Effulgence of Illumination spreads.
Significance of Religious Symbols
AUM represents Hinduism, Wheel represents Buddhism, Fire represents Zoroastrianism, Star represents Islam, Cross represents Christianity.
Baba says “ All religions lead mankind on the path to the same God”.
“I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added lustre. I have not come to speak on behalf of any particular religion; nor have I come to collect followers for any doctrine. I have no plans to attract disciples or devotees into my fold or any fold. I have to come to tell you this universal faith, this athmic principle, this path of love, this duty of love, this obligation of love”. – Sri Sathya Sai Baba 4th July 1968
The Prashanthi Flag:
Hoist the flag in your own minds and keep it flying aloft there, Be pure, alert and humble.I Am in you, you are in me,
Remember , the flag is a sign that is significant for each and every one of you, It is a reminder of your duty to yourself,
It reminds you to overcome the urge of low desires, of anger and hate when your desires are thwarted,
It exhorts you to expand your heart so that you embrace all humanity, all life, all creations in its compass,
It directs you to quieten your impulses and calmly meditate on your own inner reality,
It assures you that , when you do so, the lotus of your heart will bloom with Prashanthi (infinite peace).
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
The Scarf & Badge and Its Significance
The scarf and badge represents sacrifice and commitment of the members of the organisation. All members should necessarily wear scarf and badge while rendering service activities.
The scarf in a combination of light & dark blue for men and yellow & saffron for women has Sarva Dharma Logo printed and the dictum “ Work is Worship”.
The Sevadal Badge is not a decoration, which can be secured without a 'price.' It is a symbol of high character, generous feelings and steady endeavour. It is the external indicator of internal enthusiasm and strength, skill and faith. As iron is drawn by the magnet, these qualities that shine through you, will draw the dejected, the downcast and the distressed towards you. If you are proud and self-centred, blind to the kinship that binds all in fraternal love, the badge is a betrayal.
Do not feel that this is an obligation imposed on you by the rules of the Organisation or by the person nominated as your leader. Do not feel that the scarf and badge that you wear are impediments to freedom. They are reminders of the high mission to which you have been initiated, the keys to your Realisation of reality through the sadhana of seva. – Sri Sathya Sai Baba