Let this year be the year of love where we live in love, we breathe love, we think love, we talk love, we walk love, we act love in every aspect of our lives, there is only love, love and love alone.
- Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai
With the Blessings of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, we are delighted to present our One Hundred and Eighty Third issue of Ananda Vahini.
In this issue, we present you the details of the launch of 'Niraamaya Bastar', a flagship programme by Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital, Atal Nagar (Nava Raipur) in collaboration with the Govt. of Chhattisgarh on January 25, 2021.
Makara Sankranti was celebrated at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli on January 14, 2021 and the details have been shared in this issue.
Also, we bring you the details of Bhoomi Puja for the upcoming Sri Sathya Sai Veda Gurukulam was held on January 08, 2021.
As we progress on the spiritual path, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai hand-holds and leads us towards the ultimate Truth. He lovingly expounds the story of the young boy, Nachiketa who seeks an audience with Lord Yama, the God of Death and the intriguing conversation that follows between them which is presented beautifully in the 'Kathopanishad'. May we listen to Sadguru's teachings with complete devotion and surrender and by His grace, attain the highest good. In this issue, we present Episodes 7, 8 and 9 of the 'Kathopanishad' video series.
- Sathya Sai Grama Communications Team.
MoU signed between Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital, Government of Chhattisgarh and HD Medical Inc., in the presence of Hon. Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Shri Bhupesh Baghel
Sri Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh along with
Sri C Sreenivas, Chairman of Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital
Flagging-off ceremony of the Mobile Medical Van
by Sri Bhupesh Baghel
Inauguration of Echo Cardiography Centre by
Sri N Srinath, CEO, TATA Trusts and Sri C Sreenivas
Dr Tejas, Pediatrician, Maharani District Hospital performing Echocardiography
Sri N Srinath interacting with Sanjeevani Bastar Team, pregnant mothers and mitanins at Neganar Primary Health Centre, Bastar Dist.
MAKARA SANKRANTI CELEBRATIONS SATHYA SAI GRAMA, MUDDENAHALLI JANUARY 14, 2021 (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 Sai Lakshmi 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 Nilayam 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 Nilayam 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, “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 Tirupati 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.
Vedic invocation by the staff of Sri Sathya Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital
A talk about love, gratitude and service by Dr A R Raghupathi
Talk by Dr Saritha Purushottaman
Heartfelt outpour by Sri Tanmay Hegde
Sadguru with staff and volunteers of Sri Sathya Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital
MAKARA SANKRANTI CELEBRATIONS SATHYA SAI GRAMA, MUDDENAHALLI JANUARY 14, 2021 (EVENING)
Eager devotees gathered at Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham 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.
A mellifluous performance by the students and staff of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam
BHOOMI PUJA OF SRI SATHYA SAI
SATHYA SAI GRAMA, MUDDENAHALLI
JANUARY 08, 2021
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 Puja 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 puja (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 puja began with Ganapathi puja (worship of Lord Ganesha), kalasha sthapana (kalash is an urn, and this ritual is performed before a puja), pujas to the ashta dikpalakas (guardians of the cardinal directions), go puja (worship of cow), sarpa puja (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 puja 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.
Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai being welcomed by Mrs Shobhna Gupta and Mrs Jennie Cornsweet
Shanku Sthapana (Foundation Stone laying ceremony)
Sadguru sprinkling holy water from the kalasha
INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR
SAI PREMA FOUNDATION, FIJI
JANUARY 09, 2021
Sai Prema Foundation (SPF) Fiji was bestowed with the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award 2021 by His Excellency, Sri Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India. This is the highest award conferred by the President of India, to organisations outside of India. SPF was among four international organisations awarded for "Outstanding Community Service". The award was announced at the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention in India. Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi, addressed the convention.
FIJI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY (FNU) INKS PARTNERSHIP WITH SAI PREMA FOUNDATION JANUARY 27, 2021
A new partnership has been inked between the Fiji National University (FNU) and the Sai Prema Foundation, which allows FNU’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS) dental faculty and their students to provide free dental services to underprivileged children awaiting cardiac surgery.
The Sai Prema Foundation, which is developing the Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Heart Hospital Fiji located in Nasese, Suva, is committed to serving the needy children of Fiji by providing necessary health care and conducting heart surgeries free of cost.
Following the new collaborative partnership with FNU, the South Pacific’s first children’s heart hospital will also have dental services under its arm at the Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Dental Centre. The Centre is expected to commence services in the coming months.
FNU’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS) Head of School Dentistry and Oral Health, Dr Osea Dukuno, said the new partnership will encourage and promote an exchange of ideas, expertise and knowledge in terms of oral health and medical services.
“The memorandum of understanding brings about service to the community as well as encourages partnerships and collaborations with stakeholders including non-governmental organisations like Sai Prema Foundation. This partnership is to promote good oral health including general health,” he mentioned.
FNU’s dental students will gain experience and exposure to clinical scenarios outside of their normal learning environment.
“The involvement of FNU will also be marketed outside of the Fiji Islands, which creates an excellent platform for the university in collaboration and working in partnership with stakeholders,” stated Dr Dukuno.
FNU has also given out a dental caravan to the Foundation, which was donated to the University by the Australian Rotary Foundation to assist students in their outreach programmes.
“I am grateful to SPF for agreeing to renovate the dental caravan and providing all the medications and consumables required for dental procedures. The mobile dental caravan has dental chairs, an x-ray machine and in-built equipment such as a compressor and portable suction units,” said Dr Dukuno.
Sai Prema Foundation Director, Sumeet Tappoo, said they had realised the need to have dental as part of their healthcare initiatives and he has acknowledged FNU for the collaboration on this initiative.
“We are extremely delighted to be forging this partnership with the Fiji National University and we look forward to the fruition of this MOU when we begin the Sai Sanjeevani Dental Centre. This Dental Centre will be exclusively for children, and just like all our facilities, this Centre will not have a billing counter and all services will be completely free of cost” said Mr. Tappoo.
Mr. Sumeet Tappoo also spoke about the future of the collaboration between the two organisations and stated that there was tremendous scope to further the study of pediatric cardiology.
“We are also excited at the prospect of collaborating with the Fiji National University in the future on a number of other initiatives including exploring the incidence of Congenital Heart Disease in children in Fiji and the Pacific which is alarmingly high. The Hospital facility has already attracted keen interest from a number of international research organisations who will want to use this as a base to conduct further research of this disease. FNU coming on board through this Dental Centre is a first step towards many exciting times in the times ahead” said Sumeet Tappoo.
Meanwhile, Director of the Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Heart Hospital, Dr. Krupali Tappoo, stated that having this Children’s Dental Centre was an important arm of the Pediatric Hospital.
“Poor dental health is associated with an increased threat of developing heart disease. It increases the risk of bacterial infection in the bloodstream, which can affect the heart valves. Through this Dental Centre, we will be able to conduct oral screenings on all children who are screened at the Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Heart Screening Centre, children who are diagnosed with heart disease as well as children who will undergo surgery at the Hospital” mentioned Dr. Tappoo.
MOU being signed by Mr Sumeet Tappoo, Sai Prema Foundation Director and Dr Donald Wilson, Associate Dean Research, FNU's College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
SADGURU SRI MADHUSUDAN SAI
ESSENTIAL QUALITIES OF A SPIRITUAL SEEKER
ALWAYS CHOOSE SHREYAS (GOOD)
OVER PREYAS (PLEASANT)
VEDANTA FOR PERMANENT BLISS
'MASTER THE MIND' on SOUND CLOUD
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