Often Hindus are accused of not being charitable.The Gurus, Swamis, babas and matas are portrayed as fraudsters only trying to make money out of the gullible public while Hindu organisations are promoted as extremists and terrorists. And individual Hindus are seen as just plain selfish.The Indian and Western media often portrays this image to the world which christian missionaries and others use as propaganda against hinduism to push their agenda to convert Hindus. But worse many Hindus themselves believe the propaganda without checking the facts for themselves.
Sure there are con artists dressed in saffron robes and Hindus who dont care about other Hindus but this is not always the case as there are many Hindu organisations, gurus,sects, groups like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS),Arya Samaj, Iskcon, Art of Living, Mata Amritanandamayi and many more not well known but who are doing tremendous social work on the ground without getting any recognition at all. For that reason Hindu Human Rights will be doing a series of articles looking into and publicizing the work of Hindu organisations, sects, groups and individuals working for Hindu society and the societies in the countries they live in.
Sathya Sai Baba is known by many as by various means. To his followers he is an Avatar, a Guru; to others they claim he was a street magician and fraud.
However his teachings appeal to millions, irrespective of anyone’s view on Sathya Sai Baba, there is one aspect that no one can ignore and that is his service for humanity – for mankind.
This was encouraged to all as a service they should offer themselves without any desires of a return.
Sathya Sai Baba started with a small hospital in his native village of Puttaparthi, which had no medical facilities. He has also stated that the rich can pay and look after the health of themselves, but what about the poor.
In 1990 Sathya Sai Baba inaugurated a world leading hospital which has a sole focus of offering free service to all, regardless if they are poor or rich.
In 2001 another leading hospital was opened in Bengaluru, again with the same model.
To date these hospitals have provided over 95000 cardiac operations, over 56000 urology & plastic surgeries, over 13000 neurological surgeries, thousands of orthopaedic surgeries, and hundreds of thousands free consultations, medicines, food and supplies.
How is this funded, without compromising patient care and ensuring the best equipment and medical teams are available? Well it is all possible by the love and affection of devotees, and even the staff are not paid.
They come from all over India and indeed all over the world to offer their services as helping mankind.
Following on from the model of providing free hospital care, medical camps are run throughout India and the world.
Regular teams go out to towns, villages and remote areas to provide medicines, consultations, health screening, health education, tests, acute care and free on going treatment, all for no costs.
International specialists are organised by various Sathya Sai Groups, and groups have arranged for surgeons, physicians, pharmacists, nurses and medical technicians to run international camps around the world. These have included camps in many places for example Sub Saharan Africa, Kenya, Indonesia and Laos.
Sathya Sai Baba devotees are also known for their service i.e. seva to others. Helping those around them is an approach many take. Whether it be cleaning the streets or helping their neighbours, there are about 2,25,000 seva dal women and men volunteers who ready to help others. In addition when natural calamities arise, many more are ready and go out to help those in distress. For example when there were floods in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Or when there have been earthquakes in Gujarat, Japan, Indonesia , El Salvador or Peru. Helping the victims of the Tsunami in Sri Lanka or Thailand, and also with the famine in east Africa. Sathya Sai Baba volunteers from medical backgrounds, Councillors, and others have all gone to help. Be it to help give safe drinking water, food, reconstruct shelter, or help with any other necessities, all have gone wanted nothing other than to help.
Another core aspect of Sathya Sai Baba has been to provide free education to all regardless of background.
From kindergarten to university, Sathya Sai Baba has shown all that a free education is not only important but can be done.
Sathya Sai Baba started a women’s college in Anantapur Andra Pradesh in 1968, then a men’s college in Bengaluru in 1969, then another in 1979 in Puttaparthi. Today all education establishments have the highest government ranking. As well as core education, human values such as helping others is taught and practically undertaken.
Today there are Sathya Sai Baba schools in more than 90 countries. In addition many hundreds classes are held throughout the world in local centers such as in Zambia.
As the world’s population grows, the issue of water is becoming a bigger issue. Throughout many areas of Andhra Pradesh to Chennai in Tamil Nadu, water scarcity was a coming daily reality.
In 1994 Sathya Sai Baba decided to help the people by launching the largest privately funded social project in the world, free clean water for over 10 million people.
Nearly 5020 km of pipelines was laid across initially 1500 villages in Andhra Pradesh. Later the water for areas from the Kanaleru-Poondi canal to residents of the mega city of Chennai was arranged. The scale of the project was unprecedented, that even the Indian government thought not possible.
The model was replicated in El Salvador, Central America providing water for over 2000 families, and in Yogyakarta in Indonesia.
So no matter what views one has of Sathya Sai Baba, the above examples should not be overlooked. The main message of Sathya Sai Baba was always to “Help Ever, Hurt Never”. That is to say be willing to help others and do not ask for anything in return. These examples are for us all to learn from and then to apply. We can build upon them and use them as models in our own lives in our own areas.
For further information on free Sai medical care or education contact :
International Sai Organisation
” This Hospital is an example of what devotion and dedication can do to bring about human transformation. This is a unique institution, working for the poor and the needy. Of course, the entire credit goes to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and His disciples for this miracle. “Hon. Sri. Atal Behari Vajpayee
Elevated souls like Sathya Sai Baba do not come on this earth plane often. Unborn generations to come will wonder at and be amazed by the grandeur of the individual that Baba was and will revere him as a benefactor of humanity. His overpowering love mesmerised and drew to him thousands from all over the world. His giving nature, his caring and sharing made him focus his energies towards ameliorating the suffering of others. For him to live was to love. His enigmatic and charismatic persona will hold sway over the generations to come. His teachings will continue to guide and assist thousands. The world has been left a richer and a better place by having been blessed by the holy presence of Sathya Sai Baba. Dada J.P. Vaswani
“ Delighted to visit Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences. I am inspired after coming here, as I can see God’s Mission carried out in every aspect. The doctors and staff in this Hospital, look to me like Angels.“-Sri. A.P.J Abdul Kalam
The demise of the body was inevitable. But like the sun, which neither rises nor sets, consciousness was indestructible. The message of love and compassion given by Sai Baba had the power to inspire all. Through the implementation of his teachings, he would live forever. May his devotees be able to follow the path of truth and dharma shown by him Mata Amritanandamayi
Sathya Sai Baba was an avatar of compassion, love, and selfless service for all mankind. He made no distinction between human beings. Thousands of poor people undergo treatment at his super-specialty hospital in Puttapurthi free of cost. That is the ultimate sewa; for people who cannot afford expensive treatment. Sai Baba’s high ideals will show mankind the way for ages to come. His followers will always feel blessed with his emotional and spiritual proximity at all times. Baba Ramdev
Sri Sathya Sai Baba will continue to live in the hearts of millions of devotees. His message of ‘Love All and Serve All’ will resonate in the world forever. His messages have always been universal; especially his message of ‘Satya Dharma Shanti Prema’ which has transcended all barriers of caste and religion. As Baba has departed earlier than he had predicted, he will return to the planet earlier..Sri Sri Ravishankar
As a proponent of egalitarian values, he strived to create a world free of the divisions of caste, creed, religion, race and gender. His social initiatives, notably in the fields of education and public health, have been a great service to the world. His demise brings to a close an enigmatic persona that has been a great inspiration. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev,
Baba has always been my mentor and it was a great loss when he left us. But I remember his lessons and will continue to adhere to them. I felt very low on the day that I sat near his body. Sachin Tendulkar,
” It is very rare in life, you get uplifted and reenergized by not only a magical building, but, by the Total Divine Love that is in every corner, every stone, every smiling patient’s face. I love this place, and what excellence it has achieved. “ Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York