Volume 9 - Issue 02
February 2010
Other Articles


This is the Appendix to the main article which has these four parts:


  A Brief Statement of What is to be Done and a Query About How to Exchange Ideas


The world today is swamped by a host of man-made problems. Almost all of them arise from excessive greed on the part of a few who have the muscle and money power, resulting almost in every case in sharp economic inequity. Much can be said about the issue of economic inequity, but we shall not go into that. Instead, we shall merely call attention to an excellent discussion recently hosted by Tom Ashbook on WBUR, the radio station run by Boston University. The link to that talk show is given below; please hear it, for it is not only very interesting but also quite enlightening.

Superficially, inequity can be analysed readily in socio-economic terms but at the root of it lies massive moral failure. The answer to it is not arithmetical equity as some imagine. Rather, as Gandhi once clearly pointed out, the solution lies in rising to the spiritual plane. This is not the occasion to go into those details; it suffices to say that the teachings of Bhagavan Baba provide all that humanity needs to solve this and many other problems. The teachings are there no doubt, but few are aware they exist. In any case, one is not sure if there is adequate appreciation of how powerful the Message is. What is needed therefore is not only to spread the Message, but do so in a variety of ways and suitably tailored as to be accessible to a wide spectrum of people.

The first step in this direction would involve shaking the complacency that most bubble-dwellers have. Their feeling usually is: “I am OK. So why bother?” This attitude is particularly common among many young people who are well employed and get paid well. But who can say what would happen when and to whom? A few years ago, there was a young techie couple in Bangalore that lived with this attitude in their own comfort zone.  They were nice people but as for God “Well, we have no time for Him right now” is what they felt then. If people are not bothered about God Himself, how could they be bothered about ordinary suffering mortals? I am not trying to find fault with this couple; I am merely trying to point out that this is the usual attitude these days amongst those who belong to the ‘have’ segment of society.

Getting back to the story of this young couple, one fine day they had a baby, but soon there was trouble. The baby had a heart problem and needed some advanced surgery. However, that cost a huge sum of money which this couple did not have and could not borrow either. Suddenly, life became desperate but luckily for them, someone told them about Swami’s hospital; I guess you can fill in the rest of the story. Well then, here is a case of a couple that lived in a bubble, whose baby was saved thanks to Swami’s Mission of Mercy and Compassion.

The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield

The interior atrium cum prayer hall under the central dome of the hospital


A Neuro-surgery in progress...

Surgeons busy in the Cardiac theatre...



Swami’s Super Specialty Hospital in Whitefield, Bangalore is a beacon of hope and life for thousands longing for quality tertiary care in this metropolitan city, and it comes at absolutely no cost! Till December 2010, this hospital alone has offered services worth above 120 crores!

Swami during His visit to Mumbai in 1999

Now if the situation was so desperate for a couple that had good jobs, imagine how it would be for people who work for daily wages in the fields on dollar a day, and so forth. There are hundreds of millions of such people but very few think about their woes. But Swami cares; and that is how tens of thousands who otherwise had no hope, are finding a new life every year.

We all know this but what we do not fully appreciate is the message behind the various welfare and service projects Swami has been doing for decades. Swami once said: “Avatars are like sign posts at road crossings. They show you the way to go, and it is for the individual to accept or ignore the advice.” Avatars give advice not only to individuals who pray but to humanity as a whole. In March 1999, Swami visited Delhi and Mumbai.

During that visit, He was given a huge reception by the citizens of Mumbai in a football stadium called Cooperage. I was present then. Many leading personalities spoke and almost all of them without exception wailed, “Swami, this city has been overtaken by crime. Life has become impossible. Children are kidnapped. We are all constantly threatened. Only You can save us! Please do.” And so on the appeals went, almost endlessly.

Swami listened silently but intensely. When the time came for Him to speak He asked,

“All of you live in luxury penthouses. How many times have looked down at the slums below and wondered about the problems of the people there? You have a dozen taps in your houses; they have none. You live in comfortable air-conditioned mansions; many of them sleep on the pavements or sidewalks. Your children go the finest schools in chauffer driven cars. Their children have to work to add to the family income. When you fall sick you can go to any hospital. Have you ever wondered what those poor people do when they fall sick?”

Swami then gave them a lot of advice about helping the poor, but I guess all that fell on deaf ears. All they wanted was an instant cure from Swami.


Titanic at least had life boats,  does  earth  have?

RMS Titanic was the largest passenger steamship in the world when she set off on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City on 10 April 1912. Four days into the crossing, she struck an iceberg and sank despite its extensive built-in safety measures resulting in the death of 1,517 people. A few however managed to escape using life boats.

The reckless manner in which humanity treats our ‘cruise ship’ Planet Earth today, it could also one day meet the fate of Titanic. And if this happens, mind you, there are no life-boats!

That is how inequity blinds people at the top of the ladder, more or less draining away all compassion. I have been here (in Puttaparthi) for about 20 years now. Thousands of people come every day from all over the world. But very few are aware of how much Swami has been doing for humanity for nearly seventy years now. It is time we make people everywhere actively conscious of all that, so that they too can become angels of mercy, as Swami wants. This is the SAI TIDAL WAVE I referred to earlier; and this Vision Document is all about how to make that happen.

You know something? When Titanic sank, many went down but some managed to escape using life boats.Titanic at least had life boats but Planet Earth has none! However, people seldom think about that. They somehow believe that when crisis hits, they would be spared! I am not sure how that can happen when there is nowhere to hide. Clearly, humanity has to be saved and Planet Earth too! And we have to “sing the Suprabhatham” that would awaken humanity!

Let me come now to my first major point. We need some kind of an electronic forum where at least a few interested people can meet “virtually” and exchange ideas about what exactly is to be done, how to go about it, etc. So, ANY BRIGHT IDEAS ABOUT WHAT IS THE MOST EFFICIENT WAY OF DOING THIS?

  Concerning the Redesigning and Reorganisation of our Website

The Radio Sai website (radiosai.org) as it is today. This is a temporary design and needs to be completely redone with volunteers help to make it a dynamic Portal for Sai Message and Love.

Historically, we started with a Radio Sai website and later added another when we started the H2H service. A stage has now come when we have to graduate to something far more comprehensive, and with an appropriate measure of diversity. In particular, we feel the need to share with the public a large amount of archival information in text, audio and video form that we have accumulated over the years. To put it differently, we wish to make our website rather like that of a leading broadcaster, like the BBC, for example. No doubt, we are tiny in size compared to the BBC; besides, our inventory is nowhere near as big. This is not surprising, especially since the BBC has been in operation since the thirties of the last century.

At the same time, we do have plenty of things we can share that are both interesting and valuable. And remember, we would be constantly adding material in all formats – words, pictures, audio and video. In other words, we would have quite a bit of spiritual material to present and share; and, if this appeal is successful and we have partner teams in various parts of the world, we would be adding a reasonable amount of new stuff every week. All of which adds up to the fact that we would have a well-stocked archive, from which people could download a lot of material.

The issue now is all about how the archive ought to be organised, not only in terms of ease of navigation, aesthetic appeal, etc., but also in terms of user friendliness, features available, ease of access, efficient search tools, and so on. If you have any good ideas about how exactly we should structure and organise our new, improved website, please do write to us and share your thoughts. You might also like to direct our attention to websites, which, in your opinion, provide good models we should look at and study. In general, if there is anything in particular you wish to say to us regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to do so.

The bottom line, if I may say so, is this: Just as people scorched by the Sun desperately look for shade, those who need Love and spiritual shelter, must automatically hasten to our website to get the relief, comfort and counselling they want. Those who wish to serve the Lord and are looking for a way that would suit them in terms of aptitudes, etc., must also come running to our website as the first choice. Those who want to be spiritually uplifted and seek Divine light must feel confident that our website would offer a lot of help in a user-friendly manner. We do not seek fame, name and that sort of thing. Why should we, when we already have the Lord in our Hearts? We just want the world to know that if service, compassion and love is what it wants, we are ready in many different ways, to the best of our ability and capacity.

Clearly, in the beginning we might not be able to offer much. But then, I still remember, that when Radio Sai first went on air, on day one there were probably at best only 2 or three listeners, including yours truly! But today? It is different story. This new step forward may similarly start on a low key, but if we take a few determined and resolute steps, then I am sure Swami would Himself transform it into the SAI TIDAL WAVE I referred to on an earlier occasion. So, let’s get started!  

You can send your mails to globalteam@radiosai.org

  Some of the Services We Would Like to Offer

As you are aware, currently we offer the following services on a regular basis:

  • Regular radio streams, featuring, bhajans, discourses, talks, interviews, recordings of programs presented before Swami, etc. These run 24/7, and are offered as 3 separate streams to suit three different geographic regions.

  • In addition, we offer a 24/7 bhajan stream and a 24/7 Discourse stream. We are thinking of adding more in the future.

  • A daily SAI INSPIRES service that goes out to over sixty thousand people all over the world. Through links, this service also calls attention to special radio programs as well as articles.

  • There are in addition the occasional programs and video presentations that we offer, like the Message of the Lord series we webcast during October-November 2010.
A glimpse of the current services being offered by Radio Sai Global Harmony

What we now wish to do is the following:

  • Services 1 to 3 mentioned above would, of course, be continued.

  • In addition, we wish to present and offer as download, a variety of video programs. These would be based on a) our huge video archive, and b) programs specially produced as a part of our new, enhanced service.

  • There is also a lot of audio we have recorded but not edited for broadcast. That is because we simply do not have the human resource to do the editing work involved. With volunteers, this situation can of course be remedied.

Besides all of the above, we would very much like to host productions by select teams affiliated to us. This may sound a bit confusing and so let me add some clarifications. Now even established services like the BBC, often commission programs produced by other professional services, both audio and video. In the same manner, we would like to have a few SAI TEAMS around the world, that are fully equipped, have the technical competence to  do the kind of work we would like to air, and also have the time and the inclination to be our “affiliates” shall I say?

Mind you, we are not looking at a “youtube” kind of situation where anybody and everybody posts anything. Not at all, and a little reflection would show why it CANNOT be that way. We are in the business of spreading the Message, and obviously anything other than the Message would have to seek other outlets. And, as far as the Message itself is concerned, there must be a clear understanding of what the Message means, since there is the danger of ill-baked ideas being passed off as the Message.

At the moment we will not go into all those details since that would make this piece a bit too long [it is long already!]. However, we shall, via the forms that follow, try and get in touch with people who are seriously interested in our kind of work, and that would perhaps allow us to identify teams that are well-knit, professionally competent and have all the technology required, and in addition the right attitude towards what needs to be said and how. But this much you should take note of. While we would certainly like at least half a dozen SAI TEAMS to share our work load, there is PLENTY OF PLACE FOR FREELANCERS TOO.  That, I hope, brings cheer to a lot of you out there.

We need all kinds of talents. Right now, many wonderful people from all across the globe help us with art work, translation, transcription and so on. There is still a huge amount of work waiting to be done, which allows scope for dozens, literally dozens, to work with us as one seamless global team. All that can take shape once we get data, to obtain which we are adding below a couple of forms. Please read and fill them carefully, and return to the email ID – globalteam@radiosai.org. The sooner you do it, the better.

I think I have said enough. Let me just add that if possible, along with this ‘Vision Document’, please also read the transcript of my Musings talk scheduled to be aired on Sunday February 6, 2011, and all the rest of the material presented along that transcript. That would amplify what has been said here and (hopefully!) add greater clarity as regards the Mission ahead.  

  Free-lance Work and the Kind of Talent We Would Like

Our work needs a wide range of talent. More specifically, we require people who can:

That gives a broad-brush idea of the skill-set we are actively interested in. If you think you have it, and also have the time as well as the inclination to work with us, please do fill the form below. Where free lancers are concerned, what we shall be doing is to farm out specific pieces of work that would form a part of our productions/programs. We might have missed mentioning some items, but if you think you have skills of the type given above that we might be interested in but have omitted to list, please do write to us in any event. 

  Turnkey Projects

It is quite possible that some of you out there could form a full-fledged team and do an entire project on your own. From our side, we actively welcome the formation of such SAI VOLUNTEER TEAMS. You should of course appreciate a priori that preparing a project of quality and depth would require a firm commitment of time. Please make sure of that first. In these days of internet when distance no longer matters, there must be many who would be willing to come together and form tight-knit teams that would be happy to do full-fledged radio programs if not an entire series, detailed articles and journalistic pieces, and impact-making short video documentaries that would help to spread the Message. In the latter context, we draw particular attention to the CANON 5D Mark II digital still cum video camera that seems to have literally changed the face of documentary production.

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A short clip produced by an alumnus of Swami's school in Puttaparthi (a Freelancer) during the Sportsmeet Season 2011
using the Canon 5D Mark II camera

We must repeat at this point that we are NOT looking at a ‘youtube-like situation’, where anyone and everyone produces something and then posts it. Obviously not. Rather, we would like every project to be first proposed and go through a vetting procedure, before it is cleared. This is not to curb initiative or crimp imagination. But then, ours is a media outlet that is answerable to the Trust under which it functions, and there are some unstated guidelines about what we can air/publish and what we would not be able to. I do hope that readers would be wise and mature enough to appreciate the need for some oversight, especially because Swami’s name is implicitly involved in our work.  We accept it cheerfully, and we hope those who would like to work with us would also feel the same way.

Finally, and this is important, sooner than later, the activities we now seek to launch would spill over into languages other than English. Currently, we are in active touch with like-minded people in Latin America in order to reach out to people there in Spanish and Portuguese. Hopefully, these efforts would take off soon and soar. After this what comes next? We do not know as yet, but He knows! After all, it is He who orchestrates everything, does He not?!

Thanks for reading through all this and JAI SAI RAM.


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