Volume 10 - Issue 03
March 2012
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Posted on : Mar 04, 2012



Dr. Sara Pavan


Born in Malaya (now Malaysia) in 1938 and educated in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Dr. Sara Pavan graduated from University of Ceylon with MBBS in 1962. Since his marriage to Dr. Devi in 1965 he started a life of learning, travelling and broadening his horizons, commencing in Singapore. He specialised in Anaesthesia in England in January 1969. The couple lived in several countries including New Zealand and Australia.

The Pavans have been devotees of Swami since 1980 and had actively worked for the Sai organisation in Australia. He was the editor of the quarterly Australian Sai Newsletter 10 years from its inception. The couple moved to Prasanthi Nilayam in 1993 and have served in Swami’s hospitals since then.

In December 1982 Bhagawan Baba authorised the first ever International Sai Convention. Rome was chosen by Swami when He commented, “All roads lead to Rome.” It was also the beginning of a three-year period leading up to the 60th Birthday of Bhagawan, the next stage in the unfolding and escalation of His Divine Mission.

“Ceiling on Desires” programme was launched as an important forerunner to the 60th Birthday. Rumours were rife that Bhagawan Baba will become inaccessible to devotees after this landmark Birthday and the crowds of devotees would be so huge that one might have to contend with a glimpse of Bhagawan as a “red dot” at a distance!

sara pavan, radiosai sara pavan, radiosai sara pavan, radiosai sara pavan, radiosai sara pavan, radiosai sara pavan, radiosai sara pavan, radiosai sara pavan, radiosai
Dr. Sara Pavan with Bhagawan in the Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam

“Swami is interested only in the heart of the individual” - Baba

In December 1982, in the light of these rumours, Dr. John Hislop sought some clarification from Bhagawan Baba, if He was going to be less accessible to His devotees. He also expressed his concern to Baba as to how the majority of the world’s population would come to know of Bhagawan’s divinity and follow Him before He left His physical body, when leading personnel in His Organisation at the time were not well known personalities internationally. I published the transcript of this conversation between Dr. Hislop and Bhagawan in the Australian Sai Newsletter in October 1983 and it is as follows:

  Dr. John Hislop
  Dr. John Hislop with Bhagawan

Dr. Hislop: Swami! Rumours are rife that Swami will be withdrawing Himself from devotees after His 60th Birthday. Is it true Swami?

Baba: No. That is not true, Hislop. Swami will in fact get nearer to His devotees. However there will be important changes in the world. Even devotees will face difficulties. It will be like a strong wind blowing away the chaff, leaving only the kernel beneath. Those with steady faith will remain close to Me. I will add strength to the mind and intellect of those devoted to Me.

Dr. Hislop: Swami has said that more than two thirds of the world would have realised Swami’s divinity by the time He leaves His body. But we do not see such increase in new devotees coming to see Swami. How is this possible, especially when Swami’s Mission is not led by men of world standing yet?

Baba: Swami is not at all interested in people of world standing. Swami is interested only in the heart of the individual. Let this thought not trouble you. When the time is right, people of world standing will come forward to serve Swami.

The above conversation, which had taken place between Bhagawan and one of His closest devotees a quarter century ago, in retrospect, is quite significant. We can see for ourselves the tremendous expansion of the Sai Mission that has already taken place on a global scale since then, in just over two decades.

Puttaparthi – Simple Village to the Spiritual Epicentre of the World

Puttaparthi was then a small village in a remote part of India when this conversation took place. Who on earth would have believed that in this little hamlet a Super Speciality hospital with state-of-the-art technology would be serving thousands of poor people free of charge; an airport would come up where jet planes would land and take off; or, a gigantic drinking water project would be completed in such a short time for the drought stricken Rayalaseema district.

Later of course, the water project was extended to several other parts of the State, even inter-state, something no government ever dared to undertake. This is the first of its kind by any non-government charity in the entire world.

Prasanthi Nilayam has expanded enormously, with its modern buildings that would make it look like a city on its own. Residential and commercial buildings have proliferated transforming Puttaparthi that was once a remote village into a city on the world map – that too, an international spiritual city.

Many Indian and International Cultural programmes are now part of the Prasanthi calendar of activities, including the Chinese New Year Celebration of the most populous race in the world! And most importantly, people from almost every nation in the world are already concentrating here. Prasanthi Nilayam has already established itself as the default headquarters for the world’s first “Spiritual United Nations” in a remote place as Puttaparthi by His will alone!

Prasanthi Nilayam - the headquarters of the 'Spiritual United Nations'

When the Avatar Descends, Peace Begins

In the light of the current world situation - insolvency and strife, racism, religious intolerance and bigotry, terrorism, regional and international power-play - all these are tearing the world apart. The Advent of the Avatar, His Universal Message of Love and Peace, are like the cool breeze on a hot sultry day. His presence on earth gave rays of hope to millions of people in all far corners of the globe. World leaders too are beginning to acknowledge their failure to bring peace in the world through secular or material means, through international bodies such as the United Nations, which has failed to bring lasting world peace, even after half a century of its existence. Without doubt the great work done by the U.N. has helped to build bridges between nations to continue with their dialogue, but without a spiritual basis and fraternal approach there can be no lasting solution to the ills of the world communities.

Some world leaders are opening up to the spiritual alternative, and are better disposed to consider something different. The heart of the matter is the change of heart. This is evinced by the paramount changes that have recently taken place - fall of Communism, end of Cold War and apartheid in South Africa, etc.

sathya sai baba  

These momentous changes in the past twenty years alone have defused global tension. The Soviet Block and the Western allies had armed themselves to the teeth with deadly nuclear arsenal in the post World War II era and polarised the world into two camps, only intent on destroying each other. Who could have brought about a change of heart?

We cannot identify any worldly reason, let alone find a single individual behind such a momentous change. Even the wickedest of people have a heart, a spiritual heart that awakens to the dawn of light. The forces of darkness have to be vanquished. The presence of the Avatar in our midst is the source of that light which is enveloping the entire world. Friends or foes, sinners or saints, east or west - all are thawing in the warmth of this radiance so spontaneously. Whether the world recognises this or not is immaterial. It is still happening in spite of whatever the world chooses to believe. Swami never referred to the Communists as such. He called them “Come-you-next.”

Not long ago, 60 top former military personnel - Generals, Admirals and Brigadiers from 17 countries including the U.S., Russia and the U.K. made an unprecedented joint appeal as follows:

“We, military professionals are convinced that the continuing existence of nuclear weapons in the armouries of nuclear powers, and the ever-present threat of acquisition of these by others, constitutes a peril to global peace and security and to the safety and survival of the people. The ultimate abolition must be the shared responsibility of the five declared nuclear powers - Britain, China, Russia, France and the U.S.”

This is another instance of a change of heart of some of the hardened military leaders. And now India, the greatest democracy in the world has so much to offer to bring about world peace.

Our beloved Bhagawan had already given mankind the guarantee that there will be no nuclear war in the world and that even the war heads will “melt in the hands” of those who try to unleash them! Thus, while providing the world with His “Divine Protective Umbrella” against any madman pressing the nuclear button, the Avatar is continuously bringing about a change of heart of those enveloped by forces of darkness. He is gradually bringing about a realistic and lasting transformation of individuals by the millions, thereby not only ensuring the very survival of the planet, but also helping them get rid of their karma.

He has declared time and again that His ways are beyond human scrutiny and limited intelligence. It is obvious that there is no “quick fix” for our long-term problems, especially when there is a mountain of karma to clear.

Solution to all World Problems – Seeking the Source of the Spirit Within

We have to go to the source of the spirit within, without which we cannot express our fraternal feeling and bring about lasting peace and harmony. Any government can legislate or a world body such as the United Nations can pass a resolution on Equality and Liberty. It is unnatural to equate people in material terms and create a level playing field. But all are One in Spirit and this alone is the source of fraternity, which is unconditional and free from external factors. It is relevant to quote here a hand-written letter Swami wrote to His students in the seventies, which is published in the compilation of similar letters in a book titled Prema Dhaara.

The Stages of the Momentum of Sai Mission

The few years preceding 2000, His 75th birthday, was a period of unprecedented acceleration of events in the Mission of the Avatar. Swami had stated several times that no one can come in His way; that His work is redemption of the whole of humankind through Love for the establishment of lasting peace - the kingdom of heaven on earth.


In His 65th Birthday Message Bhagawan declared, “The seeds already sown are ready for harvest and there will be intense winnowing.” Baba had told a group of students that His Mission was comparable to an aircraft taking off. Up to His 70th Birthday He compared His Mission to an aircraft moving along the taxiway from the terminal to the main runway. Since then it was accelerating on the main runway for the take off on the 75th Birthday. It is generally believed that very significant global changes do take place at the end of every millennium, and it is no surprise that Bhagawan’s 75th Birthday coincided with the bi-millennium!

Looking at the current circumstances some might feel that Swami’s declared Mission is hardly fulfilled at the present time. Let us be cautious when entertaining such logic. At least, let us concede that we are not resourceful enough to comprehend the mysterious ways of the divine, however learned we think we are.

It is useful to remember that all natural phenomena in the Universe do not change in a linear fashion. They follow an exponential relationship or a curve where changes occur in proportion to their magnitude, a kind of geometric proportion. Hence, we can anticipate tumultuous changes in and around us for this great reconstructive divine work that has already shifted itself into top gear. The confusion is because we are looking too much outside and seeing many of the ‘apparently good’ worldly things collapsing around us at the moment. But the truth is that the realistic and lasting work for which the divine took advent cannot be attained without the false or the unrealistic and unsustainable things collapsing, many of them that have to be undone. His Mission cannot fail.

The connection Swami has with the many thousands of His instruments, known and unknown to us, is not the worldly type. His Divine Power is beyond our ability to understand and He communicates in ways that are beyond human comprehension. Swami has told a close devotee long time ago, “The closer you are; the more distant I will become physically!” That is one of His signs. He says, “When I am close to you in the spirit, I will be very distant to you in the body. Because you have recognized My true nature. That’s what I have come for! My main Mission is to awaken the inner Guru. The inner Guru is not outside; it starts with the outside Guru, but the outside Guru leads you to the inner Guru.”

That is the purpose of Swami’s mission! Being a Guru, it’s His duty to lead us to that. Otherwise, He is not a true Guru! He has not come to give us worldly things! He is giving us all that because we are not yet ready for what He really wants to give us. We are exceptionally fortunate not only to know Swami, His Message and His Mission, but also to be on board His Mission to salvage His flagship, the planet Earth, and be His co-workers, to actively participate in this most exciting phase in human history - to walk together and work hand-in-hand with God to bring lasting peace and abundance to the entire planet. Let us also not forget that He has willed these things to happen during the three successive incarnations – Shirdi Sai, Sathya Sai and Prema Sai, spanning over almost three centuries. Let us be patient and trust His resolve.

Love – Our Only Refuge

We are journeying through time and space, on board the beautiful star-ship - Earth. It appears like a shining piece of diamond against the background of deep blue infinite space. It is the only “spaceship” carrying the precious cargo of human life in this manifest form, which is nowhere else in the cosmos. We are not able to comprehend the magnitude of the perilous state into which we have driven our Mother Earth. The problem is too big for us to assimilate, because our small minds are filled with ignorance and selfishness.

Just imagine a thousand of us, from all nations, religions, cultures, social strata, etc. are passengers on board a cruise ship in the pacific. The boat springs a leak in its hull and the influx of water has to be bailed out manually round the clock. The captain declares this as the only option to stay afloat. Even the richest tycoon on the top deck, travelling in his luxury suite, will roll up his sleeves and take his turn to help the ship stay afloat. Why? Because the impact is direct. They know that when life is lost, all is lost.

Likewise, Love is the only salvage operation in this world that is being torn apart under every conceivable banner. It is vital to realise the fact that we are essentially One, and together we stay afloat.
All that we treasure - be it contemporary religion, nationality, culture, etc., become only secondary to our very survival through unity - Realisation that we are 'One Family'. If we destroy the Family-hood of Humanity through disunity of any kind, all that we wish to treasure will also get destroyed. Any division or fragmentation of humanity, for any reason, amounts to treason against God or Truth.

“There is only one Caste, the Caste of Humanity
There is only one Religion, the Religion of Love”
– Baba



- Radio Sai Team

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