Volume 10 - Issue 06
June 2012
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Posted on : June 05, 2012


The Art and Heart of Healing

A conversation with Dr. Srikanth Sola

part 03

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part 2 part 3



Swami's Hospitals are a Guiding Light for Medical Practice Itself

At Swami’s hospital we provide fantastic care, everything that we do is inline with the international guidelines for how cardiology care should be provided and we have amazing experience because we see so many types of diseases, all flavours and all conditions. And the physicians, the nurses, the paramedical staff who work there are all very very dedicated and also very loving and joyful which makes it all the better to work there.

When we’re in this type of environment though we are able to take care of so many numbers of patients per year, let's say so many hundreds of thousands of patients but when we go out and we share our thoughts, our knowledge, our expertise with others across the country or across the world we are then extending Swami’s message, we are extending Swami’s work. When they start to provide better care for their patients then indirectly we are influencing the quality of care that those patients receive. This is how Swami’s work will spread medically. That is yes we will provide excellent care for all of His patients who come to His hospital but when we share our knowledge and expertise we will allow that to spread to other hospitals.

The Sri Sathya Sai Institutes of Higher Medical Science is a testimony that advanced healthcare for the underprivileged is not an unachievable utopian idea.

And I think that just by interacting with us, His physicians, these outside physicians who are not from Swami’s hospital start to realize that actually you can provide very good care free of cost with love and compassion. And for many of these physicians this is the first time this thought has ever come to them.

RS: Because most people can't even imagine what Swami has done by providing excellent medical care and that too free of cost.

Dr. Sola: Even though I’m there every single day, sometimes I even wonder how is it possible? Swami makes it possible!

RS: There have been studies that have sought to evaluate the relationship between emotions and prayers and human health. What are your thoughts on this issue?

Dr. Sola: I think that they’re very good, because in any new practice that we bring to medicine - it should be investigated with the absolute and most rigorous scientific methodology. I commonly give talks on how to conduct research studies and how to design a research trial using the current state of art, methodology and research. So whether it comes to cardiology, cardiac surgery or holistic health the same rigour is required for any of this type of work.

However the difficulty with the issue that we have with holistic health care is that it’s difficult to do a study in which just one intervention is required because when we think of holistic health we’re talking about everything. We’re talking about diet, lifestyle and especially emotions, feelings and thoughts and those are very difficult to quantify. How do you quantify love for example, we don’t have a scale or a machine in which we can measure that, we can’t study that. Yes, there probably is a huge impact of love, of peace, of joy on our health but right now at least we don’t have a way of measuring. Hopefully we may but is it necessary to put numbers and labels on all these things? No. But is it required to understand that our thoughts and feelings and emotions impact our health? Absolutely.

The Bliss of Serving in His Presence


RS: When you first migrated back to India to relocate in Whitefield in the year 2008 I understand you had multiple occasions when you were able to interact with Bhagawan in His physical form. What are your fondest memories of those days?

Dr. Sola: Sure those were golden days and golden memories. Earlier I shared how the whole move back to India to Swami’s hospital in Whitefield started with just a simple email Just a one line on an email and how that changed everything - obviously it was all divine play. Now before this actually happened some of the hospital staff from Swami’s hospital in Whitefield had gone to meet Swami and said “Swami we need another cardiologist, we would like to hire another cardiologist because the workload is increasing.” And Swami just looked up as if He was thinking, it’s all play acting because Swami knows everything but He said “Another cardiology doctor from America is already coming.” And so they thought “Oh okay.” They didn’t understand what that meant but they knew that if Swami says okay, so it is. A few weeks later they got my Curriculum Vitae in the email, then they took my CV to Swami and showed the photographs. Swami went through all the pages of the CV, looked through everything as they said “Swami this doctor is very good, he comes from the Cleveland Clinic, it’s a world famous hospital, he’s won all these awards” and so on. And Swami said “Haan I know, who do you think called him to come here?”

And so in those early days it was great fun being here, being in darshan, watching Swami, interacting with him. And the joke from the other staff around me was that ‘oh you’ve come, Swami will definitely interact with you’. And that was often the case and it was just Swami’s way of showing His love of recharging us by giving us the attention, or letting us know rather that He was there for us. Interestingly at the same time when we’re back in Whitefield, when we’re silent, whenever I’m alone and there’s nothing to be done I just go back into the state of the self, the God self which is everything. You can call it the Paramatma, the Parabrahman. And for us that’s all that is but then when we come to Puttaparthi we would see Swami’s form and my goodness the maya that is around Swami’s form is just impenetrable.

You cannot get past it. And we would think that ‘Swami back in Bangalore so easy to stay in the self. Then we come here that we get lost in separation, not in a negative way.

RS: Not at all. Only because the form was so beautiful.

Dr. Sola: It’s so beautiful! And it's so fun, Swami just looks this way and smile and then you think ‘ahaaaa’ and everything that your feeling just washes away in that bliss

RS: And you're on such a high.

sathya sai baba darshan  

Dr. Sola: Exactly, exactly it’s so wonderful. One of the things that we would like to do is, I would pray and say ‘Swami let me enter your consciousness’. And Swami would come out and I would just go into that nothingness, indescribable state of just being-ness. There is no form, there is no name, there is no darshan, there is no anything. And being in the presence of the Avatar, or being whether it’s a physical presence or the inner presence allows you to experience that. And all you have to do is just ask and He’ll give.

RS: Hmm it’s that simple is it?

Dr. Sola: That simple, all you have to do is ask. It helps if you practice.

But as Swami says as long as you’re breathing you have to practice your sadhana.

RS: And stay focused on the goal. Wonderful! In the broader area of your work Dr. Sola outside of strict clinical cardiology how do you assess the health of the human race at the present moment?

Dr. Sola: I remember once back in 2007 Swami was in Kodaikanal, this was shared with me by some of His students. And Swami just casually remarked “Sathya yuga begins in 2012.” He said it as casually as if he would say it rains during monsoon season and so we know that we’re at the end of one age and at the beginning of the next. This is why we have the triple incarnation of the Shirdi Sai, Sathya Sai, Prema Sai.

And so when we go from one level of consciousness to another naturally there will be changes and it is this change in consciousness that we’re all seeing now which Swami has very quietly been doing all along and that’s what we’re seeing. The problems that we see in society are simply reflection of whatever it is already there within us. Remember earlier I said that everything is reflection, reaction and resound. So if you take for example the pollution that we have in environment now, it is simply a reflection of the inner pollution that we are experiencing within ourselves. If you look at our political leaders for example the consciousness of those leaders is simply a reflection of the consciousness of the people whom they are governing.

RS: So if you’re saying that lot of people think there’s rampant corruption in public life in India does that reflect the collective corruption of our consciousness?

Dr. Sola: Everything is reflection.

RS: But there are many honest and hard working people also in this country, after all it is the land of sages and seers.

Dr. Sola: Yes but in order to experience unity one needs to experience duality as well, in order to appreciate unity rather one needs to have that experience. For example here we are sitting in a very comfortable room, it's such a beautiful environment but if it happens to be very, very hot outside we won’t really appreciate it right. So in order for us to have a better appreciation of non-duality we need to have that experience of duality as well. And it doesn’t get any better than right now in the peak of the kali yuga, (the age of darkness) where everything is as bad as it's ever going to get. And that’s why so many of us have chosen to take birth at this time, we want to be here when the Poorna Avatar is here and we want to experience the maximum duality that we can so that we can appreciate the unity that is. And it will come; it will come in the right time and the right place.

Much Easier Now to Connect to the Swami Within

RS: We all hope so as well. In light of Bhagawan’s Maha Samadhi about 11 months ago, how do you relate to Him now?

Dr. Sola: For me I feel that I’m probably closer to the inner Swami than ever before. It has never been so easy to tune into Swami’s will for me, again this is not a public thing I never go out and say ‘this is what Swami said for me and you need to follow it’ nothing like that. This is simply the inner guidance that is required for whatever activities, are present before me. So it’s easier now to connect with Swami I feel than ever before. I think many devotees would agree with that as well. See when you are with Swami His form is so beautiful one smile, one glance and you are simply lost in that love. Just touching His feet you feel thrilled and thrilled and thrilled and thrilled!

RS: To the core.

  sathya sai baba

Dr. Sola: Yes, I remember in those days how wonderful it was, Swami would simply just come and sit right in front of me you know hardly a foot away. And I would take padanamaskar after padanamaskar, then I would say ‘no, no I shouldn’t be so greedy’. And then I would just sit back and just enjoy being in the Divine Presence, it’s so blissful, so wonderful, so beautiful; but having said that we have to learn to recognize Swami within us as us. There’s no separation of anything from anything, the moment we see two, maya is in operation.

And what happens when we have such a beautiful form like Swami’s is that we begin to get attached to it. We don’t want to be anywhere else, we don’t want to see anything else we only think Swami, we only feel Swami, we want to be with that form as much as possible. Even if we are with Him one time or a thousand times, it is such a blissful state that we always want to be with him. Yet what happens is because of that attachment we impede our own spiritual progress. And so although the Guru, the Master is required for our spiritual growth, in the end that attachment to the Guru or the Master becomes an obstacle to our growth. And so the Guru has to leave, it always has to be that way. If it weren’t then Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus everybody else would still be here and we would still be learning from them. And so Swami also has to leave so that this part of our growth can be completed and the next stage can begin. And now that Swami is physically no longer here, now we’re learning to see Swami as being everywhere not just in Prasanthi Nilayam but in everything, as everything.

Once I told the boys, “See for so long you’re used to seeing Swami coming in His orange robe. Once in a while He might come out in a white robe or perhaps even a crimson robe or on Krishna Janmashtami a yellow robe and how beautiful He looked but now Swami has donned His universal robe.” And I tell them the same eagerness, the same enthusiasm that you used to wait for Swami’s darshan you should now be waiting and looking for Swami within yourself. And when you develop that same determination you will find Him there and you realize that that Sai is what you really are. You're not the body, you're not your name, you're not your form, you're not your ego, you're not your personality - you are that God self which is everything and there is nothing else.

RS: Very inspiring words, appreciate your coming down to Puttaparthi for this conversation. Thank you and Sai Ram.

Dr. Sola: Thank you and Sai Ram

  part 3

- Team Radio Sai

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