Volume 11 - Issue 03
March 2013
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Posted on: Mar 13, 2013


A Radio Sai Snapshot of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust
- Annual Report 2011 - 2012

a conversation with Prof. Anantharaman, Media Coordinator SSSCT


Part 04



KSM: This is the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation which is the foundation of the miracle called the Seva Dal.

Seva Dal - an Exemplary Force Armed with Selflessness and Love

Prof. AR: Our Seva Dal is a remarkable group of people who do their job with a quiet efficiency and continue to do it exactly the same way. There are lot of concerns and doubts – “Would Seva Dals continue to come now that Swami's physical proximity is not there?” I remember several years ago, one of the rewards of Seva Dal was they could do Padanamaskar to Swami.

KSM: Yes, on the last day.

Prof. AR: Slowly, He withdrew that Padanamaskar; at least the Seva Dals were having darshan of Swami. Now they can't even have a darshan. So, the question arose – “Why should a 60-year-old Seva Dal man sit all night guarding a frontier somewhere when he's getting absolutely no reward, not even a darshan?” But they continue to do the job with the same amount of love and same amount of dedication; it's amazing.

KSM: This army of virtuous men and women and sometimes children who come to assist – young adults, just to watch them is such a moving experience – the dedication with which they serve this ashram. All our hospitals run on this fuel of love that Swami has created.

Prof. AR: Just imagine! There are about 1200 of these men and women of Seva Dal who are in service throughout the day; it will be 1200 men for the next 3 weeks and then some other 1200 men will come the 3 weeks afterwards, all over. You know, like a franchise of a McDonalds, they have the service concept given to them in a tablet form which they do not follow mechanically, but with love.

KSM: Taking their personal time off, professional time off, dedicating it to serving the Sai mission, incurring a lot of expense to reach here.

Sathya Sai Seva Dal are the very supporting framework of the Sai Organisation

Prof. AR: They travel at their own expenditure; we provide them probably a couple of meals here, provide them simple accommodation, but they take time off from their work and these are all people of different types – bright young minds, students, professionals, engineers, VPs, doctors.

KSM: And I think the fact that many of our Seva Dals are so highly qualified coming from diverse backgrounds, that's what makes this workforce so creative and efficient because they bring those efficiency into the work; they don't render Seva just for the sake of it; they do it as efficiently, as lovingly, as smartly as they possibly can.

Prof. AR: Correct. We talk about the International Organisation also, after the National Organisation. In fact, we also give a set of statistics where we talk about our activities in 23 states of the country, 2700 villages adopted.

KSM: In India?

Prof. AR: In India. There are 140,000 trained Seva Dal people. Seva Dal people of committed loyalty; they are not just raw people – trained Seva Dal people.

KSM: This is 1.5 lakh people.

Prof. AR: Exactly! And there are about 592,000 active members of the Organisation who attend samithis, who attend meetings and activities. And there are over 1 million Bal Vikas graduates.

SSSSO Statistics SSSSO Statistics

KSM: Wow! That is an enormous number!

Prof. AR: Absolutely! And these Bal Vikas graduates are committed soldiers in the Sai mission.

KSM: Definitely! They are our future leaders. They are emerging as young leaders.

An Avalanche of Goodness Started by the Avatar

Prof. AR: Somebody talked about multiplier effect, you know. Swami has created this whole… somewhere along the line, if you sit and think, how did He conceive of this whole thing? One day, He quietly went and started a University; another day, He went and quietly started a hospital somewhere; and the third day, He picks up a Seva Dal somewhere; in His mind, He has connected all this.

He knew that all this was a model which was going to work. It's something remarkable. I teach Management in the Business School. If I consciously want to sit and analyse and prepare a model of all this, I wouldn't be able to do that. It's only some divine power.

KSM: Cosmic mind! Cosmic intelligence!


Prof. AR: Absolutely! Only that which is capable of doing all this! Otherwise, it's absolutely impossible.

KSM: And Swami had no consultants, strategists advising Him; He just quietly did it all, one step at a time.

Prof. AR: And He didn't even put it on a piece of paper. There is no record anywhere; it just happened.

KSM: It was just a natural thing to do for Him, like breathing.

Prof. AR: Exactly! One fine morning, I remember, He sat here and announced, “One year from now, there'll be a campus at Muddenahalli.” It happened. And I remember several years ago, He announced, “One year from now, there'll be a University; all these colleges will join the University.” So, it's almost as if He had in His mind all these pieces; just made a dramatic announcement of one piece, chose a man – “You take care of that piece”. And then He chose another man – “Take care of that piece.” And He joined all the dots.

KSM: Like the new-age stuff about the power of intention – whatever Swami willed or uttered, it just happened.

Prof. AR: Correct!

KSM: I guess that just came from the purity of His intention. Selflessness. Absolute selflessness and unconditional love.

International Organisation Continues to Carry His Message

Prof. AR: Then we talk about the International Sai Organisation where we operate in about 113 countries.

KSM: We continue to do the same work – the medical camps.

Prof. AR: All of them!

KSM: The soup kitchens.

Prof. AR: Yeah, there are 113 countries; there are about 2038 Sai centres; there is disaster relief everywhere and you have this lovely map. When I looked at this map, it's almost like a General placing His army in several different battlefields.

KSM: But this is the General of Love, His army of loving soldiers, peacekeepers.

Prof. AR: I can't conceive of any organisation having such extensive locations.

Special Issue on Bhagawan released by
the India Today Group

KSM: China, if I may add now.

Prof. AR: From Ireland and I believe China now. It's amazing – all over the place. The other day, a group of people from 21 Russian countries came and said, “We want to translate ‘Divine Grace’ into Russian. Can you get us permission?” So, I wrote to India Today and within 2 hours, permission came “Go ahead.” Amazing! It would never happen in a magazine like India Today, but it happened.

KSM: Oh! The India Today special feature on Bhagawan – ‘Divine Grace’.

Prof. AR: Yeah. It's going to be translated into Russian.

KSM: That's fantastic news!

Prof. AR: Then, we also talk about the Sathya Sai Nithya Annadana Pathakam. It was launched in 2010, covering villages around and this is the area where there are amazing stories. Whenever these people go to a village, there's a demonstration of Swami's love – Vibhuthi, Kumkum.

Prof. AR: Any village that they go to. It's almost as if Swami's waiting to accompany them there; there is a report of that. Then, there is a report about Easwaramma Welfare Trust – their Mother & Child program, etc. Of course, we conclude with the most important – the amount of work which Radio Sai is doing ... the amazing work that you are communicating this all over the world. This communication is very, very important; I must say you're doing a great service.

KSM: Thank you sir on behalf of the entire team!

Prof. AR: We conclude with the organisation's human resources; this is something which is amazing. You find we operate in about 113 countries. In India alone, there are nearly about 600,000 members all over the country, active members who attend samithis and do work, etc. Out of these people, about 4,659 members are engaged in full-time service.

KSM: Incredibly impressive!

Prof. AR: In Medicare, Educare, Sociocare. This also includes the 1,594 Seva Dal people who work day in and day out. And we've given a graph about hospital staffing – how many doctors, how many nurses, how many paramedics; Educare staffing – how many academics, administrative, contingent staff; Sociocare – how many people work, etc., etc. When you look at all this, what is amazing here is the human capital of the Sathya Sai Organisation.

It continues to demonstrate its vibrancy. You have doctors, you have teachers, managers, technologists, volunteers, casual workers, professionals and each person brings their diverse experience to serve, create and sustain the organisation. And it happened not by a formal organisation where there is a boss on top, where there are people, job specifications for which you pay a salary – no! All these people have come together voluntarily, to create this organisation all by themselves.

(Left) USA - Eye Examination Medical Camp, (Right) Philippines - Devotees Lovingly Serving Food to Needy Children

KSM: It's like an organic growth that has the love cell as the nucleus.

Prof. AR: Exactly. I teach management at the University. If I think of how I would create an organisation like this, my mind goes to how the Chief Executive will sit and draw the mission, the vision, the organisation, the structure, but nothing like that has happened here.

(Left) Netherlands - Sathya Sai Volunteers Serving the Elderly, (Right) Distribution of winter kits at the soup kitchen of the Macedonia AME church, organized by the Sathya Sai Baba Center of Flushing, NY for Swami's Birthday

KSM: It turns all those theories on its head!

Prof. AR: Absolutely! It all just came together.

KSM: The network of pure love, selfless love of the Incarnation.

Prof. AR:That's why we conclude with this – both in geographic reach and competence, no other charitable organisation has such a committed and diverse human and intellectual capital. This is where our organisation is completely different from all other charitable trusts. Every other charitable trust has plenty of money but not people resources. Before writing this sentence, I did in-depth investigation of every major charitable trust in the world and I found not one of them has the kind of reach and competence of people that we have in our organisation, which is very rare.

KSM: Yes! You're absolutely right. And the fact remains that out of this human capital, most are volunteers.

  Prof. Anantharaman speaking in the Divine Presence

Prof. AR: Exactly. Most people are volunteers; most people have come in without any clear idea of what they are expected to do; when they came in, nobody told them ‘This is your job’; nobody told them ‘This is your boss’; nobody told them ‘This is your remuneration’.

KSM: They just rose to the occasion.

Prof. AR: They just clicked together and things worked.

KSM: They did what needed to be done because they're coming from a different motivation level.

Prof. AR: You can understand all this happening, when there is a physical charismatic leadership on top. I myself could understand this when He was physically there but the fact that the same magic continues to work even in the absence of the physical charismatic figure speaks volumes of this. This completely removes the question, ‘After Sai, who?’ There is no ‘After Sai’ in the first place; He's there all the time. He has established it; He has sown this; it will just grow. It is something remarkable.

KSM: Now, Prof. Anantharaman, you've given us an amazing bird's eye view of the Annual Report. I just want our listeners to also know that they can themselves review this online because Prof. Anantharaman has only published 1500 copies of the Annual Report and they've gone fast like hot cakes. Our listeners can download or view it online; there's a pdf available on the Web site of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and the Web site is srisathyasai.org.in. (PDF version of the Annual Report)

One last question. What do you expect to be the take-away for a person who's browsing through this report?

Prof. AR: I can answer it only the same way as I felt each year as I sit and spend my time in preparing this. As I prepare it each year, I am wonderstruck at the extent and depth and the vibrancy of this organisation. As I said before, cardiologists doubling as photographers, nuclear physicists running radio stations, IT specialists running a truck; it's a huge, huge collection of complete – the elite, the common man, the prince and the plebeian; all of them putting together, all offering service with love, with the single objective that Bhagawan's mission will go on. It is that persistent, constant impression that I have every year as I prepare this report.

As I prepare it each year, new vistas arise. It's almost like an ocean; we are just touching probably pieces of this ocean; there is something much bigger, much vaster, something which is unimaginable for all of us. It is that feeling of humility that we are probably sitting at the cusp of something vast, something big. I hope a little bit of it touches all the people who have seen this report. I want them to imagine this. It's just a piece, just an edge of what we are.

KSM: So powerful and yet so humbling. Thank you Sir. Sairam!

Prof. AR: Thank you.




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