Volume 15 - Issue 08
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Posted on: Aug 10, 2017

“The Powerful Energy I Experienced Here is Truly Extraordinary”

by Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union Minister for Law and Justice
and Electronics and Information Technology,
Government of India

Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad was the chief guest on the occasion of Guru Poornima celebrations in Prasanthi Nilayam in 2017. Presented below is the edited transcript of his talk delivered in the Sai Kulwant Hall in the morning of July 9, 2017.

Distinguished members of the Board of Trust, Ratnakarji, distinguished ministers and eminent people, all the Sai bhakts, my adarneeya pranams (respectful salutations) to you and Guru Poornima shubhkamnayein (good wishes) to all of you!

Just now you heard a very long introduction about me but let me make it very clear. I have not come here as a senior minister of the Narendra Modi government but I have come as a simple bhakt, a simple devotee, to offer my pranams. Today I am singularly honoured and uniquely privileged that I have been invited here today to this abode of Lord Sainath.

I came here yesterday and I wish to personally thank Ratnakarji for having extended this invitation to me. In fact I was looking forward to visit this great heaven on earth. I got the privilege to once have the direct darshan of the Lord in Delhi but I never got the opportunity to visit here. And what a great day to offer my sadar pranamam (humble salutations) on the Guru Poornima day!

My good friend Mr. Naganand mentioned Kabirdas. There is a very famous couplet of Kabirdas, Guru Govind dou khade kaku lagun paye, balihari Guru apno jo diyo Govind bataye - I must pay my regards to my Guru who leads me to the path of Govind (God)!

At the very outset I would like to compliment my young friends. What beautiful bhajans you sang! I wish I could listen more to these beautiful bhajans. Being a lover of classical music, I have been hearing bhajans all around but this soulful rendering of bhajans was really extraordinary and my warm compliments to all of you.

How do I see the work and philosophy of Lord Sainath? The first is at the spiritual and philosophical level. What is the essence of India, ladies and gentlemen?

The Essence of India

The essence of India as outlined in the Rig Veda is Ekam Sat Vipra Bahuda Vadanti - Truth is one but wise men interpret it differently. You have your own perception of truth and I have my own. You follow your path and I will follow my own. I will respect your path and you respect my path because in the ultimate analysis your path and my path merge at the same destination wherein lies the ultimate truth - permanent, indivisible, eternal, perennial and inspiring - what we call the Parama Satya (supreme truth).

If you see all the utterances of Lord Sainath, ultimately what He says is, “Love one and all. Serve one and all.” How do I see the essence of this philosophy, ladies and gentlemen? My understanding is that the living body manifests itself in many ways. You can be an insect and you can be a living body. You can be a fish and you can be a living body. You can be an animal and you can be a living body. But the day you are born as a human being, that is the first blessing which God has given - you have come as a human being on this earth. That is because as a human being you have the faculty to understand the pain, suffering, agony and ecstasies of your fellow beings.

Baba's First Big Contribution

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has always been teaching “Learn to love each other”. When you love each other, there is no boundary of caste, religion or faith because every faith leads to the same destination. I see this creative goodness in every human being as the biggest contribution that Bhagawan Baba has given to all of us.

Just now we heard about the international work going all over. Yeh sara kam kya ho raha hai? (What is all this work going on?) Acche insan ko banane ki koshish hai (It is an attempt to make good human beings). Acche insan bano (Become a good human being). Learn to become a good human being free from anger, arrogance and jealousy. Just keep one spirit - the spirit of love, accommodation, reciprocity and mutual respect. I think that is Bhagawan's biggest contribution.

And if I can say, I will say with it great pride that world over the biggest voluntary movement of man-making is being done by the Sathya Sai movement. I wish to congratulate the board of governors and Ratnakarji and all your team. Ratnakarji was telling me that there are branches in 170 countries.

We are in politics, in public life. Just now it was mentioned that I had the privilege to work under Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, our political guru and our father figure who has visited Prasanthi Nilayam innumerable times. I know how much devotion he had to the Lord here.

Now I have the privilege to work under Sri Narendra Modi, another eminent and powerful leader seeking to change the country. We are proud and privileged to work under him. But we work with authority because the people of the country have given us the authority to work for the country as elected people, elected government. Therefore in many ways even though my Prime Minister says that we are pradhan sevaks (chief servants) and we are also working for the people in the most informal manner, we still carry some authority which the people of the country have given us.

I use the phrase ‘voluntary contribution’ because without any authority, just out of love this great organisation (the Sai organisation) is doing work the world over. Today I would like to felicitate you all because my observations are also being webcast across the globe. I am also the IT minister of India and therefore it gives me singular honour to compliment the board of trustees for connecting the virtual with the real.

Sitting far away in South India in Prasanthi Nilayam I am talking to you and I am also talking to Sai bhakts all across the globe. Therefore from this abode of peace and love, I wish to compliment all the Sai bhakts all over the globe. Keep the good work going for the sake of humanity and development!

Baba's Second Big Contribution

What is the second contribution of Lord Sai which is important for all of us? This needs to spread more and more - serve the poor and underprivileged. Their service is the easiest route to reach the God - Garibon ki seva karo, vanchiton ki seva karo. Unki seva mein hi Ishwar ki prapti hai. This is the great message He has given us.

Let me quote Kabirdas again. A very famous couplet of his says, “Sai itna deejiye jame kutumb samaye, main bhi bhookha na rahoon sadhu na bhookha jaye”. It means, “Hey Lord! Give me this much that I am able to take care of my family. But if a hungry human being comes in front of my house, I should not turn him down unsatisfied.”

The word ‘sadhu’ is a symbolism. The symbolism is: Don’t live for yourself alone but live for others. Take care of your family but also take care of others.

Do you know something very unique and why I quoted this couplet? It begins with the line ‘Sai itna deejiye’. After 400-500 years here comes Lord Sainath who actually concretises this couplet into extraordinary initiative!

Yesterday I was told that 20 lakh operations have been done without a single farthing. The best-quality education is being given in this NAAC-certified university without charging a farthing. So many schools are being run and thousands and thousands of villages in this water-scarce land of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka are being provided drinking water - all by the initiative of this great institution. How do you explain it?


Yesterday I was talking to an eminent trustee of this board. I asked, “How do you all manage it now that the Lord is not there?” He quoted one statement of the Lord which made me emotional.

Once they asked Him, “How do we run all this? Should we charge even something, a token?”

Lord Sai told him one thing: “Does a mother charge a child for helping him in anything?”

Do you understand the philosophy? There is a profound philosophy behind this, ladies and gentlemen!

And what is it? Love and serve the other as a mother serves the child without seeking in return. And if this has been the motto, I have not the slightest doubt that if Lord Sai has given so much not only to Prasanthi Nilayam but to the whole world, surely His divine blessings will be there. And this great work will continue to prosper in the remotest part of the world and also in India.

The Ultimate Calling of India

To my young friends I have to make a last observation. What is India? Is India a geographical entity? Is India merely a physical entity? Yes, we are technologically very powerful.

I want to tell you, my young friends, as the IT Minister of India that in a population of 1.25 billion (125 crores), India is home to 1.08 billion mobile phones (108 crores) out of which 500 million (50 crores) are smart phones. We have 115 crore Aadhaar cards - unique identity kept in safe condition.

We have 500 million or 50 crore Internet connections. How we are using this to leverage technology for social good? We opened 25 crore Jan Dhan accounts for the poor and we linked those Jan Dhan accounts with the Aadhaar associated with the bank. We started serving subsidy to the poor, credited directly to their bank account. We saved Rs 50,000 crores in the last two years which used to be pilfered by fictitious persons. This is how we are using technology for public good.

India is certainly a place for science, innovation and technology. But also remember one thing - India is the chosen place on earth for divinity! That will remain the first and the ultimate calling of India.

How do you explain India geographically? You go deep north in the Himalayas and you find Badrinath where Badri Vishal (Lord Vishnu) resides. You go a little east and there you will find Kedarnath where Mahadeva resides. You go deep south to the tip of the Indian Ocean and there is Kanyakumari, the Mahadevi.

You go a little further in this proud land of Andhra Pradesh and you will find Lord Vishnu as Venkateshwara residing in the hills of Tirupati. You go deep east and you have Devi Kamakhya residing in the hills of Assam. You go deep east further and you have Lord Jagannatha residing in Puri. You go deep west and you have Lord Somnath in Gujarat and a little ahead you have Lord Krishna in Dwaraka. They are there for the last thousands and thousands of years!

So many other faiths came. We respected and welcomed all because India is a land which has been respecting all faiths. Come and experiment your chosen divinity through your own marga which you believe is the right path. That is the essence of India! Therefore, this cultural identity of India merging with the spiritual identity with the profound slogan of ‘Unity in Diversity’ is the essence of India.

Why am I saying so? The great Lord envisaged that this profound land of India with the blessings of unity in diversity inspired by the philosophy of Sanathana Dharma and also respecting all the faiths must become a beacon.

The previous speaker rightly said that this is the essence of Bharat, Bharatvarsha. That larger vision to make India truly a great country for the world not only economically, educationally and militarily but also spiritually - that is the calling of India!

Spirituality - for the sake of service and to make better human beings. That in my very considered view is the real essence of Lord Sai. And He conveyed this in such simple language by His own conduct.

Just now my lawyer friend was explaining how by sitting with Him, he experienced a lot of doubts being removed. Let me share my own experience. The moment I entered this heavenly place, the moment I bowed my head before the Lord and sat here I felt a different energy. And mind you, when I say so, I have travelled around the world to so many countries, I have seen India from my younger days and I have studied many scriptures but the living experience of the powerful energy one experiences while coming here is truly extraordinary.

That I think is the message of Bhagawan Baba - “Trust in Me and trust in My teachings. Trust in My vision and My hand of blessings and guidance will always remain there.”

I think that is the biggest blessing on the Guru Poornima day. Ratnakarji, I again wish to compliment you and your team for inviting me on this very pious day and enabling me to have the experience of this profound energy myself and getting the unique privilege of having the darshan of the large number of devotees present here.

My vandan, shri vandan, namaskaram (salutations) to all of you!

- Team Radio Sai

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