A new sun on the spiritual horizon
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi observed at the inauguration of the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Child Heart Free Hospital in Fiji last April, Sathya Sai Baba separated the ritual from the spiritual; and instead linked the spiritual to selfless love and service. Amazingly, Baba’s mission of love and service grew miraculously even after he left the world in 2011.
The hospital in Fiji, which seemed like an impossible dream, is just one example of this new vigor. The last decade has seen tremendous growth in Baba’s nutrition and education mission in India. More than five lakh government school children in 25 states and 3 union territories receive a nutritious breakfast every morning. Beautiful residential campuses for village children have sprung up in almost every district of Karnataka. A private graduate university has also materialized, emphasizing the empowerment of girls. A national scholarship program for primary school children from poor families has also been launched.
Sathya Sai Sanjeevani, established in 2012, is the world’s only free hospital chain dedicated exclusively to congenital heart disease. The most common of birth defects, the disease affects two million babies in India every year. The number of successful surgeries Sanjeevani has performed makes him a world leader. A healthcare program on wheels in eastern India, Sathya Sai Aarogya Vahini, has become a model of effective, low-budget primary healthcare.
This is its tenth year, the healthcare mission is to launch ten new mother and child hospitals in rural India. It will also expand the highly successful Divine Maternal and Child Health programs run in association with government primary health centers. The program provides Saisure, a micronutrient supplement for pregnant women, toddlers and school children. Developed with the help of the Central Food Technological Research Institute and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Saisure is a game changer.
Globally, in addition to Fiji, a secondary care hospital has been established in Nigeria and another will open in Sri Lanka this year. Sai Clinics serve Malaysia, Indonesia and the poorest US state of Mississippi. Twelve ashrams have sprung up overseas as human development centers where values-based living is taught and selfless service with love is promoted as a way of life.
Significantly, everywhere, all services – nutrition, educare, sociocare or health care – are provided absolutely free of charge. The year 2023 will see the inauguration of a medical college at Sathya Sai Grama in Muddenahalli in Karnataka, offering undergraduate and postgraduate medical education totally free.
How did Baba, who left the physical world 11 years ago, achieve all this? This continued mission must be considered Baba’s greatest miracle and came from one of his spiritually evolved students: Madhusudan Naidu, who grew up in an ordinary middle-class family in Raipur, Chhattisgarh and became a double medalist. Gold MBA from Baba’s School B. . When he was barely in his thirties, Madhusudan quit his job at HDFC Bank and started a small business to devote more time to Baba.
In 2011, Madhusudan was amazed to discover that he could ‘see’ and ‘hear’ Baba in his house in Bangalore! At first he thought he was hallucinating, but everything Baba told him during such experiences came true. Thus Madhusudan realized that it was not a hallucination.
When Baba of the Subtle Plane asked him if he was ready to devote his life to simply doing what he was told, Madhusudan, totally devoted to Baba, gladly agreed. On Baba’s order, Madhusudan took Sannyas. His mother was appalled; but his firm resolve left him no choice. Her firstborn would be single, married to God and goodness. Madhusudan chose to be available 24/7 to unquestionably do Baba’s bidding no matter how crazy or impossible it seemed and regardless of the scorn others held in him. It was not easy; but Madhusudan braved it all in total faith and submission.
The Sathya Sai organization in Puttaparthi, which Baba had founded, denounced him; but Madhusudan held firm. At Baba’s command from beyond, three senior devotees joined the mission: BN Narasimhamurthy, who had served as director in Baba’s educational mission for 40 years; C. Sreenivas, who was associated with Baba’s Health Mission; and Isaac Tigrett of the famed Hard Rock Café, which funded Baba’s first super specialty hospital.
In ten years, acting on Baba’s guidance from the subtle plane and with the support of a handful of devotees moved by the sheer goodness of the mission, Madhusudan has nurtured gigantic projects for nutrition, education, health care health and social care, using Baba’s “Sarkar”. -Sanstha-Samaj cooperation model. Propagating the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, he has visited over 40 countries and established a World Sai Federation of Foundations dedicated to selfless service around the world.
Madhusudan also advanced in the mystical field. From a simple communicator, it has become a vehicle allowing the mystic to manifest itself. Like Baba, he materialized things. On Maha Shivaratri days, just as in Baba’s day, Lingodbhava occurred – the act of bringing out the sacred ellipsoidal symbol of divinity which spontaneously manifested in one’s being. He adopted the Advaita philosophy, which Baba himself lived: “I am the underlying Consciousness; and you too! Only God exists; creation is only an appearance which goes up and down in God who is Consciousness. Indeed, Madhusudan has become a younger version of Baba – absolute selfless love walking on two feet. In Gurupurnima 2019, divinization was complete; Baba’s student was now a self-realized Master in his own right; and Madhusudan Naidu became Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai.
Baba, who was manifesting through him, then withdrew, and Madhusudan had to pass from the direction of the divine with form to the all-pervading divine without form. As they say, when the student is ready, the guru appears; and when the student is really ready, the guru disappears! Today, having made this ascent from the human to the divine, Sadguru urges his fellow devotees to follow suit, saying, “Self-realization is our religion. And if I can do it, so can you!” His two-part autobiography, titled “The Divine Story,” is a spiritual classic of our time.
Leading by example, Sadguru says, “Do good selflessly, fearlessly and shamelessly; because all is one! Go inside! You are not only body-mind; you are truly divine! And young people react. While Sanskrit departments in many Indian colleges have closed for lack of students, the Sri Sathya Sai University for human excellence created by Baba through this continuing mission, has a different story to tell. When Sadguru announced that he would be teaching the new Sanskrit and Vedic studies course, all the students doing regular subjects wanted to switch to Vedic studies! To stem the exodus, he had to announce an additional diploma course in spirituality for those majoring in science, humanities and commerce; that he would personally teach.
The students simply love him for his selfless nature, straightforwardness and sense of humor. They want to be like him and, after graduating, join the mission. Baba’s foresight has ensured that schools, colleges, hospitals and the Ashram will have young people with perfect qualities of mind and heart to lead them. One candle can help light many more candles. Baba lit the first candle by creating Sadguru Madhusudan Sai; and this candle now lights many others.
Once a minister asked Baba what exactly the name “University for Human Excellence” meant. Baba replied, “Students who join a medical school graduate as doctors; those in an engineering college graduate as engineers. Students who join Sathya Sai University for human excellence will graduate as divine beings who will change this world.” Baba’s words are about to come true, thanks to a new sun on the spiritual horizon, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai.