3 - Issue 8
WINDOW TO SAI SEVA
A NEW WAY TO SERVE
Three of Sri Sathya Sai Baba's most well-known teachings are:
- Serve the needy.
- Quiet the mind.
- Expand the heart.
Our group does a service project that integrates all these injunctions; we pray for missing children. This service came to us in a unique way, through a series of seemingly unconnected circumstances.
First, while I was answering calls for assistance referred to me by a local help organization, I met a couple, both physically disabled, who particularly longed to do something to help return lost or abducted children to their rightful homes. Then while I was watching the television show There Is a Way, I found myself listening to a guest speaker who was not only an author and lecturer but someone who rejoices in her awareness of Sai Baba's presence on the planet. Because of my experience with the couple, I was quite receptive to her message.
During the show, she described how one day a friend had called her and asked for help in a frightening situation. The friend's ten-year-old daughter had disappeared, and no one had a clue as to what might have happened. Although she was not a psychic, the speaker had decided to spend time in silence, listening for guidance on how she might be of service. After five days and five nights, she had still received nothing and was about to give up when she decided to continue a little longer. Within a few hours, she heard quite clearly the names of three men, the make of a car, and an instruction to call the child's parents.
As instructed, she asked the parents to think the most loving thoughts possible about those three men - to put them in the light of God. Both mother and father began immediately to do as asked [although that must have been the most difficult task these two people had ever undertaken]. The parents thought about the men the three names represented, declared them to be children of God, and recognized that in their true spiritual identity they were lovable and loving. After forgiving them for their mistaken behavior, the parents sent many loving thoughts their way.
A Course in Miracles tells us that every attack is a plea for love. Those men were begging for love in the only way they knew how. In sending love, the parents gave them what they had so desperately needed. The results were truly miraculous.
Before the police were able to find the men, the little girl walked into a police station and told the officers there her story.
She said that she had been abducted by force, locked in a dark room, mistreated, and threatened. Suddenly, she said, the men unlocked the room, asked her forgiveness for the way they had treated her, and took her to the car. They drove to a corner just one block from a police station and told her to get out of the car. The police, they said, would return her to her parents. She just had to walk to the station and go inside. This she did, and the outcome not only corrected the immediate situation affecting one family but established a clear procedure useful for every discordant situation.
After hearing this story, our group made a commitment to send loving thoughts regularly toward all the missing, hungry, and abused children in the world. We each participate in this "Bring Home the Children" project according to our own schedule and in our own way. However, many of us find it helpful to start by directing love toward a specific child. Hardly a day passes that we do not see a picture of a missing child, if not in our own mail, then in some public place. After we have surrounded the child with love and God's light, we expand our hearts to include the child's parents, friends, and relatives. We also include the abductors, if any are involved, recognizing that they are expressions of divine love, no matter how mistaken their behavior may be. Then we gradually broaden our love until it includes all children and all humanity in one embrace.
Anyone can do this spiritual exercise. It takes only a few moments and requires no financial resources. Since physical strength is not necessary, this service is not exclusive to the young or the healthy.
All we have to do is LOVE. Sathya Sai Baba tells us, Love is the solvent for the hardest of hearts. He also says, See God in everyone, even in people you regard as enemies. Seen through the eyes of love, all beings are beautiful, all deeds are dedicated, all thoughts are beneficial, and the world is one vast family. Love is the best foundation for service. Think love. Send love. Be love. Love is the highest power. Love is God.
— Joy Thomas
Author's Note: In a discourse given at the All India Sai Active Workers' Conference on November 21, 1987 , Baba said, Those who wish to serve society . . . must undertake service activities according to their own capacity. After contemplating this statement, many devotees have acted in ways that can potentially bless thousands of sick, elderly, infirm, and homebound persons. Some, like me, have begun working in convalescent hospitals and retirement homes. In doing so, I have noted that the greatest pain suffered by the residents is their feeling of helplessness and uselessness. Some perform repetitive hand motions; some carry dolls or stuffed animals that they pretend to care for; others just stare blankly into space. Alfred, Lord Tennyson put the feeling into words succinctly: "How dull it is to pause, to make an end, to rust unburnished, not to shine in use."
Courtesy: Sathya Sai Newsletter, USA, Vol 28, Number 5
Seva in Chhattisgarh, India
Chhattisgarh is a central state in India which was carved out of the state of Madhya Pradesh in Nov 2000. It has sixteen districts and and one of its districts is Durg. On 21st June 2005, the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation from Durg District had come to Prashanti Nilayam to receive the blessings of Bhagawan. They had performed village service in over 360 tribal villages and Swami, in the Sai Kulwant Hall, saw their report very mercifully.
They also came with the Chhattisgargh Panthi Folk Dance Troupe who gave a delightful performance for Swami and the devotees. It was a scintillating performance. They have performed this in 64 countries and won many international awards.
Village service is very dear to Swami's Heart. And no wonder Swami was very happy with the programme, their devotion and service. Here is a glimpse of the service activities undertaken by them in the tribal areas of Chattisgarh.
The Sai devotees providing a bore well to Chetuva village
Sewing machines being given to the unemployed in Nankat Village
Medical Camp being conducted in a tribal village.
Cool Drinking water being provided in the Bhilai Railway station for the public in the summer.
Group Marriages being performed in the Nankat village by Sai devotees.
Narayana Seva being done for the village children by sevadals.
Swami's Guidance on Village Service
Now, we would like to present to you Swami's guidance on village Seva which He gave at a rural service workshop for Seva Dals in 1986:
- Divine Discourse at Poornachandra Auditorium on 21-11-1986
- H2H Team.
Aid to the Handicapped
Sai Seva in Salem
A solemn function was organised by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation of Salem District of Tamil Nadu, the southern most state of India on the 4th of June, 2005. Accessories and Aids were distributed to physically challenged persons at Sri Satya Sai Community center, Salem by Sai devotees. Lot of preliminary work was under taken by the members of the organisation to identify physically challenged persons of various categories like Hearing Impaired, Visually Challenged, Physically Challenged people requiring Artificial Limbs, Calipers and Crutches. Patients requiring artificial limbs were taken to Trichy Multipurpose Social Service Society for necessary measurements and production of appropriate equipment to fit their limbs.
Hon. District Collector of Salem, Sri.A.Sukumaran, IAS was the chief guest for the function, which in addition was attended by the State President and other local dignitaries. Rev. Father John Peter, Director of Trichy Multipurpose Social Service Society, was also kind enough to Honor with his presence on this poignant occasion. The entire function was heart warming and emotional when the physically challenged persons received the accessories and aids.
The chief guest complimented the Sai Saveks and the Sai Organisation for this humane activity organized by them and assured of his active support in all the service activities of the organization to be held in the district in future. The programme came to an end with offering Maha Mangala Arathi to our Bhagavan. Narayana Seva was arranged for all the participants.
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