Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) – Part-III – Discipline – The undercurrent of all activities in SSSO


The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation was founded in the 1960s by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement. The Sathya Sai Organisation derives inspiration, guidance and strength from Bhagawan Baba’s mission and message of propagating the truth of man’s inherent divinity, which is proclaimed and preached by all religions of the world. In consonance with this truth, the Organisation has as its main objective selfless love and service without any distinction of religion, nationality, race, socio-economic status, either for those who work in the Organisation or for those who are served by them. Thus, it transcends all barriers, leading humanity towards the ideal of ‘Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man’. In fact, this spiritual basis enables everyone in the Organisation to pursue his own religion better by putting its teachings into practice by way of love and service to the God who dwells in all hearts (Source)
Bhagawan’s Divine Sankalpa (Will) to create this edifice of the Sri Sathya Sai Organization for the emancipation of humanity, is like a potent seed sown in the 1960s which has now spread out with innumerable branches across the globe. To comprehend the power and determination behind this Divine Sankalpa is mind boggling. However, it is very important for us to understand and recognize how Bhagawan Baba, notwithstanding all the Divine Powers at His command, in a very human way, through a very natural process, built this edifice brick by brick, laying out its blueprint in all its enormity, phase by phase. He communicated its vision, mission, and modus operandi in every possible detail to all the stakeholders. Studying the “construction” of this Divine Organization and appreciating its “architecture”, in the backdrop of its Divine Creator, is a matter of great thrill and joy, a source of profound wisdom and message and a matter of immense fulfilment and satisfaction. This will be the focus of this posting. Needless to say, what will be covered is just a drop in the ocean, for there is so much that Bhagawan Baba has said and done, and only part of which is documented and even less is available as audio files in His Voice. Therefore, what is included here is just a part of what is available to us, audible in His own Voice.
This posting on Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) will be covered in the following seven parts:
Genesis and Management Model
Emphasis on “No connection between SSSO and Money”
Discipline – The undercurrent of all activities in SSSO
Love-Service-Sacrifice – The Three Pillars of the SSSO
Expected Profile of SSSO Members
Ten Directives for SSSO Members
Concept of Ceiling on Desires
Part-III focuses on the need for discipline in all activities of the SSSO. Bhagawan gives the example of the sapling and the fence to illustrate the need for discipline on the spiritual path. He emphasizes the need for a uniform code of conduct for all members of the SSSO. Bhagawan touches upon few aspects where He has observed the violation of such discipline and cautions the concerned members to rectify the same. The four audio extracts in this posting are taken from the Discourses delivered by Bhagawan in the years 1975 and 1980. 
In Clip-1, Bhagawan explains the significance of following discipline on the spiritual path. He says that until one becomes a Sarva Sangha Parityagi, one needs to follow discipline, just as a small sapling needs a fencing for protection, until it becomes a big tree. Clip-2 stresses on the need for a uniform code of discipline for members of the SSSO across all nations. Clip-3 and Clip-4 specifically focus on one aspect of discipline, which is about ladies and gents being seated separately during Bhajans, meetings and conferences. Bhagawan comes down heavily on this issue and makes His stance very clear – Either follow the discipline or do not be part of the Organization.
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s Message from these extracts.  
Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.
01-Need for regulations in the SSSO-Example of the Sapling and the Fence-1.50-1980 November 21
To protect a sapling, we need a fence

Today, we have decided to accept certain regulations and discipline for the Sathya Sai Organization. Why do we need all such controls and regulations? Many enquire whether such regulations are necessary even on the spiritual path. A small example to illustrate this point: A plant would not grow just by watering it. It is necessary to protect it by building a fence around it, thus preventing any damage to it by animals. Once the plant becomes a tree, we would not need any fence. In the same way, we have planted the sapling of our spirituality in us. There are so many forces in this world which try to attack it. In order to protect (this sapling), we will have to have some regulations in the form of a fence. When it grows fully and bears fruits, we would not need any of these regulations. By that time you would be a total Sarva Sangha Parityagi(total renunciant). But before becoming a Sarva Sangha Parityagi, if you do not practice this discipline, you will make no progress.

02-In SSSO all are brothers-Need for Standardization of Code of Conduct across countries-1.12-1980 November 21
All are Brothers and Sisters

Here, we consider all as brothers and sisters. In the Sri Sathya Sai Organization, we are practising with faith, specifically, the discipline of the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God. Therefore, be it America or Germany or Japan or Russia, he remains your brother only. But in the name of brother, brother (brotherhood), we cannot have a separate rule for America, a separate rule for Japan and a separate rule for Russia. All Sai brothers (members of the Sai Organization) must follow the same path.

03-Code of Conduct for SSSO-Ladies and Gents to be seated separately-3.31-1975 November 21
Ladies and Gents
must be seated separately

A small example to illustrate the point: In Bharath, in sacred Prasanthi Nilayam, men and women are seated separately; and in such conferences, each one goes about doing her/his own work and discharging her/his own duty. This is the tradition in the Sai organizations. In the same way, so many of you have come from America, South Africa, Germany, Italy, etc. This same discipline has to be observed even in your own respective countries.

However, this is not happening in many countries. Men and women are mixing with each other; they are behaving in an indecent manner, getting up (and moving out) in the midst (of meetings), entering in the midst (of meetings) and so on. Such practices can have nothing to do with Sai Organizations. Those using the name of Sathya Sai Organization must primarily follow the ideals of Sathya Sai. Those who feel that in their nations, they cannot move around without men and women mixing, they need not follow the ideals of Sai Organizations and we too do not need such Centres.
Rather than sitting with purity and peace and thinking about God for some time – at least for some 10 minutes, without any connection to the sense organs; those who wish to engage in actions that excite their senses have no place in the Sai Organizations. I wish that the Westerners and even the office bearers who have come here (for the Conference), must sincerely put in an effort to practice this discipline from tomorrow itself. 

04-No mixing of men and women in SSSO-Control of mind is necessary-1.24-1980 November 21
Control of Mind is necessary

Some Westerners argue “We men and women sit together (in a mixed manner and not separately) and sing Bhajans; it is not possible for us, men and women to sit separately; this is our tradition; this has been our culture right from the beginning”. But this culture has to be changed. Only when it is changed, you will become devotees. If you keep saying, it is our culture, our culture, then you will never become devotees any day. Be it Westerners or the Bharatiyas, we have to sacrifice some of our past practices and unnecessary traditions. This is the spiritual path. Chanchalam Hi Manah Krishna Pramaathi Balavad Dridham(Gita 6:34 – O Krishna, this mind is restless, stubborn and strong). The courageous and heroic Arjuna himself says that he cannot control his mind. Therefore, the mind is like a mad monkey. To control this mind we have to practice very rigorously some type of discipline. 

A Short Quiz
01-What according to Bhagawan is the need for discipline in the form of rules and regulations, in a spiritual Organization?
02-What according to Bhagawan, is the reason for ladies and gents to be seated separately in Bhajans and other congregations of the SSSO?
03-What is the meaning of the verse “Chanchalam Hi Manah Krishna Pramaathi Balavad Dridham” from the Gita? In what context does Bhagawan quote this verse?
Part-III of this posting would have given you an understanding of the need for discipline with specific reference to a spiritual Organization like the SSSO. Control of the mind is essentially the prime objective on the spiritual path and discipline is the prerequisite to even start walking along this path. In Part-IV of this posting, Bhagawan Baba focuses on the three pillars of the SSSO – Love, Service and Sacrifice. Kindly click on this link to read Part-IV….

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