Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Sri Sathya Sai Organization (SSSO) – Part-IV – Love-Service-Sacrifice – The Three Pillars of the 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-IV elaborates on the three pillars of the SSSO – Love, Service and Sacrifice. Bhagawan says – To become deserving of God’s Love you must love others. He encourages us to aspire to be Sevaks (servants) and in the process attain the position of leadership, but not run after the aspiration to become leaders directly. Bhagawan quotes the famous Vedic dictum “Na Karmana Na Prajaya Dhanena Tyage Naike Amrutatva Maanashuhu”, stressing that through sacrifice alone we can attain immortality. The seven audio extracts in this posting are taken from the Discourses delivered by Bhagawan in the years 1975, 1980, 1984, 1985 and 1999.
In Clip-1, Bhagawan says that Seva (service) is the primary Sadhana (spiritual practice) and to become deserving of God’s Love we must love others. Seeking for one’s own redemption is the greatest selfishness and one must sacrifice this selfishness. Clip-2 advises all members of the SSSO to aspire to be Sevaks (servants) and not crave for leadership positions. Clip-3 highlights the importance of sacrifice. In Clip-4 Bhagawan reminds us that in matters of service, no differences of any type must be entertained. Clip-5 talks about the need for members of the SSSO to be ready to undertake any Seva, without any feelings of mine and thine. In Clip-6 Bhagawan urges that every devotee family must take up the responsibility of feeding and nurturing one poor person. He says that there can be no greater act of charity than feeding a hungry person. Finally, in Clip-7 Bhagawan praises the members of the SSSO who offered yeoman selfless during the festival of Pushkar. 
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-Love-Service-Sacrifice must be the primary aim of SSSO-1.32-1985 November 17
Love, Service and Sadhana
The Three Pillars of the SSSO

Merely reading the texts and listening to Discourses cannot make an impact on the heart. To touch the heart and make an impact on it, one must engage in service. One who does not undertake service has no right to talk or preach. Therefore, to acquire the right to speak, one must necessarily engage in service. Seva is the primary Sadhana. To whomsoever we serve, we must regard that we are serving God. We must consider that we are undertaking all activities to please God.

The main aim of the Sathya Sai Organization is to develop this type of Love. While merely closing the nose and doing worship, or trying to get intoxicated in meditation, or getting lost in ecstasy while singing Bhajans; if there is no sense of sacrifice in these, then they become mere symbols of selfishness. Therefore, to aspire for your own redemption is the greatest selfishness. To desire for your own destination is the greatest selfishness. To seek for your own happiness is the greatest selfishness. One who sacrifices this selfishness and loses oneself in the feeling that others’ joy and happiness is one’s own joy and happiness, is a truly selfless person.
One who loves others alone will be loved by God. To become deserving of God’s Love you must love others. If you want God to love you without you loving others, it is impossible. Therefore, you love others and God will live you. Thus, understand this principle of Love; forget the past to the extent possible; do not worry about the future and make an effort to experience the present in the best way.

02-SSSO Members must be always service oriented-Aspire to be good Sevaks not Leaders-1.41-1975 November 21
Always aspire to be Service Oriented

Embodiments of Divine Atma, the Sathya Sai Seva members, the Sathya Sai Sevadals, the Sathya Sai Seva Samithi, the Sathya Sai Balvikas – all these are always associated with the word Seva, Seva, Seva. Therefore, we must always aspire to be Sevaks (servants) and in the process attain the position of leadership, but not run after the aspiration to become leaders directly. If we enquire into the situation correctly, we find that in the Western countries, the one who is a Sevak today becomes a leader overnight. She/he becomes a leader or a Guru. You can imagine the harm that such Gurus can bring about. Therefore do not think about becoming Gurus, always entertain the noble thoughts of being a Sevak forever.

03-SSSO Members must enter into Service and practice Sacrifice-0.51-1999 March 18
Enter Service – Practice Sacrifice

All people and specifically all members of the Sathya Sai Organization must enter into service activities. We must nurture sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice. There are so many wealthy and rich people. They are rich only for name sake but there is no sacrifice in their action. They do not even perform the meritorious act of giving somebody a glass of water. No, no. This is not human life. Sacrifice, sacrifice and sacrifice. Therefore, the Vedas have proclaimed, “Na Karmana Na Prajaya Dhanena Tyage Naike Amrutatva Maanashuhu” (Not by action, not by progeny, nor by wealth; it is by sacrifice alone that one can attain immortality). We must attain this form of immortality. 

04-In matters of Service there should be no difference in SSSO-0.48-1975 November 21
In Service, there must be no differences

In the matter of service and bending your body and working, no differences of any type must be entertained, either by the members or the seniors of the Organization. When it comes to service, without having any differences in your mind, in a collective manner, considering all as the children of God; you must provide help and support.

05-Advise to Seva Dals-Remove feeling of Mine and Thine-Overcome all challenges and do Seva-3.17-1984 November 18
Remove feelings of Mine and Thine

All the material objects in the world that give you comfort and joy are not for the use of one single individual. All have a right to it. Each one should put in an effort to experience her/his share of it. It rains, the river flows, the crop grows, the sun and the moon shine; all these activities are not meant for any one single individual. We must recognize the truth that each one has a right to experience these joys and comforts. The Sevadals must strive to remove the narrow minded feelings of “this is mine” (mine) and “this is yours” (thine). They must give up narrow minded ideas, must be contented with what they get and must help others with a sense of gratitude. They must understand that this is the true form of Worship. 

They must recognize that not just living in a united way, but also striving to engage in community service, is true individuality. The Sevadal members must lead life with the broad feeling and understanding that whatever joy and peace they aspire for in their life, the same must be available to their fellow beings also. In life, we come across a number of challenges. Without yielding to any of these challenges, overcoming all of them, without allowing them to come in the way of one’s Seva, without getting vexed with the society in any manner, without giving any scope for ego or ostentation, with all humility and obedience; the Sevadal members should be ready for undertaking any Seva activity. It is this courage and conviction of purpose that you must have, to overcome the obstacles in the path of your Seva.

06-Bhagawan wishes that every devotee family must adopt and feed one poor person a day and nurture him or her-4.40-1980 November 21
Adopt and Feed one poor person a day

In this conference, we must adopt one new practice. In this country there are so many poor people, forlorn people, sick people and others who are challenged in different ways. Each family must be prepared to nurture one poor person. Each family must offer food and protection to a poor person, thus preventing her/him from going to the market place to beg for food. Each family must welcome and offer food to at least one poor person every day. In this country that has assumed the form of Annapoorneshwari (Goddess of Food), if there is no one to feed the people who cry out, “Annamo Ramachandraha” (Oh Rama give me food), how then, can we call this country as Annapoorna Kshetra (land of the Goddess of food)?

Therefore, the new sacred practice from tomorrow must be that, every family (not every individual) must welcome and serve food to one poor person every day.
What is true Sadhana?
Annadaanamukanna Adhika Daanam Edi?
(Which donation is greater than the offering of food?)
Giving food to a hungry man is the greatest Sadhana. 
Talli Tandrulakanna Daivam Edi?
(Which is the God other than one’s own parents?)
Some people cause lot of trouble to their parents at home but they go out and preach to others. Conquer the home and then conquer the wider world. First nurture and worship your own parents. Please them first.
Jagatitapamukanna Satyasheelam Edi?
(What is the truthful character (adherence to truth) greater than penance in this world?)
Dayakante Ekuva Dharmam Edi?
(Which Dharma is greater than compassion?)
Sujana Sangatikanna Chooda Laabham Edi?
(Which profit is greater than the company of good people?)
Krodhambukanna Shatrutvam Edi?
(Which enmity is greater than anger?)
Runamukantenanu Rogam Edi?
(Which disease is greater than being indebted to someone?)
Dharani Hathakeertikantenu Maranam Edi?
(Which death is more worse than losing one’s reputation?)
Sarvadaakeertikantenu Sampada Edi?
(Which wealth is greater than good fame?)
Smaranakante Minchina Abharanam Edi?
(Which is the ornament greater than thinking of God?)
Of all these sacred aphorisms, the most sacred one is “Annadaanamukanna Adhika Daanam Edi?”, i.e. there is no gift greater than giving food to a hungry man. Annam Brahma. Therefore, when a poor person comes and stands near our threshold, and cries out “Amma Annamu (Mother, give me food), I am feeling hungry”, the heart that attempts to welcome her/him is the truly generous heart.
Here we have to note one more point. Because Swami said like this (Kotha Vinta Paatha Rota – when you hear something new, the old practice becomes foul), some women will immediately go to the Bazaar (market) and start distributing food over there. Do not undertake such a practice and encourage beggars. This will result in more harm than good. The person next to us should not know whom we are nurturing or whom we are giving food to. I wish that without any such ostentation, we must promote brotherhood and sacred Divinity through practice, in our organization.

07-SSSO is an example of selfless service-Service done during the Pushkar festival and for Swami’s 55th Birthday-2.38-1980 November 21
God alone is the witness to the selfless service
of the SSSO Members

Not just that, in many parts of the organization (SSSO), right from young children to old people; all of them are doing so much Seva. Selfless service can be seen only in the SSSO. In Bharath, a few months back, in West and East Godavari, the Pushkara festival was celebrated where lakhs of people congregated (Since time immemorial, river worship, known as “Pushkaram”, is performed to make people realize the importance of water, the life-sustaining force. Pushkaram is a holy happening once in every 12 years at each of the 12 major rivers of India, the Godavari being one among them. Every 12th year Jupiter’s entry into the constellation Leo marks the Pushkaram for Godavari). Even in Krishna district, thousands of people assembled for the Krishna Pushkara. The Seva done by the men and women over there is something that only the eyes which have witnessed it can understand and not the fools who only speak. God alone is the witness to the tolerance exhibited by them to all the impurity (dirt) around and to the sacred seva done by them in cleaning and sweeping the place.

As Swami’s Birthday is drawing closer, many members of the organization, in places like Dharmavaram, Guntakal, Kurnool and Bagepalli, who have been waiting with great desire, considering that service to the devotees of Swami is the real Seva to Swami, have been offering lot of service to the ongoing travellers (to Prasanthi Nilayam). Service to man is service to God is merely stated in political organizations, whereas in the Sathya Sai Organization, this assumes a true form.

A Short Quiz
01-Why does Bhagawan call service an important pillar of the SSSO?
02-How according to Bhagawan, must one perform Seva (service) activities?
03-What is the type of sacrifice that Bhagawan wishes the members of the SSSO to undertake?
04-How according to Bhagawan, can we become deserving of God’s Love?
05-What is the meaning of the dictum, Na Karmana Na Prajaya Dhanena Tyage Naike Amrutatva Maanashuhu”?
06-What does Bhagawan expect when He asks the members of the SSSO to remove all the feelings of “mine” and “thine”?
07-With what qualities and framework of mind, must the Sevadals be ready to undertake any Seva?
08-There is no greater charity than feeding a hungry person – In this context, what is the noble practice that Bhagawan initiated the members of the SSSO into?
09-Who is the greatest God in this world?
10-What is the most Truthful character or the best way of adhering to truth?
11-What is the greatest Dharma in this world?
12-What is the greatest profit / benefit in this world?
13-What is our greatest enemy in this world?
14-What is the greatest disease that inflicts mankind?
15-What is the worst type of death that can devour man?
16-What is the greatest wealth that man can accrue?
17-What is the caution Bhagawan asks us to exercise in taking up the new initiative of one family feeding one poor person?
18-What is the significance of the Pushkara festival and what is the history behind its celebration?
Part-IV of this posting would have given you insights about the three pillars of the SSSO: Love, Service and Sacrifice. These three need to be the very breath of every member of the SSSO. Even of one of these were to be absent, she/he would not quality to be an ideal member of the SSSO.  In Part-V of this posting, Bhagawan Baba explains what His expectation of the profile of a SSSO member is. He goes on to explain the various qualities and virtues that need to be present in a SSSO member. Kindly click on this link to read Part-V….

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