Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam. Last week, we commented
upon Swami's Hospitals and what a mighty contrast they offer to most of the
other hospitals in India. Yet, very few people know about the wonders that
Swami's Hospitals are. Such ignorance about Swami and His glorious missions
is widespread, and to make our point, this week we shall start with a quote
from a well-known social activist and a self-confessed rationalist. This is
what he wrote recently in leading national daily. The article was all about
what the writer calls 'godmen', and in a thinly veiled reference to Swami,
the writer says:
At the top of this is a godman, who counts ex-Presidents and Prime Ministers
among his disciples. The cabal running his trust boasts of top-level IAS
officers (retired but active). It has former Directors-General of Police
too. Rather ugly charges been brought in foreign courts against their
leader. But media scrutiny of it all is weak.
Actually, the writer starts off on a real nasty note but we have refrained
from quoting that obnoxious sentence in order to spare anguish and pain to
you, our dear Subscriber.
The world, as we all know, is a mixture of good and bad; this is unavoidable
since the world, as Swami often reminds us, is a mere reflection of our
inside. If good and evil co-exist outside, it is because good and evil
co-exist inside. Swami's Spiritual Mission, which this writer contemptuously
dismisses, as a unit of 'massive spiritual industry', is really an attempt
to help man to sort out himself and to transform internally, so that Society
as a whole changes for the better. Before we come to the philosophical
aspects, we would like to raise a few practical points.
The writer in question is critical of Swami. There are of courses, Gurus and
Gurus; some who are well meaning and do a lot of good to Society, each in
their own way, and others who are charlatans and hoodwink Society in order
to make a fast buck. Just because there are many quacks, can one damn the
entire medical profession? Recently, it was discovered that a certain group
of scientists had faked results and published a paper with supposedly epoch
making results. Later the fraud was discovered, and the scientists concerned
had to suffer public humiliation. Now just because there are the occasional
frauds, is it fair to damn all scientists everywhere? Yet, our rationalist
friends are quick to damn those they despise, without even bothering to look
at the facts.
Just consider the case of the writer whom we have
quoted. He is unhappy because Indian Media generally glorify Gurus and do
not critically examine and expose; and in this broad-brush attack, he
includes Swami also. This seems to indicate that the writer has already
judged and sentenced; only, he wants the Media to proclaim to the world, his
verdict. Is this being rational and objective? Has the writer in question
made any effort to know anything at all about Swami's Hospitals that we
wrote about last week? Dr. Hegde, Senior Neuro-Surgeon in the Bangalore
Super Speciality Hospital, came there after many years of experience
elsewhere and an enviable professional reputation as well as a distinguished
track record. With all his credentials, Dr. Hegde can command any salary he
wants in any commercial hospital. Yet, he has chosen to willingly forgo all
that and work in Swami's Hospital. Do you know why? Because here, he can
serve the poorest of the poor, as he himself has openly declared. If this is
a part of Swami's 'industry', pray what is wrong with it?
Leave aside the Hospitals, wonders though they are. Let us turn to what
Swami has done by way of providing safe drinking water to millions. Is this
writer who is so quick to damn and quote so-called court cases abroad, aware
that how much Swami has done to bring safe drinking water to thirsty people,
especially in villages? Here are some statistics: Swami's Trust spent $70
million for the Anantapur Water Project alone. About $180 million is the
total amount of money spent by Baba's Trusts in all Water Projects. . Not only that;
the entire water works was gifted away to the people of Andhra Pradesh.
Swami did not take one cent. Speaking on that occasion, Mr. Chandra Babu
Naidu, then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh said that Swami, out of
compassion for poor villagers, had done what the Central and the State
Governments ought to have.
The Anantapur project was just the beginning, and since then Swami has done
many others; we will not tax you with details here; they can be easily found
in Heart 2 Heart. We would just like to make a few simple points:
1) In about a decade, Swami's drinking water projects have enabled about ten
million people in various places, including about 7.5 million in
Madras/Chennai, to get safe drinking water.
2) Swami's Trust has spent about $180 millions for all this, but the Trust
has not collected one single cent in return. For Swami, the fact that He
made millions happy was enough.
Take the dimension of Seva, which goes on non-stop from Fiji to Peru and
everywhere in between. Few have any idea of how much Seva, devotees of Swami
quietly do all the time. The writer in question has made sarcastic comments
about a certain godman who went to visit the tsunami relief sites but beat a
hasty retreat along with his huge retinue of cars, when he heard a rumour
that another tsunami was on the way. Does this writer know that when corpses
in their hundreds lay scattered all across the beaches of South India and
when the members of the Civil Administration and the Police refused to pick
them up and remove them, it was Swami's Seva Dals who took tetanus shots and
dared to remove them? In fact, Swami's devotees rushed to help not only in
India but also in Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. All this is well
documented in a special issue of Heart 2 Heart, in great detail we might
Rationalists live trapped in the world of the 'Head' because for them
anything beyond is irrational. Yet, in the State of West Bengal, ruled by
'Left-led rationalist movement' as our writer describes them, when there is
dirty work to be done, who is it that is called? Swami's Seva Dals. Just to
give an example, every year at the festival of Ganga Sagar, which occurs in
mid-January, a million pilgrims come for a holy dip to the spot where Ganges
merges with the sea. On that occasion, large stretches of the beach become
toilets; and who cleans the beach? Swami's Seva Dals! The list goes on.
Objectively speaking, God-denying rationalists are more to be pitied than
censured. For instance, the writer whose remarks have triggered this 'Sunday
Special' is personally a committed social activist helping with many
humanitarian causes. That he feels for the suffering of the poor cannot be
denied. The tragedy, however, is that 'rationalists,' do not readily accept
that qualities like Love, compassion, forbearance etc., are Divine in origin
and flow from the Heart.
If we analyse carefully, most of the problems that humanity faces today are
caused by the 'Head'. And most of the time, experts try to produce solutions
for these problems from that very same 'Head'! That sort of approach can
never work, when the problems are created by envy, jealousy, hatred etc.
Problems produced by the evil tendencies lurking within humans can be solved
only by the Heart.
Rationalists, trapped as they are in world of the 'Head', and refusing as
they do to look at the dimensions beyond, are like the people who believe in
the Flat Earth hypothesis. We can certainly pretend the earth is flat on
scales like a football field and may be on slightly larger scales too. But
on the scale of the solar system, the earth is certainly not flat.
God is for all, and everyone needs Spirituality, whether our writer accepts
it or not. Thus, one must not complain if so-called VIPs come to Swami; so
do millions of others, all the way from a cook in Montana to a
school-teacher from New Zealand. Somehow, the writer seems to focus only on
the VIPs and imagine that to be a minus mark for Swami!
The reason why we raised this topic is because many devotees write to us
expressing concern about the innumerable negative comments aired all the
time by these so-called rationalists, most of who do not even follow the
elementary rule of checking on facts before commenting adversely. They
passionately believe in the truth of their assertions because their views
are based on those of other 'rationalists'. Is that being rational? We
Thank you and Jai Sai Ram.
With Love and Regards,
RadioSai's e-Journal Team,
In Sai Service.