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SILVER JUBLIEE CELEBRATION ON THE SSS GENERAL HOSPITAL, WHITEFIELD
HEALTH CARE IS NOT A BUSINESS
(Divine Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Whitefield, Bangalore on 10th June 2001. )
Neither by penance nor by pilgrimage nor by study of scriptures nor by Japa can one cross the ocean of life. One can achieve it only by serving the pious.
Dharmarthakamamokshanam Arogyam Moolamuttamam. Health is the fundamental requirement to achieve the four goals of human life, namely, Dharma (righteousness), Artha (wealth), Kama (desire) and Moksha (liberation). Without good health, man cannot perform even a small task. Health is man's supreme wealth. It is much superior to the other types of wealth possessed by man.
Recognise your Innate Divinity
God is omniscient and omnipotent and is present in all beings. That is why Lord Krishna declared, Mamaivamsho Jeevaloke Jeevabhuta Sanathana (the eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being). God has endowed all beings with some power. But the power He has bestowed on human beings is much greater than that given to other living beings. Man's physical strength may be less, but God has blessed him with immense mental power. With his will power, man can achieve any mighty task. There is nothing in this world that he cannot achieve with his will power. He is spending all his energy to travel lakhs of miles into space, but is he making any effort to travel even half an inch into his heart? It is the power of the mind that helps man to go within. It is possible only when he makes proper use of this power.
Man is undergoing hardships in life as he is unaware of his immanent divine power. One needs to have a mirror to see one's own reflection. Likewise, when man looks into the mirror of his divinity, he can realise his true potential. When a small piece of wood comes into contact with fire, it becomes fire itself. Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavathi (the knower of Brahman becomes verily Brahman). When you put a drop of water on your palm, it gets evaporated in no time. But when you put the same drop of water into the ocean, it assumes the form of ocean. Your position in life depends on the company you are associated with. Hence, it is said, "Tell me your company and I shall tell you what you are." When you develop intimate relationship with God, you become God yourself. There is none in this world who does not possess divine power. All powers are latent in man, but he is unable to realise them. As a result, he is leading a miserable life.
Divinity pervades everything right from microcosm to macrocosm. Anoraneeyan MahatoMaheeyan (Brahman is subtler than the subtlest and vaster than the vastest). Though God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient, He sometimes pretends to have certain desires. Everyone should try to understand this. Lord Krishna, before conferring wealth and prosperity on His childhood friend Kuchela, asked him if he had brought anything for Him. All that Kuchela had with him was a small quantity of beaten rice. Krishna ate the rice brought by Kuchela. He did so only to confer His grace on Kuchela and redeem his life. In Vamana Avatar, the Almighty Lord approached Emperor Bali and asked for three footsteps of land in charity. Does it amount to begging? No. Not at all. God does such acts only to confer His grace on His devotees and redeem their lives.
Once Krishna entered the house of a Gopika after a long walk and said that He was tired and hungry. He asked her to give Him something to eat. The Gopika wondered as to how the Lord of the universe could ever be hungry. She said in all humility and devotion that she did not know how to satiate the Lord's hunger. Krishna said that it was enough if she gave Him a glass of buttermilk. Then, the Gopika prayed to Krishna thus:
"Oh Lord! How is it possible for me to give You delicious food when You have the entire universe in Your stomach? How can anyone build a temple for You when You are all-pervasive? How can anyone light a lamp before You when You are shining with the effulgence of a billion suns?
When the Pandavas were living in exile and were undergoing a great deal of hardship, sage Durvasa along with thousands of his disciples went to their hermitage and asked for food. He told them that they were going for a bath in a nearby river and would come back to have food. The Pandavas were gripped by anxiety as to how to provide food for so many guests when they had nothing with them. Fearing the curse of sage Durvasa, Draupadi prayed to Krishna to save them from this predicament. Krishna promptly appeared on the scene and asked Draupadi to give Him something to eat. Then Draupadi replied, "Krishna, if we were living in Hastinapur, I would have certainly given You a sumptuous feast. But alas! We are living in a forest eating roots and tubers. In such a situation, what can I offer You?" Krishna told her to look into the vessel, which she had already cleaned, if there was any food particle left in it. She did accordingly and found a tiny piece of leaf sticking to the vessel. Krishna ate that leftover leaf. As soon as He did so, the hunger of Durvasa and his disciples was satiated and they went away without bothering the Pandavas. In this way, Krishna saved the Pandavas from the curse of Durvasa. Thus, sometimes God pretends to have desires, not because He lacks anything, but only to help His devotees.
Sacrifice is the Noblest Virtue
You might have heard the story of Laila and Majnu. Laila was a rich lady while Majnu was very poor. She wanted to know whether he really loved her because she wanted to marry him. She thought of a plan and sent two of her maid-servants to him. They approached Majnu and told him that Laila was very sick and was in need of blood. Majnu said that he was willing to sacrifice his life itself for the sake of Laila and that her well-being was his prime concern. When this was conveyed to Laila, she realised how pure and selfless Majnu's love was. She repented for not having properly estimated Majnu's love for her. Likewise, some people do not understand Divinity and the inner meaning of God's acts. God does not desire anything for Himself. All His desires are meant to uplift and redeem the lives of His devotees. Whatever He does is only for others. You should understand this truth.
It was Dr. Rajeswari, the mother of C. Srinivas, who started this hospital. She was highly qualified and had worked in several countries. She would often tell Me, "Our Srinivas should become highly educated and get degrees from A to Z." I would reply, "Mother, don't worry about his studies. If he is interested, he will study." She was very loving and caring towards everybody. She started this hospital in a small room. Gradually, she expanded it and brought it to its present state. Every year she would add some new department to it. Though it is a general hospital, all types of advanced treatments are now available here. One cannot say that treatment for a particular ailment is not available here. Then how can we call this a small hospital? It may look small in size but the service rendered here is great. (cheers) In that sense it is, no doubt, a big hospital.
All the doctors who serve in this hospital are highly qualified and reputed. They come here from far off places and serve the village people with love and care. Bereft of all self-interest, they serve with a great spirit of sacrifice. Such sacrifice is very rarely seen among people today.
Na Karmana Na Prajaya
Dhanena Thyagenaikena Amrutatthwa-manasu (immortality is not attained through
action, progeny or wealth. It is attained only by sacrifice). Very few are
blessed with such a noble quality. It is a great good fortune to be able to love
and serve the suffering humanity. In the outside world, doctors crave for money,
but here doctors aspire for the well-being of patients. They render service to
the patients with noble feelings and purity of heart. With such dedicated
doctors serving here, this has become an ideal hospital. In fact, the entire
staff here work with total dedication. One may build big hospitals. We too have
constructed a big Super Speciality Hospital in Whitefield. But its services are
limited to only cardiology and neurology, whereas in this hospital, various
diseases pertaining to lungs, liver, heart, etc., are treated. You can see it
for yourself, most of the patients who come here are poor and helpless. They are
the people who need our love and care most.
You should render service with the spirit of sacrifice. Sacrifice is the only way to immortality. Service is superior to rituals like Yajnas and Yagas. Enquire for whose sake you are performing Yajnas and Yagas. You are doing them for your own sake, not for the sake of God. God does not need them. You may say that you are performing Yajnas for the welfare of the world. But, in fact, you are doing it for your own welfare. It is God alone who looks after the welfare of the world. Sarvata Pani-pada mTat Sarvathokshi Siromukham, Sarvata Sruthimalloke Sarvamavruthya Thishthati (with hands, feet, eyes, heads, mouth and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe). He alone can confer physical, mental and spiritual strength.
New Building for the General Hospital
He alone is a true human being who has the purity of thought, word and deed. Hence, it is said, "The proper study of mankind is man." The doctors of this hospital are rendering service with such purity and broad feelings. Dr. Rajeswari used to work day and night in this hospital. I often used to tell her not to exert herself too much. I would tell her, "Rajeswari, it is possible for you to serve others more and more only when you have good health. So, you should take proper rest." She would say that serving others was her way of taking rest. Her only wish was to leave her mortal coil while serving in the hospital. That is what happened ultimately. She breathed her last in this hospital itself while doing some work sitting in a chair. Dr. Savitri has been continuing the good work initiated by Dr. Rajeswari. Dolly is also rendering great service.
In addition to these doctors, there are some specialists who come from the city to serve here, e.g., an eye specialist, a dentist, a liver specialist and an orthopaedic surgeon. The doctor who is compering this programme is an orthopaedic surgeon. He worked in America before coming here. They are doing service with utmost devotion. All of them are highly dedicated and have love and concern for the patients. I want everyone to develop such love. Every doctor should have such love for the patients. They should talk to the patients with love and make them feel comfortable. They should develop the noble virtues of understanding and adjustment.
I wish to give you a small example to illustrate this. When I gave mementoes to the doctors, one doctor did not receive the memento as he came in the end. Immediately, one of the doctors offered the memento that was given to him. What a noble act it is! All these doctors are endowed with such selfless love. Love alone sustains the entire world. Love is God, live in love. Humanness cannot exist without love. God does not exist in the form of Vishnu, Siva, etc. He exists in the form of love. One doctor has practically demonstrated such spirit of love in action just now. None of you have taken note of it, but I noticed it. Only the fortunate few are endowed with such spirit of sacrifice.
There are many doctors in the world who are highly qualified and reputed, but they are after name and fame. They are interested in advertising their achievements, whereas our doctors do not care for name and fame. Service is their prime motive. It is because of such noble doctors that our hospital has earned good reputation.
I have noticed that the space available here is very less. There are four operation theatres here. Not an inch of space is left as all the five acres of land are occupied by this building. That is why before coming here, I laid the foundation stone of the new general hospital building in the ten-acre plot of land donated by our Adikesavulu. The Chief Minister of Karnataka also participated in this function. Actually, I am not interested in foundation laying ceremony. What I am interested in is the inauguration ceremony. I have already decided to inaugurate this new hospital on 23rd November 2001. (cheers) Then what will happen to this hospital? This hospital is also very important. This was like a tiny Banyan seed which has now grown into a gigantic tree. It will continue to grow more and more. That general hospital is meant for treating ailments relating to disorders of lungs, bones, liver, etc. This hospital will be exclusively meant for the mother and child.
Hospital for the Mother and Child
My opinion is that the mother and child care should be given top priority. Without the mother, how can the world exist? One should become the recipient of one's mother's love and grace. Only then can one expect to win Divine grace. Here is a small example to illustrate this.
In the Mahabharata, Gandhari being a woman of chastity and virtue, blindfolded herself as her husband Dhritarashtra was blind by birth. She did not even see her own sons. After the Mahabharata War, when Krishna went to console her at the death of her hundred sons, Gandhari, in her moment of despair and anguish, severely castigated Him.She questioned Him, "Krishna, could You not save even one of our sons to perform our final rites? Why is it that Your vision of grace did not fall on any of them?" Krishna gave a fitting reply. He said, "Mother, did you ever see your own sons? How can My vision of grace fall on those whom their own mother does not look at?" One who cannot win one's mother's love cannot attain Divine grace. So, first of all one should try to become the recipient of one's mother's love. That is why the Vedas declare:
Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Atithi Devo Bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor and guest as God).
It is because of men of sacrifice that our country Bharat has been able to enjoy peace and prosperity. The spirit of sacrifice, love and righteousness that are found in Bharat are not present anywhere else in the world. This is Thyaga Bhumi, Yoga Bhumi, Karma Bhumi and Yajna Bhumi (land of sacrifice, land of spirituality, land of action and land of Yajnas). Such a sacred land is being converted into Bhoga Bhumi (land of pleasure) by modern youth. The bliss that one experiences from Thyaga cannot be obtained from Bhoga. Bhoga leads to Roga (disease) and Thyaga leads to Yoga (spirituality). Imbibe the spirit of sacrifice and utilise your energy and education for the welfare of others. Understand that education is meant for serving society and not for doing business. There is no greater service than utilising your education for the benefit of others. Especially, doctors should make every effort to safeguard the health of the mother and child.
Selfless Service of the Hospital Doctors
The culture of Bharat teaches, "Sathyam Vada, Dharmam Chara" (speak truth and practise righteousness). Humanness will blossom in the world only when this principle is put into practice. Truth is referred to as Neeti (morality), righteousness relates to Reeti (procedure) and sacrifice confers Khyati (reputation). Manava Jathi (human race) is the combination of Neeti, Reeti and Khyati. But today morality is lacking in society. Of what use is education without morality? Life itself has no value without morality. Adhere to truth; practise righteousness; cultivate the spirit of sacrifice. There is nothing greater than this.
Embodiments of Love!
If you come across anyone who is suffering, make every effort to give him solace. This was the ideal demonstrated by Dr. Rajeswari. She spent all her earnings for this hospital. After her demise, Dr. Savitri has been working tirelessly day and night. At times, she even forgoes her food to serve the patients. I told her that it was not good for her health to work day and night without proper food and rest. I took a promise from her that she would take timely food.
All the doctors who work here, including the visiting doctors, do not take even a Naya Paisa from us. This has been the case for the last 25 years. They bring all the necessary equipment and medicines also with them and serve the patients here. There is no dearth of doctors in our country. But most of them are after money and fame. Doctors should have compassion and concern for patients. We have many such noble doctors coming from various places to serve in this hospital. He alone is a true doctor who serves patients in a selfless manner. Vaidyo Narayano Hari (doctor is verily God). What does Lord Narayana do? He helps everybody. Likewise, doctors should also help everybody. With such noble feelings, the doctors are offering their services here and it is because of them that this hospital has earned a good name for itself. Whenever the need arises, these doctors even go to Puttaparthi to offer their services.
In the Super Speciality Hospital at Puttaparthi, we have the departments of cardiology, urology, nephrology and ophthalmology. Dr.Hemanthmurthy, an eyespecialist, goes every week to Puttaparthi to perform eye operations. It is no ordinary task to go to Puttaparthi all the way from here, week after week to render service. How many doctors in this world have such a spirit of service? Even the dentist and anaesthetist also go from here. In Puttaparthi hospital, sometimes we have to perform a large number of operations. Then there is invariably a need for more anaesthetists. We just make one phone call, and they immediately present themselves there. Very rarely do we find such service-minded doctors today. But in this hospital, we have many of them working tirelessly day in and day out. Dr. Hemanthmurthy is one among them who is performing eye operations with utmost care. I told him that I am ready to get all the equipment he requires to do his work more effectively.
I always encourage those who dedicate themselves to service. I am prepared to establish any number of hospitals like this and give all the help needed. I am not interested in money and I have nothing to do with it. You may wonder as to how Sai Baba gets money for His projects. You may think that He creates money. No, not at all. I don't indulge in such bad practices because money is related to government. I can create any object, but I don't create money. Whenever the need arises, someone or the other will get the noble idea to donate the required amount. Just one word from Swami is enough; there are many Indian and overseas devotees who will do the needful at once. So, you don't need to have any doubts whatsoever. We have to develop this hospital further. Yesterday, a liver specialist came to Me and expressed his willingness to work in Swami's hospital. He has worked in America before. He can perform liver transplant operations. I gave him permission, saying Swami is always ready for any good work.
Drinking Water Project in Karnataka State
Today the food you eat, the air you breathe and the water you drink have become polluted. Consequently, people are suffering from heart and liver disorders. In olden days, such ailments never existed. The pollution of food, air and water is the main cause of the diseases. That is why I have resolved to provide pure drinking water to the needy. First of all, I started educational institutions and hospitals as education and health care are very essential for one and all. Then I started Drinking Water Project. I provided water not just by getting borewells dug. Borewell water may contain excess fluoride, which is harmful for health. So, I made arrangements to get water from natural sources like Krishna river spending crores of rupees. Now the Chief Minister of Karnataka has requested Me to provide pure drinking water to Bellary, Bidar and Bijapur districts of Karnataka State. I have agreed to do so. Wherever there is scarcity of drinking water, one should make every effort to provide it. We need not give money; it is enough if we provide safe drinking water to the people. There is no dearth of rich people in the country. But of what use is the wealth if it is not used for sacred purposes? No one can carry even a fistful of dust at the time of departing from the world. Otherwise, there would have been rationing even for dust in the country. So, money should be utilised for the benefit of society. Hastasya Bhushanam Danam, Sathyam Kanthasya Bhushanam, Srotrasy aBhushanam Sastram... (charity is the true ornament of the hand, truth is the true necklace and listening to sacred texts is the true ornament of the ears).
What is most essential in life? It is essential to develop intimate relationship with God. You will be charged with Divine energy when you come into contact with Divinity. Living in the company of God is true Sathsanga (goodcompany). Sathsangatwe Nissangatwam, Nissangatwe Nirmohatwam, Nirmohatwe Nischalatattwam, Nischalatattwe Jivanmukti. (good company leads to detachment, detachment makes one free from delusion, freedom from delusion leads to steadiness of mind and steadiness of mind confers liberation.) But today man does not have a steady mind. All the time his mind wavers like a mad monkey. When you say, 'my body', 'my mind', 'my Buddhi', etc., all these are different from you. Then question yourself, who am I? The same principle of 'I' is present in everybody, right from a pauper to a millionaire. In order to understand this 'I' principle, you have to develop the spirit of sacrifice. Patients belonging to different religions, viz., Hindus, Muslims, Christians, etc., come here for treatment. All are treated alike. There are no differences whatsoever. All are the children of God. This hospital stands for the ideal, 'Brotherhood of Man and Fatherhood of God'. In all Sai Organisations, there are no differences of caste, religion, etc. Many Seva Dal volunteers from Sai Organisations come here for rendering service. There are at least 100 Seva Dal volunteers serving in the Super Speciality Hospital, Whitefield everyday. The youth of today should cultivate such spirit of sacrifice. As they grow old, their spirit of sacrifice should also grow.
Today we are celebrating the Silver Jubilee of this hospital, but I am not satisfied with this. We should develop this hospital further and celebrate its Golden Jubilee. Many more doctors should join this hospital and all should work in a spirit of complete unity. Anything can be achieved with unity. The small hospital started by Dr. Rajeswari has grown into a big one. I wish it grows further and serves the poor and needy. I bless you all and bring this Discourse to a close.
- From Bhagawan's Discourse in Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Whitefield (Bangalore) on 10th June 2001.
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