Aradhana Mahotsavam - His Life, Message, and Works
We celebrate Sri Sathya Sai Aradhana Mahotsavam on the 24th of April every year, expressing our love and gratitude for the grace, guidance, and blessings we receive from Him. Bhagawan has said on numerous occasions that He will never forsake or disappoint His devotees. If we only hold on to Him with absolute faith and love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, He will guard us, protect us, and take us across this ocean of life.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is an incarnation of Love and His Love transcends all barriers of race, religion, nationality, faith, and culture. His life, His message and His humanitarian works can all be enshrined in one word “Love”. His life is His message, and His message is Love. From His early childhood, He has shown by example that God is love and the best way to love God is Love All and Serve All.
The life and teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba are the inspiration for all humanitarian projects of the Sri Sathya Sai International Organization. Throughout His life, Sri Sathya Sai Baba gave in abundance. He exemplifies love that seeks nothing in return, love that is unwavering and never held back, love that overcomes all obstacles, assuages all sorrows, and mediates all fear. His unlimited love continues to comfort, nourish, protect, heal, and fill the emptiness experienced by millions from every corner of the world.
On 17th May 1968, during the First World Conference of the Sri Sathya Sai Organizations, Swami revealed that all divine names and forms are manifested in Him. In the same discourse, He exhorted us to implicitly follow His instructions in order to attain the summum bonum of life, namely Self-realization.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba taught that the Divine resides in every being. In fact, Divinity pervades the cosmos. Fundamentally, it is One. Therefore, service rendered to any human, animal, or nature is service to that One. This means that when we offer aid to another, we are really offering aid to our Self. Moreover, the One, that Supreme Divinity, is the agent who accomplishes the task through us. In effect, the results of whatever we do belong to that One.
At least three powerful consequences are bound to occur when we aspire to assume a viewpoint based on these principles. The first consequence is the avoidance of a serious pitfall in the course of rendering service. That pitfall is a stance tainted by condescension, arrogance, and ego. The second consequence is the manifestation of a profound virtue. That virtue is a stance exalted by compassion, love, and humility. The third consequence is that we grow in our experience and knowledge of the unity of this cosmos and all that is in it and pervades it. In short, we are transformed by the act of service. We come to know who we really are.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba has said that to realize the One, the Universal Absolute, which personalizes itself into God and Creation, there is no discipline more valuable and more effective than service. He emphasized that the “royal road” for spiritual journey is Love.
Throughout His life, Bhagawan Baba bestowed His grace and His love unconditionally on one and all. His benevolence manifested and continues to manifest in concrete and subtle forms from the intensely personal and individual level, through the community level to the global level. He was, is, and will continue to be the indweller in all.
The following ongoing projects are some examples of service activities of the Sri Sathya Sai International Organization, conducted according to the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
The SSSIO has adopted 160 communities in 40 countries as of March 2021. SSSIO members are making a difference in the lives of needy people by providing education, healthcare, food, shelter, drinking water, and other services in a sustainable manner. The goal of this project is transformation of the heart – for both SSSIO volunteers and the recipients of the service, as taught by our Lord, Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The project continues, and we aim to serve more communities with renewed zeal.
The Sri Sathya Sai Global Healthcare Mission is another important service activity of the organization. For many years, the SSSIO has provided free healthcare of the highest quality, in a timely manner, to those in need of medical assistance – often in remote, rural areas where such services are needed most but are not available or affordable. Highly skilled doctors render loving, selfless services throughout the world, without regard for personal benefit, recognition, or reward.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of needy patients receive medical and surgical services at hundreds of medical camps and over 40 permanent medical clinics and mobile clinics worldwide. In addition, dental, vision, blood and bone marrow donor registration drives, and health education programmes are also conducted. For example, during the reporting period from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, approximately 108,967 people were served in 47 countries through 215 medical camps, 44 permanent medical clinics, and 2 mobile clinics. In addition, medical services are rendered during natural disasters and other calamities.
The SSSIO’s educational activities include the teaching and practice of the five universal Human Values: Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love, and Nonviolence through classes for children and parents, and training seminars for teachers. The practice of human values is the basis of character development and transforms one into a compassionate, honest, just, serene, and happy person. Sathya Sai Education in Human Values is administered by over 30 Institutes of Sathya Sai Education, in more than 30 countries, not only for schools and educational institutions but also for governments, businesses, industries and communities.
There are more than 40 Sathya Sai Schools around the world providing integral education, which has both academic and spiritual components. These educational institutions have been recognised by local authorities for their excellence and outstanding contribution to society.
Since its inception, the Sri Sathya Sai International Organization (SSSIO) has been providing selfless and loving service to mankind through various humanitarian projects. The SSSIO is committed to providing immediate and long-term relief to those affected by natural disasters from the acute phase to rehabilitation. Sri Sathya Sai volunteers provide medical services, food, water, shelter, education, and rehabilitation facilities, where needed.
The SSSIO has, in the recent past, engaged in humanitarian relief services in Africa, Venezuela, Nepal, Philippines, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Indonesia, Italy, Sri Lanka, and Haiti – to name a few. For its timely and exemplary services, the SSSIO has been honored with awards and recognition by authorities in many countries, although this is never the prime objective of the organization or the volunteers.
Let us offer our love and gratitude to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba by dedicating our lives and practicing His teachings and loving and serving all creation.
“Love alone can reveal the Divinity latent in all. Love is God. Live in love. Love lives by giving and forgiving; Self lives by getting and forgetting. Love is selflessness; Selfishness is lovelessness. Do not waste your life pursuing the narrow interests of the self. Love! Love! Become what you truly are―the embodiments of love.”
-- Sathya Sai Speaks, vol. 14, Ch.45, December 25, 1979