As the tree grows, the roots must also grow inwards. The growth of the tree is dependant on the roots inside the ground. Thus, the spiritual wing undertakes activities that are targeted to arouse inspiration and inward vision with a view to developing the urge to connect with the inner core. It helps to nurture the inner self and awakening the inherent divinity.
The activities undertaken by the spiritual wing include the following:
“Bhajan singing induces in you a desire for experiencing the truth, to glimpse the beauty that is God, to taste the bliss that is the Self. It encourages man to dive into himself and be genuinely his real Self”.
Bhajan or devotional singing is a very vital part of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings.The core intention of Bhajan is to make man cleanse his heart and mind, which will help him to shine in all aspects of life with happiness and peace. When all the participants in a bhajan sing in unison, sacred vibrations are produced and divine energies are released.
"When you participate in Nagar Sankirtan in the early hours of the day, your heart will be brimming with bliss. It is not merely Kirtan (singing), it is Sankirtan (singing together wholeheartedly) to experience and share your joy with one and all.
Nagar Sankirtan is mass spiritual awakening where people gather in the early hours before dawn and proceed slowly along the streets singing bhajans glorifying God. It is carrying the name of God to every door and purifying the atmosphere of the streets. Nagar Sankirtan activities are held across all Districts and Samithis in the state of andhra Pradesh. Devotees assemble early in the morning (around 5:30 am) and spread the Divine name in the neighbourhood by singing bhajans on the streets.
It is a remarkable feature of festival celebrations in Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations that they are not confined to any particular religion or deity. They are universal in character emphasizing the underlying unity of all religions and the fundamental message of love and peace. Indeed, Bhagawan had declared in a discourse delivered on the occasion of the First World Conference of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations at Mumbai in July 1968: “This is a human form in which every Divine entity, every Divine Principle, that is to say, all Names and Forms ascribed by man to God, are manifest”. All major festivals are celebrated across Andhra Pradesh with great fervour - Hanuman Jayanthi, Ram Navami, Shivratri, Holi, Vijaya Dashmi, Christmas, Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh Jayanthi, Ugadi, Tamil New Year, Makara Sankranti, Eswaramma Day, Buddha Purnima, Onam, Guru Purnima, Ashadi Ekadashi, Diwali, Krishna Janmashtami, Id Ul Fitr, Eid are all celebrated.
Sadhana is the spiritual effort the seeker puts in, derived from the root word ‘sidhi’ which means ‘to be accomplished in seeking divinity. Sadhana camps are organised over a period of 2 to 3 days activities like prayer sessions, yogic exercises, Jyoti meditation, pranaadhyana, seminars, workshops and talks, are planned to help build discipline plus perseverance. The sadhana camps place great emphasis on individual and character development.
Bhagawan says “Anything that awakens the awareness of the universal, the infinite, the transcendental and any work which takes you out of your narrow self into the vaster magnificence..ideals must become higher and grander. Desire must become more and more sublime. Attachment must be transmuted into nobler and subtler emotions”
Regular Sadhana Camps are held to refresh the fervour of spirituality, in the seeker across various districts of Andhra Pradesh. Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, India, observes a month of "Giving & Forgiving" from 28th March to 27th April - as a silent offering of Seva Sadhana, Vinamra Vandana & Prem Aradhana.
The word ‘SAMARPAN’ signifies the complete surrender of the body, mind & soul. It is the process of submerging our own identity with that of almighty. 'Samarpan' – a program of gratitude and love to the Lord, where an ardent devotee from Prasanthi Nilayam shares all his/her personal experiences and life lessons learnt at the divine lotus feet of Bhagwan Baba. This is an initiative by the alumni of Sri Sathya Sai Institutions (Sri Sathya Sai Students) as an offering in their loving gratitude to Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
The study circle is an integral part of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations activities. Bhagawan’s teachings are a treasure trove which need to be elaborated to understand how man can tune his life to reach his goal. This needs proper understanding through discussions and clarifications with appropriate elaborations to digest and absorb. The basic goal of a study circle is, of course, to help us understand how to lead a spiritual life to come closer to God and support each other in spiritual endeavors.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba says in one discourse, " Study with faith and devotion. Delve into the significance and meaning of what you read, and always have before you the goal of putting what you read into practice. Unless you do so, the Study Circle will remain a half Circle forever, it cannot be a full Circle.”
Baba explains: “What is a Study Circle ? It is not just reading books. Each person gives their point of view, and finally values are derived from this. If there is just reading there is doubt. But if each one gives his view, doubts will be answered. The study circle looks at different facets. It is like a diamond with its different facets, but there is one facet that is flat, the top facet, and from this all can be viewed. To discover the top facet is the task of the study circle.”
Sri Sathya Sai Baba has cultured us with the ultimate benefit of vedam chanting. The prime significance of vedam lies in the fact that the truths and thoughts they contain are eternal. As per Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Vedas offer truths into the nature of the Self that is necessary to gain liberation. Veda classes are conducted by Vedic scholars, at various centers to enable many people to attend. Activities have been designed for individual, familial and societal level so that the impact of veda chanting can be perceived at three levels. Every occasion always begins with Vedic chants which leave the whole place charged with divine vibrations.
Since ancient days meditation has been considered as the highest goal in many cultures, especially in Bharat. It is not something that one does by sitting for a couple of minutes or hours. Bhagawan has suggested an easy-to-practice Light or Jyoti Meditation for the members, which is considered the foremost spiritual discipline geared towards gaining inner peace.
Retreats offer us time step back from the course of our daily lives and enter into a world where we could rediscover our life purpose, direction and accelerate spiritual learning. A community experience that through reflection, prayer and meditation redefine the way forward. It provides us with great opportunity to practice Swami’s teachings of ‘unity in thought, word and deed’ and living His message of universality in our thoughts, words and actions, where we can together reinforced the feeling of ‘we are one and the same sparks of the divine’. Retreats offer us the opportunity to meet with hundreds of Sai devotees across regions. National and International retreats are conducted for the office bearers/devotees of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva organisations.
The goal of studying Sai Literature is Self Transformation. Bhagawan says in order to fully benefit from the study of Sai Literature, three steps need to be followed. They are proper plan of study, reading reflection, and its regular application in life. He says that study is work and inquiry into the value and applicability of what is studied is worship. The experience of the validity and value of practice is wisdom.
Spiritual Care by AP State at Glance
Global Akhanda Bhajan
Sri Sathya Sai Pallaki Seva
Community Centre Bhajans
Sanathana Sarathi Subscriptions
Sale of Sai Literature
Bhagawan says “The end of Education is Character” and “True Education is not for mere living, but for a fuller and meaningful life”.
Education has two aspects; the first is related to external and worldly education, which is nothing but acquiring bookish knowledge. The second aspect is known as Educare, is related to human values. The word Educare means to bring out that which is within.
Practically, educare refers to all educational programmes of teaching aimed at helping humanity draw out the qualities of goodness inherent in man, and to understand the inner makeup of a human being in relation to the outer physical world, in order to keep a perfect balance.
Sri Sathya Sai Educare therefore refers to a whole system of education which provides practical knowledge for educating for life and not just for earning a living.
The education wing undertakes the following activities:
The Bal Vikas Course for the children from the age of 6 to 15 years
Education in Human Values, Indian culture courses for the youth
Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Jyothi
Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini
“Children are the pillars on which the foundation of the nation's future is built. They are the roots of the national tree, which has to give the fruits of work, worship and wisdom to the next generation.” -Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Bal Vikas is not just an education for children. It is the essence of all spiritual knowledge. It is Educare for Loka Vikas. The Bal Vikas programme have been launched to blossom the today’s children to citizens and leaders of tomorrow. The impact of this programme has been recognised at individual, community, national, and international levels.
Education In Human Values [EHV]
Sathya Sai Education In Human Values S.S.E.H.V. is a module for implementing value based education in schools. Here, the entire school teachers are trained & they in turn implement the methodology in the school. Research over the years has convincingly demonstrated that the children involved in SSEHV programme have developed more positive personalities. They are more respectful towards their teachers, parents & elders. The teachers & the students both experience an elevation in their level of consciousness and a transformation in their perspective of life.
Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini
Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini (SSSVV) programme was launched on 23rd Nov, 2010 by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to provide Integral Education - combining value based education with academic excellence to semi rural and rural schools in India. SSSVV programme is aimed at integrating values in an innovative way into the school curriculum to motivate and inspire students to become truly good human beings and responsible citizens. This programme seeks to reflect Sri Sathya Sai Baba's guidance through Education in Human Values and connect the same to the school curriculum. To achieve this objective of implementing integral education, the teachers are provided with content, training and teaching aids. It makes school education simpler, easier, enjoyable and much more innovative. The programme motivates and inspires the students more as the curriculum is combined with human values and taught via animations, pictures, and multimedia technologies from 5th to 9th standards in the rural and semi-urban schools.
Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Jyoti
Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Jyothi is a project that aims to take up existing, semi-operational, makeshift and/or dilapidated government primary schools and turn them into fully operational, well-structured and collaborative schools.
The idea is to create good healthy learning ecosystem, by engaging all the stakeholders in the ecosystem, which includes: the student, the teacher, the parent, the school staff, the villagers, the government and NGOs.
Educare by AP State at Glance
Balvikas in SSSVIP Village
Balvikas - Summer course
Balvikas in Slums
Balvikas in Other places
Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations was founded by Sri Sathya Sai Baba with an objective 'to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement'. It has over 1200 Sathya Sai Centres (branches) in 126 countries. Through this organisation, Sri Sathya Sai Baba established a network of free hospitals, clinics, drinking water projects, auditoriums, ashrams and schools.
Bhagawan says “Service is the highest spiritual exercise for God himself takes human form and comes down to serve mankind and lead it to the ideals it has ignored”.
Sri Satya Sai Baba says “Service Is the life breath of the Sathya Sai Seva Organisations. Remember the truth that you are born to serve society”
The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation takes inspiration from His life to do as directed by the Divine Master. The Service wing’s efforts is through ACTION – working at all times to live up to the motto of the SSSSO – “Transforming Self to Transform the World”
The service wing undertakes the following service activities to serve the lesser privileged in the society.
“If women are given due recognition they will shine with brilliance in all fields and will serve the house, country, and the entire world gloriously, contributing to the welfare of the entire humanity.
Women have proved throughout the centuries in Indian History that they have the courage, the vision, and the intelligence needed to dive into the depths of spiritual science and discipline. “ - Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Women are embodiments of selfless love, tenderness, kindness, especially self- sacrifice, selflessly serving their family as well as others’ needs. Women are the heirs of our ancient culture. These hidden powers have the capacity to transform not only their homes, but their work environments and the wider community.
Swami lovingly blessed Mahilas with many challenging opportunities and responsibilities in Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations at national and International level. Mahilas form an integral part of SSSSO. They are powerful and sometimes silent torch bearers of Bhagwan’s mission of ‘Love All Serve All’.
Bhagawan has consistently given importance to Motherhood and Motherland. It was the ‘Three Desires’ of Mother Easwaramma which today has blossomed into three major wings of the SSSSO – The Education, Spiritual and Socio care (Healthcare, Water projects and so on). So again it is the ‘Selfless desire; of the Mother which has given guidelines for the SSSSO.
The gifts that God has given to women in SSSSOI are majestic. They are given a place of nobility in the House of the Lord. This is an honor far beyond any material accomplishments or possessions.
Women in Education Wing
The Sri Sathya Sai BalVikas Program has been founded by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to enable a world-wide renewal of individual commitment to an active moral life. Bhagawan Baba says: “You must study to become steady”.
Bhagawan Baba has often emphasized that the purpose of education is to inculcate virtues and character in every individual. He says, “The end of education is character.” Women being Bal Vikas Guru should focus on bringing intrinsic information within each child.
Balvikas is the seed and foundation for all other wings of SSSSO. Swami said ‘Balvikas is my right hand’ and ‘Any Mother is a Bal Vikas Guru’. He has given special rights to Women and Mothers to be Bal Vikas Gurus, thereby laying the foundation for a Value based Society. These Mahilas are the pillars of Balvikas wing and hence SSSSO, taking the Divine Mission forward with dedication and sincerity. Mahilas are endowed with the Divine gift of patience and forbearance and emotional strength. They pass on these values to the children by being role models.
Through the judicious use of simple teaching techniques such as: Prayer, Group Singing, Meditation, Storytelling and Group Activities, the Bal Vikas Gurus encourage the children to become conscious about the latent potential within and orient their lives on the trajectory of human excellence. Gurus should also help children to practice the basic human values, namely, Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi, Prema and Ahimsa.
Women in Spiritual Wing
Spiritual wing helps nurture the inner self of all members. This is done through group activities such as Veda chanting, devotional singing, study circles, public lectures, seminars and meditation where women play a vital role. Women also preach and teach Jyothi Meditation for the members, which is considered the foremost spiritual discipline geared towards gaining inner peace.
The foundation to Global Akhanda Bhajans was also laid out by the Mahilas. The 24 hour bhajan sessions were started by a small group of Mahilas from Karnataka which grew into Global level.
Women in Service Wing
Bhagawan in every message and discourse has conveyed the importance of serving others, expressing the joy and happiness that one derives through the act of serving others. Women play a crucial role through the service. Bhagwan empowered women by giving them the confidence to move forward, in turn, they gained the ability to assert themselves in offering selfless service. Women are part of all the service activities of Sri Sathya Sai Seva organisations where they are offering from the depth of their hearts.
Swami said ‘Mahilas are like Mother Annapoorna’, the Goddess of Food. The Mahilas contribution in Narayan Seva is significant as they carry out the Cooking and Cleaning activities. The Narayana seva activities in various forms and means are carried out regularly in all Samithis and Bhajan Mandalis by Mahilas with pure love and care.
Vocational training in many States are carried out by the Mahila wing where they train needy Mahilas on tailoring skills, Computer skills, Arts and Crafts empowering them economically. Emphasis has been given to the Mother and Child Programme too in every state. And the Service activities where mahilas actively involve include organizing medical check-up camps, adoption of under-developed villages for accelerating rural development, blood donation, old age homes, etc.
Mahilas participate in large numbers in the PrashanthiSeva, sometimes outnumbering the Gents counterparts. As a part of service, women serve as chef at kitchen, they are caretakers of patients at hospital, they become security at Prashanthi Mandir to guide devotees and so on, it is selfless service done with high discipline, and love.
Today some of the wishes and dreams of Mother Easwarmma are being realized through the ‘Easwarmma Welfare Trust’ which empowers Women through Vocational Trainings and Self- employment skills. The trust also runs Mobile hospital care for rural women and children. Swami established Schools and Colleges for girl students to encourage them to progress in their chosen field. Swami says to young mahilas ”Be modern in Education but follow the tradition”.
Women in IT Service
SSSSO started using information Technology (IT) extensively at the various wings of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations. The communication has become part of everyone’s life and to effectively implement the IT products at all levels right from National teams to Samithi/Bhajana Mandali members, it has been decided to expand and strengthen Mahila IT service activities at State and District level. The uniqueness of this service is that, it allows Mahilas to work from home on various IT initiatives taken by AP, SSSSOI.
IT Mahila started rendering their seva in IT of SSSSO since July 2016. For the first time the entire Mahila conference program held in Sep 2016, was registered using the SAIONE online tool. Every person registered here is given the Sainet ID. Close to 4000 mahilas could do this across the country irrespective of their knowledge on computer. All India mahila convention is yet another beautiful opportunity for mahila IT team to come together and discover the ways and means to expand IT activities in SSSSO.
Women in Disaster Management Seva
With the Bhagawans blessings, Disaster Management became a National Initiative of SSSSOI. Three stage action plan was adopted in various states for training SSSSO members, SSSSVIP youth and college students. The purpose of this training is to keep a force ready for an eventuality of natural calamities, accidents and other emergencies which may occur without any notice.
Swami says, “Do not restrict your service within certain limits. Look for chances to relieve, rescue or resuscitate. Train yourselves so that you may render help quickly and well” Disaster Management trained Mahila volunteers actively participated in many relief works and extended all possible service to the victims.
Mahila Day (19th of Nov)
Bhagavan has initiated several programmes for the education and welfare of women thereby underlining the importance of their role in society and building virtues in the nation.
Swami blesses Mahilas to observe 19th November as Mahila day to spend their valuable time in a sacred manner. Most of the Samithis across the nation observe “Mahila Day” on 19th of every month by conducting various spiritual, education and social service activities.
The first All India Mahila Conference was held in Prashanthi Nilayam on 24th and 25th Sep 2016. Over 4,000 women delegates across India participated in this unique 2 day significant event. The event with the theme ‘Women – the foundation of a value based Society’ was aimed to synchronize the work done by women all over India and give them a new direction for the future.
The event provided a single platform for women delegates to share their valuable experience gained in their respective States/Districts. An exhibition was also conducted to showcase handicrafts made and activities undertaken by women across India.
The Mahila conference held in Sep-2016, proved the intellectual, Spiritual and Organizing capabilities of Mahila wing of SSSSOI.