23rd April 2021
Very loving Sairam and greetings from Prasanthi Nilayam!
Let us all offer Our fervent prayers and rededicate ourselves to Sai Mission on this 10th Holy Aaradhana Mahotsavam of Bhagawan!
The year 2011 was the most difficult year for all Sai devotees. That was the year in which our beloved Bhagawan withdrew His most magnificent divine physical Form. Suddenness of that cosmic event made us feel forsaken, forlorn and futile. Now we are in 2021 and a decade has already gone by! Time is the greatest healer. It gives us the opportunity to reflect and heal. During this phase, reverberation of Swami’s mellifluous Voice has only increased in every Sai devotee’s heart. Sai has entered and enshrined Himself in every heart that throbs for Him. God is eternal. Sai Was, Is and Ever shall be. Sai is our God and we know only one God, that is Sai.
The Covid-19 pandemic has disturbed life of almost everyone on the planet. The Abode of Peace, Prasanthi Nilayam is missing all Sai Children and Sai children are also missing Prasanthi Nilayam. Every time I go into Sai Kulwant Hall, I am reminded about how gently Swami used to walk amongst the devotees seated for Darshan and bless them with abundance of Grace. That was a sight for gods to witness and something which cannot be explained but had to be experienced! When we handed over our sorrows to Him through letters, He gladly accepted them, unburdening our hearts. When we pined for reassurance, He came and patted us. When we wanted to feel His blessings, He gave us Vibhuti or Padanamaskar. When we were desperate, confused and lost, He even called us for an interview and guided us. Every act of Swami was for our sake, for our happiness, for our joy. Language is a poor medium to express such a divine, pure, unsullied selfless Love! Bhagawan suffused Prasanthi Nilayam with His Power, the Power of Love. For all Sai devotees, Prasanthi Nilayam is the only Supreme Shrine as it is the Abode of our Beloved Master.
Sisters and brothers, We are once again going through very difficult times due to pandemic. Everyone requires love, care, peace, reassurance and hope. When we look back, perhaps it is we who brought upon ourselves this calamity. Our greed, insatiable desires, lack of care for nature, lack of care for animals and above all, lack of care for fellow human beings has manifested as Pandemic. Maybe we are given what we deserve! In my school days, someone had given me a prayer and it reads like this:
„Oh Lord !
Love me most
When I deserve the least
Because that is the time I need it most”
Let us all pray to Bhagawan to bless us and protect humanity from this crisis!
Dear Fellow Sai devotees! Now is the right time in our lives to connect to Swami more and more. This is the need of the hour. The best way to overcome our loneliness, anxiety, stress, uncertainty is to connect to Swami and the only way to connect to Him is to look within. Swami alone can fill us with confidence, hope, love and peace.
Swami created beautiful organizations bearing His divine name with a purpose to serve humanity. He blessed all of us with an opportunity to be part of these organizations and serve others so that we can realize that we are serving none else than ourselves. To enable us to see God who resides in every being, He made spirituality as the base of these organizations. Swami always emphasised on unity and wanted His organisations to firmly stay connected to Prasanthi Nilayam and Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. Swami wanted Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation and Sri Sathya Sai International Organisation to have the organic connect and have a single unified outlook while all the three worked freely in their domains. In order to abide by this divine direction SSSGC was initiated (please hear the enclosed audio Clip1 and Clip2. Interestingly both clips are from discourses when Swami addressed the International organisation office bearers!). Swami has clearly directed that Sai organisations in each country should send reports of activities to Prasanthi Nilayam, which is the headquarters and all appointments in international organisations should be overseen by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust.
As though a strong reminder of His directive, we chanced upon the data published by SSSIO in the year 2020. The number of centers in 2010 was about 2034 and in the year 2020, the numbers reduced by 300 centers, to about 1700. Even the number of SSSIO memberships had dropped by 20%. SSSCT was alarmed by this drop in centres and the devotee membership. SSSCT started interacting with the overseas devotees and the office bearers to find out the reasons. The feedback was that there seems to be too much centralized control which is further made difficult by too many protocols. Some even went one step further and said that there is less focus on Swami and His teachings! We wanted to positively support SSSIO and reconnect them to Swami and Prasanthi Nilayam. We firmly believe that following Swami’s direction of connecting SAI organisations to Prasanthi Nilayam and Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust is the only way by which Swami’s grace will flow and rejuvenate, revitalize Sai organisations worldwide.
SSSCT made a humble effort and proposed to unify all the three Sai Institutions by bringing them under the umbrella of Sri Sathya Sai Global Council. In this background, Sri Sathya Sai Global council was announced on the most auspicious 95th Birthday of Bhagawan on 23rd November, 2020 at Prasanthi Nilayam.
Of course, few individuals have expressed some objections to this. I wonder what is so objectionable when SSSCT gave a call for a unified organisation outfit and urged everyone to be connected to Prasanthi Nilayam! Perhaps, either they did not understand the intent of the SSSCT correctly or they were misled by some who do not follow the discipline of Sai organisations. No matter how long we are in the Sai organisations (40 years or 50 years) , only when our intentions are pure, Swami’s Divine power will support us. Of late, it has become fashionable to use words like Love, Sathya, Dharma, Divine command, holy Charter etc only to camouflage the real intentions of greed for power and positions! Very surreptitiously many have started conveniently using Swami’s name to cover up their selfish interests. It is pity that top leaders often fill their inner circles with spineless people who never tell the truth to their bosses. Then leadership starts losing touch with the reality. That is why many great leaders go through steep fall. It is sycophants who cause more damage than uncouth critics! Anyway, all the sincere efforts by SSSCT to make SSSIO leaders see the reason have reached a dead-end. SSSCT members had reached out to SSSIO leadership and requested for a zoom meeting and the answer was a big NO. It is conveyed to SSSCT members by emails on 18th, 19th and 20th of April 2021 that SSSIO leadership doesn’t want to even talk to SSSCT regarding Global council. They have conveyed that SSSIO doesn’t need SSSCT!! Perhaps these responses from SSSIO vindicate SSSCT’s stand and justify the formation of SSSGC! I see Swami’s invisible divine hand guiding us in this direction. The need for SSSGC seems to be more evident than ever before!
In any case, the current situation requires us to use our hearts, rather than our minds. While we extend our deep concern and love for them, and wish them well, we pray to Bhagawan to keep us in HIS divine path and protect us so that we do not deviate from HIM.
Let me make it very clear that SSSCT would not like to recognise and engage with those who are not agreeable to Sri Sathya Sai Global Council any time in future.
Dear Brothers and sisters, I have great pleasure in announcing that Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust has appointed Sri. K. Chakravarthi, a long standing devotee, as the Chairman of the Sri Sathya Sai Global Council. Sri. K.Chakravarthi is well known in Sai circles, worked as Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer under the Government of India. At the call of Bhagawan, He quit his blooming career to join Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in the year 1981. After retirement, he was appointed as Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust by Bhagawan. He discharged his duties as Secretary of SSSCT until the year 2011. He is currently serving as Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed to be University) and is a Trustee of SSSCT.
I am also delighted to confirm that Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, India has readily come forward to join SSSGC. Members of SSSCT express their appreciation to Mr. Nimish Pandya, All India President, SSSSO and Office bearers of SSSSO for unconditionally supporting SSSGC initiative, headquartered at Prasanthi Nilayam.
All the Sai Organisations Country-wise, Centre-wise can get affiliated to SSSGC. I would like to once again emphasise that SSSCT has no intention to dismantle or disturb the current structure of SSSIO except to unify it under SSSGC and connect SSSIO to Prasanthi Nilayam as desired by Bhagawan.
Please visit https://www.sssglobalcouncil/ for the membership form for Centers, Countries (Not for Individual devotees). Just Click and submit the form and you are connected to Prasanthi Nilayam. The submission of form is open till 15th June 2021 to enable us to offer a bouquet of SSSGC at the Lotus Feet on the holy Gurupoornima day. June 15th also will leave us with sufficient time to fill in positions which have arisen due to non-subscription of SSSGC.
You will find attached details on:
1. Blessings and Privileges of SSSGC members
2. Structure and functioning of SSSGC
SSSGC will have a very decentralized structure. Zone chairs will be more empowered. Zone chairs will be taking all the decisions related to Sai Organisations in their zones. The current structure under zones will be undisturbed and intact with various committees and organizational positions continuing as it is now.
It is proposed to register Sri Sathya Sai World Foundation in 9 different zones, for example, Sri Sathya Sai World Foundation, UK (The country of registration will be decided after discussions for each zone). These zone wise foundations will give opportunity for more devotees to serve Bhagawan and His mission. Funds pooled into these foundations will be spent on service activities of respective Zones. If any Zone can spare and extend financial assistance to another Zone during emergencies, disasters, or for any other service activities, they can do so. Currently SSSWF, USA has legal jurisdiction limited only to the USA and does not have global jurisdiction. Many states in the US have no jurisdiction in neighboring states! Organisations in all independent sovereign countries should follow their own laws of the land. It is shocking to say the least, that senior office bearers are talking about legal issues if countries and centers join Prasanthi Nilayam ! Very sad indeed! Can Prasanthi Council exist without Prasanthi Nilayam?
Even though the most sacred name „Sri Sathya Sai“ is registered and owned by SSSCT through order of Government of India, SSSCT does not object to use of the name „Sri Sathya Sai“ by devotees or Institutions. Registration was done only to give legal right to SSSCT to safeguard Sai Institutions which bears the name “Sri Sathya Sai “ and empower SSSCT to take action if gross violations are noticed. But we all should remember that Bhagawan cannot be confined. Avatars come for Humanity. Swami is beyond Institutions. Swami had set up spiritual voluntary service organizations for serving mankind. There is only divine law of Love that makes Sai devotees to be part of the organizations. It is unfortunate that people seem to be forgetting Bhagawan & His teachings.
Dear all, True Sai devotees should concentrate only on spiritual progress and Service to humanity. Avataric mission is a serious one. We are here for self transformation and service. Meetings should be held to discuss service activities, promote individual Sadhana, focus on Swami’s teachings and to guide young adults on the Sai path by self example. Wasting precious time in politicizing the organization, indulging in self aggrandizement and spreading false narratives are sinful and should be shunned at any cost by Sai organisations.
Dear Sisters and Brothers, Let us keep our soulful and loving bond with our Swami and Prasanthi Nilayam secure, safe and intact.
Swami is our loving Lord! Prasanthi Nilayam is our true home! Let us follow our conscience. Let us all faithfully follow the word of our beloved Master! Let us pledge our allegiance to our very own, sweet, and divine home, Prasanthi Nilayam! Let us pledge our loyalty only to the most merciful Lord, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba!
I humbly surrender at the Lotus Feet of beloved Swami and pray for HIS guidance.
Best wishes to all and please take good of yourselves and your families by following Covid safety precautions!
Yours in Sai Service,
R J Rathnakar