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:
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
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
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; 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
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
nearly [Rgds-cs] 70 million dollars to bring safe drinking water to
nearly a million people scattered across 931 villages in Anantapur
District alone. 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
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
Sri Lanka. All this is well documented in a special issue
of Heart 2
Heart, in great detail we might add.
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 wonder!
Thank you and Jai Sai Ram.