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ONE WORLD ONE FAMILY is the central idea proposed by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, who believes in the oneness and inclusiveness of all mankind. He propounds that embracing everyone, everywhere with kindness and compassion is the only way to make the world better, here and now. It is an absolute necessity now when the world is torn apart by wars, economic crisis, suicides, religious conflicts, climate crisis, disrupted global supply chains, and where more than 800 million people go to sleep on a hungry stomach every night. To stand together as a family and live for each other is the only way to reverse the current global humanitarian crisis.
More than a million children are being fed before starting their school-day, several thousand hearts of children are mended at the free pediatric cardiac hospitals for congenital heart diseases, tens of thousands of mothers are cared for during the prenatal and postnatal stages, and thousands of children receive the highest quality values-based education at the majestic edifices: all this completely free of cost. All have been touched with compassion without conditions through these service initiatives instituted by Sri Madhusudan Sai. While all these children and their families may not have had a face-to-face interaction their benefactor, they are all touched and inspired by this societal movement that understands their needs and fills these requisites with humility and love. In each arena, the needed support is given from a firmly held conviction of connectedness and oneness, a true sense of family.
In the last ten years, Sadguru has inspired the staff, students, and volunteers to carry out myriad initiatives across 33 countries, and they have been unfolding at an almost unbelievable pace. The team sees this unique mission of ‘love and service’ as their own and have taken full responsibility for putting their belief of One World-One Family into practical action.
‘Love All, Serve All’ is the direction given by Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a globally renowned philanthropist and humanitarian who left the world in 2011. He was the teacher of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, who is today walking in his Baba’s footsteps. Sadguru inspires all those involved to act in accordance with this underlying teaching. It is with this clear vision, that this mission of love-in-action continues to serve those in need globally, bringing the world together as ‘ONE WORLD ONE FAMILY.’ This motto has to be more than just words. It is only by truly seeing and directly experiencing everyone as one’s very own family can this Love for All practically serve as the real foundation for all the projects undertaken.
Sri Narasimha Murthy plays an integral role in all aspects of the Educational aspects of this mission. As an astute educationist who has worked in the field of education for over 55 years, he has true passion for this field of education which is amplified by his deep and abiding respect for his teachers, Sri Sathya Sai Baba and Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai. Sri Murthy is a talented engineer by profession who has taken to the path of educational service, drawing inspiration from the ancient educational approach expressed in India which focused on the development of the whole being maximizing their potential. This approach led to, prior to the British Raj, a higher educational rate than any other country. He was guided in this by his original mentor, Sri Madayala Narayana Bhat, the founder of the Loka Seva schools and with the direct guidance of Sathya Sai Baba and now Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai.
Let us now take a look at the overview of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam Group of Institutions
This system of schools are centres of educational excellence based on the ancient Indian model of ‘Gurukula’ that promotes the cause of true education which is focused on all aspects of the student and is given to all equally completely free of cost. The Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam Group of Institutions has been designed especially for the rural children.
CThis overlooked segment of society is often denied access to quality education due to poverty, gender inequality, lower socio-economic status, malnutrition, poor health and hygiene, and other related factors. The culmination of the educational process at these institutions is to prepare students to become highly valuable members of the society capable of contributing on all levels. Some aspects of this approach include:
• Education is rendered completely free of cost to all children from Grade 6 to the Doctorate Program, without any discrimination based on caste, gender, geography, language, religion or any other factor.
• Underprivileged rural children are prioritised in the admission process. 75% of the admissions are reserved for rural children
• ‘Education for Girls’ is promoted with paramount care. 50% of all seats are reserved for girls as they otherwise might not receive any education whatsoever due to the prevailing gender inequality prevalent in India.
• Values Education forms the basis of this model. As a mark of respect and recognition of the ancient concept of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam (the entire world is one family), this system focuses on inculcating this concept of love and unity.
• Theoretical and Empirical education is built on this foundation, so that the knowledge and skills acquired are used by the students in constructive ways for the welfare of all.
The twin goals of education are encapsulated in the ancient Indian saying which serve as the motto for the entire system – ‘Atmano Mokshartam, Jagat Hitayacha’ which can be translated as ‘Self-knowledge and Societal welfare’. This idea guides all the educational activities
• The universal human values of Truth, Righteous Conduct, Peace, Love and Non-violence form the bedrock of the institution
• ‘Character’ is considered the foremost outcome of education adding a fifth ‘C’ to the 4Cs proposed by modern educational experts – Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity
• The model of education pursued is called the 3H model which builds in each student a Brilliant Head, a Compassionate Heart, and Competent Hands
Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence (the Higher Education wing):
This is the only general university in India that offers courses in Fine Arts, Vedic Studies and the complete range of academic courses. The university has full-fledged undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Performing Arts in all areas of study. The particular field of study is chosen by the student based on their personal aspirations, skills and talents.
The Future Ready Academy (FRA) is quite a unique feature of this educational system. It provides knowledge, practical exposure and guidance to students in over 20 practical skills such as gardening, cooking, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, driving, accounting, financing, and others as a preparation to their internship.
Upon completion of undergraduate studies, all students are offered the opportunity to participate in an Internship Program. Over the course of a full year, they undergo on-the-job training in various Campuses or departments of the institution learning to apply practically their recently acquired knowledge and skills.
As many students are often forced to leave their studies in rural areas to enter the job force or enter arranged marriages, it was decided to deal with this harsh reality by offering a Stipend Program for those pursuing their Masters degree. This alleviates the financial burden on the family caused by the students furth education, This stipend program for students to pursue postgraduation is another unique innovation of the University.
All the students of the University are enrolled in the Integrated Rural Development Program to help them gain awareness about the challenges in rural India. This subject is part of their curriculum and involves three hours of theoretical study and 20 hours of practical work-study in various villages surrounding the different campuses.
Upon completion of their Postgraduate studies, Employment is offered to all who wish to serve within this institutions.
The Journey from Students to Servitors
Testimonial from a Grade 9 student for Girls’ Education
“I hail from a small village, Chikkamagyeri in the Koppal district of Karnataka. I was fortunate to be rescued from the inescapable cycle of poverty that led to malnutrition, child labour, early marriage, domestic violence, and ‘ditto’ for several generations to come. However, my parents and their parents were helpless victims to these and so I thought we were duped into this deception as our destiny. How did we find a way out of this ensnare? The benevolence of a spiritual master, came in the form of a school that offered free values-based quality education – Sri Sathya Sai Vaniniketanam in the Gadag district of Karnataka. I used to work in the farms—my father was a tractor driver and my mother – a daily wage labourer. I was a school drop-out and even while I was attending a school, I used to be very irregular. For a girl to study is considered a luxury in our village, and to travel to the school every day after working in the farm, is a tiresome venture. Vaniniketanam solved all the challenges or rather excuses that came in the way of girls education. A safe hostel, exclusive girls school, good food, enriching holistic environment, and on top of these – education for no fee—all the factors that shall ensure drop-outs like me, dropped in and stayed on, was ensured by the Institution. I joined the school in my Grade 6 and now my family and my entire village feels proud of a girl being educated.”
A girl who is a first-generation literate and a gold medalist for Undergraduate BSc Program
“I learnt the greatest virtue of ‘Gratitude’ after joining this Institution, where everything was provided for free through the support of selfless people from around the world whom I have never even met. This made me realise the value of living for others. As a first-generation literate, now, all that I aspire to do is to share my knowledge, skills, and love with everyone around me to bring respite and hope in their lives.”
An Intern’s Experience
“Being an intern after completion of undergraduate studies at the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence is a blessing, because we get to be with children. Constantly being in the company of pure hearted children is a great learning experience. It might seem like we are teaching children and helping them; but in a due course of few months, most of us – the interns, understand that it is through them that we are actually getting benefitted. If one asks me ‘how?’—I would say that, serving these children who are coming from very difficult underprivileged backgrounds fills me with so much satisfaction and happiness that my heart feels puffed up out of sheer fulfilment. The smiles which adorn their faces and their unmalicious words fill me with wonder in every moment of my interaction with them. I thank Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai for giving me this lifetime opportunity.”
Providing the highest quality Healthcare
Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai’s medical work in India and abroad impacts the lives of tens of thousands of patients and their families. Ranging from small village medical camps, telemedicine clinics, cardiac care hospitals to the upcoming million square foot plus medical college; these efforts are unique and all inclusive. The hospitals are coordinated by Dr C Sreenivas, an alumnus of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s educational institutions and true son to a mother who played a key role in the earliest healthcare mission of Sathya Sai Baba. This amazing woman was a doctor at a time when such a thing was a rarity. Dr C Rajeswari trained and practiced medicine in the UK and the US including at Stanford Medical. In 1956, guided by her loving heart and compassion for the poor and needy, she returned to India and started Sathya Sai Baba’s General Hospital in Whitefield, at the time a tiny hamlet outside of Bangalore. This facility was desperately needed to serve those from the surrounding villages who had no access to healthcare. The newly built and inaugurated academic block of the upcoming medical college is named in her honor.
Dr C Sreenivas, a second-generation leader in Baba’s medical mission views serving the poor and needy as directed by his teacher, as his life’s highest and only purpose. He was instrumental in building the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in 2001 in Bangalore. Dr Sreenivas had taken up a number of other massive projects which also involved construction as personally guided by Baba. In effect, he was receiving exactly the experience and training he would need later as he was called on to establish the first of many hospitals in Sadguru Madhusudan Sai’s medical mission.
Dr Sreenivas has played a key role in the establishment of the now global chain of Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Centres for Child Heart Care under the guidance of Sri Madhusudan Sai. It is the world’s largest chain of paediatric cardiac hospitals and follows a compassionate healthcare model that offers all services completely free of cost. Ever since its beginnings in the year 2012, this system presents the highest quality cardiac care and has grown to include five paediatric cardiac hospitals in India with others either in operation or being planned in that country and other parts of the globe.
This journey began in November 2012 with the establishment of the first Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Centre for Child Heart Care at Raipur, Chhattisgarh, one of the poorest sections of India located in the centre of the country. It was followed in November 2016 with the second Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani International Centre for Child Heart Care & Research which was inaugurated by the Hon. Prime Minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi at Haryana, a suburb of Delhi. The third center, the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Centre for Child Heart Care & Training in Pediatric Cardiac Skills, was established in Navi Mumbai in Western India in November 2018.
The Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Centre for Child Heart Care and Research, the fourth centre, commenced operation in the South Indian State of Telangana in November 2022. The fifth centre is located in Karnataka State and also began serving those in need in November 2022. These one of a kind, heart shaped structures are architecturally beautiful true temples of healing providing those children suffering from Congenital Heart Disease with all necessary healthcare, including open heart surgeries, completely free of cost.
These Sai Sanjeevani hospitals cover the complete spectrum of healthcare including prevention, training in Paediatric cardiac skills, and Research geared at unravelling the underlying causes of congenital heart diseases. The Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Centres for Child Heart Care provide the highest quality of care to all in need irrespective of colour, caste, religion, status or nation. They do so totally Free of Cost for all services including room and board for the patient as well as their families. Over the last 10 years, the Sanjeevani hospitals in India have performed more than 24,000 paediatric cardiac procedures, over 210,000 outreach screenings, and 195,000 outpatient consultations in India alone to address this global burden of Congenital Heart Disease.
Completely Free of Cost Services Rendered as of January 2023
In addition to this work with congenital heart disease, exclusive mother and child hospitals have been set up as extensions to Sanjeevani Child Hear Care Hospitals to protectthe health of mothers, the unborn, infants and children. These hospitals came into existence beginning in September 2021 and include the following five locations:
1. Nava Raipur, Chhattisgarh – Inaugurated on 13 September 2021-has done more that 30,000 outpatient consultations, over 6300 ultrasounds and 1200 deliveries,
2. Yavatmal, Maharashtra – Inaugurated on 18 January 2022-has worked with more than 3600 outpatients providing over 1400 ultrasounds
3. Palwal, Haryana – Inaugurated on 14 November 2022
4. Raiwala, Uttarakhand – Inaugurated on 14 November 2022
5. Jamshedpur, Jharkhand – Inaugurated on 18 November 2022
In Kolkata, West Bengal, the Aarogya Vahini Mobile Medical Team, which is also part of this effort, has created access to free medical care to over 150 cluster villages in West Bengal and neighbouring States. Utilizing 25 Rural Nodal Centers which consist of fabricated Mobile Medical Units, Aarogya Vahini reaches out to rural and remote areas including Coastal West Bengal. By focusing on Preventive and Primary Health & Services, this Trust has been bridging the gaps this area suffers. To date, they have conducted over 300,000 rural health screenings and 110,000 consultations resulting in 630 referrals and surgeries. Additionally, the Aarogya Vahini Trust has dispensed over 100,000 prescriptions. All has been totally free of cost. The AV team is planning on opening a mother/child hospital in the near future.
Annapoorna Morning Nutrition Program
'Let no child go to school, hungry ever', is the vision of the Annapoorna Morning Nutrition established by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai. This unique morning nutrition program was started in July 2012 with the feeding of 50 children in one small school located in a village outside of Bangalore. In the last ten years, the program has increased in scale and complexity, blossoming into a platform with hundreds of volunteers going to schools throughout the country who work with thousands of teachers at the schools all offering their services to the hungry children.
Now, each and every morning, the Annapoorna morning nutrition initiative serves breakfast to 1,200,000 children attending 15,000+ rural schools in 24 States and three Union territories.
The Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust works closely with over 800 local vendors in a decentralised model, with a customised menu to suit the regional palate and a standardised menu within each region to ensure quality. As of February 2023, over 250 million breakfast meals have been served. Recently, the Trust has added the well-researched nutritional supplement named ‘SaiSure’ to its program. It has different formulations for expectant mothers, infants, toddlers and student which provide all micro-nutrients, and which are distributed free of cost to those in the nutritional program. To facilitate this, the Trust has just opened its first state-of-the-art manufacturing and production facility in Karnataka state with more to follow.
Sri Anand Kadali, the young man who Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai had tasked with originally setting up the program in 2012, now oversees the growth and expansion of this program as the Secretary of Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust. Anand spent over 15 years in corporate world, before leaving it to pursue his life’s passion of community service on a full-time basis. He had previously worked in global organizations such as Hewlett Packard, HCL, and Dimension Data in the field of computer networking and security. Anand is also a Certified Independent Director and a leader who inspires large number of volunteers, professionals and students to plunge into action in community service. Currently, he works closely with government officials in India to help the program to expand reaching more and more needy children. A large number of MOUs with local, regional, State and national NGOs and government agencies are in place to support this expansion.
Early research on the impact of this program indicates that it has effectively resulted in increased retention and student enrollment at schools, rise in academic performance and an improved health profile among participating rural school children.
Divine Will Foundation in the United States and the International Sai Global Federation of Foundations
The humanitarian mission of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai does not stop at the borders of India but rather is a compassion fueled endeavour aimed at putting into direct practice the dictum “LOVE ALL-SERVE ALL” by enlivening the ancient Vedic concept of VASUDAIVAM KUTUMBAKAM which recognizes the entire world as but one family. Accordingly, He has established organizations globally focused on carrying out this mission of love and service.
Divine Will Foundation (DWF) was initiated in the USA by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai and several of those he inspired. The focus of this organization is to work with the mission’s activities in the US as well as internationally. In addition to direct services, DWF offers support to similar Trust in India, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and throughout the world which undertake activities of education, nutrition, and healthcare in their own respective countries under the guidance of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai.
DWF is a founding member of the international Sai Global Federation of Foundations (SGFF) which is the expression of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai’s efforts on a global scale. Operating in 33 countries with over 60 members, the Federation is firmly entrenched in the idea of One World One Family and all efforts are made to put the dictum of Love All and Serve All into action. Centres for Human Development have been put into place by the various members of SGFF in their respective countries.
They are spread across the globe with centres either currently established or in the process of being established in Australia, Fiji, Singapore, Laos, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Turkey, Italy, Argentina, and USA. The SGFF members perform service activities in the fields of education, healthcare and societal uplift as well as other needed services in their respective areas.
Sadguru has placed David Cornsweet, Ph.D., as president of Divine Will Foundation and coordinator of Sai Global Federation of Foundations. Dr. Cornsweet, a licensed psychotherapist by profession, also serves as a Trustee of the Gumpert Foundation, a charitable Trust located in Encinitas, California, which undertakes numerous philanthropic activities within the US. He has been associated with Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s service activities since the 1990s both in the United States and internationally. David has firmly believes in his teacher’s direction that Love must be put into action through selfless service and that essentially we are but one family. Dr. Cornsweet actively participates in all facets of the service activities, traveling the world with Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai to provide whatever support and help he can.
The international efforts of this mission play out on many levels throughout the globe ranging from small homeless feeding projects to the establishment of world class hospitals. Currently SGFF is involved with a multi-country and multi NGO project to provide humanitarian relief to those suffering from the war in the Ukraine. A few other examples of these efforts follows:
Fiji – Located in Suva, the capital city of Fiji the effort is spearheaded by SGFF member, Sai Prema Foundation, and is also supported by a consortium of SGFF members and other organizations who are part of the global family.
In addition to medical camps, feeding projects, scholarship program (even ones offering advanced training to MDs), mental health services and disaster relief; there are 3 main projects in place. The Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Medical Centre provides general and specialist medical consultations, as well as free medication in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Government of Fiji. Close to 25,000 patients have been served as of January 2023.
The Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Heart Screening Centre offers children's heart screening using the latest 4D General Electric Echocardiogram Machine. Over 11,000 children have been screened as of February 1, 2023. Those needing further care referred to The Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Hospital. This is the first-ever paediatric cardiac care hospital serving Fiji and the South Pacific Island Nations. It fills the void created by the total lack of access to paediatric cardiac service in the Pacific belt and is the largest project ever undertaken by a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) in Fiji's history. Over 100 open heart surgeries have been performed, again totally free of cost. This state-of-the-art, 54-bed facility is spread across 21,000 sq.ft. At the centre of the Hospital is a giant red heart which perfectly describes all that the Hospital stands for, the physical heart as well as the Love underpinning this project.
Sri Lanka – Batticaloa is an area which had been devastated by poverty amidst the aftermath of a tragic civil war is Sri Lanka. In addition to feeding projects, there are two healthcare facilities serving the needs of this community set up by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai. The first is the Sri Sathya Sai Karunalayam Medical Centre, a primary care medical centre in Sri Lanka established in 2017 which has served more than 18,600 patients as of February 1, 2023. The second is the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital which focuses on corrective surgeries for congenital heart disease as CHD is one of the main causes of infant deaths in Sri Lanka. In its first phase, the hospital, which was inaugurated on August 9, 2022, is equipped with 28 beds and has already performed heart surgeries on six children. The hospital is all set to expand into a 75-bed super speciality hospital in the very near future.
Nigeria – The Spiritan Self Awareness Initiative is located in the Enugu area of Nigeria and has a number of desperately needed service projects. Its main campus, called JOY Village, includes schools ranging from nursery school through secondary education and also offers a skills learning program aimed at helping students prepare for gainful employment. In addition to many other programs, SSAI provides breakfast to over 500 school going children each day. Joy Village houses an orphanage deemed the Heart of Love Children’s Home and also supports the elders in the community making sure they have the required necessities of life, often brought by the students. Their Liquid Love project supplies clean drinking water to 18,000 people in the villages surrounding SSAI. It also has a large farm which supplies food to not only Joy Village but also to those from surrounding villages who choose to participate in the program. Also of note are the medical programs which include a specialty hospital that features a unique program providing prosthetic limbs to those in need.
USA – In addition to numerous feeding projects throughout the US, there is a special medical program located in the Delta Region in the deep South of the United States. Providing free medical care in the US can be challenging when compared to other countries, partly due to the many governmental regulations needing to be met.
With the help of local, county and the State government, all regulations were met by DWF and the Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Medical Centre in Clarksdale was inaugurated by Sri Madhusudan Sai in June 2019. Since then, the Clinic has blossomed into a caring and compassionate point of service for the underserved population in Clarksdale and its surrounding areas. The Clinic provides comprehensive primary medical care to medically, uninsured women of all ages, and children from birth until 18 years of age, any medically uninsured, male members of local, non-profit organizations that have partnered with the clinic, also receive free medical care. Specialty medical care for pulmonary diseases, sleep disturbances, infections, and mental health problems are also provided, either through clinic visits, or via Telehealth virtual visits. Gynaecological care and mammography are currently provided once a month through a partnership with a Mobile Women’s Health Mental health services. As transportation to the clinic was found to be an issue for many living in the area, a 21-person bus was purchased and put into operation. Hundreds have already availed themselves of this service and plans are in place to expand services.
Revolutionising the Global Landscape of Selfless Service
a. The Idea of Affordability – one’s ability to afford a product or service has been a major impediment in allowing for the equitable distribution of resources. This has hindered nations across the globe, where 76% of the world’s wealth is possessed by 10% of people; and the bottom 50% account for just 2% of the world’s wealth (data according to the World Inequality Report 2022).
‘Let Need Define What Truly Belongs to Whom, And Not the Purchasing Power’ – this new age adage is based in the old age Vedic wisdom and is being restored by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai. He has taken resolute steps to remove the factor of ‘affordability’ from the equation of services so that everyone gets what they need. Believing that everyone has the right of access to programs meeting fundamental needs, all of Sadguru’s services in the fields of education, nutrition, healthcare, sociocare and other community services like disaster management, flood reliefs…etc., are given absolutely free of cost to all without any discrimination.
b. The Idea of Accessibility – The rural geographies of a country like India are where 75% of its population lives. National Sample Survery (NSS) 71st round on ‘Social Consumption: Education’ shows that 84.46% of total schools in India are present in rural areas and 71.72% of total student enrollment are in rural schools. However, bad infrastructure; imbalance in teacher-student ratio; inadequate basic services like textbooks, drinking water and libraries; traditional learning practices; and lack of technology in rural schools has brought about a severe rural-urban divide. This has led to a high rate of dropouts in rural schools. Similarly, in the healthcare sector, nearly 86% of medical visits in India are made by those from the rural areas, with a majority travelling more than 100 kms to access needed healthcare. Further, 70-80% of these healthcare costs are direct out of pocket expense, as per reports published by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
First Things First. Take it Wherever it is Needed. Making quality education accessible to rural children with world-class infrastructure, an enriching environment and with highly qualified teachers who stay on campus with the students in the rural areas is the effort of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai. In the last 10 years, 27 Campuses in 22 districts in India and 3 similar campuses in Nigeria, Laos, and Australia have been developed. All are located in natural, beautiful environments and offer high quality, integral and values-based education to children from impoverished and difficult backgrounds. A higher education campus is also situated in a remote rural areas in the State of Karnataka in India.
Similarly, quality healthcare is taken to the doorsteps of the people living in the rural areas who are might otherwise be neglected. 5 pediatric cardiac hospitals in India; 2 pediatric cardiac care centres and medical centres in Fiji and Sri Lanka; 5 mother and child hospitals in India; a multi-speciality hospital in India and Nigeria; a primary and secondary care centre in USA; and mobile clinics in many parts of India and other countries offer their high quality, completely free of cost services by taking hospitals to homes and villages.
c. The Idea of Sustainability – Global leaders have recognized ‘Sustainability’ as the means to achieve equality and harmony, and have proposed education, healthcare, nutrition, environment, infrastructure, decent employment and several such factors as means to attaining it. While progress is an ongoing process, sustainability is most often forgotten.
Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai has approached ‘Sustainability’ more as a value rather than a concept of collective prosperity. He has interpreted ‘Sustainability’ as an internal measure of assessment and improvement, rather than an external measure of advancement. The four sustainability values taught by Sadguru are: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Refuse.
Reduce: Restraining from over consuming even though one may have the power and wealth to do it will prevent artificial demand and price rise. Thus, the same consumables could be made accessible and affordable to poorer nations.
Reuse: Utilizing resources in the best way possible and by sharing those no longer usable or required, prevents both the unnecessary hoarding of wealth or resources as well as unmindful wastage.
Recycle: Recycling consumables gives back to the environment what was taken from it to make a product, helping to restoring the environmental balance.
Refuse: ‘Consume with Sacrifice’ says the ancient Indian teachings. One has to simply sacrifice all that is not needed, and stay light and simple. Thinking of others before one’s own self and sacrificing for the sake of others are key components of this belief.
d. The Idea of Quality – ‘Quality’ often is often sacrificed for the sake of quantity. This is the state of public services in many nations across the world. While the number of schools and hospitals have increased, the quality of the students in terms of their academic proficiency, moral rectitude, social awareness and efforts to give back to their communities and is somewhat lacking. The quality of healthcare has also reduced.
Values Guiding Vocation is the policy which assures the high quality of all services offered in all fields. The values of truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence ensure that every person who is being served is offered what they need with sincerity, in the right quantity, and with humility. By focusing the attention of the provider on the question of whether what is given is sufficient or not helps keep a conscious check on their egos ensuring humility. The educational edifices offer world-class facilities that takes care of all student requirements academic and otherwise. On each campus, you will find needed recreational facilities (including in some cases, sizable sports stadiums), fully equipped classrooms, complete libraries, auditoriums, environmentally beautiful amphitheaters, more than adequate laboratories, high level technology, sufficient hostels, regionally focused food courts, etc.
Similarly, all the hospitals have top-notch facilities required for treating children with congenital heart diseases. This includes necessary facilities for the family of the patient. Giving the highest quality service completely free is a value which is never compromised.
Love in Leadership
The leaders in all areas use the Ingredient of Love to lead. Encouraging employees to do their job with great love is an important role of any manager or leader in this mission of selfless service. Love comes in various forms. Love is sometimes instruction, advice, counsel or even a direct command. Love can also be a reprimand and a caution. But Love always involves acceptance of every individual as an integral and important part of the team.
Everyone in a leadership position is seen as, and knows themselves to be, a ‘servant leader’. They take on the responsibility of developing each individual they work with both personally and professionally. Leaders always make sincere efforts to provide all the required equipment, training, support, and encouragement necessary to perform the given task.
Transformation inspired by love is of a permanent nature while forcing transformation through fear or force will only be temporary. Therefore the leaders focus on working through source, not force. The effort is to bring about a positive change by keeping love as the basis of all actions. This extends to the leaders taking a direct interest in all aspects of the other’s lives. They may help with the worker’s families education or medical needs; each team member is seen as a family member
With love comes patience. Different humans come with different needs, dispositions, abilities and ways of thinking. Treating them with great empathy, patience and love is important to bring efficiency, productivity and loyalty. This has been proven effective as all aspects of the organizations involved in this mission as there is a very, very low turnover rate.
The leaders also focus on a ‘Bottom-Up Approach’ by keeping in touch with all employees at all levels. It is not uncommon to find the most senior leader listening to the most junior staff member who might be ignored in other organizations. Everyone’s input is valued and sought. Time and time again, suggestions from those who might be ignored has resulted in new and innovative approaches. This sense of inclusion has resulted in all taking ownership of all aspects of the mission. For example, when a janitor in one of the hospitals was asked what he did, he responded by saying “I help save children’s lives.” All are seen as equal in this mission-all are one family. It has been found that by accepting people as they are, and working with them with love and trust, they give their best effort in their respective positions. But the care, concern and compassion the leaders express to those they work with is not to get the most out of them; rather it is an opportunity for the leader to practically demonstrate the concepts underling the mission of Love All Serve All to all involved.
A leader ensures that each and every person they work with has the greatest opportunity for expressing their talents and abilities in their work. A main goal of any good leader is to inspire others to become leaders. This is done by providing training, trust, support and opportunities to personally develop further within the workplace. Individuals may be transferred to different parts of the projects or even to different projects to enhance their learning and develop leadership qualities. Everyone in every program is valued as a family member in this mission. This dharmic approach to leadership focuses on the collective good while ensuring that the individual is given the opportunity to blossom into the best version of himself/ herself.
Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai
Divine Will Foundation
Divine Will Foundation was established with the goal of making the world a better place. We believe that true global well-being, happiness and prosperity will only exist when the values of LOVE and COMPASSIONATE SERVICE take precedence. We support societal and personal transformation by enabling True Spirituality to come alive as LOVE IN ACTION.