Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation,london
Manava Sevaye Madhava Seva
Service to Man is Service to God
The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation was founded in the 1960s by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement. The Sathya Sai Organisation derives inspiration, guidance and strength from Bhagawan Baba’s mission and message of propagating the truth of man’s inherent divinity, which is proclaimed and preached by all religions of the world. In consonance with this truth, the Organisation has as its main objective selfless love and service without any distinction of religion, nationality, race, socio-economic status, either for those who work in the Organisation or for those who are served by them. Thus, it transcends all barriers, leading humanity towards the ideal of ‘Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man’. In fact, this spiritual basis enables every one in the Organisation to pursue his own religion better by putting its teachings into practice by way of love and service to the God who dwells in all hearts. That is why the Sai Organisation features in its emblem the symbols of some of the major religions of the world. There is no fee or subscription for membership. .
The principal objectives of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation are:
To help the individual -
To be aware of the Divinity that is inherent in him and to conduct himself accordingly;
To translate into practice in daily life, divine love and perfection; and therefore
To fill one’s life with joy, harmony, beauty, grace, human excellence and lasting happiness;
To ensure that all human relations are governed by the principles of Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Right Conduct), Shanthi (Peace), Prema (Love) and Ahimsa (Non-violence).
To make devotees more sincere and dedicated in the practice of their respective religions by understanding properly the true spirit of their religion.
How are the Objectives attained?
The above-mentioned objectives are attained in the following manner:
By observing the four principles laid down by Bhagawan Baba, namely:
There is only One religion, the religion of Love
There is only One caste, the caste of humanity
There is only One language, the language of the Heart
There is only One God, He is omnipresent.
By constant remembrance of God and looking upon all creation as a manifestation of Divinity in different forms and shapes;
By underlining the essential unity of all religions and securing proper understanding of all religions as being based on Love;
By looking upon all work as service dedicated to the Divine;
By bringing to bear upon all life’s problems, attitudes flowing from Divine Love, such as, understanding, compassion, tolerance, helpfulness, etc.
By basing all actions on Love of Divinity, fear of sin and steadfast observance of morality in society;
By engaging in spiritual, educational and service activities, both at the individual and community level, in an organized, systematic manner, without expecting any material reward or appreciation, but solely as a means to win God’s Love and Grace.
The Organization undertakes spiritual, educational and service activities under the inspiration and guidance of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba through the Sri Sathya Sai Samithis / Centres all over the globe.
Spiritual activities include devotional singing, study circles, public lectures, seminars, meditation etc.
Educational activities cover ‘Bal Vikas’ (for children) and Education in Human Values Programmes, besides formal academic education combined with the development of the character of the students for age group of 6 to 15.
Service activities include items such as organizing medical check-up camps, adoption of under-developed villages for accelerating rural development, blood donation, old age homes, etc.
Every member of the Organisation must undertake Sadhana (spiritual discipline) as an integral part of his daily life and abide by the following Code of Conduct: -
Daily meditation and prayer (according to one's own religious practice).
Devotional singing / prayer with members of his family once a week.
Attendance by one’s children in the Bal Vikas / Educational programs conducted by the Samithi / Centre.
Participation in community service and other programs of the Organization.
Attendance at least once a month in group devotional singing organised by the Organization.
Regular study of Spiritual literature with special reference to Sai Teachings.
Putting into practice the principle of ‘Ceiling on Desires’ and utilizing any savings thereby generated for the service of mankind.
Speaking softly and lovingly with everyone with whom one comes into contact.
Not indulging in talking ill of others, especially in their absence.
The apex body of the organisation is the ‘Prasanthi Council’, headquartered in Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh. It is this body that oversees the functioning of the Sai Organisations worldwide. The Prasanthi council consists of the All-India President, the Chairman of the Overseas Organisations and few other senior members of the Sai Family appointed by Bhagawan Baba Himself.
The policies, decisions and directives of the Prasanthi Council are handed down through the state level units and central coordinators to the entire organisation, right down to the grassroots levels for assimilation and implementation.
The Sai Organisation, from small beginnings in a remote little hamlet, in South India, has grown into a well-knit, purposeful and service-oriented global organisation of dedicated men and women. With its organisational units in all Indian states and over 170 other countries, it is striving every day selflessly to bring in a new world order governed by peace, love, unity and harmony.
The structure of the Sai organisation in India consists of:
The All-India President who guides and supervises the activities of the organisations in all the states of India.
The All-India President is assisted by the All-India Coordinators of Spiritual, Educational and Service wing and also Zonal coordinators for Eastern, Western, Southern and Northern regions of India.
Every state has its own State President who appoints District Coordinators for every district of the particular state. The State President is also assisted by the State-level Mahila (women) Coordinators for each wing i.e., Spiritual, Educational and Service.
The District Coordinator of every district, in turn, selects the Convenors of every Sai Samithi (centre). Every Samithi has its own Spiritual, Educational and Service coordinator selected by the Convenor.
Regions: For the purpose of the administration, the Overseas Organisation is structured into regions in the following manner:
Every region has one or more Central Coordinators who are appointed by the Overseas chairman of International Sai Organisation. The Central Coordinators disseminate policies, directives and messages received from the Prasanthi Council.
Every country which has ten or more Sai Centres has a Central Council, and a Coordinating Committee is in place in every country where there are less than ten but more than three Sai Centres.
The Central Council or the Coordinating Committee, as the case may be, selects the heads of every Sai Centre.
A minimum of nine members is required for the formation of a Sai Centre.
Excerpts from Bhagawan's Discourses with respect to the Sai Organisation
Bhagawan has on many occasions elaborated on the concept of seva and the ideals of the Seva Organisation. In a discourse given on 18th November 1984, He said:
“The uniqueness of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation consists in the fact that it regards seva (selfless service) as a form of service to the Divinity that is in each being. The bliss that is derived from such service is incomparable. It is a spiritual experience.”
From: Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. XVI, Chapter - 27.
In a revealing discourse that Baba delivered on the 23rd of February, 1968 in Prasanthi Nilayam, Baba made the purpose of the organisation very clear when He said,
“The Organisations named after Me are not to be used for publicising My Name, or creating a new cult around My worship. They must try to spread interest in japam (recitation of God's Name), dhyaanam (meditation) and other sadhanas (spiritual practices), which lead man Godward; they must demonstrate the joy derivable from bhajan (devotional group singing) and Naamasmarana (remembering God's Name), the Shaanthi (peace) that one can draw from Sathsang (good company).
They must render seva (service) to the helpless, the sick, the distressed, the illiterate and the needy. Their seva (selfless service) should not be exhibitionistic; it must seek no reward, not even gratitude or thanks from the recipients. Seva is sadhana (spiritual exercise), not a pastime of the rich and well placed. Each one must realize this truth.
From: “Sathya Sai Speaks”, Vol. VIII, Chapter- 6.
“It is the duty of all those who are connected with the Sathya Sai Organisations to promote spiritual discipline and dedicate their lives to social service for leading a purposeful life. To promote the awareness of Divinity in human beings and build a genuine sense of brotherhood among people, should be their primary aim.”
- Bhagawan Baba’s Discourse in Prasanthi Nilayam on 22-11-1980
“Sathya Sai Speaks”, Vol. XIV, Chapter-56.
“Members of Sathya Sai Organisations must not cavil at other Names and Forms of God; they should not become fanatics blind to the Glory of other Names and Forms. They should join those that honour those other manifestations and demonstrate that all Names and Forms are Mine. They should contribute to the joy and happiness of all without giving up their faith.”
- Bhagawan Baba’s Discourse in Prasanthi Nilayam on 18-05-1968
“Sathya Sai Speaks”, Vol. VIII, Chapter-21
“Ostentation is a demonic quality. It encourages egoism and megalomania. One should seek to acquire a good name through selfless service alone. It should be done with humility and sincerity. One who aspires to become a national leader must first know how to render service. He should not seek office or position. The Sai organizations have been set up for rendering service and not to establish official positions. Seva (service) should be done out of a sense of duty.”
- Bhagawan Baba’s Discourse in Prasanthi Nilayam on 20-11-1990
“Sathya Sai Speaks”, Vol. XXIII, Chapter-31
“Sai organisations must endeavour to promote faith in God. If that foundation is absent, worship, bhajan (devotional singing), puja (worship), acts of charity - all become meaningless, mechanical rituals, done under social compulsion. Inner transformation can be acquired only when these are done with faith.”
- Bhagawan Baba’s Discourse in Madras (now Chennai) on 21-04-1967
“Sathya Sai Speaks”, Vol. VII, Chapter-18
“Members of the Sai Organisation and those who adhere to the Universal Path to Sai should not be carried away by ideas of inferiority or superiority based on differences of religion, caste or creed. They should honour the virtues of faith, steadfastness, sincerity, purity, wherever found.”
- Bhagawan Baba’s Discourse on 17th Oct 1972 in Prasanthi Nilayam
“Sathya Sai Speaks”, Vol. XI, Chapter – 42.
“Members of the Sai Organisation must carry on their work with the firm faith that all are the children of one God. They must carry on their service activities in a spirit of unselfish dedication to the Divine. The practice of pure, unselfish love is the only way to attain God. They should purify their hearts and minds, regarding their body as the temple of the Divine.”
- Bhagawan Baba’s Discourse on 12th May 1984 in Mumbai
“Sathya Sai Speaks”, Vol. XVII, Chapter – 11.
Daily Schedule (at Sai Kulwant Hall)
Small articles such as cell phones, can be kept in the cloak room located close to the entrance to the hall.
Aumkar: Aumkar is the chanting of ‘Aum’, the primordial sound, also called the ‘Pranava’. The vibrations that emanate from chanting ‘Aum’ have the potency to purify the inner personality of an individual as well as the surrounding environment. That is why the day at Prasanthi Nilayam begins with the chanting of 21 Aumkars.
Suprabhatham: ‘Su’ signifies good, auspicious and ‘Prabhath’ means morning. ‘Suprabhatham’ refers to the morning prayers that are chanted in praise of the Lord to awaken the divinity present within each individual. It is the act of dedicating oneself to the Lord and praying for His blessings right at the start of a new day. For the text and MP3 audio of the prayer, click here.
Veda Chanting: Vedas are ancient spiritual scriptures revealed to great sages and seers while in communion with God. Chanting or listening to these hymns confers spiritual as well as physical benefits. That is why Bhagawan gives a lot of importance to Vedas and encourages everybody to chant these hymns and understand their meaning. The students of Bhagawan chant these hymns in the early hours of the morning while circumambulating the mandir complex, and also during Darshan hours in the morning and afternoon sessions in the mandir.
Nagar Sankeertan: ‘Nagar’ means city or locality and ‘Sankeertan’ means devotional singing. After Suprabhatam, devotees circumambulate the mandir complex while singing devotional songs and clapping their hands keeping beat. It charges the atmosphere with holy vibrations and one begins the day with the name of the Lord on one’s lips.
Bhajans: Bhajans means “Singing aloud the glory of God”. Bhajans in the divine presence of Bhagawan Baba are unique as they are universal in their scope and appeal and emphasise the unity of faiths. For Bhajans MP3, click here.
Arati: ‘Arati’ is the ritual of waving lighted camphor to the deity to mark the culmination of worship. During Arati, devotees sing a devotional song in praise of the Lord and end with a prayer for universal peace. Arati MP3, click here.
Prasanthi Nilayam Township is adjacent to the village of Puttaparthi, in Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, South India (Latitude 14° North, Longitude 78°1 East). It is well-connected by road, rail and air. Bangalore is the nearest metro at about 120 kilometres from the Ashram.
A number of bus services connect Prasanthi Nilayam to cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Tirupati.
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC: http://ksrtc.in) too runs bus services connecting Prasanthi Nilayam to Bangalore (including a Volvo luxury bus service) and to Mangalore from this terminal. The KSRTC reservation counter is located close to the bus stand. [Phone: (08555) 288938 ]
Private Transport: There are a number of private bus and taxi operators who ply between Prasanthi Nilayam and cities like Bangalore, Chennai, etc. Please be advised that taxi fares between Bangalore and Prasanthi Nilayam are in the range of Rs. 2500/- to Rs. 3000/-.
The ‘Sri Sathya Sai Prasanthi Nilayam’ railway station is located 8 kilometres from the ashram. There is a computerised railway reservation counter in the bus terminal just outside the Ashram [ Phone: (08555) 287355 ].
The important cities from which there is direct connectivity through Rail to Puttaparthi are given below.
Several trains pass through Dharmavaram junction, located 40 Km. from Prasanthi Nilayam too.
For more information please check www.indianrail.gov.in.
The nearest major airport is the Bengaluru International Airport (http://www.bengaluruairport.com) located about 120 kilometres from Prasanthi Nilayam.
For Citizens of India and Nepal (with valid Photo ID)
For Overseas Devotees (with Passport and valid Visa) and Non-Resident Indians (with Indian Passport)
Advance reservations: No advance reservations can be made. However, large groups may be able to make arrangements in advance, preferably by contacting the Accommodation Office well before the planned time of arrival.
Payment: All payments towards accommodation charges must be made in cash (in Indian rupees) only. There is a bank counter inside the Ashram premises where devotees can exchange their foreign currency for Indian rupees. Payment by credit card is not accepted.
Service of Porters: Service of authorised porters at fixed tariffs is available for shifting of luggage at the time of arrival or departure.
Laundry service: There are authorised dhobis (laundry personnel) who collect the laundry outside the building every morning after 7 a.m. The clothes are usually returned within a day or two.
Checking Out: The checkout time is 12 noon.
There are three canteens in the Ashram that cater to the varying tastes of the thousands who visit Prasanthi Nilayam from all over the world. They provide hygienically prepared vegetarian food at nominal prices.
South Indian Canteen
The South Indian Canteen offers South Indian style purely vegetarian meals, breakfast, snacks, tea, coffee, milk etc. at highly subsidized rates.
Payment: Payment in the canteen is in the form of canteen coupons only. Direct cash is not accepted. Canteen coupons can be purchased from the ‘Canteen Coupons’ counter located in front of the gents’ entrance of the Canteen.
North Indian Canteen
Payment: All payments in this canteen are made directly in cash.
The Western Canteen is located between Round Building 2 and Round Building 3 of the Ashram premises and offers purely vegetarian continental cuisine.
Payment: All payments in this canteen are made through vouchers purchased directly outside the canteen.
Kiosks are located, one adjacent to the Shopping Centre and another near the North Indian Canteen, where snacks, beverages and ice-creams are served. Other than this there are beverage counters distributed all around the ashram where coffee, tea, hot chocolate etc are available along with biscuits.
The timings of these shops are often staggered to ensure availability from 0500 Hrs to 2030 Hrs. However these Kiosks will stay closed during Programmes and Bhajan Sessions in the morning and evening.
The Bakery is located behind South–6 block flanking the Shopping Center on the left side. One can find here all kinds of bakery items from bread & bun to pizzas, all prepared by dedicated Sevadal Volunteers inside the Ashram premises itself.
A bakery counter is opened daily in South Indian Canteen between 7.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m. and between 3.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital is adjacent and South of the ashram premises. The hospital has outpatient facilities and also provides casualty/emergency services. The hospital provides free diagnosis and treatment in General Medicine, Paediatrics, Orthopaedics, ENT, Ophthalmology, Dentistry, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Super Speciality Hospital
The Super Speciality Hospital, also called as the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prashanthi Gram, is located 7 kms from the Ashram. The hospital offers Specialty treatment in the departments of Cardiology, Urology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, and Gastro-enterology completely free of charge. More…
Timings: The hospital is open from 8.30 am to 5 pm on all days except Sundays and public holidays.
The Shopping Centre is adjacent to South-6 block, near the Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana Trust (Publications Division) building. Day-to-day needs of devotees ranging from stationery, grocery and home needs to clothing and travel goods are available at very reasonable prices.
Fruits and Vegetables
Books, Photographs, Audio & Video Stall
The Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana Trust (Publications Division) located behind South-6, near the Shopping Centre undertakes the printing, publishing and sale of various books, audio & video cassettes, CDs & DVDs etc. relating to the life and teachings of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Bhajans and festivals at Prasanthi Nilayam. The Trust also undertakes the sale of publications in other Indian and Foreign languages.Subscriptions to the Ashram Magazine, Sanathana Sarathi for the English and Telugu editions can also be made here or online at www.sanathanasarathi.org
Library cum Reading Room
The Book Trust building also houses a reading room that is a storehouse of Sai Literature with a large and varied collection of books on the life and teachings of Bhagawan Baba and experiences of devotees, in many Indian and foreign languages.
For more information, please visit www.sssbpt.org
Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana Trust (Media Division)
Sri Sathya Sai Sadhna Trust (Media Division) makes available books, audio and video products under the banner “Sai Blossoms’. These may be purchased from their stall in front of the Radio Sai Studio near West-8 block.
Sai Blossom products are also available at the Shopping Complex.
For more information, please visit www.radiosai.org
State Bank of India, Prasanthi Nilayam Branch is located at Room No. 5 opposite the South Indian canteen, where foreign exchange conversions also can be transacted.
Other major banks with branches in Puttaparthi (outside ashram premises): Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank, State Bank of Hyderabad, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and ING Vysya Bank. All these banks too provide ATM and Credit card/Debit card facilities.
Note: Devotees are advised not to deal with any unauthorized persons for foreign exchange transactions as it is prohibited under Indian law.
The men's cloakroom is located adjacent to the Public Relations Office (Room No.12), facing the South Indian Canteen
Inland and overseas telephone calls can be made from the telephone booths in the ground floor of the Sevadal Accommodation building located opposite the Round Block-5.
Timings: 6 a.m – 8.45 p.m.
This office is located adjacent to the South Indian Canteen, beside the Gopuram Gate of the Ashram and is open 24/7. Any issues concerning the security of the Ashram and the devotees are dealt with here. Ambulance service is available here, in case of emergencies. One may also collect Vibhuthi prasadam from here when leaving the Ashram.
Devotees in need of wheelchairs may obtain them at North-8, A-10 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The accommodation office also allots ground floor rooms to such people on request, subject to availability. The wheelchairs are not supposed to be taken outside the Ashram premises and must be returned on the specified date.
The Ashram Maintenance Office may be contacted for any civil, electrical, water supply problems or any other complaints concerning the room or hall allotted within the ashram. It is located adjacent to the West-3 block on the southern end.
Timings: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
The Public Relations Office is located in Room No. 10, opposite the South Indian Canteen. This office is open from 8.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and 3.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. on all days. The ‘Lost-and-Found Office’ is also located here, where devotees can enquire about their lost belongings, or deposit any unclaimed articles found inside the Ashram. Any clarifications can be had by contacting the Public Relations Office at the Ashram.
Special shows at the Planetarium for school/college pupils or large groups above 100 in number may be arranged in advance by contacting the Public Relations Office.
Bhagawan has repeatedly made it clear in His discourses that He has no agents, no intermediaries, whatsoever. His connection with the devotees is direct and heart to heart.
Unauthorized Trusts / Bodies
No institution or individual other than the following are authorised to receive any donation inside the Ashram on any account:
Devotees are requested to note that Bhagawan does not solicit any donation whatsoever and the above-mentioned Trusts have no intermediaries or agents. Individuals, trusts and other bodies soliciting donations on behalf of Bhagawan or the above-mentioned trusts are doing so illegally. Individuals or Institutions making donations to such unauthorised bodies are doing so at their own risk, and the above-mentioned trusts are not responsible for their acts.
The Government of India has amended the schedule to the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act 1950 to include the following as protected names and emblems under the said Act:
In view of the above, no person shall use or continue to use for the purpose of any trade, business, calling or profession or any patent, trademark or design the aforementioned protected names / emblems or any colourable imitation thereof without the previous written permission of the Central Government. Any person who contravenes the above is liable to be proceeded against and punished under the provisions of the law.
Any person who is using the aforementioned names and emblem in contravention of the provisions of the Act is hereby notified and required to cease and desist from using the said names/emblems with effect from: 22nd July 2004.
Devotees are also required to beware of touts who collect money inside the ashram for any of the ashram services. Devotees are not required to pay to anyone inside the Ashram except for services like accommodation, food, etc. at the respective offices and canteens.
- Country: United Kingdom