THE DIVINE WILL
(Story from Radio Sai)
THE INSIDE STORY OF HOW BABA'S FREE HOSPITALS CONTINUE TO HELP THOUSANDS
During these times when commercial gain seems to be the major motivating
force behind almost any sort of activity, it seems strange and difficult
to believe that one person would come up with an idea that is original ,
deeply rooted in compassion, requires intensive effort to translate into
reality and is unimaginably difficult to sustain.
So often and with such interest, we read and retell the stories of
entrepreneurial and political success, but rarely do we dwell on the noble
and sacred idea and implementation of an enterprise that is totally
targeted at the gain of our poor and needy fellow men, without looking for
any self-gain whatsoever. For it is as Bhagavan says, "Love without Duty
You do not have to look far to see why the Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality
Hospital is a dream Hospital. This magnificent edifice came to life in one
of the most backward areas of this country with its 346 million people
below the poverty line. It was not the affluent societies of the West with
their rich trusts and foundations but the Sri Sathya Sai Trust Founded by
revered Bhagavan that ventured into such uncharted territory and the result
Puttaparthi and the region around it is perennially drought prone. Power
is scarce. Schools and colleges are few and skilled manpower is hard to
come by. Availability of essential commodities, leave alone life saving
equipment, their maintenance and upkeep were unimaginable.
Not only were the idea and the choice of its location totally unique in
that there has never existed a completely Free Tertiary Care Hospital
anywhere in the world, but the fact that Bhagavan insisted on beginning
with the Cardiac Surgery Department is noteworthy. No doubt, the
University runs entirely free courses right up to MBA, M.Tech & even Ph.D,
but then providing free Cardiac Surgery and top level Cardiology is an
entirely different matter and cannot be equated or compared with. In fact
it is astonishing!
Unlike other specialties, Cardiac work involves huge initial capital
investment in infrastructure. Blood bank services that can manage the
demand; laboratories; microbiology; a reliable gas supply for oxygen and
other gases for anaesthesia and ventilation of patients for several days
at time; a dedicated laundry; and central sterilisation services; theatres
equipped with operating tables; expensive heart-lung machines; anesthesia
machines; operating lights; cautery and surgical instruments etc.; several
echocardiography machines with TEE probes; cath labs costing over a core
of rupees for diagnostic and interventional work; post-operative recovery
ICUs equipped with multiparameter monitors; ventilators; blood gas
machines and so much other equipment. Several patients need radiology
services, CT scans and stress Thallium tests.
Add to the many crores of rupees invested, the personnel needed to run
these complicated equipment and you have the perfect recipe for a hospital
administrator's nightmare, especially considering where Puttaparthi is
located! Doctors specialized in so many different areas, nurses in three
shifts in each unit, technicians to man the equipment with expertise,
biomedical and other engineers, besides other technical staff to run
generators, air-conditioning equipment and carry out various types of
As if that were not enough the recurring costs are high too. Heart
operations are very expensive. The cost of oxygenators for open heart operations,
valves, suture material, injections and drugs is very high because like
the equipment, most of these have to be imported.
Some believed that the Hospital would start working, but that it would do
just run for a while and then stop to recover from the financial crisis it
would engender. Others were more generous and thought that it could
function only with visiting teams and that eventually it would be mired in
problems. Then there were those who called it an experiment
None of that ever happened. Even now after 10 years of continuous,
unparalleled, 100 % Free service by this Institute, it stands out tall.
Not a single rupee has been collected from patients in this Hospital. Top
quality medical treatment is available without barter. The Hospital is
living proof of a love that knows no mathematics. How true each statement
of Swami is! Love lives by giving & forgiving.
The Hospital is a beacon of hope. Elegant in structure and humming
internally with redeeming activity, with its own permanent staff working
hard to satisfy an uninvited but welcome throng of ailing humanity that
has known rejection only because they do not possess enough money. For
Bhagavan it is inconceivable that someone should be without help if He can
Swamiji always feels the pulse of the people. No government, no leader
feels as much and also has the capability to translate sympathy into
Many of us feel for others, but can do little or nothing about another
need. But in Bhagavan's case it is different. He sees and His heart goes
out to suffering humanity. and He acts.
Bhagavan has set new benchmarks for the leaders of the world. One cannot
even do so much for ones loved ones. Here is Baba accomplishing the
unimaginable, the impossible for strangers, for people from afar, for
people who have never heard of Him, for people who may not believe in or
practice the ideals and truths He stands for. What greater example of
large heartedness, what greater example of unconditional love does the
Compassion without frontiers and service without self-gain! It is the same
universal love that one reads of in the scriptures and makes you wonder.
Only, now it is open to appreciation and study.
Swamiji has a way of making difficult things look easy. Many thought this
project would lead other trusts and philanthropic organisations to follow
suit after Swami had set a precedent -after He had set the trend. No one
has been able to replicate this effort even on a smaller scale despite
there being so many philanthropic organizations.
A decade and 12,000 heart operations and nearly as many Urology and
Ophthalmology operations later, no one had even tried. Bhagavan, seeing
the overwhelming need of so many patients flocking to this Hospital, took
the gracious step of starting another Hospital this time offering
Neuro-surgery and Neurology, besides Cardiac facilities.
Dear Reader, so much has happened only due to an amazing degree of Baba's
personal involvement and that too without any trace of strain or
compromise on His numerous other spiritual and service activities!
The Lord's mission is vast and embraces new frontiers but the kindness and
meaning it brings into individual lives is unimaginable. Blessed are we to
be His contemporaries and witness first hand His work of Love.
Posted on 30-12-2004