Commencement of the First Surgery – Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani International Centre for Child Heart Care and Research – Palwal, Haryana – April 18, 2017
‘Sai is Love, just love. Sai is Love, pure Love’, is the song which is heard, as one steps into the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani International Centre for Child Heart Care and Research at Palwal in Baghola District of Haryana. An hour’s ride by metro from the national capital New Delhi, this temple of healing was dedicated to the citizens of the haloed land of Bharat by its Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi on November 27, 2016. And truly, it is Sai’s love because of which this magnificent heart shaped edifice stands proudly on the Delhi-Mathura road, constructed in less then 10 months. Yet again, a miracle of love, a miracle of selfless service. April 18 was going to be another red lettered day in the history of the hospital with the commencement of the first heart surgery, totally free of cost. On the morning of April 18, 2017 Bhagawan along with His chosen retinue which included students from the Sri Sathya Centre for Human Excellence, Dr Ravi Pillay and his devout wife Smt Shyamini, boarded the flight to New Delhi. On reaching the capital, they proceeded to Palwal, which is a hour-and-a-half drive. Bhagawan arrived at His newly built residence and named it ‘ Sathya Sai Nivas’ and was very happy as He went from room to room. Other trustees of the Sri Sathya Sai Health and Education Trust, which was originally founded by Bhagawan Himself in 1970, Swami being the founder Trustee, Sri Thyagarajan and Sri Krishnan had also arrived from Singapore. After a quick refreshment break, everyone gathered at the hospital entrance to welcome the cosmic healer.
Sri C Sreenivas, Chairman of the Sri Sathya Sai Health and Education Trust, and Bhagawan’s chosen instrument to lead the establishment of the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals, along with the Doctors, Surgeons, and other hospital staff took Bhagawan and His guests on a tour of the entire hospital even as the Mellifluous ‘Sai is Love’ played continuously in the background across the entire building. Devotees from Germany had first sung this song on Swami’s first visit to Germany in 2016, and truly, just listening to this song opens the heart, and fills it with pure love. And this song has become the anthem for the Hospital, for it is the highest truth for ‘Sai is Love, and nothing but pure, pristine LOVE!’
When Dr Mrs Munesh Tomar, Head of the Cardiology Department, a gold medalist in her university and recipient of several awards, who was previously Head of Department, Paediatric Cardiology at Medanta, told Swami that in her entire career this is the first time she is seeing something like this, and experiencing this kind of love, Swami said, “For people outside, the child is a patient. For us here, the child is a human being, verily the Divine.” Swami then explained to everyone how the land was secured in May 2016, and the work began in July, amidst rains, which affected the swift progress. The real work had only started in September, and in November the external skeleton structure, along with one part of the Hospital was already ready to be inaugurated.
Swami gleefully entered every room of the Hospital and blessed every inch of space with the touch of His Feet. For generations to come, people can kiss the ground and feel blessed, for God walked this blessed piece of land!
Swami walked in to the Pre-Operative ward where two children waiting to be operated were lying in their beds, mother by their side, totally unaware of the greatest blessing they were being bestowed upon, to be blessed by God Himself! It was a very overwhelming moment for everyone, as Swami blessed the children with Vibuthi and gave His divine assurance that ‘all will be well’.
Swami had given a rare painting of a child praying to Lord Jesus to Sri Sreenivas, many years ago. This painting was re created by an artist Sri S K Riajul in Delhi, who did it in less than five days. Swami inaugurated the painting, which is right at the entrance of the hospital, and the first thought one gets on seeing this is surrender. The words etched on top – ‘Hey Prabhu’ meaning ‘Oh Lord!’, is a prayer to the almighty for His mercy, that forms the core of the services rendered at this temple of healing! Swami posed for a photograph in front of the painting with all the hospital staff.
Thereafter, He inaugurated the Operation Theatre Complex and Brother Madhusudan quickly changed into the surgical robes to walk along with Swami, as the Lord wanted to bless the staff.
Thereafter, everyone gathered in for a short Satsang, which began with melodious Bhajans by students, and the staff of the Hospital. Swami then commanded Sri Sreenivas to address everyone, who spoke in chaste Hindi and recounted the momentous day many years ago when Swami said a paediatric cardiology centre for children must be built in the country. Sri Sreenivas said, “Paediatric cardiac disease is the largest killer of new born and young children in our country. This centre is a testimony of Baba’s life, which can be encapsulated in two words, love and service. Every breath that He took, and every act that He engaged in, was to spread love and spread acts of service. From eight states, 210 children have already come here in the last four days! This gives an idea of the enormity of the problem at hand, and the enormous amount of work in front of us. How does work happen?”
Addressing the medical staff he said, “You are all living Gods, and in the scriptures it is said, ‘Vaidyo Narayana Hari’ – The doctor is equal to Lord Narayana. Swami says, ‘Put your entirety into the moment, all your skill, capacity into that moment. Truly this is not a hospital, this is healing process, and through this touch, the family, and the soul is touched.” He reminded the staff that everyone is an instrument of God. ‘You are going to breathe the life of God into that Child’, he concluded.
Swami in His message to all the staff who had gathered said, “The essence of all the 18 Puranas is ‘Paropakaraya punyaya, paapaya parapeedam. Helping others is merit and hurting is sin. Para (God) + Upa (Near) + Kara (Does) – is that which brings us closer to God.” Swami went on to say that the Hospital is the result of the sacrifice of many people, referring to the devotees from Singapore. They have submitted their body, mind and soul for a good cause. The sacrifice and love of these people is great. While on one side doctors, nurses, etc are required, on the other side we need devotees like these. Operations, patients and work will go on, but everything has to be done with love. Love and service are the two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other.”
Swami advised that whatever is required to save a child, even in the middle of the night it must be done. “Whatever you engage in, do it with selfless love. Place all your problems at His feet and march ahead. Step by step we will undertake this journey. God is with us, above all selfless love is with us! This is not Karma (work), but this is Karmayoga (worship). This service is without any expectation, and there cannot be a better opportunity than to serve in a world class facility like this.”
Mangala Arati was offered and Swami blessed the Surgeon Dr Rashmi who was heading to perform the first surgery, After the short programme, Swami continued touring the Hospital as He went to the lower floor which had a unique facility called, ‘Matru Chaya’, the shade of Mother, where the mothers and fathers of the children are allowed to stay free of cost, and not merely that, they are also given free meals. A first-of-its-kind again, this endeavour has helped the child recover much faster, as the best nurse to a baby is its own mother. The mothers are the best caregivers and are given special training at the hospital, on how to look after the baby after the surgery. This also becomes an interaction and exchange space for mothers of babies with similar predicaments, they share their sorrows before the surgery which diminish on sharing, and later they share the joy of a successful surgery, which upon sharing multiplies manifolds!
No doubt the success rate in Sathya Sai Sanjeevani is amidst the top hospitals in the world! Thereafter Swami walked in to the pharmacy, stores, administrative and IT sections and even in to the dining hall and kitchen, to bless the food!