Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates Sri Sathya Sai Sowbhagyam – Centre for Human Development at Naya Raipur

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Sunday, the 21 of February, 2016 will be etched as a red-letter-day in the history of the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital at Naya Raipur, Chhattisgarh, in Central India. The Premier of the Nation came to pay his obeisance to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and unveiled Sri Sathya Sai Sowbhagyam – Centre for Human Development.

Shortly after 9 am, Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi arrived at the hall that looked celestial, with the multitude of tiny little lights, about 5000 of them, shining forth like stars on the Pentagon shaped roof. He was accompanied by Dr Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh and Sri Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Parliamentary Affairs, and was led by Sri C Sreenivas, Chairman of the Sri Sathya Sai Health and Education Trust. The hall was packed with about 500 specially invited devotees and staff, who had all gathered in Baba’s divine presence to witness the inauguration of Sri Sathya Sai Sowbhagyam, and a beautifully sculpted statue of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

To discover Life’s beauty and meaning is a study we engage in, mostly for a lifetime. Sri Sathya Sai Sowbhagyam is a rare confluence of the finest and noblest thought and its expression, built to inspire this study. Picturesquely located, in Naya Raipur, the new state capital of Chhattisgarh in central India, Sri Sathya Sai Sowbhagyam, is an offering to every being from every land, to invoke the Spirit of the Divine to bless and guide us. It is a Divine Edifice, built next to the heart-shaped Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Centre for Child Heart Care. The health of a child is the true wealth of the nation, and since its inception in November 2012, over 1800 pediatric cardiac operations have been conducted successfully. The objectives of this magnificent structure is to promote discussion, expression and enable action in art, culture, educare, societal advancement and integrated well-being.

Marking the grand inauguration of the Sri Sathya Sai Sowbhagyam, which has a seating capacity of 1500 people, the Prime Minister unveiled a plaque and also dedicated the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Centre for Child Heart Care in service of humanity. He congratulated Sri Indulal Shah, Grandsire of the Sri Sathya Sai Organisations, who was seated on the dias, on this momentous occasion, before heading to unveil Bhagawan Baba’s life size statue.

As the screen enclosing the statue was being drawn by the Prime Minister, it was indeed a momentous occasion for every person gathered, who sat with bated breath to witness the much awaited pearly white 5’3″ figurine in all its splendour! Baba’s statue stood as a beacon of love, with his hand in the typical gesture in the air.

Prof Kamaldeep Dhar, currently the Professor in Department of Sculpture, Kala Bhavan, Vishwa Bharathi, is the blessed sculptor of the figurine, which is carved in Italian Marble. It took him few months to imagine Swami’s statue in marble, and eventually when he decided to take up the process, it took him about one year and six months to complete it. Though he never had the darshan of Baba, he said, his approach was to feel that Baba was his own, and this removed all distance between Baba and him. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was no more an all powerful Almighty to him, but one of his own, which is why he feels that the statue emanates aspects of love and tenderness. He fondly says, “I am usually a very reserved person, but my communication with people happens when I see them from a distance. I notice how people connect and communicate with the statue through their feelings and emotions. Baba belongs to everyone, rich, poor, to people of all religions. He has universal embrace, embodied in His message – ‘Love All and Serve All’. I am happy to see that people from all sections of society will come to Sri Sathya Sai Sowbhagyam to connect and communicate with Baba”

The Prime Minister, along with Sri M Venkaiah Naidu and Dr Raman Singh paid their floral tributes to Bhagawan Baba, and prayed for well-being of the people. Sri Narendra Modi, who has been greatly influenced by the life of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and blessed to receive the blessings of Bhagawan Baba for over 30 years, had once said “Baba has won people’s heart with his humility, serving the poor, curing the sick and spreading mass education.” He alighted the dais after paying respects and having a few intimate moments with Sri Indulal Shah. He then walked towards the devotees, and greeted them with the familiar “Sairam” and the hall reverberated with a “Sairam” in response. The Prime Minister interacted with the dignitaries gathered, which included famed santoor player Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Sri B N Narasimha Murthy – Chief Mentor of the Sri Sathya Sai Saraswathi Education Trust, Sri Isaac Tigrett – founder of Hard Rock Café and House of Blues, Dr H R Nagendra – Chancellor, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-VYASA) Bangalore, Sri S Kishore – Executive Director of KSK Energy Ventures, Dr Ravi Pillay from Singapore, among other office-bearers of the Trust and devotees from various counties, who were present on the occasion.

The Prime Minister said, “Sairam. Today I got an opportunity to dedicate Sai Baba’s statue to Humanity. This Hospital serves the poor of the country by providing Totally Free-of-Cost Services, especially in the field of pediatric cardiac surgeries. Those who have visited Puttaparthi will know that there is a very big hospital there too. There is very little attention placed by people on the social work done by Sri Sathya Sai Baba.  People speak very often of miracles (chamatkaars). But His unparallel contributions towards Drinking Water, Education and Health, these are truly very inspiring. Even if one single miracle was not referred to, the work itself is a VERY BIG MIRACLE. I offer my salutations to this great social work of Baba.

The function concluded once the PM, Sri Venkaiah Naidu and the CM proceeded to the state-of-the-art auditorium in the Ground floor of the Sri Sathya Sai Sowbhagyam for the next event, organised by the Government of Chhattisgarh. Said to be the best auditorium in the State of Chhattisgarh, the Government had requested for the venue to conduct their program, which was truly a humbling moment. Sri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for a housing scheme and electronic manufacturing cluster, and also released the Chhattisgarh Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Policy.

Between the two functions, he sought the guidance and blessings of Bhagawan Baba in the subtle form, for a few minutes. It was a great occasion for the leader of the Nation and the leader of the Universe to come together, yet again!

An overwhelmed Sri C Sreenivas, Chairman of the Sri Sathya Sai Health and Education Trust said, “This very important occasion has ushered in the timeless message of Baba, ‘Love All. Serve All.’  A message so needed every moment, in the lives of the people of India and the world, to transform ourselves into better citizens and better people. Sri Sathya Sai Sowbhagyam is beginning to manifest itself as the transformation and energy center, that is now so palpable, and so very pulsating in people, whom I have seen over the last three years. Today, from the CM of the State, down to all the citizens of the state of Chhattisgarh are certain that a mysterious power that manifests itself in an explicable form, is touching their hearts. I have heard it and continue to hear from the scores of people who have visited this place, including those who have come here for the very first time, that there is something mystical, something magical about this place.

Our Prime Minister was the most appropriate person to have inaugurated the statue of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and rightly so. A new dawn, a new era, a new beginning has been ushered for the state and for our country. Baba continues to live in the hearts of every being and continues to be the guiding light in their hearts.”

In accordance with Baba’s vision of providing the complete care spectrum of preventive, educative and curative healthcare, taking quality healthcare to every doorstep remains the motto of the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital. Five such institutions of service –  over a 10-year period will be established near Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, and also in the states of Gujarat and Orissa.