Prashanthi Nilayam Seva
Service is the highest spiritual discipline. Prayer and meditation, or knowledge of scripture and Vedanta (Holy Scriptures of India), cannot help you reach the goal as quickly as service can. Service has a double effect: it extinguishes the ego and gives bliss. – Sri Sathya Sai Baba
They will fold their hands and request you to stay in the queue. They will stay awake all night guarding your premises. They will help and guide you in the Ashram. They will clean the vessels in the canteen. They will serve food to the patience’s and hospitals and devotees in the canteen. The skilful among them will drive vehicles, work on computers. And all they do with love in their heart and a smile on their face. At their homes they could be farmers, doctors, drivers, professors, lawyers, government officials, software professionals, carpenters, or corporate executives; they could be from Sikkim, from Kerala, from Punjab or from anywhere across India. They could belong to any religion – Muslims, Christians, Hindus or Sikhs, they could be poor or rich. These are the ubiquitous Sevadal volunteers who keep Prashanthi Nilayam ticking.
To anyone who visits Prashanthi Nilayam, the abode of Baba, the sight of “Sai Ram” – wishing scarf – clad sevadal is a refreshing sight in a world filled with object materialism. Be it in Sai Kulwant Hall, the canteen, the hospital, the museum, the university or the bakery, one cannot but admire these men and women drawn from all walks of life and from all over India rendering service with expectation of virtually nothing from those who get served by them. The ‘Love Army’ or ‘Messengers of Sai’ created by Baba in 1960s, are affectionately termed as ‘seva dal’ and work with united loving spirit radiating the love of the Lord in their activities, completely in equanimity with their thoughts, words, and deeds.
How does one become a part of this ‘Love Army’? The very basis of metamorphism of a normal person into a Sri Sathya Sai Seva Dal is through Sri Sathya Sai Samithi, the very foundation of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation. Inspired by other Sevadals, Service activities done by Samithis and Bhajan Mandalis of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, a person becomes a member of a Samithi/Bhajan Mandali nearby. Regardless of his status, cast, creed, colour, he would be treated equal among all the members. As a new comer he gets attracted by the love shown to him by one and all in the Samithi irrespective of their social standing, financial status, or educational credentials. There is no membership fee. There are more than 2 lakh sevadal volunteers, in addition to about 1 lakh registered youth in the country. These volunteers are trained and briefed before they are allocated for Prashanthi Nilayam Seva.
The yearly voluntary service of 10 to 30 days each time for each state is an opportunity for service that these 2lakh volunteers both men and women look forward to. About 1500 such men and women are the sentinels of service every day at Prashanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi. Around 200 sevadal both men and women render service in Super Speciality Hospital & Brindavan Ashram, Bangalore also throughout the year. These volunteers are from Karnataka state.
Separate batch of sevadal participate in special occasions during Bhagavan’s birthday, Sports Day, Gramaseva, Aradhana Mahosthavam from twin states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Sevadal also take active role in the cleaning of stadium, drinking water supply and decoration activities.
Out of the billions of people on earth, only a few million knew about Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Out of these, only a few believed in HIS divinity and worshiped Him. Even among those who knew and believed in Him, very few had the opportunity to see Him, experience Him and be in His presence. Only a few have the opportunity to serve in Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation. And only very few had wonderful opportunity to serve in PrashanthiNilayam.
Prashanthi Nilayam is a divine workshop, spiritual platform given by beloved Bhagawan. Sri Sathya Sai Baba says, service is the highest spiritual practice than Japa, Thapa and Yajna. Seva dal are His messengers. Many brothers and sisters are participating in Prashanthi Nilayam service by Bhagawan’s grace and invitation only! For transforming self to transform the world!
Seva opportunities are available for ladies, gents and youth.
The ‘Love Army’ or ‘Seva dal’ are personification of “Love All Serve All”.
For the progress of humanity, work alone is not adequate, but the work should be associated with love, compassion, right conduct, truthfulness and sympathy. Without the above qualities, selfless service cannot be performed. – Sri Sathya Sai Baba
You must render service out of spontaneous urge from within, with a heart filled with love. – Sri Sathya Sai Baba Baba