"Where did you go for Grama Seva today?"

November 1, 2000 

The Morning Darshan was at around 7.00 am. Later Swami went to the Seva Dal canteen to oversee the cooking work for the Grama Seva. The Evening Darshan was at around 2.50 pm. During Darshan, Swami asked a few students and teachers about their Seva work today.

Students circumambulating Swami and leaving for Grama Seva

Swami: (To a student) Which village did you go to?

Student: Swami, Janakapalli.

Swami: It is Jaanakampalli. How many saris did you distribute there?

Student: Swami, 300.

Swami: Only 300! It is such a big village. Miser!

After the interview, Swami came to the third block very eagerly asking the following question.

Swami: There is a prize for those who did the work (Grama Seva) well today. Who worked well?

Students: All Swami. (Swami repeated the question few more times to teachers and all answered the same or kept quiet smilingly)

Students and staff distributing Prasadam in the villages

Swami: In Jaanakampalli, they took very less clothes. (Some teachers told that they took according to the list that they were given. But Swami did not agree.) There are two persons there. Nagi Reddy and Narayan Reddy. (Anil Kumar sir explained Swami about the good reception he received in the village by those people.)

Swami: In villages they give a lot of respect. Town people have no manners, behaviour or discipline.

Prof.A.K.: Even in the village, Swami, there were many educated people.

Swami: Even Nagi Reddy’s son went to America.

Prof.A.K.: Swami, even in Guntur we won’t get so much respect.

Prof.A.K.: Swami, the communication boys (boys in charge of wireless communication) did a very good job by passing on instructions from one place to another.

Swami: Those are given by police. Nobody is saying who did the work well. Many should go. Then the work will get over faster. Some villages like Jaanakampalli are big. In those days when this road (road through airport) was not there, we had to come through Jaanakampalli.

Principal: Swami, if there is a bridge from Puttaparthi across Chitravathi we can go to many of these villages very fast.

Swami: (jokingly) Why bridge, with plane we can go still faster! Today, I went there. (Referring to Seva Dal canteen). Many boys were still waiting.

Principal: Last batch people are waiting.

Swami: Yes last batch. I went around. (Brindavan Warden came and Swami asked the same question) Who did well?

Brindavan Warden: Swami all did well.

Swami: You are here, how do you know? See, today many boys went and work got over fast. It is simple mathematics - more the people, the work will get over faster. All of you should learn mathematics. Because of yesterday’s experience, today you all did better. Jaanakampalli Nagi Reddy is 76 years old.

Prof.A.K.: Yes Swami, he is also the same.

Swami: He is just six months elder to me. When the lake was full and the Chitravati was in spate, we could not cross over to Puttaparthi. So I used to stay in their house. Once I stayed for one week. Tomorrow where are you going? (The teachers mentioned the names of a few villages)

Dr. Siva Sankara Sai: Swami, shall we distribute in the hospital staff quarters?

Swami: Yes, but go early otherwise they will go for work. (A brief pause) Touch your conscience and tell, who did the work well today? (Everyone kept quiet)

Brindavan Warden: Swami, boys are working very hard in the kitchen.

Prof.A.K.: Swami, in most of the villages there is a school built by Swami.

Swami: Yes, they were built during the 60th and 65th birthday. In each village, I wanted a school, a temple and a Kalyana Mantapam (community hall). (To a school student) Did you do the work sincerely? Or, you just did it because Swami told to do.

Student: No Swami. I did the work sincerely.

Prof.A.K.: Swami, when we went to the schools, all the children were telling ‘Sai Ram’.

Teacher: Swami, for many, it is the first time to visit a village. (Swami acknowledged it.)

Principal: Swami, there is a lot of greenery around.

Swami: Yes, it is raining everyday. (To Anil Kumar sir) What work did you do?

Prof.A.K.: Swami, which ever work they gave me, I did it well. Along with boys, I distributed Prasadam to the houses.

Swami: In one house, they also gave you water. Is it not?

Prof.A.K.: (After thinking for a while) Yes Swami.

Swami inquired about the health of a teacher from Alike. (To him)

Swami: What worship do you do?

Teacher: Swami, I worship Rama, Krishna, Devi...

Swami: So many Gods you worship! (Swami materialized a small Ganesha idol for him, which was transparent. Swami told him to do Abhisheka to the idol and drink the holy water. Anil Kumar sir was looking at the idol very eagerly.) It is not made of glass.

Prof.A.K.: Swami, I thought it is made of glass.

Swami: No, glass will be heavy. But it is light. (Jokingly referring to Ganesha’s belly.) The stomach alone will be heavy. (To an Institute student) Did you do good work? Are you tired?

Student: (Without listening to the second question) Yes, Swami.

Swami: Tired?

Student: No, Swami.

Swami: (To Anil Kumar sir) It is not a tough job. Where did you have your food packet?

Prof.A.K.: Swami, we had it there itself. They even gave me curds. But I didn’t accept it, Swami. This is because only I can’t have like that.

Swami: Bhojanapriya (connoisseur of food). By eating in front of them they will know that we are eating the same thing that they eat. The Anantapur people sent 10 lorries and Bangalore people sent 10 lorries. (Swami mentioned the name of the devotee who sent them.)

Brindavan Warden: Swami, he said that Swami’s work is more important and comes first before all other work.

Prof.A.K.: Swami, even the vehicles got Punya (merit) by carrying the devotees and Prasadam.

Swami: Did the boys sing bhajans?

Students and staff singing Bhajans in the village before distributing Prasadam

Prof.A.K.: Yes Swami. They chanted Veda, Ganesha Mantram and Bhajans before distributing the Prasadam.

Swami: Did you sing?

Prof.A.K.: Swami, alone I may not be good in singing, but in a group I can sing (Swami smiled)

Swami: (To a school student referring to Anil  Kumar Sir in Hindi) Yeh Achha Gaata Hai? (Does he sing well)

Student: Swami, I haven’t heard him singing.

Swami: Yeh Achha Gaata Nahin, Achha Khaata Hai. (He doesn’t sing well, but eats well)

Prof.A.K.: Swami, boys are doing the work with Shakti (Energetic) and Aasakti (Interest)

Swami: If Aasakti is there, that is enough. Shakti will come on its own. No use of Shakti without Aasakti. Shakti should be there with Aasakti. Without Aasakti, it is like a bulb without current.

Swami suddenly got up saying that he forgot to distribute apples to the students. When Swami came back again he got along with him a packet of 'Sai Protein'. He read out the instructions given for the preparation of the drink. Then Swami went in and came back again and told the Warden to take eight boxes of it and give it to boys for 4 days. To Brindavan Warden, Swami told to give them in Bangalore.


  1. grama seva is rama seva i love u swami

  2. Saai my LORD what a compassion YOU had, have...

  3. Whata vivid narration from those golden days. Thank yu.



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