International Medical Conference at Prasanthi Nilayam

Saturday, September 03, 2005 and 

Sunday, September 04, 2005

An International Medical Conference was held at Prashanti Nilayam, as part of the 80th Birthday celebrations of Bhagavan. This Conference was organised by Sri Sathya Sai Organisation of India and the International Medical Committee of Prashanti Council jointly. The theme of the conference was ‘Sri Sathya Sai Health Care Mission-Sai Ideal Health Care’. More than 900 delegates from 27 countries participated in this Conference. This was the first Conference in the world that focused on the challenges and outcomes of delivering medical care with love, compassion and empathy to the suffering humanity. 

Bhagavan lit the lamps in the exhibition hall and inaugurated a medical exhibition at 8.10 am, on 3rd September, at the Super Speciality Hospital. He went around the exhibition and closely watched the exhibits. Bhagavan then returned back to Sai Kulwant Hall and inaugurated the conference at 8.40 am, by lighting the lamps. The proceedings of the Conference commenced with the welcome address by Dr. Micheal Goldstein, Chairman Prashanti Council. After the speeches of two doctors, Bhagavan blessed the delegates with His Inaugural Address. 

The delegates were addressed by Dr. Micheal Goldstein, Chairman, Prashanti Council; Dr. A.N. Safaya, Director, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (SSSIHMS); Dr. Allan Gradman, Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Western Pennsylvania Hospital, Pittsburg, USA; Dr. Narendranath Reddy, Chairman, International Medical Committee, Prashanti Council; Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand, Professor, Paedeatrics, University of Arkansas, USA; Sri Kalyan Ray, Senior Director, United Nations; Dr. Kishore Udipi, Research Director, Medtronic Vascular, Santa Rosa, California; Dr. Neelam Desai, Head of the Department, Cardiothoracic Surgery, SSSIHMS, Prashanti Gram; Dr. A.S. Hegde, Chairman, Department of Neurosciences, SSSIHMS Whitefield; Dr. Ramachandiran Coopan, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicines, Harvard Medical School, USA; Dr. Keki Mistry, Director, D.Y.Patil Dental College and Hospital, New Mumbai; Dr. Anil Nanda, Professor and Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Centres, USA; Dr. Micheal Rakoff, and Dr. Venkatraman Sadanand, Fellow Paediatric Neurosurgery, Chicago, USA. 

The theme and delivery of the Conference was reflected in an excerpts from Bhagavan’s Discourse which was given in the year 1976 during the month of August. 

In the Inaugural Discourse, Swami exhorted the delegates to give up attachment and identification with body. Excerpts are given below: 

“People think that they have acquired high academic qualifications, but they enable them to acquire only bookish knowledge. At present, you find that everyone is engaged in acquiring bookish knowledge. But, they forget the fact that people led a happier and better life without bookish knowledge in the past. People think that pursuing academic education and acquiring bookish knowledge is real education. No, that is not real education. Education devoid of Educare is not real education. What is Educare? Educare is that which brings out the latent divinity in a human being. Divinity is also known as consciousness. It is only because of the consciousness present in him that every individual is able to know the nature of the world around him. But, unfortunately, no one is able to recognise this all-pervading consciousness. In fact, it is only this consciousness that is protecting every human being. In spite of one’s education and scholarship, one is not able to realise this truth. Education is negative and artificial, whereas Educare is positive. People are going to foreign countries to acquire such artificial education. What is the use of acquiring such education? Instead, everyone should strive to acquire Educare. One need not go to foreign countries for acquiring Educare. It wells up from within and protects the person constantly. Educare is the unity of thought, word and deed. 

... Realising one’s innate divinity is Educare. That innate divinity in man has been referred to by several people as Atma. Without realising the nature of the Atma one cannot understand the nature of the body. Educare consists of realising the nature of the Atma. When someone questions you what is the meaning of the word “self”, you answer ‘I’. But that is not the correct meaning of self. It is not correct to identify ‘I’ with ‘self’, i.e., body. ‘I’ refers to Aham (individualised soul). As long as one identifies ‘I’ with self, one cannot understand the real meaning of ‘I’. It is only when one sheds attachment to self and develops the feeling of equanimity, can one understand the nature of Atma. This Atma Tatva is equally present in every being. This is the fundamental principle. It is only because of this fundamental principle that every living being acquires value. One has to recognise this fundamental principle. Only then does one deserve to be called a human being. In this world birds and beasts live along with human beings. Human beings can be differentiated from birds and beasts only when man realises that fundamental ‘I’ which is the Atma Tatva. Since ancient times people in India have been striving to realise this fundamental ‘I’ which is present in all beings. 

... Keeping in view the bodily relationship, people often make enquiries, “Where did your uncle come from?” Where did your aunt come from?”, etc. Supposing you question the same person, “Where did you come from?” He cannot give a correct answer. The truth is all people come from the same source. When one realises this truth, there will no more be any worry or sorrow. Hence, one has to realise this universal truth. If you do not develop faith in unity, but follow diversity, your entire life will be chaotic. Do not develop attachment to the world. Instead, cultivate spiritual attachment. When you live in harmony with your fellow human beings, you will derive happiness. Then you will enjoy the unity between human beings. The real devotee is one who has realised such unity. Unity leads to purity, which in turn leads to Divinity. One who has not experienced such unity, purity and divinity confines himself to body attachment and will be trapped in the birth-death cycle. 

… You are all aware of the havoc caused by tidal waves that shook the coastal villages on the east coast of India (Tsunami), a few months ago. More recently, in America a very devastating hurricane submerged several towns and villages. The entire region presented the picture of a vast sheet of water. No one knew who survived and who died. It is only after the water receded, an estimate of the extent of damage caused to life and property could be made. 

Embodiments of Love! 

Eschew body attachment and realise the unity in divinity present everywhere. That is real Sadhana. Today, people undertake Sadhana to achieve something, all the while thinking of something else. As a result, they are unable to achieve their goal. Such divided attention is the fault of the concerned individual, but not that of the objective world. Ensure that your Sadhana is on the right track. Only then will you be able to realise the unity in diversity. Several people live long years of age, some even 100 years. But, they are unable to realise this unity. Instead, they visualise duality everywhere. This cannot be termed as real Sadhana. One who has realised the non-dual (Advaita) Brahman alone can be considered to be a real Manava (human being). Hence, try to realise the unity in diversity by removing the feelings of duality and experience bliss. In fact, unity is divinity and that divinity is immanent in you. As long as you are under the influence of duality, you will not be able to realise that unity. Realise unity, experience unity and spread unity to the entire world. Unity alone brings purity and purity develops love. If only you develop such pure love, you will be able to understand everything in the spiritual realm. I will take some other opportunity to explain in greater detail the concept of pure love. If you entangle yourself in worldly attachments and still aspire for divinity, how is it possible? Hence, keep yourself away from all attachments and attain unity.” 

The Valedictory Session of the Conference was held in Bhagavan’s presence in Sai Kulwant Hall on 4th in the afternoon. The delegates from all over the world resolved to practice the message of this Conference in their lives and in their work. 

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