Installation of Dhanvantri Statue at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences

Wednesday, October 02, 1996 

Sri Sathya Sai with the Dhanvantri Statue in front of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram
On this day, Bhagavan installed the marble idol of Dhanvantri, the presiding deity for health and medicine, at the Super Specialitiy Hospital. Bhagavan arrived at the Hospital precisely at 9.30 am. He materialised a scroll of mystic symbols and placed it below the idol to sanctify it with Divine energy. Bhagavan went around the idol and gave precise instructions for its proper orientation in relation to the hospital. The installation ceremony was then gone through and Arati was offered to Bhagavan. 

Given below is a link to the video of Swami installing the Dhanvantri statue in front of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Science, Prasanthigram: 

The Paduka Celebrations at Prasanthi Nilayam and Its Inner Significance 

Thursday, October 03, 1996 

Sri Sathya Sai on the Silver Chair offered by the Sai Paduka Trust
1,008 couples performed ‘Paduka Puja’ for the consecrated ‘Padukas’ in Sai Kulwant hall on this day. The Sai Paduka Trust offered Bhagavan on this occasion, a golden Pooja Mandap with Bhagavan’s picture installed in it, a pair of golden Padukas in the shape of Conch and discus and an ornamental chair with silver carvings. In the evening, Dr. Gadhia from U.K. gave a speech about the significance of Paduka worship prior to Bhagavan’s Discourse. 

In His Discourse, Swami highlighted the qualities that a true devotee should have. He also gave the inner significance of the worship of the Padukas. He said: 

"In the Geeta, the Lord has indicated the qualities which a devotee should possess to enable him to earn the love of the Lord. Among these qualities, Krishna declared Anapeksha (desirelessness) as important. Today there are few without desires of one kind or other. All sensual pleasures are ephemeral. But most people are content with them. Greater than the sensual is the transcendental path, Shreyo Marga, which confers lasting bliss. When one does any action as an offering to God, it gets sanctified. Such an act becomes Anapeksha (desireless act). Every selfless act of devotion becomes an action free from the taint of desire. The second quality is Suchi (purity). What is required is both internal and external purity. God cares only for Chitta-Shuddhi (internal purity of the mind). The third quality is Daksha. This means that the devotee should be steadfast and unwavering in any situation. With his mind firmly rooted in God, he should engage himself in service to others and perform actions in a spirit of detachment. Only such a devotee is eligible for God's love. He is unaffected by pleasure or pain, gain or loss or what happens in the mundane world. The fourth quality is Udaaseenah indifference to external happenings. The fifth quality is freedom from egoism and possessiveness. One should get rid of the idea of doership and ownership and surrender everything to God. Today all spiritual exercises are ostensibly undertaken for realising God. But there is no need for undertaking them. Human birth itself is a mark of Divinity. What is essential is to recognise the indwelling Divinity and live on that basis. 

The Golden Padukas in the Prasanthi Nilayam Mandir Bhajan Hall
Where is God? Not in temples or pilgrim centres or other places. He dwells in the heart of everyone. To experience the Divinity within, one has to see the Divine in all others and render them service in that spirit. 

Today we are celebrating the worship of Padukas (sandals sanctified by the touch of the Lord's feet). Worship of Padukas is not of recent origin. Even during the Krita Yuga, the sages used to worship Padukas, experience divine bliss and share it with others. By worshipping the Feet of the Lord, they achieved the goal of their penance. 

In the worship of Dakshinamurthy, adoration of the sandals of the Lord as guru (preceptor) is considered important. Even Shankaracharya resorted to the worship of the Lord's Feet as essential. In a famous hymn, he extolled the Lord in many ways and declared that he was taking refuge in the Lord's feet (Shambhu). He declared that Shiva's feet were enshrined in his heart and not elsewhere. 

The glory of the Lord's feet is demonstrated by a significant episode in the Ramayana. After Rama left for the forest, Bharata came to him and pleaded earnestly with him to return to Ayodhya. Rama was equally determined not to return. Vasishta noticed the equal determination of the two brothers. The sage told Bharata, “Rama has come to the forest to carry out the command of his father. It is not right on your part to ask him to change his mind. Let us take his Padukas to Ayodhya. Those Padukas will reign over the kingdom.” Vasishtha gave this timely advice and persuaded Bharata to take Rama’s sandals and install them on the throne in Ayodhya. 
Lord Rama blessing Bharata with His Padukas
These incidents show that the worship of the Lord's feet and of the Lord's sandals has a long antiquity. The sacredness of this worship was propagated to the world by Bharat from ancient times as part of its spiritual message to mankind. Indians today have largely forgotten this ancient practice. In those days it was the practice of the disciples, after the completion of their education at the guru's Ashram, to take with them Padukas of the guru to worship them on their return to their homes. But even the worship of Padukas is an external activity. True devotion calls for the installation of the Padukas in the heart. This means that starting with the external form of worship, we should in due course make it an internal exercise. 

… Hence, gradually: you have to give up the animal qualities and develop godly qualities such as truth, righteousness, justice and morality. By a process of self-enquiry you can get rid of your animal qualities like anger. How long are you going to remain in the same round of birth and death without realising the goal of human existence? All Poojas, rituals and penances are performed for this realisation. You have secured an extremely precious gift by your present birth. Do not waste it. Utilize every available moment for a worthwhile purpose. Devotees are yearning to realise the Divine by worshipping the Lotus feet and offering their worship to the Padukas. Have the conviction that when you have the sanctified Padukas with you, the Lord is also with you. When you enter the Mandir you leave your shoes outside. But the Lord's feet are present wherever His sandals are kept. Bear in mind this sacred idea. Live up to the conviction that the eternal Divine is omnipresent. Maintain purity and harmony in thought, word and deed. That is the way to secure Jnana-Shuddhi (Divine Wisdom). 

Thanks to many meritorious lives in the past, you have got this sacred opportunity. Of the hundreds of millions in Bharat, how many have got this opportunity? Many who wished to come here have been unable to do so for one reason or another. Make the best use of the rare and sacred opportunity that has come your way.” 

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