Sri Sathya Sai Message on Health, Diet, Mind and Spirituality

Saturday, June 3, 1995

Bhagavan inaugurated an operation theater complex attached to Sri Sathya Sai Hospital at Whitefield on 3rd June 1995. Dr. S. S. Badrinath, the well-known eye surgeon and Director of Shankara Netralaya, Madras, was the Chief Guest at the function. Dr. Badrinath, in his speech said that Bhagavan’s service to mankind stood unparalleled in human history. 

Bhagavan then delivered His Discourse. He also gave very valuable guidelines to doctors and healthcare professionals connecting health, food, mind and spirituality.

“Man seeks to cross the ocean of Samsara by penance, pilgrimages to sacred shrines, scriptural studies and exercises in meditation. But all these are of no avail without service to good people. All these spiritual exercises are comprehended by Seva (service).

For the achievement of the four Purusharthas (main goals of life) - Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha (Righteousness, wealth, desire and Liberation), health is essential. Without good health, a man cannot accomplish even the most trivial thing. Hence, health is wealth. However, because of the influence of the present Kali (evil). Age, man is a prey to all kinds of ailments and has no peace of mind despite the possession of every conceivable kind of wealth and comforts. There is no dearth of doctors. Despite the availability of so many amenities, why is man afflicted with disease? Indeed, more than physical ailments, mental diseases are growing limitlessly. Mental sickness caused by tension and worry gives us so many bodily ailments.

Man today is afflicted with discontent. As one set of desires are satisfied, other desires go on cropping up. If desires are reduced, contentment will grow. Moreover, because of the perversions of the Kali Age, the five basic elements - ether, air, fire, water and earth - are polluted. The water we drink is impure. The air we breathe is polluted. The food we consume is polluted. As a consequence, the mind gets polluted.

Understand the Relationship between Matter and Mind

Today man must understand the true relationship between matter and mind. When one is asked about the mind, he says, "Don't mind". When he is asked about matter, he answers "It doesn't matter." By this sort of casualness, man is failing to understand mind and matter. 

Only when man understands the nature of the mind can he recognise the true nature of humanness. What is the mind? It is not something negative. It is positive. It represents the power of the Atma, the power of Sankalpa (Will). It can travel any amount of distance in space. It is capable of exploring the powers of the atom. The mind can recognize the truth that is valid for the three categories of Time - the past, the present and the future. The mind is therefore very essential in man's daily life. It is the source of all strength. Man today is indifferent to the importance and the powers of the mind.


Search for Happiness within Yourself

Man is seeking happiness from birth to death. The search starts with education. But education does not confer happiness. He desires a job, but that does not make him happy. He then seeks marriage as the means to happiness. Happiness eludes him because the wife claims equal rights. Then he declares' "My life is a total darkness." What is the reason for this feeling? It is the ego that is the cause. As a man grows, his egoism also grows. One after another, desires go on increasing. Their fulfillment does not bring him the happiness he seeks.

Where is this Ananda (bliss) to be found? It does not exist in material objects. It is not to be found in physical pleasures. The truth is man is the embodiment of bliss. He is searching for it outside himself. This is the mark of ignorance. When he is the embodiment of bliss, how can he secure bliss outside himself?


Today, in spite of all his wealth, man is unhappy. He is perpetually racked by lack of peace. Devotees come here from all parts of the world. Each of them asks: "I want peace." Here are three words: "I", "want", "peace". "I" is ego. "Want" is desire. Remove the ego and desire, you will have peace. Ego and desire have enveloped peace. When the covering is removed, peace will manifest itself.

Man can lead a blissful life only when he enjoys health. Wealth can offer comforts but not peace. Wealth can provide a multi-storied mansion but not sound sleep. Wealth can provide bodily comforts, but physical comforts do not produce bliss. Air-conditioners and comfortable mattresses may give comfort to the body. But when there is no peace of mind, of what use are these comforts? The body is like a water bubble, the mind is like a monkey; don't follow the body or the mind, follow the conscience.

Man today is not following the conscience. He is sticking to the body and mind which are useless. He must enquire into the problem, "Who am I?" He will discover that the body; the senses and the mind are all the instruments and he is their master. The master has today become a slave of his body and mind, which should be his servants. You are-the Soul. Make it the basis for all your actions.

Realise the Human Values First

Today man is forgetting his essential humanness. The first requisite is for man to realise human values: Truth, Righteousness, Peace and Love. For a bulb to burn, you need a connecting wire, a switch and electric current. For man, that current is Truth or God. It is energy. This divine energy has to flow through the wire of Dharma (Righteousness) reach the bulb of Shanti (Peace) and produce the light of' Prema (Love). Love is God. Live in Love. Love is everything. Without love, life is a living death' for man.

Love expresses itself in many forms in relation to different persons, but is essentially one. Today love is tainted by selfishness, whether in relation to the mother, the spouse or the children or others. Man's selfishness is polluting the entire society. Attachment to others is natural. But there should be a limit to it. When this limit is exceeded, it becomes a disease. This is true in every case. Because of man's excessive desires, he is prone to diseases of every kind.

The most common source of illness among people today is tension. What is the cause of tension? It is indulgence in excesses of various kinds. Men must learn to moderate the hectic pace of living. Hurry causes worry and worry causes disease. "Hurry, worry and curry (fatty food)" are the causes of heart diseases. Therefore, the first requirement is control of food and head (the mind). When you control these two, there will be no room for illness.


Importance of the Eye

Today the new operation theatre has been inaugurated in our hospital. Doctors know that in the eye there are billions of cells which react to light rays. If any of these cells are affected, the vision is affected. For man the eye is the most important organ for comprehending the Universe. Hence the eye has to be regarded as a sacred instrument. You cannot change creation, but by changing your vision you can get the proper view of creation.

Here is an illustration. Once there was a king, who developed an acute stomach trouble. All the medicines administered by doctors were of no avail. He then approached a great yogi, who told him that for his stomach ailment he had to treat the sight. He should see nothing but green everywhere. The yogi left and the king ordered that all places in his kingdom should be painted green. Sometime later, the yogi returned and found that people were engaged in splashing green paint everywhere. When asked for the reason, they told him that they were carrying out the King's orders. The yogi went to the king and told him that to see everything green, all that was needed for him was to wear green glasses. It was absurd to attempt to paint everything green. 


Similarly, if we change our vision, we will experience peace. When people view the world with the vision of love, they will have peace. All diseases will be cured. Most diseases have their origin in the mind. Everything has a psychological basis. When a person feels that something is wrong with him, he develops an illness. A healthy mind is needed for a healthy body. But it is not enough to be physically healthy. Man needs Daiva Anugraham (God's grace) also. To acquire God's grace you have to cultivate the love of God. Love has become today a kind of show. Genuine love should emanate from the heart. Start the day with love, spend the day with love, end the day with love, that is the way to God. If you develop love, disease will not come near you.

Realise the Value of Health

I am 70 years now. I can see even an ant that is far away. It is not due to divine power. It is physical power. What is the reason? Diet control. My weight has remained the same for over sixty years - 108 lbs only. Proper balance must be maintained throughout life. There must be balance in respect of knowledge and several other things. Students pollute their knowledge by seeing bad things, listening to bad things and by bad thoughts. Their minds are perverted by addiction to films. They should learn to lead pure lives. Only then will they experience bliss and health.

Embodiments of the Divine! Realise the value of health. Self-restraint is essential to maintain health. Regulate your habits and develop good manners, which are the mark of a true man. Similarly, the good devotee is one who does his duty. Duty is God. Everyone has to develop the manners required in daily life. The manners should be such that they confer self-satisfaction. You should conduct yourself properly not for the sake of others but for your own sake. When there is self-satisfaction there will be Self-realisation. For all these you must have self-confidence. Most people today have no confidence in themselves and are perpetually racked by doubts. In Jesus's time, there was one 'Doubting Thomas.' But today all are 'Doubting Thomases.'
Everyone is doubting every other.

For every man two things are essential: Arogya (good health) and Ananda (Happiness). Health for the body and bliss for the spirit. With these two wings you can soar to any height. You need both the things, for which you must secure God's grace. To get God's grace, you have to engage yourself in sacred action. Bear in mind the three P's - Purity, Patience and Perseverance. With these three you are bound to acquire good health and bliss.

Bhagavan's Example

You may believe it or not. But the truth is that these three are responsible for my Aarogya (health) and Ananda (bliss). I am always happy. I would like to run but there is no place where I can do so. I can lift anybody at this age. This strength is present potentially in everyone. But it is being wasted. If the energy in everyone is properly conserved he can do anything.

The Hospital here began in a small way with a single room. Over the years it was expanded. Dr. Rajeshwari worked hard to develop the hospital. She devoted all her earnings to the expansion of the hospital. She worked ceaselessly day and night. Ultimately, she passed away in the hospital itself. The hospital was her home.

Thereafter, Dr. Savithri has been carrying on the work. Savithri has been working tirelessly. She attends to everything herself. By her work for patients she is becoming a patient herself. She must take care of her health. Only when the doctor is healthy, the patients can be well cared for. As is the doctor so is the patient. Hence Savitri must take care of her own health. This is all the more necessary because the hospital is growing day by day. Srinivas is rendering every help for the hospital. There are others who are also serving the hospital in various ways.

Free Medical Aid

Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Whitefield Bangalore
(now merged with the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences)
The Whitefield hospital which began in a single room, has now grown into a big complex. The doctors have to meet the growing demands on their services. The numbers of patients coming to the hospital are growing all the time. All services are totally free. Not a paisa is collected from the patients. Such free medical treatment is not given anywhere in the world. This applies to the Super Specialty Hospital in Prashaanthigram. Elsewhere hospitals have become big business. In fact, in every sphere commercialization is rampant. Education is a business, music is a business, health is a business. The whole world has become a market place. Welfare services should be free for all. There are numerous people who cannot afford the costs of medical treatment. Doctors should render free service to such persons. My words should not be misunderstood. Even in the earning of incomes there should be a limit. Many doctors lack determination. They join a hospital on a good salary. But after a month or so, when another hospital offers a higher salary they go over to the new hospital. How long are you likely to stay in the other hospital? When you go like this, you forfeit the confidence of hospital managements. Even workers behave in this way. They shift from place to place. The right thing is to stick to a job for three or four years. Then your work will secure automatic recognition.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prashaantigram, Andhra Pradesh
Doctors should inspire Confidence in Patients

Doctors are obsessed with salaries. They should be more concerned about patients. When they concentrate on their patients, they will develop into excellent doctors. Inspire confidence in the patients. Then any medicine you give will work wonders. The patients will hail such a doctor as a "good doctor." A "good doctor" in due course becomes a "God doctor." "Vaidyo Naaraayano Harih," it is said. The doctor is Divinity itself. Doctors should render service in this spirit. Service is God.

Very good work is being done in our hospital as well as elsewhere. Bharat would not be what it is without good people. Without meritorious people can the world experience light? There are good and bad people in the world. All should become good and develop into Godly men. The same Atma is present in everyone. Doctors should look after the patients with the same care they would show to their kith and kin. Then all would experience equal happiness.”


Source: Sri Sathya Sai Digvijayam (1986-2005) and Sathya Sai Speaks Volume 8

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