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Report on International Sai Medical Conference
3rd- 4th September, 2005

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has often stated that spiritual progress is not possible until one is equipped with a healthy body and a sound mind. Hence, healthcare is one of the major areas of focus for service projects undertaken by Bhagawan as a part of His Divine Mission. Commemorating the 80th year of the Advent of Bhagawan, the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization organized an International Sai Medical Conference on 3rd and 4th of September, 2005 in Prasanthi Nilayam. More than 900 doctors, surgeons, professors and medical experts and eminent personalities across various specializations in the fields of medicine and healthcare from across the globe assembled at the Divine Lotus Feet to imbibe the Divine teachings and to discern their role in the Divine Mission.Bhagawan at the Exhibition on the theme, "Global Sai Health Mission"

On 3rd morning, Bhagawan inaugurated an exhibition on the theme "Global Sai Health Mission", which highlighted the medical Seva undertaken by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations all over the world. At 8.30 a.m., Bhagawan granted darshan to the thousands assembled in Sai Kulwant Hall and formally inaugurated the conference by lighting a lamp. Dr. Michael Goldstein, the chairman of the Prasanthi Council, welcomed the delegates and spoke a few words by way of introduction and outlined the scope of the conference. He was followed by Dr. A.N.Safaya, Director, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthi GraDr. Safaya addressing the delegates during the inaugural sessionm and Whitefield. Dr. Safaya is an eminent figure in the Indian medical scene having held the post of Medical Superintendent, All India Institute of Medical Sciences for nineteen years before taking over as Director at Bhagawan's super-speciality hospitals. Dr. Safaya chose to speak on the theme, 'Ideal Sai Healthcare'. He held out the super-speciality hospitals and the general hospitals set up by Bhagawan at Prasanthi Nilayam and Whitefield, Bangalore as sterling examples of translating Bhagawan's vision of healthcare into reality. He said that the basis of Bhagawan's mission of healthcare is Divine Love that is given to everyone equally without any consideration of religion, nationality or economic status. This philosophy of healthcare stands on four pillars:

  • Globalisation of medicine - Healthcare should be made available to one and all.
  • Decommercialisation of medicine - Quality medical care should be provided absolutely free of charge.
  • Human Values in medicine - Medical care should be administered with love.
  • Spiritualisation of medicine - It should cater to the needs of not just the patient's body but also the mind and soul.
By applying these canons, doctors can understand that the interaction between the patient and the doctor has a spiritual dimension to it. They learn to treat patients as human beings rather than as a disease complex. It is in this way that the ancient Indian ideal of 'Arogyam', the absence of disease, can be achieved.

Dr. Safaya concluded by saying that by establishing these hospitals, Bhagawan has provided the medical community with a working model that can be replicated anywhere and help in realizing the vision of health for all.
Dr. Alan Gradman presenting his views on the state of healthcare in today's worldDr. Alan H. Gradman, Chief Cardiologist at Western Pennsylvania Hospital, Pittsburgh was the next speaker. He began by outlining the tremendous advances that have taken place in the past few decades in the technology and techniques available for the treatment of cardio-vascular diseases. However, he said, concomitant with this positive development, there has arisen a negative trend ? the invasion of economic self-interest into healthcare. He said that the present economic model of healthcare that is being followed in developed countries is flawed as it allocates medical resources according to the ability to pay rather than according to the need of the patient. This results in an unfortunate situation where many people are left without adequate medical attention. Bhagawan, Dr. Gradman said, has given the remedy to this crisis, showing the world what is possible in the field of healthcare by building hospitals that provide world class medical care without charging any fees whatsoever from the patients. The hospitals are also a testimony to what wonders can be achieved by dedication and commitment. Dr. Gradman concluded by saying that the most important lesson he has learnt by observing the working of Bhagawan's hospitals is that the definition of service is not restricted to undertaking some welfare work in one's leisure; doing one's duty diligently and with dedication is also a form of service.

Bhagawan answered the prayers of the delegates and the thousands gathered in Sai Kulwant Hall and granted His Divine Message. He elaborated on the theme of what constitutes true education. In modern society it i
Bhagawan giving His Divine Message to the delegatess commonly understood to be the transmission of the information contained in text books. But, the true purpose of education, Bhagawan said, is the awakening of the divine consciousness of man. This process of awakening is called 'Educare'. In order to get an education people traverse the entire globe, but Educare only requires one to turn one's vision from the outside world to the realms within. One must distance oneself from identification with the body and realize one's identity with the Indweller of the body, which knows neither birth nor death, joy nor sorrow, bondage nor liberation. The body is given for the fulfillment of a particular task, and one must retain the 'I' consciousness only to accomplish that task. Relinquish physical attachments for they only lead one to sorrow. The true devotee is one who realizes the principle of Oneness by seeing divinity in all creation, He said.

After the inaugural session at Sai Kulwant Hall, the delegates adjourned for the closed sessions in the Institute Auditorium where many eminent medical professionals from different parts of the globe presented their papers on the theme of the conference, 'Ideal Sai Healthcare'. After the deliberations held over two days, the delegates again assembled in Bhagawan's presence on the afternoon of 4th for the valedictory session of the conference. Dr. Goldstein introduced the speakers for the session. Dr. Michael Rakoff, a consultant in Hospital Administration to many hospitals in USA, who spoke first, recalled the advice given by Bhagawan when he asked Him how he should teach ethics and human values to his students. Bhagawan told him that the only way to teach the values of truth, love and compassion is by putting them into practice in one's own life. His conduct would engender the process of absorbing these values in the students. Dr. Rakoff shared with the gathering three most valuable lessons he had learnt from Bhagawan: 1) One need not attempt to change the world. All that is needed is to change oneself. 2) To have love and compassion towards all beings 3) Unity of Thought, Word and Deed.

Dr. Venkatraman Sadanand, Fellow of Paediatric Surgery in Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago and Adjunct Professor in Game Theory at University of Guelph, Ontario was the next to speak. He said that the need of the hour for doctors is to consider their patients as God, sacrificing one's self interest for the welfare of the patient. Indeed, doctors must function as conduits for God's Love to flow into their patients.

After the talks by Dr. Rakoff and Dr. Sadanand, Dr. Safaya and Dr. Goldstein delivered their closing remarks on the proceedings of the conference. Following this, Bhagawan graciously presented mementos to the doctors who had made presentations during the two day conference to the delegates, and also to the chief organizers of the conference. A few of the doctors spoke on behalf of the delegates expressing their gratitude to Bhagawan and prayed for His blessings and guidance. The proceedings concluded with arati being offered to Bhagawan.

Jai Sai Ram!


Bhagawan at the Exhibition on the theme, Global Sai Health Mission

Dr. Safaya addressing the delegates during the inaugural session

Dr. Alan Gradman presenting his views on the state of healthcare in todays world

Bhagawan giving His Divine Message to the delegates

Dr. Michael Rakoff speaks during the valedictory session

Bhagawan blessing Dr. Sadanand with a gold chain materialized by Him

Bhagawan presenting the speakers at the conference with mementos

Source: http://srisathyasai.org.in/pages/International_Conference.htm


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