Public Meeting: Raleigh, NC
On February 4, 2019, the Sathya Sai Center of Raleigh was recognized by the Congregations for Social Justice1 with their 2019 Social Justice Award.2 During the presentation ceremony, various service activities undertaken by the Raleigh Sai Center were featured. Many members of the audience were curious to know more about the Sathya Sai International Organization (SSIO) and its spiritual leader who inspires its members. It became clear that it was time to introduce Sathya Sai Baba and His message of Unity & Selfless Service to the greater community.
A public meeting, entitled ‘A Way of Life – Love All, Serve All’, was held on April 7, 2019. Various faith-based and service organizations, with whom the Sai Center had worked over the years, were invited to attend. Among them were the Triangle Interfaith Alliance, Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, Unity of the Triangle, Habitat for Humanity Interfaith Build, Campaign for Nonviolence, Congregations for Social Justice, Hindu Society of North Carolina (HSNC) and Triangle Area Hindu Temples. The HSNC provided the venue free of charge. Approximately 35 people from the community attended the event. Parents of newly enrolled SSE (Sai Spiritual Education) children, who were unfamiliar with Sathya Sai Baba and His teachings, were also present. All in all, about 150 people attended.
After the opening welcome, a delegate from each represented organization was invited to share how their organization reflected the principles of selfless service and unity, and emphasized the importance of “love all, serve all”. The audience also viewed an introductory video on the Sathya Sai International Organization3
The program continued with a talk by Mr. Sathya Gopalan, an alumnus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. He gave a detailed account of Sathya Sai Baba’s message of universal love and narrated a few inspiring stories from Sai Baba’s own life that exemplified His abounding love.
Mr. Gopalan also shared Sathya Sai Baba’s emphasis on selfless service, and His guidelines for carrying it out. Sai Baba’s clarion call for service has been translated into concrete massive projects providing free education, free healthcare, free drinking water and disaster relief, both in India and all over the world. Mr.Gopalan concluded with Sathya Sai Baba's words on His ultimate mission of transforming mankind. Sai Baba's wisdom for living can be boiled down to four simple principles: do good to others; forget the harm done to you; forget the good you have done to others; never forget the good others have done to you. Mr. Gopalan also shared Sai Baba’s simple motto for spreading joy in life, one that resonated with the Christian delegates in the audience: Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.
The event ended with a multi-faith music program with songs from various cultures, languages and faiths conveying the message of Oneness. The feedback for the public outreach event was very positive. Many expressed gratitude for the loving hospitality they received from the Sai Center, and said they found the event both informative and inspiring.
1 Congregations for Social Justice is a coalition of faith communities committed to advocating for public policies that create a better Raleigh for all people; working for social justice in solidarity with our most vulnerable neighbors; and building a sustainable, diverse network of relationships across our faith communities and with other partners. More about the Congregations for Social Justice can be viewed at:
2 Vice-President of the Raleigh Sathya Sai Center accepts the Social Justice Award on behalf of the Raleigh Center at the Award Ceremony: https://youtu.be/xzuDJYat0jk
3 The introductory video on the SSIO can be found at: http://sathyasai.org/video/ssio-overview