Meeting Amazing People – Part 2

by Sahadev Komaragiri

SmilIt is said that “God gets amazing things done by those who do not care about who gets the credit”.  I had an opportunity to meet some of the best people and I consider myself blessed to know them and in some cases associate myself with them and their causes. All these people are indeed doing some amazing work and they really do not care about who gets the credit. They only care to see that others enjoy the benefits of their actions. Here are some of the people I worked within the last one year.

This is the ninth article in my series of articles on Living in India.

Some of the people I met are high profile achievers who are doing selfless service such as Sunita Krishnan. There are many more who work incessantly for causes without occupying or craving for any post, position, power or even recognition.

There is an old lady in Nandigama Sathya Sai School who decided to stay in the school and teach Vedam and school bhajans at the school. She dutifully helps school children in performing special prayers on their birthdays. She rented out her own house to stay in the school. She takes no salary. A part of the rent she collects she donates to the school. There are a number of other local volunteers who visit the school and donate their time, money and energy in helping out with the school activities.

There is an IT person in Bangalore who visits Sathya Sai Schools spread throughout the nation. His goal is to teach Vedam to as many students as possible. He is a very effective and affectionate person who spends his weekends on no other activity but going to schools. He is heavily booked and rarely has a weekend booked for his own work. He travels from Bangalore to every nook and corner of the country from Kerala, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh in the south to Punjab in the Northwest and Odisha and Assam in the Northeast. He doesn’t charge a penny and refuses to accept even travel expenses. We invited him to our school too. Within one and a half days children were able to chant some of the most popular Veda based Suktams.

Our school was recently visited by a team from Kuwait. They spent their money, energy and talents in reaching out to a rural school in teaching art and craft through a two day workshop. They charged no fees and instead supplied our school with a year long supply of material and printed text books for conducting art and craft classes. The workshop they conducted was outstanding and greatly liked and appreciated by the children, teachers and the management. It was a team of six dedicated “Sai Devotees”. They wanted nothing in return and they repeatedly mentioned that they were very fortunate to be able to serve.

There are many more people who are called “Sai Students” or “Students of Swami”. They are the alumni of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. These ex-students are pursuing the causes initiated by their Chancellor, Bhagawan Baba, even though it has been years and even decades since they left their University. There is no other alumni network that is as dedicated as this one. Most of the people I interacted with are working on a massive project called “Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini”. The goal of this project, initiated by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, is to bring higher standards of education to the rural masses. “Sai Students”, who are at the forefront of this project, work day and night on various facets of this project that covers most of the central and state boards.  These Sai Students are extraordinary people and like many others they also go to work to pay their bills. But unlike others, these alumni members are decisively doing outstanding work. How do they find time, energy and money to work in the evenings and travel to far off places over the weekends to serve the causes they strongly believe in? Only God knows! People consider such tasks as thankless jobs as they involve no pay and no recognition. But what is amazing is that these individuals consider it their great fortune to be able to work on this project which they consider to be God’s own project. They work with great detachment and at the same time with great levels of love and commitment. I think it is the intent to serve and everything else like  money, time and energy quickly follow them.

I also got in touch with some of the outstanding individuals who decided to say no to high paying jobs just to be able to pursue their dream of working for the causes they believed in. I found such dedicated “Sai Students” and “Sai Devotees” who are doing extraordinary work both in the US and Singapore and now in India. There are those who spend their weekends in teaching human values to the children through various “Balavikas” classes. There are those who go out to give free coaching to students in math and science subjects. I am very fortunate to associate myself with such people and work hand in hand with them.

Are all these people free from any afflictions that affect all commoners? No, certainly not. They have as many problems as any other commoner. They have to deal with crazy people, uncertainty and even disappointments. It is fascinating how they pull back from the brink of failure and get back on track with redoubled effort and dedication. This is the part that is most difficult to understand for ordinary mortals who seek material comforts and complain about every small problem in their lives. What is it that drives such people? I do not know for sure!

I am sure there are many more people who are doing great community service. It is this community service from dedicated individuals that will alter the course of history of this great nation. While many complain about what they do not have, these dedicated souls do not. They simply go out and help as many as they can without expecting anything in return. When you are surrounded by such positive people at all times, life certainly is enriching. This is what makes our return to India so overwhelmingly a good decision.

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