Sevadal – Selfless Service
Every week 108 volunteers both men and women come from various districts of Karnataka and Bengaluru to provide selfless service to patients without any expectation of any return on their investment. They find fulfilment in the time they spend at the hospital, seeing Baba in every patient. Sevadal volunteers participate in various activities such as serving food for the patients, guiding the patients in their process of treatment, taking patients to various investigations, providing translation services, comforting the patient through their anxiety etc.
Over time people from various walks of life including IAS, retired military personnel, bankers etc. have participated and found fulfilment and happiness. The sevadal from various districts of Karnataka come based on a roaster, while sevadal from Bengaluru come as and when they can make time. There are around 15 sevadal who volunteer on permanent basis and stay on campus.
There is a very homely accommodation provided for ladies and gents separately during their stay in the campus. Sri Sathya Sai Trust, Karnataka ensures that all the sevadal get all meals of the day as prasadam.
Sevadal have special bhajans in Swami’s room on Saturday afternoon at 4 PM.
On 29th of March in the year 1968, Sri Sathya Sai Baba defined what is Sathya Sai seva (selfless service) and who is a sevadal (volunteer): “Every seva done with sympathy and skill to anyone in distress anywhere in this world is Sathya Sai seva. The sevadal must be eager to serve and trained to serve, for service from those who take My name must be intelligent and sincere.”
Sri Sathya Sai Baba in a discourse delivered on 21st November 1988 said: “Avail yourself of every possible occasion to render service to the society. It need not be limited to individuals. It is important to do national service. Whenever you find that you can render help to anyone in need, offer it. Do not make distinctions between rich or poor or the deserving and the undeserving. Offer service according to the needs of the situation. Today the needs of the poor in the rural areas are quite great. In this situation you must go out into villages, organise service activities and encourage the rural population to participate in them. The village folk should be told the importance of health and hygiene and how to keep their homes and villages clean and healthy.”
While addressing former students of His university in Prasanthi Nilayam, Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 6th September 2009 declared “service is your birthright”.
Service in Prasanthi Nilayam is an unparalleled opportunity. Highlighting this, Baba in a discourse to the residents of Prasanthi Nilayam on 7th July 1985 said: “By undertaking service activity in Prashanthi Nilayam one would have an opportunity to serve God directly. Any work done here is an offering to Swami Himself. Work has to be taken up in this spirit. One should not be idle. Whatever work is done here, should be done out of a feeling of love. You can take up whatever work is appropriate, in keeping with your aptitudes and capacity.”