Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba says, “Body may undergo changes; the intellect and emotional aspects of the institutions may also change with time, but the culture is the soul, and must remain changeless.”
Swami works so hard to bring His people to Himself, to make them what He wants them to become. Patiently like a jeweller, like a sculptor, He moulds and carves every piece, every one. But then there is somebody who comes with a big hammer; ‘I don’t want him, Thud!!’ And everything is broken and Swami’s hard work is gone. Swami says, ‘I work so hard to bring people to do what they have to do and you people work harder to get them all away by one wrong look or talk’. People run away because they feel disturbed due to others around.
We are just a speck in the future of the Muddenahalli Ashram which is going to span for centuries, not for a day, two or ten years. This spiritual institution will last centuries and whatever we do today will become the trend, will become the culture. Swami always spends a lot of time with the first batch of students, first batch of devotees because He wants to set the culture right. He wants to teach them how things should be. And then He expects them to continue the culture.
In Kodai, it so happened. Swami is a little bit of show off kind of a mother. He wants to show off to devotees that His students are knowledgeable and are very well read. That day was our turn and all the MBA students were there when Swami asked, “How many MBAs?” We were seven or eight of us, so like all MBA graduates, I also lifted my hand. Swami had invited some noted industrialist guests. They were all sitting on the sofa by His side. So I understood, Swami like a mother wants to impress all the eminent devotees there, typical of a mother. Swami asked Prof U S Rao Garu who was the Dean of our management school, to ask questions to MBA boys. I was supposed to be Gold-medalist and I was supposed to know everything. But let me tell you, I got the gold medal only because of Swami’s grace, not because of my effort! I know it. So, Mr Rao started asking questions to everybody. And I was thinking ‘O God, please don’t ask me a question which I don’t know the answer for’ (laughter). Because, then Swami will be very disappointed. Luckily, he asked me a question which is pertinent to the talk today. The question was about ‘Living Organisations’. It’s a paper in the strategy section of the management course in which we learn about various strategies organisations apply in their working. I had to reply to this question because Swami looked at me and said, ‘Cheppu’ (say). Fortunately I knew what it was. And I answered, ‘Living Organisation is that which lives beyond its founders because of the organisational culture. It lives for centuries, much beyond the people who have founded the organisation primarily because of the culture of the organization which keeps it alive.’
Yes, culture is the soul of the organisation. The body may undergo changes; the intellect and emotional aspects of the institutions may also change with time. But culture is the soul and must remain changeless. And as long as that is in place, organisations will keep growing. The day when the culture of the organisation starts deteriorating, people forget the very fundamental reason why the organisation was set up in the first place, everything collapses.
I answered and Swami said, “Correct and very important that the culture of the organisation should be preserved”.
Our culture is Prema Saadhana – Practise of Love. Our culture is to be loving, to be kind, to be warm, to be receptive, to be welcoming and we must continue that culture in all ways between ourselves and with anybody who comes new. Whether they get to see Swami or not, whether they get to meet Swami or not, whether they get to talk to Swami or not; is secondary. First thing they should feel is. it has to be that Swami is here because everyone is so loving here. How can that be possible without Swami around? Everybody is so kind. Everybody is a Swami personified in their own way.
Let us keep that as our culture. Let us not forget love finds fulfilment only in practice, not in talks, not in speeches, not in discussions. In what way can we make this love happen, every moment when we live in this beautiful Ashram of Muddenahalli. The more we think about it, the more we realize how beautiful it is. Let us keep that bigger picture in front of us. Let us concentrate on the inner view that Swami is pushing us for, not the outer and do the Prema Saadhana, the practice of love in every little thing, every thought, word and deed and I am sure this will be the heaven, the promised land where everyone would like to be.
— Sri Madhusudan Naidu at ‘Tattva Sameeksha’ (March 19, 2018), Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli