When Prime Minister of India Inaugurated the Sathya Sai Water Supply Project

Saturday, November 18, 1995

Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao with Sri Sathya Sai at the Poornachandra Auditorium, Prasanthi Nilayam
On 18th November 1995, the Prime Minister of India, Sri P. V. Narasimha Rao inaugurated the Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Project for the Anantapur town in Poornachandra Auditorium. Sri K. R. Prasad, Member, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, welcomed the gathering. Sri Chakravarthi and Sri Kondal Rao gave the details of the project. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Chandrababu Naidu thanked Bhagavan for His gesture in blessing 800 draught prone villages with drinking water in a short time. Bhagavan then gave His Discourse in which He expressed His view that all rivers should be made national property. He said:

“In this vast world, in which countless, human beings are leading miserable lives, pursuing endless desires and unattainable aspirations, the spirit of sacrifice is most essential. Trees bring forth fruits for the benefit of others. Rivers carry water for the use of others. Cows yield milk to benefit others. Likewise, man should share in harmony with others his qualities of goodness, compassion, forbearance and charity.

The earth follows its Dharma (natural duty) to make use of its five elements to produce sustenance for all living beings. Born on the earth, men are not following the example of the earth. It is not the creeds that men profess--whether Christianity or Islam or other religion—which lend value to their lives. The highest value is the fact of their humanness. All faiths combine to invest man with a unique effulgence.

The various talents with which man is endowed should be used-for good purposes on the basis that individual good is linked to social well-being. Man today has to go through transformation at three levels: First and foremost is spiritual transformation. Second comes transformation in the attitude towards society. The third change is at the individual level. When spiritual transformation takes place, there is an automatic change in the attitude towards society. When society becomes harmonious and prosperous, the individual also changes.

Three-fold Transformation

This three-fold transformation is implicit in the term Sai. "S" stands for Spiritual change. "A" stands for Association change. This is change in one's relationships with others in society. "I" stands for Individual change. SAI signifies changes at all three levels. This triple transformation is what Sai desires. When this transformation takes place, the whole world will be prosperous and happy.

The question today is "How can spiritual transformation take place without changes at the individual and social level?" The basis for all the threefold transformations is the love principle. This love has to be experienced by one and all.

How is individual transformation to be achieved? There are some bad habits among individuals such as smoking, drinking liquor, meat eating and gambling. These bad habits not only degrade the individuals but also inflict hardships on their families. These bad habits have to be given up for the individual to manifest his inherent goodness. One's personality can blossom only when he leads a moral life.

How should one's attitude to society be changed? One should give up talking ill of others, reviling them or ridiculing them, feeling envious of good people. Evil traits like these lead to loss of peace in society. People should develop friendly and loving attitude towards their fellow beings in society. To develop a sense of helpfulness, there should be the spirit of sacrifice. People should also cultivate the feeling of sympathy and understanding.

For spiritual transformation, the qualities that are needed are Daya, kindness, love, forbearance and compassion. Bharat throughout the ages has fostered these qualities among the people. People today have forgotten these sublime qualities because they have lost the fear of sin, ceased to love God and do not observe social ethics. What greater misfortune can there be for the nation?

Love of God and Fear of Sin

Love of God should be a natural feeling in everyone. It is our immemorial heritage. When there is love of God, fear of sin follows naturally. Today fear of sin has gone and everywhere the most heinous crimes are being committed. In such a situation, how can there be morality in society? 

How are we to transform this state of things? The Prime Minister, Sri PV Narasimha Rao, in his speech referred to the grave problems facing the country. Who is responsible for all the troubles, disorder and violence? Maname (We alone) are responsible. The truth has to be recognized. People are blaming others for their own faults. If there is unity among the people, there will be no problems. Unity is strength.

Today righteousness has declined among the people. As the level of righteousness goes down, the water level also goes down! If good qualities arise in men, the water level will also rise. What is the reason for the failure of timely rains and the shortage of food crops? It is the decline of morals among the people which is the cause of natural calamities. The people must cherish sacred thoughts. Then the people's aspirations will be fulfilled. 

I have to utter a warning in the presence of the Prime Minister. Bharat achieved its freedom through the sacrifice of innumerable patriots, who gave up their lives. Freedom has been achieved, but not unity. Without unit)~ the nation is weak like the hand of a man who cannot use all his fingers. We must achieve unity in every field. 

National Approach to Sharing River Waters
All natural resources of the country should be enjoyed equally by all the people, regardless of caste or community. There are many rivers in our country which flow across State boundaries. Bharat is not lacking in water or other resources. We have many perennial rivers and vast areas of fertile land. But these resources are not being fully used. The nation's perennial rivers like Kaveri, Ganga and Krishna should be treated as national property. Then there will be no room for inter-State disputes. All river waters should be used for the benefit of all the people. It is because of lack of unity and the assertion of separatist claims that a good deal of river waters is going to waste. If the Prime Minister endeavours to promote a national approach to the harnessing of river waters, the nation will prosper. The States also are prone to put their claims against the claims of others. They should adopt a co-operative and fraternal attitude towards each other and behave as good neighbours. If this is done, there will be no shortage of food or water in this country. The people also should develop this co-operative attitude.

It is well known that quite often, sections of the public adopt an adversary attitude towards measures taken by the Government. The people should recognise that these measures are taken in their interest. Moreover, the public should not remain idle, leaving everything to the Government. They have to do their duty. They have to live up to certain ideals. The body should be used for rendering help to others. The spirit of helpfulness must be fostered. There is an old Sanskrit saying which declares' "Charity is the ornament for the hand; Truth is the ornament for the throat; Listening to sacred lore is the ornament for the ears." These are the ornaments which should be valued.

Education, Health and Water should be Free 

Swami had resolved from the beginning on the provision of three vital things for the people: For health, the heart is important. For education, the head is important. For the body, water is vital. I feel that these three should be provided to the people free. Today a heavy price has to be paid for medical care and for. education. Even water has to be bought. A heavy capitation fee has to be paid for getting admission even in a primary school. Illness is incidental to human life. Doctors should be prepared to make any sacrifice to relieve the sick. Money should not be the primary consideration. There are many educated students present here. They should take a pledge to serve society after finishing their studies. Instead of going after high salaried jobs in the cities they should go to the villages to serve the poor living there and earn their love and gratitude. Only then their education would be worthwhile. Students should be quite content with modest emoluments in the villages, with which they can be more comfortable than with larger earnings in the cities. They can lead more healthy and happy lives in the villages.

The Sathya Sai Water Project

One among the several hundreds of overhead
storage tanks for the Water Supply Project
With regard to the water project, it should be noted that much was accomplished in a short period. In the execution of the project changes had to be made in response to the appeals of people in different villages. Because of this, the entire project has not yet been completed. Some villages are yet to get water. This should not cause any disappointment. Whatever may happen, all villages will get water and the project will be fully carried out. 

The inauguration of the project by the Prime Minister does not mean that further work will be held up. We are prepared for any sacrifice to honour the plighted word. Work will be resumed from tomorrow and we shall see that by January the entire district is supplied with water. We will give no room for anyone to complain that he has not got water.

It is a matter for gratification that today the Prime Minister, who belongs to Andhra Pradesh, has inaugurated the water supply scheme for Anantapur District. All of you should live in amity, without differences of any kind and offer your cooperation to the Government. Not only will the nation benefit from your unity, but you will also be setting an example to the world. Give up hatred and jealousy, participate with love in measures taken by the government for the well-being, of the people. Love can achieve anything.”

The function concluded with the National Anthem. 


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