The Role of Women in the Sathya Sai International Organisation

A report on the genesis and delivery of a new workshop for ladies

Ms Banu Iyer, National Ladies Coordinator Sathya Sai International Organisation of Australia & PNG

Sai Baba said in his discourse of 19 November 1995, “As today is a sacred day dedicated to women, they should change themselves and help to change the men and the children. They should develop the qualities of sympathy, compassion, love and sacrifice. Study the lives of our great women, who were models of patience, fortitude, compassion and sacrifice. I desire that you should take up the reins of leadership and bring peace and prosperity to the nation by leading ideal lives.”

In 2015 I had the good fortune of attending the 10th World Conference “Love is the Source, the Path, the Goal.” The atmosphere was buzzing with high energy generated by devotees from around the globe joining together for various workshops. When I first saw the program, the title that attracted me immediately and for which I enrolled was the session on ‘THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE SATHYA SAI INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION’. It was very well attended and truly inspiring. The facilitators steered the conversation around so well bringing out the essence of Sai’s teachings on important points such as, the privilege of being born a woman, playing our role in society and our opportunities for transformation through leadership. The workshop also brought out something that Sai has always emphasised, ‘…women have hidden power immanent in them. …However, they are not encouraged to show their ability. Even in the family, they have to face obstacles and confrontations. If women are given due recognition and encouragement, they will shine with brilliance in all fields and will serve the house, country, and the entire world gloriously, contributing to the welfare of all of humanity.’ (Sathya Sai Speaks Vol 31. 1998)

I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and Jenny Monson, being a facilitator herself, suggested that we should take it back to the ladies here in Australia. So the seed was sown in Sai’s abode. Although it took longer than we thought, the flower that blossomed out of this is so fragrant that it attracts bees to it. One of the Young Adults who graduated from Sai’s Leadership Program was very willing to help in developing the workshop material and around the end of last year the program was ready to be rolled out nationally. On 11 February devotees from the ACT, being the Australian national capital, helped take the first step and launched it. I would like to acknowledge here the efforts of Ms Jayanthy Vicknesan, Ladies Program Coordinator and Dr Prema Rajan, President ACT Region, for their assistance in organising this well attended workshop. It may be interesting to mention that there were a few men who took interest and attended too. As said before, this will be taken to the other regions very soon and we have some tentative dates for Western Australia in June, NSW in August and awaiting confirmation from the other regions as well.

I would like express my gratitude for the opportunity provided by the ACT and those regions already taking an interest in the program.