Water and Sanitation as a Human Right

10 Years of UN Water

Human rights recognise the inherent value of each person, regardless of background, where we live, what we look like, what we think or what we believe.

They are based on principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect, which are shared across cultures, religions and philosophies. They are about being treated fairly, treating others fairly and having the ability to make genuine choices in our daily lives.

In 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 64/292 recognizing “the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights”.

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Ashram Visit: October 2001

verandaI sat in the nearly depleted darshan hall (not many here at the present moment, but then that is due to change, the Sai Paduka Trust is coming up from Madurai next week) I looked at Swami as he began walking down the red carpet from Poornachandra to give Afternoon Darshan. Yesterday I was reading Paramahansa Yoganananda and Sri Aurobindo on Avatars. I began to think about Swami as Avatar as he entered the hall. Swami is not what I think about him, Swami is what I know about him and that is based on my experience.

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Ashram Visit: Gandhi Jayanti, 2001

darshanSwami was working right up to bhajans, calling people in for business. Business is administrator of this, administrator of that, Secretary of this, Department Head in College, etc, etc, all called in for 5 or 10 minutes into the room. Someone comes out of the room during the start of bhajans. Swami comes out and waits, continues talking with an admin orderly and then takes his seat during the first bhajan.

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Ashram Visit: 7 October 2001

hand of the masterSwami stood on the porch on the way toward the verandah, and spoke to one of the Institute staff. He used his hands as he spoke. It was magnificent to watch, Swami is THE master of communication, verbal and non verbal. Soft, swift movements of his hands, gesturing, a spoken word observable. He looked like Mother Sai up there on the porch. Actually looked like a woman in his robe, you know, his tummy came out, his chest changed. Mother Sai looking after all her students and devotees.

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Guru Purnima: What is a Guru? What is a Swami?

what is a guruGuru Purnima is the festival of the guru; it is also known as Vyasa Purnima, as this is the day that Sage Vyasa completed dictating the Bhagavad Gita. On the festival of Guru Purnima, we were asked, ‘What is a guru, What is a Swami?’ We take some space here to consider Sanyasin, Swami, Acharya and Guru.

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Ashram Visit 2001: Guru Day, Thursday

a listening Sai Primary school students and girl boarders in white sarees came, filling the hall. Swami sent an elderly Western woman for interview. Daughter went also. When she arrived on the porch she wandered out to the edge and spent nearly ten minutes, she and daughter, waving and gesturing, try to attract husband/father to come to the verandah.

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Ashram Visit: 1 October 2001

laughterThe lotus reaches up from the mud to the surface of the water, and opens its petals to the sunlight. So also, the petals of our hearts are opened with love when Sai gives darshan: he, kaalatheeythaya, Lord of Time, takes us beyond time into the eternal cavern of His Love, to embrace us all.

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Ashram Visit: 28 September 2001

mata-ambeSome are able bodied; some are disabled. It is interesting that the daily darshan in Prashanthi Nilayam is a hall filled with the able-bodied. Yet, as the years roll by, more and more attend in wheelchairs, age having rendered them non-ambulatory. In these darshans, I encounter the intellectually disabled, called to Divine Darshan by the Lord of all the Worlds, the Divine Mother-Father, Sri Sathya Sai.

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Triptych of Eclipses (Third Part)

eclipsed moonOver the period of one month from June 5th to July 5th, 2020, we will have experienced three eclipses. The first, on 5-6 June was a penumbral lunar eclipse visible over all of Africa, Europe, South East Asia and the Indian Ocean. The second eclipse – on June 21st, was an annular solar eclipse which began in Africa and ended over the Pacific Ocean. The third eclipse of 4-5 July – a penumbral lunar eclipse – will be seen over most of Africa, most of North and South America and Antarctica.

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Ashram Visit: 25 September 2001

Sai walking Darshan starts when you leave your room to go to the darshan hall. For many, darshan starts when the music starts in the darshan hall. (Never mind that Swami has been sending energy out to the people sitting in the hall, waiting…) Woe betide you if you are outside the darshan hall when the music starts! You may be taking darshan outside … there have been days when I have been caught outside, yes, and in the rain, as well … …

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Ashram Visit: 22 September 2001

Business with SaiIn Yesteryear, after darshan was completed, I would sit on the benches – right where I could see all the way down the verandah and the interview room door and take notes of what Swami did “after darshan”. A lot of mornings were what I called ‘business’ mornings where ashram staff, teachers, college lecturers, President of this state, that state’s seva convenor, would get called into the interview room for ‘business’. I’d write the times down. 2 – 3 minutes, they’d be out the door and walking off the verandah to do the task allocated. It is like this with Swami, he notices everything and takes care of it.

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Ashram visit: 19 September 2001

a group with Sai I was reflecting on what to do when Swami came out. I had just decided relax and let go and accept whatever, when Swami came out. I didn’t have a chance to think about it… you know, when Swami walks along the verandah, and someone else comes out from behind a pillar on the verandah. I have had this experience several times …

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