What is midwifery and what makes a perfect midwife?
Midwifery today is a healthcare profession wherein the providers offer care to the child-bearing mothers during their pregnancy and immediately after it. Though midwifery has progressed into a professional career, it has for long been a service that was provided by experienced women. They would assist the expectant mother in a physical, mental and psychological manner in order to ensure a smooth delivery and and a comfortable postpartum period. In the 1980s, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba whom millions adore as God revealed one of the most essential qualities for a midwife. That revelation also sets the general guidelines for performing any action in the best possible manner.
The statement of the revelation is quite simple actually. But as always, its impact is best felt when it comes in the sequence of events in which it occurred. This episode took place in the 1980s, during the Grama Seva that the students of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning undertook.
The Sri Sathya Sai Grama Seva or village service is a very interesting initiative by Bhagawan Baba wherein He sends students from His educational institutions to the villages around Puttaparthi to serve therein. The initiative presents a win-win situation wherein the villagers are benefited and inspired by the service of the students while the students get a first-hand experience of the country India which is comprised 70 percent of villages. They also get to see the conditions and realize how life has blessed them with bounties. It makes them grateful for all they have and also helps them resolve to do some help at least to their fellow beings. Though it was after the year 2000 that Grama Seva became institutionalized in the University, it has a long history dating back to the early 1980s.
A totally unexpected revelation
It was one of those days when the students had returned from the Grama Seva (in the 1980s) and were in a very joyous mood. The good mood was because of the fact that Swami seemed very happy with their work and when Swami is 'happy', things are bound to get fun and exciting. It was during such times of being 'happy' in the past that Swami had charmed the students with many materializations and several revelations too. And today also, the students hoped that His 'happiness' would result in something that they would remember all their life. Swami did not disappoint them and they had no idea of what was coming that day.
Walking towards a group of students, Swami enquired as to how the day’s service in the village had been. (As far as I remember, the village was Jankampalli, near Puttaparthi.) As the students answered Him with great excitement on the happenings of the day, Swami stumped them with a question,
“Did you meet Radhamma?”
There was silence and the students looked at each other in bewilderment. The name was not even vaguely familiar but Swami was asking about the lady, Radhamma, with great familiarity and fondness. As they presented blank faces, Swami smiled and clarified,
“You remember that when you went through the narrow winding streets, a lady offered you ragi cereal? You all relished eating it...”
A few murmurs broke out among the students. They seemed to remember ‘Radhamma’ once Swami had given those particulars. The heart and the stomach are very close to each other and, often, filling one of them makes the other one full too! They remembered how a village woman had lovingly welcomed them and fed them all with the tastiest food that she could whip up at home. With that memory, they nodded to Swami in recollection. Swami smiled and then posed His next question,
“Do you know what Radhamma is very good at?”
The boys reasoned that the most probable answer to this question would be her cooking. A few students ventured to give this answer to Swami but Swami did not agree. Once again, the boys gave up and Swami answered,
“Radhamma is the best midwife in the whole world!”
That was a revelation for the boys. There are all sorts of champions on the face of the earth. These champs are recognised as such by various agencies, groups, events or professionals. But this was a different case. Swami was God for these students and thus it was a case of God recognising someone as being the best. They had not the slightest doubt that Radhamma was indeed the best midwife in the world. And then, came the hardest final question,
“Why is she the best midwife in the world?”
What changes a midwife into ‘the midwife’?
This was a question that the boys did not even hope of answering. It was just a few minutes before that they had discovered the existence of Radhamma. There was no chance of them knowing that she was a midwife and an excellent one at that. The technique of midwifery that she practiced was way beyond anyone’s grasp. So they just looked sheepishly at Swami and awaited His answer. The answer came quickly and sweetly.
“Whenever she is called to assist for a childbirth, the first thing she does is to think of me. She asks me to take charge and tells me that she is only an instrument. So sincere is her prayer that I take over...”
Pausing for a moment, Swami continued with a twinkle in His eyes,
“And when I take over, it has to be the best right?”
Do your best and let God do the rest is a sort of cliché that we pick up as children. But it is a very powerful mantra to follow in life. It takes a lot of motivation to do one’s best. For a true devotee, the best is brought out when he/she does something for his/her beloved - God. And so, the best way to do one’s best would be to do it for God! Doing something for God with all love, humility and focus makes it the best effort. And that is all God is concerned with. Did He not declare it as Lord Krishna?
Karmanyevaadhikaraste Maa Phaleshu Kadachana
“You have the right only to perform actions and not on the fruits thereof. Therefore, do not let the fruit be the purpose of your actions. This way, you won’t be attached and will also do your duty.”
The power of remembrance
Doing everything as an offering to God is the highest Karma Yoga. It is also the best way to ensure that any action done is perfect. The desire to please God will ensure that one fosters and develops all the skills and expertise necessary to perform the action. Since pleasing God is the only objective, the satisfaction that one derives will not be based on the results thus removing attachment too. One then becomes the best because one has all the expertise and and the humility to allow a higher power to flow through the action also.
In fact, doing everything to please God (Swami in the case of us devotees) is the way we should lead our lives. Swami has emphasized on that time and again in subtle ways. On one occasion, all the students were praying to Swami to visit the hostel. They tried their best but Swami did not seem to relent. So, one day, they gathered around Him and began to plead vociferously. After a while, their pleas got desperate and everyone in the hall could hear the loud requests,
“Please Swami....PLEASE SWAMI...”
Swami just smiled at them and said,
“Please Swami.... You should please Swami...”
The Lord is easily pleased. A simple remembrance is enough. Whatever we do, can we bring our dear Lord into it? For if we can do it that way, we are much closer to being the best in the world at what we do!
Doing work as an offering to God
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© 2013 Aravind Balasubramanya
Pushpa Ramji on June 15, 2020:
Reading this article made me so happy. I am a retired Nurse/Midwife and always prayed to Swami to work through my hands and make me His instrument. He never let me down. I used to wear His pendant in my scrub pocket and when things were not going right, I would hold on to it and He always came. Also used to chant Gayatri Mantra during difficult deliveries.
Deepa S from kodanad on June 04, 2016:
My own delivery was delayed and all were worried. The doc asked me to pray and i shouted SAIRAM and my boy was born hearing this prayer. All thanks to SWAMY only
Aarthi on June 03, 2016:
Bhagawan says "If you recognise with the fullness of your heart that everything that you do is by God’s grace, then surely full return will be given by God. You try and you will get it.”
Raghav Sharma on June 02, 2016:
Love@Workers all around the world experience this on a daily basis. The love@work program run by the Sai youths is based on the foundation of Swami's words of just giving him all our love. It was started in Australia in 2006 and now it is run in Two Australian cities and there is also a Love@Work international program where people from all around the world Satsang on Skype on how they can love God at work or Uni
Pradeep on June 20, 2014:
Swami given me all grace ,He is GOd,
Common man cont do all thing,
Sreenidhi on April 25, 2013:
If my memory serves me right, Br.Amey mentioned this Grama Seva incident in his Samarpan talk. Then, I inferred a different lesson from the incident and today, I infer another lesson.
“And when I take over, it has to be the best right?” - Loved that and loved the' Please Swami' part too. I'll remember this for long, every time before I plead Him for anything.
Remembrance of God, indeed is very powerful. In spite of the fact that I love to answer an English examination paper, I find certain topics given for letters, essays etc a little boring. And since excellence comes with a passion, I think about Swami in order to create an interest in writing about the topic and inspiration just flows into me that next time I read it, I just conclude that I haven't written because on my own, I could have never written something so good about a topic so boring to me.
When I am alone, free of any work and completely bored,specially in the class, during free periods, I begin thinking about Swami and find time passing so quickly. An idle mind is a devil's workshop. Remembrance of God, not just at times of happiness or sorrow but also when there's nothing to do, can serve as a Sadhana and purify your mind. Well, in that case, shouldn't we be spending our whole life in remembrance of God?
That was a very beautiful treat to make the Thursday. Thanks a lot to the Swami in you, anna
Madhavi Alapaty on April 25, 2013:
True..absolutely..when we practice 'thought word deed' everyday and dedicate every thought to HIM that it is HIS will we are able to do our part on this earth then the EGO will go out of the frame and SWAMI will come in and stay with us on our hearts. This is my personal experience as i see so many instances every single day in my life. Everything..i mean everything you do in your life is because of HIM so try dedicating all the thoughts and actions to HIM and see how you blossom into thinking of HIM every single minute. Sairam..
Padma on April 25, 2013:
Just read your article " the best midwife ind the world".
I was overjoyed and felt in tears bcos this particular article related something with me which happened some 2 weeks back.Just wanted to share with you.
Sorry if im boring you..Im living in chicago basically from tamilnadu.My friend who is my next door is from kerala and she was carrying.before her due she asked me whether i cud help her during the delivery since she felt her mom might be struggled with the doctors because of language problem and i too have accepted for that
It was on april 4th and it was thursday too.got a call from her by morning 5 that her water has broken and we rushed to hospital.while just going i took vibhuthi packet with me.
Went to hosp and got admitted..Gave my friend that vibhuthi packet and just asked her to hold it until she delivers the baby.
she was slowly getting d pains and I read swami's 108 namavalli and made her to read also.time went and she was about to deliver she wanted me to stay inside with her as here it is allowed to stay.. it was very first time for me to be inside the labour room though i hav a kid.i was very scared . but that moment seriously i told myself to swami " swami, i m gng to be midwife.u have to be here and make the delivery smooth " exact word this midwife i told swami..that's y very much amazed to read this word in your article and realized how we have to offer each and every action to bhagavan..
u won't believe the progress o labour was very fast and she delivered very easily..Her whole family was very happy and she felt very much happy that i stayed wit hher for whole day..Since it was thursday i used to fast .but cudn't do deepam also at home since i ws at hospital whole day.evening when i came home just thanked swami for helping me staying whole day with me..
Thanks for sharing the article...
no words to express the joy after reading this article..
V.Sai Saraswuthi on April 25, 2013:
One day I was very tired, really exhausted and just wanted some rest . Just then my husband broke the news of the arrival of some guests and that they would stay for some period unknown. They actually were coming for medical help.To hear that news at that point of time was still more tiring. But I always thought 'Athithi Devo bhava' ..so went to Swamy's altar and prayed "Swamy you know my condition right now, but I should not disappoint them because it is You who comes to my home as our relatives or guests .So I pray you give the skill and strength to do my duties . I offer this job unto your feet. "
The guests did come and stay for sometime , got the treatment done and went home with better results.
There they all praised the hosting received and the treatment that they got at our place.
I really wondered as to whether I deserved all the appreciations. I knew this was Swamy's hand , but for Him I wouldn't have managed all the work.
Jai Sai Ram.
saisarannaga from Chennai in Tamilnadu, India. on April 25, 2013:
Your hub is the best example of "Karmanyeva adhikaraste". Hence they are illuminating. Swami's way of teaching students is really superb!
Naveen Sharma on April 24, 2013:
No doubt that it's all his play.
In Gurgaon,every fortnight, a medical camp is organized by Sri Sathya Sai Sewa Organization,in different slum areas of the city.
Here I want to narrate one of the many incidents-"jahaan wo apney hone ke sabut deta hai"
It was in the month of December when a boy of 21years approached our medical camp in Indra Aaawas slum,just behind 27 storied DLF Bellaire building in DLF phase V.
His name was Ravi.
On examination we found that 10 months ago Ravi had met with an accident,a big car ran over his left leg.He broke his TIBIA BONE from the centre.This bone joins knee to the ankle He was subsequently admitted to a Hospital, was treated for Six months and then was abandoned.
When he came to the camp he was carrying a wound which was 3.5cms by 1.5cms, was also very deep, puss was oozing out and it was stinking.
We gave him first aid and took him to a Orthopedic surgeon for consultation. We were given a shock when the Surgeon told that it requires an extensive surgery which will cost around 1.25 lakhs or else amputation is the solution.
We prayed even harder to our Beloved.And started looking for other options and doctors too.
I was in Parthy on 28th January-a Monday,when a Delhi Sai Youth member called me up and told that a Doctor in Delhi has agreed to see Ravi and so you kindly take him on Wednesday,in OPD.I told him as i am in Parthy so you kindly fix it up for next Wednesday OPD.
He said-I will do and gave me a surprise when he told that he was also in Parthy.We both met and vowed to take this case forward with our beloved watching and laying the path for us.
I started back from Parthy on 29th Jan reached Gurgaon on 31st morning and went to office.
I was in my office at 8.30am and was about to call Ravi ,to tell him that a source has been found in Delhi for his treatment,this very moment my mobile started flashing Ravi's name.He was calling my number.
I disconnected,called him back and in one go told him everything about me being in Parthy,getting a call and now finally we are going next Wednesday for your treatment and so you be happy.
He said-Brother,I had called you to tell that today morning Sairam came in my Dream,he was wearing Orange robe and he asked me to come to hospital and I told him that I cannot walk but he insisted and I got up and I started walking. Brother I want to tell you that in the dream I also saw you standing behind Sairam.
We reached Delhi hospital on 7th Feb and the Doctor on examination told us that his bone has started healing,it has got jointed again and I will put his leg in cast,will create a window so that fresh dressing can be given to the wound every second day,and am also suggesting some very good medicines and lets see how it is after 4 weeks.
Remember, Dream was on 31st. And he, our beloved in all his mercy corrected his injury in the dream itself.
The treatment with medicines and regular dressing continued.
We followed the medical advise and last Saturday-20th April,Ravi's cast was removed, an X-ray done, which revealed that the bone has joined,is getting strong ,the wound too has healed up,no puss oozing out now and so a decision taken by Doctor that bring him again next Saturday and he will put a PTB cast as a precautionary thing for some more time till the bone regains its full strength.
As commanded by the Lord, Ravi indeed is putting weight on his leg and is walking slowly with every breath chanting Om Sri Sai Ram.
Nawaaz Deobandi has rightly said-
"Naa Diye kaa hai, Naa Hawaa ka Hai,
Yahaan Jo kuch bhi hai, wo Khuda kaa Hai"
Kokila Vaidyanathan on April 24, 2013:
Everything is His doing...this happened couple of years ago. I was driving back from work on Christmas Eve on freeway...being holiday season, was expecting not much traffic... So was doing around 100k..suddenly I heard a loud noise...and my car started to shake..I was on the harbour bridge and in the middle lane...all I could say was Sairam..and I had to make sure I move to the left most lane to be able to park on the shoulder....the moment I said Sairam...it just seemed like the whole free way which has 5 lanes seemed to be empty and there were no cars behind me so I could move the car to the left most lane...till today I am not sure how I moved there..coz I had my front tyre burst and was flat as...it has to Swami who just took control including sending the free way patrol to change the tyre...Sairam
sudha on April 24, 2013:
I am in my early pregnancy and seems to have some complication associated with it. The day being Aradhana day I prayed to swami to give me an indicatin that He will see me through this. I just surrendered everything to Him and kept saying that I am going to have a smooth pregnancy. And Then I see this article...what more could I ask for?
Maria on April 24, 2013:
I prayed hard and tired all available options. Today Swami helped , I found the perfect next place to live It took ca one month after receiving my eviction, it looked very bleak at my age. I kept searching likely listed places doing all I could manage , then today I made an application in this senior village, it took 2 days of paper work etc, but I just know they can't turn me down-
Jai Sai Ram
Aarthi on April 24, 2013:
Beautiful! Swami does take over when we sincerely tell Him that we are just an instrument. Here is one of my experiences. For the 'Avvaiyar' drama that was staged in Sai Kulwant Hall in July 2011, we had finished recording more than a year earlier. It's a long story of how I got to give the voice-over for the lead role of the old lady Avvaiyar. But here is one important point I want to share.
One day, I was going to the house of the aunty who was heading the entire thing. She had selected me for giving voice for some small roles in the drama and had asked me and the other girls to come for a practice session of reading out the entire script so that we were well prepared before we went for the actual recording.
As I traveled to aunty's house, I told Swami, "Swami, I don't think I can speak for a role in a drama , 'coz I have never ever done it before. I dunno if I can emote well and convey the same in my voice. But if you want to make me speak, so be it. U speak through me" I prayed thus and swallowed a pinch of Vibhuthi.
In the aunty's house, as we girls read out the script page after page, she suddenly asked me to read the part of the lead role of the old lady Avvaiyar instead of the other girl who was doing it. I was really very surprised but I took it as Swami's will. And I gave it my best. Till date, I cannot figure out what prompted aunty to select me to speak for the lead role but I feel it is Swami's grace and will. He took over because I asked Him to use me as His instrument.
Even as I type this, Swami is reiterating the thought for me through an SMS from a Sai family friend -- "Do your best. I will do the rest." What more proof do we need? I pray that Swami gives us all the strength to surrender our everything to Him.