Temple of Healing





The magnetic strength of a 1.5 Tesla magnet, similar to the one at SSSIHMS, PRASANTHIGRAM, is more than 30,000 times the magnetic strength of the Earth

The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scanner is an advanced imaging machine. Imaging modalities, which may be beyond the reach of other imaging techniques are readily provided by the MRI. But as with every machine, some essential safety procedures need to be followed and more so in the case of MRI. As a recent incident at a hospital in Mumbai, India, in which a young man, a patient attendant, was killed, proved once again, one must take MRI safety precautions extremely seriously. These precautions provide safety to patients, hospital personnel and patient attendants.

The MRI houses a very strong magnet. To give an analogy, the magnetic strength of a 1.5T (Tesla) magnet, similar to the one at SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, is more than 30,000 times the magnetic strength of the Earth. Such a powerful magnet can pull any metallic object towards it with great force.

Incidents from the world over have shown that mop buckets, vacuum cleaners, intravenous poles, oxygen tanks, patient stretchers, heart monitors and countless other objects have all been pulled into the magnetic fields of MRI machines. The internet is in fact replete with such photos and videos.

The SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, has one of the best MRI scanners anywhere in the world. It is the Siemens Magnetom Avanto, a 1.5T, 32 channel machine with dedicated coils for joints thus giving an excellent diagnostic images.

For the MRI at our hospital, a distance of 2 meters is considered ‘ballistic distance’. This means that within a distance of 2 meters from the MRI’s gantry cover, any object that is attracted becomes a ‘missile-like’ projectile, capable of causing physical harm to whoever is in the way. Therefore, all equipment that are to be placed in the MRI room such as NIBP monitor, pulse-oxymeter, syringe pump, pressure injector, ventilator etc., along with their attachments must be ‘MRI Compatible’, that is, made of material that is not attracted to the magnet.


ZONE 1: OUTSIDE THE MRI AREA: Patients form a queue for MRI outside the MRI area. They are called inside the MRI area according to their serial number. General public is allowed to move in this area

ZONE 2 : THE MRI AREA: The patients wait outside the MRI room in a queue. Two doors, separate the MRI room and the queue area. Notice that no seats are placed for almost six feet from the outside entrance door. The outside entrance is always kept locked. Opened only to allow the patient inside, then is immediately locked again.

ZONE 3: INSIDE THE SECOND ENTRANCE DOOR: Patients change into a patient gown and all their metal belongings are kept in a locker. Then the MRI technician performs a thorough check with a metal detector.

ZONE 4: The MRI ROOM: After the thorough check with the metal detector, the technician allows the patient inside the MRI room.

The MRI area at SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, is divided into 4 zones for safety – Zone-1 to Zone-4 – with increasing safety established with every increasing Zone number.

  • Zone-1 allows for general public to move freely.
  • Zone-2 acts as a buffer between the free Zone-1 and the restricted Zone-3. Patients in this zone are under the general supervision of the MRI personnel.
  • Zone-3 is restricted by a physical barrier. Only approved medical personnel and patients who have answered a safety questionnaire are allowed here. The MRI control room and the equipment room come in this zone.
  • Zone-4 falls strictly within the four walls of the room where the MRI machine is installed. This zone can have an entry only from the Zone-3. This is the area most susceptible to MRI magnet-related accidents. Only authorized personnel and those allowed by the MRI personnel can go inside this zone – after a thorough check for metals on person. And it is not merely for external objects. Often, patients have implants inside them that make it very dangerous for them to be in the presence of a strong magnetic field. Metallic fragments in the eye are very dangerous because moving those fragments could cause eye damage or blindness. People with pacemakers cannot be scanned or even go near the scanner because the magnet can cause the pacemaker to malfunction. Aneurysm clips in the brain can be very dangerous as the magnet can move them, causing them to tear the very artery they were placed on to repair. Metal dental implants can be moved by the MRI which can lead to excruciating pain.

One rule to remember is: The Magnet is always ON.

Therefore, one cannot allow any laxity in the supervision of ‘who and what’ goes into the MRI area. No one must enter the MRI room unless he/she is permitted and accompanied by authorized MRI personnel.

Have a safe MRI.







Bliss in Our Midst: Bhagawan with Sri Kannan (third from right) and his batchmates.

Even after Swami’s leaving the physical body, we have umpteen examples of Swami giving Darshan to devotees in various ways. I narrate one here...

I was extremely fortunate to be born in a family, which was already devoted to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. In fact my grandmother came to Puttaparthi for the first time in 1960 when Swami was just 34 years old. After completing school at my hometown Swami gave me an opportunity to study in the Brindavan Campus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.

In those olden (golden) days, Swami used to sit and talk to students pretty often, providing rare insights and guidance. I will narrate one such incident, which revealed Bhagawan’s glory, which he would rarely speak about.

Swami had just come out of the interview room, entered the bhajan hall and sat with the students in His usual way and started conversing. I was seated quite close to Him and could clearly hear what Bhagawan spoke. A student got up and gave a letter to Swami. Without even opening the letter, Swami accosted him “I know, your father wants you to go with him to your family deity’s temple and offer worship. Is it not?” The boy nodded.

As the boy was bowing down at Swami’s feet, Swami looked at us and said, “All people have prayers for favours. They go to various holy places and offer worship, do you know what happens?” Swami continued, “All these temples are like branch offices, the prayers offered there by devotees are forwarded to the head office. I am the head office, you all don’t know that. All the prayers are directed to me and they are disposed of as required. You have direct access to head office here, still you go to branch offices to submit prayers! What can I do?”

The above incident reminded me what Swami said about Himself. “...In this human form every divine entity, every divine principle, that is to say, all the names and forms ascribed by man to God, are manifest.... Do not allow doubt to distract you; if you only install, in the altar of your heart, steady faith in My Divinity, you can win the vision of my Reality."

Coming to the SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, the incident I would like to narrate is of Dr. Hiremath, who first joined our hospital and is currently working at our sister hospital at Whitefield. He was suffering from nervous degeneration and was losing the sensation of his lower half of the body. When he went to SSSIHMS, Whitefield, they found that there was a radio opaque lesion in the upper part of the spinal cord, at the neck region, which was causing the lower part of his body to go numb. It was possibly being caused by a more serious and disabling condition called Multiple Sclerosis. A few weeks later Bhagawan had visited the SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram and Dr. Hiremath was able to tell his problem to Bhagawan. Bhagawan heard his problem and then put his hand on Dr. Hiremath’s head and neck and told him to perform his duty with all concentration. According to Dr. Hiremath, while he was giving 100 per cent to Swami’s work, but after Swami’s command, he started giving his 200 per cent. Gradually the numbness in the limbs subsided and after three months when he again went to the SSSIHMS, Whitefield, the MRI showed that the lesion had disappeared.

I have been asked by many people, now that Swami has left the physical body, how can one experience Him. I find this statement a bit odd. Swami is God, the limitless infinite so where is the question of Him being limited by form. Even after Swami’s leaving the physical body, we have umpteen examples of Swami giving Darshan to devotees in various ways. I narrate one here.

One patient came to the cardiology department for treatment from Sagar District, Madhya Pradesh, India, in 2016. Much later when he was talking to one of our staff members, he narrated his astounding story. This patient Sitaram, said that he was diagnosed with a heart problem in Sagar District and when he was walking back home dejected because he could not afford the operation, a man came on a motorbike and stopped next to him and told him, “I came to know that you have a heart problem, you please go to Sathya Sai Baba hospital in Puttaparthi, you will be treated completely free of charge there,” the man then went his way.

Sitaram had no idea who Sathya Sai Baba was or where Puttaparthi was. Somebody from his surrounding area who had visited the hospital earlier gave him the address. In a few days he reached the hospital, but as it was late evening, he was guided by the sevadal at the gate to stay in the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram for the night. When he entered the ashram he saw Swami’s photograph for the first time and was a little surprised. He asked the sevadals whose photo it was. The sevadal replied “Of course our Sai Baba’s. “Really? But this is the same man who came on the motorbike to tell me to visit the Puttaparthi hospital for treatment,” the patient exclaimed. What stunned the patient even more was when he was told that Swami had left the physical body in 2011, i.e. five years before the patient met him. Sitaram got the operation done at our hospital and then the following year brought one of his friends also to the hospital who had the same problem, who also got operated.

So when we have this feeling that Swami is no longer with us, let us remember, He is just round the corner, sitting on His motorbike, revving up the engine just waiting to help us. His love is of a thousand mothers, and He will never let us down.

Love in action

Patient Stories


"It is a great blessing by Sai Baba that I visited the hospital. Such loving care. I feel when the nurses and the doctors here talk to you half of the problem goes away."

It was not the question of if, but when. In August it was always like that. The Southern horizon already had dark menacing clouds, trying to swiftly conquer the skies. The Sun on the other hand seemed too feeble to resist. Already some in the 8:00 am crowd, milling on the busy road of the Howrah suburb, had their umbrellas out. Harikrishna’s face twitched. Momentarily turning his gaze away from the whistling kettle, he looked at the ominous black clouds gaining steadily over the blue sky. “Not good, not good”, he muttered under his breath. Last thing Hari wanted was a downpour during the busy business hour. And then it poured.

The crowd disappeared from the roads like deer scatter at the sight of a lion. Hari pulled out a black tarpaulin sheet from the roof of his rickety mobile tea stall and covered his head with it and waited. With his 30 years’ experience of braving the rain, Hari could tell that the rain would last long and that he was going to lose most of the earning of that day. Sadness welled up in his heart. He had already spent around Rs.8,000 for the medical tests the other day, which was over and above the Rs. 500 the doctor asked as consultation fee. For a man earning Rs. 4000 ($61) a month, by selling tea on the roadside from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm, the medical expenditure had cleaned up most of his savings and he still did not know why there was pain in his lower abdomen and why he was passing blood in his urine.

The showers lasted the whole day. Seeing no hope Hari shut shop early and trudged home pushing his tea cart. Next day Hari first visited the private hospital for his test results and they had bad news for him. Hari had a tumour in his urinary bladder, which required operation, the cost of which was quoted at a few lakhs, but with no guarantee that it would help him. Distraught, Hari came back home and flopped on the cot. Just then his neighbour Ramcharan walked into his house and enquired why Hari looked so out of sorts. Speaking to Hari’s wife he understood his predicament. “You have no need to worry,” Ramcharan declared, “Your treatment will take place completely free of charge”. Hari's eyes lit up and a new hope took root in Hari’s heart. “What did you say Bhai? Operation completely free of charge, really??” Hari exclaimed. “Of course”, replied Ramcharan. Ramcharan was a Sevadal, i.e. a volunteer with the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Howrah, and he knew very well about the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (SSSIHMS), Prasanthigram, where advanced medical care was provided completely free of charge for all.

Soon with Ramcharan’s guidance, Hari reached SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram. The surgeons at the Urology department performed the tests and confirmed that there was a tumour and a major operation had to be performed. Hari was ready. “This hospital looked like a temple. After seeing the beautiful hospital, completely free treatment provided to all and loving care of the staff members, I felt so good and relieved. Ramcharan had told me the same thing and now I am able to see it with my own eyes,” Hari said.

A major surgery was performed on Hari and he recovered uneventfully in the Urology ward of the hospital. According to Urology surgeon, SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, Dr. Gaurav Kocchar, Hari had a large bladder tumour for which he underwent radical cystoprostectomy with ileal conduit. "The patient would be required to take rest for a few weeks and then he could go back to work” Dr. Kocchar said. "This surgery anywhere outside would cost around Rs. 800,000 ( around $12,500), but in Swami's hospital was done completely free of charge," he added.

Hari was all smiles after his discharge. “It is a great blessing by Bhagawan Baba that I visited the hospital. Such loving care. I feel when the nurses and the doctors here talk to you here half of the problem goes away. When I was in the ICU and the ward, everybody who would be passing by me will stop and ask me how I was feeling and reassure me. I just felt like it was home. I believe that Swami himself is running this hospital. And I would like to request Baba that the way he has taken care of me, he should take care of everybody who visits this hospital,” Hari said.


till january 2018

Image Gallery

Word Takes Form: Bhagawan Baba during the inauguration of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram on 22nd, November, 1991. As mentioned earlier we would bring to you an hitherto unseen photograph of Bhagawan Baba in the hospital in this section in every issue.

Swami's Higher Secondary School Students Visit Hospital

Students from the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, (12th Standard) visited the SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, for an in-depth study of the various facilities and services as part of their academic programme.

Sri Sathya Sai Retina Conference - 2018

Director of SSSIHMS, Dr. Gurumurthy, welcoming the delegates and the faculty members at the Sri Sathya Sai Retina Conference, at the SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram.

Trustee, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Sri R J Rathnakar, addressing the delegates and the faculty members after the welcome address.

The department of Ophthalmology organised the conference under the aegis of the All India Ophthalmological Society(AIOS) and the Andhra Pradesh Ophthalmic Society (APOS).

For many delegates and faculty members this conference provided an opportunity to understand the unique model of the Sri Sathya Sai Healthcare. An academic session in progress during the conference.

Being a South Zone Conference, the event was attended by around 150 delegates from Southern India.

Visit of Senior Medical Officials from Telangana State, India

Around 30 senior Government Health Officials, who included Telangana State’s Quality Nodal Officer, officials from Telengana Vaidya Vidhan Parishad (TVVP) and hospital superintendents visited the hospital. Inaugural talk by Director, SSSIHMS, Dr. Gurumurthy.

The purpose of the visit was to understand the method of imparting quality health care by SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram. Radiologists of SSSIHMS Prasanthigram, briefing the visitors about the facilities at the Radiology department.

Head of Department of Diagnostic Laboratories Dr. Sandhya Ramachandran breifing the visitors about the Hematology department.

Head of Department of Orthopaedics, Dr. Prakash Khanchandani briefing about the Emergency services at the hospital.


Sri Pawan Kalyan visited the SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, to know more about the completely free health care services at the hospital. He is seen here at the Central Dome of the hospital.

Sri Pawan Kalyan interacted with the staff of various departments to get a deeper understanding of the healthcare model of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Here he is seen interacting with the Blood Transfusion Officer, Blood Bank, Dr. Sai Kiran along with Trustee, SSSCT, Sri R J Rathnakar and Director of SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram Dr. Gurumurthy.