Why I Build - Reflection from Ravi Varanasi

May 23, 2024

Thank you for the opportunity to speak today. Participating in the Interfaith Coalition with my brothers and sisters is truly a highlight of my year. The love that exudes from the Interfaith Build is an inspiration to me.

Our spiritual teacher and master, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, teaches us that the goal of human life is to realize our innate divinity and the divinity of all creation. He says Unity is Divinity and to attain this, He gave four divine commandments – Love All, Serve All, Help Ever, and Hurt Never.

As we see different reflections of ourselves when we are surrounded by mirrors, the apparent diversity around us is the many reflections of the one Self. Realization of this Unity enlightens us as to our innate divinity and the divinity of everyone and everything around us.

Ravi Varanasi
Ravi Varanasi

The Interfaith Build quintessentially epitomizes Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings. We gather today – looking different, sounding different, and of different faiths – but we come together as ONE. And the Raleigh Sai Center is privileged to be part of this beautiful event.

Many of you know the allegory of the man who asked God about the difference between heaven and hell. First, God sent the man with an escort to hell. They entered a large room with a long banquet table piled with golden platters of the most delicious food imaginable. But none of the food had been touched and all the guests looked emaciated and were moaning from hunger pains. The escort explained that none of these people had elbows, and with locked arms they could not bring the food to their mouths.

Next the guide took the man to heaven where they entered a room with the exact same set up as before. All the guests had unbendable arms like those in hell, but everyone was fed and happy. The man asked why these people were so happy if they couldn’t help themselves to food. He looked more closely and then realized that each person was lifting their stiff and unbendable arms to feed the person across the table.

This love, empathy, and selflessness embody Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings and the Interfaith Build, and why I feel like I am in heaven here with all of you.


Ravi Varanasi
President of the NC Selfless Organization

Remarks presented at the kick-off ceremony for the Spring Old Poole Place Build. Ravi is the President of the NC Selfless Service Organization and an active member of the Raleigh Sai Center, key partners in the Interfaith Coalition involved in the Spring Old Poole Place Build.