The Story of “Love All Serve All” – Hard Rock Cafe

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HOSPITAL

Until 2008, I knew precious little about the Hard Rock Cafe other than Isaac Tigrett, a Sai Baba devotee, had given a huge donation from the sale of the HRC, for a hospital to be built on the outskirts of Puttaparthi, way back in 1989. I remember the hospital in Puttaparthi being built and everyone showed keen interest. They talked about it endlessly.  But, for me, I saw this beautiful hospital as an end of the old and charming ashram.  I remember in 1991, when the foundations were laid,  my taxi driver pulled over to point out the site area, and I shuddered. I don’t know why. This was a good project, one that would help so many people. But for some odd reason, I could never visit the building site, nor the finished hospital. Did I know, on some level, one day Sai Baba would die there? I don’t know. Maybe my reasons were selfish. I knew the hospital would bring huge changes to Puttaparthi.  The old ashram that everyone adored, was about to change. It stood to reason, where there is such wealth,  change is bound to come. It did. When Isaac gave his huge donation he did so, I am sure, with an absolutely good heart to help those in need. In that he succeeded.

About the hospital. I have only visited the SS Hospital once, but briefly, during a visit in 2012. It is an awesome structure, more like a Sultan’s palace than a hospital. It’s very hard to drive along the road to Puttaparthi, and to see hundreds of small villages with shacks, huts and hovels in which the local people live, then to suddenly chance upon the SS. Hospital. It is totally bizarre. This is the story behind that hospital.  The Hard Rock Cafe was sold, I believe in 1989, to British Rank Organisation PLC.  They sold the Hard Rock Cafe restaurants, Hotels, Casinos, world-wide “rights” and Casino “rights” EAST of the Mississippi River, USA and the HRC Entertainment Group in 2007 to the Native American Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida, for US $965 million.


Isaac Tigrett first visited India in 1974, about two and half years after the Hard Rock Cafe had been established. The HRC was doing well at that time and was soon to be the most famous cafe in the world. Isaac though, felt he had another interest that was closer to his heart. That was to find the guru he felt was calling him.  He spent a long time searching for one but none of them met his needs. After a gruelling search he spent his last day in a hotel in Aurangabad.

In the hotel breakfast room in Aurangabad, a photo of Sai Baba was there on the wall.  Isaac had no idea who the person in the photos was. But all of a sudden the photo  called to him:

“I am waiting for you.”

He was stunned. How can a photo talk? He asked at the hotel reception whose picture was  on the wall. The staff told him that it was a photo of  the hotel owner’s guru and that guru lived in Bangalore. Isaac immediately flew to Bangalore, and went to Whitefield Ashram to visit the guru who had called him from the photo. He stood at the back of the tiny ashram against a wall, dressed in black and wearing shades. Then Sai Baba, who he describes as “this amazing creature floated down a tree-filled ramp across the courtyard to him and said, “You’ve come at last! I’ve been waiting for you. We are old friends. Wait here. We have much work to do together!”

Isaac waited 15 years before Sai Baba Spoke to him again. He visited Puttaparthi over the years regularly, often staying for long periods of time.


psnsup

Love All – Serve All – The Sai Baba Quotation used in all Hard Rock Cafes

Isaac’s Story: Excerpted from The Singapore 2007 talk.

Let me tell you about the Hospital. It was a wonderful and amazing thing for me. I always, from the very beginning, knew Sai was there. Of course, “Love All – Serve All,” Sai’s greatest message, I stole out of the South Indian canteen (written on the wall) in 1974, and emblazoned it in each Hard Rock Cafe all over the world. More importantly, I ran these businesses  not only on this message of love but entirely on his teachings of the five human values: Peace. Love, Truth, righteousness and nonviolence. I was, without a doubt, devoted to trying to put into practice all that I had learned. After twenty years of working eighteen hours a day from the age of 22, three Public Offerings and seeing move dawns than I have had hot dinners, my penance was completed through the world famous Hard Rock Cafe, and it was sold. Those winnings (by his Grace) were how the Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital was built, or as I like to proudly say, on beers, burgers and broken glass. Swami once told me, “It makes no difference what you do. You can be a butcher or a hangman, as long as you rule your life on the five Vedic Human Values.”

Giving The cheque

I was in my room in the ashram when trying to see Baba. I wanted to give him my cheque but something seemed to stop me. I walked over there to the mandir but then started to sweat. I couldn’t move. I didn’t know what was going on with me. It was as if I was being physically manipulated. I walked back to my room and I thought. Why Why? What’s wrong? What am I doing wrong? In giving the cheque for the hospital, is it giving me some sort of an ego trip? Is this like, “I” am doing a good thing? A generous guy? Then if finally dawned on me,  “Don’t do this for you. There is no you. Only us.” And I realized what I wanted to say, believe, and how and why, I had to offer this gift of money as service.

As soon as I got the message straight in my head. Sai Baba let me walk right into that interview room and I said, “Swami, this is a gift for you to do whatever you wish with. And it is from all of us. It is especially from all the ones who would like to give it, but don’t have it to give, they just have their love. We love you. We adore you. We want to help you. This is from all of us.” – He took the cheque. (The cheque I have been told was for many million of dollars.)

I said Swami, “I want you to please, please, please, please, don’t let anyone know that I’ve done this. I want to do it anonymously.”

He looked at me, went out on to the verandah and said to everyone there, “Tigrett gave me this cash!” Tigrett gave me cash! Tigrett gave me cash!”

So we built the Hospital. It was an extraordinary experience. He told me, Tigrett, you are not just going to give the cash, you are going to be in charge of the building the hospital, getting all the medical panning done, doing the architectural. You are going to be in charge of the whole thing! You know, I had been given the tools; the tools meaning the Hard Rock Cafe, yes, that’s what it was for to teach me how to get things done, to get organized. That was a prerequisite to building the Hospital.

I said, “Swami, what about all these gentlemen that you have go around you? Sitting outside the door? (VIPS). All those chaps who are the heads of your Organization? They will do anything to get close to you. Anything!” He said.

“You run them over. You are my Tiger. You run them over.” I said, “Okay if you’ll protect me, I’ll run them over.” And I did.

Just a note:

Sorry to say that Isaac Tigrett has left his flat in the ashram to join with the Muddenahalli Group and  former student Madhusudan the new Swami. (Madhu Baba)   I cannot think why he would do that! It seems like a complete U turn on his part. However, his personal story is still of interest to people. I will leave it here. Perhaps one day Isaac Tigrett will return to Puttaparthi and to the significant Samadhi and vibes of our late guru Sathya Sai Baba, just like the prodigal son of old.


post script: Now that Swami has been gone for nearly six years, it is time to reflect on his inner teachings. He always advised us to go within. To find the in-dweller – the source of all that we are. The “I Am.” Here’s a small article I wrote to honour his words. Sai Ram.

WHY FIGHT OVER BODY PARTS?


“I am formless and everywhere!”

..

Someone said something extraordinary to me the other day, while we were discussing Sathya Sai Baba and the Muddenahalli splinter group. The now infamous group have forged ahead in Sai Baba’s name. They said. “why be attached to body parts when you can seek the Source within?” True, why do we hang onto body parts or a body form, when the wisest teachers tell us clearly we are not a body. The source of wisdom is love and that is something we can find within ourselves. All spiritual teachers speak with one voice, when they say that a flesh and blood temporary human-being is just a vehicle to be used while on Earth. We are all just body-parts with the potential of finding the eternal truth within us. Best to focus and find that sacred place in our hearts where the in-dweller resides. Yes,it takes a lot of determination and dedication but it is not without merit, that we eventually find out that our spiritual teacher’s guidance is both wise and compassionate. But as always in cases of well-known spiritual teachers, once they pass from this world, those pivotal devotees who once held positions of power within their late teachers setup, struggle over the right to carry his/her name on in their own chosen way. They claim power and possession over their late teacher’s movement and cause confusion and division among followers. Power struggles are part of every religion and almost all sects. Such power struggles are normal in this ego-centric world, often going against everything their late teacher had taught. When hard-nosed egos decide they are the one and only “Source of Light and Knowledge,” and are the chosen ones, they literally go out of their way to be deliberately be spiteful and vengeful to others, who do not see them as the new mouth-piece for their late teacher. So take care to follow His words and look for the in-dweller. The source of all power and love. You need not seek anywhere else.

 

Sai Ram 

13 thoughts on “The Story of “Love All Serve All” – Hard Rock Cafe

    1. Do y0u mean the story love all, serve all? – I am only getting used to the new technological changes in word press. Today, it is hard to write on line and really truly blog, due to the ever changing technology provided by Word Press. All OPP. But thanks for the comment on my article. I am glad it was of interest. Eve 🙂

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    2. well, rock and roll man, i guess Isaac Tigrett, owner or founder of Hard Rock is known to you. Now he is God!!!! – He has reached the peak of the mountain, in his eyes. lol Eve

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  1. Hi Eve, I couldn’t comment on your HRC post as comments are closed but I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading it. I’d never heard any of that information before and it was inspiring to read. And a treat to see such a young Eric Clapton. I came to appreciate him through my husband who’s a few years older than me. Seeing him in action then and knowing what he was to become as a musical force and talent was like watching history catch up on itself. A lovely post altogether.x
    Scottish Mommus

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  2. Odd the comments are closed here!!!! I certainly did not close them! Someone other than me did! Oh! I have an idea who might had, the very HRC man himself, who has the password. I have changed the password now. There’s no way he can be up to tricks and “teasing” again.. (thanks for drawing my attn. to the post again.) Yes, I really enjoyed writing the post on Isaac.) Although most of the story was from his own talk, given during 2007 in Singapore.) eve

    Today is a bit like a magical mystery tour for me. I cannot find the other people that also posted a comment on that page now.. All is odd (confusing) as it always is around Isaac!

    At the moment he (Isaac) is not around. He has a new interest – Sai Baba’s light body!!!! He is fully engrossed in that. That post is also on my blog. (Posted a week ago.) (He appears in the you tube lol)

    thanks eve

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