Chennai Visit – Day 3 (Morning) – December 20, 2015
The final day of the Lord’s visit to Chennai had a packed itinerary. The first half of the day saw the culmination of the third leg of the relief activity, with all the volunteers who had spread love in various locations around Chennai and Cuddalore district, returning to the Seva hub, the newly inaugurated S B Mahal at Tambaram, Chennai, to the bosom of their Mother Sai. A public function was arranged for all the devotees and volunteers, and over 700 people had gathered at 9:30amon Sunday morning, to experience the love of their beloved Bhagawan.
Swami arrived at 10:45 am, after granting interviews to a few devotees. Melodious bhajans were in progress, which gained tempo as the Lord and the esteemed dignitaries took their seats on the dias. The function began with Veda chanting by the women devotees, which included alumnae from the Anantapur campus.
After a brief welcome address, a musical rendering of a bouquet of five songs by the Sevamrutham youth was offered at the Lotus Feet of Sai Ma. The songs were presented in Tamil, Telugu and English.
The first speech of the morning was by Sri Kalyanaraman, a long standing devotee of Swami since 1969, and instrumental in starting the breakfast Seva activity in Tambaram a few months ago. He narrated how he first came to Swami in 1969, when he heard that the Avatar resided in Puttaparthi. He reminisced some of His experiences, and narrated how he began actively participating in Seva activities. Speaking of more recent times, Sri Kalyanaraman shared with the gathering how he had reconnected with the Lord in the subtle form, and how in an interview the compassionate Lord had enquired about his health, referring to the accident which only a handful of people knew! He ended his talk with a note, saying that he had never been afraid to proclaim his love and devotion to Swami, be it during the early days in the 1960’s when he first came in contact with Swami or now, when Swami is with us in His subtle form!
He thanked Swami profusely for blessing Him with the opportunity to serve Him, and appraised everyone gathered on the success the breakfast Seva which has started with a modest participation of 10 volunteers, and by Swami’s grace and inspiration, has grown to over 70 volunteers today.
Sri Kondala Rao – Chief Advisor to Govt of AP on water resources, a worthy instrument of the Lord who has executed many large infrastructural projects for Bhagawan, like the Sri Sathya Sai Water projects in Andhra Pradesh, Chennai and the housing project in flood ravaged Orissa, was the next speaker. He began his talk by thanking the Lord for His magnanimity, as He had given the opportunity to serve Him since the mid 90s. He outlined the four tenets that Swami had given him during his first interview, and which has served him as a guiding light in his journey of service – Love all, Serve all; Help ever; Hurt never and Work is worship; Duty is God!
Sri Kondala Rao then walked the audience through the salient aspects of the water project, and the housing project in which he was actively involved. Swami had divinely ordained to provide drinking water to the people of the parched district of Anantapur, and surrounding areas. In Anantapur alone the project encompassed over 730 villages. This was later extended to Medak, Mahabubnagar, East and West Godavari. Later, notwithstanding the acute water shortage faced by the residents of Chennai, the compassionate Lord initiated the water project to Chennai. While many in the audience were aware of these projects there was a viable sense of awe, as Sri Kondala Rao shared lucid details of these gigantic initiatives of the Lord!
Moved by the plight of the people in Orissa who were left homeless, due to the flooding of the River Mahanadi in the year 2008, Swami had commanded Sri Kondala Rao to undertake a project to provide permanent housing to those affected by the calamity. After conducting a detailed survey, four districts were selected. It was fascinating for everyone gathered to hear about how Swami involved Himself with every minute detail of the project. He had instructed to have the newly built houses with increased foundations, at height of three feet above the ground, to make them prepared for future flooding emergencies!The configuration of the typical houses designed involved twin one bedroom units, in a layout with ample open space for community hall, temple etc. Sri Rao highlighted the important role played by the local Seva samithi volunteers in the project. The audience erupted in a applause as Sri Kondala Rao mentioned that today, over 1000 families had been given proper housing and are living happily in their new homes! Sri Rao ended his talk with a prayer from
His heart, that Bhagawan should continue to give him the opportunity, to serve Him till his last breathe!
The simplicity, the humility and the sense of surrender which one could sense as he spoke of the projects made it amply evident that Sri Kondala Rao, was a kind soul and had diligently followed the tenets Swami had laid out for him earlier in life. It was a truly inspiring talk for every person gathered!
The next speaker was Sri C S Ramesh, a Sevamrutham volunteer from Chennai. He took the pleasant duty of giving Swami and all gathered an update on the relief work that had taken place at various locations in and sound Chennai. This was followed by Sri Sathyanarayana a Sevamrutham volunteer from Bangalore, who recapped his experiences during the last few days. He also aptly spoke about the transformation which was vividly seen across three levels. The beneficiaries, the onlookers, and of course the personal transformation he felt from within! Bhagawan has repeatedly reminded everyone that the purpose of any Seva activity, is to ultimately help each one of us in our journey of self-transformation.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy who spoke next, reminded everyone that the purpose of the human birth is to have the desire to know God, and spoke of how the Paramapurusha Himself, has given everyone gathered the great fortune of His company, that morning! “God is everywhere and He pervades everything”, he said.
Bhagawan’s Divine Discourse followed, where He reminded everyone, yet again, the purpose of sacrifice and selfless service. The Lord started with the poem, “Na karmana, na prajaya, dhanena, tyagenaike amrtatvamanasuh.” Neither by actions, nor by progeny and wealth, but by renunciation alone, is immortality attained.
Amruta means, that which does not have death. When Vedas proclaim that every being is the very embodiment of immortality, what does it really mean? By drinking some magical medicine, one may extend his years of life, but can he become immortal? By practising all kinds of yoga, by controlling breathe through pranayama and by performing various rituals, can one become immortal? One may try whatever one can. However this body made of five elements, must go someday. Sages, great people and kings have come and gone. Nobody is here. Why talk about human beings, even divine incarnations have to take birth, continue their mission, and finally leave this body and go. Then aren’t the Vedas not telling the truth? Vedas are called ‘Sruthi’. They were received by sages in their meditation and were heard by the ears of the mind. This cannot be false. Then what is meaning of this truth or immortality? One must pay deep attention to this.
This body which comes must go, and it cannot be immortal. The relationships that we gain, may be lost at some point and it cannot last forever. Even the wealth we gain, cannot last for ever.” Bhagawan explained at length about the concept of immortality. He reminded everyone, that which is born out of anything temporary, cannot be immortal, and will remain temporary. Only that which is born out of permanence, will be permanent!
“This world is called that which is not permanent, and that which is not pleasurable. Then how can all that is born out of this world, be permanent? Therefore, that which comes must go! It cannot be permanent.
Life in the world is impermanent. Youth and wealth are impermanent. All relationships, be it wife and children are impermanent. Only the two – Truth and good name that one earns are permanent.
The truth that you are the divine consciousness, will always remain. When the atmic principal of love expresses itself in good work, and when that good work brings a good name, that will also remain permanent. Since divinity is nothing but pure selfless love, anything born out of pure selfless love, will be divine and permanent. However, that which is born out of selfish love, is not permanent.
Thinking that we are helping someone is wrong, as it raises our ego. We need to thank the person to whom we are serving, as he or she is giving us the chance to serve him, as the receiver does not show his ego in anyway while receiving. The one who receives is spiritually far greater than the one who gives. The people who are affected by the floods, are far greater than those of you who went to serve! They did not have the ego to reject what you offered, and accepted it with tremendous humility. We need to learn by doing seva. The receiver is greater than the person serving, and this will only lead us to be more selfless. The Bangalore Seva team has taken part in the relief program. They should not feel that they have done a great activity of seva for Chennai! Rather they should thank the people at Chennai, to whom we are serving for giving this great opportunity.”
Bhagawan announced a housing project – Sri Sathya Sai Seva Grama – a gift of compassion to Cuddalore, the most affected area in the flood. The project will initially commence with 108 houses, and will be an Ideal Village with a community center, pure drinking water facility, and other features. Sri Kondal Rao, who has driven large infrastructure based Seva projects like the Sathya Sai water projects and the special housing project in the flood ravaged Orissa, commissioned and lovingly guided by the Lord Himself, will lead and execute this project as well.
Bhagawan then spoke of a devotee who wanted to offer a house at the Lotus Feet, for the sake of this project. The Lord said, “The world will see how Swami is acting through each one of you, and how one Sai Baba is becoming many! When people say, ‘Where is your Sai Baba? He is not here anymore.’ With courage, you should beat your chest and say, ‘He is right here, inside me!’ But, you will be able to acquire this courage, only through will selfless love.
SAI stands for Service, Adoration and Illumination. If you want to know the Swami within you, do service filled with love. You will then be able to attain this wisdom.”
The power packed discourse came to an end, and after a short 10 minute break, the children offered a cultural program at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet, which included a couple of dances, a dialogue act between two students about the life of Bhagawan and finally the popular play, ‘ Cheppinattu Chestara’, ‘Do deeds follow words?’ originally scripted and directed by Bhagawan, when He was a High School student in Uravakonda.
Bhagawan enjoyed the program and showered His grace on the children profusely! He then blessed all the Sevamrutham and Yuva Vrinda volunteers, by joining them for lunch. They were ecstatic, and offered their gratitude to their loving Mother Sai!