After an early morning flight from Zaghreb, through Vienna, Swami’s entourage reached the ancient land of Greece, the last leg of this European expedition. Brother Dimitris Mexis, his son Jai, who studied in the Primary School at Prasanthi Nilayam, and members of their group were waiting at the Athens airport, to welcome the team. It was a crisp spring afternoon, which was slowly discarding the chill of winters, and donning the warmth of summer.
After an hour’s drive through some stunning seascapes, which brought the multitudes of photographs splashed across all travel magazines on Greece to life, the entourage reached Nea Peramos, situated in West Athens, to the family home of the Mr Dimitris, “SAI NATHA”.
The beautifully decorated 100-year-old mansion was renovated with modern amenities, to host Swami and His guests. Swami manifested at the gate, and walked on the red carpet in to the home, and the hearts of a small group of devotees and family members, who had gathered to welcome their Master! As He was greeted at the gate by Mrs Iovanna Dimitris, He said, “I had told you I will come, and see I have come to your home.” Over the decades, many groups of devotees had invited Swami to visit their countries. Swami had always answered in the affirmative, “Yes, yes. I will surely come.” Like it is said, “In His time, in His way!”
In the hall, by the fire place, He sat down in a special chair and invited all to be seated. Mrs Dimitris, in a rare prayer to Swami, sought His permission to wash His feet. Swami looked deep in to her eyes and then permitted her to wash, later revealed Brother Madhusudan. “I was wondering how would that be?”, he said. But the lady in her devotion brought a bowl and a jug full of water to place it at the foot stool and wash Swam’s feet. Brother Madhusudan described that in a first experience of this kind, He saw Swami raising His white robe and dhoti with the gold border to reveal His feet, then He placed both His tender feet in the large porcelain bowl, allowed the water to wash His feet. “Water was dripping from His washed feet, in tiny drops, even after the bowl was removed. It was so real that you could feel the drops on His tender skin”, mentioned Brother Madhusudan. As is the feeling of the devotee, so is the Lord. The lady of the house was granted this rare boon.
Swami asked her, ” What will you do with this water?” Pat came the reply, “It’s sacred, I will drink it!”
Swami looked around and noticed that there were more statues and pictures of Indian Gods, than Greek. He said, “Only the bodies are Greek, but their hearts are all Indian. As is the heart, so is the person.”
“The name of the house is ‘Sai Natha’, which means ‘Sai, the Master’, therefore they have made a MASTER bed room for Swami. And Dimitris only stays in the MISTER bed room”, joked Swami. Truly all are “Sanathas (with parents or masters) as God is their parent, and master. It is God alone who is “ANATHA” (orphaned), as He has no parents. So whoever gives God a little place in their homes and hearts, God resides there!”
Swami walked around the house from the kitchen to garden, and then went to the first floor to His newly renovated room. Tastefully decorated with an eye for details, the room was indeed a special one.
A late lunch was served to Swami. As the hosts brought it to His room, Mrs Ioanna was overcome with emotions as as this was the fulfilment of the promise made to them 20 years ago, where the Lord said He would visit their home in Greece. With tears of gratitude she submitted to Swami, “I have been waiting and praying for this for years, and today when it has happened, I am not even capable of understanding its preciousness in its entirety!” Swami said, “Don’t try to understand, experience and enjoy!”
After some rest, Swami met all the people in the living room, around 7 pm during a cozy little evening satsang. Swami asked Sri BN Narasimha Murthy to speak, after which Sri Sreenivas and Sri Tigrett spoke briefly. Swami gave a short beautiful talk about Greece, it’s spiritual heritage and role in the world.
Swami said, “Greece has been an ancient culture like India, having deep roots in spirituality. The roots are still alive deep down, even though the tree above has suffered with passing seasons. Spirituality needs to be nourished for the country to get back its glory. Too much greed is the cause of grief of Greece. Need is the way.”
“Today, when the country is passing through difficult times, due to the greed of a few, yet Greeks are willing to help the refugees who are passing through their lands. The world will hold Greece in high respect, if they show kindness and compassion to those who suffer. For the people of Greece have also suffered at the hands of invaders in the past, and therefore can empathise; where one can sleep, two can sit and three can stand. We must rise to the occasion and help. This is an opportunity in the disguise of a difficulty, and if you help those who need it now, this sacrifice will come back to you multiple folds, as prosperity and peace to your nation”, Swami advised. To substantiate this Swami quoted the example of Draupadi, who’s honour was saved when the tiny bandage on Krishna’s little finger, tied by her multiplied in to yards and yards of saree.
After the satsang, and making enquiries about the programme the next day, Swami went back to His room upstairs.
Looking at the picture of an elephant in the ceramic bowl of water that was offered to Swami for washing His hands before dinner, Swami commented, “Who is Sai? People try to understand Him but they fail. Like the four blind men, who described the elephant based on their limited understanding. One touched the tail, and declared the elephant is a Rope; the other held the legs and said the Elephant is a pillar, another caught hold of the large ears, and proclaimed that it’s a fan, and the fourth rubbed the stomach and said its indeed a wall! But none of them, in their blindness could know the truth of the elephant. Likewise, humans try to understand God, but fail. THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW ME IS TO BECOME ME. Become Pure love”.