Divine visit – Batticaloa, Sri Lanka – July 11, 2016
It was an early start to ‘a historic day’. When Smt Penny Jayewardane walked in to Swami’s room with His breakfast, He said, “You may not understand it now, but today is a very historic day and will be etched in golden letters in the history of this country.” Soon after breakfast, Bhagawan’s entourage proceeded to the Ratmalana Airport, about 30 minutes from the Jayewardane residence, to proceed to Batticaloa, on the Eastern Coast of Sri Lanka where the construction work for the Ashram will soon commence. When the Lord visited Columbo in July 2015, a Sri Lankan devotee, now residing with his family in Singapore, Sri Sutharshanom lovingly placed 200 acres of land at His Divine Lotus Feet! But the Lord accepted 50 acres, the area needed for the construction of the Ashram. Swami declared a hospital and school will be established, offering all services completely free-of-charge, and when Swami visited Sri Lanka in December 2015. The Bhoomi Puja was done at the Ashram land, and the transfer of documents of land to the Sri Sathya Sai Karuna Nilayam Foundation in Sri Lanka happened despite several hassles associated with a war ravaged area, where it is located.
It was definitely historic, as the chartered plane was to land for the very first time at the Batticaloa Airport after the war. The airport was recently renovated and inaugurated as if to be ready in time for this divine maiden flight. A small 16-seater Army plane took off from the Ratmalana Airport, and after a short 45 minutes flight, made its historic landing at the Batticaloa Airport! Swami who appeared in the sky outside ,looked at the plane and said, “oh! that’s a tiny fly in which you are flying”, revealed brother Madhusudan. Sri Mithun Jayaraman, Brother Chenthuran and other devotees from Batticaloa lovingly welcomed Swami’s entourage. Everyone were taken to the residence of a devotee Dr Ahilan for refreshments, before proceeding to the function. Swami blessed the family, saying He would speak to them when He returns for lunch.
With police escort leading the way, Bhagawan arrived in all grandeur at the Ashram land. He was welcomed by children who danced all the way from the entrance. Over 300 devotees, young and old had gathered yet again to bask in His love.
After a few bhajans, Swami and the dignitaries lighted the ceremonial lamp. Swami was lovingly welcomed in Tamil by Brother Pradeepan, who had also translated Swami’s discourse during His December visit, the language spoken in the Kirankulam part of Batticaloa. Thereafter, a traditional folk music performance called ‘Villu Pattu’ was offfered at the Divine Lotus Feet. The ‘villu’ a bow, the age-old weapon of warriors – paradoxically lends itself to be used as a primary musical instrument for the ‘Villu Pattu’ artists.The main storyteller narrates the story striking the bow. The bow rests on a mud pot kept facing downwards. A co-performer beats the pot while singing. There are other co-singers who act as active listeners to the narration, and pose questions at appropriate intervals. This folk art form was used as a vehicle for social messages and propaganda since ancient times. For the first time, Swami’s life from birth until the current ongoing phase of the Mission was beautifully narrated. Swami was very impressed with the lyrics, which was written and performed by the main storyteller, an old head on a young shoulder and blessed him with his gift of love, asked him to practise well and come to India.
Sri C Sreenivas delivered a short speech from his heart in Tamil, where he congratulated the ‘Villu Pattu’ artists saying it was indeed wonderful to hear the glory of the Lord, especially the current phase. He reminded the devotees gathered of their good fortune of being there, and being a part of Swami’s love.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy in his talk congratulated the performers of the ‘Villu Pattu’ and said that for the first time a song was composed on the subtle form of Bhagawan. He reminded everyone that in the last four years, Bhagawan has gifted so many institutions of service to the world, “and even after giving up the physical body, He does not want to part from us.” Sri Narasimha Murthy narrated a story of King Vipaschit. He was not only a very great King who looked upon all his subjects like his own children, but always helped them, granted them many institutions of service and brought them joy by speaking about God also. People regarded him not only as a very noble King, but also a great Mahatma and a great saint. Finally, when he passed away and left his physical body, the angels from heaven came there to take him to heaven. Referring to hell, he told the angels that he wanted to see another place where there is a lot of suffering. But the angels advised him to go to heaven, as that was his place, due to his meritorious life. The angels took him to hell or Narakam. He saw all the people were smiling, happy, coming to touch the feet of Vipaschit; they were very happy to touch his feet, hold his hands and look at him and he saw so much of happiness in hell. Everywhere there was full of so much joy and bliss. Vipaschit told the angles that he had heard that there is so much of sorrow and suffering in hell, but on the contrary he had experienced happiness, joy and bliss! The angels told him, “Wherever you go, there is going to be joy, there is going to be bliss, there is going to be happiness. Even if it is Narakam, whenever you are there, it will become heaven.” Then Vipaschit, asked them, “Suppose I go from here to heaven; what will happen here?” Then the angels said, “There is going to be sorrow and suffering once you leave this place.” Then Vipaschit said, “I have decided to stay here. I don’t want to go to heaven.” Sri Narasimha Murthy said, “That is what exactly Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has done. For 85 years in this world He lived there. Those of you who have seen either Baba or Prasanthi Nilayam or Whitefield or in a film or even physically, you will know that wherever He was, there was joy, there was happiness, there is bliss. But this world is defined as Dukhalayam Ashaashvatam Anityam Asukhakaram. But wherever Baba went, people forgot their sorrows, people forgot their suffering; they experienced Divine joy, they experienced Divine bliss. His devotees and the people in the world considered Him not as a great King or a great saint; they considered Him as their own Father and Mother.”
Swami in His discourse, which was translated to Tamil said that the main reason for loss of peace in the world today is due to the loss of devotion to God, due to which people have lost morality, and have also lost the fear of committing sins. “If the world has to be peaceful, if the people have to live in harmony, and there has to be morality in society, and fear of sin, it should be born out of devotion to God.”
Swami said that a small General Hospital will be built in the next six months, and reminded everyone that two things were needed for anything to happen, grace of God and effort of man. “Rama did not will the bridge to appear though He had the power to have it made that way. But He created an opportunity for everyone to participate, serve Him and thereby redeem themselves. And because those animals and birds participated in His mission, till today they are part of history, His Story. Even today when a mother sees a monkey sitting on the fence, she tells the child, ‘Look, look, there is Hanuman sitting there.’ This is the glory that Hanuman brought to the clan of monkeys. Shouldn’t human beings bring glory to their own breed? Six months is all that I desire, that a Medical Centre be ready here with general specialties. Visiting doctors will screen the children and those having serious ailments needing operation will be sent to other speciality hospitals.
Swami had visited Sri Lanka in July 2015 to the sow the seed. He explained that the seed has two parts and in between both comes out the plant. “God’s grace, God’s Sankalpa is on one side, and Manavaprayatna, man’s effort is on the other. From the union of these two arises the sapling. For the last few months, the seed was germinating below the earth; today it has come out of the earth. In a few months from now, you will see a tiny plant standing up on the same land. Soon, it will grow into a large tree with many branches, leaves, flowers and fruits, and this whole place will grow into a beautiful Ashram that will give relief, succour and joy.”
After Prasadam and Arati, Swami proceeded to the residence of Dr Ahilan once again for lunch. After a brief rest, He granted interviews to Dr Ahilan’s family and also spoke to the family of the translator, Brother Pratheepan and blessed him on his birthday. Arati was offered to the Lord and Bhagawan’s entourage headed back to the Batticaloa Airport for their flight back to Ratmalana Airport, to the Jayewardane residence.
Dinner was served to Bhagawan at 8:30pm, after a few interviews. The entourage packed to leave the next afternoon, while the youth were busy preparing for the Youth Meet the next morning.