Day two of the island retreat was filled with more excitement, as there was a lot of fun in store for the chosen group of Bhagawan. A day filled with games and fun filled session on a sand mound in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and a surreal Satsang in a quaint chapel in the evening. The day promised to be a memorable one with the Almighty Himself.
As everyone who had accompanied Bhagawan on the island retreat woke up, memories of the previous day were still fresh in everyone’s mind. Breakfast was a colourful affair, as everyone trickled in the dress code for the morning – green. Memories of the previous day were replaced with questions on how the day would unfold and the pleasant surprises that could have been planned by the Lord. The announcement came! A morning of fun and games had been planned on a sand bar which doubled as ocean floor during high tide, and a offshore island during low tide.
After breakfast, with the low tide visibly clear, everyone was ferried by a short 7 minute speed boat ride to the island. Beach umbrellas, carpets and Swami’s chair were the only props on the island setting the stage for a beautiful couple of hours of divine pleasure in the company of the Divine Master! The moment seemed perfect! For what else could one ask for? Swami arrived amidst much cheer and the red carpet was rolled out on the white sands. Looking at the turquoise blue water, the Lord said, “This is the exact colour of Krishna!” Seemed like He was still reminiscing His previous incarnation.
As the programme began, with a music competition between the Fiji devotees and the Singapore devotees, which was made all the more interesting and fun when Swami openly took sides with the host Fiji team, thus sealing the fates of the Singapore who surrendered to His will. This was followed by a series of games and activities with Bhagawan Himself guiding some of them, orchestrating the session personally. Passing the hat, lemon and spoon for the children, three legged race for couples, a race that involved twirling towards a finish line had all in splits to see grown up men disoriented with all the twirling, ambling, staggering, dragging themselves to the finish line! Brother Madhusudan revealed that Swami was in splits of laughter, with tears rolling down his eyes! It was indeed a very memorable experience for all, right in the midst of the ocean and Bhagawan in His mirthful mood. By then it was close to noon and Bhagawan asked everyone to head back to the shore, before the high tide came along and the little mound of sand went back to where it belonged, the ocean floor.
The evening session was a beautiful contrast to the one in the morning. It was set in a idyllic Chapel which was gracefully perched on top of the highest hill on the island. As the bhajans were underway, Swami arrived in the buggy, which were most handy in to commute around the island, and also served as Swami’s transport of choice to the various venues around the island.
Bhagawan asked the children of the Fiji devotees to sing some songs/bhajans. Little eight year old Saisha (daughter of Brother Sumeet) sang a beautiful Krishna song in English which was composed by her. One could see the pride in Swami’s words when He said such purity and sacredness in voice was a gift of the tender innocent age. Brother Sumeet added to the musical repertoire with some of his best renditions, like ‘Rang de Chunariya’. After each song Swami once again asked him to explain the meaning of the song, and these interludes offered some of the beautiful insights, as Swami who would also explain stories from the rich ancient mythology. Towards the end of the session, Swami spoke at length on the significance of the name of God and the practice of Namasmarana.
Swami liked the design of the Chapel that was simplistic, functional but also had certain a character to it. He told Sri C Sreenivas, something similar would be a good fit for the new Bhajan hall being planned in Kodaikanal, where year after year, the numbers have increased.
After Satsang at the Chapel, everyone had dinner and were treated to a scintillating ‘fire dance’ performance by a special group who had been flown in exclusively from the mainland. The breathtaking traditional dance had everyone spellbound. A few among the group also ventured to join the performance encouraged by the spirited performing troop.
Thus ended the day, which yet again etched some wonderful memories and lessons for all.