September 12 and 13 saw one of the most wonderful experiences in the company of the Lord on the beautiful island of Malolo Lailai in the picturesque Mamanuca Islands in Fiji. The two day Satsang cum retreat was organised by the Tappoo family and Swami had specially invited some select devotees from Singapore, the United States, New Zealand and Malaysia to be a part of this unique experience.
Monday, September 12, 2016
On the morning of September 12, a slight drizzle drenched the landscape, and nature glistened in all its glory. Truly, Fiji is blessed with bountiful blessings of Mother Nature. In the morning, Bhagawan inaugurated the mobile healthcare vehicle, ‘Health on Wheels’ a project by the youth of Fiji guided by Bhagawan, to cater to the healthcare needs of those who do not have access to quality healthcare. The brand new van stood proudly awaiting the Lord to inaugurate and bless the project. The medical team of volunteers who were going to maintain and run the mobile unit had set up a tent where they had displayed the equipment and charts in the ground floor of the apartment, where the Tappoo family lived. As Swami walked past the displays, He enquired each of the team members on their role.
The Tappoo family lived on the fourth floor, and while waiting for the elevator, Swami said, “Just like this elevator, God too comes down to take people up to higher levels. However, there is limited space inside the lift and those who are early, benefit from it. Others have to wait for the lift to come down again. This is the way of the incarnations too! Many miss the opportunity, for they are not ready to board even when the opportunity knocks, and have to wait for another opportunity to be with the Avatar!” An important lesson to mull upon.
After lunch, later in the afternoon, Bhagawan blessed the Tappoo family and the entourage as they left Suva for Nadi (pronounced ‘Nandi’) by a short 30 min flight. The group spent the night on the Denarau island resting, before boarding the boat that would take them to the Malolo Lailai island the next morning. The excitement was palpable at the prospect of spending two full days in the company of the Lord on a beautiful island.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 As Bhagawan’s entourage and the accompanying members of the Tappoo family boarded the boat to Malolo Lailai the next morning, devotees from Singapore, United States, Malaysia and New Zealand were already onboard the boat ready to welcome the others. In all,there were around 50 people, hand-picked by the Lord Himself!
The 50 minute ride which had only Sai devotees was abuzz with eager exchanges of experiences of Swami, hearty wishes of Sairam and much discussion on what the next two days had in store for all.
On arrival on the island, the guests settled into their rooms and soon breakfast was served. The first programme for the day was a beautiful outdoor Satsang which had been organised on a secluded part of the beach. An open tent that had been erected at the edge of the water front was all set to receive the Lord, as bhajans set the mood for a wonderful time with Swami. Bhagawan arrived in a electric buggy driven by Brother Madhusudan himself, which prompted excited cheers from those gathered.
As Swami walked in to the tent, He distributed kits that had been organised by the hosts. It had the traditional and colourful Bula shirts (for the gents) and ethnic jewellery (for the ladies) and a matching hat to go with it. Swami, very lovingly went around placing the hat on the heads of each one present that morning!
The outdoor setting, the stunning scenic setting, the turquoise water front, the Lord and His devotees – it had all the elements from a scene right out of Brindavan in Dwapara Yuga!And surely, the Lord was himself feeling the same that morning, as He said “This is Brindavan!” and He asked Brother Sumeet Tappoo to sing songs on Krishna. After each song, He would ask for the meaning of the song, and Brother Sumeet would explain it in detail with beautiful anecdotes from the times of Radha or Meera.
Alluding to the setting and mood that morning, He said, “Where there is Krishna and where there are His devotees, that place is verily Brindavan.” And pointing to the water He said, “This is like Yamuna.” He spoke of the divine love between the gopikas and their Krishna, and how the gopikas lost all body consciousness, and danced only as a expression of love.
After the outdoor Satsang, lunch was served bringing the morning programme to an end. Special chefs were arranged who prepared various cuisines to choose every palette.
The evening Satsang was organised in Swami’s villa, which was just enough to accommodate the group of around 50 people. The evening began with soulful songs and bhajans by Brother Sumeet once again. On Swami’s command two small children led a couple of bhajans in right earnest, and from their heart.
Swami then asked Brother Sumeet to speak. He expressed his gratitude for the opportunity and how the island of Fiji had become a pilgrimage center by Swami’s arrival. He ended his talk with the song – ‘Humko tumse pyar kitna’.
Swami then invited Sri B N Narasimha Murthy to address the gathering. He began congratulating Brother Sumeet, and his musicians who had specially flown to Fiji from Mumbai, and thanked them for the wonderful musical evening they had presented. Speaking of the power of music especially when it is offered to God, he gave the example of Sri Tyagaraja who sang only for Rama rejecting the riches offered by the King himself. He opined that parents should pass on the legacy of their love for Swami to their children. This, he said, was more important than passing on the materialistic legacy. Passing on the spiritual legacy was the absolute need-of-the-hour. He asked the parents to teach their children to depend on Swami and not the world.
The next speaker was Sri C Sreenivas who pointing to the Bula shirt he was wearing, said he rememberd his first day of joining the Brindavan hostel in a similar shirt. He underlined the significance of being in Swami’s presence when the timeless gets encapsulated into time. Picking from one of the bhajans sung earlier by one of the tiny tots, he told the Fiji group they had a good example in the Singapore devotees who were good examples of having Bhakti, Shakti and pursuing the path of Mukti.
Swami’s message to all was, “The movie has just begun, and until now the titles have come and gone.” He said all would have a role. Ending His short talk Bhagawan asked each one to play one’s role, wherever one was with absolute devotion and sincerity.
The evening ended with a traditional Fijian performance after dinner where the dancers in their traditional Fijian attire, regaled all with their dances.