Divine Visit – Karwar, Karnataka – 22 October, 2017

After a good rest and sumptuous breakfast at the KPC guest house, Swami met the devotees of Dharwad whom He had invited to the guest house. Around 45 of them had come to offer their prayers to start another Institution in Dharwad too. As Swami came out of the room, Sri Shivanand Maitre, Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, Kawatra, who is the head of the Maitre family that looks after the Sai Katta Mandir, invited Swami to visit Sai Katta, as well as their little home by its side. Swami graciously accepted the invitation for the evening.

Thereafter, Swami asked Sri Sanjeeva Shetty to speak to the group about Swami’s education system and its need for the present times. He spoke eloquently quoting Swami and from the scriptures at the same time, making his point with poignant satire. He urged them all to join hands with Swami like the monkeys of yore who helped Rama. Even though Rama was capable of killing Ravana all by Himself, just as He had vanquished 14000 demons headed by Tataki, Maricha and Subahu, yet He gave an opportunity to the monkeys to set an example for others and thereby redeem themselves.

Sri B N Narasimha Murthy spoke next about the ever expanding transformational educational Mission which has spread to 14 districts out of 30 in Karnataka.

Swami spoke next about His mission which continues till date. He continues to live by what He had told His brother in 1947, to protect everyone, provide the poor with what they need and bring those who go stray back on to the path of righteousness. Swami said that on October 20th, He received many messages wishing Him a Happy Avatar Declaration Day, which sounded a bit strange to Him! Even though He declared Himself to be Sai Baba – the Avatar when He was 14, yet He was always aware of His divinity from His birth in the Human form. He declared it when He was 14 because people around were not ready until then. He prepared them before letting them know who He was. Likewise, He declared His Sookshma Sareera only when people were ready for it. He had prepared His people over births for this continuing Mission. Swami urged the devotees that in the changing world where everything and everyone comes and goes, good name alone stays. He said, “Therefore, do good which will make you immortal!” Soon after the talk, Prasadam was brought and everyone were served tetra packs of juices and some snacks.

Swami who was watching over the distribution of the eatables said, “This is a guest house so you all are guests, therefore this hospitality. But I am always the host here, and everywhere. Guests come and go, where as the host stays. The world comes and goes, but God stays.”

Even at that casual moment, He taught the eternal Truth and along with the fruit juice, and everyone savoured the sweet nectarine message too!

After lunch and a brief rest, Swami and the group proceeded at 4 p.m. to Sai Katta in Karwar town, about 50 kilometers away, through the dense green forest route which was a treat to the eyes. Swami admired His creation all the way! Soon after the sangama or confluence of River Kali with the Arabian Ocean, Swami’s car turned in to a narrow lane of Sai Katta Temple, and amidst the Vedam chanting, the youth of Karwar escorted Swami on their motor bikes in a procession, and the children happily showered flower petals on the path.

Swami arrived at Sai Katta for the golden jubilee celebrations of the consecration of the Shirdi Baba idol which He has installed during His visit to the same place 50 years ago! Sri Shivananda Maitre, the caretaker, was overwhelmed to receive the Lord yet again. Swami showered Vibhuthi on the idol of Shirdi Baba, thereby re-charging it again! He remembered the stone throne on which He sat then, which is kept by the side of Shirdi Baba idol and also blessed the Ganesha who sits majestically on the other side. Swami looked at the ‘fig tree’ which was still alive and was the reason behind the Temple. Sri Shivanand Maitre’s father, being an ordinary householder with minimal means was told by others that he must construct a ‘Katta’ or a platform around the tree which was a tradition, but he was afraid that he would not be able to afford it. However, as per the predictions of a saint it happened eventually, and when the question came about who is going to install the idol of Shirdi Baba which was brought from Mumbai, a suggestion was made by an elderly devotee to pray to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi for the same. Sri Maitre went to Parthi and prayed for it. Though Swami assured that it will happen, He did not confirm when or by whom. Eventually Swami visited Karwar and during a public event, instead of sitting in the chair He sat on the carpet cross legged. When asked, Swami said, I will go and sit in the permanent chair kept in that place (indicating Sai Katta). Thus arrangements were made and Swami visited Sai Katta on 22.10.1968 to bless the temple, which has grown since then in to a place of pilgrimage for many in Karwar and around. The Maitre family has been looking after it with the support of a few others.

Swami went through the crowd of 2000 devotees to the small home of Maitre family by the side of the temple, and blessed all the members with guidance and revelations. Later, He visited the old home of their father, who founded the temple and remembered His previous visit five decades ago.

Finally, walking amidst the joyful devotees who were singing Bhajans, He ascended the stage. Vedam and welcome sings were offered at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet. After welcoming everyone and while reminiscing the bygone years of Sai Katta, Sri Shivanand Maitre offered collective gratitude to Swami for revisiting this place, and Swami blessed him profusely. Thereafter, Sri Sanjeeva Shetty spoke elaborating the current mission of Swami for which Swami playfully called him ‘news reporter’. Sri B N Narasimha Murthy spoke next conveying Swami’s miracle of finding the new land within a day when the purchase of the other land that was being pursued for months fell apart at the last moment! He confessed that it was divine will that the school should happen in the 10 acres of land of Sri Raikar, which was humbly offered to Swami two years ago, but the human intervention of finding a larger land caused the confusion, was mercifully cleared by Swami now.

Swami spoke next and said that the whole world is under God, but God is under the influence of Truth, whereas Truth is subservient to noble ones, and therefore noble ones are greater than God! Swami said that today so many noble people have gathered and prayed, so God had to come, for God is bound by goodness. Swami said that the upcoming school is not merely a centre of education, but a spiritual centre for entire Karwar. He guided them as to how they all must grow from individual thinking to collective thinking, from I to We which is the true Sangha Neeti or moral code of societal conduct. To establish Daiva Preeti – Love for God, Paapa Bheeti– fear of sin and Sangha Neeti – Morality in society, these institutions are being established. The way to immortality is through morality. Love and service are the two wings with which man can soar high to divine skies.

Swami blessed the gathering with Prasadam and after Mangala Arati He proceeded to the home of Sri Anant Raikar, a father figure for all Sai devotees of Karwar. He was received by cheerful devotees at the home decorated with lights and flowers. An overjoyed Raikar family offered welcome Arati and showered flowers on Swami’s path. He blessed the Puja room and ascended the stairs to go to His special private room which was on the first floor. Sri Raikar’s son and family who had arrived from Muscat to be with Swami offered the room to Him which was waiting for a long time. It was Sri Raikar’s wife who had constructed it with great love and also had bought the land long ago which would now be used for the school. When Swami said, “The school will be built in your land”, the Raikar family was quick to correct Swami by saying, “Swami it is your land, for all that is ours it truly yours!” Swami was very happy and said with a chuckle, “I know I know, I was just checking on you!”

Delicious dinner was served to all, after which Swami spoke to the close family members and friends before coming down for Aarti. He proceeded back to the guest house, blessing all the gathered devotees with sweets and Vibhuthi on the way.

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