In 2007, when Bhagawan revealed during the Shivaratri discourse that He would undertake a world tour shortly, no one ever imagined it would turn out to be this way! 30 countries and still counting, with new countries added every year. 2017 gave much joy to devotees of Turkey, France, Taiwan, Russia and now, it was the turn of the European country, Lithuania. Swami’s entourage flew to Vilnius from Moscow, and landed around 10:30 a.m. This was the first country among all the 30 countries, where a large number of devotees had gathered, most of them dressed in sarees, and all of them chanting Rudram at the Airport! After the traditional welcome of bread and salt, everyone proceeded to the residence of Mrs Catherine, Swami’s host in Lithuania. In fact Swami had spotted her son Daniel in Germany earlier in the year, during the European Youth Meet, and had even asked him to speak.
The drive through the streets of Vilnius was indeed a spectacle. The charm of the old city, cobbled streets, buzzing road-side cafes, the architectural marvel of the cathedrals, and above all there was a certain sense of culture and spirituality in the air. Swami manifested at the entrance of over two centuries old apartment building, which has been declared as a UNESCO heritage building. As He walked into the residence of Mrs Catherine, He was yet again welcomed with bread and salt with ladies in their traditional attire. Swami went up to His room, and spoke to the family. Looking at the room next to His, He asked whose it was, and pat came the reply from Patricia, the seven-year-old sister of Daniel, that it was her room. Swami was quick to reply saying, “Only children can be God’s neighbour, as every child is God!” Swami went to reveal many aspects of the family, including details about Patricia’s grandmother and even great grandmother, much to the surprise of Mrs Catherine, as all of it was absolutely true! The phenomenal subtle form is so baffling, that one tends to forget many times that Swami out of His mercy continues to be present amidst His most cherished creation, man!
An early lunch was served to everyone, and after a brief rest, Swami proceeded to the venue of the private Satsang, a few yards away from Mrs Catherine’s residence. Swami was overjoyed to see that all the ladies were dressed in sarees, specially ordered from India, only to please Him. Swami said, “Anything done to please God is spirituality!” The ladies knew well that Swami likes to see ladies dressed traditionally in sarees, and they did all that they could, to procure them right in time!
Bhajans were in progress as Swami entered the hall, and young Daniel welcomed Swami and His retinue. After a short musical performance, Professor Ravichandran spoke on Swami’s command. He reminisced his trip to Lithuania last year, and upon his return Swami had asked about the trip. Professor Ravi submitted to Swami saying he was amazed at their love for Swami, and their earnestness to serve Him in His mission. Pat came the reply from Swami, “I sent you to learn this message from them!” He also recalled the Satsangs and Swami’s message in Russia. He went on say “The greatest gift I have got from Swami is, love for God. God resides in each and every heart, and it is the language of the heart that unites all of us.” He urged everyone to learn to love and respect each other, and intensify the love for Swami.
Sri C Sreenivas confessed that all were gifted and blessed, as all have a unique gift, which is to love. “Of all the gifts that we can have – the gift to love Swami is beyond compare. This is called devotion. Intensifying devotion and to build discipline and duty into devotion, is unique and the need of the moment.” He spoke about the miracle of life, and reiterated that the formula for life is love!
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy in his speech said it was a moment of celebration of Swami’s love and everyone’s love for Him. “There is a deep bond between our souls and God. You have been blessed with the highest gift of God – faith and love for God, which will give us everything.” Sri Narasimha Murthy recalled a conversation from the previous day between a devotee Leo who was Swami’s driver in Moscow, and the Lord. Looking at the rain, Swami had asked him, whether it was happy rain or sad rain! The devotee had replied that it was all happy. Swami remarked, “Rain is neither happy or sad, it’s all in our minds. Mind is responsible for liberation or bondage. We need to surrender our mind and senses as it is God who can control them.”
Swami continues to inspire people of various colours, cultures and countries! Truly, no one can rekindle this kind of love, and urge people to live a life of selfless love anywhere in the world!
Swami thereafter commanded young Daniel, who is a budding poet to recite a poem he had specially written for the Lord. It was on love and devotion, and was wonderful to hear him offer it at Swami’s Lotus Feet.
Swami then began His discourse by saying that the devotees had prepared Swami’s chair with so much love. “This chair is very comfortable. With so much love you have prepared a chair. You have decorated it with the best of fabric, comfortable cushions, careful artwork, and even the kerchief is so well made! So much for a chair! But there is a chair inside your heart, and that is where I want to go and sit. Don’t make it a musical chair, as that is the place I like to sit and want to reside. Make sure that chair is soft and gentle, and is empty for me. This is spirituality! Making a chair outside and inside both is spirituality. Anything you do for the love of God is spirituality. God is very simple, infact the simplest of all things is God. Do everything for the love of God. The Sarees that you are wearing, the poems, the music, etc have all been done to please Me. This is spirituality. You don’t have to do anything great to please Swami. Anything that you do through the day, eat, sleep, work, or anything else, do it with love for Swami. Daiva Preethi is spirituality. If you please God, you will please the whole world. Just please God, that should be your endeavour. Your rule, mantra and direction in life should focus on a question -‘By my thought, word and deed, am I making God happy?'”
Swami went on to narrate the story of true devotion of Sakubhai and Samarth Ramdas; Mother Sita and Hanuman. “God loves it when a devotee chants His name – when you sleep and chant, He will sit up and listen. When you sit and chant, He will stand and listen. When you stand and chant, He will come running to you!Devotee first, God next!”
Mangala Arati and Prasadam was distributed to everyone, and Swami returned to the residence of Mrs Catherine for dinner, and retired for the night thereafter.