After a wonderful breakfast of piping hot Indian food specially brought to the hotel where we were staying prepared with so much of devotion by the devotee’s of Irvine, the entourage got ready to go on a boat trip, at the Lord’s command. The love of the devotees in every country where the Lord visits on these overseas trips is overwhelming. Every bit of meticulous planning & detailing, done over many months reaches its pinnacle with the arrival of the Lord! Swami often says, ‘expansion love’, and it truly is!
The two hour boat ride into the ocean, of the very famous tourist Newport Beach, reached its climax, when the Lord manifested on the boat, in the middle of the ocean! The ‘Satsang at the Ocean’ was incredible! A handful of His chosen ones, about 15 of them were indeed very fortunate. “It is fine if a boat is floating on water. But, it is not fine when the water enters the boat. As long as man floats in this ocean of the world, it is perfectly okay. But if the water of the world, enters the hearts of man, then they are ruined! Lord’s name is like this boat. ‘Naama’ is ‘Naava’. Name itself is a boat, which takes you across the ocean of samsara. It does not allow the water of the world to enter. The name of the Lord allows you to float, however high or low the tide may be, and takes you to the other shore. There is no harm in living in this world, and enjoying the creation of God, or to be a part of the creation and propagate love and understanding between humans. But if you allow waters of selfishness, attachment and desires for petty things to get in, you will be ruined! Remember this always!”
Swami lovingly enquired if anyone had seen any sea animals. Sea lions were spotted just before Swami manifested, and this was promptly reported to Him. Infact the previous night, while dinner was being served to Swami, He enquired what kind of animals were usually seen in that stretch of beach. Whales, Great White Sharks and Dolphins was the reply, and Swami had said, “You will see ‘something else’. And everyone did see ‘something else’ – the beautiful, yet lazy sea lions, comfortably soaking in the sun on a little bauble right in the middle of the ocean.
After a wonderful time with the Lord, everyone returned for lunch and a brief rest.
Evening Session :
The venue for public Satsang in the evening was University of California Irvine – UCI. The Lord made His entry amidst bhajans and a packed hall at around 5:30pm. Children took over by chanting the Sai Rudram thereafter. Mr David Cornsweet welcomed Bhagawan and His entourage, and introduced the speakers for the evening. Mr Isaac Tigrett was the first speaker who spoke about his journey from the Hard Rock Cafe to Bhagawan. Inspiring as always, he urged everyone to look within, and see everyone as a divine being. “If you just take a second, when you approach someone, when you see someone, don’t see them from the mind-body experience. See them from the faith in your heart that divinity is true. And if the master can be trusted, it is true. You are all divine beings.
It is fantastic to have the Cosmic Master to lead us. And how wonderful and historical for Him to come back in His true form – the formless. And really make you start to think, because you have no idea whether He is looking at you or not. He is, He is looking from the inside out. This is a unique opportunity for all of us to share this day. Swami has always said, the past is past, it is ridiculous to even contemplate. Future is uncertain, there is only the now.”
A short film on the continuing healthcare mission was screened thereafter. Sri C Sreenivas spoke about serving a cause. He narrated how he picked up a magazine the previous day, randomly opened it to land on a page which had the title – ‘The future of business lies in serving a cause’. Sri Sreenivas said, “I thought about this considerably yesterday, and I can assure you I will keep thinking about this, because in very many ways this was not just profound, it is prophetic. The future of business lies in serving a cause. Serving a cause has been primarily, core, deep within human’s heart, to see how we can make a better life first for ourselves and for our families and for the societies that we live in. Nothing has fired human imagination or nothing has put in greater effort into human pursuit than if you see serving a cause. Suddenly there is so much beauty, there is so much enrichment, there is so much meaning and purpose to life when you tell yourself and when you learn to live a life that serves a cause.
I have often wondered why of all the names did Swami choose to call Himself Sathya Sai. There were a million beautiful words in Sanskrit, each more profound and beautiful than the other. But for some mysterious reason that He would know only Himself – we could write theories about this, we could give interpretations about this, we could give analysis of this – but He chose to name Himself Sathya Sai, The Truth. The pursuit of Truth defines human life and its existence. It could be a scientist, it could be a sportsman, it could be politician, it could be from any fabric of life, we are all incessantly pursuing truth or the Truth!”
A short film on the continuing education mission of Bhagawan was screened thereafter, and Sri B N Narasimha Murthy addressed the audience. He narrated an incident when he was sitting alone with Swami at one time. When Sri Narasimha Murthy expressed his grief and pain looking at the failing health of the Lord, Swami told him “Ee shareeram vochindi de loka papa pariharamku kada bangaru – that was the love and compassion, the ocean of compassion spilling out, the heart. When an ocean overflows we are all engulfed. What did He say? ‘See, My dear Bangaru, is it not true that this body has come for alleviation of the sins of mankind, this body has come for ‘Loka Paapa Pariharam.’
“One who comes to save the world, shall share its pain said Mahayogi Aurobindo. One who comes to save the world shall share its pain. That is why Lord Jesus Christ was crucified. Sri Rama drowned himself in a river. Sri Krishna was shot dead by a hunter. Mahatma Gandhi was also shot dead. Lord Buddha died because he consumed poisoned food. Socrates was given poison. What for? For one reason – one who comes to save the world shall share its pain. And look at His compassion, look at His passion for redemption of mankind – even after giving up His physical body He comes here. He comes with love and compassion. He comes to fulfil His promise made to the world especially to the overseas devotees – I WILL COME”.
Bhagawan in His discourse said, “Not without a reason that Swami chose the name ‘Sathya’ said C. Sreenivas a while ago. Narasimha Murthy said, ‘He is the teacher of Truth.’ What is this Truth that Swami has come to teach is the question that one needs to ask. The truth that He has come to teach is the one that is permanent, that is eternal, that is the purest, that is without any contamination, that is free. This Truth is the truth of one’s divine self.
We all think that we are human beings who have to become divine, but the truth is we are divine beings who have become humans. If we think a little deeply, we will analyse deeply and understand what Swami means. Swami is doing is the job of the sculptor. He takes us, takes our lives and then slowly starts carving us into His Divine Self. He removes everything that is not divine, patiently, carefully, slowly and chisels us into the true reflections, true images of His Divine Self, of our Divine Self. This is the work of all the Avatars, messiahs, great men, sages and that is the Truth that they are not only preaching but they are practising too”.
Swami said that until every single human being is carved into His Divine or Her Divine Self, His work does not end. The compassionate Lord added, “Whichever body you may name it, I will come again and again and again and continue to finish the work that is yet to be completed!”
Swami continued and said, “Lot of people of the world could not come to Swami not because they could not have come. It is because Swami chose to keep you closer to give you the first lessons and to help you be the first batch of the students. Now it is up to you to carry forward these teachings, this legacy by your own conduct and practice and set an example for the others. Bhagavad Gita says, ‘The way the noble ones behave and set an ideal or an example for the others, that is the what others in the society follow.’ Times have changed, those days of rights are over, responsibilities begin. Privileges are over, practice begins!
A boy asked Me, “Swami, what is Your greatest miracle?” I said, “My miracle is not that so many devotees have come to Me from so many parts of the world though I travelled nowhere but My miracle is despite Me being around, doing so many things, there were billions who could not get My darshan; I kept them away to give opportunity to you all and now that you have received the opportunity at the cost of so many more who are no less deserving than you, it is your responsibility to lead your life in a way that becomes an example to them!”
A wonderful Q&A session followed thereafter. One of the interesting questions asked was, “Why were souls created in the first place? And if we are indeed divine, why is there amnesia to that and why such long journey over lifetimes to try to learn this and realise ourself?”
Swami answered in the most simple, yet profound way. He said, “You are asking Me why did I do what I did? Why are children born to parents? It is to give joy to parents that children are born. But parents see their own reflection in their own children. And when they see them growing up into their own images, they feel so much joy. And there is no joy that matches the joy of being a parent, being a mentor, being a caretaker of another being. God was all alone in His nirakara svabhava, that is His true nature which was formless and then in order to love Himself, He separated Himself from Himself. That is how all the others have come up! From the river if you take a pot of water, from the pot of water if you take a mug of water, from the mug you take a tumbler of water, all the water is same. But it has been separated from its river, from river into various containers. That is how all these beings, all these bodies, all these lives have come into existence. The containers are different but the essence or the principle is the same, and the whole thing has been designed in such a way that one day, we have to go beyond the outer container and look into the inner divine principle and know that we and our Father are one. Children love this game called ‘Treasure Hunt’. You hide cues and they run and they find one. From there they progress, till they find what they were supposed to find. This whole life is a game and every time, God gives you a cue to the next thing and from there to the next thing. And it is so exciting and exhilarating. Have you seen children playing? They are so excited when they discover. The entire life becomes such an exciting journey of exploring and experiencing this truth about oneself. Life is a game. Play it. Life is a dream. Realise it. Life is a challenge. Meet it. Life is love. Enjoy it!”
A short break followed, during which Bhagwan walked around amidst the devotees who were overwhelmed by His benevolence, He granted a few interviews too, while the stage was being set up for a short music programme by Ms Radha, an African-American lady and her group of singers, who sang devotional hymns, tradition of generations. She had performed in the Divine Presence in Prasanthi Nilayam many years ago, and offered her gratitude to Swami for giving her an opportunity yet again. This was followed by a a few renditions by Brother Sumeet Tappoo, who enthralled the audience as always with his mesmerising singing.
It was almost 10 pm when the programme ended and dinner was served. Swami on His way back said, ” Today the programme has took longer to finish, and it has caused a delay for the devotees, especially those who have come from far; it must have been inconvenient for them. But then in America, people stay up late in the night partying with their friends, can’t they bear the delay tonight for the sake of God?”.