After the eventful Youth Meet the previous day, which also had the ‘youthful’ due to the lack of seats for the public satsang, all were geared up to meet their Beloved Lord. Being a Sunday, it augmented well for everyone!
In the morning Swami sent His entourage out to visit some heritage Venetian villas, and when everyone returned He asked the host, “What did you see in those villas?” Mr Ampilio replied, ” paintings, architecture, richly decorated rooms etc.”
Swami asked, “Well, did you find happiness and peace there?”
“No, Swami”, was the reply.
“Happiness and peace are the properties of God. Only He is capable of giving them. All these properties are not going to confer happiness. Yet people go on accumulating wealth and properties, thinking they will be happy. Happiness is union with God”, said Swami.
After lunch and a little rest, the group proceeded to the same venue as the previous day, where the satsang was organised. “As Swami was being driven through the countryside to the city, a 20 min drive, He observed that almost every home had a garden and plenty of flowers even on their windows. Swami said, “A gardener will understand the effort of the Creator! Just like the gardener, the Lord has created this garden of the world and He is looking after the plants and flowers with great care, all the time. Variety brings beauty to this garden. He is constantly preparing the soil, sowing the seeds of love, nurturing with water of love and enjoying the blooming of love in human hearts. He is constantly weeding out all that is not divine, to help love grow in plenty. Yet just like a gardener, He is truly aware that with passing seasons, flowers will bloom and wain, they will blossom and fade, like birth and death. So He too like a Gardner, remains unattached to all that happens”, revealed Brother Madhusudan as he vividly reminisced the conversation in the car. Swami never misses an opportunity to elucidate a higher truth, so simply and so beautifully! Every conversation with Brother Madhusudan unfolds into something so wonderful, that one does not want to stop hearing!
A red carpet was rolled out to receive Swami, as He entered the venue. As Swami walked through the lobby, He blessed the volunteers and promised them an interaction at the end of the programme. The hall was packed with over 400 eager devotees. Joy was written all over their faces; they beamed, as their Lord passed by!
Swami took His seat on the stage along with the guests. Bhajans were in progress after which there was a music program. The first performer Mr Guglielmo was a multifaceted musician, who could compose and play various wind instruments like the PAN flute, the flute, piccolo and the likes! He presented two of his compositions, interspersed with messages on Love and prayer, which enthralled the audience. The divine ambience was even more intensified with the next performance by Liz Morales and her husband Salvino Fantauzzo, who sang three songs, in Italian and English. The couple are a singing duet of pop-opera, soul, gospel and R&B music. They started their artistic career together in the year 2000, singing in a gospel group directed by Liz. They sang their heart out, “I look to you”, and the listeners were elevated in to a heavenly plane with hearts full of bliss. Truly Soul of Music is the Music of the Soul!
As they finished their performance and proceeded to offer their respects to Bhagawan, the Lord immediately reminsced her from the childhood days, where she sang in the church choir. He said, He knew her well! She was taken aback by the revelation and submitted herself at Swami’s Lotus Feet, who invited them both to perform at Muddenahalli for Guru Purnima this year!
Talks followed the magical performances, with Mr Issac Tigrett being the first speaker who briefly introduced the audience to the effort of compiling and translating the divine discourses, during satsangs happening all around the world by a Team of 100 translators. This has been the holy task assigned to him to capture it in all its purity. He mentioned that many of them are available online on www.divinebooklets.tk, and are accessible to all. He went on to say how Swami avoided him for many years since he had the first Darshan in Brindavan. It was the time when there were only one row of devotees, less than 100 in number, way back in 1974. It was only later in the late 80s, that He had the opportunity to have an interview with Swami. However, during this long period of wait, he had visited Swami over 100 times from London, without any interaction! He holds a record, he joked. This period taught him to look at the formless aspect of Swami and find Him within! Similarly, before a few years of Swami’s physical exit, he was told by Swami not to look at Him during Darshan, so even when Swami would come to Mandir, Mr Issac would sit in the verandah with his eyes shut to the form of Swami, but open to the formless Swami, within! Today, these lessons practised then, have come handy in experiencing the subtle aspect of Swami, here and everywhere.
Mr C Sreenivas was the next to speak. He remarked, “How true it is that Love alone binds us all, how true it is that there is only one language of the heart, and the realisation that we seek, is we are Divine. Swami has repeated over many times, that we are not born as biological accidents. We may be born as creatures of time. Swami wants us to realise that we are children of immortality”, he said.
Mr Sreenivas said that since the time he has been travelling with Swami over the last two years, and repetitively listening to Swami’s message of all life being divine, has slowly started sinking in. Taking about the paediatric cardiac hospital at Raipur, he said that there is nothing more painful for a mother than to watch helplessly, her beloved child die in front of her very eyes! Swami is the answer to the prayers of such mothers and children, for His love transforms in to service and saves them. He said, “For those who have no door to knock, one door is wide open. One door of our dear Swami is there! Swami puts dignity to life.” More than the population of Padova (around 250,000), there are children born with heart diseases in India (350,000) of which 90% die due to the lack of access to affordable heart care. God is the timeless moment between the two heart beats, and sustains life! As a co-traveller and a co-pilgrim, wishing all the people the very best in their journey towards their divine destination, he concluded.
The third speaker for the day was Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, who began his talk by praising the musicians for filling the air with elevating devotion, and awakening the souls which were in deep slumber. Recounting the response of Swami last year in Rome to the question about the role of Italy in the divine mission, the Lord had said that India and Italy both are like engines; one pulls and the other pushes the train of this world, in which all the nations are compartments, chugging towards their Divine destination. Both Italy and India start with the alphabet ‘I’ which is not the small ‘I’ denoting ego that identifies with the body, but the capital ‘I’ that signifies the Divine Self.
He went on to narrate the time spent with Swami in Kodaikanal, and during one such visit, Swami asked a question to the students, promising them a gift if they answered correctly. The question was ‘WHO AM I?’ The students and staff tried to answer it to the best of their understanding of Swami, saying He is God, Rama, Krishna or even the personification of all gods and goddesses, but Swami wasn’t satisfied. Finally when asked, Sri Narasimha Murthy submitted that he too did not know the answer to the question, and prayed to Swami to answer it Himself. Swami said, “I AM I”.
Mr Narasimha Murthy said, ” This ” I ” in both India and Italy remind us of our divine nature. Both the countries have given birth to thousands of saints, in eternal quest for God. They both have a great role to play.” Coming to Padova, he recollected what Swami had told him the previous day. Swami said that Padova in Telugu means ” a boat”. Sri Narasimha Murthy reminded the people of Padova that they are verily sitting in a boat, that can take everyone across the ocean of birth and death. Praying to Swami for His divine message, he concluded his talk.
Swami started his discourse from where Sri Narasimha Murthy had concluded. He started with a poem which meant, if a boat is in water there is no harm, but if water gets in to the boat it is dangerous. If men live in the world there is no harm, but if world gets inside the hearts of men and women then it is a problem. “The boat needs oars to row, and cross over to the other bank. While being in the world and doing what needs to be done, we can row our boat of this life with the two oars of – Sarva Karma Bhagavatha preethyartham (doing every action for the love of God) and Sarva Karma Phala Thyagam ( Renouncing the results of all actions to God). No one needs to go to forests and torture one’s body to attain God; while in the world performing all the actions with these twin principles, one can reach God easily. This is spirituality.”
Swami said that humans are constantly looking for happiness, but unfortunately they are searching for it outside in the world though it’s there right within themselves. Happiness is Union with God. Temporary world cannot give permanent happiness. It’s foolish to look for it outside, like the old lady who searched for her needle on the street and not in the house where she lost it, just because the street had light and the home was dark. “Light the lamp of love in your dark hearts, and look for happiness within in its shining light”, advised Swami.
Thereafter Swami invited questions from the audience and answered five of them, in a way only He can, every single time!
When a devotee asked, what is the importance to believe and recognise Swami this way (in the subtle) through Brother Madhusudan. Swami responded that recognising Swami alone is important, the instrument can be anyone. Drinking water will quench your thirst, not the tumbler or the vessel that is used. “Eating food will satisfy your hunger not the steel, silver or gold plate that you eat from. Recognise and experience the Swami in all and more importantly within yourself; that’s all which is important.”
Another lady asked whether all our prayers that we make for ourselves and others, reach God? Swami said, definitely all prayers reach God but the selfless ones reach faster. Selfish prayers are like old time communication. A messenger or a postal service used to take time; then came telegrams and telephone, which were faster, and now there is internet, very fast. Selfish prayers are like the post, they reach slowly. Whereas selfless prayers are like Internet (emails) reach very fast. “I take action on the prayers as and when they reach me. You must pray selflessly, ‘Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavantu’, so that all the beings in all the universes are happy. Since you are a part of the whole universe, if all are happy, that would include you as well!”
When another person conveyed his disappointment about the wrong happenings around the world and seemed to lose faith in spirituality, Swami was rather surprised and said, “If you see so much wrong happening around you, you must have more faith in spirituality, as due to your understanding of spirituality you are saved from being a part of such wrong doings! All the more a reason for you to believe and promote spiritual truths. You are still a beacon of hope in the darkness of the world. One can travel any distance in the dark if he has a lamp with him, with which you light up the path step-by-step. And with one lamp you can light up many more. Just like it takes one bad person to destroy the world, similarly it takes only one good person to save it. A boy asked why the world hasn’t changed to goodness even after Swami came? I asked him back, imagine if Swami also would not have come, what would have been the fate of this world?”
Another question was asked by a devotee about the difference between the four bodies of Swami. Swami replied that all have the four bodies. The physical ( gross body), the subtle ( Sookshma ), the higher subtle ( ati Sookshma ) and the highest or super subtle omnipresent (Para Sookshma ). Everything is energy, which changes in to matter and back. This is a simple law of science. But, also applies to spirituality.
Water is made of hydrogen and oxygen, and these are all pervading gases, without a form. They are like the super subtle body. When they mingle to form a water molecule in the water vapour, still invisible but can be experienced, it’s like the higher subtle body. When they cool and condense to form the visible water droplets which has no particular form, it’s like subtle body and when they freeze to form solid ice, it’s like the physical body. “I come in your dream or deep meditation via higher subtle or Ati Sookshma at my will. This is possible only when your mind vanishes, and makes way for this communication to happen. But when you do not have sleep and mind becomes active, the experience and communication is interrupted. Whereas now in the subtle body, you can use your mind to focus on me and can have access to me. It is not accessible by physical senses, but it can be perceived by tuning in your mind to me, just like you tune a radio or a TV channel. The gross or physical body which could be perceived through physical senses is no more.
Though He answered a few questions, yet many could not get an opportunity to ask, Swami explained that all answers to all their questions are within, “connect to that source of all knowledge, the divine within and find guidance at every step. SAI stands for See Always Inside!”
After Arathi and Prasadam, Swami blessed the volunteers who worked hard to make the arrangements, 40 of them, with an interview and gifts. He told them that they have served as channels of His love, like the hollow, rust and dust free water pipes that deliver the water from the tank to the thirsty. The 40 of them have quenched the thirst of 400, and have also been purified in the process. He blessed them in abundance!
Thereafter amidst the outpour of love from devotees, Swami got in to the car bidding them farewell. When the host cum driver said, “Swami today is a special day, all have felt so much love”. Swami replied, ” All that love is mine, that is coming back to me. Give love and get love. And mind you, every day is special for me, for I love everyone equally every single day”.
After reaching home, Swami had a light dinner and retired for the day. He instructed everyone to eat, and sleep early so that they can wake up and get ready, early next morning at 5am to give Arathi to Him, and leave for the Airport for the next leg of the Italy tour in Cisternino a commune in the province of Brindisi, on the coast of South East Italy.