Divine Visit – Rome, Italy and Zagreb, Croatia – 22 April, 2016
It was time to leave Italy after a wonderful eight days. As breakfast was served to Swami in the morning, the ladies walked into Swami’s room, yet again wishing the Lord a very, “good morning Swami”. He said, “In every ‘good’ there is God. If you spell Good as G,O,O,D there is G-O-D in it. All ‘Good work’ is ‘God’s work’. Good has no religion, so does God. It is for all. Good is the way that takes a person to God; a way of life!”
Bhagawan continued by saying, “Similarly ‘I’ is there in ‘S-A-I’. Like the rivers that merge in the ocean and lose their individual identity as rivers, but become one with the ocean, so should the individual identity merge in Divine identity. ‘Being’ is lost in ‘becoming’. Individual is lost in becoming the divine. But we are afraid of losing our individuality, and do not want to give up our petty desires, relations and possessions for the divine wealth. We are like flies that hover around the tumbler of sweet juice, wanting to taste it but afraid of falling in it and dying”.
Looking at the breakfast served, He said, “Look at all these dishes. They look different and taste different. But, they really satisfy the hunger only when they all reach and merge in the stomach, where all individual tastes and differences disappear. On a plate they look different and nice, but they do not serve the purpose for which they are brought, until eaten.”
“Priests and worshippers in all places of worship, serve the Lord all day, but do not experience Him because they put only external efforts. They do not go within. How much ever you go around the house, you can get in only when you open the door and step in. External efforts would not help much; going internal is the way. Losing oneself is the way to become Divine”.
Swami had blessed the volunteers to come and see Him at the residence of Mrs Buffa that morning, before the entourage proceeded to the airport for the next leg of the trip, Zagreb in Croatia.
All were gathered in the hall below, 40 of them singing bhajans when the Lord descended the steps to meet them around 10.15 am in the morning. The joy and gratitude that they were having for this rare opportunity to be with Him in such a small and close gathering, was written large on their beaming faces! Only Swami can give such joy! He walked through them and sat on His chair.
After a few bhajans, Swami asked for an Italian song, which the “Gopis of the Band” from the ‘Gopi’s Band’, sang and performed to His satisfaction. Swami beckoned Mrs Maria and told her to look after all as her children, “Be a mother, not a Leader”. As per Swami’s command to her in November 2015, she has been conducting satsangs at her residence, on the first Saturday of every month. Swami blessed her with a gift and saree. The Lord also blessed her close friend, almost a sister, Mrs Giovanna as well, who has been helping Mrs Maria with all the work.
Thereafter, Swami asked Sri Narasimha Murthy to say a few words. He said, “Though the opportunity is available for all, only Swami chooses whom He wants. How to put this opportunity to the best use, should be our concern.”
‘Yogah karmasu koushalam’, is a famous line from the Bhagawath Gita, he explained. Once Swami had asked Sri Narasimha Murthy for the meaning. In response, he had replied, “Excellence in Action is Yoga.” But the Lord immediately corrected him and said, “Perfection in action is Yoga.” The action has to be perfect for Swami. Actions performed selflessly are perfect. He urged the seva volunteers to offer all actions at the Lotus Feet of Swami; pushing away all other desires other than Him!
He said, “We should be prompted only for love for God. All actions and the results should be offered to Him. Giving up the rewards of action is necessary. Love for God, and fellow beings should be the two mantras for servants of God. Winning the grace of God should be our desire. Do everything only to win the grace of God.”
Bhagawan encouraged the volunteers to ask questions. They were very spiritual, and even though it was asked by one person, the answer was meant for all. One of the questions asked was, “How can we maintain steady faith in moments of problems and obstacles, that may led us to depression?”
Swami replied, “When faith is there, it won’t lead you to depression. We don’t ask when good happens. We don’t question, ‘What have I done to receive the grace and blessings of God? Do I deserve all this grace God is showering on me?’ When you don’t ask ‘Why me?’, during your good times, why do you ask ‘Why me?’, during moments of trials. The one who has brought good times through His grace, will protect you during the bad times. If a nail is only half driven into the wall, it shakes. As it goes deeper into the wall, it becomes unshakable and steady. You can then hang a beautiful portrait, without it falling and breaking. The deeper you go into spirituality, the deeper you will understand the ways of God, that just as He brings the day, He brings the night also.
When you are faced with difficult times, it is a reminder that you have not been thinking of God too much! So, God is thinking about you now! He is sending you situations and circumstances, which will help you think of Him again, so you can become deeper and closer to Him!”
Swami blessed everyone, and proceeded to have His lunch. His entourage, all packed, were driven off to the airport for the flight to Zagreb, via Split, a beautiful town in Croatia, surrounded by hills. The team was greeted at the airport by Mr Mladen, in whose residence Swami was to stay, Mrs Karla Gasper and her ever-enthusisatic youth team. The entourage were driven straight to the residence of Mr Devaraj and his wife Mrs Lakshmi, where a handful of Croatian devotees had gathered, to welcome the dear Lord. Bhagawan manifested, partook His dinner and blessed everyone with namaskar, before proceeding to the residence of Mr Mladen and his wonderful wife Mrs Vesna.