“Good Morning”, said the elderly hostess Ms Maria Buffa, as she entered Swami’s room along with the others to serve His breakfast.
“Good Morning”, replied Swami playfully looking at the two elderly ladies, the hosts of Swami who were working tirelessly for the comfort of everyone.
Swami asked them, “Morning is good, but did you all have a good night? Did you rest well?”
The ladies said, “Yes Swami, we could get some sleep and rest.” Swami who knew they had worked post mid night, and had woken up early to cook Indian breakfast for Swami, smiled and said, “Body is an instrument, a machine like a car, and needs to rest. To undertake the long journey of life, the body is the vehicle and must be maintained well, lest it should break down half way! Too much of rest is rust. But appropriate rest is best. Body is meant to serve and reach one’s divine goal, but rest is also a part of the journey and is to be done so that you can serve better. Love gives all the energy to serve. Love feeds the soul as the food is for the body. It is inexhaustible energy. While we are young, a body that is strong, a mind that is sharp and a heart that is pure, all must work together to Serve. As we grow older, the body becomes weak. But, we can still help with the mind using our life’s experience. When we grow still older and the mind becomes weak too, we should still love with our hearts and serve that way. Heart never grows old. Look at Swami, when He was young in body, He put His time to good use by travelling and meeting people. Then, as the body grew old, He contained Himself to Prasanthi Nilayam, and using more of His mind and intellect, built institutions for education, health and social care. When He grew even older and weaker, and would not be able to travel or take up projects, He still came for Darshan to give His love to His devotees and even now after giving up His body, He still continues to serve this way. LOVE NEVER TIRES, SO NEVER RE-TIRES”.
The Morning was spent on a tour of Vatican at Swami’s command. After everyone came back, Swami asked, “What did you see there?” The reply to Swami was, “sculptures, paintings and altars etc.” Swami asked, “Did you see God there?” He then said, “God is not for external, but for the internal. He does not need altars, paintings and sculptures. He needs purity of Love. He is with those who Love and Serve Selflessly.”
The program in the afternoon was at the same villa as the previous day, but in a much larger hall on level one, as there were about 400 devotees who had gathered. Many could not be given the opportunity for lack of space.
As Swami glided past the devotees, a wave of bliss encompassed them. Their faces lit up with the joy of proximity to the Divine, a hundred lamps of hope and love were resplendent in their eyes.
Swami walked for sometime collecting letters and blessing the devotees, then took His seat in the centre. The proceedings began with Mrs Maria Buffa welcoming the gathering with her opening remarks, where she mentioned that when Swami left His physical body, she felt abandoned on her journey towards self realisation. She said, “Since Swami left His mortal coil I was in a big process of suffering and thinking that I lost the only and last opportunity to get the illumination. I thought my life was over, and was very sad. When Kiara told me about the incredible news about the manifestation of the subtle body,and asked me to be part of His mission, I was elated, and realised that the only thing I really want is to serve Him with all my heart, and nothing else. I want to share with you this happiness and the gratitude, to be able to work in His Mission. I am not interested anymore in self-realisation, because this is the highest realisation for me!”
She implored all gathered to use this second chance well, by putting sincere efforts.
Thereafter, a musical offering the the Gopi’s band was offered at Swami’s Lotus Feet. A combination of poetry, music and dance. Rabindranath Tagore’s poems from Gitanjali were recited in Italian in the most heart touching rendition. Followed by a dance performance which was a unique synthesis of Oddissey, performed by Sister Kiara and Bharathnatyam performed by Sister Claudia Kunti. She learnt the art under the guidance of many great dance Gurus like Padma Shree Subramanyam and Shree Rukmini Devi. Italians performing Indian dance, singing Indian Songs and reciting Indian poems spoke volumes about the inherent connect between India and Italy, with the common factor being spirituality!
Brother Salvatore introduced the speakers next. First to speak was Mr Isaac Tigrett, who echoed the sentiments of Mrs Maria that time was running out, and it was high time that “we give up our mistaken identity of just being humans and become divine.”
Mr C Sreenivas was the next speaker, and he continued from where Mr Tigrett had left saying, we are all not creatures of time but truly children of immortality. “This truth has now been sinking deep in to our conscience, with Swami repeating in every meeting that I have been a part of in the last two years of travels abroad”, he remarked. While recollecting an incident from one of the earlier trips, he narrated the story of a little girl who approached the “presence” with a pen and a paper seeking an autograph of Bhagawan. Swami’s reply was spontaneous, as He helplessly said, “I do not have hands anymore to sign it for you”. This was heart wrenching for Mr Sreenivas, but when he heard what the little girl told her father later, it shook him up. The girl asked her father showing her own hands, ‘Are these hands not Swami’s?’.
“Today our Swami has no body, but all our bodies are His, and it is through us that He can continue His work. We have a great responsibility to be divine instruments worthy of His work,” he concluded.
Mr Narasimha Murthy was next to speak, and he too picked up from where Mr Sreenivas had left, urging all to put in efforts in order to realise our divine destiny. He stressed that Italy and India have been countries with spiritual history, and have a role to play in leading the world. Last year in the same hall Swami had answered a question for one of the devotees, when he asked about the role of Italy in the Divine mission. Swami said that India and Italy are like the two engines, one pulls and other pushes this train of the world, on the spiritual journey. Reminding all gathered of the responsibility towards the world, by being Divine and leading the way, he prayed to Swami for His divine message.
Swami started with a Telugu poem that meant, “It is from Truth that the whole world has emerged, and merges back in to Truth alone. There is no place without Truth, this is the pure truth, know Oh devotees!”
What is the nature of truth which we all are speaking about? It is eternal, and changeless. Body changes with time, so does the mind with situations, and therefore they can at best be facets of facts, but not timeless truth. ATMA or divine nature alone remains permanent, and therefore it is the truth!”
‘Swami explained that to know this truth, we must first know what is untruth; just like, to know what is light, we must know darkness; to know the heat one must know what is cold. The whole effort is “NOT ABOUT TRYING TO BE THE TRUTH, AS YOU ALREADY ARE THAT. BUT, IT IS TO NOT BE WHAT YOU ARE NOT. The spiritual path is to give up what you are not, to simply be what you are, which is natural to you. Just like a sculptor chisels out from the stone what is not the statue, and therefore what remains is the statue; you already are Divine! Cease to be what you are not, identification with the untruth of Body and Mind. Just like a person on discovering the buried treasure in his garden becomes rich and is free from poverty. Though the treasure was always His, it was just that he was unaware. Similarly, become aware of your reality and be free. Be selfless and fearless.”
Thereafter, He invited questions and answers from the gathered devotees. To a question asked as to when Swami says He has a direct connection with each one of us, why then do we need any mediators for communication, Swami answered poignantly. He drew parallel to a radio station which relays a programme for all without distinction, but is heard only by those who have tuned their receivers. “We all have receivers of our minds, which need to tune to the ‘God Station’, and untune from the station of the world, constantly. This is what I am teaching through this example. There is no one who can come between you and yourself. So too, no one can come between you and your Divinity. Swami is Divinity that manifests in all, haven’t I said that ‘I am Divine and I am in all, and through each I may respond?’ All hands and feet are mine, all faces and heads are mine. So to the one who is humble, I can talk in hundred ways. Be concerned about what’s the content and not the vessel; be aware of what’s the communication and don’t worry about the communicator! Put efforts and reach Me. These people are just instruments like a radio, and not someone who come in between you, and your divinity which is Swami.”
Finally, even after answering several questions patiently, when there were many more to be asked, Swami said, “Having been educated and with a book by your side, you need not ask anyone else. You can read it yourself and know the answers to all your questions. Dive deep within, connect to your divinity and find answers to all your questions”.
Swami blessed everyone profusely, and brought the session to a close.