The Patel household was abuzz with activities, in preparation for the public Satsang in the evening. After breakfast, Swami with His entourage proceeded to the residence of Brother Bobby Patel, a young entrepreneur and also the Youth Leader (Men) for USA. The Lord was received with the traditional Poorna Kumbham. After a few bhajans, Swami blessed the family and close friends who had gathered to receive the Lord. Thereafter, Swami had His lunch, granted family interviews and proceeded back to Sri Divyogi’s residence for the afternoon.
Swami and His entourage left at 5:30pm from the Patel residence for the Satsang venue. Close to 500 people had gathered at the community hall of Sunnyvale Hindu temple, attached to the Shiva Temple, a 15 minutes drive from the residence.
Ms Connie Shaw was the first speaker for the evening. She said, “In today’s fast changing world, your present and future are far less about what you do than about what you become. And in our becoming – Baba has said so often, ‘Being is lost in becoming’ – as we learn to embody Baba’s teachings, many lessons ensue.” Twenty years ago, Swami had given her a series of lessons, that she now calls the “Aloha Lessons”. A-L-O-H-A. It is an Hawaiian word, which means both ‘hello’ and ‘good bye’, greetings and farewell. ‘A’ – acceptance or surrender; ‘L’ – love of God above all things, and love of God in all beings; ‘O’ – obedience; ‘H’ – humility and ‘A’ – accountability: accountability to God, accountability to atma in our own hearts, and accountability to other people.”
Mr Isaac Tigrett was the next speaker, who narrated how somewhere along the line in the last two years Swami had said that he would help with a hospital in America, in his homeland, in Mississippi. He said that though he felt it would be tall order, he has absolute and complete faith in Swami. He said, “And I trust Him. And I believe in Him. And I have surrendered to Him. Among other things that He has tried to make us all believe – and this is a very difficult time to believe anything, in the darkest hour before the dawn. I mean, we are in a state of mistaken identity; the body and mind are over stimulated, we don’t even know about the divine soul within. It’s been such an amazing thing to surrender. Surrender to my higher nature, surrender to my Guru.
Someone asked, ‘Do you believe you are a divine being?’ I said, ‘Absolutely.’ He said, ‘Why? How?’ I said, ‘Because my Guru told me I was, and I trust Him. I trust Him emphatically. I have surrendered to Him. I have had this amazing grace to be near Him, be with Him, be taught by Him. And I surrendered to Him some years ago.’ It’s probably the only reason He keeps me around, because I love Him so much and I trust Him emphatically.”
Sri C Sreenivas, the next speaker started by narrating a beautiful and meaningful experience, when he was on a flight from Bangalore to Delhi sometime in early 2000, with Swami sitting right beside him! He narrated the journey with the Lord, and valuable lessons learnt. Swami told him, “All of humanity or every man comes from this world or comes from this universe, lives in this universe or in this world, and lives with this universe or in this world. When we live with someone we need to behave in a way that begets respect and honour. If you want to win the world, surrender to the creator of the world. Then you have won the world!” Swami also commanded Sri Sreenivas to tell everyone that the Sri Sathya Sai Health and Education Trust, was the first Trust that Swami registered as a public body in service of society’s at back in the early seventies! “It is through that, that we are able to do the work that was spoken about, but I do know that the journey has just begun for me. There are genuinely as Robert Frost said ‘miles to go before I sleep and million miles to go before I sleep.'”
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, the next speaker spoke about the continuing mission of Bhagawan in the last four years. He said that prophets and messiahs and divine personalities are only born, and they never die. They live on eternally; otherwise, “mankind would not build temples for Rama who lived in this world 10,000 years ago, or Krishna who lived 5,000 years ago or Lord Jesus Christ who lived 2,000 years ago, because we do believe that they cannot die, they will not die. This is because we never identified them with their bodies.
We never identified Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba with His body, and we need to understand this. We always identified Him with His love and compassion. Bill Aitken, who wrote a beautiful biography of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for Penguin Books, which was published during the lifetime of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, which was the only exception made by the famous publishing company Penguin Books for a living spiritual leader, wrote, ‘In the last ten years I have visited Prasanthi Nilayam twelve times not as a practising devotee but as a pilgrim to the temple of love and compassion.’ Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was never the body, He never claimed that He was the body, He never claimed that He is body even today.
Swami in His discourse said, “The whole world is based on the principle of mind. Therefore the Vedas say Manomoolam Idam jagat – mind is the basis of this entire creation. What does this truly mean? To understand this, we must understand what is mind and what its role in our lives is. Mind is simply put, a bundle of all our thoughts. Like a piece of cloth is made by weaving threads vertically and horizontally, mind is also weaved with all kinds of thoughts. These thoughts are not just the ones that we entertain now as we live here but these are the thoughts that have accompanied us from our earlier incarnations. And every time a thought adds on the cloth becomes thicker and thicker. Likewise, the mind becomes denser and denser. Mind carries all the thoughts right from the moment this jeevatma or the individual soul separates from the Paramatma or the universal consciousness. It carries it through all the times that it lives on this earth and therefore, it starts forming its own impressions of the world around itself. This mind is the way we perceive the world. A divine mind will see the world as divine. An impure mind will find impurities everywhere. This is the basis of our understanding of the world.
Pure thoughts are possible through pure company. As is the company, so we become. If we maintain the company of the good and the noble, the thoughts that we develop will also be pure and noble. And therefore, our mind is also becoming pure and divine. The one who has a pure mind and a divine mind will see everything in the same way.
You are all talking about changing the world, doing this, doing that – we all want to see the difference in the world outside us. But all these efforts are simply not going to find fulfilment unless we have learnt to change ourselves within. That is why it is said, you may achieve everything on this earth that is possible but at the end if you cannot turn your mind inwards, make it still, make it realise the truth, everything else is simply a waste!”
Swami answered some questions of the devotees thereafter. One of the question was, “Swami, I am from You and therefore everything about me is You. Does this mean that the mind that I struggle to subdue is also You? Or did I create it? If I did, who is this ‘I’ that created it?”
Swami replied very beautifully as always! He said, “Everything has come out of God. Even the mind has been created by God only. Therefore it is not you who created the mind in first place. Creation is purely God’s. And therefore even mind is divine in its true nature. But what we do is like a child who wears fresh, bright clothes which is given by the mother in the morning, goes around playing in the field, dust and sand and dirties it and by the time he is home, the colour of the cloth or the clothes that he is wearing is totally changed because of dirt. Then what does mother do? She takes the clothes, washes it clean and gives it back again pure and bright. Therefore creation of the mind is of God. The way we use it is in our hands. If we don’t use it in the right way, it will get dirty, it will get soiled, it will get impure and then we have to turn towards God and say, “God, I am suffering because of my own mind, because of the impurities I have collected. Please clean it. Please make it bright and neat so that I can become pure again and I can wear this mind which is clean and bright. Nothing in the world is wrong. Nothing in this world is bad. Everything in this world is divine only. However, as a person struck with the disease of jaundice sees everything yellow, it is his disease which causes him to see this way. The person who is suffering with fever tastes everything as bitter. It is the disease which is causing him to experience it that way. Everything was created pure in divine image. It is the feeling of ‘I’ness that came into us and then we started using it in the wrong way that has caused this whole confusion. So the easiest thing is, you tell God, “You separated me from You so that I could see Your glory, I could live for You, I could serve You. Please teach me again to come back to You and serve You, love You and be pure. I have dirtied things which were given to me pure. Please take it back from me. Wash it clean and make it bright as it was.” This sense of surrender to God when we come back and give back our minds to God and say, “You take care of it the way You want it,” He will see to that it remains pure forever. This is the way we can keep our minds clean and pure.”
After the Q&A session, while the youth had to set the stage for a short cultural programme, Swami took a round of the exhibition which was arranged at the rear end of the hall. Glimpses of the continuing mission were showcased through visual representations. A short play and a few songs were offered at the Lotus Feet of the Lord.
After blessing the performers and Mangala Aarthi, Swami returned to the Patel residence.