JOY: Jesus First, Others Next and Yourself Last – A divine visit to the Joy Ashram.
Day three of Bhagawan’s second visit to the blessed land of Nigeria in as many years took the action to Enugu. Enugu, where one of Swami’s dearest devotees, Father Charles Ogada has been painstakingly taking care of many children. He built the ‘Heart of Love Children’s Home’, in the year 2011 for the homeless, orphaned and disadvantaged children. The ‘Embodiments of Love Academy’ is a primary and secondary school built in the following year and today, more than 350 children receive values-based integral education totally free-of-cost. Like minded individuals from across the world, who believe in Bhagawan’s tenet of selfless service to the humanity irrespective of caste and creed, have been a pillar of strength to these beautiful initiatives by Father Charles, under the direct benign guidance of the Lord.
In the year 2010, moved by the plight of the villagers in Ebe who had no access to drinking water, Father Charles executed a drinking water project,’ LIQUID LOVE’, and today more than 11,000 people are blessed with this basic necessity of life. To go back a bit in history and time, Father Charles had taken a whole project proposal of Medicare, Educare and Sociocare to the Lord in the year 2001. The time wasn’t right of course, and Swami said it will be implemented in the right time. And today, we are all witness to this divine glory which seems to unfold at a rapid pace every single day!
The Lord along with His entourage which included Dr Roshni Pillay and Smt Shyamini Pillay from Singapore reached the Lagos domestic airport to board a flight to Enugu on Monday morning. An unexpected technical delay caused the flight to arrive at Enugu four hours later than scheduled. After a quick lunch and a little rest, the convoy of cars headed to the Chapel, which Swami had lovingly named ‘Anuli Ashram’ or ‘Joy Ashram’. The rain drenched landscape exuded a serenity that only nature can bestow. Approaching the Ashram, one could see the blue roof tops of the new hospital building, peering above the thick greenery, which almost seemed like they were taking a peep at the Lord, welcoming Him in all their grandeur. The sprawling Ashram is a testament of one man’s grit, determination and above all faith in His Lord! The entire spectacle with bejewelled highlights of the rain washed scenery, dotted with buildings was indeed a marvel to remember.
The evening Satsang was organised in the beautiful little Chapel in the ashram (Swami had stayed in the Chapel during His last visit as well). Father Charles welcomed Swami and the guests with much joy and gratitude. This sentiment was again beautifully expressed by the children of the ashram through beautiful songs which exuded great beauty, melody and pageantry. Sir Jude Naam had trained the children and accompanied them on the piano, and Mr Dimitris Lambrianos added the additional sheen with his brilliant instrumental exposition on the soprano sax. Dressed in bright blue and yellow dresses, the children and their singing gave a festive look to the Chapel, and on this particular evening, the whole experience gave a new meaning to being called the House of God!
After the songs by the children which filled the hearts of all gathered with much joy and love. Bhagawan then asked young Sai Prasad, son of Brother Ashok Pai and Smt Swati Pai, to perform two songs he had specially composed for his dear Swami. Strumming the guitar and singing with deep devotion, the youngster was a inspiration to behold.
Thereafter, Father Charles introduced the speaker of the day – Mr Issac Tigrett. Mr Tigrett started his talk by paying homage to Africa’s rich cultural, musical, spiritual traditions. The preceding musical offering by the little children, he said, was a testament to this fact. He spoke highly of the cultures where people were still connected with their inner true self. He urged everyone to channelize God through themselves and remember their true identity. After his inspiring talk, Bhagawan said that there was a long night ahead for the organising team to prepare for the next day’s inauguration of the new hospital, and it would be better to end the day, so they could get on with the preparations.
The singing of the children and the African music remained with everyone long after all left the premises, leaving a sense of gratitude to the Lord for the divine treat that evening.
During Bhagawan’s visit last year, He announced a new free hospital, to extend His healthcare mission in Enugu which was to be built and inaugurated within a year, just like the other typical Sai Initiatives!