After an early breakfast, Bhagawan with His entourage and other guests proceeded to Ubud. Ubud is a town in Bali, located amongst rice paddies in the central foothills of the Gianyar Regency. It is well known globally for its rich culture and healing retreats. Ubud is born out of the word ‘Ubad’ which means ‘medicine’. The harmony with the environment, with one another and with oneself can be experienced in Ubud, where the physical, emotional and spiritual growth of a person naturally unfolds.
Brother Desmond and his wife Mrs Roselyn own and manage a healing retreat, ‘Sidharthani Meditation Centre’. They had invited Bhagawan to bless the ashram and inaugurate a newly constructed auditorium. The peak summer and soaring temperature was tough on everyone, but the Lord was all set to walk around the property, which was set amidst beautiful, lush paddy fields. After lighting the lamp, marking the grand ‘official’ inauguration of the Ashram complex, Swami was led to His room, which overlooked a magnificent pool, for some refreshments. The wall murals and sculptures looked outstanding, and the Lord did not miss a chance to admire and talk about them! It was truly a multi-faith centre, as the sculptures included those of Jesus Christ, Lord Vishnu, Lord Buddha, our dear Swami, amongst others.
Swami then proceeded to the newly constructed hall, which can accommodate close to 500 people. He lovingly named the hall ‘Prashanthi’, and announced that a Youth Meet will be held in August 2016, where youth from Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and Fiji will congregate at ‘Sidharthani Meditation Centre’ and Ashram. Swami commanded both Brother Desmond and his wife to say a few words, before He addressed the intimate gathering. Both expressed their gratitude to Swami for His abundant blessing on the Ashram. Talking about the Youth Meet in August, Swami said, “Let the effort of this first retreat be ‘Who am I?’. If you know who you are, you will know who others are.”
Thereafter, Swami proceeded to bless the newly constructed one and two bedroom cottages, built in the adjacent compound. On His way back from Ubud to Sai Pooja Ashram in Bali, Bhagawan visited the residence of Mrs Dewi and her husband Sri Yoga for lunch.
Friday, March 25, 2016 – Evening – Sai Pooja Ashram, Bali
The evening programme commenced at 5:15pm, and Bhagawan commanded Sri Prabhu ji to speak on the importance of a Guru. Prabhu ji said, “Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba can light our minds. The teachings of Baba are not different from our forefathers here. In our tradition we have obligation to devotion. There are four Gurus we must respect – the first – our parents who give birth to us, then spiritual teachers – who give us the truth, Guru Vishesha who inspires and guides us to good in society, Guru Swadhyaya- the sadguru. That is why baba has so many times told us to respect all these teachers. Mathru Devo Bhava- Respect Mother as God; Pitru Devo Bhava – respect Father/forefathers as God; Athithi Devo Bhava- respect Guests as God. So dear devotees, all of you are truly God. Acharya Devo Bhava – Respect all teachers as God.”
This was followed by an inspiring talk by Sri C Sreenivas, who compared Sai Pooja Ashram to heaven. He said, “Swami wrote in a letter once and you may hear this most intently. ‘When the recitation of Sai’s name arouses in you an inexplicable joy, bringing out from you the sweetest words and propelling you to be in full action, heaven is verily there!’ What does one see here? As an observer, each and one of you so eminently led by Aiyya (referring to Prabhu ji) and Amma (referring to Smt Pooja), the sheer utterance, sheer name of Sai arouses in each and every one of you; that feeling that your faces and expression convey to me – that love and inexplicable joy that is so abundantly reflected. And the ultimate proof of that is that all through these years and now, when each of you utter ‘Sairam Sairam’, you have been proving that the name is not different from the form, that wherever the name is the reality of Sai Pooja – the form manifests.”
Sri BN Narasimha Murthy was the next speaker. In his eloquent talk, he said, “As I told you yesterday, we have gone around with Swami to more than 20 countries in the past 2-3 yrs. He is teaching the same truth and that truth is most important for us. If we realise that truth we will not ask any other question. All our sorrows and miseries will stop. All our searches will stop. We will reach the goal. What is that truth? He says- You are none other than God. Many people asked Swami in the physical form- You say you are God, is it true? Yes I am God, but that is half truth, You are also God. Only difference is I know that I am God, you don’t know that. Therefore your job, because we are all sitting here waiting to listen to the master, see this we need to understand that the only goal and purpose of human life is to know that I am divine, I am God and I am one with Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, the whole existence.”
Bhagawan was clearly very pleased with His Balinese devotees. He said, “Dear devotees! You are very, very fortunate, for out of 84 lakh species on this earth, you have got the sacred birth of a human being. Therefore, you are already blessed 84 lakh times to be a human being! Not only that, you also have this desire to realise your divinity. That desire has drawn all of you here today. But in this school of Sai Pooja where you all have come to learn, you are also fortunate to be blessed with the guidance of Bhagawan Himself. So here is the great combination for success: willing devotees, a great school like this ashram and the guidance of Baba Himself. Can there be a greater union of these three aspects anywhere?
The best of the teachers cannot teach an unwilling student. There are so many willing students; unfortunately, they do not find gurus. You are so fortunate for you are here as human beings, you have the desire to know your divinity and here is a Guru to guide you towards that. There can’t be a greater good fortune that one can ask for in a human birth.
Be worthy of this. You are here. Now decide that this moment onwards I must lead my life according to what Swami says. Every thought, every word, every action of mine should be infused with divinity.”
Swami also stressed on the importance of faith by saying, “Above everything else, you must conduct yourself in a way that reflects your Master. Put all your selfish desires aside; lead a very selfless life. Get rid of this fear: what will happen to me, my family, my future? Develop faith in Swami’s words that He is there to protect us; I am divine, nothing can happen to us! Let this great faith march forward and step-by-step through love and service, reach your destination.”
A drama titled ‘All are One’ was staged by the children, which was indeed a treat to watch. After blessing the children profusely with gifts and namaskar, mangala arathi was offered to Bhagawan and dinner prasadam was served, before Swami retired for the day.
The entourage left Bali on Saturday morning back to Singapore. Finally, before leaving for the Airport, at Sai Pooja Ashram, Swami gave a short discourse to the volunteers about meditation, as to how one should meditate only on one form, dig only in one place deep to get water. Bhajans in the hall can have the names of all GODs, as many devotees who worship other deities will feel happy, but while doing individual meditation one should have only one name and form.
Bhagawan said, “See the form outside in a photo or a statue, then see the same form within you, and finally feel that you and that form are one. This is what it means when we say, ‘The light is outside you, the light is inside you and finally you are the light.’ Akin to the three steps of concentration, contemplation and meditation.”
He also blessed that soon, a school and medical centre will start to serve the people around, which has been the deep selfless desire of Prabhu Ji. Swami said that, Seva and Sadhana both should go together. Like the two oars of the boat which will help us row across the ocean of Samsara. Sai Pooja Ashram is for “Sadhana” and near by should have a centre for “Seva” as well. He gave clear instructions to Prabhu ji to look for suitable place around where a day school and a medical centre, especially focusing in child healthcare can soon be established.
Later, as Swami was bid a tearful farewell, He blessed them with the good tidings of His visit again in August which cheered up the assembled, and brought back smiles in the hope of the reunion – “Happiness is Union with God!”
Swami went all the way to the airport and again in one of its kind incident, He even entered and sat in the VIP lounge for more than an hour, discussing the healthcare initiatives, that must happen asap in Bali, with Sri Sreenivas and a volunteering doctor who was in the room. Swami said that soon the hospital in Raipur will expand to Delhi as well, and there will be more opportunities to serve people from around the world! “Its easier for them to reach Delhi, which is the national capital, than Raipur. The flights would also be cheaper to the Capital. Swami instructed the Balinese doctor to quickly speak to the Health Department and organize for the visit of doctors from Raipur hospital, to perform free heart surgeries for the needy children in Bali. A similar arrangement had been made with the Health Ministry of FIJI Islands, Govt of Bangladesh and Devotees from Nigeria and Sri Lanka as well. Swami was constantly thinking of how to serve the needy in Bali, and His entourage in the room were witnessing this limitless, relentless, ceaseless and tireless Love flowing!
In Singapore, that day, Bhagawan visited the residence of two devotees in the evening, before retiring for the night. The entourage left Singapore on Sunday morning, March 27 back to Bangalore. Thus, came to an end a glorious ten-day trip to three countries.