It was April 24, the day when the form took to the formless. A day when millions around the world felt shattered! And five years later, it’s totally a different story! What a compassionate Lord do we have, for He has blessed us with the sense and sensibility to understand the subtle phenomenon, and continues to guide us like before! “There was a day five years ago like this, and there is today. What a difference!”, Swami said to Sri C Sreenivas in the morning.
Soon after breakfast in the morning, Swami proceeded to the venue of the public satsang. Two satsangs were organised, morning and afternoon, on the same day at Hypo Centre. The 30 minutes drive from the Mladen residence, was through beautiful green spaces and ornate buildings, which certainly opened up a sense of cultural curiosity.
Over 1200 devotees from 18 countries, like Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, Portugal, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia, etc, had gathered to bask in Swami’s love. The Ambassador of India to Croatia, Mr Sandeep Kumar was a special Guest at the satsang.
As Bhagawan entered bhajans were in progress. After which, the large number of ladies and gents chanted vedas, with the most immaculate pronunciation. The children took to the stage next, chanted vedas and also sang a few songs for their beloved Swami. The children chanted the vedas beautifully, and once again with flawless pronunciation, to the delight of Bhaagwan!
Ms Vesna Krmpotić, who has written more then 100 books on Swami in Croatian, was amidst the audience and Mrs Karla Gasper, welcomed the gathering and thanked Swami profusely for His divine presence in Zagreb. She said, “The greatest strength lies in surrendering to His will, and that is the love that permeates all creation. Only love can change the world. Bhagawan says, ‘I detached myself from myself, so I could love myself.’ Now we are His body, now we are responsible for creating the future of the world which should be governed by the only law worthy of man, and that is Love All, Serve All. Love is the role and mission of avatars, and today’s gathering shows that the true power of man is love.”
The first speaker was Brother Branimir Gonan who spoke about how a group of youngsters had started learning the vedas, which also helped them personally. He said, “Swami’s guidance reflected in my personal transformation, from the person who started to listen and learn the Vedas, to the person who taught. I remember feeling as though Swami was spontaneously blessing me with the words.” This led to the new initiative ‘Veda Union’ a platform which unites the Veda chanting groups under various projects. The mission and vision of ‘Veda Union’ is to unite Europe at a spiritual level, promoting oneness, love and peace among all, through the teaching of the Vedas and recitation of sacred Vedic hymns.
Mr Sandeep Kumar addressed the gathering thereafter, and said that the congregation was not about religion, but multi-religion; it was not about culture, but multi-culture, about the way of life and universality of the way of life; about balance and India represents balance. “This is about truth, peace and love.” He extended his full support on behalf of the Embassy of India in Croatia for all the projects which will be .
Mr Isaac Tigrett was the next speaker, who said that in the past everyone were invited to see Swami. Now Swami says, ‘I am behind the curtains, and a pure heart is the admission ticket.’ He continued by saying, “Spirituality is your own personal journey. You cannot follow anyone, and no one can follow you.”
The next speaker was Mr C Sreenivas. He started by saying, “Today, the 24th of April is the day, when the physical merged into eternity. While everyday is a new day in our lives, while everyday beings a freshness and newness, we are faced with a myriad challenges.” He reminded everyone that Swami always asked each person, to recognise the divinity that embodies us, which is the purpose of life. Mr Sreenivas said, “Whatever problems we face in this world, the total solution comes with the realisation that each one of us, irrespective of color, caste, economic state, nation, religion or difference; if we are Divine, there is a beautiful thread of love amongst us.” Mr Sreenivas picked three lines from the first English song written by Swami, ‘Love is My Form’, and explained beautifully. He said, “With love being our forms, Truth being verily every breath, and the breath of our lives, Swami beautifully left with us the third sentence – Expansion is My life. What a powerful mantra is encapsulated in that statement. When He spoke, when He lived every moment of His life in love that expanded itself – where He believed in giving Himself to the suffering of anybody in any corner of the world; where the hardships faced by anybody in any part of the world. In the strife of all the turmoil that was faced, He felt that deep need and addressed that need to assuage suffering, to alleviate suffering, to bring peace, happiness to so many lives. He verily was the expansion of life!”
Mr Narasimha Murthy who spoke next, started by reminding everyone of the sacred day; a day when exactly five years ago, Swami transcended from the physical. He quoted a verse from the Bhagawan Gita, where Lord Krishna says that He knows every creature and being in this world, in the past, present and future; but no one can know Him. Mr Narasimha Murthy drew parallels with Swami, and said “Millions of devotees flocked from all over the world to see Swami.” He knew everyone, but no one knew Him!
Bhagawan in His discourse said, “Many tasty dishes have been prepared have been served, to feed the hunger of devotion in your souls The great mantras from the vedas have been chanted, songs have been sung with great devotion and children have added colour to the food. It has been further improved by the speaker talks. Everything has been prepared & served well. A little salt is missing, which I will add; neither more or less, just the required quantity!” We have heard from the speakers just a while ago that on this particular day, Baba decided to leave behind His mortal frame, and to become one with His true nature, which is Divinity. Just like the rain that comes down on earth, and flows as the streams and rivers, which ultimately merges in the ocean, God also descends, takes a human form and behaves like one to teach the truth, all are Divine. Once He has finished teaching the truth while in the body of an Avatar, He merges back into His Divine Self. This has been true, for great saints, Avatars and the messengers of Lord across all Ages. The body which has been made by the five elements, must merge back into the elements. It is true to your body, and Mine. But what remains behind is the truth of Divinity.
Instead of asking everyone else ‘Who are you?’ ask yourself, ‘Who am I?’ Once you know the truth that you are not the body, and mind, but the Atma, you will know the answer to the question ‘Who am I?’ and also who others are! To preach this great truth, all great saints, Messiahs, messengers descend. They will preach in different ways, languages, customs and traditions, processes, religions and lands.
People say, ”Swami is God’, and at the same time they say, He was here or there; He was alive, but is no more; He could be ‘like this’, and not in any other way. Though we call Him God, we put constraints on Him. All this is because of the narrow mindedness and lack of understanding.
On this day, so many people around the world are doing various acts of service. To commemorate this day, people are doing bhajans, or distributing food to the needy, or clothes to those who need. By this way, they are trying to express their gratitude to Swami. Just like when a student finishes his education with the Guru, in accordance with the tradition of the Gurukula system, the student is not charged a penny during his education, but he must offer a ‘Dakshina’ towards the end to the Guru, without which the education is not complete. And what is the Guru Dakshina that the devotees must offer to Swami? Above all these acts of service to the poor and needy, which are acts of external nature, the greatest Guru Dakshina that you can offer is the internal one, which is to practise the truth that has been taught by Swami, and become ‘that’ truth!
And what is Divine? Pure selfless love is Divine.
Swami is ‘that’ love and the true homage or gratitude to ‘Swami, is to live in ‘that’ love. This is the greatest gratitude that you can offer to Swami, in return for all the love Swami has shared with you all.
Simply celebrating a day by lighting a lamp, singing some songs, talking a little bit about Swami, or doing a bit of seva, is not the right way of celebrating! Only when you have understood what Swami has taught, and when you put efforts to practice and realise, that is when this day will find its fulfillment. Otherwise, it will also remain as another date on the calendar, like other days.”
After mangala arathi and prasadam, Bhagawan proceeded to partake lunch at the venue.
Zagreb, Croatia – 24 April, 2016 – EVENING
About 1400 people were yet again gathered to bask in Swami’s love. As He entered the hall, about 80 ladies and men were already standing on stage, to offer specially composed songs to Bhagawan. While the Lord wanted the music programme to be contained within 30 minutes, the pure love and devotion with which the songs were rendered, encapsulated and engulfed every soul seated, made the Lord to extend by another 30 minutes. Bhagawan was immensely happy, and enjoyed the programme with much delight. He blessed each of the 80 devotees with namaskar and prasadam. Sweet tears of joy, love and devotion flowed from each person. Brother Madhusudan later mentioned that Swami touched every person’s head and blessed them all profusely.
Thereafter, it was the turn of a professional band to offer a few renditions at the divine Lotus Feet. Mr Andrija Bosanac, a teacher at the Music Academy in Zagreb, and an ardent devotee of Swami, Mr Dhroeh Nankoe, an Indian singer and composer, of classical and light classical music, along with Mr Matija Dedić, one of the most famous musicians in Croatia, together enthralled the audience.
Brother Borna was the speaker for the evening, and expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Swami. He said that it is a great mercy to be born at the time of the Avatar, the time of God’s descent into history, among people. “To know of You, to see You and be Your follower is the biggest grace a soul can experience during its evolution. It is a grace much greater than enlightenment and liberation itself. In fact, all beings in the universe will one day achieve self-awareness and union with God, but the people who have an opportunity to be in the Avatar’s vicinity are rare and very blessed beings. This is why this present moment is one of the most important, and most sacred moments in the evolution of all of us here.”
Bhagawan in His discourse said, “From ancient times, man has been searching for the purpose of his existence. He has been constantly pursuing to experience happiness. It is something that all beings desire. From morning to night, man puts efforts to be happy. Despite all the endeavours in the world, the efforts go in vain.
One thinks this happiness of the world in real, but alas it is only an illusion. Happiness is sought in the possessions of the world. Instead of eating to live, people live to eat. But soon, the food which tasted good, may be tasteless in sometime. Rarely you will find a child who will say no to an ice cream. After the first cup, he is happy to take the second. When the third cup is offered, he may still take it. But when the fourth cup is given, he will think for a while. With the fifth and sixth cup, he may not take it. The same thing which gave him joy, a few cups before, becomes a waste. The desire & joy both disappeared.
Happiness in this world is illusory. If we catch hold of the shadow, we are not going to get the object. Truth is, there is no happiness in the world.”
Swami yet again reminded that happiness is union with God. How do we become united with God? Swami said, by being changeless, equal minded and in a state of peace, is the quality of God. This is what is known as ‘Samadhi’. ‘Dhi’ is the state of mind, and ‘Sama’ means equanimity. Always being in the state of equanimity is samadhi.
People say Swami attained ‘Samadhi’. Is it something Swami has to attain?? He was always in the state of equanimity. If you want to celebrate, then it should be done everyday, as Swami was always in a state of Samadhi. Pleasure and pain, fame and gain did not affect Him.
A person who is always thinking of God, who is always in His presence, will always be happy. Whether people praise or blame Him, He is not going to be affected by this. Equanimity is possible only when we have tremendous faith in God. Whatever experience that we undergo is not unknown to Him. As He has created the day, He has created the night. Like He has created darkness, He has created light. Similarly, when He creates pleasures, He creates pain. So these are passing clouds, and not permanent. Happiness that comes from Union with god, is permanent.”
Swami answered many questions thereafter. One of the questions asked was the difference between grace and blessings. Swami in the most beautiful way answered by saying, “Grace is like sun, which shines on everyone without any distinction. Efforts made to utilise this grace, is a blessing! Blessed are those who utilise this grace to grow and attain the goal!”
In the foyer of Hypo Centre, an exhibiton of art work done by devotees, inspired by Bhagawan, was at display. Some of these paintings were chosen by Swami, as He took a round of the display before leaving the venue. These will be sent to the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital in Raipur, and the new upcoming Hospital in Delhi. This display was part of a new Global Artists Network, which is still in its infancy and will develop further, with the Lord’s grace.
Swami’s entourage retired after dinner, all packed and ready to catch the next morning’s flight to Athens, Greece.