It was a busy morning. Energies were high, yet a feeling of remorse filled the air. It was unspoken, yet very evident in the eyes of all gathered, for it was the last day with beloved Bhagawan! The morning began with the Lord granting interviews to a few families at the Jayewardene residence. It was overwhelming to see each person blissfully walking out of the interview room, proof of the healing Grace flowing effortlessly into the parched souls! Form or formless, nothing has changed!
Bhagawan along with His retinue left the Jayewardene residence a little after 10am to Taj Samudra, venue for the public satsang in Colombo. It was an hour’s drive, and Bhagawan was welcomed by devotees who had gathered with much devotion and eagerness to welcome their Sai Rama, from many parts of Sri Lanka, and other countries. The same saga of love between the Lord and his children.
The satsang began with Sri Mithun Jayaraman welcoming the gathering and recounting the last two days at Batticaloa, before inviting Smt Penny Jayewardene to share her thoughts and deliver her opening remarks. She spoke passionately about rebuilding the war torn land of Batticaloa, into a place of peace and prosperity through the Sri Sathya Sai Karuna Nilayam Foundation, which is being established by Swami, and urged all gathered to be a part of this noble mission, in whichever little way they can. “Charity begins at home, and therefore we must gather all our resources to make this ashram a reality, and work tirelessly as Bhagawan does for the society”, she echoed. She recollected the numerous trials and tribulations that the people of this Foundation had to go through, while securing the land for this work, which was otherwise being used by various armed forces earlier, coupled with illegal encroachments. Nevertheless, with persistence and patience and with the support of many, it could be well secured for the commencement of the ashram work. Within one year, a day school, a primary health clinic and a community hall for the use of the local residents, will be established to serve the community, free of all charges. She acknowledged the services rendered by various people especially Brother Chenthuran, the youth leader in making all this a reality.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy addressed the gathering and mentioned about the wonderful people of Sri Lanka who greet everyone with joy and a spontaneous loving smile, truly reflecting their inner purity. It is a country of God, and therefore people are godly. He briefly mentioned about the 17 ashrams that Swami is establishing around the world, and the ashram in Sri Lanka will be one among them. Sri Narasimha Murthy also shared with the audience the magnificent seva, both in medical care and educare, that is ever expanding now in India under Swami’s guidance. He also wished that people of Sri Lanka would heed to this clarion call of Bhagawan, and restore her glorious past. He mentioned about how Swami corrected his translation of the beautiful name of the ashram, given by Swami Himself – Sri Sathya Sai Karuna Nilayam, as the ‘House of compassion’ to ‘HOME of compassion’, for home is where Love is!
The Lord spotted Dr Karunairesan seated amongst the audience, who is a passionate worker at Sai Prema Nilayam, a service initiative in the remote part of Talawakele where he conducts medical camps for the poor and the workers of the tea estate. Swami called him to the podium to share the activities of seva that their group has been rendering for many years now. Brother Karunairesan with tearful gratitude expressed his happiness about having been given an opportunity to share the seva work, as that was a desire he had in his heart, to be able to share the work with Swami, which Swami fulfilled. He recollected his recent visit to Muddenahalli during the World Youth Meet and 90th Birthday celebrations, when Swami again showed His omniscience by walking up to him during Darshan, and offering him a bunch of roses, which he had secretly desired in his heart!
Dr Karunairesan narrated a story, wherein a simpleton attended a Bhagawad Gita discourse delivered by a scholar, and continued to shed tears all through the session. Curious to know the reason, the scholarly pundit enquired as to what had the poor man understood, that touched his heart so much, which made him cry all along. The simple devotee submitted to the scholar that he barely understood all that was spoken. But, the thought of Lord Krishna as the charioteer, having had to turn His neck while He gave the Upadesa (discourse) to Arjuna, caused this devotee great pain! He felt that the Lord would have been in a lot of discomfort and developed a neck pain, as He had to turn back, and speak to Arjuna for such a long time! A devotee feels for the Lord’s pain, and therefore, must help and serve all, as the Lord desires. Swami blessed him with an orange robe at the end of the short speech, which was once again his long cherished desire, that was fulfilled by the all-knowing Swami!
Finally it was the time for the nectarine message of Swami, which was delivered in His mellifluous Telugu and translated by Sri B N Narasimha Murthy in English. Swami started with a poem, “If all the people of a country follow the principles of truth, righteousness and love, then the motherland will be very happy and confer various riches and prosperity on the people. This is the word of truth, the word of Sai!”
Swami urged the people to follow these human values and change themselves first, before embarking on the mission of changing the society. The one who is good, sees good in all. But the one who has an evil feeling, sees only bad around. Bhagawan explained this with the story of Lord Krishna, who commands Duryodhana to find one bad person, and Dharamaraja to find one good person in the city. After a while, both came empty handed. Duryodhana could not find one good person, and Dharamaraja could not find one bad person. How was it possible in the same city? This is due to the fault in one’s vision ( Drushti) and the world ( Srushti) seems that way too. Correct yourself before correcting others.
Swami said that the one who is filled with God- consciousness sees the whole world as BRAHMA Mayam (filled with God), whereas the one who is filled with selfishness sees the world as BHRAMA Mayam (full of illusion).
The new ashrama is a home of love and compassion. Ashrama, means a place where you don’t feel any effort ( Shrama), as love ( Prema) knows no effort ( Shrama). It is spontaneous and never tired of loving and serving!
Swami said that the name of this land was only LANKA earlier, but after SRI Rama set His foot upon this land, it became SRI Lanka, where SRI refers to auspiciousness, plenty and divinity. Now SAI Rama has come here, so it will become SAI Lanka! Full of Love and Service, Joy and Peace, Purity and Divinity. It is the responsibility of the devotees to make it happen, by following Swami who is ever willing to lead them all by hand. Just as Swami refers to devotees as ” bangaru”, which in telugu means Gold representing the wealth of divinity within each. Similarly, in Ravana’s time this land was called Swarna Puri (City of Gold). However, now it will truly become golden when men and women become divine.
Swami blessed one and all and closed the function after a bhajan and Arathi. Lunch prasadam was served for all gathered.
Thereafter, Swami left for the Jayewardene residence in the city of Colombo, where He was served lunch along with the guests. After a brief rest, Swami again addressed a very private gathering in their home, speaking about the topic of meditation. Swami asked a few, to express their views about meditation, but finally He himself explained at length. Swami said that meditation is not about doing something with your mind, as most think. In fact it is about not doing anything with the mind. Like a lake that gets disturbed with ripples that form when a stone is thrown into it, any thought positive or negative disturbs the mind and does not allow us to see the reality. Goal of mediation is to merge the mind into God. Therefore, the mind of the one who meditates merged with the mind of the one being meditated upon, becomes the all pervading universal mind, just as a river merges into the ocean and becomes the ocean. Then, the yogi need not DO anything, things happen for him and he becomes merely a witness, an instrument. It is God’s mind that works through such a yogi as he has no mind of his own. Such a state is meditation. Technically however, 9 seconds of still mind is concentration, 9 periods of concentration is contemplation and 9 such continuous cycles of contemplation is meditation. So it is about holding the mind still for 10-12 minutes. Mind and breath are as intimately connected as fire and fuel. Breath gives energy to mind. So we much slow down our breathing to calm the mind. Observe the mind while you mediate, just as the mother observes the child which he is running all around. It is important now to practise this to experience Swami. Earlier Darshan was meditation as it made you forget everything. The mind became still and heart alone was active. But now, meditation is Darshan, like a mother who even while doing her daily chores, is always thinking of the child in the cradle. Likewise, even while we do all that we need to, our minds should be tuned to God. Tuning of this antenna/receiver of Mind to Swami will make you experience Him everywhere, for He is everywhere like the song on the radio. All it needs is tuning! He is there for all in equal measure!
Finally Swami smiled and said. “I do not need any airlines to go back to India. But poor Narasimha Murthy and others need to go by flight. So, let us close this session, lest they should miss their flight!”
With that the session came to an end. Swami took Arathi and blessed all with Pada Namaskar and vibhuthi prasadam, before the entourage left for the airport, after yet another glorious trip with Sai Rama in His Lanka!