Sri Sathya Sai Vrindawith Love, at His service

Divine Retreat – Kodaikanal – May 12, 2019

A rather emotional morning for everyone, as it was Mother’s Day and the love for Swami, the Divine parent seemed to surge inside every heart to proportions beyond comprehension. Of course, one does not need a specific day to love and adore the Divine Mother, everyday is a celebration for all that Mother Sai mercifully does for each of Her children. But a dedicated day is an excuse to express deep love and gratitude to Her! Swami entered the Prayer Hall a little after 10 a.m., and was greeted by students, staff and devotees with flowers, cards and roses. The Singapore devotees had brought a huge Mother’s Day cake which Swami cut, before He took His seat on stage. The morning programme commenced with a musical offering by youth from Sai Ananda Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After the upbeat and beautiful rendition of multilingual songs in English, Hindi, Telugu and Malay, Swami commanded Brother Ayavoo Arumugam, who along with his wife Dr Vimala leads the Centre. He traced his journey when he started EHV classes in a small Kaliamman temple way back in the eighties. His service minded self would embrace children from the streets and he would take them for tuition. This slowly expanded to feeding them and taking care of other necessities. Now these service initiatives have evolved into the many activities being run at Sai Ananda, with the activities expanding as and when a need arises. Brother Ayavoo concluded with an experience which only showed that Swami is present with each one at all times.

Swami then called upon Mr Ampelio Valeda from Italy to address the gathering. He and his wife Mrs Marilena have been instrumental in setting up the Ashram in Assisi. Mr Ampelio had set up the western canteen in Prasanthi Nilayam, and is currently engaged in doing the same in Muddenahalli. He submitted that they always feel Swami’s presence in Assisi. He submitted that he always prefers to be in the kitchen cooking for others, as they do in Rome for the homeless.

Swami in His divine discourse said that mothers are most important and must be revered. “Even the Vedas declare, ‘Maatru Devo Bhava‘, only after the mother, comes father and teacher. Mother shows the child who the father is, and the father shows the child the teacher. Then the teacher shows the child how to reach God. Therefore, mother is the first teacher of the child. Mothers are the ones who give good citizens to the world.” Swami showered abundant blessings on all mothers, as He proceeded to dine with them after Mangala Arati.

In the evening, Swami entered the Satsang hall in the Bungalow around 5:45 p.m. after granting a few interviews. He first released a book of poems by one of the UK youth, Ms Saima Rajasingam. Swami read a few poems much to the delight of all. The alumni, alumnae and youth presented a bouquet of songs at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet. The Lord was happy with the songs which were presented in various languages including Marathi. “All could not learn Vedas or Upanishads in the ancient days. By simple devotees great truths were made into folk songs like the Pandari Bhajans. There was no distinction, and there was no eligibility to learn the Vedas. Through the passage of time, selfishness creeped in. Society was divided on the basis of castes in an unfair way, and only the elite had access to the Vedas. The Saints came, they extracted the truths and provided the essence in simple ways. And it is to My credit that I have further simplified these high truths! Tulsidas wrote ‘Rama Charita Manas’ in a very simplified manner. It is because of Kabir, Tulsidas, Purandaradasa, Namadev and others, Gods have not been forgotten!”

Swami went on to speak about the tests which all these Saints went through, and narrated the story of Ramadasa. “Devotees are always subjected to tests. Who graduates? Only those who pass the test graduates. Spirituality is also the same. You don’t want to pass a test, you don’t want to practice, then how will you become God and enjoy the bliss? How is it possible? ‘I’ to ‘We’ to ‘He’, is the journey. You will progress from individual to society when you embrace everyone as your own. This attitude comes through service. The next level is ‘He’ by constantly thinking that everyone is a moving temple of God, and God resides in everything and everyone. You begin to see God in everything. It is He and Him alone! This is the ultimate test, when you become God. So, don’t give up this education, as I am here to teach, correct and guide you. Do your homework, so you can ultimately become Me! This is the whole idea of devotion!”

After Mangala Arati, Swami proceeded to dine with the guests, before partaking His dinner.