It was a slightly warm, but pleasant morning, and the Singhal household was abuzz with the routine chores. A hearty Indian breakfast welcomed everyone. Swami granted interviews to a couple of families thereafter, as preparations were being made for the Satsang in the evening.
After tea, Swami proceeded to the venue ‘Arpan’, another Singhal residence where they had lived previously, few minutes away from ‘Abhinandan’. It was an intimate gathering of 60 people. A short musical offering of devotional songs and Bhajans by brother Sumeet Tappoo and Mr Dimitris Lambrianos on the grand piano elevated the mood, energy and vibrations of the evening. Three Bhajans and a song were rendered in a new format. Not many musicians have ‘what it takes’, the skill and mastery of technique, the humility to render from the heart, and the ability to transport the audience to a divine realm. Bhagawan enjoyed the rendition, and blessed both the musicians profusely.
Swami then commanded Mr Krishen Singhal to address the gathering first. Mr Singhal shared an interesting experience of Swami’s omnipresence a few decades ago, and concluded by saying that “You have to have heart and ears to understand what Swami is saying. Even today we don’t take it seriously! It happens all the time. When we are with Sai, when we are with Swami, we have to know that He will look after everything.”
Mr Isaac Tigrett spoke next. He began his talk by saying, “No one can tell you what to do and no one can tell you what not to do. Spirituality is an extraordinary journey in which you are completely on your own! You cannot follow anyone and no one can follow you.” He quoted a couple of instances, one of which was about his friend who though came all the way to Parthi from London, could not enter the gates and went back without seeing Swami. When a puzzled Mr Tigrett was seeking a reason for this, miraculously a book of Swami was airmailed to him to his new residence of which none knew, with a para underlined in red ink which read, “No one can see an inch of My robe unless I will.” Mr Tigrett went on to explain that in other words, everybody is invited at the appropriate time. He quoted Swami who had said, “Look, when I was in Puttaparthi, the whole world could come . Anybody could come. Millions came. But now I am behind a curtain. And you can come and meet me by invitation only. Everyone who is here, is here because I willed it! But there is a cost to this invitation. You must have a pure heart.”
Sri C Sreenivas addressed the gathering next, and confessed how “words truly are inadequate when you can think of the love of Swami who continues to hold our hands, guide us, and take us along in our lives.” Sri Sreenivas spoke of his association with the Singhals for the last 30 years, and confessed of having learnt valuable lessons of life with them. He said, “Faith comes as courage, comes as hard work, comes as incessant human endeavour, comes as love, comes as service, comes as everything good in life, which we aspire for, and for which we work. Faith teaches us and embodies in it the great value of Purushartham Vijayate Jagat, Human endeavour can conquer the world!”
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy addressed the intimate gathering in his inimitable style and shared the latest developments from
Bhagawan’s ongoing education mission. 14 campuses, 28 schools and colleges across 9 districts within five years, talks about the supersonic speed at which Swami wants to open institutions! He concluded by saying, “When most of the men and women choose world over God and greed takes over, which succeeds against the human aspiration to help others, all the problems happen. Instead to choose God over the world is the panacea for the problem of individuals, for the problems of families, for the problems of nations and for all the problems of the world.”
Bhagawan in His discourse spoke about how to attain permanent happiness. “As long as we go back to God in our thoughts, in our words, in our actions, we shall never undergo any suffering. Being in the world, we will be still out of the world and we will not undergo the sorrow and suffering that come along by the nature of this very world. Only those who keep Lord as the priority, God first in their lives, do not undergo any kind of sorrow. For the rest, some time or the other, sorrow definitely envelops them Therefore, the secret of joy or happiness – J-O-Y- is Jesus first, Others next, Yourself last which means God first, others next and yourself last. As long as you follow this sequence, there is joy in life. What does it mean? In a family there may be many issues, there may be many decisions, there may be many things to be agreed upon. How do you agree for every head thinks differently? All of the family members should sit together and think, ‘What would God want? What would make God happy? What is that which Swami would like to do in this situation? What is that which Swami would want to be done in this situation?’ If you keep that as first and think from Swami’s point of view, immediately you will find right solution. But if each one thinks from his or her selfish point of view, definitely you are not going to come to any conclusion, it is only going to lead to confusion.
Therefore, keeping God first, what matters to God, what would God want, what would please God, that should become the first priority or the first thing that we must decide upon. Then we must think about what others would want us to do, what is good for everyone, what will make everyone else happy. And then finally, we must think about our happiness. If we follow this sequence, then definitely we are going to lead a life of happiness that is going to be permanent!” Quoting the example of the Gopikas who were willing to give the dust of their feet to cure Krishna’s headache not bothered about any sins that it may bring, when His own wives declined, Swami said God’s happiness alone should matter.
After a few questions and answers, Mangala Arati was offered and after dinner, Swami retired for the evening.