It was time for yet another glorious trip with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, as He continues to enthrall and charm His beloved devotees around the world with His greatest teaching to mankind, ‘Love All Serve All’. Five countries were to be blessed during the spring of 2019, and devotees in each country had been joyfully preparing for Swami’s Visit. Sixteen students along with their Warden from the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence received an opportunity of their life time, as they were to join Sai in the subtle for this trip. On the morning of March 31, the entourage boarded their flight to Dubai, and were received at the Airport by Brother Vishal Chhabria and the Sai Hrudayam family. A quick 15 minutes drive, and everyone reached the Chhabria residence ‘Aasthaa’ late afternoon amidst melodious Bhajans. The entire Chhabria and Raheja family welcomed Swami with traditional Poorna Kumbham. Mrs Pooja Chhabria emotionally prostrated in front of Her divine Father, and her joy knew no bounds. Having been under Swami’s divine guidance and protection ever since she was a little girl, along with her sisters Poonam, Vandana, and Brother Sunil, who studied in Prasanthi Nilayam, the Raheja family led by their mother Smt Pushpa Raheja, had all arrived from Mumbai to be a part of this divine experience. Upon arrival, Swami spoke about the four kinds of people – Arthi, Artharthi, Jignasu and Jnani. The first ones – Arthi – come because of their problems and pains, so that God would resolve and relieve them. Second ones – Artharthi – come for fulfilment of certain worldly desires – name, fame, position, power and the likes. Thirdly, there are those who are curious about the nature of God, and want to experience God, know the truth; they are the Jijnasus, the curious ones. Finally, the Jnanis who know the nature of God, and don’t desire anything. Even if they are in pain and distress, they don’t ask God for cure or relief, because they know God is aware of everything and will do what is best for them. Swami compared these to the children devotees from the Puranas – Markandeya, Dhruva, Nachiketa and Prahalada respectively. He said the highest of all was Prahalada, as he went through all the tests, keeping firm faith in Narayana. Only Prahalada had the courage, to calm down Ugra Narasimha! Happy with this selfless devotee, when Narayana granted him a boon, Prahalada’s quick reply was, ‘If at all I have to ask You for something, it should be that I should never ask You for anything!’ Swami advised all, “Live in the world, but the world should not live in you. From Markandeya, progress to become Prahalada! The inexpressible highest aspiration of man should be to reach for God!” Snacks and refreshments were served to Swami and His entourage, while all the devotees started putting final touches to the Satsang area in the lawns. Close to 150 people had gathered for the Satsang which commenced a little after 6:30 p.m, amidst Bhajans. Brother Nishad Mishra from Mumbai had specially flown in to Dubai to entertain the Lord with His melodious singing. After a few songs, Brother Vishal Chhabria emotionally welcomed all gathered, and narrated a story of how a small Vibuthi packet given to him by Swami three years ago, just does not seem to get exhausted, though he uses it every single morning! He emotionally broke down and submitted to everyone that though Sai may not be seen, His presence is definitely felt. He expressed His gratitude to Swami for His presence and visit. Sister Bhuvana Santhanam then spoke about the continuing mission, and all that is happening around the world in various countries across education, healthcare, nutrition, and the Human Development Centres being established.
Connecting what he witnessed a few moments ago when Swami’s handkerchiefs were constantly falling off His throne due to the wind, Mr Isaac Tigrett took to the podium and spoke about how man always falls, and it is God who picks him up every single time! Beautifully connected, it was indeed a pleasure listening to Mr Tigrett yet again.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy reminded everyone that God is verily within each person. “We think that God is somewhere high above or He is seated in a temple or a mosque or a church or a Gurudwara. But what we really forget is, that is the purpose of every Divine Master who comes into the world is to remind us that God is not anywhere, rather within ourselves and we are verily God! This is the reason for Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba‘s advent as well.”
Bhagawan in His divine discourse said, “It is said Adi Sankaracharya said, “Shareeram svarupam tatha va kalatram yashas charu chitram dhanam meru tulyam Manaschena lagnam guro ranghri padme tatah kim tatah kim tatah kim tatah kim. It means the body is very beautiful. Your name and fame is spread everywhere, your wife is the most beautiful woman, and your wealth is like the mountains. But, if your mind is not attached to the feet of the Guru, what is the use? Guru is the one who guides everyone through this maze of life.
It is not very complicated, it is quite simple. The journey, the game is from ‘I’ to ‘We’ to ‘He’. From just about being me and myself, ‘I, me, mine, myself’ to ‘we, us, ourselves’ and finally to ‘He, His and Himself’. So, it is only a journey from thinking selfishly to start thinking selflessly about everyone who is around us, so much so that we have no other thought but the thought of God alone that remains with us! You can then win this game. And till you learn this, you keep coming back, and this will continue till you move from ‘I’ to ‘we’, which is the next stage. And unless you merge in the ‘He’, the game does not get over! That is what Adi Sankaracharya says, ‘Punarapi jananam punarapi maranam punarapi jananee jathare shayanam.’ We are born again, we die again, we are born once again, we die once again, and yet again we reach the womb of the mother. There is no moving out of it, as it is a cycle we are stuck in eternally. So what should we do? ‘Iha samsare bahu dustare kripaya pare pahi Murare.’ It is very difficult to get out of this cycle because this ‘I’ gets you caught in the womb of another mother, and you are unable to escape this. So, ‘Lord, have compassion on me. Have mercy on me and teach me how to redeem myself.’
The Lord sends His Gurus, His Prophets, His Messiahs, His Messengers to guide, and to tell everyone how to lead their lives in this world, so that the are in the world, but the world does not get inside them. As long as the boat is in the water, we can row the boat and reach the other shore. When the water gets inside the boat, it is bound to sink. Likewise, we live in the world, we enjoy the world, but the world should not enjoy us. We will stay in the boat but the water should be outside the boat. Water should not get inside the boat. That is all we need to ensure while living in this world. And to do that, we need some guidance, for which we need a Guru, who is absolutely pure, detached, and who only thinks of the highest welfare of all, whose heart is full of compassion and he blesses everybody without a reason. A Guru who sees only one when there are many and teaches us also how to see that oneness in multiplicity, and ultimately takes us and makes us like Him. Then we also redeem ourselves. And that is the place of Guru that has been given next to God!”
Mangala Arati was offered to Swami, and dinner Prasadam was served to all.
The next morning, all the students proceeded for a tour of Dubai, while Swami decided to bless the Sai Gayathri Homa which was performed as per His divine instructions at the Chhabria residence. The ‘Yagna Purusha’ stood in all His glory, and it was a sight for all the Gods and Goddesses to witness the beautiful morning. Swami explained the significance of a Yagna, and said that even being able to witness a Yagna confers great Punya or merit on the person! “Prayers are letters to the God, and offerings are like the stamp. When we offer to the fire God during a Yagna, the offerings go from Prathyaksha to Parosha, from gross to subtle, to reach the Ultimate One, who exists in the subtle!” Lunch Prasadam was served, and Swami retired for the afternoon.
In the evening, Swami proceeded to the residence of Brother Abhinav and his wife Smt Sonal, where all the Sai Hrudayam family had yet again gathered for a private Satsang. The family welcomed Swami with much reverence and adoration. Brother Abhinav welcomed the gathering and thereafter, a musical and dance presentation was offered by the children.
The first speaker for the evening was Ms Kauline Kumaradevan, a 23-year-old youth who spoke of the inexplicable bond she shared with Swami, so much so that she shares the same birthday as Him. She spoke about how her family’s continual health problems was a constant source of dismay, but her view of medicine and healthcare changed from that of contempt and despair to awe and inspiration, when she saw the treatment provided for the needy in Swami’s medical institutions. She expressed her gratitude to Him in helping her choose a career in medicine and sought His blessings for the same.
Mr Isaac Tigrett, the next speaker for the evening narrated how he was asked by someone earlier in the day about how one can put “something” in their life to tune in to their true nature. Mr Tigrett revealed that many years ago, he was fortunate to receive from Swami a special prayer or ‘prayers’ to put that “something” back into life. Swami had told Mr Tigrett, “First get up in the morning and say, ‘Dear Lord, please think through me.’ Because everything begins with a thought. So if you say, ‘Lord, please think through me and my mind’, the next thing will be speaking about what you were thinking. You go, ‘O Lord, think through me, and please speak through me.’ After you have spoken, the next thing is you would put that thought into action, ‘Lord, please act through me.’ And then of course, the most important of all, ‘Lord, please love through me.'” And some years later, Swami had said to add another line, ‘Lord, please breathe through me’. Mr Tigrett said, “We all know and have read from the Vedas that we are born with a certain number of Mantras, breaths – and that each breath is a Mantra. So, if you just put something in your life at the beginning, when you get up in the morning to remind you of Him, to remind you of your duty, to remind you that God is within everybody and that it is your job to be aware, how blessed we are!”
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy in his speech spoke about the four goals in life which would keep everyone happy – Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha. He said that the problem at the root of unhappiness of everybody anywhere in the world is that everybody were going behind only two out of the four goals – Artha and Kama, giving up Dharma and Moksha. Sri Narasimha Murthy narrated the story of Nachiketa and the three questions he posed in front of the Lord of death, Yama. He reminded all that Swami is going around the world to remind everyone that when people in a society are selfish, they cannot be happy. “Neither the human being, the individual, nor the society can be happy. So think of others also, and not only yourself. Not ‘I’ and ‘mine’ only. ‘We’ and ‘ours’. So think of others also, think of others’ happiness also. This is the subtlety of Dharma or choosing Shreyas over Preyas!”
Swami in His divine discourse said, “Ayam Nijaha Paroveti Ganana Laghuchetasam, Udaracharitanantu Vasudhaiva Kutubakam. For the narrow-minded, selfish people, they think these people belong to us, and they are others, they are not ours. But for the one who has a large heart, Hrudaya, who has a heart like that of Sai, Sai Hrudaya, for them, the whole world is their family, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – it is the one who can think from the heart – and what kind of heart? The heart like that of Sai who thinks of everyone’s welfare, everyone’s goodness, everyone’s betterment, everyone’s happiness. Why you should go and do something for labour camps or people who are working in the hot sun and struggling to make their lives go on? They were not born to your family members, but you still go because you think – ‘to God they belong‘. And so we should go out and do something for them as a part of our duty, our responsibility towards another family member, another person who belongs to us. That should be the concern. You should be able to pray for everybody with same intensity.
If you want to be happy for a moment, eat something nice, whatever you like. Want to be happy for an hour? Go and take a nap, sleep; you will be happy for an hour. If you want to be happy for a month, go get married, they will be happy only for a month (amidst much laughter). But you want to be happy for your whole life, then do service and help others. This is the best way to be happy. When you give happiness to others, it magnifies and comes back to you multiple times. That happiness is beyond, that which cannot be described. That is the joy of Seva, which you have to experience!”
Dinner Prasadam was served after Mangala Arati. Swami blessed a few devotees with interviews, and then departed to the Chhabria residence for the night to retire.